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GOCANES
05-14-2011, 19:13
What is the best and safest way for a citizen to intervine when attempting to assist an officer who is in immediate need of assistance against an aggressor. I am the good guy and I may or may not be armed, what are my limitations, and how should I announce my intentions, ect.

golls17
05-14-2011, 19:19
If you open carry, we'll automatically know you're the good guy...

wrenrj1
05-14-2011, 19:23
I don't know if there is a best and safest way, as you choose to get involved. If a cop is in a tangle on the ground with a perp and it doesn't look good, In my mind a quick "I'm here to help" and a grab on the perp in essential areas (to me the neck) that would assist the officer in getting control of the situation. At that point I'll would comply with commands from the officer to assist in securing the aggressor.

This is Monday morning QB by the way.

Dragoon44
05-14-2011, 19:27
What is the best and safest way for a citizen to intervine when attempting to assist an officer who is in immediate need of assistance against an aggressor. I am the good guy and I may or may not be armed, what are my limitations, and how should I announce my intentions, ect.

If the officer is down do whatever you need to in order to get the BG off of him. If he is struggling with a suspect, then ask very loudly "Officer do you need assistance?" if he says yes then by all means assist him in getting the person he is struggling with under control.

racer11
05-14-2011, 19:52
In my state, if a officer asks for assistance or indicates a need for assistance from a civilian, that civilian automatically becomes deputized until the assistance is no longer needed.

Some time ago I was slamming down the highway on my Harley looking like a devoted Harley rider would appear to look like. And there on the side of the road was a trooper in a tussle, and not doing will, with a dude on a warrant who was intent on not going to jail.

I came to a tire screeching halt and got in to the action, while the GF who was with me stood watching in a state of shock.

There was not any time for formalities between myself and the trooper, the action was pretty hot at the moment but the trooper knew dam well I was there to help and it was in the nick of time. My other Harley brothers came upon the roadside excitement and stopped because of seeing me stopped.

Then the trooper had about 6 other bad ass bikers as backups to assist in his action. Two of us were LEOs BTW, we were in a state outside of our home state but the trooper was just as glad we were there.

denn1911
05-14-2011, 20:17
If possible, a clear concise question such as "Trooper/Officer, can I help you?" or something similar would be a good start? However, there may be a time where words are not an option. As long as your words/actions show that you are on the LEO's side, you should be fine. I've responded to an officer assistance call a few times where citizens were just standing around watching the action. Unfortunately, the officer was on the losing end at that time, and they didn't want to get involved. I'll save my rant on that one for another time.

racer11, you're a good man for stopping and helping that Trooper.

Be safe!

ray9898
05-14-2011, 20:25
There is no blanket answer. The easiest way to alert the officer you are there to help is a simple "Officer do you need help". If I do you can bet I will ask for it.

As for limitations, each state is different. In GA you must follow the standard laws for using force in defense of others which must be reasonable for the situation. For example if I am fighting you are clear to use any appropriate physical force. If I am wrestling to keep from getting stabbed you would be justified in deadly force. You are also given immunity criminally and civilly for your actions.

MeefZah
05-14-2011, 20:32
To piggyback on what others have said, I think the most important thing you can do is LOUDLY VERBALIZE your intentions.

This can prevent a bad scene from getting a whole lot worse. God forbid the copper think you are one of the scroat's buddies there to assist the scroat in delivering an ass-whooping...

Then, follow through with maximum agressiveness, and de-escalate once the officer has the suspect secured, and stick around to give a witness statement and accept the thanks of the officer.

ViperGlock
05-14-2011, 20:33
There is no blanket answer. The easiest way to alert the officer you are there to help is a simple "Officer do you need help". If I do you can bet I will ask for it.

As for limitations, each state is different. In GA you must follow the standard laws for using force in defense of others which must be reasonable for the situation. For example if I am fighting you are clear to use any appropriate physical force. If I am wrestling to keep from getting stabbed you would be justified in deadly force. You are also given immunity criminally and civilly for your actions.


What if the guy had to pull your gun to help you and he had a felony record. Does he get arrested?

DaBigBR
05-14-2011, 20:51
If it's really, really dire...just kick the bad guy in the face. We'll know which team you're on.

Dragoon44
05-14-2011, 20:57
What if the guy had to pull your gun to help you and he had a felony record. Does he get arrested?

There is an actual case of just that happening, IIRC it was in New Hampshire, a motorist killed an officer shooting him in the back, another motorist arriving on the scene retrieved the officers gun and killed the attacker. He was a Felon that could not legally posses a gun. No charges were filed against him.

