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​‘Ukraine police show incredible restraint, US officers would respond with deadly force’

Published time: February 02, 2014 04:12
A protester sprays fire in the direction of the riot police during clashes in the centre of Kiev (AFP Photo / Genya Savilov)

To protect their own lives and people caught in the unrest, US police would respond with deadly force if confronted by violent rioters like those operating in Ukraine, Chuck Joyner, an ex-CIA and FBI agent told RT, sharing his professional assessment.

RT: Footage of the violence in Kiev has been broadcast around the world. As a consultant to law enforcement on the use of force, how would you react in such a situation?


Chuck Joyner: The videos that I saw were very disturbing, and the police officers, in my mind showed incredible restraint. In the United States, in that situation, they would have been just fine using deadly force.

RT: How would you instruct Ukrainian police in dealing with the protests if they continue?

CJ: I think throughout the history of riots, you see if there is not a strong police presence, then the antagonizers, the agitators, they become emboldened, they become more violent and more aggressive. So there needs to be a strong police presence in those circumstances to control the violence.

RT: Police in Ukraine have come in for criticism especially from Washington. Given that rioters have thrown Molotov cocktails, and both burnt and beat officers, is that criticism fair?

Protesters throw Molotov cocktails at police during clashes in the center of Kiev (AFP Photo)

CJ: I can’t get into the politics, but I can look at it strictly from a police standpoint. And I think, again, police have shown incredible restraint.

If you are in a situation – I’ve seen videos where police officers are on fire – again that is a deadly situation. And they certainly in the United States would have the legal right to use deadly force in response to that. So any criticism of police officers in those circumstances, I think, is unwarranted.

RT: Europe and America were quick to condemn Ukrainian authorities. But we have seen similar responses across the EU, as well as during the Occupy demonstrations in the United States. So, tell me a little bit about these types of scenarios.

CJ: In any situation in the United States, a police officer has to evaluate the threat, the perceived threat. So if the police officer perceives that there is a threat to themselves or somebody else, they can respond with pepper spray, batons, personal weapon strikes, electronic control devices.

Riot police officers gather during clashes with pro-European protesters in Kiev (Reuters / Maks Levin)

If the threat rises to the level where they think they or somebody else are being threatenedd with death or serious bodily harm, they can respond with deadly force.

RT: The Ukrainian opposition is getting a lot of support from the US government right now. What's your take on that – could such backing impact the unrest?

CJ: Again, I can only look at it from a police officer’s standpoint, and my belief would be police officers on the scene, they also are apolitical. They are there just to protect lives and property. So, their concern is: ‘Are they agitators, are they violent protesters?’ And police have the responsibility to respond to that and to quell that.

RT: If this happened in the US, what would happen?

CJ:
Hopefully it will never rise to the level where you have people – I’ve seen people with firearms, I’ve seen people with petrol bombs, Molotov cocktails, with hammers – that is a deadly threat and our police would respond in kind.