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Fedster

That's how you deal with that' - police officer said after striking man with patrol car

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cookyy2k

There is a current dangerous driving allegation against another officer in Cambridgeshire police for a similar thing. 

I wonder if there is a training issue or if the force has flat out refused to accept a car can be used like anything else aslong as it is reasonable. I suppose time and investigations will tell.

Quote

 I saw him running, I tried to block him, I panicked after the ABS kicked in, at the end of it i knew I was on the pavement.

This was given in testimony to the hearing. If the abs kicked in he was approaching too fast and to panic in that situation is definately not good. Seems like a bit of the old red mist.

Edited by cookyy2k

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Fedster

'I knew we would unjustifiably get grief' says colleague of officer facing dismissal

A PC is facing dismissal over allegations he rammed a suspect with his car.

'I knew we would unjustifiably get grief' says colleague of officer facing dismissal

The officer who shared a car with a PC accused of deliberately hitting an assault suspect with his car has told a misconduct hearing he would have “done exactly the same thing”.

Cambridgeshire Police PC Rowan Huskisson, who has served with the force since 2011 and completed basic driver training in 2007 as a special constable, is accused of driving into the suspect with a marked police car in St Andrews Street, Cambridge in the early hours of the morning on May 28, 2017 before saying: “That’s how you deal with that.”

He is accused of breaching the standards of professional behaviour in respect of authority, use of force, discreditable conduct, orders and instructions and respect and courtesy.

The police constable has admitted his comments amount to misconduct (but not gross misconduct) and denies all other allegations.

PC Huskisson had been on duty at 3.30am with PC Chris Griffiths in Cambridge city centre when he received a call on the joint council-police radio that a man had assaulted two people and had broken free after bouncers detained him.

Sam Whitmore, the suspect, gave evidence during the misconduct hearing, held today at Biggleswade Town Council, that he had been drinking since about 1pm that day, had fallen in the river while out punting and admitted the large volume of alcohol he had consumed that day may have impaired his recollection of the incident. 

In a statement given on May 31, Mr Whitmore said he believed he had been hit on purpose with “potentially lethal force.” 

Mr Griffiths who is no longer an officer and had joined Cambridgeshire Police only eight months earlier, said: “I knew there were a lot of people around. I knew we would get a lot of grief for this unjustifiably. We were just doing our job trying to apprehend someone.”

He said in his opinion Mr Whitmore had been hit inadvertedly as his colleague tried to block his path and it was “exactly what I would have done under the same circumstances. 

“Basically the way I see it is this guy is reported to have assaulted two people. The message we got was he needed to be stopped, he needed to be detained. If I had him [the suspect] in my sights I would have done exactly the same thing.

“If he got away and assaulted someone or worse that night and we had a chance to stop him as a police officer people would have said 'why didn’t you stop him when you had the chance?'

“The fact is the suspect is running down the street and he [PC Huskisson] is turning the vehicle the same way. It doesn’t suggest he intended to hit him because that’s exactly what I would have done in the same circumstances.” 

He added the incident had “shocked” him as he had never seen someone collide with a car he was in before in that manner. 

When questioned by counsel for PC Huskisson Colin Banham about whether he was aware of any defect with the police car he was using, Mr Griffiths responded: “I know there’s plethora of problems with some of the cars driven myself. I personally haven’t had a problem with the brakes but I know at least one of the cars did.

“I remember it being mentioned there might have been an issue with avs brakes.” 

He said their car had taken slightly longer to stop then expected after mounting the curb. 

“I remember the car mounting the pavement because there was a bit of bump and did it seem to move slightly more, it did go a little bit further -  that was a factor in the collision."

He also told the panel he had not regularly been crewed with PC Huskisson and they had not socialised outside of the work environment. 

Mr Griffiths recalled his colleague making a statement before getting out of the car “in the heat of the moment” which seemed a “bit inappropriate or facetious - something like “got him” adding: "It may have been his way of dealing with it.” 

Mr Whitmore was never arrested and never charged in connection with the incidents of that night. 

CCTV footage played at the hearing appears to show a police car driving left at a sharp angle onto the curb into a fast-moving pedestrian. 

A large group of men in hi-viz jackets can be seen running down the street and shouting loudly. 

Mr Griffiths’ body worn camera footage appears to show a body hitting the left hand side of the car windscreen and then a man lying sideways on the ground. 

