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Old January 18, 2015, 12:16 PM   #26
afone1
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As much as I would like to help a victim, there are too many liabilities in it. Sounds cold, but it is what it is. I'm simply not going to put myself through possibly facing criminal charges, or having to spend thousands of dollars on attorney fees to defend myself. Also possibly having to pay a settlement to the perp or his family.
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Old January 18, 2015, 02:29 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James K
but in any other situation (armed robbery, say) an armed citizen who intervenes would risk arrest.
I don’t believe this statement is correct either.
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Old January 18, 2015, 02:59 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by James K
but in any other situation (armed robbery, say) an armed citizen who intervenes would risk arrest.
I thought "scenario" threads weren't allowed, and this one seems to be full of false information
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Old January 18, 2015, 03:16 PM   #29
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Watching a child be kidnapped would be pretty difficult IMHO. I'm not saying i'd act but it would be a very difficult thing to be passive about.
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Old January 18, 2015, 03:36 PM   #30
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Watching a child be kidnapped would be pretty difficult IMHO. I'm not saying i'd act but it would be a very difficult thing to be passive about.
Contrary to the folks noting that a CCW does not make you a police officer which is true, it does not mean you are obligated to stand by and watch or hide. You have the same rights before and after getting the CCW to intervene if you deem it necessary, but you are not obligated to do so.
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Old January 18, 2015, 03:42 PM   #31
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its also worth noting here that "intervening" on something does not mean using your gun or other deadly force.
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Old January 18, 2015, 04:23 PM   #32
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its also worth noting here that "intervening" on something does not mean using your gun or other deadly force.
I don't see that a necessarily true. All "intervening" means is that the act is still ongoing. It has nothing to do with what level of force you might need, or use.

Most, if not all states allow the use of deadly force to prevent death or serious injury to third parties. However, the key here is "prevent". If the event has already happened, and is over, you are not justified using force, deadly, or otherwise.

(to simplify) If a mugger has knocked granny down, taken her purse, and is walking away counting her (now his) money, you, as a CCW civilian are not justified shooting him. (no threat to you, attack on granny is over)

If he is STILL in the process of kicking in granny's head (or if he comes back to do so -and its clear that is what he's trying to do) THEN you have legal justification for the use of (deadly) force. You still might wind up in court, if you do, but you will at least, have a defense.

(I'm NOT a lawyer, this is not legal advice, it is my opinion, and worth what you paid for it)

Also, where you live, and general attitudes (and particularly the attitude of your local DA) make a difference in whether or not charges will be brought, even when you are fully justified.

Here's an example from many years ago, a guy pulls into a mall parking lot, and sees a guy beat a woman to the ground, and then shoot her several times as she law on the sidewalk. Bad guy waves gun around, while going to his car. Gets in his car, still waving gun. He points the gun at our guy (imminent threat) and our guy fires one shot. Bad guy drives away, but crashes his car near the parking lot entrance. Dead.

This did go to a Grand Jury. After the dust all settled, the good guy was found guilty of one thing. "Usurping the Authority of the State of Texas". (acting as judge, jury, and executioner). IIRC, no further charges were brought. He was NOT justified in shooting the bad guy for the murder, but he WAS justified shooting when the killer pointed a gun at him.

Had this same thing happened in New York, Conn, Mass, or some other place, the legal results might have been vastly different, despite the provision in law, even in those places allowing for legal self defense.
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Old January 18, 2015, 04:44 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by 44 AMP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koda94
its also worth noting here that "intervening" on something does not mean using your gun or other deadly force.
I don't see that a necessarily true. All "intervening" means is that the act is still ongoing. It has nothing to do with what level of force you might need, or use.

Most, if not all states allow the use of deadly force to prevent death or serious injury to third parties. However, the key here is "prevent". If the event has already happened, and is over, you are not justified using force, deadly, or otherwise.
I think you might be proving my point. If the key word here is "prevent" then wouldn’t you still have the right to "prevent" the suspect from escaping. Technically the event is not over until the suspect successfully gets away. I’m not an advocate of citizens arrest but based on the scenario presented by the mod (ahem...) something "really bad" happened to the victim and you witnessed everything, don’t you have enough probably cause to justify "intervening"?

(note, this is academic for me. What I would do is be a good witness since the (presumed) physical harm to he innocent is already done)


Quote:
Gets in his car, still waving gun. He points the gun at our guy (imminent threat) and our guy fires one shot. Bad guy drives away, but crashes his car near the parking lot entrance. Dead.

