Unacceptable Police Procedure- the Deadly Game of Simon Says

Unacceptable Police Procedure- the Deadly Game of Simon Says
Unacceptable Police Procedure- the Deadly Game of Simon Says

U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)-  Innocent civilians are at risk from the police. We’ve had egregious examples in recent months. This is how we can fix these broken police policies, and this is why it’s urgent.

  • The police receive a report of a crime in progress. The report is a lie. The person on the phone with the police has made about 20 false reports. The police arrive at your home. It is the middle of the night and you hear yelling from outside. You walk outside to see what is going on. Voices from the darkness say they are the police. Multiple police officers give commands. The police are approximately 35 yards from you. You can’t see them or the police cars.  All you see are bright lights and you hear voices. One policeman loses sight of one of your hands. Since you might be going for a weapon, you’re shot dead by police. This happened in Kansas.
  • You hear a knock at the door in the middle of the night. You aren’t expecting anyone. You are a law abiding gun owner without a criminal record. You walk to the door armed. That is what self-defense experts, and even some police officers, suggest you do in this situation.  A policeman sees you through the sidelights.  He is outside your home and you are inside. The policeman sees your gun and shoots you dead. You never made it to the door. This happened in Florida.

These and similar incidents illustrate a dangerous pattern. The police treat possible threats as lethal threats. They then kill unarmed and innocent civilians without warning. The murder is often preceded by a lethal game of simon-says where the police issue commands until the innocent civilian makes a mistake and is killed. In several fatal examples, there were no actual threats of any kind to the police officers involved.

We are in this situation because of qualified immunity. Qualified Immunity is a legal defense where government officials are held harmless if they followed established procedures. Ordinary citizens do not have this legal immunity. You and I would be held criminally negligent if we did what the police do. We are lucky to have a cure.

We use simulators to train law enforcement when to shoot and when not to shoot. This reality based training is extremely useful in exposing weaknesses in police policy and in officer training. Now we can use these simulators to fix broken police procedures, but with a twist. We need to put a few civilians through the simulators, not the police.

We have many recordings of officers arresting civilians. We know what they say. We want to expose ordinary citizens to these simulations and capture the results as the citizens respond.

By ordinary citizens I mean Walmart shoppers. We want to test the people most likely to come in contact with the police. Let’s record how they respond with flashing lights, loud noise and conflicting unexpected commands. There are many use-of-force instructors who can look at the multiple videos and tally-up the number of times these innocent citizens would have been shot by police who were “just following procedures”. How many innocent civilians should we sacrifice? One out of a million, or one out of five?

“Just following procedures” sounds too much like “just following orders” to me, but I could be wrong. The reality based simulations will show us. They will establish how many civilians are shot while officers are “just following accepted police procedures”. Police agencies might not generate and release this data but you can be sure that lawyers representing the dead person’s family certainly will.

We don’t have to guess if police procedures are safe and effective. We can measure them.

If your city council thought that training and testing is expensive, wait until they see what jury verdicts cost. Although “procedures” are the basis for qualified immunity, those procedures can, are, and will be challenged in court by plaintiffs’ lawyers through expert testimony.

Lawyers will try to show that the police didn’t follow their own procedures and that the procedures as taught are not best practice. Police training departments MUST keep up with any new trends, from “non/less-lethal weapons to new verbal techniques in dealing with suspects, bystanders, and even pet dogs.


About Rob MorseSlow Facts

The original article is here.  Rob Morse writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily, and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. Rob is an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.

  • 37 thoughts on “Unacceptable Police Procedure- the Deadly Game of Simon Says

    1. This is such a BS hit piece. Deny officers federal funds for training? First of all giving officers LESS training is one of the most stupid things I’ve ever heard. Second prior to arriving at the scene what do officers have to go on other than what information they are given. They don’t issue psychic abilities in the police academy. Speaking of academy you all sound like experts so you should sail right through after sign up.
      Oh i forgot, most just want to sit and bitch about cops but never had the balls to become one.

    2. What kind of a fool would go to the door, especially in the middle of the night, without a gun?
      It’s my life insurance policy. Carry it every where you go.

      1. Better yet, if you’re not expecting anyone why go to the door. I’m a 61 year old disabled woman living alone. If someone comes to the door and I’m not expecting anyone I don’t open it, I just wait for them to go away. If they are persistent I get my gun and wait for them to go away. My friends all know my phone number and will call if they’re coming over.

