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Thread: Why don't police issue triage after shooting someone?

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    Technology Staff Leonhard's Avatar
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    Why don't police issue triage after shooting someone?

    I might just be stupid, but I've seen plenty of videos where an officers shoots someone, incapacitating them. Take Phillip Castillo, after being shot you hear him moaning in agony, even speaking intelligibly. Yet the police officers gets busy radioing in things, and walking away from the scene. It was also the same of murderer cop who shot a man in his own apartment, she quickly starts radioing it in and audibly paces but doesn't offer triage.

    If a regular person gets shot, the first action of paramedics isn't to start pacing and talking rapidly into cellphones. It's to stop the bleeding as best they can. Yet police officers don't do that.

    Is there a 'let em bleed out' policy? Or just a culture of doing that? I don't get it.

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    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leonhard View Post
    I might just be stupid, but I've seen plenty of videos where an officers shoots someone, incapacitating them. Take Phillip Castillo, after being shot you hear him moaning in agony, even speaking intelligibly. Yet the police officers gets busy radioing in things, and walking away from the scene. It was also the same of murderer cop who shot a man in his own apartment, she quickly starts radioing it in and audibly paces but doesn't offer triage.

    If a regular person gets shot, the first action of paramedics isn't to start pacing and talking rapidly into cellphones. It's to stop the bleeding as best they can. Yet police officers don't do that.

    Is there a 'let em bleed out' policy? Or just a culture of doing that? I don't get it.
    I don't know if that is indicative... Perhaps a cop can chime in.
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    Technology Staff Leonhard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    I don't know if that is indicative... Perhaps a cop can chime in.
    I know there's procedures for helping civilians after a mass shooting incident. There's also reports of police officers issuing triage to people who have been shot by a suspect. And all of that is good and commendable. What I don't get are the specific videos I've seen of an officer gunning down someone, but then instead of immediately applying triage then instead start radioing it in... walking away for seemingly a long time, meanwhile the victim they've shot is bleeding out.

    I might just be stupid and horribly naive in asking this question but I seriously don't get it.

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    tWebber Whateverman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leonhard View Post
    I might just be stupid, but I've seen plenty of videos where an officers shoots someone, incapacitating them. Take Phillip Castillo, after being shot you hear him moaning in agony, even speaking intelligibly. Yet the police officers gets busy radioing in things, and walking away from the scene. It was also the same of murderer cop who shot a man in his own apartment, she quickly starts radioing it in and audibly paces but doesn't offer triage.

    If a regular person gets shot, the first action of paramedics isn't to start pacing and talking rapidly into cellphones. It's to stop the bleeding as best they can. Yet police officers don't do that.

    Is there a 'let em bleed out' policy? Or just a culture of doing that? I don't get it.
    All I can say is that I've seen officers immediately tend to the shooting victim before. Not every single time, of course, but it happens.

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    tWebber Mountain Man's Avatar
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    I think you're probably more likely to see videos where the officer doesn't help the person than videos where he does since the former is more provocative. Also, videos don't always tell the whole story.
    Some may call me foolish, and some may call me odd
    But I'd rather be a fool in the eyes of man
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    Technology Staff Leonhard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Man View Post
    I think you're probably more likely to see videos where the officer doesn't help the person than videos where he does since the former is more provocative. Also, videos don't always tell the whole story.
    That’s a good point, if the officer helps out and the person doesn’t die on them it wouldn’t be a tragedy. I didn’t account for that selection bias.

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    tWebber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leonhard View Post
    I might just be stupid, but I've seen plenty of videos where an officers shoots someone, incapacitating them. Take Phillip Castillo, after being shot you hear him moaning in agony, even speaking intelligibly. Yet the police officers gets busy radioing in things, and walking away from the scene. It was also the same of murderer cop who shot a man in his own apartment, she quickly starts radioing it in and audibly paces but doesn't offer triage.

    If a regular person gets shot, the first action of paramedics isn't to start pacing and talking rapidly into cellphones. It's to stop the bleeding as best they can. Yet police officers don't do that.

    Is there a 'let em bleed out' policy? Or just a culture of doing that? I don't get it.
    Unfortunately I don't believe the police have any legal obligation to aid someone they've wounded. I was just going to say that I think most cops are good people and so would help, but then I realized, i'm not really so sure about that. It certainly seems as though there a lot of bad apples on the force out there.

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    tWebber Starlight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimL View Post
    I was just going to say that I think most cops are good people and so would help, but then I realized, i'm not really so sure about that. It certainly seems as though there a lot of bad apples on the force out there.
    Unfortunately cultures of misbehavior in these organisations tend to snowball. A few bad apples can create a strong bias toward attracting and recruiting certain negative personality types, and good people around them may leave their jobs due to dissatisfaction with their colleagues.

    It becomes really important to prevent this and have strong systems in place from the top down for ensuring the right people are doing the job and are trained to do the right thing. Unfortunately the sheer number of different police forces across the US and the lack of a centralized organisational framework, makes ensuring consistency in standards across all the different police agencies pretty much impossible.

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    tWebber Whateverman's Avatar
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    I'd think that the specific details of the shooting would play a big part in the officer's decision to render medical aid.

    Someone suspected of multiple murders / rapes might get attention, to ensure that the person stands trial; a person who displayed contempt for the officers and drew a weapon might not. Someone who's suspected of trying to commit suicide-by-cop might cause officers to shoot-to-disable, and then get immediate medical attention.

    And hey, officers have moods, too. Whether a suspect is cared for might be impacted by what the cops are feeling like on that day.

    While I don't know how much liability an officer faces for caring incorrectly for a wounded suspect, I'll bet he/she tries to decide whether it's best for the victim to simply wait for the ambulance...

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    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whateverman View Post
    All I can say is that I've seen officers immediately tend to the shooting victim before. Not every single time, of course, but it happens.
    Yeah, it depends on the situation, and SO MANY factors.

    Immediately, radio for an ambulance (and often a supervisor, if one is not present)
    Do NOT assume he acted alone, so scan the area for a possible second or third assailant or subject
    Look to see if there were any innocent bystanders shot
    If the victim has mutiple GSWs to center mass, there is most likely very little the officer can do
    secure the scene (as it is now a potential crime scene)

    And, this one maybe not so obvious.... PURPOSELY walk around a bit, controlling your breathing, allowing your adrenaline to dissipate - so you don't do something stupid.
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

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