GREENVILLE COUNTY, SC – There’s no such thing as a standard arrest or typical traffic stop. Anyone who claims that has never spent a day in an officer’s shoes.
A prime example stems from the body camera footage that has been released depicting a shooting in South Carolina, when a female Greenville County Sheriff’s Deputy was forced to open fire on an uncooperative individual who attacked her during an arrest.
The released footage that has had over half a million views at this point, received loads of scrutiny online from keyboard-warriors who have no clue what it is like to be involved in a physical altercation with someone who can overpower you and is intent on doing harm.
You can see the entire altercation below, but be warned, the footage is graphic.
The unnamed female deputy was accosted by 40-year-old Sean Theodore Kaiser, who was to be arrested for shoplifting when law enforcement came to his mother’s house on October 20th.
From the moment that the deputy began to read Kaiser his rights, he went into the home, which when after probable cause has been established, creates a case of what’s known as “passive resistance”.
That passive resistance escalated extremely quickly, as evidenced by the video of the altercation.
When Kaiser had retreated to the home when the deputy was trying to read his rights, the deputy then grabbed Kaiser by the arm and directed him to come back outside. It was then that Kaiser began raising his voice saying “Don’t touch me,” and shoving off the officer a number of times.
After the first spouts of aggressive behavior, Kaiser made his way up the stairs and planted himself atop them.
The deputy had asked several times for Kaiser to come back down, which he eventually did and seemed calm. Yet, when the officer made it known that it was time to cuff up, he once again got physical.
Kaiser grabbed hold of the female deputy’s wrists and began to manhandle her movements saying “I’m stronger than you,” and “I can do whatever the f*** I want,” and then pinned her against a couch in the home.
It was at this point that the deputy was able to break free from Kaiser’s grip, but the display was evidence enough that he was capable and willing to harm the deputy.
The deputy drew her sidearm and ordered the mother of Kaiser, who standing in front of her son, to back away.
After the mother refused the verbal commands, the deputy attempted to remove the mother from Kaiser so as to commence the arrest.
Kaiser became enraged at the deputy, ordering her to leave his mother alone, and flung furniture and charged at the deputy. Fearing for her life, the deputy opened fire, missing Kaiser and wounding his mother.
After the shot fired struck the mother, Kaiser’s rage intensified, and he tackled the deputy and began making a move toward her gun in her hand.
The deputy was able to regain control of the weapon and point it at Kaiser who then became still. A civilian then entered the home where the fray took place, kicking Kaiser to the ground and helping get him in cuffs.
The internet trolls were in full effect, some claiming the whole situation was a prefect example of how not to police, where others claimed that this is exactly why women shouldn’t be police officers. One online commenter stated:
“I hope that official woman is removed from her position … She acted in a very authoritarian way without need, being able to just wait for reinforcements to arrive. Those shots were unnecessary.”
Well, women in policing is actually a very good thing, despite what others have opined about the scenario that played out. In fact, female officers are far less likely to use excessive force or pull their weapon.
They are defendants in lawsuits far less often than men, saving municipalities millions in legal fees. Regardless of how the internet feels about the interaction, it was determined that the deputy acted within agency guidelines.
It’s worth pointing out that in the meantime, the Wake County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina wants to ban tasers.
That’s right – the same sheriff that banned sunglasses said they’re not going to issue stun guns anymore, instead telling officers to go hands-on.
The announcement came in June, as the department says it’s adjusting its use-of-force policy.
In December, Sheriff Gerald Baker, a Democrat from North Carolina, took office. Since then, he’s had staff members reviewing a number of policies. Several changes were rolled out Tuesday during training sessions for deputies.
Rick Brown is a legal adviser for the sheriff’s office, and said the decision to phase out stun guns, or Tasers, was based on a 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that Taser use may be seen as unconstitutionally excessive force in some circumstances.
They don’t want to risk liability, so the sheriff’s office will simply stop using the devices once their lifespan is up.
Their solution to risking liability is making deputies “go hands-on” with someone who doesn’t comply with commands, Brown said.
“Are they happy about it? Of course not. Who would be?” Brown said after the training session.
But he doesn’t care.
“By the same token, they are willing to do their job. They don’t want to hurt anybody. That’s not their job.”
He said the new use-of-force policy is all about “patience and de-escalation”.
“What’s the person’s problem? Can they be reasoned with? What kind of a threat are they to themselves and the officer?” he asked.
He then made deputies watch dashboard camera video of a New Mexico state trooper shooting at a minivan with children inside when a mother refused to cooperate during a traffic stop.
“[You need to know] all those things to have sufficient facts before using force.”
He said use of force should be a last resort.
“We cannot have law enforcement that the public does not believe that law enforcement does not have integrity, and part of that is proper use of force,” he said.
And yet he’s now removed one of those last resorts from officers.
The training comes after an incident last year involving a former Wake County deputy, who apparently used his K-9 too aggressively.
Cameron Broadwell was fired after pleading guilty last month. He was terminated for failure to discharge his duties in connection with unleashing his K-9 on Kyron Hinton in the middle of a Raleigh street when a delirious Hinton didn’t comply with commands.
“K-9 policy is also in the process of being reviewed and will have significant changes,” Brown said.
In a news conference, Baker said K-9s still play an important law enforcement role, such as searching for lost children or fleeing suspects, but how and when they would be deployed would change.
Did you know that Law Enforcement Today has a private new home for those who support emergency responders and veterans? It’s called LET Unity, and it’s where we share the untold stories of those patriotic Americans. Every penny gets reinvested into giving these heroes a voice. Check it out today.
Another policy the sheriff’s office is changing is how high-speed chases are handled.
In the past, the decision when to initiate and end a pursuit has been in the hands of the deputy chasing a fleeing suspect. That’s no longer the case.
The new policy will put a supervisor in charge of deciding when to give chase. Brown said that’s because a supervisor can more easily take into account factors like the seriousness of the offense the fleeing driver is suspected of, traffic volume, weather conditions and pedestrians.
He obviously ignores the split second decisions that officers often need to make in these cases.
“There have been studies to show that you don’t want somebody who has to concentrate on the driving skills that it takes to pursue somebody to be aware of all these other factors,” he said.
In March, the Wake County Sheriff’s Office issued a memo that deputies are no longer allowed to wear sunglasses when conducting business.
The ban includes wearing them on the top of the head.
The ban does not include when deputies are not conducting official business with the public, such as when they’re driving.