    3. Nine times out of ten if a LEO sees a gun he is going to shoot first and ask questions later. Some of the incidences are beyond being imagional especially when a person is still in his house. If you step outside to see what is going on it is impossible to see anything because all those headlights and spotlights are trained on you. Sad situation and hard to justify unless you are a LEO afraid of your own shadow.

    4. Simon Sez is the perect desription for the game far too man coppers play. Particularly when two or four copopers are hollering as loudly as they can.. WHICH ONE is the SImon How Must Be Obeyed or You’re Dead?

      WHen I read about the guy being commanded to crawl toward hisexecutionar on the floor, I wondered…. in WHICH training course did this piggie learn THIS technique? That smacked of the way ISIS commandoes act in a raid on a village of people they hate. Even the MS 13 gangbangers act with more organisation than that. There is always a hierarchy in any operation they undertake. If the kingpin gets taken out, they wll know who is next in line, and that one steps up. The chaos of the SWAT teams is a good part of the problem. They are ALL wannabe Ramboes, each out to find more notches to put in their gunbelts.

      You are absolutely correct in this score, as well: qualified immunity is fundational to the chaos and death we are now seeing. Police unions ardently protet that status, as is to be expected in any case where the overlords might get their wings clipped a bit.

      Ending Fed funding for police training and equipment might be one good place to begin. Holding LE accountable to CITIZENS, instead of the CrackerJack “governments” that hire the coppers….. these internal “police review boards” are mostly communist holdover Kangaroo Courts, their main agenda to protect the pwoer structure as currently standing. They are far too hesitant to make any waves, fire any incompetents, or to make any moves to end the CAREER (not just the current position of employment) of misbehaving officers.

    5. The Police Officers in Elgin, IL are highly respected by the community and the Police respects the community. We work together to have a safe city. The LEO has meetings and listens and talks to the citizens. I support my Police Dept.

    6. Everybody needs to understand the paranoia ingrained into cops as a result of the Tueller Drill. Google Tueller Drill. Add ex-military with trained combat reactions and the innocent public can be dead meat. Studies show that more than one half of cops develop these paranoias of ‘them vs me’ by the tenth year on the job.
      I’ve heard and read the SWATting claims of a cop neighbor (different jurisdiction) to the local cops as he expresses his paranoia and tries to scare the local cops. He Swatted me 2 or 3 times. When a simple neighbor complaint about a broken sprinkler results in 4 or 5 cops at the door with guns ready, we all need to be ready.

    7. I am getting REALLY, REALLY tired of your “subscribe To Win” pop-up every time I close an article on your daily newsletter. When is it going to stop? I may want to “UNSUBCRIBE” ! !

      1. You must be blocking our website cookie, that is what tells our website not to throw you the pop-up over and over again. Please turn on allow cookies for this website (www.ammoland.com) in your browser.

    8. I know quite a few police officers. Many I’m proud to say are friends. I’ve been invited to events that are usually just for their fellow officers.
      I now live in a city new to me. On every occasion that I can I will stop and talk to a police officer. Society by its very existence, is separated from those professionals, military as well as police, sworn to protect them. They spend all their working hours and most of their leisure time together.
      We civilians are not part of their extended “family”, so any perceived threat will be addressed with force.

      If you suddenly become a suspect don’t do anything abruptly. If you are ordered to lace you fingers behind your he’d answer loudly “Yes sir, I am unarmed. I’m putting my hands behind my head.” make eye contact with the officer giving the commands and make all your moves smoothly and in slow motion. Now is not the time to start an argument. Loudly announce the other occupants of the house. ie “My wife is sitting on the living room couch and I have two children asleep in their bedrooms. Once the police have control of you and your family, and they are sure of their isn’t any threat to them, they will relax. And you can ask, not demand questions.

      1. You should just suck it up and admit what we all know; there are some less than stellar police officers out there. Why they are that way and how they got hired in the first place isn’t germane to this discussion. The fact is they are and that should guide your interaction with Officers who don’t know you. Getting to know your local force is not a bad idea. While most Officers on my town’s force don’t know me personally they know me by reputation. I can think of only two instances in 37+ years where our Officers and I got crosswise and they ended up getting a talking to by their superiors. Having been a Federal LEO I don’t have blinders on concerning this topic.

