PDA

View Full Version : Officer and accidental discharge


cybordolphin
07-29-2011, 9:03 PM
Feel kinda bad for the guy.

This is what happened.

Around 1:00 am.... police arrived at scene to investigate a call received from out of town visitors regarding a bear intrusion. Bear as in "black bear".

Apparently a visitor to the mountain community where I live called 911 swearing that they had seen a bear in their condo!

In the area where this occurred the police are called out often due to encounters with bear. The town has a lot of bear activity.

2 officers arrived at the scene with a Sergeant. One carrying a non lethal shotgun, one carrying a lethal shotgun and the Sergeant carrying an AR with silencer.

Not sure if any of these weapons would be appropriate for taking down a bear.

While working to evacuate the bear from the visitors condo, the officer with the lethal shotgun experienced an accidental discharge. A witness was within 15 ft but was not injured.

The officers denied there was a discharge. The officers stated the sound heard was from a "flashbang", used to scare off any bear that might have been at the scene.

As it turns out.... there was no bear. The visitors being from the city were apparently just spooked being up in a wilderness area.

So.... no bear. No flashbang would have been needed.

Sergeant comes clean and advises the shot heard was in fact an accidental discharge. And not a flashbang.

I guess the officers were just covering for each other.

Bottom line is.... will this poor guy lose his job as a police officer? What kind of investigations come into play? Internal affairs, etc.?

I feel bad for the guy. Don't like the fact that the officers lied about what happened. Glad the Sergeant came clean......

I am just curious.... if an officer would lose his job over something like this? And how much ridicule will the officer have to endure from his fellow officers (Barney Fife jokes.... don't give him a bullet)?

If I was the officer.... I would not want to find my face in the local newspaper for something like that... and so the whole incident has been kept pretty low key, as to not draw any town attention to the matter. No newspapers called, etc..

Just curious what the officer can expect after something like this.

yzernie
07-29-2011, 9:31 PM
In cop work there is a HUGE difference between an accidental discharge and a negligent discharge. To make an accurate determination of the situation I'd have to know why the gun discharged....meaning what happened immediately before the discharge.

TRICKSTER
07-29-2011, 10:10 PM
In my old agency, if you owned up to it , you would get some discipline and retraining. If you lied about it, you would be fired.

BigDogatPlay
07-29-2011, 10:53 PM
In my old agency, if you owned up to it , you would get some discipline and retraining. If you lied about it, you would be fired.

+1

Who did the officers and the sergeant deny that there was a discharge to? Members of the public, or the watch commander when he / she showed up? If they denied it to the boss and later changed their story, they have a problem. No one hurt = good. Being less than forthcoming concerning discharge of a firearm on duty = bad.

Either way, the rest of the boys and girls back at the office will almost certainly have some fun with them.

As above... not enough here to know whether anyone was negligent or if it was an inadvertent / accidental discharge.

bjl333
07-29-2011, 10:59 PM
I hope they give 'em another chance! I also hope the officer learned from this and not lie again ....

Falconis
07-30-2011, 12:37 AM
How about this, hold everyone to the same standard. Why should you as an ordinary citizen be able to be held to a lower standard during a like scenario and skirt away in the night like a little rat.

Also, before calling for everyone's head in a picnic basket (Yogi Bear Reference anyone), how about holding off till the full story is told. The above is not the full story. It may be the entire story the OP has at his disposal, but definitely not the whole story.

BTW, with most agencies, there is a saying, you lie, you die. As in your career comes to an end. There is only one officer I know of who works for Pleasanton PD who lied on the stand and actually got rewarded for it (no real cop I have ever met likes him either). Every other story I have ever heard was the officer could have been saved, except he lied about it. Officers who lie are usually dealt with appropriately and their careers are put 6 feet under. This goes nationwide if they try to apply in another state.

BTW, I have also seen civilians get away with a slap on the wrist. If you're gonna come here screaming for the blood, career, and livlihoods of cops Nok, atleast have some solid facts with you instead of just a rant.

Ron-Solo
07-30-2011, 12:39 AM
What would happen to a civilian with CCW or a Private Security with Firearms if they did this? Not to mention lie about it. Police officers need to be held to a higher standard and held accountable for their actions. Since they lied all officers involved should be fired no exceptions. Anyone else would lose their permits and more than likely be heading to jail! I'm sick and tired of all this "retrain" bull****.

Seriously? You have no clue, and are new to this forum, so I'll be gentle. Telling bystanders that "nothing happened" is harmless and prevents needless concern among those who have no involvement in the incident. You have no facts to support the officers lied about anything to their department, so I suggest you cool your jets a little.

Firing people because they told bystanders that nothing happened......you are way off base sir.

Also, this is the Law Enforcement Forum, not the "Off Topic" lounge. You might want to familiarize yourself with the rules of this forum, before the mods get involved.

