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  1. #1
    Illiy is offline Corporal
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    FBI:Study on cop attackers and their weapons

    New findings from FBI about cop attackers & their weapons

    [From Force Science News provided by The Force Science Research Center.
    Register here for a free subscription e-mailed to you twice per month.]

    New findings on how offenders train with, carry and deploy the weapons
    they use to attack police officers have emerged in a just-published,
    5-year study by the FBI.

    Among other things, the data reveal that most would-be cop killers:

    --show signs of being armed that officers miss;

    --have more experience using deadly force in "street combat" than
    their intended victims;

    --practice with firearms more often and shoot more accurately;

    --have no hesitation whatsoever about pulling the trigger. "If you
    hesitate," one told the study's researchers, "you're dead. You have
    the instinct or you don't. If you don't, you're in trouble on the

    These and other weapons-related findings comprise one chapter in a
    180-page research summary called "Violent Encounters: A Study of
    Felonious Assaults on Our Nation's Law Enforcement Officers." The
    study is the third in a series of long investigations into fatal and
    nonfatal attacks on POs by the FBI team of Dr. Anthony Pinizzotto,
    clinical forensic psychologist, and Ed Davis, criminal investigative
    instructor, both with the Bureau's Behavioral Science Unit, and
    Charles Miller III, coordinator of the LEOs Killed and Assaulted program.

    "Violent Encounters" also reports in detail on the personal
    characteristics of attacked officers and their assaulters, the role of
    perception in life-threatening confrontations, the myths of memory
    that can hamper OIS investigations, the suicide-by-cop phenomenon,
    current training issues, and other matters relevant to officer
    survival. (Force Science News and our strategic partner PoliceOne.com
    will be reporting on more findings from this landmark study in future

    Commenting on the broad-based study, Dr. Bill Lewinski, executive
    director of the Force Science Research Center at Minnesota State
    University-Mankato, called it "very challenging and
    insightful--important work that only a handful of gifted and
    experienced researchers could accomplish."

    From a pool of more than 800 incidents, the researchers selected 40,
    involving 43 offenders (13 of them admitted gangbangers-drug
    traffickers) and 50 officers, for in-depth exploration. They visited
    crime scenes and extensively interviewed surviving officers and
    attackers alike, most of the latter in prison.

    Here are highlights of what they learned about weapon selection,
    familiarity, transport and use by criminals attempting to murder cops,
    a small portion of the overall research:

    Weapon Choice

    Predominately handguns were used in the assaults on officers and all
    but one were obtained illegally, usually in street transactions or in
    thefts. In contrast to media myth, none of the firearms in the study
    was obtained from gun shows. What was available "was the overriding
    factor in weapon choice," the report says. Only 1 offender hand-picked
    a particular gun "because he felt it would do the most damage to a
    human being."

    Researcher Davis, in a presentation and discussion for the
    International Assn. of Chiefs of Police, noted that none of the
    attackers interviewed was "hindered by any law--federal, state or
    local--that has ever been established to prevent gun ownership. They
    just laughed at gun laws."


    Several of the offenders began regularly to carry weapons when they
    were 9 to 12 years old, although the average age was 17 when they
    first started packing "most of the time." Gang members especially
    started young.

    Nearly 40% of the offenders had some type of formal firearms training,
    primarily from the military. More than 80% "regularly practiced with
    handguns, averaging 23 practice sessions a year," the study reports,
    usually in informal settings like trash dumps, rural woods, back yards
    and "street corners in known drug-trafficking areas."

    One spoke of being motivated to improve his gun skills by his belief
    that officers "go to the range two, three times a week [and] practice
    arms so they can hit anything."

    In reality, victim officers in the study averaged just 14 hours of
    sidearm training and 2.5 qualifications per year. Only 6 of the 50
    officers reported practicing regularly with handguns apart from what
    their department required, and that was mostly in competitive
    shooting. Overall, the offenders practiced more often than the
    officers they assaulted, and this "may have helped increase [their]
    marksmanship skills," the study says.

