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Posted: 4/3/2006 7:06:38 AM EDT
Laws vary by state, but it seems strange the officer wasn't charged with something.

I wonder if Police should be restricted like truckers, only able to work 10 hours at a time to reduce the cvhance of killing someone with a ND.

Maybe the civil suit will gain some measure of justice for the family.

www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/03/23/AR2006032301117_2.html
Officer Won't Face Charges in Shooting Death

By Tom Jackman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 23, 2006; 5:24 PM

The Fairfax County police officer who shot an unarmed man to death in January will not be charged with a crime, the county's chief prosecutor announced this afternoon.

From the start, Fairfax police declared that the killing of Salvatore J. Culosi Jr., 37, was an accident and that the SWAT officer who fired had done so unintentionally. Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. said that when a person fires a gun without malice and unintentionally kills someone, "they do not commit a crime."

Attorneys for and the family of Northern Virginia Optometrist Salvatore J. Culosi held a press conference to react to news that Commonwealth Attorney Robert Horan will not bring charges against the officer who shot Dr. Culosi. (Susan Biddle - The Washington Post)

"I feel for the family of the victim in this case," Horan said. "You have to. But I also feel for the police officer. This is a good police officer. Fine record, almost 17 years. He's as shattered by this as any good police officer should be."

Police had been investigating whether Culosi, an optometrist with offices in Manassas and Warrenton, was a sports bookmaker. An undercover officer had been placing bets with Culosi for nearly four months and arrived outside Culosi's townhouse in the Fair Lakes area on Jan. 24 to collect $1,500 in winnings, Horan said.

Culosi stood next to the officer's car, on the passenger side, when the officer gave the sign for SWAT officers to move in. Two SWAT officers headed toward the car, one to arrest Culosi and one to protect the officer, Horan said.

The officer involved, a 17-year veteran with long tactical experience, pulled up in a car behind the undercover officer's. "As the officer came out," Horan said, "he was bringing his weapon up. In the course of bringing his weapon up, it discharged. He has no real explanation how."
The officer's name was not released.

Horan said the officer shouted "Police!" at Culosi. "Right after 'Police!'" Horan said, "it went pow."

Culosi was killed almost instantly. Horan said the bullet entered Culosi's left side, traveled through his body and was recovered on his right side.

Horan said the officer was aware that he should not have had a finger on the trigger and that he should not have had his .45-caliber H&K handgun pointed at anyone. "As he [the officer] says, you keep your finger straight," Horan said. "He felt his finger was straight. . . . But obviously his finger is not straight up. His finger has to be on the trigger."

Horan said the officer's gun was tested and was not at fault. He said the gun had a standard trigger pull and was only modified to add a flashlight on the barrel, but the flashlight was not in use.

Culosi's family was planning a news conference for later today to respond to Horan's announcement. His decision not to pursue criminal charges does not affect any possible civil lawsuit the family might file.

The officer, originally placed on leave with pay, was returned to work in an administrative job a couple of days after the shooting, police spokeswoman Mary Ann Jennings said. Police said they will now resume their internal investigation of the officer; they were prevented from interviewing him while the criminal probe was pending.

Horan said the accident "could have been based on the number of hours the officer was awake that day." He said the officer had started working at 5 a.m., overseeing a managed deer hunt in the Great Falls area aimed at thinning deer overpopulation. Horan said the officer went home at noon that day, then returned to work at 8 p.m.

Attorneys for and the family of Northern Virginia Optometrist Salvatore J. Culosi held a press conference to react to news that Commonwealth Attorney Robert Horan will not bring charges against the officer who shot Dr. Culosi. (Susan Biddle - The Washington Post)

Culosi was shot behind his townhouse on Cavalier Landing Court, just off Lee Highway, at 9:35 p.m. A medical technician who accompanied the SWAT officers worked on Culosi, and he was taken to nearby Inova Fair Oaks Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Horan held a news conference to announce his decision at Fairfax police headquarters, but police officials did not speak, and Chief David M. Rohrer was not present. Police said the criminal decision was solely Horan's to discuss. Horan declined to weigh in on what discipline, if any, he thought Rohrer should impose on the officer.

