Family Witnesses SD Shooting

Family Witnesses SD Shooting

This is a discussion on Family Witnesses SD Shooting within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; There has been a lot of discussion about what to do when interacting with the police after being involved in SD shooting. Great information too. ...

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Thread: Family Witnesses SD Shooting

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Pitmaster's Avatar
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    Family Witnesses SD Shooting

    There has been a lot of discussion about what to do when interacting with the police after being involved in SD shooting. Great information too.

    But, what should your wife, husband, GF, BF, children, etc. do if they are with you. They are witnesses and will be asked what happened. I can see a spouse being a little hysterical and making statements that could definitely harm a claim of self-defense. Children being confused. etc.

    What measures have others used to "train" their spouse in what to say. Mine doesn't like it when I try to train her.
    Last edited by Pitmaster; June 29th, 2007 at 07:38 AM. Reason: Edited Title
    Pitmaster

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    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    I've wondered about this myself. As far as I know, ones spouse cannot be compelled to testify against you. They can, but they can't be made to (not sure if this was US or just MI, or perhaps just some crap I remember from a TV show). I guess they should be told to keep their mouths shut too, but you can't silence all the witnesses. Eh, forget about it. Just don't shoot anyone who doesn't have it coming (legally, that is).
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    Senior Member Array raysheen's Avatar
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    My wife and I have had serious sit down conversations about what to do, what to say, and how to act after a possible self defense shooting. We have gone through the worst case scenarios for us and are comfortable with our plans in the event we have to use it. I would suggets that everyone have a similar idea/plan in place with your family.

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    Senior Member Array Pitmaster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raysheen View Post
    My wife and I have had serious sit down conversations about what to do, what to say, and how to act after a possible self defense shooting. We have gone through the worst case scenarios for us and are comfortable with our plans in the event we have to use it. I would suggets that everyone have a similar idea/plan in place with your family.
    Do you feel comfortable sharing your plan? Or parts of it?

    I know it would be very important for those with you to concur that they felt in grave danger and imminent harm. But while we prepare and immediately have the option to assert our 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination. Witnesses can't do that. While a spouse can't be made to testify against you your children, parents, and friends can. So what they say during the initial investigation becomes crucial to your defense in court. Statements that are uttered by them could be very damaging. You also can't coordinate your story once the police show up.
    Pitmaster

    HELGA: Where are you going?
    HAGAR: To sign a peace treaty with the King of England.
    HELGA: Then why take all those weapons?
    HAGAR: First we gotta negotiate...

  5. #5
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    Your spouse can not be made to testify against you... any where in the USA. However, most who do testify start out being for you but get twisted up and end up hurting you. Children are the same.
    I suggest that everyone keeps their traps shut until the family gets legal councel, even if your right as rain. Any LEO would understand this, and should even guide you as much as he can along the way (provided you are in the right).
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pitmaster View Post
    But, what should your wife, husband, GF, BF, children, etc. do if they are with you. They are witnesses and will be asked what happened.
    If honorable and truthful, and if the family has trained for such situations as a family, then there shouldn't be a problem.

    Still, this is yet another instance of how witnesses will see things differently, even if the folks are related. It points to the simple utility of (a) ensuring you're on firm legal footing in your actions, (b) ensuring those around you know the score of what's going down, (c) taking overt actions and making overt statements that clearly show you to be the good guy, and that includes ensuring others aren't injured, directing someone to call for assistance, warning others to beware of the BG and his weapon(s), etc.

    Ditto on the suggestions to keep relatively quiet, except for the "leader" or key person to provide the basic facts to the inbound LEO's. (Who, what, where, when.) The "why" and further specifics can (and probably should) await the time when you've spoken with your attorney.
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    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Call the attorney. Shut up. Be aware, its not unheard of for LE to tell fibrications to a witness, to see what they can shake loose ("You wanna lose your home? He goes to jail, what are you gonna do? You want your kids spending the next month in a foster home? I don't know if they can stay with you, what if the BG has friends? Tell us what happened and lets get it over with.......") Depends on the officers responding, how you act and what the officers see. Barricade. Barricade. Barricade.

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    VIP Member Array TN_Mike's Avatar
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    My wife and I have had serious discussions about this topic as well. Our plan of action is as follows. When speaking to the police we will tell them "Officer, that man / woman tried to kill us. We were in fear for our lives. I am sure you are aware this is a traumatic event. The evidence of what happened is there and there (point out anything important). We would be happy to give a statement after we speak to our attorney."

    Then, we say nothing else to the police. As someone else said, it is a common practice for the police to fib or twist the other witnesses words to try to get you to say something incriminating.

    Best advice out there is, don't talk to the police, talk to a lawyer.
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    Below is a statement gleaned from an article in Concealed Carry magazine. Attorney K. L. Jamison writes a column entitled "It Doesn't Have to Make Sense: It's Just the Law!" This article was on Statements. If you are a member of the forum you can read it here.

    ACTIONS TO TAKE AFTER A SELF-DEFENSE SHOOTING

    The first statement is the 911 call. The first words out of the caller's mouth should be the location of the incident. Next is the caller's name. The core of the 911 call consists of three sentences:
    1. He tried to kill me.
    2. I was never so scared in my life.
    3. Send an ambulance.


    When the police arrive, they will want a more elaborate statement; this should consist only of:
    1. He attacked me.
    2. I will sign a complaint.
    3. There is the evidence.
    4. I WANT A LAWYER.

