Beware of talking a suspect to death


How long are you willing to keep talking to a resistant and potentially dangerous subject in an effort to get him to submit peacefully to arrest?

For some officers, the answer is “too long.” In fact, they may end up, in effect, talking a suspect to death, according to Greg Meyer, former head of the LAPD Academy and now a prominent law enforcement litigation consultant.

“As police work has drawn more scrutiny by the public, the media, and within law enforcement agencies themselves, many officers have become reluctant to use legitimate force to end one-on-one standoff situations,” Meyer told PoliceOne recently. 

“I’ve seen it over and over in my career: An officer and a suspect are across a room from each other in a standoff. The suspect has a knife in hand or an angry look and clenched fists. The officer issues lawful commands, which are ignored. The suspect stays angry and agitated in a threatening manner…and the officer keeps on talking. 

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