        1. Back to Wichita PD…off duty officer doesn’t like what’s happening in high school basketball game. Storms on to court shoves female ref out of the way removes his kid from game . Believe that should be assault on ref, PD studying if any PD policies were violated. Shove a cop and see if you don’t get charged with assault.

    9. our police force is nothing more and just a new version of the ss questopo .they better take a long deep look in the mirror.folks wont take much more of this lawless practice.

    10. Everyone has simple answers to complex issues…
      I started in police work in the early 1970s. Two points stand out. First, homicide of police was at it highest ever level. Second, the people wearing the badge were very different than those today.
      Ambushes of police were common. Outright assassinations were common. But, the practitioners were different. Some were still of the Greatest Generation. Most were Baby Boomers. All had been brought up with personal discipline and abilities to reason for themselves. Officer survival became a part of LE, with various tactics thought out and integrated into the job. But…they were tactics available to the officer, to be reasoned based upon evaluation of the circumstances.
      Flash forward almost 50 years. Assaults on police are up over the past several years. LE has better tools than ever – improved personal armor, a variety of less lethal instruments, greater training. However, today’s recruits are Gen X, Gen Y, Millenials. They are products of an ever more socialist progressive “educational” and social system. They are not educated to present critical thought, but rather trained to follow rote rules. They have been raised by helicopter/soccer moms, instilled with the concept that a bully is to be feared and run from, sucking one’s thumb, rather than to recognize that “sticks and stones” and moreso words are not fatal.
      This is an issue that is far from limited to the police sector. It is across our society. Where 50+ years ago, we were raised to recognize that a bully may or may not win, that we would not be defeated, modern thought is to retreat to the safe spaces, to curl up, and as happens far too often, die. We had the thought patterns to recognize there were options to be considered in any situation, where today we see lockstep adherence to the one way.
      Until this nation recognizes these points, this will continue…being a yellow brick road to destruction for the law enforcement community, and for the overall society. We are on the road to perdition, and it is a shithole…

      1. @PRL, Perhaps, what I observe is more and more is that our small town police think that their job is to control the already law abiding, docile, people in the community. The Chief of Police is just sitting in the seat until he can retire. He is an empty uniform.
        I discussed this attitude with him and asked him what is your SOP is antifa came to town or ms13 or the vagos. He just shrugged.
        When I go to that little town, I drive text book, get what I need, and get out. I can only imagine that the bigger the town, the more Barney Fifes there are.

        1. Reread my comment. Police are a reflection of the community. Today’s pool is the result of 70 years of progressive control of the entire educational system, and more recently of the political system. The police do not exist in a vacuum; their ranks are filled with citizens, they answer to a political system. A Sheriff answers directly to the electorate, generally resulting in a more responsive form of policing. Chiefs, Commissioners, etc. are political appointees, answerable not to the electorate but to either appointed managers or possibly elected councils or governors – either way answerable to politicians, not the people. Not knowing your city’s size, “small” is very open to conjecture. There are some 800,000 law enforcement officers in the nation, serving some 18,000 agencies from very small, often one man, agencies, to behemoths such as ICE, NYPD, LAPD and LASO. Pre Clinton, the average agency was 10 man; today, post the money he dumped into the system to fatten via “community policing” agencies, it is perhaps 15, with still a lot of 1 and 2 man agencies. Even at 15, a major threat (IS, MS-13) is beyond the capabilities of those true small agencies. What I see as I watch the events unfold is that most incidents occur, if not in the urban areas, in the surrounding suburbia, where urban pressures are still felt and reacted to.

      2. PRL, The truth is assaults on LEOs is not up. The 20 year averages have been holding true year over year. 2017 was below the normal range and 2nd lowest in 50 years. There are plenty of other common jobs with a higher and even much higher death on the job rate. Most construction jobs, auto mechanics, pilots. FARMERS, have twice the risk of death on the job.
        The inner city cops have the highest risk but the lower risk cops are killing the innocent victims.
        The stats released by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, as of Thursday, 128 officers had died in the line of duty in 2017. Forty-four of them were shot and killed. This is a 10 percent decrease from last year, which had 143 deaths, with 66 shot and killed. The average cops shot and killed in 55 out of 1,100,000 officers with 800,000 working the streets. The rest die in auto accidents, pedestrian accidents, heart attacks, and non-conflict events.
        https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2017-12-28/dramatic-drop-in-police-officer-deaths-in-2017
        But, LEOs are fearful and shoot first.
        The numbers suggest that about 2000 are shot and killed by police with about 10% not a threat but justified by ‘department policy.’ The number of mentally ill killed when the request was for assistance with a known mentally ill person is high. “They did not take the right medication” “Oh, I’ll fix that. Here is a lead pill or two to center mass.”

