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Thread: Question about getting drawn on by police

  1. #1
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    Question about getting drawn on by police

    I was reading another thread on here, and it got me thinking. What if you're out on your day, minding your own business, when suddenly a man approaches you, draws a weapon, and tells you to get down, while yelling "POLICE!"?

    Question: How do you know he's REALLY the police, and not some nutjob posing as one? Laws on impersonating a police officer do not stop people from impersonating police officers. There are many circumstances where officers truly have a case of mistaken identity, and may think you're a wanted suspect, when you're just Joe Blow out minding your own business.

    What would generally come out of a situation like this? It seems like it's almost a lose/lose situation for yourself.

    In Scenario 1, You can either trust that it's an officer, and obey his commands, and hope that you're right, and that you will eventually be on your way after everything is cleared up.

    In Scenario 2, You choose not to trust that he's a police officer, and you do not obey his commands, because you have done nothing illegal. You take action and quickly draw and fire on him, killing him. It turns out that it was a police officer who misidentified you for someone else, and now you're in some hot water.

    In Scenario 3, You choose not to trust that he's a police officer, and you do not obey his commands, because you have done nothing illegal. You take action and quickly draw and fire on him, killing him. It turns out that you were RIGHT, and it was not a police officer, and you have just used justifiable force (depending on state statutes)

    In Scenario 4, You could simply end up shot yourself if you go to grab for your firearm, regardless if it's a police officer or a thug.

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    way too many what ifs for me to really answer this question. Simply let me see a badge and go from there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zack991 View Post
    way too many what ifs for me to really answer this question. Simply let me see a badge and go from there.
    Marked cruiser and traditional uniform, at a minimum.

    Some guy in street clothes flashing what looks like a badge, if he's not accompanied by other symbols of office, will be treated like any other guy pointing a gun at me.

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    Regular Member Nevada carrier's Avatar
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    What are thee odds that you're going to run into someone impersonating an officer while you are out an d about doing your daily business? My guess is you are most likely to encounter one of these nut jobs in a place where he knows for certain he will find YOU.

    The bottom line is this, police officer, criminal or criminal impersonating a police officer, we as law abiding folk will always be behind the curve when it comes to reaction to a threat of deadly force. Just a guess, but In 99.999% of all instances where someone identifies themselves as a LEO, they will be just that. It's easy to imagine these no-win scenarios, but they are probably so rare that you shouldn't really even concern yourself with them.

    The closest thing I've seen to this kind of situation was when someone at a Reno, Nevada Wal~Mart was confronted by a process server and led them to believe they where in some way affiliated with a law enforcement agency by virtue of the official sounding name, "Nevada Court Services." He had some symbolic badge that meant nothing and quoted ordinances that were many years outdated and abolished by state preemption claiming that he would place him under arrest for openly carrying a firearm. In the end the customer he confronted simply laughed and told him to go fly a kite, then proceeded to make a fool out of him on this site resulting in great embarrassment for Mr wanna-be-cop.

    Then again, scenarios like this are why, though we advocate open carry, we should all be concealed carriers as well, and have a BUG. if they are law enforcement, they will find it, if they are not law enforcement, they probably wont. so after they get what they want from you, you still have the means to defend yourself, if they take your visible firearm, I would surmise that their intent is to do something that would result in grave harm to you or someone else and lethal force would then be justified. Just wait for an opportunity where drawing and firing your BUG is feasible and as safe for you and the public as possible. I'm of the opinion that if someone steals a firearm from you, you could legally fire on them with your BUG and it would be justifiable, even if you shut them in the back. After all, we have the right to defend others from grave bodily harm with lethal force, nothing says we have to know who that person is before we do. IANAL though, so what I would do may not be what you should do.
    Last edited by Nevada carrier; 12-05-2010 at 08:28 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron1124 View Post
    I was reading another thread on here, and it got me thinking. What if you're out on your day, minding your own business, when suddenly a man approaches you, draws a weapon, and tells you to get down, while yelling "POLICE!"?

