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Old July 28, 2008, 03:31 AM   #76
BillCA
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I'm sensing a dichotomy here in the way actions are justified/condoned when actions are taken by police vs. citizens.

I think I may stop commenting on this thread after this post. I fear I may articulate something that the LEOs, kind as they are to share their insights with us, may take great offense to and we'd devolve into a war of "We're on the street so we know The Truth™" vs. Ethical policies of law enforcment.

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Oh, and WHY people commit action, at the level of analysis we're talking about, given the context, with the benefit of hind sight, is irrelevant.
Irrelevant from what perspective? I'll easily agree that someone turning towards you with a gun in their hand constitutes a high degree of threat. I don't agree that when you say "drop the gun" and the subject raises their hands instead, that there is any justification for shooting (because he didn't follow your exact instructions).

Nor do I agree that the command "Drop the gun" negates the option of putting the gun down on an adjacent car trunk or hood.

The point is, you want the person disarmed. A person responding with a slow & deliberate movement to put the gun down is complying with your order to disarm.

Quote:
But those decisions ride on facts registered in split seconds. A glance the other way, hard focus on a front sight, screams, sensory over load, bad lighting, sleep deprivation, a whole host of and/or combination reasons... and those facts can be missed.
So the jist of the above statement tells me that it's excuseable if a tired officer is experiencing "sensory overload" makes a bad decision. But it is no excuse if the sleep deprived, adrenaline pumped, minimally trained citizen interprets the officer's "drop the gun command" as "put the gun down".

I'll refrain from expressing my opinion of that attitude as this is a family oriented forum.

When I made reference to the "one size fits all training", besides referencing procedures used for high-risk felony type situations, I was thinking of other procedures as well. The absurd examples I can think of, where officers exhibit (and attempt to justify) the actions of mindless automatons involve "custody" procedures. Like during a search warrant for drugs, officers handcuffed all occupants and placed them face down on the floor -- including an 88 year old woman they had to remove from an oxygen tent in her bedroom. Or officers handcuffing a man for "terroristic threats" and despite knowing he'd had shoulder surgery 4 days earlier, taking his arm out of a sling and cuffing his hands behind his back -- thereby dislocating his shoulder and snapping his arm off at the new socket joint (plus refusing to modify this procedure until EMS arrived 10 minutes later). And the appalling attempts to justify it because they were "adhering to standard procedures" - a.k.a. they were just following orders.
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Old July 28, 2008, 09:02 AM   #77
Glenn E. Meyer
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Let's focus for a bit.

If I'm ever in a position where an officer says "Drop the gun". I will drop it.

Steve and Bill - do whatever you want to do. It is your body.

Whether you agree or disagree - you know there is a predictable risk that Internet discussions of what should be will not remove.

The risk will not be reduced in the forseeable future.

Unfortunately, people of reduced hearing, mental capacity or posturing stubbornness may get shot. The officer may get charged. The person still is shot.

The debate about justification does not change these risks.

So Bill or Steve - if you (not some relative) have an officer tell you to drop the gun - will you?

Again, I have seen and know the techniques such that even with one finger in a trigger guard, in a slow movement to the ground - in a short time, I can shoot you.
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Old July 28, 2008, 11:40 AM   #78
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Everyone seems to be assuming that the arrival of the LEO is quiet and sneaky and they catch you off guard.
What is the rationalization for this? Someone stated above that the officer may turn off their siren to make a stealthy approach. What department teaches this tactic? Every officer I talked with about this said that would NOT be standard procedure and, secondarily, haven't any of you seen shows like COPS? I can not recall a single instance of "sneaking up" on a deadly force situation. Even if the officer turned off their siren 5 blocks away you would already know they were coming.
....and so, I stick with my previous statements...

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If I see that officer pull up, or more likely hear them close by, I am on the ground spread eagle gun slid away from me before he gets out of the car.

Then listening and complying immediately.
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Old July 28, 2008, 12:03 PM   #79
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Quote:
If I'm ever in a position where an officer says "Drop the gun". I will drop it.
And if I'm ever in that situation and you're the responding LEO, I'll just bend over and kiss my butt goodbye, cause you already got your mind made up as to what constitutes a threat and you're gonna shoot me regardless.

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Unfortunately, people of reduced hearing, mental capacity or posturing stubbornness may get shot.
Yes, that IS unfortunate - an innocent person killed by a trigger-happy cop. Too bad. Your compassion is overwhelming.

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Again, I have seen and know the techniques such that even with one finger in a trigger guard, in a slow movement to the ground - in a short time, I can shoot you.
You watch too many cowboy and gangsta movies.

