Turning a good shooting into a bad one…

Two masked men ran up to a woman at her home in the Legends Trace subdivision Friday and tried to abduct her while one of her children were still in the car.

Source: Man arrested after shooting at fiancée’s attempted abduction

What we have here is a failure to understand when and where you’ve crossed the line from defender to aggressor and reckless idiot with a gun.

Force and deadly force can be justified ,”…to prevent aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery.” But there’s a clause in the penal code that reads, “when and to the degree…necessary.

Our “hero” exceeded that standard. Once he’d stopped the threat, he could and should have tended to his fiancée. Instead, he continued to pursue the suspects and became the aggressor as they tried to break contact. Worse, he became reckless in his actions and graduated to deadly conduct. And now Jeremiah Morin has gotten himself arrested for “defending” his fiancée.

If you’re going to make the decision to use force or deadly force, you have a responsibility to be sure you understand where your rights begin and end. Another problem we have in discussing these incidents is people, especially guys, tend to suffer diarrhea of the mouth, bragging about what they’d do in this situation or that with zero regard to the very real legalities that might arise. Folks, check that crap. Don’t let your ego and emotions take you over the edge into moronic misdemeanors and felony stupid.


Thoughts on Dallas PD shooting video

So a friend posted the video below, saying it made her blood boil. Fact is, I am not convinced she’s got anything to be upset about. Don’t get me wrong, it’s always tragic when we as civilians or the police have to use deadly force. While tragic, it isn’t necessarily wrong.

In this video, the decedent’s mother answers the door for the police. When asked what’s wrong, the mother says her son is “just off the chain,” “incoherent, “talking about chopping up people,” and “bi-polar schizo” when the decedent appears right behind her with a screwdriver in hand. That’s a really important fact. The screwdriver is a potential weapon with at least a 4-inch long tip. If you don’t think a screwdriver that long won’t go right through a typical Level IIA or Level III vest and potentially kill the person wearing said vest, you’re wrong. It may as well be a prison yard shank and it’s just as deadly as a knife and unlike a gun, it doesn’t run out of ammo.

When, the decedent appeared at the door with the screwdriver in hand, we clearly hear both officers calmly tell the decedent to put the screwdriver down. We hear the decedent’s mother start screaming his name, “James!” And we see the decedent moving toward other officer in the video. We can’t see the decedent’s hands in the video. However, the change in tone of the officers’ voices and that of the decedent’s mother strongly suggest that the decedent wasn’t putting down the screwdriver as we see him move toward that second officer and his own mother, both of whom start moving away. It’s only then that we hear the first officer fire four rounds in a little bit more than a second. Then we see the decedent on the ground still moving as the officer continues to tell him to “drop the it.” The officers then make radio calls for help and go through the process of securing the scene which is exactly what they are supposed to do.

Now, one MIGHT be able to argue that a taser might have been a better alternative than shooting the decedent. That is debatable. I’d also say it’s an argument ignorant of the fact that tasers are typically a one shot, all or nothing device that doesn’t always work as advertised. If the taser failed to stun the decedent in this situation, the officer wouldn’t have time to insert a new stun cartridge to fire another set of darts in time to prevent the decedent from stabbing the second officer or his own mother with the screwdriver.

Legally and practically, the question will come down to whether the officer reasonably believed the decedent was using or attempting to use unlawful deadly force against the officer himself or a third person. The video, to me at least, strongly suggests the answer is yes. Under the law, the use of deadly force in that situation is justified and you’ll be hard pressed to find a grand jury to return an indictment (true bill) against the officer or anyone else in the same situation. Even if you did get a grand jury to indict him, nothing about this video suggests brutality, racism, or even glee on the part of the officers about the idea of shooting someone.

Yes, it is tragic the man died. And it is truly sad that his mental illness as well as his and apparently his mother’s inability to manage that illness led her to call the police to come deal with it. Mentally ill or not, if he’s moving toward the officer or someone else with a weapon in hand, the officer will react to a threat to their own lives or anyone else’s based on their training, the law, and a human instinct for self-preservation. And again, it will boil down to whether or not the officer’s actions are reasonable. But, if anyone wants to argue that what the officer did was wrong, please, give me a logical and factual counter argument.


Madison, Alabama cop arrested for use of force

We are generally pro cop at GOTR. That said, when a cop screws up, we also expect him to face justice. Today, we have an example of a cop taking things too far.

Officer Eric Parker of the Madison, Alabama Police Department has been arrested for his actions against 57-year-old Sureshbhai Patel who Parker was attempting to detainin while investigating a report of suspicious activity. Patel was seriously injured and the incident has stirred the usual pot of racial issues surrounding police use of force.

Patel had only been in the US for a week and was coming to live with his son to help look after his grandchild while the son attended graduate school. Patel left his son’s home to explore the new neighborhood.  A neighbor, having seen Patel walking down the street, looking at other houses at least one day prior, called police to report a suspicious person.

