The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old September 25, 2005, 07:39 AM   #1
RWK
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 20, 1999
Location: Occupied Virginia
Posts: 2,777
Do I have the right to (especially LEOs and attorneys)?

I realize laws concerning legal force application are largely state-dependant. However, I have long wondered what defensive rights pertain in the following scenario.

In Virginia -- and most other jurisdictions -- the statues permit the use of lethal force to protect innocents from severe and direct danger. But what happens once the "instantaneous danger" subsides? For example, a knife-armed felon attempts to rob you in a parking lot. However, once you draw a handgun he throws his knife down and starts to calmly walk away.

Now, it seems logical to presume that the moment he is disarmed he no longer poses an IMMEDIATE and grave threat. Therefore, can one apply lethal force to hold this criminal until the police apply, or are we legally compelled to simply allow him to flee the scene?

Thanks for your opinions and facts.
__________________
__________________
Μολών λαβέ!
RWK is offline  
Old September 25, 2005, 09:39 AM   #2
Ozzieman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 14, 2004
Location: Northern Indiana
Posts: 4,922
Thats one for the courts to decide BUT

I would hate to be up against a lawyer (spelled SCUMBAG) trying to explane why I shot and killed some poor innicent CRACK selling knife welding person after he had dissarmed him self.
I will protect my self and my wife and any other person who's life is in danger with what force I feel in nessesary but once that danger is gone I have no wish to take a life.
I am not saying that this will happen to you. BUt I heard a story once and it was a true one.
There was a man in the 30's that saw two men pushing a woman into a car.
Thinking they were kidnaping the woman he pulled his hand gun and threatend to kill them both if they did not release the woman. Actualy made them lay down on the sidewalk.
Luckly he diddnt shoot ether becouse 1. one of the men was her brother, the other was her husband, they were playing around.
And the other 2. Was that he was very well known in later years and led my father during the battle of the bulge.
His name. General Patton.
My point is if some crack head is trying to take your life to get your money put two in his head and make a positive difference to the cominuity.
But too many people watch way to many movies and tv shows and since there carring, want to be John Wayne,,, we all do, its part of our nature. The idea of saving some ones life would be somthing we all would want to do and be proud to do and we should feel that way.
But to take a life, which I have never done, I also hope I never do. Is a decision once made can never be reversed.
I have a friend that just left the millitary. He was over in Iraquay land and was a radio repairman for the army.
He was repairing some radios for a special forces group and was standing on one side of the HumV working on radios while the special forces men were on the other side setting down taking a break.
A man came out of a building with a AK 47 and let loose and hit my friend in the knee cap, the AK47 ether failed to feed or somthing and my friend laying on the ground got his Beretta out and from 15 feet took the top of his head off befor he could get the ak to function again.
He said it took only seconds but its in his memmory like it took hours.
Is he sorry he killed, NO. But it has changed him. You can hear it in his voice.
This is war, it would be the same killing that crack head.
All I am saying is, protect your life and your loved ones. But remember your going to have to answer question afterword, and you better have good answers
Ozzieman is offline  
Old September 25, 2005, 10:01 AM   #3
sendec
Junior member
 
Join Date: April 18, 2005
Posts: 517
Your ability to use lethal force ends as soon as the lethal threat is gone or diminished to a non-lethal level.
sendec is offline  
Old September 25, 2005, 10:06 AM   #4
eka
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 3, 2004
Posts: 235
RWK

In Virginia, citizens are held to the same standard as LEOs for the most part when applying deadly force. There has to be an immediate threat of being killed or very seriously injured. This can be a threat to you or another person present. At any time the threat no longer exists at this level, you cannot continue to apply a deadly force response. In Virginia, a citizen can effect a citizen's arrest for a felony commited in their presence. The citizen can use whatever force deemed reasonable to take the citizen into custody and hold them for the police. This force can merely be telling the guy to sit down and wait until the police arrive, to using deadly force in return for his use of deadly force in resistance to your attempt to arrest him. Now, is this used often by citizens, NO. But, it is legal. It would not be the route that I would most likely take if I were a citizen in that situation. I would apply deadly force in defense of myself or others, but once the guy tried to flee, I would try to get the best possible description of him, his vehicle (tag), and try to determine his direction of travel. If the guy is bringing the fight to you, I think it would be harder for him to win a lawsuit against you, than if he sued you for excessive force in trying to prevent him from escaping. Remember, he doesn't have to be right, he just has to convince a court that he is.
Take care,
__________________
EKA

Sic Semper Tyrannis
eka is offline  
Old September 25, 2005, 10:12 AM   #5
tsavo
Junior member
 
Join Date: September 18, 2005
Posts: 103
A knife-armed felon? How did you know this simply because he approached you? That's a pretty big assumption.
tsavo is offline  
Old September 25, 2005, 10:31 AM   #6
eka
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 3, 2004
Posts: 235
"a knife-armed felon attempts to rob you in a parking lot."

