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booker_t
January 11, 2011, 11:26 AM
There's been a lot of discussion on this topic; if you're carrying, how do you distinguish yourself from the bad guys? How do you identify yourself as a victim or as a LEO rather than a criminal? Sunday night a plainclothes Baltimore narcotics officer was shot dead, apparently by fellow Baltimore Police, while responding to a large altercation outside a nightclub. A 22-year-old civilian football player was also killed by gunfire.

"Slain officer overwhelmed by crowd, police fired as he lay on ground. Police say 41 shots fired in incident outside club Sunday."

Full story in the Baltimore sun.
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-ci-friendly-fire-shooting-20110110,0,4108960.story

Photos from the crimescene (no gore).
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bs-md-select-lounge-shooting-pg0109,0,6587102.photogallery

Really tragic.

So some may respond that they avoid bars and nightclubs just for that reason, or that as soon as there was any issue it's time to leave, or whatever else. Okay, got it. But what about once you're in it and don't have that option? What about other places where fights and misunderstandings can occur?

It will be interesting to see how the investigation unfolds, to determine who shot who and what the responding officers' reasons for drawing and discharging (seemingly) into the crowd could have been.

PawPaw
January 11, 2011, 11:51 AM
Interesting question. I'm a full-time uniformed LEO and I've thought a lot about this.

First, I always carry a badge, and if God Forbid, I had to get involved when off-duty I'd have my badge in my creds case in my pocket. Always, without fail, I've got my badge if I'm carrying a gun.

However, I was talking to an old friend, a retired LEO, who works in the schools. We were talking about a school shooting scenario and asked if he'd get involved with his Resource Officer. He told me that they've talked about it and of course he'd get involved, doing whatever is necessary to protect the kids. This guy is retired from law enforcement, and now has long hair and a beard, and his plan is that he's going to surrender whenever uniformed officers arrive. He'll simply prone himself out and wait for the handcuffs. It's likely that the arriving officers won't know that he's a retired LEO and they can sort it out after the adrenaline calms down.

MLeake
January 11, 2011, 12:15 PM
A plainclothes UCF officer was killed in Orlando, in somewhat similar circumstances, a couple years ago. Drew a handgun when several drunk students resisted arrest, after one or more physically assaulted him.

A county deputy saw the brawl and approached. The UCF officer either didn't hear or failed to respond to the deputy's commands to drop his weapon. The deputy fired...

This sort of thing is tragic, but understandable. It reinforces the need to have a plan as to how to react when LEOs arrive, and for CCW types to be absolutely certain they know the situation prior to involving themselves and a weapon.

booker_t
January 11, 2011, 12:21 PM
I have no idea how many plainclothes officers work in the BCPD, but would there be any benefit to having uniformed officers receive a brief, or a packet of photos to study, with a headshot of each plainclothes officer on the street? Would that help with recognition at all?

I could imagine a situation when a plainclothes officer (or a Secret Service Agent, FBI Agent, US Marshall, etc) would reach for their badge or credentials, which could be construed as reaching for a weapon.

boredom
January 11, 2011, 12:29 PM
i think in all honesty, it would be fairly simple to distinguish yourself as a "good guy" in a hostile situation. do as you are asked, keep your motions slow (while dropping your weapon if drawn), keep your hands visible. then sort the "sorry's/thanks" after it has calmed down. now im simply arm chair QB'n so with adrenaline pumping and things moving a million miles per hour, things may get forgotten, but i think i would be able to remember to do as im asked and not try to do/grab/explain anything.

aarondhgraham
January 11, 2011, 12:46 PM
i think in all honesty, it would be fairly simple to distinguish yourself as a "good guy" in a hostile situation. do as you are asked, keep your motions slow (while dropping your weapon if drawn), keep your hands visible. then sort the "sorry's/thanks" after it has calmed down.

I don't want to get into an LEO bashing thing here,,,
But too many (when seeing an armed person) will shoot first and ask questions later.

This scenario is a great argument against the "sheepdog" role,,,
That so many licensed carriers say they would adopt.

My friend, I have no idea exactly what I would do if I was ever in an active shooter scenario,,,
Even though I have given considerable though to the topic since I started carrying,,,
I do know that when the police show up, the last thing I want is a gun in my hand.

I can pretty much guarantee they will open fire on any person with a gun they see,,,
At least that's the fear I have and it's based on personal experience.

