SI41 – How Not to Get Shot, Sued, or Thrown in Jail / Use of Force and Liability
This Special Issue from In the Line of Duty features an entire classroom presentation by Chuck Joyner, a 30-year veteran of the CIA and FBI who teaches survival sciences to law enforcement.
In this multi-faceted training program, Chuck’s objectives are:
Identifying the primary causes of officer injuries and deaths
Discussion of pertinent court cases that should guide use-of-force decision-making
Helping make use-of-force decisions a much easier process; one that juries and courts both like and has been proven effective
Identification of current areas of high liability
Identification of factors that (often) will increase your liability
and much more crucial training and education in this 62:00 minute program available online, as a video download or on DVD
How Not to Get Shot, Sued or Thrown in Jail includes a complete and comprehensive Trainer’s Guide featuring program overview, interactive discussion points, tests and a Certificate of Completion for officers’ jackets. POST recognized in most states and excellent for academy, roll call and in-service training, because it is easily segmented.
ADDING THIS IMPORTANT NEW TRAINING VIDEO TO YOUR CURRICULUM IS AS EASY AS THIS:
Purchase DVD for the sale price of $95 + $5 S/H or the Download for the sale price of $95. Simply fill out this form and mail it.
In our very first training program, there were so many police officer safety issues that it almost boggled the mind.
It was In the Line of Duty series Volume 1 – Program 1, and to this day, more than 20 years later, it can still save cops’ lives, as it has since 1995. It is in your face proof that when the most garden variety officer safetytactics are discarded, even broad daylight stops can turn into horror stories in seconds.
In that program, circa 1995, a Georgia State Trooper (Benjy Hodges) had stopped a vehicle for speeding along infamous I-95.
He had approached the passenger in the front seat, and an officer from the county’s s.o. had gotten the driver out and was supposed to be monitoring him while Hodges dealt with the passenger.
When my partner (Don Marsh) and I first saw the cruiser cam video at the St. Louis PD’s Film and Police Video Unit, we just looked at each other and really didn’t say a word.
It was obvious that cruiser cam video was going to be a seismic shift in the way police officers were trained and educated. Video documented events will helps answer a critical questions: Does law enforcement in the US need improved training?
That single clip of crystal clear video of an officer involved shooting was mesmerizing to us, and we knew for a fact, that it would do the same for cops everywhere in the U.S.
In the Line of Duty series was effectively ‘born’ that day when we realized how very powerful it would be to combine law enforcement video with analysis and lessons learned from the actual police officers involved in critical incidents.
Now, depending on whom you talk to in law enforcement agencies, there are anywhere from three to 10, 20 or more officer safety rules of the road which should never be violated if a cop truly wants to get home safely to his family at the end of the shift.
There are dozens more in the subsets right below anyone’s top 10 (or however many).
For many years, Sgt. Richard Simpher was Line of Duty’s technical adviser, and he was as solid as it gets.
Over those years, Rich superbly analyzed many of the police videos we featured on our Line of Duty series programs, and he became so good, all we had to do was ‘wind him up’ and let him go.
He was the Energizer Bunny in human form—with a lot more energy and smarts.
I have learned that , at most, officer safety issues could be boiled down to 3 things:
The police officer, a pretty near dead-ringer for Rod Steiger in “In the Heat of the Night” or Jackie Gleason in “Smokey and the Bandit” probably did the best he could.
However, it turned out to be such a harrowing performance as cover officer, to this very day, it will cause veteran cops to cringe and shout at the screen.
For, he lost any semblance of composure and focus, waffling back and forth from the subject he’d supine on the trooper’s cruiser hood and watching Trooper Hodges interact with the passenger. At one point, Trooper Hodges’ spidey senses had piqued, and he told the deputy that if the driver made a move to “shoot him”.
That seemed to further exasperate the deputy, and when you watch the cam video, you’ll clearly see that, as he’s turned towards Trooper Hodges, his gun and holster were literally in the driver’s face.
The holster itself was a Level Zero, and by that I mean there was no safety on the holster, and all anyone would have to do is grab it and shoot.
