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  #1  
Old 02-03-2013, 3:03 PM
FanTactical FanTactical is offline
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Default Deadly force question

I understand the use of deadly force when some is inside someone's home, however, what if the assailant is outside. Is deadly force justified in the following cases:

1. someone is trespassing in your fenced-in backyard - you challenge them on why they are there and they attack
a. they are armed
b. they are not armed

2. someone is outside but shoots into your house (think drive-by or home invasion)? Can you shoot back?

For the purpose of this discussion - they make the first hostile move.

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 02-03-2013, 3:12 PM
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I think so, but you would have to articulate

yes

how do you know? Are they naked and can you see their hands? again, articulate. even for the yes above, you have to articulate.
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Old 02-03-2013, 4:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FanTactical View Post
I understand the use of deadly force when some is inside someone's home, however, what if the assailant is outside. Is deadly force justified in the following cases:

1. someone is trespassing in your fenced-in backyard - you challenge them on why they are there and they attack
a. they are armed
b. they are not armed

2. someone is outside but shoots into your house (think drive-by or home invasion)? Can you shoot back?

For the purpose of this discussion - they make the first hostile move.

Thanks.
Actually, from your questions, I don't think you have a good enough understanding of deadly force period (regardless of inside/outside, armed/not armed, etc). Your hypothetical scenarios do not have anywhere near enough information.

If you're using deadly force against someone, you'd better be able to articulate defending yourself or someone else against life threatening or serious bodily injury (look up 243(f)(4) PC for an idea of SBI). As Falconis pointed out, you have to Articulate - In Detail.

Just because "someone" is "armed" and they "attack" you, whether it's inside OR outside your home, doesn't give you an automatic green light to use deadly force. You need to describe, In Detail, the totality of the circumstances and using words/terms like "someone", "armed", and "attack" are extremely vague, ambiguous, and subjective. Also, just because you can explain it doesn't mean that's good enough - people will have to believe you and agree that what you did was reasonable under the circumstances.
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Old 02-03-2013, 4:21 PM
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I agree
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  #5  
Old 02-03-2013, 4:28 PM
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I for one beleve that Deadly Force would be the last resort if everything else fails. Of course, Deadly force could be an option if someone has backed you into a corner to the point that is IS NO WAY out and the attacker is in fact killing you.

If someone is just cutting across your backyard, I would call a LEO and report it. If he comes toward you, Leave the backyard and go into your house and lock all the doors and windows.

Now, If he comes into your locked home with a weapon and is hell bent to kill you and your family, Then you will need to do what you can to defend and protect yourself and your family untill help gets there.

You can give examples after examples all day every day, But untill that day comes, There are no answers to your questions.

Just my thoughts.
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  #6  
Old 02-03-2013, 4:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuelx View Post
Actually, from your questions, I don't think you have a good enough understanding of deadly force period (regardless of inside/outside, armed/not armed, etc). Your hypothetical scenarios do not have anywhere near enough information.

If you're using deadly force against someone, you'd better be able to articulate defending yourself or someone else against life threatening or serious bodily injury (look up 243(f)(4) PC for an idea of SBI). As Falconis pointed out, you have to Articulate - In Detail.

Just because "someone" is "armed" and they "attack" you, whether it's inside OR outside your home, doesn't give you an automatic green light to use deadly force. You need to describe, In Detail, the totality of the circumstances and using words/terms like "someone", "armed", and "attack" are extremely vague, ambiguous, and subjective. Also, just because you can explain it doesn't mean that's good enough - people will have to believe you and agree that what you did was reasonable under the circumstances.
I second Samuelx on this one and add a statement given to me by a retired commander from my agency that really put everything into a simple perspective - "You shoot somebody because you have to, not because you can."
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Old 02-03-2013, 5:01 PM
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Originally Posted by RickD427 View Post
"You shoot somebody because you have to, not because you can."
^ That right there. I would add a that if you shoot at a vehicle after a drive by be prepared to go to jail. Since the threat has in fact gone away.
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  #8  
Old 02-03-2013, 5:07 PM
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I third Samuelx and Second P5Ret. If the threat goes away, Then it's done and Over with.
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Old 02-03-2013, 6:15 PM
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Thanks for the responses, everyone. Perhaps the point of my question was missed. I was asking whether deadly force could ever be justified on subjects "outside" of the home who are targeting those inside the home. The expected answers were that it depends on the circumstances (with examples of where it would and would not be justified) or a flat "no" because if they are outside they are not really a direct threat.