Police tactics like you recommend were practiced in Germany recently. If you're a cop, you're sick and need help. Need to lose your badge, too.

I'm outta here and your rantings are now ignored.
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Old July 28, 2008, 01:17 PM   #80
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The techniques in question are taught in higher level tactical courses.

Ranting folks continue to miss my point. It is not what should be in the abstract. It is that this is what may occur to you. It is based on both my firearms training and my reading of the professional legal/law enforcement, psychological and sociological/criminological research base. One may be surprised to know that such a professional literature exists.

You know nothing about my compassionate nature or lack thereof.

Since you are out of here, you can join the other members of my anti-fan club that choose to ignore my sage advice.
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Old July 28, 2008, 01:35 PM   #81
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Question to all the folks, cops in particular. Is it even safe to drop a possibly cocked (at least a cop won't know otherwise) gun? Can't it cause an AD - a very bad thing even if noone is hit, considering that you are being aimed at by a nervous cop?

P.S. You may feel tempted to suggest to stick to firearms that don't do that, but consider this: the command to drop is coming from a cop, a person who doesn't have a slightest idea about your firearm. Do they realize that equipment of unknown (to them) quality may go "boom" when dropped at odd angle?

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Old July 28, 2008, 01:43 PM   #82
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Depends on the gun. Some older and cheaper guns would fire. Some new guns have flaws that have been discovered such that they would fire if dropped.

Easy solution is that if you can afford it, get one that you can drop. Or see if the manufacturer has an upgrade program.

Old Ruger revolvers could go boom if dropped. Ruger would fix it. Some folks ignored the warning and shot themselves and sued Ruger. Ruger has won those suits.
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Old July 28, 2008, 01:54 PM   #83
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"Is it even safe..."

Maybe, as Glenn answered. It is certainly safer than a gun in hand of an unknown at the scene of a shooting.

"Can't it cause an AD..."

Yes. The odds are arguably against it, but yes. And yes, that would fall on my list of bad things to happen should anyone, LEO or otherwise, be aimed in.

"Do they realize..."

They don't care. Again, the context being that a gun in the hand of an unknown at the scene of a shooting is the paramount concern; certainly more so than a relatively small chance that a pistol, in failing to be drop safe by today's standards, will actually fire upon being dropped at that moment in time.
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Old July 28, 2008, 02:02 PM   #84
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My dollars worth

Morning Folks,

I try to stay out of "scenarios constructed too broadly" this one though lacking in specific details brings up some ideas that I need to respond to.

I seem to detect that there are 2 separate camps here, those who have experienced the chaos of a homicide crime scene, and those who have not.
Before I give my rules of the road, there are several issues to discuss.

1st - If I catch a shots fired, man down dispatch, or inadvertently roll up on one, I must prepare to WAR right now. I will take what ever action that supports my survival. I do not care about after action Days Off, or law suites at that moment. "Sue away folks, it happens every day"

MY FIRST JOB IS TO GET ALL THE WEAPONS OUT OF EVERYBODY'S HANDS EXCEPT MINE! The quicker I do that, the higher my survival index is. If you immediately comply with this, I am less likely to shoot you, and the higher YOUR survival index is. (JUST COMPLY, AND DO IT RIGHT NOW!)

2nd - Your expecting me to immediately sort out the details and know you're a good guy, OR are you just a really smart BAD guy? Your expecting to live on my reasonableness, tolerance and understanding, most days you can. You must know that patrolmen are just like you, good days and bad days, fear, terror, tired, mad, injured. Do you really want YOUR life dependant on what kind of shift I've had? Some one at every incident needs to be the reasonable person, someone needs to deescalate the force continuum, as a good cop I will try, as a good citizen, JUST COMPLY, AND DO IT RIGHT NOW!
My FTO put it plainly to me "Bob, no one wares good guy signs, trust only your patrol partners, until you have personally proven otherwise."

3rd - chaos exists during and after a gunfight, everything will be confusing, nothing will seem right. If it happened in a confined area you have most likely lost your hearing and will have a hard time understanding my COMMAND voice, you may be disoriented and will not see my approach, if it is dark your night vision may be gone. REMEMBER: regardless or all of the problems, it is up to you to prove to ME by your actions that you are not a threat to me.
Everyday brother officers are shot giving away an advantage to a bad guy, hesitating, not accepting a threat identifier. It happens because peace officers are not in general looking to pull the trigger. That said, DO NOT IDENTIFY YOURSELF AS THREAT TO ME, I WILL NOT HESITATE TO RESPOND. Just because this incident is mentally new ground (what do I do next) for you does not give you the right to endanger me. (JUST COMPLY, AND DO IT RIGHT NOW!)

