Products on www.Shieldlab.com


Alarm Monitoring

Alarm Monitoring

PPC Ad

Trustpilot Badge >

Women's Self Defense

Women's Self Defense

Members Online

134 Guests, 0 Users

Author Topic: What Police Say about Self-Defense  (Read 84636 times)

GaryV

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: What Police Say about Self-Defense
« Reply #30 on: July 29, 2007, 06:53:39 PM »
Some of the advice given here already is really good, some - not so much. Here's my 2˘...

First, if you ever do have to shoot (or otherwise kill or seriously injure) someone outside your house, don't ever move them inside! Yes, you do have a better presumption of justified self-defense inside your home, but there's virtually no chance that it won't be obvious if you move someone. The primary thing you'll be depending on to keep you out of prison and keep from losing everything you own in a civil case is your credibility with the police, prosecutors, the judge, and jurors - the people you need to convince that you were acting in a reasonable and justified manner. If you are obviously lying from the start, that credibilty, and your chances for anything like an outcome favorable to you in the least, just went out the window.

As to shooting someone in your house, you really need to study and learn extremely well the firearms and use-of-deadly force laws (including case law - the court decisions in deadly force cases) for your state. Anyone who owns or carries a gun for self-defense who doesn't do this is seriously irresponsible. Owning and carrying a gun is one of the most serious responsibilities you will ever take on, and not approaching it that way is the first best step to destroying your life, and potentially those of several others, including your loved-ones. While only addressing the laws of Florida, the best resource for understanding the laws of firearm ownership and use, and the use of deadly force is Florida Firearms Law, Use & Ownership; by Jon H. Gutmacher. It's a good start for anyone who wants to understand the nuances of the subject, though if you don't live in Florida, you absolutely need to find out how the law is different in your state!

In every state, the minimum standard for the use of deadly force for self-protection is a reasonable belief that the threat of death or serious injury is "imminent", where "imminent" means about to happen right now. The differences are in what constitutes reasonable belief. In some states (those that require you to attempt to retreat), your belief that the threat is imminent is not considered reasonable, even if the threat is obvious (a burglar with a knife or gun, for example), unless and until you have evaluated and exhausted your options for escape (it should be obvious that this is a recipe for unreasonably and needlessly turning a lot of people into victims - the old line that if you just give them what they want, they won't hurt you, is patently false, as demonstrated by countless cases where the victim is killed or injured after cooperating).

In other states, particularly those that have "Castle Doctrine" or "No Retreat" laws (including, by the way, California), you are not held to such an unreasonable standard, at least not in all situations. Despite the rhetoric, these laws do NOT give you the right to escalate or pursue a confrontation, they simply remove the absolute requirement that you make an effort to escape before defending yourself. You, as the victim of a violent crime, are given the presumption of innocence in self-defense cases, unless it can be shown that you indeed used unreasonable force (in other words, you're given the same assumption of innocence that every other person facing criminal charges has always had, instead of being assumed guilty if you defend yourself against violent criminal attack, which is what states like Illinois do to its citizens). In many of these states, your belief that a threat is imminent is now automatically assumed to be reasonable in certain situations. For example, in Florida, if someone "unlawfully and forcibly" enters or attempts to enter an occupied lodging (even a tent) or vehicle (such as during a burglary or car-jacking), you are automatically entitled to reasonably believe that they are an imminent threat, and act accordingly (with certain exceptions - like law-enforcement or cohabitants). This means you no longer have to wait until an armed burglar has you trapped with no chance of escape before you shoot him. These laws also generally protect you from civil prosecution if your actions are ruled reasonable self-defense.