        1. LE line of duty deaths fell to a low in the nineties and early 2000’s. Since then they have been increasing. More importantly, the nature of the increase has been disturbing…i.e. ambushes and assassinations. But my point was, and obviously ignored, that the cops of today are the citizens of today – Millenials/Gen X-Y, brought up to not understand discipline nor that many affronts are very survivable. I came from the day of the nightstick; wailing away stopped many an afront without lethal consequences. Today, it is Taser (and too often used in lethal force situations, where any tech failure is, and has been, fatal to the officer, but utilized because of public opinion) or firearm. Bitching about the officer will not change this; it must be from the bottom up, every aspect of this society. Without respect, personal discipline, and individual decision making being instilled into everyone, there is no change. The police are a reflection of the community…they are the community.

          1. PRL, Look at the numbers again.
            Line of duty deaths are all deaths. Car wreck fatalities and other non-confrontational deaths were up but shooting deaths went down. 2016 had a 10% uptick after Michael Brown but 2017 ticked down 10 below the average.
            It could be that car wrecks went up because the Crown Vic was replaced by lighter cars and SUVs that roll easily. A cop without a seatbelt on in a rolling SUV is usually dead meat.
            I agree that the problem is more systemic than individual. Leadership needs to stop scaring the pee out of street cops with Teuller Drills and escalation of force drills and the street LEOs need to be better screened for psychological toughness rather than pee their pants paranoia.

            1. First, semantics aside, since about 2010 there has been an increase over previous years.

              My point, however, remains…the basic Population from which police are recruited is considerably different from previous days. They have been trained to be fearful. Add to this a political system that is more and more progressive in its outlook.

            2. Cops killed in conflict situations has been in the 5 to 5.5 per 100,000 cops for decades. It was a bit higher in the 90s. TRAFFIC accident deaths have gone up. Between 50 and 60 cops are killed in conflict each year. Before 2016, the high was 55 except back in the 90s. 2017 was 48, a 50 year low.
              But, cops continue to kill more and more innocent or unarmed civilians. The FBI does not even have accurate records. NGOs collect the best data and extrapolate for what they find.
              The different between ‘on the job’ deaths (10 t0 12 per 100,000) and ‘conflict’ deaths (5 to 5.5 per 100,000) is not semantics. A cop getting killed in a car wreck does not indicate risk in a criminal contact. “I’m going to shoot first and ask questions later because I am at risk of getting killed in a car wreck.”
              Are cops just too uninformed or even stupid to realize that the risk of getting killed in a traffic accident does not relate to the risk of getting shot in a criminal encounter? Maybe so. But, the farmer, roofer, painter, auto mechanic, pilots fisherman and many others have a higher on the job death rate.

            3. Comment…One thing I have not noticed any of you mention is compare the size of populous , comparing that of fifty years ago to now I would say holding a constant number of casualties is commendable. Now if you would like to compare the industry of High Voltage Electricity , I can think of a dozen killed or injured from a company of 1500 employee’s in that same fifty years. Now that is just one company and there are thousands of companies like that one.

            4. Old Vet,
              The stats are reflective of population. That standard used is deaths per 100,000 population or per 100,000 employees. The 5 to 5.5 per 100,000 has been rather stable over 20 years. There are 1,100,000 LEOs and 800,000 on the streets at current levels.

