Major Violators

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Major Violators


I hope this finds everyone doing well.


The officers responding to the call are about to stop an individual that has been identified as the possible shooter. Officers have interviewed the victim, who has given a name, and supporting information such as the suspect’s address and physical address. Based upon the information  the officers will stop the individual and place him under arrest.

As the officers cautiously approach, they have concerns and the primary are the civilians in close proximity. Officers have at their disposal equipment known as less than lethal, which can include; Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) spray, taser and bean bag and rubberized bullets (projectile weapons). Because they have enough officers, they designate one officer to deploy the bean bag rifle. The bean bag is exactly that, a bean bag that is propelled from a rifle and can knock an individual to the ground, allowing officers to safely approach and handcuff the person.

One officer will give the commands to the suspect to keep his hands above his head and to slowly go to his knees, then stomach, keeping the hands visible at all times. If the suspect cooperates, then he is handcuffed and the incident ends peacefully. The officer giving the command and one other officer will have their weapons drawn and pointed at the suspect.

The officers approach and the crowd disperses. The officers order the suspect to place his hands above his head, but they don’t get him to respond. His hands are in the pockets of a jacket he is wearing. When he is asked to turn away and slowly remove his hands from the pockets of the jacket, he refuses to comply. There is a brief stand off. The officers are about to deploy the bean bag gun, when the suspect quickly removes his hands and in the right hand is a handgun. Without provocation and against the commands of the officer, the suspect starts to raise his right hand, pointing the handgun at the officers. One officer, fires a round from his department authorized firearm and strikes the suspect, knocking him to the ground.

The officers request an ambulance, to treat the suspect.


Depending on the jurisdiction, every police department has a team, of highly trained investigators, to dissect the circumstances surrounding the use of deadly force.

The investigation conducted by the designated unit, whether that is an outside agency or handled in-house, can take hours at the scene. All crime scene investigative support is used to ensure a thorough investigation is completed.

Once the investigation is done, the involved officers, to include witness officers are interviewed.

The final part of the investigation is called, the walk through. The walk through is important, because, the involved officers return to the field and they are put in place, when the shooting occurred. The big picture unfolds, if there are questions, then those questions can be answered in the field.

The following day, and for the next several weeks, generally no more than 60 days, investigators will mull through forensic evidence, and eyewitness testimony if there are any. If questions are not clear, they can re-interview their witnesses for clarification.

Shooting Review Board:

Once the investigation is completed, the shooting investigation is presented to a Shooting Review Board. Every department is different in the makeup. But the purpose is to review the investigative support, listen to a presentation by the officer’s commanding officer. The board will determine a number of things, to include; was the officer authorized to draw his/her weapon, was there good communication, were tactics properly deployed, did the circumstance cause the officer to fear for his/her safety and/or the safety of others and the actions of the suspect could result in death or seriously bodily injury.

After the shooting review board decides the fate of the officer, the investigators from the team that conducted the investigation will present it to the district attorney’s office. That could take up to a year and the reviewing parties at the prosecutor’s office will determine if the officer/officers actions resulted in criminal negligence.

For the record, it’s not like on T.V., where everything is obvious. It takes time and a lot of scrutiny is involved.


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