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Thread: Wethersfield cop shoots, kills unarmed man

  1. #1
    Regular Member KIX's Avatar
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    Wethersfield cop shoots, kills unarmed man

    First, this is not an anti-LEO post.....

    http://www.courant.com/community/wet...,1348243.story

    I say this is interesting, considering the laws here if we ever have to defend ourselves. Whether we open carry or not, most incidents I hear of someone defending themselves have an armed opponent. Often, the armed citizen is drug through the ringer trying to convince the legal system that he was in the right.

    I wonder how severe this will be for an officer with an unarmed suspect. Could be beneficial to any of us if we ever have to defend ourselves as a comparison if he does have no repercussion from this incident. Especially given all the training and such that an officer receives and still having to fatally discharge his weapon.

    Time will tell,

    Jonathan
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    www.ctgunsafety.com - my blog and growing list of links useful to gun owners (especially in Connecticut).

    Rich B: My favorite argument against OC being legal in CT is "I have never seen someone OC in CT".
    I have never seen a person drink tea from a coke bottle while standing on their head, that doesn't mean it is illegal.

  2. #2
    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Nothing will happen to the cop. Will be the usual whitewash and finding of 'justified.' The real shame is how easy this is to forecast as to the outcome.

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    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    The article said that the suspect tried to gain control of the officer's firearm and was shot.

    but the man struggled violently and tried to take the officer's gun, he said.
    This may only be relying on the officer's word, but I willing to consider him innocent until proven guilty just like I would expect from anyone else if it were me involved in the shooting.

    I can say without a doubt, that someone that unlawfully tries to gain control of my firearm is definitely inside my 'imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm' zone and will be handled as such. I cannot fault an officer for pulling the trigger when a suspect is actively trying to take his firearm.
    Last edited by Rich B; 02-02-2011 at 02:02 PM.

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich B View Post
    The article said that the suspect tried to gain control of the officer's firearm and was shot.



    This may only be relying on the officer's word, but I willing to consider him innocent until proven guilty just like I would expect from anyone else if it were me involved in the shooting.

    I can say without a doubt, that someone that unlawfully tries to gain control of my firearm is definitely inside my 'imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm' zone and will be handled as such. I cannot fault an officer for pulling the trigger when a suspect is actively trying to take his firearm.
    Or so he says. No witnesses: nice, easy whitewash.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    Or so he says. No witnesses: nice, easy whitewash.
    Why would he just blow the guy away for no reason? For a couple of days off? If the story happened as it is reported, this is justified, 100%, no question. He ran, struggled, tried to strangle the cop, attempted to take away his gun, the gun got loose, he got shot.
    "Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

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    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    According to the article (and I know how inaccurate the press can be!):
    - the man was seen sitting in a car (not a crime)
    - the officer ordered him out of the car (for what crime?)
    - they struggled, officer was injured, officer shot unarmed citizen

    If the injuries (& his dash-cam) back his claim of being strangled, etc., & otherwise in fear for his life, & he couldn't use his less-than-lethal tools & training, then I can see calling this justified. (Or, of course, if state law presumes that a shoot by anyone is in self-defense unless the State proves otherwise.)

    But he should be held at least to the same standard that any citizen would be.

    But why contact a guy who wasn't doing anything?
    Maybe he was lost, looking at a map; maybe he was tired, thinking about a nap; maybe he had to make a phone call; maybe... who knows. Too many maybes.
    If the guy wasn't in the process of committing a crime, or didn't fit the description of someone who had recently committed a crime, why contact him at all?

    That I'd like some LEO input on.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MKEgal View Post
    According to the article (and I know how inaccurate the press can be!):
    - the man was seen sitting in a car (not a crime)
    - the officer ordered him out of the car (for what crime?)
    - they struggled, officer was injured, officer shot unarmed citizen

    If the injuries (& his dash-cam) back his claim of being strangled, etc., & otherwise in fear for his life, & he couldn't use his less-than-lethal tools & training, then I can see calling this justified. (Or, of course, if state law presumes that a shoot by anyone is in self-defense unless the State proves otherwise.)

    But he should be held at least to the same standard that any citizen would be.

    But why contact a guy who wasn't doing anything?
    Maybe he was lost, looking at a map; maybe he was tired, thinking about a nap; maybe he had to make a phone call; maybe... who knows. Too many maybes.
    If the guy wasn't in the process of committing a crime, or didn't fit the description of someone who had recently committed a crime, why contact him at all?

