Bodycam Shows Moment Deputy Suffers Panic Attack While Armed

An Example of the Physiological Effects One Can Experience in a Critical Incident.

To set this up, this video shows what a Deputy experienced while on the job, but the commentary in this regard is secondary or tertiary to the purpose for this focus. It’s not a pick at what was maybe done right or wrong or what could have been done better. Not as critique in any fashion. But only to consider why we train, and why training and practice is so necessary.

This Deputy experiences an event, that just looking at the video, you would not expect to occur, and especially from someone that does the job on a daily basis. The point is this, many of us who carry firearms are oblivious to the potential Physiological and the Psychological Effects of a Critical Incident, may it be in the line of duty or self-defense, as a victim, or just being a good witness. Please watch the entire video so as to give an informed response and/or an opinion that provides learning value. Thank you in advance. Stay safe and Train hard.

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The human equation. The words individual differences, is the top matter in anything that occurs.
I agree highly with the training being a major point.

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I can’t speak to his training, I however can speak intelligently to physical factors.

  1. Poor physical fitness and breathing are about 90% of the causative effects.

He was hyperventilating so badly I am surprised he didn’t pass out.

When you are hyperventilating that badly and that fast, you are likely building up an oxygen deficit. Which makes you feel like you can’t breathe, which causes a physiological response of “you can’t breathe”. Which then causes you to panic.

If I had to guess, this was probably his first “force on force” interaction" and he ran away leaving EMS behind (kudos to EMS btw, they very likely saved multiple lives).

If I was in charge of that department, I would probably move him to an administrative position. While he got counseling and support.

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Risking getting diseases and being shot for crappy pay…

I share your basic premise. Additionally, I would highlight the fact that Physiological and/or Psychological Effects will be experienced on some level. How we tolerate them will, in part, be determined by the degree any underlying conditions as well as our level of physical fitness (or the lack thereof) possibly being a factor. And then there is the mental fitness. I agree again, removing the person from the immediate environment for the purpose of assistance, as well as to relieve them,
as much as possible, from the stress of the situation, because in reality it didn’t have to a Police Officer, it could have been a store clerk, a factory worker, or an incident in the home. And so, we train with hopes of possibly lessoning those effects, or learning how to identify them, and seeking assistance where necessary. Thanks for sharing, all valid IMO.

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If I may, I would like to point out the mental overload an Officer can experience in what can actually be a simple and rather common dispute encounter. An Officer must sort, analyze, prioritize, dismiss some information, while embracing and acting on other information. And we must do it very quickly.

First, I believe this Officer (Deputy) was already on his path to a breakdown before this incident. Something is evident in his behavior. Nevertheless, note the overload of information he had to deal with that led him to his breaking point;

  1. He was essentially handling the call by himself.

  2. The Paramedics were attempting to handle the primary call of an obese woman down.

  3. The Paramedics were in between him and the location, thereby becoming his safety concern.

  4. The girl (Cody) appears and is either obese or pregnant. The Officer must decide if she is the caller, or one of the “suspects”.

  5. The girl (Cody) is on the other side of a low hedge that the Officer must now negotiate, and in so doing take his eyes off the aforementioned.

  6. Cody immediately becomes uncooperative and actually begins to move away.

  7. The Officer begins to give Cody commands. Cody responds by trying to run. When suspects flee, Officers must then face a number of decisions. Primarily, do I chase this person or let them go?

  8. This Officer chooses to chase and catches Cody. Now he must take action to restrain her, but must decide what action is best.

  9. The Officer grabs her upper torso and gets a bunch of clothing revealing Cody’s brazier and large belly. Trust me, when an Officer encounters or reveals in a restraint situation a female’s exposed body and/or under garments he will assess if he should care or not, ie. has he done something wrong here? (It is more to think about).

  10. Cody is taken down but can’t or won’t roll over. At this point she appears to be pregnant, and that requires certain actions, especially since she has not been “patted down” for weapons. However, I see no indication that the Officer was even acknowledging this. He was now on overload and his yelling indicated he was losing control.

  11. A Paramedic steps in to help, but seems to defer to the Officer’s desire to put her on her belly. The Paramedic is beginning to get too much information too fast as well, but begins to sort through it, even though he most likely lacks certain training as to how to assist the Officer.

  12. Cody’s boyfriend emerges from the original location. The Officer hears him claim a weapon and make a threat. It is unknown if this actually occurred or if the Officer was at a point where he was no longer discerning.

  13. SNAP!

  14. The Officer begins to fire his weapon and retreat. He no longer is in control of Cody, the Paramedic is in the line of fire, and he is calling for help. His breathing and voice indicate he has exceeded what would be a normal stress level.

  15. The Officer appears to be touching his face, possibly to wipe sweat away. He continues to yell at the boyfriend, Cody, and the Dispatcher over the radio. He is trying hard to sort through everything and regain control.

  16. The Officer is totally overwhelmed and the Paramedic wisely gets him to give up his weapon and briefly calms him down. The Officer is most likely also trying to process that he fired his weapon, and that rings the “Carnival bell of stress”.

  17. Back up Officers arrive and the Officer now has to redetermine where the boyfriend is, advise the back ups regarding the boyfriend’s (possible) gun, and get them to control him.

  18. The Officer continues to try to process and control “his” call and an avalanche of input (to his credit), but remains overwhelmed. All of that in less than 9 minutes.

  19. And guess what? Where is Cody’s mom and the tenant who fell and called 911? Important information that doesn’t get processed for over that 9 minutes.

Like I said in another thread, being a Cop isn’t easy. Especially these days when so many citizens are anxious to judge the results of split second decisions under overwhelming circumstances.

It is my opinion that Officers today are less prepared to deal high stress than we were. I attended a super high stress Academy wherein we started with 133 Cadets and graduated just 69. Just over half. That is not the norm these days … unfortunately.

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