Friday, June 18, 2010

Follow-up To Cop Punching Teenage Girl

Chris over at Martial Development asked for specific techniques the Officer in the previous post could have used to maintain control over the teenage girl he was trying to give a jaywalking ticket to. The Cop lost control and hit one of the girls in the face, and generally blew the whole scene into a major fiasco.
Here's the video again:

This is a supposedly "trained" officer dealing with two teenage girls one at a time.
I'm sorry, but I contend that this Cop is miserably under trained. There is a failure in public relations, communication, and he resorts to punching the girl. He is so ill-prepared that if it was a more serious time and place, he could have been rushed by the crowd and disarmed.
Now, I know that no amount of restraint would have looked nice, but efficient grappling would have been so much more professional. Chris from Martial Development requested alternative techniques. I don't have time to stage an elaborate reenactment of the scene with the Cop, but here's a couple of examples.
These are merely demos, but any single technique can be used to restrain, provide pain compliance, and in many cases leave one hand free to operate a radio and call for back-up or whatever:

Or in this case, not using the striking but concentrate on locking the elbow/shoulder, something the Cop had many opportunities to achieve:

Now, neither of these drills replicate the attempted arrest scene, but I submit them as more efficient ways for the police to deal with mild resistance without resorting to hitting a teenage girl in the face.


B said...

I commented briefly on another blog about this. However, I did not actually read the articles or watch the footage until now.

I will re-state that the best way to avoid this is to obey the cops. Then again, I'll also be the first to admit that many people will not obey a uniform.

It really depends on that department's use of force policy. When I was with the DOC we could punch in stand-up wrestling. The catch is we had to target large muscle groups or nerve points. A punch to a face in a like situation would have gotten me in trouble -- especially if one of the MANY prison cameras caught it.

My 2 cents.


Martial Development said...

These are fine demonstrations on how to deal with a single person, who is interested in practicing martial arts with you. There is no serious attempt to resist, there is no second attacker, there is no sympathetic crowd, there is no weapon.

To make my earlier objections crystal-clear: I am looking for a technique that works on two people, who aren't interested in playing along, and is less dangerous to them then simply punching one in the face. You don't have to accept the challenge, but that is it.

None of these fit the bill. Neither does bouncing them off the pavement with a kote gaeshi.

I agree that the officer's come-along was technically poor, but it would have worked anyway, if he had used his strength. He clearly did not use it, because he interpreted doing so as an unnecessary escalation at that point. The techniques you show above are also escalations. (That is why there is no technical solution to the earlier stage of the conflict, and why I am focusing on the multiple attackers issue instead.)

Geez man, in the second demonstration video you are threatening to punch the jaw, knee the face, and throw the opponent into a wall if they don't cooperate! If the officer had done any of this, he would be crucified, by you and everyone else.

B said...

I will add:

In prison the same situation with multiple opponents would justify a punch to the face. I'm not familiar with their policy but I suspect it's the same.

Multiple opponents are a much bigger threat. Even more so for a cop who carries weapons, keys to a squad car, etc.

It looks bad but the reality is he could have tied one girl up with a come-along while her friend pulls his pistol.

Toldain said...


Your comments show the usual skepticism that practicioners of striking arts hold to the grappling arts. Finger locks might have done very well in this situation, or a better executed come-along.

In crudest terms, a technique that works on two people would consist of grabbing each by the ear. Or one could get a finger lock on each. This is a technique we learn in my ryu at green belt level. On two people. It would be nice to see green-belt level understanding in police officers.

I think its entirely reasonable to assume that prisoners in the joint are an ever-present threat to pull a gun. Teenage girls caught jaywalking, maybe not so much.

In my judgment, and also, it seems to me, in the judgment of the officer, the girls needed a shock, a change to their thinking, nothing more. Fleeing the scene would be a monumentally stupid decision for them. A two-fingered strike to the forehead might have accomplished this, or a good finger lock, or a better-executed comealong. Let them be the ones to escalate.

Toldain said...

You know, I really didn't mean to be sarcastic when I wrote, "prisoners in the joint are an ever-present threat to pull a gun". But it kind of came out that way.

What I should have wrote was, "Prisoners in the joint are an ever-present threat to escalate at every opportunity."

Really, I was just confused, not trying to mock.

Man of the West said...

Whether a person agrees or disagrees, I kind of like the approach you took to answering the question.

Sensei Strange said...

I have a clear difference of opinion. I could put a pistol on my side and have two large jujitsu black belts attack me. I could show you more techniques than you could name. I know I can't.

The fact is he was not being attacked. He was attacking. He was attacking. He was attacking and two people were in pure defensive stances.

There was not even anyone around him when he decided to punch. It served no tactical advantage. Frustration from lack of control led to rash decisions and needless violence.

While I understand the cop was under stress, if he can't handle a teenage girl...he needs to sell used cars.

Serve and protect.

say it again...

Serve and protect.

Is this serve and protect.