The footage also picks up heated arguments between a woman, uniformed men and men in casual clothes. 

A police officer is seen bending over Mr Whitmore as a woman is held back, weeping and shouting “What the f**k is happening?” 

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Fedster

'I just remember feeling helpless' - PC says he hit suspect because of faulty brakes

He is accused of ramming a suspect with his marked police car.

'I just remember feeling helpless' - PC says he hit suspect because of faulty brakes

A police officer says allegations he deliberately hit an assault suspect with his car while on duty are a “physical impossibility”. 

Cambridgeshire Police PC Rowan Huskisson, who has served with the force since 2011 and completed basic driver training in 2007 as a special constable, is accused of driving into suspect Sam Whitmore with a marked police car in St Andrews Street, Cambridge in the early hours of the morning on May 28, 2017 and saying: “That’s how you deal with that.”

He is accused of breaching the standards of professional behaviour in respect of authority, use of force, discreditable conduct, orders and instructions and respect and courtesy.

The police constable admitted his comments amount to misconduct (but not gross misconduct) and denies all other allegations at a misconduct hearing on Tuesday. 

PC Huskisson had been on duty at 3.30am with PC Chris Griffiths in Cambridge city centre when he received a call on the joint council-police radio that a punter had assaulted two people and had broken free after bouncers detained him.

CCTV footage played at the hearing appears to show PC Huskisson’s car mounting the pavement and sharply turning left as a man runs down the street before colliding with him next to a taxi rank in St Andrews Street. 

PC Huskisson is also HGV qualified and worked at Parcelforce driving a van before he joined the police. 

Giving evidence on Tuesday he said he was pursuit trained and, except for a short period working with CID, virtually all of his police at the time of the incident had been behind the wheel. 

At the time of the incident he had been working as part of Operation Connect - tackling alcohol related disorder in Cambridgeshire, taking calls from a radio line directly linked to local shops, CCTV operators and licensed premises. 

PC Huskisson told the hearing on Tuesday he had intended to use his vehicle as a “hard barrier” to buy him more time to catch Mr Whitmore but his ABS brakes had kicked in as he hit cobblestones “dramatically reducing braking functionality.”

Mr Whitmore was hospitalised with minor injuries.

It had never been his intention to harm Mr Whitmore, he said. 

“What I can tell you is the distance would have been perfectly enough to stop.

“I don’t recall making that left hand turn. I only remember clips of it. I remember feeling panic when my ABS kicks in, which in my opinion should not have happened, I just remember feeling helpless. I don’t remember any of the manoeuvres at all. 

“Normally with brake pedals you get a cushion feeling, it’s not a solid wall it’s progressive. When ABS kicks in the brake pedal becomes very stiff and the brake’s functionality is greatly reduced.

“My plan was to stop my car so he [Mr Whitmore] had to negotiate and change his course and go around it and it gives me three quarters of a second to jump out and get hold of him.

Under questioning PC Huskisson said: “There’s no way that I would ever, any officer would ever be able to, justify that course of action [to hit Mr Whitmore] in any circumstances. 

“There’s no way in any realms of possibility that action could be justified. I knew I was being monitored by cameras at that time. For me to take that action at that time is a physical impossibility. 

“The thing I’m really struggling with is you think in the middle of a well- lit street in front of two CCTV cameras I would run someone over and try to cause them serious injury?

“This is someone I have no grudge with. What suddenly made me do that? What suddenly made me decide to be a killer that day because that was the only outcome. Serious injury was the only outcome of hitting him with that car and the notion to me is unbelievable.” 

But counsel for Cambridgeshire Police Matthew Holdcroft said: “From the moment of this incident you have been trying to look for an explanation you think someone else will accept.”

PC Huskisson adamantly denied the allegation.  

But he admitted he had removed information about the mechanical faults from a statement after taking advice from a sergeant. 

“He suggested I removed the issues with the brake claim. He said drawing attention to a defect with the vehicle will basically make me look guilty. 

“He told me you tried to stop a suspect, that’s it.  If you mention the vehicle you’ll draw attention to it and people will look into it more closely.” 

When Mr Holdcroft asked the PC why he had not insisted the vehicle be taken off the road in the interests of public safety he said he had previously emailed Sergeant Khan about the issue and made her aware of it again after she arrived at the scene on May 28. 

“At that point all responsibility was hers. That’s the chain of command,” he said. 

