Archive for the Crime Category

Use of Forcillo

Posted in Crime, Miscellaneous, News, Training, Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 26, 2016 by hybridfightingmethod

FullSizeRender

photo credit: The Toronto Star

I have so much to say since Toronto Police Service’s Constable James Forcillo was convicted of attempted murder in the 2013 shooting death of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim.  I’m prepared to be a pariah, as I may be seen that way after expressing my opinion.

A quick history

Yatim was on a Toronto streetcar, high as a kite, and whipped his penis out and started masturbating in front of a group of women in the back of the streetcar.  He then took a switchblade (illegal in Canada) and attempted to slash one of the girl’s throats. She managed to block the attack with her purse. Moments later everyone from the streetcar emptied onto the street, leaving Yatim on the streetcar pacing back and forth alone, still with knife in hand.

When police arrived, Yatim was screaming things at them, like “pussies” and “pigs”, while the responding officers repeatedly commanded him to drop the knife. Instead of complying Yatim, advanced on the officers, and was subsequently shot 9 times and killed.

There are a few sticking points that I’d like to talk about, as this situation has caused significant public outcry in defense of Sammy Yatim and criticism of Toronto Police – specifically James Forcillo.

Some of the things that the public say were uncalled for were:

  1. Shooting Yatim in the first place instead of many other force options (eg. bean bag shotgun, tazers, riot shields, etc.)
  2. Shooting Yatim several times after he was already shot and downed.
  3. A reminder that James Forcillo had drawn his firearm 12 times while on duty in the last 3 years.

I would like to suggest that unless you’ve had a knife pulled on you or seen what a knife can do, you have no clue what you’re talking about (and the jury probably also had no clue). You don’t grasp the magnitude of danger a knife-wielding assailant poses; Nor how much that danger can be enhanced when the assailant is drugged or mentally ill.

Mental illness and substance abuse make someone unpredictable. Think about how you might react to a situation like this if you were the first office on scene.

You’re responding to a call about a knife-wielding attacker on a streetcar. When you arrive the attacker still has his knife in hand, taunting you while your firearm is drawn and pointed at him.  Every command you issue to drop the knife is met with “fuck you pussy”, ” fucking pig.” Then he advances. What would you do?

A knife is lethal force. Yatim demonstrated intent and ability to kill (again, knife still in hand while advancing).  Because of this, after 5 days of jury deliberation, the original charges of 2nd degree homicide and manslaughter were dismissed.  As Forcillo did, however, get convicted of attempted murder – and due to the severity of this charge – the lesser charge of aggravated assault was dropped.

Security camera footage from the streetcar now released to the public shows police entering the streetcar after the shots were fired, and kicking the knife out of Yatim’s hand. This occurred after the extra shots were fired once Yatim was already downed.

Excited delirium is a condition that has allowed many criminals to have superhuman strength, and in some cases take shotgun blasts or multiple revolver shots and still fight until they bleed out. If Yatim was down, but still had a knife in his hand (again, the officer kicked it away upon entry), he could have potentially stabbed an officer, possibly in the femoral artery. A stab wound to the femoral artery has the potential to be fatal in minutes. This isn’t a far-fetched conclusion.

Ontario Use of ForceUse of Force

For those that say that the officer was too quick to shoot, should have backed up and increased the distance, don’t understand real violence and intent.  You advance on a threat, removing their capacity to attack. Giving them more space is irresponsible, as it gives the assailant more opportunity to attack.

The chances of a bullet passing through and hitting a bystander increases if Yatim was let out of the streetcar.

As for tazing him, only police supervisors are equipped with Tasers. Forcillo is not a supervisor; a Taser was not an immediate option.

Wait for riot shields and board the streetcar?  Haven’t seen the movie 300 have you?  The first officer through the door is the first casualty, usually suffering the first stab or slash wound.

Bean bag shotgun?  Knife is lethal force.  And Forcillo didn’t have one at his disposal.

