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Posted: 11/17/2003 12:04:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/17/2003 12:08:04 AM EDT by diverdown]
You're called to a commercial building at O-dark-thirty because a passing motorist noticed a suspicious person peering through the windows of the building. You are alone, and your nearest backup is at least ten minutes away. You arrive and locate the subject. In this case, I contacted this person with my weapon drawn from behind what I'd would call moderate cover/concealment (a dumpster). I illuminated him with my flashlight and identified myself, and ordered him to show me his hands. He responded by shining a small, but fairly powerful Maglite in my eyes. He refused to drop the light.

So, here we are in a standoff of sorts. I could not see him, especially his hands, he could not see me, and he would not drop the light. He refused several more commands, but finally complied when I told him he was about to be shot. I would have shot him in those next several seconds too. Do you think I would have been justified?
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 5:21:42 AM EDT
Can you articulate that you were in fear for your life?

Just my experience but I've never seen a maglite that could blind me. How far away were you?
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 5:56:33 AM EDT
Ok, suspicious person, commercial building, back-up close by.

What is the person doing when you get there?

What type of business is it?

Where is he, front of building, back, side? Is that area lit or dark?

What is he wearing? Ninja suit? Maytag repair?

Does it appear he is carrying anything?
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 6:21:45 AM EDT
Not enough information IMHO to make judgment. It could be a dumbass security guard making
his rounds.

Was there ANY verbal reply to your request for identity and request to turn off flashlight and
show hands?

--LS
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 7:20:12 PM EDT
I agree that there is not enough info to make a decision of that magnitude. In fact I don't even think you could articulate enough in text to let me make a decision. There are just too many variables? The questions I would ask are...
Did you watch him prior to lighting him up?
Did he have a vehicle nearby?
Did you suspect there was someone else with him?
How was he dressed? Is he just a transient?
What kind of business? Is it even worth breaking into.
Previous burglaries in the area?
People can be felony STUPID sometimes. They do not understand that they should do what an officer tells them and argue about it later in these similar situations.
I have been to a bank robbery where we had the bank surrounded with about five patrol cars and 8-10 policemen in uniform. I had this lady who demanded that she had to deposit money into the ATM by the front door. IDIOT!!!
I would say if you want some input, get with a training officer or a sergeant and go over the scenario.
Link Posted: 11/17/2003 7:26:07 PM EDT
You have to ask yourself "Did I fear for my life"? If you truly believed you were in fear for your life and could express that to a jury, then you were justified in using deadly force. Doesn't sound like you feared for your life...

Link Posted: 11/20/2003 8:25:56 AM EDT
Could you have safely retreated until backup arrived?
Link Posted: 11/20/2003 8:43:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/20/2003 8:44:42 AM EDT by mr_wilson]
To hell with all the above posters, your a cop (this is the LEO forum).

You "identified" yourself as a Police Officer, ordered him to show his hands and drop his flashlite.

IIRC, under Texas law any order given by a Texas police officer IS TO BE OBEY'D.

Shoot him if he don't do as commanded, and go home, another good day.

Mike
Link Posted: 11/20/2003 1:34:23 PM EDT
Damn thats a good one. I would have retreated and put more distance between him and I and then when backup arrived, deal with it.

Based upon what you provided, all you have is a non-compliant citizen (no deadly force issue)...like stated above, unless there was something you could articulate that led you to believe that the subject was doing some other threatening act such as illuminating you so he could draw a bead on you then you would have been seriously behind the eight ball on this one had you fired.

mr_wilson, under Texas law an order may require compliance, but simply failure to comply falls WAY SHORT of justifiable use of deadly force...I am not sure that you really believe in you post, perhaps it did not come out the way you intended it to.
Link Posted: 11/20/2003 5:06:09 PM EDT
Driverdown

You did the best thing with the info given. You had cover (or it was very close by) with the dumpster. Sometimes you just don't have ideal situations to work in and have to make the best with what you got, and quickly.

