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gvf
July 16, 2008, 01:21 AM
I guess usual advice if ever in shooting to avoid the cops shooting you in error, is to call 911, let them know this was SD, who you are (good guy) and describe yourself, clothes etc. Fine, but I can see times when that wouldn't work. An example:

Smoke clears, BG is down and not moving, stunned you stand there, gun in hand. But you do remember after a bit to call 911. You do and go through the above info pretty quickly, and - because this is usually how you end a cell call - (you only use it occasionally) - and your attention is riveted on the inert BG - you disconnect and turn off the phone soon as you're done talking. So 911 can't get further info to you - but you're not thinking so clearly. Seems but a few seconds after that: sirens are all over the place, and here they come! How the cops got there so quick is secondary to your relief and you feel pretty safe as they know you're the good-guy. Doors open and, gun still unconsciously held out a bit , you turn quickly towards them to point at yourself so they make the connection you are the caller and to shout "It's OK!". Unfortunately, the first police round has just hit you in the throat - and there's merely a gurgling sound as you go down.

What happened? A bystander a distance away saw "one man shooting another", called 911 immediately, before you did after your long stunned pause. The second report from 911 (from you) is starting but the cops are responding to the first, now exiting cars and drawing and hyped beyond belief. They have seen the "man who shot the other man", gun in hand - the other man lying inert - quickly turning towards them with a gun partially raised and he's screaming in rage. Adrenaline takes over...

Far fetched? maybe, but a shooting is adrenaline-city for everyone, and that's when things easily go haywire. And there are other situations also that could screw up the call being made period, or being made but garbled after the first part in transmission, static etc, and others as well.

So, what is a good and safe "always" routine to go through right after a shooting, say with the BG down and inert to make it simpler. E.g. what do you do with the gun? Especially if the cops are pulling up? Hold on? - seems very risky. Move your arm to place it in holster or on the ground? Seems very risky. And then what do you do? etc., etc., etc.: for anytime, having called or not. Because one thing seems clear to me: assume nothing as far as what the cops may know or may not know.

J.Smith
July 16, 2008, 04:31 AM
For one I wouldn't hang up with the 911 operator until the police were inside my residence and were aware of who I was. Secondly if the perp is down and out I would immediately secure my weapon in a holster even if it is just holstered sitting on a counter or table.

Sigma 40 Blaster
July 16, 2008, 06:13 AM
First thing I'd have to say that I wouldn't get off the phone with 911 unless something forced me to. If I'm at home I want the operator to tell me "They are on scene NOW". If I'm in public I want 911 to hear everything that happens after the shoot if stuff gets stupid with onlookers, accomplices, or the BG himself. I don't turn off my phone when I'm done with it...the batteries are rechargeable.

What to do with your gun is another story...I have no training on this but common sense tells me that if the BG is still alive and capable of trying to re-arm (hopefully you have kicked/moved his/her gun away from their hands) your gun stays out in low ready. Especially if you're not sure that there's not another BG around waiting to get you. You're standing somewhere you won't be putting anyone else in cross-fire should the worst happen again. You be sure to relay what you're doing and your position to the 911 operator so the police know what to expect when they enter the scene.

On the other hand, BG is not moving or breathing AND I'm sure that no one else is lurking? Gun gets re-holstered. 911 is informed of that fact too.

Worst case the police enter and have received no info about the details of the shooting, follow their orders to the letter, don't argue and tell your story until THEY consider themselves safe. Don't assume you know what they want you to do and make a move with a firearm in your hand.

Keltyke
July 16, 2008, 06:22 AM
1. Safety and re-holster your weapon immediately! You don't need a cell phone picture of yourself standing over the body with a smoking gun.
2. Call 911 (even if someone else already has) and do not hang up with the dispatcher until the LEOs arrive.
3. Do NOT touch anything, or allow anyone else to touch anything pertaining to the scene/evidence.
4. Do NOT discus the incident with ANYONE, especially the press, if they arrive (they monitor police radio bands). If possible, do not allow pictures of you especially, or anything pertaining to the incident to be taken, except by the LEOs. If pictures are taken, point out the photog to the LEOS, they may want the pics for evidence.
5. When the police arrive, do exactly what they say, no matter how unfair it may seem. They will probably confiscate your weapon. You may be searched. You may be handcuffed and placed in the back of a patrol car. You may be arrested.
6. Briefly, and as clearly as possible, tell the officers FACTUALLY what happened, then ask to speak with a lawyer before you say anything else. Point out witnesses, if any. Some LEOs will try to discuss the incident in length with you, do not do this until you have legal representation.

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER apologize for shooting!!! In court, an apology can be taken as an expression of remorse or guilt. A good prosecutor will take that and run with it, and a jury will go where they're led. You can never be sorry for actually defending your life. To the contrary, do not act with bravado and strut around. ("Yea, I shot the m-f! That's one less!") Simply be normal. Evidence will do a lot to get you off and so will your attitude and demeanor.

I think that's about it, but someone else will probably think of something I forgot.

KMO
July 16, 2008, 06:58 AM
My CCW instructor, a retired officer, had some simple advice for when LE arrives after a self-defense/home defense shooting. What one says (and doesn't say) is critically important. He recommended just a few things to say:

"Officer, I want this man arrested." (regardless of medical condition of BG)

"I feared for my life."

After this, refer all further statements to your attorney (go silent). In his opinion, the potential for "civil" action from the BG's family, regardless of how blatantly guilty the BG may have been in the original incident, is perhaps the greatest down-the-road threat to the innocent defender. He spoke from personal experience in this...seemed like sound advice.

gvf
July 16, 2008, 07:23 AM
delete

Keltyke
July 16, 2008, 07:24 AM
the potential for "civil" action from the BG's family,

I believe that. Remember, a criminal jury decides "beyond a reasonable doubt". A civil jury decides on "the preponderance of evidence".

gvf
July 16, 2008, 07:56 AM
2. Call 911 (even if someone else already has) and do not hang up with the dispatcher until the LEOs arrive.

What do you do with your hands, especially if say, it's night on the street, the police will see an object (the cell) in your hand. (I agree with you by the way about staying on phone: "But there's the rub!": You have an object in your hand in the dark -)

I called 911 in New York in my building once, hearing screaming.(Obviously I had no gun there). On the way downstairs to see if I could place it's location, the super of the building explained it was a resident who was mental and occasionally "went off" but was harmless. I strode outside to wait and tell cops it was nothing when they arrived. Bingo, they were already there, in force, getting out of cars. Soon as they saw me exiting building with object in my hand (cell), they all immediately moved back in the cars, and slammed the doors. I realized at once I had made an error keeping anything in my hand, and raised arms straight up, stopping in my tracks - with cell held plainly visible. They gave me orders from afar to approach and how to do it. Then relaxed when I told them I had called. (Payed no attention to my saying everything was OK though and went in in force and talked to super themselves, some staying near me outside. Why? If as an assaulter in a domestic fight knows the victim has called 911, pretending he was the caller and it is now unnecessary for them to stay is a tactic cops are familiar with. So, they investigate anyway - while keeping an eye on the "bearer of good news")

bds32
July 16, 2008, 08:12 AM
Speaking from an LEO point of view, you have described the worst case scenario. Unfortunately, it has happened several times to plain clothes officers. Uniformed officer thinks the plain clothes officer is a bad guy and then shoots when he see him holding a gun or shooting at a suspect. It's about the same situation with citizens. You have to remember that unless the responding officers have been given a description of you and your actions, you are in bad situation. So I think:

1. The first think you need to do is get out of the open and get behind some cover, any cover. This is before you call 911. This is before, during or immediately after your gunfight, whatever is most convenient at the time. This will help protect you against the bad guy, other armed citizens and police officers who mistake you for a bad guy.

2. Do not holster your pistol, unless you are absolutely sure the guy is completely incapacitated. Personally, I'll need to see brains on the ground before I'll feel certain of this.

3. Call 911 or sound off for somone else to call. Keep them on the phone until police arrive. You'll probably hear sirens on approach but maybe not if the officer wants to conceal his approach.

4. Stay alert for police. At the very instant, you are aware of police presence, I say lay the gun on the ground, making sure the muzzle doesn't point at police, and show your empty hands. Trying to holster at this point may confuse the officer and he could think you're going for a gun. With your hands clear, the officer will simply challenge you, place you in the prone position and handcuff you for safety reasons until he or she gets it all figured out.

Superhouse 15
July 16, 2008, 08:39 AM
I learned this years ago. A memory aid post shooting: CLASSIC
Cover: Get behind some or better
Load: Tactical top off.
Announce: Give instructions like don't move, call 911 for me, etc.
Scan
Sideways: To break tunnel vision
Inhale: "power breating" to oxygenate
Call / Communicate: 911 or for backup.

Keltyke
July 16, 2008, 11:13 AM
Good advice. I was relating what I was taught, twice, by two retired LEOS with about 25 years experience each. Your suggestion to describe yourself to the dispatcher is excellent.

I was talking about when the incident is over and the threat is negated. Obviously, if there is still a threat, you don't disarm. "Fire until the threat is negated."

Taking cover might cast suspicion as "hiding".

Holding your gun and laying it down when the LEOs arrive does two things, it shows them you with a gun in your hand and it shows you moving, neither of which is good. I'd rather present them with a completely still subject (arms outstretched) who immediately announces he/she has a CWP and is armed. Let the officers handle the gun in the way they've been trained.

ssilicon
July 16, 2008, 12:16 PM
What you should do when you hear them sirens is start to run like hell to get away, so they don't shoot you. Be sure to wave your gun behind you though in their direction just in case they do get too close to you, you will then scare them and make them back off. Yeah, that's the ticket. Funny answers for funny questions. :D

jackmcmanus21
July 16, 2008, 12:54 PM
good advice Keltyke, movement is generally a bad idea in this kind of situation and you usually can't go wrong with staying still and showing no threat

David Armstrong
July 16, 2008, 01:53 PM
So, what is a good and safe "always" routine to go through right after a shooting, say with the BG down and inert to make it simpler.
This is the routine we used to teach for our off-duty and/or undercover officers:
1. Holster gun if this can be done safely. Place hands in surrender position.
2. If not, hold gun above head with both hands in surrender position as officers arrive. Follow officer instructions immediately. Do not point, argue, make any sudden moves, etc.
3. Identify yourself as the good guy as soon as you can, but remember the officer responding to the call is in charge.

Erik
July 16, 2008, 02:39 PM
What to do to maximize the chances of being ID'd as a/the good guy on a firearms related call, be it a shooting or other wise, is a good thing to know.

Unfortunately, it is a complicated thing at times, with no clear cut solutions.

The simple answer is: Do not appear to be a threat.

But how? I'll explain my take on it, in order:

Prior to LEOs arrivig on scene:

Call 911. The advise to call with details and descriptions is sound. Try to inform dispatch of injuries to yourself and others which will have to be treated.

Get the gun out of your hand. Holster it, drop it, place it somewhere, whatever.

Keep your hands visible. Raised, out, at your side, it doesn't matter, so long as they are visible.

Unfortunately, situations being what they are, you shouldn't count on being able to that. Phone calls can't be made, guns have to be in hand, and hands cannot always be displayed as imagined.

Which means the plan about what to do when the LEOs arrive and find you gun in hand has to look like this: Do not appear to be a threat.

If you were able to make that 911 call you should still ideally be on the line. Use that to your advantage, re-iterating your location and description and talking the LEOs in to the dispatcher.

Get the gun out of your hand. Holster it, place it on something, or drop it, whatever. Slowly. Deliberately.

Keep your hands visible.

Now the LEOs are on scene, as in out of cars, guns drawn, looking at you and possibly pointing their guns at you.

Do not assume. Do not assume they know you are a LEO. Do not assume they recognize you. Do not assume you are obviously the good guy.

Comply. Immediately. Period.

Don't move. When directed to move, do so slowely and deliberately.

Don't turn toward the LEOs if you still have a gun in your hand. It is the only exception to the comply immediately rule. I've actually seen this: a LEO, not realizing a third party was armed with gun in hand, command the man to turn followed not by movement but a calm question about what to do with the gun first. It may have gone badly had the man turned. A very heads-up move on the part of the carrier, by the way.

Talk. Relay immediately critical information and that you're the good guy. IDing soemone as a/the good guy is easier with information to make the decision with. And LEOs really are much more interested in the bad guys. (I'm not saying to forget your rights. I'm talking about briefly IDing what happened, who and where the bad guys is, and that you aren't the bad guy.)

Expect things. Expect things will be tense. Expect guns will be pointed at you. Expect to be man-handled a bit. Expect to be handcuffed. Expect to be detained. That way you're prepared in advance and should any of that happen your body language will reflect your preperation and acceptance. When those things don't happen, even better. But remember, the main idea is for other things not to happen, like you getting shot.

Anyway, that's it off of the cuff. The risk cannot be elliminated, but it can be managed.

gvf
July 16, 2008, 03:01 PM
This was very good post - many have been; the above gives a general principle to use for any situation, which as Erik says can be changing, and accounts for uniqueness in each situation.

ZeSpectre
July 16, 2008, 03:13 PM
There is one important point to this scenario and one I have to stress over and over to folks.

YOU MUST NEVER ASSUME THAT A BAD GUY IS ALONE. IF YOU SEE ONE THEN ALWAYS ASSUME THAT HE HAS AT LEAST ONE BUDDY IN THE AREA.

For this reason it is exceedingly unwise to disarm yourself unless you are absolutely certain that the situation is under control.

In fact I consider it common sense to retreat to safety and then call/turn yourself in from there. Yes a zealous prosecutor will try to make hay about "fleeing the scene" but I'd rather have to defend myself against that than face your nightmare scenario or the one where the downed badguy's buddies open up on me when I drop my defenses.

NOT legal advice, just personal opinion.

gvf
July 16, 2008, 03:51 PM
Keep your hands visible. Raised, out, at your side, it doesn't matter, so long as they are visible.

Should You Face Cops or Have Back to Them With Hands Up?

Jon-m
July 16, 2008, 04:08 PM
Should You Face Cops or Have Back to Them With Hands Up?

I would think that that would be dependent on the individual situation and the demands of the responding officers. If it were me, I would try very hard not to assume any position until I was explicitly told to do so. Standing very still is much less likely to get you shot in this situation than moving without being told to.

Erik
July 16, 2008, 06:40 PM
If it is within your control, I'd recommend facing them.

But as Jon-M just said, there are so many variables I wouldn't get too wrapped up in it. If you happen to be facing away from the LEO addressing you, so be it and go from there.

Keltyke
July 16, 2008, 09:53 PM
or drop it

Like hell I'll drop my Steyr on asphalt! I'll SLOWLY bend and lay it down.

Expect to be man-handled a bit.

Ah, I don't think so, scooter. I'll have a cop on report. If I'm offering no resistance, there is NO excuse for my being "man-handled".

Should You Face Cops or Have Back to Them With Hands Up?

Stand still wherever you are. No matter what direction the cops come from, THEY will tell you what direction they want you to face. DO NOT move unless they direct you.

Sigma 40 Blaster
July 16, 2008, 10:02 PM
Guys,

You're acting like this is a old black and white movie with no speech. Take cover, keep your gun out until the cops get there. When they announce themselves identify yourself, tell them where you are, and ask them how they want you to proceed. Follow all directions. Just ask that they cover the BG you have already shot.

Most of this is mall ninja garbage guys. The cops are just as scared as you are, most likely they want to be the one with the upper hand so give it to them. On a silver platter. Don't lose your head, do what they say.

Keltyke
July 16, 2008, 10:44 PM
Take cover, keep your gun out until the cops get there.

Oh, that's good. I'm in cover, holding a gun. Yea, the cops will really believe I'm the good guy now. "Hey guys. I'm over here behind these garbage cans and I'm holding a gun. I just shot somebody." That'll put some pressure on those triggers. A holstered gun is not nearly as much of a threat as a gun in hand.

BTW, if you continue to display your gun after the incident is over, you may be considered "brandishing". You may also be challenged by a similarly-armed newcomer to the scene.

workinwifdakids
July 16, 2008, 11:14 PM
Keep in mind that if a cop shoots you right between the eyes, the only thing he'll get is a 3-day paid vacation, so approach the situation knowing that.

Personally, the very second I was done shooting, I'd call 911 on my cell. I wouldn't say anything except this:

"I need an ambulance right now at [x] location between [y] and [z] streets. A man's been shot." It's critical to use the passive voice (e.g., "been shot") instead of the active voice (e.g., "I shot") because of your 5th Amendment rights.

Only if pressed by the dispatcher should you admit to being the shooter, and then only by saying something like, "He attacked me with a knife. I tried to run away, but he wouldn't stop chasing me. I begged him not to make me shoot him, but he kept coming at me with the knife. I was scared I was going to die." Again, don't ever say "I shot him."

While you're on the phone with 911, empty your handgun, open and clear the action, and set it down several feet away from you with you seated on the ground. With you on the cell phone and seated on the ground, it may take several moments for the police to even see the gun.

I think this way, you're less likely to be shot by a cop.

But only marginally.

Erik
July 17, 2008, 07:42 PM
Well it didn't take too long for someone to state they wouldn't follow the directions, which is a key contributer to folks getting shot. Not getting shot, bearing in mind, being the goal of the thread.

Think about it: "STOP POLICE! DON'T MOVE! DROP THE GUN!" Delivered at gun point. This is not the time to deviate from the following two well intended bits of advise: (1) Comply. Immediately. Period. (2) Don't move.

---

As for the man-handling part, it probably comes down to definitions. I recognize that many folks define the realities of being physically controlled, cuffed or not, as being man-handled, no matter how relatively gentle or appropriate, and use the term with that understanding. Thus defined, is a very real, high probability, aspect of responding to high-risk, shots fired calls. Be prepared for it, that is all, so you can curb the reaction to resist, which would predictable lead to poor results, possibly to include the shooting the thread is trying to avoid.

Erik
July 17, 2008, 10:22 PM
On "canned responses" :

Take a page from decades of court evaluation of LEO statements: Avoid the canned responses. Instead, be aware of how to say things, a variety of things, in such a manner that you aught be able to (a) convey the facts and (b) protect yourself. They are not mutually exclusive.