Aarond

Single Six
January 11, 2011, 12:48 PM
This has happened before and will happen again. Off-duty and undercover officers need to try to remember that in that sort of situation, when Uniformed Patrol arrives, THEY are in charge. They should follow all commands the patrolmen give them, and all will be sorted out in a few minutes. Until then, the plainclothes officer is in serious danger. In the small town where I serve as a LEO, all the officers know each other...but we could just as easily encounter a similar situation with a visiting federal agent or officer from another jurisdiction.

old bear
January 11, 2011, 12:50 PM
Sad deal all the way around. I've always believed that any under cover should not become involved in anything like this, unless there is a DIRECT threat of loss of life not the potential of loss of life.

My best wishes to everyone involved and the entire B.P.D.

booker_t
January 11, 2011, 12:57 PM
I gotta agree with Single Six/old bear on this one. If I were on a plainclothes assignment or off-duty, and for whatever reason I was out at a club or anywhere and such an altercation ensued, I would avoid involvement unless absolutely necessary. I'd rather explain why I didn't get involved (given a story like this one) than be in the hospital or worse because my best intentions were misconstrued by on-duty, uniformed officers responding to the call. Now, if for some reason my CI or a person I was protecting/handling was in danger, well then it's my job to protect them, and that adds another element to the mix. We don't know why the officer was there to begin with.

boredom, while what you say sounds great, it wouldn't apply in this particular situation at all. The fight outside the club involved dozens of people, and the plainclothes was being overcome. From initial reports and accounts, he started to draw his weapon and likely wasn't even aware that uniformed units were on the scene. He was likely dressed in a manner as to fit in with the crowd, mostly "urban" wear.

And I think AaronG is on the money regarding the sheepdog comment.

kraigwy
January 11, 2011, 02:15 PM
Empty hands, held up, with extended fingers.

ID cards are hard to see, if you have a badge, hold it up. A badge looks like a badge and cops notice it.

One cannot hurt you if you see their hands up, fingers spread, palms toward the incoming officers.

rburch
January 11, 2011, 03:26 PM
boredom
i think in all honesty, it would be fairly simple to distinguish yourself as a "good guy" in a hostile situation. do as you are asked, keep your motions slow (while dropping your weapon if drawn), keep your hands visible. then sort the "sorry's/thanks" after it has calmed down.

booker_t
boredom, while what you say sounds great, it wouldn't apply in this particular situation at all. The fight outside the club involved dozens of people, and the plainclothes was being overcome. From initial reports and accounts, he started to draw his weapon and likely wasn't even aware that uniformed units were on the scene. He was likely dressed in a manner as to fit in with the crowd, mostly "urban" wear.


From the witnesses quoted in the article, it seems like the plain clothed officer for some reason (fearing for his safety or because he thought someone in the crowd was trying to take his gun) fired at someone in the crowd.

The uniformed officers were just arriving and see a man in civilian clothes fire at the crowd, and react by drawing and shooting him.

Not really sure how you could go about completely eliminating this type of incident but maybe if departments issued those safety sash things. Forget what they're called, but look like the sashes beauty pagent contestants were, only they say Police, or Security or something like that.

Single Six
January 11, 2011, 07:48 PM
I cannot for the life of me recall where I read this, but I remember an article from a few years back that dealt with the same subject. The author's LE agency introduced those "picture targets" onto their shooting range [the ones that depict an armed BG standing among a crowd, etc.]. One of the picture targets displayed a man armed with a handgun aimed at the shooter..but also holding up a badge in his other hand. This target was almost invariably shot, with none of the shooters ever seeing the upheld badge. Food for thought.

Brian Pfleuger
January 11, 2011, 07:55 PM
All police agencies of which I am aware have the same policies in place (not verbatim):

1)The uniformed officer is instantly in charge and is to be instantly obeyed without delay or discussion.

2)Off duty/plain clothes officers act, essentially, as civilians. They get down, get cuffed, drop their guns, whatever, just like any other person who's not in uniform.

3)Anyone who is not known, who has a gun, is treated as a threat. Badge or no badge. They comply or they're a threat. A move that is threatening gets the appropriate response, including gun fire.



The shooting course used by our local training facility includes a pop-up target of a guy holding a gun pointed at the officer as well as a local police badge.... all officers are trained the same way... shoot him.