4th - I am neither your friend or enemy, I am a peace officer, I have no crystal ball to know to outcome of this incident, to know your intent, to know the facts of the incident. Many undercover officers who forgot "the color of the day" or to "hang" their shield suffer the same issue as civilians, nearly shot or worse. The issues will get sorted out, the parties will get sorted out, BUT first you and I have to survive. Help me, save you! (JUST COMPLY, AND DO IT RIGHT NOW!)

5th - Your job as a citizen who defends himself is to survive EVERY part of the gunfight, hopefully with the same amount holes before and after. Part of that responsibility is to survive post engagement interactions from other armed civilians or LE. The Fixation with morbidity, adrenalin fog, mentally new ground will affect your ability to execute this, develop a plan for post engagement and polish it as skillfully as you do the rest of your shooting skills.

And now GVF, to answer your question, "So, what is a good and safe "always" routine to go through right after a shooting, say with the BG down and inert to make it simpler. E.g. what do you do with the gun?"

1. Interrupt your central focus on the body of your enemy (morbidity fixation) the uncontrolled body moment, the gush of blood, the facial disfigurement all of this gore will not allow you to mentally move on. You will have a life time to think about that part!. Re-deploy your senors, scan the ground, find the next threat. Please don't take this wrong, but fact is that the next threat to your life may be a peace officer with a gun pointed at you and you may not notice him until you brake your vision from your enemies body. If the gun is in your hands it is now the enemy, it has done it's job, now do yours, get rid of it. Just drop it on the ground, you can buy another. NOW, COMPLY with all commands as best as you can, do not do anything uninstructed! Do not move too quickly remember there will be a huge amount of adrenalin churning through your body move consistently. "The more you comply the less trigger finger on my gun." Remember; peace officers suffer from adrenalin dump just like you.

2. A useful tool for U/C officers in my agency was to chant the "phrase of the day" as soon as uniforms arrived. "I'm on the job" over and over. Perhaps "please help me" could be substituted, your choice.

3. Identify yourself as the victim! Adrenalin and new mental ground will make you very talkative, please just SHUT UP, there will be plenty of time to sort out the details latter. Ask for a your lawyer, the most important self defense tool you have.

As a retired peace officer, this has been a great thread for me, I hope my comments are not too offensive.
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Old July 28, 2008, 02:14 PM   #85
Erik
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"I'm sensing a dichotomy here in the way actions are justified/condoned when actions are taken by police vs. citizens."

The standards: reasonable person vs. reasonable officer. LEOs would much rather face review by the reasonable person standard; the reasonable person standard being the lower level of scrutiny. But... Where LEOs are found to be acting within the scope of their duties and established legal, policy, and training standards, the reasonable officer standard comes with mechanisms in place ranging from access to a wealth of acedemic research, the provision of subject matter experts, judicial acceptance that given actions are merited, bars from certain legal recourse, governmental assumption of liability, etc.
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Old July 28, 2008, 03:14 PM   #86
BillCA
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Scattergun Bob,

Excellent post! Thank you.

Quote:
"The more you comply the less trigger finger on my gun."
We might add that the less of a threat you present, the less trigger finger too.

Quote:
REMEMBER: regardless or all of the problems, it is up to you to prove to ME by your actions that you are not a threat to me.
A most telling (and true) statement. And part of the crux of this discussion.

Rolling up and screaming "drop the gun" only to have the subject raise his hands holding the gun in a "non threatening" fashion (i.e. by the barrel, with two fingers at the end of the grip, etc.) should not justify a shooting.

I've taken the position that the hardline statements that say "if you don't do exactly what I say..." you're likely to get shot is indicative of an unnecessarily narrow view.

The chaos at a homicide scene generally isn't made any better when multiple officers arrive. I've seen (and heard) the confusion that results when 2 or more cops are yelling "don't move" & "get on the ground now!" & "show me your hands". Fortunately most officers seem to inherently recognize "surrender" movements and once someone's hands are up (regardless of holding a weapon or not) it takes only a few seconds for one officer to exert verbal control over the scene.

It is at this point where I believe the most compliant thing to do is raise one's hands and remain still until the verbal instruction sequence is clear.
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Old July 28, 2008, 04:47 PM   #87
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Glenn:
>Easy solution is that if you can afford it, get one that you can drop. Or see if the manufacturer has an upgrade program.

