ASA and PSIA Instructor
Join Date: Apr 2000
Thanked 30 Times in 30 Posts
Rep Power: 17
I think the Sheriff's Dept reply is well done. If anything, I'm surprised they didn't simply ignore the inquiry.......
Police officers make mistakes. However, for the very few they make, they are accused of thousands more. As a generality, pulling your weapon is as much a liability as protection and an officer typically won't do it unless absolutely necessary. They are highly trained, scared straight you might say, in the consequences of improperly discharging a weapon. That can only happen while out of the holster. Again, mistakes are made.
So no, I can't know this wasn't one of the few bad mistakes or over reactions. The odds are that the crew did something that the officer legitimately assessed could become a threat. Whether it was or not, is not the standard. He/she has the right to ensure they return home to their family from a job checking for poopy in the river. That would be a pretty lousy mission to die over.
ANY situation starting with three armed officers boarding a moving vessel without permission for the purpose of checking a head ...is a big mistake...an an accident waiting to happen. Even if it is legal...(do we really know that)...it is wrong and wrong. Somebody is going to get hurt...and for what?
Frankly, if I were driving my vessel and a police vessel pulled aggressively alongside I believe my natural reaction would be to turn away...and attempt to evade a forced boarding until the who and why is established. I mean what are they going to do...shoot me?
Certified...in several regards...