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Old July 17, 2008, 10:22 PM   #26
Erik
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On "canned responses" :

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

"I was afraid" tells about as much as "I did it for officer safety," which is not much. And people in the business know that, and how to exploit it.
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Old July 17, 2008, 10:57 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Keltyke
Briefly, and as clearly as possible, tell the officers FACTUALLY what happened, then ask to speak with a lawyer before you say anything else.
IANAL, but I would caution against that advice. There is no conceivable way that NOT exercising your right to remain silent will help you. Your account can be given in a deposition, on a tape recorder, with your attorney present.
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Old July 18, 2008, 01:06 AM   #28
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IANAL, but I would caution against that advice. There is no conceivable way that NOT exercising your right to remain silent will help you. Your account can be given in a deposition, on a tape recorder, with your attorney present
I'm not recommending you jeopardize yourself legally. But whatever the legal aspects, they won't come in to play if you're dead from a police bullet. So, it's the immediate situation of being in an adrenaline rush with others who are in an adrenaline rush, all who have loaded guns, likely out and perhaps pointed at you, and all of whom are seeing you standing near an inert body and possibly with a gun. So, whatever you say or do has to solve that crucial predicament first. The legally apt statements and what they are are another thread I believe - though a very necessary topic. But how not to die comes first and my concern about that prompted me to start the thread.
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Old July 18, 2008, 04:31 AM   #29
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But whatever the legal aspects, they won't come in to play if you're dead from a police bullet. So, it's the immediate situation of being in an adrenaline rush with others who are in an adrenaline rush, all who have loaded guns, likely out and perhaps pointed at you, and all of whom are seeing you standing near an inert body and possibly with a gun.
Why the hell are you standing near an inert body? Why have you not moved to a position of safety?

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

Actions speak louder than words.
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Old July 18, 2008, 08:03 AM   #30
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First of all, most of these posts presume a somewhat "pristine" environment will exist in a post-shooting situation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Remember, police are taught to "secure the scene" of a crime. That means putting into handcuffs anyone suspected of violent acts and securing all weapons.
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Old July 18, 2008, 03:23 PM   #31
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Like hell I'll drop my Steyr on asphalt! I'll SLOWLY bend and lay it down.
When your gun becomes more important than your life, there is a problem. If I tell you to drop it and you make any move with it, prepare to be shot. I've told you exactly what to do, you choose not to do so at your own peril.
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Ah, I don't think so, scooter. I'll have a cop on report. If I'm offering no resistance, there is NO excuse for my being "man-handled".
And yet it happens every day. You've been in a shooting, you've shot somebody, don't expect much leeway. Look at all those "non-resisting" folks on the Dateline "To Catch A Predator" tapes. Besides, you've already shown that you are going to cause trouble because you did not drop your gun.

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

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So, whatever you say or do has to solve that crucial predicament first.
Forget saying anything. Your actions will determine if you get shot at or not, not your words. And once your actions have been controlled your words no longer matter.
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Old July 18, 2008, 07:56 PM   #32
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If I tell you to drop it and you make any move with it, prepare to be shot. I've told you exactly what to do, you choose not to do so at your own peril.
Ooohhhhh.................
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Old July 18, 2008, 10:43 PM   #33
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When your gun becomes more important than your life, there is a problem. If I tell you to drop it and you make any move with it, prepare to be shot. I've told you exactly what to do, you choose not to do so at your own peril.
Sorry Barney... I'm very likely going to lay it on the ground gently. The last thing I want to do is drop a gun that may be cocked and unlocked around a bunch of nervous cops pointing guns in my direction. Dropping some guns can potentially discharge the weapon if it lands on a hard surface.