Seems pretty easy to figure out to me. In Virginia, robbery while armed with a deadly weapon (knife) is a felony, which makes this perpetrator a felon. If a guy approaches you in a parking lot with a knife, he is probably not going to merely ask for directions.
__________________
EKA

Sic Semper Tyrannis
eka is offline  
Old September 25, 2005, 11:49 AM   #7
Model520Fan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 12, 2004
Location: PDR of MA
Posts: 164
I have some free advice for you, and it is worth at least what you are paying for it.

In practical terms, there are jurisdictions that would permit you to use deadly force to stop that person, and jurisdictions that wouldn't, but you should recognize that what you would be doing would be protecting not yourself, but future victims, most likely residents of that jurisdiction.

If the residents of that jurisdiction have not made it crystal-clear to you that they WANT you to protect them in that way (i.e. shoot a fleeing felon in the back if that is the only way you can stop him), I would recommend to you that you let them protect themselves the same way you did, at the same expense of money, time, and bureaucratic nuisance. You don't owe anything at all to a bunch of people who elect democrats, national socialists and other assorted gun-grabbers/trashers of our Constitution.

In other words, what part of Virginia do you live in?
Model520Fan is offline  
Old September 25, 2005, 04:24 PM   #8
RWK
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 20, 1999
Location: Occupied Virginia
Posts: 2,777
All: Thanks for your wise responses that correlate very well with my long-term thoughts: (a) once disarmed, the felon ceases to be an immediate threat and (b) the use of lethal force therefore must also instantaneously stop.

tasvo: You said, “A knife-armed felon? How did you know this simply because he approached you? That's a pretty big assumption.” As eka said well, once the knife armed criminal attempts to rob you he is a felon -- after all, he has committed a felony -- I do not think I made ANY assumption whatsoever; the facts in the scenario were clear and unambiguous.
__________________
__________________
Μολών λαβέ!
RWK is offline  
Old September 25, 2005, 04:42 PM   #9
Dwight55
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 18, 2004
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 2,557
If it came down to someone moving in my direction, . . . with a knife in his hand, . . . and I understood by his actions that my life (or someone else's life) was in danger, . . .

He would probably drop the knife, . . . but if he values his life, . . . it better be real, real, fast. The only warning he will hear is the safety going off on my 1911.

No, . . . I don't want to shoot him, . . . but also, . . . NO, . . . we are not going to set up a panel discussion as to what he can do before I retaliate with the next level.

It will be simply: draw, remove safety, acquire target, insert finger into trigger housing, squeeze off the requisite number of rounds. Stopping to ascertain if your drawing will stop his attack will most likely get you skewered.

May God bless,
Dwight
__________________
www.dwightsgunleather.com
If you can breathe, . . . thank God!
If you can read, . . . thank a teacher!
If you are reading this in English, . . . thank a Veteran!
Dwight55 is offline  
Old September 26, 2005, 12:35 PM   #10
Derius_T
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 29, 2004
Location: South West OHIO (boondocks)
Posts: 1,337
If you have to draw on someone, and if they comply and stop their threatening activity, you cannot shoot them or you will most likely find yourself in a cell with some large hairy men. You also have no duty to try to arrest or detain the BG. In fact doing so may cost you. You are not a leo, so if the guy drops the knife and runs, let him go. It sucks, but anything else will most likely get you in serious legal trouble. At least thats my opinion.
Derius_T is offline  
Old September 26, 2005, 12:45 PM   #11
Pointer
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 8, 2005
Location: Utah
Posts: 2,559
Sheesh!


Walks away?

Shoot the creep before he "stabs" you?

Yuh think?
Pointer is offline  
Old September 26, 2005, 01:37 PM   #12
leadcounsel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2005
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 1,735
Quote:

"In Virginia -- and most other jurisdictions -- the statues permit the use of lethal force to protect innocents from severe and direct danger. But what happens once the "instantaneous danger" subsides? For example, a knife-armed felon attempts to rob you in a parking lot. However, once you draw a handgun he throws his knife down and starts to calmly walk away.