"I was afraid" tells about as much as "I did it for officer safety," which is not much. And people in the business know that, and how to exploit it.

a10t2
July 17, 2008, 10:57 PM
Briefly, and as clearly as possible, tell the officers FACTUALLY what happened, then ask to speak with a lawyer before you say anything else.

IANAL, but I would caution against that advice. There is no conceivable way that NOT exercising your right to remain silent will help you. Your account can be given in a deposition, on a tape recorder, with your attorney present.

gvf
July 18, 2008, 01:06 AM
IANAL, but I would caution against that advice. There is no conceivable way that NOT exercising your right to remain silent will help you. Your account can be given in a deposition, on a tape recorder, with your attorney present

I'm not recommending you jeopardize yourself legally. But whatever the legal aspects, they won't come in to play if you're dead from a police bullet. So, it's the immediate situation of being in an adrenaline rush with others who are in an adrenaline rush, all who have loaded guns, likely out and perhaps pointed at you, and all of whom are seeing you standing near an inert body and possibly with a gun. So, whatever you say or do has to solve that crucial predicament first. The legally apt statements and what they are are another thread I believe - though a very necessary topic. But how not to die comes first and my concern about that prompted me to start the thread.

Double Naught Spy
July 18, 2008, 04:31 AM
But whatever the legal aspects, they won't come in to play if you're dead from a police bullet. So, it's the immediate situation of being in an adrenaline rush with others who are in an adrenaline rush, all who have loaded guns, likely out and perhaps pointed at you, and all of whom are seeing you standing near an inert body and possibly with a gun.

Why the hell are you standing near an inert body? Why have you not moved to a position of safety?

So, whatever you say or do has to solve that crucial predicament first.

Like the Police will just believe the guy with a gun standing over an inert body? I don't think so. People lie to them all the time. They are going to have to assume you are the bad guy until it is otherwise established that you are not - since you do appear to be the shooter. Your best bet, if you are so slow as to be standing over the inert body with your gun in your hand, is to simply comply 100% with whatever the officers order you to do.

Actions speak louder than words.

BillCA
July 18, 2008, 08:03 AM
First of all, most of these posts presume a somewhat "pristine" environment will exist in a post-shooting situation.

Murphy's law of Combat #6: No plan survives contact with the enemy.

All of the advice above goes out the window when you're forced to shoot Danny Dirtbag in the 7-11 parking lot because he came at you with a knife. People pulling into the parking lot; people driving off; pedestrians coming & going, etc. Not to mention you might draw something of a crowd before LE arrives.

Some of the advice also turns to vapor if the subject is still alive with an incapacitating wound. He may be issuing threats to you, complaining of his pain or whatever.

And it's different again if the perp has a gunpoint ephiany about bringing his knife to a gunfight and surrenders. (Now your choice is hold 'em or cut him loose.)

There are techniques to control a gathering crowd. The more you appear to be "in charge" the better. Keeping the crowd back so your perp's weapon doesn't disappear and/or keeping "Good Sam" back away from a potentially still-armed subject are only two worries.

I'm of the opinion that I'd prefer to holster my weapon before police arrive but only if it's safe to do so. This way I can wave two empty hands in the air. Regardless of holding the gun or not, I want them to see me as "flagging them down" or waving to them.

Once they arrive, they command. I'll do what they say... although I'm inclined to lay down my gun instead of dropping it.

Remember, police are taught to "secure the scene" of a crime. That means putting into handcuffs anyone suspected of violent acts and securing all weapons.

David Armstrong
July 18, 2008, 03:23 PM
Like hell I'll drop my Steyr on asphalt! I'll SLOWLY bend and lay it down.
When your gun becomes more important than your life, there is a problem. If I tell you to drop it and you make any move with it, prepare to be shot. I've told you exactly what to do, you choose not to do so at your own peril.
Ah, I don't think so, scooter. I'll have a cop on report. If I'm offering no resistance, there is NO excuse for my being "man-handled".
And yet it happens every day. You've been in a shooting, you've shot somebody, don't expect much leeway. Look at all those "non-resisting" folks on the Dateline "To Catch A Predator" tapes. Besides, you've already shown that you are going to cause trouble because you did not drop your gun.

Briefly, and as clearly as possible, tell the officers FACTUALLY what happened, then ask to speak with a lawyer before you say anything else.
There is a reason Miranda starts with a warning. Do not tell the officers anything other than "he attacked me and I defended myself" or something along those lines until you get a lawyer present. What seem like very innocent words at the scene can be terribly damaging in court.

So, whatever you say or do has to solve that crucial predicament first.
Forget saying anything. Your actions will determine if you get shot at or not, not your words. And once your actions have been controlled your words no longer matter.

Keltyke
July 18, 2008, 07:56 PM
If I tell you to drop it and you make any move with it, prepare to be shot. I've told you exactly what to do, you choose not to do so at your own peril.

Ooohhhhh.................

BillCA
July 18, 2008, 10:43 PM
When your gun becomes more important than your life, there is a problem. If I tell you to drop it and you make any move with it, prepare to be shot. I've told you exactly what to do, you choose not to do so at your own peril.

Sorry Barney... I'm very likely going to lay it on the ground gently. The last thing I want to do is drop a gun that may be cocked and unlocked around a bunch of nervous cops pointing guns in my direction. Dropping some guns can potentially discharge the weapon if it lands on a hard surface.

Futher, if you're so twitchy that you will shoot someone moving in a slow deliberate manner to comply with your order to disarm, you need some serious vacation time or a different occupation.

Stevie-Ray
July 19, 2008, 12:39 AM
Why the hell are you standing near an inert body? I doubt I will be if it ever happens to me. Anybody that calls will likely tell the dispatcher, "The guy crouching next to the street pizza is the good guy."

Keltyke
July 19, 2008, 08:23 AM
Futher, if you're so twitchy that you will shoot someone moving in a slow deliberate manner to comply with your order to disarm, you need some serious vacation time or a different occupation.

Thanks, Bill. I was going to stay off this, but I'm glad you chimed in with some support. Any cop who would shoot in this situation deserves to lose their badge, if not their liberty. That's "trigger-happy".

As for my remark about dropping my Steyr, some people in here are too tightly wrapped to know something is said tongue-in-cheek. I'll repeat, unless the cops roll up seconds after I've fired the last shot, my gun will be on safety and in the holster. If I'm holding the BG at gunpoint, that's a completely different scenario.

Erik
July 19, 2008, 03:09 PM
But the question really is, the whole thread in fact, is about what to do should you find yourself gun-in-hand and in a position where you need to avoid being shot by the cops. The gun-in-hand scenario IS the scenario. It's the one where people get shot. By preparing for it, you are preparing for the significantly less immediately concerning situations where there is time to call, holster, walk away, sit, render aid, whatever...

So to rephrase the question: What should gun-in-handers do to maximize their chances of getting shot by the cops?

Answer: Don't obey commands and move.

So, if a certain segment of people are inclined to not obey and move, fine, just understand that a certain segment of LEOs will be inclined to react using force up to and including shooting, and that given the context that will also be judged fine, albeit unfortunate.

And... Again... We're trying to advise a course of action so as NOT to get shot.

FLA2760
July 19, 2008, 04:55 PM
It is a good idea to inform the 911 dispatcher of your description and your clothing. Stay on the line with them if possible and DO NOT have the gun in your hand when the police arrive! Be careful what you say on the phone to the operator relative to the shooting what ever you say is on tape. ;)

Nnobby45
July 19, 2008, 05:37 PM
I guess usual advice if ever in shooting to avoid the cops shooting you in error, is to call 911, let them know this was SD, who you are (good guy) and describe yourself, clothes etc. Fine, but I can see times when that wouldn't work. An example:


You just described what we should do after a shooting, then gave us an imaginary incident where the citizen didn't do it? :confused:

How could you say it wouldn't work when the citizen in your scenario didn't follow the standard proceedures you described? Not to mention having a gun in his hand when the cops rolled up code 3.

I'm in total agreement, though, with your contention that if you didn't ID yourself to the dispatcher, and you have a gun in your hand when the cops arrive, you'll likely have a fast moving, exciting experience that you can tell your friends about--if you survive. :D

DCJS Instructor
July 19, 2008, 10:09 PM
Just Say NOTHING

by Dave Kopel

copyright, 1998 by Dillon Precision Products, Inc.
(reproduced with permission)

Provided by: Perroni’s Tactical Training Academy

What if you've just been arrested for something which shouldn't be a crime? For instance, if a burglar breaks into your home, attacks your children and you shoot him. Should you talk to the police? In a word, "No." Shut up, call the best lawyer you can find, and then continue to shut up. If you talk to the police, you will only make things worse for yourself.

Sociologist Richard Leo has written several articles which detail the deliberately deceptive techniques which police use to extract a confession.
First of all, since 1966 the Unites States Supreme Court has required that all persons under arrest be given the Miranda warnings, so that they will know that they have a right to remain silent, and the right to a lawyer. So how do police convince a suspect to talk, even after the Miranda warning?

Professor Leo explains that "police routinely deliver Miranda warnings in a perfunctory tone of voice and ritualistic behavioral manner, effectively conveying that these warnings are little more than a bureaucratic triviality." Of course, the Miranda warnings are not trivial; your liberty may hinge on heeding those warnings.

No matter how strong the other evidence against you, a confession will make things much worse. A confession often makes the major difference in the district attorney's willingness to prosecute the case, and his willingness to accept a plea bargain. If your confession gets before a jury, your prospects of acquittal are virtually nil.

If you are foolish enough to reject the Miranda warnings, simply put, the police interrogators will attempt to deceive you into confessing. As a result of increased judicial supervision of the police, deception, rather than coercion ("the third degree") has become the norm for interrogation.

First of all, you will be kept in a physical environment designed to make you want to waive your rights and talk. You will most likely be kept in isolation, in a small, soundproof area. By isolating you, the interrogator attempts to instill feelings of anxiety, restlessness and self-doubt on your part. Left alone for long periods, you may think you are being ignored, and will therefore be happy to see the interrogator return.

Ideally, from the interrogator's viewpoint, you will begin to develop the "Stockholm syndrome," in which persons held captive under total control begin to identify and empathize with their captors. This can occur after as few as ten minutes of isolation in captivity.

While increasing your dependence, the interrogator works to build your trust by pretending that he cares about you, that he wants to hear your story, and that he understands how difficult it may be for you to talk. The interrogator works to become your only source of social reinforcement.
There is no law against outright lies or other deceptions on the part of police during an interrogation. Almost certainly, you will be told that the prosecutor and the judge will be more lenient if you confess. This is a complete lie. The district attorney will be more lenient if you don't confess and he can't make a strong case against you, and therefore has to settle for a plea bargain. Nothing the police promise in the interrogation room is binding on the police, much less on the district attorney.

There are five "techniques of neutralization" which the interrogator may use in order to make you feel that the crime really wasn't so bad, and that it is therefore all right for you to confess. Of course the interrogator's pretense that he doesn't think the crime was serious will last only as long as necessary to obtain the confession.

The first technique is called "denial of responsibility," allowing the subject to blame someone else for the offense. For example, "it was really the burglar's fault for breaking in; he's the one to blame for getting shot." (That's true, but it's you, after all, that the police are interrogating.)

Another technique is "denial of injury." For example, "The burglar wasn't really hurt; he walked out of the hospital two hours ago." Maybe true, maybe not. In truth, the burglar could be in intensive care and the interrogator could be laying the groundwork for a murder case against you.

In the "denial of the victim" technique, the interrogator will suggest that the victim deserved what he got.

"Condemnation of the condemners" is always popular. For instance, "the real problem is all those anti-gun nuts who let criminals run loose, but don't want guys like you to defend themselves." True enough, but when the policeman saying this is holding you prisoner, take his sincere expression with a large grain of salt.

Finally, there's the "appeal to higher loyalties" such as "What you did is a common sense thing. Regardless of some legal technicality, the most important thing is for you to protect your family. Your family comes first, right?" True again, but the man saying this wants you to confess to violating the legal technicality, so you can be prosecuted for it.

A close cousin to the denial strategies are the "normalizing" techniques, in which the interrogator claims to understand that the crime was not typical behavior for the subject; "I can see that you're not a violent person. You're not a criminal. You're a tax-paying, home-owning, regular kind of guy. What happened tonight was really unusual for you, wasn't it?"

You have nothing to gain, and everything to lose by talking. You are not going to outsmart the interrogator. Even if you don't end up producing a full confession, you may reveal details which will help build a case against you.
Most violent criminals are too stupid to read, and too lazy to pursue a time-consuming, high-precision hobby like handloading. So I'm not worried that a violent criminal will read this column, and avoid confessing to a serious crime.

Too often in America, good citizens are arrested for victimless "crimes," including unjustifiable (and unconstitutional) gun regulations. The routine use of deception in order to trick good citizens into confessions is something that deserves more scrutiny than it has thus far received.

In the long run, routine deception by the police tears at our social fabric, and undermines the law enforcement system. The more police lie, the more skeptical juries are going to be, even when police are telling the truth.
Moreover, there are about 6,000 false confessions for felonies every year in the United States. (Huff et al., "Guilty Until Proven Innocent," Crime & Delinquency, vol. 32, pages 518-44, 1986). False confessions are one of the major reasons for the conviction of innocent persons.

Sources: Richard Leo, "Police Interrogation and Social Control," Social and Legal Studies, vol. 3, pages 93-120 (1994); "From Coercion to Deception: The Changing Nature of Police Interrogation in America," Law and Social Change, vol. 18, pages 35-39 (1992); Jerome Skolnick and Richard Leo, "The Ethics of Deceptive Interrogation," Criminal Justice Ethics, vol. 11, pages 3-12 (1992).
Dave Kopel is Research Director at Independence Institute, http://i2i.org. His most recent book is "No More Wacos: What's Wrong with Federal Law Enforcement and How to Fix It."

gvf
July 19, 2008, 11:48 PM
How could you say it wouldn't work when the citizen in your scenario didn't follow the standard proceedures you described? Not to mention having a gun in his hand when the cops rolled up code 3.

I didn't describe precise procedures in the original post, (except the usual advice to call 911) - I asked what the best would be , because situations do go wrong, and I gave an example in which the citizen did call 911 - but things did go wrong (although partly due to his subsequent error of not staying on the line).

However, I also indicated, you can call 911 and stay on the line etc, do that all correctly - and still be faced with a dire situation. Here's a couple:

1) Before you can call 911 or do anything - one or more screaming cop cars race up, or on-foot cops run up: they had just arrived around the block (or down the block) for a minor call, hear gun shots and race up to you.
There you are... their guns are pointing right at you because they can see you just shot someone.

2) You call 911 and stay on the line. Fine. But after the info about the address and the shots-fired is transmitted, -- the crucial part about you, SD, your description etc. is garbled by static, neither you nor 911 even know that, and cops are there flying out of cars. nor can you tell the on-line 911 operator anything and have her tell the cops, -- no time.
Time just ended.

One can imagine other such situations as well. So the question was what procedures can one follow in addition to calling 911 to avoid getting shot in error.

Ruthless4christ
July 20, 2008, 12:58 PM
I am very surprised no one has mentioned what in my opinion is a very important issue. Have a good lawyer friend that is in the erea, so you can explain the situation to him and he can give you crucial advice. even if it means having som 2 phone actian him on one line and 911 on teh otehr i think it could give you a great advantage.

also once you are handcuffed he can be around to amke sure youa re not pushed any farther than legally allowed,and if you are taken to the station you will have legel representation by someone you trust right off the bat.

just my 2c

Mainah
July 20, 2008, 01:36 PM
I am very surprised no one has mentioned what in my opinion is a very important issue. Have a good lawyer friend that is in the erea, so you can explain the situation to him and he can give you crucial advice. even if it means having som 2 phone actian him on one line and 911 on teh otehr i think it could give you a great advantage.

Great point, and I'd also point out that most newer cell phones have a speaker option. So you can stay on the line with 911 and keep your hands free and visible.

Glenn E. Meyer
July 20, 2008, 01:37 PM
Drop it. Dave is so right.

1. If you are carrying a nondrop safe gun - ditch it.

2. As long as a gun is in your hand for a long, slow, safe put down - you can quickly switch to a firing position. That's in some LEO training films. That's why they might just shoot you if you don't comply.

3. So if the cop loses his badge, that's nice. You are shot - perhaps several times.

But, if you get shot for worrying about a gun or not carrying a safe gun to drop - score one for evolution.

Stevie-Ray
July 20, 2008, 10:54 PM
But, if you get shot for worrying about a gun or not carrying a safe gun to drop - score one for evolution.Oh yeah, that's real nice. And how about the guy people all over this board and every other are preaching about? You know, the one that can't afford a real nice gun? He's got a right to defend himself too, right? Let's see now, are Jennings guns drop safe? Ravens? Hi-points? How about old S&W revolvers? Think about it.

BreacherUp!
July 20, 2008, 11:40 PM
Typically, the only thing to say after a shooting, even for LEOs and off dutys is a public safety statement:
1) Shots were fired
2) Approx. direction of shots
3) # of suspects/vehicle description
4) Where'd they go

that's it. The first two are to ascertain if anyone else may have been hit (in homes, bystanders, etc.). The last two are to find the suspects that caused this DF encounter.

As for gun-in-hand scenario. Pretty simple. Do not, if feasible, have gun-in-hand. Holster it, when tactically safe or officers are on scene, and obey ALL commands slowly and deliberately. Period.

Nothing is 100%. You may follow all above advice and still get lead poisoning. You may follow none and get a handshake. Best to play the odds of survival.

Double Naught Spy
July 21, 2008, 07:48 AM
Futher, if you're so twitchy that you will shoot someone moving in a slow deliberate manner to comply with your order to disarm, you need some serious vacation time or a different occupation.

Any cop who would shoot in this situation deserves to lose their badge, if not their liberty. That's "trigger-happy".

Glenn Meyer said,
3. So if the cop loses his badge, that's nice. You are shot - perhaps several times.

But, if you get shot for worrying about a gun or not carrying a safe gun to drop - score one for evolution.