Jennings said police are continuing to review their policies on the use of force and also on the use of SWAT teams in serving search warrants. Horan said he thought the use of SWAT teams by Fairfax police was appropriate.

Horan said he did not know if Culosi was involved in an organized gambling operation, but said Culosi had at least one "lay off man," or another person to accept bets. He said police removed $40,000 cash from Culosi's townhouse. "He wasn't a kingpin," Horan said.

In his letter clearing the officer, Horan said that even if a weapon is discharged carelessly and negligently, there is no crime if it is done without malice. "At best, the evidence in this case does not approach criminal negligence," Horan wrote, "which, as you know, is a much higher standard. The shooting was clearly unintentional, was without malice, and was not a criminal act."

The veteran prosecutor said his test in deciding whether to file charges was whether there was enough evidence to convince a jury to vote guilty. "In this case, that evidence is just not there," Horan said.

Horan said he "felt bad" about taking two months to decide whether to file charges. "But unfortunately, we did not have the forensic evidence complete. The report of autopsy was not completed until March 16, and I got it on March 17," Horan said.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 7:08:13 AM EDT
All animals are equal but some are more equal than others.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 7:09:31 AM EDT

Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. said that when a person fires a gun without malice and unintentionally kills someone, "they do not commit a crime."


I thought that pretty well defined invol manslaughter.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 7:25:25 AM EDT

Originally Posted By IAMLEGEND:
All animals are equal but some are more equal than others.



+1 If that were me or you we would be in Jail, probably become a Felon, and lose our RKBA.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 7:28:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By NonConformist:

Originally Posted By IAMLEGEND:
All animals are equal but some are more equal than others.



+1 If that were me or you we would be in Jail, probably become a Felon, and lose our RKBA.


+2
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 7:28:54 AM EDT
What a load of BS, cop or not he should be in jail getting to know bubba and leroy
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 7:31:38 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 7:32:21 AM EDT
Should have been reviewed by a Grand Jury.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 7:33:16 AM EDT
"Professional courtesy"
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 7:35:26 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/3/2006 7:36:08 AM EDT by happycynic]

Originally Posted By SmilingBandit:

Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. said that when a person fires a gun without malice and unintentionally kills someone, "they do not commit a crime."


I thought that pretty well defined invol manslaughter.



manslaughter requires criminal negligence or recklessness, I can't recall which one. It it generally true that if you don't intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or negligently harm someone, then you are not liable criminally. There are fatal car accidents all the time where no one is charged.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 7:36:32 AM EDT
If a person stops a burglar that is entering his house, by "drawing down" on the burglar, then trips while trying to get to the phone to call 911, and has an unintended discharge, killing the burglar.

What should happen to the home owner?
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 7:36:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AssaultRifler:
"Professional courtesy"



Bingo!!!

Sad isn't it?
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 7:41:40 AM EDT
Yeah, its BS....anyone of us who isn't a LEO did the exact same thing, we'd be getting cornholed in the shower in prison, and never be able to own a gun again....

But being a LEO, its all good. Afterall, they are the only ones proffesional enough to handle weapons or be allowed to have weapons.....

The old double standard....
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 7:42:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
If a person stops a burglar that is entering his house, by "drawing down" on the burglar, then trips while trying to get to the phone to call 911, and has an unintended discharge, killing the burglar.

What should happen to the home owner?



10+ years... unless you are a cop
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 7:42:32 AM EDT

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
If a person stops a burglar that is entering his house, by "drawing down" on the burglar, then trips while trying to get to the phone to call 911, and has an unintended discharge, killing the burglar.

What should happen to the home owner?



The same exact thing.
That is not the question you should be asking though.
What would happen to the homeowner?
The answers would be slightly different, I am afraid.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 7:44:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By happycynic:

Originally Posted By SmilingBandit:

Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. said that when a person fires a gun without malice and unintentionally kills someone, "they do not commit a crime."


