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Old 05-14-2011, 19:13   #1
GOCANES
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Assisting an officer

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.
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Old 05-14-2011, 19:19   #2
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If you open carry, we'll automatically know you're the good guy...
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Old 05-14-2011, 19:23   #3
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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.
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Old 05-14-2011, 19:27   #4
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Originally Posted by GOCANES View Post
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.
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Old 05-14-2011, 19:52   #5
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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.
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Old 05-14-2011, 20:17   #6
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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!

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Old 05-14-2011, 20:25   #7
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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.

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Old 05-14-2011, 20:32   #8
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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.
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Old 05-14-2011, 20:33   #9
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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?
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Old 05-14-2011, 20:51   #10
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If it's really, really dire...just kick the bad guy in the face. We'll know which team you're on.
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Old 05-14-2011, 20:57   #11
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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.
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Old 05-14-2011, 20:58   #12
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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.

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Old 05-14-2011, 21:20   #13
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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.
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Old 05-14-2011, 21:21   #14
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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.






















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Old 05-14-2011, 21:21   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragoon44 View Post
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.
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Old 05-14-2011, 21:35   #16
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Originally Posted by Dragoon44 View Post
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.
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Old 05-14-2011, 21:45   #17
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NF-BtESLEsU
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Old 05-14-2011, 21:46   #18
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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?
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Old 05-14-2011, 21:47   #19
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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.

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Old 05-14-2011, 21:48   #20
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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.
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