How Do Police Subdue Nasty Strong Men?

Comments to Steve Sailer:

* As I recall, Rodney King was Tasered twice, but still rushed one of the LAPD officers, which led to the baton strikes. He was lucky he was not shot multiple times.

The problem with less-lethal weapons is several f0ld:

1. Less-lethal does not mean non-lethal. Incorrect use or accident may still lead to serious injuries or death.

2. Less-lethal weapons are usually not as portable. Police officers already carry a heavy load, and there is not much room left for more equipment without sacrificing mobility and comfort.

3. Less-lethal weapons are costly.

4. Less-lethal weapons are at times unpredictable and unreliable, and increase risks for the officer and bystanders.

* Once back in the 1990s, a very large friend of mine who had been an Ivy League football lineman went into an out of control manic spell. It took about a half dozen Chicago cops to gang tackle him so he could be hauled off to the mental hospital. (He made a full recovery.) If somebody had started filming that incident about halfway through it would have looked like six cops beating up a poor innocent professional, like in “Back to Blood.” But I’m glad the cops were willing to roll around in the dirt with my friend rather than just stand back and shoot him.

I’d like to put a helmet on before I had to swarm somebody out of control. Of course, then you’d get your picture in the paper as one of those horrible “militarized” policemen.

* “Swarming” is a pretty good way to take into custody an unruly weapon-less suspect. But it requires several officers on scene, and then, of course, there is always the danger that the suspect may have an edged weapon on him, in which case there is going to be a lot of blood.

Civilians tend to fixate on guns, but edged weapons can do horrific damage to the human body, and modern body armor tends to be less effective against edged weapons then to gunfire (though great improvement has been made in the last 10-20 years in that aspect).

* In the abstract, yes, police should have better hand-to-hand skills, and yes hand to hand skills are valuable. the caveat is this:

As heavily armed as cops are nowadays, a mano-a-mano tussle will rapidly become a struggle for the policeman’s p-24, handcuffs, mace, tazer, and yes, gun.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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