I thought that someone would voice this this idea and therefore added the "P.S." - which apparently was blissfully ignored.
This is not about me, I wouldn't let anything less than highly dependable hang around the house in easily accessible form. This is about a cop who commands to "drop the firearm". They don't know if it's a custom made HK or a WW2 TT with safety worn out. They won't say "if your gun is a piece of junk, put it down slowly, or drop it otherwise", either. Command to "drop" may put an innocent person -- possibly uneducated, possibly poor or cheap (yet law abiding!), using sub-standard (yet still perfectly legal!) firearm -- in a lose-lose situation: being shot for not following the order, or being shot by his own firearm, or being shot by a nervous cop as aftermath to AD.
"He used a substandard firearm" is not an excuse for shooting an innocent person, as long as that firearm is legal.
Accidents do happen. However, creating a scenario that may inherently cause a lose-lose situation is hardly an accident.
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Old July 28, 2008, 06:05 PM   #88
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And now GVF, to answer your question
I posted the original question and your post was an excellent answer - and one that acknowledged for us all the inherent chaos of such an event for everyone at the scene.
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Old July 28, 2008, 06:08 PM   #89
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There's too many variables and scenarios to give a pat answer about exactly what one should do. For example, are you outside in a well-lit lit place or in a dark alley? Are you inside a building - a public place or a private dwelling?
One very big factor is whether you are alone or among a crowd of bystanders. Did you call the police or did a bystander call? Are there witnesses? Do the witnesses seem to be on your side - or might the witnesses be hostile and on the side of the BG. Is it a gang-related or drug-related situation ie. are you in a very bad neighborhood ..or a church in the suburbs? Have you been injured? All these sort of things can affect the way you have to handle things.



If folks are telling lies and saying you are the evil devil who wandered into the troubled neigborhood and shot the innocent angelic gang member, you might need to do some talking< to the police when the police arrive>to clarify the basic situation. If you do talk - keep it minimal but stress how you feared for your life and shot in self-defense. Try however to not give contrived answers.You might be in a situation where there's one witness who says 'thank god you saved me...'<request that person remain with you to talk to the police as a witness - don't let supportive witnesses wander off> It's a bit like handling an automobile wreck in regard to witnesses.



Reholstering and cell phones... It's a very good idea to not be holding the gun when police arrive, and it's a very good idea to be in communication with the police asap. Don't runaway from the scene unless out of real fear for your imminent safety... Tell the police over the phone what has happened, what you look like and how you need their assistance. Cooperate with the police to the extent you let them help you. You don't need to get into details of speculation about 'why' something happened - but stick to your need for assistance. Tell them what happened - not why and how.
Chill out as much as possible. Tell police you are too shook up to go into a lot of the details...but let them know you want to cooperate.Call your lawyer as needed <this is where you'll have to make a judgement call ie. is it a controversial shooting or a slam dunk?> Some people<sociopaths> make a bad shooting but are good talkers. Some people make a good shooting but are bad talkers<Bernard Goetz as an example>
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Old July 29, 2008, 07:19 PM   #90
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Quote:
This is not about me, I wouldn't let anything less than highly dependable hang around the house in easily accessible form. This is about a cop who commands to "drop the firearm". They don't know if it's a custom made HK or a WW2 TT with safety worn out. They won't say "if your gun is a piece of junk, put it down slowly, or drop it otherwise", either. Command to "drop" may put an innocent person -- possibly uneducated, possibly poor or cheap (yet law abiding!), using sub-standard (yet still perfectly legal!) firearm -- in a lose-lose situation: being shot for not following the order, or being shot by his own firearm, or being shot by a nervous cop as aftermath to AD.
"He used a substandard firearm" is not an excuse for shooting an innocent person, as long as that firearm is legal.
Accidents do happen. However, creating a scenario that may inherently cause a lose-lose situation is hardly an accident.
Hear here, beautifully said! I'm still not so sure that the command is generally to "drop it" anyway. Seems like the best all-around is "put the gun down" to eliminate a lot of the problem here.
Quote:
So Bill or Steve - if you (not some relative) have an officer tell you to drop the gun - will you?
More than likely because AFAIK, all my guns are drop-safe, but if you read my posts, you know that wasn't my point.

Quote:
Again, I have seen and know the techniques such that even with one finger in a trigger guard, in a slow movement to the ground - in a short time, I can shoot you.
This is a technique I would like to see. Reverse the roles. I am a cop holding a gun on you. You have your back to me, and are putting the gun down slowly and deliberately by a finger in the trigger guard. I don't think Jerry Barnhart would be fast enough to shoot me before he had holes in him. But even if he was, he's not the type I would expect to be on the wrong side of the law.
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Old July 29, 2008, 09:48 PM   #91
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Steve-ray & Bill

There are many ways to COMMAND a individual to disarm. How is not the real point. I really don't care what Glen says his life was in a office looking at data, we are now talking about the street, I have never understood what Sociology and street cops have to do with one another other than usually CJ programs are within that department in academia. Bean counting is important for agencies, it does very little for individuals with muzzles zeroed at them.