    Question: How do you know he's REALLY the police, and not some nutjob posing as one? Laws on impersonating a police officer do not stop people from impersonating police officers. There are many circumstances where officers truly have a case of mistaken identity, and may think you're a wanted suspect, when you're just Joe Blow out minding your own business.

    What would generally come out of a situation like this? It seems like it's almost a lose/lose situation for yourself.

    In Scenario 1, You can either trust that it's an officer, and obey his commands, and hope that you're right, and that you will eventually be on your way after everything is cleared up.

    In Scenario 2, You choose not to trust that he's a police officer, and you do not obey his commands, because you have done nothing illegal. You take action and quickly draw and fire on him, killing him. It turns out that it was a police officer who misidentified you for someone else, and now you're in some hot water.

    Much more likely that when you try to draw your gun he shoots and kills you and then you don't have to worry about hot "water".

    In Scenario 3, You choose not to trust that he's a police officer, and you do not obey his commands, because you have done nothing illegal. You take action and quickly draw and fire on him, killing him. It turns out that you were RIGHT, and it was not a police officer, and you have just used justifiable force (depending on state statutes)

    See Scenarion 2.

    In Scenario 4, You could simply end up shot yourself if you go to grab for your firearm, regardless if it's a police officer or a thug.

    Good chance that not only would you be shot but also dead.
    If someone it yelling police at me and holding a gun I am not going to imagine that I am Dirty Harry and think I am fast enough to shoot him before he can pull the trigger. I am going to obey his every command. Regardless of what else the fellow at the LV Costco would be alive now if he had not tried to outhink the police.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevada carrier View Post
    Just a guess, but In 19.999% of all instances where someone identifies themselves as a LEO, they will be just that.
    What an odd figure to quote in a statistic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wylde007 View Post
    What an odd figure to quote in a statistic.

    I took it he meant 99.999%.

    That being said, 95% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    I took it he meant 99.999%.

    That being said, 95% of all statistics are made up on the spot.
    But 76.801% of the ones made up on the spot are up to 10% more accurate than those from 91% of studies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daylen View Post
    But 76.801% of the ones made up on the spot are up to 10% more accurate than those from 91% of studies.
    Surveys show that you are correct 88% of the time with that formula. WTG!

    ;-)

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    My very first "LEO encounter" as an OCer back in July of 2008 was with a person who claimed to be an Philadelphia police officer. He did not pull a gun on me, but did threaten me with arrest and claimed I was on federal property. Being unsure of my position regarding the location I removed my gun and placed it in my car.

    It was only later, when I got home and began attempting to file a complaint, that I discovered that he was not an officer, and the place where I encountered him was state property, not federal. Philly PD didn't seem to care but the Fish and Boat Commission is looking out for the guy. It was their ground he was impersonating on and they were not happy about it.

    There is a thread about it somewhere on PAFOA, but I'm at work and PAFOA is blocked. Anyway, impersonating an officer can and does happen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron1124 View Post
    Question: How do you know he's REALLY the police, and not some nutjob posing as one?
    He may be a nutjob, and may not be an officer, but if he hasn't already fired, chances are good he won't, which gives you some time to deal with the situation.

    I'd probably say, "I'd like to see your ID, first." If he's actually a police officer, he may or may not comply, but chances are exceedingly good he won't shoot you simply for asking. If he does show his ID, I'd rest easy and comply with any lawful demands.

    If he refused to show his ID, I'd probably say, "I don't believe you're a cop. Show me your badge, or I'll not comply with your demands." It's dicey, yes, but I'm not about to turn my firearm over to someone who's not law enforcement.

    If he admitted to not being a cop, I'd ask him to lower his firearm. I'm an honest, law-abiding citizen, and no one other than law enforcement has any right to draw a weapon on me. If he refused, I'd quick-draw and shoot him. Along with a side-stepping maneuver, I could probably stop him without too much damage to myself.

    If he persisted in claiming he was a cop while refusing to show me his ID, I'm not sure what I'd do. Much would depend upon his demeanor. Not only does it take a particular type of person to join law enforcement, but those character traits are strengthened by training. There's simply an air about most law enforcement officers that's different than that of the general public.

