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Thread: Cop Walks in on Robbery in Progress

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    Cop Walks in on Robbery in Progress



    Good situational awareness by this guy! It takes him a while to realize that he is standing next to an active crime.

    And what's with sticking the gun to the head of the perp??? Why give him the opportunity to start the struggle? Point the gun at him from more than arm's length and instruct him to get on the ground. If he makes a move towards you, shoot him in self-defense out of the reasonable belief that he means to attack you and take your weapon. Call for backup before trying to restrain him.

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    He also needs to work on his "take down" moves. That struggle lasted way to long, it could have ended very badly. The officer should feel very lucky that he didn't have his firearm taken.

    You should kind of choose if you want to tackle, or hold at gun point. It is pretty hard to try and do both.

    This video, may end up being shown at the training academy for that department, as an example of what not to do.
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    Its a very tough spot for the officer to be in. At first, he has no way of knowing whether the perp has a weapon in his hand when he first comes up on him. Also, during the entire encounter, he has no way of knowing if the perp has a weapon hidden on him. The potential for a deadly weapon has to be the officer's greatest concern.

    Sure you can sit here and second guess his actions saying that he should hold the perp at gunpoint and shoot if the perp advances but what does the officer do if the perp flees instead? Shoot him then too? Chase him around a corner outside the building and possibly be shot by the robber who now had a chance to pull out a firearm? Spend several seconds holstering the firearm in order to take out a less lethal weapon such as a tazer only to find that the perp has now pulled his firearm?

    The officer is in a very bad spot any way you look at it because he has to decide to shoot or not to shoot when he isn't sure as to whether this perp has a gun or not. Once the officer puts his gun back in his holster to use both his hands in the struggle or to try to arm himself with a tazer or pepper spray he has now left himself vulnerable to the robber should he now pull a firearm out of his coat.

    I feel kind of bad for the officer's predicament. To me, once the guy resists I think the officer is justified in shooting him to death but something like that is going to be a hard sell to the public that would heavily scrutinize that use of force should the criminal be found to not possess a weapon. Still though, its only common sense to assume any robber in the process of robbing a convenient store is armed.

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    It may vary by jurisdiction, but I don't think that officers are allowed to shoot "fleeing felons" anymore. You chase him and get on the horn for backup. If he presents a danger to you or the public, then you shoot to stop the threat.

    But, no matter how tricky the situation, getting right next to the perp and sticking the gun to his head is foolish. It's movie-hero stuff. You want to maintain a close enough distance to be able to hit the target if necessary, but enough distance to minimize the chance of the perp being able to take your gun or knock it away.

    Now, if you are dealing with Chuck Norris, the only safe distance will be too far to make the shot, but these wannabe thugs are only likely to try for a gun they can reach easily. So, why make it easy?

    The cop handled it badly. I can't imagine that they train cops to do it the way he did.
    Last edited by eye95; 12-17-2010 at 02:48 PM.

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    Tennessee versus Garner (1985):

    "Where the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a threat of serious physical harm, either to the officer or to others, it is not constitutionally unreasonable to prevent escape by using deadly force. Thus, if the suspect threatens the officer with a weapon or there is probable cause to believe that he has committed a crime involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical harm, deadly force may be used if necessary to prevent escape, and if, where feasible, some warning has been given."

    Officers still can shoot a violent fleeing felon.

    Robbery is a violent felony. Embezzlement isn't a violent felony. If the robber runs away, if you can articulate the elements of Tennessee Versus Garner exist at that time, you can shoot him. If the embezzler runs away, keep that gun holstered.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    It may vary by jurisdiction, but I don't think that officers are allowed to shoot "fleeing felons" anymore. You chase him and get on the horn for backup. If he presents a danger to you or the public, then you shoot to stop the threat.

    But, no matter how tricky the situation, getting right next to the perp and sticking the gun to his head is foolish. It's movie-hero stuff. You want to maintain a close enough distance to be able to hit the target if necessary, but enough distance to minimize the chance of the perp being able to take your gun or knock it away.