Mike,
I too live in Texas and work by the CCP. NOWHERE does it justify deadly force for merely non-compliance with an officers orders. If that was the case, I'd have shot a couple of hundred motorist while working traffic on 10-50's. Sometimes wish I could...
Link Posted: 11/20/2003 7:39:01 PM EDT
All I can say is that if you'd have shot him, you almost certainly would have been fine at grand jury--but in the civil case you would have lost.
Just my opinion based on what you had up there---still and all, if you really fear for your life, "Better tried by twelve......" and all that.
Link Posted: 11/20/2003 9:37:41 PM EDT
Definately agree with the last post....you can beat just about any criminal charge as long as you can legitmately articulate that you were in fear for your life. Civil liability...you would have ate it big time...even if this guy WAS about to B&E, even if this guy WAS armed. By what you told us, you didn't have enough to shoot. I agree with another poster, did you watch him first? Did he respond verbally to your commands? Did you see him doing anything else like reaching for something? Trust me, I know how you can go to pucker factor 10 over shit like this, I almost shot a guy over a wooden handle umbrella under his seat on a traffic stop, but if something tells you to take just one more second to investigate...then take that second. If you are so scared (and yes, it's OK to be scared) that you think it's about to turn deadly in a microsecond...then shoot to LIVE.

Sidenote...there are plenty of small flashlights (surefires,streamlights, etc) that can blind the sh*t out of you. I know in SWAT we are trained to use them as offensive weapons. Don't think that bad guys out there don't use/know the same tactics.
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 8:48:31 AM EDT
Ability?
Opportunity?
Jeapordy?
Link Posted: 11/21/2003 7:28:36 PM EDT
The only logical reason for shining a flashlight in the eyes of a police officer who has identified himself to you (aside from simply being an asshole) is to gain tactical advantage over him. But to what end? The only reasonable conclusion is that you don't want the officer to see what you are doing (drawing a firearm, signalling to compatriots, etc.) Based on the above scenario, there is more than enough reason to be able to articulate an "imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury." I think that you handled the situation well.
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 4:53:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By mr_wilson:
To hell with all the above posters, your a cop (this is the LEO forum).

You "identified" yourself as a Police Officer, ordered him to show his hands and drop his flashlite.

IIRC, under Texas law any order given by a Texas police officer IS TO BE OBEY'D.

Shoot him if he don't do as commanded, and go home, another good day.

Mike





Link Posted: 11/22/2003 5:10:51 AM EDT
Nor will any of us shed a tear, or care, if you (Sherm) get yours blown off. We're just discussing work here. Go find another thread to hi-jack.
Link Posted: 11/22/2003 7:50:00 AM EDT
Sounds like you made out OK, but if I were to "err , it would have been like mr_wilson's "errbut a leg shot
Link Posted: 11/23/2003 6:55:44 AM EDT
Sorry guy, there is just not enough there. Taking steps towards cover is a good idea though.

Scotchy, where you at?
Link Posted: 11/24/2003 11:06:24 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Scotchy: Nor will any of us shed a tear, or care, if you (Sherm) get yours blown off. We're just discussing work here. Go find another thread to hi-jack.
View Quote
I could be wrong, but I think he quoted that so we could all see what a wonderful person [b]The_Cheat[/b] really is. I don't think he feels that way himself. CR
Link Posted: 11/25/2003 6:02:52 AM EDT
Originally Posted By CR_OPSO:
Originally Posted By Scotchy: Nor will any of us shed a tear, or care, if you (Sherm) get yours blown off. We're just discussing work here. Go find another thread to hi-jack.
View Quote
I could be wrong, but I think he quoted that so we could all see what a wonderful person [b]The_Cheat[/b] really is. I don't think he feels that way himself. CR
View Quote
Scotchy- That's affirmative. Sherm was showing what a prick the_cheat was. He even linked to the thread a few days ago where the_cheat had made this comment (and later deleted) and made it his sigline.
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