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  #1  
Old 10-20-2004, 10:00 PM
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Are police trained to shoot to kill?


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I don't know where to put this or if its even right to ask. However myself and a couple friends we're talking and a debate arose if police are trained or intend to shoot to kill. I don't know if any one would want to answer this question, but I would like some opinions either from LEO's or anyone really. I hope no one ever has to be placed in the position to potentially take anothers life, but I whold like to know what people think on the matter. Maybe even as a person who carries a gun for self defence. Thanks
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  #2  
Old 10-20-2004, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NikyG
I don't know where to put this or if its even right to ask. However myself and a couple friends we're talking and a debate arose if police are trained or intend to shoot to kill. I don't know if any one would want to answer this question, but I would like some opinions either from LEO's or anyone really. I hope no one ever has to be placed in the position to potentially take anothers life, but I whold like to know what people think on the matter. Maybe even as a person who carries a gun for self defence. Thanks

Law Enforcement in Washington State are trained to stop the threat. Center of mass when available or anywhere else until the threat is over. Unfortunately, death sometimes occures.
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  #3  
Old 10-21-2004, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NikyG
I don't know where to put this or if its even right to ask. However myself and a couple friends we're talking and a debate arose if police are trained or intend to shoot to kill. I don't know if any one would want to answer this question, but I would like some opinions either from LEO's or anyone really. I hope no one ever has to be placed in the position to potentially take anothers life, but I whold like to know what people think on the matter. Maybe even as a person who carries a gun for self defence. Thanks
No decent Police Officer wants to shoot to kill, and no department would train their Officers to do so. In fact if a Department even thought that they had an Officer with that attitude, he would be dismissed immediatly. All Officers are taught to shoor to shoot for (Center Mass) this helps to aleviate the chance of an inocent bystander being injured. It also eliminates the chance of the perp shooting an inocent bystander, by stopping the confrontation as quickly as possible. Shooting the gun out of the hand of the bad guy only happens in the Movies. The Main duty of the Police Officer is to preserve life, not to endanger others in the preformance of his duty. As in the previous post unfortnately death sometimes results. This is not a desired objective, but is a fact of life.

Lee L. (Retired LEO)
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  #4  
Old 10-21-2004, 10:06 AM
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Officers are trained to stop. If the actor dies, well, tough. The movie scenes where a ranking officer instructs others to "shoot to kill" is just a demonstration that the writer and director have no real life experience. Can you say "indefensible lawsuit", boys and girls?
This carries over into self defense as well. Always shoot to stop an action. Sometimes deadly force leads to death, but that is strictly a byproduct.
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  #5  
Old 10-21-2004, 10:26 AM
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It seems to me if they shot to stop a threat and the person lives, there is a huge lawsuit there also. Same thing with self defense. I am not a LEO and am not planning on becoming one, but I always thought, if there was a serious enough threat to actually unholster a firearm, much less use it, then it is a life or death situation and then it is you or them.
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  #6  
Old 10-21-2004, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niner
It seems to me if they shot to stop a threat and the person lives, there is a huge lawsuit there also. Same thing with self defense. I am not a LEO and am not planning on becoming one, but I always thought, if there was a serious enough threat to actually unholster a firearm, much less use it, then it is a life or death situation and then it is you or them.
Techically, by using your (my) sidearm, it is considered deadly force. However, as I wrote earlier and others have also indicated, law enforcement officers are trained to stop the threat.

I'd rather face 12 jurors in a lawsuit and tell them it was my intent to stop the threat and not my intent to kill. (This would be true by the way if it ever happens.) The idea to draw your weapon with the intent to kill places ourselves as the prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner. I'm swarn to uphold the law not punish people for breaking it.

Are there officers out there that get that confused? Probably but they don't last very long and get removed.
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Old 10-21-2004, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmww
Techically, by using your (my) sidearm, it is considered deadly force. However, as I wrote earlier and others have also indicated, law enforcement officers are trained to stop the threat.

I'd rather face 12 jurors in a lawsuit and tell them it was my intent to stop the threat and not my intent to kill. (This would be true by the way if it ever happens.) The idea to draw your weapon with the intent to kill places ourselves as the prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner. I'm swarn to uphold the law not punish people for breaking it.

Are there officers out there that get that confused? Probably but they don't last very long and get removed.
Ok, I understand. I can see this thread going into a whole bunch of what-ifs. But I'll just leave it at "Stop a Threat"

Thanks
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  #8  
Old 10-21-2004, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmww
Techically, by using your (my) sidearm, it is considered deadly force. However, as I wrote earlier and others have also indicated, law enforcement officers are trained to stop the threat.

I'd rather face 12 jurors in a lawsuit and tell them it was my intent to stop the threat and not my intent to kill. (This would be true by the way if it ever happens.) The idea to draw your weapon with the intent to kill places ourselves as the prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner. I'm swarn to uphold the law not punish people for breaking it.

Are there officers out there that get that confused? Probably but they don't last very long and get removed.
My feelings exactly. I never felt it was my place to be Judge Jury and executioner, only a servant of the Law. Use of the firearm is a last resort.