Two or three times, the driver looks at the gun and holster with the look of a ravenous wolf.
Any cop on earth, watching that video, would have zip, nada and zero doubt the salivating driver could have grabbed the gun, killed the deputy and, quite possibly, the trooper.
As far as ‘watching deadly hands’ is there a single veteran cop who would say that, as long as a subject’s hands are unrestrained, they COULDN’T be potentially deadly? Hmmmm?
There were also no arrest and control tactics, none.
So, when Trooper Hodges saw that the passenger had a gun on the console and told him (the passenger) not to go for it or he’d shoot him, you can only imagine how the deputy basically emulsified on the side of the road.
Trooper Hodges did end up shooting the non-compliant passenger, and somehow by dint or miracle neither officer was harmed. Still, complacency, confusion, utter lack of tactics could have made the outcome an ugly one.
Did I mention that the deputy was not wearing a vest?
That program will never fail to rivet police officers’ eyes and ears, and it is a living testament to Sgt. Simpher’s very astute observations.
In looking back, it’s amazing to me how many officer safety programs we have produced where Rich’s simple, yet profound observations continue to hit the old tenpenny nail square on the head.
I’ll have more to say about critical officer safety issues, so stay tuned, please.
SC Trooper Stabbed To Death A couple weeks ago, I was amazed to read about a South Carolina trooper who’d been stabbed by a longtime scumbag after a traffic stop. I wasn’t amazed because the officer had been stabbed. That happens to coppers several times a week. I wasn’t amazed because the p.o.s. had a lengthy and violent past. That’s, often, a given when police deal with subjects on stops, calls, emergencies, etc.
The Hidden Cuff Key What amazed me most was that in only two articles of the dozen or so I read about this incident was it mentioned that this scumbag had a cuff key hidden in his necklace. And, he ACCESSED it, too, and, briefly, was able to escape his cuffs. I’m still looking for additional details.
However, it gets me to my central thesis on this rant. Why in hell don’t officers immediately remove ALL jewelry and any other items on a violent subject’s person that could conceivably hide a cuff key?
This is life-and-death potentially, and the time for playing nice-nice with an individual who has just tried to stab you has long past. Get the damned jewelry i.e. watches, necklaces, bracelets, anklets, hair combs, anything and everything that could conceal a cuff key OFF! Get the cell phone, get the cigarette pack, get the purse, take the wallet. C’mon, this is your life we’re talking about here! I’ll go so far as to add that even ‘big hair’ is suspect.
Now, for all you officers 30 or under, the name Hank Earl Carr probably means nothing to you. So, I’ll tell you who he was.
One of the most evil, murderous, lying, conniving sons of bitches who ever lived. Carr murdered his little step-son, and when the cops came, he bobbed and weaved, coming up with every damned excuse he possibly could to obfuscate his involvement. His girlfriend, the little boy’s mother, pathologically lied with him every step of the way.
When Carr was handcuffed (in front) by two veteran Tampa homicide detectives for a ride downtown for additional questioning, he tried to wriggle out of the handcuffs, basically in broad daylight and in front of the two coppers.
They verbally warned him not to try that again. He didn’t. Instead of trying to wriggle free of the cuffs, he accessed a hidden cuff key (arguably in a necklace that hadn’t been confiscated/searched), and murdered the two detectives on the way to h.q. In his escape, he then lured a young Florida trooper to pull in right behind him after a short pursuit. Then, he slaughtered the trooper.
Ultimately, Carr blew himself away after a standoff at a convenience store where he’d taken a woman hostage. It’s all there in Line of Duty’s training program, ‘Tampa Cop Killings’ which, to me, should have been mandatory viewing for all law enforcement officers these last 20 years or so.
Alabama Officer Murdered
The Mobile(AL) P.D. worked with Line of Duty on still another training program, “Murder of an Alabama Officer” in which an arrested lowlife sprouting nonsense was able to access a cuff key and the blade within.