Glenn Dee
January 11, 2011, 08:06 PM
Good Thread


There are ways that police officers identify themselves, and challange armed persons who could be another cop letting him know he's in danger of being shot. It's a simple phrase of three words. I wont divulge it here. Not that I believe any of you would abuse it, but this is an open forum.

I have personally experienced this situation, and have seen off duty/plain clothed officers mistakenly shot.

In one case a black officer, while off duty was effecting an arrest for robbery. Subduing an armed black perpetrator. The Officer was armed with a nickle plated revolver. At the time the standard regulation revolvers were blue steel guns for both service as well as off duty. A team of officers in a sector car responded to the robbery hearing a description of a male black armed with a gun. When they arrived they saw a male black with a non regulation gun. When they challanged him he turned to ID himself, and they fired killing the officer.

This incident caused major changes within the department reguarding officer identification. This was in a city with three major police departments, and three or four minor ones. All wearing similar uniforms, carrying the same firearms. But on different radio frequencies.

The sloution was for all officers of all departments to have with them a particular item of clothing. This artical of clothing was issued to all plain clothed officers in a set of five different colors. Every morning there would be a teletype or computer message sent to every police command in all departments issuing a color of the day. Plainclothed officers would the wear the proper color of that day identifying them as police. Uniformed officers would be told the color of the day at roll call. This worked pretty good.

In addition to the above changes a standard police challange was issued to all police oficers of all commands Those three words. So that if a plain clothed officer is displaying his firearm while effecting an arrest he would have his color of the day on, and if he heard the proper challange he knew there were uniformed officers on the scene. Also the department became very strict with the carrying of non regulation weapons. There was also a range cycle every two years with dedicated training on identifying officers under difficult conditions, and responding officers tactics.

The incidents of friendly fire became almost non existant. It still happened but is very very rare.


Well thats how one department dealt with it.

Glenn Dee

Glenn Dee
January 11, 2011, 08:10 PM
No...

You try and not shoot the guy with the badge.

booker_t
January 12, 2011, 09:10 AM
Very interesting Glenn Dee. I wonder if the BCPD has any such process in place. I'm sure they will be addressing options once this investigation is complete.

Glenn Dee
January 12, 2011, 07:05 PM
Booker

Thanks for the interest. I dont know if BCPD has a similar program. The program I described was intituted in New York City, where at the time there was around 40,000 sworn officers between the departments. I do know that these statistics, and soloutions were shared with some surrounding departments, and offered to any department interested. Most tactical, and firearms related issues are dealt with by the PAFTS (police academy firearms and tactics section) The PAFTS as well as the NYPD has always offered training to any department willing to ask.

Many police departments dont use officers dressed in soft clothing for this reason. Some require plain clothes officers to wear their shield even in civilian clothes. Some require officers such as detectives, and other investigators who would normally would wear civilian clothes to wear their uniforms. I do notice that plain clothed officers in my adopted state of Florida tend to wear their firearms openly, while displaying their shield. Although I dont understand the reason other than to prevent friendly fire tragedies, the officers here who in other local's would be wearing plain clothes wear ATAS, ninja, high CDI factor uniforms,and equipment. Live n learn.(me)

Booker I'm sorry for rambling but your local PD probably wont share any information reguarding the steps they take for Officer ID. IMO it's better they come up with something. Better than abandoning a very effective method of patrol.


Glenn Dee

SIDE BAR:.... I'd bet most people dont know that wearing your firearm in a holster helps police see you as a possible good guy.

boredom
January 12, 2011, 11:32 PM
most BG's will probably be carrying "mexican style", but if im approached by uniformed police officers while my gun is drawn, im not going to do anything but get my gun on the ground safely and then get chest down in the dirt/rain/mud/urine/etc and live to tell the story later.

Scattergun Bob
January 13, 2011, 01:03 AM
Color of the day and having my shield hanging around my neck on a chain saved my bacon several times.

Depending on the circumstances complying with the uniformed officer and doing it RIGHT NOW tends to keep one from picking up additional holes.


Good Luck & BE SAFE

BfloBill
January 13, 2011, 01:06 AM
Unfortunately, even if you do everything right, your life depends on how level headed the responding Officers are. Something to keep in the back of your mind when deciding whether or not to get involved in an incident.

youngunz4life
January 13, 2011, 01:15 AM
I also hate to monday mrng quarterback. responding officers are in charge was another good point. if the weapon is out it needs to be dropped immediately - hopefully it is holstered upon arrival. commands must be followed, but you must in a loud, commanding voice say: "I'm Law Enforcement. I'm Law Enforcement." You must communicate this message and then follow the lead.