“Police in the UK don’t shoot and take threats down with pepper spray.” Because they don’t have guns, and I bet your tune would change when UK cops get mowed down by semi and fully automatic weapons that criminals don’t seem to mind using.

As for Forcillo’s history of pulling out his firearm, let’s look at this logically. If an average police officer works a 40-hr. week (likely probably more), and responds to 3 calls a day, that means in a 5-day work week an average officer responds to 15 calls a week. If you take two weeks out for vacation, that’s about 750 calls a year. In three years that’s 2250 calls. This is an conservative estimate. So, Forcillo drew his firearm 12 out of 2250 times.  That means his gun came out in 0.5% of his calls (we already know this is a conservative estimate).  With the increase in Toronto gun and knife crime, how unreasonable does that sound to you?  In my view, it sounds very reasonable. Trigger happy?  I think not, for a frontline officer.

Final Thoughts

I don’t care about bleeding hearts and compassion here. The fact remains that a disturbed person tried to sexually assault, injure, or kill another human being.When told by police to drop his weapon, he taunted them and advanced, leading to his death. To be sure he was no longer a threat, Forcillo shot him (as the first responder, Forcillo was lead officer; he was on point and everyone else was to follow suit) several more times. Again, the onus was on Forcillo to act, and he did for his own safety, for the safety of his colleagues, and for the safety of the public waiting on the street.

On top of all of this, we have to remember that police are not immune to the shitstorm of a limbic system “fight or flight” response; causing loss of logical thought, and loss of a large portion of motor skill.

I believe James Forcillo acted appropriately, even if a judge and jury didn’t come to that conclusion.

It’s a sad day for justice. In fact, there is no justice here. The only justice occurred in 2013 when a young monster was stopped before he had a chance to became an older monster.

I know most will still be critics and use of force “experts” from the comfort of their couches and office jobs, while police will still go out every day and face the risk of death to protect those critics. That is why they are heroes.

Below are video links and the Canadian National Use-of-Force Model you can observe to help you make up your own mind:

https://youtu.be/dx2iQnYMQfM

https://youtu.be/xyMUyv_vf1k

https://youtu.be/89VWeqSKPcU

https://youtu.be/-jP96xewXDI

https://youtu.be/FGvdnPow1oE

Attachments:

Sammy Yatim’s chilling final moments released

Preview YouTube video Toronto Streetcar shooting July 2013 CCTV Security Footage Sammy Yatim

Toronto Streetcar shooting July 2013 CCTV Security Footage Sammy Yatim

Preview YouTube video Toronto officer’s trial sees video of Sammy Yatim shooting

Toronto officer’s trial sees video of Sammy Yatim shooting

Preview YouTube video Sammy Yatim Shooting – TTC Streetcar Audio and Multiple Video Views – Const. James Forcillo Trial

Sammy Yatim Shooting – TTC Streetcar Audio and Multiple Video Views – Const. James Forcillo Trial

Preview YouTube video TTC surveillance camera 4

“Violence is Never a Choice a Man Should Make” – Patrick Stewart

Posted in Crime, Videos, Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2013 by Combative Corner

Patrick Stewart gives a gripping and personal answer to a fan at Comicpalooza 2013.  Be forewarned, there’s a moment (2:40) that may bring you to tears.

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

10 Questions with Erin Weed

Posted in 10 Questions, Crime, Self-Defense, Violence with tags , , , , , , , on April 20, 2013 by Combative Corner

CombativeCorner Erin Weed

With April being Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention month, we’ve enlisted the help of two amazing females: Erin Weed of Girls Fight Back and Eve Torres of the Gracie’s Women Empowered Program.  Please pass these interviews on via Facebook, Twitter or other social media outlets.  Thank you. 

Interview with Erin Weed of Girls Fight Back

Tell us briefly how you became the teacher and lecturer you are today?

I got certified to teach self-defense shortly after my friend from college was murdered, and created a self-defense educational seminar to connect with young women in high school and college. It’s borderline stand-up comedy, instead of scaring the be-jesus out of them!

