On Thursday, August 28, 2014 3:27:53 PM UTC-4, Pico Rico wrote:
Bong, bong, bong, Somebody doesn't.
When there are statutes on the books that specifically cover use of force,
use of deadly force by police officers, while making arrests, why would
you go instead to the more restrictive statutes and case history of
ordinary self-defense by a citizen for your defense?
He could claim self defense. Justifiable homicide doesn't just come
out of nowhere and bite you on the ass.
Justifiable Homicide: Homicides which are excused by the
law. Justifiable homicide defenses are typically complete defenses,
meaning that the defense, if proven, would allow the defendant to get
off with no punishment or sentencing given.
(Note: Perfect S-D includes the homicide being needed for self
defense. In other words, the self defense is an element of proving
? Perfect Self-Defense: It is a defense to homicide if the defendant
acted out of the honest and reasonable belief that the homicide was
necessary for self-defense. The defendant will usually be required to
prove that they did not initiate the violence, and that they used an
equal amount of force in responding to the aggressor.
? Imperfect Self-Defense: If the defendant honestly believed that
self-defense was necessary, but a reasonable person would believe
otherwise, then the defendant might still get off on imperfect
self-defense. The main difference between perfect and imperfect
self-defense is that imperfect self-defense does not have a reasonable
(Note; Doubt this is available to cops related to their training,
? Defense of Property: It usually must be proven that the intruder
or trespasser had threatened the life of the property owner.
? Duress/Necessity: If the defendant was forced to commit the
killing, it may be a possible defense. For example, if they were held at
gunpoint and forced to kill another person, it may relieve them of the
charges. Not available for murder charges.
? Crime Prevention: If the defendant committed a killing in the
course of preventing a crime, it can be a defense if it is proven that
they were reasonable in their intervention.
(Note: This above might be the defense if you had someone who just
needed killing. grin).
"Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive,
but what they conceal is vital."
Wow! English is my first language and I have absolutely no idea what this
Out of the clear blue, a 'defendant' is mentioned. Does that mean the
officer, when charged? Or, does that mean the perpetrator of a felony, and
that perpetrator is now being called a defendant?
Also, no rating for the felony? like really, really slight to murder, no
rating whatsoever. And yse, some felony charges are slight.
On Thursday, August 28, 2014 5:09:03 PM UTC-4, Robert Macy wrote:
I agree that part is unclear.
That law has been on the books a long time. If you look a bit you can
find discussions about more recent case law. That case law restricts
the overly broad conditions of that law. Pico is right that an officer
can't just shoot any suspected felon when it's necessary to effect the
arrest. But even with those restricitons,
the officer has much wider leeway in making the call of when to shoot
than you or I would. For eample, the courts make it clear a cop can't
shoot someone suspected of a felony who is just running away and not behaving violently, at all. The case law talks about the shooting not being
justified when the suspect is not behaving violently, poses no immediate
threat to the officer, etc.
But of course in the case of Brown, if the officer's version is true and
substantiated by injuries, then Brown already was violent and he posed
a continued threat to the officer and possibly others, until he was arrested.
If it's true the officers gun discharged in the car during a struggle for it,
the officer sustained facial injuries, Brown refused the officer's commands
to surrender, then Brown probably met the conditions of (c) in the law.
That's why the statute governing the police use of deadly force offers
a much better defense for the cop than the general self-defense statutes.
The above statute clearly gives cops more leeway, due to their special
positions than you or I. As ordinary citizens, we have no option (c) for
On Thursday, August 28, 2014 5:16:57 PM UTC-4, Pico Rico wrote:
"Significantly limit" doesn't mean that the statute no longer applies at all
and a police officer has only the same self-defense statutes that civilains
do. That is what you are claiming. The court decisions I found talk about
an officer not being justified in shooting someone who is "nonviolent", not
a threat to the officer or anyone else, etc. If the officer's version is close
to true, you had two guys who just committed a robbery, Brown had struggled
for the officers gun while the officer was still in the car, with the gun
going off, Brown assaulted the officer (a violent felony). That's a long, long
way from a cop shooting a fleeing, non-violent burglar in the back.
On Thursday, August 28, 2014 5:18:15 PM UTC-4, Pico Rico wrote:
I have read them. Just because the SC drew some limitations on parts of
those statutes, doesn't mean they are completely out the window and police
officers are reduced to just using the same self-defense laws that ordinary
citizens need to use for their defense.
For a simple example, during a confrontation, an officer has no duty to
try to retreat. In most states, a private citizen does. That can severly
limit my defense if I shoot someone versus the cop shooting someone.
See the difference?
Are you going to tell us that the officer is then guilty, because he has to
rely on the same self-defense statues as civilians?
On Thursday, August 28, 2014 6:47:26 PM UTC-4, Pico Rico wrote:
The statutes that apply to *law officers* give them leeway
that civilians don't have because of the nature of their jobs.
Civilians, for example, have a duty to
retreat, if possible. If you got into a fight with some guy out on
the street, went into your house, got a gun, went back out there and
it escalated into you shooting him, you could very likely be charged.