Conn. Trooper
January 14, 2011, 08:14 PM
We issue "Raid jackets" to every Trooper and we are required to carry shield and ID at all times. Usually when we have plainclothes cops mixed in a crowd, we teach them to yell the year we were founded. Had a big fight at UCONN one night and there were actually three departments undercovers mixed up in it, all of them yelling years the department was founded. During the briefing
( I was in uniform) we were told of the three years to listen for and I looked at my partner and said "Ok, don't OC spray anybody yelling ANY year."

raimius
January 15, 2011, 06:47 PM
Interesting method, and good decision for you and your partner. Nobody else is likely to yell any year at cop when about to be OCed. :)

Badges are good. Complying with uniformed officer's orders immediately is good too. I think this might be a subject where there is no perfect solution, unfortunately.

Tyrant
January 16, 2011, 10:18 AM
I am not involved in law enforcement but find this topic interesting. Don't undercover or plain clothes officers carry radios? If not seems like there would be radios small enough to conceal. Also what about cell phone GPS. This would give the command center information on the undercover officer at the scene that could be communicated to the uniformed officers.

Glenn Dee
January 16, 2011, 03:00 PM
Tyrant

Thanks for the interest. First off there is a huge difference between undercover officers, and plain clothed officers. For the most part Undercovers are wearing an alternate identity. They are pretending to be someone other than themself. Usually a criminal of some sort. Even in the very short term as in a buy n bust operation they maintain a non police personna. So given that undercovers never carry a radio, although they are sometimes wired for sound. They ususlly dont carry any police ID and if they have a firearm it's a non police type gun.

Plainclothed officers are usually armed as they would be in uniform, and carrying radios ID's and the usual police equipment. Instead of being in uniform they dress in civilian clothes in order to blend into the community so they can observe without being seen.
These officers are more often detailed to curtail street crime, and various conditions. Most friendly fire accidents happen when these "anti-crime" and off duty cops being misidentified by others.

And you are right... the radio is one of the best tools around to avoid these incidents.

Just to keep the thread interesting... as gun guys... what kind of a firearm would you recomend for an undercover officer? And how would you carry it?

jgcoastie
January 16, 2011, 04:49 PM
What firearm for an undercover officer?
Easy, a Glock or a Beretta 92 in caliber of their choosing. Both weapon types are boringly common.

What method?
Border-style, with holster. For a RH shooter, take a LH IWB holster, place it directly behind your right-side kidney, and draw with your right hand, palm away from you.

steve54
January 16, 2011, 07:45 PM
Drop the gun and shout 'I'm a cop' at the top of your voice until they believe you

U/c weapon = G26 in ankle holster

XD Gunner
January 16, 2011, 09:24 PM
what kind of a firearm would you recomend for an undercover officer?

Glock 30, in a Crossbreed Supertuck, strongside, or a S&W 649 pocket carry.

armsmaster270
January 16, 2011, 09:34 PM
My method is the badge on a chain around neck and "Do what the nice officer tells you to do"

What type of firearm? I carry a Sig 226 357Sig SS Hip and S&W J Frame Airweight 357 in pocket

ATW525
January 16, 2011, 09:34 PM
Just to keep the thread interesting... as gun guys... what kind of a firearm would you recomend for an undercover officer? And how would you carry it?

Hi-Point C9 carried Mexican style.

ripnbst
January 16, 2011, 10:13 PM
Glock compact in IWB wherever the individual prefers. I myself (right handed) would carry right side IWB behind hip bone.

booker_t
January 17, 2011, 10:52 PM
For those suggesting Mexican/appendix carry, OneSource Tactical has this neat little kydex holster that is worth checking out. It's called the Zack Concealment holster.

http://www.onesourcetactical.com/zackconcealmentholster.aspx

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSvy5nQnd64 ..I would use a shorter length of cord than this guy, but you get the idea. Could be used anywhere around the waist as well, not just in the front.

Regarding the gun.. I would inquire about what the local department has confiscated most frequently and select one of the top three, based one 1) what I shoot the best, 2) what caliber is most potent, and 3) what is most concealable, in that order. Overall I'd lean towards a high capacity .45 semi-auto.

juntau
January 20, 2011, 02:02 PM
For the cops, there isn't much focus/training on dealing with possible plainclothes armed officers or how to react when uniforms arrive. I've heard from many "rookies" that said they would immediately display their badge at responding units. BAD IDEA

Erik
January 20, 2011, 02:15 PM
Why is that a bad idea?

