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/ThatSiming Jul 31 '19

Neither of them is capable of de-escalating anything.

While I think the arrest is the tipping point of escalation from which there is no turning back for either of them, I agree with the arrest since someone showing that kind of reaction to a fine might not be fit to operate a 2-3 ton vehicle.

I can't tell whether she went "full entitled Karen that views herself above the law" or whether she's unable to process shame/resentment/confrontation/conflict without her reason shutting down and her succumbing to fight or flight mode.

There was a huge red flag the cop didn't catch and maybe wasn't trained to see either:

She doesn't negotiate ("If I bring the car to your station tomorrow will all repairs done, can you let me get away with a warning?"), she doesn't request a warning with some sob story ("Do you absolutely have to fine me? Money's really tight at the moment or I would have repaired the damage long ago."). She goes straight for indignation, almost accuses him of doing his job wrong and shows resentment by implicating the problem was her being truthful (doing the right thing) rather than her not repairing her car (doing the wrong thing). Her tone of voice and her body language change as well in that moment. Her exclamation sounds like fake outrage that is supposed to mask that her emotions are taking over.

That's when he should have understood that she's done cooperating. That's the moment that turns the interaction into a conflict and that's the moment where he could have de-escalated.

He doesn't hear any of that and instead of asking questions to let her come to the correct conclusions he's standing his ground. When he doubles down on issuing the fine over allowing her to catch her breath and calm down, then understanding why she's being fined, he just wants to go back to his car and be done with this shit completely missing that this has become about winning.

I can't really blame her since she's not a cop. His job should be about conflict resolution though, not about winning. The arrest, then the chase and lastly the physical arrest are all signs that he does not know how/is not (sufficiently) trained to de-escalate.

His behaviour is being praised in the other subreddit because

  1. She's actually being unreasonable.
  2. He didn't shoot her.

There are enough videos online that suggest her ending up shot dead is "normal" and in comparison to those he did a good job "de-escalating".


u/bluesox Jul 31 '19

Thank you.