Now, it seems logical to presume that the moment he is disarmed he no longer poses an IMMEDIATE and grave threat. Therefore, can one apply lethal force to hold this criminal until the police apply, or are we legally compelled to simply allow him to flee the scene?"

Speaking generally, once the immediate threat is eliminated you are not entitled to use deadly force. Because he was committing a felony you can make a citizens arrest and detain him but you cannot shoot him in this scenario. Get his description, call the police, consider tailing him at a safe distance to alter the police of his whereabouts, secure the weapon, etc. but you cannot shot him, especially in the back.
leadcounsel is offline  
Old September 26, 2005, 08:25 PM   #13
Dust_Devil
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 5, 2005
Location: Arizona
Posts: 235
hmmmmm...well...what you could do is...
once you see the guy coming at you with a knife in his hand, shoot him immediately before he has the chance to drop the knife and give up so the immediate threat is always there

well maybe...maybe not

but then if it was just you and the attacker who's to say he ever dropped the knife and gave himself up. He dropped the knife AFTER you shot him.
Dust_Devil is offline  
Old September 27, 2005, 12:30 AM   #14
Lawyer Daggit
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2004
Posts: 1,181
Knife armed felon. You only become a felon when you have been convicted of the offence- not when you perpetrate it. Consequently the person armed with the knife is not a 'felon' unless he has prior convictions for felony.
Lawyer Daggit is offline  
Old September 27, 2005, 06:05 AM   #15
Dust_Devil
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 5, 2005
Location: Arizona
Posts: 235
Quote:
Knife armed felon. You only become a felon when you have been convicted of the offence- not when you perpetrate it. Consequently the person armed with the knife is not a 'felon' unless he has prior convictions for felony.
I believe the author of the post possibly misused the word felon and meant to say something in the terms of an "attacker".
But I do believe his question was clear even with the misuse of the word "felon".

You don't have to be a lawyer to figure that out.
Dust_Devil is offline  
Old September 27, 2005, 07:42 AM   #16
eka
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 3, 2004
Posts: 235
"Knife armed felon. You only become a felon when you have been convicted of the offence- not when you perpetrate it."

That is correct, one is presumed innocent until convicted in court. However, in this context, I think the intention was to convey that this was a violent felony suspect.

"once you see the guy coming at you with a knife in his hand, shoot him immediately before he has the chance to drop the knife and give up so the immediate threat is always there"

Now don't you think that is going a little beyond the scope of self-defense. That would be the work of an individual looking for an excuse to shoot someone. If there is a legitimate and immediate threat, you have the right to do whatever you can do to stop the threatening behavior. If it's not there, it's not there period. Otherwise, you become an assailant armed with a deadly weapon, just like the bad guy. However, I know we are just discussing hypotheticals here.
__________________
EKA

Sic Semper Tyrannis
eka is offline  
Old September 27, 2005, 07:56 AM   #17
Mark54g
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 21, 2005
Location: NJ
Posts: 1,265
just added for fuel and discussion, but why would we automatically assume that he is now no longer a danger that his primary weapon is no longer in his hands? Could he have had a second knife?

Now that your guard is down, who knows what else might occur? This man made himself a threat and simply by removing a piece of that does not stop him from becoming a threat again.

I see no reason not to grab a cell and keep the weapon on him until the cops come. If he runs, thats when things get tricky. I don't think you can shoot at him, but does he want to take that chance?
Mark54g is offline  
Old September 27, 2005, 09:00 AM   #18
eka
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 3, 2004
Posts: 235
"why would we automatically assume that he is now no longer a danger that his primary weapon is no longer in his hands? Could he have had a second knife?"

A wise individual would not make an assumption like that. One would conclude that he does not present himself as a deadly threat at that moment. He is still a threat to you, just not at the level that would allow deadly force. However, that can change. One does not know what an individual like that is going to do. Even if he runs in the opposite direction, he may still be a threat. He could be running to a vehicle to retrieve a shotgun, who knows he is thinking or his intentions are. That is why you should not let your guard down or make any assumptions. Most likely, he is running away because his plan didn't go as he thought and does not want to get shot and/or arrested. It would most likely be in your best interest to get out of the general area yourself to prevent him from re-acquiring you as a target again if he so chooses. The main idea here is getting yourself out of harms way, if you can also assist the police in apprehending him, that's a bonus.
__________________
EKA

Sic Semper Tyrannis
eka is offline  
Old September 27, 2005, 09:18 AM   #19
Oct_97
Member
 
Join Date: June 17, 2004
Posts: 29
It's going to be a race to see who is faster, me shooting or him dropping the knife.

