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Old February 6, 2009, 07:40 PM   #51
Erik
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Mr. Meyer is correct.
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Old February 6, 2009, 08:54 PM   #52
BillCA
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that was an overstatement.
I think many of us (myself included) tend to think in terms of the ultimate outcome. I know very well that many gunshot victims survive their injuries and recover, with and without permanent disabilities.

The OP's question isn't really about shooting someone. It is actually an excellent question in that he is asking what to do if it turns out shooting is not necessary.

An example given in a training class was where you hear someone inside your home at night and when you peek into the living room, he's sitting on your sofa, with one of your beers, watching the TV. Worse, he is unresponsive to your commands at all.

In such a case, shooting him is not a legitimate action because he poses no immediate threat. Those who would suggest that his mere presence poses a threat have not had to deal with prosecutorial investigations or questioning.

Likewise, a street encounter at 10 feet where your attacker suddenly drops his knife/gun/club but does not flee when given the chance nor obey commands is not an immediate threat. [Though in such a case I'd be tempted to increase the distance between us.]
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Old February 6, 2009, 09:20 PM   #53
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The OP's question isn't really about shooting someone. It is actually an excellent question in that he is asking what to do if it turns out shooting is not necessary.
Exactly.

Quote:
An example given in a training class was where you hear someone inside your home at night and when you peek into the living room, he's sitting on your sofa, with one of your beers, watching the TV. Worse, he is unresponsive to your commands at all.

In such a case, shooting him is not a legitimate action because he poses no immediate threat. Those who would suggest that his mere presence poses a threat have not had to deal with prosecutorial investigations or questioning.
Right again.

We are given the natural right of self preservation. The law entitles to do what is necessary to preserve ourselves.

Our duty is not to use force to enforce the law and apprehend those who break it. We select, train, empower, and pay others to do so.

Nor is it to decide what constitutes due process. The second to last thing I ever want to do is shoot someone.
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Old February 6, 2009, 10:35 PM   #54
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Quote:
Note the influence of Garner v. Tennessee
...
Many people simply don't understand just how limited you are in using deadly force as a result of Tennessee v. Garner.
...
I *think* that will pass muster under Garner
Sorry guys, but Garner is a Fourth Amendment case which simply has no application to a private citizen. If it did, then it would preclude castle doctrines.

As for current Florida law you'll have to get an opinion from someone licensed there, but the rule used to be the common law rule, that a private citizen can make a citizen's arrest for a felony or breach of the peace. Even things like DUI and public intox have been found to be breaches of the peace. Again, do your own research or consult a FL lawyer.

As for whether a citizen should attempt an arrest, transitioning from gunpoint to going hands on is the most dangerous part of the job of a LE agent or officer. We spend a great amount of time practicing these, then learning what new countermeasures the human excrement have learned in jail or from their fellow gangstas, then learning new ways to defeat their countermeasures, over and over again. An untrained person is just asking for trouble attempting to "try to detain" a bad guy.

As for the other variations of the hypothetical, the answer is always the same, did the bad guy have the means, opportunity, and intent to do serious bodily harm to you or someone else. You can make a million hypos and you'll never get a definitive answer. There simply is no bright line test on which you can rely.

Last edited by nemoaz; February 6, 2009 at 10:52 PM.
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Old February 6, 2009, 10:58 PM   #55
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Sorry guys, but Garner is a Fourth Amendment case which simply has no application to a private citizen.
Correct. I was merely pointing out some nuances in the law as it relates to the use of deadly force in making an arrest.

Quote:
If it did, then it would preclude castle doctrines.
Nope. Castle doctrine has to do with use of deadly force in instances of unlawful entry of a residence. Nothing to do with siezure of an escaping suspect.

Quote:
As for current Florida law you'll have to get an opinion from someone licensed there, but the rule used to be the common law rule, that a private citizen can make a citizen's arrest for a felony or breach of the peace. Even things like DUI and public intox have been found to be breaches of the peace. Again, do your own research or consult a FL lawyer.
Good advice indeed.