PC Huskisson told the misconduct panel he has no memory of saying “That’s how you deal with that” and has “no idea” where that comment came from. 

“I didn’t remember the comment, I didn’t remember the sharp turn to the left which led me to go onto the pavement in the first place.

“I don’t know where the comment came from. It’s something that’s massively confused me over the last year. I know when I hit him I thought I had seriously injured him.

“When I got out of the car and saw he was conscious I know I felt relief. That comment was not how I was feeling.

“My colleague was inexperienced, not confident. Maybe I was trying to say something flippant to reassure him.”

But he denied he was “showing off” and said he was perhaps “on some level trying to defuse the situation”. 

He admitted under questioning from the panel his evidence is a “reconstruction” of the incident after inconsistencies in his testimony about the sequence of events that night were pointed out. 

“I never remembered it [the manoeuvre]. I extrapolated it from the CCTV footage,” he said.

“I knew I’d been trying to stop him and I hadn’t been able to brake. I was shocked by what had occurred, I had to piece it together.

“I remember I wanted to stop my car to use it as a hard barrier.

“All I will say is I knew what my intention was. It was blind panic I ended up careering towards this person and not being able to stop.

“Reconstructing memory is not lying. It’s not deception. It’s what I believed happened. There’s been no attempt at deception at all.” 

He added: “Tell me why I would do that. I didn’t intend to hurt him. I have dealt with hundreds of thousands of people in my role. But the good news is I can stand here and say these things with my conscience absolutely clear that I have told the truth.”

The hearing continues.

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Fedster

ABS brakes a 'red herring' collision misconduct hearing told

PC Rowan Huskisson has admitted saying 'that's how you deal with that' after hitting a suspect but denies driving into him on purpose.

CCTV image of the scene in St Andrews Street

CCTV image of the scene in St Andrews Street

 

A police officer accused of deliberately ramming an assault suspect while on duty has not shown any remorse, a lawyer for the force claimed at a misconduct hearing. 

Cambridgeshire Police PC Rowan Huskisson, who has served with the force since 2011 and completed basic driver training in 2007 as a special constable, is accused of driving into an assault suspect with a marked police car in St Andrews Street, Cambridge in the early hours of the morning on May 28, 2017 and saying: “That’s how you deal with that.”

He is accused of breaching the standards of professional behaviour in respect of authority, use of force, discreditable conduct, orders and instructions and respect and courtesy.

The police constable has admitted his comments amount to misconduct (but not gross misconduct) and denies all other allegations.

PC Huskisson had been on duty at 3.30am with PC Chris Griffiths in Cambridge city centre when he received a call on the joint council-police radio that a punter had assaulted two people and had broken free after bouncers detained him.

CCTV footage played at the hearing appears to show PC Huskisson’s car mounting the pavement and sharply turning left as a man runs down the street and colliding with him next to a taxi rank in St Andrews Street. 

Counsel for Cambridgeshire Police Matthew Holdcroft told the panel in his final submissions that PC Huskisson has failed to show any remorse throughout the hearing. 

“His actions are entirely at odds with common sense and common practice. His own evidence could not be more inconsistent or unsustainable he has totally abandoned his previous accounts," he said.

“You may think his demeanour was arrogant, argumentative, lacking in insight. 

“One thing this officer didn’t show was remorse. One thing the officer didn’t show was insight.”

Yesterday PC Huskisson argued he had only intended to use his car to block suspect Sam Whitmore’s path and had lost control when his car’s ABS brakes jammed as he hit cobblestones.

He said he had complained about the issue before in an email but admitted he removed the claims about mechanical faults in a statement about the incident after a sergeant advised him it would only draw more attention to the case. 

The PC was criticised by the panel for presenting contradictory evidence about whether he intended to mount the pavement. 

When questioned about why he had not insisted the faulty brakes be investigated, he responded that since he had informed the sergeant who attended the scene on May 28, he had passed on the responsibility.

Mr Holdcroft said the ABS issue was a “total red herring in this case.” 

“If then that were the case, if he had thought the ABS had caused a member of the public to be run down,  injured and hospitalised, is it likely that officer had not raised that as an issue?

“It’s not recorded on the collision form. Isn’t that the first thing you would do? One of the great things about the police service is the sense of camaraderie and togetherness and friendship. 