    That I'd like some LEO input on.
    Man was sitting on private property in a vehicle, after business hours, at night, possibly obstructing the driveway, who knows what type of neighborhood this was, Officer likely knows that people don't sit in the driveway/parking lot of that business on a regular basis at night. Probably enough RAS for a brief detention, order out of the vehicle, pat down and a few questions. It went down hill in obvious ways from there on out. Contact in and of itself needs no justification and the standard for a brief detention is relatively low. RAS of what...drug crime, trespass, burglary. . . judging by the guy's response it seems that at least something was not right with the situation.
    "Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emsjeep View Post
    Man was sitting on private property in a vehicle, after business hours, at night, possibly obstructing the driveway, who knows what type of neighborhood this was, Officer likely knows that people don't sit in the driveway/parking lot of that business on a regular basis at night. Probably enough RAS for a brief detention, order out of the vehicle, pat down and a few questions. It went down hill in obvious ways from there on out. Contact in and of itself needs no justification and the standard for a brief detention is relatively low. RAS of what...drug crime, trespass, burglary. . . judging by the guy's response it seems that at least something was not right with the situation.
    So he was maybe obstructing a driveway after business hours when no one was using it. Cop had less than lethal options--even if there was a struggle, but shot and killed an unarmed man. Hopefully, there will be video evidence of what happened, otherwise, like I said, it will be whitewashed based solely on the cop's account. Maybe he was justified, maybe not. But the take away is he killed an unarmed man. The burden of proof would be 100% on a citizen to affirmatively defend this action. On a cop, basically 0%--failing 3rd party evidence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    So he was maybe obstructing a driveway after business hours when no one was using it. Cop had less than lethal options--even if there was a struggle, but shot and killed an unarmed man. Hopefully, there will be video evidence of what happened, otherwise, like I said, it will be whitewashed based solely on the cop's account. Maybe he was justified, maybe not. But the take away is he killed an unarmed man. The burden of proof would be 100% on a citizen to affirmatively defend this action. On a cop, basically 0%--failing 3rd party evidence.
    I'm usually the last one to say, "good shoot," but, in the end, a struggle over a gun is a lethal encounter. Why would he want the gun if he didn't intend to use it? If the guy was stable he would have said something to justify his sitting there, instead he ran and fought based on a mere encounter with the police, who knows if it was even at the level of an investigative detention....if the story is as written, I don't see a problem, I would hope that a private citizen could walk away from an encounter like that after being forced to shoot.
    "Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emsjeep View Post
    I'm usually the last one to say, "good shoot," but, in the end, a struggle over a gun is a lethal encounter. Why would he want the gun if he didn't intend to use it? If the guy was stable he would have said something to justify his sitting there, instead he ran and fought based on a mere encounter with the police, who knows if it was even at the level of an investigative detention....if the story is as written, I don't see a problem, I would hope that a private citizen could walk away from an encounter like that after being forced to shoot.
    The question is: was there, in fact, a struggle, and if there was with the cop gaining control of his pistol, was he in fear of death or grievous bodily harm. No one else was threatened so only the cop was at any risk and has to meet that standard the same as a citizen. And that is an affirmative defense to the fact that he took a life and must be set forth. That's the rest of the story and until it's told, conclusions either way are premature. Guess we wait and see.

  11. #11
    Regular Member KIX's Avatar
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    My only part in all of this was the double standard.

    If he felt his life was threatened, then I agree the use of force was indeed justified.

    I only wish our citizens had the same protection when feel our lives are threatened.

    Castle Doctrine could, of course, fix this.....

    Jonathan
    www.ctpistolpermitissues.com - tracking all the local issuing authority, DPS and other insanity with permit issues
    www.ctgunsafety.com - my blog and growing list of links useful to gun owners (especially in Connecticut).

    Rich B: My favorite argument against OC being legal in CT is "I have never seen someone OC in CT".
    I have never seen a person drink tea from a coke bottle while standing on their head, that doesn't mean it is illegal.

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    This looks bad for OC. If you get involved in a non-lethal fight of some kind, the guy could go after your openly carried firearm, escalating it to the same situation this cop faced. And the media will blame you for hanging the carrot on a stick for the other guy.

    On the cop's actions.
    If I tried to disarm a police officer, I'd expect the same response. Hell, if someone tried to take a gun from my hip I'd likely shoot him. Maybe it's not the right response, but I bet it would put you into a defensive mindset you've never experienced before.

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    Regular Member KIX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AGust82 View Post
    This looks bad for OC. If you get involved in a non-lethal fight of some kind, the guy could go after your openly carried firearm, escalating it to the same situation this cop faced. And the media will blame you for hanging the carrot on a stick for the other guy.
    Not buying that one. By the same logic....

    blame the rape victim for being young, attractive and waring makeup
    blame the mugging victim for walking out of a bank with money in their pocket
    blame the robbery victim for having such a nice flat panel TV and electronics

    It is more of the same, though.

    Blame someone for following the law and blame the victim because it's so much more politically correct than actually blaming the scumbag perp.

    Jonathan
    www.ctpistolpermitissues.com - tracking all the local issuing authority, DPS and other insanity with permit issues
    www.ctgunsafety.com - my blog and growing list of links useful to gun owners (especially in Connecticut).

    Rich B: My favorite argument against OC being legal in CT is "I have never seen someone OC in CT".
    I have never seen a person drink tea from a coke bottle while standing on their head, that doesn't mean it is illegal.

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    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KIX View Post
    Not buying that one. By the same logic....

    blame the rape victim for being young, attractive and waring makeup
    blame the mugging victim for walking out of a bank with money in their pocket
    blame the robbery victim for having such a nice flat panel TV and electronics
    It has never stopped ignorant people from telling me that someone is going to snatch my pistol while I am OCing.

    No one ever stops to think that just because someone is OCing, does not mean that they are also not CCing.

    Regardless, attempting to take someone's sidearm is a very, very bad idea that is definitely a justification for self defense.

  15. #15
    Regular Member KIX's Avatar
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    agreed.

    I'd really like to see dashboard cam or audio of the incident. Right now, we only have one side of the story.

    As the saying goes, there's always three sides to a story, his side, her side and the truth!

    Jonathan
    www.ctpistolpermitissues.com - tracking all the local issuing authority, DPS and other insanity with permit issues
    www.ctgunsafety.com - my blog and growing list of links useful to gun owners (especially in Connecticut).

    Rich B: My favorite argument against OC being legal in CT is "I have never seen someone OC in CT".
    I have never seen a person drink tea from a coke bottle while standing on their head, that doesn't mean it is illegal.

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    Being disamred while OCing

    It is extremely rare that a citizen open carrying can or will be disarmed, despite the hype form antis. Police are more frequently disarmed just because as sworn LEOs they have to chase the bad guy down dark streets, corner them like rats and wrestle with them in the mud.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AGust82 View Post
    This looks bad for OC. If you get involved in a non-lethal fight of some kind, the guy could go after your openly carried firearm, escalating it to the same situation this cop faced. And the media will blame you for hanging the carrot on a stick for the other guy.

    On the cop's actions.
    If I tried to disarm a police officer, I'd expect the same response. Hell, if someone tried to take a gun from my hip I'd likely shoot him. Maybe it's not the right response, but I bet it would put you into a defensive mindset you've never experienced before.
    A potentially lethal fight is any one in which a weapon of any sort is used, any which involves contact with the head or any which involves contact that risks or causes one to fall. Enough people have been killed by a single punch to the head that anyone who claims, "they should have beat each other up and gone home" can be made to look like an idiot.
    Last edited by emsjeep; 02-07-2011 at 10:07 PM.
    "Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

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    Regular Member sharkey's Avatar
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    Benefit of the doubt.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    So he was maybe obstructing a driveway after business hours when no one was using it. Cop had less than lethal options--even if there was a struggle, but shot and killed an unarmed man. Hopefully, there will be video evidence of what happened, otherwise, like I said, it will be whitewashed based solely on the cop's account. Maybe he was justified, maybe not. But the take away is he killed an unarmed man. The burden of proof would be 100% on a citizen to affirmatively defend this action. On a cop, basically 0%--failing 3rd party evidence.
    Gunslinger,

    I have had several bad encounters with LE in my youth. I've been threatened and detained on enough false statements to have an inherent distrust in LE. In fact I attended protests against the Mesa police back when they were in killing spree mode. I think the protest was in 04. I question if that had anything to do with my DELAY on my first firearm purchase. The murder of Tasia Patton opened my eyes. I knew any citizen would at least be held accountable for manslaughter in a similar situation and I've always felt that those sworn to uphold the law should be held to a higher standard.