9mm1033
January 20, 2011, 02:33 PM
I don't fear the uniform officer arriving on the scene of a shooting with civilians involved. It seems to be commonsense you follow his orders. He will make them LOUD and CLEAR in case one is confused about dropping his firearm and getting on the ground quickly. Now, regarding what some report on the internet as "negative personal experiences" with officers shooting at them like it was the OK corral, that's hearsay and probably bull****.

What I fear is the conceal carry civilian who 'wants-to-be-a-hero'. Yup, the guy who carries daily and can't wait to shoot his gun and be on the news as the guy who saved the day. How does one legal CC civilian identify himself to another legal CC person at the time of a shooting? Don't fear the trained LE professional, fear the unknown civilian who is also armed. Because a failure to communicate can be deadly among the good guys.

boredom
January 20, 2011, 02:39 PM
my guess would be anyone responding to a shots fired or man with a gun call will already be on edge, reaching for your credentials at the sight of a uniformed officer could be seen as a BG reaching for a gun.

aarondhgraham
January 20, 2011, 02:55 PM
,,,with officers shooting at them like it was the OK corral, that's hearsay and probably bull****.

Tell that to the dead cop whose scenario we are discussing.

LEOs aren't bestowed with magical LEO powers,,,
They are excitable human beings just like we all are,,,
They make mistakes like this all the time in the heat of the moment.

Just like the U. C. Riverside police officer who pulled a gun on my wife,,,
She had dropped her keys by the car door and he thought she was breaking in the car,,,
He pulled his gun on her and shouted for her to "get her ass on the effing ground right now!

So what you might ask?,,,
He was simply doing his job?,,,
She was one of the PD dispatchers,,,
And she was wearing her danged uniform.

I was a CSO for that same PD,,,
Basically I was a walking burglar alarm with a radio.

In two years of doing that job,,,
I had to stare down the barrel of a gun twice,,,
They knew I was out there yet they got freaked out and pulled their weapons.

Hearsay to you maybe,,,
Reality to me and my wife.

So cops make errors in judgement on as regular a basis as we civilians,,,
The moral of my story is that you can not put your faith that any LEO will do the proper thing.

They are human,,,
To err is in their/our very nature.

Because of that a person carrying had better spend a bit of thought on what to do when the cops get there.

my guess would be anyone responding to a shots fired or man with a gun call will already be on edge, reaching for your credentials at the sight of a uniformed officer could be seen as a BG reaching for a gun.


My point exactly!
Aarond

Stevie-Ray
January 20, 2011, 03:23 PM
One of the picture targets displayed a man armed with a handgun aimed at the shooter..but also holding up a badge in his other hand. This target was almost invariably shot, with none of the shooters ever seeing the upheld badge. Food for thought. Sobering, to be sure. My thoughts and prayers go out to the PC officer's family, and also to the officers involved in the shooting, as they deal with what's to come.

FireForged
January 20, 2011, 05:55 PM
As a citizen I am not going to try and capture anyone or hold anyone at gunpoint. If I must use a firearm, I will do what I must then move to safety, reholster and contact 911. My thought is to make myself a non-target as soon as possible.

Glenn Dee
January 20, 2011, 11:04 PM
Juntau?

I dont know what department your rookie friends work for... but I'd say their inexperience is showing. Or perhaps their department is scimping on training. Oh yeah... they are Rookies.

9MM1033

You give me food for thought. A untrained civillian getting involved, and making a mistaken identity. That senario will be included in some future CCW class's. EXELENT point. My thanks to you.

The question about the undercover gun?

ATW525 is in my opinion the winner. Although I think I'd go a little better quality than a High Point. But he's absoloutly right.

Thanks for the answers everyone...

Glenn D

therewolf
January 21, 2011, 09:22 PM
Thank you FireForged.

While I carry, I also carry a phone, and I'll sure be trying to get the # to 911 from somebody ASAP.

After seeing to the safety of my family, I'd do my best not to do what I haven't been trained to do.

I'm not the police, the FBI, a PI, Captain America, The A-Team, Deputy Dawg, or even Danger Mouse.

teeroux
January 22, 2011, 01:14 AM
You try and not shoot the guy with the badge.

