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Police Lives Matter. So Does My Life.

 

Matthew Walter suggests in The Week that the only proper response to the (very) questionable killing of Botham Jean by an off-duty Dallas police officer is to disarm the cops.

I think we should consider the possibility of a return to a style of policing in which officers do not, under ordinary circumstances, carry guns or wear black body armor. Bandying weapons around is not the best way to promote respect for the law.

I hate to give such obvious clickbait the clicks it was asking for, but some ideas are so egregious they need to be nipped in the bud before they can spread. There are so, so many things wrong with Mr. Walter’s arguments, it’s hard to know where to begin, but I would start with a quick perusal through the Active Self Protection YouTube channel, where there are literally hundreds (if not thousands) of examples of armed off-duty policemen saving lives because they were at the right place and the right time and had the right tools and skills to solve the problem as it happened.

And it’s not just policemen: The 2nd Amendment of the Constitution declares that Americans of all occupations have the right to carry a firearm for the defense of themselves and others, and Heller v. D.C. and McDonald v. Chicago only reinforced that common-sense gun law. I don’t get to decide when and where an emergency is going to happen and I will need to rely on my training and equipment to save a life, and neither do policemen.

Now, to be fair, there are a lot of questions surrounding the death of Botham Jean. It looks, by all accounts, to be a really, really bad shoot, and charges will probably be filed against Amber Guyger for her actions that horrible night. It’s also a lesson for those of us to carry a firearm on a regular basis to be absolutely sure your target represents an immediate deadly danger before we draw our guns. A bright flashlight (or better still, turning on a light switch) could have saved a life here. Let this be a lesson to us all.

In the end, it’s crying shame that we need to expend the time and effort to fight the idea that the cops should be unarmed, when a simple police ride-along would have cured Mr. Walter of his fevered wish for a disarmed police force. Once you realize that you don’t get to pick the time and place when you might need to defend your life with a gun, carrying a gun all the time makes a lot of sense, cop or not.

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There are 87 comments.

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  1. Thatcher

    She was not arrested for three days. Had the roles been reversed, he would have been in handcuffs that night. 

    I am with David French on the idea there are problems

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/09/end-qualified-immunity-supreme-court/

    • #1
    • September 14, 2018 at 7:17 am
    • 17 likes
  2. Member

    Kevin Creighton: It’s also a lesson for those of us to carry a firearm on a regular basis to be absolutely sure your target represents an immediate deadly danger before we draw our guns.

    Well if you are a cop you can just make up some BS about feeling scared and get away with shooting a man in the back who is running away. If we want cops to behave better and be less trigger happy we just need to make them personally liable for their actions in some way. Now they just hide behind qualified immunity. Cops should be forced to purchase malpractice insurance, so that the victims of their carelessness can be properly compensated. This way cops with a bad track record of abusing people and being careless will become unemployable hopefully before they kill some innocent guy sitting in his own apartment probably too confused and shocked at some weirdo with a gun breaking into his home, to do anything other than stand there dumbfounded. 

    • #2
    • September 14, 2018 at 7:19 am
    • 6 likes
  3. Member

    This shooting had *nothing* to do with the fact that she was a cop. She was not on duty or acting as a police officer when the events occurred.

    This was an armed citizen who did something stupid. Anyone who carries could have done the same thing.

     

    • #3
    • September 14, 2018 at 7:20 am
    • 14 likes
  4. Contributor
    Kevin Creighton Post author

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    This shooting had *nothing* to do with the fact that she was a cop. She was not on duty or acting as a police officer when the events occurred.

    This was an armed citizen who did something stupid. Anyone who carries could have done the same thing.

    It’s been interesting to watch the reaction of my gun-carrying friends to this. Their thoughts are pretty much the same as David French’s, that this was a bad shoot and deserves the same process that a non-LEO would face. 

    This puts the NRA in quite the quandary, because they’ve been pro-LEO all the time as of late, including times when cops made some questionable calls while on duty. 

    This is one is off the clock, and it’s very, VERY questionable. What will they do? 