Thanks for the PC ref. Samuelx. Having lived in other states that have vastly different views on when deadly force can be used inside the home, I assure you that I do, in fact, have a better understanding than the average bear.

The cases were intentionally vague to generate discussion from you, the people that I would have to explain the situation to. What conditions would you be looking for - again, for subjects attacking from outside the home? I fully expect that it would be MUCH harder to justify such a response.
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  #10  
Old 02-03-2013, 6:28 PM
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What is California Self-defense Law?

According to California law, you act in lawful self-defense if you:

1.reasonably believe that you are in imminent danger of being killed, seriously injured, or

2.believe that immediate force is necessary to prevent that danger, and

3.use no more force than necessary to defend against that danger.

California self-defense law justifies your injuring (or even killing) another person if these conditions are satisfied. This means that if these requirements are met, self-defense can serve as a complete defense to a California violent crime if you are forced to kill or injure another.


An interesting Article:

California’s court-developed Stand Your Ground law by Walter Olson on April 18, 2012

Bob Egelko of the San Francisco Chronicle has an excellent report on California’s longstanding recognition of Stand Your Ground self-defense principles in public places, which developed through judicial rather than legislative action. He reports that “even Californians who illegally carry handguns can invoke the stand-your-ground doctrine, as shown in a 2005 ruling by a state appeals court in Santa Ana.” By contrast, compare the misleading-at-best map run in Wednesday’s news-side Wall Street Journal, which purports to show states with “stand your ground laws in place” but treats California as not having one.

The WSJ lists its sources for the map as “Association of Prosecuting Attorneys; Legal Community Against Violence; National Conference of State Legislatures.” Perhaps the paper was relying overmuch on input from anti-gun groups that have sought to portray Stand Your Ground as a novelty foisted on state legislatures in recent years, thus underplaying the doctrine’s deep historical roots in much of America.

Lastly Califortnia Penal Code 198.5:

Any person using force intended or likely to cause death or great bodily injury within his or her residence shall be presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily injury to self, family, or a member of the household when that force is used against another person, not a member of the family or household, who unlawfully and forcibly enters or has unlawfully and forcibly entered the residence and the person using the force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry occurred.

As used in this section, great bodily injury means a significant or substantial physical injury.

Last edited by 003; 02-03-2013 at 6:54 PM..
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  #11  
Old 02-03-2013, 6:58 PM
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There is no "right or wrong" answer. Like others have said, so much depends on the individual circumstances at the time, and the reasonableness of your actions, based on those circumstances.

The best confrontation is the one you avoid.
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  #12  
Old 02-03-2013, 7:00 PM
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"The best confrontation is the one you avoid."

Amen to that
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  #13  
Old 02-03-2013, 7:03 PM
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Hear hear to that too.
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  #14  
Old 02-03-2013, 8:36 PM
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Default Real situation

Ok here is a real situation. Three of us, myself and two young teenagers are at the Giants Parade. The two boys are sitting on the ground and a homeless person comes along and stabs my son in the head with a metal object. My son was wearing a hat so the object did not penetrate his head. A bystander starting yelling at the homeless person and got my attention. I followed the person and started to ask questions. She held up an object that looked like a needle and threw it into the crowd. I called the police and while on the phone with 911 she punch me in the mouth. 911 advised me to move away from the person but she continued to pursue me. When I mentioned the police are on they way she ran. The police interviewed myself and my son. They ended up capturing her but at the same time they really couldn't do anything outside of a 5150.

I took the advice of the 911 operator and moved away from the person.

Now, here is the question. Would I have had just cause to defend myself and my family and in what type of manner?

sorry to hijack the thread..
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  #15  
Old 02-03-2013, 9:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P345 View Post
Ok here is a real situation. Three of us, myself and two young teenagers are at the Giants Parade. The two boys are sitting on the ground and a homeless person comes along and stabs my son in the head with a metal object. My son was wearing a hat so the object did not penetrate his head. A bystander starting yelling at the homeless person and got my attention. I followed the person and started to ask questions. She held up an object that looked like a needle and threw it into the crowd. I called the police and while on the phone with 911 she punch me in the mouth. 911 advised me to move away from the person but she continued to pursue me. When I mentioned the police are on they way she ran. The police interviewed myself and my son. They ended up capturing her but at the same time they really couldn't do anything outside of a 5150.

