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Old February 7, 2006, 11:42 PM   #1
Chris Phelps
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hypothetical situation - unknowingly drawing on LEO

Hypothetical situation -

You have just come out of Walmart. You walk around the corner to find a man holding your brother at gun point. You draw on him and order him to drop his weapon. He identifies himself as LEO, but there is no obvious identification. What is your next move?
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Old February 8, 2006, 12:14 AM   #2
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Good question and I'm assuming this is a plain-clothed police officer, but another good question is your brother the type of person that would do something to cause a plain-clothed police officer to hold him at gun point? Which, in that case, you may not be suprised, but if your brother is a law-abiding citizen and a good samaritan then there would be little reason for a police officer to have him at gun point at which that plain-clothed police officer better show some ID very quick or answer to you.
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Old February 8, 2006, 12:20 AM   #3
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If he I'ds himself as a LEO, I'd just say "we'll see about that." and demand that he drop his gun and put his hands over his head. Get him under control first squatting down on knees with hand over head. Then ask him to slowly reach for his ID and throw it to me and then get on the phone with the 911 operator and try to confirm over the phone if he was legitimate (IDs can be faked) and also call for uniformed police to come help. Once confirmed over the phone, I'd lower my gun, holster it and let him know that we are okay and hand him his ID and ask him what the trouble is with my brother.
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Old February 8, 2006, 12:32 AM   #4
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but another good question is your brother the type of person that would do something to cause a plain-clothed police officer to hold him at gun point? Which, in that case, you may not be suprised, but if your brother is a law-abiding citizen and a good samaritan then there would be little reason for a police officer to have him at gun point at which that plain-clothed police officer better show some ID very quick or answer to you.
Today 10:42 PM
It does not matter whether the brother is the type of person to cause a plain clothes officer to hold him at gun point or not. It does not matter if he is a law-abiding citizen and a good samaritan or not. Either way, the officer needs to be showing ID.

What is your next move on discovering the activity? That all depends on whether you believe the officer is an officer or if you give the person a chance to produce ID.
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Old February 8, 2006, 12:50 AM   #5
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Next step is to ID him - I'll tell him to do it slowly since that is my brother he's holding a gun on, I wouldn't want to feel I needed to defend him while the nice officer reached for his wallet.

Not a comfy situation.
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Old February 8, 2006, 06:48 AM   #6
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That would be one of the situations where I'd be thankful to be brotherless, thank you very much.

That's one of the good things about friends...you can be choose them. And be picky. Have standards. So that your friends don't leave body parts lying around and burglar alarms ringing. Then you don't have to worry about this kind of stuff.

Another advantage is living in a small town. I know all the cops for fifty miles. The townies. The deputies. The troopers. The GBI. The feds.

If something like this happens in my town...odds are the guy's an impostor if I don't know him...at least by sight.
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Old February 8, 2006, 08:19 AM   #7
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Lets assume he is a LEO, and he has mistakenly detained your brother, he doesn't know that mistake yet and he doesnt know your intentions. There is a good chance you get shot while drawing your weapon. Shouldn't you demand ID before drawing?
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Old February 8, 2006, 08:43 AM   #8
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Quote:
but another good question is your brother the type of person that would do something to cause a plain-clothed police officer to hold him at gun point?
I don't have a brother. This was just something I have been thinking about lately.




Quote:
Doug-
If he is a legit officer / deputy / etc, that AIN'T happening.

Erick

Uncooperative LEO was always one of my fears.






Since this was my hypothetical situation, I guess I'll throw in the different ways I see this played out.




The Good

You demand he drops his gun. He identifies himself as LEO and slowly pulls his badge... preferable the chain around the neck type.

If he can't provide ID, you call the local police and let them sort it out.


The Bad
The cop reads your actions wrong (perhaps your wording... you were unclear of your intentions) and opens fire on you.

The cop doesn't identify himself (highly unlikely) but refuses to drop the weapon.


There are a dozen other ways this could play out. Any one of them leaves me with one question... Once he is ID'd and you have reholstered your weapon, will there be any reprocussions for your actions in the first place?
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Old February 8, 2006, 09:36 AM   #9
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Doug....we talked about this...never surrender your weapon to an armed BG. Its a good rule to follow for a CW holder, and its GOSPEL to a LEO. "We'll just see about that???" are you serious??? If he is a true LEO, you will not be in control of anything. You will either be shot or in jail. Simple thing would be to ask for ID, and ask what is going on, lowering the weapon to shoot the guy at waist level (low COM) if needed, this way you can look the guy in the face, and see his ID. You will be less threatening to a real LEO and seem more open to discuss what is going on. If the guy is a BG and tries to make a move you can easily zipper the guy. If he is having problems making up a story, and problems finding ID then start raising your weapon again. Say your going to call 911 to sort this out. If the guy is encouraging it, he is LE. If he runs...well then you know.