    Now, if you are dealing with Chuck Norris, the only safe distance will be too far to make the shot, but these wannabe thugs are only likely to try for a gun they can reach easily. So, why make it easy?

    The cop handled it badly. I can't imagine that they train cops to do it the way he did.
    Yep. You want to be no closer than the time it takes for your brain to filter a sudden threat then transmit the action to your gun hand to do what needs to be done.

    As for shooting a fleeing felon, I'm pretty sure police can do this IF the felon is still a dangerous threat to others (is running with a gun in hand after having fired at police). But I am not an LEO so I cannot ascertain this to be absolute fact.
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    It was fail from the perspective that the perp knew he wouldn't shoot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    [ If he makes a move towards you, shoot him in self-defense out of the reasonable belief that he means to attack you and take your weapon.
    Are you serious? you really think that will fly, so cops should never have to go hands on because they can always use the blanket defense of "I thought he was trying to take my weapon"

    It doesnt work that way! its called 1:ability 2:Opportunity and 3: jeopardy and
    4: perclusion. that officer had NONE let alone all 4.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrob33 View Post
    Are you serious? you really think that will fly, so cops should never have to go hands on because they can always use the blanket defense of "I thought he was trying to take my weapon"

    It doesnt work that way! its called 1:ability 2:Opportunity and 3: jeopardy and
    4: perclusion. that officer had NONE let alone all 4.
    If, as a civilian, I have reasonably drawn on a person and he comes at me, I will shoot out of the reasonable belief that he means to take my gun and put me in grave danger. I see no reason why an officer should be required to act any differently.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    If, as a civilian, I have reasonably drawn on a person and he comes at me, I will shoot out of the reasonable belief that he means to take my gun and put me in grave danger. I see no reason why an officer should be required to act any differently.
    eya95, I believe your assumption is correct that the mere threat of violence is probable cause to use deadly force, there are now 31 states with some sort of stand your ground law, and here in Az. if you have a reasonable belief of bodily injury ANYWHERE you have a legal right to be you have a legal right to use deadly force. I don`t see why it would be any deferent just because you happen to be LE.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickc1962 View Post
    eya95, I believe your assumption is correct that the mere threat of violence is probable cause to use deadly force, there are now 31 states with some sort of stand your ground law, and here in Az. if you have a reasonable belief of bodily injury ANYWHERE you have a legal right to be you have a legal right to use deadly force. I don`t see why it would be any deferent just because you happen to be LE.
    We have the same thing here in Virginia as well. And there is more. The imminent threat does not have to be one of death.. serious bodily harm will suffice for a deadly response. Also, the threat doesn't have to be real, let me explain that one. At the time of the threat, you must have apprehension that the threat to be real and imminent. Should it prove not to be real (the perp used a toy gun that happens to look real), the fact that your perception of the threat was genuine is enough.

    INAL so I of course, welcome corrections to any of this.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    If, as a civilian, I have reasonably drawn on a person and he comes at me, I will shoot out of the reasonable belief that he means to take my gun and put me in grave danger. I see no reason why an officer should be required to act any differently.
    Yes, you're correct here. If you have pulled down on a BG, and your actions were valid and justifiable, and he stopped immediately, for a moment, then started towards you knowing full well that you are pointing your firearm at him, what else can you think? You must assume a worse case scenario and act accordingly. I heard an attorney once say that if such a thing happened, you must believe the BG to be beyond normal human response if he advances on an armed person (or something to that effect).
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrob33 View Post
    Are you serious? you really think that will fly, so cops should never have to go hands on because they can always use the blanket defense of "I thought he was trying to take my weapon"

    It doesnt work that way! its called 1:ability 2:Opportunity and 3: jeopardy and
    4: perclusion. that officer had NONE let alone all 4.
    There's no such word as "perclusion". What is it you were trying to convey with this word.. maybe preclusion?