    There are many circumstances where officers truly have a case of mistaken identity, and may think you're a wanted suspect, when you're just Joe Blow out minding your own business.
    That's why if he kept claiming he was a police officer while refusing to show his ID, I wouldn't just blow him away.
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    While I am not sure about most states, the two that I am most familiar with require a LEO to properly ID themselves when requested. Just flashing a badge is not legal ID. Badges are easy to buy.
    I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do those things to other people and I require the same of them.

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    Well if its a fake Cop then the recording that my phone uploads to my server should help find my killer.

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    Regular Member protect our rights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kloutier View Post
    Well if its a fake Cop then the recording that my phone uploads to my server should help find my killer.

    Good point. Unless he steals that too, LOL
    Last edited by protect our rights; 03-07-2011 at 04:14 PM.
    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence ... From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable . . . The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that is good" - George Washington

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by protect our rights View Post
    Good point. Unless he steals that too, LOL
    He can't steal the uploaded part but I think it would be a good Idea to share your password with a trusted friend.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

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    What do you do?

    You do what ever the man pointing a gun at you tells you to do!!

    If he already has the drop, I'm not going to go for a gun period!
    After he puts it away, we can discuss things rationally.

    If he is a cop, if he is a crook, if he is another citizen...regardless.
    If he is pointing a gun at me and mine is still in the holster, he is the one in charge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesB View Post
    What do you do?

    You do what ever the man pointing a gun at you tells you to do!!

    If he already has the drop, I'm not going to go for a gun period!
    After he puts it away, we can discuss things rationally.

    If he is a cop, if he is a crook, if he is another citizen...regardless.
    If he is pointing a gun at me and mine is still in the holster, he is the one in charge.

    Tru dat.

    But really, exactly what I was going to say. If they were going to kill you for the sake of killing you, they would have just shot you, complying, to a point, is probably the only viable option when staring at a gun, don't give them reason to pull the trigger by attempting a futile draw.
    "Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron1124 View Post
    I was reading another thread on here, and it got me thinking. What if you're out on your day, minding your own business, when suddenly a man approaches you, draws a weapon, and tells you to get down, while yelling "POLICE!"?

    Question: How do you know he's REALLY the police, and not some nutjob posing as one? Laws on impersonating a police officer do not stop people from impersonating police officers. There are many circumstances where officers truly have a case of mistaken identity, and may think you're a wanted suspect, when you're just Joe Blow out minding your own business.

    What would generally come out of a situation like this? It seems like it's almost a lose/lose situation for yourself.

    In Scenario 1, You can either trust that it's an officer, and obey his commands, and hope that you're right, and that you will eventually be on your way after everything is cleared up.

    In Scenario 2, You choose not to trust that he's a police officer, and you do not obey his commands, because you have done nothing illegal. You take action and quickly draw and fire on him, killing him. It turns out that it was a police officer who misidentified you for someone else, and now you're in some hot water.

    In Scenario 3, You choose not to trust that he's a police officer, and you do not obey his commands, because you have done nothing illegal. You take action and quickly draw and fire on him, killing him. It turns out that you were RIGHT, and it was not a police officer, and you have just used justifiable force (depending on state statutes)

    In Scenario 4, You could simply end up shot yourself if you go to grab for your firearm, regardless if it's a police officer or a thug.
    In Scenario 5, you obey his commands, to discover it's a criminal, and he takes your gun and shoots you in the back.

    In Scenario 6, the cop Ian Birks you five times before you've had a chance to react.



    As you can see, once we take on the responsibility of OC, police become a bigger threat than criminals. And they wonder when I'm 10x more afraid of them then some random street thug.
    Last edited by marshaul; 03-16-2011 at 01:28 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesB View Post
    What do you do?

    You do what ever the man pointing a gun at you tells you to do!!

    If he already has the drop, I'm not going to go for a gun period!
    After he puts it away, we can discuss things rationally.

    If he is a cop, if he is a crook, if he is another citizen...regardless.
    If he is pointing a gun at me and mine is still in the holster, he is the one in charge.
    Uncomplicated, but cogent, analysis.
    Last edited by eye95; 03-16-2011 at 01:31 PM.

