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:-\This may have been covered elsewhere, if so please direct me to it and then ignore this question. If we had been in that church in Colorado Springs and had been the person stopping the bad guy there, what should our first and continued responses be to LEOs who arrive on the scene? My sole interest here is to find out how one should respond and cooperate with the LEOs.
 

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If you use a gun and drop a BG the standard response would be something like;

I felt that 'grave bodily harm' would be done, shot in 'self defense' to 'stop the threat' shaken up from the experience and 'would like to talk to my lawyer' before saying anything else or giving a written statement.

The words in parenethese are the important ones. Never use kill, dead or some other words that can be used against you. And never talk to the news people EVER! They can't get it right and you don't have to explain yourself to them. Leave that to court and lawyers. ;)
 

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stephpd said:
If you use a gun and drop a BG the standard response would be something like;
I'm unsure of who has what status in this case. If I'm not mistaken the gal who shot the BG was actually part of the security staff, putting her in a completely different category from church member CCW's who would be in legal trouble if they got involved.

Do I have the facts wrong?

JimL
 

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I have always heard that in Texas he needed killin' was an acceptable response.
 

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Not directly on point, but I'm always amazed when the BGs family comes out of the woodwork to tell the press what a nice person the perp was and how only last week he told his mother/brother/sister/girlfriend how he was planning to turn his life around. Not always the case, of course, but often enough to give "denial" a bad name.
 

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the simplest answer is... *drum roll* THE TRUTH.

ok the unsimplified answer is..

if you truly believe you was about ot be hurt then just tell them how it went down..
cops are human and im of the opinion if you thought you was justified then you probably was.
you just need to transmit this to the police by being honest.

thing is if you lie or try to exaggerate they'll either think you're lying or have something to hide.. not telling them the whole story..

good chance an "expert" will examine the scene and figure out your lying if anyone was killed.. if it was just a shooting they probably wont spend to much time examining and go mostly off whats said not counting any obvious evidence.

even if it turns out you dont strictly fit "justified" in the rule book.. maybe you're in grey area those cops that first show up could be helpful at any court dates you have to show up at and maybe nudge you a little bit closer to justified with the judge.. never underestimate a cop putting in a good word for you, like wise if they have bad to say about you... if you lied to them you'll really be screwed.

now if you KNOW you was'nt justified then you're best bet is to stfu and ask for a lawyer..
lying is just gonna get the police pissed at you so if you can't tell them the truth then just dont tell them nothing.


most shootings inside your house you're gonna be justified.. and on the street if someone attacks or tries to mug you.. well chances are they already have a record and their word wont me jack.
 

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Don't Taze me bro!!!!
 

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I would say
1. Answer the questions asked of you by LEO honestly.
2. Volunteer nothing, if your mouth gets runny, you could more than shoot yourself in the foot.
3. As was said before do not talk to the press, TV, or even managment of the place where it happened.
4. As soon as you can, privately put down in writing everything that you can remember about what happened. You may need to know later what you said right after the incident.
5. Contact legal counsel just in case. (this could move higher the priority depending on what the LEO says to you)
 

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joe sixpack said:
the simplest answer is... *drum roll* THE TRUTH.
Stephpd had it exactly right. The same story can always be truthfully told using different words.

As long as there are media sensationalists and hot shot lawyers anxious to dash to a microphone/camera to twist your words you should avoid using hot button words and too many words.

JimL
 

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aye, every situation is different.. and it's best start slow, im just saying dont go by a script and if you can't tell them the truth then dont say anything because lying is just gonna cause you more problems later.

if you're in the wrong and you know it dont say a word.. but if you're pretty sure you're in the right then just tell them how it went down.

it should be honest accounts of what happen and not sound like you're dancing around words or reading from a script trying to sound justified.
 

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I agree with you Joe that it should be an honest account and not be scripted, however this was brought up in the CCW class I was in, held by 2 active and one retired LEO. Also talked to lawyer about same thing. Discussion in class went on for 30 minutes. Bottom line was better to say less than more and certain phrases will do more harm than good. Foul language and explicitives :MF N-word,Ass**** etc will be written down by police and used in court.

Most everyone that is involved in a shooting says an adrenalene dump occurs, it's natural. It will still be flowing through your body when the police arrive. The situation has been replayed in your mind multiple times and you should be careful with the words coming out of your mouth. Everyone knows the Miranda warning and even if the police don't read you your rights you should be careful with what you say.

With that said the laws around here use "grave bodily harm" when they were written. Most of the posts talk about "stopping the threat" never killing. The instructors and my lawyer agree with using those phrases. It shows that you are aware of the laws and the justification in using a gun in defense of yourself or others.

