Cops and brandishing
This is a discussion on Cops and brandishing within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Had a really odd thought go through my head, and want to toss it around for your thoughts.
I see all the time on Cops ...
March 19th, 2014 09:17 PM
Cops and brandishing
Had a really odd thought go through my head, and want to toss it around for your thoughts.
I see all the time on Cops and other such shows where the officers will draw their weapon and point it at a suspect even when there is no specific threat. Often times it seems that they are using the gun to intimidate the suspect into complying with their orders. Wouldn't/shouldn't this be considered brandishing?
Say us as average citizens were confronted by a person who threatened to beat us up. Not even beat us to death, just "kick our rear for whatever reason. From what I can tell, we would not be justified in drawing our weapon to scare the potential attacker off, correct?
Yet I see numerous incidences of cops drawing down on unarmed people to "force" them to do as they're told. Cases where if they were to fire, they'd be brought up on serious charges. But they never get into any issues for apparently needlessly brandishing like we would.
I know their job is hard. I was going to do it myself until my health got in the way. So understand that I am not cop-bashing, nor am I oblivious to the dangers of their job. I just wonder why there seems to be a different standard when it comes to brandishing.
March 19th, 2014 09:17 PM
March 19th, 2014 09:27 PM
Two cops were just shot across the state line where I live. They walked up on a porch and were shot with a rifle. One in the stomach and the other in the leg. They didn't stand a chance to defend themselves. When I hear stories like this I somewhat understand the over reaction at least as best as I can but it ticks me off to see it anyway. They are human and over reaction will contribute to accidents and to killings of citizens that didn't deserve it. I have never had a LEO point a gun at me but if I do I will likely get arrested for verbal assault. I hope it never happens.
Audemus jura nostra defendere
March 19th, 2014 09:29 PM
There's a difference because they are sworn LEO.
March 20th, 2014 08:45 AM
Please remember Forum Rule 9a:
Bashing Law Enforcement Officers.
This has never passed muster here, and never will. The specific DC forum that includes law enforcement in it's focus is not meant to be a place to jump up on a self-righteous pulpit and start ripping law enforcement apart. You will find our tolerance to these kinds of posts to be at an end. "Broad brush" anti law enforcement commentary is prohibited, we encourage you to take it somewhere else.
March 20th, 2014 08:55 AM
I would expect as much for a felony stop. A burned out tag light, not so much. And if you watch Cops, etc., you'll also see they often do NOT approach with guns drawn.
Retired USAF E-8. Remember: You're being watched!
Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid...
"For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield
March 20th, 2014 09:07 AM
I don't think this is cop bashing, just ignorance.
If you don't know what the circumstances of the call are, I don't think you can judge whether it was appropriate to respond with drawn firearms or not. Any time you are trying to apprehend a suspected felon (except for felony DUI), it would more likely than not be appropriate to respond with a drawn weapon (and backup). There will probably be no visible threat that looks nice on TV, but a felony warrant on the MDT in the squad car is plenty threatening to warrant some caution.
Second, just because you did not see a specific threat that would warrant you drawing your firearm does not mean the officer at the scene did not see a specific threat. You don't know the circumstances of the stop. Is it in a particularly bad neighborhood? Does the person being stopped resemble a known criminal? Does his or her behavior indicate criminal intent or behavior? All those things are dependent on things that you are not able or qualified to judge from your couch.
Third, the difference between you and the officer is that your only obligation is to defend your own life and the life of others should you so see morally necessary. The officer is required to enforce the law and is authorized by law to use force (including 'brandishing' or whatever it would be called in your location, in mine, second-degree assault) to do so when necessary in accordance with federal and state law and department policy. In other words, it's part of their job to apprehend criminals. Criminals do not want to be apprehended, so police officers often need to use force to do it. That's why there are more circumstances in which the use of force is justified for a police officer than there are where it is justified for you.
March 20th, 2014 09:09 AM
In my early twenties, I was pulled over for speeding on a motorcycle. As I turned the bike off, I heard him scream from behind "Keep your hands on the handle bars". I looked in the rear-view and saw he had drawn. He approached me at the low ready and gave me careful instructions in my movement to present ID and insurance.
