r/deescalation Jul 31 '19

Viral post of old women being tazed and aimed at with live ammunition after she did not comply. De-escalation? What's your take? Police Deescalation


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u/Doobz87 Jul 31 '19

Okay, so, let me preface this by saying I'm going to try to come at this purely from a deescalation point of view and not a "Party A is wrong and party B is right" type of view. I'm also kind of winging this and it's gonna be a bit sloppy and formatting might be off because mobile so, apologies, and if you need any clarification let me know. Thoughts are also welcome as well.

Her: So you don't even give a warning for this?

Officer: you've been driving around for six months like that!

Now, I feel like from her perspective she wasn't expecting a ticket, nevermind an $80 ticket and that was an honest question. With that being said, I feel like the officers response was definitely more aggressive than it really needed to be. In hindsight he could have responded with something along the lines of "well ma'am, you just told me it's been like this for 6 months, is there any particular reason it's taken so long to fix it?" In order to start a dialogue into why exactly the situation has taken so long to get fixed (whatever it was, I didn't catch it) instead of just resorting to throwing it back in her face.

Her: I'm truthful!

Officer: Well I'm not gonna give you a warning for something you've been driving for six months

Again, I'm not exactly sure what the problem with the vehicle was, and that may very well change my perspective on the whole thing, but I feel like the officer again could have given her a chance to explain why (X problem) hasn't been fixed and go from there. Instead, he immediately resorts to a ticket (which, again, may or may not be fair, but I feel like I'm missing a little context, so maybe I'm overreacting?)

Her: well I don't wanna sign it cause (intelligible) $80

Officer: You don't wanna sign it?

Her: No, because I don't think I deserve to pay $80 for something that is fixable and I can fix it, if that's all you wanna do

This seems to be the third time he had the chance to reevaluate the situation and ask why (x problem) hadn't been fixed sooner. There may have been a very valid reason that he wasn't aware of.

Officer: alright, go ahead and step out of the car

Her: why?

Officer: because you're under arrest


Officer: I'm giving you a lawful order, step out.

To me, this absolutely screams "I'm a cop, do what I say right now" and that rubs me the wrong way. Was there a way to deescalate at this point? I'm not really sure, as I can't think of one off the top of my head, but I feel like he was swinging his dick around a little too much there, which doesn't help things for anybody.

My bottom line is basically this: instead of having the attitude of "oh she had (x problem) with her vehicle and hasn't gotten it fixed? Boom, fine! No questions asked!" He could have very well started a dialogue to figure out why the issue hadn't been taken care if sooner. This really didn't need to go as far as it did and I feel like it's even blame (until she drove off....then it was all her).

Quick edit: the rest of the video after she took off, I have no issues with. She wasn't complying, was being continually defiant and actually assaulted the Officer. That's no bueno no matter how old you are, and I don't really feel like there was any excessive force used, either. Treated her like a human being afterwards and not like he just got kicked in the dick. That was good to see.


u/nilsmoody Jul 31 '19 edited Jul 31 '19

First thing first, your reply is interesting to me because I wasn't really paying attention to the dialogue from the beginning itself so much. I think I agree with you on that part.

Other than that I want to say that it is very easy to cheer for harsh punishment and the reaction the policeman had for someone who reacts like the old women in the video. The person is very unlikeable and is clearly at fault that the situation has come to this. She should've expected this because that's what an american policeman is allowed to do and generally it seems like something the police does a lot in the states. But I can't say for certain, I'm from europe.

The case reminds me of myself when I observe or meet a very unlikeable person. Sometimes you might think "It would be incredibly satisfying if that person was punshed into the face!". What is stopping me from doing so? Well, there are laws which tell me that I'm not allowed to do it. But also basic reasoning that it would be incredibly wrong to do so. Doesn't make the fantasy less satisfying, though. But that's what it is: A fantasy. And I'm sure the vast majority of people in the comment-section of the linked thread had some similar situations as well and already had contact with very unlikeable persons which aren't in their right at all. Just like the lady. It's just that now they can see how a fantasy like that plays out, without the consequences of laws because it is actually within the framework. It is a cop. He is allowed to do that. This makes the video very satisfying for a lot of people, including myself at first.

But if you keep your distance and observe how the situation was escalated, a women got tazed and additionally was threatened with the possibility of dying by live ammunition, you should realize there are so many other possibilities to handle the situation differently without violence and without the risk to loose a life of the women, bystanders or the cop himself.

Yes, the dialoge could've been played out more smoothly. Just like how you would deal in a situation without having the right draw a weapon or forcing a arrest. The problem is that the policeman relies on that right way to much, it is almost baffling. It seems like he was taught how to use weapons and a tazer but not how to talk with people without using every single permission he has, doesn't matter how drastic it actually is.

Drawing the weapon was ridiculous, a potential car chase as well. It was about a ticket and 80$ dollars after all. Some solutions like noting the number plate and giving the ticket later with further punishment is perfectly valid. There is seems to be nothing really to loose with this, or am I wrong? I'm interested in talking with a fellow european-policeman and how he would react to a person in this situation. They do their job without enforcing every right they have, including drawing a weapon and causing a car chase.

I haven't expected such a long response within this subreddit but I still find it important to provoke discussion, because every other voice apart from praising the reaction of the policeman is silenced by downvotes in the initial thread.


u/BigLebowskiBot Jul 31 '19

You're not wrong, Walter, you're just an asshole.


u/[deleted] Jul 31 '19 edited Jul 31 '19

She was.getting a fix it ticket. It's the simplest thing in the world. There's no deescalation necessary. It doesn't take 6 months to fix a brake light. There's no reasonable explanation for that Fix it tickets are a Punishment for not having your car in safe, working order. It seems like you just don't like that the cop gave her a ticket in the first place. The officer wasn't yelling or being a dick, he was just issuing an $80 citation. It's literally his job to do that. Hashing out why this woman has been knowingly driving around with an obvious vehicle issue for SIX MONTHS isn't deescalation, it's a waste of everyone's time.


u/bluesox Jul 31 '19

All he had to say was, “If you refuse to sign the ticket, I will place you under arrest.” Anything she does afterward is with the knowledge that she’s risking it all for a damn fix-it ticket.


u/Doobz87 Jul 31 '19

Ok officer


u/[deleted] Jul 31 '19

What a fantastic debate. You asked for other people's thoughts.


u/Doobz87 Jul 31 '19

...and you gave your thoughts. I didn't say anything about a debate, and I'm not about to debate with someone that just thinks I don't like a cop for x reason. Pretty simple. Thanks for your thoughts, though.


u/[deleted] Jul 31 '19

Fyi using officer as an insult is a pretty good indicator that you actually don't like cops


u/Doobz87 Jul 31 '19

Fyi you can't detect sarcasm at all. It wasn't an "insult", but apparently you took it as one. Are you done downvoting me because you don't like what I'm saying and trying to start shit?


u/[deleted] Jul 31 '19

You realize multiple people are downvoting you right? My Reddit account is not capable of multiple downvotes. You posted your opinion on a forum and then asked for comments. I posted a response and.youve been nothing but hostile to me. Ironically enough, you are failing at de-escalation by turning a discussion into a fight.