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Old November 23, 2008, 06:57 AM   #1
NPS,LE
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Showing yourself as "good guy" in defense shooting

Is there consensus about how you should identify yourself and not get shot by responding officers if you actually used your weapon to stop a life threat? Two cases: immediate action by you against an individual directly threatening you, and second case, if you intervened in some horrible thing like yesterdays Seattle mall shooting. The ability to show yourself to officers as a non-threat to them is critical. This is potentially more dangerous than the threat you just stopped. Especially, any of you cops, would like to know what is currently taught as agency policy on seperating good guys/bad guys on scene. I did a little law enforcement once and learned that on scene must assume "they are all lying."
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Old November 23, 2008, 09:04 AM   #2
Creature
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Holster your weapon. Be compliant.
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Old November 23, 2008, 09:10 AM   #3
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Holster your weapon. Be compliant.

+1 In your 911 call, good ID of you!
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Old November 23, 2008, 09:27 AM   #4
heyduke
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Quote:
I did a little law enforcement once and learned that on scene must assume "they are all lying."
Why you'll probably be brought in for questioning. That said, I wouldn't answer a question until I have my lawyer present, no if's ands or but's.

As far as not getting shot on the scene? As mentioned, be compliant.
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Old November 23, 2008, 09:45 AM   #5
ZeSpectre
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Yup,
Move SLOWLY, follow all instructions. Once the officer feels he/she has secured the scene THEN will come the time for everything else.

but

+1 on keeping your mouth shut for anything other than name, address, asking for lawyer.
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Old November 23, 2008, 11:42 AM   #6
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Describe yourseld on the cell.
Holster your weapon as soon as possible.
Then in order exactly what Mas instructs:
1. This man attacked me.
2. I will sign the complaint.
3. There is the evidence.
4. There are witnesses.
5. Officer you'll have my full cooperation 24 hurs after I speak to council.
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Old November 23, 2008, 12:33 PM   #7
Scattergun Bob
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David Armstrong shared his wisdom several months ago on this subject, it's worth a repeat.

"This is the routine we used to teach for our off-duty and/or undercover officers:
1. Holster gun if this can be done safely. Place hands in surrender position.
2. If not, hold gun above head with both hands in surrender position as officers arrive. Follow officer instructions immediately. Do not point, argue, make any sudden moves, etc.
3. Identify yourself as the good guy as soon as you can"

Thanks Dave.
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Old November 23, 2008, 01:25 PM   #8
BillCA
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Reholstering your weapon as soon as you can is a good first step. If time doesn't permit that and officers are already on the scene, then immediately either lay the gun down and put your hands in the surrender position or just put your hands up even with the gun. Follow their instructions and be compliant. No sudden moves.

In a situation like the Washington mall shooting, if you are behind cover with your weapon out, you also need to keep an eye out for arriving LE. They will not know if there is more than one shooter, so expect them to be nervous at the sight of your gun. If you heard LE arriving, reholster and cover it. If you are challenged, put your hands up immediately.
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Old November 23, 2008, 02:02 PM   #9
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Good description of the armed good guy and the armed bad guy to the 911 operator.

Remember that when LEO's arrive on the scene they don't know who is the BG and they are going to assume that everyone envolved, including you, are the the one's doing bad things.

If time permits have your weapon in as much of a non-threatening condition as the situation permits. If there is still a possible threat holster your weapon or have it nearby, but don't have it in your hands. If there is no more threat, as soon as you hear or see LE lay your weapon down and step away from it. If they respond before you can disarm yourself, hold the gun by the bottom of the grip or the slide. Don't hold the weapon in a manner that you can still use it. As soon as LE arrives stop aiming your weapon at the BG.

Follow all directions of the LEO's exactly. Move slowly, and keep your hands visible at all times. If you put your hands anywhere the LEO's can't see them, they are going to assume you are going for a weapon. Don't argue with them, or try to tell your side of the story until the situation has been neutralized.

As far as any statements go, I'd suggest tell them the basic story of what happened, and that you were acting to protect yourself or others against a lethal threat. They're going to question you, and if it's not a clear cut case of self defense the questioning will probably get a little intense and at that point I'd ask for a lawyer.

Above all, to make yourself appear like the good guy... be the good guy. Stay on your side of the law.


Personal story: Had a person that was up to no good on my property one night. They weren't doing anything that warranted me pulling my pistol, buy I had it on me when I intervened. Before I did so I told my wife to call 911 and tell them an armed citizen in civilian clothes was on the scene. The person left before LEO's arrived, so as soon as they left I handed the gun to my wife and told her to put it on the bed. When LEO's pulled into the drive way I kept my hands open and visible, and told them I was no longer armed. They took a statement and that was the end of that story. Had I kept the gun on me, it wouldn't have been that easy.

Just remember that if you are not LE, then as soon as LEO's show up on the scene, let them do their job. Don't try to do it for them.
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Old November 23, 2008, 03:30 PM   #10
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I think its common sense and basic knowledge as to what to do when the police arrive. If it is not common sense as to what to do, then I think you should study, research and train more before carrying a concealed weapon.