I thought that pretty well defined invol manslaughter.



manslaughter requires criminal negligence or recklessness, I can't recall which one. It it generally true that if you don't intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or negligently harm someone, then you are not liable criminally. There are fatal car accidents all the time where no one is charged.



I would say having one's trigger finger on the trigger is negligence... for us civilians anyway.
I guess cops have their own definition.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 7:46:34 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 7:49:26 AM EDT

Originally Posted By thedoctors308:

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
If a person stops a burglar that is entering his house, by "drawing down" on the burglar, then trips while trying to get to the phone to call 911, and has an unintended discharge, killing the burglar.

What should happen to the home owner?



The same exact thing.
That is not the question you should be asking though.
What would happen to the homeowner?
The answers would be slightly different, I am afraid.



I would hope not.

I think most problems from negligent discharges come from why the discharger was pointing a gun at another person in the first place. Usually it comes down to, playing around, threatening, "not loaded", in other words severe lack of judgement to be pointing it where theye were. Perhaps a crime that they even pointed it where iwas pointed, when it went off.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 7:50:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Aimless:

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
Should have been reviewed by a Grand Jury.



You know you can usually make a Grand Jury go whichever way the prosecutor decides.

Anyway, it takes more than a negligent act that results in death to result in a crime, but usually when dealing with firearms you are held to such a high standard of care... I don't know the laws in Virginia though.



I still like the reivew of a Grand Jury. Makes it seem more official to me.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 7:53:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
If a person stops a burglar that is entering his house, by "drawing down" on the burglar, then trips while trying to get to the phone to call 911, and has an unintended discharge, killing the burglar.

What should happen to the home owner?



Nothing, but that is not even remotely the same scenario.

What would happen to a citizen who got out of his car with a gun in his hand and accidentally shot his neighbor?

You and I and everyone else knows that he would be in the slam and the Brady campaign would be having a press conference about how this tragedy wouldn't have happened if we (as in non-LEO 'we') were disarmed.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 8:02:36 AM EDT
If they decide not to charge him, so be it.

It should still be the end of his law enforcement career.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 8:09:40 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/3/2006 8:10:30 AM EDT by Aimless]
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 8:18:51 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Aimless:

Originally Posted By nationwide:
If they decide not to charge him, so be it.

It should still be the end of his law enforcement career.



I know an officer who accidently shot a woman in the foot while he was working a side job, he was not charged and was not fired. I think he might have had some kind of administrative punishment, "lost a week" or something like that.

edit Nice guy, and competent as far as I have heard. Maybe it was an 8 hour shift plus 8 hour side job deal, don't really know.



Shooting somone in the foot is a far cry from killing them.

Police officers get PAID to be both proficient and safe with firearms. He failed that job, miserably.

He should be so lucky as to simply lose his badge.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 8:24:43 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 8:55:51 AM EDT
Horan said that even if a weapon is discharged carelessly and negligently, there is no crime if it is done without malice.



Really? I think I'll go for target practice in the back yard. Even if it is careless and neglegent, I have no malice, it shouldn't be a problem, right?
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 9:03:33 AM EDT
I'll give 3 to 1 odds that the family makes more money off the wrongful death lawsuit than the victim did as a bookie. I'll give even money they sue H&K too.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 10:09:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/3/2006 10:29:41 AM EDT by FLAL1A]
More proof that SWAT is all too often a solution in search of a problem. The last bookmaking bust here - and it was a big one (and a long time ago, but that's another story) - involved a disgraced former cop, known to be armed with a .38, for protection against robbery (duh). The raid on this desperado's HQ, staffed by about ten guys working the phones, was led by a uniformed cop, immediately followed by yours truly.