Very good, Glenn, it isn't about the the cops and what should happen to them if they do something wrong, but about surviving the encounter regardless of what sort of cops may roll up.

Keltyke
July 21, 2008, 08:53 AM
2. As long as a gun is in your hand for a long, slow, safe put down - you can quickly switch to a firing position. That's in some LEO training films. That's why they might just shoot you if you don't comply.

So the cops are gonna shoot me as I'm slowly laying the gun on the ground? Sorry, but that's (how can I say this without it being edited) dookie. You, and the others of your opinion are giving cops all over the US a bad name. And if you're cops and would shoot in this situation, you need an instant career change because YOU are the bad cops you talk about.

And I'm outta this one.

Erik
July 21, 2008, 09:17 AM
Its not that the cops are going to shoot you as you're slowey laying your gun on the ground, it is that your plan to do so against their orders dramatically raises the odds that they might. And... All together now in harmony, the threads is about not getting shot. And the shooting will likely happen relatively soon in your movement cycle as the fact that you are (a) moving and (b) moving the gun register as they are hard front-sight focused on your COM.

But hey, it is a free country. You don't have to agree with or take the advise. The odds of your having to follow it, regardless, are low.

Glenn E. Meyer
July 21, 2008, 10:23 AM
Guns too cheap to drop and guns too expensive to drop - gotta make you laugh.

Also, let's think about the comparative odds of getting killed when your 25 ACP Raven goes off on the ground as to when an officer fires several 40 SW rounds at you.

Drop your Judge, tough guy.

David Armstrong
July 21, 2008, 12:00 PM
Sorry Barney... I'm very likely going to lay it on the ground gently.
It's not the Barney you have to worry about, Bill, it is the highly trained and keyed up SWAT-type that has seen way to many movements "in a slow deliberate manner" turn into attacks to allow them, particularly when you still have a weapon in your hand. You are already demonstrating that you will not comply with the officer's lawful orders (drop the gun), don't expect it to get any better when you make it worse (do not move).
Dropping some guns can potentially discharge the weapon if it lands on a hard surface.
If your gun is not drop-safe and that is a worry for you, I would suggest changing guns. If that is not possible, you should not wait at all, but the minute LE rolls up put the gun down and step away.
Futher, if you're so twitchy that you will shoot someone moving in a slow deliberate manner to comply with your order to disarm, ....
There is the problem. I'm not ordinarily twitchy, but you are not complying with my order to disarm. In fact, you are acting directly contrary to my requests and placing me in further danger of my life. That might make me sort of twitchy.

Any cop who would shoot in this situation deserves to lose their badge, if not their liberty. That's "trigger-happy".
I suppose the counter to that is any citizen standing around with a gun in his hands after a shooting who does not do exactly what the officer says deserves whatever happens to them. And don't expect the cop to lose badge or liberty. Shooting an armed suspect who does not follow commands rarely gets LEOs in much trouble.

So the cops are gonna shoot me as I'm slowly laying the gun on the ground?
No, the cops are going to shoot you because you are disregarding their instructions and putting them in danger while you have a gun in your hand.

Glenn E. Meyer
July 21, 2008, 12:21 PM
If Mas is reading this one - I recall him showing in LFI-1 a film of a man with a pistol grip shotgun with his back turned to the officer. He was ordered to put it down but instead started to turn to the officer and started to slowly put it down. Question was what to do. I opined that the turn, noncompliance and slow movement was enough for the shoot. As the film continued, the point was made about how easy it was when the gun was almost grounded to shoot the officer before he could respond.

Since I've also seen folks like Greg Hamilton draw and shoot even when covered by a reasonably trained person, the gun that is your hand is a threat. That's why a reasonable person should understand the need to drop it.

Let's turn the tables. You come across a BG with his back turned to you but carrying a gun in your house. (Of course, you just shoot him in the back, repeatedly - it's the internet!). However, you say - Drop the gun! The person says, 'I will slowly put it down' and very slowly starts to do that. Think they can shoot you, while you have your thumb up your butt. In fact, when you start to bellow more commands - that's the time to shoot you as the diversion of your attention to your verbalims diverts your attentional resources and slows you down.

izzkidioto
July 21, 2008, 10:08 PM
Identify the bad guy!! Also, as was stated before, identify your person (clothes, etc.) to the 911 dispacher.

Stevie-Ray
July 22, 2008, 08:50 PM
Also, let's think about the comparative odds of getting killed when your 25 ACP Raven goes off on the ground as to when an officer fires several 40 SW rounds at you. They don't compare. Problem arises when the gun is dropped, goes off, and hits nothing. But, all those .40s that were pointed at you speak in unison, and you die for doing what you are told. "Drop-safe" will never be the hot feature for the guy with a family making 20 grand a year. Inexpensive will be the key feature, and everybody's kidding themselves here if they think different. The comment about getting shot for not dropping a non drop-safe gun and "scoring one for evolution" would be considered elitist in most major metropolitan areas. In the inner-cities, it would be considered downright racist. (Though I doubt that was your intention)
Let's face it, most of the times anybody is in this situation, there is no reason he can't reholster or even repocket before the cops get there. And, there are too many variables to cover all of them here. But, in that one in a million chance, what's wrong with holding the gun away from the body with a single finger through the trigger guard and laying it down? Shoot somebody who is obviously doing that, and you need to be prosecuted, period.

Erik
July 22, 2008, 09:36 PM
But it is not obvious.

Look... LEOs get shot in similar circumstances doing, among other things, what you are advocating. LEOs who should know better, but get distracted by the moment and assume, sometimes fatally, that they are recognized for what they are and what the are doing. LEOs, whom the shooting LEOs, trust me, deeply regret shooting after the fact. Cause LEOs aren't in the business of shooting good guys, let alone peers. And despite the deep regret, shared institutionally, nobody will hold them accountable the mistake for once the facts involving disobeying commands and movement are brought to light. Because... the mistake is on the shotee's part. It is the shootee's fault given the circumstances, disobeying and moving as an unknown during a high risk situation, not the shooter's. There will be no prosecution; take that to the bank.

Do. Not. Do it.

doc2rn
July 23, 2008, 07:02 AM
Reholster
911~stay on the line until told to hang up
Stay on scene
Hand them your lawyers response card and dont say anything (believe it or not the police are not your friend)
Go down town (let lawyer speak for you!)

Glenn E. Meyer
July 23, 2008, 09:41 AM
Shoot somebody who is obviously doing that, and you need to be prosecuted, period.


And your bullet riddled body will be a prosecution exhibit. Like Diallo's. It is conceivable that an officer might be charged. However, let's not forget, if they do get charged - it is because YOU HAVE HOLES IN YOU!

My comment on evolution was aimed at the Internet gene pool. Not responding to a direct command by an officer was a selection factor that works against you.

Brian Pfleuger
July 23, 2008, 10:18 AM
If I see that officer pull up, or more likely hear them close by, I am on the ground spread eagle gun slid away from me before he gets out of the car.

Then listening and complying immediately.

(believe it or not the police are not your friend)

No, he's not. He's not being paid to be my friend. He's being paid to make me and you safe. However, he is (95% of them are) on my side once he knows what went down. Being my friend or being on my side is not, however, reason to talk any more than is necessary, he has a job to do and recording/remembering what you say is part of it.

BillCA
July 24, 2008, 01:12 PM
It's not the Barney you have to worry about, Bill, it is the highly trained and keyed up SWAT-type that has seen way to many movements "in a slow deliberate manner" turn into attacks to allow them, particularly when you still have a weapon in your hand. You are already demonstrating that you will not comply with the officer's lawful orders (drop the gun), don't expect it to get any better when you make it worse (do not move).

So... you're saying an officer is justified in shooting when ever he sees someone move in some manner that HE thinks constitutes preparation for an attack? Even if that move constitutes part of "obeying" the officer's orders? That's bogus.

I'm much more worried about those officers opening fire on my fuzzy-behind if that gun goes off when it hits the pavement. "Carry a drop safe gun"? Most of them are pretty good, however any part can fail when subjected to sharp impact stress. This is NOT when I want to test how good the the manufacturer's QC department is.

it is the highly trained and keyed up SWAT-type
If said SWAT type is "Highly Trained" and will shoot someone for attempting to carefully put down the gun while holding it by the muzzle or the end of the triggerguard then I suggest we have a serious problem in this country... or we need a new definition of "highly trained".

Or maybe we should be striving for "highly brained" instead of highly trained. I expect SWAT types to have better discipline and better tactics than that.

There is the problem. I'm not ordinarily twitchy, but you are not complying with my order to disarm. In fact, you are acting directly contrary to my requests and placing me in further danger of my life. That might make me sort of twitchy.

So, based on the above statement, when you say "Drop the gun" and the subject holds their arm out, gun by the muzzle and begins to bend down to put it on the ground, you get nervous because he didn't comply exactly with your instructions? Then please tell me what I should do when an officer says:
"Freeze!" - should I chatter my teeth and shiver?
"Don't Move! Show me your hands!" - Well, which one?

Since I dislocated my shoulder last March, I've been unable to raise my right arm above my head. If you tell me to put my arms "all the way up", I still can't get the right hand any higher than my head. Does that give you legal cause to shoot me? I think not.

Based on your statements, how about we codify it in law? If a subject drops the gun after police tell him to do so and it discharges, any officer who fires on the subject will be charged with homicide or attempted homicide, as appropriate. Officers who shoot the subject and their agencies will be severably liable for the injuries sustained.

That seems fair. After all, I'm only doing what you told me to do.

And before I'm accused of cop-bashing here, I'm a big supporter of LE, though I am also a critic of some of the policies and some of the thinking in LE circles as well.

Stevie-Ray
July 24, 2008, 04:58 PM
Forget it, Bill. Sounds like a lot of the arguments I gave. If this is indicative of the attitude of most cops, we're in worse shape than even I thought.

Erik
July 24, 2008, 07:22 PM
It isn't an attitude. It is an understanding, based on law, policy, training, and common practice of how not to be shot by the police in the kinds of instances we're talking about. An understanding we are trying to relay to you. We get that you disagree. We get that you want to "what if" the subject to death in support of your disagreement. We get that you'll assign negative attributes to us when we don't concede your points. And despite that, we're still trying to relay our understanding to you; cause we don't want good guys getting shot.

The "how to not get advice" is the same for LEOs as non-LEOs, by the way and in case you were wondering, except for stressing the communication of LEO status visually with a badge and verbally as soon and as loadly as possible. Don't disobey commands and move trying to flash that tin, though.

Glenn E. Meyer
July 24, 2008, 08:07 PM
Complaining about attitude and training does not negate the discussion of what might happen to you.

Diallo should not have been shot because he was an innocent and responded in a way appropriate to his country. However, his reaction led him to be shot as it was inappropriate to our police policies and some unfortunate perceptual/cognitive processes.

The officers were tried (later acquited as they were given a change of venue). There was a civil settlement.

But you know what, he was still dead after the trial and the suit. That's the point.

treo
July 25, 2008, 12:03 AM
Can I assume that moonwalking around the body while singing "Another One Bites The Dust" wouldn't be an appropriate response?

BillCA
July 25, 2008, 01:56 AM
^^^^^^ .... ah... no. :eek:

Glenn,
2. As long as a gun is in your hand for a long, slow, safe put down - you can quickly switch to a firing position. That's in some LEO training films. That's why they might just shoot you if you don't comply.

So because a training film [anyone have a title?] describes a method of "faking" putting a gun down, if a subject's response to the officer's order even appears to be similar to the 'fake' tactic, that justifies the officer shooting him before any aggressive moves? (As opposed to saying "STOP! DON'T MOVE" again?)

The bigger question is within what context was the training film made? Because a technique exists, does not mean it applies to every subject you meet. What gang members in L.A. have been filmed doing does not necessariliy apply to everyone. An officer suggesting it was part of his "training" when he fired on a 63 year old Asian man who was slowly putting down his gun should be required to justify, in detail, how he concluded a real threat existed.

Please understand MY point here. It is not to say that police should take unnecssary risks. It is a criticism of both the "one size fits all" training AND the mindset exhibited by several posters that failure to do exactly what they tell you to do justifies their premature use of lethal force.

That's so much bovine scatology.

Using their arguments, they would be "justified" in shooting someone because;

The subject is deaf (even temporairly) and did not see the officers approach from behind [for whatever reason].
The subject failed to raise both hands.
The person who, when told "Show me your hands!", displays his hands and then drops them again (perhaps out of sight). [aka the stupid subject]
When told to get on the ground, lies on his back due to illness or injury.
When told to kneel on the ground, begins kicking & scraping at the ground with one or both feet before kneeling.
When told to move in any direction, subject balks with inaudible verbal response.


What I'm getting at is that the mindset of some officers that failure to comply exactly is somehow tantamout to a grave threat is pure, unadulterated crap. Officers are not automations and should be capable of adapting their procedures and tactics.

Every one of the above situations listed has a valid reason for occurring. According to at least two of the posters here, the deaf man = dead man for failing to comply with spoken orders...which he is unable to receive. Likewise, the man who can't raise both arms because one is disabled by a wound is on the ragged edge of dying because he can't comply with the cops.

In a situation where someone attempts to comply, but perhaps in an unexpected way, I expect officers to be alert or to verbally force the person to stop. Hiding behind the allegation "he failed to properly comply", in my view, is the moral equivilant of "I was just following orders".

treo
July 25, 2008, 07:14 AM
If anyone's listened to the 911 of the guy from Kentucky who shot the kid at his back door, he may have done everything else wrong but here's what he did right.

He stayed on the phone W/ 911, he told them he still had the gun in hand & why. If I remember right he asked the operator to tell him when the cops were on scene. Either way, as soon as she told him the police were there he put his gun on the table & told the operator to ask the cops what they wanted him to do, and did it.
That seems like a wise response to me

Glenn E. Meyer
July 25, 2008, 08:46 AM
Using their arguments, they would be "justified" in shooting someone because; ...

Justification doesn't enter into my discussion in the sense of right and wrong morally. I explain why they might shoot you.

The information is so one can make an informed decision as to whether one drops the gun or continues to manipulate it and increase the risk of getting shot.

Criticizing the training is irrelevant in this discussion of actually what to do. Criticizing the training so the training changes may cause that to happen.

There's been a lot of research on cops' decision to shoot. I , for one, am not giving them an extra reason based on the expense of a gun or the odds of a dropped gun going off (as I don't carry non drop safe handguns).

There are two discussions here - training and rules vs. actuality at the moment.

BTW, some can hold the gun just by the trigger guard with a finger and flip it into action really quickly.

Erik
July 25, 2008, 09:25 AM
"So because a training film [anyone have a title?] describes a method of "faking" putting a gun down, if a subject's response to the officer's order even appears to be similar to the 'fake' tactic, that justifies the officer shooting him before any aggressive moves? (As opposed to saying "STOP! DON'T MOVE" again?)"

There isn't a single video for public consumption, per se. It is a training point which has been integrated into various levels of training across the country dating back at least to the late 1990s. The typical "packaging" of the which consists of lecture, text, videos, and practical demonstrations.

And the legal standard to justify the use of deadly force is not "witnessing aggressive moves."

"The bigger question is within what context was the training film made?"

Industry trainers and shooting evaluators noticed the trend. They went to lawyers and administrators. After time and peer review, the training began to role out. It is modified as necesary, as with other training, as legal opinions and policy interpretations change the landscape.)

Look, you've missed the point, and the fault may be ours.

The training, policies, and law do not REQUIRE that a LEO must shoot someone following your stated course of action; but they ALLOW for it, so long as the shooting LEO(s) believe and can articulate that there is a viable threat of serious bodily injury or death. (This language may/will change slightly depending on the legal and policy standards.)

And how are they going to come about that belief? Well, they'll register that a gun in hand provides the means, opportunity and ability (see language caveat above) to pose a threat, immediately afterward they'll register your disregard for their commands, and immediately after that they'll register the initiation of movement they understand to be threatening; all wrapped in the context of a high risk, shots fired situation.

And if all of that happens, and they believe there is a threat: Yes, they may shoot.

And when the shooting is reviewed, the standard of review will be the reasonable officer standard, as in would a reasonable officer, under similar circumstances, find the decision to shoot a reasonable one. Not THE reasonable one. Not the ONLY reasonable one. But A reasonable one.

Which is why we are adamantly attempting to convey how bad an idea it is to deviate from the advised course of action.

Brian Pfleuger
July 25, 2008, 04:50 PM
And when the shooting is reviewed, the standard of review will be the reasonable officer standard, as in would a reasonable officer, under similar circumstances, find the decision to shoot a reasonable one. Not THE reasonable one. Not the ONLY reasonable one. But A reasonable one.

Which is why we are adamantly attempting to convey how bad an idea it is to deviate from the advised course of action.


Which is why I would make every effort to stick with my original plan...

If I see that officer pull up, or more likely hear them close by, I am on the ground spread eagle gun slid away from me before he gets out of the car.

Then listening and complying immediately.

Quote:
(believe it or not the police are not your friend)
No, he's not. He's not being paid to be my friend. He's being paid to make me and you safe. However, he is (95% of them are) on my side once he knows what went down. Being my friend or being on my side is not, however, reason to talk any more than is necessary, he has a job to do and recording/remembering what you say is part of it.