    If the threat to you was real enough for you to have drawn their firearm in the first instance (as you mentioned, ability, opportunity, and jeopardy existed), and then if the BG advances on you under your arm, the threat not only still exists but may have just escalated.

    However, this does introduce another scenario which could very well be a consideration for discussion. Suppose a citizen pulls his gun, but doesn't fire in hopes the BG will suddenly cease his criminal intent. The BG sees the gun pointed at him by the citizen and immediately drops his weapon (whatever it is), then turns to face the GG and says, "Ok MF, what are you going to do... shoot me? I don't think so." As he says this, we starts coming towards the GG since the GG has already demonstrated his hesitation. The BG is a little bigger but most important is his demeanor. He has no qualms about hurting the GG badly like right now. So do you shoot, turn and run, or try to fight?

    Disregard any disparity of force considerations in this scenario.
    Last edited by SouthernBoy; 12-24-2010 at 09:00 AM.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    There's no such word as "perclusion". What is it you were trying to convey with this word.. maybe preclusion?

    If the threat to you was real enough for you to have drawn their firearm in the first instance (as you mentioned, ability, opportunity, and jeopardy existed), and then if the BG advances on you under your arm, the threat not only still exists but may have just escalated.

    However, this does introduce another scenario which could very well be a consideration for discussion. Suppose a citizen pulls his gun, but doesn't fire in hopes the BG will suddenly cease his criminal intent. The BG sees the gun pointed at him by the citizen and immediately drops his weapon (whatever it is), then turns to face the GG and says, "Ok MF, what are you going to do... shoot me? I don't think so." As he says this, we starts coming towards the GG since the GG has already demonstrated his hesitation. The BG is a little bigger but most important is his demeanor. He has no qualms about hurting the GG badly like right now. So do you shoot, turn and run, or try to fight?

    Disregard any disparity of force considerations in this scenario.
    If the bad guy turns and leaves (unless there was a physical crime) I would let him go and then call LE, BUT if he was not intimidated by the barrel of my 45 stairing him in the face then I would have no choice but to "shoot to kill". Maybe 7 years ago I was prospecting out in the desert, there was this guy driving his car erratically back and forth by my camp, after about the 4th trip I walked to the road to confront him, when he seen me he drove his car at me, I moved out of the way and pulled my firearm, he hit the brakes and jumped from his car and started toward me, I pointed my firearm at him and said I would shoot if he did not stop, he must have believed me because he got back in his car and left. I went to the Sheriffs` office and told them what had happened, he told me it sounded like he was on meth and said thay would be on the lookout for him, I don`t know if thay found him or not but I never seen him again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    However, this does introduce another scenario which could very well be a consideration for discussion. Suppose a citizen pulls his gun, but doesn't fire in hopes the BG will suddenly cease his criminal intent. The BG sees the gun pointed at him by the citizen and immediately drops his weapon (whatever it is), then turns to face the GG and says, "Ok MF, what are you going to do... shoot me? I don't think so." As he says this, he starts coming towards the GG since the GG has already demonstrated his hesitation. The BG is a little bigger but most important is his demeanor. He has no qualms about hurting the GG badly like right now. So do you shoot, turn and run, or try to fight?

    Disregard any disparity of force considerations in this scenario.
    If there's no disparity of force, then he's as likely to win as I would. I'll ignore the "the BG is a little bigger" as that's a disparity.

    Choosing to fight would be a stupid, machismo move, as it's likely that both of us would be seriously injured, and one of us might wind up dead. I don't like those odds!

    On the other hand, running away is always an option, and depending on the situation, might very well be your safest "live to fight another day" option, particularly if he has armed friend(s) waiting outside. If you shoot him, you'll draw attention to yourself and will invite the ire of his friend(s). That's a good thing? On the other hand, if he's a menace and his friends are entering the store, you're definately in a pickle! There are ways of turning the tables, but that's well beyond the scope of this thread.

