Blue Byline

A cop's perspective of the news and South Sound matters

Archives: Aug. 2011


Watch where you’re pointing that camera

Second in a series of columns inspired by reader requests

Brawls, shootouts and car chases make for good television. Whether we are watching fictional cops portrayed by Hollywood actors or reality TV with real police officers on the job, speed and violence make for good ratings.

In most cases, we are also rooting for the cops. That is because when you watch a scene from one of these shows you are fully aware of the background story, and this contextual basis allows you to comprehend the subsequent actions of the cops as well as the bad guys.

That is not the case for the latest phenomenon: police incidents captured on cell phone cameras.

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When to use deadly force? Good question

In my last column I threw out the hat asking for reader suggestions for future topics. I was not disappointed. This is the first column in a series that hopes to answer just a few of those relevant questions.

One such reader, Whatever 1214 (where do you all get these names, anyway?) asked for an explanation on “Shoot, Don’t Shoot” scenarios taught in the police academy and why is there no specific training to shoot weapons out of the hands of attackers. I have been answering a variation on these questions on a routine basis for over twenty years. Keeping in mind that I am not an instructor in “Use of Force” or “Response to Resistance” as it is now called, I’ll take a crack at answering.

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So, what do you want to talk about?

After almost four months of dishing on topics like marijuana legalization and gun violence, as well as sharing stories about police work or motorcycle trips, I thought I might ask readers what topics they would like to discuss.

If writing this column has taught me one thing, it’s that this is not a lecture platform. Because so many people have such strong feelings about how we enforcement laws and deal with crime, this online column is less one-way narrative and more a forum for exchanging points of view. Certainly, there are specific experiences that give those of us in law

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