“Is it likely an officer has been involved in a road collision at 4am in the morning and believed it was the fault of the vehicle and pass the keys to the officer next on shift and say 'off you go'?

“He’s gone out, passed the keys on to an officer and said 'you can drive that'.”

Mr Holdcroft also accused PC Huskisson of lying and said his evidence was not the account of an “honest witness”. 

But PC Huskisson’s lawyer Colin Banham said Mr Holdcroft had failed to prove the case against his client and was simpy attempting to “transfer the burden of proof.” 

“It is often the approach of appropriate authority [the police force] to dismiss officers out of hand and suggest they only attend misconduct meetings to lie.

“He [PC Huskisson] is of entirely good character and entitled to be treated as such.

“The officer is deemed to be telling the truth unless there is cogent evidence otherwise which is not simply reversing the burden of proof.

“There would have to be incredibly strong evidence this officer is driving having been on duty for some time… and on this one occasion having been on duty with PC Griffiths for some time, he just decides on a whim, on a spur of the moment [to run Mr Whitmore over].”

Mr Banham argued the panel could not find PC Huskisson has shown a lack of insight because he “hasn’t said sorry for something he denies”. 

He pointed out PC Huskisson had written in a statement taken at 5.40am on May 28 an issue with the ABS has “dramatically reduced braking functionality” and was the most contemporaneous account available. 

The hearing continues.

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Chaos

What injuries did the suspect actually have as a result of the car hitting him?

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MerseyLLB

How on earth, regardless of the impact and driving matter, can his comment amount to misconduct?!? 

As each day passes we become a more pathetic police force, service, charity whatever it is we are meant to be.

The driving matter I understand there is fair reason to investigate...though the panel seems to be more of a witch hunt than a fact finding mission.

 

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Fedster

Outcome reached

The tribunal concluded that in the circumstances, PC Huskission had committed acts that amount to gross misconduct and the outcome in this case is a final written warning.”

PC Huskisson can visibly be seen as upset as this is read out.

https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/live-police-officer-who-drove-14544297

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Chaos

"Authority, respect and courtesy"...

What's this all about...? Because he said "That's how you deal with that"?

I better keep my mouth shut in future when dealing with incidents....

If the suspect would have got away the panel would have said neglect of duty... Dammed if you do, dammed if you don't.

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Sceptre
Just now, Chaos said:

If the suspect would have got away the panel would have said neglect of duty... Dammed if you do, dammed if you don't.

Do you really think the officer was duty-bound to use his car as a weapon and this is all wholly unfair? Really?

This sounds to me like someone making an impulsive and ill-considered decision in the heat of the moment which was seemingly beyond their driving skill and could quite easily have caused serious injury, in pursuit of someone wanted for what doesn't sound like a particularly serious offence. Then the officer by the sounds of it makes a daft comment in the moment, comes up with some excuse about dodgy ABS then gets cold feet about standing by that story, and then presents himself in front of the panel in a way the force representative describes as arrogant. If that was me I'd expect to get a hard time and be found against as well - in fact if I were him I'd feel very grateful indeed I hadn't been charged with dangerous driving.

That said, I can't help think that it might be more constructive to deal with situations where a poor decision has been made in good faith via the performance process in order to improve the officer, rather than the norm being an adversarial misconduct investigation which ultimately doesn't achieve anything. If the money spent on the investigation and the hearing had been spent on driving, decision making and stress management training PC Huskisson would be a more confident officer today, instead he probably feels beleaguered and intent on being as risk averse as possible for at least the next eighteen months. 

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mike88

I’m surprised he kept his job considering he was found guilty of three counts of gross misconduct. It can’t be a good feeling though continuing to work for the force after your deputy cc recommended you be dismissed. I can’t imagine he deliberately drove at the man intending to him, any police officer would know with bwv and town centre cctv you’d never in a million years get away with that. It’s more likely he wanted to block the pavement and it went wrong. He didn’t seem very clear in his explanation of how his car ended up on the pavement and in the position it was and I think this was to his detriment as it could be read that he wasn’t being completely honest. 

