Documenting use of force.


Anyone ever consider how to document use of force?

On duty I carry a recorder- I make contact with someone "click" and its all caught on tape. That eliminates most complaints- there is evidence..

So here is the situation:
You get out of work and walk to the parking garage. You stayed a bit late for whatever reason- it was unforeseen and could not be avoided. So you're by yourself- you're paying attention. You step out of the elevator on the top floor and start walking to your car.

The stairwell door swings open and 2 "thug" type males step out both wielding knives. They demand your wallet. You give it to them. They become annoyed because you have no cash and only credit cards. They demand the keys to your car, and cell phone- you comply.

One of the males says "he's going to call the cops" to his scumbag friend and starts approaching you aggressively with a knife in his hand..

You've done all you could do- you gave them your wallet, keys, cell phone, and now you assume they want your life. So you draw your weapon, and the thug continues forcing you to shoot.

The accomplice picks up his friends knife and runs away.

The person you shot lives. Both scumbags testify that they were lost looking for their car and you pulled your gun and robbed them. When one said 'no' you shot him.

Its 2 vs 1 with no physical evidence other than your bullet in some guys chest.

Hell of a situation to be in...

I've thought of some ways to document evidence but I want to hear some opinions..
 

Anyone ever consider how to document use of force?

On duty I carry a recorder- I make contact with someone "click" and its all caught on tape. That eliminates most complaints- there is evidence..

So here is the situation:
You get out of work and walk to the parking garage. You stayed a bit late for whatever reason- it was unforeseen and could not be avoided. So you're by yourself- you're paying attention. You step out of the elevator on the top floor and start walking to your car.

The stairwell door swings open and 2 "thug" type males step out both wielding knives. They demand your wallet. You give it to them. They become annoyed because you have no cash and only credit cards. They demand the keys to your car, and cell phone- you comply.

One of the males says "he's going to call the cops" to his scumbag friend and starts approaching you aggressively with a knife in his hand..

You've done all you could do- you gave them your wallet, keys, cell phone, and now you assume they want your life. So you draw your weapon, and the thug continues forcing you to shoot.

The accomplice picks up his friends knife and runs away.

The person you shot lives. Both scumbags testify that they were lost looking for their car and you pulled your gun and robbed them. When one said 'no' you shot him.

Its 2 vs 1 with no physical evidence other than your bullet in some guys chest.

Hell of a situation to be in...

I've thought of some ways to document evidence but I want to hear some opinions..
Cellphones have a camera, often even a video. The resolution isn't the best but it should show a gun or knife on the ground by the perp.

You're going to be calling 911, push the camera button too. And stay on the line with 911 when you get them so what ever was said gets recorded.

It would be nice if the was an inexpensive cap-cam with a gigabyte flash card but that would bring up Forth Amendment issues and demands for disclosure of ALL that might be on your "tape."

Maybe that is why celebrities travel in packs, with witnesses.
 
Dare I go on record and say shoot both of them.........horrible to contemplate, but they both had knives and were threatening your life.
On the other hand, 2 thugs with knives on their first attack?? Come on, they have records, the police know them, and have probably busted them in the past. In court, anything can happen, but, who are the prosecutor, judge, and jury going to believe, a couple of thugs, or a middle aged, job holding taxpayer with a family to support, no criminal record or record of violence, who was carrying legally?
Now, if they ran at the first sight of the gun, they would probably have a case for assault with a deadly weapon or something........

This is my expert legal opinion from watching Boston Legal, I love (in a very manly, hetero way, of course!!) Shattner!!!
 
I'm wondering how many would give them your wallet, then keys and cell phone??

How do the thugs explain
1) their fingerprints on your stuff??? (IF they left it behind)
2) Your keys cellphone and wallet are all missing, if you were robbing them (IF they took the items)
3) you were robbing them, but you called 911
4) You decided to become a robber in your middle life, so you chose to rob two people not one, AT / NEAR your jobsite... Which is more likely... They attacked you at your jobsite, or you attacked them on the way home because you needed $$$ for a Big Mac ...

You wouldn't rob somebody in a place they could find you later.. Doesn't make since.. NOW they have to explain why they were there...
 
Dare I go on record and say shoot both of them.........horrible to contemplate, but they both had knives and were threatening your life.
On the other hand, 2 thugs with knives on their first attack?? Come on, they have records, the police know them, and have probably busted them in the past. In court, anything can happen, but, who are the prosecutor, judge, and jury going to believe, a couple of thugs, or a middle aged, job holding taxpayer with a family to support, no criminal record or record of violence, who was carrying legally?
Now, if they ran at the first sight of the gun, they would probably have a case for assault with a deadly weapon or something........