In the name all that is holy, what moron decided that SWAT was needed to "assault" the premises of a frigging OPTOMETRIST suspected of BOOKMAKING? God, protect us from our protectors.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 11:07:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By motown_steve:

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
If a person stops a burglar that is entering his house, by "drawing down" on the burglar, then trips while trying to get to the phone to call 911, and has an unintended discharge, killing the burglar.

What should happen to the home owner?



Nothing, but that is not even remotely the same scenario.




Yes it is. In the incident, and my scenario, the people pointing thier guns, at "suspects" had legal justification to do so.

Again the problem with most negligent discharge injuries or deaths is the jsutification, or reason that the discharger was pointing a gun at another person in the first place.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 11:27:25 AM EDT
They won't get far suing HK, due to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.

They WILL get a bundle for suing the department and the officer for wrongful death. And yeah, he might have been a good officer for 17 years, but he was a BAD officer that day, and it lead to a man being killed who was no threat to anyone. He should lose badge, no question. If I fuck up at work, someone doesn't get thier tea refilled fast enough, but they don't get shot. Stakes are a little higher when you get paid to carry a gun and badge.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 11:29:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bama-Shooter:
Should have been reviewed by a Grand Jury.


+1.

To mix the words from the article:

"In his letter clearing the officer, Horan said that even if a weapon is discharged carelessly and negligently, there is no crime if it is done without malice. "At best, the evidence in this case does not approach criminal negligence," Horan wrote, "which, as you know, is a much higher standard. The shooting was clearly unintentional, was without malice, and was not a criminal act."

The veteran prosecutor said his test in deciding whether to file charges was whether there was enough evidence to convince a jury to vote guilty. "In this case, that evidence is just not there," Horan said."

around a bit:

"The veteran prosecutor said his test in deciding whether to file charges was whether there was enough evidence to convince a jury to vote guilty, which, as you know, is a much higher standard."



Is that his standard for anything/everything?

Please note that this is independent of the question of whether the officer actually did anything wrong or not. If the prosecutor uses that same standard for everything, the courts won't be very busy over his tenure.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 11:30:04 AM EDT
Tag.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 11:30:46 AM EDT

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
If a person stops a burglar that is entering his house, by "drawing down" on the burglar, then trips while trying to get to the phone to call 911, and has an unintended discharge, killing the burglar.

What should happen to the home owner?


To answer a question with a question: "Do you think it would at least go to a grand jury?"
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 11:33:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:

Originally Posted By thedoctors308:

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
If a person stops a burglar that is entering his house, by "drawing down" on the burglar, then trips while trying to get to the phone to call 911, and has an unintended discharge, killing the burglar.

What should happen to the home owner?


The same exact thing.
That is not the question you should be asking though.
What would happen to the homeowner?
The answers would be slightly different, I am afraid.


I would hope not.

I think most problems from negligent discharges come from why the discharger was pointing a gun at another person in the first place. Usually it comes down to, playing around, threatening, "not loaded", in other words severe lack of judgement to be pointing it where theye were. Perhaps a crime that they even pointed it where iwas pointed, when it went off.


Point is, both were [apparently] applicable here: finger on the trigger (instead of along the guard/frame), as well as pointed at the suspect (instead of down-ready). Then again, I'm certainly not familiar with their policies, procedures, protocols, or tactics.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 11:34:23 AM EDT
He was negligent, certainly--but unless they could prove that he was reckless (that he knew he was fucking up and kept on going) it's a tough row to hoe.

Ya'll heard ASU1911s story about the ND, right?
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 11:35:22 AM EDT
Funny. I posted a story about a local man who was showing a gun to a friend, and he had an ND that killed her. He ran. They caught him. He got 18 months in the big house.

The majority of posters stated, in essence, "if you fuck up and kill someone, you should pay, period".

Why is this different again?
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 11:37:49 AM EDT
Interesting contrast to this case, also in Northern Virginia:

www.washtimes.com/metro/20060307-114257-8292r.htm

Both cases involve accidents; both cases involve fatalities; both cases involve possible fatigue from working long/multiple shifts. Only one case resulted in charges and trials.