Parker, a field training officer, and his trainee, Andrew Slaughter, were dispatched, spotted Patel, and detained him. Parker can be heard talking to Patel on the dash cam. Patel speaks little or no English so there’s was a language barrier that might make it difficult or impossible for Patel to understand Parker’s instructions or answer his questions. Parker and Slaughter move to detain Patel who does try to continue walking away but, the officers stop him. Parker repeatedly warns Patel not to move away from him as he and Slaughter attempt to handcuff Patel. Parker warns Patel again, “Do not jerk away from me again, or I will put you on the ground. Do you understand?” Patel is then thrown to the ground just as a second unit, driven by Charles Spence, arrived on scene.

patelPatel couldn’t break his fall while his hands were restrained so he fell face first onto the ground. He was unable to move afterward and doctors have since said he would require cervical fusion. He remains in a Huntsville hospital and is still unable to move one leg. Parker has since been arrested for 3rd degree assault which, in Alabama, is a misdemeanor. Typically, assualts ending in permanent injury result in felony charges rather than a misdemeanor but, it would be difficult to prove Parker had any specific malicious intent to injure Patel.

A statement from Madison, AL Police Chief Larry Muncey reads as follows:

The Madison Police Department has now completed its internal Office of Professional Standards investigation and would like to release sections of the audio and video files associated with Mr. Patel’s incident.
Field Training Officer Eric Parker and his Trainee, Andrew Slaughter, were dispatched to the scene (car 1).
Officer Charles Spence was also dispatched (car 2).
As a result of the Office of Professional Standards investigation, I found that Officer, Eric Parker’s actions did not meet the high standards and expectations of the Madison City Police Department.
For that, I sincerely apologize to Mr. Patel, his family and our community…our desire is to exceed everyone’s expectations.
Today, Mr. Parker was served with proposed disciplinary action according to the Madison City policy and procedures…I recommended termination.
Mr. Parker was arrested today by the Madison Police Department for Assault in the Third Degree. He surrendered himself to Limestone County.
In addition, the FBI is conducting a parallel inquiry to ascertain if there were any Federal Violations.

Quanell X goes through use of force training…

Can’t wait to see this! Quanell X, like so many others, has run his mouth for years about what is and is not a justifiable use of force with no knowledge or experience on which to base his assumptions. We’ve seen another “activist” go through this recently and unsurprisingly, he found himself lighting folks up like the 4th of July. I strongly suspect Quanell will have a similar experience but, the question is, will he be honest about his experience and will it cause him to look at things differently?


Activist goes through use of force training and sees the light when he shoots an “unarmed man”

Jarrett Maupin has been very vocal during the recent protests, leading marches on the Phoenix Police headquarters after officers shot an unarmed man who reportedly fought with them.

He agreed to go through a force on force training with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and went through three scenarios where you have to decide to shoot, or not to shoot.

via Activist critical of police undergoes use of force scenarios – FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com.

This isn’t meant to be a statement for or against cops. It’s not even really about cops as this is something that is relevant to any use of force encounter, armed or not, cop or not. But in all the recent furor about cops shooting people, the story and experience of Jarrett Maupin is especially relevant. Like so many others, he had an opinion. He “knew” that there was never a legitimate reason for a cop or anyone else to shoot an unarmed person. In response to a recent officer involved shooting, Maupin marched with others demanding the officer’s badge, gun, and job because they felt the shooting was unjustified. Why? Because the victim was unarmed. Maupin and the other protestors just knew that things would be different had they been in the officer’s position or if the man he shot had been white. To his credit, Maupin and Troy Hayden, a journalist with a Fox News affiliate in Phoenix, accepted an invitation to go through a force on force training session with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. It seems that as a result, they have seen the light and have a different perspective.

Among the takeaways here is that both men reacted similarly to the same stimulus. Men of different backgrounds, experiences, and (as much as I’m tired of this dead horse) different races reached the same conclusions. If you paid attention to the video, both shot an “unarmed” man. And for the record, chances are very high, said shooting would be ruled justified by both a police review board and a grand jury in the case of a civilian. Why? Because of the disparity of force (size and numbers of attackers as both men in that scenario started coming toward the “officer”) along with what both reasonably believed was motive, means, and manifested intent to do them harm even without a weapon in hand.

Another significant takeaway is something we talk about routinely…Things can and do go down hill, very quickly. We hear Maupin say these situations develop in 10-15 seconds but, the critical part happens faster than that. The unarmed man scenario goes from Maupin and Hayden asking questions to a shooting in less than 7 seconds for both of them. The guy claiming to be looking for his car goes from someone simply being evasive and non-compliant to Maupin and Hayden getting “shot” faster than either can react to the fact they’ve seen a gun. That’s real. And both are situations that are as relevant to civilians as they are to cops.

Finally, in the after action discussion portion of the video below, we hear Maupin say that he tried to shoot the suspect in the arm so he could subdue him. Folks, this is delusional fantasy that results from people watching too much TV and too many movies. The real world doesn’t work that way. Even an expert level shooter wouldn’t take the risk of missing or worse, wounding someone without actually stopping a deadly threat. The bad guy certainly isn’t going to launch bullets at you just to scare you or just to make it hurt a little bit. In a practical sense, if you’ve got time to make that decision, it can be readily argued you had time to use a non-lethal means. Again, shooting people or shooting at people is ALWAYS considered deadly force even if it is not necessarily your intent to kill them.