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Old November 22, 2007, 03:23 AM   #1
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Scenario that I need opinions on

Okay, first off, I thought I would add that I'm bored, and just got the idea to post this to see what peoples opinions are, because I can't get over the outcome. This is a real life event. It actually happened to a guy I know, and Ill state facts as they happened in reality. It happened I believe in 1998 to a guy that used to work at the AFB I work on. He was a LEO in Kansas City.

Two off duty Police Officers in Kansas City doing sidework as "Security Guards" at an apartment complex in a marked police vehicle are sitting in their vehicle in the parking lot, its a quiet night, and all of a sudden a pickup truck goes speeding through the parking lot, driving eratically. The two off duty LEO's follow it off property, and call in for backup, and attempt to make a traffic stop. The driver of the pickup truck, a 14 year old kid with a dog gets stuck in a nearby parking lot in the mud. The two off duty LEOs pull in behind him, as backup arrives (making I believe 4 LEOs on scene now) and they all give commands for the driver to shut the vehicle down and step out. Hes non compliant, and keeps rocking the truck back and forth trying to free it. One officer (not the guy from work) steps up to try and open the driver side door to pull him out. He finally gets the vehicle free, and it lunges backward toward the officers, striking the officer that approached the vehicle, knocking him to the ground, before smashing into the police car the two off duty LEOs were driving. He throws it in drive, and tries to pull forward, possibly leaving the potential for running the down officer over (this was never made clear from what ive read) and the officers open fire, killing the 14 year old boy, and his dog.

Now, all that being said, would you consider this a justified shooting? Even if the officer wasnt in any danger of being ran over? I mean, the kid did smash into the police vehicle, he was totally non compliant, and he struck the officer and knocked him down with the vehicle. Not too sure, but I think that could be considered attempted murder, or atleast assault with a deadly weapon. What would you have done differently in this situation?

I won't discuss what happened in too much detail, because I know the guy that it happened to, but if you want me to reveal the basic outcome after a discussion has gone on, I will
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Old November 22, 2007, 04:07 AM   #2
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Hmm...guess this should have went in the Legal section If a mod feels the need to move it there, please do so.
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Old November 22, 2007, 09:37 AM   #3
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I've seen this scenario repeated over and over many times, "The dude was trying to run over me so I shot". In the end it's not worth all the headaches you will have to endure in the press, the courts and going through an extensive internal investigation. An officer should never place himself in front of a vehicle that is attempting to flee. I saw a young police officer run over and killed during one of these pursuits because he thought the bad guy would surely not drive over him.
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Old November 22, 2007, 09:52 AM   #4
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Quote:
Two off duty Police Officers in Kansas City doing sidework as "Security Guards" at an apartment complex in a marked police vehicle are sitting in their vehicle in the parking lot,
This part confuses me. Does the department allow this?
Quote:
striking the officer that approached the vehicle, knocking him to the ground,
and;
Quote:
possibly leaving the potential for running the down officer over
There's the fulcrum. This is not uncommon. It's happened around here more than once. I'm not an attorney, but I haven't heard yet of the officers getting in too much hot water for this.
Quote:
What would you have done differently in this situation?
Use Detroit steel - Block him front and rear with cars, not people.
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Old November 22, 2007, 11:07 AM   #5
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If I understand the scenario correctly, . . .

we get to a position where an officer is on the ground, . . .

the perp/driver is totally non compliant and has already demonstrated a full willingness to create havoc and harm with the vehicle he is in, . . .

the perp/driver shows total disregard for people or lives, . . .

the vehicle is in a position where it can and very well may run over the downed officer, . . .

the downed officer may be injured and cannot move out of the way on his own, . . .

Solution: shoot the driver. Priority reason, . . . you are stopping a possible LEO killing.

May God bless,
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Old November 22, 2007, 12:54 PM   #6
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tough call

That is a tough call and not being there I can only monday morning quarterback. But that being said, the idea that an officer is in danger will always trump any other ,cause officer safety is first priority.