This did go to a Grand Jury. After the dust all settled, the good guy was found guilty of one thing. "Usurping the Authority of the State of Texas". (acting as judge, jury, and executioner).
I don’t want to hijack the thread but somethings not right with this all I can say is I understand the point of what your saying here about the general attitude of where you live.....
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Old January 18, 2015, 10:53 PM   #34
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wouldn’t you still have the right to "prevent" the suspect from escaping. Technically the event is not over until the suspect successfully gets away.
I don't see it that way, and I think you would have difficulty convincing a jury of that as well. First off, I think your definition of "over" needs reassessment.

There is a point where the crime (that we, as citizens have the right to use force to prevent or end) is over, and it is well before the perpetrator leaves the scene, or doesn't.

The law will look very closely at their definition of the endpoint, not yours. And if you use force after the point where THEY consider it justified, you will have your day in court to answer for it.
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Old January 18, 2015, 11:41 PM   #35
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If the key word here is "prevent" then wouldn’t you still have the right to "prevent" the suspect from escaping.
No. With only limited exceptions, the use of deadly force is only justified to prevent serious bodily injury or death, only when the threat is imminent and only when there is no other reasonable option available.

Even in TX where there are some exceptions to that rule, using deadly force to prevent someone from escaping after a crime is legally very shaky ground, only legal in very limited circumstances and even then only when there is no other reasonable option. Even if everything goes your way, expect a criminal trial and figure that a civil suit is a given.

You can certainly try to prevent someone from leaving the scene, but if you do so with deadly force, it will likely be a criminal act and, depending on the circumstances, it might even allow the person attempting to leave to use deadly force against you and claim self-defense.
Quote:
I don’t want to hijack the thread but somethings not right with this...
The case happened in my area and I remember it. The case took place before there was a CHL law in TX (no legal provision for concealed or vehicular carry of a handgun) and the person shot the murderer with a handgun he had in his vehicle. In addition, the person who shot the murderer also left the scene and didn't turn himself in for days. Finally, the person did not realize that the murderer was attacking his own wife and (according to reports at the time) believed that he had witnessed either a random act of violence or part of some sort of rampage. In other words, there were a number of reasons why the case was more complicated than it might have been otherwise.
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Old January 19, 2015, 12:56 AM   #36
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44 AMP, your explanation makes sense. I agree

JohnKsa, I wasn’t suggesting using deadly at that point to detain the fleeing suspect. But also your explanation of the complications of this makes sense and I agree.

Everything I have read or studied on intervening in a crime suggests don’t do it. Its a harsh reality to face especially if one felt they witnessed something so clearly. There are many reasons why something so clear it not always what it seems. There was the recent case of the home-owners that later on happened upon the thieves that stole from them and they held them at gunpoint till officers arrived and were praised for their actions in the media when I had several questions as to the legality of what they did.

Anyways, so whatya gonna do? nothing except be a good witness.
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Old January 19, 2015, 09:28 AM   #37
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Not to throw a wrench in this, but the assumption that police would hesitate to shoot the attacker as he is walking away is not necessarily correct. If he was still armed, had just committed a violent crime, and refused to obey verbal commands, an officer would be solidly within the realm of Tennesee v. Garner to shoot him.
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Old January 19, 2015, 10:43 AM   #38
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James, interesting question. As a retired L/E, what my feelings and past training are willing me to do, and what I like to think I would do are quite different.

I hope I would do the following, direct someone to call 911 NOW, advise actor he needed to stay in area. If actor refuses I will would dial 911 and advise I was following actor and would advise if location changes. I would also make it very clear to actor that I was retired L/E was armed, and any attempt to attack me would force me to use deadly force to defend my life.

Added comments:


Quote:
Under most state laws, an armed citizen has no authority to stop an act of violence against anyone but him/herself or family
That statement is wrong. You can use deadly force to protect yourself or ANOTHER from death of serious bodily harm. Does not have to be a family member. The wisdom of intervening in a third party event is another story. But you have the legal ability to do so.

In the Two different states I worked as an L/E, and the three I've resided in, sharkbite is correct. Do though understand that in addition to spending a lot time with the locals, the D.A. get ready for the civil lawsuit.

Last edited by old bear; January 19, 2015 at 11:00 AM. Reason: added comments
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Old January 19, 2015, 11:21 AM   #39
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Not to throw a wrench in this, ..... an officer would be solidly within the realm of Tennesee v. Garner to shoot him.
Maybe....today....
I don't know the case you are citing, but from context, I get a general idea, and I will say that while an officer may be within the boundaries of law, he also has to KNOW that, before pulling the trigger.

