Originally posted by Whereweheaded
Allow me to clarify, I meant or suggested that his resignation could have possibly suggested guilt. However, this nation is built upon " due
Process", which would require a proper hearing and legal actions. But what concerns me, is the fact that the state has a " clause " which allows
an officer to basically say " oops my mistake" and can't be tried. We this prevalent in our country. Case in point, there are a few states that
have deemed it illegal to video tape officers in their wrongful actions. Matter of fact, there was a thread on that a while back. That's what
I understand where you are coming from, and it goes back to the "clause" you refer to. The "clause" is probably the least understood by the
Its kind of difficult to explain this is such a way that people will understand it. I am going to include some info already covered in hopes it might
help some understand the clause is there for a reason, but not to protect the officer from bad judgment or illegal actions.
To civilians, a physical offensive action is a foreign concept for the simple fact people want to avoid confrontation when its heading into the
physical person on person realm. Most people, if confronted by, say a drunk guy on the street looking for a fight, will simply disengage and move off
into the opposite direction and continue on their way.
To an officer, the behavior of the person is an issue, and a potential threat to the public at large (assume the 2 people walking called the police to
report the encounter). We show up and make contact, and the guy continues with the aggressive behavior towards the cops. For the cops, walking away
and disengaging will not be the first thought that goes through their minds. Resolving the situation is the goal.
Again, if a person in the same scenario has a gun or knife, people will avoid the situation, where law enforcement is forced to deal with the
Laws are on the books for a reason, and as I said before law enforcement is bound by those laws. The only time the "clause" kicks in is an emergency
situation, and even then there is still a possibility the officer could face charges / termination for actions that are out of bounds.
Due to the nature of our profession, and the situations we deal with, things can go downhill in a split second, forcing the officer to make a split
second decision. Because its a split second decision, any actions that occur have to be looked at through that split second window and description of
I understand why it appears as law enforcement has a special status, but to be honest its anything but that. The stuff the public does not see in
terms of an officer involved shooting is where the perception of a special status comes in. A civilian has more rights than an officer does when it
comes to using deadly force. The manner it is investigated in is completely different as well. The rule for a civilian shoot is:
* - what prompted the use of force
* - if its a duty to retreat state, could the person safely do this, or were they forced into a defensive action
* - if no duty to retreat, was the action inside the law
* - are there mitigating circumstances
* - is there any substance abuse by either party
* - Is the weapon legal
* - do witnesses coroborate the described events
The investigation would include the above and a few more, and the person who shot (if the evidence suggests its not a good shoot) could be arrested
and taken to jail pending a review by the PA's office. If its a good shoot the PA might tell us to send the report and let the person who shot go.
For Law Enforcement, in addition to the above questions, we also have the civil rights investigation to determine if we violated any. We are required
to submit to a blood / breath / urine test to determine if we are on anything that is illegal, or a prescription or otc drug that affects actions /
thought process etc.
Our duty weapon is seized as evidence (same as civilian) we are placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of all the other investigations. We
are required to write a detailed report of the incident (which technically violates our right to not incriminate ourselves. We can alos be ordered to
answer guilt seeking questions regardless of Miranda (In addition to Miranda we also have whats called Garrity Rights which addresses the miranda
violation of being forced to give evidence against ourselves.. I can go on and on, but you get the idea.
- investigation, report sent to PA office for review.
Agency criminal investigation that essentially seizes the officer (we cannot work, cant leave the state, etc)
Independant agency investigation that is seperate than the above (to proivde an independant investigation.
Prosecuting Attorneys office, who does their investigation as well.
Additionally we can be investigated by the FBI for civil rights violations.
Because our profession deals with people who violate the law, and because those encounters dont always go as planned or peacefully, there has to be
something in place for us to do our jobs. If there was nothing there, then the officers would be just as guilty as the person who is breaking the law
because we just violated it as well.
All the civili immunity is for is to prevent constant, frivelous lawsuits against officers who were doing their job. Its not carte blanche for us to
do whatever we want though.
This making sense? or did I add to much info?