    • #4
    • September 14, 2018 at 7:50 am
    • 6 likes
  5. Member

    Kevin Creighton:

     

    From the Matthew Walter quote: “I think we should consider the possibility of a return to a style of policing in which officers do not, under ordinary circumstances, carry guns or wear black body armor. Bandying weapons around is not the best way to promote respect for the law.”

    Terrific post, Kevin. 

    Small irritations: what difference does it make for Mr. Walter or us that the body armor is black? Would Botham be less dead if Amber Guyger’s body armor was pink? And: one does not “bandy” an object. An idea or a notion—especially a stupid one, like disarming cops—gets “bandied about.” 

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    She was not arrested for three days. Had the roles been reversed, he would have been in handcuffs that night. 

    Had which roles been reversed? If she had been in her apartment and Botham had walked in and shot her? Or if she’d walked in to Botham’s apartment and he’d shot her in what he believed to be self-defense? Either way I wouldn’t bet on it. 

    Not knowing anything at all about this case other than what I’ve read here, I will say that it is not unusual for police officers to avoid arresting a perpetrator when circumstances aren’t crystal-clear. (George Zimmerman, for example, was not arrested immediately for the death of Trayvon Martin for just this reason). 

    I’m willing to believe that the fact that Ms. Guygen is a police officer was a factor in how the cops proceeded, but the same would (I am quite sure) be true if she was, say, a physician, or the manager of the supermarket down the street: in other words, if there was reason to believe that her account of what happened was true and arresting her did not seem a matter of immediate public safety. (This could easily apply to Botham too, by the way). 

    That sounds like a social class issue (and it can be) but it’s not just a matter of whom the police find sympathetic. Once the arrest is made, the clock starts ticking, and in a complicated situation it may take time to assemble the evidence required to know whether a crime has been committed and to prepare an indictment. I know of at least one case here in Maine in which the police and, indeed, just about everyone knows who committed a murder but the murderer has never been arrested because the crucial bit of evidence (the body) has not been found. There’s lots of other evidence, mind you, but the D.A. does not want to risk prosecution unless he can persuade a jury “beyond a reasonable doubt.” 

    Ms. Guygen’s badge automatically makes the case complicated and difficult to prosecute for all the reasons you point out— juries give police officers the benefit of the doubt for a lot of very good reasons (for instance, the guy you imagine shooting a fleeing suspect in the back is not supposed to do what you or I could—namely flee ourselves in the opposite direction). A premature arrest would compromise what would already be a difficult prosecution.

    Police officers are far more constrained than you (or Valiuth) seem to think, and bear all of these variables very much in mind. If an observer doesn’t know what those constraints are, police behavior can seem inexplicable. (Plenty of people in Maine are bewildered, not to say outraged, that the aforementioned murderer is not behind bars…innocent until proven guilty and so on…)

    That doesn’t mean there aren’t bad cops, or good ones who make very bad mistakes. We don’t know, yet, which of several categories this case falls into, other than that it’s dreadful. 

     

     

    • #5
    • September 14, 2018 at 7:53 am
    • 18 likes
  6. Member

    It’s the age-old story of the seen vs. the unseen.

    • #6
    • September 14, 2018 at 7:58 am
    • 2 likes
  7. Thatcher

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    She was not arrested for three days. Had the roles been reversed, he would have been in handcuffs that night.

    I am with David French on the idea there are problems

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/09/end-qualified-immunity-supreme-court/

    Indeed, but disarming cops as Matthew Walter suggests is a bridge way too far.

    • #7
    • September 14, 2018 at 8:08 am
    • 4 likes
  8. Member

    First of all every incident is a specific incident. Not all shooters are immediately arrested. The shooter that shot a man over a disabled parking spot in Florida in the month of July, was not arrested until August. After reviewing video evidence the DA’s office charged the shooter with manslaughter.

    You can read the story here. 

    • #8
    • September 14, 2018 at 8:10 am
    • 9 likes
  9. Thatcher

    Thankfully, we don’t live in a centralized police state like Great Britain where the decision can be made in Parliament. We live in 12,000 police jurisdictions in 3,000 counties.