Dragoon44
05-14-2011, 20:58
If it's really, really dire...just kick the bad guy in the face. We'll know which team you're on.

And if you are wearing steel toed boots so much the better.

:supergrin:

Detectorist
05-14-2011, 21:20
Way back in 1977ish, I had an opportunity to assist a German Police Officer. He was on the side of the road with this 500lb drunk guy on top of him. The BG had the Officer's arms pinned. I got out of the jeep and told my driver to watch my back. He had a loaded M16. I forget what I hit the BG with, either my flashlight or tire iron but it didn't have any effect. I hit him again and he then rolled over and the Cop was able to get up. He wasn't injured. While I was giving the Cop my phone number, about 10 more cops showed up. All I could see when I was leaving was a bunch of very heavy boots kicking something on the ground. I don't think the BG will ever screw with a Cop again...

The Officer's supervisor, maybe a Captain came by the base I was stationed at and thanked me and gave me some type of certificate. I honestly think the cop would have suffocated under that very fat man if I hadn't driven by.

blueiron
05-14-2011, 21:21
He was a Felon that could not legally posses a gun. No charges were filed against him.


The Department of Homeland Security declared him a domestic terrorist, BATFE indicted him on conspiracy to possess an illegal weapon, and the Department of Justice prosecuted him for deprivation of the suspect's civil rights.





















:tongueout:

IndyGunFreak
05-14-2011, 21:21
If the officer is down do whatever you need to in order to get the BG off of him. If he is struggling with a suspect, then ask very loudly "Officer do you need assistance?" if he says yes then by all means assist him in getting the person he is struggling with under control.

Exactly this.

MeefZah
05-14-2011, 21:35
There is an actual case of just that happening, IIRC it was in New Hampshire, a motorist killed an officer shooting him in the back, another motorist arriving on the scene retrieved the officers gun and killed the attacker. He was a Felon that could not legally posses a gun. No charges were filed against him.

There's video of that... after a short pursuit, the cop maces the suspect while still in the driver's seat and then inexplicably turns and walks back to his cruiser, then takes rounds to the back. Passerby picks up cop's gun and smokes the dirtbag. I thought the passerby was a Marine... but I guess he might've been a felon. The suspect was the relative of some pro athlete... I'll have to look for that video.

MeefZah
05-14-2011, 21:45
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NF-BtESLEsU

ddbtoth
05-14-2011, 21:46
To piggyback on what others have said, I think the most important thing you can do is LOUDLY VERBALIZE your intentions.

This can prevent a bad scene from getting a whole lot worse. God forbid the copper think you are one of the scroat's buddies there to assist the scroat in delivering an ass-whooping...

Then, follow through with maximum agressiveness, and de-escalate once the officer has the suspect secured, and stick around to give a witness statement and accept the thanks of the officer.

Joseph Wambaugh fan,eh?

Dragoon44
05-14-2011, 21:47
and the Department of Justice prosecuted him for deprivation of the suspect's civil rights.

nonsense, he was just assisting him in exercising his right to remain silent.

Like, Forever.

:supergrin::wavey:

Dragoon44
05-14-2011, 21:48
There's video of that... after a short pursuit, the cop maces the suspect while still in the driver's seat and then inexplicably turns and walks back to his cruiser, then takes rounds to the back. Passerby picks up cop's gun and smokes the dirtbag. I thought the passerby was a Marine... but I guess he might've been a felon. The suspect was the relative of some pro athlete... I'll have to look for that video.

I am pretty sure he was an ex marine but had some kind of felony conviction or restraining order against him where he was not allowed to have firearms.

Multiple Arms
05-14-2011, 21:54
The police instructor for my CCW class was asked if we should assist if we saw an officer in trouble, and he said officially no, but unofficially, especially if he was the one in trouble, please do! Just make sure you let him know you are there to help.

MeefZah
05-14-2011, 22:26
Joseph Wambaugh fan,eh?

I hate his non-fiction. I may be the only cop on earth who disliked The Onion Field. His fiction rocks though... his new stuff is good... Hollywood Station, Hollywood Crows...

ViperGlock
05-14-2011, 22:30
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NF-BtESLEsU

The officer was shot at approx 6:26 on the video. That was sad. Iím glad someone got the killer. Thanks for taking the time to find the video.

boomhower
05-15-2011, 02:51
If I'm getting my ass handed to me, announce your intentions and jump in. Here you immune from legal action and are also covered under the agency's workmans comp if you get hurt.

