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Thread: Ex-Cop Claims Termination for Not Shooting Distraught Man

  1. #1
    SWED Missle Command Champion johnflesh's Avatar
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    Ex-Cop Claims Termination for Not Shooting Distraught Man

    'Just shoot me,' an armed man told a cop. The officer didn't ? and was fired, his lawsuit claimed - Chicago Tribune

    I found this to be an interesting story.

    A police officer was talking to a man who was holding a gun, claiming the man was 'only a danger to himself' attempt to talk him down from a bad situation turning far worse - eventually other officers arrived and shot the man dead. The gun the man was holding was reportedly not loaded, suggesting to everyone (not just the 1st responding police officer) that the man wanted to be killed. Saying "just shoot me".

    The officer who didn't readily shoot the man was fired. Some claim he froze. Some claim he was a coward. The police claim his termination was for "other" reasons.

    The ex-officer then sued the city/police and they settled out of court fairly quickly.



    With regard to the SWATTING of that kid who was killed for answering his door, I think the officer showed proper reservation, but ultimately I can't make that call. I wasn't there. However I can say that some restraint is needed and other times it's not. That makes it very difficult for even the best cops.

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    res
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    As you say, you weren't there, neither was I. Still, I think the policeman's first reaction was reasonable. It's a question of perception. Did the policeman perceive the man dangerous to others? From the first policeman's actions it seems that the man had not done something that would warrant a shoot to kill response. It really sounds a bit like the "Falling Down" situation where Michael Douglas character wanted to get shot by the police. The first policemen on the scene were reluctant to shoot him down, it's not until many more showed up that someone was willing to do it without much second thought. I don't know. All I know is that I wouldn't be so quick to call the cop a coward for what he did. It takes cojones to face a man with a gun and try to talk some sense into him.
    Thanks from johnflesh, Ian Jeffrey and Friday13

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    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by res View Post
    It really sounds a bit like the "Falling Down" situation where Michael Douglas character wanted to get shot by the police.
    For reference:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Falling_Down

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    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnflesh View Post
    A police officer was talking to a man who was holding a gun, claiming the man was 'only a danger to himself' attempt to talk him down from a bad situation turning far worse - eventually other officers arrived and shot the man dead. The gun the man was holding was reportedly not loaded, suggesting to everyone (not just the 1st responding police officer) that the man wanted to be killed. Saying "just shoot me".
    The man may well have been attempting (and succeeded at) suicide-by-cop. However, a gun must always been assumed to be loaded by anyone who has not checked it personally, and pointing a gun at someone is reason enough to shoot.

    That said, if possible it is always better to attempt to resolve a situation without anyone shooting anyone. But that is apparently not how cops are expected to behave these days.
    Thanks from Friday13

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    Human Bean KnotaFrayed's Avatar
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    Since when did shoot to KILL, ask questions later, become a law enforcement policy?

    What happened to "proportional". Granted, no one wants anyone shot, least of all law enforcement, but there ain't no returning or second takes from death. To think that we can't come up with something aside from riddling someone suspected of being a danger full of bullets or shooting to kill, seems a bit odd in the 21st century. The combined policies of shoot to kill first, then ask questions, mixed with the general policy of giving law enforcement any benefit of doubt, while it means LEO's can feel someone has their back in exchange for their dangerous jobs, it also sets up abuses of power and too easy to shoot and kill problems, than preserve life, on the equal premise that someone is innocent until proven guilty.

    It's a conundrum for sure and a balance that needs to be vigilantly watched.

    NO law enforcement officer should lose their job for trying to SAVE a life. "Cowardice"? How could it be cowardice if the weapon the person had, was unloaded and NOT being fired at anyone? Murder is defined as killing someone with premeditation and intent. Defense is narrowly defined, for reasons that should be obvious. If someone is shooting at others and in the process of tryng to stop them, they are killed, as long as those that killed them did NOT intend to kill them, their actions can be said to be defensive. 2, 3 or 4 law enforcement officers filling an unarmed body full of holes, it could be argued, is NOT defensive. You could call it preemptive, but that would have problems meeting the test of defensive. If nothing is being done that warrants defending one's self against, being the first to take deadly action makes it very difficult to claim defense or necessity.

    The idea is not to protect the guilty, but to protect the innocent. LEO's should NOT be used as judge, jury and executioner, while at the same time, they need a means to defend themselves when it becomes necessary. The key is establishing necessity and automatic benefits of any doubt going to law enforcement becomes a dangerous thing, for all people, including law enforcement officers, who may one day find one of their own, subjected to snap decisions to shoot or be shot and a case of mistaken intent and danger to anyone else.