Quote:
As for whether a citizen should attempt an arrest, transitioning from gunpoint to going hands on is the most dangerous part of the job of a LE agent or officer. We spend a great amount of time practicing these, then learning what new countermeasures the human excrement have learned in jail or from their fellow gangstas, then learning new ways to defeat their countermeasures, over and over again. An untrained person is just asking for trouble attempting to "try to detain" a bad guy.
Also a very good input, and much appreciated.
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Old February 6, 2009, 11:07 PM   #56
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the law in florida and texas changed by the demand of the people. you can shoot them in your yard running away even.. no kidding. there was some looting we have the most relaxed law now. but now they know dont step on properties with ill intent if you wanna live.
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Old February 6, 2009, 11:13 PM   #57
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In some places you'd be charged with kidnapping, regardless of whether or not the use or presentation of your weapon was initially justified.
What place are you referring to where drawing a gun on a person would be justified, but holding them for the law wouldn't be?

I've heard of neither criminal nor civil action against such an action. It may have happened, but where?
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Old February 7, 2009, 04:52 AM   #58
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This is not something that has a "one size fits all" answer.

Random mugger sees you are armed and flees as fast as he can is one thing, however a home invasion robber who turns away from you might still present a threat to others in the house.

Things get complicated fast.

+1 to what this guy said
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Old February 7, 2009, 09:48 AM   #59
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the law in florida and texas changed by the demand of the people.
Yep. Citizens can carry concealed, and both states have castle laws. In Texas, there's a provision that relates to property.

Quote:
you can shoot them in your yard running away even.. no kidding.
In Texas, yes, if they're taking property and you cannot stop them in any other way, but only after thirty minutes after sundown and before thrity minutes before sunrise. That law is controversial, and "demand of the people" may result in amendments. Don't try it in Florida.
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Old February 7, 2009, 10:07 AM   #60
OldMarksman
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What place are you referring to where drawing a gun on a person would be justified, but holding them for the law wouldn't be?
Many places. Consult a criminal trial attorney in your state.

My CCW instructor says that Missouri is one of them. When the immediate threat of death or serious bodily harm dissipates, the justification for using deadly force goes away.

Now, if there has been a serious felony, one may be justified in making a citizen's arrest, assuming high physical, criminal, and civil risk. One of the perps gets hurt or suffers from a medical emergency and there may be hell to pay. Again, talk to a knowledgeable trial lawyer in your state. Not the guy who does your will.

Quote:
I've heard of neither criminal nor civil action against such an action. It may have happened, but where?
There's no central data base for either civil or criminal trial court actions. I have read accounts on this and other fora.

I have no idea why anyone would want to expose himself to serious physical risks or assume the significant risks of criminal prosecution or civil liability to "hold them for the law"--particularly when there's a high likelihood that the assailants will be on the streets again in short order.

And that brings to mind the thought, and that's all it is, that somehow the citizen's actions might themselves provide the ammunition the perp's lawyer's need to get him off. Unlikely, maybe, and perhaps very unlikely, but why risk it?

In my case, as soon as the danger has passed I become a witness.
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Old February 7, 2009, 10:09 AM   #61
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deadly force

Its an interesting thing BUT Mass has a castle law.in that you can use force to eject an intruder up to and including deadly force.there was a case on this I believe in Watertown,Mass.and the shooter was released.
there is no better way to resolve this question than get a copy of the law.
all the posts on these sites gets you nothing but personal opinons.
I might note if the perp is dead he cant tell tales."why was he shot in back,answer:just as I shot he turned away."end of story.
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Old February 7, 2009, 11:21 AM   #62
Brian Pfleuger
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What place are you referring to where drawing a gun on a person would be justified, but holding them for the law wouldn't be?