As to the use of force outside your house, you are still entitled to defend yourself against imminent threat using reasonable (even deadly) force, even in public. The only thing that changes is that you are under more of a burden to show that your belief was reasonable in how "imminent" the threat was (while you might reasonably believe the home-invasion robber who just kicked in your door is an imminent threat even if you don't see a weapon, the guy at the ATM who demands your money, but who is not obviously armed, might require you to attempt other options before resorting to deadly force). Keep in mind though that the use of deadly force is never a simple or trivial thing. Even if you are completely in the right (let alone if you just "believe" so), you could still lose everything (a man in Florida who was recently acquitted in the use of deadly force still lost everything he owned due to legal expenses and spent 8 months in jail during his trial - even though he is free and now immune from civil litigation) or even go to prison for the rest of your life. But as was posted earlier, it may be a choice between "judged by 12 or carried by 6". Besides understanding the law to the best of your ability, if you own or carry a gun for self-defense, you had better carry the number of a good lawyer who specializes in gun and self-defense law on you at all times.

Security Monitor

  • Security Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 3390
  • Karma: +1312/-1
  • member: International Order of the llamas
    • View Profile
Re: What Police Say about Self-Defense
« Reply #31 on: July 30, 2007, 11:09:01 PM »
What can anyone say?  This was such a well written comment; it's worthy of everyone's reading.

One other item that should be mentioned is when looking at laws and such is the average person has to also understand how these laws are to be applied.  Gary, don't know if you know if this is Florida or another state, but I remember reading about a case where the home owner was denied the protection of the Castle Doctrine (even though it was an intruder) because it was successfully shown that the victim was "itching" to shoot someone on their property.  It's in line with the problems LEO's face with line-of-duty shootings.  Every aspect of every word, of every action they have ever done is scrutinized to see if they were predisposed to cross the line from peace officer to Rambo.  I'm sure Sarge can fill in how the officer’s third grade school yard fight becomes a character assassination or watching Gunsmoke reruns is made into some psychological need to shoot someone.

So, thanks for the well written post.

GaryV

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: What Police Say about Self-Defense
« Reply #32 on: July 31, 2007, 03:42:30 AM »
I don't know that specific case, but it does bring up a very valid point. Remember, if you ever do have to kill someone to defend yourself, you've just committed homicide. The question will then be whether the homicide was justifiable (such as by self-defense), or not. If it is determined that it was not, well, then you're going to trial on charges of manslaughter or murder. You need to keep in mind that which of the two different outcomes occurs has at least as much to do with how your actions, statements, and reputation are perceived by the police and prosecutors as with the actual events. You will know what happened, because you will have been there, but the police will have to draw conclusions from your statements, any witness' accounts, the physical evidence, and their impressions of what they learn during their investigation.  They'll probably also have the attacker's friends and family pressing for you to be charged. And you may very well be unfortunate enough to have officers or prosecutors who do not support private citizens using deadly force (especially firearms), and may have a predisposition to "see" things not in your favor. Because of this, you don't want to ever give the impression that you are anything but horrified by the prospect of killing someone (hopefully, that's true), and that it has only happened because you were left with no other reasonable option to defend your own life. If you like to wear T-shirts with catchy sayings like, "Kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out", you will probably want to change into something else before the police arrive!

This also brings up something I didn't mention in my first post. I did say not to move the body (or hide/destroy evidence), but what DO you do? Well, make sure you're safe, then call 911. Tell them that you were attacked and had to shoot (stab, etc.) your attacker to save your life. Tell them you need an ambulance and the police. Make sure to ask for an ambulance even if your attacker is obviously dead. It will be assumed that you are not qualified to make that determination, and asking for the ambulance gives the impression that you are actually concerned about the person's condition. You want to give EVERY impression that he/she FORCED you into this action, and that you were not looking for an excuse to blow someone away, because there are a lot of people who will assume that the latter is the case, simply because you own a gun or were willing to use deadly force - believe me, as SM said, even the police deal with that.

