Tangible defense zone
A reason that the 21-foot rule became popular in the first place is that it finally defined atangible defense zone,in which if an armed individual was within 21 feet of you,you would be justified in shooting to defend yourself.
What is the 21-foot rule?
The 21-foot rule was developed by Lt. John Tueller, a firearms instructor with the Salt Lake City Police Department. Back in 1983, Tueller set up a drill where he placed a suspect armed with an edged weapon 20 or so feet away from an officer with a holstered sidearm. He then directed the armed suspect to run toward the officer in attack mode.
Should the 21-foot rule be abolished in policing?
While most officers would agree that the 21-foot rule is a bad standard in policing, it is important scientific information is used to support its abolition. This study showed that on average 21 feet is not a safe enough distance for an officer to be able to successfully draw and fire their weapon at a charging suspect with an edged weapon.
Is 21 feet a safe distance for a police officer?
This study showed that on average 21 feet is not a safe enough distance for an officer to be able to successfully draw and fire their weapon at a charging suspect with an edged weapon. Based on this research, there are several key takeaways to shape future discussions around the idea of a safe distance:
Is the 21-foot rule for journalists part of police training?
“It has also been part of police training culture for a long time.” Salt Lake City police taught the 21-foot rule to journalists as part of a use-of-force training in 2017, but department spokesperson Brent Weisberg said recently that it’s a guideline — not a policy — for the department.
Should the 21-foot rule be taught?
Whether Tueller intended it to, the concept that’s known as the 21-foot rule or the “Tueller Drill” has taken a strong hold in American policing.
Now a guideline, not a policy
Even though the 21-foot rule isn’t officially in policy manuals, it’s still being taught to Utah’s new officers.
A justification for police shootings
On a March evening in 2019, a person called police to report a man and woman having a loud argument outside their Harrisville apartment.
What was the Tueller drill?
In the early 1980s, Salt Lake City Police sergeant, Dennis Tueller, published a test on the time it took for an assailant with a knife to cover 21 feet. He timed healthy adult males as they reenacted a combat scenario, determining an average time to attack of 1.5 seconds.
What is the purpose of Tueller drills?
Overall, Tueller Drills help participants work on their situational awareness, but they miss an important component that a real-life situation normally supplies : an immediate, surprise threat. Most people can properly react during the drill, but in an actual attack, training is sometimes thrown out the window.
What is the 21 foot rule?
The 21-foot rule attempts to define the distance that a knife-wielding assailant travels during the time it takes an individual to recognize a threat, draw a firearm and shoot two rounds at that assailant. Its purpose is to enhance situational awareness and reinforce the idea of quick, always-ready engagement of a dangerous suspect.
How far behind the shooter should the attacker charge?
Have the attacker begin charging from 21 feet behind the shooter. The shooter is successful if they can fire and strike the assailant before they’re reached.
Why is it so hard to replicate during drills?
Another thing that’s difficult to replicate during drills is external factors. You never know when or where an attack is going to take place, and that plays a big role in how large your reactionary gap is and what defense strategy you use. Plus, physical condition, mental state and prior training all contribute to whether you can properly react in a threatening scenario.
How far apart do you stand in a knife carrying attack?
Standing 21 feet apart, the attacker charges at their will, the shooter draws their weapon and fires twice before being touched.
What is reactionary gap?
The reactionary gap defines the distance needed between an officer and assailant in order to properly, safely respond to a threat. Even though 21 feet is generally acknowledged as the minimum, the gap has no set distance and fluctuates based on a number of external factors like terrain, attacking weapon, and physical condition.
What was Dennis Tueller’s study?
This is designed to illustrate the realities of the Tueller Study using real-world CCW methods. In 1983, Dennis Tueller, a police officer, published an article discussing the need to defend against an attacker armed with a knife or blunt weapon . Through his tests and studies he determined that a person would be in danger if …
What are the factors that affect Tueller’s conclusion?
The condition of the victim also factors into this question. Are you in good shape or packing too much weight? Have the years begun to slow you down? Are you carrying your defensive handgun openly or is it concealed in deep cover? Can your draw and hit in one second, or does it take more like 2.5 seconds? Were you able to step behind cover or were you caught out in the open? All of these factors affect how quickly you can respond to this deadly threat, and all of these factors affect how Tueller’s conclusion will relate to you.
Is 21′ arbitrary distance?