You will probably know real quick if its a true LEO officer.

1) Most plain Clothes "On Duty" cops never work alone.

2) Most "Off Duty" would not get involved without calling for some backup unless it is a serious situation that needs to be stopped quickly (rape, attempted murder, etc). If there is a victim next to your brother, that doesn't look fake, or a part of a scam, this guy might be LE.

3) A robbery/assault and an arrest looks different.

Now there is a slight possibility that the guy is a LEO, but is up to no good. Perhaps your brother got into an argument with the guy and the cop is abusing his power. Perhaps your brother is sleeping with his wife, who knows. The best thing is to call 911 or at least threaten to call 911 (if you don't have a cell phone handy), if the guy is a LEO but has no intentions of arresting your brother. Maybe the fear of losing his job will snap him out of it.
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Old February 8, 2006, 09:44 AM   #10
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And the question still remains... after ID is provided and the situation is sorted out, would you go to jail for drawing on him?
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Old February 8, 2006, 10:25 AM   #11
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Did I miss something?

You have just come out of Walmart. You walk around the corner to find a man holding your brother at gun point. You draw on him and order him to drop his weapon. He identifies himself as LEO, but there is no obvious identification. What is your next move?


After re-reading the hypothetical situation I realized that the poster has us drawing and asking for ID after the office identifies himself a LEO. I my mind I have a hard time with this. If I come upon my brother/family member being held at gun point, I am not slowing down to ask questions. The threat of deadly force directed at my family is sufficient for me come the their defense. I belive that a gun fight will start almost immediately.
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Old February 8, 2006, 10:32 AM   #12
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As a ex-police officer, I would back off the situation, find some good close cover and then engage a verbal conversation with the plain cloths officer or off duty officer or wacko . Find out whats going on first(now I don't mean face to face.---place of cover-cover-cover). If he is a robber or crazy wacked out person, your giving the wacko another target and possibly a hostage. If its a cop, and you come out branding your weapon , it won't be pretty situation.
Now if its a robber, play out the situation, don't show him your gun!! he will freak out!!!! If you shoot and miss, well, so long brother and now you have a shoot out in a crowded parking lot. He will most likely run from the situation. Now,you need to know the laws in your state regarding the "fleeing felon rule", to shoot or not to shoot? In a situation like this (witnessing a crime) its good to be a really good witness, oberservant. He/she will most likely be caught.

-Most people don't want to kill another person,(emotional part of the problem)
-Possible criminal charges (legal stuff, money, lawyer, Etc)
-Civil damages, again (legal stuff,money, lawyer, Etc)
- Stray bullet--negligent homicide
- You could end up 6 feet under.

If you can avoid a bad situation, avoid it.

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Old February 8, 2006, 10:52 AM   #13
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Quote:
After re-reading the hypothetical situation I realized that the poster has us drawing and asking for ID after the office identifies himself a LEO. I my mind I have a hard time with this. If I come upon my brother/family member being held at gun point, I am not slowing down to ask questions. The threat of deadly force directed at my family is sufficient for me come the their defense. I belive that a gun fight will start almost immediately.


That was definitly another way I had imagined the situation going down. However, I guess it isn't a 'what-if' question as much as it is "how do you see the LEO responding?" What follows in this type of situation? You are tucked behind a corner holding him at gunpoint... he is holding your brother at gunpoint against a car 10 feet away. You have ordered him to drop his weapon, he has identified himself as LEO. What do you say to his response? How will he respond to your follow-up actions? For this situation, let's just say he is definitly a LEO (but you don't know that yet). Would you identify yourself as the brother of the person he is holding at gunpoint and ask for ID? Would you state your intentions?


How about the actions AFTER he held up his badge? Would you holster your weapon? would you approach? What follows?
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Old February 8, 2006, 11:09 AM   #14
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Doug-
If he is a legit officer / deputy / etc, that AIN'T happening.

