National When cops and America’s cherished gun rights collide, cops win

ma96782

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Perhaps it is a case of.....
Commenting about vid #3, while I was speaking about vid #1 (or a different circumstance).....
Yes, many scenarios were mentioned in this thread.

So then....
Bottom line: Monday Morning Quarterback.

:s0092: Probably best to leave these things to the JURY. We can't sit here and be made aware of EVERYTHING to a case. And, Yeah....money won't always fix everything.

AND.....that also goes for malpractice, engineering mistakes, various CEO decisions that end up causing harm, a cure/vaccine that isn't 100%, etc.... etc......

Aloha, Mark
 
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I read the dissent, and it is spot on. The majority opinion is logically inconsistent and just wrong.

This is also completely unsurprising. The police are agents of the state, and the state will bend over backwards to exempt its own employees from accountability.

Unsurprisingly, when the government is the "victim" the same considerations aren't shown to government employees. For example, if you certify the use of federal funds you are held to a pecuniary liability standard. This means that the only defense against having to repay erroneous expenditures is if you followed all rules and procedures exactly. Any deviation, no matter the reason, means you owe the government the full amount of the error. So it seems the government isn't very interested in the idea that human beings make mistakes, and what a "reasonable" person would do if it comes at a cost to itself.
 

WillametteWill

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I have more I'd like to say on this thread but don't have the time and energy tonight for anything but this one post.

Your welcome, @WillametteWill. My thanks also to you for your generous words and to everyone else who has made a productive contribution to this thread on a contentious subject.

That said, it appears I owe WillametteWill at least one more correction and apology. Earlier I wrote: "Drivers have given their implied consent to be field tested or to have their blood, breath, or urine tested if the police officer reasonably suspects that the person has committed the offense of driving while under the influence of intoxicants (ORS § 813.095 et seq.)"

Under ORS § 813.135, "reasonably suspects" is the standard for field sobriety tests only. The standard for implied consent for blood, breath, or urine tests is "reasonable grounds" or "reasonable suspicion" following an arrest, which requires probable cause. There, I think I finally got that right.
Actually I think the apology needs to come from me. I came across much harsher than needed in some of my posts. Sorry for that as you are clearly someone who is thoughtful and takes this type of information seriously. It's hard to keep important threads like this open and with some who post I have to slap my own fingers away from the keyboard and keep scrolling. Thank you for your approach on the topic.
 

ZigZagZeke

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It is extremely important when interacting with law enforcement to remember :

The three "C's" of communication , as in answer : Clearly , Completely and Concisely ...

Your Right to do something , may be your Right...but it also may not be an appropriate action for that time or place.

How you act , or what you say will be judged , quickly , by folks , whose lives and the lives of others will depend on their decisions....Think before you say or do something.
Andy
In the situation of the police coming onto my property to ask questions (no warrant involved) they are the initiators. They are guests. They set the tone of the encounter. What I expect is professionalism and courtesy. No raised voices, no accusations, no threats, no menacing gestures. We are having a civilized conversation here. What they give is what they will get.

I have had such encounters. Some went one way and some went the other way. When asked politely for my cooperation I usually provide it. When I perceive an implied threat all cooperation stops and people are invited to leave. It has come to the point where I have asked for a supervisor and we then wait. In the age of cell phones that's easy.
 
I read the dissent, and it is spot on. The majority opinion is logically inconsistent and just wrong.

This is also completely unsurprising. The police are agents of the state, and the state will bend over backwards to exempt its own employees from accountability.

Unsurprisingly, when the government is the "victim" the same considerations aren't shown to government employees. For example, if you certify the use of federal funds you are held to a pecuniary liability standard. This means that the only defense against having to repay erroneous expenditures is if you followed all rules and procedures exactly. Any deviation, no matter the reason, means you owe the government the full amount of the error. So it seems the government isn't very interested in the idea that human beings make mistakes, and what a "reasonable" person would do if it comes at a cost to itself.
There is a big difference between making a split life or death decision and making an accounting error that you can dwell on.