There was probably extra pressure to prosecute the second case because two children were killed, but I have a hard time reconciling the different treatment. If they can see fit to put the driver of the school bus on trial despite the fact that the bus was stopped at the time of the accident, then I think the officer's case should at least have been heard by a grand jury.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 11:38:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By nationwide:

Originally Posted By Aimless:

Originally Posted By nationwide:
If they decide not to charge him, so be it.

It should still be the end of his law enforcement career.


I know an officer who accidently shot a woman in the foot while he was working a side job, he was not charged and was not fired. I think he might have had some kind of administrative punishment, "lost a week" or something like that.

edit Nice guy, and competent as far as I have heard. Maybe it was an 8 hour shift plus 8 hour side job deal, don't really know.


Shooting somone in the foot is a far cry from killing them.

Police officers get PAID to be both proficient and safe with firearms. He failed that job, miserably.

He should be so lucky as to simply lose his badge.


Completely seperate issue, Aimless, but I am not even professional enough to do what the guy you knew did, and my employer won't let me hold a side job if it impacts my duties in the least.

How valuable was that guy to the agency/dept if he was essentially pulling a double, coming in to work a 10-12 hr shift immediately after working an 8-10 hr shift? Would you want him having *your* back?
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 11:39:26 AM EDT

Originally Posted By TheKill:
Funny. I posted a story about a local man who was showing a gun to a friend, and he had an ND that killed her. He ran. They caught him. He got 18 months in the big house.

The majority of posters stated, in essence, "if you fuck up and kill someone, you should pay, period".

Why is this different again?



Why was the gun being pointed at another person?
What was the reaction after the shot, get medical care to the injured, or run for the hills?

Aside from those two factors.........................................................
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 11:41:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By drew5337:
They won't get far suing HK, due to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.

They WILL get a bundle for suing the department and the officer for wrongful death. And yeah, he might have been a good officer for 17 years, but he was a BAD officer that day, and it lead to a man being killed who was no threat to anyone. He should lose badge, no question. If I fuck up at work, someone doesn't get thier tea refilled fast enough, but they don't get shot. Stakes are a little higher when you get paid to carry a gun and badge.


But this goes to the [true] core of the issue: Do we hold LEOs to higher standards than the gen pop?

I don't have an answer, but I know most of the "us vs. them" threads on arfcom revolve around that core issue, whether any of the threads participants recognize it or not.

Jake.

P.S. I can think of some good justifications for "yes" and "no"..........
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 11:42:33 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/3/2006 11:46:05 AM EDT by Dance]

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:

Originally Posted By motown_steve:

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
If a person stops a burglar that is entering his house, by "drawing down" on the burglar, then trips while trying to get to the phone to call 911, and has an unintended discharge, killing the burglar.

What should happen to the home owner?



Nothing, but that is not even remotely the same scenario.




Yes it is. In the incident, and my scenario, the people pointing thier guns, at "suspects" had legal justification to do so.

Again the problem with most negligent discharge injuries or deaths is the jsutification, or reason that the discharger was pointing a gun at another person in the first place.



It's not the same scenario.

In one instance you have a homeowner protecting themselves against a criminal and a ND happens. The homeowner has a lower requirement on training to use a firearm. He is confronting, to him, a known criminal in commission of a crime.

In the case specified in the newspaper you have a police officer serving a search warrant on a citizen, when a ND kills the citizen. The citizen who was killed has not been charged or convicted of any crime, which the officer knew. The citizen didn't have violent priors or any priors, and had no criminal record (from what I remember of an article I posted here a few months ago). The search warrant was being served to gain information on a non-violent crime: gambling. It was not being served for the crime of murder, rape, or any other violent crime. By all accounts, the citizen was a business owner, doctor, and a good member of the community. LEO's are supposedly trained to a higher standard of firearms use then a citizen and are allowed more rights in carrying and using firearms then citizens. The officer was pointing a firearm at a citizen when he shouldn't have been.