No it's violence. He chose wrong. Not grossly wrong, but wrong non the less. He will not be punished, don't worry. But he was still wrong, with flawed conflict resolution tactics none the less.

I would not train under anyone who sees that differently.

Man of the West said...

Took me 'til just now to actually watch the police video. Slow connection at home, an' all that.

Landsake! Is there anyone in the country too stupid to know that the quickest route to police violence, justified or otherwise, is to resist arrest?

As far as I could tell, with that many people around, two of them already physically involved to one degree or another, the officer was hosed one way or the other. He could deliberately let them go--which sure as thunder would not have helped the authority of the police in that town one little bit, as the word would quickly be out that all you had to do to get out of a ticket was act belligerent and resist arrest--or he could have called for backup, during which no doubt the people involved would just run off, or he could do his darndest to put the belligerent little kid under arrest.

Granted readily, he could have done it better, but dangit, it's hard to control one person when you have every reason in the world to believe that another person might tackle you. And you're gonna have a hard time convincin' me, in the face of clear video evidence of resisting arrest, that the results of that resistance fall squarely on the cop's shoulders.

It all reminds me of so many things I've been around. There was a time, in one apartment complex that I lived in, that I came upon a crowd of people who'd just witnessed a police shooting. The universal opinion was that the officer didn't have to kill the guy; he could've just "shot 'im in the laig," as they put it.

Turned out later that the perp had been hitting the officer with a dadgum piece of rebar, so hard that he nearly severed one of the officer's fingers before he managed to draw his pistol! But the crowd didn't give a squat--they were all over the officer!

When on earth did the rule for law enforcement become that you had to have such a grasp of martial arts that you can simultaneously control a resisting suspect without harming them whilst keeping your butt from being jumped from behind?

'Round here, there's a saying: You mess with the bull, you get the horns. Kid was darn lucky she didn't get worse than she got. Belligerent little turnip.

But I still liked the way you answered the question.

Dojo Rat said...

Well, I think we see there is no perfect solution.
The kids were idiots, BUT THEY ARE KIDS. You can expect that behavior.
I contend he only had to deal with one girl at a time, not two as you say. He is holding one girl when the other shoves him. That was the only double contact. He is so off his game, the girl's shove sends him back three feet. That's what embarrased him, and he lost his temper. He blew the fuckin' scene. the cop was out of line, the kids were out of line, but who do we pay to conduct themselves professionally? Not the teenagers, the cop.
Bad temper, Bad training, Bad attitude.
And notice, the kids know the cop, they are calling him by his name- Walsh. There was an article that mentioned the school security guard (who incedentaly agreed with the cop's actions). The cop could have walked right in the school and issued citations at any time without the soap opera we saw.

Anyway, thanks much for everybody's opinions, these things are ment for us as a society to noodle out and discuss. Hopefully the Seattle Police, who have a terrible reputation right now, will give it a thorough review.

Martial Development said...

Not even Morihei Ueshiba was capable of restraining multiple people without risk of injury! His response was to throw them on the ground or into each other, and they cooperated, in part, to save themselves. (Maybe O-Sensei never earned his green belt though?)

If there is no cooperation then there is no safety, period. There is more to be said, but little point in saying it while people continue to disregard the obvious.

"Serve and protect" is not the policeman's job. It is their slogan. Their job is to enforce the law...and apparently, to shoulder part of the blame for enforcing every stupid law we designed.

Some of you act as though you want your officers trained as pro fighters (or "peaceful warriors" or whatever today's frame-up is), so they can exhibit the precision responses you favor. Think about the consequences of that for awhile, and then get back to me.

In the meantime, I'd still like to see the demonstration video. Surely there is at least one green belt out there with a video camera, and a willingness to educate an inept "practitioner of striking arts". Ha ha.

Martial Development said...

"The cop could have walked right in the school and issued citations at any time without the soap opera we saw."

No. You can read the police report online, which explains that the girls specifically refused to identify themselves, instead telling the officer to go fuck himself.

JAB said...

I thought it was a great example of Dian Xui, pressure point work.... best pressure point... the chin!
He did what was right. Engaging in a grappling match would expose him and his weapons to the others involved.

Those thinking that the Chin Na they have learned would render the situation controllable have obviously never used Chin Na under pressure! I failed more often bouncing using Chin Na then not!

Of course he is undertrained. All cops are under trained.

Where does the ultimate responsibility lie? With the parents, whom I bet are a missing factor either in part or full.
This stupid city harbors too many touchy feely hippie dippie idiots whom are out of touch with reality. Need a serious dose of HTFU around Seattle, and that is exactly what the cop brought!!!


Dojo Rat said...

Let's make no mistake about this:
He WAS GRAPPLING with the girl(s).
One at a time.

Matt said...

It's absolutely true that the cop is grappling with the girls. Watch what happens in the video: the cop and the girl struggle to control each other's wrists. They haven't the slighest idea how to hand-fight.

Anyone with a few months of clinch training would simply armdrag and have standing back control in seconds. From there, it's child's play to both control her and use her as a shield to fend off her friend.