Fight and Flight

     Welcome Fight and Flight to the purpose of this section is to smack you in the face with the violent world in which we live. My intention here is to provide a detailed overview of the situation and analyze both the attacker’s and defender’s movements on their own and in relation to each other; with the goal of learning from these situations to better improve your chances for survival.

     Systematically, we will go through each video and when possible not only study the active violence, but also identify and understand the factors, emotions and the actions or inactions leading up to violence. To do this we will have to agree upon a standardized method to identify the behaviors that people exhibit leading to a violent confrontation. It is not necessary to reinvent the wheel; the method used to classify the behaviors we will be analyzing are those used by the Marine Corps Combat Hunter Program. For more information on the Combat Hunter Program, I would highly recommend reading “Left of Bang” by Patrick Van Horne and Jason A Riley. This is a must read for anyone who takes their personal security seriously.  According to Horne and Riley, “Combat profiling strives to observe clusters of multiple clues that lead to the same conclusion about what a person may be feeling or what his intentions are…..To confirm a cluster one needs to observe at least three indicators. Clusters are based on a person’s perception of threats and how they are preparing to deal with them. They are: 1.Dominant vs. submissive, 2.Uncomfortable vs. comfortable, 3.Interested vs. uninterested.”(Page 74, 75)

     The first video in this series is the catalyst for this endeavor. After first viewing this video, I was shocked to see one person inflict so much physical damage upon trained responders. After watching a few times, I was convinced that this could have been stopped at two key points early in the confrontation. If not prevented at altogether. I realize how easy it is from behind a keyboard to point out everything that I would have done. Understanding the physiological stressors placed upon the body in situations like this I cannot second guess anyone in the video simply because I was not there. My intention is simply to work to prevent what you see in the video from happening to you or someone you care about.

     The most striking point of this video is that after the first 21 seconds the fight is pretty much over. I have watched this video more times than I can count. In my humble opinion this entire incident could if not been avoided completely, then at very least would have provide either officer with a fighting chance. The more you inspect the video you will see the perfect storm forming for this type of violence and the eventual outcome.

     Evaluating each individual based on the clusters used in Combat Profiling this entire incident makes sense. Remember Combat Profiling seeks to observe clusters of multiple clues specifically looking at the dynamics of dominant vs. submissive, uncomfortable vs. comfortable and interested vs. uninterested.

Seconds 1-7

     The first seven seconds of the video we both officers and the inmate enter the video. We see one deputy engaged with the inmate as the other holds a Taser trained on the inmate. At this point of the video it is difficult to ascertain any clusters of clues. Given the nature of the situation it can almost be implied that both officers occupy the dominant, comfortable and interested roles while the inmate initially does appear submissive, uncomfortable and interested.

Clues: Clues in seconds 1-7 are only implied given the circumstance and inability to clearly see all three subjects. (This refers to the first edit of the video)

Officer 1- Dominant, Comfortable, and Interested

Officer 2- Dominant, comfortable, and Interested

Inmate - Submissive, uncomfortable, and interested

Seconds 8-14

     The most telling sign in second 8 when the inmate puts one forward backward to a fighting stance. This alone should have been enough to at least heighten the officer’s sense of readiness. In addition to preparing his feet to fight the inmate’s hands are constantly in a ready position and he makes every effort to prevent squaring up with the officer. At second 15 you see the inmate ready his feet to strike.

Clues:

Officer 1- From second 8-13 officer 1 occupied the dominant position, still appeared comfortable but his interest level at this point is unclear simply because of his proximity to the inmate and inability to defend himself from the initial attack.

Officer 2- From second 1-14 officer 2 occupied the dominant role, still appeared comfortable and was interested.

Inmate - From second 1 to 14 the inmate occupied the submissive role, uncomfortable and interested.

 Seconds 15-21

     In second 16 we see the first officer go down as he is completely unable to defend himself against a flurry of at least 2 blows to the head. In second 18 we see officer 2 deploy the Taser. In second 19 we see the inmate remove Taser barbs and proceed toward the officer 2. In second 20 the inmate takes the officer’s balance as he moving backwards and it is over in second 21.

Clues:

Officer 1- Submissive, interested, uncomfortable

Officer 2- From second 1 until 18 officer 2 occupied the dominant role. In second 20 this shifts as he is forced to retreat. The moment he takes a step back he becomes submissive. He is interested and uncomfortable.

Inmate – From second 1 until 16 the inmate was submissive, uncomfortable and interested. In second 16 the inmate goes from submissive to dominant, switches from uncomfortable to comfortable and remains interested.

Conclusion:

     The most striking point of this video is that after the first 21 seconds the fight is pretty much over. I have watched this video more times than I can count. In my humble opinion this entire incident could have been avoided completely, or at very least officer 1 should have at least been able to defend against or stop the initial attack, officer 2 instead of moving off balanced backward would have done better by basing up using both arms and hands to create distance between him and the inmate while simultaneously taking the inmates balance backwards. One of the most interesting aspect of this encounter is that in second 21 both Officer 2 and the Inmate are off balance.

     The more you inspect the video you will see the perfect storm forming for this type of violence and the eventual outcome. Evaluating each individual based on the clusters used in Combat Profiling this entire incident makes sense. Remember Combat Profiling seeks to observe clusters of multiple clues specifically looking at the dynamics of dominant vs. submissive, uncomfortable vs. comfortable and interested vs. uninterested.