The scenarios are not similiar at all.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 11:43:16 AM EDT
It was a negligent discharge of a weapon that resulted in someone's death. The officer should be held to the same standard as anyone else.

Yes, I am a police officer.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 11:47:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:

Originally Posted By TheKill:
Funny. I posted a story about a local man who was showing a gun to a friend, and he had an ND that killed her. He ran. They caught him. He got 18 months in the big house.

The majority of posters stated, in essence, "if you fuck up and kill someone, you should pay, period".

Why is this different again?


Why was the gun being pointed at another person?
What was the reaction after the shot, get medical care to the injured, or run for the hills?

Aside from those two factors.........................................................


To answer your first question (not with a question this time ).....

With all the info we have to go on, it was because he "was showing a gun to a friend" (granted, pointing a gun at a person isn't SOP when it comes to showing it to someone, but I digree......).

To answer your second question.........

*That's* what [to me] distinguishes this case from the one at hand. Running after capping someone is at least as bad as leaving the scene of an accident (which is, at least here, also a crime).
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 11:47:57 AM EDT
Shotar must be running late today. This discussion won't be complete until we hear that this was the convicted bookie's fault for not moving out of the way of the stray bullet.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 11:48:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By drew5337:
They won't get far suing HK, due to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.




Good point. Not unless H&K made his finger and his brain. PLCIAA exempts defective product suits.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 11:49:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Another_Dude:
Shotar must be running late today. This discussion won't be complete until we hear that this was the convicted bookie's fault for not moving out of the way of the stray bullet.


IIRC, he wasn't convicted of anything. His death precluded pursuing any charges.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 11:58:49 AM EDT
Why in the hell are they sending a SWAT team after a bookie? We aren't talking Mafia bookie here, we are talking eye-doctor bookie. Even if it DID warrant a SWAT call-up, why the hell did everyone run around with their damned weapons drawn muchless pointed at the guy? Sounds like an all-around pooch screw.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 12:09:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/3/2006 12:09:32 PM EDT by nationwide]

Originally Posted By FLAL1A:

Originally Posted By drew5337:
They won't get far suing HK, due to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.




Good point. Not unless H&K made his finger and his brain. PLCIAA exempts defective product suits.



There are some guys around here you have to wonder about....
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 12:14:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By wise_jake:

Originally Posted By Another_Dude:
Shotar must be running late today. This discussion won't be complete until we hear that this was the convicted bookie's fault for not moving out of the way of the stray bullet.


IIRC, he wasn't convicted of anything. His death precluded pursuing any charges.



You'll see what I was talking about when he gets here.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 12:18:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By wise_jake:

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:
If a person stops a burglar that is entering his house, by "drawing down" on the burglar, then trips while trying to get to the phone to call 911, and has an unintended discharge, killing the burglar.

What should happen to the home owner?


To answer a question with a question: "Do you think it would at least go to a grand jury?"



What's the old saying? "I could indict a ham sandwich."

If the Prosecutor has reviewed it, and decided it is not a prosecutable case, or doesn't doesn't merit a prosecution "in the interest of Justice", why would he go to a Grand Jury? I'm pretty sure the DA doesn't want the case, it will be no-billed. Next, even if an indictment is handed up, that means there is probable cause that a crime was committed and a certain person did it, it doesn't mean that the DA can prove the case "beyond a reasonable doubt", which is needed to obtain a conviction.

So the short answer is, the DA made the decision, as he was elected to do, and feels there is no case to be prosecuted
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 12:30:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Dance:

It's not the same scenario.

In one instance you have a homeowner protecting themselves against a criminal and a ND happens. The homeowner has a lower requirement on training to use a firearm. He is confronting, to him, a known criminal in commission of a crime.

