“The police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.”
– Robert Peel “Father of Modern Policing”
No matter who you are, if you wear a uniform or not, if you shoot at some one, the police are coming. There are many legal and legitimate reasons why you may need to defend yourself. If you are carrying a gun or have one in your home, you should spend a few minutes thinking about what to do when the police come.
First and most important, no amount of planning can call back a bad shot. Get the training you need to protect yourself and use the appropriate level of force. Know the laws in your area and follow them. Start by doing the right thing.
When you do your mental rehersals, visualize the arrival of the police. You may feel like a hero, but you will not be immediately hailed as a defender of public good.
If you have are a cop, you should yell “Police” and make sure you get your badge out and displayed. If you are in your home, do what you can to identify yourself to the bystanders. “I live here and this guy tried to break in and kill me”
If you can, call 911 or get some one else to do it. Let them know there is a gunshot victim who needs an ambulance. Try to sound as though you want them to help the guy. Remember that your 911 call is recorded and will later be played on TV.
In his very useful book, “Concealed Carry Fundamentals” (available from www.keyhousepress.com), author Michael Martin recommends that you make three calls if rounds were fired:
When the 20 year old cop responding to his first shots fired call runs up, you should have your head up and see him first. You should not have a gun in your hand.
Do what ever the nice policeman says. Get on the ground, whatever. Never been hand cuffed before? Now is your chance. Until they know what is going on, you are a suspect, even if you have a badge. You may be put in a police car and go to jail. Remain calm, listen and wait.
When they ask you what happened, avoid details. What you say is a matter between you and your lawyer. You are full of adrenalin. You will say something stupid if you talk too much. If there is an armed bad guy who ran away or some other threat to public safety, you need to tell the police about it as soon as possible.
I am not a lawyer. I do not give legal advice. Here is a lawyer:
In “Concealed Carry Fundamentals,” Michael Martin recommends that you stick with this five part statement to the police and do NOT go beyond it:
After you’ve completed the five part statement above, there are only two things you should say to the police:
“I WANT MY LAWYER PRESENT BEFORE I ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS.”
– And –
“I DO NOT CONSENT TO A SEARCH OF MY PERSON OR MY PROPERTY.”
It is a good idea to go to the hospital and get checked out. If you are injured, take photographs of your injuries as soon as possible. You may have been hurt and not realize it.
Find a lawyer before you get in a jam. You should spend at least as much time thinking about which lawyer you will call as you did picking the gun you carry. With a little preparation, you can set yourself up to win the legal battle after you win the gun fight.
I leave you with some tips on how to interact with police officers from noted law enforcement expert, Chris Rock: How not to get your ass kicked by the Police.
(Image Credit: featured image Boston.com)