I've heard of neither criminal nor civil action against such an action. It may have happened, but where?

I don't know if it has ever happened or not. I do recall a story posted here by someone about a guy holding illegal aliens that were stealing or killing his sheep. When the cops came they arrested the OWNER for kidnapping. True? I don't know.

What I DO know is that in the class I had to take to get my carry permit we had a Q&A with the county DA. He told us in no uncertain terms that our rights to carry is EXCLUSIVELY for protection and that ANY use beyond that, mentioning specifically attempting to hold or restrain the BG, would result in charges against us. The only exception is under NY law which allows for restraining or even shooting a BG who is not a direct threat but has committed certain crimes.


35.30(4)-

"4. A private person acting on his or her own account may use physical
force
, other than deadly physical force, upon another person when and to
the extent that he or she reasonably believes such to be necessary to
effect an arrest or to prevent the escape from custody of a person whom
he or she reasonably believes to have committed an offense and who in
fact has committed such offense; and may use deadly physical force for
such purpose when he or she reasonably believes such to be necessary to
:
(a) Defend himself, herself or a third person from what he or she
reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of deadly physical
force; or
(b) Effect the arrest of a person who has committed murder,
manslaughter in the first degree, robbery, forcible rape or forcible
criminal sexual act and who is in immediate flight therefrom.
"


He also made a special note that the "robbery" justification is not "attempted" but actual. In other words, some guy walks into my shop and says "Give me your money." I pull my gun and he runs, I can not shoot him. If one of my people gives him the money while I'm out back and I see him when I come up front I could, technically, shoot him. I wouldn't but I could.

To confuse matters there's also the law regarding trespassing which does specifically allow the owner to detain the trespasser, by force if necessary.
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Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; February 7, 2009 at 11:39 AM.
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Old February 7, 2009, 12:20 PM   #63
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There seems to be a general assumption here that if you are tried that you are required to provide witness against yourself. Let's not forget the 5th Amendment. Any good defense lawyer will grill and test his own client before ever letting them take the stand to provide an opening to a prosecutor. Unless you were grossly negligent in some manner, I'd have to imagine that popular opinion would also be greatly in your favor. That may not carry "official" legal weight, but don't think it doesn't help you with a jury.

As for what would I do? Assuming we're talking about a HOME INVASION (since NJ is anti-carry), well, unlike so many here that think they'll be recalling the LAWS during such a crisis period, I think I would be more focused on the safety of my family, laws be damned. For me, it would depend greatly on what the perp did, if they were armed or not, and/or if I felt they would be the type I'd worry about for the rest of my life every time I left the house with my wife & kid by themselves. I'd very much like to see the person either (a) taken away be the police or (b) dead if need be. Again, this is under the assumption the person went to the trouble to break into my house (not just on my property, but IN my house). I don't trust that the police would find someone that escaped. Injured perhaps, but not someone that just ran. Somehow I would feel that it was my CIVIC DUTY to ensure that the person was unable to go off to the next house and try again. Wouldn't you feel guilty if you let someone run off who you COULD have detained, only to learn that they later killed or raped or injured one of your neighbors, OR, god forbid, came back and did the same to one of your own family members when you weren't around? (I'll repeat again that I'm talking about a home invasion situation, not a mugging, not someone just in your yard.)

NJ is an anti-CCL state. That doesn't keep the criminals from carrying. I'd hate to chase someone off only to have to look over my shoulder anytime I ever went outside in the dark again. I'd also be incredibly worried anytime I left my wife & kid alone in the house thereafter. Threat reduction should include concerns about FUTURE possible encounters, affecting my family or someone else's.
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Old February 7, 2009, 03:15 PM   #64
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So I find the statement that they will be dead or whatever, not really realistic.
Glenn is right (as usual).
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Old February 7, 2009, 04:07 PM   #65
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I shot a running 6pt buck at 35 yards away straight thru the heart.
Much easier to make "Great" shots when the other side isn't shooting back.