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    Sally Sitter Paris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnflesh View Post
    eventually other officers arrived and shot the man dead
    In the chest? in the head? how many times?

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    Dick with my Buzz...Try DebateDrone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnotaFrayed View Post
    Since when did shoot to KILL, ask questions later, become a law enforcement policy?

    What happened to "proportional". Granted, no one wants anyone shot, least of all law enforcement, but there ain't no returning or second takes from death. To think that we can't come up with something aside from riddling someone suspected of being a danger full of bullets or shooting to kill, seems a bit odd in the 21st century. The combined policies of shoot to kill first, then ask questions, mixed with the general policy of giving law enforcement any benefit of doubt, while it means LEO's can feel someone has their back in exchange for their dangerous jobs, it also sets up abuses of power and too easy to shoot and kill problems, than preserve life, on the equal premise that someone is innocent until proven guilty.

    It's a conundrum for sure and a balance that needs to be vigilantly watched.

    NO law enforcement officer should lose their job for trying to SAVE a life. "Cowardice"? How could it be cowardice if the weapon the person had, was unloaded and NOT being fired at anyone? Murder is defined as killing someone with premeditation and intent. Defense is narrowly defined, for reasons that should be obvious. If someone is shooting at others and in the process of tryng to stop them, they are killed, as long as those that killed them did NOT intend to kill them, their actions can be said to be defensive. 2, 3 or 4 law enforcement officers filling an unarmed body full of holes, it could be argued, is NOT defensive. You could call it preemptive, but that would have problems meeting the test of defensive. If nothing is being done that warrants defending one's self against, being the first to take deadly action makes it very difficult to claim defense or necessity.

    The idea is not to protect the guilty, but to protect the innocent. LEO's should NOT be used as judge, jury and executioner, while at the same time, they need a means to defend themselves when it becomes necessary. The key is establishing necessity and automatic benefits of any doubt going to law enforcement becomes a dangerous thing, for all people, including law enforcement officers, who may one day find one of their own, subjected to snap decisions to shoot or be shot and a case of mistaken intent and danger to anyone else.
    Its like the Blue Shield. It is a unwritten code.

    No police officer is going to want an officer that is unwilling to protect his fellow officers. It is seen that once PD is on seen, the priority is that every officer goes home alive. A person with a gun is seen as an active threat. A threat to those officers. a threat to one of those officers going home to his family.

    Police officers are not psychologists, they are there to restore order ....by any means possible.

    That is why you see minor traffic stops turn deadly. Where a mere refusal of an order can lead to death




    the attage now is...rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

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    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DebateDrone View Post
    Police officers ... are there to restore order ....by any means possible.

    That is why you see minor traffic stops turn deadly. Where a mere refusal of an order can lead to death.
    However, refusal of an order is not a death penalty offense, much less one an officer is empowered to carry out without benefit of trial. Officers are entitled to defense of self and others, but not to commit executions (such as the sheriff who is the subject of in another thread).

  9. #9
    the "good" prag pragmatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnflesh View Post
    'Just shoot me,' an armed man told a cop. The officer didn't ? and was fired, his lawsuit claimed - Chicago Tribune

    I found this to be an interesting story.


    A police officer was talking to a man who was holding a gun, claiming the man was 'only a danger to himself' attempt to talk him down from a bad situation turning far worse - eventually other officers arrived and shot the man dead. The gun the man was holding was reportedly not loaded, suggesting to everyone (not just the 1st responding police officer) that the man wanted to be killed. Saying "just shoot me".

    The officer who didn't readily shoot the man was fired. Some claim he froze. Some claim he was a coward. The police claim his termination was for "other" reasons.

    The ex-officer then sued the city/police and they settled out of court fairly quickly.



    With regard to the SWATTING of that kid who was killed for answering his door, I think the officer showed proper reservation, but ultimately I can't make that call. I wasn't there. However I can say that some restraint is needed and other times it's not. That makes it very difficult for even the best cops.

    Agree. Interesting story.

    The operative word seems to be "claims". The officer claims he was fired for not shooting the suspect. Police say he was fired for "other reasons".

    Next step will be the courts or a "labor relation board". Where the Police will need to provide those "other reasons" for the termination.


    My suspicion is the the cop wasn't fired for "not shooting a guy".

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