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Capsicum not an option in fatal shooting

By johnboy 14 February 2011 80

The Herald Sun has an explanation on why capsicum spray wasn’t tried before Nathan Doherty was shot by police in Wanniassa:

ACT Policing deputy chief Bruce Hill said officers believed they had the situation under control after talking with the man when he was inside the house for some 30 minutes early yesterday morning. But he emerged armed with a kitchen knife in one hand and a meat cleaver in the other.

“He had his face protected against us possibly using capsicum spray,” Commander Hill told ABC Radio today.

Officers tried to disarm the man with “verbal commands” as he advanced towards them for about 300 metres. He than made an aggressive lunge towards a sergeant, who shot him.

Nathan had previously been shot in the leg by police in November 2007.

The question now is whether we should have tasers out with the general duties police who end up dealing with these situations?

What’s Your opinion?


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Capsicum not an option in fatal shooting
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Ozi 2:00 pm 17 Feb 11

buzz819 said :

I believe you! Wait, playing Call of Duty is being in the army right?

Haha I doubt he would have been competent enough to make the rank of Captain in CoD. The whole “shooting opponents in the leg” thing would have kept his score pretty low.

buzz819 12:35 pm 17 Feb 11

fernandof said :

pleb said :

and FFS! no-one believes you were ever in any army!

Perfectly fine by me. I’m not looking for anyone’s acceptance here.

I got my answer re this incident (see comment #36). As for the tone and the insults in this discussions, I understand it’s a difficult topic and sometimes people just have to release some steam. I’ve been in the army, and in comparison, this is nothing.

I believe you! Wait, playing Call of Duty is being in the army right?

fernandof 12:25 pm 17 Feb 11

pleb said :

and FFS! no-one believes you were ever in any army!

Perfectly fine by me. I’m not looking for anyone’s acceptance here.

I got my answer re this incident (see comment #36). As for the tone and the insults in this discussions, I understand it’s a difficult topic and sometimes people just have to release some steam. I’ve been in the army, and in comparison, this is nothing.

pleb 9:34 am 17 Feb 11

fernandof,

you arent making any sense.

first this,

‘You are right that I do not know the police procedures, rather the army ones’

THEN THIS

‘Look, I really had it with people who think they know it all. You think you know what training I had and where it apply? Good for you. You want to gloat on you’re exceptional knowledge of everything possible in the world?’

(sounds like you’re speaking about yourself here)

AND THEN

‘That said, given the different contexts an army soldier and a police officer has to deal with, I accept that the policy used by the police is more suitable for the situations they are confronted with (as I clearly stated in comment #36).’

What is this policy? If you have a copy please add the link to this thread. I am interested to read it and don’t want to make assumptions or speculate on this matter without being properly imformed.

and FFS! no-one believes you were ever in any army!

LSWCHP 9:09 pm 16 Feb 11

fernandof said :

BerraBoy68 said :

The policy for usage of fire arms by any soldier (officer or non officer) is the same:
1. you identify there’s a threatening situation, e.g., a suspicious person is approaching
2. you clearly shout that person to stop
3. if the person continues to approach, you shoot the lower body
4 however, if at any point you identify life threatening situation (e.g., the person picks up a gun a points it at you), you aim to the centre of mass and shoot

The operational doctrine you’re describing here is so different to anything used by the Australian army that anybody who has served in the Australian forces simply won’t find it credible, as you’ve discovered.

I’ve worked (a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away…) with Poms, Americans, Indians and even a couple of Finns, and I’ve never heard of *anything* like this. Shoot the enemy in the leg? Seriously?

Tooks 8:03 pm 16 Feb 11

It doesnt matter how slowly you type, hindsight is a wonderful thing. The police turned up to a stand-off, with a man inside his house after a female had called 000 to report the situation.. and they didnt make a safe initial assumption that there might have been a hostage and it might be a special situation? I know there was no hostage, we all know that now, but did the police who were responding to the 000 call from an unknown female know that? As I said which you quoted, those first on the scene did indeed call for backup, so isnt it fair to assume that an officer made that same assumption, hence why the police numbers tripled?