I took the advice of the 911 operator and moved away from the person.

Now, here is the question. Would I have had just cause to defend myself and my family and in what type of manner?

sorry to hijack the thread..
Your scenario is exactly why I encourage people to carry pepper spray. In your situation, you would have been 100% justified in spraying her. Taser, absolutely. Deadly force, probably not, but maybe during certain phases.

Not a thread jack, but a valid question.
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Old 02-03-2013, 9:45 PM
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003 - thanks for the reference. Great article with lots of links to more detailed info. Unfortunately, I don't see much relating to an attacker outside the home shooting in.

There isn't a clear answer but it would be nice to know if any circumstances warrant such action.

Edit - corrected link here

Last edited by FanTactical; 02-03-2013 at 9:55 PM..
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Old 02-04-2013, 7:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FanTactical View Post
I understand the use of deadly force when some is inside someone's home, however, what if the assailant is outside. Is deadly force justified in the following cases:

1. someone is trespassing in your fenced-in backyard - you challenge them on why they are there and they attack
a. they are armed
b. they are not armed

2. someone is outside but shoots into your house (think drive-by or home invasion)? Can you shoot back?

For the purpose of this discussion - they make the first hostile move.

Thanks.
Cop here... If you shot someone on your property, you must have thought your life was in peril, right? Unless of course you're insane, which is another criminal defense altogether. DO NOT say a word, ask for an attorney. Flat out, ask for an attorney.

That being said, DO NOT make that challenge while pointing your gun at someone already. That opposing attorney, be it a civil suit or your criminal trial, will say that you went out there with the intent to kill already. Keep it handy (holstered/slung), but not pointed. Also, keep an eye out for multiple intruders. While you engage Turd #1, Turd #2 is making an end run to take you out.

DO NOT shoot at a suspected drive-by car.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:09 AM
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Thanks, Eric B. Good advice. My natural inclination would be to cooperate with LE by explaining what happened, knowing that a report has to be filled out for the call and "assuming" that I had done nothing wrong. Given the legal minefield that I would be in, it makes sense to hold any details until a lawyer is present.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by FanTactical View Post
Thanks, Eric B. Good advice. My natural inclination would be to cooperate with LE by explaining what happened, knowing that a report has to be filled out for the call and "assuming" that I had done nothing wrong. Given the legal minefield that I would be in, it makes sense to hold any details until a lawyer is present.
I always appreciate it when folks help me out, but this is another case.

Regardless of how it looks to police you'll more than likely be processed, if only for evidence. While you're answering innocuous sounding questions posed by investigators, its all being recorded. The police like the story and evidence, the DA like it too, so now you're not charged. Excellent.

Now John Burris shows up to sue you. Remember those innocuous questions you answered for the police? Remember the banter you had with them after they put you at ease? Well, you're not criminally liable anymore, but Mr Burris is about to ruin your life.

Everyone, just wait for an attorney.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FanTactical View Post
I understand the use of deadly force when some is inside someone's home, however, what if the assailant is outside. Is deadly force justified in the following cases:

1. someone is trespassing in your fenced-in backyard - you challenge them on why they are there and they attack

i dont think challenge is the word i would use. "i went out and asked them what they are doing there and asked them to leave." questioned would be a better choice of words.

a. they are armed
after asking them to leave, they attack you, you can defend yourself. you would still have to prove that your life was in immediate danger. and the attack would likely cause "GBI" great bodily injury or death. you said they are armed, what are they armed with. hammer, baseball bat, tire iron, knives, gun.

b. they are not armed
this is where it gets interesting, although the perp may not have a weapon in their hands. this does not mean that a person cannot inflict GBI with their hands and feet. repeatedly punching someone in the face will cause GBI. stomping on your head will cause GBI. there is really no correct answer for this one.
2. someone is outside but shoots into your house (think drive-by or home invasion)? Can you shoot back?

For the purpose of this discussion - they make the first hostile move.

Thanks.
not to be construed as legal advice, just my opinion on the scenarios that you presented.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:07 PM
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As an officer, I disagree with Eric B's advice to a point. Here's why:

During the above incident there is alot of yelling/screaming and suddenly several shots ring out. Before you can call the police your neighbors dial 9-1-1. Several units just happen to be down the street clearing a call and are arrived before you can even connect with 9-1-1. The police find a dead guy in the back yard and a homeowner who refuses to tell them ANYTHING other than his information. In this scenario, it's quite possible you will be at least spending the night in the pokey until you get a lawyer and things move along. Remember, at this point there are no witnesses alive other than you, someone is dead, and again, at this point law enforcement likely doesn't know why he was there and why he was shot.

MY personal alternative would be to say something like this to the police: My name is John Doe, I live here at this house. I went outside and this guy tried to attack me with ___(whatever it is). I feared for my life and shot him. Is an ambulance on the way for him? And I'm really shaken up and want to speak to my lawyer.

And in regards to someone ACTIVELY shooting at your house, I think it is possible that you could fire back provided they were still shooting your house when you shot and you had a clear shot (and were a good shot). Don't be this guy, who turned a lawful use/show of force into something potentially legally troubling for him.
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P345 View Post
Ok here is a real situation. Three of us, myself and two young teenagers are at the Giants Parade. The two boys are sitting on the ground and a homeless person comes along and stabs my son in the head with a metal object. My son was wearing a hat so the object did not penetrate his head.
No apparent significant injury at this point - at the absolute moment of impact you were probably justified with a less than lethal option. Like O.C. spray.


Quote:
A bystander starting yelling at the homeless person and got my attention. I followed the person and started to ask questions.
At this point by following her, you could have very well been considered the assailant as the threat had passed.

Quote:
She held up an object that looked like a needle and threw it into the crowd. I called the police and while on the phone with 911 she punch me in the mouth. 911 advised me to move away from the person but she continued to pursue me. When I mentioned the police are on they way she ran. The police interviewed myself and my son. They ended up capturing her but at the same time they really couldn't do anything outside of a 5150.

I took the advice of the 911 operator and moved away from the person.

Now, here is the question. Would I have had just cause to defend myself and my family and in what type of manner?

The needle essentially means nothing because she threw it away (might be evidence if that object was used to "stab" your son).

The punch in the mouth, if a one time thing, doesn't merit a defensive response as the attack is no longer in progress and there is no immenent danger.

The only legitimate self defense, in this case IMHO and IANAL, would have been less than lethal i.e. O.C. spray or maybe Taser.

Last edited by Auctioneer; 02-04-2013 at 12:26 PM..
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Old 02-04-2013, 12:37 PM
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Auctioneer, if I may ask, how do you come to your conclusions? While the scenario posed by P345 itself seems to rise and fall through a myriad of threat levels (and thus appropriate responses), if the poster could have used some kind of force at the EXACT instant he sees someone shoving a long, slender metal object into his son's head I am pretty sure deadly force would be authorized. And as for following and suddenly becoming the assailant, I am pretty sure he could make a fair case (assuming he wasn't being belligerent to the crazy lady) that he was following her because he was worried that her crazy behavior would cause someone else's child in such a crowded area would fall victim to her delusional and violent actions.

I'm no lawyer and I wasn't there, but at some point or another just about every force option could probably have been used on that lady. That being said, because lethal force probably wouldn't have been equipped/used (and apparently it wasn't) by time he realized what the lady had done and that his son was uninjured, I would agree with you and others that an ECD or pepper spray (I hate that stuff) could potentially have been viable options.
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Old 02-05-2013, 9:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P345 View Post
Ok here is a real situation. Three of us, myself and two young teenagers are at the Giants Parade. The two boys are sitting on the ground and a homeless person comes along and stabs my son in the head with a metal object. My son was wearing a hat so the object did not penetrate his head. A bystander starting yelling at the homeless person and got my attention...........

While I believe that you are correct in that if P345 had acted at the exact moment of attack, deadly force may have been justifiable. However, the way that I read his post was that he did not notice the attack until after it had happened (via the bystander yelling). At that point the deadly threat had passed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CBR_rider View Post
Auctioneer, if I may ask, how do you come to your conclusions? While the scenario posed by P345 itself seems to rise and fall through a myriad of threat levels (and thus appropriate responses), if the poster could have used some kind of force at the EXACT instant he sees someone shoving a long, slender metal object into his son's head I am pretty sure deadly force would be authorized. And as for following and suddenly becoming the assailant, I am pretty sure he could make a fair case (assuming he wasn't being belligerent to the crazy lady) that he was following her because he was worried that her crazy behavior would cause someone else's child in such a crowded area would fall victim to her delusional and violent actions.

I'm no lawyer and I wasn't there, but at some point or another just about every force option could probably have been used on that lady. That being said, because lethal force probably wouldn't have been equipped/used (and apparently it wasn't) by time he realized what the lady had done and that his son was uninjured, I would agree with you and others that an ECD or pepper spray (I hate that stuff) could potentially have been viable options.
We essentially are in agreement. I was dealing with the scenario as it was relayed by the OP.

Every defensive situation is dynamic by nature and may very well pass through different threat levels quite suddenly. We must always keep in mind that at any given time we need to be able to articulate our repsonses to any given level of force regardless of the situation.

Would I have used deadly force if I saw someone plunging a needle into my sons head? Absolutely.

Would I use deadly force if I reasonably believed that there would be a second strike, either to my child or another person? Absolutely?

I am also a firm believer in less than lethal options like pepper spray. Of course only used in less than lethal encounters or as a step in the escalation of force.

Without being critical of the OP in any way. The best solution would have been better situational awareness. Difficult at best in the atmosphere presented by the OP.
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Old 02-05-2013, 3:45 PM
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Originally Posted by CBR_rider View Post
As an officer, I disagree with Eric B's advice to a point.
Agreed. Standing there telling the responding officers/deputies that you are exercising your right to remain silent is a sure ticket to the pokey. Several experts including Ayoob will tell you that at the minimum give them your name, a BRIEF description of what happened, and point out any evidence or potential witnesses. And then follow it up with a statement saying you will fully cooperate after you speak to your attorney.

Standing there like a statue only allows others to formulate opinions on their own. If I'm the victim, I want everyone to know that I'm the victim. I don't want to sit there and "hope" that someone will see that I'm the victim and the dude laying on the ground is Joe the Bagman.
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:17 PM
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Auctioneer-CBR,

It was a very interesting situation. I saw her walking towards my son, I saw something in her hand but I did not know what it was so my reaction time was not immediate. It was not until she had passed and the bystander starting yelling.. What did you just stab that kid in the head with.....that everything started to play out. I kept a distance between us as I did not want to appear as to be the assailant. I asked questions, and while I was asking the questions I also called 911. The whole thing is recorded or I assume it is. While on the phone she closed in on me and threw the punch. I told the operator what had just happened. This is when she started to instruct me to move away from the person. I was in the process of giving a description to the operator when this took place.

Her punch was weak and did not draw blood. My concern was more for my son then myself. Had I at the time had either the spray or the taser I most likely would have used it on her right from the first altercation. I had at least 50 witnesses at the scene. When I spoke to the officer, he told me this person has struck others before in area and because a minor was involved she would be spending sometime under the 5150.

So, in this case, what is considered a dangerous threat? At what point did I have just cause to react with deadly force?

Did I have every legal reasonable right to take her down and make a citizens arrest? Did I have the right to defend my family or myself? At what point do the police show up and I spend the night in Orange PJ's?
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:13 AM
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For what it’s worth, I think in the situation, as it happened, you did exactly what you should have. With the exception of having a less than lethal weapon at hand and, being a little too complacent regarding situational awareness.

The guideline is that you can only use enough force to stop the attack. When you go beyond that point is when you risk getting the “Orange PJs”

The deadly force option would only have been on the table immediately prior to, or during the time that she was stabbing your son. Even then, you would have to have been able to seriously articulate the threat of death or great bodily injury. You were there, I wasn’t so, that’s for you to decide if you could have made that case or not.

I see some shades of the Zimmerman case here and when that plays out we will have some additional guidance as to following an individual especially when on the phone with 911.

As far as defending yourself and your family, either with deadly force or a less than lethal option - as long as you can articulate the level of threat and that your reaction was proportional. You are usually good to go.

The citizen’s arrest idea is problematic when you consider having to restrain the individual until LE arrives. So again your decision. I personally wouldn’t recommend it. Just MHO though.

Again IANAL so the value of anything I have stated is exactly what you paid for it.
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Old 02-06-2013, 5:56 PM
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Auctioneer,

Thank you. I concur with you about the situational awareness as I did let my guard fail me. Since then, we as a family have been more proactive regarding our surroundings. I was upset with myself because I am usually the person that is more aware of things then the rest of the peeps in the family.

I did not assess the situation correctly as a lot was happening around us and I got sucked into the excitement of the parade. In most cases I would have put myself between the boys and her before she had gotten closer.

I do understand the level of lethal proportions need to be in check with the level of threat. For one; being in a crowd of that size I did not want to be in a position of being attacked by another person without having some type of backup.

I do see your point regarding the Zimmerman case. The difference "and please correct me" is that he was not under attack. I did comply with dispatch and let the professionals take it from that point.

I also concur with you on the citizens arrest. I have never been a fan of that but I had to ask.

I take it from your statements that when all is said and done it really comes down to intent. Could I or should I have been able to see the intent prior to; I could have thwarted the suspected threat. Since I was unable to see this it relies on witnesses and in today's world people do not want to get involved.

Thanks and I welcome your feedback.
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Old 02-06-2013, 8:31 PM
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Auctioneer,
I see where you are coming from and think we do see it mostly the same.. I was just curious for more of your thoughts on it as opposed to thinking/accusing you of blowing smoke out of your you know what. I always enjoy wargaming random/weird scenarios (especially if they really happened!) and I always want to know WHY someone says they would do/not do something.

P345,
There is nothing wrong with making a citizen's arrest as Auctioneer mentioned, but I think along the same lines as you guys: Are they really worth it? There is nothing wrong with making the citizens arrest and delegating the actual arrest to law enforcement, but physically making one on your own seems in all but in the most unusual circumstances to invite random passerbys to intervene (maybe ones who now think YOU are the suspect), more risks to getting you injured, etc. The key thing is you and your family are okay.
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Old 02-06-2013, 9:14 PM
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So, in this case, what is considered a dangerous threat?
It's difficult for me to imagine that someone trying to stab your kid in the head with a metal object would not qualify. To be honest, if I were in the same situation, legality would not be my chief concern.

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At what point did I have just cause to react with deadly force?
As has been said, the test is would a reasonable person in your shoes be in fear of death or serious bodily harm. This applies to your child as well. Note that it's not the reasonable cop or lawyer, just the average person that would be sitting on your jury.

You really need to be able to figure out for yourself what is reasonable.

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Did I have every legal reasonable right to take her down and make a citizens arrest?
It actually sounds like you didn't see what happened. Your impression of what happened is based on what this bystander saw. So I'm not sure. You really need to see it yourself, generally. If you saw someone stab your child, even if there was no injury, you would certainly have the right to arrest them. By the way, it's a private person's arrest, you don't need to be a citizen, or even a resident alien.

Of course, as has been pointed out, just because you can doesn't mean you should.
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Old 02-07-2013, 11:57 AM
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Thanks folks. Great incites and feedback.
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Old 02-07-2013, 1:14 PM
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Actually, from your questions, I don't think you have a good enough understanding of deadly force period (regardless of inside/outside, armed/not armed, etc). Your hypothetical scenarios do not have anywhere near enough information.

If you're using deadly force against someone, you'd better be able to articulate defending yourself or someone else against life threatening or serious bodily injury (look up 243(f)(4) PC for an idea of SBI). As Falconis pointed out, you have to Articulate - In Detail.

Just because "someone" is "armed" and they "attack" you, whether it's inside OR outside your home, doesn't give you an automatic green light to use deadly force. You need to describe, In Detail, the totality of the circumstances and using words/terms like "someone", "armed", and "attack" are extremely vague, ambiguous, and subjective. Also, just because you can explain it doesn't mean that's good enough - people will have to believe you and agree that what you did was reasonable under the circumstances.
How is it that LEO's have better protection regarding use of force than a citizen in their home? This is my perception. I only wish we had the same.

I know the police have better lawyers and a strong union to back them in a shooting whereas I have neither.

It matters who you articulate it to and when: The LEO that responds or your lawyer.