The point is for all of us to survive, try "to the best of your ability to comply" with peace officer commands, move slowly and deliberately. Understand that they will feed off of your behavior and response.

David Armstrong in his first post gave you great insite with directness. I seem always to be more wordy. I WILL repeat that on the street, you would get a fair shake from me, provided you did not identify yourself as a threat. JUST COMPLY, and do it right now.

It would be horrible to survive a life threatening encounter with a human predator, only to be injured by first responders, legimately a the crime scene.

Good Luck & Be Safe
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Old July 30, 2008, 06:42 AM   #92
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Good posts, Scattergun.

I watch countless "cop" shows. It's "Drop the gun! Drop the gun! Drop the gun!" Over and over as the suspect just stands there with the gun hanging muzzle down in his hand, staring blankly. He's not complying - why don't they shoot, as Glen would? Because they got several Glock .40s trained on him. If he even twitches, they got him cold. If that gun hand moves one inch, he's Swiss cheese. He's not a threat and there's no reason to shoot.

"Drop the gun!"
"Yes sir." Slowly bend and lay your weapon on the ground, then straighten with your hands in plain sight. Trust me, you won't get shot.

If, as I have suggested, you reholster immediately after the threat is negated (as you should - secure your weapon), all this is moot. The cops will tell you exactly what to do before disarming you themselves.

Even when guns are out and the adrenaline is flowing, cops are trained to maintain composure and act in a professional manner. 98% of them do. You can NOT compare their reactions with Joe Blow on the street. We hold them to a higher standard of conduct than the average citizen. It doesn't matter what kind of shift they've had, or what the home life is like, or how tired they are, or how many traffic stops got them cussed out. They're professionals and they act like it. As has been said, they're not your friends, nor are they your enemies. They're there to do a job - period. Maybe I'm easy, but I give them a lot more credit than some in this thread do.
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Old July 30, 2008, 09:10 AM   #93
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For those of you who think the police will not shoot you without a moments hesitation if you fail to comply with their orders:

I Live in wilmington, I will comply with their orders:

The 25-year-old man shot to death last week by a Wilmington officer never threatened police, according to five witnesses working nearby and a sixth witness standing next to the victim when the confrontation began.


Derek J. Hale, a U.S. Marine who served two tours in Iraq, died on the front steps at 1403 W. Sixth St. after a Wilmington police officer fired three .40-caliber rounds into his chest. He was killed after receiving multiple shocks from electronic Tasers.

"He didn't deserve to be shot. He wasn't any kind of threat," said Fred Mixson, 53, a contractor working in the home next door who watched the shooting unfold from across the narrow street. From the initial confrontation with police to the fatal shooting, only two to three minutes elapsed, witnesses said.On Monday, Nov. 6, Mixson arrived at the 1400 block of W. Sixth St. just before 4 p.m., quitting time for his work crew, which was renovating one of the row houses next door to the shooting.

Mixson parked across the narrow street from 1403 and was standing by the driver's door of his work van when a black SUV sped up the wrong way of the one-way street and screeched to a halt in the middle of the road.

Several police officers jumped out and ran to where Hale was sitting on the steep steps of 1403, approximately six feet higher than the sidewalk.

Mixson and his crew had barely noticed Hale before he was confronted by police. Hale, they said, was chatting with Sandra Lopez and two children at the top of a 10-step concrete stoop. Hale was seated on the third step from the top. Mixson and another witness were standing across the street from 1403, while others were on the sidewalk in front of a row house adjacent to the site of the shooting.

The officers ordered Hale to take his hands out of the front pockets of his hooded sweat shirt.

"About a second later, they Tasered him," Mixson recalled. "He was just sitting there. He didn't do anything."

A compressed air charge in the Taser cartridge launched two metal barbs, attached to wires trailing back to the hand-held device, at a speed of more than 160 feet per second. On impact, a strong electric charge was carried into Hale's body, which caused what the manufacturer, Taser International, describes as "an immediate loss of the person's neuromuscular control and the ability to perform coordinated action for the duration of the impulse."

The witnesses said Hale shook violently from the charge, as if sitting on an electric chair. His right hand came out of the front of his sweat shirt and was shaking violently.

Seconds later, police repeated their command for Hale to show them his hands, and they Tasered him a second time.

Mixson and others said Hale, who was still seated on the steps, rolled onto his left side and vomited into a flower bed.

"My brother yelled at the police that this was overkill. That this was crazy," Mixson said. "They told him to 'shut ... up,' or they'd show him overkill."

