In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate.
~ Isaac Asimov
How deep. And also probably why Isaac Asimov was such a good story teller. He knew, like other amazing writers, that the story really begins right after the checkmate.
Lets say a guy jumps a turnstyle in the NY subway. We have no idea if he did or not, so lets say that’s an arrestable offense. I’m thinking you would get a ticket or a fine, but what do I know. Lets roll with hop the turnstyle = handcuffs and arrest thing.
So you get the usual body slam thing that happens, and while you might not be resisting the actual arrest, you are doing your best to make sure that you don’t get hurt during it. Like the face slam against the wall while they yank your hands behind your back for the cuffs. It is done so often, and is such a common thing, that you are very aware that it could happen to you and you are of a mind to not wish to get your face smashed in during the proceedings.
As for the two cops who already have you pretty much in cuffs, they are hopped up and hyped up and full of adrenaline because they figure your methods of making sure your face stays intact are instead ways of resisting arrest. Despite the fact you are telling them repeatedly why you are doing what you are doing.
One of the cops, the one who seemed particularly hyped up sends what looks to be a call out on the radio for backup. I have no idea what he said, or how he framed his call, or the tone of his voice or whatever it was for the five seconds he’s seen speaking into his shoulder mic, but what happens next should just warm the cockles of your heart.
That is if it was a police response to a bomb threat, someone being held hostage at gunpoint, an officer down, a clear and present terrorist threat etc.
However my cockles were actually frozen to see what transpired.
The second team of two who arrived should have gotten on the radio and called an all clear, we are at the scene everything is cool. Maybe they did. I watched one guy say something into his radio, and sort of keep trying – maybe to stem the flow of blue, but then you see him just give up.
After the 3rd and 4th officers kicked the legs out from under the guy and all four of them piled on him, I’d say things were well in hand at that point.
Slow crime day in New York?
I won’t go into the racial overtones of this incident, because really, right now I’m exhausted on that front.
But I will say something about the NYPD. I’m going to say that something has gone awfully wrong when 26 police officers flood in to “help” take down one suspect. The first two could have arrested the guy just fine if they had gone about their business in a calm and firm manner.
The initial body slam that had the guy on the ground as the film rolls, shows you a level of hyped up response that was already spiraling out of control. You can even hear that one cop telling the other one to Calm Down.
Like I said in This Post I’ve worked with police officers. I’ve seen them arrest people, and I know a little bit of law enforcement procedure too.
I’ve seen them call for backup and when they get it, there is an all clear, or an ok called into dispatch. And here is where I start to look closer at the incident in question. There is a relationship of procedure between officers out in cars, and in the street on foot and the dispatcher.
A call for backup needs to be responded to by the nearest unit. They get on the horn and say ok we got this. They radio back again when on scene to let dispatch know everything is in hand or if they need additional help.
Now you can override that procedure with another call. I’m not sure what it is for each department, but it is also call for backup, but it is qualified so that anyone and everyone remotely near the incident in question is to respond to the location. Not just the nearest unit. Pretty much a call for the cavalry to show up. Like you need extreme help such as in shots fired and/or officer down. That sort of thing.
I can’t say as to which call was put out, but I can tell you a couple things judging from the response to that call.
First, if it was a simple back up call, there is a massive breakdown in the procedural relationship between dispatch and the officers of that precinct. If 12 units were all equally the closest to the location, then ok maybe. But not really. Procedure is in place for that sort of thing. Whoever calls in first and/or second to say they are responding would have been given the go ahead.
The next 10 units to call dispatch would have been told to back off or to hold until further information was given by the units dispatched. Taking what looks like a whole duty shift full of cops off the street into one location Isn’t The Done Thing if a precinct or even departments city wide are in good working order.
Either nobody called in to dispatch to say they were handling it, or one or two did, and a whole bunch just shot over there without any contact to dispatch. Breakdown in procedure any way you look at it.
Second, if it was the send in the cavalry type call, you have to wonder at the cop who would do such a thing for that type of situation. Their training comes into question. You see their partner trying to calm him down. You see an escalation of a situation that was absolutely uncalled for.
And it is no small thing to pull so many units of their beats. Because while every cop within miles were down in that subway, who was patrolling the street above ground? Who was out there supposedly protecting and serving the community?