Calif. city to eliminate all police use of force

Editor’s Note:

Editor’s Note: Before you go writing me or the author of this column any angry emails, please note the date of publication — April 1, 2011. Now, enjoy a chortle or a chuckle courtesy of the PoliceOne Editorial Team. Happy April Fool’s Day!

In response to a special interest group’s claim of police officers using excessive force in arrest situations, one city in California has developed a new strategy to help eliminate the need for officers to use force at all. One members of the group “Defy and Resist” told PoliceOne that officers should never use force simply because a person is exercising their “rights.”

When asked to explain which right he was referring to, that member became suddenly confused. The man then became agitated and could only shout, “I know my rights” over and over again until he lost consciousness. Eventually another member suggested that officers should respect their rights to physically resist any attempts to take them into custody as an expression of free speech.

Mayor Bud Toker of Greenleaf (Calif.) proudly announced his new plan at a news conference today stating, “Admittedly neither the leaders of ‘Defy and Resist’ nor I am an expert in police practices or the legal system, but since I am the boss I can make the rules.” Toker stated also that being arrested is an inconvenience and that he feels there should be a more customer friendly alternative.

Under the new rules, if an officer meets “any resistance to arrest by (1) physical action, (2) stated intent to physically resist, or (3) general feelings of unhappiness regarding the arrest” the officer will immediately disengage and tell the subject that he/she will not be arrested today. The officer will then schedule a more convenient time for the arrest with the subject.

Toker is confident that his new plan will not only ingratiate himself with the special interest group but will also significantly lower the frequency of complaints about use of force. Proudly pointing to his risk management approach, Toker proclaimed, “How can there be a complaint about force if the officers are not allowed to use force?” 

About the author

Ed Flosi is a retired police sergeant in San Jose (Calif.). He has been in law enforcement for more than 27 years. Ed has a unique combination of academic background and practical real world experience including patrol, special operations and investigations. Ed was the lead instructor for use-of-force training, as well as defense and arrest tactics for the San Jose Police Department. He has been retained in several cases to provide testimony in cases when an officer was alleged to have used excessive force. He has assisted the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) in providing expertise on several occasions related to use-of-force training. He has a Master of Science degree from California State University Long Beach and holds an Adult Learning Teaching Credential from the State of California. He teaches in the Administration of Justice Department at West Valley College.  He is currently the Principle Instructor for PROELIA Defense and Arrest Tactics.

Contact Ed Flosi.

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