Use of Force Continuum - Pepper Spray
My name is Matt, and I was a deputy with the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office in Kansas back in 2006. I resigned out of field training because the job was not for me, but I still have a good understanding of how law enforcement operates.
The reason I'm posting is because I am currently taking a public speaking class and would like to do a persuasive speech on the subject of the UC Davis pepper spray incident. I'm not allowed to post links until I've made 15 posts, but if you google "UC Davis pepper spray" it'll come up.
Basically, campus police at UC Davis broke up a daisy chain by spraying them first and then going hands on.
I remember the use of force continuum from my days at the academy. My department taught that there were 6 levels of subject resistance and 5 levels of control. The levels of control were 1. Officer presence 2. Verbal commands 3. Empty hands (hard and soft) 4. Intermediate weapons 5. Lethal force. My department also taught the continuum as a guideline and not official department policy.
My problem is that I don't remember where OC came into play on the continuum. My memory is telling me that it was between verbal commands and empty hand soft control, but I'm not 100% sure on that. What does your department say about where OC falls on the continuum? Is it also just a guideline with your department?
My argument for my speech is going to be that the officers sprayed them so that they didn't have to fight them. If they didn't spray them, their alternative would have been to use pressure point control techniques which would made it look like they were physically beating the people (I was taught to strike a person on their forearm to get them to let go of something.) I'm going to argue that it isn't easy to move somebody that's passively resisting, and that the pepper spray reduced the chance of back injuries to the officers, and also reduced the chance of injury to the subjects because the officers didn't have to use as much force to force them apart. I'm also going to argue that according to the force continuum, the use of OC wasn't excessive.
Your input is appreciated. Thanks for your time.