GOCANES
05-15-2011, 06:28
Thanks for the input. The overall sentiment seems to loudly announce "I am here to help and or do you need assistance". I guess what comes to my mind is a "COPS" episode where an officer is getting pummeled on the ground and a citizen with a handgun walks up and if I remember correctly puts it up to the aggressors head or body and orders him off. It worked. It was captured by the dash cam.

Pepper45
05-15-2011, 07:09
I heard of a trooper fighting a guy, and another motorist stopped to help. The guy yelled, "GET THE **** OFF THE COP!", and proceeded to administer a first class ass-whooping. I think something like that would be well received, and is pretty solid in announcing your intentions.

txleapd
05-15-2011, 07:40
I heard of a trooper fighting a guy, and another motorist stopped to help. The guy yelled, "GET THE **** OFF THE COP!", and proceeded to administer a first class ass-whooping. I think something like that would be well received, and is pretty solid in announcing your intentions.

This would be my recommendation. It really doesn't do any good to ask a cop if (s)he needs help in the middle if a fight. It's obvious help is needed. There is also a good chance the cop won't be able to answer.

I think yelling at the BG to get off the cop does two things. It let's the cop know you're there to help, and gives the BG fair warning to stop. If he doesn't stop, then he deserves the whipping that's coming.

Dukeboy01
05-15-2011, 10:32
Everyone else has pretty much hit on it, but VERBALIZE, VERBALIZE, VERBALIZE!! In the heat of the struggle while everyone is throwing elbows and rolling around, don't be surprised if you and the cop accidently hit each other a time or two. Keep verbalizing to the bad guy and the cop and watch the hands. That goes for both the cop and the suspect as somebody may decide it's time to let the lead fly and you don't want to catch an extra round.

If/ when other cops start arriving I would disengage from the struggle, keep my hands up, VERBALIZE, VERBALIZE, VERBALIZE and comply immediately with any directives issued to me by anyone in uniform. You may get cuffed and stuffed by late arriving officers who aren't clear what's going on. Be cool, let the situation get sorted out.

ETA: All of this applies to me as well since I'm likely to be responding in plainclothes and my department has gotten big enough that I don't know a lot of people and they don't know me.

Detectorist
05-15-2011, 10:45
I think yelling at the BG to get off the cop does two things. It let's the cop know you're there to help, and gives the BG fair warning to stop. Ihe he doesn't stop, then he deserves the whipping that's coming.

He deserves it anyway. :wavey:

Detectorist
05-15-2011, 10:47
If/ when other cops start arriving I would disengage from the struggle, keep my hands up, VERBALIZE, VERBALIZE, VERBALIZE and comply immediately with any directives issued to me by anyone in uniform. You may get cuffed and stuffed by late arriving officers who aren't clear what's going on. Be cool, let the situation get sorted out.

Thats great advice right there.

scottydl
05-15-2011, 15:45
If/ when other cops start arriving I would disengage from the struggle, keep my hands up, VERBALIZE, VERBALIZE, VERBALIZE and comply immediately with any directives issued to me by anyone in uniform. You may get cuffed and stuffed by late arriving officers who aren't clear what's going on. Be cool, let the situation get sorted out.

ETA: All of this applies to me as well since I'm likely to be responding in plainclothes and my department has gotten big enough that I don't know a lot of people and they don't know me.

x2, this thread is just as applicable for off-duty LEO's who might jump in to help a uniformed officer in need. There have been recent unfortunate, possibly avoidable "friendly fire" police deaths involving plainclothes officers who were not recognized by responding officers. Upon arrival they just saw a guy holding a gun on someone and NOT in uniform. Bad situation.

nikerret
05-15-2011, 17:03
We had a good fight at a bar a few months ago. Local boys got jumped when they took one to the ground. When I got there, there was a guy no one knew tossing people. He was tossing the right people, so we let him continue and the rest of us started tossing the other turds. Turns out, he was a popo in another State.

OldCurlyWolf
05-16-2011, 00:57
We had a good fight at a bar a few months ago. Local boys got jumped when they took one to the ground. When I got there, there was a guy no one knew tossing people. He was tossing the right people, so we let him continue and the rest of us started tossing the other turds. Turns out, he was a popo in another State.

I like that attitude.:rofl:

rookie1
05-17-2011, 18:38
Iowa Code 719.2 Refusing to assist officer.

Any person who is requested or ordered by any magistrate or peace officer to render the magistrate or officer assistance in making or attempting to make an arrest, or to prevent the commission of any criminal act, shall render assistance as required. A person who, unreasonably and without lawful cause, refuses or neglects to render assistance when so requested commits a simple misdemeanor.