1st: Did the officers know the assailant was 14?
If so maybe a little restraint maybe have been warranted .But driving in a manner that endangers others is cause for escalation of force.

2nd :The Car blocking technique should have been employed,but some dept.regulations and directive speak to budgets and cars are expensive.

3rd: Was this child on Drugs? Or running from some situation that caused extreme duress?

At the end of this it is ALWAYS officer safety first. So as to justified that will be the determination in most cases. But could some other method have been employed? Disable the vehicle?
We pay our police to make decisions in seconds that we spend years reviewing.They are to be thanked for their service and when tough calls are made lets give them the benefit of the doubt.
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Old November 22, 2007, 01:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
1st: Did the officers know the assailant was 14?
If so maybe a little restraint maybe have been warranted .But driving in a manner that endangers others is cause for escalation of force.

2nd :The Car blocking technique should have been employed,but some dept.regulations and directive speak to budgets and cars are expensive.

3rd: Was this child on Drugs? Or running from some situation that caused extreme duress?
I kinda doubt the officers were worrying about this at the time. It doesn't matter why he was putting a life in danger. What mattered was stopping him from doing so.
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Old November 22, 2007, 01:26 PM   #8
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Bottom line ... only those that were there will really know if it was the right response. That said, officers in cases appearing to require lethal action should exercises restraint before resorting to irrevocable force. It would be interesting to know if after the fact, they unanimously felt they responded in the right manner.
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Old November 22, 2007, 01:50 PM   #9
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As for the two cops working off duty as security guards in a marked police vehicle, I guess its allowed in Kansas City. Thats what the court papers said (which are available online, which is where I got all this information). The individual I worked with was pretty guarded about what happened. He never talked about it, though he did go into it with me at one point in time, and he was STILL pretty guarded about what happened. Basically, from what little he told me, and what the court papers said, the Police Department tried to pin it all on him (the guy I worked with, also the Officer who fired first, possibly because he was so young, I believe 22 at the time and just out of the academy for a year). Not sure if he was fired for this incident, or if he quit (im sure he was fired), but I believe he sued the department for as he put it "f*cking with him" and now gets a settlement from them. Also, the mother of the 14 year old boy sued the 3 officers who fired on their son, and won a substantial amount of money. I believe something totalling over a million dollars. I think $500,000 for 2 officers, the guy I worked with included, and I think $100,000 for the other officer, because it was determined that the wounds from his bullets would not have caused the death of the boy. Also, she was awarded I think $50,000 for aggravating circumstances against the guy I worked with. Not sure what teh aggravating circumstances were, because it never said, but I think it may be because he fired first.

Im not sure if those facts are all correct, but thats pretty much the basic gyst of what happened. I just can't get over the fact that the justice system works against Law Enforcement Officers who were forced to make a decision in the line of duty, which potentially could have saved the life of another Officer. I feel they did the right thing. Whether it was "right or wrong", as someone else stated, the only people who will ever know if they reacted properly are the Officers who were on scene. In a way, I feel that they could have possibly shot out the tires (though not recommended and sometimes not allowed, may have been better than shooting the suspect) or used another vehicle to block his, or pull the Officer out of harms way. This type of situation makes me wonder if I ever want to be a cop. Too much liability. You get 2 seconds to make a decision, while a judge and a jury get months to tell you that it was the wrong one. I dont know who is required to pay that $1,000,000+ that she won, but I wouldnt be surprised if a good portion wasn't pinned on the Officers. Maybe someone can clear that up for me?
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Old November 22, 2007, 02:13 PM   #10
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UMMM, offer counseling to the obviously mentally disturbed driver! If he gets cured fast enough (or not) he will vote for you on the next election and you will win!
Brent
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Old November 22, 2007, 02:17 PM   #11
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^Not sure I understand your comment? Driver meaning the suspect?
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Old November 23, 2007, 08:05 AM   #12
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/\ The driver is deceased. Deceased people only vote for Hillary.
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