Erick
Quote:
Doug....we talked about this...never surrender your weapon to an armed BG. Its a good rule to follow for a CW holder, and its GOSPEL to a LEO. "We'll just see about that???" are you serious??? If he is a true LEO, you will not be in control of anything. You will either be shot or in jail. Simple thing would be to ask for ID, and ask what is going on, lowering the weapon to shoot the guy at waist level (low COM) if needed, this way you can look the guy in the face, and see his ID. You will be less threatening to a real LEO and seem more open to discuss what is going on. If the guy is a BG and tries to make a move you can easily zipper the guy. If he is having problems making up a story, and problems finding ID then start raising your weapon again. Say your going to call 911 to sort this out. If the guy is encouraging it, he is LE. If he runs...well then you know.

You will probably know real quick if its a true LEO officer.

1) Most plain Clothes "On Duty" cops never work alone.

2) Most "Off Duty" would not get involved without calling for some backup unless it is a serious situation that needs to be stopped quickly (rape, attempted murder, etc). If there is a victim next to your brother, that doesn't look fake, or a part of a scam, this guy might be LE.

3) A robbery/assault and an arrest looks different.

Now there is a slight possibility that the guy is a LEO, but is up to no good. Perhaps your brother got into an argument with the guy and the cop is abusing his power. Perhaps your brother is sleeping with his wife, who knows. The best thing is to call 911 or at least threaten to call 911 (if you don't have a cell phone handy), if the guy is a LEO but has no intentions of arresting your brother. Maybe the fear of losing his job will snap him out of it.
Well the way I think of it is this:

1) He is in plain clothes, you don't know who he is, get him disarmed and under control.
2) Once that is done confirm his ID not just with him (because he is in plain clothes) but with local police.
3) In case he is a read BG I do not want to approach him or let my guard down in any way.
4) Once this is done it can be sorted out with police.
5) If he is a true law enforcemtn officer he would understand the need for this and would cooperate as to not get himself, me, his suspect (my brother in this case) or any other people around shot in a misunderstood gunfight. He would be doing the same thing in my shoes. In a reverse situation, police don't know that a man in plain clothes with a gun is necessarily a victim defending himself, they just see someone with a gun and need to get control of the situation.
6) If he is actually someone impersonating a policeman and with bad intentions he definately needs to be disarmed and controled. Better to be safe than sorry.
7) If he is a legitimate policeman and has backup nearby then they will confirm this themselves and their own identity.
8) There is no choice here, I have the drop on him, he either cooperates, properly ids himself or gets shot. The same would happen to me if I was covered by police. Why should citizens react any different. His common sense and the fact that he is a true LEO and a Good Guy should direct him to see this.
9) He should be able to see that since I am working to get the police involved and confirm his ID that I am not a bad guy or a real threat to him
10) If he and his supervisors don't understand this and feel rubbed the wrong way then I will probably get arrested and have to explain it to a jury. But I'd rather do that than have me, my brother or a cop end up dead

EDIT: You misquoted me. I didn't say "We'll JUST see about that" I said "We'll see about that." Big difference and misunderstanding on your part. I wouldn't be saying it in a macho man tone but in an assuring manner that essentially communicates "we will see if you are, but lets take this one step at a time" and proceed to control what you are doing.

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Old February 8, 2006, 11:32 AM   #15
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Since I have seen well trained individuals draw and shoot someone who was challenging them with a gun drawn in FOF - Doug - expect to be shot while you are jawing away.

An officer has no idea that you are a good guy. He has stopped your brother because he is bad guy or suspected to be such. You come along with a gun and refuse to listen to him. You are an active threat.

I go with asking what's going on before drawing a gun. Presumably from a safe place. You might just run away saying that you are going to call the police.
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Old February 8, 2006, 11:43 AM   #16
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Since I have seen well trained individuals draw and shoot someone who was challenging them with a gun drawn in FOF - Doug - expect to be shot while you are jawing away.

An officer has no idea that you are a good guy. He has stopped your brother because he is bad guy or suspected to be such. You come along with a gun and refuse to listen to him. You are an active threat.

I go with asking what's going on before drawing a gun. Presumably from a safe place. You might just run away saying that you are going to call the police.
I won't be doing a whole lot of jawing. Unti his gun is on the ground and he is away from it, he either cooperates or gets shot. (again, REVERSE this situation, what would a cop be doing in my place.)
At this point he does have a small clue that I am not a bad guy in that if I were, I probably would have just shot him outright instead of pulling on him and trying to go through all this getting him disarmed. Plus, LEO or not, he must face the fact that he has a gun pointed on him. I have the advantage and I am not giving it up.
From my point of view, until he has identified himself to my (the citizen) satisfaction, HE is a threat. Running away would put my brother in danger, calling out before I draw a gun upon seeing his would put both of us in danger.
Yes he could try to shoot me while I have a gun on him, he may get me, I may miss.....but then the reverse could happen also and could happen in any event whether he was a good guy or a bad guy.
Both sides staying cool calm and collected and cooperating with each other shouldl solve the situation.
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Old February 8, 2006, 12:00 PM   #17
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I go with asking what's going on before drawing a gun.