    I am pro-police but open to having that debate about whether police must be armed. Perhaps there are a few charmed Mayberrys out there still where two officers can share one bullet.

    The Week is based in DC, right? And this sad story occurred in Dallas. Doesn’t really matter to Walther, who is both a very entertaining writer and an idiot.

    Excerpt from one of his columns this week:

    I do not know a single supporter of the president who opposes the idea, at least in theory, of Trump serving more than eight years.

    So consider the source before worrying about the practical implications of a Walther suggestion.

    • #9
    • September 14, 2018 at 8:28 am
    • 6 likes
  10. Member

    In the Dallas shooting the delay had something to do with a request from the Texas Rangers, who at the request of the Dallas PD were asked to conduct their own investigation. They requested that charges not be filed until they completed their investigation. She was arrested, and charged with manslaughter. She posted bail. The case will be tried unless a plea deal is reached between her attorney, and the DA’s office, and approved by a judge. The civil consequences will be a more complex matter because she was not on duty at the time. 

    • #10
    • September 14, 2018 at 8:37 am
    • 7 likes
  11. Member

    Kevin Creighton (View Comment):

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    This shooting had *nothing* to do with the fact that she was a cop. She was not on duty or acting as a police officer when the events occurred.

    This was an armed citizen who did something stupid. Anyone who carries could have done the same thing.

    It’s been interesting to watch the reaction of my gun-carrying friends to this. Their thoughts are pretty much the same as David French’s, that this was a bad shoot and deserves the same process that a non-LEO would face.

    This puts the NRA in quite the quandary, because they’ve been pro-LEO all the time as of late, including times when cops made some questionable calls while on duty.

    This is one is off the clock, and it’s very, VERY questionable. What will they do?

    This is not a national issue or problem. Police departments are local, and the management varies from one town and city to the next.

    Most teachers are wonderful people, but in my town, out of three hundred wonderful teachers, we had two teachers who were abusing their students emotionally and in one case physically–he walked up to a little seventh grader and for no reason whatsoever, pulled his chair out from under him.

    What this latest incident with a police officer should bring about is not changes in our attitudes toward police officers generally but rather a renewed commitment to civic engagement. People need to be involved with their local government.

    • #11
    • September 14, 2018 at 9:07 am
    • 7 likes
  12. Contributor

    Absolutely agree that disarming the police — or any law-abiding citizen — is the wrong answer, and a foolish take-away from this tragedy.

    I’ll respectfully object to your use of the phrase “a really, really bad shoot” here, in that it hints — I think it does, anyway — that this was in some sense a police matter that went wrong. I think her law enforcement status is entirely irrelevant: if I walked into my neighbor’s home by mistake and shot him dead, we wouldn’t call that a “bad shoot,” but rather a horrible accidental trespass and killing.

    In my opinion, the case should be handled as if she were any normal, non-law enforcement individual with a legal right to carry who had made the same mistake.

    • #12
    • September 14, 2018 at 9:12 am
    • 12 likes
  13. Member

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    This shooting had *nothing* to do with the fact that she was a cop. She was not on duty or acting as a police officer when the events occurred.

    This was an armed citizen who did something stupid. Anyone who carries could have done the same thing.

     

    But they won’t be able to use the fact that they are a cop as a defense, where as she will clearly try to use it that way. After all what was the whole “he didn’t listen to my instructions” excuse that I heard floated about? 

    • #13
    • September 14, 2018 at 9:21 am
    • 2 likes
  14. Thatcher

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Kevin Creighton:

     

    From the Matthew Walter quote: “I think we should consider the possibility of a return to a style of policing in which officers do not, under ordinary circumstances, carry guns or wear black body armor. Bandying weapons around is not the best way to promote respect for the law.”

    Terrific post, Kevin.

    Small irritations: what difference does it make for Mr. Walter or us that the body armor is black? Would Botham be less dead if Amber Guyger’s body armor was pink? And: one does not “bandy” an object. An idea or a notion—especially a stupid one, like disarming cops—gets “bandied about.”

