Warning shots poised for a comeback?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by basicblur, Mar 30, 2017.

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  1. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Absolutely. Firing a "warning shot" means you are NOT justified in using deadly force, because if you were, you wouldn't be wasting time "warning" your attacker.
     
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  2. Good Ol' Boy

    Good Ol' Boy Member

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    The idea of a "warning shot" kind of goes against a couple of the four rules I've grown up around over the last 34yrs. 1. Discharging a weapon near something they are are willing to destroy but are trying not to (yeah, I don't get that logic either) 2. Very possibly not knowing the backdrop of the direction they're firing.


    My initial thought is this is some liberal thought up revitalization of this foregone practice, in order to appease some families of criminals who have been killed.

    The perceived justification is either there or it's not. A "warning shot" is a waste of tax payers money, both in the sense of ammunition and possibly a funeral.
     
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  3. rscalzo

    rscalzo Member

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    I They started to advance and the cop cranked a round off into a partially filled dumpster he was standing by. The 4 guys took off. The other options the cop had was to shoot one of them or get his ass kicked. I think he chose the correct one in this case.

    Leaving four rounds if that didn't work. Hopefully the round didn't glance off sticking someone.

    The IACP is loaded with a bunch of administrators who either never worked the street or did so long ago forgetting the basics. They are politicians and nothing more concerned about what their superiors think and not the reality of the environment.

    Last week a officer died because he choose to use a electronic discharge weapon rather than the deadly force that was warranted. He died for that mistake. Every deadly force situation will be met with "why didn't they fire a warning shot" ranks right up there with "shoot the knife or gun out of his hand".
     
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  4. GRIZ22

    GRIZ22 Member

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    I stated no one was around to witness the incident except the cop and 4 thugs. No one was around to get hit by a ricochet. He shot down into the dumpster. If the bullet ricocheted off the inside of the dumpster there was garbage inside to catch it. He was also carrying a six shooter so he had 5 left. This was well before the days of security cameras everywhere.

    Don't take this as an endorsement of warning shots. Maybe not the best option. The others were to start shooting them until they stopped or get his ass kicked.

    Do you have a better idea? Please share. Not trying to start an argument. Just looking for other options.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2017
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  5. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    Reading the PDF as posted by IACP, to my lay mind familiar with the controversy over TN v Garner 1985, it does not represent a "comeback" for "warning shots" but a constraint on their use.
    Those guidelines for "National Consenus Policy on Use of Force" discussed very limited conditions on the subject of "warning shots" as part of a much wider discussion.
    The guidelines were a collaborative effort of the Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies, CALEA, Fraternal Order of Police, Federal LEO Assn, Int'l Assn of Chiefs of Police, Hispanic American Police Assn., Int'l Assn of Directors of LE Safety and Training, Nat'l Assn of Police Organisations, Nat'l Assn if Women LE Eexecs, Nat'l Org. of Black LE and Nat'l Tactical Officers Assn.
    I think the problem is the way the mention of the subject of "warning shots" was reported as a "comeback" by third parties like NPR who believed they discovered that in the guidelines. I doubt the reporters confirmed that interpretation, I'd really be surprised.
    (To venture from legal into tactics and training, there are two serious problems I see with "warning shots":
    _ firing a "warning shot" when lethal force is not justified may provoke a justifiable defensive response;
    _ a "warning shot" has the same potential for unintentional collateral damage as a miss.
    If you read the guidelines there are tightly defined conditions where it might be defensible, but the restrictions are not what I would call a call for a "comeback" of warning shots.)
    http://www.theiacp.org/Portals/0/documents/pdfs/National_Consensus_Policy_On_Use_Of_Force.pdf
     
  6. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    It's the "hopefully" part that bothers me.
     
