Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Video: Off Duty Cop Draws Handgun After Attacked By Teens



       Although the video doesn't show how the incident started, it picks up with the homeowner (an off-duty police officer who, based on what was said, had already identified himself as a police officer) attempting to arrest the teen while being heckled by a larger group of teens. Eventually, several of the other teens rush the officer and knock him over a hedge row. While the officer attempts to maintain his grip on the 14 year old, some of the other teens again attempt to gang up around him. At that point, the officer starts fumbling at his waist trying to raise his shirt and get to his firearm. Then, as he further tussles with the 14 year old, the firearm goes off.

      A few points:
  1. Don't kid yourself if you think you could get away with anything like this unless you are a police officer. The Leviathan, and only the Leviathan, has the authority to use force for anything less than a threat of death or serious injury.
  2. This was a potentially dangerous situation for the officer, and might have turned out much worse for him if he did not have a firearm.
  3. But, even having drawn the firearm, note that the teens did not abandon their attack until the firearm went off--the threat of force may have given them pause, but it was not enough to terminate the encounter.
  4. It was not clear to me if the officer drew his firearm using his off hand or if he was left-handed. But, in any event, he had difficulty getting to his firearm (covered by a t-shirt). 
  5. The officer claimed that the firearm went off accidentally.  Viewing this from the safety of our computers or smart phones, it is easy to criticize the officer for not having kept his finger off the trigger (assuming that is what caused the discharge), but it is another thing to be in the situation, struggling for your balance, where it is natural to grasp the firearm tighter to avoid dropping it. Nevertheless, that is something to keep in mind: if you do lose your balance, you will either react by dropping the firearm to use your hand to catch yourself, or tighten your grasp on the firearm; and if you have your finger on or near the trigger when that happens, it is not unlikely that you might pull the trigger.
More information: "The moment an off-duty LA cop 'accidentally' opens fire on a gang of teens as he fights with them outside his house"--Daily Mail.

1 comment:

  1. Looked to me like he drew with his support hand. If that was indeed the case it may have contributed to his negligent discharge. We all have much more dexterity and control with our dominant hand, and a commensurate reduction in our support hand.

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