Remember the situation we are discussing here, (stopping a retreating/fleeing perpetrator, who is NOT presenting an immediate threat to others) this is a situation where, generally the armed individual is NOT allowed by law to use deadly force, and the LEO, MAY BE.

But it depends very much on the specifics of the situation, and, generally, today, absent a specific immediate threat, officers are expected to use some other means to apprehend the suspect, other than shooting them.

Just checked a summary of Tenn v Garner, and it said officers may NOT use deadly force to apprehend a suspect, outside of certain conditions (threat to others, etc.,) but may, if those conditions are met. I also note the law comes from 1985.

I see it as a good thing that there is a Supreme Court ruling on this subject, as before that, we had a tremendous hodgepodge of varying rules, by state, and even locality.

The Rules of Engagement (ROE) matter A LOT! There is a set for us, as private individuals, and a different set for LEOs. The point of laws setting out these rules for us is to ensure the greatest congruity between what is morally justifiable and what is legally justifiable. Despite generations of work, it is still an ongoing process, and there are significant areas of divergence still. We are getting better, overall, I think, but we aren't there, yet.

in the Garner case, a youth was killed fleeing from a burglary. The police were within their ROE, and so, within the law, but as the High Court's ruling confirmed, the shooting was not morally justified.

Here's a case showing the other side of the coin. In the early 70s, Robert Garrow brutally stabbed to death three teenage campers in the Adirondacks. He escaped into the woods, known to be armed with both a rifle and a handgun. The manhunt went on for weeks, with all available resources, including large numbers of "civilians" looking for him. He was spotted several times by officers, but escaped each time, because of the officer's ROE.

At that time, NY police were forbidden to fire unless fired upon. Everyone knew that. Garrow while armed, was smart enough to never even point a gun at the police. This was a situation where (most of us believed) it would have been morally justifiable to shoot him, but it was not legally justifiable under the existing ROE. For the Police. (those ROE's were later changed due to public pressure over this matter)

Garrow was taken, by a Conservation Officer (game warden) who shot him 5 times with his shotgun, striking him with several pellets. The CO was NOT under any rule to only fire if fired on. Garrow's injuries left him confined to a wheelchair, and he was convicted and sent to a min security prison. Several months later, apparently no where near as injured as he pretended, he went over the wall one night. Word went out and the hunt was on, again. A few days later, his body was found in some woods a few miles from the prison. Shot multiple times, with at least three different caliber weapons. IIRC, they never caught who did it....

IF you carry a gun, there are two critical things you must be aware of. The first is exactly what are your legal ROE.

The second critical thing is knowing if there is a difference between what you can do, and what you should do, in a given situation.

Generally, the best course for most of us is to leave law enforcement (apprehension and arrest) to the professionals.

The laws allowing us to use deadly force in defense of self and others, including castle doctrine laws are not a hunting license, nor do they in any way deputize us to be LEOs. They are intended to be a legal protection for us, against prosecution, in the event we have to use deadly force, spelling out the framework for what is, and is not justified.

Getting back to the OP, what would you do if the bad guy just walks away? I know what I should do, be a good witness is the wise choice.

However, I must be honest enough to admit that what is the wisest choice in a given situation may not feel like it, or be easy.
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Old January 19, 2015, 11:37 AM   #40
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There were two fairly recent cases, which I thought were the same case as they were so similar involving armed robberies at Dollar General stores. In both cases, the perps had clerks kneeling and pointed gun at their heads, and were then shot by armed customers at that point. One died, one lived. In both cases the familys of the perps reasoned that the good samaritan had no business "butting in" since the gun was not pointed at the armed citizen, and the robber was "a gut boy wouldn't hurt anybody". Charges were not filed by law enforement against the armed customers in either case. I believe one was in AR. I think the other was GA, but I'm not sure.
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Old January 19, 2015, 08:30 PM   #41
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It depends on a lot of things:

What is the very bad thing that happened?

Is the suspect armed, and is he escaping by means of a deadly weapon?

Is there probable cause to believe that others may be harmed if the offender is not immediately apprehended?

What is it that you are thinking at the time? You have just witnessed something very bad happen to someone. Can you reasonably explain your actions?

These are just a few examples of decisions that sometimes have to be made in a fraction of a second, yet others will have the luxury of time to examine your actions under a microscope.

Whatever you think you would do, you better make sure you are right, and you better make sure you can explain it without saying...Ummmm.
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Old January 20, 2015, 11:49 AM   #42
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In Ohio you may use force, including lethal force, in defense of a third party WHERE THAT PERSON WOULD BE JUSTIFIED USING THAT FORCE IF THEY COULD.