No dvaey, it isn’t fair to assume an officer made certain assumptions. I could dissect this ridiculous post, but what’s the point? You are clearly out of your depth and your comment above shows how little you know about the incident.

the guy with mental health issues will have his life dragged through the media for the next week or two

No he won’t.

Maybe you missed the whole saga with the mully crash last year. Maybe you forgot what the media focused on in the week after the accident.. heres a hint, it was the history of the guy who wasnt in the stolen car, whos family was killed, yet somehow his entire criminal history is relevant.

I didn’t think we were talking about Mully or the other criminals who died in that crash. Completely different scenarios involving three recidivist offenders, two of whom were breaching their bail at the time, which is why the media deemed it relevant.

I guarantee you Mr Doherty’s life will not be ‘dragged through the media’ for the next week or two.

Well, technically youre right.. the officers involved have only been ‘cleared’ by their own union. When I raised this issue once before, the response was ‘well a police officer shouldnt have an undecided case hanging over his head for that long’, but apparently its okay for a member of the public.

No, don’t qualify it with “technically you’re right.” You know I’m right, because once again, you shoot from the hip with inaccurate statements about something you know very little about. They weren’t ‘cleared’ at all. You seem to be confusing a union/senior police offering support to the officers as them ‘being cleared.’

Why are people who disagree with police ‘nut cases’? Attitudes like that, only serve to strengthen the publics view that police believe theyre above the law and the public, when anyone who complains is a nut-case, until enough nut-cases get loud enough that things start getting investigated. Im sure you thought 9 people who were capsicum sprayed at the watch-house were nut-cases too.

No dvaey, not the public’s view – your view.

Plenty of people on this site disagree with police. I singled you out as a nutcase because the comments you make give the impression that you feel nothing but contempt for them. What a shame you feel such negative thoughts for people who, by and large, are in the job to help people and to make a difference in the community.

bigfeet 6:53 pm 16 Feb 11

dvaey said :

This is exactly what I was asking for. I was saying that police shouldnt be cleared by their own brothers, they should be held to the same account (if not higher) than the public they serve. If its good enough for a member of the public to be found liable or not by a judge in a court of law, why is it not good enough to expect our police officers to be the same? Why can a police inquiry be conducted so much quicker than a court inquiry? Are the police inquiries able to foresee evidence that the court hasnt seen yet? My whole dislike of these situations isnt because of a dislike of police, its a dislike of the system which treats one individual better than another.

Police are subject to their own internal inquiries section, the Ombudsman, Parliamentary (or Legislative Assembly) inquiries, coroners court and civil court. And if they are found by any of these that they have acted unlawfully they will be subject to a criminal court.

What else would you suggest?

Not to mention trial by media, public opinion and people with chip’s on their shoulders with internet access.

Spideydog 6:26 pm 16 Feb 11

dvaey said :

Spideydog said :

dvaey said :

By that time, the police involved have probably almost forgotten about the shooting and have probably been promoted to a different unit/station, while the family is still waiting for an investigation to even start.

Dvaey, you insensitive horrible little human being. To even suggest that the police members involved are totally unaffected after such an event and even get pats on the back

I didnt suggest theyre unaffected or that they get a pat on the back. I was suggesting that their lives go on, their careers go on, and 12-18 months after the incident, the officer is probably in a different situation to what they were in at the time. Unless you disagree, and that after a police shooting or other accident, that the officers involved are taken off-duty until the end of an inquest?