The simple fact is that 21′ is an arbitrary distance that may, or may not, relate to your particular situation. To begin with, few people can point to the ground and accurately point out what 21′ looks like.
Can a young man cover the ground faster than an old man?
Obviously, a young man in good condition can cover the ground a whole faster than an old, fat man. How fast the attacker is moving has a great bearing on how quickly he can get within striking distance of his victim. Another consideration is the condition of the terrain.
What is the role of an officer in a holstered weapon drill?
In this drill, an officer played the role of a suspect with an edged weapon who would charge another officer who was standing about 21 feet away with a holstered weapon.
What is phase 4?
Phase four introduced different movement tactics in an attempt to disrupt the assailant’s OODA loop. This study used four tactics including a control where the officer did not move, a scenario where the officer moved at a 45-degree angle toward the suspect, one where the officer backpedaled and one where the officer sidestepped the suspect.
How far away were officers in phase 2?
In phase two, officers were set up 21 feet away from a silhouette target with a holstered training pistol that fired simunition rounds. The officers were instructed to draw and fire their weapons at the silhouette when a light bulb was turned on. This was designed to test what the draw and fire speeds would be with a simple stimulus under no stress.
Why was the suspect changed for every scenario?
In this phase, the officer was held constant, and the suspect was changed for every scenario so that the assailant role would be unaware of the movement tactic being used.
What is the significance of the study of real world encounters?
As this study was conducted in a laboratory setting, it should be noted that these encounters were all best-case scenarios meaning that real-world scenarios are much more unpredictable and stressful. That makes these results more important because officers in the real world are more likely to be in danger within 21-feet of a suspect with an edged weapon.
How fast is the 21 foot rule?
These three phases completed the examination of the 21-foot rule. The officers’ average draw and fire speeds of 1.42 seconds while under stress are slightly faster than the average run speed of 1.5 seconds. Converting that difference of time into distance means that the suspect is a mere 13.4 inches from the officer when they fire their first shot on average. That is 13.4 inches from chest to chest, not with an outstretched weapon. This short distance also demonstrates how truly impacted officer accuracy is when under stress.
What is shock knife?
The shock knife is a knife-shaped training device that arches electricity around where the blade would be. It seems to induce a good amount of stress in officers.
What is the study of how the brain influences and affects physiological function?
Psychophysiology – This is the study of how the brain influences and affects physiological function. Science tells us that humans possess both a forebrain and a midbrain. The forebrain is where cognitive processing and decision-making take place.
When did Tueller start training?
Back in 1983, Tueller set up a drill where he placed a "suspect" armed with an edged weapon 20 or so feet away from an officer with a holstered sidearm. He then directed the armed suspect to run toward the officer in attack mode. The training objective was to determine whether the officer could draw and accurately fire upon the assailant before …
What is the reactionary gap in firearms?
The reactionary gap is a human factors formula that compares action vs. reaction. In humans, sudden action is usually faster than a defensive response or reaction.
What is the 21 foot rule?
For decades now many American officers have heard use-of-force instructors discuss the "21-Foot Rule" during officer safety, firearms, and deadly force training. As a use-of-force instructor and a practicing forensic police practices expert, I have also trained and testified to this concept myself.
How long does it take for a police officer to respond to a threat?
It then takes on average .56 to 1.0 seconds to make a response decision. Humans have five possible responses to threat: defend (fight), disengage (retreat), posture (yell, point a finger, act aggressive), become hypervigilant (panic, confusion, freezing, using force excessively), and submit (surrender).
What chemicals do humans use to survive?
When a human is threatened, the brain automatically infuses the body with adrenalin (stimulant), endorphins (pain blockers), and dopamine (euphoric pain blocker). The body uses these chemicals to help us survive an encounter by making us faster, stronger, and more pain tolerant.
How accurate is the average officer’s fire?
However, research of actual OIS incidents has shown that officers can only accurately hit their moving assailants 14% of the time in life-or-death situations from distances of only two to 10 feet. On the other hand, assailants were able to successfully engage and hit officers 68% of the time within those same distances.
How many times can a knife stab you?
A knife wielding attacker at contact distance can stab you 12-28 times before total "bleed out".
How far can a knife go from stand still?
What they found was that the average person could could go 21 feet in 1.5 seconds from a stand still.
How long does it take for police to realize a suspect is attacking?