    Back to the single BG... Since he's laid down his weapon, you've already got the advantage, so why not press it? If he says, "what are you doing to do, shoot me?" say, "Yes!" and issue him stop commands. If the BG kept advancing, combined with the other information you've provided, that's an attack with intent to commit mayhem or murder. I'd be in fear of loss of life or limb, and would use deadly force to stop the attack.

    I'm not sure what you meant about "hesitation," however. Did the GG draw his weapon and is just standing there like a goof without doing anything else? That's not good, as it gives at least some measure of control back to the BG.

    One the GG draws his firearm, he needs to take action to stop the attack. There are two steps involved:

    1. A verbal directive to stop backed up by the threat of deadly force. This usually sounds like, "Stop, or I'll shoot!" If he stops, continue to press your advantage, with "Get down! Down on the ground! Put your hands over your head!" If he's slow about it, throw in a "Do it! Do it now!"

    Remember: By drawing a deadly weapon on him, you've initiated a measure of control. You've got to maintain that control, as failure to do so could cost you your life.

    2. If the BG fails to follow your verbal commands to cease and surrender, use deadly force as required (as as allowed by local law) to protect life and limb.

    Try not to confuse any hesitancy or waffling on his part as refusal, though, as he may simply be weighing his options (he may also be slow of thought, if not scared out of his gourd). But don't give him much time to think, either! Keep repeated your commands.

    You initiated control; now maintain it.

    If he gives up, you've won, but don't let your guard down for a second, as he could always change his mind. If he advances toward you, whether he rushes you or is simply creeping, then he has NOT stopped his attack. Repeat your commands if you have time and distance, but do not let him continue to advance.

    Sometimes there's no time for the first step, but if the situation allows for it, I think it's better to attempt it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    If there's no disparity of force, then he's as likely to win as I would. I'll ignore the "the BG is a little bigger" as that's a disparity.

    Choosing to fight would be a stupid, machismo move, as it's likely that both of us would be seriously injured, and one of us might wind up dead. I don't like those odds!

    On the other hand, running away is always an option, and depending on the situation, might very well be your safest "live to fight another day" option, particularly if he has armed friend(s) waiting outside. If you shoot him, you'll draw attention to yourself and will invite the ire of his friend(s). That's a good thing? On the other hand, if he's a menace and his friends are entering the store, you're definately in a pickle! There are ways of turning the tables, but that's well beyond the scope of this thread.

    Back to the single BG... Since he's laid down his weapon, you've already got the advantage, so why not press it? If he says, "what are you doing to do, shoot me?" say, "Yes!" and issue him stop commands. If the BG kept advancing, combined with the other information you've provided, that's an attack with intent to commit mayhem or murder. I'd be in fear of loss of life or limb, and would use deadly force to stop the attack.

    I'm not sure what you meant about "hesitation," however. Did the GG draw his weapon and is just standing there like a goof without doing anything else? That's not good, as it gives at least some measure of control back to the BG.

    One the GG draws his firearm, he needs to take action to stop the attack. There are two steps involved:

    1. A verbal directive to stop backed up by the threat of deadly force. This usually sounds like, "Stop, or I'll shoot!" If he stops, continue to press your advantage, with "Get down! Down on the ground! Put your hands over your head!" If he's slow about it, throw in a "Do it! Do it now!"

    Remember: By drawing a deadly weapon on him, you've initiated a measure of control. You've got to maintain that control, as failure to do so could cost you your life.

    2. If the BG fails to follow your verbal commands to cease and surrender, use deadly force as required (as as allowed by local law) to protect life and limb.

    Try not to confuse any hesitancy or waffling on his part as refusal, though, as he may simply be weighing his options (he may also be slow of thought, if not scared out of his gourd). But don't give him much time to think, either! Keep repeated your commands.

    You initiated control; now maintain it.

