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Author Topic: ROE for Molotov wielding rioters  (Read 635 times)

Langenator

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ROE for Molotov wielding rioters
« on: May 02, 2017, 08:56:46 AM »
Reading the news reports about the riot yesterday in Portland, at least some of which mention the rioters wielding Molotov cocktails:
http://q13fox.com/2017/05/01/may-day-protests-deemed-riots-in-portland-and-olympia-9-officers-injured-in-olympia/

made me wonder, what would the rules of engagement for such a situation be for the police?

A lit Molotov presents an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury (SBI), which is normally a no-brainer, use of deadly force authorized sitution (i.e., shoot the turd).

That assumes you can shoot  the turd safely,which in a riot situation would be tricky, since said turd would likely be in and among a fluid crowd of other rioters, making for an extremely messy target background.

There's also the problem that, if you shoot the turd, he's most likely going to drop that lit Molotov, which will probably break, setting him and the rioters near him on fire.  This problem also would pertain when using ranged less-lethal weapons (beanbag/baton rounds, pepperballs, etc) - hit turd, turd drops Molotov, turd and those around him end up in the burn unit.  Lawsuits everywhere.

Thoughts from the more experienced LEOs?
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    Kaso

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    Re: ROE for Molotov wielding rioters
    « Reply #1 on: May 02, 2017, 09:02:21 AM »
    Not a LEO... but are water cannons still an option?
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    Langenator

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    Re: ROE for Molotov wielding rioters
    « Reply #2 on: May 02, 2017, 09:06:19 AM »
    If you have them, I would assume so.  No agency in my county does.  Not sure about DPS or the big city agencies (Dallas, Houston, etc)
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    booksmart

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    Re: ROE for Molotov wielding rioters
    « Reply #3 on: May 02, 2017, 09:12:18 AM »
    Kaso... I'm surprised at you... Here I was expecting you to ask if marshmallows and s'mores makings were part of the loadout...  ;)

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    Re: ROE for Molotov wielding rioters
    « Reply #4 on: May 02, 2017, 09:17:04 AM »
    If you have them, I would assume so.  No agency in my county does.  Not sure about DPS or the big city agencies (Dallas, Houston, etc)
    If molotovs become a common theme at these riots, they might be a good investment.
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    Re: ROE for Molotov wielding rioters
    « Reply #5 on: May 02, 2017, 09:19:26 AM »
    Kaso... I'm surprised at you... Here I was expecting you to ask if marshmallows and s'mores makings were part of the loadout...  ;)
    Oh, that comes next.  After the molotovs are extinguished and the officers are out of danger, the riot leaders should be burned at the stake.  It would send the proper message... :coffee
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    NukMed

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    Re: ROE for Molotov wielding rioters
    « Reply #6 on: May 02, 2017, 10:09:30 AM »
    There are many potential variables, but is it safe to assume in your scenario that the Molotov cocktail thrower is in the midst of other rioters?  If so, are they then considered as guilty of arson/assault/murder as the thrower in the same way that the getaway driver during a bank robbery is as guilty of robbery as well as murder if his cohorts kill a teller during the act?

    If any rioter is as guilty (engaged in the act as a group) as the thrower, then any nearby rioter who is burned as a result of the thrower catching one of your bullets should not pose any ethical problems.

    I can't imagine that fear of hurting another rioter would justify letting the thrower set fire to a building, bystanders, or your riot line.  This holds true if the thrower were to have a Molotov cocktail or something out of a factory like a WP grenade or thermite grenade.  Extending the logic out to other items, you could include frag grenades, sticks of dynamite, suicide vests, etc.  Anyone identified with these items and approaching/attempting to use them within predetermined radii ought to be engaged without ethical problems.
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    Re: ROE for Molotov wielding rioters
    « Reply #7 on: May 02, 2017, 10:16:19 AM »
    BB gun to molotov as they wind up to throw, totally with the intent to neutralize the incendiary device.  :coffee

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    Re: ROE for Molotov wielding rioters
    « Reply #8 on: May 02, 2017, 10:31:58 AM »
    Water cannon? Who doesn't have a fire dept?

    I wonder about a round that bursts spilling the expanding insulation foam stuff. One or two would hardly slow you down... but hit with enough and you will go down as they harden.

    Idea being once they start getting pelted with them they can run (and disperse) or get hosed and immobilized.