So, if that person initiated the encounter or escalated it they would not be justified in a use of force, NOR WOULD YOU IN THEIR DEFENSE. That does not consider what you assume. Your assumptions might get you locked up.

Let's understand that when the guy is walking away the element of jeopardy is gone. We the enter into the realm of preclusion. (I.E. is there a reasonable option of use of a lesser level of force or eliminating it) In this case letting him walk away is preclusion.
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Old January 20, 2015, 01:47 PM   #43
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Quote:
Let's understand that when the guy is walking away the element of jeopardy is gone.
No, let's not understand this because this is what gets some people injured or killed. When a person is headed away from you, the element of jeopardy certainly may remain. It is easy to know, after the fact, that a person was walking away when they continue to walk away, but what you don't know at the time of the event if that person is simply moving to a better position or is moving to harm another.

As long as that person still has the opportunity and means to harm you, there is still jeopardy. You may nor may not be able to use lethal force at that time according to your state laws, but do not assume that you are not in jeopardy. Too many robbers have turned around and fired while "leaving" or fired while running away.

http://www.live5news.com/story/27361...empted-robbery
Quote:
A report states the employee and a customer chased after the suspect, who fired off three rounds while running away.
http://www.ozarksfirst.com/story/d/s...x0yazYTcnGYh-A
Quote:
Investigators say the suspect fired back multiple times while running out the door, but no one was hurt.
These guys were firing on the way out...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EVN3nqlIIzo

Just because the bad guys are going away does not mean there is no jeopardy. To think otherwise would be naive.
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Old January 20, 2015, 01:57 PM   #44
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Being a good witness is probably the best advice for a perp walking away, but I think I'd have a really hard time with that if he had just walked out my front door and had some of my valuables still in his hands. No, it would NOT justify deadly force, but it could likely result in a confrontation, and a reaction that might justify it. This is where local law enforcement attitude can vary greatly between the two extremes of expecting you to watch somebody cart away your belongings to physical intervention that could be interpretted as escalating the situation into a deadly outcome. You can't shoot somebody to save your jewelry box, but you might have a better chance or arguing that while trying to save your jewelry box, the thief pulled a knife on you, etc. and you defended yourself. A "good witness" who takes camera phone pics or even yells at a fleeing perp as the potential of then being attacked, and a defense claim at that point.

One thing they installed in our CCW class was that no one can give you permission to shoot based on thought out scenarios in advance. If you shoot, you will have to defend yourself to authorities and seek retroactive permisson after the fact. You cannot predict how different prosecuters would view the same set of circumstances. Your first obligation is to survive.
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Old January 20, 2015, 02:15 PM   #45
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Everyone on the planet has a cell phone with a camera. Call 911 and use the camera function.
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Old January 20, 2015, 02:20 PM   #46
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Generally, you can shoot, use deadly force to stop violence but not to keep someone from leaving after the crime has been committed, unless you are a cop
That does depend somewhat on jurisdiction, but its a good overall rule.

EDIT: Its always good to note here Texas women always have the "he needed killin your honor" defense. I've never found the actual statute, but thats what my wife told me...

Last edited by zincwarrior; January 20, 2015 at 02:40 PM.
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Old January 20, 2015, 02:29 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by zincwarrior
...not to keep someone from leaving after the crime has been committed, unless you are a cop...
Much of the time not even if you're a cop. See Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U. S. 1 (1985).
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Old January 20, 2015, 02:48 PM   #48
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Posted by TimSr:
Quote:
... I think I'd have a really hard time with that if he had just walked out my front door and had some of my valuables still in his hands.
Few, if any, people have enough in the way of valuables to cover the expenses that would follow the use of force in a situation that would lead to a criminal investigation, prosecution, and trial, or that would be required in the event of civil proceedings.

Quote:
A "good witness" who takes camera phone pics or even yells at a fleeing perp as the potential of then being attacked, and a defense claim at that point.
Thin ice.
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Old January 20, 2015, 03:38 PM   #49
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Everyone on the planet has a cell phone with a camera. Call 911 and use the camera function.

That is not true, Zinc warrior. There are still a few of us holdouts left.
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Old January 20, 2015, 03:57 PM   #50
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Quote:
A "good witness" who takes camera phone pics or even yells at a fleeing perp as the potential of then being attacked, and a defense claim at that point.
Quote:
Thin ice.
Please explain. I witness a crime. The guy is leaving and I take his picture. He sees me do it, and comes after me and says he's put my phone where it will cause me great pain. Did I escalate the situation and therefore, forfeit my right to claim self defense?
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