Sunday, November 23, 2008

Lending a helping hand?

Article from Police Magazine on asking bystanders for assistance:
Recently, I got to thinking about Nicola Cotton, the New Orleans police officer shot and killed with her own sidearm by a wanted rape suspect early this year. For seven minutes, Cotton struggled with her assailant in clear view of numerous civilian witnesses. None came forth to help the officer who was half the size of her assailant. Cotton, as well as the unborn baby she was carrying, paid the ultimate price for the apathy of those who milled around, idly intrigued by the sordid life-or-death drama that played out before them.

I was both depressed and disheartened by the incident. Depressed by the loss of another officer’s life; disheartened that so many she was trying to protect didn’t try to do as much for her.
Fortunately, there are those civilians who—requested or not—will jump into the fray in a cop’s hour of need.

People like twenty-one-year-old Ben Saks, who in 2006 was shot in his left hand while helping a police officer.

Or Texan Travis Neel, who, having witnessed the shooting of a Harris County deputy sheriff, pulled his own gun and fired, driving the deputy's assailants away.

Article here. One important consideration to be aware of if you take action to assist an officer being attacked is friend-or-foe identification for responding officers. In other words, how will responding officers know you're a good guy and part of the solution, rather than part of the problem, especially if you have to employ your gun and the officer you're assisting becomes incapacitated and cannot communicate your "good guy" status to responding units.

Another concern is liability, although many states have laws that will provide some measure of legal protection if you act under the orders and at the direction of a sworn law enforcement officer acting within the scope of his duties. Note however that regardless of whether you're acting under law enforcement direction or not, you are still responsible for acting within the use-of-force laws, that is, the laws pertaining to non-deadly and deadly force still apply, and any actions you take must conform to those laws.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

But I thought we were just supposed to "give them what they want" and hope they let us live? In this case, the bad guy wanted the cop to die. The bystanders were just giving him what he wanted right?

Besides, why didn't the cop just call 911? Isn't that the magic talisman that supposed to deliver us from evil?

The bottom line is that government agents are reaping what they sow. The government, agents of which include government schools, government employees, government appointees etc. have, for years, been actively working to turn the populace into submissive, pliable sheep.

They are, in large part, succeeding. Yet they act surprised when the submissive, pliable sheep ACT like submissive pliable sheep? WTFO?

What's amazing to me is not that the vast majority of people stand around and watch when something like this happens, but that, occasionally, against all odds, there happens to be someone around who actually has the nads and wherewithal to actually get involved.

It's the sheepdogs who are the rarity, not the sheep. And that's exactly the way the government wants it. So, what are they complaining about?