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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 28, 2010 5:38 PM. The previous post in this blog was Oregon tax increase measures are good news. The next post in this blog is Looks like no "clean money" this year. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Grim story becomes more gruesome

Do you think that maybe the Portland police have some training issues?

Comments (19)

This really appears to be an accident, and it should not be compared with most of the other CoP police incidents that are blogged and discussed here. I feel sorry for all concerned, including the officer who made the mistake.

And it sounds like there really ought to be some color differentiation between the pepper mace and the fire extinguisher. Anyone could grab the wrong thing in an emergency.

You know, I read this one and this is a time when I don't blame the officer one bit.
Could you imagine dealing with a man on fire?
Nobody gets paid enough to deal with that. We're talking images that will haunt this officer for the duration.
I agree with the family of the victim - who apparently doesn't blame the officer at all. I'm grateful she was there trying to handle a horrible situation.
Yes, the coloring on the various canisters should be corrected going forward, but as far as approaching this as any kind of dereliction of duty or anything, I can't go there.

"A Fire Bureau investigator determined the pepper spray did not contribute to the spread of flames or severity of the burns, Sizer said."

Yea, but it didn't help put out the flames either (like a fire extinguisher would have). Yikes.

In an unrelated story, notice how City Hall was shut down because of a burnt bagel in Mayor Adam's office. Unbelievable. These guys are running our city?

Sometimes a mistake is just a mistake.

I have never used pepper spray before but doesn't it spray much diffrently then a fire extinguisher? I would have thought it would have been obvious to the officer from the start that she was using the wrong canister, but then again it was a horrible situation.

How is this a "training issue?" How often do you think anyone trains on how to deal with a man who intentionally sets himself on fire? The accident of grabbing a similar looking canister, in such a freak moment, is nothing at all like a preventable mistake, Jack.

Anyone, who did anything to help this poor man, is a hero to me. In the heat of the moment, mistakes are easily made. This Officer tried valiantly to help in a helpless situation, and for that, I’m proud of them. Simply changing the color of the canisters would prevent any repeat.

No one should fault this officer. The fault - if any - should go with the man who incinerated himself. If I'm about to jump off a 1000 ft cliff to kill myself and someone throws a noose around my neck as I jump when they were trying for my waist, the cause of death is still me jumping.

butch, why must you dive into the shallow end?

There is no excuse for the officer not knowing the difference between the pepper spray and the fire extinguisher -- and not even realizing the mistake until later! The two canisters should be marked VERY differently, and/or the officer needs to be trained on how to tell which is which in a hurry.

The man's death is not the officer's fault -- no one has suggested it was. But something is most definitely not right. In only a slightly different situation, someone could have been harmed by the mistake.

This is a training issue (and it is dumb that the two canisters look the same). Jack is right to ask these questions.

Just be grateful they didn't tazer the man and shoot him 7 times:

http://masterpeace.wordpress.com/2006/09/07/fouad-kaadys-family-fights-back/

While I was in the navy we ran drills on just about any scenario you can think of on a regular basis. Those drills made it so everyone knew exactly what to do and not panic.

Now I'm sure this officer regularly trains on various scenarios that involve domestic violence to shootings. I doubt any officer has ever been drilled on how to handle someone that set themselves on fire. I don't blame her in the least bit for panicking and grabbing the wrong canister. Lets just hope going forward that all pepper spray cans will across the US will now be a different canister.

Is it a training issue or a packaging issue? I don't blame the officer and have a great deal of sympathy for anyone confronted with that horrific situation.

Sad? Absolutely!
Disturbingly, tragically, only-on-the-inside funny? Yeah, kinda. I just can't help but put myself in the place of the guy on fire, being hosed down with pepper spray by a cop and wondering - "WTF?!?"

as bad as it is, still the PoPo in this case didn't act like those nutjobbies over in
Clackamus County--the Clackamus Deputy Sheriff and Sandy Officer--who came up on a similar situation and just dealt with it by grabbing their guns and shooting to kill. Kill they did too, as the poor unfortunate young man died on the spot...not from burns, but from MURDER by Cops!
Renowned lawyer Jerry Spence will soon by making the Clackamus County Treasure bend over for a good one as result of these two idiot copsters. so, no PoPo is not quite as bad as nearby clowns!

They had to pass legislation to stop surgeons from amputating on the wrong extremity, you know, now the hospitals have to write "no" on the good knee, and "this one" on the bad one.

So someone scrambling for a red canister to help someone immolating themselves is almost bound to grab the wrong one.

This is a clear system, not personal error.

If you are going to spray blinding burning chemical agents on people, the can should be marked with such huge lettering noone could miss it, no matter how hysterical the moment. Same with the fire extinguisher. The writing should be so big as to be clear to a two-year-old.

That's why there's a word for accidents. I feel bad for the girl. I'm sure she's never killed an innocent bystander by crunching them to the sidewalk, or shooting them while they are trying to drive away, etc

I don't think there is any question that the cop didn't mean to spray the poor guy with pepper spray. The point is that cops should be trained to keep their heads under horrific situations. Sure, they might not have specific "burning man" drill scenarios, but they should be trained on what to do when confronted with bizarre, scary situations.

In addition, it does sound like the canisters should be marked better (although I would like the public to see how similar both canisters are before excusing the problem as just an accident and not poor training or implementation.) Just chalking it up to an "accident" doesn't hold anyone accountable and doesn't do anything to make our police force better and more capable of tackling unforeseen problems in the future.


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