The truly hard part begins when the police start to question you about what happened. The police may act friendly and on your side, but its important to say nothing until you speak with an attorney...

The hard part is that saying nothing will probably get you arrested and you will spend the night (or maybe a few nights) in jail. The police might even be a little aggressive in their demeanor or use some type of persuasive techniques to make you talk. However, whatever happens, you should say absolutely nothing and give the police a straight face. Politely say that you will not answer any questions until you have a chance to speak with an attorney and provide them with any identifying information.

Now an attorney might cost some $$$ or they might appoint one for you, but in the end it is truly worth it. You dont know how the police might view this situation. You dont know if you actually broke a law. In your eyes a law may not have been broken and you may think you are justified in your actions, but others might feel very differently.

We all would like to cooperate with the police, but that cooperation might mean you being convicted of a crime with your own words used against you.

Even if it means getting arrested and spending a night at the lockup, do not say anything besides identifying information until you can speak with an attorney. Otherwise, you might just get charged with a crime and spend time in jail.

When you pull a weapon on someone, you are not the good guy until either the DA or a judge/jury says you are. Always expect to be charged and arrested when displaying a weapon in public.

Last edited by JohnH1963; November 23, 2008 at 03:43 PM.
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Old November 23, 2008, 04:52 PM   #11
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If possible, reholster your weapon before the LEOs arrive. Offer your ID and explain that you were the one who called (giving a complete, detailed description to the dispatcher). Follow their instructions. You may be handcuffed, your weapon may be confiscated, you may be jailed or taken to a station for questioning. Make NO statements to the LEOS except a VERY brief description of what happened, then POLITELY clam up and request a lawyer before any further questioning.
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Old November 23, 2008, 05:25 PM   #12
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I disagree. I think even providing the officers with a very brief description of what happened could be damaging.

Maybe one of the officers on this site can give us some insite as to what should be said and what they would do if they encountered a man with a gun in a scenario like this who informed them that he wouldnt say anything without an attorney.

I dont think police are generally out to get people or on witch hunts, but Im old enough to know how everything I say is usually being recorded or written down and sometimes thrown back at me in the wrong context. I've learned just to be quiet in certain situations.
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Old November 23, 2008, 08:00 PM   #13
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three feathers has done LFI or similar...hehehe

+1 on calling 911 to identify yourself VERY well, give permission to enter my home etc..

IMHO and it has been beaten like a horse..unless it is directly me/mine being forced to react, im the gray man...im not chasing any teeny-bopper gang bang wanna be thru the mall waving my gun yelling "im the good guy PLUUEEEEZZZE dont shoot me!"

otherwise i am polite but insistant that i will fully cooperate in 24 hrs but until then i will only speak to my lawyer.
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Old November 23, 2008, 09:10 PM   #14
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I was going to be at the mall yesterday when that happened but was forced to head back home for something. As for not chasing the guy like the above poster said, I wouldn't chase either unless he was offing people left and right.
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Old November 23, 2008, 10:04 PM   #15
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Yes threefeathers has done LFI I, is getting ready for LFI II, and was blessed enough to be with Mas and his wife for a week (last week). He is teaching an LFI course right now that should end tomorrow. He often visit's this site and could appear on this thread, but there are at least 4 of us from LFI here often. I'm going to IM fiddletown and have him give his 25 cents because he 'might' be related to a lawyer who attended LFI.
Just do exactly what I said to do. Next do not call your lawyer as your phone call, you'll sit in jail until they answer their answering machine if it is a night. Call your S O or a trusted friend who won't sleep until they have gotten you all the help you need.
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Old November 23, 2008, 10:42 PM   #16
Nnobby45
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I recently joined the new Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network.

I received 3 tapes, and one of them "Handling the Immediate Aftermath of a Self-Defense Shooting", offers some solid reasons why one may want to speak to the responding authorities enough to establish him/herself as the "good guy"--especially if deadly force was used.

There's a way to go about it, which is the exact opposite of blabbering your way into a murder charge.

Marty Hayes, John Farnum, Mas Ayoob, and Dennis Tueller are some names associated with the Network.

http://www.armedcitizensnetwork.org/9-2008.pdf
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Old November 24, 2008, 08:00 AM   #17
omnibus1967
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IANAL.............................

i would add a few thoughts on this. if anyone disagrees with me....that's OK.

as you're being questioned....every few minutes ask "am i free to go now?" if they say no and this goes on like that for more than 60 minutes.....consider yourself under arrest even if they dont say you are....you are!!. Also, if you are detained and then MOVED to another location....consider yourself under arrest. even if they just MOVE you to a prowl car and its door is locked on you (even if you are NOT handcuffed!!).
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Old November 24, 2008, 10:04 AM   #18
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OP topic is how to identify yourself after a shooting... The "be quite/don't trust police" topic is not what he asked about, and has been done to death on this board.


