(NSFW) Less Than Lethal Does Not Mean Non-Lethal

This compilation of bodycam footage from California illustrates the reality of a common misconception. A suspect is hit with less-than-lethal (sometimes erroneously referred to as ‘non-lethal’) beanbag rounds in the course of his arrest, but the impact to his chest does, in fact, kill him. Viewer discretion is advised.


Fullerton Police in California responded to a complaint that two males were loitering at a local McDonald’s, and based on their behavior, the complainant was concerned for the safety of the staff. The behavior of the suspects suggested possible drug use. When the police confronted the suspect with whom this video is concerned, he began swinging a belt like a weapon.


The belt-wielding suspect, later identified as 50-year-old Alejandro Rios, continued to ignore verbal commands in both English and Spanish. He continued to behave erratically with the belt. At 02:45 in this footage, the police deployed a TASER. However, it proved ineffective and Rios was shot approximately three seconds later with several bean bag shotgun rounds. None of these efforts managed to topple Rios, probably in large part due to the drugs in his system. He took a knee at 03:04 and submitted. He is shown visibly bleeding from the chest.


While the bean bag was deployed as an alternative to lethal force, investigation revealed that Rios suffered significant trauma to the the chest as result of the round. Although police and paramedics rendered aid, Rios was pronounced dead at an area trauma center.


About the Author

Author's Photo

Cole Simms

Cole Simms is an Air Guardsman, NASA enthusiast, police officer, and security contractor with particular experience in austere environments. Outside of work, he volunteers as a Stop The Bleed instructor for area schools. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and blends his knowledge and experience to write analysis for Funker530.


Need a tried-and-tested fixed blade that's trusted by police, military and protective service users all over the world? Cole recommends Ironside Edge Works for your tactical or EDC blade needs.

Published 1 week ago

This compilation of bodycam footage from California illustrates the reality of a common misconception. A suspect is hit with less-than-lethal (sometimes erroneously referred to as ‘non-lethal’) beanbag rounds in the course of his arrest, but the impact to his chest does, in fact, kill him. Viewer discretion is advised.


Fullerton Police in California responded to a complaint that two males were loitering at a local McDonald’s, and based on their behavior, the complainant was concerned for the safety of the staff. The behavior of the suspects suggested possible drug use. When the police confronted the suspect with whom this video is concerned, he began swinging a belt like a weapon.


The belt-wielding suspect, later identified as 50-year-old Alejandro Rios, continued to ignore verbal commands in both English and Spanish. He continued to behave erratically with the belt. At 02:45 in this footage, the police deployed a TASER. However, it proved ineffective and Rios was shot approximately three seconds later with several bean bag shotgun rounds. None of these efforts managed to topple Rios, probably in large part due to the drugs in his system. He took a knee at 03:04 and submitted. He is shown visibly bleeding from the chest.


While the bean bag was deployed as an alternative to lethal force, investigation revealed that Rios suffered significant trauma to the the chest as result of the round. Although police and paramedics rendered aid, Rios was pronounced dead at an area trauma center.


About the Author

Author's Photo

Cole Simms

Cole Simms is an Air Guardsman, NASA enthusiast, police officer, and security contractor with particular experience in austere environments. Outside of work, he volunteers as a Stop The Bleed instructor for area schools. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and blends his knowledge and experience to write analysis for Funker530.


Need a tried-and-tested fixed blade that's trusted by police, military and protective service users all over the world? Cole recommends Ironside Edge Works for your tactical or EDC blade needs.

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