    The offender quoted above about his practice motivation, for example,
    fired 12 rounds at an officer, striking him 3 times. The officer fired
    7 rounds, all misses.

    More than 40% of the offenders had been involved in actual shooting
    confrontations before they feloniously assaulted an officer. Ten of
    these "street combat veterans," all from "inner-city, drug-trafficking
    environments," had taken part in 5 or more "criminal firefight
    experiences" in their lifetime.

    One reported that he was 14 when he was first shot on the street,
    "about 18 before a cop shot me." Another said getting shot was a
    pivotal experience "because I made up my mind no one was gonna shoot
    me again."

    Again in contrast, only 8 of the 50 LEO victims had participated in a
    prior shooting; 1 had been involved in 2 previously, another in 3.
    Seven of the 8 had killed offenders.


    The offenders said they most often hid guns on their person in the
    front waistband, with the groin area and the small of the back nearly
    tied for second place. Some occasionally gave their weapons to another
    person to carry, "most often a female companion." None regularly used
    a holster, and about 40% at least sometimes carried a backup weapon.

    In motor vehicles, they most often kept their firearm readily
    available on their person, or, less often, under the seat. In
    residences, most stashed their weapon under a pillow, on a nightstand,
    under the mattress--somewhere within immediate reach while in bed.

    Almost all carried when on the move and strong majorities did so when
    socializing, committing crimes or being at home. About one-third
    brought weapons with them to work. Interestingly, the offenders in
    this study more commonly admitted having guns under all these
    circumstances than did offenders interviewed in the researchers'
    earlier 2 surveys, conducted in the 1980s and '90s.

    According to Davis, "Male offenders said time and time again that
    female officers tend to search them more thoroughly than male
    officers. In prison, most of the offenders were more afraid to carry
    contraband or weapons when a female CO was on duty."

    On the street, however, both male and female officers too often regard
    female subjects "as less of a threat, assuming that they not going to
    have a gun," Davis said. In truth, the researchers concluded that more
    female offenders are armed today than 20 years ago--"not just female
    gang associates, but female offenders generally."

    Shooting Style

    Twenty-six of the offenders [about 60%], including all of the street
    combat veterans, "claimed to be instinctive shooters, pointing and
    firing the weapon without consciously aligning the sights," the study

    "They practice getting the gun out and using it," Davis explained.
    "They shoot for effect." Or as one of the offenders put it: "[W]e're
    not working with no marksmanship….We just putting it in your
    direction, you know….It don't matter…as long as it's gonna hit you…if
    it's up at your head or your chest, down at your legs, whatever….Once
    I squeeze and you fall, then…if I want to execute you, then I could go
    from there."

    Hit Rate

    More often than the officers they attacked, offenders delivered at
    least some rounds on target in their encounters. Nearly 70% of
    assailants were successful in that regard with handguns, compared to
    about 40% of the victim officers, the study found. (Efforts of
    offenders and officers to get on target were considered successful if
    any rounds struck, regardless of the number fired.)

    Davis speculated that the offenders might have had an advantage
    because in all but 3 cases they fired first, usually catching the
    officer by surprise. Indeed, the report points out, "10 of the total
    victim officers had been wounded [and thus impaired] before they
    returned gunfire at their attackers."

    Missed Cues

    Officers would less likely be caught off guard by attackers if they
    were more observant of indicators of concealed weapons, the study
    concludes. These particularly include manners of dress, ways of moving
    and unconscious gestures often related to carrying.

    "Officers should look for unnatural protrusions or bulges in the
    waist, back and crotch areas," the study says, and watch for "shirts
    that appear rippled or wavy on one side of the body while the fabric
    on the other side appears smooth." In warm weather, multilayered
    clothing inappropriate to the temperature may be a giveaway. On cold
    or rainy days, a subject's jacket hood may not be covering his head
    because it is being used to conceal a handgun.