  7. basicblur

    basicblur Member

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  8. BSA1

    BSA1 member

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    There are a several good reasons for warning shots;

    1. Jury perceptions.

    In criminal trials perceptions and beliefs of members of the jury going into the trial is very important. In fact many cases are won or lost in the jury selection process. I have served on a jury and, frankly, it was scary how some jury members think. Question like "why didn't he just shoot the gun out of his hand or just shoot him in the leg" during jury deliberations are not uncommon.

    2. Race.

    Ugly but true reality of America. I know white LEO's that have said they will not shoot a young minority as it is not worth the risk of losing their job and/or being charged with a crime and enduring the court case.

    You don't have to look very far for cases involving a white LEO or white citizen shooting young minorities that resulted in civil unrest such as riots or criminal charges.

    3. Use of Force Continuum.

    Adds another step before using deadly force. Verbal commands (Stop, drop you weapon), retreating from the threat, less than lethal force (pepper mace, unarmed physical defense), display of force (draw your gun), firing warning shot of if can be done safely before actually shooting the attacker.

    4. Mental / physical condition of attacker.

    Drugs and alcohol play a important role in how a person reacts. Responses by a impaired person is much slower than a normal person.

    5. Media.

    Remember T.V. and Print media is not on the side of the gun owner. They are not our friend and will alter the facts to fit their anti-gun agenda. Having your face on T.V. when the victims family is talking about how he was kind and caring without a mean bone in his body, how he was in the process of getting his life together, was going to go back to school, get a real job to support his children from other women and was going to marry his pregnant girlfriend is not a good thing.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
  9. Zoogster

    Zoogster Member

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    I think for police a warning shot is generally a bad idea, and besides all the typical concerns there is one really big one:

    If a police officer opens fire in a tense situation especially one that justifies the use of lethal force, other officers present are likely to think they need to start putting rounds on target and shooting as well.
    This is a well documented situation when one officer fires others will.
    It is also understandable, in many shootings with adrenaline and no hearing protection many of the shots go unheard. On top of that in many shootings people cannot recall the right number of rounds they fired or who was firing at them fired.
    It it that hard to understand what is going on, and contrary to the movies someone hit or not hit may be indistinguishable.

    Consider the real life issue which they sidestep because it acknowledges an officer is not always making their own decision, which legally they have to be.
    If you stop a suspect and he gets out suddenly and your partner starts firing you assume a justified lethal force situation just took place and come to his aid. You don't take several seconds, wait till you see the gun that the suspect may or may not have, and leave your partner on his own until you have more information.
    You can't tell where the shot reports are coming from at close ranges half the time anyways, or how many you are not hearing that are also being fired, only that shooting is going on.


    Many may not even know who just fired their weapon but immediately believe the situation just turned into a gun battle and start shooting at the threat they have identified.
    That makes warning shots worse for police than for a lone individual. They are a team, and shooting communicates a need for help in dealing with a lethal threat immediately. So beyond just what we discuss here for concealed carry it has even more implications for law enforcement.


    With that in mind do you want other officers in a standoff to have fired some rounds because one of the cops fired a warning shot that was misinterpreted as the situation immediately turning into one that needed to be ended rapidly?
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
  10. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

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    The problem is that every one of those is outweighed by the negative results from a warning shot gone wrong. That is the big concern. No doubt that they can and do work. I have read a lot of examples where intentional warning shots have stopped the aggression of individuals and groups. Of course, warning shots don't always work.
     
  11. MaterDei

    MaterDei Member

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    Warning shots, IMO, are for LEO use only but really feel they should only be used if the LEO doesn't have a taser. The taser is the modern warning shot, no?
     
  12. BSA1

    BSA1 member

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    Why?

    Consider how many police officers are tried for murder vs. citizens in a self-defense shooting. The one possible option citizens may have is being able to retreat.

    No the Taser is NOT the modern warning shot. You lack the training and knowledge to understand how a Taser works and it's role in use of force continuum.
     
  13. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    What's the jury at your civil trial going to "perceive" when you hit an innocent bystander with your warning shot?
     