"whats going on here?" *BANG* you are shot *BANG* your brother is dead.


I have seen this in the movies soooo many times. It hardly seems like a reasonable option. In all honesty, I would be more apt to open fire without saying a word than I would be to question someone while my firearm is still holstered. You have just given away your position and the element of suprise, and you aren't even prepared for a shootout. Not to mention what could happen to your poor unarmed brother who is standing mere feet away from a drawn and cocked gun pointed COM.



Quote:
Unti his gun is on the ground and he is away from it,
This method seems just as unlikely to have a good outcome. No person, especially LEO, will drop their firearm. You will be shot at... and most likely lose.



So.. to skip back to the topic... your firearm is already drawn, you have demanded that the percieved BG drops his weapon. He ID's himself...


No more what-if's. This is the current situation. No more "I would have done this or that". Here you are... possible LEO is being held at gunpoint. Pick up where I left off.



Glenn ~ I have only demanded he drop his weapon once, and not since he ID'd himself. This does not make me unreasonable. Not until my next move anyway.


After hearing what he said, I think my next move would be to ID myself as the brother, and ask my brother if this man showed his identification. If the answer was no, I would ask to see it... slowly. If yes, I would reholster my weapon... but then I dont know what I could do as to not be percieved as a threat. I couldn't approach the officer. I couldnt remain behind him. Perhaps I would ask him what he felt my next move should be.



Aren't there any LEO's on this board who want to run through this scenerio so we can get an "other side" view of how this would be best handled?
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Old February 8, 2006, 12:10 PM   #18
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After hearing what he said, I think my next move would be to ID myself as the brother, and ask my brother if this man showed his identification. If the answer was no, I would ask to see it... slowly. If yes, I would reholster my weapon... but then I dont know what I could do as to not be percieved as a threat. I couldn't approach the officer. I couldnt remain behind him. Perhaps I would ask him what he felt my next move should be.
My reservation about that is:
1) too much talking while the unidentified man still has his gun. Too much talking between you, your brother and him giving him a widow to try something.
2) Simply flashing a badge to me doesn't sound like enough. Badges can be faked. Just like CHLs can be faked or illegitimate, that's why there is a strip on the back of them so police can swipe them through their car computer. I think it is best to confirm with police that this man is a legitimate cop. You also want to see teh badge in your hand. Can't you confirm badge number over the cell phone with 911 police? Flashing a badge has always been a concern with me how do you know it is legitimate, especially if he looks like garbage (undercover....remember the stupid movie Serpico?)
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Old February 8, 2006, 12:13 PM   #19
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IMHO talking doesn't give the BG time to do anything... unless you take your eyes off him. Or maybe my ability to pull the trigger mid-sentence if I see a threatening gesture is superhuman?

Wow... call me Superman.
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Old February 8, 2006, 01:01 PM   #20
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IMHO talking doesn't give the BG time to do anything
no but it distracts you.

But, and I'm still willing to play along to pick up where your senario leaves off, backing up to the beginning. If I see someone WITH A GUN aiming it at my brother I think might be more inclinded to shoot the guy who is fixing to shoot by brother than I am to say "Drop the gun"
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Old February 8, 2006, 01:03 PM   #21
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1)He is in plain clothes, you don't know who he is, get him disarmed and under control.

5) If he is a true law enforcemtn officer he would understand the need for this and would cooperate as to not get himself, me, his suspect (my brother in this case) or any other people around shot in a misunderstood gunfight. He would be doing the same thing in my shoes. In a reverse situation, police don't know that a man in plain clothes with a gun is necessarily a victim defending himself, they just see someone with a gun and need to get control of the situation.
Doug all I'm saying is a LEO is train not to give up his gun. Unless you are a LEO too, your are a threat in his mind, he will not comply with you. A criminal might back down and run, but if it is a true LEO and your not talking, and your not letting him reach for his ID, which he is trained to present when not in uniform, someone will start shooting. You will either be shot, or if your brother was doing something criminal, and you just killed a cop, guess what the punishment is for you??? "But it was an accident"...the judge never hear that before.