    Because they eschew holsters, offenders reported frequently touching a
    concealed gun with hands or arms "to assure themselves that it is
    still hidden, secure and accessible" and hasn't shifted. Such gestures
    are especially noticeable "whenever individuals change body positions,
    such as standing, sitting or exiting a vehicle." If they run, they may
    need to keep a constant grip on a hidden gun to control it.

    Just as cops generally blade their body to make their sidearm less
    accessible, armed criminals "do the same in encounters with LEOs to
    ensure concealment and easy access."

    An irony, Davis noted, is that officers who are assigned to look for
    concealed weapons, while working off-duty security at night clubs for
    instance, are often highly proficient at detecting them. "But then
    when they go back to the street without that specific assignment, they
    seem to `turn off' that skill," and thus are startled--sometimes
    fatally--when a suspect suddenly produces a weapon and attacks.


    Thirty-six of the 50 officers in the study had "experienced hazardous
    situations where they had the legal authority" to use deadly force
    "but chose not to shoot." They averaged 4 such prior incidents before
    the encounters that the researchers investigated. "It appeared clear
    that none of these officers were willing to use deadly force against
    an offender if other options were available," the researchers concluded.

    The offenders were of a different mind-set entirely. In fact, Davis
    said the study team "did not realize how cold blooded the younger
    generation of offender is. They have been exposed to killing after
    killing, they fully expect to get killed and they don't hesitate to
    shoot anybody, including a police officer. They can go from riding
    down the street saying what a beautiful day it is to killing in the
    next instant."

    "Offenders typically displayed no moral or ethical restraints in using
    firearms," the report states. "In fact, the street combat veterans
    survived by developing a shoot-first mentality.

    "Officers never can assume that a criminal is unarmed until they have
    thoroughly searched the person and the surroundings themselves." Nor,
    in the interest of personal safety, can officers "let their guards
    down in any type of law enforcement situation."

    NOTE: For new findings from the FBI researchers about highly dangerous
    suicide-by-cop confrontations, read the exclusive 2-part report by
    Force Science Research Center board member Chuck Remsberg here.

    The FSRC was launched in 2004 by Executive Director Bill Lewinski,
    PhD. - a specialist in police psychology -- to conduct unique
    lethal-force experiments. The non-profit FSRC, based at Minnesota
    State University-Mankato, uses sophisticated time-and-motion
    measurements to document-for the first time-critical hidden truths
    about the physical and mental dynamics of life-threatening events,
    particularly officer-involved shootings. Its startling findings
    profoundly impact on officer training and safety and on the public's
    naive perceptions.

    For more information, visit www.forcescience.org or e-mail
    info@forcescience.org. If you would benefit from receiving updates on
    the FSRC's findings as well as a variety of other use-of-force related
    articles, please visit www.forcesciencenews.com and click on the
    "Please sign up for our newsletter" link at the front of the site.
    Subscriptions are free.

  2. #2
    Star Man's Avatar
    Star Man is offline Guns only have two enemies; rust and politicians
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    Good post.


  3. #3
    Car 4's Avatar
    Car 4 is offline CID Chief
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    Great Post, Illy!!!

    A lot of very good info here. Many thanks for this post.

    Car 4
    I would like my country back. I used to believe that one man could never destroy this country. Not so sure anymore!

  4. #4
    2525's Avatar
    2525 is offline Officer First Class
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    Quote Originally Posted by Illiy View Post
    Researcher Davis, in a presentation and discussion for the International Assn. of Chiefs of Police, noted that none of the attackers interviewed was "hindered by any law--federal, state or local--that has ever been established to prevent gun ownership. They just laughed at gun laws."
    What? Does this mean gun laws have no effect on those who would break laws anyway?
    "The unforgivable crime is soft hitting. Do not hit at all if it can be avoided; but never hit softly."