Anyone can get there hand on a badge. I've seen city inspectors that aren't LE at all carry badges on their belts.

teeroux
January 22, 2011, 01:15 AM
You try and not shoot the guy with the badge.

Anyone can get there hand on a badge. I've seen city inspectors that aren't LE at all carry city inspector badges on their belts.

Ringolevio
April 2, 2011, 11:41 PM
Glenn Dee's posts really took me back to my days growing up in NYC in the '50s, when those "on the job" carried only blued steel .38 revolvers, and a cop could identify himself as a cop by "showing tin" (the shield) or just "showing steel" (the gun).

My dad was with a bi-state LE agency and knew several NYPD detectives. One of them would take us kids to the movies. We'd get on the bus and he'd say to the driver, "Nice day, isn't it?", while pulling his jacket back to show his holstered revolver. At the theater it was the same move with the same line; he never showed the tin. Naturally it was all "on the arm". I think he "treated" us to ice cream from the Good Humor man the same way. Ah, the good old days!

BTW, an undercover or plainclothesman would identify himself to uniforms by his last name and the number of his "house" (precinct), e.g. "Miller! One-Three!"

I think Frank Serpico was one of the first NYPD undercovers to carry other than a blued revolver (although I know of at least one detective who carried a double-barreled coach gun under his overcoat!); they said Serpico carried a "14 shot 'auto'", which I assumed meant a BHP.

Bullcoop
April 3, 2011, 04:02 AM
Wouldn't the situation dictate the type of weapon an UC would carry?

I mean if he's UC for buys or reverse sting type then maybe a S&W J-frame on the ankle, but if he's going deep into say Hells Angels then why not the biggest baddest .45 he can find tucked directly into the front of his pants. That is after all, what the HA would expect to see one of thier members carrying. Or hell if the dept. allows it the UC could carry something illegal for cred w/ the target. He could even use the ruse of selling illegal arms to get in good (as long as none of the arms he sold actually worked or ever actually changed hands).

Just some thought on situation dictating carry. I'm not LE so take what I say with a grain of salt, and a large dash of pop culture movies! :p

BC

Glenn Dee
April 3, 2011, 11:10 AM
LMFAOOOO Ringolivio...

I doubt most people even know what your screen name means...lol
Man we had games that would last for days... Better Times Then.

Yes Sepico DID carry a browning High Power. Under special circumstances members of the department could carry unauthorized firearms. Back in the 50's the blue gun rule wasnt enforced. As long as you had a proper service revolver. My uncle was "ON THE JOB" at that time. He owned and carried his service revolver, a blue steel J frame chief special, a I frame 32 in blue steel, and a baby browning .25 pistol.

However enough reminiscing. The NYPD also will issue a non police type pistol to MOS assigned to undercover status, for the duration of their assignment. I wont share the make and model... but it's a fairly common gun. Undercovers may also purchase their own non-regulatrion gun. For a while the high standard derrengers were popular. An undercover I know used an older Colt Det. Special where he broke the handle, and taped it together with electrical tape. Carried it mexican with loose odd bullets in front right hand pocket.

Yep the actual way one pronounced their command was one way to be identified... but it wasnt perfect.

As far as the coach gun's?.. lol Up until the day I retired "savage 311" double bbl 18" 12 ga shot guns were in the departments inventory. In a big way. Before the days of Tommy tactical, CDI factor, ATAS fashion shows, police work was done with as little fan-fair as possible. That particular gun can be broken down and hidden in a small duffel bag, or even hidden in ones clothing. Yes it could be hidden under a coat. Thats the beauty of the gun. These guns were assingned to most detective squads, and plain clothed units. Along with ithica 12.ga pump 37's in some cases.

Bullcoop... I think you pretty much hit the nail on the head... except for the most part bad guys dont wear holsters, and carry so they can get rid of the gun as easlily as possible.

langenc
April 3, 2011, 12:28 PM
""A 22-year-old civilian football player was also killed by gunfire."" copied from post #1

Are there football players other than civilian.

I know LEO like to think they are not CIVILIAN. They sure aint military.

Sarge
April 3, 2011, 12:42 PM
It was a melee, folks. Things had already gone horribly wrong and they stayed that way for some time after the cavalry arrived. These things develop from out-of-control circumstances and overwhelming force is often the only thing that brings them back under control. Casualties are, unfortunately, going to occur.