Even if the operator wants you to stay on the line, you need to make another call immediately. Once you're sure they have the information they need (address, name, etc.), hang up and get out that lawyer's number you had better have on you. Call your lawyer, and tell him/her that you had to kill someone in self-defense. Some lawyers will tell you not to say anything to the police. Others recommend that you make it clear to them that you are the VICTIM, and that the dead guy was the attacker. You could do this by saying something like, "He attacked me and the only way I could save my life was to shoot him." Either way, the only other words out of your mouth should be, "I'm really shaken up. I don't want to say anything else until I've had a chance to calm down and talk to my lawyer." No matter how insistant or friendly the officers appear to be, DO NOT GIVE DETAILS! You can tell them you were in fear for your life, or believed he had a weapon, but don't try to "explain" your way out of an arrest. If it's going to happen, it's going to happen, and running your mouth will just make things worse. Make it clear that you are too upset to talk. Cry if you have to (you might be anyway). It's not the time to try to look cocky or macho. If you say the wrong thing now, even if you think you are making it clear you were in the right, you will severely damage your lawyer's ability to help you.

Make sure that your weapon is out of sight BEFORE the police show up. They are going to be VERY nervous and hyped when they show up at the scene of a shooting, and if they see you there with a gun, you're likely to get shot. After all, they're just human too, and they want to go home to their families in one piece at the end of the day. They will be very aggressive toward anyone with a visible weapon, since they won't know much at first. Secure it in your car or your house (depending on where you are) if you can. When they do show up you will have to give it to them. It would be better if you do not have it on you, and can simply direct them to where it is. If you do have it on you, DO NOT REACH FOR IT! Keep your hands in clear view and TELL them where it is (you can answer questions about where things are, wh you are, etc. - just don't get into details about what happened). Let them get it. Keep in mind that even if you are totally in the right, you may very well be arrested. Cooperate completely (except in making detailed statements about the incident), be respectful, and wait for your lawyer.

I'm not trying to suggest that you'd be better off not trying to defend yourself. No matter what the negative consequences, they beat being killed or seriously injured by an attacker. Just don't forget that defending yourself might be the beginning of your troubles, not the end. The difference is that then it'll be your lawyer's turn to defend you - let him!

WB4GUD

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: What Police Say about Self-Defense
« Reply #33 on: August 07, 2007, 11:39:17 PM »
Gary V, if you aren't a cop, you should've been. Your advice is right on the money. I'm a retired LEO with 15 years behind me, thank goodness.

Mas Ayoob writes a column for Backwoods Living magazine. He recommends a holistic approach to home security. In short, don't depend on just an alarm system or just a guard dog or just high quality door locks or just a firearm. Employ all four. Having other defense mechanisms in place might help in court, shows that you have gone out of your way to avoid having to take a human life. That's partly why officers are trained in self defence, carry O.C., ASPs, TASERs, PR24s, etc. "I tried A, B, C and D and they didn't work. So I had no other choice."

Gary is right, if you shoot someone, you'll most likely wind up in court, either criminal or civil. LEOs count on going to court if they are involved in a shooting. Gary is also right about how to behave when the police arrive. All they know is that someone was shot and that they want to go home at the end of their shift. Make their lives and yours easier by not doing or saying anything you might regret. Saying something like, "I was placed in fear of my life" is pretty safe. Walking out of your house with your gun in your hand is considered bad form.

Finally, make sure that you know in your heart that you could take a human life if the situation calls for it. If you can't, or have your doubts, then don't have a gun. You can't know with 100% certainty, but if you have reservations, having a gun just gives the bad guy a weapon. Some of the bad guys aren't impressed with having a firearm pointed at them. The videos of police involved shootings are good examples of this.

Be safe,

Howard

GaryV

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: What Police Say about Self-Defense
« Reply #34 on: August 08, 2007, 12:41:39 PM »
Howard, I was an LEO for 5 years, and military before that. I guess it shows.

I agree totally with you and Mas, self defense is a continuum. As the saying goes, if the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, every problem becomes a nail. Guns are not the end-all be-all of self defense. As mjohnsonn mentioned earlier, a person with a knife (or any other close-in weapon, or even bare hands) can close a gap of 20-25 feet faster than most people could draw and fire a gun, so what the defender might have thought was going to be a gun fight might turn out to be a knife fight instead. Anyone serious about self-defense should get in good physical condition (and let's be honest, if you're really worried about your life you need to do this - you're a lot more likely to die from your diet and lack of exercise than from a violent criminal), enroll in a martial arts/defensive tactics class, and learn to use other weapons besides a gun. If you are truly defending yourself, the attacker will usually have his weapon out or attack planned before you, so being able to use some form of open-hand technique to defend yourself, or at least open up some space to draw your weapon, is a critical and necessary addition to being armed.