    My point in all this is I am not an LE lover.

    I do believe this officer is innocent until proven guilty. His statements, if true, show a justifiable kill. If there was a struggle for his weapon the man was armed. Retention training is a whole 'nother story.

    By the way, I am happy to see that cops actually do get charged with murder these days.

    soapbox/
    Please remember, if/when you call police they are not there to mediate. They are there to arrest and trained to shoot at the first sign of danger. That includes hitting a police motorcycle in front of your vehicle even if the officer is behind you.
    /soapbox

    BTW, reading these articles again made my stomach churn. I think the police here have gotten much better but in the late 90's to early 2000's I hated and feared them. I'd personally been in more encounters with them than I care to admit and had their trigger-happy hands holding guns to my temple. When they weren't holding weapons to me they were concocting stories to search me and friends. I never once let them search me, I knew my rights then and I know them now.

    Now the police call me sir and thank me. How the world changes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KIX View Post
    agreed.

    I'd really like to see dashboard cam or audio of the incident. Right now, we only have one side of the story.

    As the saying goes, there's always three sides to a story, his side, her side and the truth!

    Jonathan
    Or more accurately: 'Only two guys know what really happened.... me and that dead guy over there!'

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    Paranoid trolls

    A few nuggets for all you conspiracy theorist. 1. The “victim” had an extensive record, 2. He was trespassing 3. If you had a suspicious vehicle trespassing in your area wouldn’t you want the cops to investigate? 4. Did the police officer choke himself to the point that he had to be hospitalized? 5. I know the police officer and respect the hard work our officers of the law do. 6. I hope when the day comes and you board trolls need the help of a police officer, that they don’t investigate.

    I am not a cop.

  21. #21
    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Heck, I side with the officer being innocent until proven guilty, but I find some posted reasoning a little alarming, so I will take the bait.

    Quote Originally Posted by toadyrock View Post
    1. The “victim” had an extensive record
    I don't see how this is relevant, and I have no idea how the officer would know this beforehand anyway.

    2. He was trespassing
    I don't see this anywhere in the article, but I also don't see how this is relevant. Officers deal with trespassing all the time and trespassing is a pretty minor offense. One that usually results in no arrest or prosecution in most cases since it can solved by the officer asking the person to leave.

    3. If you had a suspicious vehicle trespassing in your area wouldn’t you want the cops to investigate?
    Of course. I fail to see how this is relevant to the topic at hand though.

    4. Did the police officer choke himself to the point that he had to be hospitalized?
    I don't see where anyone has doubted this. I also don't see where this is mentioned in the article, other than:

    Lord was injured during the fight and was transported to Hartford Hospital for treatment, state police said. Police declined to elaborate on his injuries.
    If they decide to not release any information, then they cannot expect people to make informed decisions based on the vacuum of knowledge they create.


    5. I know the police officer and respect the hard work our officers of the law do.
    I believe everyone here shares the same general respect for LEOs. In fact, it is one of the main forum rules. We don't need to know the officer personally to respect his position.

    6. I hope when the day comes and you board trolls need the help of a police officer, that they don’t investigate.
    Well, that is a nice sentiment, but I don't think your trolling is welcome here. If you don't like people having opinions about things and speaking their mind to ask questions about whether a LEO and a citizen would be treated the same way, I might suggest that this is not the forum for you. This forum is full of free thinkers who tend to verbalize questions and concerns over inequalities of the law.

    I am not a cop.
    Interesting that you felt the need to state this with no accusations as a basis. I wonder why you would think that any of us would assume that a LEO would spew this kind of vitriol on a forum and try to silence people's opinions and questions. I for one expect more out of our LEOs, and I have too much respect for them to think that they would make such an emotionally distraught reply to good citizens questioning legalities of such an important topic such as self defense.
    Last edited by Rich B; 02-10-2011 at 10:58 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Claytron View Post
    Nobody sits in an empty lot at night? They must have never had a crappy car that broke down i guess....?
    Then again I don't, typically, book it on foot and abandon my car when approached by police who are rightfully suspicious....
    Last edited by emsjeep; 02-10-2011 at 03:54 PM.
    "Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharkey View Post
    Gunslinger,

    I have had several bad encounters with LE in my youth. I've been threatened and detained on enough false statements to have an inherent distrust in LE. In fact I attended protests against the Mesa police back when they were in killing spree mode. I think the protest was in 04. I question if that had anything to do with my DELAY on my first firearm purchase. The murder of Tasia Patton opened my eyes. I knew any citizen would at least be held accountable for manslaughter in a similar situation and I've always felt that those sworn to uphold the law should be held to a higher standard.

