Capsicum not an option in fatal shooting

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?


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80 Responses to Capsicum not an option in fatal shooting
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dvaey dvaey 6:05 pm 15 Feb 11

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?

buzz819 buzz819 5:43 pm 15 Feb 11

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?

Look up Clifton Robert Lockwood, he got charged with murder, is that what want?

dvaey dvaey 5:31 pm 15 Feb 11

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?

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).

Grumpy Old Fart said :

Until the findings of the investigation and the Coronial hearing is held all you will see is conjecture.

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. I love how the police are always cleared while the smell of gunpowder is still in the air, but the guy with mental health issues will have his life dragged through the media for the next week or two, and then maybe in 12 to 18 months a coroner will start looking at the case. 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.

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?

Tooks Tooks 5:28 pm 15 Feb 11

dvaey said :

Skidbladnir said :

Oh, and don’t bring a knife to a gun fight.

Sooner or later, someone in this situation will have learned this lesson, and we’ll be reading about a police officer being shot. Id bet my left nut that the same people who praise the shooter in this story, will criticise the shooter in that story, even if both individuals felt like they were protecting their own lives. As said in #7, if you point a gun at someone, its a fair assumption that you intend to kill them, anyone should be in their rights to defend their life?

Also, this was a hostage situation that lasted over half an hour. Surely there was enough time to get a suitably qualified marksman in, even with a taser, rubber bullets, bean bags or some other force than the most lethal force they can use.

Theres a reason why only special cops in the UK have guns…

You have got to be a troll. No normal person could possibly be this stupid.

Hostage situation? Where did you pull that one from?

buzz819 buzz819 4:50 pm 15 Feb 11

I wanna see fernandof go from talking to someone, to having that person pop up out of no where, react, move back so he doesn’t get stabbed, draw his weapon (the gun wouldn’t have been drawn before this time) and shoot the guy in both legs…

jake555 jake555 4:19 pm 15 Feb 11

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.

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.

BerraBoy68 BerraBoy68 3:43 pm 15 Feb 11

BerraBoy68 said :

While you’re there you may as well apologise to your old instructor as somewhere along the line you seem to have pissed him off sufficiently for him to give you information that will get you killed in the MEAO.

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?

In this case, yep. 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!

sid sid 1:31 pm 15 Feb 11

georgesgenitals said :

Jim Jones said :

fernandof said :

Spideydog said :

PBO said :

fernandof said :

Yes, I am military trained, as a Captain officer.

Sorry, I am calling B.S. on you being mil. If you were military, you would not have gotten into this arguement the way you have and you would be using a different lingo.

Where were you based and what did you do, poge?

+1 I agree. “Captain Officer” really …… Or the entry standards have certainly slipped since I was there ????? I do hope he knows that it’s an offence to impersonate a military officer, IF indeed this is the case !!!!!!! lol

right, because the Australian army is the only one in the world. Silly me.

Ah, so you’re actually a Captain in the Salvation Army, not the Australian Army.

No – the Kiss Army.

Barmy Army?

georgesgenitals georgesgenitals 1:04 pm 15 Feb 11

Jim Jones said :

fernandof said :

Spideydog said :

PBO said :

fernandof said :

Yes, I am military trained, as a Captain officer.

Sorry, I am calling B.S. on you being mil. If you were military, you would not have gotten into this arguement the way you have and you would be using a different lingo.

Where were you based and what did you do, poge?

+1 I agree. “Captain Officer” really …… Or the entry standards have certainly slipped since I was there ????? I do hope he knows that it’s an offence to impersonate a military officer, IF indeed this is the case !!!!!!! lol

right, because the Australian army is the only one in the world. Silly me.

Ah, so you’re actually a Captain in the Salvation Army, not the Australian Army.

No – the Kiss Army.

Jim Jones Jim Jones 12:52 pm 15 Feb 11

fernandof said :

Spideydog said :

PBO said :

fernandof said :

Yes, I am military trained, as a Captain officer.

Sorry, I am calling B.S. on you being mil. If you were military, you would not have gotten into this arguement the way you have and you would be using a different lingo.

Where were you based and what did you do, poge?