Also, if you do opt for a gun (along with your other methods), keep in mind that just because you shoot someone, the fight may not be over. Despite what every movie and TV show, and all the urban legends, would have people believe, guns (especially handguns) are not magic instant death machines that need only be pointed at your attacker to solve a problem. They don't usually "kill instantly", and there is no such thing as "knock-down power" (it's simple physics). Only about 10% of people shot by a handgun die from it, and most of them die later on their way to, or in, the hospital from eventual blood loss or infection. Even a shot with a large caliber handgun (.45, .44 magnum) directly through the heart may not incapacitate an attacker for 15-30 seconds, plenty of time to do significant damage (I've personally seen this happen in real-life). Training is the key, and it needs to include as many "tools" as possible to make sure that you are prepared for the unexpected.

And since this site is dedicated to security, not just defense, keep in mind that all the same principles that apply to securing your home apply to personal safety as well. Don't make yourself a target. Don't flash money or valuables. Always be aware of your surroundings. Don't park in or walk through areas where you could easily be ambushed. If a situation seems suspicious, don't ignore your instincts. Having a weapon, and the knowledge and training to use it, are very good ideas, but ideally you'll never need to use them.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2007, 12:48:05 PM by GaryV »

GaryV

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: What Police Say about Self-Defense
« Reply #35 on: August 08, 2007, 12:50:16 PM »
I don't know why, but no matter what I do, the system keeps insisting on changing the word in the last paragraph to "suious" instead of "suious", which is what I meant.

Okay, it's doing it here too...the word is S U S P I C I O U S

Security Monitor

  • Security Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 3390
  • Karma: +1312/-1
  • member: International Order of the llamas
    • View Profile
Re: What Police Say about Self-Defense
« Reply #36 on: August 08, 2007, 01:04:47 PM »
Gary, did you hear the news out of Cincinnati?  A pan-handler was shot and killed when asking for a quarter.  Guess the pan-handlers regular presence in front of this store was mistaken for a serious deadly threat by one person who pulled out their gun and killed him.

GaryV

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: What Police Say about Self-Defense
« Reply #37 on: August 08, 2007, 02:02:05 PM »
I just looked at this. Like I said, owning or carrying a gun is a serious responsibility, which means one needs to be responsible. There was also another incident yesterday when a police officer accidently shot and killed a 5 year-old boy near Oklahoma City, while trying to shoot a snake out of a tree (a stupid thing to do in any case). Tragedies happen (just like with cars), mostly because some people (no matter who they are) don't learn, understand, and take seriously the rules of safe and proper gun ownership and use (again, just like with cars). If you are going to own a gun, BE RESPONSIBLE ABOUT IT! Get training, practice, learn the safety rules and the laws about ownership and use, and never forget that it is a potentially deadly weapon that you must be in control of at all times!

The basic safety rules for guns are simple:

1. Treat every gun as if it is loaded, even if you know it's not! How many times have you heard of people being shot while cleaning a gun, or with a gun they thought was not loaded? Always assme they are. Always check, even if the person who just handed one to you checked just before doing so. It's loaded until you're certain that it's not. And even then, it still is. Period.

2. Never point a gun at anything you couldn't accept shooting! Sometimes this is stated as "never point a gun at anything you don't intend to shoot", but that's not realistic. The gun is always pointing somewhere, and most of the time you don't intend to shoot anything. Always be aware of where it's pointing, and don't ever let it point at something you couldn't live with shooting accidently, even for a second, even if it is unloaded (see rule #1).

3. Never put your finger in the trigger guard until you are ready to fire! This was the subject of all the Glock posts earlier. Modern firearms in good working condition have so many safety mechanisms built in that they simply will not fire unless the trigger is pulled. However, they WILL fire if it is (obviously). Keep your finger out of that trigger guard, no matter how many safeties your gun has, until you have a target in your sights and you are ready to shoot it.