Lee L.
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  #9  
Old 10-21-2004, 12:11 PM
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Years ago when I took my first concealed weapons class, the first thing out of the instructors mouth was. How many people in here are willing to pull the trigger to prevent an attacker from getting to you? the second thing was. How many people in here are willing to take a life to protect your own? He then went on to explain that it was not their intention to teach us to kill another person, but we had to be prepared to accept that possible outcome. If we were not prepared to do that, then we would be better off not carrying a weapon. All LEO's that I know will tell you that they would do almost anything before they had to draw a weapon, but if they had to draw it, they are prepared for the possible results.
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  #10  
Old 10-21-2004, 01:53 PM
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Isn't center mass called that because that you statisticly most likely place to get a kill shot, majority of vital organs? I realise that few want to kill any one, but guns when used imply leather\deadly force. So this statment of police are trained to stop the threat, if you aim center mass isnt that beacause you intent to stop him for good or am I mistaken in that center mass is intended to be fatal? My question is based on an assault placed on a Police Officer, say some one runs at him\her with knife gun or just in a manner of asualt? Do they shoot to kill, I would but they get alot more training then I have had.
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  #11  
Old 10-21-2004, 02:16 PM
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Just a PC language difference...they are triained to shoot to stop...it's just with current technoloby, "stoping" and "killing" are about the same thing.

High center of mass simply becasue it gives you the most error for a telling hit...a little left or tight, up or down, and you still connect with something vital. Just so happens that those viatal areas that produce stopping also tend to produce death. Any drastic rapid drop in blood pressure, and you drop like a sack of doorknobs...center of mass happens to be the hign pressure center of circulation, so a hole in any of the major pipes there usually shuts the sytem down.

So the way it's designed, a police officer can say he shot to stop...the death of the suspecvt was an unintended consequence of needing to stop him.

Last edited by ribbonstone; 10-21-2004 at 06:15 PM.
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  #12  
Old 10-21-2004, 04:52 PM
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No sir, I shoot to live
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  #13  
Old 10-21-2004, 05:09 PM
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I thought it was 2 to the chest and 1 to the head
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  #14  
Old 10-22-2004, 12:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tang
I thought it was 2 to the chest and 1 to the head
Actually its 2 in chest. 1 in neck or head. That drill is to defeat ballistic vests. The LA bank robbery taught us that. Now it also includes one on each side of the pelvis to create massive shock to stop the threat.

Center of mass does several things. 1st it gives the shooter a large target to hit in a high stress situation. 2nd the sudden dump of energy from the hollow point will create massive shock. 3rd there will hopefully be enough mass to stop the bullet from over penetrating and hitting a bystander behind the suspect that was not seen.

I've been doing this job for 20 years. I got a whole lot of years left. I will use my weapon if called upon. I hope that never happens. My biggest fear is not hitting the suspect but rather accidently hitting an innocent person nearby.

I have to tell you that I hope to never have to discharge my weapon at someone. I've come very close several times. The aftermath of what the officer, his/her family, as well as the family of the suspect is horrible. Officers will be dragged through the mud in the press and in court. God forbid if the suspect was African American and the officer white.

Anyone who thinks they want to get into a shooting better look at the statistics on those that have. Most don't make it 2 years into their carreer. The majority if married get divorced. Psychological, "what if" will haunt you for the rest of your life.

It isn't like Hollywood where you in a shooting one moment and drinking with boys afterwards.
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  #15  
Old 10-22-2004, 05:04 AM
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NikyG
It's my impression that most politicians and careerists, that reads upper levels of law enforcement management-could not care less as long as the news media, lawyers and do-gooders don't cause a fuss.
How ever if it looks like the event and the cop's actions might threaten the politicians election chances or the careerist's job these two classes of cretins would be most happy to throw the cop to the wolves.
Then there's a fair number of cops who look upon the side arm as decorative accessory, like shined shoes. Most likely these cops would never remove the side arm from the holster for thier intire career but for inspections and qualifying.
I know and have shot with a number of cops, some are very good and work at it, some could not hit a bull in the butt with a banjo and would be better armed with the banjo.
Most rules and training are only created to cover the organizations tail feathers and the law enforcement managers from law suits, if the cop survives great but not really part of the decision process.
Jim
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  #16  
Old 10-22-2004, 07:17 AM
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shoot to stop, is pretty much shoot to kill.
I personaly have shot AT people (not intending to hurt or kill them), and held 1 guy at gun point for a while until police showed up, but I never will shoot some one unless that person is a danger to my life, or the lives of people in my home.
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  #17  
Old 10-22-2004, 08:35 AM
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Being involved in one shooting situation in my careerI can truthfullysay that when someone is pointing a gun at you all you can think about is stopping them before they shoot you, and that means shooting at the largest exposed part of that individual you can see. (read center mass) I know of no Officer who has been in that situation who has time to think about weather that shot will kill or wound. The individual was hit center mass, which was about 1 to 1 1/2" below his heart. He was given medical treatment, a trial and a nice cell in prison afterwards.

Lee L.
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Old 10-22-2004, 08:44 AM
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RLS0812: Most Departments do not allow shooting to scare.(warning shots) this is a bad practice as you are putting bystanders in danger from your shot possibly not having a backstop.

Lee L.
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  #19  
Old 10-22-2004, 03:12 PM
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Thanks for the input, I have great respect for those in law inforcement who place their lives on the line to uphold the law. I am greatfull for the training and actions of law enforcement. The input has helped me to form in my own mind my reaction if forced to protect myself or others down the road.
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  #20  
Old 10-22-2004, 07:16 PM
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Police Academy instructors say over and over, "shoot to STOP." Defense attorney's would love to hear "shoot to KILL." Can you imagine how that could be twisted around in court?
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