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Thread: OT: Off duty cop shoots car thief

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    OT: Off duty cop shoots car thief

    Apologies if this has already been posted.

    The Utah media carried a story about an off duty Virginia police officer who shot and killed a car thief at a car wash. As reported at this article on KSL, it sounds to me like the officer threatened deadly force over the theft of a car when innocent life and limb were not at risk. Subsequently, the thief made one of those fatal "furtive movements" that justifies getting shot.

    Did local Virginia media provide any additional details or better coverage?

    Not that I care much for car thieves, but I'm hoping that being a cop doesn't grant privileges to defend mere property in ways that would get us commoners arrested and tossed into prison for a decade or so.

    Charles

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    You have as much as we have at the moment. (Well, sort of. Check the "Richmond Area OC" thread for a little bit more detail and a link.)

    As an aside, "off duty" cops are still "on duty" when they choose to enforce the law, which gives them the privilege/dispensation to display their firearm under circumstances denied to the proles. Reports say that the cop identified himself as such.

    stay safe.
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    Regular Member glockfan's Avatar
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    Sounds like the cop had no reason to be "brandishing." Get out of my car or I shoot you?

    Let's see what comes of this (nothing?).

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockfan View Post
    Sounds like the cop had no reason to be "brandishing." Get out of my car or I shoot you?

    Let's see what comes of this (nothing?).
    Generally police officers are allow to place their hand on their holstered gun or draw their sidearm for their personal protection in many instances. Such is not considered brandishing.

    18.2-282
    "B. Any police officer in the performance of his duty, in making an arrest under the provisions of this section, shall not be civilly liable in damages for injuries or death resulting to the person being arrested if he had reason to believe that the person being arrested was pointing, holding, or brandishing such firearm or air or gas operated weapon, or object that was similar in appearance, with intent to induce fear in the mind of another."
    https://vacode.org/18.2-282/

    The man attempting to steal the officers car was in control (or out of control) with a very heavy, high speed killing machine, some would say. That and don't think an officer needs to be shot, stabbed, or run over first before responding. The commonwealth attorney will ultimately make a decision as to whether to proceed or not.

    Personally, I think there is too little information for me to make a rational judgement call at this point.
    Better to not open your mouth and be thought the fool, than to open it and remove all doubt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by scouser View Post
    --edited by Moderator--
    That's easy to settle. Just ask yourself, "Should government be given the power to string someone up -- edited by Moderator--

    While the US Supreme Court has done massive destruction to rights, they've occasionally gotten something right. One such decision is Tennessee vs Garner--the decision that forbade police using lethal force except in certain specific situations. In that case, a young man was killed by a cop. The facts of the case, undisputed, yield the conclusion that at best the dead young man was a burglary suspect at the instant the cop launched the lethal bullet to prevent young Garner leaving the scene and being unavailable for interrogation. In the written decision, SCOTUS points out that burglary is not a capital offense.

    So, no. The cop--any cop--has to adhere to the elements of justified lethal force: AOJ/I--ability, opportunity, jeopardy/intent. These elements must be present in order for the cop or anybody else to be judged reasonable in their fear. That is to say (Citizen evaluation coming), AOJ/I is the criteria to judge whether the fear of grave bodily injury or death was a reasonable fear. The fella who was shot in the butt a few years ago is a great example. The cop said he fired because he thought the victim was reaching back into the car for a gun, meaning there was no gun in view, yet. The guy was reaching back into his car for his driver's license. So, the victim was shot before "Ability" existed--no gun or other weapon in view.

    Side Note: I've read numerous shootings over the years. I cannot over-emphasize the value of using AOJ/I to evaluate a shooting. Just compare each fact to A, O, or I/J. Does the fact being looked at establish A, O, or I/J?. I've been doing that since learning about AOJ/I. Its marvelous for sorting out whether the shooting was justified.
    Last edited by Grapeshot; 10-21-2015 at 09:42 PM.
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    Regular Member scouser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    That's easy to settle. Just ask yourself, "Should government be given the power to string someone up -- edited by Moderator--?"
    I didn't claim the government should be the ones to do it
    Last edited by Grapeshot; 10-18-2015 at 04:36 PM. Reason: edited quote
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    The man attempting to steal the officers car was in control (or out of control) with a very heavy, high speed killing machine, some would say. That and don't think an officer needs to be shot, stabbed, or run over first before responding. The commonwealth attorney will ultimately make a decision as to whether to proceed or not.

    Personally, I think there is too little information for me to make a rational judgement call at this point.
    Per the reports, the alleged car thief was trying to drive the car into the car wash bay. Further, the off-duty cop was standing at the driver's side door during the incident.

    Playing Devil's Advocate - that does not sound like it poses much risk to life and limb.