David Armstrong
July 25, 2008, 05:09 PM
So... you're saying an officer is justified in shooting when ever he sees someone move in some manner that HE thinks constitutes preparation for an attack?
Nope. I'm not saying that and I didn't say that.
Even if that move constitutes part of "obeying" the officer's orders? That's bogus.
What's bogus is your argument. The movement does not constitute obeying an order, it is in direct conflict with an order.
I'm much more worried about those officers opening fire on my fuzzy-behind if that gun goes off when it hits the pavement.
We've already addressed how to handle that if it is a worry for you.
If said SWAT type is "Highly Trained" and will shoot someone for attempting to carefully put down the gun while holding it by the muzzle or the end of the triggerguard then I suggest we have a serious problem in this country... or we need a new definition of "highly trained".
Again, you miss the point. You will not be shot for for that. You will be shot for disobeying orders by acting in a manner that puts the officers in danger. Now, you might not like that idea, you might not agree with it, but that is it. Even off-duty officers get shot every year in situations like this because of errors.
So, based on the above statement, when you say "Drop the gun" and the subject holds their arm out, gun by the muzzle and begins to bend down to put it on the ground, you get nervous because he didn't comply exactly with your instructions?
That is certainly going to be part of it.
Then please tell me what I should do when an officer says:
"Freeze!" - should I chatter my teeth and shiver?
"Don't Move! Show me your hands!" - Well, which one?
Freeze of course has the general vernacular consideration of stopping your movement. In case of conflicting commands (which we try to prevent, BTW) don't move is usually the best alternative. After you have reached that stage (not moving) then the officer will likely repeat other commands. The important thing, again, is that you show you are willing to follow commands.
If you tell me to put my arms "all the way up", I still can't get the right hand any higher than my head. Does that give you legal cause to shoot me? I think not.
I realize that you are really trying to stretch for the most absurd issues to ttry to prove your point, but please stop being silly. Again, if you are trying to comply with the commands there is not much problem. It is when you disregard and/or go counter to the commands that conflict will develop.
Based on your statements, how about we codify it in law?
Actually most of these issues are already a matter of law. Police get charged, tried and convicted or acquited regularly. They go through civil cases regularly. I'm not sure what any of that has to do with how not to get shot, though.

David Armstrong
July 25, 2008, 05:21 PM
Using their arguments, they would be "justified" in shooting someone because;
You're leaving out something very important in these "justifications"--few of them in and of themselves are deadly force situations. That is the difference. some may not b e use of force situations at all.
It is a criticism of both the "one size fits all" training AND the mindset exhibited by several posters that failure to do exactly what they tell you to do justifies their premature use of lethal force.
You make two unwarranted assumptions. First, there is no "one size fits all" trainng in LE any more. Officers are taught to look for and absorb multiple variables and factors in situations. Second, nobody has said that "failure to do exactly what they tell you to do" is justifies any particular level of force, much less lethal force. Failure to follow commands can lead to many different responses based on the situation and the people involved. It is only one factor in the mix. It might contribute to lethal force being chosen as the correct response, it might lead to pepper spray as the correct response, it might lead to loud vocal commands as the correct response.

gvf
July 25, 2008, 05:35 PM
As was just said,
I'm not sure what any of that has to do with how not to get shot, though.

Yes, the point of the thread is to try to avoid getting shot in one of the most highly charged situations imaginable - by their nature, these events are not going to produce calm and considered actions on anyone's part. Fear of death, imminent death, will likely be there in the arriving officers, and may still be in you. Whatever, how to limit the possibilities of mistakes, false impressions, erroneous assumptions while having guns zeroed on target - and you the target - is the issue. And there have been many good suggestions.

But idealization, what you think SHOULD be, will likely contribute to you getting shot.

For you won't be in a court or on a gun forum, but in The Street, with just you and the moment to work with - no one will be there to save you or offer suggestions.

"ONE FALSE MOVE AND YOU'RE...."

gunney 67
July 25, 2008, 11:30 PM
all of the above is good advice and is to be heeded. However, considering that an individual who has just been through the trauma of. a shooting event like described above and will probably be suffering from massive adreniline and norepinepherine dump into the bloodstream, and may still be suffering from tachypsyche and auditory exclusion of surrounding events, this could be problematic. Bad things can and probably do happen to good people under these circumstances. The aftermath of a shooting is fraught with danger for the individual, not only at the scene, but in the criminal and civil litigation that may ensue. May none of us ever have to endure it. I guess the bottom line here is that it is almost impossible to predict how someone will respond to an emotional psychophysiological traumatic event like this, particularly if it has only been moments ago that it happened.

Rufkarma
July 26, 2008, 07:58 AM
Lots of sage advice in this thread, but the tough part is remembering any of this when the poop is dispersed horizontally.

I think you really only need to remember a couple of things.

1. Your number one Option for Personal Security is a lifelong commitment to avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation. After that, Semper Gumby! (USMC Rules For a Gunfight # 22)
2. Protect yourself until others arrive who can take over that job.
3. Do what you're told, how you're told, when you're told by competent authority (Cops or guy with bigger gun and better tactical situation)

Train, practice and stay alive . . . but don't forget to enjoy your life:cool:

Former HMCS(FMF)

BillCA
July 27, 2008, 01:00 PM
You make two unwarranted assumptions. First, there is no "one size fits all" trainng in LE any more. Officers are taught to look for and absorb multiple variables and factors in situations. Second, nobody has said that "failure to do exactly what they tell you to do" is justifies any particular level of force, much less lethal force. Failure to follow commands can lead to many different responses based on the situation and the people involved. It is only one factor in the mix. It might contribute to lethal force being chosen as the correct response, it might lead to pepper spray as the correct response, it might lead to loud vocal commands as the correct response.

Okay, so I'm thinking this response is a CYA Bovine dropping response. (I'm not criticizing your ethics, morals, cleanliness or ability to be a rational person - I'm criticizing the articulation of a point).

On one hand, we're told if we don't do exactly as we're told - dropping a firearm immediately - we are very likely to be shot. On the other hand is the above quote that says "Oh we take into account a wide variety of factors and make a logical decision". Which directly contradicts earlier statements that if one does not comply exactly as the officer commands (with the results the officer expects) one's person is likely to become perforated.

You're leaving out something very important in these "justifications"--few of them in and of themselves are deadly force situations. That is the difference. some may not b e use of force situations at all.
Not necessarily. All of these situations would be with a felony suspect


The subject is deaf (even temporairly) and did not see the officers approach from behind [for whatever reason].
The subject failed to raise both hands.
The person who, when told "Show me your hands!", displays his hands and then drops them again (perhaps out of sight). [aka the stupid subject]
When told to get on the ground, lies on his back due to illness or injury.
When told to kneel on the ground, begins kicking & scraping at the ground with one or both feet before kneeling.
When told to move in any direction, subject balks with inaudible verbal response.


But it is suffcient to discuss the first item - a deaf subject. You have your gun toting subject with gun in hand, still pointed at the "man down" in broad daylight, but he does not respond to any of your commands.
[This was based on an event in the early 70's Philly where police arrived to a shooting. The subject used twin hearing aids, but when he fired his 2.5" .357 Magnum both devices failed, leaving him deaf as a rock. Take a guess at what happened when he failed to obey police commands.]

I'm late for an appointment... but this may do for now.

Erik
July 27, 2008, 03:40 PM
The factors are taken in and decided on very quickly. You seem to be imagining time lines much longer than the situation allows for and an intellectual process not even close to the snap judgement call being made.

But I'll let DA comment specifically beyond that about what he wrote.

---

"But it is suffcient to discuss the first item - a deaf subject. You have your gun toting subject with gun in hand, still pointed at the "man down" in broad daylight, but he does not respond to any of your commands.
[This was based on an event in the early 70's Philly where police arrived to a shooting. The subject used twin hearing aids, but when he fired his 2.5" .357 Magnum both devices failed, leaving him deaf as a rock. Take a guess at what happened when he failed to obey police commands.]"

Off the top of my head I'm not familiar with the particular shooting you are referring to. Are you citing an example where the good guy failed to comply with commands, moved, and was shot, or was not shot?

If he was shot, what is your point?

If he was not shot, what is your point?

But better questions than those would be:

How did his failing to follow orders and moving contribute to his being shot? Assuming he was.

How did his failing to follow orders and moving contribute to his noy being shot? Assuming he was not.

Oh, and WHY people commit action, at the level of analysis we're talking about, given the context, with the benefit of hind sight, is irrelevant. Deaf and shot? Unfortunate. Caught up in the moment, adrenalin flowing, with your game face on as you turn and reflexively bring your gun up and shot? Unfortunate. Plain clothes or off-duty LEO who assumes he's recognized, or that his badge is seen, or that it is other wise obvious what he is and what he is doing and shot? Unfortunate, unfortunate, unfortunate. Stubborn, having read some of these posts and committed yourself to doing what you know is right despite advise to the contrary and shot? Unfortunate.

But ultimately justified for reasons already explained.

And when they are not shot... Good. But those decisions ride on facts registered in split seconds. A glance the other way, hard focus on a front sight, screams, sensory over load, bad lighting, sleep deprivation, a whole host of and/or combination reasons... and those facts can be missed.

Stevie-Ray
July 27, 2008, 09:58 PM
1. The subject is deaf (even temporairly) and did not see the officers approach from behind [for whatever reason].
2. The subject failed to raise both hands. Both of which are too near and dear to me. LEOs in this thread can say all they want about these being all but implausible as often as they happen, and I'm sure they would be right. But Bill's layed out 2 classic examples that fit into my family. My now deceased father was completely deaf for the latter 35 years of his life. And my wife's severe RA would not allow her to put up one hand let alone both. This again, would probably not present a problem as, 1, my father is now no longer with us, and 2, my wife is seldom alone and is mostly with me, no matter where we are. But, during a possible case of mistaken identity, (which happens everywhere) if you approach us, she will NOT, repeat not, put her hands up, nor will she drop to her artificial knees, or do anything else mentioned here. And my wife's affliction is not readily apparent within 50 feet if she is standing still. Think really, really hard before you proceed with what you think is justification at this point. Hopefully this is one of those times that dictate other types of actions or maybe bring up another training point that hasn't been mentioned.

BillCA
July 28, 2008, 03:31 AM
I'm sensing a dichotomy here in the way actions are justified/condoned when actions are taken by police vs. citizens.

I think I may stop commenting on this thread after this post. I fear I may articulate something that the LEOs, kind as they are to share their insights with us, may take great offense to and we'd devolve into a war of "We're on the street so we know The Truth™" vs. Ethical policies of law enforcment.

Oh, and WHY people commit action, at the level of analysis we're talking about, given the context, with the benefit of hind sight, is irrelevant.

Irrelevant from what perspective? I'll easily agree that someone turning towards you with a gun in their hand constitutes a high degree of threat. I don't agree that when you say "drop the gun" and the subject raises their hands instead, that there is any justification for shooting (because he didn't follow your exact instructions).

Nor do I agree that the command "Drop the gun" negates the option of putting the gun down on an adjacent car trunk or hood.

The point is, you want the person disarmed. A person responding with a slow & deliberate movement to put the gun down is complying with your order to disarm.

But those decisions ride on facts registered in split seconds. A glance the other way, hard focus on a front sight, screams, sensory over load, bad lighting, sleep deprivation, a whole host of and/or combination reasons... and those facts can be missed.

So the jist of the above statement tells me that it's excuseable if a tired officer is experiencing "sensory overload" makes a bad decision. But it is no excuse if the sleep deprived, adrenaline pumped, minimally trained citizen interprets the officer's "drop the gun command" as "put the gun down".

I'll refrain from expressing my opinion of that attitude as this is a family oriented forum.

When I made reference to the "one size fits all training", besides referencing procedures used for high-risk felony type situations, I was thinking of other procedures as well. The absurd examples I can think of, where officers exhibit (and attempt to justify) the actions of mindless automatons involve "custody" procedures. Like during a search warrant for drugs, officers handcuffed all occupants and placed them face down on the floor -- including an 88 year old woman they had to remove from an oxygen tent in her bedroom. Or officers handcuffing a man for "terroristic threats" and despite knowing he'd had shoulder surgery 4 days earlier, taking his arm out of a sling and cuffing his hands behind his back -- thereby dislocating his shoulder and snapping his arm off at the new socket joint (plus refusing to modify this procedure until EMS arrived 10 minutes later). And the appalling attempts to justify it because they were "adhering to standard procedures" - a.k.a. they were just following orders.

Glenn E. Meyer
July 28, 2008, 09:02 AM
Let's focus for a bit.

If I'm ever in a position where an officer says "Drop the gun". I will drop it.

Steve and Bill - do whatever you want to do. It is your body.

Whether you agree or disagree - you know there is a predictable risk that Internet discussions of what should be will not remove.

The risk will not be reduced in the forseeable future.

Unfortunately, people of reduced hearing, mental capacity or posturing stubbornness may get shot. The officer may get charged. The person still is shot.

The debate about justification does not change these risks.

So Bill or Steve - if you (not some relative) have an officer tell you to drop the gun - will you?

Again, I have seen and know the techniques such that even with one finger in a trigger guard, in a slow movement to the ground - in a short time, I can shoot you.

Brian Pfleuger
July 28, 2008, 11:40 AM
Everyone seems to be assuming that the arrival of the LEO is quiet and sneaky and they catch you off guard.
What is the rationalization for this? Someone stated above that the officer may turn off their siren to make a stealthy approach. What department teaches this tactic? Every officer I talked with about this said that would NOT be standard procedure and, secondarily, haven't any of you seen shows like COPS? I can not recall a single instance of "sneaking up" on a deadly force situation. Even if the officer turned off their siren 5 blocks away you would already know they were coming.
....and so, I stick with my previous statements...

If I see that officer pull up, or more likely hear them close by, I am on the ground spread eagle gun slid away from me before he gets out of the car.

Then listening and complying immediately.

Keltyke
July 28, 2008, 12:03 PM
If I'm ever in a position where an officer says "Drop the gun". I will drop it.

And if I'm ever in that situation and you're the responding LEO, I'll just bend over and kiss my butt goodbye, cause you already got your mind made up as to what constitutes a threat and you're gonna shoot me regardless.

Unfortunately, people of reduced hearing, mental capacity or posturing stubbornness may get shot.
Yes, that IS unfortunate - an innocent person killed by a trigger-happy cop. Too bad. Your compassion is overwhelming.

Again, I have seen and know the techniques such that even with one finger in a trigger guard, in a slow movement to the ground - in a short time, I can shoot you.
You watch too many cowboy and gangsta movies.

Police tactics like you recommend were practiced in Germany recently. If you're a cop, you're sick and need help. Need to lose your badge, too.

I'm outta here and your rantings are now ignored.

Glenn E. Meyer
July 28, 2008, 01:17 PM
The techniques in question are taught in higher level tactical courses.

Ranting folks continue to miss my point. It is not what should be in the abstract. It is that this is what may occur to you. It is based on both my firearms training and my reading of the professional legal/law enforcement, psychological and sociological/criminological research base. One may be surprised to know that such a professional literature exists.

You know nothing about my compassionate nature or lack thereof.

Since you are out of here, you can join the other members of my anti-fan club that choose to ignore my sage advice. :D

samoand
July 28, 2008, 01:35 PM
Question to all the folks, cops in particular. Is it even safe to drop a possibly cocked (at least a cop won't know otherwise) gun? Can't it cause an AD - a very bad thing even if noone is hit, considering that you are being aimed at by a nervous cop?

P.S. You may feel tempted to suggest to stick to firearms that don't do that, but consider this: the command to drop is coming from a cop, a person who doesn't have a slightest idea about your firearm. Do they realize that equipment of unknown (to them) quality may go "boom" when dropped at odd angle?

Glenn E. Meyer
July 28, 2008, 01:43 PM
Depends on the gun. Some older and cheaper guns would fire. Some new guns have flaws that have been discovered such that they would fire if dropped.

Easy solution is that if you can afford it, get one that you can drop. Or see if the manufacturer has an upgrade program.

Old Ruger revolvers could go boom if dropped. Ruger would fix it. Some folks ignored the warning and shot themselves and sued Ruger. Ruger has won those suits.

Erik
July 28, 2008, 01:54 PM
"Is it even safe..."

Maybe, as Glenn answered. It is certainly safer than a gun in hand of an unknown at the scene of a shooting.

"Can't it cause an AD..."

Yes. The odds are arguably against it, but yes. And yes, that would fall on my list of bad things to happen should anyone, LEO or otherwise, be aimed in.

"Do they realize..."

They don't care. Again, the context being that a gun in the hand of an unknown at the scene of a shooting is the paramount concern; certainly more so than a relatively small chance that a pistol, in failing to be drop safe by today's standards, will actually fire upon being dropped at that moment in time.

Scattergun Bob
July 28, 2008, 02:02 PM
Morning Folks,

I try to stay out of "scenarios constructed too broadly" this one though lacking in specific details brings up some ideas that I need to respond to.

I seem to detect that there are 2 separate camps here, those who have experienced the chaos of a homicide crime scene, and those who have not.
Before I give my rules of the road, there are several issues to discuss.

1st - If I catch a shots fired, man down dispatch, or inadvertently roll up on one, I must prepare to WAR right now. I will take what ever action that supports my survival. I do not care about after action Days Off, or law suites at that moment. "Sue away folks, it happens every day"

MY FIRST JOB IS TO GET ALL THE WEAPONS OUT OF EVERYBODY'S HANDS EXCEPT MINE! The quicker I do that, the higher my survival index is. If you immediately comply with this, I am less likely to shoot you, and the higher YOUR survival index is. (JUST COMPLY, AND DO IT RIGHT NOW!)

2nd - Your expecting me to immediately sort out the details and know you're a good guy, OR are you just a really smart BAD guy? Your expecting to live on my reasonableness, tolerance and understanding, most days you can. You must know that patrolmen are just like you, good days and bad days, fear, terror, tired, mad, injured. Do you really want YOUR life dependant on what kind of shift I've had? Some one at every incident needs to be the reasonable person, someone needs to deescalate the force continuum, as a good cop I will try, as a good citizen, JUST COMPLY, AND DO IT RIGHT NOW!
My FTO put it plainly to me "Bob, no one wares good guy signs, trust only your patrol partners, until you have personally proven otherwise."

3rd - chaos exists during and after a gunfight, everything will be confusing, nothing will seem right. If it happened in a confined area you have most likely lost your hearing and will have a hard time understanding my COMMAND voice, you may be disoriented and will not see my approach, if it is dark your night vision may be gone. REMEMBER: regardless or all of the problems, it is up to you to prove to ME by your actions that you are not a threat to me.
Everyday brother officers are shot giving away an advantage to a bad guy, hesitating, not accepting a threat identifier. It happens because peace officers are not in general looking to pull the trigger. That said, DO NOT IDENTIFY YOURSELF AS THREAT TO ME, I WILL NOT HESITATE TO RESPOND. Just because this incident is mentally new ground (what do I do next) for you does not give you the right to endanger me. (JUST COMPLY, AND DO IT RIGHT NOW!)

