Sunday, August 17, 2014

Blue suit of immunity

Now, if you or me had shot a person holding a power drill, black or not, we'd be charged with murder, or at least manslaughter.

No matter what we claimed we thought at the time. We'd not get to use the excuse that we saw a gun shaped object and feared for our lives or the lives of others....

We'd be charged with murdering a human being. Period. Likely convicted as well. But being a cop.....well, that blue suit gives a kind of extra immunity.

Kinda like if a cop shoots my dog, he can say that he was in fear....and it is OK. But if I shoot a police dog because it is attacking me, then I get treated like I shot a police officer.

9 comments:

Murphy's Law said...

Not really accurate. If someone threatened you with something that you reasonably believed was a deadly weapon, you would be justified in defending yourself with deadly force, same as a police officer. And if you were attacked by a police dog without cause or reason, you would be justified in defending yourself as well.

But let's be honest. A police officer in the performance of his/her duty who is sent into volatile situations and expected to handle them is a little different from Joe Citizen just walking down the street with no duty to act and the ability to retreat. Both are going to be judged under the exact same "reasonableness" standard if they act in self-defense but one will be expected to act affirmatively whereas the other can always leave the area.

B said...

Sorry, I can't buy it. While you or I may be able to leave, he/she has the ability to take time in an instance like this to identify and deal with a threat

Just because someone said 'Uzi" does not excuse this behavior. They SHOULD be judged by the same standard as you or I would be.

AndyN said...

I wouldn't want to put any money on either news source being correct, but this one makes it sound like a deliberate suicide by cop...
http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_26336743/san-jose-police-cop-shoots-woman-who-was

If they have their facts straight, she was bi-polar, may have been off her meds, called 911 herself and told them she was going to kill her family with an Uzi.

I'd like to think that if someone was walking slowly toward me and pausing occasionally to point a spray painted cordless drill at me in broad daylight, I'd recognize that I wasn't in immediate danger. That said, she seems to have done nearly everything possible to goad someone into shooting her.

I don't generally have a lot of sympathy for cops who shoot unarmed citizens, but in this case I really feel for the officer who will have this woman's death weighing on her conscience.

Murphy's Law said...

Time? When someone points something at you that looks like a weapon and they hold it like one and act aggressively towards you while disregarding commands to drop it, you don't have time to ponder what it is in their hands.

"Excuse me...I can't really see what you're pointing at me. is that a real gun in your hand or is it a--" BANG!

Let's not forget that the police are the good guys. None of them joined the police department because they mistook it for the MS-13 recruiting office. Let's give them the benefit of the doubt unless there's clear and convincting reasons not to.

B said...

Murphy:

So if you had shot me for carrying a corless drill (even one painted black) you don't think that they'd put you through the wringer? Even if the circumstances were the same?

I think you'd be sitting in a cell waiting for them to decide how many charges they could pile on.

Yes, cops are SUPPOSED TO BE the good guys. But they now hide behind the badge and are often judged differently and more leniently than Joe or Jane citizen....most other officers will go out of their way to make excuses or hide evidence that would put them in a bad light. "Officer safety" comes first before anything else.

I wasn't there, and I cannot fully judge the story I can't see what the cordless drill looked like (and I have never seen one that looked much like a firearm). But again, if it were you who was the shooter, and had no badge to protect you, you would be in a world of hurt right now.

Perhaps the police are different in your state than in mine...



Murphy's Law said...

Shot you for CARRYING a cordless drill? That would probably be bad. However if you threatned me with one and gave me reason to beleive that it was a gun, then yes, I would likely be able to articulate why I feared for my life, and the objective test is if a reasonable person in my situation would have came to the same conclusion and acted the same way, then the bar for self-defense is met. That's basic common law in almost every state, and it's codified into stature in a majority of them.

But that's for civilians. Remember, cops ARE different by virtue of their role and the requirement that they go into and deal with situations that you and I can and should retreat from. They have the same reasonableness standard but they also get and deserve more latitude because we as a society have tasked them with the job of responding to these situations.

As for "Officer safety" trumping, I have no problem with that. we don't pay these guys to get hurt or killed and it's not part of the job description.

B said...

We disagree on this, and very badly. Cops, having the power, should be held to a HIGHER standard, not a lower one.

Being professionals, with training and all.

Again, if you or I would be charged for an action, so should they. Period.


Murphy's Law said...

Police ARE held to a higher standard, one commensurate with their training AND agency policy, which may be more restrictive than state law. However you need to keep in mind again that civilians with CCW are not the same as police. You will never be called up and told to go break up a domestic fight or an armed robbery in progress and if you encounter one, you can and should leave or just do nothing, whereas the police officer does not have that option. We expect them to handle the situation and I'm saying that we need to support them when they do unless their actions are so egregious as to defy belief. Why are you advocating a handcuffing of the good guys? It seems to me that it would be a better idea to stand united against the bad guys instead.

J Bogan said...

Cops are held to NO standard. As long as they can make any sort of case for the magic words, they get a complete pass. Yeah, and cop dogs... Nothing like a trained LEO getting permission to violate your rights from a dog. They are referred to a "canine officers" Do they take the same oath that human LEOs do? Can you demonstrate to me that they understand the oath? They are fricking DOGS.