    It's the "furtive movement" that'll get ya killed every time.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

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    Regular Member solus's Avatar
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    might i proffer a nit:

    why is it being presumed 'alleged car thief' when ya'l are referring to the individual whose life was ended?

    i am sure that is how the nice off duty LE referred to the individual in the LE's submitted in their report, right besides the comments about how the 'individual made movement(s) which i felt threatened me' comment.

    ipse
    "He who pays the piper calls the tunes..." (OBE as Grape called melody!!)

    Please do not get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am ~ my attitude depends on who you are and how you act.

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    Regular Member solus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scouser View Post
    I'm torn between wondering how you or I would be treated if we killed someone we claimed we saw moving as though they were reaching for a weapon when they were just attempting to steal our vehicle, and my personal belief that car thieves need to be strung up --edited by Moderator--
    (raising my hand) uh scouser, your feelings wouldn't be hurt if i do not want you on my jury when i am tried for grand auto...

    ipse
    Last edited by Grapeshot; 10-18-2015 at 04:44 PM.
    "He who pays the piper calls the tunes..." (OBE as Grape called melody!!)

    Please do not get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am ~ my attitude depends on who you are and how you act.

    Remember always, do not judge someone because they sin differently than you do!

    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain

  10. #10
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Per the reports, the alleged car thief was trying to drive the car into the car wash bay. Further, the off-duty cop was standing at the driver's side door during the incident.

    Playing Devil's Advocate - that does not sound like it poses much risk to life and limb.

    It's the "furtive movement" that'll get ya killed every time.

    stay safe.
    The reports I have read say the perp "drove it through the stall."

    That gives me reason to believe he would not have stopped on his own. Still not intending to make a judgement call.

    http://www.ksl.com/?sid=36998345&nid...&s_cid=queue-6
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  11. #11
    Regular Member solus's Avatar
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    seems the reports are not original per se, but appear to rehash the original report, given by the county investigator(s).

    ipse
    "He who pays the piper calls the tunes..." (OBE as Grape called melody!!)

    Please do not get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am ~ my attitude depends on who you are and how you act.

    Remember always, do not judge someone because they sin differently than you do!

    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    My favorite part of the report:

    "The car wash and the Sunoco station remained open after the shooting, and there was no sign of the confrontation later in the day."

    Shooting? What shooting? We gotta keep these cars moving!!

    TFred

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solus View Post
    might i proffer a nit:

    why is it being presumed 'alleged car thief' when ya'l are referring to the individual whose life was ended?

    i am sure that is how the nice off duty LE referred to the individual in the LE's submitted in their report, right besides the comments about how the 'individual made movement(s) which i felt threatened me' comment.

    ipse
    Because if we called him "the car thief" his heirs and assigns would sue os for defamation.

    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    My favorite part of the report:

    "The car wash and the Sunoco station remained open after the shooting, and there was no sign of the confrontation later in the day."

    Shooting? What shooting? We gotta keep these cars moving!!

    TFred
    Very interestink! There was enough tape to hide a Mack truck when we went past, and even if there were not the lot was chock-a-block full of cop cars.

    And they was usin' up all kinds of cop equipment that they had hangin'
    Around the Police Officer Station. They was takin' plaster tire tracks,
    Footprints, dog-smellin' prints and they took twenty-seven 8 x 10 colored
    Glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of
    Each one explainin' what each one was, to be used as evidence against us.
    Took pictures of the approach, the getaway, the northwest corner, the
    Southwest corner . . .
    And that's not to mention the aerial photography!
    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

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    Regular Member Liberty-or-Death's Avatar
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    Here's the RTD story: http://bit.ly/1ROLmp4
    And here's a satellite photo showing the D-loop shaped driveway behind the gas station and carwash.
    This location is literally across the street from the Virginia State Police HQ.

    I still don't understand how this went down, specifically who was where and who did what when.

    I vaguely recall a local story several years ago of citizen who saw an attempt in progress to steal his friend's car in which the citizen was charged for shooting the "suspect". I seriously doubt the officer in this story will be charged.

    It's crazy to think I was 3 doors down when this happened and didn't know about it until later.
    Be active.

  15. #15
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    The deceased made a sudden movement which would make it justified. But I believe after somebody dies that the person should be able to articulate just what the sudden movement was. Instead of just using the catch all. If he reached for a gun, then say he reached for a gun. If he scratched his nose then say he scratched his nose.

    A person could shoot a lot of people just based on a "sudden movement".
    Last edited by WalkingWolf; 10-18-2015 at 11:16 PM.
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    So you are saying that "If you so much as twitch I'll blow your head off" is no longer valid?

    And if the alleged car thief was sitting in the car how could the off-duty cop know what he was reaching for? There is a claim that the alleged car thief reached "towards" his waistband, and that crooks, robbers, and Sumdood and all his relatives are known to carry handguns tucked into their waistbands.

    Of course, this might have been a choirboy returning home from Bible study after helping a herd of old ladies across the street and all he was doing was reaching to scratch a certain pair of anatomical parts.

