Less Than Lethal – Green

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Less Than Lethal in Green

Recent video coming out of Los Angeles, police needed to clear the street of people with regards to the COVID19 outbreak.

This video shows some really great options that the LAPD has at their disposal for less than lethal options. The first being the taser, which I’ve discussed in the past. I feel that the taser has a lot of shortcomings, namely repeatability and the reactionary gap. Taser deployments require two probes entering, or close to entering, a subjects body. If one or both don’t make positive contact, the affect will not be obtained. This creates an issue to me, as these deployments generally don’t favour proxemics of time + distance. With that considered, a taser is a great tool to have assuming it works as intended.

One option I’m in favour of is less than lethal shotguns. Shotguns with bean bag ammunition are repeatable, thus reducing the need to fully assess efficacy between deployments. The last thing any cop wants is to be saying “did that work” while a combative subject is bearing down on them. For that reason I like the ability to simply continue deploying the bean bags until the full effect is achieved.
For those wondering why more deployments may be necessary, I’ll give a parallel example. Often in police shooting breakdowns, I point out that an officer will continue firing at a subject even after you and I can see the threat has largely been neutralized. This is likely due to how information is perceived and processed by cops in high risk situations. Sometimes what an officer is seeing can be distorted by the psychological and physiological stressors which come online under stress. The umbrella term to describe these factors is Survival Stress Reaction.

When an officer is under a great deal of stress, it’s important to have the ability to forgo the minutia of decision making and focus on the big picture. For example “Is the subject still up”, if yes – repeat until the answer is no. Shotguns fill this gap where a taser may become a liability.

Another option we see in this video is a 40mm less than lethal grenade launcher. This option has a much greater range than the shotgun, however it lacks the repeatability. These launchers are often breach loaded, meaning one shot. If that shot doesn’t produce the desired effect, then a reload is required. Given the viable range, that may not be an issue, but if a subject is inside 50 feet and closing – getting this reloading in time may be problematic.
All in all, it was great seeing so many less than lethal options available to the LAPD.

Most exciting was seeing the color consistency with all the options, as they were all green. This is in line with the science of fear and combat. It reduces the cognitive load an officer will have to take on in determining if an option is lethal or less than. I’m sure this will lead to better use of force outcomes, less lawsuits and better perception of the police.

Questions, Comments, Concerns – Feel free to contact.
Josh Coulter
Retired Police Officer & Infantry Combat Veteran
Current day content creator and stuff doer. Reachable on the social channels. josh@moneymediahouse.com

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