The only way to prevail on this one is talking and contacting 911 , and get guys in uniform on the scene. To answers someone question; you accidently draw on a law enforcment officer, If your a valid CW permit carrier, and you immediately stand down when you get the story straight, you will most likely be OK.
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Old February 8, 2006, 01:22 PM   #22
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Doug all I'm saying is a LEO is train not to give up his gun. Unless you are a LEO too, your are a threat in his mind, he will not comply with you. A criminal might back down and run, but if it is a true LEO and your not talking, and your not letting him reach for his ID, which he is trained to present when not in uniform, someone will start shooting. You will either be shot, or if your brother was doing something criminal, and you just killed a cop, guess what the punishment is for you??? "But it was an accident"...the judge never hear that before.

The only way to prevail on this one is talking and contacting 911 , and get guys in uniform on the scene. To answers someone question; you accidently draw on a law enforcment officer, If your a valid CW permit carrier, and you immediately stand down when you get the story straight, you will most likely be OK.
I understand what you are saying. LEOs are not trained to give up their guns. The whole senario is in any way an ugly situation. BUT the fact is, I have the clear advantage as my gun is trained on him and am more likely to come out on top, if faced with put down your gun or die what is anyone, LEO or otherwise, likely to do? I want him to pull his ID, but I don't want him making any moves drawing the unstable situation out until someone gets control of the situation. I want him to throw me his id after he has put his gun down and is on his knees with hands on head so:
1) I can see the ID in my hands, not just flashed from a distance, and confirm it, If possible, over 911.
2) I don't want him to have a gun in his hand or be in any position to easily get to it or any other weapons he may have on his person while I am looking at his badge, have gun in my hand, a cell phone in the other and am talking on it.
If I had to shoot him before his ID was confirmed, I would have to go to court, I could only hope that there were enough witnesses to describe the events so a jury would understand what happened. I would hate to shoot a policeman or any good guy, but I certainly don't want to put myself or my brother or anyone else at unecessary risk.
Again, reverse the situation. What would the cop be doing in my place.
It is an ugly situation unless nobody ends up shot. If it is about not giving up his gun then perhaps he should be ordered to stick it in his waistband (slowly) or holster it and then, with his nongun hand pull his ID (slowly)
But even then, he still has a gun on him and could reach for it if he thought that I was too distracted on the phone.
No policeman or anyone would approach a situation where they had to draw their gun to have the advantage and then give up that advantage until they had the situation under control.
Lets consider the other possible senario he flashes a badges or I lower my gun while he still has his and approach him to see his ID and HE IS NOT A COP, he turns out to be a bad guy with or without a fake badge and kills me while I am distracted and on the phone. Where does that leave me and my brother? Dead.

If anybody has a better idea or approach that would address these concerns then I'm all ears.
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Old February 8, 2006, 01:31 PM   #23
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I understand what you are saying. LEOs are not trained to give up their guns. The whole senario is in any way an ugly situation.
Yea Doug I'm suprised you did not think up this senario first.

I'm thinking this would be a rare event, either the CW carrier would shoot, or the cop would shoot the CW civilian while he/she is drawing their weapon. otherwise, in a crowded parking lot, it would just turn into a standoff until uniformed police arrived.

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Old February 8, 2006, 01:33 PM   #24
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The situation is a mess.

Assuming I have not already shot the person with a gun on my brother we are in a stand off situation and NOBODY is going to relinquish a weapon until LEOs arrive who I know to be LEOs. That means cars with flashing lights and guys in uniform.

We had a cop impersonator murder last year near where I live, I am not bleiveing some guy on the street who just says he is a LEO. At the same time anybody who thinks they can order a LEO to drop their weapon and get compliance is a nut. If anything, if the LEO complies he is only doing so to put you off balance while he goes for his BUG. The only thing YOU can do to assuage any fears the LEO now has is to insist that somebody call the police and suggest that you all wait there patiently until they arrive.

I am not relinquishing my gun to a "possible" LEO and any LEO is sure as hell not relinquishing his to me. If he is holding someone at gun point he has a reason to do so, wrong possibly but a reason. You showing up with a gun only reinforce his reasoning.
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Old February 8, 2006, 01:37 PM   #25
PaulBk
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Join Date: May 26, 2004
Location: Western Washington
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Doug

Have you seriously considered a part time career as a fiction writer? Your fertile imagination would lend itself nicely to just such an endeavor.

Imagine the possibilities.

-PB
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