    Chief45

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    Re: ROE for Molotov wielding rioters
    « Reply #9 on: May 02, 2017, 10:56:16 AM »
    Court decisions have told us that, as they attempt to throw, then the thrower is the threat.  As long as you can articulate in court, and back it up, that you believed you or someone else was in immediate danger of death or serious bodily harm.   Kinda hard to do with a rock or brick or bottle (prove it, I mean).  yeah,  might hurt, might cause an injury, or you can simply move (courts have said that) but good luck trying to prove in court that you were in immediate danger of death or serious bodily harm.
     
    Once the object, bottle, brick, rock, etc HAS been thrown, then the suspect is no longer the threat and you have to focus on the object.

    no,  we can't.  I hear the objection, the "But" already.   We (LEO) are not allowed to use lethal force to defend someone else property. He wants to burn that car, he acts, then arrest him.  He wants to burn that building,  articulate in court that you KNEW there were people in the building and you knew that they would be in imminent danger upon impact.  Not potential, not possible, but imminent.

    Trying to be proactive in certain situations, winds up with us being fired, arrested, sued, sent to prison, bankrupted and career ended.  so, courts taking a rather dim view of the value placed on a object vs that of a human life.   f**k the car.  let it burn.  it's replaceable. 

    and that's why agencies use water cannon and fire hoses and deck nozzles and CS or CN gas or rubber bullets or mace or pepper balls or tasers, or , or all the other less than lethal or non lethal options.
    if someone dies as a result, well,  that was not the intent, that device is not designed to inflict deadly force, that is why it was used. 


    side note addition.   an explosive device such as a grenade, IED, dynamite, etc,  or a firearm, kicks things into a much different set of rules.






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    sarge712

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    Re: ROE for Molotov wielding rioters
    « Reply #10 on: May 02, 2017, 11:25:00 AM »
    Our ROE here is to have Designated Marksmen (DM) or snipers on overwatch. If a rioter is in the process of employing an incendiary like a Molotov against the police or public then they are shot, simple as that. Yes, there could be repercussions if it ignites the area and people around the thrower but its a matter of lesser of two evils, us or the protestors. As one of the DM's, I'd much rather explain to the turd's family why he is a briquette rather than explain it to a LEO's family.

    As Chief45 said once its thrown, we focus on the object but the thrower is watched and arrested ASAP or shot by a DM as soon as he preps to throw another.

    We had a violent demonstration that was supposed to happen at Congressman Mark Meadows local office back in January and we worked out the above ROE with protecting our officers as a priority. It fizzled due to organizers being forewarned that we weren't going to turn a blind eye to violence or destruction. Then there was a bunch of locals that told them they were going to settle the commies' hash quick, fast and in a hurry especially if they started burning American flags. I think that was the deciding factor in keeping the hippies in Asheville and not in our neck of the woods.
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    MTK20

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    Re: ROE for Molotov wielding rioters
    « Reply #11 on: May 02, 2017, 11:56:33 AM »
    Our ROE here is to have Designated Marksmen (DM) or snipers on overwatch. If a rioter is in the process of employing an incendiary like a Molotov against the police or public then they are shot, simple as that. Yes, there could be repercussions if it ignites the area and people around the thrower but its a matter of lesser of two evils, us or the protestors. As one of the DM's, I'd much rather explain to the turd's family why he is a briquette rather than explain it to a LEO's family.

    As Chief45 said once its thrown, we focus on the object but the thrower is watched and arrested ASAP or shot by a DM as soon as he preps to throw another.

    We had a violent demonstration that was supposed to happen at Congressman Mark Meadows local office back in January and we worked out the above ROE with protecting our officers as a priority. It fizzled due to organizers being forewarned that we weren't going to turn a blind eye to violence or destruction. Then there was a bunch of locals that told them they were going to settle the commies' hash quick, fast and in a hurry especially if they started burning American flags. I think that was the deciding factor in keeping the hippies in Asheville and not in our neck of the woods.

    I take it pissed off patriotic locals do not have as strict of ROE as the local police do  :P.

    Court decisions have told us that, as they attempt to throw, then the thrower is the threat.  As long as you can articulate in court, and back it up, that you believed you or someone else was in immediate danger of death or serious bodily harm.   Kinda hard to do with a rock or brick or bottle (prove it, I mean).  yeah,  might hurt, might cause an injury, or you can simply move (courts have said that) but good luck trying to prove in court that you were in immediate danger of death or serious bodily harm.
     
