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404'd: Missouri Revised Statutes -- Use of force in defense of persons

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posted on Nov, 24 2014 @ 07:03 AM

originally posted by: Xcathdra
a reply to: Boadicea

The issue people run into is, essentially, the law requires a person to submit to law enforcement authority, even if they think the cop is wrong or even if the cop is wrong. The arena to determine right or wrong is in a courtroom and not roadside with the officer.

Sorry form the long responses.. if I missed something or failed to answer, or if you have other questions, let me know.

First, no apologies necessary. I appreciate the information -- all of it -- and especially how well you explained it all. Thank you! I'm going to have to read this a few times to absorb all the good info you provided and give it a good think. But I agree that the issue is "essentially, the law requires a person to submit to law enforcement authority, even if they think the cop is wrong or even if the cop is wrong." Expecting and demanding that people submit to whatever abuse (real or imagined) LEOs demand is unrealistic and impractical. The human psyche does not work that way. We all have instincts that kick up when we perceive danger, even from an LEO, and especially when we feel we cannot trust that LEO. Such thinking also allows -- even encourages -- an LEO to create a dangerous situation, then claim fear for his/her own life, and then kill that person under color of law. The lives of LEOs are no more or less sacred than anyone else's life.

I know I'm old-fashioned. I still believe that taking a life is a crime against nature and humanity. Period. I have very mixed feelings about Castle Doctrine laws and Stand Your Ground laws, which essentially makes our inalienable right to life null and void. We know Michael Brown's life was taken. Officer Wilson's was not. Officer Wilson has an opportunity to defend and explain his actions -- Michael Brown does not. When a life is taken, it should be incumbent upon the taker to bring an affirmative defense and justify their actions in a court, before a jury. The old-fashioned way.

I don't mean or want to insult you, and I'm sorry if it comes across that way, especially after you've been so helpful in helping me understand some things. I truly have the utmost respect for LEOs, who put themselves in harm's way day in and day out for the rest of us. But just as good cops are worth their weight in gold, bad cops cause even more damage to society and to other LEOs. And the militarization of our police from the top down is even worse. From my perspective, it is unsustainable, and Ferguson is the result. But worst of all, we've turned a noble and honorable profession into professional killers, and the LEOs will bear the brunt of it in the end. Michael Brown has no more worries... Officer Wilson's worries have just begun, whether he's indicted or not.

posted on Nov, 24 2014 @ 11:15 AM
a reply to: Boadicea

As another LEO (albeit not a Missouri one) I agree with several of your points, but I'll offer my thoughts on one in particular.

We all have a right to life. That we can agree on. But my view is this (and its a hypothetical so please don't take the "you" personally): your right to life is no more sacred than my own. Nor is it more sacred than my children's lives, nor anybody else's. But let me stick with the family scenario rather than the community as a whole, since we're talking about Castle Doctrine. If you invade my home in the middle of the night by kicking in my front door, you are not there to compliment me on my choice of personal vehicles and what a great job I did on my Christmas lights. Since my children and I are home, or even just me alone, the chances of you engaging me in a physical manner are pretty good. Were you to subdue me, the chances of my children being harmed are pretty good as well. So at this point, you're in my house against my wishes, have subdued me when I presented no threat (in this scenario), and have done who knows what to and/or with my children, because I put your right to life ahead of my own, and trusted that even though you've broken into my house, subdued me, done whatever with my kids, that you'll respect my right to life as I have yours. As a father, I feel that's a preposterous level of trust to expect me to place in you, given what you've already shown you're willing to do against my wishes and against my rights.

The flip side of that scenario is that, in keeping with what amounts to another "law of nature," I will fight the hypothetical "you" with every tool I have and every breath in my body to preserve my children's right to life, even at the expense of my own.

Apologies for the lengthy post (it's lengthy on my mobile, anyway), but one final thought. There are some of us, a good number of us, in the LE community who apply what I referred to as the flip side to our communities as a whole. Sticking with the hypothetical "you," I would willingly place my body between you and harm's way, even at the expense of my own right to life. But I will not put your right to life ahead of my own, or other innocent people's, when you've demonstrated you have no regard for my right to life nor anybody else's.

posted on Nov, 24 2014 @ 11:49 AM
a reply to: Shamrock6

Thank you, Shamrock; I did not take the "you" personally. Sometimes written language has its limitations, eh?

Your points are very well taken. Once someone enters your home without your knowledge or consent, then yes, they obviously cannot be trusted. But those are obvious situations. What about the not so obvious? And not just in terms of LEOs, but our fellow citizens?

What about the girl in an auto accident who knocks on a door for help and gets blown away from the other side of the door by the resident? What about the guy who pulls into a driveway to turn around and gets killed by the homeowner? What about the guy in his backyard with a gun who heard a noise and gets shot by the cop who was called by a neighbor? What about the father who hears people outside in the middle of the night and grabs his gun to protect his family and gets shot by a SWAT team executing a no knock warrant?