This is how it works. You, as an LEO, are involved in an incident of some kind. Reports are written and its determined through an investigation if what you did was justified. Regardless of how that turns out, the plaintiff will file suit against the agency and will often name the officer/s involved as defendants. Agency attorneys, or in my case, the Attorney General, will review the incident and determine whether they will represent the officer and the department, or just the department. If the LEO follows policy and case law, they will get represented. If there is a discrepancy where the agency can shift blame to the officer (didn’t follow policy, training, etc), the officer has to get their own attorney. In my case, I contact the retained attorneys for the legal defense fund I pay into.

So, it’s not accurate that an officer can’t be held civilly liable. However, if the officer is not held criminally liable or doesn’t face discipline, its an uphill battle. The agency can be held liable for its directives and policies, however. This is how settlements happen. It’s also how policy and even changes in the law happen.

A good example is Tennessee v. Garner. The law stated an officer could use deadly force when a suspect of a felony attempted to flee. An officer shot and killed a teenager fleeing from a burglary. The officer was not held liable because he followed the law. However, Tennessee was on the hook and the law changed after SCOTUS ruled against Tennessee, creating precedence nationwide that there had to be a reasonable belief the fleeing suspect posed an imminent danger to the community.

Another case is Graham v. Conner which established the reasonable officer standard. The question is whether the actions of the officer were objectively reasonable based on the totality of circumstances. This case established that a police officer may have to make a split decision to use force and can’t be held liable for unknown facts that are discovered in hindsight.

There would have to be some sort of court case that challenges and reverses/alters Graham v. Connor, if you wanted to see more officers held criminally or civilly liable.
 

ZigZagZeke

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One thing that I truly dislike is when folks who aren't doing the job....
Want to tell those who are , how to do their job.

While I understand the need for standards and accountability if you ain't doing my job , or have any real practical experience with it , don't tell my how to do it or what my standards should be.*

*Granted I am not in law enforcement....but , like law enforcement , my job and job performance are often judged by others , who have no real idea of what it is that I actually do and how I have to go about it.

Now please don't read into my statement here....

I am just saying that some professions are often judged by those who don't have a clue about the job as well as being critiqued with unrealistic expectations , demands and conditions.

Again standards and accountability are needed....but they need to be tempered with real world experiences that fit into a given situation.
Andy
I get what you are saying, Andy. And I agree in most cases. However, in the case of the police and police misconduct (or questionable conduct), the public is not only the victim, they are also the employer, so it certainly is their business.

The fact is that we all understand that too many innocent people are being shot by police officers. The fact is also that we are told that these shootings comply with existing police policy and training. If the result of that training and policy making is unacceptable then the training and policy making need to change. There is a difference between informing officers of the reality of their job situations and preparing them for that reality, and training them to be fearful and constantly hyper-vigilant, and to respond without thinking.

I don't know what the necessary changes look like. But when I have a toothache I don't have to be a dentist to know that something needs to be done.
 
In the situation of the police coming onto my property to ask questions (no warrant involved) they are the initiators. They are guests. They set the tone of the encounter. What I expect is professionalism and courtesy. No raised voices, no accusations, no threats, no menacing gestures. We are having a civilized conversation here. What they give is what they will get.

I have had such encounters. Some went one way and some went the other way. When asked politely for my cooperation I usually provide it. When I perceive an implied threat all cooperation stops and people are invited to leave. It has come to the point where I have asked for a supervisor and we then wait. In the age of cell phones that's easy.
This is completely reasonable. When I do a knock and talk, its all “sir” or “ma’am” and I explain what I’m there for. Sometimes, you have to be more straightforward for the sake of expediency. I was clearing a perimeter and an older lady didn’t seem to understand why I was knocking on her door. Instead of trying to be PC about it, I told her we were likely going to get into a gunfight and her house was the backstop. She begrudgingly left.
 
I get what you are saying, Andy. And I agree in most cases. However, in the case of the police and police misconduct (or questionable conduct), the public is not only the victim, they are also the employer, so it certainly is their business.

The fact is that we all understand that too many innocent people are being shot by police officers. The fact is also that we are told that these shootings comply with existing police policy and training. If the result of that training and policy making is unacceptable then the training and policy making need to change. There is a difference between informing officers of the reality of their job situations and preparing them for that reality, and training them to be fearful and constantly hyper-vigilant, and to respond without thinking.

I don't know what the necessary changes look like. But when I have a toothache I don't have to be a dentist to know that something needs to be done.
There are some interesting differences between the military and LE. LE operates on the expectation of 0 officer losses and 0 collateral losses. The military accounts for expected losses and collateral damage. LE trains officers to be hyper vigilant and emphasize the likelihood of having to deal with xyz alone. The military trains people to be a huge machine, capable of going anywhere and winning.

You know what I think is interesting about those approaches? There is a history of soldiers not firing their weapons while in combat. Or at least, not firing for any effect other than suppression. In LE, officers seem to have no problem firing their weapons.
 

WillametteWill

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The fact is that we all understand that too many innocent people are being shot by police officers. The fact is also that we are told that these shootings comply with existing police policy and training. If the result of that training and policy making is unacceptable then the training and policy making need to change. There is a difference between informing officers of the reality of their job situations and preparing them for that reality, and training them to be fearful and constantly hyper-vigilant, and to respond without thinking.

I don't know what the necessary changes look like. But when I have a toothache I don't have to be a dentist to know that something needs to be done.
So we can all agree that one is too many...but unfortunately zero is unrealistic due to criminals doing bad things that officers have to respond to (but I hope we can get there!) One person dying in a car crash is too many but 40,000 per year is the reality. There are about 700,000 officers in the country with 100's of millions or more police contacts each year. For the past five years about 1,000 people have been fatally shot by police each year. Most of them were against armed suspects who were a direct threat to lives. A small fraction (agree, zero is the absolute goal) involve shooting or killing an innocent. But when it happens it is all over the news and social media along with bogus info about the frequency.

I've noted this information before from my old department who is meticulous with their use of force stats. Over 350,000 contacts (this number is actually much higher by the way, due to numerous uncollected contacts) with 420 uses of force (any type, not just shootings, which are a tiny percentage of these) or less that .12% of total contacts. Complaints from these that were sent to internal affairs totaled 9, or .002% of public interactions.

Training is improving constantly. It's not designed to scare recruits/officers. Some situations simply just suck, like this OP. The number of officers that ever actually shoot their firearms other than for qualifications (Internet numbers are all over the place but most areas are 5% - maybe 20% in their ENITRE career, not annually). The 1,000 killed represents .14% of all officers involved in a fatal shooting annually. I agree that we should strive to reach zero innocents killed by police. Would I want this to happen to my family? Of course not but statistically they are about 10,000 or more times in more jeopardy when they are in a vehicle.
 

WillametteWill

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I will say there is something related to training that I will side with you @ZigZagZeke completely on and that is related to "accidental" shootings (what most of us would call negligent discharges). I think this is a significant issue that has many causes. I've seen departments struggle with manipulations on WML's causing them, holsters, lack of skill and familiarity with their firearms. I'm actually working on conducing some research on this to see what improvements can be made.

Most are not going to like this but the one constant that I see is that it seems to be firearms with no mechanical safety and a much lighter that double action trigger pull. (And I don't count M&P's, Glocks and others with the "mechanical safety" on the trigger as having a mechanical safety.) I know this is very unpopular opinion but I saw almost no ND's with revolvers and DA/SA semiautos. This same issue holds true with non-LEO who carry guns for defense. Startle response is underestimated as is the lack of fine motor skills when acting under stress.
 

