Cruiser Vs. Knife Guy


Toronto PS | Cruiser vs. Knife Guy

Video coming out of Toronto, Ontario, showing a unique way to arrest a Canadian citizen who’s running around with a knife.

The video depicts a group of police officers, attempting to arrest an armed man in downtown Toronto. The video had some polarized responses, as they usually do. The police officers are having a difficult time corralling the subject. At one point, an officer seems to decide to use a cruiser as an intermediate impact weapon.

Although this is an unconventional use of the cruiser, a weapon of opportunity in exigent circumstances is fair. Police officers don’t receive training in Ontario, generally, for intentional contact with a cruiser. In this case, the officer decides to use the cruiser to bring an end to this situation. In a way, it shows aptitude for high risk situations, for an officer to have the wherewithal to employ any device to produce a positive outcome. Although the subject being run over doesn’t look too great, immobilizing and arresting the knife wielding man is a positive, considering the myriad of potential negative outcomes. 

To do with other use of force options which were brought up by the public, the first is Tasers.

This video shows very well the limitations of tasers, which work by producing neuro-musclular incapacitation. That is, the brain can’t direct the body. To achieve this, two darts are sent out from the taser, which when they make contact with the subject, produces an arc of electricity for NMI. That is the failure point. If one or both of the darts fail to make proper contact, NMI is not achieved and the situation continues to unfold. All the while, in accordance with Hicks Law, the officer is now assessing if the taser worked while the subject is possibly closing the reactionary gap. Bad news, all things considered.

Possibly factors which decrease the likelihood of a good taser deployment are all present in this video. These factors include range, sporadic movement of the subject, speed of movement, and clothing density.

An option I’m in favour of is bean bag shotguns, which fire 12 gauge less than lethal munitions. My understanding is that the Toronto Police Service has bean bag shotguns, so it’s unfortunate that one wasn’t on scene or wasn’t deployed to bring this guy down.

All things considered, I think this was a good job by the Toronto Police. One thing that may need to be explained to the SIU is why the cruiser that made contact was moved, but without having been there I’ll defer any assertions on why it was done.