Policy: Technology

Texts between suspect, negotiator during standoff

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Photo - In a May 6, 2014 photo, Sgt. Andres Wells of the Kalamazoo Dept. of Public Safety, who successfully used text messaging to negotiate with a suicidal robbery suspect during a 2011 standoff is seen in his armored vehicle holding his cell phone and vehicle speaker. The suspect was unable to hear Wells's voice through the horn of the Bearcat armored car and gave up after a texting conversation with Sgt. Wells. With 6 billion text messages exchanged daily in the United States, texting is becoming a more frequent part of police crisis negotiations. (AP Photo/Mark Bugnaski)
In a May 6, 2014 photo, Sgt. Andres Wells of the Kalamazoo Dept. of Public Safety, who successfully used text messaging to negotiate with a suicidal robbery suspect during a 2011 standoff is seen in his armored vehicle holding his cell phone and vehicle speaker. The suspect was unable to hear Wells's voice through the horn of the Bearcat armored car and gave up after a texting conversation with Sgt. Wells. With 6 billion text messages exchanged daily in the United States, texting is becoming a more frequent part of police crisis negotiations. (AP Photo/Mark Bugnaski)
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Excerpts from the text exchange between Kalamazoo, Michigan, police negotiator Andres Wells and suspect Jesse Cook during a July 6, 2011, standoff. With 6 billion text messages exchanged daily in the United States, texting is becoming a more frequent part of police crisis negotiations.

WELLS, 2:14 a.m.: This doesn't have to go down like this

WELLS, 2:15 a.m.: Do you need anything? Water? Food?

COOK, 2:16 a.m.: Water.

WELLS, 2:17 a.m.: Water is coming up. I'll let you know when. Some guys with a shield are going to bring it up. They will not try anything. Don't worry

COOK, 2:19 a.m.: Probably be messy if they do. I'm already nervous as (expletive).

WELLS, 2:20 a.m.: I know. Don't worry. We don't want this to be a mess. I'll help you through it. I got Gatorade here. You ready?

...

WELLS, 2:22 a.m.: Roll the window down all the way. This guy throws like a girl. And please keep your hands visible. OK?

WELLS, 2:24 a.m.: Can you put both hands up where they can see them. So they know u wont shoot them

WELLS, 2:25 a.m.: They r scared that if you reach for the Gatorade by instinct the gun might get squeezed

WELLS, 2:25 a.m.: Can u just set it down for a sec. I promise no one will try anything

WELLS, 2:26 a.m.: They wont even get close

COOK, 2:26 a.m.: This is all I have left.

WELLS, 2:26 a.m.: I'll help u through.

COOK, 2:29 a.m.: Thanks. He does throw like a girl.

COOK, 2:29 a.m.: : )

WELLS, 2:29 a.m.: Nice. : ) can I call u?

COOK, 2:30 a.m.: OK.

Cook surrendered 15 minutes later.

___

Source: Kalamazoo County Office of the Prosecuting Attorney

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