4. Always be sure of your target and what is behind it! The first part should be obvious, as you shouldn't be shooting at something unless you know what it is and that it's something you mean to shoot. But don't forget that bullets can travel a long way, and you might not even hit what you are aiming at (most people, again because of movies/TV, think that it's a LOT easier to hit something with a gun than it is). This is the rule the cop violated yesterday when he shot that boy. The bullet doesn't always stop once it hits the target (if it hits it at all). Interior walls will not usually stop a bullet either (a HUGE consideration in home defense). Anything in the general direction of the target is in danger. A quote from a book on firearms (I don't remember which one now) that makes this point is that "there are no misses, only unintended targets." If you fire a gun, your bullet will hit something, even if you don't know what that is. Don't ever fire a gun unless you are sure of what you are likely to hit. People who train on a range need to remember that in real life there isn't always going to be a nice safe backstop put there by someone else.

None of this would have prevented the shooting of the homeless man, obviously, but murder is murder, no matter what weapon is used. The boy, however, would still be happily alive if these rules had been followed.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2007, 01:51:40 PM by GaryV »

ConnectNow

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 8
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
    • My Forum
Re: What Police Say about Self-Defense
« Reply #38 on: October 20, 2007, 10:38:17 AM »
Gary, did you hear the news out of Cincinnati?  A pan-handler was shot and killed when asking for a quarter.  Guess the pan-handlers regular presence in front of this store was mistaken for a serious deadly threat by one person who pulled out their gun and killed him.

In my opinion you have two types of people that own guns.

The first is the responsible person who follows all the proper steps of owning it, and knows how to use this as proper potection.

Then we come to the second, the not so bright people. (which even includes police officers) These are the people that are ready to pull their firearm at anything that moves, including the wind. They think their on top of the world because they have a firearm and think they know how to use it. But with these people their actually uneducated on the proper steps to draw their weapon. This is how all the "accidents" happen, like someone said before. They shoot a kid while trying to shoot a snake.......? I mean what's that? And that was a cop.

Connect Now
www.ConnectNowOnline.com
"A New Community"

Jscotty

  • Security Master
  • ***
  • Posts: 147
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: What Police Say about Self-Defense
« Reply #39 on: October 25, 2007, 07:01:51 PM »
A friend of mine is doing time after he shot an intruder.

He shot an an intruder who kept thretening him and would not leave his house. The intruder was a disgruntled ex-employee who wanted his last paycheck before payday. He held his cell phone under his T-shirt pretending as if it was a gun and kept thretening to shoot my friend. So after my friend called the cops and hung up the phone, he wasn't going to wait to get shot so he pulled out his pistol and shot the ex employee in the chest. The guy stumbled out the door as he thretened to come back with his gang and retailiate.

This was the kind of area where it typically took the cops 20 to 30 minutes to respond so my friend ran 2 blocks up the street to the main throughfare to see if he could flag down a passing police officer. I don't know how long he was standing on the main corner but when he got back to his house, the cops were there and he discovered that the guy collapsed and died on the sidewalk in front of his house.

He ended up having to make a plea agreement because he left the scene of the incident.

mjohnsonn

  • Security Guru
  • ****
  • Posts: 818
  • Karma: +13/-1
    • View Profile
Re: What Police Say about Self-Defense
« Reply #40 on: October 25, 2007, 07:37:59 PM »
So your friend had the time and ability to make a phone call.  He should have spent his time and ability getting away.  No wonder he's in trouble.

Rapt

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: What Police Say about Self-Defense
« Reply #41 on: November 02, 2007, 09:21:41 AM »
Interesting thread... Interesting that it was started by a Canadian...

But I have to disagree with rahnie about the "lack of gun culture" Canada making concealed carry unsafe here...

I'm Canadian. I had my first rifle and associated safety training when I was six. And all use at that time was closely monitored parental supervision. I am a current firearms owner, and safety instructor.  Most Canadians who own firearms are safe and have completed a minimum of one government mandated and laid out safety course. All of us have to fill out an extensive personal questionnaire that includes medical history mainly for mental illnesses.  Further there used to be a personal interview with local law enforcement. This has been replaced by a phone interview when the registry was brought in because they couldn't handle the extra work load AND interview people as well.