Futher, if you're so twitchy that you will shoot someone moving in a slow deliberate manner to comply with your order to disarm, you need some serious vacation time or a different occupation.
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Old July 19, 2008, 12:39 AM   #34
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Why the hell are you standing near an inert body?
I doubt I will be if it ever happens to me. Anybody that calls will likely tell the dispatcher, "The guy crouching next to the street pizza is the good guy."
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Old July 19, 2008, 08:23 AM   #35
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Futher, if you're so twitchy that you will shoot someone moving in a slow deliberate manner to comply with your order to disarm, you need some serious vacation time or a different occupation.
Thanks, Bill. I was going to stay off this, but I'm glad you chimed in with some support. Any cop who would shoot in this situation deserves to lose their badge, if not their liberty. That's "trigger-happy".

As for my remark about dropping my Steyr, some people in here are too tightly wrapped to know something is said tongue-in-cheek. I'll repeat, unless the cops roll up seconds after I've fired the last shot, my gun will be on safety and in the holster. If I'm holding the BG at gunpoint, that's a completely different scenario.
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Old July 19, 2008, 03:09 PM   #36
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But the question really is, the whole thread in fact, is about what to do should you find yourself gun-in-hand and in a position where you need to avoid being shot by the cops. The gun-in-hand scenario IS the scenario. It's the one where people get shot. By preparing for it, you are preparing for the significantly less immediately concerning situations where there is time to call, holster, walk away, sit, render aid, whatever...

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

Answer: Don't obey commands and move.

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

And... Again... We're trying to advise a course of action so as NOT to get shot.
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Last edited by Erik; July 19, 2008 at 04:17 PM.
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Old July 19, 2008, 04:55 PM   #37
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It is a good idea to inform the 911 dispatcher of your description and your clothing. Stay on the line with them if possible and DO NOT have the gun in your hand when the police arrive! Be careful what you say on the phone to the operator relative to the shooting what ever you say is on tape.
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Old July 19, 2008, 05:37 PM   #38
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I guess usual advice if ever in shooting to avoid the cops shooting you in error, is to call 911, let them know this was SD, who you are (good guy) and describe yourself, clothes etc. Fine, but I can see times when that wouldn't work. An example:
You just described what we should do after a shooting, then gave us an imaginary incident where the citizen didn't do it?

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

I'm in total agreement, though, with your contention that if you didn't ID yourself to the dispatcher, and you have a gun in your hand when the cops arrive, you'll likely have a fast moving, exciting experience that you can tell your friends about--if you survive.
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Old July 19, 2008, 10:09 PM   #39
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Just Say NOTHING

Just Say NOTHING

by Dave Kopel

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

Provided by: Perroni’s Tactical Training Academy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sources: Richard Leo, "Police Interrogation and Social Control," Social and Legal Studies, vol. 3, pages 93-120 (1994); "From Coercion to Deception: The Changing Nature of Police Interrogation in America," Law and Social Change, vol. 18, pages 35-39 (1992); Jerome Skolnick and Richard Leo, "The Ethics of Deceptive Interrogation," Criminal Justice Ethics, vol. 11, pages 3-12 (1992).
Dave Kopel is Research Director at Independence Institute, http://i2i.org. His most recent book is "No More Wacos: What's Wrong with Federal Law Enforcement and How to Fix It."
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Old July 19, 2008, 11:48 PM   #40
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How could you say it wouldn't work when the citizen in your scenario didn't follow the standard proceedures you described? Not to mention having a gun in his hand when the cops rolled up code 3.
I didn't describe precise procedures in the original post, (except the usual advice to call 911) - I asked what the best would be , because situations do go wrong, and I gave an example in which the citizen did call 911 - but things did go wrong (although partly due to his subsequent error of not staying on the line).

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

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

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

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

Last edited by gvf; July 20, 2008 at 10:19 AM.
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Old July 20, 2008, 12:58 PM   #41
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I am very surprised no one has mentioned what in my opinion is a very important issue. Have a good lawyer friend that is in the erea, so you can explain the situation to him and he can give you crucial advice. even if it means having som 2 phone actian him on one line and 911 on teh otehr i think it could give you a great advantage.

