Retired officers: Searches and handcuffs don't always work - WSMV Channel 4

Retired officers: Searches and handcuffs don't always work

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(WSMV file photo) (WSMV file photo)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A suspect shot and killed himself in the back of a Gallatin police car last week.

While it sounds like something that should not be possible, two retired Metro police officers told Channel 4 it's not out of the ordinary.

"You'd be surprised what you miss," said Buford Tune, a retired officer who now teaches personal protection and security.

Tune showed Channel 4 how easy it is to get out of handcuffs and for officers to miss things while they do their searches.

He could recall close calls he had in his past.

"This guy had been searched, we had been called to transport, and when we got there the first thing I did was pat him down, and he had a gun hidden in his crotch," Tune said.

Tune also showed dash camera video where a suspect slid his arm down during the search to block his gun. He later used that gun while in the back of the patrol car to shoot through the window and escape.

In one extreme case a man got a gun inside a jail cell after shoving it up his rectum.

When it comes to handcuffs, Tune said those do not always stay on as officers would like them to.

"Basically you take this and slide it down into the cuff, it separates the teeth and the cuff will open right up," Tune said.

Even without a shim, it's possible to be cuffed behind the back and for suspects to get their arms in front of them.

"I was caught in what they call the kill zone. I couldn't drop down or I'd get shot in the head. I couldn't run back I'd still get hit," said Raymond Rader, a retired Metro officer.

Rader was put in this situation after both suspects he was transporting to jail were searched and handcuffed.

They had just arrived at the jail when Rader opened the door to get the suspects out and one turned on him.

"The door pushed me back. He forced it open, and when he did, he stepped out with one foot. He put a .38 revolver and pointed it right at my face. He still had handcuffs but they were in front of him," Rader said. "He did what they typically call escaping the goat, that is where they slide them (handcuffs) down over their bottom and the over their legs so they are out in front."

Rader said he had nowhere to go but up against the police car.

"I tucked my chin to protect my neck and closed my eyes and waited for the blast, and it knocked me off the car," Rader said.

Once the first shot was fired, "I started zig-zagging towards the front door, and during that I was counting the shots," Rader said. "He fired five times. He hit me five out of five."

Rader said the last shot dropped him within a few feet from the main entrance of the police station.

Officers inside the building heard the ambush, ran out, shot one of the suspects and apprehended both of them. 

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