After you decided to start, Girls Fight Back, what steps did you go through to get “the ball rolling”?

First step was getting certified in a few different self-defense systems. Next it was teaching the content in a small class setting, followed by creating the GFB seminar and branding it. Then it was a matter of just doing it! I spoke for free at first, but after a bit reached out to a speakers bureau to help with getting paid for the engagements, and actually making it my living. After 8 years of speaking and living on airplanes, I trained a team of speakers in the USA – then one in Pakistan and India – to give the presentation as well. I believe our ideas and our content should be scalable to reach more people.

In your opinion, what is the best way to “light the fire” of awareness to rape, assault, abuse etc?

Frankly, I think people teaching any sort of tough issue like violence need to understand marketing and how to connect with their audience. Meaning, you try to match the tone and content you’re delivering for the people you are trying to connect with. So if you’re talking to corporate women about rape, then really understand – what are their fears, their concerns and the crimes most likely to be committed against them? And on the flip side, how do they WANT to feel? (Note: This is the opposite of how most self-defense programs market themselves. They use fear as their marketing, which is a big mistake when people really WANT to feel at ease! Do you buy toothpaste because it uses the fear of tooth decay as their strategy? Probably not – you buy the Crest brand that only uses pictures of sparkly, white, desirable teeth.) Once you really know your audience, meet them where they are by motivating in a way that doesn’t cause resistance.

In teaching self-defense, what’s one essential lesson you hope all your students walk out with?

To believe in themselves and what they are capable of. I know some teachers call this “false confidence” but I think without confidence (fake or not!), any self-defense skills a woman has will be useless because she won’t have the conviction to execute. Many women and girls struggle with permission in all areas of their lives. If a teacher gives them permission to fight, and permission to believe they are worth fighting for – well that’s when the success stories start rolling in.

Is there one specific technique that you wish all women knew? What is it and why?

If all women trusted their intuition the moment it spoke to them, I think our statistics would plummet. Once it gets physical, the attack is on – and I’d always rather we use techniques that aren’t physical if possible. The challenge for teachers is to really teach intuition is a hardcore skill, and not just skim over it because it’s more fun to teach eye jabs.

As someone well-studied under Gavin de Becker, how must we view Fear?

This answer is probably not surprising with Gavin and his staff as some of our biggest advisors and mentors – View fear as a gift! Many people fear their fear, because if fear is present, something “bad” is probably happening. I think by teaching self-defense, we’re also helping people imagine the worst – thereby liberating them from the paralysis that can occur when the worst actually becomes reality.

With this understanding of Fear, how can we diminish, exercise, control and/or channel this Fear?

Immediate acceptance is key. Instead of fearing fear, or resisting/denying fear (and the situation that caused it) just saying to oneself: “OK. This is happening. I know what to do.” Keeping our responses as simple as owning the experience, staying present and having confidence is the best way to go.

It is common to hear a self-defense instructor say,

“Run from danger, but if you can’t Fight.”

Easier said than done. How do you teach the process of “Action”… of “Fighting Back” into your students?

I teach with options, but no judgement. I call this teaching format “the slippery slope.” Really take them on a journey, step by little step, that violent acts actually happen. (Example: OK, you got a weird feeling about this guy, here’s some options. OK, now that guy starts following you, so here’s some options. Trust yourself. OK, now that guy is full-on chasing you, so here’s some options. Trust yourself.) This helps them ease into the scariness of these situations, which aids in not triggering or paralyzing people. Tiny bits of simple is better than overwhelming amounts of awesome. But it also gives people the chance to thwart a situation before it’s a full-blown assault by seeing the signs were the situation is going long beforehand.

What are your views on weapon training? Do you instruct your students to ever engage or “Fight Back” when someone is holding a knife, gun or club?

I tell people to follow their intuition, and to get training in weapons defense. I think it’s a skill everyone should know, and refrain from giving “cookie cutter” advice. I personally have done a lot of weapons training, and I’m so glad I have those skills. I don’t personally teach that content in GFB seminars (because we don’t have the proper time or venue), but I always encourage our audience learn more. Options and knowledge are power.