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    Regular Member protect our rights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
    As you can see, once we take on the responsibility of OC, police become a bigger threat than criminals. And they wonder when I'm 10x more afraid of them then some random street thug.
    Well nowadays, who is really the thugs? I mean now that cops doing drive-by shootings out of unmarked black SUVs (POLICE DRIVE-BY)... really the line is muddled now.
    Last edited by protect our rights; 03-16-2011 at 01:35 PM.
    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence ... From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable . . . The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that is good" - George Washington

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by protect our rights View Post
    Well nowadays, who is really the thugs? I mean now that cops doing drive-by shootings out of unmarked black SUVs (POLICE DRIVE-BY)... really the line is muddled now.
    We know who the thugs are. The only division is to how many wear badges. The line was drawn at Ruby Ridge and then underscored at Waco.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesB View Post
    What do you do?

    You do what ever the man pointing a gun at you tells you to do!!

    If he already has the drop, I'm not going to go for a gun period!
    After he puts it away, we can discuss things rationally.

    If he is a cop, if he is a crook, if he is another citizen...regardless.
    If he is pointing a gun at me and mine is still in the holster, he is the one in charge.
    You can't draw as fast as me?

    Ok, I only wish I could draw, aim, and shoot that fast.


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    Dont do anything dumb

    I thought I would jump in here since I have been a Los Angeles County Sheriff for much of my life working patrol and I have another perspective

    First..most police officers support your right to be armed.. and be armed correctly and be smart and trained about how to carry and how to use force legally...

    We have people impersonate police all the time.. when we investigate this stuff its usually drug ripoffs or kidnapping for profit.. occasionally there will be the red light weirdos or crooks who want to do harm to someone by pulling them over

    My suggestions are these

    Open carry in a not normally open carry state is pretty stupid... its asking for a problem or a mistake... you are depending upon another person.. sometimes trained sometimes flawed person to make a decision regarding your life or safety. You exacerbate the situation by wanting to make a political statement

    As a police officer I do not have the luxury of figuring out if you are a bad guy or not until I "make you safe".. and when you have a gun displayed even in a holster it makes my common sense survival tactics max out. You dont know why Im stopping you.. you may be a perfectly honorable and honest person... irregardless of this if you are walking with a weapon I will detain you.. I might not do this in a rural setting.. but walking around L.A. I would.. I would have additional legal cause but carrying a firearm is unusual city behavior and most judges will back a stop if for nothing more a weapons check. The supreme court is very lenient in favor of the police in street detentions.. its not the time to debate politics.. its the time to prevent myself and others from being killed.

    If you choose to open carry in California and want to make a "statement" about it prepare to be stopped.. it will happen. Prepare to get prone'd out.. that will probably happen.. prepare to get searched.. cuffed.. questioned and detained... prepare to have you and your gun checked nine ways to Sunday... be smart (well if you really were you wouldnt be doing this in the first place).. obey commands

    My department requires us to carry not only our badge but our picture ID.. its available for you to see.. When we are plainclothes we are trained extensively on identifying ourselves properly... too many mistakes have been made too many times.. we do it by the numbers

    I will have more comments as time goes by

    notme
    Last edited by notmeofficer; 03-18-2011 at 09:24 PM.

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    Translation: If you try to exercise your rights, prepare to have them violated.

    What Bravo Sierra!

  25. #25
    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by notmeofficer View Post
    when you have a gun displayed even in a holster it makes my common sense survival tactics max out
    Why is that?

    In your experience, is it common for actual criminals to "have a gun displayed in a holster"?


    Quote Originally Posted by notmeofficer View Post
    If you choose to open carry in California and want to make a "statement" about it prepare to be stopped.. it will happen. Prepare to get prone'd out.. that will probably happen.. prepare to get searched.. cuffed.. questioned and detained... prepare to have you and your gun checked nine ways to Sunday... be smart (well if you really were you wouldnt be doing this in the first place).. obey commands
    Prepare to be sued.

    I though you LEOs all kept each other updated around the state. Are you really this poorly informed?
    Last edited by marshaul; 03-18-2011 at 10:32 PM.

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