There have been studies that show it takes police officers an average of 1-1.5 seconds to realize the suspect is attacking before the trigger is pulled even when they have them at gun point.
What is a stop shot?
Stop Shot = A stop shot is hitting the attacker in a vital area that will actually stop him. The Spine, Head, or Hips are the few places that has the best chance of stopping an attacker.
How far away should a sheriff’s deputy shoot?
Our local Sheriff’s Deputy’s protocol’s are to shoot an attacker with a lethal weapon that’s not a firearm within 30 ft. This is a good rule to train by. Get to know your 30 ft mark and train with that in mind. Remember that police are open carrying as well so it’s a little easier for them to draw their gun. To be successful at defending off an attack our Situational Awareness must be great at all times.
What did Tueller teach officers?
Tueller advised officers to give verbal warnings and cautioned that even perfect shots on a charging suspect may not be enough to overcome their forward momentum.
What did Tueller say about the need for firearms?
Tueller conceded that, despite an officer’s best efforts, firearms may be needed to stop sudden, close quarter, armed attacks. But a fair reading of Tueller’s work would never result in the belief that officers could simply shoot anyone they perceived as being armed and within 21 feet. Or that officers were presumptively safe from anyone outside of 21 feet.
How far away from the police officer is a suspect?
As the judges in Buchanan scrutinized the officers’ conduct, one judge curiously pointed to the police department’s policy and argued, “ [Under the policy], a person armed with a dangerous weapon, such as a knife or bat, constitutes a danger to the safety of the officer when that person is at a distance of 21 feet or less from the officer. Thus, under the Department’s own 21-foot rule, [the suspect], at a distance of 55 feet, presumptively did not pose an immediate threat to the safety of the officer when he was shot” ( emphasis added).
How far did the Judge travel after the officers engaged the armed suspect in Buchanan?
Even after the officers engaged the armed suspect in Buchanan , he was able to travel another 37 feet.
What is the 21 foot principle?
Nevertheless, the 21-foot principle came under scrutiny as critics sidestepped Tueller’s published work, and instead offered anecdotes as evidence that “some” officers believed they could use deadly force based solely on an armed suspect standing closer than 21 feet.
Why did the dissent reject the testimony of the witness?
Although this witness’s testimony was contradicted by her prior testimony, the dissent argued that it nevertheless created a genuine issue of material fact that should only be resolved by a jury. The majority rejected this argument in part because the witness was unable to describe what the suspect did after he reportedly stopped, while other witnesses testified that the suspect continued to advance on the officers.
How fast can a police officer sprint?
And if we’ve been doing our job as police trainers, most of you will be thinking, “It’s not a rule! It’s simply the principle that an average person can sprint 21 feet in roughly 1.5 seconds. Incidentally, that’s about the same time it takes an officer to draw a firearm and fire two unaimed shots.”.
What is the 21 foot rule?
The “21-Foot Rule” was a measure of distance that related to the time it would take an officer to recognize a threat, draw a sidearm, and fire two rounds center mass against an attacker charging with a knife or other stabbing weapon. To be clear, this article is not intended to be a guide to law enforcement training.
What did the student have to do to recognize the threat’s approach, unsnap his holster,?
The student had to recognize the threat’s approach, unsnap his holster, and draw his weapon. He failed. In fact, truth be told, we all failed. Some may have cleared leather and pulled the trigger, but the threat was so close he still would have struck a blow with the knife.
How long does it take to cover 21 feet?
First, an attacker with a knife could cover 21 feet in about 1.5 seconds.
Is 22 feet safer than 20 feet?
Tueller’s research did not culminate in a rule; you are not suddenly safer at 22 feet than you were at 20. It is important to distinguish that Tueller developed a drill, not a standard. Just as many firearm enthusiasts insist on the distinction between a “modern sporting rifle” and an “assault rifle,” “magazine” versus a “clip,” …
Should self defense training be taught to civilians?
Civilian self-defense training should not focus on teaching civilians to be cops or overemphasize instruction in matters of law enforcement. However, I see far too many videos of self-professed firearm trainers, tactical weapons specialists, home defense “experts,” and even a few prior LEOs who teach like they did to officers or cadets at the academy or in the military and not to civilians. Too often, I have heard friends throw out the term “21-Foot Rule” and improperly state it as a threshold of a safe working distance from an attacker.