+1 I agree. “Captain Officer” really …… Or the entry standards have certainly slipped since I was there ????? I do hope he knows that it’s an offence to impersonate a military officer, IF indeed this is the case !!!!!!! lol

right, because the Australian army is the only one in the world. Silly me.

Ah, so you’re actually a Captain in the Salvation Army, not the Australian Army.

fernandof fernandof 11:28 am 15 Feb 11

Spideydog said :

PBO said :

fernandof said :

Yes, I am military trained, as a Captain officer.

Sorry, I am calling B.S. on you being mil. If you were military, you would not have gotten into this arguement the way you have and you would be using a different lingo.

Where were you based and what did you do, poge?

+1 I agree. “Captain Officer” really …… Or the entry standards have certainly slipped since I was there ????? I do hope he knows that it’s an offence to impersonate a military officer, IF indeed this is the case !!!!!!! lol

Right, I forgot the Australian army is the only one there is. Sorry for that.

No, I’m not Australian born, and I haven’t served in the Australian army. However, I did serve for quite a considerable amount of time in the army and have been released from active duty when I was a Captain.

And before you go there, it’s not some joke 3rd world country – I actually had some exercises with many other armies including the Australian force.

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.

fernandof fernandof 11:14 am 15 Feb 11

Spideydog said :

PBO said :

fernandof said :

Yes, I am military trained, as a Captain officer.

Sorry, I am calling B.S. on you being mil. If you were military, you would not have gotten into this arguement the way you have and you would be using a different lingo.

Where were you based and what did you do, poge?

+1 I agree. “Captain Officer” really …… Or the entry standards have certainly slipped since I was there ????? I do hope he knows that it’s an offence to impersonate a military officer, IF indeed this is the case !!!!!!! lol

right, because the Australian army is the only one in the world. Silly me.

Spideydog Spideydog 11:06 am 15 Feb 11

PBO said :

fernandof said :

Yes, I am military trained, as a Captain officer.

Sorry, I am calling B.S. on you being mil. If you were military, you would not have gotten into this arguement the way you have and you would be using a different lingo.

Where were you based and what did you do, poge?

+1 I agree. “Captain Officer” really …… Or the entry standards have certainly slipped since I was there ????? I do hope he knows that it’s an offence to impersonate a military officer, IF indeed this is the case !!!!!!! lol

fernandof fernandof 9:45 am 15 Feb 11

creative_canberran said :

You claim to be in the military, I assumed that meant the Australian one in which case my comment applies to you.

Well, it’s nice from you to make assumptions about me. Don’t. I made an assumption around how the officers actioned and I do accept it was an unevaluated assumption which made me change my mind (see comment #18).

However, regardless of my service, your comments still do not apply to me. To explain why, let me comment on this text you posted.

creative_canberran said :

I should also point out that more than a few Aussie soldiers have killed or seriously wounded themselves or fellow soldiers by accident, either through error in handling or through deliberately joking around with service weapons. Kovko ring a bell, the guy who pointed a gun at his head and squeezed the trigger?

If what comes from the training you and your fellow service people have been given is a bunch who shoot up civilians and themselves like cowboys, then you are in no position to comment on the appropriate use of force.

Okay, so you’re saying that the Australian army is misbehaving and potentially misusing their force. You know what, in some incidents I think you’re right.

But let us go back to the point you’re making: you’re essentially saying that because I’m supposedly part of an organisation that misused its power, I should not be allowed to criticise or question the actions of other law enforcements. Interesting point.

Do you think every single action the police did is fully as per regulations? Because based on what you’re saying, if the police did action wrongly, they are not allowed to investigate themselves. I mean, shouldn’t they too be “in no position to comment on the appropriate use of force”?

PBO PBO 9:39 am 15 Feb 11

fernandof said :

Yes, I am military trained, as a Captain officer.

Sorry, I am calling B.S. on you being mil. If you were military, you would not have gotten into this arguement the way you have and you would be using a different lingo.