John
Oct_97 is offline  
Old September 27, 2005, 09:21 AM   #20
bdc
Member
 
Join Date: October 25, 2001
Posts: 60
hi

As a former Navy Commander, you believe that you have sketched a factual and complete hypothetical.

As a lawyer with 30 years experience, I deal with pacticality. I want to give you a different slant on reality.

Policemen clear crimes, not solve them. Prosecutors make prosecution decisions, based upon recommendations by the investigating police department.

If you withstand the urges to "tell the truth" or to "tell the facts" to the police without having reviewed the situation first with your counsel, you run a risk of a recommendation for prosecution. Commander, for the sake or argument, let us assume that you have sketched true facts and not your impression of the facts. You don't make any statement to the police. In the real world, you probably won't be prosecuted.

When you review the "facts" you have sketched, you have some doubts, right? In the real world when an investigating officer has "some doubts", is he going to make his own decision not to recommend prosecution or will he pass the buck to the prosecutor? Well, having worked for the government, you know the answer, don't you?

In the "real world", how many people do you think shoot off their mouths to the police with a feeling that if they say enough, the police will let them go home? Quite a few. I remember arraignment court on a Monday morning about 30 years ago. 4 people had lawyers. The other 100 plus defendants had the truth to defend them. Are you surprised that all four defendants represented by counsel walked out of the courtroom and the rest were remanded for trial?
bdc is offline  
Old September 27, 2005, 10:26 AM   #21
Derius_T
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 29, 2004
Location: South West OHIO (boondocks)
Posts: 1,337
If the guy drops the knife, and walks or runs the other way, immediate lethal threat to you is removed. You yourself then (in all states but 1) have the DUTY TO RETREAT. (If in a public place) That means, as he is running/walking one way, you should be going another. Of course calling LEO's, giving description, ect. But get the heck out of there. If you stand there and wait for him to get another weapon and come back again....I can see a jury looking at that as if you were spoiling for a fight, or a little justice....revenge....whatever...
Derius_T is offline  
Old September 27, 2005, 10:41 AM   #22
leadcounsel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 8, 2005
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 1,735
Caution:

DT is INCORRECT in his statement of the "DUTY TO RETREAT." Many states do not require that you retreat when your life is threatened and give you the right to stand your ground and defend yourself. Check your state statutes.

As I mentioned above, you can generally use deadly force only to counter deadly force or serious injury. Obviously a man with a knife threatening or committed and armed robbery of you falls in this category. Once the knife is no longer in his possession, the immediate threat is removed. Of course, the situation is not safe and you should keep your guard up and gun trained on him and give him commands. Whether he complies is his decision. A citizen can make a citizens' arrest if he witnesses a violent felony. In effecting that arrest, you can use reasonable force. Caution, don't try to make a citizens' arrest because it will turn ugly. Faced with the thought of going to jail, he's not likely to cooperate and will likely struggle or flee. It will put you in an awkward situation because he's basically free to walk away and you'd be wise to let him.
leadcounsel is offline  
Old September 27, 2005, 10:47 AM   #23
Derius_T
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 29, 2004
Location: South West OHIO (boondocks)
Posts: 1,337
You do have a duty to retreat, if in a public place, and you have the chance to do so without using lethal force. It does not apply if you have no other choice, or in your own home, ect. But from what I have read it does apply to PUBLIC.
Derius_T is offline  
Old September 27, 2005, 10:52 AM   #24
MEDDAC19
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 18, 2005
Location: Endless Mts,NEPA
Posts: 379
It is my understanding that most states permit the use of deadly force only if retreat is not a viable resort, except in your home or place of business. Check your states statutes. In this case the imminent threat has been resolved by the BG throwing the knife away so DF is a mute point.
MEDDAC19 is offline  
Old September 27, 2005, 11:44 AM   #25
progunner1957
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 9, 2004
Location: USA - east of the continental divide
Posts: 924
Quote:
All I am saying is, protect your life and your loved ones. But remember your going to have to answer question afterword, and you better have good answers
Yup...

If he turns and runs, never mind that he threatened your life and comitted a felony, let him go to rob, rape and maim your friends and neibors - thus says "The Law."

Makes perfect sense, dosen't it? :barf:
progunner1957 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:05 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.13123 seconds with 9 queries