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Thread: What do ya'll think?

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    What do ya'll think?

    OK so this isnt strictly OC related, but it is interesting I think. I am curious to know how you would react if you were this homeowner. Did he overreact? Was he within his right to protect his property from another individual? What do you think is the proper course to handle the situation?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz1V3IrnzNX
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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by condeist View Post
    OK so this isnt strictly OC related, but it is interesting I think. I am curious to know how you would react if you were this homeowner. Did he overreact? Was he within his right to protect his property from another individual? What do you think is the proper course to handle the situation?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz1V3IrnzNX
    You are kidding, right?

    This Englishman (happened in Britain) will be as good as buried 'neath the Tower of London.
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    Regular Member smlawrence's Avatar
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    I can see points on both sides. I also believe there is more to the story.
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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Other than this was reported in a newspaper published in (f)GB, why is it in the GB forum?

    Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett has ordered flags in the Capitol complex and in Northampton County to be flown at half-staff to honour Mr Lasso.


    Disturbance: The owner of the Pennsylvania home allegedly told Mr Lasso to get off his property before shooting him



    This happened in Pennsylvania, USA. That's why the Governor of Pennsylvania ordered the state flags flown at half-staff. If it happened in (f)GB I seriposly fouby je would have been aware of the event, let alone respond to it publically.

    Would someone please close this as being totally off topic both to OCDO and the (f)GB forum.

    stay safe.
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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Other than this was reported in a newspaper published in (f)GB, why is it in the GB forum?

    This happened in Pennsylvania, USA. That's why the Governor of Pennsylvania ordered the state flags flown at half-staff. If it happened in (f)GB I seriposly fouby je would have been aware of the event, let alone respond to it publically.

    Would someone please close this as being totally off topic both to OCDO and the (f)GB forum.

    stay safe.
    Whoops - redirected to General Discussion.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

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  6. #6
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    OK, now that we are back on more solid ground about where this happened ---

    Cop shows up in response to some sort of domestic disturbance complaint means he has a bare minimum legitimate reason for being there. Guy tells him to go away and not come back without a warrant is slightly more than out of line and just plain wrong. Cop apparently calls for backup and gets the head guy who tells cop, among what all else we do not know, to tase the dog.

    Now as much as I like dogs - just about any dog including littlr yappy ankle-biters - over most people, I cannot support shooting a cop over the threat to tase my dog. While it does not offer the immediate satisfaction of blowing away the cop in a most gory way, a nicely tailored lawsuit will get a much better end result, and probably will not get me sent to jail and facing a death penalty.

    Even asking
    What do ya'll think?
    OK so this isnt strictly OC related, but it is interesting I think. I am curious to know how you would react if you were this homeowner. Did he overreact? Was he within his right to protect his property from another individual? What do you think is the proper course to handle the situation?
    indicates a lack of even the most basic understanding of not just what is and is not lawful behavior, but the ability to control one's behavior - and I'm not referring to the homeowner when I say that.

    What do I think? I think you are trying to create a debate where there is no possible debate. Did he overreact? I think that is perhaps the most irresponsible question posible, except for the one you follow with. Was he within his right ....? You are really trying to get my goat with that question. It is taking almost all the self-restraint I posses to refrain from making a statement about the person and the mentality behind that question. As for what I think would be the proper way to handle the situation, I have already given you my response but I'll repeat it just so there is no misunderstanding. The guy should have sued the cop and his supervisor for even suggesting they tase the dog.

    Quite frankly I am outraged that the questions you pose were even asked. To my mind there could be no other answers but that the guy was wrong, wrong, and wrong in how he reacted to the situation. If you also believed his behavior was wrong you should have come straight out and said so. By asking if he overreacted you are suggesting that it was possible that he did not overreact. By asking if he was within his right to protect property by deadly force you are suggesting that it was possible that it might be permissable anywhere but in Texas - and even if you are still confused about this happening in Pennsylvania and not (f)GB you still knew it surely was not Texas.

    But I suppose there will always be those who will try to see if they can get someone to say that committing murder to protect a dog from being tased is OK. Once, a long time ago, I would have thought that anybody trying to do that was a troll from the anti-gun side attempting to create a situation where they could point and say "See, those gun freaks are just itching to kill somebody." But now I'm not so sure it's just the anti-gun folks who are trying to create that situation.