He cut a veteran officer’s jugular, and the officer was dead on the sallyport floor in a couple minutes.
I’m, quite honestly, surprised more cuff keys aren’t being found. It takes incredibly thorough pat downs and, often, done multiple times to do the job properly. And, you cannot tell me every gang-banging, violent scumbag out here wouldn’t love to be the first on his block to get over on the cops. That’s bragging rights in the big house, and you know it.
Always remain aware that, as Joe Friday said long ago on ‘Dragnet’, those are “just the facts”.
See what ITLOD has to offer.
Here are previews to both our programs on the Tampa Cop Killings and Murder of an Alabama Officer.
I am proud to recommend them highly for every law enforcement training library in the civilized world. Plus, for reading my blog, we’re offering you 2-for-the-price of one. If you’re interested please visit our online store at www.lineofduty.com, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1(800)462-5232.
If you don’t think it turns out to be one of the best investments in training you ever made or will make, let me know. I’ll refund your every nickel.
Interview with Trooper Coates’ killer and posting photos of cop killers
Over 20 years ago, Line of Duty produced one of its most enduring training
programs, “Interview with a Cop Killer”.
I went to South Carolina and interviewed Trooper Mark Coates’ murderer
Richard Blackburn at length. (PHOTO OF BLACKBURN. TAKE A FREEZE
FRAME FROM THE ACTUAL PROGRAM)
According to Google – at summer of 2018, it is still one of our most watched training programs ever.
It was, to my knowledge, the very first time a convicted cop killer had ever been
interviewed about his crime with the complete, horrific incident caught on cruiser
In fact, two cruiser cams.
He looked pathetic, lost and obese when the corrections officers brought him into
the interview room in a wheelchair at the (( )) where he was serving
a justifiable life-without-parole sentence. Believe me, there wasn’t a cop alive
in South Carolina who didn’t want to see Richard Blackburn executed long prior
to my interview with him.
Blackburn (to me) seemed to want to cooperate and did not dodge any question
I threw at him.
First, I asked what prompted him to ultimately explode in fury at Trooper Coates.
He said he initially felt put out, because Trooper Coates had picked his old
beater out for a speeding stop and yet, Blackburn claimed, there were other newer
model cars that had sped by faster than he was driving.
It’s an invaluable program, one that, I feel, truly tried to get into the psyche of a
cop killer, and, apparently, over the years many law enforcement officials agree,
because it has been watched and studied so very often. Still is.
Which gets me to my point.
When a Florence, SC officer was shot to death and several other cops were also
wounded earlier this week, I tried to stay on top of it and post every breaking
That included ultimately posting a photo of the officer’s alleged killer.
Plenty of you responded negatively and implored me to delete the subject’s photo.
You had a damned good reason, too. He’d just killed a great veteran officer and
seriously wounded several others. Why give him a scintilla of publicity?
I hear you, I do.
However, as a journalist who actually tries to provide as much fact as I can in a
major story, this man’s photo and background seemed to be critical to me.
Without his heinous actions, there would have been no story.
If the Chicago Tribune over 50 years ago didn’t publish the photo and background
of Richard Speck next to the student nurses he’d methodically murdered, it would have
been an unspeakable oversight.
When a cop is slain ITLOD, don’t you think it’s absolutely imperative to show his (or her)
photo and as much of his (or her) background humanly possible?
Don’t you want to try to learn from absolutely any aspect of the killer’s personality, background,
motive, or reasoning?
That, of course, includes his photograph or, perhaps, multiple photographs which can, often,
supplement just exactly who is this and why he did what he did.
20 years ago, if I’d provided only an audio interview with Richard Blackburn, wouldn’t you have
much rather SEEN this man, watched his expressions, studied his mannerisms, learned from
his physical machinations?
I absolutely think so.
Personally, I think it’s TRULY reprehensible when a media outlet does NOT provide photos and
as much descriptive information as possible about a cop shooter or cop killer.