4th - I am neither your friend or enemy, I am a peace officer, I have no crystal ball to know to outcome of this incident, to know your intent, to know the facts of the incident. Many undercover officers who forgot "the color of the day" or to "hang" their shield suffer the same issue as civilians, nearly shot or worse. The issues will get sorted out, the parties will get sorted out, BUT first you and I have to survive. Help me, save you! (JUST COMPLY, AND DO IT RIGHT NOW!)

5th - Your job as a citizen who defends himself is to survive EVERY part of the gunfight, hopefully with the same amount holes before and after. Part of that responsibility is to survive post engagement interactions from other armed civilians or LE. The Fixation with morbidity, adrenalin fog, mentally new ground will affect your ability to execute this, develop a plan for post engagement and polish it as skillfully as you do the rest of your shooting skills.

And now GVF, to answer your question, "So, what is a good and safe "always" routine to go through right after a shooting, say with the BG down and inert to make it simpler. E.g. what do you do with the gun?"

1. Interrupt your central focus on the body of your enemy (morbidity fixation) the uncontrolled body moment, the gush of blood, the facial disfigurement all of this gore will not allow you to mentally move on. You will have a life time to think about that part!. Re-deploy your senors, scan the ground, find the next threat. Please don't take this wrong, but fact is that the next threat to your life may be a peace officer with a gun pointed at you and you may not notice him until you brake your vision from your enemies body. If the gun is in your hands it is now the enemy, it has done it's job, now do yours, get rid of it. Just drop it on the ground, you can buy another. NOW, COMPLY with all commands as best as you can, do not do anything uninstructed! Do not move too quickly remember there will be a huge amount of adrenalin churning through your body move consistently. "The more you comply the less trigger finger on my gun." Remember; peace officers suffer from adrenalin dump just like you.

2. A useful tool for U/C officers in my agency was to chant the "phrase of the day" as soon as uniforms arrived. "I'm on the job" over and over. Perhaps "please help me" could be substituted, your choice.

3. Identify yourself as the victim! Adrenalin and new mental ground will make you very talkative, please just SHUT UP, there will be plenty of time to sort out the details latter. Ask for a your lawyer, the most important self defense tool you have.

As a retired peace officer, this has been a great thread for me, I hope my comments are not too offensive.

Erik
July 28, 2008, 02:14 PM
"I'm sensing a dichotomy here in the way actions are justified/condoned when actions are taken by police vs. citizens."

The standards: reasonable person vs. reasonable officer. LEOs would much rather face review by the reasonable person standard; the reasonable person standard being the lower level of scrutiny. But... Where LEOs are found to be acting within the scope of their duties and established legal, policy, and training standards, the reasonable officer standard comes with mechanisms in place ranging from access to a wealth of acedemic research, the provision of subject matter experts, judicial acceptance that given actions are merited, bars from certain legal recourse, governmental assumption of liability, etc.

BillCA
July 28, 2008, 03:14 PM
Scattergun Bob,

Excellent post! Thank you.

"The more you comply the less trigger finger on my gun."
We might add that the less of a threat you present, the less trigger finger too.

REMEMBER: regardless or all of the problems, it is up to you to prove to ME by your actions that you are not a threat to me.
A most telling (and true) statement. And part of the crux of this discussion.

Rolling up and screaming "drop the gun" only to have the subject raise his hands holding the gun in a "non threatening" fashion (i.e. by the barrel, with two fingers at the end of the grip, etc.) should not justify a shooting.

I've taken the position that the hardline statements that say "if you don't do exactly what I say..." you're likely to get shot is indicative of an unnecessarily narrow view.

The chaos at a homicide scene generally isn't made any better when multiple officers arrive. I've seen (and heard) the confusion that results when 2 or more cops are yelling "don't move" & "get on the ground now!" & "show me your hands". Fortunately most officers seem to inherently recognize "surrender" movements and once someone's hands are up (regardless of holding a weapon or not) it takes only a few seconds for one officer to exert verbal control over the scene.

It is at this point where I believe the most compliant thing to do is raise one's hands and remain still until the verbal instruction sequence is clear.

samoand
July 28, 2008, 04:47 PM
Glenn:
>Easy solution is that if you can afford it, get one that you can drop. Or see if the manufacturer has an upgrade program.

I thought that someone would voice this this idea and therefore added the "P.S." - which apparently was blissfully ignored.
This is not about me, I wouldn't let anything less than highly dependable hang around the house in easily accessible form. This is about a cop who commands to "drop the firearm". They don't know if it's a custom made HK or a WW2 TT with safety worn out. They won't say "if your gun is a piece of junk, put it down slowly, or drop it otherwise", either. Command to "drop" may put an innocent person -- possibly uneducated, possibly poor or cheap (yet law abiding!), using sub-standard (yet still perfectly legal!) firearm -- in a lose-lose situation: being shot for not following the order, or being shot by his own firearm, or being shot by a nervous cop as aftermath to AD.
"He used a substandard firearm" is not an excuse for shooting an innocent person, as long as that firearm is legal.
Accidents do happen. However, creating a scenario that may inherently cause a lose-lose situation is hardly an accident.

gvf
July 28, 2008, 06:05 PM
And now GVF, to answer your question

I posted the original question and your post was an excellent answer - and one that acknowledged for us all the inherent chaos of such an event for everyone at the scene.

.300H&H
July 28, 2008, 06:08 PM
There's too many variables and scenarios to give a pat answer about exactly what one should do. For example, are you outside in a well-lit lit place or in a dark alley? Are you inside a building - a public place or a private dwelling?
One very big factor is whether you are alone or among a crowd of bystanders. Did you call the police or did a bystander call? Are there witnesses? Do the witnesses seem to be on your side - or might the witnesses be hostile and on the side of the BG. Is it a gang-related or drug-related situation ie. are you in a very bad neighborhood ..or a church in the suburbs? Have you been injured? All these sort of things can affect the way you have to handle things.



If folks are telling lies and saying you are the evil devil who wandered into the troubled neigborhood and shot the innocent angelic gang member, you might need to do some talking< to the police when the police arrive>to clarify the basic situation. If you do talk - keep it minimal but stress how you feared for your life and shot in self-defense. Try however to not give contrived answers.You might be in a situation where there's one witness who says 'thank god you saved me...'<request that person remain with you to talk to the police as a witness - don't let supportive witnesses wander off> It's a bit like handling an automobile wreck in regard to witnesses.



Reholstering and cell phones... It's a very good idea to not be holding the gun when police arrive, and it's a very good idea to be in communication with the police asap. Don't runaway from the scene unless out of real fear for your imminent safety... Tell the police over the phone what has happened, what you look like and how you need their assistance. Cooperate with the police to the extent you let them help you. You don't need to get into details of speculation about 'why' something happened - but stick to your need for assistance. Tell them what happened - not why and how.
Chill out as much as possible. Tell police you are too shook up to go into a lot of the details...but let them know you want to cooperate.Call your lawyer as needed <this is where you'll have to make a judgement call ie. is it a controversial shooting or a slam dunk?> Some people<sociopaths> make a bad shooting but are good talkers. Some people make a good shooting but are bad talkers<Bernard Goetz as an example>

Stevie-Ray
July 29, 2008, 07:19 PM
This is not about me, I wouldn't let anything less than highly dependable hang around the house in easily accessible form. This is about a cop who commands to "drop the firearm". They don't know if it's a custom made HK or a WW2 TT with safety worn out. They won't say "if your gun is a piece of junk, put it down slowly, or drop it otherwise", either. Command to "drop" may put an innocent person -- possibly uneducated, possibly poor or cheap (yet law abiding!), using sub-standard (yet still perfectly legal!) firearm -- in a lose-lose situation: being shot for not following the order, or being shot by his own firearm, or being shot by a nervous cop as aftermath to AD.
"He used a substandard firearm" is not an excuse for shooting an innocent person, as long as that firearm is legal.
Accidents do happen. However, creating a scenario that may inherently cause a lose-lose situation is hardly an accident.Hear here, beautifully said! I'm still not so sure that the command is generally to "drop it" anyway. Seems like the best all-around is "put the gun down" to eliminate a lot of the problem here.
So Bill or Steve - if you (not some relative) have an officer tell you to drop the gun - will you?More than likely because AFAIK, all my guns are drop-safe, but if you read my posts, you know that wasn't my point.

Again, I have seen and know the techniques such that even with one finger in a trigger guard, in a slow movement to the ground - in a short time, I can shoot you.This is a technique I would like to see. Reverse the roles. I am a cop holding a gun on you. You have your back to me, and are putting the gun down slowly and deliberately by a finger in the trigger guard. I don't think Jerry Barnhart would be fast enough to shoot me before he had holes in him. But even if he was, he's not the type I would expect to be on the wrong side of the law.

Scattergun Bob
July 29, 2008, 09:48 PM
There are many ways to COMMAND a individual to disarm. How is not the real point. I really don't care what Glen says his life was in a office looking at data, we are now talking about the street, I have never understood what Sociology and street cops have to do with one another other than usually CJ programs are within that department in academia. Bean counting is important for agencies, it does very little for individuals with muzzles zeroed at them.

The point is for all of us to survive, try "to the best of your ability to comply" with peace officer commands, move slowly and deliberately. Understand that they will feed off of your behavior and response.

David Armstrong in his first post gave you great insite with directness. I seem always to be more wordy. I WILL repeat that on the street, you would get a fair shake from me, provided you did not identify yourself as a threat. JUST COMPLY, and do it right now.

It would be horrible to survive a life threatening encounter with a human predator, only to be injured by first responders, legimately a the crime scene.

Good Luck & Be Safe

Keltyke
July 30, 2008, 06:42 AM
Good posts, Scattergun.

I watch countless "cop" shows. It's "Drop the gun! Drop the gun! Drop the gun!" Over and over as the suspect just stands there with the gun hanging muzzle down in his hand, staring blankly. He's not complying - why don't they shoot, as Glen would? Because they got several Glock .40s trained on him. If he even twitches, they got him cold. If that gun hand moves one inch, he's Swiss cheese. He's not a threat and there's no reason to shoot.

"Drop the gun!"
"Yes sir." Slowly bend and lay your weapon on the ground, then straighten with your hands in plain sight. Trust me, you won't get shot.

If, as I have suggested, you reholster immediately after the threat is negated (as you should - secure your weapon), all this is moot. The cops will tell you exactly what to do before disarming you themselves.

Even when guns are out and the adrenaline is flowing, cops are trained to maintain composure and act in a professional manner. 98% of them do. You can NOT compare their reactions with Joe Blow on the street. We hold them to a higher standard of conduct than the average citizen. It doesn't matter what kind of shift they've had, or what the home life is like, or how tired they are, or how many traffic stops got them cussed out. They're professionals and they act like it. As has been said, they're not your friends, nor are they your enemies. They're there to do a job - period. Maybe I'm easy, but I give them a lot more credit than some in this thread do.

Master Blaster
July 30, 2008, 09:10 AM
For those of you who think the police will not shoot you without a moments hesitation if you fail to comply with their orders:

I Live in wilmington, I will comply with their orders:

The 25-year-old man shot to death last week by a Wilmington officer never threatened police, according to five witnesses working nearby and a sixth witness standing next to the victim when the confrontation began.


Derek J. Hale, a U.S. Marine who served two tours in Iraq, died on the front steps at 1403 W. Sixth St. after a Wilmington police officer fired three .40-caliber rounds into his chest. He was killed after receiving multiple shocks from electronic Tasers.

"He didn't deserve to be shot. He wasn't any kind of threat," said Fred Mixson, 53, a contractor working in the home next door who watched the shooting unfold from across the narrow street. From the initial confrontation with police to the fatal shooting, only two to three minutes elapsed, witnesses said.On Monday, Nov. 6, Mixson arrived at the 1400 block of W. Sixth St. just before 4 p.m., quitting time for his work crew, which was renovating one of the row houses next door to the shooting.

Mixson parked across the narrow street from 1403 and was standing by the driver's door of his work van when a black SUV sped up the wrong way of the one-way street and screeched to a halt in the middle of the road.

Several police officers jumped out and ran to where Hale was sitting on the steep steps of 1403, approximately six feet higher than the sidewalk.

Mixson and his crew had barely noticed Hale before he was confronted by police. Hale, they said, was chatting with Sandra Lopez and two children at the top of a 10-step concrete stoop. Hale was seated on the third step from the top. Mixson and another witness were standing across the street from 1403, while others were on the sidewalk in front of a row house adjacent to the site of the shooting.

The officers ordered Hale to take his hands out of the front pockets of his hooded sweat shirt.

"About a second later, they Tasered him," Mixson recalled. "He was just sitting there. He didn't do anything."

A compressed air charge in the Taser cartridge launched two metal barbs, attached to wires trailing back to the hand-held device, at a speed of more than 160 feet per second. On impact, a strong electric charge was carried into Hale's body, which caused what the manufacturer, Taser International, describes as "an immediate loss of the person's neuromuscular control and the ability to perform coordinated action for the duration of the impulse."

The witnesses said Hale shook violently from the charge, as if sitting on an electric chair. His right hand came out of the front of his sweat shirt and was shaking violently.

Seconds later, police repeated their command for Hale to show them his hands, and they Tasered him a second time.

Mixson and others said Hale, who was still seated on the steps, rolled onto his left side and vomited into a flower bed.

"My brother yelled at the police that this was overkill. That this was crazy," Mixson said. "They told him to 'shut ... up,' or they'd show him overkill."

Hale rolled back to his right, into a sitting position, still shaking, and police Tasered him a third time, Mixson said.

Lopez, who lived at the home where Hale was killed and was talking to Hale when police arrived, told her attorney Hale was trying to show police his hands. Lopez was standing with her two young children until police ordered her to move.


Four members of Mixson's work crew witnessed the shooting from a variety of angles and distances, although Mixson was the only one interviewed by investigators after the shooting and the only one willing to allow his name to be used for this article.

But in interviews with The News Journal last week, all five said Hale did not pose a threat.

"No matter what his background was, he didn't deserve that," Mixson said. "They had him surrounded. They could have grabbed him."

The News Journal canvassed the neighborhood. Residents across the street and living next door said they either were away or saw nothing of the events.

Police said Hale, who had recently joined the Pagans Motorcycle Club, was a "person of interest" in a recent drug investigation conducted by the Delaware State Police. The U.S. Department of Justice classifies the Pagans as an outlaw motorcycle gang with a history of violence and drug offenses, but Hale, police have said, has no arrest record in Delaware. At the time of his death, Hale had a valid permit in Virginia to carry concealed weapons, according to the clerk of Circuit Court in Manassas.

Concealed-carry permits in Virginia are issued only to people who never have been convicted of a felony, narcotics or a domestic violence charge and who have no history of mental illness or substance abuse.

Two days before the shooting, officers searched the residence as part of a wide-ranging drug and weapons investigation and had charged the owner. According to a written statement by state police, Hale was seen Nov. 6 moving items from inside the house to a vehicle and officers "had reason to believe he was preparing to flee." Mixson said he saw Hale place a large Tupperware container into the vehicle.

"It was during the attempt to take Hale into custody outside of the residence that a confrontation ensued, and Hale was fatally shot," police said. Hale never displayed a weapon, police said, but a spokesman for the Wilmington police said officers found a can of pepper spray and a switchblade knife in Hale's pockets after the shooting.

Hale's stepbrother, Jason Singleton, who lives in Missouri, never knew his brother to carry a switchblade. "The last time I saw Derek, he had a small Swiss Army knife. To my knowledge, I've never seen Derek with anything like a switchblade."

In a written statement issued last week, Wilmington police Master Sgt. Steven Elliott said Hale was shot three times because an "officer in close proximity to the developments feared for the safety of his fellow officers and believed that the suspect was in a position to pose an imminent threat. That officer then utilized deadly force."

Wilmington police denied a request from The News Journal for their use-of-force policy, which addresses how and when officers may use deadly force and less-than-lethal weapons such as Tasers. They cited an August 2005 Freedom of Information request in which the Attorney General's Office found that the policies are not public documents.

Asked if Hale ever threatened the officers, Elliott said in an interview last week: "In a sense, when he did not comply with their commands" to show him his hands. Wilmington police Chief Michael Szczerba did not respond to calls, e-mails or messages left with his staff about the shooting, although Elliott handled press calls after the incident.

Friday night, John Rago, spokesman for Wilmington Mayor James M. Baker, issued a "joint statement" attributed to Baker, Szczerba and Public Safety Director James N. Mosley.

"The incident that occurred in the 1400 Block of West 6th Street is being investigated internally by both the Wilmington Police Department and City Solicitor's Office," the statement reads. "All information from those investigations will be shared with the Delaware Attorney General's Office which conducts its own investigation and issues its own determination of the action of the officer involved. This is standard practice with regard to shootings involving police officers to ensure that all matters related to the incident are given a thorough review."

The News Journal informed city and police officials that it had received eyewitness accounts that questioned the need for Hale's shooting. In his written statement, Rago said: "If the News Journal, or any other organization or individual, has information regarding this incident that can be helpful to the investigation, it is recommended that they present that information to the Wilmington Police Department, the City Solicitor's Office or to the Delaware Attorney General's Office to aid in the thoroughness of the investigation."


BTW this shoot was ruled clean and justified by the AG. There was no warrant for Derek Hale's arrest issued in either DE or Virginia, Hale had no criminal record. His only crime was associating with known Pagans, and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The police didnt even know who he was till they looked at his DL.

I expect the pending civil suit will cost the city millions BTW.

Glenn E. Meyer
July 30, 2008, 11:12 AM
As far as techniques, Steve and K - time to come up with your handgun training experience. I've see the Insights and Rangemaster instructors do what I've told you is possible.

What in your training suggests that it can't be done?

As far as professionalism stopping a shoot - say Diallo over and over. Know how that happened?