Yes you were. How the heck do you know if their lives and careers go on, you know something the rest of us don’t? How do you know that they don’t suffer depression, PTSD or any other associated disorders after a tragic event like this……. You have just make assumptions with a obvious distrust and dislike of police. They’re not robots, they are human beings. IF they are able to continue with duty, why should they be suspended from duty if the initial and follow up investigations (which are completely transparent) show no wrong doing? You say that Police should be treated the same as the rest of the community but you expect them to be held to the value of “guilty until they prove themselves innocent” Their lives are already buggered without you coming along and wanting them sacked until they can prove themselves innocent.

dvaey said :

This is exactly what I was asking for. I was saying that police shouldnt be cleared by their own brothers, they should be held to the same account (if not higher) than the public they serve. If its good enough for a member of the public to be found liable or not by a judge in a court of law, why is it not good enough to expect our police officers to be the same? Why can a police inquiry be conducted so much quicker than a court inquiry? Are the police inquiries able to foresee evidence that the court hasnt seen yet? My whole dislike of these situations isnt because of a dislike of police, its a dislike of the system which treats one individual better than another.

And where exactly are they being treated differently? Show us exactly where in any of the incidents you have discussed where the Police have come out straight away and cleared themselves? All I have seen is them given an initial assessment and that the matter is being compiled and will be presented to a coroner. Isn’t that what occurs for your average citizen when a matter is being investigated ….. if evidence exists, it goes before criminal court and where it doesn’t, it goes before a coronial court.

This matter isn’t a “police enquiry” this matter is a police investigation that WILL go before a coroner. A coroner will oversee the entire case and make decisions/opinions. If evidence exists where a criminal offence is disclosed, it will be referred as required.

My opinion stays the same with you, that sadly you appear to have had or witnessed bad interactions with Police and have developed an intense distrust/dislike of Police, or your just paranoid. I just hope someday that you can see that the majority of the members are hard working HUMAN BEING’s that do the job and put their LIVES and well-being at risk FOR YOU.

kezzafezza 10:11 am 16 Feb 11

And the Mully cup goes to….

PBO 10:10 am 16 Feb 11

fernandof said :

No, the reason I do not wish to state where I was trained is because there is too much hatred directed at me in this conversation, and I don’t want my nationality to cast negative light on my country of origin. You’ll probably dismiss this, but there you go.

I’m only comfortable to say it’s a western county with high GDP in hope it will give me some credibility. If it doesn’t, then so be it, it’s really no big deal.

GDP cannot be that high if they cannot afford to train their troops properley. I take it you dont think that double-tapping is cost effective?

dvaey 10:09 am 16 Feb 11

Spideydog said :

dvaey said :

By that time, the police involved have probably almost forgotten about the shooting and have probably been promoted to a different unit/station, while the family is still waiting for an investigation to even start.

Dvaey, you insensitive horrible little human being. To even suggest that the police members involved are totally unaffected after such an event and even get pats on the back

I didnt suggest theyre unaffected or that they get a pat on the back. I was suggesting that their lives go on, their careers go on, and 12-18 months after the incident, the officer is probably in a different situation to what they were in at the time. Unless you disagree, and that after a police shooting or other accident, that the officers involved are taken off-duty until the end of an inquest?

Spideydog said :

You always come on here shooting from the hip with knowledge that is soooo far from the mark it is laughable.

So my assertion that a police officer would be back at work after a shooting before a coroners inquest, and that they could even be promoted or transferred to another unit in the year or two while a case is pending.. is comlpetely laughable?

Spideydog said :

Otherwise I suggest that you allow the courts to run their course and the facts of the matter will be aired properly.

This is exactly what I was asking for. I was saying that police shouldnt be cleared by their own brothers, they should be held to the same account (if not higher) than the public they serve. If its good enough for a member of the public to be found liable or not by a judge in a court of law, why is it not good enough to expect our police officers to be the same? Why can a police inquiry be conducted so much quicker than a court inquiry? Are the police inquiries able to foresee evidence that the court hasnt seen yet? My whole dislike of these situations isnt because of a dislike of police, its a dislike of the system which treats one individual better than another.

dvaey 9:54 am 16 Feb 11

Tooks said :

Well, the police turned up and spent 40min trying to get him out of the house. Wouldnt it be police policy to negotiate assuming theres a hostage there?

