Police explain use-of-force policy after incident at Northern Ho - KULR8.com | Montana's News Leader | Billings, MT

Police explain use-of-force policy after incident at Northern Hotel

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

According to a recent news release, officers were dispatched to the Northern Hotel in Downtown Billings around midnight Saturday. A 55-year-old male told the front desk clerk to call the police and say he had a weapon. When police got there, the male refused to show his hands. Officers were able to successfully tase him and take him into custody.

The press release stated that the man was suicidal and wanted to be shot, but the police controlled the situation and successfully detained him.

KULR-8 asked Billings Police Chief Rich St. John why officers made the decision of not using lethal force. He said officers look to the use of force policy which describes how police react to threats. He said it minimizes injuries and it was an excellent resolution to the problem. St. John said the officers didn't see a weapon and there was no threat that rose to the level of officers being required to use deadly force. He said time was the most important factor.

"As long as nobody's gonna get hurt, there's no threat, they're not threatening anybody, we'll use as much time as we need," St. John said. "At some point in time, however, the officers determined that the taser was appropriate to end the situation before it escalated and, again, it came out well."

The press release stated the male was transported to Billings Clinic for medical treatment, and there are no charges at this time.

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