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

just my 2c
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Old July 20, 2008, 01:36 PM   #42
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I am very surprised no one has mentioned what in my opinion is a very important issue. Have a good lawyer friend that is in the erea, so you can explain the situation to him and he can give you crucial advice. even if it means having som 2 phone actian him on one line and 911 on teh otehr i think it could give you a great advantage.
Great point, and I'd also point out that most newer cell phones have a speaker option. So you can stay on the line with 911 and keep your hands free and visible.
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Old July 20, 2008, 01:37 PM   #43
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Drop it. Dave is so right.

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

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

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

But, if you get shot for worrying about a gun or not carrying a safe gun to drop - score one for evolution.
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Old July 20, 2008, 10:54 PM   #44
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But, if you get shot for worrying about a gun or not carrying a safe gun to drop - score one for evolution.
Oh yeah, that's real nice. And how about the guy people all over this board and every other are preaching about? You know, the one that can't afford a real nice gun? He's got a right to defend himself too, right? Let's see now, are Jennings guns drop safe? Ravens? Hi-points? How about old S&W revolvers? Think about it.
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Old July 20, 2008, 11:40 PM   #45
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What to say post shooting

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

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

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

Nothing is 100%. You may follow all above advice and still get lead poisoning. You may follow none and get a handshake. Best to play the odds of survival.
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Old July 21, 2008, 07:48 AM   #46
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Futher, if you're so twitchy that you will shoot someone moving in a slow deliberate manner to comply with your order to disarm, you need some serious vacation time or a different occupation.
Quote:
Any cop who would shoot in this situation deserves to lose their badge, if not their liberty. That's "trigger-happy".
Glenn Meyer said,
Quote:
3. So if the cop loses his badge, that's nice. You are shot - perhaps several times.

But, if you get shot for worrying about a gun or not carrying a safe gun to drop - score one for evolution.
Very good, Glenn, it isn't about the the cops and what should happen to them if they do something wrong, but about surviving the encounter regardless of what sort of cops may roll up.
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Old July 21, 2008, 08:53 AM   #47
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2. As long as a gun is in your hand for a long, slow, safe put down - you can quickly switch to a firing position. That's in some LEO training films. That's why they might just shoot you if you don't comply.
So the cops are gonna shoot me as I'm slowly laying the gun on the ground? Sorry, but that's (how can I say this without it being edited) dookie. You, and the others of your opinion are giving cops all over the US a bad name. And if you're cops and would shoot in this situation, you need an instant career change because YOU are the bad cops you talk about.

And I'm outta this one.
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Old July 21, 2008, 09:17 AM   #48
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Its not that the cops are going to shoot you as you're slowey laying your gun on the ground, it is that your plan to do so against their orders dramatically raises the odds that they might. And... All together now in harmony, the threads is about not getting shot. And the shooting will likely happen relatively soon in your movement cycle as the fact that you are (a) moving and (b) moving the gun register as they are hard front-sight focused on your COM.

But hey, it is a free country. You don't have to agree with or take the advise. The odds of your having to follow it, regardless, are low.
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Old July 21, 2008, 10:23 AM   #49
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Guns too cheap to drop and guns too expensive to drop - gotta make you laugh.

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

Drop your Judge, tough guy.
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Old July 21, 2008, 12:00 PM   #50
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Sorry Barney... I'm very likely going to lay it on the ground gently.
It's not the Barney you have to worry about, Bill, it is the highly trained and keyed up SWAT-type that has seen way to many movements "in a slow deliberate manner" turn into attacks to allow them, particularly when you still have a weapon in your hand. You are already demonstrating that you will not comply with the officer's lawful orders (drop the gun), don't expect it to get any better when you make it worse (do not move).
Quote:
Dropping some guns can potentially discharge the weapon if it lands on a hard surface.
If your gun is not drop-safe and that is a worry for you, I would suggest changing guns. If that is not possible, you should not wait at all, but the minute LE rolls up put the gun down and step away.
Quote:
Futher, if you're so twitchy that you will shoot someone moving in a slow deliberate manner to comply with your order to disarm, ....
There is the problem. I'm not ordinarily twitchy, but you are not complying with my order to disarm. In fact, you are acting directly contrary to my requests and placing me in further danger of my life. That might make me sort of twitchy.

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

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