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    She was not arrested for three days. Had the roles been reversed, he would have been in handcuffs that night.

    Had which roles been reversed? If she had been in her apartment and Botham had walked in and shot her? Or if she’d walked in to Botham’s apartment and he’d shot her in what he believed to be self-defense? Either way I wouldn’t bet on it.

    Not knowing anything at all about this case other than what I’ve read here, I will say that it is not unusual for police officers to avoid arresting a perpetrator when circumstances aren’t crystal-clear. (George Zimmerman, for example, was not arrested immediately for the death of Trayvon Martin for just this reason).

    I’m willing to believe that the fact that Ms. Guygen is a police officer was a factor in how the cops proceeded, but the same would (I am quite sure) be true if she was, say, a physician, or the manager of the supermarket down the street: in other words, if there was reason to believe that her account of what happened was true and arresting her did not seem a matter of immediate public safety. (This could easily apply to Botham too, by the way).

    That sounds like a social class issue (and it can be) but it’s not just a matter of whom the police find sympathetic. Once the arrest is made, the clock starts ticking, and in a complicated situation it may take time to assemble the evidence required to know whether a crime has been committed and to prepare an indictment. I know of at least one case here in Maine in which the police and, indeed, just about everyone knows who committed a murder but the murderer has never been arrested because the crucial bit of evidence (the body) has not been found. There’s lots of other evidence, mind you, but the D.A. does not want to risk prosecution unless he can persuade a jury “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

    Ms. Guygen’s badge automatically makes the case complicated and difficult to prosecute for all the reasons you point out— juries give police officers the benefit of the doubt for a lot of very good reasons (for instance, the guy you imagine shooting a fleeing suspect in the back is not supposed to do what you or I could—namely flee ourselves in the opposite direction). A premature arrest would compromise what would already be a difficult prosecution.

    Police officers are far more constrained than you (or Valiuth) seem to think, and bear all of these variables very much in mind. If an observer doesn’t know what those constraints are, police behavior can seem inexplicable. (Plenty of people in Maine are bewildered, not to say outraged, that the aforementioned murderer is not behind bars…innocent until proven guilty and so on…)

    That doesn’t mean there aren’t bad cops, or good ones who make very bad mistakes. We don’t know, yet, which of several categories this case falls into, other than that it’s dreadful.

     

     

    Police officers are not constrained at all. Not one bit. All they have to do is say “I was scared” and they get off. They want to “go home at the end of the day”. 

    Please. This is emblematic of how the police get special treatment. She shot the man, in his own home. She should have been arrested that night. I entered someone’s home and shot them, I would have been arrested that night.

    • #14
    • September 14, 2018 at 9:32 am
    • 7 likes
  15. Thatcher

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    She was not arrested for three days. Had the roles been reversed, he would have been in handcuffs that night.

    I am with David French on the idea there are problems

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/09/end-qualified-immunity-supreme-court/

    Indeed, but disarming cops as Matthew Walter suggests is a bridge way too far.

    I agree. They need to be armed and held to account. 

    • #15
    • September 14, 2018 at 9:33 am
    • 2 likes
  16. Contributor
    Kevin Creighton Post author

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Police officers are not constrained at all. Not one bit. All they have to do is say “I was scared” and they get off. They want to “go home at the end of the day”.

    Umm, no. They have to explain, just like I would have to do, what is in their mind and what they saw as the reason why they needed to draw and shoot.

    Massad Ayoob is the #1 guy on the legal problems surrounding the use of deadly force, and he got his start in the “Officer Survival” movement of the late 70’s and early 80’s. One that really stood out in my class with him is how that cops and citizens both need to elucidate a) their background and training that drove their decision to shoot and b) how that training influenced their decision to shoot.

    In this case, as it stands now she is going to have a hard time making the case that she was in fear for her life and that there was a real and imminent threat of deadly force to her life. It’s one thing when a “gentle giant” (HA!) is ignoring your commands to stop and is walking right towards, seemingly unconcerned that a gun is pointed at him while he does so.

    It’s another thing to think that you can use deadly force on anyone in your domicile that you don’t recognize.