David Armstrong
July 30, 2008, 02:28 PM
On one hand, we're told if we don't do exactly as we're told - dropping a firearm immediately - we are very likely to be shot.
No, you are not told that. You are told that if a command is given and you ignore that command and engage in actions that the officer perceives as putting him in danger, you greatly increase the chances of getting shot. I don't see what is so hard to understand about that concept.
On the other hand is the above quote that says "Oh we take into account a wide variety of factors and make a logical decision". Which directly contradicts earlier statements that if one does not comply exactly as the officer commands (with the results the officer expects) one's person is likely to become perforated.
You keep trying to take things out of context and isolate individual elements that are part of a series. It doesn't work like that. If you have a gun in your hand, you have just shot somebody, you are instructed to drop the gun, and you instead start moving in a manner that reduces your size (bending over/squatting) and moving the firearm in a manner that suggest you are preparing to shoot it, well, shame on you.
Not necessarily. All of these situations would be with a felony suspect
Exactly---NOT NECESSARILY. Depending on the other variables involved and information avialable different responses might be appropriate.
But it is suffcient to discuss the first item - a deaf subject. You have your gun toting subject with gun in hand, still pointed at the "man down" in broad daylight, but he does not respond to any of your commands.
OK, that is part of the picture that we can look at. If he keeps the gun pointed at the man down, depending on my position and other factors, I may or may not be in any particular danger. Of course, there are other factors to be considered. If you are trying to suggest that LE make mistakes and there are tragic consequences, you get no disagreement from me. Not sure how that changes anything, though. Further, I'll note that none of the "It's OK" crowd have responded to Glenn's proposal. Let me re-post it:

Let's turn the tables. You come across a BG with his back turned to you but carrying a gun in your house. (Of course, you just shoot him in the back, repeatedly - it's the internet!). However, you say - Drop the gun! The person says, 'I will slowly put it down' and very slowly starts to do that. Think they can shoot you, while you have your thumb up your butt. In fact, when you start to bellow more commands - that's the time to shoot you as the diversion of your attention to your verbalims diverts your attentional resources and slows you down.

The point is, you want the person disarmed. A person responding with a slow & deliberate movement to put the gun down is complying with your order to disarm.
I want the person to do what I tell them. If I ever tell a person "Please disarm yourself in whatever manner you feel most appropriate to the situation at hand" then you get to make the choice. until then, sorry, but like it or not the best way to avoid additional holes in your body is to do what I tell you. That will reduce, as much as possible, any chances for mistake and error on everybody's part. And that is the goal here.

David Armstrong
July 30, 2008, 02:41 PM
And if I'm ever in that situation and you're the responding LEO, I'll just bend over and kiss my butt goodbye, cause you already got your mind made up as to what constitutes a threat and you're gonna shoot me regardless.
Not really. Rather than "gonna shoot me regardless" it is quite easy to avoid getting shot by the police. You just have to do what they tell you.
Yes, that IS unfortunate - an innocent person killed by a trigger-happy cop. Too bad. Your compassion is overwhelming.
Innocents get killed all the time, by cops and non-cops. Rarely does it have anything to do with being trigger-happy. usually it occurs as the result of someone doing something they shouldn't. Thus all the advice here to do what one is told.
You watch too many cowboy and gangsta movies.
And you apparently have a very limited understanding of gunhandling techniques.
Police tactics like you recommend were practiced in Germany recently. If you're a cop, you're sick and need help. Need to lose your badge, too.
Police tactics like this are practiced most everywhere, and have been for quite a while. Please feel free to join the ranks if you think there is that much of a problem. We can always use the help.

Erik
July 30, 2008, 07:06 PM
"This is a technique I would like to see."

I've been on the trainee and trainer end of scenarios involving role players feigning compliance while handling weapons. In my experience the probability of the role player getting off a shot, while pretending to lay it down, is somewhere around 70%.

Note: That's assuming the role players and responders are acting appropriately in their roles, and not just gaming the scenario.

BillCA
July 31, 2008, 07:11 PM
Further, I'll note that none of the "It's OK" crowd have responded to Glenn's proposal. Let me re-post it:
Well, I have not posted for a day or so. :D But I'll address the scenario.

Let's turn the tables. You come across a BG with his back turned to you but carrying a gun in your house. ... However, you say - Drop the gun! The person says, 'I will slowly put it down' and very slowly starts to do that. Think they can shoot you, while you have your thumb up your butt. In fact, when you start to bellow more commands - that's the time to shoot you as the diversion of your attention to your verbalims diverts your attentional resources and slows you down.

I'd certainly like to hear Scattergun Bob's take on this too, because it seems we may have the same control technique.

In the unlikely event that I've commanded an armed intruder to drop his weapon in my house and he takes the action indicated above and I'm not comfortable with it, the simple solution is:

STOP!

DON'T MOVE!

Now that I have his attention and he is not moving in a way I don't want him to...

Open your hand and DROP the gun! ... DO IT NOW!

The basic principles by which I was taught was that if your suspect started to move in a way you did not want (or perhaps expect), you issue the command "STOP!" loud and clear. Once they've heard that, you keep them there with "Don't Move!". You interrupt whatever they were starting to do and re-exert control. At this point, you can decide if your instructions must be [I]very specific. Such as the order to open the hand and drop the gun.

Our instructors also took the time to hammer in a few additional points. The apparent age of the suspect must be considered, especially with respect to how fast they comply and/or stop when told to stop. Older suspects, especially those over about 55-60, may take more time to respond, especially to a change (such as "Stop!").

Another point was that people who have never encountered felony-stop/felony-control procedures may not perform exactly as expected. They may look down when told to kneel or break their hand position to balance on descent. It's up to the officer to maintain control and be clear in his commands.
"Driver! Keep your hands on your head and kneel straight down! Do it now!"

With respect to Dave, Erik, Glenn, et al., who have been patient and pragmatic (in telling us how things really are on the street), this has been an excellent discourse (even if we sense some irritation on both sides!:D)

Dave - if ordered to "drop the gun", the most likely reaction I'd have is to yell back I will disarm and drop the gun!, then keeping the muzzle in a "safe" direction drop the gun as instructed in a deliberately slow, smooth motion.

My preference would be to see or hear the arriving officers and just before they pull up, either re-holster the weapon or open the cylinder/lock the slide open... then raise my hands and wait for orders.

FWIW: I used to take the role "bad guy" at our local academy, even after I graduated. Mostly because I could stress the training scenario by being "compliant" in unexpected ways. Mixing up right or left, for instance. Or when told to kneel, break hand-on-head position to balance on one knee at a time. And when told to "show me your hands" I'd just briefly raise my hands, show them empty, then drop them down again. Compliant, but not really "smart".

In fact, one lateral transfer in an advanced course did shoot me (with blanks at least) when I showed my hands but failed to keep them displayed. And he was p-o'd when the instructor would not accept a "threat" justification because it is up to the officer to issue clear, concise and unambigious commands to maintain control of the situation.

And that's been my thinking on the subject for decades.

Erik
July 31, 2008, 08:50 PM
"I'd certainly like to hear Scattergun Bob's take on this too, because it seems we may have the same control technique."

That's interesting, as I read his post as being completely in agreement with "Dave, Erik, Glenn, et al." Note the points he considered critic enough to bold and underline; they look familiar. Chalk it up to entering the analysis 80 some odd posts in with a damned good point, counter point posting.

Scattergun Bob
July 31, 2008, 11:15 PM
How did I become a 3rd wheel in Bill & Eric's debate? Sorry guys I am not interested in being on either side of this debate. Is that clear!

Bill - I can't respond to "the Meyer" variable of this little encounter we are trying to discuss. In my mind he is trying to set up a "no win" that says we have to shoot someone in the back, NO DICE I will not play.

Erik - Not quiet sure how to take your last post. My points are repetitive yes, I see that both you and Dave also say about the same thing. I already stated that Dave solved the problem, what else do you want? My response was based on the attitude of posters like Keltyke who seem to believe that they will have there wits about them and control the situation. I passed on what MY ATTITUDE was and mind set when I had to deal with man with a gun calls. Been telling folks to "comply and do it now" since 1978, guess that predates this thread by a day or two.

Notice that I did not lower my self to address / rehash the endless electrons concerning some shooting "tricks" that have been around for +100 years, remember there is nothing really new in the world of gun-handling, check out FAST and Fancy revolver shooting from the 1930's you will see both the pinch and the border spin. So I have read enough about you and Dave and Glen knowing these little "secrets" to last for awhile. If you are "still on the job" I respectfully suggest you focus on the LEFT HANDED gunmen since frequently street officers MISS that and is far more likely to occur than the border shuffle.


Gentlemen - I would love to discuss the difference between a LEO and civilian incident, if a reasonable one was put fourth. As a civilian no longer dogged by a Agency shooting policy/ yet no longer with the legal presumption and a shooting review board I find new meaning to the ideas of Reasonable force, Reasonable assumption, and the concept of self defense.

Sportdog
August 1, 2008, 08:05 AM
After taking the time to read this thread I'm going to say that BillCA seems to make the most sense to me. My father, who retired from the county Sheriff Department, and my son-in-law, who currently is a Michigan State Police Officer have had numerous conversations with me about over zealous police officers. I am about as Pro-Law Enforcement as a person can be but find the attitude of some of the posters who claim to be law enforcement officers disturbing. I myself served as a "Reserve" officer for five years and am personal friends with one of the officers on that department who shot an individual who was a mental case on a shooting rampage. This guy shot almost full coffee can (yes, that's what he had the ammo in) of ammo before my friend finally shot him with a 12 Gauge shotgun because the guy turned to shoot at another officer who was coming up behind the individual. The thought that a police officer would shoot someone for not complying 100% of each and every demand made on him is in the wrong line of work in my opinion, and that of many police officers that I know. Just because someone would choose to ease a weapon to the ground instead of dropping it is no reason to shoot that individual. As long as the person is not posing a threat to the officers life by aggressive behavior, the police have no right to consider lethal means. I'm sure that this is the case for 99.9% of law enforcement officers who have a very difficult and highly responsible occupation and I applaud them for using good judgement.

Erik
August 1, 2008, 09:02 AM
SB,
Take my last post well. I read your posts as I believe them to be intended, in nearly complete agreement with "Dave, Erik, Glenn, et al." The only diffence of substance seemingly hinging on our poor job at attempting to communicate the complex arena of current law, policy, training, and the tactics which have evolved from them. The point is not that there are "tricks" and "secrets" which have been around a long time and are known to many; the point is that there IS specific training dealing them, that has not been around a long time and is not known by many. And not knowing can get you killed, as the saying goes.
Best,
Erik

---

"Gentlemen - I would love to discuss the difference between a LEO and civilian incident, if a reasonable one was put fourth. As a civilian no longer dogged by a Agency shooting policy/ yet no longer with the legal presumption and a shooting review board I find new meaning to the ideas of Reasonable force, Reasonable assumption, and the concept of self defense."

That would be a thread worth starting. I encourage you to give it some thought and to put it forth.

Erik
August 1, 2008, 09:04 AM
"Just because someone would choose to ease a weapon to the ground instead of dropping it is no reason to shoot that individual."

Sportdog,
Nobody is advocating shooting anyone "just" because of that.

Glenn E. Meyer
August 1, 2008, 09:42 AM
Sigh, no one understands me. I never dealt with the justification of such policies or moral correctness of their underlying philosophy - that's not my domain. I looked at the situation as an information processing, action decision with various factors that lead to various risks.

My point was that since I understand the variables that an officer may consider at speed with diminished cognitive and perceptual resources due to stress, I know that such factors may cause a shoot which would be detrimental to me. I want not to be a threat as soon as possible.

Thus, at the command to Drop the Gun - I would drop it. That's my personal point. I regard the risk of dropping my gun as negligilble.

Stress responses, selective attention, LeDoux's emotional response circuits, Collin's view of the forward panic response in law enforcement in a violent situation indicate that if you are perceived as a threat - you can be a Type I error, false alarm, incorrect detection, etc.

Not beat a dead horse on gun fighter tricks - but while you are giving repeated commands in increased intensity without compliance - that diverts your attention and makes it easier to shoot you. Seen it in the Insights training classes and some OPS.

I'm also left handed. :D

Erik
August 1, 2008, 01:32 PM
Doubled.

Erik
August 1, 2008, 01:33 PM
Timely. A cop on cop shooting. The details are obviously vague. Alcohol, a weapon, and if I had to bet, the incorrect assumption on the shotees part that the shooters would recognize him as a LEO, followed by failure to comply with commands and movement resulting in his being assessed as a threat, followed by his shooting.

---

3 probes launched into cop who shot cop case
Daily News Wire Services
Article Launched: 07/31/2008 10:02:23 AM PDT

LONG BEACH - Three investigations were under way today into the Long Beach police shooting of an off-duty LAPD officer wounded while allegedly brandishing a firearm and appearing to be drunk.

LAPD Officer Jason Fennick Geggie, 26, of Long Beach, faces two felonies: exhibiting a firearm in the presence of a police officer in a threatening manner, and exhibiting a firearm at any person in a threatening manner, according to Long Beach police.

Geggie was wounded in "the arm and torso area" about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday in the 200 block of Mira Mar Avenue and was hospitalized in stable condition, according to a Long Beach Police Department statement.

"When officers arrived, they located the armed suspect in the 200 block of Mira Mar Avenue, and when they contacted the suspect, an officer-involved shooting occurred," the statement said.

He had refused to drop the weapon, which was recovered from the scene, a police spokeswoman said. The firearm was a shotgun, pellet gun, or rifle, according to published reports.

Geggie was booked at 6:39 a.m. Wednesday and later released on $25,000 bail, according to Los Angeles County sheriff's officials.

Sources in the Long Beach Police Department told the Press-Telegram that officers were called to the area of Termino Avenue and Fourth Street after residents reported seeing a man with a gun who looked drunk and was stumbling down the street.

Police sources also said his friends told investigators he had been drinking heavily when he wandered off before the shooting, the Press-Telegram reported.

Investigations of the officer-involved shooting are being conducted by the Long Beach Police Department, LAPD Internal Affairs, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office.

Geggie, a Belmont Heights resident, has been with the Los Angeles Police Department for 18 months and is assigned to the Central Traffic Division, according to LAPD Media Relations.

His father is a lieutenant in the LAPD's risk assessment department.

---

This release seems to be the best of the reports, one more vague than the next.

http://www.knbc.com/news/17037559/detail.html?rss=la&psp=news

David Armstrong
August 1, 2008, 01:49 PM
In the unlikely event that I've commanded an armed intruder to drop his weapon in my house [in my bvd's in the dark] and he takes the action indicated above and I'm not comfortable with it, the simple solution is:
STOP!
DON'T MOVE!
Now that I have his attention and he is not moving in a way I don't want him to....
But that begs the point a bit, which is that the situation in question involves the subject not stopping and continues his movement. That appears to be the contention of some, that they should be allowed to ignore all the commands if they want to meet the end goal in a different manner, and the police should be able to read their minds and let them do it.

David Armstrong
August 1, 2008, 01:59 PM
The thought that a police officer would shoot someone for not complying 100% of each and every demand made on him is in the wrong line of work in my opinion, and that of many police officers that I know.
I think most would agree with that, however AFAIK nobody here has suggested that, or even anything very close to it. Again, failure to follow orders exactly is only one part of the decision-making process. It is an important part, but not the only part. Other factors help decide how the failure to comply fits into the overall situation.

Sportdog
August 1, 2008, 02:52 PM
This is a discussion that I guess that I should have stayed out of. But I didn't so here goes! At this point I am starting to question the mental state of some of our law enforcement community. It seems to me that the general feeling of the LE posters shows an alarming lack of what I would refer to as just plain old fashioned common sense. The case that is sighted of the LAPD is a perfect example of a guy that had no business putting on the uniform of a police officer. But I guess that I shouldn't put much stock in a story where they have a shooting and can't even figure out if the victim had a rifle, shotgun, or air rifle for crying out loud! If this guy is an example of LAPD's finest, Lord help us all. Maybe you police know more about the mental state of the officers in your area but I Thank God that here in my world our guys aren't so trigger happy that you need to study police shooting cases to feel that you can in fact protect yourself if attacked and have to follow some arbritrary set of rules that some John Wayne type has decided to enforce because he doesn't have enough God given sense to make a decision that would result in the proper outcome. The last time I checked, assassination of the public was not one of the duties of law enforcement. When I compare my conversations with my father and son-in-law about dealing with the public to the things that some are putting out here I can see that all is NOT well in your world. :(

David Armstrong
August 1, 2008, 03:19 PM
At this point I am starting to question the mental state of some of our law enforcement community. It seems to me that the general feeling of the LE posters shows an alarming lack of what I would refer to as just plain old fashioned common sense.
If thta ais what you have gotten from this thread I might suggest you go back and re-read the thread, with special attention to what was actually said by the LEOs instead of what others claim was said. Just like some of the problems in your earlier post revolved around issues that no LE here has supported or suggested, others have taken that same tack. If you have specific issues or problems you might try pointing them out instead of tossing around vague statements without any suppport.
The case that is sighted of the LAPD is a perfect example of a guy that had no business putting on the uniform of a police officer.
And perhaps you will share with us just how you did during the LAPD selection process?
The last time I checked, assassination of the public was not one of the duties of law enforcement.
Nice rhetoric. Of course, since nobody here has suggested anything close to that, it is fairly irrelevant to the discussion.

Sportdog
August 1, 2008, 04:02 PM
What part of common sense do you not understand? I stated that I felt a general FEELING of lack of common sense. If my take is wrong, I stand corrected, but not for the perception given. It is obvious by the actions of the LAPD officer that the selection process is not making it! Very obvious. Why do you feel the need to make a smart aleck comment about MY role in the LAPD process? Again, use some common sense. Do you think a guy like that has any business wearing the uniform of a police officer? He is the type of individual that gives law enforcement just another unwanted black eye. I'm surprised that you would defend a process that produces an officer like him! What does a guy from SW Louisiana know about the LAPD selection process that I don't. I'm just judging the results. I don't have to be a pro football player to know a touchdown do I? A police officers lack of clear thinking and not using good common sense could result in the assassination of an innocent person. :(

Scattergun Bob
August 1, 2008, 10:53 PM
Sportdog
I was trying to disengage from this thread. Your last few comments have brought me back into the scrap. Sometimes in for a penny in for a pound.


Scattergun Bob says, there is no such organism as a reasonable person and no such mental aptitude as "common sense".