I’ll type this slowly so you understand. T h e r e w a s n o h o s t a g e. No one at any stage has indicated they believed it was a hostage situation. You should stop making assumptions if they lead you to conclusions like that

It doesnt matter how slowly you type, hindsight is a wonderful thing. The police turned up to a stand-off, with a man inside his house after a female had called 000 to report the situation.. and they didnt make a safe initial assumption that there might have been a hostage and it might be a special situation? I know there was no hostage, we all know that now, but did the police who were responding to the 000 call from an unknown female know that? As I said which you quoted, those first on the scene did indeed call for backup, so isnt it fair to assume that an officer made that same assumption, hence why the police numbers tripled?

Tooks said :

the guy with mental health issues will have his life dragged through the media for the next week or two

No he won’t.

Maybe you missed the whole saga with the mully crash last year. Maybe you forgot what the media focused on in the week after the accident.. heres a hint, it was the history of the guy who wasnt in the stolen car, whos family was killed, yet somehow his entire criminal history is relevant.

Incase you missed it, here’s the RA story about the media doing exactly that last time.. Id like to be able to agree with you that it wont happen to him, but Im sure we all thought the same last time..
http://the-riotact.com/too-much-truth/19733

For an example, look at the Mully case.. the police were cleared of any wrongdoing the night of the accident

Once again, you’re wrong. You can’t clear someone before the incident has been investigated.

Well, technically youre right.. the officers involved have only been ‘cleared’ by their own union. When I raised this issue once before, the response was ‘well a police officer shouldnt have an undecided case hanging over his head for that long’, but apparently its okay for a member of the public.

Tooks said :

You really need to see someone about your psychotic hatred of police. You remind me of that nut case who used to – and probably still does – always write into the Canberra Times with similar sentiments.

Why are people who disagree with police ‘nut cases’? Attitudes like that, only serve to strengthen the publics view that police believe theyre above the law and the public, when anyone who complains is a nut-case, until enough nut-cases get loud enough that things start getting investigated. Im sure you thought 9 people who were capsicum sprayed at the watch-house were nut-cases too.

fernandof 7:46 am 16 Feb 11

BerraBoy68 said :

I have been a small arms instructor and am yet to meet anyone from any military that teaches its people to not to shoot to kill.

The only way you’re going to get any credibility is to state why you believe you were trained any differently. Personally, I’m guessing you’ll come back with a Walter Mitty argument about not being allowed to talk about it. Until then, feel free to shoot your mouth off, if your argument is as good as your supposed military weapons training then you’ll still miss the mark and shoot yourself in the foot. Have a nice day though!

No, the reason I do not wish to state where I was trained is because there is too much hatred directed at me in this conversation, and I don’t want my nationality to cast negative light on my country of origin. You’ll probably dismiss this, but there you go.

I’m only comfortable to say it’s a western county with high GDP in hope it will give me some credibility. If it doesn’t, then so be it, it’s really no big deal.

I was trained as a soldier and in the course of my service I’ve been promoted to to an officer. After a long while of climbing up the ladder I’ve been granted the Captain rank. After servicing for a a while more, I’ve decided to leave the army and pursue a different career.

The policy for usage of fire arms by any soldier (officer or non officer) is the same:
1. you identify there’s a threatening situation, e.g., a suspicious person is approaching
2. you clearly shout that person to stop
3. if the person continues to approach, you shoot the lower body
4 however, if at any point you identify life threatening situation (e.g., the person picks up a gun a points it at you), you aim to the centre of mass and shoot

That said, please read comment #36 in which I accept that the context of an army solider is different than that of a police officer, and that the policy used by the police is more suitable to their situations.

fernandof 7:24 am 16 Feb 11

jake555 said :

fernandof said :

That said, I still fail to see how my training has any relevance to what I write. For that matter, I fail to see how the training and experience of any one questioning the actions of the police have any relevance to the question they ask. You may argue that someone more knowledgeable wouldn’t ask the question in the first place, but that doesn’t make the question irrelevant.

Let me cast your mind back to….hmmm…..let me see…..Yesterday.
You’re the one who brought up your unique form of “aim for a leg” training. Well done, you’ve successfully turned what could have been an interesting topic into a dull one.