    I always thought the folks who came to OCDO were here to promote responsible and lawful gun ownership and behavior. Lately I am reading an awful lot of what I refer to as blood-lust - wanting to see just how far the legal use of deadly force can be pushed as a means of dealing with the minor and major frustrations that life shoves at us. If that's your purpose I offer you my personal invitation to go elsewhere to express that notion.

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

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  7. #7
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    ....snip....I always thought the folks who came to OCDO were here to promote responsible and lawful gun ownership and behavior. Lately I am reading an awful lot of what I refer to as blood-lust - wanting to see just how far the legal use of deadly force can be pushed as a means of dealing with the minor and major frustrations that life shoves at us. If that's your purpose I offer you my personal invitation to go elsewhere to express that notion.
    Well said.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

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

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    I - me, a guy who follows stuff in the news and even stuff that's not in the mainstream news but is happening anyway - think I know what you are referring to, but the vast majority probably does not. If you have a thought you'd like to share you would be better served by actually expressing it rather than hinting at it.

    And for the record, this has nothing to do with the decision handed down in Indiana. Different circumstances, different LE purposes, different behavior of LEO. So at best a D- for remembering that both of these things involve LEO, but nothing more because they are otherwise not related.

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

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

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
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    Regular Member rodbender's Avatar
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    Skidmark is so eloquent and reasonably minded with his postings in this thread. That's one reason why so many on this forum love him so.

    Well said, skid.
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    Regular Member Gunslinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodbender View Post
    Skidmark is so eloquent and reasonably minded with his postings in this thread. That's one reason why so many on this forum love him so.

    Well said, skid.
    Yes, he ranted most eloquently.
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  11. #11
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    From the article:

    Police Chief George Bruneio, who arrived after Mr Lasso [the police officer on the scene] requested assistance, instructed him to 'shoot the dogs' and that's when the homeowner pulled out a shotgun and fired, authorities said.
    I think it's a crock that the police feel an obsessive-compulsive need to over-control the situation. How difficult would it have been to tell the homeowner they needed to talk, that he should secure his dogs? If he refused, come back with a warrant. Problem solved, dogs alive, Hitcho alive, and Lasso alive.

    Mr Lasso's family said they were devastated.
    'Robert, he was so good,' said his mother, Elsie Stem. 'He was so loved, especially by his kids. Now they have to grow up without a daddy. It's not fair.'
    No, it is not fair. If I were the homeowner, I'd have been more cooperative with the police. However, Chief Bruneio was complicit in this tragedy.
    Last edited by since9; 08-18-2011 at 06:05 PM.
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    I stand by my question. I dont think its clear cut. I can guarantee that I will not let anyone kill my dog, cop or not. Maybe youve never had a dog that is a part of the family, but I would not let someone kill my dog anymore than I would let them kill my kid. Overall, this whole incident is a tragedy, and both parties bear some fault. In the end, the homeowner shouldnt have shot the cop.
    "I believe that a person's moral compass can be determined by how he references free men the right to defend themselves." - Ted Nugent

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    Much as I love my dog, there is no doubt in my mind that the life of a human being is worth much more than that of a dog or other animal. The article doesn't say what the nature of the domestic disturbance is and whether or not the dogs were involved in it. Private property or not, LE has a right to respond to a complaint. They go onto private property all the time in such cases. Had I been the home owner, I would have secured my dogs immediately upon the arrival of LE, they would not have even been a factor in the interaction. Obviously the officer felt threatened by them or he wouldn't have had his stun gun out.

    At that point it should have dawned on the home owner that the officer felt threatened by his dogs and he should have voluntarily secured them away from where they could be harmed. It sounds as though this guy had a belligerent attitude to begin with, which seems to be the real problem. Now we have a LEO dead for no good reason, and this ignoramous of a home owner has lost not only his dogs, but also his home, his job, and everything else he had. He is lucky to be alive, as the other LEOs could have shot and killed him. While I do not advocate surrendering your rights, in this particular case I would cooperate with LE and sort it out later in court, if need be. This should have never happened and the home owner is definitely in the wrong. More grist for the anti's mill.
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    Regular Member frommycolddeadhands's Avatar
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    Yes, it was a total over-reaction.

