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FBI report - Attacks on LEOs ???? (Long, long, long)

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by jrhines, Jul 9, 2008.

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  1. jrhines

    jrhines Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Williamsburg, VA
    This is an email I received and I am posting it her for your comment. I have no knowledge of its source or value beyond what the article states.

    Your thoughts?

    It has been over a year since this report was released as unclassified and disseminated to the public and media. Many law enforcement agencies have taken it to heart and are modifying training tactics to help officers survive armed encounters. Unfortunately, budgetary constraints prevent many agencies from in-depth training and management's view is generally "don't create problems or piss off the public (e.g. put their civil rights above your personal safety and actions)". For the gun control crowd the reality is that bad guys get, practice with and use firearms and will continue to do so because gun laws mean nothing to them. The weapon of choice is not the "assault weapon" of media hype but something concealable.

    This overview is not pro or con anything; it is, as Sgt. Friday on Dragnet would say "just the facts". As a law enforcement officer this all rings true; for you as the citizen, if the "cop" is not between you and the bad-guy, you are the target. Get out of your "vacation state of mind" and be aware of what is happening around you.
    I'll bet you didn't hear any of this in the media.

    -----Original Message-----

    Subject: New findings from FBI about cop attackers

    & their weapons (UNCLASSIFIED)

    New findings from FBI about cop attackers & their weapons

    Force Science News provided by The Force Science Research Center.

    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 street...."

    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 transmissions.)

    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 "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 says.

    "They practice getting the gun out and using it," Davis explained. "They shoot for effect." Or as one of the offenders put it: "We'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, '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."

    Classification: UNCLASSIFIED

    Caveats: NONE


    Has anyone seen this before? (If so, pls ignore, it was new to me.)
  2. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

    Mar 26, 2004
    AL, NC
  3. Solo Flyer

    Solo Flyer member

    Jun 12, 2008
    An interesting report confirming that criminals don't get their weapons from gun shows and that the majority are stolen or traded on the street.Urban gang bangers start out early and show little or no remorse while learning their trade and seem to have very little sense of self preservation.
    Appalling ,the number of officer victims due to the element of surprise and perhaps not nearly enough in depth training.
    But one wonders considering the suicidal makeup of these precocious,virtual suicidal thugs how much more extensive training will accomplish.
    Quite a report.Perhaps a link can be found.
    Typing while Lee Lapin added link.Thank you.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2008
  4. TallPine

    TallPine Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    somewhere in the middle of Montana
    So the "wild west" is really in the inner city
  5. -v-

    -v- Member

    Oct 22, 2007
    Interesting read. To some extent the criminal's attitude is not too surprising, as a majority of them are veterans of several firefights. If you live through 5 or so firefights before a felonious encounter with a LEO, you're probably going to be more experienced and thus more proficient in this whole pistol-fight business then someone who has never had been in such a situation.

    Also reaffirms my belief that training to shoot pistols using sights may not be the best idea for an SD scenario. These guys are averaging a 25% accuracy rate using point-n-click approach. If it seem to work very well for them, no reason why not to adopt it and integrate it into our own training regime.
  6. RP88

    RP88 Member

    Jan 1, 2008
    they'll still blame AK47 rifles and FNFiveseveNs though.
  7. Erik

    Erik Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Perhaps relevant:


    Press Release
    For Immediate Release
    May 12, 2008

    Washington D.C.
    FBI National Press Office
    (202) 324-3691

    FBI Releases Preliminary Statistics for Law Enforcement Officers Killed in 2007
    According to preliminary statistics released today by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), 57 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty during 2007. Geographically, 31 of the victim officers were killed in the South, nine in the West, nine in the Midwest, and seven in the Northeast. One officer was slain in Puerto Rico. The total number of officers killed is nine higher than in 2006.

    By circumstance, 16 deaths occurred as a result of ambush situations, 16 died during arrest situations, 11 were killed while handling traffic pursuits/stops, six died responding to disturbance calls, three while investigating suspicious persons/circumstances, three during tactical situations, one while conducting investigative activities, and one while handling and transporting prisoners.

    A breakdown of weapons used in these slayings revealed that firearms were used in the majority of incidents. Of the 55 officers killed with firearms, 38 were killed with handguns, nine with shotguns, and eight with rifles. Two officers were killed with vehicles.

    At the time they were killed, 35 law enforcement officers were wearing body armor. Eleven officers fired their weapons, and 14 of the slain law enforcement officers attempted to fire their weapons. Four officers had their weapons stolen, and two officers were slain with their own weapons.

    The 57 law enforcement officers were killed in 51 separate incidents in 2007. Fifty of the 51 incidents have been cleared by arrest or exceptional means.

    In addition to the officers who were feloniously killed, 83 law enforcement officers were accidentally killed in 81 separate incidents while performing their duties in 2007. This number is 17 higher than the previous year’s number.

    The FBI will release final statistics in the Uniform Crime Reporting Program’s annual report, Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, which will be published on the Internet in the fall of this year.
  8. justin 561

    justin 561 Member

    Apr 28, 2008
    Royal palm beach, Florida
    Of course, find a gun that is more hated than a AK47.
  9. rainbowbob

    rainbowbob Member

    Jan 15, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    More evidence that sociopathic behavior confers a distinct advantage over those operating under moral constraints.
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