    Once the object, bottle, brick, rock, etc HAS been thrown, then the suspect is no longer the threat and you have to focus on the object.

    no,  we can't.  I hear the objection, the "But" already.   We (LEO) are not allowed to use lethal force to defend someone else property. He wants to burn that car, he acts, then arrest him.  He wants to burn that building,  articulate in court that you KNEW there were people in the building and you knew that they would be in imminent danger upon impact.  Not potential, not possible, but imminent.

    Trying to be proactive in certain situations, winds up with us being fired, arrested, sued, sent to prison, bankrupted and career ended.  so, courts taking a rather dim view of the value placed on a object vs that of a human life.   f**k the car.  let it burn.  it's replaceable. 

    and that's why agencies use water cannon and fire hoses and deck nozzles and CS or CN gas or rubber bullets or mace or pepper balls or tasers, or , or all the other less than lethal or non lethal options.
    if someone dies as a result, well,  that was not the intent, that device is not designed to inflict deadly force, that is why it was used. 


    side note addition.   an explosive device such as a grenade, IED, dynamite, etc,  or a firearm, kicks things into a much different set of rules.








    Talking about protocol, here is an interesting video of police handling thrown objects.

    Texas
    Do we forget that cops were primarily still using 6 Shot Revolvers well through the mid 80's? It wasn't until after 1986 that most departments then relented and went to autos.
    Capacity wasn't really an issue then... and honestly really it's not even an issue now.
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    sarge712

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    North CarolinaBe without fear in the face of thine enemies.
    Be brave and upright that God may love thee.
    Speak the truth always even if it leads to thy death.
    Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong.
    That is thine oath.

    MTK20

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    Re: ROE for Molotov wielding rioters
    « Reply #13 on: May 02, 2017, 12:16:11 PM »
    Posting this for the photos

    https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/05/01/paris-police-officers-set-on-fire-by-molotov-cocktail-after-may/22064194/?a_dgi=aolshare_facebook

    Disturbing imagery. I'd rather have the threat be neutralised then a line of cops or throng of civilians have their lives taken in one of the worst ways possible.
    Texas
    Do we forget that cops were primarily still using 6 Shot Revolvers well through the mid 80's? It wasn't until after 1986 that most departments then relented and went to autos.
    Capacity wasn't really an issue then... and honestly really it's not even an issue now.
    Ray Chapman, used to say that the 125-grain Magnum load’s almost magical stopping power was the only reason to load .357 instead of .38 Special +P ammunition into a fighting revolver chambered for the Magnum round. I agree. - Massad Ayoob

    Paradoxically it is those who strive for self-reliance, who remain vigilant and ready to help others.

    Langenator

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    Re: ROE for Molotov wielding rioters
    « Reply #14 on: May 02, 2017, 01:24:54 PM »
    Which brings up another issue...most police uniforms are, as one of my academy instructors put it, "out nation's finest polyester."  Which, of course, melts.  Which is why Army 'tanker boots' are all leather, why armored vehicle crews are told not to wear Underarmour shirts and skivies, and why they (and pilots) have nomex suits and gloves.

    My department doesn't have special uniforms for riot duty, just shields, face mask, and big sticks. (Given advance notice, we call in the pros from Dover - DPS.)  Do big departments issue flame retardent (nomex) uniforms, or at least something that won't melt, for riot duty?
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    coyotesfan97

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    Re: ROE for Molotov wielding rioters
    « Reply #15 on: May 02, 2017, 03:36:12 PM »
    I have a nomex jumpsuit in my car I can put on if needed. My BDUs are 60/40 cotton polyester. I wear cotton t-shirts under my polyester polo shirt. Kind of a mixed bag. I have a couple combat BDUS shirts I can wear from Tru Spec. They're 50/50.  Not the best but better than 100% polyester.
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    Grant

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    Re: ROE for Molotov wielding rioters
    « Reply #16 on: May 02, 2017, 07:14:41 PM »
          I'd say long-term if massive riots become "normal".....which I have no doubt they will become more and more common, we may start adopting a bit harsher Israeli tactics....unlikely considering the hand-wringers but....*shrugs*.     IE use of things like a 10-22.  For instances when many rioters would be killed by police for things like molotovs,etc. and instead become wounded rioters.

      Overall though, I'd think there would be a massive increase of rubber bullets if Molotovs become common.     A smack by one of them would take a lot of courage out of most would-be-arsonists. 

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