Handcuffing alone while standing is only feasible if the person is compliant. Handcuffing ranked by difficulty:
- Alone standing <- Extremely difficult
- Alone on ground
- With a partner standing
- With a partner on the ground <- By far, the easiest option!
The methods used by police in this example are typical of those used by people who have very little grappling experience – holding wrists and pressing down on the head without controlling the body. Two police hold the man who has been arrested for possession of a knife in a public place, while a crowd gathers which becomes a safety concern for the officers. Although the methods used are not causing harm (the suspect is lying on his side rather than face down, most of the officer’s weight is on his own feet and the knee is pressed into the head rather than neck), the knee on the head resembles the George Floyd incident which could quickly incite the crowd to intervene.
It is very likely the man was actively resisting and attempting to escape custody before this video clip starts, however it would not make sense to continue once he saw that a crowd had gathered and was filming. Playing the victim only makes sense, whether it is right or wrong. This video resulted in the police officer being suspended.
Matt Serra, shown in the second video restraining a man who had just threatened restaurant staff and attempted to punch him, sits in the mount position which has the man immobilised. Serra controls the wrists only to prevent him from grabbing and hitting, not as the primary method of control. It also allows the man to breathe and causes very little discomfort.
Reluctant to go hands-on, police use their baton, then Taser which fails multiple times. One police officer attempts to knock over the man by rushing at him from behind but ultimately loses control as he stands up. The Taser is used again, then OC spray before the Taser is used once more before the man is taken into custody.
All of the tools police used in this instance depend on pain compliance, apart from the Taser which incapacitates for mere seconds IF the two prongs make contact correctly and in the correct positions on the body. Physical control with grappling techniques may have resulted in a faster and safer arrest, however these officers either lack those skills or were not willing to go hands-on.
Incident from Sydney, Australia.
The footage shows a 28-year-old woman holding down a 13-year-old boy, waving a knife around and yelling “I’m going to kill someone” and repeatedly declaring she is an “ice addict”.
Police officers approached the woman from the front, while one officer came in from behind her to pull her off the teen, dragging her away before three other officers hold her to the ground.
The woman can be heard screaming while the officers detain her.
The boy then escaped and was not physically injured during the incident.
A police officer unsuccessfully attempts to handcuff a suspect by holding his wrists, an approach which is only effective when the suspect is compliant. As this video demonstrates, it is not difficult to twist out of the position. Even if physical restraint and control can be achieved by a single officer, locking on handcuffs may not be possible without assistance from multiple police.
Poor control, physically unprepared officers and a shot fired without justification.