That's also why only a few phrases were in quotes. Fill in the rest with your on words but still be careful in what you say. Even though you aren't under arrest that may change. Either because of something you said, evidence to the contrary or the whim of the DA. Then everything said and done will be used in court. Hopefully it won't go that far but better safe than sorry.
 

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Amen to that. Honest answers without running off at the mouth. That should minimize the potential problem. Using key phrases, could make it seem rehearsed. Honesty in your normal wording seems the best way to go to me.
 

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stephpd said:
Most everyone that is involved in a shooting says an adrenalene dump occurs, it's natural. It will still be flowing through your body when the police arrive. The situation has been replayed in your mind multiple times and you should be careful with the words coming out of your mouth.
I'm curious about something - maybe you have a comment.

As a LEO I carried a small notebook, and when I was involved in an incident I started writing down a description of what happened as quickly as possible.

Do you think a civilian would be well advised or poorly advised to grab some paper somewhere and write things down?

JimL
 

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Robby said:
Honesty in your normal wording seems the best way to go to me.
Of course he used the phrase "say something like" and focused on what not to do. It didn't seem to me that he was advocating lying, rather not inflaming things.

And in all candor, some people's "normal wording" I.E., shooting off their mouth, is exactly what could cause unnecessary trouble. In the words of the TV's super-cop Nash Bridges, "easy there Bubba." 8)

JimL
 

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In my CCW class this issue was discussed by our instructor, an active duty LEO, and if I remember correctly, the training movie we watched. The advice was to stick strictly with the facts of what you saw and what happened. DO NOT elaborate upon the facts which means don't try to interpret the event. They said to cooperate to that degree, but to also seek the advice of counsel ASAP.
 

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According to my CCW instuctor who is a retired LEO and currently a County Judge..."Keep your mouth shut and call your lawyer".
 

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Seems like we are rehashing the same things over and over. Just in different words, or sentence.

But it all comes down to being honest, not lying, and knowing later what happened when you talk to your attorney.

If you write it down as soon as you have the time, and I mean within an hour or so before you mind shuts down, which after a shooting incident it could.
 

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I agree that you must be honest, but you don't need to be complete. Especially not at the scene, minutes after you just shot someone. You have no idea what you'll be saying, and probably little idea of what just happened. I've spent alot of years around cop friends and relatives and I know for a fact that LEO's involved in a shooting don't just start out rambling about what they saw and did.

Stephpd mentioned pretty much what our CCW instructor said. "I felt my life or this person's life was in danger, I tried to stop the threat, here is the evidence and here is my weapon. Now I need to talk with an attorney." End of statement. Period.
There will be plenty of time later to sort through all that happened. And as Robby said, start writing down what you remember.
 

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+1 for Stephpd, above! Trial lawyer and former prosecutor, here. FWIW, here's adding my humble opinion ("opinion" = "best guess at the time"):
For all but the most seasoned, adrenaline dump may be accompanied by confusion, shock, and more often than we might think, a temporary but strong state of denial. All come at the same time. It is hard to get your head around what happened, at best. People can innocently end up giving confused or seemingly conflicting information, and sometimes may say what they wish had happened, instead of what happened.
Even while your mind is racing, you might sometimes appear quiet and subdued to those around you. Later, in court, they might interpret this as indicating you were in a calm and rational state of mind. Also, some statements which might help you in criminal procedings can fry you in the civil trial, and maybe vice versa.
Special note: Please (!) don't underestimate the possibility of accidentally saying something that later seems conflicting or inaccurate, and PLEASE (!!) don't even think that what seems like a small verbal mis-step couldn't come back to whip you severely in court, and maybe even convict you.
Don't kid yourself, it ain't always the truth that wins trials. It is what looks most convincingly like the truth to a motley bunch of jurors in a courtroom six months or a year later, listening to a lot of people -- and not just witnesses -- many of whom were not there, and some of whom may have significant bias in matters like this (but it can't be proved).
Ayoob wrote an article about this a while back. Couldn't find it, but his advice sounded good at the time. Similar to Stephpd. Something like this: Tell the police respectfully that you are extremely upset, that you know how important this is, and that you will have a full statement for them after you have talked to your lawyer.
IF you feel clear headed, MAYBE say it was self-defense/defense-of-others, then STOP talking about it. If you fell clear headed, then MAYBE point out evidence (shell casings, weapon, marks/stains, witness, etc.) -- But don't try to say what it means, just point it out. (Reason for the latter: Cops are almost all good and honorable folks, but they need to see if a crime has been committed, so they are probably "tuned" to look for evidence of crime, more than evidence of your innocence. Possibly significant mind-set difference, not just word play.)
By the way, if you talked about the event at all after you initially said you want your lawyer, then say it again. Then stop talking again.
Just my HO, not advice. -- Doug
(PS/ Notebook. Could be good or bad. I'd say at least make sure your head is clear before writing anything.)
 
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