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'Super Drunk' Mich. Principal Slips Cuffs

A Michigan elementary school principal arrested for drunk driving slips out of her handcuffs while riding in the patrol car. Read the full story here.

April 30, 2013

Comments (10)

Displaying 1 - 10 of 10

Brian in So Cal @ 4/30/2013 12:46 PM

Why was she cuffed in front? And the cuffs obviously weren't tight enough. Also, what's up with the arresting officer's failure to stop the car, call for a second officer (or maybe a supervisor), and then resecure his prisoner after she tried to return his handcuffs during transport? It is possible to simultaneously be compassionate to your arrestee while following sound officer safety tactics and your department's handcuffing policy.

Former law dog @ 4/30/2013 6:12 PM

I agree with the previous comment. No doubt he knew the principal and felt she wouldn't give him any trouble. We don't know all the facts. After all, the cop is human too. Maybe he made a good, sound decision in this case to keep the cuffs loose, and maybe he learned a lesson about cuffing in the future. Let's hope it doesn't cost him his life someday. Counsel him, but don't be too harsh.

mark @ 4/30/2013 7:48 PM

Case law suggests that not ALL people should be handcuffed in the back.

Tschako @ 4/30/2013 10:44 PM

Mark: "Case law suggests that not ALL people should be handcuffed in the back." Case law does not dictate department policy, nor saftey proceedures. Somewhere or somehow some judge may have said that a defendant should have not been cuffed in back, but that has no bearing on what an officer should do. He does what is department policy, and what is safe.

paladin @ 5/1/2013 2:09 AM

So,'re saying department policy supersedes case law? For discipline maybe, but not for the lawsuit. One size fits all policies are getting us in trouble.

Jimbo @ 5/1/2013 6:33 AM

Only case law I'm aware of RE front vs back handcuffing has to with reasonably known injuries, i.e. shoulder & back injuries. A claim of some injury isn't enough under Rodriguez v Farrell (6th Cir 2002) where they said an officer "need not credit everything a suspect tells him." In this case, the arrestee displayed no obvious signs of physical injury. Another 6th Cir case from 2007 (Marvin v City of Taylor) threw out the claim of a 78 year old man complaint of getting handcuffed behind his back saying it hurt him. This guy was suspected of being drunk and repeatedly refused commands of officers. Everything is fact specific. As long as we adjust the cuffs when there are complaints of tightness (using safe practices and being aware of surroundings of course), front v back isn't an issue as long as officers can articulate WHY.

Brett @ 5/1/2013 8:35 AM

re:Jimbo, I don't think we have to adjust the cuffs. I believe we just have to check them.

Sam Johnsey @ 5/1/2013 1:48 PM

The cuffs were probably HWC. Those things are pieces of c..p. They're not even hardened; an average male officer could twist an HWC handcuff into a pretzel.

Joking aside, there are cuffs and cuff inserts designed for dealing with women's wrists or small male wrists.

Jim B. @ 5/3/2013 1:30 PM

I'm glad it turned out ok for the officer and I'm not going to say I haven't made similar errors but I hope it is not something he (or any of us) make a habit out of. She certainly seemed compliant and it's easy to feel sorry for the "nice" ones, the ones who are cooperative, upset and not causing us problems. But you never know when the weepy, timid, soft spoken drunk is going to turn around on you. I've always been a big fan of the transport belt or belly chain for those arrestees I either couldn't or didn't want to cuff in the back. Still keeps them secure but much more comfortable.

One other thing I have to point out, SEAT BELT??? You've got those nice transport seats with the outside buckle seat belts and you're not gonna strap her in? Forget about whether she might try and get lose and attack you, what if some other drunk runs into you on the way to the jail and she gets banged around back there and is injured. Think you're gonna have some questions to answer then? We need to be wearing our own seat belts and we better be putting them on our arrestees also.

LoRue @ 5/3/2013 4:51 PM

The officer in this video was lucky. He consoles the female and she remains calm. However, any one who has ever delt with intoxicated persons knows that they are unstable. He could have had a real problem on his hands. He should have called for another officer, stopped the crusier and resecured her with the cuffs behind her back.
I hope this left a very distinct impression on the officer. He needs to re-evaluate his cuffing and transport procedure. Secure the seatbelt, and you will have less problems in the future. Secure everyone the same way. If they have some type of disability, then chain at the waist. Explaining to love ones that their family member was killed, is bad enough. When it is because he/she did or didn't do something, that is hard to handle. Learn from this and don't repeat it.

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