Where were you based and what did you do, poge?

jake555 jake555 9:26 am 15 Feb 11

fernandof said :

Yes, I am military trained, as a Captain officer, if you must know. But no, I don’t think I’ve to be retrained. You see, different contexts call for different policies. My questions were in alignment to the context my training was give, and obviously that context do not apply to policing.

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

fernandof fernandof 8:15 am 15 Feb 11

BerraBoy68 said :

Fernandof – if you are military as you say, and you’re instructor at basic told you to aim at anywhere other then the center of mass of bad guy facing you – then you seriously need to go back and get re-trained.

Another long friend of mine which I forgot. Where did we meet? Oh, wait, we didn’t, and so you know nothing about me.

Yes, I am military trained, as a Captain officer, if you must know. But no, I don’t think I’ve to be retrained. You see, different contexts call for different policies. My questions were in alignment to the context my training was give, and obviously that context do not apply to policing.

BerraBoy68 said :

While you’re there you may as well apologise to your old instructor as somewhere along the line you seem to have pissed him off sufficiently for him to give you information that will get you killed in the MEAO.

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? Great for you.

When you’re done, please leave me alone because obviously you know everything about me and there’s nothing my tiny brain I can possible grasp from your absolute amazing wit.

creative_canberran creative_canberran 12:17 am 15 Feb 11

fernandof said :

Sorry, but do I know you? I’m quite sure I don’t. I’m also quite confident you know absolutely nothing about me nor my service. So how does your comment have any relevance to what I said?

You claim to be in the military, I assumed that meant the Australian one in which case my comment applies to you. You being a part of a service that has killed many more civilians in error and in haste than any civilian police force in this country has.
I should also point out that more than a few Aussie soldiers have killed or seriously wounded themselves or fellow soldiers by accident, either through error in handling or through deliberately joking around with service weapons. Kovko ring a bell, the guy who pointed a gun at his head and squeezed the trigger?

If what comes from the training you and your fellow service people have been given is a bunch who shoot up civilians and themselves like cowboys, then you are in no position to comment on the appropriate use of force.

BerraBoy68 BerraBoy68 9:37 pm 14 Feb 11

fernandof said :

You are right that I do not know the police procedures, rather the army ones (or at least those applying to me), and hence my questions. ll.

Take it easy.

Fernandof – if you are military as you say, and you’re instructor at basic told you to aim at anywhere other then the center of mass of bad guy facing you – then you seriously need to go back and get re-trained.

While you’re there you may as well apologise to your old instructor as somewhere along the line you seem to have pissed him off sufficiently for him to give you information that will get you killed in the MEAO.

Grumpy Old Fart Grumpy Old Fart 9:23 pm 14 Feb 11

Firstly like many I was not there so I am not going to second guess what occurred.
Secondly the Police only have at their disposal certain weapons and certain tactics in an urban environment
To shoot at an offender is an action of last resort for a Police Officer who must be able to justify being in fear of his own life or the safety of another person
Police training as repeated many times in the posts is to aim at centre mass for maximum stopping power while minimizing the risk of ricochets
Not every one who is shot once falls over but Police are trained to fire and the moment the threat stops they stop
Tazers do not work on all subjects and if you are in range to fire a tazer you are in range of a lethal blow from a sharp edged weapon. An offender who is seven metres away can reach and strike an officer before a weapon can be fired
Capsicum spray does not work on all people and you would be inside the kill range of a sharp edged weapon
The real issue here is not the action of the Police but more the action or lack of action of the mental healthnservices/facilities in this town

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?

What drove him to this state and why wasn’t mental health support given earlier. I’m sure his friends/family must have seen some form of degeneration in his mental state prior to the incident.

Was he on drugs illicit or otherwise, was he drinking and who was with him, where were his ‘friends’?

Until the findings of the investigation and the Coronial hearing is held all you will see is conjecture. The path needs to be recovery for the Police involved, recovery for the family of the deceased and lastly undertsanding what went wrong with the deceased and what were the warning signs.

You may not have known but two days ago a crazed killer went on a rampage in New York and killed four people and injured many others using only knives. Thank god that did not happen here.

Well done to the Police members for protecting the citizens of Canberra and although it will be no consolation for the trauma to all I hope the shooting is found to be justified as it would appear to be.

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