Falconis
07-30-2011, 1:04 AM
I see where the donkey was made. It wasn't with us :)

yzernie
07-30-2011, 1:34 AM
However if any part of the story is true in regards to the lying that all I have a problem with,
I think we who visit here will agree with that. Departing from the truth is unacceptable and there are very harsh penalties for that.

r3dn3ck
07-30-2011, 6:57 AM
it's not that a cop lied, it would appear that as many as 3 of them conspired to lie, then perfected the offense by actually lying, then openly admitted as much. It's not just a lie, it's a willingness to shield each other from wrongdoing in a wrong way that everyone is pissed about.

if any part of that is true then all 3 should get the axe. No more crooked cops. They give the good and honest ones a bad name. And sorry, cops are wanting all sorts of latitude to be cops, then suck it up and take the higher level of scrutiny and more severe repercussions for your actions with it. No free lunch.

003
07-30-2011, 7:58 AM
Wow - - more cop bashing. Keep in mind there is a very big difference between lying in their official capacity and/or a Department investigation and making a casual comment to a citizen in the field. If an officer had a negligent discharge he most certainly should be held accountable, but it is not reasonable for some of the folks here to believe they have a right to determine that all of the officers present should be summarily fired. Where did this hatred of the police come from? There is no doubt in my mind that the involved officer was held accountable by his chain of command.

Even based on the limited “facts” outlined here, since the on scene Sergeant knew what had occurred there was no “conspiracy” to lie in any official capacity and I suspect the Department brass was informed of the incident in a timely manner.


If an officer was fired every time some yahoo called for his firing, we would have no police officers. Take a step back and catch your breath. The situation as described was certainly embarrassing but it appears little or no damage was done. So perhaps a bit of remedial training is in order.

oddjob
07-30-2011, 8:40 AM
If he/she lied to just the non-LEO folks at the scene I doubt anything will happen to the officer for the lying. I used to lie to non-sworn folks all the time. I have told people "he might have a chance at the hospital" knowing full well he was going to be room temperature at any moment. Big difference here!! (long the AD wasn't into a residence or private property like a car)

If the officer lies to the Watch Commander or I.A. its a different ball game.

Ridicule.....Oh yeah.....We had a guy accidentally shoot himself in the foot. After the hospital cut off the boot the fellow LEO's washed it, spray painted it gold, and hanged it up in the office...like a baby's first pair of shoes.

Newspaper articles....small town paper....Maybe...Large metro newspaper...no

Disciplinary action for the discharge itself....Depending on the agency, but....Yes...It will be something.....letter and remedial training....My old agency was a day off without pay, letter and training for the first AD.

its mcgavin son
07-30-2011, 9:11 AM
There's no such thing as an "accidental" discharge.

cindynles
07-30-2011, 10:42 AM
There's no such thing as an "accidental" discharge.

Well......you can have an "accidental" discharge when the firearm has a mechancial malfunction (like a stuck firing pin on an SKS, or a safety causing the hammer to drop when disengaged), but having your booger hook on the bang switch is not accidental.

We don't have the full story here, but 99% of unintended discharges are "operator error". Since no one was hurt it is safe to assume the weapon was pointed in a safe direction (so he was following most of the 4 rules). Everyone makes mistakes and in the grand view of things this should not be a career killer.

Falconis
07-30-2011, 1:45 PM
redneck, you are drawing all sort of inferences and conclusions where there aren't any. take a break dude.

Ed_Hazard
07-30-2011, 1:58 PM
Not to thread jack, but what would be the appopriate response to say being shot in the butt by a fellow officer "accidently" w/a taser?


My best freind who's an officer in AZ called me up yesterday to relate how this had happened to him not more than 5 minutes ago while finishing up the post tour breifing. Luckily only one barb made contact so he did not have to endure the added humiliation of takeing the 5 second ride.

I've allready FedExed the ubiquitous anti-static depends kit, and the "Dont tase me Bro!" tshirt. Butt on a serious note how would a department respond to this, and better yet what would you do as the "injured" party? Tit for tat? Or let it go?

Falconis
07-30-2011, 2:29 PM
Depends on the circumstances. There won't be any letting go, may not be a taze for a taze, but there will be something. Then there is the penalty phase where the tazer will be at the beck and call of the tazee for an appropriate amount of time.

But you are a good friend for sending him the care package .... LOL

ironcross
07-30-2011, 3:45 PM
+1

Either way, the rest of the boys and girls back at the office will almost certainly have some fun with them.

Kind of reminds me of this:

lo9tLrOHXH4

:D

retired
07-30-2011, 7:28 PM
What would happen to a civilian with CCW or a Private Security with Firearms if they did this? Not to mention lie about it. Police officers need to be held to a higher standard and held accountable for their actions. Since they lied all officers involved should be fired no exceptions. Anyone else would lose their permits and more than likely be heading to jail! I'm sick and tired of all this "retrain" bull****.

it's not that a cop lied, it would appear that as many as 3 of them conspired to lie, then perfected the offense by actually lying, then openly admitted as much. It's not just a lie, it's a willingness to shield each other from wrongdoing in a wrong way that everyone is pissed about.

if any part of that is true then all 3 should get the axe. No more crooked cops. They give the good and honest ones a bad name. And sorry, cops are wanting all sorts of latitude to be cops, then suck it up and take the higher level of scrutiny and more severe repercussions for your actions with it. No free lunch.

