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Old June 11, 2005, 09:02 PM   #1
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Halt police Question?

I was watching one of the gun shows on tv the other day and they did something i often had thought about, but figured it was a bad thing, they were training for self protection. They had the people yelling halt police now, they were not police so could this be constrained to inpersonating a police officer? if said bg did give up then told police? I could see saying im placing you under citizens arrest but saying you're the police? I just don't know what are you're thoughts?
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Old June 11, 2005, 10:28 PM   #2
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It is often said that it will be heard as "Halt Please."

My tactic is different. I'm not going to "halt" anyone. If they are leaving the scene, I will be more interested in helping the injured than halting the BG. If I am in a situation where I have to stop someone from attacking me or a loved one, if I yell anything it will be "Stop". One chance. Failure to obey means I resort to force. Again, if they are leaving the scene, my role is saving lives, not suspect apprehension.

There have been valid arguments on this forum and elsewhere both for and against the phrase "Halt Police." My argument is if so many people actually hear "Halt Please" when you yell that, then just yell "Halt Please" and maybe the BG will hear "Halt Police." In other words, why take the chance of an impersonation charge if it's not necessary. Again though, the more important thing to do is save lives in my way of thinking. Apprehending the suspect may mean that you are leaving people to die.
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Old June 11, 2005, 11:21 PM   #3
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Impersonation charges depend a lot on your states laws and the DA's feelings on the matter and the situation in which it cropped up...

I've seen trainning like this before too, but the phrase used was "Stop Police!" It was explained to us that they chose stop over halt because people sometimes can't remember what the word means under a load of adrenalin. But Stop is basic enough and so often used from childhood on up that they will recognize it. It also can be construed by witnesses as being a response to an attack or offensive action. They hear it and transfer meaning to it: "Stop what?" - hitting me, running away, hitting the victim, etc... Halt deffinately is a command to quite moving and moving isn't always seen as a bad thing. Thier position was that Stop was more universal and would more likely be heard by the suspect and others in hearing and those overhearing it may infer urgency even without actually having to see what happened.

"Police" - yep they talked about it being interpretted as "Please" too. But the class's emphasis was on what might work quickest and to best effect in a life or death situation. "Police" was chosen because it might quell a badguy faster into believing the jig was up and he should stop... They also discussed the possibility that it could push him over the edge in the wrong way too...

End result - choose your words carefully and with reason. Then stick to them and train with them a lot so they will actually come out when you need them.
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Old June 12, 2005, 11:34 AM   #4
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I was told in training many years ago the word Halt/alt is understood as a word meaning stop by many languages. In recent years while under direction of a private range/shooting instructor, I was urged to try to break that (halt/alt drop your weapons) He said just yell stop......if your at the point in the attack your yelling stop......bad guy has shown Intent, Capability and Opportunity.... Yell stop.... If he does you might have a moment to order him to lay down weapon but don't count on it....He could be stopping to raise his sights on you to try to kill you.... Seems a lot of it is legal issues for the day in court if you survive and BG's family is now looking for a huge settlement.....
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Old June 12, 2005, 10:17 PM   #5
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I think XavierBreath has the right mode on this scenario: you can only defend your life/someone near, etc., . . . OR, . . . you can attend to the victims.

It is not our "sheepdog" call to try to apprehend these dudes, . . . just keep em from hurting more sheeple.

I tend to have the ability to endure much, . . . even let stuff slide that others would not, . . . but if I am to the point that I am clearing leather, . . . the bg better have good ears to hear the 1911 safety going off, . . . because that is probably the last noise I will be making before the boom/bang starts.

You gotta remember, . . . CCW does not equate with becoming a part time, voluntary LEO, . . . it is purely and singularly a defense mechanism. Trying to apprehend or stop a bg that is clearly trying to vacate the premises, . . . it can only lead to some kinda trouble that you really don't want.