I feel the need to personally address your comments about "lack of clear thinking" and the word "assassination" in regard to the administration of justice.

So let me get this straight, you are saying that;
at 3 to 10 feet from me, a man standing next to a obvious body in distress (maybe felony murder), with a gun in his hand,
Who despite my clear and simple challenge of POLICE, DON"T MOVE, proceeds to move and by HIS actions perhaps leads me to believe " in the 3/10ths of a second that I have to make THIS decision" that he is not simply a noncompliant subject but a aggressive predator mounting an attack to threaten my person.

He has the ABILITY, He has the OPPORTUNITY, an unless Frank Way is wrong He is manifesting the intent RIGHT NOW.

Your idea is that I still have to wait to prove that he is not simply a victim of his EGO! That in his own good time he will comply. How dare you, sir! You are proposing that the armor of some type "clear thinking or common sense" will slow or foul up this attack if it comes. Who's social justice are you concerned with, I don't think it is the peace officers.

Perhaps you did not read my first post (84) with do diligence; Just because this incident is mentally new ground (what do I do next) for you does not give you the right to endanger me. (JUST COMPLY, AND DO IT RIGHT NOW!)

The FBI law enforcement officers killed summaries, consistently list "once you confront a suspect who has a gun, the odds are better than 20 % that he will shoot at you . 35% of the time he will fire the first round."

An yet even after proper training, rigid compliance with departmental shooting policies, the soul searching necessary to have the courage to walk the street with a badge and a gun, if a mistake is made you expect the officers blood on the street or you would label him an "assassin". Do I have that about right?

Glenn E. Meyer
August 2, 2008, 11:13 AM
In for a penny, in for a pound.

I've been fascinated by this thread as the more virulent attacks are on the character of the officers and the issue of justification as compared to the reality of the outcomes.

In a tactics discussion - we started with what in the current situation is likely to happen and not what should happen in some gun friendly utopia. It is clear that noncompliance is risky - that's the truth.

So why do supposedly thinking individuals continue to insist they won't comply and reasonably complain later? The AD from a drop is a red herring. The same stats showing how officers are shot don't come up with significant numbers being shot by a dropped gun by a good guy or suspect.

The issue is basically a dominance game and a sense of hurt by a selection of our shooters.

They feel empowered by having a firearm, it is like being a superhero in a sense. There is a fine analysis of this view from David Kenik (who I met at the NTI) in a piece in Handguns on defensive shooting and bystander intervention. When you put on the gun, some of you go Batman/Superman.

He argues that is not the most useful attitude and it fades for the trained.

So here you are empowered. Collins (Violence - Princeton University Press) discussed how it is difficult to actually engage in close up violence - but you did - you overcame your tension/fear and acted in an aggressive manner. You hold the instrument of your power in your hand.

Then, the police arrive - and they depower you. You have to come from a dominant position back to one of powerlessness in complete acquiessence to their power. And without acknowledgement of your righteous role and power. They just want everyone disarmed. You can't even keep your sword or interestingly put in down in a manner that acknowledges that you were powerful and righteous. You have to drop that expensive gun and scratch it. Putting it down slowly says : 'Yes, I'm powerful and righteous. You agree with that. I put it down in a manner that show I'm deciding to agree with you rather than you commanding me.' Your feelings are hurt.

You want the police to congratulate and accept you into the brotherhood/sisterhood of the powerful and tell you that you righteously and honorably protected society. But you can't even talk or that will be used against you in a court of law.

But as Tommy Lee Jones said to Harrison Ford in the Fugitive (when Harrison was babbling his righteous tale) - I don't care. The officer doesn't care in the moment you are armed. You have to be made safe.

Let me give a summary quote from Collin's book - superb book on the actual nature of violence. He discusses police actions in detail:

1. (p. 464). 'When encountering the police, be aware of their potential to go into a forward panic. It is your task to reduce their confrontational tension. If you find this a loss of personal dignity, remind yourself that you are taking charge of the situation emotionally by calming people down. Be especially aware of the problem as the numbers of police on the scene go up.'

There is similar advice for officers.

That's my take on some of the more out there commentary and stubborness. If you know X causes deadly Y and you still want to do X - spin the wheel of Karma and see where it lands.

Scattergun Bob
August 2, 2008, 12:01 PM
I have to admit that your last post is powerful and compelling, a tip of the hat.

I "think" the part about dropping the gun and having a AD, is focused on "sympathetic firing" by the police as in studies of firing line discipline when outside stresses are added by Bob Marsh, not accidentally shooting the police or themselves. I "think" this is a legitimate FEAR by the posters, though I doubt there are data to support the claim.

As I and others previously pointed out, at every scene someone needs to deescalate the force level, both parties are in the combat envelope, both have weapons, both need to work at allowing each to live. Both need to function on another level beside EGO.

Sportdog
August 2, 2008, 12:08 PM
The last posters have confirmed what I "felt" from my first reading of this thread. It's all about the power and control that you feel you need to command over a situation that you seem not to understand. Your only concern is to dominate every situation that you encounter. Since by definition, assassinate is to kill without personal regard this word in fact does apply. You do not seem to care (as stated by the Tommy Jones movie analogy). I am in no way suggesting that you wait for someone to shoot you before you respond. I am suggesting that the level of lethal force should not be dictated because some innocent person doesn't follow to the letter to your every command just because it hurts your ego. If the 3-10 foot distance causes you fear, stay back. That is common sense. I'm sure that your voice can carry beyond that range. That is common sense. You guys think that a person protecting himself is an EGO thing. That makes no sense at all. That just shows your contempt for someone who has done something to protect himself because the system of which you are a part of is not capable of providing that protection. Guess what guys. My life is just as important to me as yours is to you. I will close this discussion on my part because I know that you feel the need to get in the last word. I'm very pleased that my close family members in law enforcement do not share your superiority complex and have themselves grounded in the real job of law enforcement and don't feel the need to lord their positions of authority over the people that they serve. Whenever you guys complain about the lack of respect for law enforcement, guys with your attitude have fostered this opinion.

gvf
August 2, 2008, 02:32 PM
delete

rscalzo
August 2, 2008, 05:34 PM
level of lethal force should not be dictated because some innocent person doesn't follow to the letter to your every command just because it hurts your ego

My insight into this topic is simply this..The fact of guilt or innocence will not be decided until well after the fact. What might seem perfectly obvious to you in your mind will not be to those responding to the scene.

I can tell you from experiences responding to several shootings involving citizens, the last thing that can be said about them is that they are thinking clearly. Their BOP is spiking and their mind is racing. It will be assumed that they are not hearing the instructions. It may very well require a level of force to get them to disarm. Fortunately we never had any injuries during these events.

Glenn E. Meyer
August 2, 2008, 06:15 PM
Thanks, Sc. Bob.

:)

Erik
August 2, 2008, 10:09 PM
Excellent posts, guys. From the shorter insights of some to the more involved works of others, hopefully most readers popping in for a look will adhere to courses of action in the "less likely to be shot" spectrum. And most will, because most understand at a gut level the don't go to stupid places, to do stupid things, with stupid people line of logic, willfully planning on disobeying orders given at gunpoint by LEOs, despite explanations of that can cause force to be used against you, and moving for ideologocal and emotional reasons falling into the doing stupid things category.

Other things not to do... well, there are other threads. ;)

BillCA
August 2, 2008, 11:14 PM
I think I see some evidence of disconnects here...

at 3 to 10 feet from me, a man standing next to a obvious body in distress (maybe felony murder), with a gun in his hand, ...

Silly me... I was envisioning either an outdoor venue where police were in a "felony stop" position behind the "shooter" and officers are behind their car doors... or in an open public area like a mall where there is potential cover behind pilars, concrete fountains, etc. Or about 10-15 yards, not feet.

1. (p. 464). 'When encountering the police, be aware of their potential to go into a forward panic. It is your task to reduce their confrontational tension. If you find this a loss of personal dignity, remind yourself that you are taking charge of the situation emotionally by calming people down. Be especially aware of the problem as the numbers of police on the scene go up.'

That's certainly thought-provoking, Glenn and there may be a grain of truth in some of it. Some people may not have their priorities in line and not want to drop a Colt Python, even if it's a well worn specimen. On the other hand, there are some who may be holding a 1911 or other cocked semiauto who fear it's discharge if dropped when the safety is off.

I "think" the part about dropping the gun and having a AD, is focused on "sympathetic firing" by the police as in studies of firing line discipline when outside stresses are added by Bob Marsh, not accidentally shooting the police or themselves. I "think" this is a legitimate FEAR by the posters, though I doubt there are data to support the claim.

Exactly. Though I thought this point was made clear much earlier. While there may not be data that says x% of dropped guns fire, those of us who have worked on guns know that an AD is possible when guns are dropped, especially with safeties disengaged.

And given video like the one below, the fear is not unwarranted.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDfNV9bJoSg
And the above was a much lower threat level with no AD.

Please understand the message coming through from the LEO side. "We're under high stress, have to decide in 0.3 seconds if we should fire and any move you make that hasn't been ordered is 1/2 oz more pressure on the trigger and any time you don't comply immediately is another 1/2 oz on the trigger." Now...couple that with the sudden surprise of a loud gunshot noise and what do we get? A civilian body on the ground doing a good imitation of a sieve.

The last posters have confirmed what I "felt" from my first reading of this thread. It's all about the power and control that you feel you need to command over a situation that you seem not to understand. Your only concern is to dominate every situation that you encounter.

Sportdog - it is absolutely about power and control. That is their function in the situation. To exert lawful power and control the situation so no one else gets hurt. I don't begrudge the police this role or authority since we have, by proxy, asked them to do this job to protect our communities.

I don't think any of the LEO side is arguing that if they arrive on the scene and shout "Don't Move!", yet their gun-toting suspect raises his hands, that would justify shooting him.

Nor do I think they are trying to say that as they arrive, if they see their shooting suspect holding his hands out and away from his body and holding the gun by the muzzle or with two fingers on the end of the grip that it would be justified to shoot him if he did not move and didn't comply within 2 seconds to drop the gun.

I can tell you from experiences responding to several shootings involving citizens, the last thing that can be said about them is that they are thinking clearly. Their BOP is spiking and their mind is racing. It will be assumed that they are not hearing the instructions.

In a high stress situation the mind focuses on solving the problem that it may take repeated commands for the subject to identify what's being said. The Navy studied this problem for carrier pilots landing aboard ship who could not recover the aircraft. It was found that controllers needed to repeat the command to eject to get through to the over-stressed pilot. Consequently the phrase "Eject! Eject! Eject!" is now used by military personnel to help ensure the pilot hears it (most pilots recall hearing it only once during the incident because they are focused on saving their planes).

Many authors have written about stress-induced tunnel-vision and auditory exclusion. In a civilian shooting this stress-induced auditory exclusion may be prolonged simply because the citizen's training is not as robust or as well practiced as police. Until the citizen realizes the threat has stopped or diminished to a controllable point it may take repeated commands for him to acknowledge others around him.

And in the chaos of some incidents, police are their own worst enemies. It's not unusual when multiple cops are present to hear one officer shouting "Don't Move!" while another is shouting "Down on the ground!" and yet another shouts "Show me your hands!" Each officer is trying to establish control in his own way. The result is a confusing hash - Don't move Get on the Show me the ground your hands! I've seen it on a couple of occassions and fortunately none of the officers reacted with the mindset "Hey, he's doing something else than what I told him!"

Scattergun Bob
August 3, 2008, 12:18 AM
Glad to see you back Bill, I decided to use NYPD officer involved averages to try and make my point. I can not say what the contact distance would be in this nightmare because it is not listed. I don't know inside/outside, other than an bystander phoned in the call. Although frustrating, it is typical of the patch work of information received typically with a call for help!

I knew that if I mentioned the "dropped gun thing" that the worms would get out of the can again!:) I "believe" there may be a valid point to this and have experienced many cases of "sympathetic firing" during range stress drills. These drills are conducted to educate officers of the potential for discharging your firearm unintended. However I can not find any data about subjects being injured by sympathetic reaction to a shot being fired occurring in the field. Maybe you can. Until then I must side with Dave, Eric and Glen, the lesser of two evils is to obey the command. Could it lead to a tragic error, YES.

I have truly enjoyed our discussion, and as always I learn something new each thread. Your point of multiple disjointed commands did not go with out notice.

Good Luck & Be Safe

BillCA
August 3, 2008, 02:23 AM
SgBob,

I'm glad someone acknowledges my point about disjointed commands. Our local LEO trainers are pretty "ho-hum" about it.

I knew that if I mentioned the "dropped gun thing" that the worms would get out of the can again! I "believe" there may be a valid point to this and have experienced many cases of "sympathetic firing" during range stress drills. These drills are conducted to educate officers of the potential for discharging your firearm unintended. However I can not find any data about subjects being injured by sympathetic reaction to a shot being fired occurring in the field. Maybe you can.

I know there have been multiple instances of this, usually on car-stops. Wasn't there a fairly recent one in NYC where about 12 cops fired on the guy's car the day before he was to get married? It's usually a high-stress situation, frequently nighttime and one officer's judgement causes him to draw and fire. At that point, other officers presume that officer-1 saw something which is threatening to him and others, so they react and fire too. The others did not see the threat, but presumed it because one or more officers fired.

BillCA
August 3, 2008, 03:15 AM
I realized I hadn't responded to your post in 107.

(Post 107) But that begs the point a bit, which is that the situation in question involves the subject not stopping and continues his movement. That appears to be the contention of some, that they should be allowed to ignore all the commands if they want to meet the end goal in a different manner, and the police should be able to read their minds and let them do it.

If the unambigious commands "Stop!" and "Don't Move" are ignored, then certainly you face a higher threat level. However, that was not part of the discussion from the Erik, Glenn, Dave trio. The argument has been simply;
If I tell you to drop it and you make any move with it, prepare to be shot. I've told you exactly what to do, you choose not to do so at your own peril.

The only reason I've even challenged the LE posts is that such flat-earth statements need to be challenged for enlightenment of both sides.

Let us suppose for a moment that the shooter is not a completely clueless doofus and has, as the police arrived, gripped his gun by the barrel and is holding it muzzle down/grip up with both hands in the surrender position. You command him to drop the gun. Instead of letting go of the gun from 4-6 ft, he tilts his shoulders over and lowers the gun down to within only 1-2 ft before dropping it.

However, based on Dave's an Erik's statements, we must presume that the subject won't complete the maneuver because he is very likely to be shot, with the officers justifying it as a "failure to comply" with "threatening behavior". Then they'll just move on with their lives.

Is there some mental block against issuing a new command for him to "Stop!"? Or to yell "Don't Move"?

If not, it certainly has not been part of the discussion. I think the presumption has been that once he begins to move he will continue to do so regardless of other commands. This is not axiomatic.

Or is it the presumption that once you've issued a command that any deviation from exactly what you've said or expect is a threat?

Forget saying anything. Your actions will determine if you get shot at or not, not your words. And once your actions have been controlled your words no longer matter.

Since Dave has also precluded commuicating with the arriving officers to tell them anything, there is no point in claiming to be the victim or claiming the downed man is the attacker. Or even "I will disarm and put the gun down."

Nnobby45
August 3, 2008, 04:19 AM
As long as the person is not posing a threat to the officers life by aggressive behavior, the police have no right to consider lethal means. I'm sure that this is the case for 99.9% of law enforcement officers who have a very difficult and highly responsible occupation and I applaud them for using good judgement.


A friend heard a window crash while at home one evening and jumped up, ran right by his gun, headed for his 5 yr. old daughters' room and went flying in only to find a scared little girl with her arms around her Springer Spaniel that was just as scared.

A tree in a storm had fallen over and crashed through the window.

He later asked a good friend and firearms instructor/SWAT officer what had happened. What had caused him (an experienced shooter) to do everything wrong and run down the hall unarmed, thinking an intruder had just broken into his little girls' room.

He was told about the "law of threes". It takes a trained police officer about 3 violent incidents before he/she actually settles down and handles things in a professional manner with some degree of calm.

Before that, training goes out the window, adrenalin flows, and things turn to S%#@--not that they can't anyway.

Could be that the officer who points a gun at you or me is just doing lesson one or two--- combining high adrenalin with low experience levels.

Erik
August 3, 2008, 05:37 PM
"Silly me... I was envisioning..."

Advice against assuming begins in post 15. You advise against it in post 30. At least eight additional posts seemingly address assumptions, presumptions, variables, et cetera; necessary because seemingly must think within the box they are comfortable with. It like being in college again, with students knowing it all, and creating worlds within their heads where they are right and the older, experienced folks who have actually done what is being discussed are wrong.

Re sympathetic response: Can anyone provide documentation anyone being sympathetically shot by LEOs following a dropped firearm's discharge?

"I don't think any of the LEO side is arguing that if they arrive on the scene and shout "Don't Move!", yet their gun-toting suspect raises his hands, that would justify shooting him."

Nobody has said that. It has been necessary to state and restate this fact several times.

"Nor do I think they are trying to say that as they arrive, if they see their shooting suspect holding his hands out and away from his body and holding the gun by the muzzle or with two fingers on the end of the grip that it would be justified to shoot him if he did not move and didn't comply within 2 seconds to drop the gun."

You are envisioning again...

I agree with your comments on how people behave in high stress situations; of course, I see them as supporting our position, where that gun-pointees should do everything possible to ensure gun-pointers do not perceive them as threats.

"I'm glad someone acknowledges my point about disjointed commands. Our local LEO trainers are pretty "ho-hum" about it."

So we've reached a consensus about how to behave in simple scenarios ith one LEo issuing orders? Once we reach that, more complicated variables can certainly be addressed. We must learn to walk before running, after all. The default still boils down to immediat compliance and lack of directed movement, though.

"If the unambigious commands "Stop!" and "Don't Move" are ignored, then certainly you face a higher threat level. However, that was not part of the discussion from the Erik, Glenn, Dave trio." ."

Actually, that has been a significant part of the discussion. How'd you miss it?

"The argument has been simply... If I tell you to drop it and you make any move with it, prepare to be shot. I've told you exactly what to do, you choose not to do so at your own peril."