    If he gives up, you've won, but don't let your guard down for a second, as he could always change his mind. If he advances toward you, whether he rushes you or is simply creeping, then he has NOT stopped his attack. Repeat your commands if you have time and distance, but do not let him continue to advance.

    Sometimes there's no time for the first step, but if the situation allows for it, I think it's better to attempt it.
    I was painting a simple scenario where a GG hesitated, not an unusual event, and the BG seeing this decided to take the advantage and press the GG.

    Your responses to this, and similar scenarios are, in my opinion, very well thought out and presented. I commend you and pretty much agree with everything you wrote. Good job! As for the hesitation thing, this is the most difficult part of teaching and learning self defense in a deadly force situation. Most good and decent people do not wish to harm others. This is their weak point, their Achilles's tendon if you will, and BG's know this when it happens. The GG who hesitates is conveying that they really don't want to fire their gun, they just want the BG to go away, to leave and let them alone. This is normal human behavior and until someone has actually gone through something like this, a deadly encounter, they really don't know how they will respond because they have no prior experience from which to draw upon.

    So we train, we imagine scenarios and situations as we sit in traffic, have a bite to eat at a fast food place, or just relax in our homes, thinking, "what would I do if..." or "how would I act/respond when..". This is actually a good thing on our part because it is a way of training our minds, and bodies, to react to something which is rare and VERY extreme. Since we are not about to find any volunteers to take live rounds, our mental game playing and training is all we have to help us along. This is why these threads are a good thing because they promote discussion and ideas to proliferate amongst the faithful here on OCDO.

    Good answers and an excellent post, since9. Thanks much.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

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    Kind words, man. Thanks.
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    Just remember that a challenge is not always necessary in using deadly force. Tennessee versus Garner states if its "feasible". A BG with a gun already drawn is at the advantage. Drawing a weapon on him requires a window of time. Challenging him now focuses his attention and his weapon on you. If he shoots first or you shoot first, it may not matter. Who puts his rounds on target in critical vital areas first is going to be the victor in the shootout.

    The feasibility of challenging an armed BG in a robbery is not there. Making sure you have a clear line of fire plus no innocents behind the BG is more important than challenging that BG. This is a lot to process when its a life and death situation. I'd focus on the clear line of fire and a clear backdrop rather than issuing verbal commands in a situation like this.

    Time is at a premium in a self defense situation. A challenge burns up that time where you could be getting that sight picture and evaluating the location of possible innocents.

    Keyword is feasibility. A guy with a gun already drawn actively committing a felony is at the advantage. Giving your location by a verbal command gives him an even greater edge and the unlikelihood of compliance negates feasibility.

    Feasibility for Tennessee versus Garner is along the lines of the robber fleeing the convenience store on foot and an officer chasing him on foot calls out "Stop or I'll shoot". The guy isn't pointing a weapon at the officer, but the officer is chasing him trying to make the apprehension. The officer can use deadly force to make the apprehension of the VIOLENT FLEEING FELON and if its feasible, give him warning that its about to happen.

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    Forgot to mention that there may be no legal requirement for a citizen to challenge the BG according to their respective state laws.

    Just make sure you are within the scope of your state's laws before acting.

    Tennessee versus Garner further defines/strengthens the fourth amendment as it relates to what constitutes an unreasonable seizure using deadly force for law enforcement.

    Shooting a guy who is fleeing because he just shoplifted (misdemeanor or felony): unreasonable

    Shooting a guy who is fleeing after just robbing a bank and shooting the teller: reasonable
    Last edited by palerider116; 12-27-2010 at 03:36 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by palerider116 View Post
    Just remember that a challenge is not always necessary in using deadly force. Tennessee versus Garner states if its "feasible". A BG with a gun already drawn is at the advantage. Drawing a weapon on him requires a window of time. Challenging him now focuses his attention and his weapon on you. If he shoots first or you shoot first, it may not matter. Who puts his rounds on target in critical vital areas first is going to be the victor in the shootout.