What does Erin enjoy doing when she’s not “working”

Hot yoga, any outdoorsy activity in Colorado and roller derby!

Bonus:

What is just one of your goals in the next 5 years? (This can be ANYTHING!)

We will soon be announcing a train-the-trainer program, so anyone in the world can teach Girls Fight Back content to audiences as a public speaker. I’m really excited to share our approach with more self-defense teachers that would like to do more public speaking as an income source, or just another way to impact women. If your readers are interested, they can sign up to receive notification when it’s officially announced here:

http://bit.ly/L9sCge

Thank you Erin!

For more information on Erin Weed, do so by visiting her website at GirlsFightBack.Com.

Twitter Link CC bFB Facebook Link CC b

‘Stop Kony’ Shines Spotlight on Warload

Posted in Crime, Miscellaneous, News, Videos, Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 8, 2012 by chencenter

The video was uploaded March 5th. When I viewed it for the first time on the 6th, it had 1.5 million hits. Now, at the same time today, it has received nearly 27 million! It begins with a quote,

“Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.”

What looked like a political campaign (something I didn’t care about rushing to see a video of) became a touching, and motivating film centered around a great atrocity.  Celebrities, politicians… and more importantly, the masses of people around the world are viewing, being moved, and recognizing that something has to be done.

I urge you to watch the video and, if moved to, share this with your friends and loved ones.  If you wish, you can help the project by donating and/or getting your very own Action Kit.  The efforts worldwide are to culminate on April 20th, 2012 in an event called, ‘Cover The Night.’  Supporters will meet at sundown and “blanket the streets” putting up posters and stickers.  For more information, please visit the organization’s website at http://invisiblechildren.com.

One of the aim’s of this project is to make the man Joseph Kony (pictured above – left), the leader of the LRA so famous, that something is done about it.  With the spotlight on Kony such that is growing brighter by the hour, we have every belief that he will be apprehended.  To all our readers, thank you for your part in this – if only for the read.

At the least, now you know!

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”

                                                 – Jimi Hendrix

HOW TO HELP
Visit: http://kony2012.com
Donate to Invisible Children: https://stayclassy.org/checkout/set-donation?eid=14711
For info on Invisible Children: http://invisiblechildren.com

RELATED ARTICLE:

The Bandwagon & Activism : M. Joyce

*At the Combative Corner, we respect your opinion & thoughts on this matter & although we do not (normally) take such a vocal stance on a subject like this (outside of the M.A.), the message is an important one that should be expressed.  We learn & grow in order to create balance, to create peace.  In some instances, to end violence.  This is surely a message that we all can get behind.

The London Story – Tim Larkin Interview

Posted in Crime, Day's Lesson, Safety, Self-Defense, Teaching Topic, Violence with tags , , , , , , on March 21, 2011 by Combative Corner

The following story is transcribed verbatim from our 10 Question Interview posted on March 17th, 2011.  The entire interview is available on our Youtube Channel (here).

Tim Larkin is the man behind Target Focus Training in Las Vegas, NV. (website)

The London Story

I was training in London in , I think it was 2004 or 2005, and this young lawyer –  one of those Horatio Alger stories – 1st one to make it past high school in his family – lives in a nicer part of London, gets off the subway and decides to walk through the park, which, yes, it’s at night but it’s a pretty safe park – no big deal.  He gets followed by two guys.

As they approach him they put knives to his throat, demands his watch and wallet.  This guy engages them, gives them his watch and wallet, the jewerly, gives them the briefcase, gives them everything… and they take off.  They leave.

And everyone loves that part of the story, because it worked.  He did everything that they tell you to do in all self defense classes, and in law enforcement.  (They say) “Don’t resist; give them everything.  Engage them socially.”  And it worked.

The second time, when they came back, their heads were down, their knives were drawn.  He said, “Hey, hey! What are you doing?”  And they stabbed him 47 times.  He was heard screaming, “I gave you everything, I gave you everything!”

