After-action discourse - what to say to the cops

This is a discussion on After-action discourse - what to say to the cops within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by Gabe Suarez [,,,] I enjoy your posts immensely, Gabe. Very informative, well-written, and all with a sense of humor. Thanks. Mike Fontenot...

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Thread: After-action discourse - what to say to the cops

  1. #16
    Member Array MikeFontenot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabe Suarez View Post
    [,,,]
    I enjoy your posts immensely, Gabe. Very informative, well-written, and all with a sense of humor. Thanks.

    Mike Fontenot

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  3. #17
    Distinguished Member Array Dragman's Avatar
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    I gotta say it sounded just a tad bit on the racist side to me all the examples per the original post the white was the victim and some minority as the criminal. Either way if I am forced into defending my self in a life or death situation the only thing I will be saying is:
    They tried to kill me! end of talking.
    To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women

  4. #18
    Member Array skipper1969's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragman View Post
    I gotta say it sounded just a tad bit on the racist side to me all the examples per the original post the white was the victim and some minority as the criminal. Either way if I am forced into defending my self in a life or death situation the only thing I will be saying is:
    They tried to kill me! end of talking.
    Are you calling the OP racist or just the example given? I've been to several assaults and aggravated assaults and if the participants are of different ethnicities the race card is often dealt, just a sad fact.
    Last edited by skipper1969; February 9th, 2011 at 05:13 PM. Reason: additional information
    Jon Payne
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  5. #19
    Distinguished Member Array Dragman's Avatar
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    I wasn't calling the OP racist sorry if it came off that way I was just trying to say that the examples given make it seem that way. I know that is happens it's a fact! but I think the point would have been much better told if they would have pointed out that the criminal will use anything they can to make you look guilty! I can promise you that if a black victim shoots a couple white criminals and they are only wounded that they will be YELLING that the victim was a racist and was going after them cuz they were white. and the same can be said for a white victim and black criminals. it goes both ways and only one was given in this post.
    To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women

  6. #20
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    Gabe Suarez is not a racist. That's a known fact. End it. Back on to the thread topic & please no more sidetracks or I'll start editing out posts.

  7. #21
    Distinguished Member Array Dragman's Avatar
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    No one called anyone racist.
    To crush your enemies, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women

  8. #22
    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    As I have said before when these types of discussion have come up, a lot will depend on where you live and the climate in your community.

    Where I live in the woods of good old East Texas, is very much different than someone who lives in a major metropolitain area, especially if they are in a state that is less than friendly to people who protect themselves from folks with criminal histories.

    I am pretty sure there are some cases around here where either a home owner came upon burglars or individuals had to use a weapon for self defense and nothing much came from it. Since both the sheriffs or police spokesperson and the victim have statements in the newspapers the following day, I can only assume that the victim made a statement and the LEO's determined that they were in the right. Many times the paper has a quote from the spokesperson that the victim was totally within their rights to protect themselves or the property.

    I don't know how the LEO's make a determination within hours of the incident without the victim making a statement to the LEO's. It all depends on the circumstances and where you live in my book.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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  9. #23
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    I agree completely, the area and the surrounding climate can be an important, if not deciding factor.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

  10. #24
    Distinguished Member Array tcox4freedom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcp1810 View Post
    I worked police communications for fifteen years and was part of my department's Stress Management Division for a number of years also. In my opinion both Mr Suarez and the video clip raise valid points. As part of a typical stress reaction most people feel an urge to justify their actions. This is where you get into the potential "talking too much" situation that the video is trying to keep you out of.

    As a call taker I can tell you that what and how I wrote the call screen could have a definite effect on the rest of your life. The officers responding to the scene of your incident most likely have never met you and have no opinion of how credible you are. But they have an established relationship with their comms people. What the call taker enters in the call is going to help the units responding to your incident form an opinion of you. That opinion may determine the initial course of the investigation. The complete C.A.D. record of your event, and the recording of the phone and radio traffic related to it are all part of the case record. What you say to me and how you say it, and what you don't say and how you refuse to say it are going to be reviewed by the detectives assigned to the case, the prosecutor, and possibly a jury.

    Now this might be a shock to some folks, but as a call taker I really didn't care who if anyone got locked up. My first concern was with keeping my officers safe. If I felt you were being honest with me and answered my questions I would let the officers know that. My job was not to try to talk you into trouble. As long as I was satisfied that I got what I needed for officer safety I would not push you to make any kind of statement that would incriminate you. BUT if I felt you were being evasive or combative and trying to play games with me you can be sure the officers would know it and would start to wonder why. If they have conflicting statements (you and the guy you shot or his accomplice) or no statement at all, and inconclusive physical evidence which do you think would give you a better chance of having dinner at home with your family that night?

    The comments on your call could either read:
    Complainant states he/she was attacked by two subjs and fired in self defense. One subject down. Look out for second subj " X" race male ( height, weight, clothing) last seen on foot toward "Y".
    Complainant is a (race/gender) wearing (clothing desc) ** Comp says weapon now holstered on right hip** Comp states first subj was armed with handgun. Subj dropped weapon in ivy. Second subj was armed with knife. Knife thrown onto roof. Unknown any additional weapons/drugs/alcohol. Fire/Rescue will stage until scene secure. Complainant states they are very upset and do not wish to say anymore at this time.
    Or:
    9-1-1 caller claims two subjs attacked him and he shot one of them. Disconnect. No further info at this time. Calling back. On call back caller refusing to answer to answer call takers questions. **complainant armed with firearm/ unknown what type/ unknown if weapons secured** When asked if person he shot was still on scene and needed medical attention caller refused to answer. When asked how many times subj was shot caller refused to answer. Unknown if second subj still on scene/ No lookout. Unknown additiional weapons/drugs/alcohol. Disconnect. Calling back. Voice mail on call back, left msg. Calling back again. Fire/Rescue advised and not responding until we can confirm a victim on scene for them. Voice mail on call back. Units statused on scene. No further.

