How can lawfully armed citizens avoid being shot by responding police officers?
This is a discussion on How can lawfully armed citizens avoid being shot by responding police officers? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; In light of the many threads recently about police shootings or what's best to do if you are involved in a defensive gun use when ...
April 2nd, 2014 07:02 PM
How can lawfully armed citizens avoid being shot by responding police officers?
In light of the many threads recently about police shootings or what's best to do if you are involved in a defensive gun use when police arrive on the scene, I wanted to share some interesting research from a law enforcement web site I frequent about police shootings when the justification for the use of deadly force is unclear.
Tom Aveni of the Force Science Research Advisory Board conducted a study about officer-involved shootings under ambiguous circumstances involving six law enforcement agencies from Michigan (Three municipal agencies and three sheriff's offices, one of each from a rural, suburban, and urban area of Michigan).
A local acting troupe, diverse as to age, gender, race, and clothing, were used to generate 80 different video scenarios for IES MILO interactive video trainer system, which uses HD video and lasers for use of force simulations. Each scenario was done under low-light conditions, where >70% of police shootings of unarmed people occur.
The scenarios were as follows:
1. Robbery: Officers were told about a robbery report by 911 hangup. When they arrive on the scene, an unidentified subject bursts through a door and starts running away.
2. Mugging: Officers were told they were conducting business checks at 1 a.m. in a business park when they hear a verbal altercation in an alley. Upon entering the alley, they see one person shoving another into a wall.
3. Burglar Alarm: Officers were dispatched to a burglar alarm. Upon arriving, they see a person with a crowbar trying to open a door. The person drops the crowbar.
Each of these scenarios had one of three possible random endings.
In each, the suspect stood with his or her back to the officer, glanced over his or her shoulder, then turned to face the officer, concealing his or her hands until well into the turn. At that point, the suspect did one of the following:
1. Moved into the surrender position with his or her hands up.
2. Drew an innocuous object (flashlight, cell phone, or police ID wallet).
3. Drew and fired a blank-loaded S&W 640 at the officer.
Officers were told that a paintball marker firing hard foam balls would shoot at them if the suspect opened fire.
1. Of 307 participating officers, 38 percent shot at least one of the unarmed suspects.
2. There was no correlation between whether a suspect was shot and the suspect's race.
3. There was no correlation between an officer's decision to shoot and the officer's agency, agency location, or personal demographic information.
4. Officers were more likely to shoot if the suspect was young and wearing scruffy clothing.
5. Officers were more likely to respond with a drawn weapon and quickly use deadly force for the more serious offense (robbery), and less likely to respond with a drawn weapon and slower to use deadly force for the burglar alarm (a frequent false alarm call in law enforcement) or to the verbal altercation (which was not relayed to the officer via dispatch).
6. The overwhelming factor in an officer's decision to shoot was how intensely and energetically the actor moved, with actors who crouched as they turned, turned with clenched fists instead of open hands, and kept their hands low instead of high as they turned being more likely to be shot.
1. Even with the actors who did not move rapidly, officers's eye movement lagged behind the motion so that it appeared as a visual 'smear' or blur, and officers were unable to determine what was in the suspect's hands until the hand stopped moving. In the cases where the suspect is armed, the suspect was able to shoot first 61 percent of the time. Officers usually had about 1/3 of a second to decide whether to use deadly force. Those officers who successfully shot before the armed suspect made their decision to shoot prior to determining what the suspect was holding, which also explained why so many unarmed suspects were shot as well.
2. 92 percent of the unarmed suspects who were shot were shot when they were fully in the 'surrender' position, with their arms raised up to shoulder height, palms out. This was because of the fractional time lag between when an officer decided to shoot, when he physically pulled the trigger, and when the bullet hit the suspect. This time lag is also why justified shootings do often feature bullet entry wounds in the back of a suspect.
New study may ?radically alter? how police deadly force is viewed
The two obvious ones are:
1. Comply with the verbal commands of responding officers.
2. Don't make any sudden moves, particularly with your hands, especially toward any place the officer cannot observe, for any reason.
Some lesser ones:
1. It's best not have anything in your hands, and for your hands to be open. As has been pointed out in prior threads regarding what to do should you find yourself confronted by police after a defensive gun use, the odds of having responding officers on the scene while there is still a threat to you is virtually nil. So there would be no reason to still have your firearm out. The consensus advice of past threads was that reholstering your firearm was the best course of action.
Last edited by Madcap_Magician; April 2nd, 2014 at 10:26 PM.