My goal in Target Focus Training is that you know the difference between the two.  In the first engagement there was a chance you could use your social skills and there is a chance you can talk your way out of it and comply.  The second time they weren’t engaging you socially.  When the heads were down and the knives were drawn there is only one thing that’s going to work in a situation like that… the tool of violence.  That’s the only way the kid had a chance at surviving at that point.

What probably happened as the guys were walking away is – one guy says to the other, “umm… you know what? He saw our faces.  It’s probably not a good idea, we better go back and kill him.”  They literally put no more thought in it than that.  I can’t control what the other guy is about, I can only control what I’m about!  If I’m worried about what he’s doing to me, I’m going to be behind the power curve.  I have to sit there and make sure I have the best opportunity to affect an injury on that individual.  And I need to be focused on those opportunities.  The way I can do this is by understanding the difference.

RELATED ARTICLES –              INTERVIEW WITH TIM LARKIN

IMPROVE SELF DEFENSE, ADD VIOLENCE

ALL IN, OR ALL OUT

ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION 009- GUNMEN

GUNS: A Tool For The Weak?

Posted in Crime, Discussion Question, Safety, Self-Defense, Violence, Weapons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2011 by chencenter

Gun-related homicides have slightly increased each year since 2002.  People between the ages of 15 and 24 are most likely to be targeted by gun violence as opposed to other forms of violence.  Intimate partner violence can be fatal when a gun is involved – from 1990 to 2005, two-thirds of spouse and ex-spouse homicide victims were killed by guns* (usdoj.gov).

In a 2002 crime study* (UN/OCJS) the United States ranked #4 (behind South Africa, Colombia & Thailand) in gun-related homicides [#8 per capita].

Let’s compare that with our neighbor to the north, Canada.

United States- 9,369  ¤  Canada- 144

In Detroit, a US city fairly well-known for its crime, recorded 308 criminal homicides in 2010 (a 15.4% drop from 2009) (DN).  However, a tweet from director Michael Moore alerted me to the fact that Detroit’s city across the river, Windsor, had a total of ZERO gun-related homicides.  Whether you are a fan of Moore or not, you have to ask yourself a question, what is it about us that drives us to kill one another?  Is it because of our gun laws?  How about our access to guns?  Is it just our American nature?

I posted a video on my facebook page on Monday that featured musician Henry Rollins in a 1994 MTV ad on violence (the video).  In this clip, Rollins proclaims, “…The strong don’t need guns.  Guns are tools of the weak.”  I got a fair amount of comments on this video, and I’m glad it attracted the attention it did.  This topic has gone on time and time again, and yet, gun-related homicides continue to rise.

My (personal) stance on guns?

Guns serve little purpose in today’s society other than: getting people hurt, creating accidents (many-times harmful and fatal ones), and killing or maiming innocent animals for sport (which I’ve always been against).  Guns, to me, are relics of a by-gone era.  While I understand that our military and law enforcement may need the protection of a ballistic weapon, our “every-day-citizen” does not.

What about my Second Amendment right?

Yes. This Constitutional amendment “protects” the right of the people to bear arms.  But with this, I think back to the words of comedian Chris Rock that said, “You could drive a car with your feet if you WANT to, that don’t make a it a good &%# idea!”  What are we scared of that we need a gun around for?  Le révolution?

Ok. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.  So there’s a revolution.

My next question would be, “Who do you think you are?”  Am I trying to be funny by asking this question? Well, yes AND no.  While it may be exciting to think that we’re a Clint Eastwood character, it’s humorous to believe you’re going to “Make someone’s day” without first getting yourself killed.  Your best bet will be to drill for oil/”juice” and barricade yourself in your fort (see film, The Road Warrior).

What about hunting?