I see that more and more often when the suspect is a minority, and I hate to say that, but it’s
I choose the high ground and will always give you every iota of information on a cop killer,
To me, we must learn from tragedy, and that should include learning all we can about the
perpetrators of life’s most horrific, horrendous events.
P.S. FYI, here’s a preview link to our interview with Richard Blackburn:
If you’re interested in the complete interview, please visit our online store at www.lineofduty.com,
or e-mail email@example.com or call 1(800)462-5232.
When I first saw the cruiser cam video of Deputy Kyle Dinkheller’s murder, I had tears in my eyes. In fact, it was some years before I was able to watch the video without teary emotions and anguish. So, I will never understand how those closest to Kyle have been able to keep it together over these last two decades.
Kyle Dinkheller came from a wonderful family. I know, because I interviewed several of them and was glad to call his grandfather and his dad friends. His granddad is gone now, but his father, Kirk Dinkheller, is still beating the drums as hard as he can in support of officer safety.
Kirk was kind enough to respond to my request that he address several questions I had looking back on the 20 years since the murder of his son.
I am pleased to share Kirk’s answers to my questions.
1. From your perspective, what changes have you seen that have been implemented by law enforcement since Kyle’s death?
One of the changes I have seen is a lot more training on the use of force. All the officers I have talked to tell me they take Kyle’s video and break it down frame-by-frame and learn from it. Kyle’s video is a great training aid.
2. What misconceptions have been discovered about Kyle that are important and should be noted?
The biggest misconceptions are that Kyle got in trouble a lot for pulling his weapon on stops and for being disrespectful. Everyone I have talked to said that never happened. I have watched all of Kyle’s traffic stops, and I can tell you the same thing. He was always courteous and respectful.
One situation came to light regarding a stop Kyle made when he was working a bad car accident on I-16 in Laurens County. He stopped a car that did not pull over for law enforcement going to the accident, for driving too fast for conditions and for disregarding the safety of the first responders. Kyle reprimanded the driver for his actions and wrote a ticket. Apparently the driver knew the sheriff and voiced a complaint. The sheriff required Kyle to write a letter of apology and hand deliver it to the driver in question. Kyle felt he had handled the situation correctly, and he had an issue with being required to apologize. Kyle reluctantly complied with the order to keep the peace and to protect his job. Some people, including myself, wonder if that situation may have caused Kyle to hesitate that day.
I would hope the long term impact would be that all officers, new and old, watch Kyle’s video every six months, and (they) learn something new each time. Also, I would like officers to take training to heart, and remember to do their job right and go home at the end of their shift. That is all that matters. I want them to remember that no two traffic stops are the same. Even if one seems routine, officers need to approach all stops with the worst case scenario in mind.
4. Have you any stories from cops who have viewed the dash cam video of the murder of Deputy Kyle Dinkheller and, perhaps, and adjusted their own tactical approaches? Has the dash came video saved officers’ lives in your opinion?
I know Kyle’s video has saved a lot of officers’ lives. Re-training and re-watching the video can save lives. I have heard from many officers who have viewed the video and later been on a stop where something brought Kyle’s video to mind. Some officers have told me they encountered people who were out of the car and wanted to go back to their vehicle. Because of the Dinkheller video, they stopped the person from returning to the vehicle. One officer I talked to went back to the car for the person and found a gun. I have heard this kind of thing often through the years.
5. What do you feel are/should be the most important lessons as a result of Kyle Dinkheller’s murder?
I feel the most important lessons to learn (come) from Kyle’s mistakes on this stop. There is so much to learn. I know Kyle never thought this stop would turn out the way it did, and he was giving the guy every opportunity to give up and go on with life. Unfortunately, that did not happen. I would love for everyone to take training to heart and remember this video. Kyle met the devil that day, and he wasn’t ready to meet the devil. I hope everyone learns from the video so when they meet the devil, they are ready. I will continue to go around the country showing Kyle’s video and talking about him in hopes that it help law enforcement officers stay safe and go home at night.
Thanks to his dad, friends and family, thanks to great trainers and teachers, Kyle Dinkheller continues to give back in death much, much more than most do in a lifetime.