If you legally own handguns in Canada you have taken an additional 2 courses 1 government mandated and constructed and one mandated, but run by your sponsoring gun club. These BOTH require a proficiency test, with live fire on range. A test that MANY police officers in this country would have a hard time passing. It requires a certain level of accuracy. Finally most clubs also require a probationary period where you must shoot under direct supervision of a certified safety instructor who is a club member. As one of these people the most unsafe shooters I see are the "old boys" who dun learnned it from grampy and bin doin it for fifty years like that so it must be safe...

As I was saying MOST legal handgun owners in Canada have a very high level of proficiency and skill because the amount of work necessary to get one means you can't be anything but serious about it.  Most shoot regularly. There is no substitute for trigger time and training. I shoot virtually every week, at least one night. In the course of a year I fire between 5000 and 15000 rounds. Most of them handgun. This is a far cry from our police officers who are only required to "qualify" with their firearm once a year and may fire less than 50 rounds doing so.

Based on these facts I'd say that CCW in Canada would be extremely safe.

iverazzia

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 12
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: What Police Say about Self-Defense
« Reply #42 on: June 11, 2008, 08:37:55 PM »
I believe that we as Americans got the whole weapons issue all wrong. Try to obtain a gun in America - that'll take you 5 minutes, if you are slow. Try and get a gun anywhere else in the world - it'll take you weeks and weeks, and that's if you are fast and well connected.
Why do so many people in our country feel the need to carry a weapon? why in most of the western world - they don't feel that need?
I don't even trust myself with a gun - let alone trusting any of you or my neighbors or even my own children with it.

Oh, please!  The record of misuse by people with concealed carry permits is almost non-existent when compared with those who merely own guns in their homes.  Indiana is a "shall issue" state, meaning if you don't have a record they MUST give you a concealed carry permit. There are no "tests" nor "training."  Despite those "drawbacks," the streets of Indiana are not "running red with blood," as liberal commentators said would happen.  Most of the violence and killing in this country are because of black and hispanic gangs, not honest gun owners and concealed carry permit holders. If we had three-strikes laws in every state - and the damn politically minded prosecutors would stop plea bargaining serious felonies down to almost nothing, we'd see a dramatic decrease in that 10% of hardcore criminals responsible for 90% of all the crime.

As for these crazy mass shootings happening these days in stores, malls and shools, a lot of it has to do with the total aura of violence in the "entertainment" world in the last 3 or so decades that came with the advent of television. Do you honestly think you can sit already disturbed kids - even healthy ones, in front of TV year after year from the day they were born and not have the violence influence them?

A student of a great teacher once related to his teacher as to how he at times was torn between good and evil. He was very fearful that the evil in him would one day win out over his good side. He asked his teacher, "Is there a way I can tell which one will win this battle inside me?"  The teacher replied very simply, "The one you feed, my son."

Do I need to say which we have been feeding as a steady diet to our children - and ourselves?

Joe Iverazzia

iverazzia

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 12
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: What Police Say about Self-Defense
« Reply #43 on: June 11, 2008, 09:01:38 PM »
I might add that I have a very simple rule when I'm carrying. I never go anywhere wearing a gun that I wouldn't go if I had no gun.  Which also means, don't go looking for trouble.

Joe Iverazzia

aethos

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 6
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: What Police Say about Self-Defense
« Reply #44 on: June 22, 2008, 03:24:52 AM »
I know someone who keeps an unloaded pump shotgun under their bed. Their theory is that the cocking of that bad boy is enough to make any mentally sound criminal piss themselves.

That said, I support guns for self-defense but you'd better get trained and trained well. Also NEVER forget that a gun is a distance weapon. If I have 3/4s of second to react to someone with a gun within 5-10 feet I can reach them, overcome them and take the gun. 3/4s of a second is not very long.

If you use a gun, keep your distance and keep your feet under you!

 

Powered by EzPortal