Too cruel for me, but if that’s what you enjoy doing…and if you’re like Dexter and you need to exercise that need to kill something (or you’ll just blow your top), then go right ahead.  I can’t stop you.  But why not try to wrestle an elk down with your bare hands?  Why not learn to spear fish?  Give the poor animal a fighting chance, by God!  Don’t just dangle its food source in front of him with a hidden spike in it!  Wow, you out-smarted a fish!  Wow, you sniped a deer as it was walking through a meadow (which was probably the only natural clearing available with all the nearby freeways).  I might be impressed if you smeared yourself with dung, crept within range and used a slingshot or bow and arrow to bring the animal down, but that’s just my opinion.  Whatever you do though, don’t display the animal’s head on your wall and grin with pride.  How barbaric… but then again, somewhere inside of you you must feel that it is too.

Additional Note

If you do plan on owning a gun, make sure it is stored in a safe place and you educate yourself properly on the care, use and handling of the firearm.  Understand the state laws and keep in mind that injuring and/or killing (even a criminal or attacker) may like hold with it a prison sentence for you.

Suggested Reading:Facing Violence” by: Rory Miller.

We’d love to you what you, our readers, feel on the subject.

The underlining question IS, however, “Are guns needed” and “Are guns the biggest problem with America (when it comes to violence)?”

Sources:

United States Department of Justice, The Eighth United Nations Survey on Crime Trends &, Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (2002), The Detroit News. January 2010 (Hunter)

Improving Self-Defense, Add Violence

Posted in Crime, Self-Defense, Training, Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2011 by chencenter

The highest concern for me as a self-defense instructor is to properly facilitate and encourage (by way of writing, coaching, lecturing, etc) practical, safe and effective training methods; period!  Not ones that effect a person superficially, but ones that cut deep to the marrow of reality; the very real world in which we live.  To be honest, we (for the most part) live in harmony.  We go to work, we come home to our family, or we go out to dinner with friends.  Most people don’t even concern themselves with the very real possibility that a vicious assault lays just around the corner.

We all lack confidence, just in varying degrees.

As we “free climb” upwards from where we currently are [self-protection readiness] we must have a strong and sturdy grip [abililty] to change our state to one of: high intensity, strong-willed, 100% determined.  Our foothold to this climb is our confidence.

Believe me or not…it does not matter.  Somewhere within that skull of yours you understand that in order to effectively conquer a violent aggressor, the modern man or woman must find it within themselves to not only reciprocate the violence being done to them, but to break rules, to go against (in most cases) their religious/social/cultural beliefs.  What is right?  What amount of violence is right, if any?  At what cost?  What must be at stake for us to act in such a way?  All of these (and more) are important questions to ask yourself.

Most people (including myself) have a natural aversion to violence.

As a kid I trained in the martial arts so that I wouldn’t have to win through violence.  Everything was properly planned out, and when needed, I would respond with the same energy, skill and grace that my heros displayed on television and film.  I would always be in the moral right.  I would always be merciful.  I would always beat them with a calm, collected mind.  And I would walk away from battle without a scrape or bruise.  The sorry chap would never seek revenge or vendetta because of the fear of being humiliated twice over.

Luckily, I grew into a man.  And although I can still hold a smile to my “invincible youth,” I can easily decipher fantasy from reality.  Reality comes into play when play is wild and spontaneous.  Training for real world violence, therefore, should be conducted with as much zestful aggression as one wishes to have in the moment.  Punching a bag for the sake of punching amounts to very little.  It’s as if you were trying to drink up a lake with a fork.

I leave you with this question…

When violence becomes necessary… by this, I mean, when there is no other recourse but to fight for your survival, how might we know if we have what it takes?

My belief is that it rests on two key components: how you change your entire physiology to aid in your survival, and how we build our confidence through proper, situational, and realistic training methods.

Many martial artists insist on fighting fire with water.  But I strongly believe, and it is essential to know, that there are times when you must fight fire with fire!

¤

Please give your thoughts below.  Let me know if you disagree, and/or if you have something to add.

Michael Joyce

His Combative Profile

»»» click the picture above to visit a short interview of Coach Joyce in this month’s Skirt Magazine (Jan. 2011).

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