Unfortunately, I think you’re right: I should have not brought that point up. The training I had is irrelevant to the argument I was making. The policy of shooting attackers in the lower body does exist and is widely used in many armies in the world. So, regardless of my personal training, as long as such a policy exist and is used, the question of why it has not been used by the police on this incident is a valid one.

That said, given the different contexts an army soldier and a police officer has to deal with, I accept that the policy used by the police is more suitable for the situations they are confronted with (as I clearly stated in comment #36).

jake555 said :

fernandof said :

Yes, I too think that’s what happened, and that’s why I think if the officers aimed to kill, they misused their rights.

Let me clarify, in your explanation of the incidents, what happened was:
a. the attacker runs toward a team of officers, meat cleaver at hand all ready to inflict lethal wounds
b. the police, somewhat disorganised, are backing off shouting and treating
c. when the threat level raised to too dangerous level, officers shoot
c(a) my assumption, they aimed to kill

What I’m saying is that between b and c, the officers could have shot possible non-lethal shots and eliminate the risk before it’s too great and they have to react with lethal force.

BTW – re your previous comment immediately above – I’d love to see a practical demonstration of your idea of popping off shots at a moving armed offender’s leg from a couple hundred metres away, however I think you’d struggle justifying their death if you happened to hit a femoral artery or their chest instead – when they are a couple of hundred metres away from injuring anyone.

You’re quite good in selective reading, aren’t you?
As I wrote in the quote you added, you are supposed to shoot before the situation becomes fatal, but only after you get a good shot. You are not supposed to shot at hundreds of meters, but rather tens of meters away. In that range, you can absolutely aim for the lower body.

Mind you, if your shots do kill the poor bastard (regardless of where they actually hit), that’s too bad, but absolutely allowed by the policy. Your aim would be questioned, of course, but the policy does allow for casualties.

Reality check 8:46 pm 15 Feb 11

Grumpy Old Fart said :

From what is described of this individuals past he was suffering some form of mental impairment and given his actions of 2007 who was monitoring him?

Also, at what stage did those in the situation become aware of the mental health issues of the guy with the knife? From what Ive read, this wasnt a case of the police being attacked as soon as they arrived on the scene, they were negotiating for over half an hour before negotiations broke down, but apparently no-one thought to call for backup (whether that be negotiators, TRG or even a mental health professional).

I think you’ll find it’s SRS, we don’t have TRG in Canberra. And how do you know who was and who wasn’t called for? Were you there? Do you know what the response time for SRS even is? As for mental health professionals attending – they WILL NOT attend violent incidents such as this. Let’s just throw another person in danger while we’re at it? Negotiations were made, and the turkey decided to rush Police with a knife and a meat cleaver, and guess what – game over. You can’t blame all the problems in the world on “mental health issues”. He paid the price for his actions, end of story. My heart goes out to the officers who were on scene, it’s something they will have to live with for the rest of their lives.

As for these things taking forever to reach Court – welcome to the ACT Court system. Police have a 4 hour investigation time limit from the time of arrest – not 6 months. All the evidence would have been readily available to investigators after the shooting. Stop watching Hollywood movies and join us in the real world.

Spideydog 8:12 pm 15 Feb 11

dvaey said :

By that time, the police involved have probably almost forgotten about the shooting and have probably been promoted to a different unit/station, while the family is still waiting for an investigation to even start.

Dvaey, you insensitive horrible little human being. To even suggest that the police members involved are totally unaffected after such an event and even get pats on the back and promoted is beyond belief and goes far beyond your usual tin foil hat conspiracy theories. Those members will have to live and re-live those moments for the rest of their lives.

You always come on here shooting from the hip with knowledge that is soooo far from the mark it is laughable. You have NO knowledge of police procedure or even credible knowledge of how to deal with such incidents. You just see “Police incident” then you just see red and want to sledge mud with ill informed verbal diarrhea. AT NOT TIME HAS ANYONE CLEARED POLICE IN ANY OF THE INCIDENTS YOU HAVE REFERRED TOO.

