When to intervene in an arrest

Today, I walked by a couple of city cops that were talking to what appeared to a homeless guy. As I walked by the cop was asking “do you feel like hurting anyone right now…?” The guy started getting loud and animated. When I came out of the gun shop the guy was in handcuffs laying on his belly on the ground. He was yelling at the cops. He was yelling “You attacked me for no reason” and “I can’t breath…”. The cops weren’t even touching him. In this case it looked like a mentally ill guy freaking out but it did make me wonder, is there a “Right Time” to intervene when the police have a person in handcuffs. Or a better question Is There ever a “Right Time” to intervene?


There is not.

IF there is a time to assist, it’s when one officer is in a fight they might lose. And even then, if you’re carrying a gun, I would be EXTREMELY hesitant to get close, because your gun in your (likely) open top holster being within arms reach of the suspect probably makes the whole thing worse

If the one cop is on top of the resisting suspect and cop can’t get control of hands for example, you may identify yourself to the officer and ask if they would like assistance, and then something as simple as locking down the suspects legs or holding one wrist out to the side might help.

But again, be extremely cautious of approaching, ever, communicate first if at all possible, and be extraordinarily cautious of anything that puts your gun within reach of the suspect


Ummm, NO!!! I am sure you would have ended up next to him.


Depends. Do you like tilting at windmills? Do you have $10,000’s of thousands to give away to lawyers?(to try and get out of trouble). Or do you have an overwhelming desire to get your a** beat down?

If the answer is yes, go ahead.

Me , I’ma video and ask for a supervisor and explain what I have seen, explain why I think it’s problematic and show him video for context.


Intervening on whose behalf?


:point_up_2:t4: This


This. I just don’t see an upside to intervening in an arrest. Especially if you saw part of it, then came back and saw it after time. What happened during that time?

If you think that the cops are using too much force, perhaps a 911 call and video.


That is certainly a form of intervention. I’m not necessarily talking about jumping in and fighting with the cops but what if one was to say “I think that guys in distress…”. Interestingly, I didn’t see anyone videoing this incident.


Probably. It’s never without risk, and may not be effective — but…civilization.

These are interventions — interventions which could prevent harm or save a life. Even just standing (out of the way) and witnessing is an intervention. Speaking up is an intervention.

Interfering with an arrest is likely to end badly. Looking away from wrong is not being a full participant in society. But are you seeing “wrong”? — usually hard to know.

Listen to your conscience. Listen to your wisdom.
Pondering ahead of time is a good idea.


It was an edp call ( emotionally disturbed person) the responding officer asks the probing questions there’s a list depending on what protocol is in your state in the us. Officers would then detain the individual call for a bus ( ambulance) and person will be taken to a hospital with psychiatric evaluation facilities. Clearly some one called the police for behavioral inconsistencies witnessed by the individual/s who made the call it’s usually a bls bus call and quite routine.


How come “mentally ill” guy was invoking the social justice mantra, instead of, say, trying to swallow dirt, or bite his tongue off? I understand misfortune, and some degree of mental illness is probably present, and compassion, but the truth is, some homeless really abused the community they decided to settle in, and judging by “I can’t breathe…” this is one of the cases. The only interaction with these cops that comes to my mind is to give them gift cards to a local diner or something.


'Cuz Twitter and street chatter can influence anyone.
“Be the Victim!” is becoming a universal affirmation. :crazy_face:

Some go free-dumb, some go Free Willy. Whatever works.

Victim declarations don’t require derangement — they seems to infect every category of political affinity, financial status, and mental stability. The unhinged are certainly not immune.


In the scenario you mentioned coming out of the gun store and the individual being in cuffs on the ground, I would not intervene in this case because there is no reason to. The individual was under control and handcuffed and two officers were there backing each other up. Although I have seen people run and attempt to escape with cuffs on.


Nothing good will come from any physical intervention or involvement unless requested by the officers. The subject’s claims of being attacked are just that, claims. The statement about not being able to breathe should have been addressed. Clearly if he’s yelling he’s getting at least a partial air exchange however a subject on their stomach in handcuffs behind him can be affected by positional restraint (think of Floyd) even without a person on top of them. The human diaphragm is not designed to perform optimally when even body weight is pressing on it. I’ve had numerous subjects claim they had difficulty breathing when restrained on their stomach, I rolled them on their side. They weren’t happy but didn’t claim breathing issues. The officers could have defused that claim as well as the attacking him claim. Few attackers modify a subject’s position as an accommodation. My 2 cents.


About the only case I can think of is if the Perp gets the Cops Gun.

I would be inclined to shoot the Perp.
Since that happened here once and the Cop was shot dead.


So true the operating protocol is as soon as the perp is restrained roll them from the prone to left or right lateral recumbent or sit them up the memo went out in or around when the towers fell restraint protocol for large or heavyset people minimal chest or thoracic pressure needed to arrest heart rate so try not to keep perp in the prone for longer than needed to effect arrest or detainment


Never, not now, not ever.

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