Case 7 – De-escalation: Protest
Note: Debriefing is done in role either in groups or as a whole class
- Sometimes we enter a situation with a predetermined agenda, or having made assumptions about the other players. How does this support and/or interfere with resolving an issue?
- As the task force, what possible remediation or training might you recommend to the officers involved in this incident?
- Having considered some of the reasons the officers behaved as they did, and perhaps having role played the aftermath in Scenario #2, how did you feel? What might you consider doing differently in a similar situation?
- Power can be used, abused (intentionally) or misused (unintentionally). Carefully review the scenario, examining how each character may be using, abusing or misusing their power.
- Could the standing orders to the officers have contributed to the escalation? How?
- What might the professional relationship between the officers be? Do you think the officers’ working partnership might be impacted by this incident?
- Hot Seating: In groups, take on the roles of the various participants and ask questions of each other in character:
- Male officer’s position
- Female officer’s position
- Protester’s position
- Consider what you learn about each character, and their motivation for behaving as they did in the video. Does the conversation alter your perspective of the characters? How?
The following suggestions could be undertaken either as a group or individually. They could be written as reflections, offered for discussion, or submitted as assignments for grading.
- Based on the discussion in Scenario #1, create an outline of ideas to be part of a de-escalation training manual.
- Based on the discussion and notes from Scenario #2, consider how issues of perceived differential power might be added to the de-escalation training manual.
- Research to find various de-escalation techniques. Given the variety of situations officers might encounter (e.g., domestic abuse, mental health crisis, addiction crisis, etc.), consider which techniques might work best in a given situation.
- Alvarez, N. (2020). Stop. Rewind. Replay.: Performance, police training and mental health crisis response, Performance Research, 25(8), 69-75.
- Di Nota, P. M., Chan, J. F., Huhta, J. M., & Andersen, J. P. (2021). Considering Objective and Subjective Measures for Police Use of Force Evaluation. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(10), 5351.
- Giacomantonio, C., Goodwin, S. & Carmichael, G. (2020). Learning to de-escalate: evaluating the behavioural impact of Verbal Judo training on police constables, Police Practice and Research, 21(4), 401-417.
- Norris, J., & Saudelli, M. (2018). Heating Up Online Learning: Insights from a Collaboration Employing Arts Based Research/Pedagogy for an Adult Education, Online, Community Outreach Undergraduate Course. Social Sciences, 7(104), 1-23.
- Oliva, J., Morgan, R. & Compton, M. (2010). A Practical Overview of De-Escalation Skills in Law Enforcement: Helping Individuals in Crisis While Reducing Police Liability and Injury, Journal of Police Crisis Negotiations, 10(1-2), 15-29.
- Staller, M. S., & Koerner, S. (2021). Commentary: Observational Behavior Assessment for Psychological Competencies in Police Officers: A Proposed Methodology for Instrument Development. Frontiers in psychology, 12, 686576.