First… Watch this skit.
Did you watch it? If not, I’ll wait… If so…
I was whistling my way through the park when an armed bad guy (wearing the bad guy uniform) jumped out and demanded my wallet. He had the jump on me, I couldn’t out draw him and I wasn’t drinking coffee so I handed it over.
He then decided that he was going to kill me anyway, so I might as well fight and I drew. He forgot to chamber a round and I won.
I scanned for additional threats and reholstered reluctantly. I called the cops to report it, established myself as the victim, I requested 2 ambulances (any guesses on why?), described myself so the officers knew who to look for, left the 911 line open to have a recording, flagged the officers down, answered their question and got shot 6 times in the chest.
Why did I get shot?
In one of WTBGU! first posts I mentioned that the most likely armed encounter a CCW’er will ever have is with a police officer and it shouldn’t be a surprise that if you are in a self-defense shooting with an armed man (which this CLEARLY was), that more armed men will be coming.
My movement to show where the gun is located looks a lot like a draw and is what is called furtive movement.
A furtive movement is a movement reasonably consistent with going for a weapon and not reasonably consistent with anything else under the circumstances.
The responding officers may have been alerted by your 911 call, they may have heard the shots, they may have been dispatched by someone who called faster, they might not have been given or heard all the information you provided… who knows? But they will know 2 things:
1) An armed man just proved his willingness to use his firearm on another person
2) To quote Mas Ayoob “The person on the ground is doing a great job of playing the part of the victim.”
If the officers were responding to a call that a man in a grey shirt just shot another man in the park. They would be understandably amped up and my motion towards the gun could reasonably be seen as a furative movement. Their shooting of me may very well have even been seen as justified.
So I survived a murderous robber, only to be killed by the responding officers. I’m just as lost to my family and I likely left the officers with a lifetime of mental issues, because they will know they killed the victim of the initial crime.
But That wouldn’t happen!
Quick recap: Erik was a graduate of West Point, and served as an Army tank platoon leader and company staff officer and had a valid CCW permit in Navada. On July 10, 2010 he was made by a security guard in a Cosco and was told to leave. Erik knew the store wasn’t posted told him he was allowed to be there and the security guard called 911 reporting an active shooter.
The police arrived amped up, the store was evacuated and Erik walked out oblivious he was the reason for the evacuation. The security guard ID’d him, the cops asked a question similar to the skit, he removed his 1911 with its holster in what appeared to be a furtive movement and shot 7 times.
During the discussion, Michael brought up a very good point that this could easily happen after a self-defense shooting and offered a suggestion on how this can be avoided.
How can this be avoided?
First you need to understand that the responding officers are there to do 3 things…
- Priority 1 is to ensure that no further crimes against people are committed.
- Priority 2 is to go home safely.
- Priority 3 is collect evidence on what happened, arrest and charge the suspect.
When they roll up to the scene their first goal it secure it. This serves all 3 of their priorities.
So, unless you live in Mayberry, you’re related to the 911 operator, you’ve been patched through Andy and there is a little red-headed kid standing next to you shouting “I saaaawww it paaaawwww!” the officers will becoming fast with their guns drawn.
And they will be more scared than you, because you know the threat is gone and that you are the good guy. They still need to determine it!
Just like in Surviving a Traffic Stop you want to…
- Be polite. Being polite and taking actions to demonstrably reduce their risk will show that you are a good guy and put them more at ease.
- Avoid movements that may be confused with reaching for your firearm. It is your responsibility to not give the impression that you are drawing your gun. Don’t let the officer give you commands that make look that way either.
- Minimize weapon handling by both you and the officer.
Michael’s suggestion addresses both #2 and #3… DON’T Reholster!
When you hear/see the cops, set the gun down (preferably in the holster) and step away from it.
When asked where it is, keep you hands visible, where they told you to put them and say… “It’s on the table”, “It’s on the hood” or “It’s over there.” Don’t point. Don’t move towards it.
It is not that officers are bad people or poorly trained, but you safety is not their primary concern… their’s is! And whe you add in the high likelihood of reflexive fire and you probably won’t get a chance to explain yourself.
You need to understand that self-defense encounter doesn’t end when the police arrive, it ends when you a free to sleep in your own bed. Your actions need to minimize the chance you will be injured by the officers and that you unwittingly provide them with evidence against you.
Your Miranda rights state…
- You have the right to remain silent.
- Anything you say or do may be used against you in a court of law.
- You have the right to consult an attorney before speaking to the police and to have an attorney present during questioning now or in the future.
- If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you before any questioning, if you wish.
- If you decide to answer any questions now, without an attorney present, you will still have the right to stop answering at any time until you talk to an attorney.
- Knowing and understanding your rights as I have explained them to you, are you willing to answer my questions without an attorney present?
There is nothing that says anything about what you say or do being used to help you, is there? (Again, why did I ask for 2 ambulances?)
What do you think of the idea not reholstering and or the idea that the danger is not over when law enforcement arrives? Let me know in the comments below.
Also this topic is far more important that the latest piece of gear. Feel free to share it and encourage them to respond as well!