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13 Comments

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Duly Quoted: OPP Tactics Trainer Paul Bonner

It's how you use it.

“It’s not the size of the knife that makes a difference.”

—Speaking as part of an ongoing coroners’ inquest into the deaths of three mentally disturbed people (Michael Eligon, Sylvia Klibingaitis, and Reyal Jardine-Douglas) who were shot dead by police for wielding sharp objects in threatening ways, Bonner, who trains police officers in defensive tactics, made the case that knives are more dangerous than many people assume—the implication being that deadly force is sometimes a justifiable response. (The quote above was taken from the Star.) Sammy Yatim, who was shot and killed by police in July under similar circumstances, isn’t part of this inquest, but his case is being investigated by several different agencies, and James Forcillo, the officer involved, has been criminally charged.

Comments

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    The knife could be 18 feet long and diamond-tipped, that wouldn’t justify shooting someone when there are alternatives.

    • tyrannosaurus_rek

      I’d like the down-voter to explain how shooting someone to death is always preferable to disarming or disabling them.

      • OgtheDim

        Cause Rambo said so?

      • dsmithhfx

        Small willie, smaller brain.

  • dsmithhfx

    This person needs to be retired.

  • Squintz

    Does that hold up in self-defense for civilian applications? Can a citizen shoot a knife wielding suspect and still argue they are using reasonable force?

    • Matthew Carrick

      Doubtful. Of course, depend on being charged with dangerous use of firearm, unsafe storage of firearm, etc. Your first choice is to retreat.

      • Squintz

        Maybe that should be the first response for the police. Retreat, contain and deescalate perhaps?

        • tyrannosaurus_rek

          If only they were trained to do anything other than open fire!

    • tomwest

      If you had good reason to believe your life was in danger (e.g. the person is charging you with a knife), and you had a legitimate reason to be holding a loaded gun, then yes, shooting the person would probably count as reasonable force for the purposes self-defense.

      Generally, “reasonable force” for self-defense means using force up to and including the level of the percieved threat. (Punching them would pose fewer problems in court than shooting them with a gun). However, your state of mind is also a factor (e.g. how sacred you are, previous interactions with the person, presence of other people), so that doesn’t preclude shooting someone who has a knife.

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    “…the 21-foot rule…”

    I’m not sure which model of Taser TPS officers are armed with, but the wires extend up to 35 feet. There are also other methods that don’t require getting within stabbing distance, even if the subject can’t be talked down.

  • Squintz

    I think close quarters is the operative word there as well. In two of these cases (Yatim and Eligon) the person wielding the knife maybe not necessarily have been in close quarters with the police. With Yatim he was alone in an environment that could be controlled and contained and in Eligon’s case he had two pairs of scissors in the middle of the street with apparently 12 police officers there. While none of us can say anything about these conclusively, there does appear to have been other options besides deadly force, which is why they’re having the inquest I suppose.

  • torontothegreat

    Outside of all the missing equipment the police have (tasers, power in numbers, etc) in this video, police are also equipped with kevlar vests with inserts for metal plates to stop knife attacks.