    Think "don't talk to the police" is always going to work in your favor?
    That bad guy that got away because you wouldn't talk to me may very well be known to the officers in the area. If they catch him and he is known to them, even if his statement conflicts with yours it may boost your credibility.

    A whole lot to think about.
    ^^^ THIS^^^ is an excellent post mcp!

    Thanks for your imput and insight. I agree that the way you handle the initial call can go a LONG way in helping your situation and keeping you SAFE.

  11. #25
    Member Array sentioch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcp1810 View Post
    I worked police communications for fifteen years...
    Very informative post and interesting read, thanks
    "In a world of compromise, some don't." -HK

  12. #26
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    "He said he was going to kill me", "I believed him" and "I defended myself" "I can't make any other statements until I speak with my lawyer"

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    "It's time to nut up or shut up" - Woody Harrelson, "Tallahassee" in "Zombieland"

  13. #27
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    I agree with the video.

    I could care less what the responding officer does or does not. If I use deadly force I completely understand that I am probably going to jail and will have to fight this out in court. Worst case scenario, the officer has a complaint from the attackers that I shot them and they said some hearsay. Either way I expect this to be a long drawn out process.

    My attorney will handle all of the hearsay issues and lies from the attackers. My attorney will also handle what happened at the scene and will impeach the witnesses and cross the officers. My story will come out in court or will get dismissed before then. I am not going to fumble on my words and accidentally say the wrong thing that could be used against me by a clever prosecutor or civil attorney. Worst of all, after shooting someone, my emotions will be high and my adrenaline will be through the roof. Now is not the time to have a freudian slip of the tongue.

    I am less concerned with the monetary fight in court than going to jail. I will testify when I am sure I can help my case, not when I am freaking out. The 5th and 6th amendments are shields, and I would use them as such.

    My .02 cents
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  14. #28
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    Have you ever actually been to jail? Once I have the answer to that question I may be able to change some of your perceptions. You will of course do what you think is right, but I hate to see a good guy make things harder than they have to be.
    Quote Originally Posted by xXMens ReaXx View Post
    I agree with the video.

    I could care less what the responding officer does or does not. If I use deadly force I completely understand that I am probably going to jail and will have to fight this out in court. Worst case scenario, the officer has a complaint from the attackers that I shot them and they said some hearsay. Either way I expect this to be a long drawn out process.

    My attorney will handle all of the hearsay issues and lies from the attackers. My attorney will also handle what happened at the scene and will impeach the witnesses and cross the officers. My story will come out in court or will get dismissed before then. I am not going to fumble on my words and accidentally say the wrong thing that could be used against me by a clever prosecutor or civil attorney. Worst of all, after shooting someone, my emotions will be high and my adrenaline will be through the roof. Now is not the time to have a freudian slip of the tongue.

    I am less concerned with the monetary fight in court than going to jail. I will testify when I am sure I can help my case, not when I am freaking out. The 5th and 6th amendments are shields, and I would use them as such.

    My .02 cents
    Jon Payne
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  15. #29
    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    Tell them you're having chest pain and during the ambulance ride to the ER call your lawyer.
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  16. #30
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabe Suarez View Post
    What I have done, with success, is this. I give a very limited statement, focusing on the actions of the bad guys, and them excuse myself from any further questions until my mouthpiece...I mean, attorney, arrives.

    Anything I say focuses on what the bad guy(s) have done and not on what I may have done. Something like this -

    "Officer. I am glad you are here. Thank God."

    "I am a good guy. I was minding my own business on my way home when those two guys attacked me."

    "The one in the blue shirt had a knife. He threw it up there on the roof as he ran away. There should be some blood on it from my arm when I blocked his attempt to stab me."

    "The guy on the gurney was armed with a pistol. He dropped it right there in that pile of ivy when he fell."

    "I was terrified. I am still terrified. Boy am I glad you guys are here. "

    "Listen...I am still a little shaken up. I want to cooperate with you guys. This has never happened to me (or this hasn't happened in a while). I have heard stories of good guys getting sued later for saying too much. My attorney is on his way and as soon as he arrives I will be happy to give a full statement with him there. Until then, I think I need to sit down and calm my blood pressure."
    This is essentially the advice recommended by Massad Ayoob in the LFI/MAG training, to clarify who's who, where short-lived evidence might be, who are the witnesses who saw what occurred, and then clamming up once clearly indicating all further cooperation will come after settling down from the situation and speaking with one's attorney. The point is to focus on a very few, short statements identifying the BG(s), the nature of the attack, the evidence and the witnesses. Beyond that, "there be dragons," as the video in post #2 clearly suggests.

    Reality is, evidence can be fleeting. And as Gabe points out, it can disappear forever once the last LEO has left the scene. False statements, corroborating witnesses, lack of evidence ... all of this can be difficult to surmount. Simply pointing these things out at the scene isn't "making a statement" so much as identifying who's who and what's what before it can evaporate.

    And, reality is, the risk of running one's mouth and making invalid statements absolutely exists. For those of us who have ever been in such stressful situations, simply pointing out the basics (BG, action, evidence, witnesses) is hard enough. Beyond that, I'm certainly going to await assistance and guidance from my attorney, as I know full well that the on-scene realities can cloud the mind and result in bad things happening due to the nature of what the investigations seek to achieve (case closure, not necessarily vindication of me).
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