26 September 2014

Traditional square range police firearms training caused this shooting

This video has been going around for a few days and I am finally getting around to commenting on it.  In my opinion the firearms training that this officer received along with watching dozens of video showing officers shot and killed during traffic stops led to this shooting.

If this video was shown to a room of people, especially officers without any background or context they would continue to watch it over and over trying to see the gun in the suspect's hands.  The exact furtive movement made by the suspect can be seen on many dash cam videos that result in shootings, but usually when the suspect draws a weapon.

As the Trooper rushes the suspect with his pistol extended out in front of him in a two handed grip he is unable to see below the suspects elbows once he is within say 7 yards.  Try it with an unloaded pistol or blue gun.  Have a buddy stand in front of you with their hands down to their sides.  Extend your pistol in a two handed grip, what can you see?  Not the hands because your arms, hands, and gun are blocking your view past the elbow.  Also keep in mind that the Trooper was moving forward.  If you could see this from the Troopers point of view you would see the furtive movement of the upper torso and arms, furtive movement that every time the trooper had seen it in training there was a gun in their hand.

It is precisely for this reason that we emphasize one hand gun handling and shooting instead of rushing to a two handed extended grip at close distances.

In our officer survival courses we also teach officers to exit their vehicle and move around the back of the vehicle.  This gives you a few more seconds to access the situation from behind strong cover.  In this case the Trooper got "pulled in" and left strong cover and actually rushed the suspect.  The closer you get the less you can see.

If anyone reading this knows the Trooper have his defense team give me a call. I am sick and tired of departments failing to adequately train their people.

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