Quote:
Folks say in many threads that if the BG is in their house, they will be dead.
Now I admit that I do not know every states laws concerning self defense shooting, but as a LE I would caution someone from making statement like "If he enters my house he is dead". I have no problem responding to a house where the homeowner defended himself and his family, and the bad guy died from it.

But remember one thing, the civil lawsuit that most likely will follow, will use statements like that to crucify you. Even if you win the suit, those statements can be costly. A perfect example of this is the North Hollywood Shootout. It didn't matter that the **** had just tried to rob a bank and kill numerous people, he was still the victim (Dirtbag) in the following civil lawsuit.

As a LE, I have several million in insurance to help with this type of lawsuit, and several other legal means to protect my family and assets, do you?

Just my opinion, If the **** is not a threat to my family, me, or someone in the immediate area, I would let him go and be a good witness.
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Old February 7, 2009, 10:54 PM   #66
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I might note if the perp is dead he cant tell tales."why was he shot in back,answer:just as I shot he turned away."end of story
Should the poster of this ever end up shooting anyone in an instance in which the evidence is not clearly to his benefit, this post will likely work against him. How could anyone explain that?

Even if the occasion never arises, I submit that such words do not help our cause one bit.

Quote:
Somehow I would feel that it was my CIVIC DUTY to ensure that the person was unable to go off to the next house and try again.
Sounds noble, but unless you know exactly what you are doing RE: citizen's arrest in your jurisdiction, better not try it. Even if you do, and even if you are not charged, convicted, sued, or injured, what makes you think the perp will not be out in a day or two anyway? What will you have accomplished? No one can ensure anything.

Quote:
Threat reduction should include concerns about FUTURE possible encounters, affecting my family or someone else's.
Not even a SWAT team is permitted to act on the basis of what might happen in the future. Without addressing the slippery slope of citizen's arrest, the citizen's rights to use deadly force extend only to what is immediately necessary and otherwise unavoidable to protect himself, family, and possible third persons from death or serious injury.

When one includes citizen's arrest, I submit that the safety of one's family may not be enhanced at all by such action. You now have someone with a grudge against you, and he may be on the street before you hear about it. And can you assume that you will still be free to protect your family and that you will still be able to afford to support them? The police are trained, authorized, and indemnified when it comes to detraining criminals. Citizens may be authorized under certain circumstances, but very few are trained, and none are indemnified.
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Old February 8, 2009, 11:05 AM   #67
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the law in florida and texas changed by the demand of the people. you can shoot them in your yard running away even.. no kidding. there was some looting we have the most relaxed law now. but now they know dont step on properties with ill intent if you wanna live.
Last time we lived in Texas, "he needed killin'" was a legitimate excuse for homicide.

Quote:
In Texas, yes, if they're taking property and you cannot stop them in any other way, but only after thirty minutes after sundown and before thrity minutes before sunrise. That law is controversial, and "demand of the people" may result in amendments. Don't try it in Florida.
The killing of a thief at night comes from the Bible 0 Exodus 22:1

Quote:
If a thief be found breaking open a house or undermining it, and be wounded so as to die: he that slew him shall not be guilty of blood. But if he did this when the sun is risen, he hath committed murder, and he shall die.
In other words, if the thief comes in the night and dies as a result of wounds inflicted by the homeowner it is not murder. But killing a thief in daylight is frowned upon. Later passages in the bible address "mortal combat", such as what one does when the thief changes from one who steals to one who tries to murder.
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Old February 9, 2009, 09:02 PM   #68
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They are either already gone (if they were quick) or waiting on the EMTs or coronor. I would rather they be gone, but people who do evil are not always using good judgement.
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Old February 15, 2009, 01:39 PM   #69
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....speaking just for myself as a common joe:

I have no reservations about using reasonable force to protect myself, family and friends. However, I do not have any obligation or plans to detain a bad-guy. In most instances, If he runs away then he is no longer a threat to me.