Or... how about the girl who goes to the store in the early evening and is followed by a creepy guy in a truck on her way home. She doesn't want to go straight home because she doesn't want to show him where she lives. And because her little brother is there and she doesn't want to put him in danger. So, she runs and hides. When she thinks it's safe, she again proceeds home only to be confronted by the man she was running from, but now she's on foot. He tries to grab her, she fights back. Neighbors hear the commotion and come out, but it's too dark to really see much, but they do see her punching this guy. Maybe she even knows some self-defense moves, like MMA, and she's using whatever she's got. By now, the creepy guy wanting to rape her is legitimately scared for HIS life. So he pulls out his glock and shoots her dead... and because witnesses saw her attacking him, he declares it self-defense.

I like to think most people understand that "my" right to life ends where "yours" begins so to speak, and vice versa. I think there are many many factors contributing to the civil unrest in Ferguson -- many legitimate, many by design. And I'm the first to admit that I don't have all the answers. I know that for every questionable scenario that leans one way, there's another scenario that leans the other way. I also know that LEOs are much more likely to face the bad guys, and therefore be involved in a shooting incident, than us average Joes. So I want our LEOs to have the best training and the best defensive equipment possible, as much for their protection as ours. So much to think about.

May I ask your opinion of cameras on officers? And Xcathdra? To me, if done right, it seems like a win-win for the public/LEOs. But sometimes what works in theory does not work out as well in practice, so I'd be interested in what you know/have heard from others in LE.

edit on 24-11-2014 by Boadicea because: To correct spelling.

posted on Nov, 24 2014 @ 12:45 PM
a reply to: Boadicea

Those are all legitimate "what if" scenarios. Unfortunately we can do "what ifs" all day long. The legal system isn't perfect, nor are those who are supposed to uphold it. We can't write laws and policies to cover every possible situation, though. Eventually you'd reach the point of litigating people to death, because things wound up so convoluted.

As far as body cameras, I personally have no real problem with them but we don't employ them. There are some issues that would have to be worked out before we would begin using them, such as victim's right to privacy, securing the data, who is allowed to submit requests for the data and acceptable reasons for it. For instance, if I were be wearing a body cam and respond to a child abuse case, or a child rape case (the list goes on and on) what's the policy going to be in regards to continuing to record, not record, what happens with the recording afterwards, etc. it's not just a pure and simple "put cams on cops so they stop being jerks" idea. There are some very real issues that have to be worked through.

edit on 24-11-2014 by Shamrock6 because: Fat fingered it again

posted on Nov, 24 2014 @ 05:06 PM
a reply to: Boadicea

I think you might have read to far into my response. It does not cover police brutality in that sense and never should. If an officer has to resort to methods that are illegal should not be wearing the uniform. What I am referring to is the manner in which law enforcement does there job. We are not a judge nor jury an cannot determine a persons guilt or innocence. That is specifically reserved to the judge / jury.

If I stop a person for speeding and issue a citation and that persons does not agree that is fine. However trying to argue the point on the side of the road is not the proper venue for that argument. People all to often want to challenge the actions of law enforcement, which again is perfectly acceptable but only if done properly.

By properly I mean filing complaints with the department, with the prosecuting attorney etc. If I issue a citation for speeding it does not mean the PA wont dismiss the charge.

The purpose behind the law in Missouri with regards to law enforcement authority is present for a reason. Its not done so much to protect law enforcement or to silence those who don't like law enforcement action. Its present to prevent a situatio0n occurring between law e enforcement and the citizens we serve. Its present to ensure any issues between the 2 parties is dealt with in a proper setting.

If I issue a citation and the driver gets out of the car to argue we have an issue. For starters its a safety issue, not only for me but the person im dealing with. The moment we take an action that restricts a persons ability to move freely (detained / arrested / stopped / etc) we are responsible for their safety.

Secondly arguing does no good as the officer made up their mind. Hence the reason it needs to go to the people who supervise the offices as well as the PA. If I tell the person to get back in their car and they refuse, they opened the door for possible arrest. Law Enforcement is not the group you argue right / wrong /guilt / innocence to.

The law is to prevent people from taking an action against law enforcement whose results can be an arrest or felony charges.

Brutality is a different beast al together but one must ask the question -
"What is Police Brutality?"

More often than not I come across people who think they know what the law is when in reality they don't have a clue.

As a prime example -
The 4th amendment to the US Constitution, Search and Seizure, does not apply to the individual but the government.
The 5th amendment, self incrimination, only applies if the person is in custody and being asked guilt seeking questions.
Requesting identification from an individual at a lawful stop, detention or arrest is not covered by the 4th or 5th amendment and is considered pedigree information.

A person can kill someone, be investigated, arrested, charged, tried and sentenced to life / death penalty without ever being read their rights.

A traffic stop is a technical temporary seizure under the 4th amendment. As such the driver and other people in the vehicle temporarily have their freedom of movement restricted. The safety of everyone in that stopped vehicle is the responsibility of the officer making the stop.

