Major Violators

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Major Violators

OFFICER NEEDS HELP, SHOTS FIRED! Part 1

I hope this finds everyone doing well. I pray that 2017 is a safe, healthy and prosperous year for everyone reading this.

You are probably wondering, why would I post something with the words, “OFFICER NEEDS HELP, SHOTS FIRED!” as the tag line. When an officer responds to a call, and is under attack, where the suspect or suspects are using firearms and or other type of deadly weapon and the officer or officers responding need help to stop the threat, that is the call that goes out.  Not every time, when an officer is confronted with an armed suspect, do they put that call for help out. Their training and experience will many times be in their favor and they can handle it immediately.  I also, want everyone to know, that police officers are not gun happy fools that deal with situations by using their firearm every time. Drawing their firearm from its holster and using that firearm is a last resort and I mean last resort! People are upset because of the amount of publicized officer involved shootings. I want you to know what is involved when it gets to that point. I hope you walking away with an understanding of the process.

In 2016, it was impossible to miss the horrific stories of police officers being  savagely attacked and murdered in the line of duty. Even for those that have less than love for police officers agree, enough is enough of our centurions  being viciously attacked and their lives taken. Some of the accounts from those stories show the suspects killed cops strictly for sport.

When I worked for  the Los Angeles Police Department, I had two officers, that I worked with, admired and  considered friends, killed in the line of duty. Both of them were great people, solid family men and outstanding cops. To be notified, someone you cared about and worked with was killed tears at your sole. It leaves you speechless, which isn’t something I have an issue with. Every murder of a police officer has a common thread. The officers were either killed, while responding and prior to conducting an investigation AND killed while investigating the circumstances surrounding the call for service that sent them there.

In a 20 year career, a large majority of police officers never have to pull the trigger, on duty. That doesn’t make them any less a hero for what they do. Becoming involved in an officer involved shooting is life changing. I know everyone has heard the stories on television about officer involved shootings. What you hear in the media is the sensationalism surrounding a very serious matter. The first inclination for the media is to sensationalize it, to draw you in and to have you form an opinion before you hear the facts behind those stories. Unfortunately, most people have made up their mind before they even know the facts.

During my time with the L.A.P.D. and even after retirement, if I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it two hundred times, “Can’t cops just shoot them in the leg?”, or “Just because the guy pulled a gun, shot off a few rounds, doesn’t mean he/she intended on hurting anyone. Maybe he/she was just upset.” Really! Think about that for a minute. Who in their right mind thinks it’s OK to pull a gun on another citizen and just shoot off a few rounds because they were upset. That is not OK in any civilized or partially civilized society. This isn’t the wild, wild west, even though it seems that way by the amount of vicious attacks taking place on citizens and police officers in the United States. A very good example is the great City of Chicago. In 2016, they had 772 homicides, with over 4,600 incidents of citizens and visitors alike, being shot.

Ownership of Firearms:

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution allows for its citizens, the right to keep and bear arms. It’s a responsibility and privilege.  The arms are supposed  to be used by citizens for hunting AND to protect themselves and their families from DEATH OR SERIOUS BODILY INJURY! NOTHING ELSE.

Understanding:

Most people don’t understand, what is entailed, when a police officer pulls their service weapon and uses it in the line of duty. I want to walk you through that process, so you have a good idea, what takes place. I won’t make excuses, just give you hard, cold facts.  Television is nothing like reality. It happens much quicker and an officer doesn’t have sixty minutes with commercials to decide what they will do. NANO SECONDS is a speed that every cop can relate to in an officer involved shooting situation.

The reason a police officer uses a firearm in the line of duty is TO DEFEND A CITIZEN OR THEMSELVES FROM DEATH OR SERIOUS BODILY INJURY or IF A FLEEING FELON THAT COMMITTED A CRIME THAT RESULTED IN DEATH OR SEROUS BODILY INJURY WOULD LIKELY BE REPEATED.  I don’t care what you hear, how you hear it or who you hear it from. The bottom line is what is in capital letters. Ask any prosecutor that had an officer involved shooting come across their desk for review. They will agonize over the facts, which evolved around the officers’ intent. Was the intent to DEFEND A CITIZEN OR THEMSELVES FROM DEATH OR SERIOUS BODILY INJURY or stop the possibility of that the FLEEING FELON WOULD REPEAT SUCH A CRIME! Was there intent to hurt or kill the suspect without aggravating circumstances to support that?

PART ONE

Policy: Every police department in the United States, whether they are a municipal, county, state or federal law enforcement agency has written policy as it pertains to the use of a service weapon in the line of duty. The policies are very restrictive and rightfully so.  COVERED FIRST in every policy is the DRAWING OF THE WEAPON FROM THE HOLSTER. Believe it or not, an officer must be justified in drawing their weapon from its holster. Most calls officers go on are dangerous, but they don’t always require the drawing of their weapon. It will be decided by a reviewing panel, if the drawing of the firearm was in policy or out of policy.

Circumstance(s): Why a police officer is at a location, which led to the officer involved shooting is also examined. As an example I will use a uniformed police officer, responding to a radio call. There is no debating why an officer or officers are at an address or intersection. A call for service, by someone was made to the police, generally through the 911 Emergency System. The Police Emergency Dispatcher will send a unit, to the address or intersection obtained from the caller to investigate.

With that said, let’s dive into Part 1.

When the call for service is received, the operator at police dispatch asks questions, hoping to get some solid information that can be used by the responding officer or officers, in an effort to resolve the issue without incident. What I mean, by without incident is, no one is hurt and  dispute resolution is peacefully used to resolve it. That always isn’t the case. Sometimes, when the 911 Operator answers, a voice on the end of the line will tell the operator, “Some guy in dark clothing, wearing a hoodie and jeans is shooting at people on the northwest corner of such and such street.” Then they hang up. A broadcast by the emergency dispatcher will be made with what was extracted from the caller. That’s it, nothing else.

The first thing they look for are injured citizens, while scanning the area for an active shooter.  If officers locate an injured citizen,  they will assist with basic first aid, while requesting an ambulance respond to their location. IF the citizen is coherent, they will ask more questions in an attempt to identify the person(s) that shot them.

Confrontation:

The officers complete their line of questioning and ascertain more information. They broadcast that information, so the additional police officers actively looking for the shooter can narrow their search to the person(s) described by the victim.

Officers identify a person one block away, loitering in a large group of people. The description of the person is so distinct, that it becomes necessary for the safety of the public, that the officers question the person and continue their investigation. The officers have PROBABLE CAUSE, to DETAIN the person and are justified and will attempt to conduct a cursory search for weapons.

As the officers approach the group there are concerns:

1. The civilians in close proximity to the Person of Interest-officers want to disperse those people so they are not in harms way, should the Person of Interest draw a firearm.

2. If the Person of Interest has clothing that would allow for concealment of a firearm.

3. The most important issue, is that the officers can see the person’s hands are at all times.

NEXT: PART 2

Be Good To Yourself and Each Other,

Jack

 

 

 

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One response to “OFFICER NEEDS HELP, SHOTS FIRED! Part 1”

  1. Brooke Abbott says:

    Most of this seems like common sense rather than unknown information. Therefore, it seems, to me, that the very people who accuse Police officers of cavalier attitudes toward using their firearms…and especially those to would deliberately target police officers, are not using basic common sense. So what is the cause in our society of the declining ability to see clearly and come to a rational conclusion? When confronted with an armed officer, why would one not make ones hands visible? Why are brains and hearts so clouded? The world needs Christ. Thank you to all police officers who place themselves between danger and me! Thank you, Jack, for the reminder.

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