    Why get all wrapped up in details when you can just say "He made a furtive movement"? [/sarcasm]

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

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    Regular Member solus's Avatar
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    seat was misadjusted and he was reaching to adjust it or himself...

    ipse
    "He who pays the piper calls the tunes..." (OBE as Grape called melody!!)

    Please do not get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am ~ my attitude depends on who you are and how you act.

    Remember always, do not judge someone because they sin differently than you do!

    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Other than rudimentary information there is nothing that can be confirmed at this time.

    Some may say that the wagons are being circled - I wont go that far. I will wait, albeit with only a little patience and understanding of the process.

    While we enjoyed breakfast just a short distance away, lives were forever altered.
    Better to not open your mouth and be thought the fool, than to open it and remove all doubt.

    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

  19. #19
    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    The cop will be found to have acted within department policy and the law.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    The cop will be found to have acted within department policy and the law.
    https://news.yahoo.com/video/car-was...111847684.html
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    I want that officer to articulate in detail what the movement was, down to every last finger. This should be expected anytime a life is taken.
    It is well that war is so terrible otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
    Robert E. Lee
    The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
    Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
    What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.
    President Donald Trump

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    I want that officer to articulate in detail what the movement was, down to every last finger. This should be expected anytime a life is taken.
    I want the winning numbers for tomorrow night's Lotto before 10 PM tonight.

    It'll be a race to see who gets what they want first.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

  23. #23
    Regular Member WalkingWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    I want the winning numbers for tomorrow night's Lotto before 10 PM tonight.

    It'll be a race to see who gets what they want first.

    stay safe.
    Ohhhh I know I won't get it, but I am demanding none the less.
    It is well that war is so terrible otherwise we would grow too fond of it.
    Robert E. Lee
    The patriot volunteer, fighting for country and his rights, makes the most reliable soldier on earth.
    Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson
    What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate.
    President Donald Trump

  24. #24
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    The TV Nooz has identified the shooting victim and that there was no handgun or other weapon found in the vehicle. They also mentioned that the pistol used by the off-duty Richmond cop was not his duty weapon "and may have been his personal handgun". (As opposed to, for instance, a gun borrowed from the gun store across the street?[/sarcasm])

    The TV Nooz legal expert says cops do not enjoy any lesser threshold than the proles on using deadly force, and then speculates whether or not the car might have been used as a weapon. (Everything I have read so far puts the cop at the driver's side door throughout the incident. Hmmm.)

    stay safe.

    Moar nooz - Chesterfield Commonwealth Attorney is investigating but may turn the case over to some other CA or the State Police due to potential conflict of interest.
    Last edited by skidmark; 10-19-2015 at 05:26 PM.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    As an aside, "off duty" cops are still "on duty" when they choose to enforce the law, which gives them the privilege/dispensation to display their firearm under circumstances denied to the proles. Reports say that the cop identified himself as such.
    So what are the rules for a police officer pointing a gun at a suspect who is engaged in a non-violent theft and who passively refuses to obey orders?


    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    The deceased made a sudden movement which would make it justified.
    A sudden movement that was reasonably interpreted as creating a threat to innocent life and limb would justify the use of deadly force. What has me more troubled is whether the off-duty officer was legally justified in pointing the gun at the suspect (assuming media reports are accurate in this regard) before the suspect made any sudden or furtive movements. IOW, is the off duty officer (who elects to go "on duty" to enforce the law when doing so protects his own property) legally allowed to point his gun at someone--to threaten deadly force--as a compliance method for a non-violent property crime?

    Quote Originally Posted by WalkingWolf View Post
    I want that officer to articulate in detail what the movement was, down to every last finger. This should be expected anytime a life is taken.
    I tend to agree that if someone uses deadly force based on a sudden or furtive movement, he darn well ought to articulate what the movement was and why it caused him a reasonable man belief that said movement represented a credible risk to innocent life or limb. There are certainly cases where such movements will create a reasonable man fear for life and limb. But not always. And judgment needs to be made on the specifics of the situation and the alleged movement that caused the fear. Part of that needs to consider whether a gun was justifiably being pointed at the bad guy at the moment the movement was made or whether the gun was being pointed at him without justification. "Furtive movement" needs not to be an excuse or justification for an itchy trigger finger that legally should not have been on the trigger yet in the first place.

    My concern here is really whether an off-duty officer is enjoying benefits roundly denied to the general population regarding the protection of private property. (He is already enjoying certain benefits like not having his name released, not being booked into jail and having to bail out after admitting to shooting and killing someone, etc.)

    On the one hand it is hard to muster too much sympathy for car thieves. OTOH, I suspect most decent men are generally agreed that simple car theft isn't and shouldn't be a capital offense; and it is tough to justify deadly force or threat of deadly force for a non-violent property crime. Non-deadly force should be justified to attempt to stop such a crime, and if the criminal escalates to where credible and reasonable man fear for life or limb comes into play, that is one thing. But for a property owner to escalate from non-violent property theft to deadly force--say by pointing a gun--is tough to support.

    Charles

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