    The feasibility of challenging an armed BG in a robbery is not there. Making sure you have a clear line of fire plus no innocents behind the BG is more important than challenging that BG. This is a lot to process when its a life and death situation. I'd focus on the clear line of fire and a clear backdrop rather than issuing verbal commands in a situation like this.

    Time is at a premium in a self defense situation. A challenge burns up that time where you could be getting that sight picture and evaluating the location of possible innocents.

    Keyword is feasibility. A guy with a gun already drawn actively committing a felony is at the advantage. Giving your location by a verbal command gives him an even greater edge and the unlikelihood of compliance negates feasibility.

    Feasibility for Tennessee versus Garner is along the lines of the robber fleeing the convenience store on foot and an officer chasing him on foot calls out "Stop or I'll shoot". The guy isn't pointing a weapon at the officer, but the officer is chasing him trying to make the apprehension. The officer can use deadly force to make the apprehension of the VIOLENT FLEEING FELON and if its feasible, give him warning that its about to happen.
    Personally I am of the opinion, and through some lecture and training, that the moment someone whom you have identified as a potential threat becomes a genuine threat (ability, jeopardy, and opportunity in the general vernacular) you should not voice any commands at all but rather if you have an opportunity, pull your gun and deliver fire. Shouting commands eats up time, announces your location (unless he is fully aware of this), and can give him reason to believe you are not completely committed to using deadly force against him. I'm not saying there are times when issuing a command is never a good and viable thing to do because there are such times. However, if the threat is, so to speak, in your face like right now, and if you have a chance to get to your firearm, you are better served to use it without reservation and fanfare. Not altogether a simple thing for good folks.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    It may vary by jurisdiction, but I don't think that officers are allowed to shoot "fleeing felons" anymore. You chase him and get on the horn for backup. If he presents a danger to you or the public, then you shoot to stop the threat.
    Can you shoot a fleeing felon with a taser?
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    Looks like the robber's left hand was out of the officers view. Possibly holding a weapon. Sneaking up and putting a gun to his head seemed like a good move to prevent the bad guy from firing more than a single shot.

    After that was bad though. Looked like he was trying to cuff him solo or something, with the perp still standing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    Personally I am of the opinion, and through some lecture and training, that the moment someone whom you have identified as a potential threat becomes a genuine threat (ability, jeopardy, and opportunity in the general vernacular) you should not voice any commands at all but rather if you have an opportunity, pull your gun and deliver fire. Shouting commands eats up time, announces your location (unless he is fully aware of this), and can give him reason to believe you are not completely committed to using deadly force against him. I'm not saying there are times when issuing a command is never a good and viable thing to do because there are such times. However, if the threat is, so to speak, in your face like right now, and if you have a chance to get to your firearm, you are better served to use it without reservation and fanfare. Not altogether a simple thing for good folks.
    I happen to agree with you wholeheartedly. There are great drawbacks in verbally challenging someone. Indecisiveness and lack of confidence in the justness of one's position is extremely dangerous when a person chooses to react in a self defense situation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Expert View Post
    Can you shoot a fleeing felon with a taser?
    Legally, yes. Department policy and procedure may dictate otherwise. LE taser cartridges are typically the bright green ones that have a maximum range of 25 feet. 25 feet of wire doesn't equate to effective range. Secondly, the taser is not a precision weapon, so its fired and the darts deploy at slight angles to make a greater spread.

    Then you have the possibility of broken wires, barbs that don't penetrate the clothing, and a whole host of other malfunctions.

  25. #25
    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by palerider116 View Post
    There are great drawbacks in verbally challenging someone. Indecisiveness and lack of confidence in the justness of one's position is extremely dangerous when a person chooses to react in a self defense situation.
    Absolutely dead on the money correct and exactly the gist of my posts.

    I do see a few situations where an announcement of some sort may work in your favor, but when that threat is facing you and sudden in nature, if you are going to react, do so with all deliberate speed and without any sort of fanfare.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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