Your opponent(s) may have friends in the neighborhood and they may be racing to the sound of gunfire, from any and all directions. You need to not get killed before the cavalry arrives, and remember that bad guys have cavalry, too. Either outfit will shoot you if you do something stupid enough. Fade away to the safest refuge, call for help and maintain a defensive mindset. Shooting the other guy is not a win. Surviving the entire encounter is a win. (http://www.thesixgunjournal.net/stoppingpower.html)

Officers- absolutely carry your badge/ID case anytime you may be called upon to offer armed intervention. It ain't Popeye's Spinach Can, but it might keep you from getting lit up by your own kind.

Sarge
April 3, 2011, 12:47 PM
#46 was golden, Glenn.

FireForged
April 3, 2011, 05:03 PM
I think just saying Citizen is much better than trying to use Civilain. I am well past middle age and Civilian to me mean (someone not in the Military)

Manco
April 4, 2011, 08:56 AM
From the witnesses quoted in the article, it seems like the plain clothed officer for some reason (fearing for his safety or because he thought someone in the crowd was trying to take his gun) fired at someone in the crowd.

He may also have been "maced," at least according to one witness.

The uniformed officers were just arriving and see a man in civilian clothes fire at the crowd, and react by drawing and shooting him.

But then there's the issue of perforating him while he was on the ground. There certainly are no shortage of questions regarding this incident. I wonder who shot the other officer in the foot--was it a civilian, the officer who died, or perhaps himself, and might that have been a factor in the volume of fire involved?

Not really sure how you could go about completely eliminating this type of incident but maybe if departments issued those safety sash things. Forget what they're called, but look like the sashes beauty pagent contestants were, only they say Police, or Security or something like that.

You could still get shot while trying to identify yourself with equipment that is not in plain sight at all times. It would be safer to not involve plainclothes officers in situations such as these (unless everybody is identified ahead of time), and if that is not avoidable in certain instances, then those who are not in uniform should behave as civilians would in the presence of uniformed officers.

I think just saying Citizen is much better than trying to use Civilain. I am well past middle age and Civilian to me mean (someone not in the Military)

That's what "civilian" used to mean, strictly, but for lack of a better term it has come to mean anybody besides those serving in the armed forces OR law enforcement; while the latter are technically civilians, when on duty they have legal authority that other civilians do not, so it makes some sense.

The term "citizen" is no better because although it has undergone a similar evolution in meaning, its original, strict definition is very broad--in my opinion, this actually makes it worse because both soldiers and cops can be "citizens" and not "citizens" all at once.

On top of that, the distinction that we're really trying to make is between cops and non-cops, with the latter term including soldiers who are neither on deployment nor on base. Maybe we should use "non-cop" or "non-LEO" or something similar but better if we're going to argue over "civilian" versus "citizen"--either that or we should make sure that the context is always clear, use either existing term, and just let it slide. ;)

Sleuth
April 7, 2011, 02:23 PM
This remains a problem for me - my LE career was 100% plain clothes.
And it is a bigger problem than some think. Right now, in any city or town, you can have plain clothes local cops, sheriffs, Marshals/Constables, State Troopers, State Liquor, drug, vehicle, etc. etc. officers, and the entire alphabet soup of Feds: FBI, DEA, ATFE, ICE, IRS, and on and on, plus all their Inspector Generals, all armed.

As for badges, you can buy "Concealed Weapon Carrier" badges on the net, or at the flea market - a bad idea in my mind.

So, how do you sort them out? As already noted, put your gun down and play 'kiss the concrete' until things settle down.

NOTE: I do not use the phrase 'drop the gun' - dropped guns can go off, and if it is mine, I usually carry a custom made gun that I don't want damaged. I will put the gun down in a manner that makes it clear I am complying with orders.

MikeNice81
April 13, 2011, 05:20 AM
I think Sarge pretty much nailed it in post 48. Fade out, don't get involved unless you have to. Nobody is going to think less of you because you didn't jump in to a writhing melee and try to end it. Nobody is going to think less of you for not trying to shoot it out with some guy shooting up a crowd.

Your CCH permit does not make you a cop. It does not make you bullet proof. What it does is let you carry a gun in public. That is all it does. Unless yo are a LEO don't try to play the role. They get paid for it, they have the training for it, they have balistic vests, and they have a lot more lawyers to back them in whatever happens.