This is my expert legal opinion from watching Boston Legal, I love (in a very manly, hetero way, of course!!) Shatner!!!
Very funny video and completely reckless and guaranteed to land you in jail.

The cops know the BGs and if you shoot a BG w/o legal justification you're a BG too. If you don't think about the justifiable use of force [and post about it on a public forum] you will spend years behind bars.
 
Dare I go on record and say shoot both of them.........horrible to contemplate, but they both had knives and were threatening your life.
On the other hand, 2 thugs with knives on their first attack?? Come on, they have records, the police know them, and have probably busted them in the past. In court, anything can happen, but, who are the prosecutor, judge, and jury going to believe, a couple of thugs, or a middle aged, job holding taxpayer with a family to support, no criminal record or record of violence, who was carrying legally?
Now, if they ran at the first sight of the gun, they would probably have a case for assault with a deadly weapon or something........

This is my expert legal opinion from watching Boston Legal, I love (in a very manly, hetero way, of course!!) Shattner!!!

+1. I have made this point several times re being the first to call 911. Frick that, let 'em put my record (Dad, husband, several degrees, working professional) up against BGs (job? rap sheet?). So, I robbed THEM? BS of the highest order.

I know that we must be aware of all the financial, legal, emotional issues concerned with using our firearms, but we simply cannot become immobilized or afraid to act because of what is a demonstrably f-up legal system.

Give 'em my wallet, keys, car, etc.? So, they know where I and my family live? Ain't gonna happen. What they are gonna get is LEAD. And I don't care who knows by virtue of the fact that I posted this on an open site.
 
Very funny video and completely reckless and guaranteed to land you in jail.

The cops know the BGs and if you shoot a BG w/o legal justification you're a BG too. If you don't think about the justifiable use of force [and post about it on a public forum] you will spend years behind bars.

Video???
 
The purpose of this is to create an absolute worst case situation. Of course it is unlikely. Lets assume for arguments sake that:

1. They have no criminal records - because they've never been caught.Matter a fact they're honor students :-D
2. That you comply with their demands up until 1 of them approaches you aggressively.
3. That they take your property, and the weapons they were using.
4. That you cannot take video with your cell (they took it).

Again, all very unlikely but entirely possible. So how do you document it. Hoping the PD figures out the truth isn't really my idea of safeguarding my freedom.
 
I'd really like to see some lasermax internal style video cameras with audio. We're probably at least 10 years away from anything like that.

Right now there is something called a "shot cam" which is very expensive, and bulky. Has a light and audio/video.
If they slimmed it down at least to a TLR-1/2 i'd consider it. It comes w/ a special holster for some very select weapons. The holster has a magnet in it, as soon as the weapon comes out everything comes on. Its a really cool concept for duty use, you'd have to be very creative in concealing it though :(

Link Removed

Also, TASER has a product called the 'AXON'- very expensive around $1,800/unit last time we priced them..

Link Removed
 
You've done all you could do- you gave them your wallet, keys, cell phone, and now you assume they want your life. So you draw your weapon, and the thug continues forcing you to shoot.

The accomplice picks up his friends knife and runs away.

..

Well, since this is your hypothetical scenario, you can include whatever elements you want.

But...once you have 1) demonstrated tht you are armed, and 2) are willing to use lethal force (you just shot and killed BG #1) and 3) you are still holding your weapon, (presumabley now pointed at BG #2) its pretty unlikely that BG #2 is going have the presence of mind, and take the time, to pick up BG#1's knife (or collect any other evidence)

He is either going to simply turn tail and run like hell, or surrender.

JMHO

bill
 
Well, since this is your hypothetical scenario, you can include whatever elements you want.

But...once you have 1) demonstrated tht you are armed, and 2) are willing to use lethal force (you just shot and killed BG #1) and 3) you are still holding your weapon, (presumabley now pointed at BG #2) its pretty unlikely that BG #2 is going have the presence of mind, and take the time, to pick up BG#1's knife (or collect any other evidence)

He is either going to simply turn tail and run like hell, or surrender.

JMHO

bill

Sigh...
 

These "what ifs" are tough, aren't they, CST? We just keep throwing our own variables and interpretations in the mix (I know I'm guilty of that...).

I guess my bottom-line response is: I take care of business as I see fit, hopefully my judgement is REAL good, and then hope for the best (weapons laying around, witnesses, etc.). If any of these things are absent, I'd guess I'm in for a legal fight, but at least I'm still alive. I don't see how it's possible to document everything, especially if it's a fast action, do-or-die situation. Also, if everything else is absent (no witnesses, no weapons) all I can hope for, I guess, is that the BG on the ground has a rap sheet a mile long and/or is an escaped convict!
 
