If They Only Had a Byrna: San Jose Mayor Attacked During News Interview

Earlier this month the mayor of San Jose California was conducting a street-side interview with a local news station when a man approached the mayor and and news crew and became highly confrontational. He was quickly intercepted by the mayor’s personal security, a San Jose police officer wearing plain clothes. The suspect then attacked the officer and a fight lasting several minutes ensued between the two until backup could arrive to assist. The plainclothes officer sustained several injuries as a result of the fight and would spend the night in the hospital for treatment.

If they had only had a Byrna… the plainclothes officer would have had an elevated but appropriate level of force to deter and subdue the assailant possibly allowing him to take the suspect into custody without a fight. In this case, the mayor’s security was only armed with a pistol, but because the suspect did not yet pose a deadly threat, using the firearm would have been classified as excessive force.

In this instance, the officer could have drawn the launcher the second it was apparent the subject was becoming verbally aggressive and even used it indirectly to deter him from proceeding and to get him to leave the area. The officer then could have escalated, if needed, to direct impact to incapacitate the suspect and get the mayor to a safe location.

Having a Byrna allows you to address possible threats much earlier so they don’t have time to escalate, allowing you to escape the location and escape possible injury, so be smart, be safe, and be prepared to defend.


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