    I'd like to know exactly why the cop was there. (out of curiosity) The article said he was responding to a domestic that 'ended-up' in the homeowners back yard. I'm not sure if that means the domestic disturbance was across the street and somehow the players wound up on this man's property, or if that means the officer was responding to a domestic at this particular address and the players were in the back yard to start with.

    Either way, the cop had a legitimate reason for being there. If the dogs were being aggressive toward the cop then the homeowner should have secured them. If the homeowner was allowing the dogs to attack the officer, or using them as a barrier to keep the officer out of an area he was allowed to lawfully enter, then the cop had every right to shoot them- tazer or otherwise.

    Whether or not the cop had probable cause to enter the house itself without a warrant depends on the situation, and there isn't enough evidence here to say either way. In any event the homeowner should have controlled his pets/guard dogs if he didn't want them getting hurt. If the officer took enough time to radio back to his Chief and ask how to handle the situation, I'm sure he had probably already asked the homeowner to come get his dogs and was refused.

    I love my dogs, and I would never want to see them hurt or tazed, but by the same token I don't let them get confrontational with visitors- law enforcement or otherwise. If there is someone that I dont want on my property, I'll handle it myself. "Releasing the hounds" is just an invitation for the dogs to be killed.
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    I've been thinking about this dog-thing for some time. A while back, there was a mayor of a small town in Maryland upon whom a search warrant was served by mistake. Seems the county cops came bursting in late at night or early morning, unannounced, and with guns drawn in full combat gear, purportedly expecting crackheads with fully automatic weapons. First thing they did was shoot the friendly, sweet, adorable family pets. They said later they'd gotten the wrong address on the warrant. Ooops.

    That, to me, was purely a demonstration of how an individual can be targeted as the result of political problems, and nothing else. Standard Maryland politics. But the dog thing bothered me.

    I tell people my dog is a trained killer - if anyone breaks into the house, my dog will lick them to death. He's the sweetest dog on the planet but he looks dangerous, weighing about 125 lbs and almost all black.

    So if I were in a situation like this guy was, observing the process by which the cops were preparing to "taze" his dog, I'm thinking how would the legalities go, at least in Virginia. Not that this wouldn't be a tough row to hoe, but I think it's doable.

    1) The basic rule of self-defense doesn't require me to know with scientific certainty that the object being used in the attack is nonlethal. It requires "a reasonably held, good faith belief, based on objective fact", which is why cops get away with killing people who suddenly pull cell phones out of their pockets during traffic stops.

    2) The rule of self-defense doesn't require me to know for sure where and how the attacker plans to attack. I'm not required to know what's in his mind. So I don't need to know whether that gun-like weapon he's pointing in "our" direction is a firearm, a tazer, or a squirt-gun, or what he plans to do with it. If he's pointing it in "our" direction, sure, he may be attacking the dog, but he's also assaulting me.

    3) The cop has no business having a weapon out at all unless he perceives a threat. And it makes absolutely no difference whether he "was in fear for his life", since no one but him is responsible for his purely subjective emotional responses. That's why the self-defense rule requires, "a reasonably held, good faith belief", not "fear". It is a violation of the citizen's right to due process of law for the cop to threaten deadly force where none is required because of "an imminent threat of serious bodily injury to himself or another innocent person".

    4) An offer of deadly force by the cop where none is required, and who appears to be trespassing after having been told to leave in the absence of a warrant or other authority, takes that cop out of the realm of official action. At that point, his actions are criminal in nature (regardless of the fact that official corruption and cronyism would prevent his being prosecuted), and the person who shoots him, having a "reasonably held, good faith belief, based on objective fact, that he, or another innocent person is faced with the imminent threat of a serious bodily injury" is not criminally responsible for doing so.

