Results 1 to 17 of 17

Thread: Police shooting

  1. #1
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    47

    Police shooting

    I read an article in one of my gun magazines about a police officer, who was shot while on duty. He managed to get
    off several shots that missed, but remembering what his trainer said, used his sights and shot the shooter in the knee
    at about 40 yards. My question is, are police allowed to shoot someone who is running away and is no longer a
    threat to them?

  2. #2
    Regular Member Guido's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Wilder, Idaho, USA
    Posts
    46
    I do believe that it is dependent upon the laws of the state that they reside in.

    For the most part however, yes the police can shoot a felony suspect who is fleeing without getting into trouble for it.

    This is just my understanding from reviewing use of force articles and statements from police dept. that have had this come up. Personally I don't feel it is right or that it should be legal, I feel that if there is no imminent threat then deadly force should not be used or even threatened, unfortunately my opinion doesn't hold much sway with the authorities.

  3. #3
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    West Texas
    Posts
    596
    If someone was shooting at me, I dont care if their doing it while running away or not.
    Hint, Hint.

  4. #4
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Fairborn, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    13,063
    A person who has just shot a police officer and is running away is an immediate threat to the community. It would probably be much easier to list the jurisdictions (if any) in which the officer could not shoot the fleeing felon.

    In the story related, it sounds like he missed he target completely, yet again, getting lucky and hitting a knee. Surely, he was not so foolish as to aim for the knee or anything near it!

  5. #5
    Regular Member DevinWKuska's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Spanaway
    Posts
    300
    Quote Originally Posted by MR Redenck View Post
    If someone was shooting at me, I dont care if their doing it while running away or not.
    Hint, Hint.
    +2 My wife and I agree! If you just shot me(in my home or elsewhere) if your still in range your getting hit! Not to mention I am pretty sure I can say he shot me then turned around as I drew to fire. IT was life or death must have blacked out after I began to fire
    "So there I was between a rock and a hard place, when it hit me... What am I doing on this side of the rock?"

  6. #6
    Founder's Club Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Fairfax Co., VA
    Posts
    18,766
    Tennessee vs Garner:

    From the Syllabus (summary):

    Held: The Tennessee statute is unconstitutional insofar as it authorizes the use of deadly force against, as in this case, an apparently unarmed, nondangerous fleeing suspect; such force may not be used unless necessary to prevent the escape and the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others.

    From the opinion:

    ...The use of deadly force to prevent the escape of all felony suspects, whatever the circumstances, is constitutionally unreasonable. It is not better that all felony suspects die than that they escape. Where the suspect poses no immediate threat to the officer and no threat to others, the harm resulting from failing to apprehend him does not justify the use of deadly force to do so. It is no doubt unfortunate when a suspect who is in sight escapes, but the fact that the police arrive a little late or are a little slower afoot does not always justify killing the suspect. A police officer may not seize an unarmed, nondangerous suspect by shooting him dead. The Tennessee statute is unconstitutional insofar as it authorizes the use of deadly force against such fleeing suspects...

    ...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...


    The entire opinion is rather interesting reading:

    http://supreme.justia.com/us/471/1/case.html
    Last edited by Citizen; 03-25-2011 at 01:42 AM.

  7. #7
    Regular Member paramedic70002's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Franklin, VA, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    1,448
    Definitely legal in VA. And BTW any Correctional Officer can legally shoot any escaping felon, as they are presumed to be a danger to the public, although this allowance is not automatically extended to other law enforcement officers.
    Last edited by paramedic70002; 03-25-2011 at 08:51 AM.
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

    Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
    Paramedics With Guns Scare People!

  8. #8
    Regular Member DevinWKuska's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Spanaway
    Posts
    300
    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Tennessee vs Garner:

    From the Syllabus (summary):

    Held: The Tennessee statute is unconstitutional insofar as it authorizes the use of deadly force against, as in this case, an apparently unarmed, nondangerous fleeing suspect; such force may not be used unless necessary to prevent the escape and the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others.

    From the opinion:

    ...The use of deadly force to prevent the escape of all felony suspects, whatever the circumstances, is constitutionally unreasonable. It is not better that all felony suspects die than that they escape. Where the suspect poses no immediate threat to the officer and no threat to others, the harm resulting from failing to apprehend him does not justify the use of deadly force to do so. It is no doubt unfortunate when a suspect who is in sight escapes, but the fact that the police arrive a little late or are a little slower afoot does not always justify killing the suspect. A police officer may not seize an unarmed, nondangerous suspect by shooting him dead. The Tennessee statute is unconstitutional insofar as it authorizes the use of deadly force against such fleeing suspects...

    ...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...


    The entire opinion is rather interesting reading:

    http://supreme.justia.com/us/471/1/case.html
    I think this statement although interesting doesn necessarily apply. The Police officer WAS SHOT. THis article seems to pertain to felons in general, not felons who just shot police officers. But Maybe I am mis-understanding. Although a person(erm.. felon BG) who just shot a police officer IMO warrants a significant threat to the LEO and the general public.
    "So there I was between a rock and a hard place, when it hit me... What am I doing on this side of the rock?"