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Chaos
Do you really think the officer was duty-bound to use his car as a weapon and this is all wholly unfair? Really?
This sounds to me like someone making an impulsive and ill-considered decision in the heat of the moment which was seemingly beyond their driving skill and could quite easily have caused serious injury, in pursuit of someone wanted for what doesn't sound like a particularly serious offence. Then the officer by the sounds of it makes a daft comment in the moment, comes up with some excuse about dodgy ABS then gets cold feet about standing by that story, and then presents himself in front of the panel in a way the force representative describes as arrogant. If that was me I'd expect to get a hard time and be found against as well - in fact if I were him I'd feel very grateful indeed I hadn't been charged with dangerous driving.
That said, I can't help think that it might be more constructive to deal with situations where a poor decision has been made in good faith via the performance process in order to improve the officer, rather than the norm being an adversarial misconduct investigation which ultimately doesn't achieve anything. If the money spent on the investigation and the hearing had been spent on driving, decision making and stress management training PC Huskisson would be a more confident officer today, instead he probably feels beleaguered and intent on being as risk averse as possible for at least the next eighteen months. 
I agree with the latter part of your post... I believe that a poor decisions in the heat of the moment should not amount to gross misconduct.

Officers are continually put in stressful situations with sometimes a split second to make a decision. All these missconduct hearing do it micro analysis the officers decision making and not nessesserly look at the bigger picture.

This officer attempted to stop a suspects direction of travel with his vehicle in order to effect an arrest, yes he made a mistake and he has admitted that, in no way do i think he perposley drove at the suspect with the intention of knocking him over.

If no intention to use the vehicle to knock the suspect over could be proved, then I don't think this should have gone to missconduct. But then again they do like a witch hunt ...

I remember in training when the tutors were talking about use of force, they talked about "what would you do if you were sat in a police vehicle and a suspect pointed a gun at you, would you use your vehicle to knock him over...discuss"...

Yes I know it's a scenario far removed from this case, but Technically RTA law does not allow for a vehicle to be used for self defence or otherwise and you could be charged with dangerous, or death by...

Or would CPS and the panel consider this be an ok use of force... Does it all depend on each circumstance. Because this was a low level assault of two members of the public then the panel though it was unreasonable use of force... Prohaps if the suspect had just stabbed the two members of the public and was making off, the then the same vehicle manouver and the suspect sustaining the same injury's as a result the panel might have though it was reasonable....

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sierragolf95
7 hours ago, Chaos said:

I agree with the latter part of your post... I believe that a poor decisions in the heat of the moment should not amount to gross misconduct.

Officers are continually put in stressful situations with sometimes a split second to make a decision. All these missconduct hearing do it micro analysis the officers decision making and not nessesserly look at the bigger picture.

This officer attempted to stop a suspects direction of travel with his vehicle in order to effect an arrest, yes he made a mistake and he has admitted that, in no way do i think he perposley drove at the suspect with the intention of knocking him over.

If no intention to use the vehicle to knock the suspect over could be proved, then I don't think this should have gone to missconduct. But then again they do like a witch hunt ...

I remember in training when the tutors were talking about use of force, they talked about "what would you do if you were sat in a police vehicle and a suspect pointed a gun at you, would you use your vehicle to knock him over...discuss"...

Yes I know it's a scenario far removed from this case, but Technically RTA law does not allow for a vehicle to be used for self defence or otherwise and you could be charged with dangerous, or death by...

Or would CPS and the panel consider this be an ok use of force... Does it all depend on each circumstance. Because this was a low level assault of two members of the public then the panel though it was unreasonable use of force... Prohaps if the suspect had just stabbed the two members of the public and was making off, the then the same vehicle manouver and the suspect sustaining the same injury's as a result the panel might have though it was reasonable....
 

To be fair, if there's a guy in front of a car with a gun pointed at the driver, the car is in gear and ready to go, there are 2 options, wait to get shot or turn him into a human speedbump. One gets you killed, the other gets you jailed. I'll take the jail sentence!

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Beaker
To be fair, if there's a guy in front of a car with a gun pointed at the driver, the car is in gear and ready to go, there are 2 options, wait to get shot or turn him into a human speedbump. One gets you killed, the other gets you jailed. I'll take the jail sentence!
You could justify that though. Force would be appropriate.

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Chaos
You could justify that though. Force would be appropriate.
Yes it would... But technically it's still dangerous driving or death by...

 

In the OP case it all came down to use of force, the fact that a vehicle was used shouldn't be the main factor in if it was legal or not... I mean police use other weapons, Battons, tazer's ... Guns!!..

 

A car used in force that it proportionate and necessary should be seen as another tool in an officers array of weapons... It shouldn't automatically be dangerous just because it's a car...

 

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