Being forced to shoot a bad-guy while he is trying to harm you in one thing.

Being forced to shoot a bad-guy during the course of trying to detain him, is something else.


That being said, if I felt that allowing someone to flee would put others in immediate-imminent lifethreatening danger, I "might" detain someone.
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Old February 15, 2009, 02:33 PM   #70
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If someone was pointing a weapon at you, then you would probably just sit very still. Would anyone here try to walk away from someone who is pointing a pistol directly at them?
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Old February 15, 2009, 09:07 PM   #71
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JohnH,

I don't think I would do that and I don't think many here would risk it either. But then, we are not criminals nor do we think like criminals.

Folks that have either had some kind of LE training or who have thought it through may go through the same drill upon catching someone -- Don't Move! Let me see your hands! Get on the ground, now! The thugs may interpret this as someone who is a "rules player" and the rules say you cannot shoot someone who isn't a threat. Thus calmly walking away means no threat & no shoot.

In the mid 80's, a sharp security guard stopped at a nearby liquor store for cigarettes. Just after his purchase, before he left the store, some guy came in to hold up the place, waving a Taurus .38 around. The guard challenged him from behind and he put the gun down. After the guard ordered him to the floor, he glanced back, then started calmly walking towards the door. His mistake was reaching for a 2nd gun and the guard double tapped him with a Beretta 9mm. We were eating dinner next door and heard the shots and we had to wait to get to our car. The BG was complaining to two of the cops though. "He shouldn't a shot me, man! Cops got rules. Cops got rules. You can't shoot someone in the f----- back, man! That ain't right."

From the bandages, it looked like one round hit above the left shoulderblade and the other in his right buttock.

But it shows some of the mentality out there. You, a good citizen, are supposed to play by the rules. He, the bad guy doesn't have to follow the rules and can be deceived and lied to.
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Old February 16, 2009, 12:28 AM   #72
David Armstrong
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If someone was pointing a weapon at you, then you would probably just sit very still. Would anyone here try to walk away from someone who is pointing a pistol directly at them?
I'd bet a lot of the LEOs here can tell of at least one experience where that has happened. BG just looks at yo with your gun out, laughs, and says "whatcha gonna do, shoot me?" and begins to try to leave the area.

For me, it is simple. I don't want the BG around. I want him to go away. The longer he is near me the longer he poses a threat to me and mine.
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Old February 18, 2009, 04:03 PM   #73
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I remain very surprised at the number of people that would like little more than for the BG to simply go away.

Whatever happened to "'The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing"?

Last edited by jg0001; February 20, 2009 at 12:59 AM.
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Old February 18, 2009, 04:54 PM   #74
Glenn E. Meyer
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What attempt to hold them?

Physical contact is risky. Shooting them seems the only other option unless you are a webslinger as compared to a gunslinger.

Also, cases of an economically motivated criminal returning to an armed household aren't common.
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Old February 18, 2009, 05:08 PM   #75
jg0001
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Why do we all assume the BG will just run on first sight of you? What if he won't? What if the BG WAS armed and you just drew on him first? Are you really going to let him just walk? Would ANYONE tolerate the same of the police?

God forbid any potential criminals come in here and read this thread. They would be emboldened to new heights of criminality. If even the gun nuts would just let a BG walk, what's to fear from anyone?

Criminal mindset becomes: *Hell, I can try and steal stuff (or worse) and the worst thing that will happen is I just walk. What's the downside? Maybe you describe me to the police and maybe they bother looking for me?*

Good thing you're all just thinking about your own safety and not the safety of anyone else in the neighborhood. I hope you don't live near me. I'm not saying I'd have the nerve or skill to hold someone at gunpoint, but I sure as hell wish I would do so if the situation came up. Do you think it will be any safer for the police to catch the BG later on compared to you already having him in your sights?
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