ZigZagZeke

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I will say there is something related to training that I will side with you @ZigZagZeke completely on and that is related to "accidental" shootings (what most of us would call negligent discharges). I think this is a significant issue that has many causes. I've seen departments struggle with manipulations on WML's causing them, holsters, lack of skill and familiarity with their firearms. I'm actually working on conducing some research on this to see what improvements can be made.

Most are not going to like this but the one constant that I see is that it seems to be firearms with no mechanical safety and a much lighter that double action trigger pull. (And I don't count M&P's, Glocks and others with the "mechanical safety" on the trigger as having a mechanical safety.) I know this is very unpopular opinion but I saw almost no ND's with revolvers and DA/SA semiautos. This same issue holds true with non-LEO who carry guns for defense. Startle response is underestimated as is the lack of fine motor skills when acting under stress.
I will not own a pistol WITHOUT an external, mechanical safety.
 

WillametteWill

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I will not own a pistol WITHOUT an external, mechanical safety.
You and I are the same. I actually do own a range toy M&P without one, but it is not a carry gun and I could not pass up the price.

Interesting, my preference is the opposite, I don’t want them.
And I respect that completely and don't think my opinion is "better". You are in the majority. I know Tier 1 folks who carry Glocks (you may be one, I don't know) and not going to challenge their decision either.

Article here shows just how big the problem is and their numbers are just the tip of an unreported iceberg. The OP incident is much more likely to be caused due to an "accident" rather than an intentional act from an officer in my view. In a seven year period one department, Jackson, MS, had 93 ND's or about 13 per year. In my entire career at a department more than twice the size (during the revolver / SA/DA era) I don't believe we had 13 total. Many of them were with shotguns or personal off duty / back up guns.

I suspect we are handing easy to use guns (overwhelmingly Glocks) to non-gun people (more now that when I was on the department) because of fewer moving parts (i.e. no mechanical safety that needs to be manipulated). They are easier to shoot compared to a DA/SA gun (only one trigger press to learn). Departments have found the need to return to 9mm because they are easier for non-shooters to shoot well. (Not anti-40 cal but more recoil is not beneficial for new shooters.)

Complex issue, but one that LEO and society can benefit from more understanding and improved training. I also strongly believe this applies to (especially new) folks who are carrying defensive handguns and home defense guns of any type.
 
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You and I are the same. I actually do own a range toy M&P without one, but it is not a carry gun and I could not pass up the price.


And I respect that completely and don't think my opinion is "better". You are in the majority. I know Tier 1 folks who carry Glocks (you may be one, I don't know) and not going to challenge their decision either.

Article here shows just how big the problem is and their numbers are just the tip of an unreported iceberg. The OP incident is much more likely to be caused due to an "accident" rather than an intentional act from an officer in my view. In a seven year period one department, Jackson, MS, had 93 ND's or about 13 per year. In my entire career at a department more than twice the size (during the revolver / SA/DA era) I don't believe we had 13 total. Many of them were with shotguns or personal off duty / back up guns.

I suspect we are handing easy to use guns (overwhelmingly Glocks) to non-gun people (more now that when I was on the department) because of fewer moving parts (i.e. no mechanical safety that needs to be manipulated). They are easier to shoot compared to a DA/SA gun (only one trigger press to learn). Departments have found the need to return to 9mm because they are easier for non-shooters to shoot well. (Not anti-40 cal but more recoil is not beneficial for new shooters.)

Complex issue, but one that LEO and society can benefit from more understanding and improved training. I also strongly believe this applies to (especially new) folks who are carrying defensive handguns and home defense guns of any type.
I fully understand your preference. Training or the lack thereof is a key missing component for a lot of people.(not saying this applies to you) a lot of people don’t commit themselves to becoming extremely proficient. Being able to shoot accurately is just one facet of proficiency, trigger discipline is huge. A lot pf people should high index their trigger finger so that a scared twitch that forces their finger to contract just pulls against the frame and not the trigger.

I personally wonder how many ND’s would be prevented with mechanical safeties, because on one hand, if someone is being careless with putting their finger on the trigger, I presume they would be equally careless with the safety use.
 

