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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A very sad story is coming out of Texas where a campus police officer shot and killed a young student at a Christian college. According to the officer, the deceased argued over a traffic stop, took his baton and threatened him. A witness heard two men talking and one said "I am going to shoot." The other said, "What over a traffic ticker?" About 15 seconds later six shots were heard. The deceased is slight of build and had no weapons. The officer admitted that he took the baton back before shooting.

My question is do you have any training that would guide you in determining whether in a one-on-one event, it would be wise to somehow step back and wait for others to arrive before shooting? If so, what are you trained to do?

It seems to me as a non-LEO that there should never be a time where an unarmed man is repeatedly shot by a lone officer, where the officer is not involved in a life or death fight, or to prevent serious injury to another who is also present. The officer's statement sounds unbelievable to me.....................
 

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We were taught it was based on your 'perception of control', and whether you were subject to imminenent deadly threat you could not otherwise defeat.

I hope, for the PO, there's more to it than reported...

Larry
 

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You will have better luck over in the LEO section.
 

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The 'big' case regarding police use of force is Graham V. Connor (USSC 1989). HINT: Do not rely on Wikipedia for information on this case as it is woefully lacking. In that ruling the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that situations involving use of force rapidly evolve and should be judged based upon what a reasonable officer would do in similar situation presented with the same knowledge/facts.

Often times information or 'facts' which might cause an officer to step back, pause or de-escallate a force response are not known to that officer until after the scene is over and done with. Based simply on your posting, I would say there is too little information to draw a conclusion on this scenario. The information in the article provided by Mr.T tend to put the light more into the officer's favor.

Your larger question about whether an officer should step back or pause to re-evaluate is worth some discussion.

There is nothing in the my state or federal statutes (that I'm aware of), that requires an officer to stop a properly initiated enforcement action to wait for backup, or come back later if someone is uncooperative. In short, just like 'stand your ground' states, if an officer is legally allowed to be where he is and what he is doing, there is no requirement to retreat.

In your scenario, the act of disarming or attempting to disarm a police officer IS addressed in most state laws and is a serious offense...well beyond the civil infraction the decedant is alleged to have referenced. Tennesee V. Garner (USSC 1985) talks about shooting fleeing felons, but information you provided would not tend to justify such a shooting.

As far as training goes, it tends to be hit and miss. Various states have varying standards as to the type, duration and content of use of force training that is required. Better agencies do develop curriculum that requires decision making during training scenarios and makes officers explain why they did what they did.

In the real world, agency oversight of officer conduct can be hit and miss. Each department (in conjunction with their insurance carrier) largely set their own requirements for after event doccumentation and subsequent internal review.

The incident you referenced will undoubtedly be reviewed by a prosecuting attorney and possibly grand jury (depending on locale). They are supposed to view the situation through the officer's known facts I referred to above, but politics frequently comes to play (pro or con).
 

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There has to be more to this story... I'll hold off passing judgment until after the Rangers complete their investigation.
 

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I'm holding off on making a judgement, for ever.
I was not a party to the incident.
All that I will ever know is hearsay.
In the trial, if called on by either side all I can do by Graham V. Connor is tell you what I would of done given the same scenario. (But I won't be called on because my experience is not the same as that young officer.)
We will probably never know what was in the Officer's mind during the incident.
After 33 years it is safe to say no one here has an expert opinion on the incident, none of us were there.

As for training, nothing beats experience.
 

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There are no clear cut cookie cutter answers for the situations that we officers come to deal with on a daily basis.

I sure hope there is more to this case thanks being showed on the news.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
So today the chief of the department reports that the PO has been a LEO 8 years and has worked for 8 departments, most just a few months. Is that odd to you guys? In addition, he claims that the deceased raised his hand as if to strike the officer. That caused the officer to shoot 6 times. This is hard to understand if he had retaken his baton and now had non lethal ability. Oh and the officer was required to carry pepper spray while on duty, but he "forgot" it that day.

The photos of the two show a slightly built deceased and a very large officer. There are no reports of injuries to the officer. To his credit the chief was asked if this was a justified shooting and he replied by saying he could not say that at this time.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nat...putes-police-version-events-article-1.1543057
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
And I know many are curious, why my interest in this case, well....

After the Zimmerman incident, I think that all who carry were caused to rethink the circumstances under which they would shoot. In that case, the evidence that Zimmerman was being severely beaten led me to conclude that while he was stupid to place himself in danger by following Martin, he was ultimately justifed in preventing his own death or serious injury. I know that LEOs are placed in danger every day and must certainly be trained to see the situation better than the average guy. I also know that most average guys could not easly beat up a trained LEO. Therefore, I had assumed that LEOs fire only when it is clear that the other guy needs to die right now to save the officer or the public. Most times it is clear. But, here not so much. A drunk and unarmed college kid who apparently was having a difficult time driving a car should never be able to really pose a threat to a LEO. But, here the officer didn't just stop the fight-he fired six times! That sounds like anger and not a need to protect himself from a raised fist.................
 

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So I Google the incident and here is an excerpt from the first story I find. NBC no less.

Officer Carter instructed Robert Redus 14 times to place his hands behind his back, and informed him 3 times that he was under arrest, and to stop resisting 56 times, Pruitt said, referring to the recording.

During the struggle, the officer attempted to subdue the suspect with his baton. ... The baton was taken by the suspect who used it to hit the officer, the university said in a statement.

Carter was able to wrestle the baton away from Redus, but then he charged at the officer with his arm raised. Carter warned him four times that he would shoot, if Redus did not stop, Pruitt said.
 

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This forum is an inappropriate place for this discussion. No one commenting here was at the scene, and all the facts aren't out yet (which is usually the case). Mostly these discussions turn into a cop bash-fest, with those who have issues with police or authority doing the bashing. Let's get back to Danner boots or 1911s in police duty...what this sub-forum is supposed to be about, anyway. I'll reserve comment; I wasn't there, either.
Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
C-that was the point of my first post. Why would a LEO shoot an unarmed guy with help on the way? I am not defending the deceased, but getting hog-tied and thrown in jail is much different than having a solo campus officer shoot six times at an unarmed guy who was refusing to submit.............
 

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C-that was the point of my first post. Why would a LEO shoot an unarmed guy with help on the way? I am not defending the deceased, but getting hog-tied and thrown in jail is much different than having a solo campus officer shoot six times at an unarmed guy who was refusing to submit.............
Read my post...again, the facts aren't in. Here's some advice, from several LE posters here already: wait until the facts are in and the investigation is complete. Might want to read the posting rules for this sub-forum, too.
Bob
 
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