Hale rolled back to his right, into a sitting position, still shaking, and police Tasered him a third time, Mixson said.

Lopez, who lived at the home where Hale was killed and was talking to Hale when police arrived, told her attorney Hale was trying to show police his hands. Lopez was standing with her two young children until police ordered her to move.


Four members of Mixson's work crew witnessed the shooting from a variety of angles and distances, although Mixson was the only one interviewed by investigators after the shooting and the only one willing to allow his name to be used for this article.

But in interviews with The News Journal last week, all five said Hale did not pose a threat.

"No matter what his background was, he didn't deserve that," Mixson said. "They had him surrounded. They could have grabbed him."

The News Journal canvassed the neighborhood. Residents across the street and living next door said they either were away or saw nothing of the events.

Police said Hale, who had recently joined the Pagans Motorcycle Club, was a "person of interest" in a recent drug investigation conducted by the Delaware State Police. The U.S. Department of Justice classifies the Pagans as an outlaw motorcycle gang with a history of violence and drug offenses, but Hale, police have said, has no arrest record in Delaware. At the time of his death, Hale had a valid permit in Virginia to carry concealed weapons, according to the clerk of Circuit Court in Manassas.

Concealed-carry permits in Virginia are issued only to people who never have been convicted of a felony, narcotics or a domestic violence charge and who have no history of mental illness or substance abuse.

Two days before the shooting, officers searched the residence as part of a wide-ranging drug and weapons investigation and had charged the owner. According to a written statement by state police, Hale was seen Nov. 6 moving items from inside the house to a vehicle and officers "had reason to believe he was preparing to flee." Mixson said he saw Hale place a large Tupperware container into the vehicle.

"It was during the attempt to take Hale into custody outside of the residence that a confrontation ensued, and Hale was fatally shot," police said. Hale never displayed a weapon, police said, but a spokesman for the Wilmington police said officers found a can of pepper spray and a switchblade knife in Hale's pockets after the shooting.

Hale's stepbrother, Jason Singleton, who lives in Missouri, never knew his brother to carry a switchblade. "The last time I saw Derek, he had a small Swiss Army knife. To my knowledge, I've never seen Derek with anything like a switchblade."

In a written statement issued last week, Wilmington police Master Sgt. Steven Elliott said Hale was shot three times because an "officer in close proximity to the developments feared for the safety of his fellow officers and believed that the suspect was in a position to pose an imminent threat. That officer then utilized deadly force."

Wilmington police denied a request from The News Journal for their use-of-force policy, which addresses how and when officers may use deadly force and less-than-lethal weapons such as Tasers. They cited an August 2005 Freedom of Information request in which the Attorney General's Office found that the policies are not public documents.

Asked if Hale ever threatened the officers, Elliott said in an interview last week: "In a sense, when he did not comply with their commands" to show him his hands. Wilmington police Chief Michael Szczerba did not respond to calls, e-mails or messages left with his staff about the shooting, although Elliott handled press calls after the incident.

Friday night, John Rago, spokesman for Wilmington Mayor James M. Baker, issued a "joint statement" attributed to Baker, Szczerba and Public Safety Director James N. Mosley.

"The incident that occurred in the 1400 Block of West 6th Street is being investigated internally by both the Wilmington Police Department and City Solicitor's Office," the statement reads. "All information from those investigations will be shared with the Delaware Attorney General's Office which conducts its own investigation and issues its own determination of the action of the officer involved. This is standard practice with regard to shootings involving police officers to ensure that all matters related to the incident are given a thorough review."

The News Journal informed city and police officials that it had received eyewitness accounts that questioned the need for Hale's shooting. In his written statement, Rago said: "If the News Journal, or any other organization or individual, has information regarding this incident that can be helpful to the investigation, it is recommended that they present that information to the Wilmington Police Department, the City Solicitor's Office or to the Delaware Attorney General's Office to aid in the thoroughness of the investigation."


BTW this shoot was ruled clean and justified by the AG. There was no warrant for Derek Hale's arrest issued in either DE or Virginia, Hale had no criminal record. His only crime was associating with known Pagans, and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The police didnt even know who he was till they looked at his DL.

I expect the pending civil suit will cost the city millions BTW.
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Old July 30, 2008, 11:12 AM   #94
Glenn E. Meyer
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As far as techniques, Steve and K - time to come up with your handgun training experience. I've see the Insights and Rangemaster instructors do what I've told you is possible.

What in your training suggests that it can't be done?