ZigZagZeke

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You and I are the same. I actually do own a range toy M&P without one, but it is not a carry gun and I could not pass up the price.


And I respect that completely and don't think my opinion is "better". You are in the majority. I know Tier 1 folks who carry Glocks (you may be one, I don't know) and not going to challenge their decision either.

Article here shows just how big the problem is and their numbers are just the tip of an unreported iceberg. The OP incident is much more likely to be caused due to an "accident" rather than an intentional act from an officer in my view. In a seven year period one department, Jackson, MS, had 93 ND's or about 13 per year. In my entire career at a department more than twice the size (during the revolver / SA/DA era) I don't believe we had 13 total. Many of them were with shotguns or personal off duty / back up guns.

I suspect we are handing easy to use guns (overwhelmingly Glocks) to non-gun people (more now that when I was on the department) because of fewer moving parts (i.e. no mechanical safety that needs to be manipulated). They are easier to shoot compared to a DA/SA gun (only one trigger press to learn). Departments have found the need to return to 9mm because they are easier for non-shooters to shoot well. (Not anti-40 cal but more recoil is not beneficial for new shooters.)

Complex issue, but one that LEO and society can benefit from more understanding and improved training. I also strongly believe this applies to (especially new) folks who are carrying defensive handguns and home defense guns of any type.
One point for me is that I don't want a mix of different kinds and configurations of controls on my pistols. All of them have the external thumb safety in the same place, with the same function. Use of that external safety is automatic. Always on when off target, and off when on target. I don't even have to think about it. If I had a mix of controls and functions on various similar pistols I would disrupt that 65 years of mental training. The lack of an external manual safety, as with a Glock, has often been portrayed to me as being a sign of a "professional's" gun for the expert who doesn't want extra complications in a life and death situation, as opposed to a casual user who needs an external safety. This is a portrayal that doesn't hold much water for me, considering that virtually all personal combat weapons issued by the US government have external manual safeties. This is the first time I've seen it explained as being less complicated and therefor easier for inexperienced shooters. I can see the logic behind that explanation.
 

ZigZagZeke

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I personally wonder how many ND’s would be prevented with mechanical safeties, because on one hand, if someone is being careless with putting their finger on the trigger, I presume they would be equally careless with the safety use.
I have seen many videos where the issue was clothing, drawstrings, or other non-finger-on-the-trigger situations causing NDs, which might have been prevented by an external mechanical safety.
 
There are some interesting differences between the military and LE. LE operates on the expectation of 0 officer losses and 0 collateral losses. The military accounts for expected losses and collateral damage. LE trains officers to be hyper vigilant and emphasize the likelihood of having to deal with xyz alone. The military trains people to be a huge machine, capable of going anywhere and winning.

You know what I think is interesting about those approaches? There is a history of soldiers not firing their weapons while in combat. Or at least, not firing for any effect other than suppression. In LE, officers seem to have no problem firing their weapons.
Are you familiar with the Stanford Prison Experiment and the Milgram Experiment? Might be some insights there that correlate with your experience.
 
Are you familiar with the Stanford Prison Experiment and the Milgram Experiment? Might be some insights there that correlate with your experience.
Yeah, I’ve gone over those. They weren’t exactly well constructed or ethical. The Milgram experiment shows that some will appeal to authority even if it hurts someone else. I guess that applies with the military. The Stanford Prison experiment is what happens when you give people no training or consequences and they get on each other’s nerves.
 
Yeah, I’ve gone over those. They weren’t exactly well constructed or ethical. The Milgram experiment shows that some will appeal to authority even if it hurts someone else. I guess that applies with the military. The Stanford Prison experiment is what happens when you give people no training or consequences and they get on each other’s nerves.
Well, unfortunately, we'll only ever have unethical studies and historical events that give insight into the behavior-altering effects of power, real or perceived. My point was that, perhaps with these studies and similar and your experiences, that you may have insight into why LEO is less hesitant to shoot on their "enemy."
 

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