So far as the cell phone, by the time I click all around and finally find the camera or video app, they're gonna be a few blocks away, anyway. You need something that takes less than a second to deploy.
I have a voice activated digital recorder. I'd think a real-life narrative of the event would suffice for evidence of who robbed who. If I was going somewhere risky, it would definitely be on.

1. They have no criminal records - because they've never been caught.Matter a fact they're honor students :-D

Don't forget mama crying on the 6 O'Clock news telling the world what "good boys" they were.
 
These "what ifs" are tough, aren't they, CST? We just keep throwing our own variables and interpretations in the mix (I know I'm guilty of that...).

I guess my bottom-line response is: I take care of business as I see fit, hopefully my judgement is REAL good, and then hope for the best (weapons laying around, witnesses, etc.). If any of these things are absent, I'd guess I'm in for a legal fight, but at least I'm still alive. I don't see how it's possible to document everything, especially if it's a fast action, do-or-die situation. Also, if everything else is absent (no witnesses, no weapons) all I can hope for, I guess, is that the BG on the ground has a rap sheet a mile long and/or is an escaped convict!

lol they are..

I'm just trying to say "YOU'RE SCREWED!" ie: all of these very bad circumstances exist no matter how unlikely...
 
1. They have no criminal records - because they've never been caught.Matter a fact they're honor students :-D

Don't forget mama crying on the 6 O'Clock news telling the world what "good boys" they were.

Sh#t! See, I already forgot this...Who the hell did I just shoot, a couple Boy Scouts? I have never thought of taping any encounter, just never figured in to my training. Truth be told, I'm not gonna start carrying a video camera, so I'll just be taking my chances, I guess. Judged by 12 and carried by 6 and all that...
 
When the friend reaches down to pick up his friends knife you bust a cap in his arse. Really are you going to let him reach down and grab another weapon to attack you with and just stand there? When the police arrive there is going to be at least one knife left at the scene. :biggrin:
 
Depends a WHOLE LOT on where you are! I guess I am just spoiled by my Florida way of thinking because this is simply a no questions asked scenerio here.

I am in the garage late leaving work because there was no way to avoid it... WTF? I have NO responsibility to explain why I was leaving work late and if I could have avoided it to take that option. That is not a justification for someone to decide to rob me. In Florida legal terms, I am "in a place I have a right to be".

These two jerks approach and decide to rob me. This is called a forcible felony and already has authorized me to use deadly force to stop it, then they get testy and say their going to call the cops ... right on bro, you have my cell phone, go ahead and dial 911. But one decides to approach with a knife, no question on this ... shoot if you are in fear of your life.

I don't understand the question. In Florida there would not even be an arrest.

You stopped an armed robbery against your person in a place you had a right to be by using deadly force. Momma can whine what a good boy he was on the six o'clock but she can't sue you.

That is the law in Florida and it has been upheld multiple times now. It is what you must lobby to get in your state and every state.
 
Sh#t! See, I already forgot this...Who the hell did I just shoot, a couple Boy Scouts? I have never thought of taping any encounter, just never figured in to my training. Truth be told, I'm not gonna start carrying a video camera, so I'll just be taking my chances, I guess. Judged by 12 and carried by 6 and all that...


A tape recorder is as good an investment as a gun. I got a digital one from walMart that records for about 72 hours before being "full" and it was only about $50. Came with a cord I can plug it into my PC and save the file on my computer. If nothing happens after 72 hours, I can just delete the file and start over!

Like clearsite said, "They were making rounds for their Bible study class and approached you to ask for a donation for the orphanage. Mama says they were always "good kids" and had a butterfly collection and spent all their spare time volunteering at the old folks home helping with the chores. And the only reason they had that knife was for opening boxes of food where they volunteered at the food bank to help feed the homeless. You're a gun nut and you just pulled out your piece and blasted them for no reason."

BUT, Then there's the tape where they are heard yelling "Give me your money mother*#$#*!"

Makes a world of difference!
 
+1. I have made this point several times re being the first to call 911. Frick that, let 'em put my record (Dad, husband, several degrees, working professional) up against BGs (job? rap sheet?). So, I robbed THEM? BS of the highest order.

I know that we must be aware of all the financial, legal, emotional issues concerned with using our firearms, but we simply cannot become immobilized or afraid to act because of what is a demonstrably f-up legal system.

Give 'em my wallet, keys, car, etc.? So, they know where I and my family live? Ain't gonna happen. What they are gonna get is LEAD. And I don't care who knows by virtue of the fact that I posted this on an open site.
In a court, their record is not admissible because it would prejudice a jury. Maybe the DA or police will take it into consideration, but a jury will never hear their bad record and they will have lots of character testimony about church attendance, Scouts and choir practice.
 

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