The sad State of California is in the process of amending its deadly force law to change the standard from “reasonable” to “necessary.” It is a horrendous mistake being done to satisfy the naïve do-gooders as well as shrewd race-baiters. As California goes, too often, so goes the country.
The standard has been based on what the officer or citizen knew at the time, provided the officer or citizen met a general standard of being a reasonably competent person. Those who seek to change the law have done so under the misunderstanding that officers do not currently have to use lesser means of force when such means are appropriate. In other words, police currently can’t legally shoot a fleeing shoplifter, but they can chase and forcibly take the shoplifter into custody, using as much force as is required to overcome the suspect’s resistance. If an officer knowingly and improperly uses deadly force, he is criminally liable and there are ex-cops in prison who prove the point. Continue reading
As a young cop, I was taught to “stack charges.” That is, write arrest reports to include all possible and applicable crimes. For instance, if a rape arrest could include lesser burglary and vandalism charges they were to be included. The prosecutor would winnow through the whole thing and make the ultimate decision on charging crimes but they wanted the report to be broad enough to support any prosecutorial strategy. What all this means is many criminals who got arrested for one particular crime wound up being booked for three to six crimes. There is no shortage of statutory law. In California, there’s probably 50,000 violations in the state vehicle code, which means every driver is guilty of something every time they get behind the wheel. Yet people still needlessly die every day on California roadways. Law lessens crime when the citizen believes punishment is likely and the risk of such punishment is not worth the risk of getting caught. Continue reading
There is a popular complaint going around about police touching their weapons or drawing their weapons during routine traffic stops. For private defenders, this discussion is worth having because drawing the gun irrevocably alters confrontations. It is being suggested that cops are too eager to touch sidearms when confronting “unarmed” citizens. Every case is different but here are some things to consider: Continue reading
Cops have habits. Some good, some bad. It was not uncommon to find patrol car shotguns, which were mounted barrel upward, being used as ash trays. That’s cops. On the other hand, peace officers develop some worthwhile habits, too:
Reload your weapon everyday. Never trust that there is already a round in the chamber.
Circulate your magazines. Rounds can shift inside magazines. Check your mags and don’t keep them all loaded all the time. Magazines wear out and constant pressure means a shortened magazine life span. Continue reading
The BATF (the illegitimate spawn of old revenue agents and IRS bureaucrats) has apparently suggested (more likely were asked) that a certain type of .223 round be banned from public sale. The reasoning is that the rounds are “armor piercing” and new pistols are available in .223, which will mean death for America’s peace officers. Continue reading
There’s always a concern about how police will behave when meeting an armed citizen, particularly at a shooting or crime scene. I can empathize with both sides. Having been the police, I didn’t like anything that would delay or threaten me. On the other hand, as a private citizen, I can’t stand being treated like a felon because the police don’t know me.
Here’s a few things you can do to get along with the police: Continue reading
American law enforcement applies physical power through a “continuum of force.” Each agency has its own in accordance with that jurisdictions laws and regulations. It is difficult to make absolute statements concerning continuums because they are so numerous and often contradictory. Nonetheless, I’ll offer an absolute statement: Nobody is allowed to apply a chokehold in less than serious circumstances and no agency teaches chokehold techniques. Chokeholds can easily kill because of the possibility of unintentional damage to the windpipe. Even when pressure is released prior to death or unconsciousness, death may occur due to damage the trachea. So, officers who apply a chokehold do so in the last extreme when it appears no alternative is available. That was not the circumstance in New York when a NYPD detective confronted a black market cigarette salesman, nor was it true that the officer applied a chokehold. Continue reading