I really didn't feel like he was trying to intimidate me into doing what he wanted. I could tell he was scared and wanted to go home that night. I didn't have a criminal record, but I also wasn't exactly pillar of virtue in the community back then, and looked the part. The officer was just using good common sense in dealing with what looked like a dirt bag.
We ended up shucking and jiving about my bike, and what he had under the hood of his Dodge Charger. He shaved enough MPH off the ticket for me to keep my license and we each happily went on our way. Yes, I was unnerved to see that he had drawn, but it also made sense to me why he did.
'Clinging to my guns and religion
March 20th, 2014 09:49 AM
Must have been back in the day before Malcolm Forbes bought Liz Taylor a HD. After that things changed and now you can't stop for gas without someone wanting to take a picture of their kid on your bike.
Originally Posted by WHEC724
March 20th, 2014 10:14 AM
There are a variety of circumstances that come in to play, as to whether or not an officer draws his gun, that are not shown by the camera men on COPS. For example we had a government housing project where it was not uncommon for officers to be "set up" with fake 911 calls so that the reprobates could take pot shots at responding officers or pelt their patrol vehicles with bricks, bottles, etc. in the dead end cul-de-sacs of the projects.
Retired Police Lieutenant, Retired USAF Reserve, Glock Armorer, NC CWP, HR-218 Qualified
Second generation American, Third generation Legionnaire
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" Phil 4:13
March 20th, 2014 10:52 AM
Remember: these things on television are entertainment. Who can say how much is concocted, fabricated, gussied-up or otherwise skewed from what would normally happen in the course of a similar number of normal stops just just one county over. Plus, as some have pointed out, it's dangerous to generalize based on a handful of TV show situations to the broader LEO techniques and methods used when we have no idea about those specific incidents and the factors at play there.
Originally Posted by DaveT319
Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
self defense (A.O.J.).
How does disarming
the number of victims?
Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos)
NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.
March 20th, 2014 11:14 AM
March 20th, 2014 11:31 AM
Rules of engagement are completely different. As a part of a LEO's (first responders and military as well) duty is to go into situations on a daily basis that most folks won't every have to see. There are places I go in an ambulance where my SA is on high alert because the folks there don't like anyone in uniform but if I had a need to be there out of uniform, I'd be more relaxed because I can blend better and not be wearing a target.
All that said, my experiences have shown me that depending on the situation, that can de-escalate or escalate the situation. I've watched LEO's (and myself) rest their hands on their weapons when a patient is getting agitated and realize he was going somewhere he shouldn't be and chill out and also seen others take that as a cue to brawl. If you aren't there in the moment, it's really hard to judge what is right.
March 20th, 2014 11:44 AM
If you have a subject failing to comply with the lawful order of a police officer and becoming a threat, I can easily understand drawing. My rationale is that the cop is the person who is SUPPOSED to be the pillar of a community and the person who is there to assist you when you need help. If you are already biting the hand that feeds, what is the next step you are going to take. I know not all cops are the pillar I spoke of in the previous sentence, but that is what they are SUPPOSED to be...
Drawing the weapon as a precaution and having it at the ready as a peace officer is more or less an expectation of the job as you are charged with being one of the people that goes toward trouble while ushering others away from it. By the same token, there are a LOT of people that just plain hate cops because they are cops...
I do not understand that being the tool of choice to get someone to comply just because it is "the barrel of order," but I do see it as a necessary step when things are headed toward escalation...
"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."
- Roy Batty
March 20th, 2014 12:01 PM
They have different levels of force in the force continuum.
Don"t let stupid be your skill set....
March 20th, 2014 12:12 PM
Exactly sir...and I agree. Also, as the good Lt. will agree, law enforcement officers are the only ones allowed by law to draw/utilize a firearm to effect an arrest or in performance of their duties. It falls into the same precident that LEO's can exceed the speed limit in response to emergencies, wrecks, etc. Just like the Lt. and I would have to run "lights and siren" to a wreck call in order to speed, there are instances in which drawing a sidearm most be precipitated by necessity or reasonable belief. That's why you don't see every traffic stop involve pointing a sidearm at a driver.
Originally Posted by 5lima30ret
U.S. Army Desert Storm Veteran
Certified Police Firearms Instructor
Former US Customs Blue Lighting Strike Force Commissioned Officer
Advanced Highway Drug Interdiction Specialist
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