Glendale Police Trying To Get Community To Understand Why They Sometimes Use Force

GLENDALE (CBSLA.com) — After the recent police shootings and attacks on law enforcement across the country, Glendale police wanted to give the community an idea of the violent encounters they come across and show the public when it is appropriate to use force.

Glendale police showed CBS2/KCAL9’s Rachel Kim video of a man behind the wheel of a Hummer being pulled over after he hit and ran over a parked car and kept going.

Officers believed he may have been under the influence or having a medical problem. “The thing is they don’t know who they’re dealing with. They don’t know what he’s capable of,” said Sgt. Robert William of the Glendale Police Department.

Officer kept trying to get him out of the SUV, but he refused and kept rambling.

So when officers tried to pull the driver out gently, the man punched one officer in the face. It turned out, police said, he was driving under the influence of several drugs, including PCP.

“They had to Tase him couple of times. The Taser did not affect him at all,” William said. “It was just a use of bodies to pin him down on the ground and be able to handcuff him.”

In another video, it was an early November morning when police saw a man jaywalking and soon realized he was waving a knife around. The officer got out of his car and ordered the suspect to drop the knife.

From another angle, one can see the man charging toward the officer and pointing the knife at him.

That was when the officer shot him once in the abdomen. The bullet went through him and shattered the glass behind him. The man survived.

“The officer stopped shooting the minute he realized there was no other threat because one shot did the job. It didn’t drop him or anything like that, but it was enough for him to turn around and walk away,” Williams explained. “Had he dropped the knife when the officer was ordering him to do it, there wouldn’t have been any use of force.”

The sergeant said these videos show how Glendale police officers are training, dealing with escalating situations and using minimal force as possible.

“When we do have the opportunity, we do try to slow down the situation and deal with it appropriately. But sometimes, time is not on our side, and we can’t do that,” William added.

As demonstrated in those videos, everyday encounters can quickly turn violent.

William said use-of-force reports make up less than 1 percent of the department’s reports.

Also to help reduce the number of violent encounters, the Glendale Police Department just formed a Mental Health Evaluation Team, which will help them evaluate and deal with people who are mentally ill.

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