As an officer, you must document all statements made. These statements are then sent to the DA for possible prosecution. I personally would make no statement other than the minimum in order to clarify basic facts such as "He kicked in my door, I felt my life was in danger." or "He had a knife and I saw him throw it in the hedge over there". Just enough, but no details that you would be required to document and could be used against me. I would then invoke my right to an attorney and remain silent.
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Old 02-07-2013, 1:17 PM
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As has been said, the test is would a reasonable person in your shoes be in fear of death or serious bodily harm.
Do they mean California reasonable or Texas reasonable? I believe reasonable people are a rare commodity in this state. A reasonable person would not wear my shoes if they knew where they have been
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Old 02-07-2013, 1:25 PM
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To LEO's: Are your departments lethal force policy or rules of engagement available to the public? To ensure I am in compliance with the law, I might as well use them as a guideline when developing a response to a threat that will stop the threat yet keep me out of prison.
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Old 02-07-2013, 2:11 PM
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Do they mean California reasonable or Texas reasonable? I believe reasonable people are a rare commodity in this state. A reasonable person would not wear my shoes if they knew where they have been
Reasonable in the jurisdiction you are in. Some counties might be more reasonable than others...
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Old 02-07-2013, 2:32 PM
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LEO's at work(sometimes) have what seems to be more leeway regarding uses of force for several reasons: A good LEO IS more trained in use of force(what is reasonable/not, how to use it, availability of multiple tools) than the average citizen, LEO's are generally in uniform/performing lawful duties so they aren't drunk/starting random fights/etc, and the penal code authorizes the use of force for reasons in addition to simply defending oneself. LEO's also have no duty to retreat when faced with opposition.

As far as making your own "use of force policy," my biggest, non lawyerly suggestion would be to create hypothetical scenarios in your head (starting with simple to more complex ones) and be able to describe why EXACTLY you are using force in a given situation.
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Old 02-07-2013, 5:16 PM
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Originally Posted by CBR_rider View Post
LEO's at work(sometimes) have what seems to be more leeway regarding uses of force for several reasons: A good LEO IS more trained in use of force(what is reasonable/not, how to use it, availability of multiple tools) than the average citizen, LEO's are generally in uniform/performing lawful duties so they aren't drunk/starting random fights/etc, and the penal code authorizes the use of force for reasons in addition to simply defending oneself. LEO's also have no duty to retreat when faced with opposition.

As far as making your own "use of force policy," my biggest, non lawyerly suggestion would be to create hypothetical scenarios in your head (starting with simple to more complex ones) and be able to describe why EXACTLY you are using force in a given situation.
I think I would make one change to your statement "LEO's also have no duty to retreat when faced with opposition." LEO's are expected NOT to retreat when faced with opposition - short of cases where the opposition is overwhelming, and then only to regroup or to wait for backup.

Subject to interpretation of CA's Stand Your Ground law, citizens do not have a duty to retreat either. Some states, however, do require a citizen to retreat and only authorize deadly force when there is NO other avenue of escape. Kinda sucks. Hope they change/have changed that.

It would be nice if the laws were written such that individuals involved in the commission of a violent felony automatically forfeited their rights to the same legal protections as their victim. Maybe someday.
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:46 PM
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I understand the use of deadly force when some is inside someone's home, however, what if the assailant is outside. Is deadly force justified in the following cases:

1. someone is trespassing in your fenced-in backyard - you challenge them on why they are there and they attack
a. they are armed
b. they are not armed

2. someone is outside but shoots into your house (think drive-by or home invasion)? Can you shoot back?

For the purpose of this discussion - they make the first hostile move.

Thanks.
If someone is in my back yard, I ask them what they are doing there and they attack me and I am AFRAID for my my life , I can do what I need to do to survive. Armed or not.

If someone outside shoots into Your house ....... And You dont see who its is , You cant just start shooting outside.
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Old 02-09-2013, 8:35 AM
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How is it that LEO's have better protection regarding use of force than a citizen in their home? This is my perception. I only wish we had the same.
1st, what do you mean by "better protection" specifically?

2nd, are you comparing LEOs in their own homes with citizens in their own homes or LEOs on the job in general with citizens in their own homes?
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Old 02-09-2013, 9:14 AM
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Read some great questions and answers as it applies to use of deadly force. Something missing from responses is, the test of reasonableness is "would an officer with the same/similar training and experice have acted/reacted in the same manner". And yes i've been in a handful of OIS.
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