I suggest you re-read Grumpy Old Farts Post – post # 41 I think as it is probably one of the most intelligent and well thought out posts here I have seen. You may even learn something.

If you are so much better and know how Policing should be done, apply to join, put on the uniform and show them how it’s done. Otherwise I suggest that you allow the courts to run their course and the facts of the matter will be aired properly.

Good night to you.

AndrewLatta 8:08 pm 15 Feb 11

Doza was the best mate anyone could have. I cant stress enough that he wouldnt harm a fly, and i have come to terms with and accepted that this may have not necessarily been the personal point of view of the officer who shot him. Please keep your blogs to the point and speak only of the actual question that this thread actually relates to. You guys need to realise that this mans family and loved onesuse the internet to, try to be tactfull in your responses to these articals. fernandez or whatever keep your childhood fantasies of grandios to yourself. this is a serious issue, who wants to here you rantin on about any former training you may have had in the army, and what you think you would do if a bloke was running at you. get a tact mate, and get a life.
DOZERS BUDDY FOR LIFE

Tooks 6:55 pm 15 Feb 11

Well, the police turned up and spent 40min trying to get him out of the house. Wouldnt it be police policy to negotiate assuming theres a hostage there? As it turned out, it wasnt a hostage situation, but at the time why wasnt it assumed that it could have been? (Given that they had 6 police there in half an hour, I can only guess that they did make that assumption that there was atleast a stand-off)

I’ll type this slowly so you understand. T h e r e w a s n o h o s t a g e. No one at any stage has indicated they believed it was a hostage situation. You should stop making assumptions if they lead you to conclusions like that.

In reply to your other post:

This is the problem. The first I heard about this story, was on the radio when they were explaining how the police were cleared and the shooting was justified.

Quote where anything was said about police being cleared. Tip: you can’t because it was never said.

the guy with mental health issues will have his life dragged through the media for the next week or two

No he won’t.

For an example, look at the Mully case.. the police were cleared of any wrongdoing the night of the accident

Once again, you’re wrong. You can’t clear someone before the incident has been investigated.

When was the last time an investigation happened in a situation like this, where the police officer wasnt cleared in under 24hrs?

How about every time?

You really need to see someone about your psychotic hatred of police. You remind me of that nut case who used to – and probably still does – always write into the Canberra Times with similar sentiments.

buzz819 6:32 pm 15 Feb 11

dvaey said :

Tooks said :

Hostage situation? Where did you pull that one from?

Well, the police turned up and spent 40min trying to get him out of the house. Wouldnt it be police policy to negotiate assuming theres a hostage there? As it turned out, it wasnt a hostage situation, but at the time why wasnt it assumed that it could have been? (Given that they had 6 police there in half an hour, I can only guess that they did make that assumption that there was atleast a stand-off)

buzz819 said :

dvaey said :

For an example, look at the Mully case.. the police were cleared of any wrongdoing the night of the accident, but the coronial inquest in the courts isnt even starting for another 3 weeks. They could at least wait for the victims bodies to be cold before announcing their brothers-in-arms have done no wrong. When was the last time an investigation happened in a situation like this, where the police officer wasnt cleared in under 24hrs?

It’s quite funny, you want the Police investigation to go on and on… Why?

I never said it should go on and on. I just believe that if a judge in a court needs several months for all the evidence in the case to be gathered, that the police inquiry should be the same. All Im asking for is the same standards of evidence and investigation to be applied to police as they apply to the community.

How can the police be cleared before theyve even gathered all the evidence? If the police really do have all the evidence in under 24hrs, then why do judges/coroners feel they need to allow so much more time before they can come to the correct decision?

You do realise in most lockups the investigation only lasts like 4 hours?

jake555 6:08 pm 15 Feb 11

dvaey said :

jake555 said :

Obviously. Do you realise you’re passing comment on a police matter?

Silly me, here I was thinking we were talking about one person killing another person after an attack with a firearm. Why does it matter that one person involved was police?

Maybe read my comment in the context it was written, ie. in response to someone else’s comment regarding their own training compared with that of police.

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