In the case specified in the newspaper you have a police officer serving a search warrant on a citizen, when a ND kills the citizen. The citizen who was killed has not been charged or convicted of any crime, which the officer knew. The citizen didn't have violent priors or any priors, and had no criminal record (from what I remember of an article I posted here a few months ago). The search warrant was being served to gain information on a non-violent crime: gambling. It was not being served for the crime of murder, rape, or any other violent crime. By all accounts, the citizen was a business owner, doctor, and a good member of the community. LEO's are supposedly trained to a higher standard of firearms use then a citizen and are allowed more rights in carrying and using firearms then citizens. The officer was pointing a firearm at a citizen when he shouldn't have been.

The scenarios are not similiar at all.



Yes they are.

Homeowner - clearly justified to use force to stop a burglar.

Police - First your non-violent crime reasoning is nonsense. Secondly, search warrants have a different standard of force. Instead of "reasonably justified force", as in most police operations. Search warrants are to be served "with all neccesary force". Next, the "non-violent" stuff, the warrant was supposedly issued in connection with an organized crime investigation. We all know who runs the numbers racket, capeche? Also, the article here says they were arresting a FELONY SUSPECT, so your "no warrant, innocent person" is incorrect, FELONY SUSPECT. \

Police arresting felony suspect(s) are generally permitted to draw and aim guns at suspects who they are arresting for felonies.

So in both, the actual incident, and my scenario, each particpant has a legal jsutification to use force to effectively make an arrest.
Link Posted: 4/3/2006 12:38:11 PM EDT

Originally Posted By OLY-M4gery:

Originally Posted By Dance:

It's not the same scenario.

In one instance you have a homeowner protecting themselves against a criminal and a ND happens. The homeowner has a lower requirement on training to use a firearm. He is confronting, to him, a known criminal in commission of a crime.

In the case specified in the newspaper you have a police officer serving a search warrant on a citizen, when a ND kills the citizen. The citizen who was killed has not been charged or convicted of any crime, which the officer knew. The citizen didn't have violent priors or any priors, and had no criminal record (from what I remember of an article I posted here a few months ago). The search warrant was being served to gain information on a non-violent crime: gambling. It was not being served for the crime of murder, rape, or any other violent crime. By all accounts, the citizen was a business owner, doctor, and a good member of the community. LEO's are supposedly trained to a higher standard of firearms use then a citizen and are allowed more rights in carrying and using firearms then citizens. The officer was pointing a firearm at a citizen when he shouldn't have been.

The scenarios are not similiar at all.



Yes they are.

Homeowner - clearly justified to use force to stop a burglar.

Police - First your non-violent crime reasoning is nonsense. Secondly, search warrants have a different standard of force. Instead of "reasonably justified force", as in most police operations. Search warrants are to be served "with all neccesary force". Next, the "non-violent" stuff, the warrant was supposedly issued in connection with an organized crime investigation. We all know who runs the numbers racket, capeche? Also, the article here says they were arresting a FELONY SUSPECT, so your "no warrant, innocent person" is incorrect, FELONY SUSPECT. \

Police arresting felony suspect(s) are generally permitted to draw and aim guns at suspects who they are arresting for felonies.

So in both, the actual incident, and my scenario, each particpant has a legal jsutification to use force to effectively make an arrest.



Here is a more effective illustration.

One of the members here (I don't remember his handle, sorry) just recently posted about his experience with a ND. In his house, capped off his .45. Went down hall, and into neighbors apartment. Didn't hit a human at all.

Called 911, owned up to it, took responsability, didn't run, try to hide, lie, or try to cover up. He went through hell, including having all his guns taken away. Big expenses for court and lawyers, evicted from hi apartment, etc, etc, etc....IIRC just barely avoided losing his rights to own a gun forever.

An honest CITIZEN who got royally screwed, almost fucked over for hitting air.

LEO caps a guy and kills him with a ND. No punishment. No nothing. There you go....

Citizen, didn't hurt a soul with ND...fucked over, because citizens with guns are bad

LEO, kills guy with ND....off scott free, keeps job and guns, because LEO must be better than mere subjects....

Look, willing to admit it or not, there IS a double standard....
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