    • #16
    • September 14, 2018 at 9:45 am
    • 10 likes
  17. Thatcher

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    She was not arrested for three days. Had the roles been reversed, he would have been in handcuffs that night.

    I am with David French on the idea there are problems

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/09/end-qualified-immunity-supreme-court/

    So what? What is 3 days? Why is this a source of outrage. People are arrested later all the time for lots of reasons.

    • #17
    • September 14, 2018 at 10:35 am
    • 8 likes
  18. Member

    Any shooting is considered a homicide if someone dies. Whether or not you’re a police officer. Homicide detectives will conduct an investigation.

    You need to lawyer up before you answer any questions, and lawyer up doesn’t mean your brother who practices real estate law. You need a criminal defense lawyer. Exercise your right to remain silent until your attorney is present. Your lawyer cannot prevent a judge’s warrant for a blood draw. So if you decide to go pub hopping leave your gun at home.

    Police officers have the right to remain silent just like you do.

    You will not have to provide a written report. Just like any homicide interview it will be recorded on tape, and on film. A transcript will be made of the tape. You may have to sign that. Remember your attorney should be present for the interview. It is no different for a police officer.

    In the aftermath of a shooting the adrenaline dump affects the mind as well as your body. The details will be fuzzy, you will question your own actions.

    • #18
    • September 14, 2018 at 10:38 am
    • 10 likes
  19. Contributor
    Kevin Creighton Post author

    Doug Watt (View Comment):
    You need to lawyer up before you answer any questions, and lawyer up doesn’t mean your brother who practices real estate law. You need a criminal defense lawyer. Exercise your right to remain silent until your attorney is present. Your lawyer cannot prevent a judge’s warrant for a blood draw. So if you decide to go pub hopping leave your gun at home.

    You wouldn’t drive a deadly instrument (a car) without insurance, and you shouldn’t carry a deadly instrument (a gun) without it either. I’ve got a side-by-side comparison over here

    • #19
    • September 14, 2018 at 11:07 am
    • 2 likes
  20. Member

    My guess is that this woman and her attorney will cite her work as a police officer in her defense. 

    Assuming her story is true (a large assumption) she could explain that a police officer, off duty or otherwise, simply does not react to situations the way normal citizens do. For instance, a normal, untrained young woman might, upon entering her (as she believed) apartment and finding a strange man in it, shriek or attempt to flee.

    But, ironically, a normal young woman who hasn’t been exposed to the tangible evidence of what “strange man in apartment” can mean might react less strongly overall—that is, she might say something like “who the hell are you?” thinking, vaguely, that he might be the building super or something. 

    I say this, because I know both how unobservant and generally naive I am about crime (how long would it take me to even notice that someone had burgled my house, for instance?) while at the same time being neurotically hyper-vigilant when it comes to specific dangers. I react strongly and viscerally to the sight of children playing near water, for example, because I have been present when small bodies have been recovered. I wonder, with a shudder, how anyone can allow their child to go near a snowmobile or ATV. When my husband sets off to ride trails on his mountain bike, I need details of where he plans to ride and when he’ll be home… but I don’t worry about him at all when he’s merely riding his motorcycle to Portland. I don’t respond to motorcycle accidents on the Interstate, after all. 

    Anyway, as a matter of pure (rather than exculpatory) interest, I wonder if a police officer (not incidentally female?) who has seen a few home-invasion-type violent crimes might react —in this case, over-react—in a way that I wouldn’t? 

    • #20
    • September 14, 2018 at 11:17 am
    • 4 likes
  21. Member

    Kevin Creighton (View Comment):
    In this case, as it stands now she is going to have a hard time making the case that she was in fear for her life and that there was a real and imminent threat of deadly force to her life. It’s one thing when a “gentle giant” (HA!) is ignoring your commands to stop and is walking right towards, seemingly unconcerned that a gun is pointed at him while he does so.

    Especially one who has already attacked you. 