    The demand for a lawyer is both the best thing one can do, and a damaging statement. Anyone who is questioned by police has the right to a lawyer; this includes victims. The problem is that the police, and potential jurors, take a demand for a lawyer as evidence of something to hide. To compound the problem, the victim's decision to remain silent and demand for a lawyer can be used again him or her in court. In the criminal system, one does not have rights, until arrested; it doesn't have to make sense, it's just the law. People who act in self-defense are routinely arrested. It may be called something else. Whenever a person is not allowed to leave, he is placed under arrest regardless of descriptive terms. If one is arrested, generations of TV shows advise us to remain silent.

    If the circumstances are ambivalent, simply state a fear of being sued, and demand a lawyer to protect against frivolous litigation. Police are frequently sued by criminals and the explanation is likely to ring a bell.
    My wife and I carry cards like the one below in our wallets. If you are involved in a self defense shooting you probably will not be thinking very clearly this card will help us to keep on track. I printed a full page of these "business" cards so that when one gets worn it can be easily replaced.

    George

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    Member Array nextlevelcell's Avatar
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    I as well have had the same talks with my wife and some family. And said pretty much the same thing as was said here. but it was more like

    :Keep your mouth shut, no matter what and say I would like a lawyer!" and that is pretty much it, once the po-po get there. After of course pointing out the evidence to them. our Grand Rapids police here are a bit slow with everything

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    Give the absolute basics, nothing more, tell them you intend to cooperate but you wish to talk to your lawyer first. He can do your talking. The police are there to gather information, collect evidence, and if needed apprehend those involved. They can lie or mislead you if it aids in their investagation. As to your not saying anymore than the basics, why do you think that if a cop is involved in a shooting, they go on 2,3,4 day paid leave before giving their statement. It's time to gather their thoughts as to what happened, and to seek council. As for it looking "bad" at a trial, if your lawyer can't handle these problems, brother you picked the WRONG lawyer..
    If they want to search you or your car or house etc., don't give consent to do so, but also state you won't resist in any manor. Lawyer up!
    Be safe.

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    VIP Member Array cphilip's Avatar
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    I am not sure I really understand the logic behind the three 911 call points.

    The:

    1. He tried to kill me.
    2. I was never so scared in my life.
    3. Send an ambulance.

    Is it even necessary to go into anything at all except that you need police and ambulance dispatched to a self defense shooting? Wouldn't one sentence like "There has been a self defense shooing at XYZ and I need police and an Ambulance at XYZ. Repeat, repeat, say name, repeat....

    Why get into anything else with the dispatcher? Its being recorded. Why would you want to go into detail at that point as to why and all that. Why not just sum it all up with "a self defense shooting" and your name and location and leave it at that. If your dispatcher wants to get more personal then just dismiss them with a repeat of the information. If anything at all you could say "Yes, the assailant is down and needs an ambulance" or some such as that. I guess the part about "I have never been so scared in my life part is what I sort of don't see the value of. In fact talking a lot at all is probably not wise. Am I missing something? Please explain the logic of that so exact of a scenario.

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    VIP Member Array Blackeagle's Avatar
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    The best advice I've heard when dealing with family is to talk to them about what happened using the terms you'd like them to use what talking to the police. Focus on the elements of the BG's actions that justified the use of lethal force. Don't tell them what to say, just talk about what happened.

    "Holy crap! Did you see that? He had a gun! He tried to kill us." etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cphilip View Post
    I am not sure I really understand the logic behind the three 911 call points.

    The:

    1. He tried to kill me.
    2. I was never so scared in my life.
    3. Send an ambulance.

    Is it even necessary to go into anything at all except that you need police and ambulance dispatched to a self defense shooting? Wouldn't one sentence like "There has been a self defense shooing at XYZ and I need police and an Ambulance at XYZ. Repeat, repeat, say name, repeat....

    Why get into anything else with the dispatcher? Its being recorded. Why would you want to go into detail at that point as to why and all that. Why not just sum it all up with "a self defense shooting" and your name and location and leave it at that. If your dispatcher wants to get more personal then just dismiss them with a repeat of the information. If anything at all you could say "Yes, the assailant is down and needs an ambulance" or some such as that. I guess the part about "I have never been so scared in my life part is what I sort of don't see the value of. In fact talking a lot at all is probably not wise. Am I missing something? Please explain the logic of that so exact of a scenario.
    In the article Mr. Jamison stated the following:
    The first sentence serves to introduce the roles of the parties, the caller is the victim, the other person the attacker. Being in reasonable fear of life or limb is a prerequisite to acting in self-defense. The phrase "I was never so scared..." is to preclude the prosecutor from claiming that the citizen never said he was scared "until he talked to a lawyer." The phrase "Send an ambulance" says that the caller does not want anyone to die.
    I understand it as being good preparation for what might come later. Just like calling 911 after an incident in which you present your firearm. The first person calling gets the advantage. Somebody threatens you, you present the firearm, the BG runs away and you go about your business. The BG goes around the corner and calls 911. He states that you pulled a gun on him and he ran. Who is the bad guy now - you. Being able to present as evidence the 911 tape to indicate that you were threatened, you were scared, and you didn't want anyone to die is good for your defense if it comes to that.
    George

    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. Albert Einstein

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    Member Array FknRa's Avatar
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    Take this with a grain of sarcasm, but screw the perp. The ambulance is for me. I'm sorry officer I don't feel well, I would like medical treatment/evaluation after such a traumatic event like this. I was in fear for my/my loved ones lives. I wish he didn't force me to do this. I will co-opperate fully with any investigation after being medically cleared and speaking with my lawyer.
    To those that paid for my freedom,
    I WILL NEVER FORGET.

    As with all statements I've made and All that I will make, please check your local laws to verify accuracy. (and if i'm wrong let me know as I like to be right in the future) After all I'm just some goofball posting on an internet forum.

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