  14. Berger.Fan222

    Berger.Fan222 Member

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    I fired a warning shot once , many years ago. A group of miscreants was threatening to throw a dog I was responsible for off a cliff. I put a 30-06 bullet into a huge poplar, and suddenly they all wanted to be somewhere else, in a hurry. The one firing a warning shot still owns where it goes, just as one owns every miss fired at a deer, varmint, target, or self-defense.
     
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  15. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    ...

    BSA1, the use of force "continuum" is not at all a factor supporting use of warning shots.

    In fact, most law enforcement agencies throughout the county have done away with policy reflecting a "continuum" in favor of a "use of force model" which depicts responses based on a subject's behavior, not a depiction of a "ladder of steps" to be climbed while escalating force options. The old continuum purely sucked in court; too many juries were made to believe that officers had this veritable checklist of options that they had to go through before they arrived at -- or could use -- the final option of lethal force.

    Remember the key phrase, "time and circumstances permitting?" Many lethal force situations, especially those involving officers faced with subjects holding deadly weapons, develop so fast that officers often don't even have time to give the verbal directives (i.e., "drop the knife/gun" etc.).

    Obviously there are situations (I witnessed one recently) where officers are faced with a subject holding a weapon, but the officers do have time to use other tactics (typically Tasers, occasionally O/C, sometimes just a physical takedown, and not so much anymore, batons) to take the subject into custody and resolve the issue -- but I personally have a difficult time conceptualizing a situation where firing a warning shot would be appropriate.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
  16. BSA1

    BSA1 member

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    What makes you think my marksmanship is so poor that I will hit a bystander?

    Or that I will even shoot a warning shot (or even the attacker) if bystanders are in the line of fire?
     
  17. BSA1

    BSA1 member

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    My point is that warning shot is another tool for LEO's and especially civilian gun owners to use.
     
  18. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    What makes me think it isn't?

    What would make me think that the marksmanship of the cop who tried to shoot a snake out of a tree was so poor... other than the dead kid up the street?

    In a deadly force situation, shooting at anything besides the person or persons creating the immediate and credible threat to life and limb is foolish.
     
  19. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Will you know everything that is in the "line of fire", which would be parabolic unless it happens to involve a ricochet or other deflection, and which may extend well beyond one's line of sight?

    This may be a good time to remind everyone that bullets fired into the ground can and will come back up out of it.
     
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  20. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    I've been hit by ricochets at improperly maintained ranges, once getting a large piece of jacket material stuck in the back of my hand.

    I'm certainly not going to risk my life or anyone else's with unnecessary shots fired at ill-defined targets.

    If there's a threat, shoot the threat until it's no longer a threat. I've never been threatened by a tree or the ground.

    If there's not a threat, you have no business shooting at all.
     
  21. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    What makes you think it's so good that you have the right to risk some innocent person's life without his permission?
     
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  22. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    Old Dog, we still use the "continuum" ladder, but it is stressed that an officer may enter it at any step if it's warranted, not that it has to be followed to the letter at all times, obviously impossible.
     
  23. BSA1

    BSA1 member

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    See Post #41.

     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2017
  24. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    my personal opinion is that whatever "warning" shots are fired need to be fired into something that will contain the round rather than into the air where it can come down just about anywhere. most urban areas that is a tough thing to come by.
     
  25. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    In most cases warning shots are a bad idea for both safety and legal reasons IMO. I did fire warning shots, sort of, years ago. I had recently move to my current very rural residence. It was after dark when I heard then saw a pickup that I didn't recognize coming down the long lane to my house. It was jacked up with large tires, older. I grabbed the shotgun I had used hunting that day and went outside. When the motion light over the porch came on the truck did a fast u turn and started back up the lane. I fired a couple shots over it as they sped up the lane.
    I believe I was justified and safe in doing so because; I was on my own property, I was firing bird shot, while the occupants of the truck may or may not have been a serious threat, they were obviously up to no good.
    I never saw the truck again either.
     
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