Should you draw your weapon to help a LEO?

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Ruark
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Should you draw your weapon to help a LEO?

#1

Post by Ruark » Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:54 am

The subject of helping a cop comes up sometimes, and while I don't want to open that can of worms, I am wondering under what circumstances you, as an LTC holder, could draw your weapon to assist a cop who is in trouble, and fire it, if it was the only way to resolve the situation.

Say I'm driving or walking along and encounter a cop struggling - and losing - with a enraged 300 pound thug, or maybe two of them. Well, boys, at my age (pushing 70, arthritis, double rotator cuff tears, etc.), I'm not the Five Fingers of Death I once was.... :cool: So I can't just walk up like Terminator and toss them around like rag dolls. What are the implications of me drawing down on the assailant(s), and, if that doesn't work, firing?

If it were me or another person in that same situation, I would be justified. If the victim is an LEO, it would seem even more justified, as the assailant(s) would probably be trying to grab his weapon and thus create even more danger.

Summarily: you encounter a cop being overwhelmed and beaten to a pulp by a thug. You're not capable of intervening physically. After quickly calling 911, you draw your concealed weapon, tell the thug to back off, and if he doesn't, you fire. Is that a viable scenario? Input from LEOs and legal eagles would be especially useful.
-Ruark

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canvasbck
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Re: Should you draw your weapon to help a LEO?

#2

Post by canvasbck » Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:01 am

Assisting a LEO who is losing a physical altercation is the one scenario where I would be most likely to deploy deadly force in the defense of a third party. It would be reasonable to believe that the assailant will use deadly force against the LEO (his own weapon). It's also the only scenario where you could reasonably assume you know who the aggressor is (the one fighting the LEO) in a physical altercation with two individuals that you did not know.
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Re: Should you draw your weapon to help a LEO?

#3

Post by Papa_Tiger » Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:05 am

Texas Penal Code 9.33 and 9.34 spells this out pretty well:

Sec. 9.33. DEFENSE OF THIRD PERSON. A person is justified in using force or deadly force against another to protect a third person if:

(1) under the circumstances as the actor reasonably believes them to be, the actor would be justified under Section 9.31 or 9.32 in using force or deadly force to protect himself against the unlawful force or unlawful deadly force he reasonably believes to be threatening the third person he seeks to protect; and

(2) the actor reasonably believes that his intervention is immediately necessary to protect the third person.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.


Sec. 9.34. PROTECTION OF LIFE OR HEALTH. (a) A person is justified in using force, but not deadly force, against another when and to the degree he reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to prevent the other from committing suicide or inflicting serious bodily injury to himself.

(b) A person is justified in using both force and deadly force against another when and to the degree he reasonably believes the force or deadly force is immediately necessary to preserve the other's life in an emergency.

Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.


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Re: Should you draw your weapon to help a LEO?

#4

Post by Tex1961 » Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:07 am

Well, there are already at least 2 test cases that I am aware of (and probably more). If I am correct in both of those incidents the LEO was either asking for help and or to shoot the bad guy... In both situations the good Samaritan was not only cleared, but hailed a hero.... My personal take is that if a bad guy is going to take on an armed LEO then he has crossed the line and means to stop the LEO and probably with any force necessarily including taking the LEO's weapon and life... I can't say what anyone else should or shouldn't do... But based on your scenario I would draw my weapon and first command the bad guy to cease and desist... If he refuses and continues to attempt to cause great harm to the LEO then yes... I would fire....
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Re: Should you draw your weapon to help a LEO?

#5

Post by C-dub » Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:14 am

At 50+ I'm also not going to do as well in a hand-hand situation with someone willing to fight a LEO and who also seems to be getting the best of that LEO. if I have 4-5+ other guys and we can overwhelm and pull them off I'll dive right in. Otherwise, the attacker gets one verbal warning to stop. If he/they don't, they're getting shot from out of their reach. I'm not going to get close enough for them to get a hold of me and pull me down into that mess.
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Re: Should you draw your weapon to help a LEO?

#6

Post by oljames3 » Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:22 am

During my city's Citizen Police Academy, the Assistant Chief specifically asked that license holders be ready to assist his officers. Further, he specified that we should, if at all possible, communicate with the officer by asking if they wanted assistance and announcing our intention. Then be ready to cooperate with responding officers. So many things can go wrong in this situation.

I encourage y'all to attend your city's Citizen Police Academy and interact with your local officers.
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Re: Should you draw your weapon to help a LEO?