As far as professionalism stopping a shoot - say Diallo over and over. Know how that happened?
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Old July 30, 2008, 02:28 PM   #95
David Armstrong
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On one hand, we're told if we don't do exactly as we're told - dropping a firearm immediately - we are very likely to be shot.
No, you are not told that. You are told that if a command is given and you ignore that command and engage in actions that the officer perceives as putting him in danger, you greatly increase the chances of getting shot. I don't see what is so hard to understand about that concept.
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On the other hand is the above quote that says "Oh we take into account a wide variety of factors and make a logical decision". Which directly contradicts earlier statements that if one does not comply exactly as the officer commands (with the results the officer expects) one's person is likely to become perforated.
You keep trying to take things out of context and isolate individual elements that are part of a series. It doesn't work like that. If you have a gun in your hand, you have just shot somebody, you are instructed to drop the gun, and you instead start moving in a manner that reduces your size (bending over/squatting) and moving the firearm in a manner that suggest you are preparing to shoot it, well, shame on you.
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Not necessarily. All of these situations would be with a felony suspect
Exactly---NOT NECESSARILY. Depending on the other variables involved and information avialable different responses might be appropriate.
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But it is suffcient to discuss the first item - a deaf subject. You have your gun toting subject with gun in hand, still pointed at the "man down" in broad daylight, but he does not respond to any of your commands.
OK, that is part of the picture that we can look at. If he keeps the gun pointed at the man down, depending on my position and other factors, I may or may not be in any particular danger. Of course, there are other factors to be considered. If you are trying to suggest that LE make mistakes and there are tragic consequences, you get no disagreement from me. Not sure how that changes anything, though. Further, I'll note that none of the "It's OK" crowd have responded to Glenn's proposal. Let me re-post it:

Let's turn the tables. You come across a BG with his back turned to you but carrying a gun in your house. (Of course, you just shoot him in the back, repeatedly - it's the internet!). However, you say - Drop the gun! The person says, 'I will slowly put it down' and very slowly starts to do that. Think they can shoot you, while you have your thumb up your butt. In fact, when you start to bellow more commands - that's the time to shoot you as the diversion of your attention to your verbalims diverts your attentional resources and slows you down.

Quote:
The point is, you want the person disarmed. A person responding with a slow & deliberate movement to put the gun down is complying with your order to disarm.
I want the person to do what I tell them. If I ever tell a person "Please disarm yourself in whatever manner you feel most appropriate to the situation at hand" then you get to make the choice. until then, sorry, but like it or not the best way to avoid additional holes in your body is to do what I tell you. That will reduce, as much as possible, any chances for mistake and error on everybody's part. And that is the goal here.

Last edited by David Armstrong; July 31, 2008 at 05:45 PM.
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Old July 30, 2008, 02:41 PM   #96
David Armstrong
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And if I'm ever in that situation and you're the responding LEO, I'll just bend over and kiss my butt goodbye, cause you already got your mind made up as to what constitutes a threat and you're gonna shoot me regardless.
Not really. Rather than "gonna shoot me regardless" it is quite easy to avoid getting shot by the police. You just have to do what they tell you.
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Yes, that IS unfortunate - an innocent person killed by a trigger-happy cop. Too bad. Your compassion is overwhelming.
Innocents get killed all the time, by cops and non-cops. Rarely does it have anything to do with being trigger-happy. usually it occurs as the result of someone doing something they shouldn't. Thus all the advice here to do what one is told.
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You watch too many cowboy and gangsta movies.
And you apparently have a very limited understanding of gunhandling techniques.
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Police tactics like you recommend were practiced in Germany recently. If you're a cop, you're sick and need help. Need to lose your badge, too.
Police tactics like this are practiced most everywhere, and have been for quite a while. Please feel free to join the ranks if you think there is that much of a problem. We can always use the help.
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Old July 30, 2008, 07:06 PM   #97
Erik
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"This is a technique I would like to see."

I've been on the trainee and trainer end of scenarios involving role players feigning compliance while handling weapons. In my experience the probability of the role player getting off a shot, while pretending to lay it down, is somewhere around 70%.

Note: That's assuming the role players and responders are acting appropriately in their roles, and not just gaming the scenario.
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Old July 31, 2008, 07:11 PM   #98
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Further, I'll note that none of the "It's OK" crowd have responded to Glenn's proposal. Let me re-post it:
Well, I have not posted for a day or so. But I'll address the scenario.

Quote:
Let's turn the tables. You come across a BG with his back turned to you but carrying a gun in your house. ... However, you say - Drop the gun! The person says, 'I will slowly put it down' and very slowly starts to do that. Think they can shoot you, while you have your thumb up your butt. In fact, when you start to bellow more commands - that's the time to shoot you as the diversion of your attention to your verbalims diverts your attentional resources and slows you down.
I'd certainly like to hear Scattergun Bob's take on this too, because it seems we may have the same control technique.