Guys, if you want to be able to still read/post in the leo forum, I would highly suggest you do not come into the leo forum and post such comments.

Do not even try to justify your comments in any way, as no leo; active or retired wants to read them. Just follow the rules for this forum and you'll be gtg.

yzernie
07-30-2011, 9:00 PM
it's not that a cop lied, it would appear that as many as 3 of them conspired to lie, then perfected the offense by actually lying, then openly admitted as much. It's not just a lie, it's a willingness to shield each other from wrongdoing in a wrong way that everyone is pissed about.

if any part of that is true then all 3 should get the axe. No more crooked cops. They give the good and honest ones a bad name. And sorry, cops are wanting all sorts of latitude to be cops, then suck it up and take the higher level of scrutiny and more severe repercussions for your actions with it. No free lunch.
Mouse in your pocket? It just gets old listening to your same old conspiracy theories. I would suggest you champion your agenda in the OT forum and not here. Your opinions are old news.

Falconis
07-30-2011, 11:03 PM
I just never realized telling "the public", "nothing to see here, move along" was sooo heinous. I mean holy frickin gripes. Even in my youth when I didn't feel like following all the rules, I didn't have this much hatred for the cops where I would construe things out of practically nothing.

With redneck's rant, it just would have been nice if it made coherent sense or if he knew what he was talking about.

ironcross
07-31-2011, 4:44 AM
I just never realized telling "the public", "nothing to see here, move along" was sooo heinous. I mean holy frickin gripes. Even in my youth when I didn't feel like following all the rules, I didn't have this much hatred for the cops where I would construe things out of practically nothing.

With redneck's rant, it just would have been nice if it made coherent sense or if he knew what he was talking about.

+1,

In my youth, I would just find a way (legal) to find my info. Via; Scanner, Press Releases, etc. The info is out there...

Redneck:

Ever hear the saying (As far as I know it is a fictional reference but it is TRUE!): "You heard of Warner Brothers? This is "warn a brother"

cybordolphin
08-02-2011, 11:22 AM
I will admit.... I had mixed feelings at first, just after the incident.

The response by the officers did make me a bit uncomfortable at first. And I thought for a minute.... you know, if I had discharged a firearm (not legal in my town), and I was dishonest to an officer about it.... I would certainly have experienced some very serious consequences. I think the LEO will agree that if they had been lied to about whether or not a gun was fired by a civilian.... they would be pretty upset and the civilian would probably have been in pretty big trouble in a town where firearms cannot be legally discharged (and posted). So I get some of the negative responses. But I do not want to open this up as an opportunity to bash LEO. I think an officer in the line of duty differs greatly from a civilian and their activity.... I think we can agree. An officer does not need permission to shoot if needed. And accidents/negligence can happen.

At the time..... I did feel like the more appropriate response to my question when asked if the sound I heard was a gunshot..... might have been better answered... YOU SHOULD DISCUSS THE MATTER WITH THE SERGEANT, HE CAN ANSWER ALL OF YOUR QUESTIONS.

But lets keep it in perspective.... there was quite a bit of excitement. No harm was really done, and I was told the truth before anyone left the premises. I think the officer was embarrassed and the other officer was just covering for his buddy.

Had the Sergeant not taken me aside and discussed what actually happened.... I probably would have been more bothered. As I would have eventually found the damage caused by the buckshot.

I think the Sergeant did the right thing. He fessed up and took responsibility.

The explanation was..... that while the officer was moving a water heater to block the bears exit (divert the bears evacuation), the officers firearm went off (discharged). The firearm was slung over the officers shoulder, pointing downwards, and the shot exited downward into the floor (concrete). Could be the safety was off. Could be the firearm banged into the water heater while the officer was moving it, and malfunctioned. I suppose only the officer knows. If this were to be considered a negligent discharge, what would be the consequences for the officer?

Does something like this ruin the career of the officer? I spoke to another officer since then and he noted that it all goes into the officers file and follows him like forever. Shame.

You guys have a tough job for sure. I actually considered becoming a LEO. The idea of being an Andy Taylor in some small town.... was pretty appealing growing up. But I gotta tell you.... you guys really have your work cut out for you. I think the change in laws, and scrutiny must make it a real challenge. In the old days something like this would likely not have been a big deal.

oddjob
08-02-2011, 4:36 PM
In the event of an AD most agencies immediately take the officer's weapon and have it checked by an armorer to check for mechanical malfunctions. This is done to cover the officer and the dept in case the weapon is somehow defective. (FYI....I know of only one instance where the weapon was defective in my 32 yrs)

Ruin a career...Nope...He may get a promotion out of this!! (just kidding)

File ....Yes, but its probably a 3 yr letter and not forever....This depends on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the officer and agency.

In the old days we had a female officer that fired a 12g round over the fire department guys heads on the 2nd floor (police & fire shared the same building). The next day she walked out to her patrol car and the fire guys waived white towels yelling "We surrender!" She never got a letter, but she never AD'ed again!