You had the opportunity to end it, but you went and got a gun. If the
police officer went to confront the guy, the rules are different, and
he wouldn't be charged. Capiche?
Look for example at what the police did to the Boston bombing suspect.
He was hiding in a boat, unarmed, unresponsive. When he wouldn't come
out, they opened fire and nearly killed him. No police officer was charged, there wasn't even any talk about the *possibility* of an officer being charged. Hell, they didn't even know for sure who was in that boat,
it could have been some kid.
What do you think would happen if a civilian did that to a perp? You'd
be charged and good luck relying on the self defense statutes, especially
in MA. The civilian would be called a vigilante, because the rules are
On Thursday, August 28, 2014 7:35:10 PM UTC-4, Pico Rico wrote:
So what? If the person made an aggressive move towards the officer on
the street and he shoots him, he's justified. If *you*, ie a civilian, had an argument with the guy on the street, then went inside your house, came back with a gun, and he made an aggressive move towards you, you'd likely be
charged in most states, because you had every opportunity to retreat,
stay in the house, defuse the situation. Instead you chose to confront the guy with a gun. The rules for police and civilians are different. Why do
you think there is a separate statute for police officers, that has been
posted here for you to read?
Changing of the facts noted. The perp was hiding inside a covered up boat
in an empty backyard. He wasn't alone with anyone. Before you say that a civilian would be justified in firing into a covered up boat,
without knowing who is in there, perhaps you better read the law.
On Friday, August 29, 2014 8:58:10 AM UTC-4, Pico Rico wrote:
The laws for the use of deadly force by a police officer are different
than the self-defense laws for civilians. And being a cop, you'd have to
have an idiot for an attorney for the defense to rely on civilian self
defense laws, instead of the much more favorable ones that *specifically
cover police officers.* That's so what. Several others folks have
tried to explain the same thing.
I thought this is the point you were arguing about. Under the
Try reading what the SC actually said:
"This case requires us to determine the constitutionality of the use of dea
dly force to prevent the escape of an apparently unarmed suspected felon. W
e conclude that such force may not be used unless it is necessary to preven
t the escape and the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect
poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the offi
cer or others."
If the officer's account is true, substantiated by injuries, then the suspe
did pose a significant threat of serious physical injury to the officer.
And note that the SC was ruling on statutes specific to police officers, no
to self-defense laws for civilians. Apparently the SC understands the
Also from the SC:
"[W]e are not convinced that the use of deadly force is a sufficiently prod
uctive means of accomplishing them to justify the killing of nonviolent sus
pects. . . . The fact is that a majority of police departments in this coun
try have forbidden the use of deadly force against nonviolent suspects. . .
. Petitioners and appellant have not persuaded us that shooting nondangero
us fleeing suspects is so vital as to outweigh the suspect's interest in hi
s own life."
Note the part about "non violent", "nondangerous".
"It is not, however, unconstitutional on its face. Where the officer has pr
obable cause to believe that the suspect poses a threat of serious physical
harm, either to the officer or to others, it is not constitutionally unrea
sonable to prevent escape by using deadly force. Thus, if the suspect threa
tens the officer with a weapon or there is probable cause to believe that h
e has committed a crime involving the infliction or threatened infliction o
f serious physical harm, deadly force may be used if necessary to prevent e
scape, and if, where feasible, some warning has been given. As applied in s
uch circumstances, the Tennessee statute would pass constitutional muster."
Note that if the officer's account of being attacked in his car, struggle
for the gun, gun going off in the car (which should be easy to prove from
forensics), the officer being punched in the head, etc are substantially
true, then I think reasonable folks would say that the perp had met the tes
of inflicting or threatening to inflict serious physical harm.
And again, note that the relevant SC case law is on statutes involving the
*police use of deadly force*, not the use by ordinary civilians. There is
a difference and it's the officers first line of defense in court.
Thanks for posting about that law, and thank you to the someone who posted
the EXACT law.
It just seems that 9-10 shots [did you hear the recording?] seems a bit
excessive. But then again, from personal experience during a 'mugging'; I
now know that once you go into shock you'll go after your assailant with
no thinking. In my case merely stunned and being of light stature still
went after him, totally bizarre. Now relate that 'condition' to this
situation and the shock of being shot. Browne was likely to go after the
cop, giving the impression to the cop of present danger, justifying more
shooting, which resulted in severe injuries and more shock and more 'going
after your assailant' so the situation escalated into tragedy all the way
Again, from experience, even knocked out cold you will still unconsciously
go after your assailant no matter the odds of success.
Regarding the covered boat incident, wouldn't it been sad if a deaf person
was hiding there?
Hate that specious argument against what you've said as 'You're wrong. I
know the answer, It's easy, but YOU have to look it up" and then NEVER
supplying ANY supporting documentation. Just went through a 'technical'
argument like that, hate it.
Who was it that said, Please, no feeding the trolls. :)
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