You didn't miss it, apparently. As evidenced not only by that quote but by one of yours:

""I don't think any of the LEO side is arguing that if they arrive on the scene and shout "Don't Move!", yet their gun-toting suspect raises his hands, that would justify shooting him."

Correct. Nobody has said that. It has been necessary to state and restate this fact several times. And again. Deja vu. Wow, I don't think I've ever had to re-restate something in the same post before...

Argh... more assumptions coming up! Never good things to run with before walking first, but I'll indulge:

"Let us suppose for a moment that the shooter is not a completely clueless doofus and has, as the police arrived, gripped his gun by the barrel and is holding it muzzle down/grip up with both hands in the surrender position. You command him to drop the gun. Instead of letting go of the gun from 4-6 ft, he tilts his shoulders over and lowers the gun down to within only 1-2 ft before dropping it."

However, based on Dave's an Erik's statements, we must presume that the subject won't complete the maneuver because he is very likely to be shot, with the officers justifying it as a "failure to comply" with "threatening behavior". Then they'll just move on with their lives."

You are envisioning again, by the way... Based upon more than just Dave and my statements in this thread, it should be clear that your hypothetical good guy has significantly increased the odds of his having force used against him; force likely being lethal given the context. And while "moving on with their lives" is a gross over-simplification of what shooters experience following shootings, yes, that is what will likely happen.

"Is there some mental block against issuing a new command for him to "Stop!"? Or to yell "Don't Move"?"

You are appently envisioning different time lines than we experience and train for.

"Or is it the presumption that once you've issued a command that any deviation from exactly what you've said or expect is a threat?"

Willfully ignoring commands is a threat indicator. You're already at two threat indicators the instant you begin movement. Are you a three strikes you're out kind of guy? If so, you're one away from force.

"Is there some mental block against issuing a new command for him to "Stop!"? Or to yell "Don't Move"?"

We're already two threat indicators into things, remember? Yes, further exposure to thrreat may be warranted, but it may not be.

Example:

Following weeks training 100 trainees are run through a scenario involving a role payer who bends to lay down an arm. Half of the students encounter a role payer ordered to surrender without incident. Half encounter a non-role player oredred to shoot; with 70% success.

45 trainees take the compliant role player into custody without incident.
5 trainees shoot the compliant role player.
45 trainees shoot the non-compliant role player as he begins to shoot.
5 trainees shoot the non-compliant role player immediately following the two threat indicators of non-comliance and movement.

The shooters have to fill out paperwork as if it were for real. Fudging can get you disciplined up to and including termination. Incorrect actions are addressed through furhter training.

Without the benefit of reading and interviewing the folks, who is most and least correct?

If you answered, the 5 and 5, what are the similarities at the time of the shooting as the trainees saw it? Answer, the circumstances were identical. So should the 5 and 5 have held their fire? Both sets of 5 and 5?

Discuss.

Erik
August 3, 2008, 05:41 PM
BillCA,
Going back to your comment about keeping at it from in the context of discussion for the sake of furthering the understanding pool, all wrapped in good intentions... that's where I'm coming from too. I apologize if it (I) do not always come across that way. I find myself limited by the medium, as opposed to say, interpersonal conversation. Or just pepper spraying... Its a joke, people. Relax. Then there's having to deal with the seemingly ever present cop bashing, character assassinations, and general complete misconstruction of what LEOs do and for what reasons. Combine it all and at times I understand that my point/counter-points may leave incorrect impressions.
Best,
Erik

BillCA
August 4, 2008, 06:08 AM
Not to worry, Erik. Sometimes this medium is awkward and clumsy when these kinds of discussions break out. It frustrates many of us at times. :p

So, let's begin with, essentially, the first "questionable" statement.
If I tell you to drop it and you make any move with it, prepare to be shot. I've told you exactly what to do, you choose not to do so at your own peril."

"any move with it"... any.

In short, I must drop a gun and nothing else, regardless of it being in an "unsafe" condition (i.e. a cocked weapon - such as a SA revolver). Or even to extend an arm (not towards the cops!) to drop it away from myself and/or the attacker. Is that what you are advocating?

In the event the PD arrival is something of a surprise (speed, stealth, whatever) and the gun is at waist or chest level, the implication is that raising one's hands instead of dropping the weapon may result in being shot.

You are envisioning again...
Nope. I'm thinking of the admonition that any move whilst holding the gun is an invitation to be shot.


"If the unambigious commands "Stop!" and "Don't Move" are ignored, then certainly you face a higher threat level. However, that was not part of the discussion from the Erik, Glenn, Dave trio."

Actually, that has been a significant part of the discussion. How'd you miss it?

Non-sequitur here. I don't dispute what one's response to "Stop!" or "Don't move" should be. However, my point was with regards to the command to drop the gun. Should the subject begin an unexpected move, is there a reason you would NOT yell "STOP! DON'T MOVE!" again? Enlightenment is desired. Do you believe it's unnecessary? Or perhaps you think events will happen too quickly to react?

"I don't think any of the LEO side is arguing that if they arrive on the scene and shout "Don't Move!", yet their gun-toting suspect raises his hands, that would justify shooting him."

Correct. Nobody has said that. It has been necessary to state and restate this fact several times. And again. Deja vu. Wow, I don't think I've ever had to re-restate something in the same post before...

Nor have I had to refer back to the definitive statement so many times. ;) So here we go again.
If I tell you to drop it and you make any move with it, prepare to be shot.

Being someone who takes a literal view of the statement, the way this reads, to me, is if told to drop the gun and the subject makes any other move with the gun, then they should prepare/expect to be shot. This includes raising the hands to a surrender position, making the weapon safe (safety lever, decocker, etc.), first separating the two-hand hold, etc.

I agree with your comments on how people behave in high stress situations; of course, I see them as supporting our position, where that gun-pointees should do everything possible to ensure gun-pointers do not perceive them as threats.

"I'm glad someone acknowledges my point about disjointed commands. Our local LEO trainers are pretty "ho-hum" about it."

So we've reached a consensus about how to behave in simple scenarios with one LEo issuing orders?

Now I am really confused. You agree with some comments I made about how people react in high-stress situations. But after review, I must surmise you agree with my comments about sympathetic firing but not about stress-induced auditory exclusion and/or the confusing hash of multiple officers yelling commands.

You are appently envisioning different time lines than we experience and train for.
And what might those time lines or time-frames be?

Willfully ignoring commands is a threat indicator. You're already at two threat indicators the instant you begin movement. Are you a three strikes you're out kind of guy? If so, you're one away from force.
So if the person moves in any way at all before dropping the gun this constitutes 2-threats ... failure to obey the command immediately and movement? Is that right?

Just for simplicity, in the above, moving any way at all means the arms or upper body only. I'm not talking about someone turning to face officers who are behind.

David Armstrong
August 4, 2008, 05:33 PM
What part of common sense do you not understand?
I think I undersatnd all parts of it fairly well. I also understand that common sense in not common, nor does it always make sense.
It is obvious by the actions of the LAPD officer that the selection process is not making it!
Nonsense. That an officer gets drunk and acts crazy after 18 months on the job has nothing to do with the selection process.
Why do you feel the need to make a smart aleck comment about MY role in the LAPD process? Again, use some common sense.
Yes, let's use some common sense. If you are going to claim that the selection process is not making it, it seems common sense would be that you know somethign about the selection process. At this point I must assume that you have no idea what you were talking about.
Do you think a guy like that has any business wearing the uniform of a police officer?
Not now, but that has nothing to do with the selection process for LAPD, which is rather rigorous, BTW.
What does a guy from SW Louisiana know about the LAPD selection process that I don't.
Apparently quite a bit!
I don't have to be a pro football player to know a touchdown do I?
No, you don't. However, knowing what a touchdown is has nothing to do with knowing anything about how the players are selected, does it?

I am suggesting that the level of lethal force should not be dictated because some innocent person doesn't follow to the letter to your every command just because it hurts your ego.
You keep missing this for some reason--the level of force is NOT dictated based on not following orders. Not following orders is one part of the overall situation, a part that tends to increase the likelihood of force and the level of force.

David Armstrong
August 4, 2008, 05:50 PM
The only reason I've even challenged the LE posts is that such flat-earth statements need to be challenged for enlightenment of both sides.
But it is not a flat earth statement. It is a taken out of context statement that myself and several others have pointed out needs to be ocnsaidered in the context as originally presented. And it should go without saying that "prepare to be shot" does not automatically mean "I will shoot you". If you choose a path of action thta increases the peril rather than decreases it, one cannot blame the officer. He has told you exactlyhow to do something to reduce the danger to you and everyone else. Should you choose not to do so, the fault lies with you (generic you,not specific you).
Is there some mental block against issuing a new command for him to "Stop!"? Or to yell "Don't Move"?
And what if he doesn't obey those commands? Some of y'all seem to think this is a Chinese restaurant, where you get to pick and choose. "I will obey 2 commands from Column B, but no commands from column A please". As Glenn has mentioned, we find that giving additional commands tends to put you at a disadvantage.
Since Dave has also precluded commuicating with the arriving officers to tell them anything, there is no point in claiming to be the victim or claiming the downed man is the attacker. Or even "I will disarm and put the gun down."
You can communicate all you want to with the arriving officers---AFTER you have ceased being a threat to them and others. Until that time, there is no need for much conversation.

pax
August 4, 2008, 05:53 PM
In short, I must drop a gun and nothing else, regardless of it being in an "unsafe" condition (i.e. a cocked weapon - such as a SA revolver). Or even to extend an arm (not towards the cops!) to drop it away from myself and/or the attacker. Is that what you are advocating?

I'm not Erik, but have to say that if a police officer tells me to drop a weapon that's in an unsafe condition, I would freeze as still as a statue and say loudly, slowly, and clearly: "Officer, I intend to comply. This weapon may discharge if dropped. How would you like me to proceed?"

Then I would do whatever the heck he said, including to drop the weapon, regardless of my feelings on the matter. Because, you know, the risk to me from a dropped gun discharging in a random direction is considerably less than the risk to me from the officer shooting me deliberately and repeatedly.

But I sure wouldn't make any other move with the weapon in hand. Not even in super slow motion.

pax

Sportdog
August 4, 2008, 10:04 PM
Rather than rehash the entire thread I'll just address the comments made by David Armstrong with a little sidebar. #1 Common Sense is as old as time and you sir seem to have none. I'm sure that 99% of those viewing this thread have a complete understanding of common sense and I am here to point out that you are in that 1%. That is very bad for those in SW Louisiana who come into contact with you. #2 A LAPD officer that exhibits this type of behavior is proof positive that the selection process failed when they selected him. Are you going to tell me that this is the type of individual in such an important position is there to serve and protect the public? I think not! If that is true than the selection process you went through is also flawed! I expect a much higher standard of behavior from the police than from the general public. All of us should. #3 Apparently the rigorous selection process of the LAPD weeded you out as you profess to be an expert on it! Not good news if you didn't make it and the other clown did! #4 If you don't like the touchdown/pro football analogy how about this. I don't have to be a Pro Football General Manager to know what a poor performance on the football field is. That better. Use common sense. Oh, I forgot, you don't believe in that or posess it:rolleyes: #5 If you lack common sense, you may be "inclined" to function poorly in these types of situations. All you have to do is watch the "Cops" program and you see all kinds of different orders being shouted at suspects. Which do they obey? Use common sense! If the guy is not showing any signs of a threat to you why put some guy who you have NO KNOWLEDGE has done anything wrong in the hospital or grave yard. If you harbor so much fear of the public you should not be on the street with a gun. Sure doesn't say much for the "brave" officers does it. Trigger happy, fearful individuals should not be on any department. Please explain how officers with your attitude are keeping the public safe? You can't. You are only killing an innocent person based on your unwarranted fear. Not good for the public is it? I am now starting to believe that some "cop bashing" may have some basis. Thank you guys for enlightening me and I pray that I'm never in your juristiction. As I stated in my first post. I am about as pro-law enforcement as someone can get and some of you guys are an ugly stain on an honorable profession. (I'll bet that I won't have to mention what guys I'm talking about. You know.) I now stand ready to take on all the bad cops and cop "worshippers". (not to be confused with those that hold law enforement in high esteme of which I am one) Bring it on.:D

Scattergun Bob
August 4, 2008, 10:50 PM
I thought you had withdrawn:(. or was that another flight of fantasy?

You have said twice; "I am about as pro-law enforcement as someone can get" I don't believe it for a second. There is no reason for deception here, It is O.K. to have a grudge toward LE, whether from an unfulfilled fantasy or from a BAD interaction.

Your fixation with peace officers involved in assassination of an innocent person tells me that you have had a trauma either a fantasy or real concerning unwarranted force and the police, I feel sorry for you.

Since you have failed to respond to my last post directed at you, I will exercise my God given right and press the ignore button on YOU, "be gone DAMM spot".

Sportdog
August 5, 2008, 12:21 AM
I didn't engage with each one of your and others statements always in a direct manner as there are only so many hours in a day and so much of that time to engage with people that are so self conceited and so addicted to power and control that it becomes an excercise in futility. You judge me to not be a fan of law enforcement because I dare to call BS to men who discredit the uniform that they wear? I have judged them and you on the words you use. You are judging me on your preconceived notion based on no facts whatsoever!:barf: The more you defend police that are less than honorable (A nice way to say bad cops) the more foolish you look. Keep your pity for me. I have a very nice life. A life not tormented with fear and free from thinking that I am better that others. You don't believe that my father is a retired police officer and my son-in-law is currently serving as a Trooper for the Michigan State Police. Don't believe it. This is cyber space and doubter cyber space authors abound. You are not special. Just one of many. Just like me. If I can irritate you, I am pleased as punch. Anything that I can do to enlighten you? Just let me know. I stand ready to serve.:D

BillCA
August 5, 2008, 03:24 AM
I'm not Erik, but have to say that if a police officer tells me to drop a weapon that's in an unsafe condition, I would freeze as still as a statue and say loudly, slowly, and clearly: "Officer, I intend to comply. This weapon may discharge if dropped. How would you like me to proceed?"

Oh, but Pax, your communication is worthless. You might as well drop the weapon and assume all the risks of being turned into a sieve by those adrenaline-pumped, sleep-deprived officers who've had a bad day. Note Mr. Armstrong's comment in the post previous to yours;

You can communicate all you want to with the arriving officers---AFTER you have ceased being a threat to them and others. Until that time, there is no need for much conversation.

Besides, Glenn has told us that most guns are drop-safe so go right ahead. You can always buy another gun if you survive. ;)

But it is not a flat earth statement. It is a taken out of context statement that myself and several others have pointed out needs to be ocnsaidered in the context as originally presented. And it should go without saying that "prepare to be shot" does not automatically mean "I will shoot you".

Out of context? How so? It comes from your second post (31), in response to someone saying they'd lay their gun down.

The real concern here, I guess, is what really constitutes the term "any move". Does rotating the gun to fall on it's side meet the qualification of "any move"?

And what if he doesn't obey those commands? Some of y'all seem to think this is a Chinese restaurant, where you get to pick and choose. "I will obey 2 commands from Column B, but no commands from column A please". As Glenn has mentioned, we find that giving additional commands tends to put you at a disadvantage.

Sooo... I take it there is no room in your procedure that allows for the subject, in the midst "the chaos of a homicide crime scene" to equate "drop the gun" with putting the gun down. Or to raise their hands first instead of dropping the gun.

The way I read your statement above, once the subject fails to comply in the expected manner, futher commands are useless. He only gets one chance. [Somewhat of an exaggeration to be sure, but it is to illustrate the point.]

And Erik accused me of wanting to "what-if" the topic to death to support my disagreement, now you're doing the same thing. We can "what-if" it silly here.

If you choose a path of action thta increases the peril rather than decreases it, one cannot blame the officer.
Agreed to some extent. As long as the officer uses some kind of reasonable evaluation as to what constitutes a true threat. That is, just because training film FCS-82 shows a 22 year old male bending down flip the gun over and fire while executing a somersault does not mean the same motion is a threat when done by a grandmother or a 63 year old who resembles Wilford Brimley.
http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff111/BillCA/People/celebs/Brimley.jpg
Actor Wilford Brimley

Glenn E. Meyer
August 5, 2008, 10:24 AM
We still here. Amusing.

A couple of things.

1. If you are not an expert psychometrician, you might want to be a little more judicious on how screening processes can absolutely predict that someone won't crack up later. The idea that any testing battery can stop future bad behavior is hysterically funny and shows the poster knows nothing about that area. I do.

2. About drop free guns - given that we know what guns are drop free now and that non drop free guns are risky in a variety of contexts (including our beloved Drop the Gun one), unless constrained by pure financial circumstance, aren't you kind of stupd not to have one as the primary self-defense gun?

3. Again, folks are talking in absolutes. The whole idea of this thread is not that you will get shot based on noncompliance. It is that it is a risk factor that adds into the equation that predicts a shoot. So do you want that in the equation? When there is no reason to for most folks?

The purpose of this exercise is for the lurkers and readers to consider what is a reasonable action plan. I propose that a reasonable action plan when faced with the law and holding a gun is to:

1. If one can, try to put the gun in a nonthreatening position.
2. Recall that stress makes the arriving officers a risk to you (bitch about it all you want, it's true).
3. Follow all commands without jawing about it except in extraordinary need. Auditory exclusion can predict that you are not even heard in some circumstances.
4. Drop the gun if told so. If it is not drop safe - well, that's your fault.
5. Have no ego involvement because you are not recognized as heroic, the good guy, the champion of truth, justice and the American way.

This is not rocket science for an action plan - we see more ego involvement here. It is similar to the ongoing 'never carry a mouse gun debate' or the 'why the hell should I tell the officer I have a gun in my car' debate. All ego and little consideration of risk reduction.

meathunter
August 5, 2008, 11:30 AM
the cops show up. Then and only then will I disarm.

I will let them tell me what to do and will comply completely, but they needn't handle me roughly. Hope springs eternal. :barf:

Capt Charlie
August 5, 2008, 12:05 PM
Well, this thread's certainly been interesting, but it's getting (getting? ;)) repetitive and tempers are flaring.

I think it's safe to say this one's run its course.

Closed.