    11. Clark Kent did you even read the article ?
      Police in Florida shot a man dead for having a gun inside of his house
      Not brandishing, not threatening, just having a gun while inside his house
      100% legal activity by the citizen, yet police shot him dead
      I also saw the video of the man shot in the hotel hallway
      A legally armed citizen visiting for a three gun tournament
      Examining his gun while inside his hotel room someone saw him through window and called the police
      Another citizen engaging in legal activity in a place where where he has an expectation of privacy
      Completely non threatening
      They made them come out of his room get on his knees cross his legs and attempt to crawl towards the police
      All the while they are screaming contradictory orders at him the top of their voices
      He Kept begging them not to shoot him
      When his pants fell down they opened fire
      Police treat any reports of a man with a gun as a reason to call of the swat team
      Don’t forget that citizens are perfectly allowed to have Firearms
      A report of a man with a gun should not prompt this kind of Police overreaction
      Don’t forget that there was no reports of shots fired or threats or hostages
      Just a man with a gun inside a room
      I understand the police coming to investigate such a report
      Citizens are allowed to own guns
      if someone reports a person with a gun, there is no reason for the police to come out and execute them

      1. Until we admit that there is a problem then we can not fix it. Rob does not need to be a police officer to point out that the actions taken were wrong. I worked in Law Enforcement for 13 years and watched as the attitudes and policies became more militant, your attitude towards the people those that pay your salaries cause more issues than they resolve. The recent case of a innocent man gunned down on his porch after a revenge call from a on line gamer who gave the wrong address, the officers were to quick to solve the problem with violence they were not in danger. Officers at one time were taught the force levels, in other words the level of force used had to be in direct per portion to the threat. I will not and never will condemn all LEO’s but we are seeing more Eric Cartmans going into Law Enforcement with the attitude respect my authortah!!! An officers first and most important tool is his mouth and it must be used with respect, firm but respectful, the last tool an officer should ever employ is his gun. I feel that in this country today there is a lack of respect by both officers and the citizens, LEO’s are going to have to be the responsible ones recognize when a problem exists and work to correct it earn the trust of the people back to change the problems that are occurring. No law will fix this just make it worse, citizens look at LEO’s and see people that don’t respect them and think they are above the law, LEO’s if there is a problem own it clean out the rot if policies are causing hate look at those policies and honestly ask is this a good idea or is it I am to scared to do my job. For the record this is not a condemnation of LEO’s I have many friends that are still LEO’s but I also can recognized the bad ones and just plain wrong policies that exist

        1. John and everybody else:
          You are trying to reason with Clark Kent. A sad figure with parent issues, not an Uber Mensch. He’s a troll. Look at ANY of his comments.
          Mark twain was right.
          We believe in the 1A which is the only reason that he is able to continue polluting the information stream.
          If someone looked up his IP addy and published who he was, Doxxed him in other words, we could clean up the signal:noise ratio a lot. It would be interesting to know if he is doing this on his own or if he is being paid.
          Not that I am suggesting that course of action, it’s just an idle thought.
          In the meantime, give him the response he deserves, resounding silence.
          SHUN him.

          1. I had this crap from him earlier this week.
            He being the English police . We all come to this
            site because we like the articles and can comment
            on them . He comes to this site to act Holly er and
            more self righteous than everyone .
            Shun him is about as best as we can hope for

        2. A LEOs first tool should be his brain. Unfortunately, they are trained to bypass the brain and revert to instinctive training responses. The forceful mouth often causes more trouble than it resolves. There is a company called Vistelar.com that teaches deescalation techniques.
          In many situations, there will be multiple LEOs shouting at the same time. Shouting increased the fight, flight, or freeze response. It does not increase the ability to understand and follow instructions.
          I was confronted by 2 cops at TSA at the airport. They were both using loud, firm voices. I look at the elder and said, ‘If you are trying to deescalate the situation, why don’t you lower your voice?’ He looked confused for a moment then turned and shut up his rookie side-kick and we had a conversation.
          The problem needs to be resolved from both ends. Leadership needs to stop scaring the pee out of street cops and street cops need to be screened for psychological strength to properly endure the risks without throwing their brains in the trash heap. The brain is the best tool.

        1. In the area I live in, Most leo’s are ex military .
          From the way they handle themselves you can tell ,
          those that (in the military) Had spent time in harms way.
          Compared to those that did not . It’s the did not’s that
          have had problems on bad shootings. It seems like ,
          they are out to play Billy Bad @ss with an itchy finger.
          No real discipline instilled in the younger set.

          1. The ex military had to learn Rules of Engagement or face a Court Martial and worse. With qualified immunity, cops get a free pass if they can claim Fear for their safety.
            Terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan are safer than US citizens in their own homes.

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