  9. #9
    Founder's Club Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Fairfax Co., VA
    Posts
    18,766
    Quote Originally Posted by DevinWKuska View Post
    I think this statement although interesting doesn necessarily apply. The Police officer WAS SHOT. THis article seems to pertain to felons in general, not felons who just shot police officers. But Maybe I am mis-understanding. Although a person(erm.. felon BG) who just shot a police officer IMO warrants a significant threat to the LEO and the general public.
    Devin,

    You are reading excerpts from a US Supreme Court opinion. It certainly does apply to the OPers question and circumstances. Here is part of it again:

    ...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...

    In as much as the suspect had shot at the cop, the cop was authorized by this case law to shoot to prevent escape. In fact, the common law that authorized the cop to shoot goes back centuries (read the opinion for more on this).
    Last edited by Citizen; 03-25-2011 at 10:01 PM.

  10. #10
    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Free, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    3,855
    As the BG already committed attempted murder, and probably a few other felonies, the cop was completely justified in using whatever force necessary--up to and including deadly force, to stop him from escaping. He presented a real and present danger to the community, although no longer to the cop.

    Read the whole case citation. Inter alia quotes don't cover the intent and process used to reach the bottom line finding. Interesting case.
    Last edited by Gunslinger; 03-26-2011 at 12:19 PM.

  11. #11
    Founder's Club Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Fairfax Co., VA
    Posts
    18,766
    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    SNIP Read the whole case citation. Inter alia quotes don't cover the intent and process used to reach the bottom line finding. Interesting case.
    Yes, very.

    One of my favorite aspects was that burglary is not something for which one receives the death penalty. Given the behavior of some police, and the willingness of other police to tolerate it, I have no problem dramatically narrowing police authority to shoot people.

  12. #12
    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Free, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    3,855
    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Yes, very.

    One of my favorite aspects was that burglary is not something for which one receives the death penalty. Given the behavior of some police, and the willingness of other police to tolerate it, I have no problem dramatically narrowing police authority to shoot people.
    And yet, with or without Castle Doctrine, it is generally considered a crime of violence against which deadly force is authorized for the home owner. There are exceptions in slave states, but generally DF can be used--everywhere I've lived, at any rate.

  13. #13
    Founder's Club Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Fairfax Co., VA
    Posts
    18,766
    Quote Originally Posted by Gunslinger View Post
    And yet, with or without Castle Doctrine, it is generally considered a crime of violence against which deadly force is authorized for the home owner. There are exceptions in slave states, but generally DF can be used--everywhere I've lived, at any rate.
    Good point. Does this mean the law trusts citizens more than cops, I wonder?

    I guess it speaks to timing. The homeowner who is inside is in immediate potential danger, (because it might be more than burglary?) The cop chasing the suspected burglar is doing it after the fact, when it is more likely known to be "merely" burglary. If it was robbery with threat of infliction of serious harm, then lethal force seems authorized by Tenn. v Garner for the pursuing cop, or rather recognized by that court as longstandingly constitutional.

  14. #14
    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Okanogan Highland
    Posts
    2,332
    Put the shoe on the other foot. You are out and about town, and some shoots YOU. do you believe you have the legal right to protect yourself? Now, let us suppose you shot and killed the BG that just shot you. Would that be OK?

    My answer is, absolutely yes, even in NYC you would not be convicted of murder. In NYC you would rot in jail for having a weapon, rather than being out on parole for committing murder. Remember Bernard Goetz?
    Last edited by hermannr; 03-27-2011 at 08:25 PM.

  15. #15
    Founder's Club Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Fairfax Co., VA
    Posts
    18,766
    Quote Originally Posted by hermannr View Post
    Put the shoe on the other foot. You are out and about town, and some shoots YOU. do you believe you have the legal right to protect yourself? Now, let us suppose you shot and killed the BG that just shot you. Would that be OK?

    My answer is, absolutely yes, even in NYC you would not be convicted of murder. In NYC you would rot in jail for having a weapon, rather than being out on parole for committing murder. Remember Bernard Goetz?
    Welcome, Hermannr.

    The problem is that the discussion is about the law. And, with law, the devil is in the details.

    In the original post, the issue is whether a cop can shoot someone who was, but no longer is, a threat to the cop.

    There is law about whether a citizen can shoot after the threat ceases. And, there is a different law about whether cops can shoot after the threat ceases.

  16. #16
    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Western Prince William County, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    5,849
    Quote Originally Posted by paramedic70002 View Post
    Definitely legal in VA. And BTW any Correctional Officer can legally shoot any escaping felon, as they are presumed to be a danger to the public, although this allowance is not automatically extended to other law enforcement officers.
    In Virginia, the laws defining the use of deadly force is pretty much the same for police and civilians. (info per an attorney in Virginia).
    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!

  17. #17
    Regular Member paramedic70002's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Franklin, VA, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    1,448
    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    In Virginia, the laws defining the use of deadly force is pretty much the same for police and civilians. (info per an attorney in Virginia).
    I'm just parroting what I was taught in Virginia Correctional Officer academy, many long years ago.
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

    Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
    Paramedics With Guns Scare People!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •