Brooklyn Heights

OPINION: Containing street fighting during arrests

One man's opinion

July 25, 2014 By Leslie Lewis, President, 84 Precinct Community Council For Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Leslie Lewis, the 84th precinct community council president.
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NYPD Police officers are not trained as street fighters, nor should they be.

In the early 1980s, because of an arrest situation which ended up with the arresting officers using deadly force when they were threatened and under attack from a large knife-wielding woman, the NYPD instituted new training procedures to be used, when possible, in similar situations.

The arresting officers should keep talking and back off from the threatening and resisting arrest perpetrator and, at the same time, call for a Sergeant (and, if felt necessary, the ESU.) This can be done if it is possible to isolate and contain the Perp from harming the officers or the public.

The sergeant and the ESU are trained, and have equipment to contain the violence without the use of deadly force.

The most important element in voicing conclusions about a violent incident between police and a perceived law-breaking incident is to know the facts after a complete investigation, including medical. In my experience, a conclusion voiced too fast without all the facts known is seldom accurate.

—Leslie Lewis is President of the 84th Precinct Community Council. This letter reflects his personal opinion and is independent from his affiliation with the 84th Precinct Community Council.

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