    I wonder if it will turn out that they knew each other? It does seem like a really weird story, doesn’t it? The parts other people find strange—that she could walk into an apartment thinking its hers—are easy for me to understand, since I am always trying to get into the wrong red car in the parking lot, walking off with the wrong laptop at the airport security, taking the wrong pills from the medicine cabinet and otherwise serving as evidence of how hapless human beings can be. 

    But it’s really hard for me to imagine poor Mr. Botham doing anything aggressive, at least not right away. Untrained people don’t generally react aggressively to a sudden, inexplicable threat appearing in their foyer, do they? 

    • #21
    • September 14, 2018 at 11:25 am
    • 4 likes
  22. Member

    GrannyDude (View Comment):
    Anyway, as a matter of pure (rather than exculpatory) interest, I wonder if a police officer (not incidentally female?) who has seen a few home-invasion-type violent crimes might react —in this case, over-react—in a way that I wouldn’t? 

    Furthermore, I read somewhere that she was just coming off a 15-hour double shift. Where is management? That’s just plain unsafe. 

    Police officers should be in the category of airplane pilots and surgeons and truck drivers: they need to be at their best, and double shifts should simply not be allowed. Being on duty that long over a period of time will mess with the brain. One or two stints like that can work, but too many too often can be hazardous to one’s judgment. 

    • #22
    • September 14, 2018 at 11:27 am
    • 6 likes
  23. Member

    I have no problem with someone obtaining a CHL. Range time is critically important, and so is knowing your state laws on the use of deadly force. Classroom time if you like.

    I stay out of areas in Tucson that are edgy even though I’m proficient with a handgun, and I know, and understand the laws concerning using deadly physical force.

    Self-defense is not just arming yourself, it ‘s also situational awareness. I don’t lay on the horn if someone cuts me off. I don’t argue with people in public. If I can walk away I walk away. I had to deal with people I didn’t know on the streets. I don’t have to do that anymore, so I don’t, and you shouldn’t engage someone you don’t know in some argument when you’re out and about.

    Find another parking space without displaying the impudent digit. If you decide you want a cup of coffee at 2 AM at your local shop & rob and someone is sitting in their car with the engine running, and you can’t see the clerk at the register, or a customer through the window find another store, or better yet head for home and make a pot of coffee. 

    • #23
    • September 14, 2018 at 11:41 am
    • 9 likes
  24. Member

    MarciN (View Comment):

    GrannyDude (View Comment):
    Anyway, as a matter of pure (rather than exculpatory) interest, I wonder if a police officer (not incidentally female?) who has seen a few home-invasion-type violent crimes might react —in this case, over-react—in a way that I wouldn’t?

    Furthermore, I read somewhere that she was just coming off a 15-hour double shift. Where is management? That’s just plain unsafe.

    Police officers should be in the category of airplane pilots and surgeons and truck drivers: they need to be at their best, and double shifts should simply not be allowed. Being on duty that long over a period of time will mess with the brain. One or two stints like that can work, but too many too often can be hazardous to one’s judgment.

    Good point.

    • #24
    • September 14, 2018 at 12:15 pm
    • 4 likes
  25. Member

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):

    GrannyDude (View Comment):
    Anyway, as a matter of pure (rather than exculpatory) interest, I wonder if a police officer (not incidentally female?) who has seen a few home-invasion-type violent crimes might react —in this case, over-react—in a way that I wouldn’t?

    Furthermore, I read somewhere that she was just coming off a 15-hour double shift. Where is management? That’s just plain unsafe.

    Police officers should be in the category of airplane pilots and surgeons and truck drivers: they need to be at their best, and double shifts should simply not be allowed. Being on duty that long over a period of time will mess with the brain. One or two stints like that can work, but too many too often can be hazardous to one’s judgment.

    Good point.

    I don’t know why the world is taking so long to put me in charge of everything. Geesh. :-)

    • #25
    • September 14, 2018 at 12:18 pm
    • 9 likes
  26. Member

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    Kevin Creighton: It’s also a lesson for those of us to carry a firearm on a regular basis to be absolutely sure your target represents an immediate deadly danger before we draw our guns.