In the unlikely event that I've commanded an armed intruder to drop his weapon in my house [in my bvd's in the dark] and he takes the action indicated above and I'm not comfortable with it, the simple solution is:

STOP!

DON'T MOVE!


Now that I have his attention and he is not moving in a way I don't want him to...

Open your hand and DROP the gun! ... DO IT NOW!

The basic principles by which I was taught was that if your suspect started to move in a way you did not want (or perhaps expect), you issue the command "STOP!" loud and clear. Once they've heard that, you keep them there with "Don't Move!". You interrupt whatever they were starting to do and re-exert control. At this point, you can decide if your instructions must be very specific. Such as the order to open the hand and drop the gun.

Our instructors also took the time to hammer in a few additional points. The apparent age of the suspect must be considered, especially with respect to how fast they comply and/or stop when told to stop. Older suspects, especially those over about 55-60, may take more time to respond, especially to a change (such as "Stop!").

Another point was that people who have never encountered felony-stop/felony-control procedures may not perform exactly as expected. They may look down when told to kneel or break their hand position to balance on descent. It's up to the officer to maintain control and be clear in his commands.
"Driver! Keep your hands on your head and kneel straight down! Do it now!"

With respect to Dave, Erik, Glenn, et al., who have been patient and pragmatic (in telling us how things really are on the street), this has been an excellent discourse (even if we sense some irritation on both sides!)

Dave - if ordered to "drop the gun", the most likely reaction I'd have is to yell back I will disarm and drop the gun!, then keeping the muzzle in a "safe" direction drop the gun as instructed in a deliberately slow, smooth motion.

My preference would be to see or hear the arriving officers and just before they pull up, either re-holster the weapon or open the cylinder/lock the slide open... then raise my hands and wait for orders.

FWIW: I used to take the role "bad guy" at our local academy, even after I graduated. Mostly because I could stress the training scenario by being "compliant" in unexpected ways. Mixing up right or left, for instance. Or when told to kneel, break hand-on-head position to balance on one knee at a time. And when told to "show me your hands" I'd just briefly raise my hands, show them empty, then drop them down again. Compliant, but not really "smart".

In fact, one lateral transfer in an advanced course did shoot me (with blanks at least) when I showed my hands but failed to keep them displayed. And he was p-o'd when the instructor would not accept a "threat" justification because it is up to the officer to issue clear, concise and unambigious commands to maintain control of the situation.

And that's been my thinking on the subject for decades.
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Old July 31, 2008, 08:50 PM   #99
Erik
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"I'd certainly like to hear Scattergun Bob's take on this too, because it seems we may have the same control technique."

That's interesting, as I read his post as being completely in agreement with "Dave, Erik, Glenn, et al." Note the points he considered critic enough to bold and underline; they look familiar. Chalk it up to entering the analysis 80 some odd posts in with a damned good point, counter point posting.
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Old July 31, 2008, 11:15 PM   #100
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I am a little confused?

How did I become a 3rd wheel in Bill & Eric's debate? Sorry guys I am not interested in being on either side of this debate. Is that clear!

Bill - I can't respond to "the Meyer" variable of this little encounter we are trying to discuss. In my mind he is trying to set up a "no win" that says we have to shoot someone in the back, NO DICE I will not play.

Erik - Not quiet sure how to take your last post. My points are repetitive yes, I see that both you and Dave also say about the same thing. I already stated that Dave solved the problem, what else do you want? My response was based on the attitude of posters like Keltyke who seem to believe that they will have there wits about them and control the situation. I passed on what MY ATTITUDE was and mind set when I had to deal with man with a gun calls. Been telling folks to "comply and do it now" since 1978, guess that predates this thread by a day or two.

Notice that I did not lower my self to address / rehash the endless electrons concerning some shooting "tricks" that have been around for +100 years, remember there is nothing really new in the world of gun-handling, check out FAST and Fancy revolver shooting from the 1930's you will see both the pinch and the border spin. So I have read enough about you and Dave and Glen knowing these little "secrets" to last for awhile. If you are "still on the job" I respectfully suggest you focus on the LEFT HANDED gunmen since frequently street officers MISS that and is far more likely to occur than the border shuffle.


Gentlemen - I would love to discuss the difference between a LEO and civilian incident, if a reasonable one was put fourth. As a civilian no longer dogged by a Agency shooting policy/ yet no longer with the legal presumption and a shooting review board I find new meaning to the ideas of Reasonable force, Reasonable assumption, and the concept of self defense.
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