#7

Post by Rob72 » Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:44 am

My reasoning is this:
  • the assailant has the belief that he will overcome the LEO, despite a self-evident disparity of force.
  • the assailant is actively attempting to disable an armed officer in the performance of their duty(-ies). By the act itself, this indicates a willingness to use lethal force on the part of the assailant.
  • as the assailant is actively attempting to disable an armed officer, they are demonstrating willingness to engage in a lethal-force altercation to maintain their freedom. The assailant is therefore an imminent threat to the community at large.
My actions (pretty much along with oljames03) would be to (using command voice) ask, "Officer, do you need assistance?", while checking for any responding units and/or friends of the assailant. Hearing a "YES!", and seeing no other presenting LEOs, draw, and say, "Backoffbackoffbackoff!" Any assailant not backing off is a valid target. Secure the scene,(possibly holster) and ask again if the officer needs assistance. If so, announce, "armed-friendly approaching from____!" Do your best to describe the direction you're approaching from in a way that a disoriented, wounded, individual will most likely understand, i.e., right/left/feet/from the top of your head. Remember that securing the scene means making sure that friends of the assailant won't be able/interested in finishing off either the officer or you, so further aid may just be covering a BG and calling 911. If this happens, be sure to describe yourself WELL.

In most urban areas, response should be pretty quick, but on a highway, or in more rural areas, you may be interventional fire, and first aid.


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Re: Should you draw your weapon to help a LEO?

#8

Post by Jay2121 » Mon Aug 27, 2018 10:32 am

This is really simple for me. I see an officer down with a bad guy on top of him, I give one warning,clear the shot, and fire if necessary. If I can help in any other way I will do that. Period. I am not going to worry about some law nor am I going to over think what is happening. These men and women risk their lives every day for me and my family as well as every one on this forum. I remember the officer getting pummeled a couple of years back. The citizen walks up and says "do you need help?" Office responds in the affirmative and the citizen eventually assists.Slowly but assists none the less. This officer was losing badly and seconds really counted I was amazed that the citizen even asked the question. The officer would have lost no question. I was dumbfounded.
This is what I would do. I understand others will act in their own way. Yes I am older, Yes I move slower than I used to, Yes I hurt where I did not used to, But I will engage quickly, no question, no question at all.


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Re: Should you draw your weapon to help a LEO?

#9

Post by Tex1961 » Mon Aug 27, 2018 11:27 am

Someone who lives in a town where the police chief is against citizens being armed, please print this thread and mail to the department.... Show them that CHL holders ARE on their side and are also the good guys as well.
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Re: Should you draw your weapon to help a LEO?

#10

Post by TomS » Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:08 pm

Most definitely.

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Re: Should you draw your weapon to help a LEO?

#11

Post by Lynyrd » Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:31 pm

I would ask if he needs assistance first. That's a must. But absolutely I would draw my weapon to help an LEO is distress. They would draw their weapon to help me. Why would you not? The most important thing in my mind in such situations is to make sure that neither the LEO in trouble, or other responding LEO's could mistake me for anything other than a good Samaritan.
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Re: Should you draw your weapon to help a LEO?

#12

Post by bblhd672 » Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:38 pm

oljames3 wrote:
Mon Aug 27, 2018 9:22 am
During my city's Citizen Police Academy, the Assistant Chief specifically asked that license holders be ready to assist his officers. Further, he specified that we should, if at all possible, communicate with the officer by asking if they wanted assistance and announcing our intention. Then be ready to cooperate with responding officers. So many things can go wrong in this situation.

I encourage y'all to attend your city's Citizen Police Academy and interact with your local officers.
:iagree: Same here.

Just make sure it's not an undercover officer struggling with one of the Village People! :biggrinjester:


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Re: Should you draw your weapon to help a LEO?

#13

Post by rotor » Mon Aug 27, 2018 5:15 pm

I believe this was recently discussed in
viewtopic.php?f=94&t=92878&p=1211048&hi ... d#p1211048

I agree with the idea of helping the LEO if requested and I don't know what the civil legal situation might be but for some people it may be a big trip to the legal system, depending on state law.


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Re: Should you draw your weapon to help a LEO?

#14

Post by BBYC » Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:35 pm

Not in places where they dont want citizens carrying guns.

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Re: Should you draw your weapon to help a LEO?

#15

Post by WTR » Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:44 pm

BBYC wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 12:35 pm
Not in places where they dont want citizens carrying guns.

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The administration may feel that way , but I’ve only run into one Field Officer who has felt that way.

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