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Old June 13, 2005, 03:22 AM   #6
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I'm sorry i should have clarrified what i meant was thinking it but never typed it! This was used as the BG was approaching you attacking you ect. I guess it could also fall under protecting someone else. Stopping a BG that is running away would never have crossed my mind I would definetly agree with XavierBreath. I really don't think i would say anything if being attacked im more of a just reaction person in a situation like this i'd be suprised if i had time to exchange words( if you got time to exchange word you probually got time to get out of there or you better start backing off to put more space in between you and BG). I as a CCW holder can't see saying halt police or stop no matter what its gonna sound like. In my eyes im not a cop and some BG resent authority even more. i guess i just thought it is wrong to present you're self like that. I could see stop ill i shoot, etc.
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Old June 13, 2005, 07:12 AM   #7
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Is "Halt Police" impersonating an officer? That will undoubtedly boil down to whether or not somebody reported it to the police, that they didn't appreciate it, and you went to court. If the judge thinks yelling such a thing is common terminology used by police to identify themselves, then he may decide you were impersonating an officer.

You could argue, however, that you were yelling "Halt!" and then realizing an immediate need for help, you realized that you needed to yell for that help and so you yelled, "Police!"

As noted, "Halt Please" is an option, assuming anyone actually hears you say Please versus Police.

A year or two ago, a guy that owned some commercial rental property had a problem with burglaries. So he staked out the property while wearing a vest with the word "POLICE" on it. As I recall, he was armed with pepper spray and a handgun. Events went down and he had an altercation with the bad guy. The police arrived on scene and the property owner was cited for impersonating a police officer because, it was said, he identified himself as an officer. However, it turned out that he did not identify himself as an officer and apparently wear a vest with the word "POLICE" on it does not identify you as an officer. It is just a word with no context.
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Old June 13, 2005, 08:33 AM   #8
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Well, I wasn't impersonating an officer. I was calling for an officer and telling them to stop. I was adreneline charged from the tense situation and it came out in the same breath.

Whats the problem?
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Old June 13, 2005, 08:34 AM   #9
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I imagine that if you get scrutinized for using the words, "Halt Police", then you can always burst out at random and inappropriate times during interrogations and the trial with the words, "Halt Police," and claim to be suffering from Tourette's Syndrome.
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Old June 13, 2005, 08:41 AM   #10
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How about "Halt! Police! Call the Police!"

Pretty much immunizes one from an impersonating an officer charge.
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Old June 13, 2005, 09:16 AM   #11
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Being a criminal defense lawyer for 30 years and a part time municipal court judge, I pondered your question and discussed it with my colleagues (all ccw supporters). Our unanimous opinion is that in a life threatening situation your actions are much more important than your words. Of course there may be something that crosses the " legal line " that you might utter but in my opinion yelling "halt police" or " stop police" isn't going to get you there. If the BG stops without your need to pull the trigger I don't know any judge or prosecutor who is going to second guess you or nit pick for a possible violation. Somewhere in America that MIGHT happen but certainly not in my world. The courts around here bend over backwards to protect victims, not prosecute them. Unfortunately I can not speak for all of my fellow lawyers and judges, there are plenty of fools in all professions. But, In real life we try to focus on the real criminals. I do agree with the others who caution that it isn't our job to stop fleeing felons, but when you're faced with deadly force you should use your training and judgement to prevail and worry about the details later. That's what lawyers are for. ( P.S. I like the Tourette syndrome defense! )

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Old June 13, 2005, 10:01 AM   #12
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And the award goes to:

Well, I wasn't impersonating an officer. I was calling for an officer and telling them to stop. I was adreneline charged from the tense situation and it came out in the same breath.

Whats the problem?

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Old June 15, 2005, 01:39 AM   #13
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In my time as a LEO, I have never heard anyone say "Halt- Police!" We often joke about it, but would probaly be joked ON if actually said it.
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Old June 15, 2005, 02:15 AM   #14
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I've never heard of 'Halt' - we don't do that here (in Australia) just 'Police' and then the command. Depends on the circumstances.
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Old June 15, 2005, 08:26 AM   #15
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Sometimes in a critical situation you hear differently. In a Fire Fighting Class the instructor told me to "Hold Up", I thought he meant to raise the fire hose. He quickly reverted to saying "Stop", which I did.
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Old June 15, 2005, 09:06 AM   #16
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Halt Police.


It would depend as to why you're identifying yourself as a police officer. Is it to effect an arrest, is it some last ditch effort to get bg's to leave a situation, or are you using peace officer powers in any way that would be deemed as impersonation for the purposes of personal gain?

If purely in a self defense situation, I don't know of any "reasonable" person that would fault you for anything you said in an attempt to get out of a life-threatening/ personal safety ordeal. You just can't identify yourself as such with the intent of acting in that capacity.

Good luck and I wish you well.

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