Survive. Then you can go home and kiss your family or pet your dog. Becoming a dead hero does nobody any good.

mnero
April 13, 2011, 07:24 AM
Live by the sword; die by the sword. Works for pistols too.

MikeNice81
April 13, 2011, 08:17 AM
One more thing to remember. In some states you can not use force to stop a person if they are not the instigator of the fight. If that 260 pound guy beating on a 175 pound guy didn't start it, you get charged.

Some states are also duty to retreat states. That means if the threat to your life or the life of your loved one can be avoid by leaving, you better leave. If you decide to jump in to the firestorm instead of cut out the fire exit, with your kid under your arm, you can be charged. Keep up with your laws as they are constantly changing.

If a cop shows up, put the gun on the ground. Get on your knees with your hands behind your head. If the situation is still active, get prone. Don't try to argue your case or tell your story right then. They do not care. They will ask you when they feel safe conducting interviews. Let them secure the scene before you get talkative. An extra voice in the chaos can be a deadly distraction.

Remember even criminals say, "yes sir" and act polite. Do not expect that to get you released or to help validate your story. Be polite as a matter of course, just don't think, "why are they being so mean when I'm being so nice." Cops deal with all types and chances are they aren't going to believe any one story untill they get multiple statements from you and other witnesses. Yes they will ask you for multiple statements. A lot of people get tripped up when they try to lie. So, if they have to try multiple times it is easier to catch them. The advantage is that it also helps witnesses remember more information. So, there are reasons you need to give multiple statements to multiple officers.

Okay, I'm getting off topic. I just want everybody to stay safe and understand some of what is coming their way. I have dealt with police after a SD situation. I also work around police. So, I have seen how they handle situations from both sides.

Seaman
April 13, 2011, 09:00 AM
Was told of an off-duty cop (with gun out) who was chasing a BG and was himself gunned down by a uniform. Recall seeing a uniform gun down some supposed perps running from an establishment...turned out they were hostages...friendly fire happens.

During CCW training (Detroit area) was taught that before drawing in any situation to be 100% certain that situation warranted it, to NEVER draw in the middle of a situation when I may not fully know what is going down, and if the cavalry arrives to hit the ground spread eagle.

"If the perp won't get down I put him down," is what a cop told me.

Sleuth
April 13, 2011, 11:31 AM
MikeNIce, can you identify a state that has a rule as you describe? All the states I know of follow a 'disparity of force' rule. If the little guy started it, the 'heavier' guy can only use the necessary force to subdue the attacker. Once he has been subdued, if the bigger guy continues, he becomes the aggressor.

MikeNice81
April 14, 2011, 01:38 AM
Sleuth,
In NC if a person instigates a fight they lose the right to defense by lethal force. Even if they are on the losing end of things in a bad way, they have no right to lethal force. The big guy might get charged with murder or manslaughter. However, if the little guy shoots the big guy he will get charged.

The big guy does become the agressor. However, that is legally different than the instigator.

That is how it is trained in CCH permit classes. That is also what I have been told by a police officer that is certified to instruct "civilians" (read armed guards and cch permit classes) on firearms and use of force.

Sleuth
April 14, 2011, 01:07 PM
Mike, I would bet the law requires the "defender" to stop when the threat is neutralized. Being attacked is not a license to 'punish' your attacker, only to defend yourself. Otherwise, someone could claim he was attacked so he could beat the snot out of someone he did not like. At some point, "defense" becomes "assault".

In rereading your post, it would seem that the instigator gives up his right to life by instigating the assault. True? Not all assaults justify the use of deadly force.

But then, I do not know your state laws. And I can recall when it was still illegal to drive a car in Massachusetts without a flag man on foot 50' in front, to keep the horses from being scared. So there are a lot of strange laws still on the books.

MikeNice81
April 14, 2011, 02:40 PM
You are right in that the "defender" can still be charged. However, as weird as it is, the instigator does give up the right to lethal force.

The only exception is if he verbally and visually attempts to retreat from the fight. However, you won't always get the chance to do that. Many people that instigate fights probably aren't going to do it untill they have been smashed up pretty bad. So, it really becomes a bit of a mute point.

That is why if things look liking they are escelating I will say, "I don't want a fight tonight, I apologize." Then I leave. It becomes obvious to those watching and any cameras that I was not instigating and that I filled NC's duty to retreat.

I think I'm hijacking the thread, so I will stop at this point.