    5) "Assault" is the offer of an immediate battery to the person of another. A "battery" is the unprivileged, offensive touch to the person of another, without cause, justification, or excuse. An assault can be resisted with such force as is reasonably necessary under the circumstances. Pointing a thing that appears to be a weapon in the direction of me and my family while I'm on my property will excuse my use of deadly force in repelling the attack. And when "they" shoot at "us", we're entitled to shoot back, assuming there is no reason we know of why they have an official sanction, such as a warrant. That's the reason cited by the Court of King's Bench back in the late 1500's for the creation of "the Castle Doctrine" that prohibits no-knock warrants.

    6) As a practical matter, cops are a protected species and if you shoot one, they will murder you, one way or another. This is a principle first enunciated by my late great-uncle, who'd been Chief of the City of Alexandria Police Department at the time, and was in a position to know what he was talking about. I don't think things have changed much since then.
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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by user View Post
    ----snip--- I don't think things have changed much since then.
    Surely not enough.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

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

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    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by user View Post
    1) The basic rule of self-defense doesn't require me to know with scientific certainty that the object being used in the attack is nonlethal. It requires "a reasonably held, good faith belief, based on objective fact", which is why cops get away with killing people who suddenly pull cell phones out of their pockets during traffic stops.
    If that were true, people would get away with using lethal force against cops every time a cop pulls a firearm on an innocent, law-abiding citizen.

    No, there's more to it than that. It's called "abuse of authority." Cops can get away with it. We can't. That's the abuse.
    Last edited by since9; 08-24-2011 at 04:31 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by since9 View Post
    If that were true, people would get away with using lethal force against cops every time a cop pulls a firearm on an innocent, law-abiding citizen.

    No, there's more to it than that. It's called "abuse of authority." Cops can get away with it. We can't. That's the abuse.
    Well, my position is that, from a purely theoretical, academic legal point of view, that's exactly right. There's no special dispensation for cops. In fact, the original reason for the "castle doctrine" was to keep the local sheriff from being lawfully killed since the homeowner had an absolute right to protect his home against invasions (the doctrine isn't about limitations on liability, it's about the legitimate exercise of deadly force in defending one's home and the curtilege thereof). Whenever a cop pulls a gun on someone without that person's having made some overt and actual threat, that's the unauthorized, unjustified, unprivileged use of deadly force; it's a crime in Virginia, and self-defense or defense of others is excusable.

    That's the theoretical view. The practical view requires one to consider that the system, generally, is run by humans, and that humans are prone to sin and corruption. There are lots of decent folks in the system who, despite their being decent folks, are cogs in the system-machine.

    My approach, generally, is to use the machinery against the system to the extent I can, to effect justice. I'm working with another attorney, now, to set up a law firm as a nonprofit to do just that. Naturally, I'd defend someone charged with a crime in connection with shooting or threatening to shoot, a cop who'd pulled a gun without provocation, but I wouldn't argue that anyone should get himself into that situation. I am waiting for a good case for a civil suit for assault to be brought on behalf of someone against whom a cop pulled a gun without cause, justification, or excuse. I don't think there's any sovereign immunity there, because the cop is operating outside the law when he does that. ("I feared for my life" is irrelevant.)
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    By the way, nothing I say on this website as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice, merely personal opinion. Everyone having a question regarding the application of law to the facts of their situation should seek the advice of an attorney competent in the subject matter of the issues presented and licensed to practice in the relevant state.

  19. #19
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    User, I really, really do NOT want to be your test case on this.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

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

  20. #20
    Regular Member frommycolddeadhands's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by user View Post
    SNIP-...who appears to be trespassing after having been told to leave in the absence of a warrant or other authority, takes that cop out of the realm of official action.
    Whether or not the cops was trespassing depends on why he was there in the first place. A warrant is not required if the cop has probable cause/reasonable suspicion. If the officer was responding to the home due to a complaint of domestic violence then yes, the cop has every right to approach the house and knock on the door and ask to speak to the people inside.

    And if the homeowner is using his dog to try and keep the officer from performing his duty then yes, the officer can use necessary force to subdue the animal (including lethal force if the dog is a threat) and cuff/stuff the homeowner for obstruction.

    If the cop was just throwing his weight around, then it's a different story, but a cop doing his duty doesn't have to put up with getting bit by a dog just to investigate a domestic.
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