If I arrest a person and they ask me for legal advice I am prohibited by law from giving it. Its not our area of responsibility and goes to reinforce the purpose of the law in question. Which is there is a proper place and time to argue about officer actions and to be honest its not with the officer himself and alone.

Don't get me wrong I understand what you are saying I just think you read a bit to far into my response.

When we use the term police brutality we must use it in its proper legal context. It cannot be used based on the opinion of the person using the term. What one person would call brutality another would call it something else entirely. Using personal opinion instead of established legal definitions opens the door to conflict on both sides and does no one any good.

The us verse them mentality is killing all of us. Only when there is meaningful 2 way conversation on both sides can we begin to fix the rift in place.

It is a 2 way street.

Hope that clarifies my statements.

I noticed an issue in one of your what if scenarios, specifically the little girl in the car accident.

The castle doctrine only applies inside your home or if a person is entering your house in a tumultuous manner (breaking in). The castle doctrine does not cover using deadly force on a person who is beating on the front door or ringing the door bell. In those instances a person can either answer the door, talk through the door, or call 911 and have an officer respond. You are under no obligation to answer the door.

Camera's -
I also have no issues with them. My department have audio / video in the cars, our interview rooms and our jail (albeit no audio for those areas). The Tasers we are issued, once they are activated (turned on) they record audio and video. Only our evidence officers can access the camera and taser recording systems to preserve chain of custody.

We do not use body cameras but have looked at them and will eventually be getting some in the future. Some agencies in California re teating out cameras on their duty weapons.

The flip side is a camera does not always show the "truth" -
I will try and find the videos.. I posted them on this site before.

What they show is a police pursuit and fatal shooting of the driver from 2 different dash cams at 2 different angles. The pursuit ends in the parking lot of a strip mall. You see in dash cam on the officer exiting his vehicle and pointing his gun at the suspect who is moving away from the officer. The next thing you "see" is the suspect being shot in the back and killed.

Dash cam 2 shows the same situation from a different angle. You see the driver moving away from the officer. In this view you see the suspect pull a dark item from his waste band ad starts to turn towards the officer, at which point the secondary officer shoots and kills the driver.

If only video one existed it clearly looks like the officer short and killed the suspect by shooting him in the back. Dash cam 2 placed the actions and shooting into context. It was 2 white officers and a black suspect.

The camera does not always show the entire truth.

edit on 24-11-2014 by Xcathdra because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 25 2014 @ 07:14 AM
a reply to: Shamrock6

Thank you, again. I figured there'd be much to work out with cameras, privacy issues for both victims and the LEOs themselves, when and how to activate, how long to store video as well as where and how... And Xcathdra provided an example above where and how one cop's camera wasn't sufficient to show the whole picture. Yes, much to think about.

I'm hopeful for cameras, not because I think it will catch a ton of bad cops, but because -- at least from what I've heard -- it makes everyone else behave better too, especially those with ill intentions. I'm sure the vast majority of LEOs are good conscientious officers of the law, but those few bad apples get the attention. Rightfully so, because one bad cop can cause so much damage.

posted on Nov, 25 2014 @ 07:42 AM
a reply to: Xcathdra

Thank you for clarifying -- and again, much to think about.

Maybe I was lucky. When I got my driver's license, an LEO friend of my father's sat me down and had a talk about being pulled over and the proper way to interact with the officer. If the officer pulls me over, he has a reason and he has responsibilities. He also has reasonable concerns about who and what I am, so don't give him any more! I was told to keep my hands on the steering wheel in plain sight and not to reach for my license or registration until asked. If I was asked a "yes" or "no" question, answer "yes" or "no"; if I cannot answer with a simple "yes" or "no" then to say "Not exactly. May I explain?" Don't lie, don't fudge, don't get smart, don't offer information he does not ask for. The officer knows what he needs from me. I guess it served me well, because I've never had any problems with the law. And I passed it along to my kids, so even when my son got a couple field cards, the officers appreciated his cooperation and honesty. (Nothing serious! One time he broke curfew, the other time he was playing around on railroad tracks.) But, hopefully, it served the officers well who have a job to do -- for US.

Now I'll just tell you a funny story... at least I think it's funny... that fits in with our discussion and maybe put a smile on your faces (this is for Shamrock too). After Ferguson, and so many other police brutality stories in the news, I wondered if I was just "out of the loop" and not paying enough attention in my own fair town. So I Googled and searched for cases of police brutality. The only thing I could find were students (high school and college/university) thinking it was abuse to be called out for curfew and underage/public drinking! We were not only relieved, but quite amused and took a certain satisfaction from it... as a university town, we have many "town and gown" issues, and the only trouble we've had in our neighborhood of 30 years comes from the university students who rent a home in our 'hood and don't know how to act right. (It's not just poor kids or minority kids who have attitude problems.) I then sent a handwritten not to my police chief, thanking him and the department for being awesome.

Xcathdra and Shamrock -- thank you so much for sharing your wisdom. I still have alot to think about and work out in my head, but I appreciate your help.

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