The 1989 the Graham v. Connor case established that the moment an officer uses force is all that matters when determining if it was objectively reasonable. Further, it determined that the moment could not be judged “with the 20/20 vision of hindsight.” In other words, how that moment came to be matters not, only what was happening during it.
That said, this legal doctrine does not (and should not) preclude officers, trainers, and supervisors from examining cases with that 20/20 vision. With a goal of avoiding the avoidable, we should look backward from the moment force was used and honestly assess whether the officer, by action or lack of action, contributed to its ultimate need.
Legally Justified; But was it Avoidable analyzes dozens of recent use of force videos and focuses on the totality of the interaction. We dissect the behavior of the offender and more importantly, the thoughts and behavioral processes of the officer(s) involved. Specifically, we consider if poor or ill-advised tactics, ineffective communication, a lack of personal control and/or a misunderstanding of acute stress led the officer(s) to escalate the event unintentionally and unconsciously.
In this course we will discuss:
- Force: Can it be avoided? How? Will it be?
- Powerful research: how stress breaks down your ability to process information
- Handling pressure at the pivotal moment
- Did poor tactics contribute to the need to shoot
- Don’t throw fuel on the fire! Controlling the inner “idiot”
- The overall goal and how stress diverts from that mission
- Slowing things down can be your most powerful tactic
- A hard look at the reason mistakes are being made
- Cognitive deterioration leads to “Decision Decline”
- Avoiding Behavioral and Content Loops
- The Power of Mid-Event Disengagement