    "The pacifist is as surely a traitor to his country and to humanity as is the most brutal wrongdoer. "

    “Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength.”

  5. #5
    Doc_Holliday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2525 View Post
    What? Does this mean gun laws have no effect on those who would break laws anyway?
    SHOCKING...isnt it?!?!?!
    500 fights, that's the number I figured when I was a kid. 500 street fights and you could consider yourself a legitimate tough guy. You need them for experience. To develop leather skin. So I got started. Of course along the way you stop thinking about being tough and all that. It stops being the point. You get past the silliness of it all. But then, after, you realize that's what you are.

  6. #6
    BEB is offline Banned
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    Good read with a lot of sobering detail. Its been passed along, thank you for sharing it.

  7. #7
    Virginian's Avatar
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    Predominately handguns were used in the assaults on officers and all
    but one were obtained illegally, usually in street transactions or in
    thefts. In contrast to media myth, none of the firearms in the study
    was obtained from gun shows.
    That drives me absolutely crazy. States banning concealed carry by law abiding citizens should be held responsible for their murders on the streets.

  8. #8
    BigDawg's Avatar
    BigDawg is offline K-9 Officer
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    Great post, thanks for the info.

    Guys keep your eyes open, your head out of your ass, and stay safe out there!!!!!!
    "An Unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it." Jeff Cooper

    Some people are meant to be the police......Some people are meant to call the police!!!

    "Socialism only works in two places: Heaven where they don't need it and hell where they already have it."
    -Ronald Reagan

    " I believe that forgiving them (Terrorist) is God's function. OUR job is to arrange the meeting."
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    Not all Muslims are Terrorists, but all Terrorists are Muslim.
    (author unknown)

    The statements posted by BigDawg DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, or procedures of the author's employing agency. These statements are the personal opinions of BigDawg only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the user name of BigDawg. The opinions expressed by BigDawg are protected by the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. BigDawg’s messages are intended to invoke thought and discussion among the "Officer Resources" forum community and may not necessarily reflect the opinion of the author. BigDawg’s posts and any attachments are intended for an adult audience (18+) and may contain strong language, sexual content, nudity, violence, and may be graphic in nature. Some material may be considered offensive; reader discretion is advised. Please note that many of BigDawg’s posts are intended for entertainment value only. BigDawg’s posts are not intended to be used where prohibited by law. Furthermore, BigDawg's posts, and any attachments, may contain information covered by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. 2510-2521, and is confidential and proprietary in nature. If you are not the intended recipient, please be advised that you are legally prohibited from retaining, using, copying, distributing, or otherwise disclosing this information in any manner.

  9. #9
    conalabu is offline Grasshopper
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    I highly recommend reading the full study. Good read.
    And Shepards we shall be,
    for thee, My Lord, for thee,
    Power hath descended forth from Thy hand,
    That our feet may swiftly carry out Thy Command.
    So we shall flow a river forth to Thee
    And teeming with souls will it ever be.
    In Nomine Patris, Et Filli, Et Spiritus Sancti.

  10. #10
    countybear's Avatar
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    Anyone see reasoning for an "assault weapon" ban from this data?? Bueller?

    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
    - Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

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    That from the nunnery
    Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
    To war and arms I fly.
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    The opinions expressed by this poster are wholly his own, and should never be construed to even remotely be in representation of his employer, its agencies or assigns. In fact, they probably fail to be in alignment with the opinions of any rational human being.

  11. #11
    MacLean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by conalabu View Post
    I highly recommend reading the full study. Good read.


    I have the book here on the desk, and use it as a bible of sorts any time I hear an officer bitch about an addition to our training program.
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.

    I was looking for a saint who was a devil of a lover,
    but every girl I found was either one way or the other...

  12. #12
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    But it deserves to be repeated.

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  13. #13
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    Excellent and scarey. We gotta stay alert.

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