Reason: Didn't have a chance to finish the post originally
Not my circus, not my monkeys.
April 2nd, 2014 07:57 PM
Wear a CCW sash. They are
printed all around, so require no hand movement.
It might solve the problem.
OTOH, you wouldn't catch me dead with one on. .. And, you definitely won't catch me alive with one.
It could be worse!
April 2nd, 2014 08:00 PM
This is such an overblown, ridiculous scenario that it doesn't merit comment--but I will.
Cops shooting a legally armed citizen upon arrival at the scene is so remote as to be nearly non-existent. Comply with LEO instructions and identify yourself. The rest will be resolved shortly. They do not jump out and shoot down everyone in sight. You may spend a while in cuffs but you don't get gunned down recklessly.
Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid...
Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth
April 2nd, 2014 08:02 PM
OP - I think I might have counted to 10 while pondering if posting this was a good idea......
April 2nd, 2014 08:27 PM
So I'm taking it that the answer to the question, "How can lawfully armed citizens avoid being shot by responding police officers?" would be to not do anything that may make it look like you need to be shot. I would say don't make any erratic moves, keep your hands visible as much as possible and don't go reaching for anything unless asked to do so.
Vietnam Vets, WELCOME HOME
Crossman 760 BB/Pellet, Daisy Red Ryder, Crossman Wrist Rocket, 14 Steak Knives, 3 Fillet Knives, Rolling Pin-14", Various Hunting Knives, 2 Baseball Bats, 3 Big Dogs and a big American Flag flying in the yard. I have no firearms; Try the next house.
April 2nd, 2014 08:33 PM
Dont look like a threat to the officers. If you have a gun holster it as they arrive or earlier if safe to do so. Keep your hands in sight.
For Petes sakes if your old and have a cane throw it down
" It is sad governments are chief'ed by the double tongues." quote Ten Bears Movie Outlaw Josie Wales
April 2nd, 2014 08:42 PM
I'm thinking if I was in that situation the best course of action would be to just get on the ground as soon as the cops pull up with my hands spread out. No need to wait for their orders. How many youtube videos does one need to watch to figure out that's pretty much what they automatically demand in a shooting anyway.
April 2nd, 2014 08:49 PM
"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
--Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .
April 2nd, 2014 09:00 PM
Follow instructions of police officers. If you do what they ask I bet you will be just fine. I bet shooting people involves a lot of paperwork.
April 2nd, 2014 09:11 PM
This actually happened to an off duty officer in RI years ago. He was shot because he had just shot someone, he was still armed when other officers approached on scene, and the incident was still fresh. Being an officer, instead of following responding officer's orders he kept the weapon in his possession, pointed at the person he had just shot, while trying to identify himself as a P.O. He ended up getting killed by his own guys. Since then, off duty LEO's have been instructed to FOLLOW RESPONDING OFFICER'S ORDERS - i.e., put the gun down on top of whatever else is asked of you.
Law Enforcement is a service profession - if you ask for it, you will get it, or in this case if you don't listen, you will get it.
April 2nd, 2014 09:15 PM
It's interesting the study you brought up. These types of studies have a flaw, just as most LEO force training. The flaw is when conducting that type of study or training, the Officer is going into it knowing that at least one or more scenario's will be a deadly force encounter. Officer's must be instructed before these trainings that they might not encounter any deadly force scenarios, and even with that instruction they still have a deadly force mindset.
April 2nd, 2014 09:17 PM
Bet your butt it does.
Originally Posted by matdicdad
April 2nd, 2014 09:20 PM
as more people get carry permits this situation will crop up more. Either LE coming up on someone actively defending themselves, or perhaps another carry permit holder. Who's the bad guy?
April 2nd, 2014 09:46 PM
Thanks for posting, its interesting. The study and the methodology may not be perfect but as more and more people get CWP'S I think it will happen more as well as us shooting each other.
Things gun forums have taught me:
-Some people shoot guns other "run" them.
-I don't dislike Glocks but often dislike Glock owners.
-Open carry is to a handgun as bluetooth is to a cell phone!
-Simple math can deliver posts per day... some gun forum members need to get out more!!!
April 2nd, 2014 09:57 PM
In Orlando we had a similar situation. An undercover cop had pulled his weapon after he was being attacked by numerous individuals despite identifying himself as police. The responding officer showed up and saw him with a gun and told him to drop his weapon but he turned to identify that he was a police officer. In the process he was shot to death, most shots being in the back.
Originally Posted by oscar1
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