Calling all LEO's
Hello all! First off I would like to say what a great forum this is! I read it daily and have been able to gather a great deal of info and insight.
Now the Question...... I have read many of the experiences and opinions about the legal issues associated with having to use your gun in self defense. It seems like the majority of us are (or will) secure legal representation (retainer) before we opt to carry. All of the points and opinions were valid and well takin. My question (or request actually) would be to here from any of the LEO's here on how we can expect to be treated at the scene (God forbid you ever had to create one). Provided all of the rules are followed to the best of your ability and you had to draw the weapon. If you use the weapon, and the bad guy is wounded (mortally or not), but its a clear cut JUSTIFIED self defense shooting, can I expect to go to jail? If so....why? Video...witnesses.....how do they factor in? Now common sense tells me if the LEO's show up and its just me and an expired or wounded bad guy and no other witnesses as to what happened...well theres a good chance im locked up till they figure out what went down. However.... I cannot understand why I would be locked up if I am FORCED to use my weapon...LEGALLY! Again, I just want to know what to expect from the LEO and investgator point of view as to what to prepare for. I also understand that theres no way to know what to expect from the legal system, and the fallout from the bad guys kin. This is more about what happens at the scene. If this has already been hashed over sorry..:argue: just point me to the correct thread. :boese51:
You must remember that there are situations that are not so clear cut, and sometimes we have to let our supervisors make the call. How you are grated depends on the way a paticular agency is ran influenced by the politics of it's geographical location. Remember not all police are gun guys. I would expect. You to be treated with caution, which may include placing you in cuffs, which we do often for your safety and the officers, until things are sorted out. There are so many dynamics in a situation like that so it's rally hard to give you an absolute answer. I myself would not give too much detail until I had spoken to my attorney and union rep.
I agree with Glock. I am not an LEO nor am I a lawyer, however it seems to me that officers arriving at the scene will see a few things. First should be you being proactive, CCW license in hand, firearm holstered and ready to comply with any commands. Then they're going to see a man (presumably) on the ground, bleeding or deceased from gunshot wounds, with you presumably as the shooter. They're hopefully going to hear you explain that the man put you in fear for your life and you had to shoot to defend yourself, but they don't know that.
It'll get sorted out eventually in all liklihood if you were justified, but at that moment the things that matter to them are a dead man with bullet holes and a man with a gun. You are most likely going to be cuffed, disarmed and placed in a cruiser at a minimum.
from my experience you will certainly be detained until the facts are known and the scene has been investigated - le will not just hand you your gun and send you on your merry way - it is a matter of investigative policy in the particular department you are dealing with which will vary somewhat from dept to dept but generally follow similar guidelines - this is to protect you and the victim - it not really a question of your innocence or guilt just a matter of a shooting and how it is investigated - once it is decided if any charges are to be made then you may be released - but like said above there are so many varibles and circumstances no single answer will be adequate
I am a long time former LEO and now a contractor in the Middle East so just giving an opinion. A lot depends on the jurisdiction you are in and the laws, policies and procedures that are already in place. In the perfect world Joe citizen kills Bob the bad guy in a clear cut case or self defense, preventing a felony or whatever and Mr. Detective listens to Joe's story pats him on the back gives him his gun and he goes home but it does not work that way in some places all shootings, stabbings and unnatural deaths are investigated and may go to a grand jury, if you have those, to see if charges will be filed.
Other times the local PD will speak to the prosecutor and will give the evidence and a decision is made over the phone so to speak not to file charges. Your firearm will be taken for a period of time and POSSIBLY your permit until matters are cleared. In regards to the permit will all depend on local PD and prosecutor.
There will be an investigation, you probably be read your Miranda Rights, and whether you have done anything or not you need legal representation just to keep things kosher before and when you give a statement.
A lot will fall to the investigating officer and his opinion and attitude towards the case, victim/suspect and you.
Again just an opinion and wouldnt hurt to check with local LEO and see if there are set procedures or policies in place by the PD or Prosecutor.
It's been a long time since my last on scene shooting/death, but this is what I remember. The uniform officer(s) at the scene will secure it, detain all parties, witnesses involved and gather quick facts pertaining to the shooting. The shooter will be placed in the cruiser for security and safety. Once homicide unit detectives arrive, they will take charge of the subject involved in the shooting. You'll be advised of your rights (normal procedure) and driven to police headquarters for a lengthy interview process. It's always advisable not to discuss your involvement without legal counsel ready at hand. Unlike the movies, you will not be thrown into a steel room with bars and no lights. It's very traumatic and until the case facts are all known, including possible involvement from the local prosecutor, it's going to be a long day or night for you. Then, if and when you are cleared of any wrong doing and it was deemed self defense, get ready for the next of kin to be calling. Legally or physically. A death involved shooting is not and never will be over.
About a year ago, my son (a police officer) was involved in a confrontation where he was fired upon by a person he had stopped for a routine traffic violation. He wounded the person, and was slightly injured himself. As he tells it, he was taken to the hospital by other police officers, and later that night, reviewed the incident on his dashcam with the Chief. He was put on desk duty for two days. His gun was taken and he still has not gotten it back as the case has not yet come to trial.
WOW!! Ken 50. Any ideah what the dash cam showed? Is that normal for an LEO if he/she shoots in the line of duty? :blink:
What an interesting thread!
I am not a LEO, but from what I've heard from friends is that you can expect to be detained, and probably brought in for questioning. As you've already surmised, it's best to say nothing at all to the police, until you have legal representation. And yes, be prepared for not only a long night, but possibly many weeks or months of trials and tribulations.
That is pretty standard and nothing to worry about. I have one that is four years old still pending.
Originally Posted by DDDJetdriver
To the original question, every situation presents unique circumstances. I would at least expect to be detained until it can be determined you are not a flight risk should the investigation turn criminal etc.