Working in a college town you will sometimes get a drunk guy who runs. I'm young and will chase, many times running past 20 or more people. I would LOVE to watch some turd run my direction with a officer right behind him ordering him to stop.

rookie1
05-17-2011, 18:41
Another story to this. We had a officer processing someone for OWI. He turned around to walk out of the room real fast and she stood up. He turned around and told her to sit down. She refused, after many commands to sit, he then attempted to make her sit. She grabbed onto his shirt where the top button is and his vest and did not let go. He grabbed onto her hooded sweatshirt in the same spot and the pushed and shoved in a small room. He pulled out his taser with his left hand, spun it around and shot it at her. One probe missed and the other hit her zipper and bounced back toward the officer landing on his arm. The other probe also made contact and shocked the officer for maybe 2 seconds. While She then kicked the taser out of his hand landing within a foot from her. While this was going on the officers adult (19 -20 year old) son was watching not doing anything. He did hit the emergency button on the wall and officers came running from out dispatch room. And got the situation under control.


If I was the son and my dad was fighting with some I would jump right in.

KiloBravo
05-17-2011, 19:07
Iowa Code 719.2 Refusing to assist officer.

Any person who is requested or ordered by any magistrate or peace officer to render the magistrate or officer assistance in making or attempting to make an arrest, or to prevent the commission of any criminal act, shall render assistance as required. A person who, unreasonably and without lawful cause, refuses or neglects to render assistance when so requested commits a simple misdemeanor.

Working in a college town you will sometimes get a drunk guy who runs. I'm young and will chase, many times running past 20 or more people. I would LOVE to watch some turd run my direction with a officer right behind him ordering him to stop.

I am currently not a LEO. However, if somebody came running in my direction with a uniformed officer giving Chase telling them to stop, you can sure as Hell bet that the SOB would be getting a free and fast ride to the pavement compliments of yours truly. People that stand by and not do anything to help really piss me off.

Islander-11
05-17-2011, 19:27
Yeah, if I'm actively engaged in getting my butt kicked, feel free to help! Thanks in advance!

EOD3
05-17-2011, 20:32
I am currently not a LEO. However, if somebody came running in my direction with a uniformed officer giving Chase telling them to stop, you can sure as Hell bet that the SOB would be getting a free and fast ride to the pavement compliments of yours truly. People that stand by and not do anything to help really piss me off.

Unfortunately, too many people either won't get involved or if they do, they dance around the edges accomplishing little or nothing but contributing to the pandemonium. If you're going to do something, make it decisive.

He won't need them where he's going anyway. :nutcheck:

Panzergrenadier1979
05-18-2011, 04:44
If your assistance also involves drawing your firearm, just plan on being proned-out, cuffed, and put in the cage by responding uniforms until they get everything sorted out.

Same goes for off-duty, plain-clothes officers.

wrenrj1
05-18-2011, 18:54
I am currently not a LEO. However, if somebody came running in my direction with a uniformed officer giving Chase telling them to stop, you can sure as Hell bet that the SOB would be getting a free and fast ride to the pavement compliments of yours truly. People that stand by and not do anything to help really piss me off.

While my ego agrees with you, the last time I stopped someone running in my direction or wrestled someone to the ground was in H.S. or my younger days in the Army. Most people will not recognize that type of situation until it's upon them.

This scenario is a bit different than a LEO on the ground in a tangle for survival. But if I recognize a situation, I'll help. To coin a phrase from Toby Keith "I ain't as good as I once was, but I'll be good once as I ever was" if it comes down to recognizing a situation and reacting.

Beeman
05-19-2011, 01:23
I've stopped and helped once. I came upon a deputy in a rural area that was coming out on the losing end of a fight. I ordered the guy to stop, and at about the same took physical action that made him stop rather quickly. Just waited until the guy was secured, and backup had arrived and then left.

steveksux
05-19-2011, 04:05
Just make sure its unmistakable that you're the good guy who's here to help.

http://drakeghazal.files.wordpress.com/2007/10/krispy_wideweb__470x3760.jpg

Randy

Hedo1
05-19-2011, 09:26
Back in the 80's I was on my lunch break in Philly. The cops were chasing a young guy down the sidewalk mid afternoon. I was coming the other way, in a business suit. I gave the bad guy a shoulder in the chest and put him into a parked car. I was a linebacker in college and a very recent grad.

The PD cuffed him and the faster of the two said "nice stick buddy". The bad guy had the wind knocked out of him and was heaving. They said to me "take off unless you want to be hear awhile". I used see one of the policeman at a food cart near my building in the morning getting coffee. He used to call me "Bill Bergey" a well known Phila. Eagle from that era.