    Well if you are a cop you can just make up some BS about feeling scared and get away with shooting a man in the back who is running away. If we want cops to behave better and be less trigger happy we just need to make them personally liable for their actions in some way. Now they just hide behind qualified immunity. Cops should be forced to purchase malpractice insurance, so that the victims of their carelessness can be properly compensated. This way cops with a bad track record of abusing people and being careless will become unemployable hopefully before they kill some innocent guy sitting in his own apartment probably too confused and shocked at some weirdo with a gun breaking into his home, to do anything other than stand there dumbfounded.

    What is the source of your conviction that cops are, as a general rule, trigger happy, careless and immune from punishment @Valiuth?

    • #26
    • September 14, 2018 at 12:20 pm
    • 3 likes
  27. Member

    GrannyDude (View Comment):
    My guess is that this woman and her attorney will cite her work as a police officer in her defense. 

    Assuming her story is true (and I’m still agnostic about whether it is or not), I’m wondering if this might have factored into her reaction:

    Sgt. Michael Mata, president of Dallas’ largest police union, the Dallas Police Association, said Guyger was a respected officer and well known to investigative units in the department because she worked on a high-risk team tasked with arresting some of the most violent offenders. On the day of the shooting, Guyger’s unit had arrested multiple suspects for armed robbery, he said. (from this article)

    • #27
    • September 14, 2018 at 12:52 pm
    • 3 likes
  28. Member

    Weeping (View Comment):

    GrannyDude (View Comment):
    My guess is that this woman and her attorney will cite her work as a police officer in her defense.

    Assuming her story is true (and I’m still agnostic about whether it is or not), I’m wondering if this might have factored into her reaction:

    Sgt. Michael Mata, president of Dallas’ largest police union, the Dallas Police Association, said Guyger was a respected officer and well known to investigative units in the department because she worked on a high-risk team tasked with arresting some of the most violent offenders. On the day of the shooting, Guyger’s unit had arrested multiple suspects for armed robbery, he said. (from this article)

    Ah. Yes, that helps. Thanks, @Weeping

    • #28
    • September 14, 2018 at 2:11 pm
    • 1 like
  29. Contributor

    GrannyDude (View Comment):
    Assuming her story is true (a large assumption) she could explain that a police officer, off duty or otherwise, simply does not react to situations the way normal citizens do. For instance, a normal, untrained young woman might, upon entering her (as she believed) apartment and finding a strange man in it, shriek or attempt to flee.

    I have a general discomfort with what I think you’re hinting at here, of a defense of “I’ve been exposed to enough violence that I may react differently to it than a normal person, and that should be considered in my favor in this case.” (Correct me if that’s not what you’re suggesting.)

    My problem with it is two-fold.

    First, as a normal citizen, I dislike the thought that I might be held to a higher standard of conduct on the grounds that, presumably, my lack of exposure to violence has left me unable to form a realistic sense of the potential for violent harm. Anything that is to some degree exculpatory for the officer in this regards necessarily gives her a lower standard for dealing with violence than a normal citizen enjoys, and I don’t think that’s a good thing.

    Secondly, if we are going to argue that law enforcement officers are more prone than normal citizens to interpreting a situation as potentially life-threatening, then shouldn’t it follow that they should adhere to a commensurately greater standard of conduct under duress than a normal citizen? Otherwise, we’re suggesting that law enforcement people are inherently more dangerous to be around than normal, armed citizens — more likely to interpret a situation as life-threatening, but no more likely to exercise sound judgment. That doesn’t seem like a good thing, either.

    I continue to think that the fact that she is in law enforcement should be disregarded as immaterial in this case. (The exception would be if her blood tests indicated drugs or alcohol of any kind, in which case the question of whether she had recently been on duty in a compromised state — my understanding is that she had recently left work — should be explored.)

     

     

    • #29
    • September 14, 2018 at 2:28 pm
    • 6 likes
  30. Member

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):
    This was an armed citizen who did something stupid. Anyone who carries could have done the same thing.

    I wouldn’t have.

    • #30
    • September 14, 2018 at 2:41 pm
    • 5 likes
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