For me, after a shoot, I figure I'm going to have a good couple minutes to myself. BG's on the ground, people are fleeing, you'll be alone (unless you had friends or family with you at the time). I'd re-holster if it was safe and I'm sure the threats over, but only if I can do it right away. Last thing I want is a responding officer to see a guy fiddling with getting a gun in his waistband.

As soon as LEO's are on scene, they're going to come in with guns up and ready. I'll be the first one to call out "Good guy!" or something with my hands up in the air. Be ready to comply with whatever they need (except statements, obviously): they're probably going to cuff you until they figure out what's going on.

Best way to identify yourself as the good guy is to be on the complete surrender as they approach.
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Old November 24, 2008, 11:57 AM   #19
David Armstrong
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Quote:
Maybe one of the officers on this site can give us some insite as to what should be said and what they would do if they encountered a man with a gun in a scenario like this who informed them that he wouldnt say anything without an attorney.
Just like Mas said..."I'm the good guy, he's the bad guy, I'll file a complaint, I want my attorney." What would I do as an officer if someone lawyered up? I'd be sort of PO'd, but that is fairly irrelevant. The key is that you DO want to lawyer up.
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Old November 24, 2008, 05:48 PM   #20
Nnobby45
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Quote:
Just like Mas said..."I'm the good guy, he's the bad guy, I'll file a complaint, I want my attorney." What would I do as an officer if someone lawyered up? I'd be sort of PO'd, but that is fairly irrelevant. The key is that you DO want to lawyer up.
To parahrase Ayoob a little bit from Feb. '09 CH magazine--Self Defense and the Law:

When the police show up there are two kinds of people involved in the shooting. The victim and the aggressor. The fellow laying on the ground is already doing a good victim imitation, and failure to communicate can put the aggressor onus on you. The officers' report has much influence on what the DA decides.


Communicating what Ayoob describes as the 5 bare bones statements BEFORE lawyering up, might keep us out of jail. He attacked me, I'll sign a complaint, his weapon is over there, those people saw it, and you'll have my full co-operation when I've spoken with council. Make that four before you lawyer up.

Not dissimmilar to what the Police Assoc. tells officers involved in a shooting. Kind of speaking their language.

Blabbering beyond that could, indeed, be detrimental to your defense.

Again, that's paraphrasing Mas Ayoobs article (as I interpret it), in the current Combat Handguns mag.
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Old November 24, 2008, 06:32 PM   #21
JasonG
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As an addition I was told to have your ID in hand along with your CCW permit. This saves digging in a pocket for it as well shows you're the good guy.
Time permitting of course.
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Old November 24, 2008, 08:40 PM   #22
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfrey123
...Last thing I want is a responding officer to see a guy fiddling with getting a gun in his waistband...
Good reason to learn to re-holster with one hand and without looking -- and to use a holster that allows you to do it.

I was with Threefeather in Mas' LFI-1 class last month. The drill, as I recall, is basically:

[1] Holster the gun, but keep your hand on it until you see the first responding officer, at which time slowly raise your empty hands. The reason you keep your hand on the gun until the police show up is that there may be more BGs around or the BG down may decide to get up and try to finish what he started. If you're still holding the gun when the police show up and they tell you to drop it, then drop it. It'll get dinged -- too bad; but don't try to discuss or negotiate it with them. They won't be interested. Drop it on its side; it's safer that way.

[2] You don't want to just clam up. That's what the BGs do. You're a good guy. But you also don't want to start telling the whole story. You'll be shaken up. You've been under a lot of stress. It would be too easy for you to "put your foot in it." The police aren't necessarily your friend. They don't know you or what a splendid fellow you are. They would like to make an arrest, if they think they can make it stick, and they will do whatever they can, within the rules, to try to make it stick, if there may be a chance. Arrests that stick are good for their careers.

[3] So what you do say is:
  • That person attacked me.
  • I will sign a complaint.
  • Evidence is [indicate where there's evidence].
  • Witnesses are [indicate witnesses].
  • You'll have my full cooperation in 24 hours after I've talked with my lawyer. That's all that I can say now.

If you call 911, be sure to describe yourself. If someone else is making the call, ask him to describe you.

Take Mas' class. It's time and money well spent.
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Old November 24, 2008, 09:18 PM   #23
ZeSpectre
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Quote:
You don't want to just clam up. That's what the BGs do.
Unfortunately once someone starts talking after a stressful situation it's almost impossible to shut up.
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Old November 24, 2008, 09:22 PM   #24
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Fiddletown, did I get you the pics I took of Mas and Gail with my wife and I last week?
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Old November 24, 2008, 09:32 PM   #25
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeSpectre
..Unfortunately once someone starts talking after a stressful situation it's almost impossible to shut up...
That's why it's important to learn the script.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Threefeathers
...did I get you the pics I took of Mas and Gail with my wife and I last week? ...
I didn't see any.
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