    My point in all this is I am not an LE lover.

    I do believe this officer is innocent until proven guilty. His statements, if true, show a justifiable kill. If there was a struggle for his weapon the man was armed. Retention training is a whole 'nother story.

    By the way, I am happy to see that cops actually do get charged with murder these days.

    soapbox/
    Please remember, if/when you call police they are not there to mediate. They are there to arrest and trained to shoot at the first sign of danger. That includes hitting a police motorcycle in front of your vehicle even if the officer is behind you.
    /soapbox

    BTW, reading these articles again made my stomach churn. I think the police here have gotten much better but in the late 90's to early 2000's I hated and feared them. I'd personally been in more encounters with them than I care to admit and had their trigger-happy hands holding guns to my temple. When they weren't holding weapons to me they were concocting stories to search me and friends. I never once let them search me, I knew my rights then and I know them now.

    Now the police call me sir and thank me. How the world changes.
    I don't disagree with you at all, and no one believes more feverantly than I 'in innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.' And I do not say the cop did anything wrong. My point is that history shows ...if he did...it will be whitewashed. There are way too many examples over the past year or two to draw any other conclusion.

  24. #24
    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toadyrock View Post
    A few nuggets for all you conspiracy theorist. 1. The “victim” had an extensive record, 2. He was trespassing 3. If you had a suspicious vehicle trespassing in your area wouldn’t you want the cops to investigate? 4. Did the police officer choke himself to the point that he had to be hospitalized? 5. I know the police officer and respect the hard work our officers of the law do. 6. I hope when the day comes and you board trolls need the help of a police officer, that they don’t investigate.

    I am not a cop.
    No, you're an apologist for them. No trespass was committed; trespass is against the owner of the property who must call the police to have his property rights enforced. No one called the cop, he was "investigating." Fact: an unarmed man is dead, shot by the cop. Fact: no exculpatory evidence exists, just the cop's statement which is solely what the news story states. Maybe he is telling the truth; maybe he is covering something up by lying. No one will ever know the truth of the action outside of him. No one else is alive to testify. If it was a "righteous" shoot, that's fine and he did his job. If not it wouldn't be the first--or the twentyfirst, time that a "whitewash" has occurred in the past year or so concerning a shooting by a cop.
    You have 5 posts on the forum. Before you start calling others "trolls," maybe you should add a few hundred more. You're the only troll I see on this thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    No, you're an apologist for them. No trespass was committed; trespass is against the owner of the property who must call the police to have his property rights enforced. No one called the cop, he was "investigating." Fact: an unarmed man is dead, shot by the cop. Fact: no exculpatory evidence exists, just the cop's statement which is solely what the news story states. Maybe he is telling the truth; maybe he is covering something up by lying. No one will ever know the truth of the action outside of him. No one else is alive to testify. If it was a "righteous" shoot, that's fine and he did his job. If not it wouldn't be the first--or the twentyfirst, time that a "whitewash" has occurred in the past year or so concerning a shooting by a cop.
    You have 5 posts on the forum. Before you start calling others "trolls," maybe you should add a few hundred more. You're the only troll I see on this thread.
    Commenting on a CT thread from Colorado, Trolling the nation I see. Fact the new's does not report all facts. Fact the property is POSTED no tresspassing as you roll into the area. I live near it. It is the exception to the norm. Just like people I believe most police officers are good people, and looking to do the best for others. Personally knowing this police officer he left the Hartford Force because it was just to much, and was settling into this town life of reporting to underage drinking and car accidents. NO police officer wants to shoot someone. Sorry about all the name calling and I will drop it. I come to this site once a month to see if there is anything on the conceal and carry subject for CT, not to play consipracy theory about a police officer protecting himself after a suspect tries to fight him.

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