Saturday, June 7, 2008

How Not to Write a Use of Force Report...

Some things you should never write in a use of force report:

Don't say "Officer Jones threw the suspect violently to the ground"

Say "Officer Jones guided the suspect to the ground"

Don't say "I punched the suspect in the face"

Say "I delivered a closed hand distraction strike to the side of the suspect's head"

Don't say "I twisted the suspect's arm"

Say "I placed the suspect's right arm into a twist lock control hold"

Don't say "I kicked his ass"

Say "Due to the suspect's level of resistance, I used physical force to effect the arrest. As a result, the suspect sustained minor injury"

Most of you know that I am an advocate of writing short and sweet reports. When I write a use of force report, it is FAR from short.

Now...go kick ass.

11 comments:

TheBronze said...

Amen Brother! When it come to UoF reports, they need to be detailed and thorough.
As pne of my training sgt's (stud) always said: almost every time, cops use force properly/appropriately, but they fail to document it properly/appropriately.

TheBronze said...

CRAP!

Should be 'one" not "pne".

Proof-read...

fuzzys dad said...

it is the same way with the D.O.C. and the use of force reports.

Angie said...

HEHE...i've seen some pretty creative stuff in UoF reports!!

USAincognito said...

I had to write one last Sunday. A guy in cuffs began kicking the two escorting officers and I had to jump in to help "guide him to the ground." It definitely is all in how you word it. I remember the first time I wrote a use of force report. I accidentally wrote "grabbed" just once and my Captain tore me up and down. oops! I never forgot, though.

Mrs. "Smith" said...

I love the difference between the written at work and the spoken at home versions!

...for the People said...

I'm partial to the "hair pull takedown," myself.

Officer Wright said...

Completely agreed. My UoF reports are concise and if the proper words weren't used, my higher ups kick it back to me and have me correct it. I've read plenty of reports by my coworkers where they make themselves look very bad.

Berserk said...

Even though I agree that use of force reports usually have to be... somewhat euphemistic, sometimes it's better to be blunt. I had a report kicked back once because I wrote that I "placed ____ on the ground" rather than "threw ____ to the ground."

Me said...

I just saw one a couple of weeks ago in which the officer wrote that he "escorted the subject to the ground."

There was an accompanying prisoner-to-hospital transport report, due to injuries allegedly sustained from the "escort". Knowing the officer as I do (A real good guy) and reading the rest of the report, I had no problem assigning blame for the defendant's injures squarely on the defendant.

Officer "Smith" said...

You escort an old lady across the street. I,for one, have never escorted anyone to the ground. Here we go now, the ground is this way, be careful you don't hit it too hard and hurt yourself.

I also very rarely throw someone to the ground. Generally, when you throw something you let it go. I try not to let go when I put someone on the ground.

If you guide them to the ground, you are theoretically maintaining control of their actions and direction. I try to do that.