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Discussion in 'In the News' started by phantoms, Feb 18, 2019.
Cops in hot pursuit have to engage.
But we armed citizens who see a violent felon escaping need to consider the risks of engaging in a gunfight vs. backing off and maybe following discreetly, not close enough to provoke him into shooting at us.
Even though the bad guy (or if he is deceased, then his survivors), will not be able to sue you for your use of force against him, if you nail an innocent bystander with your bullets you do not have immunity from a lawsuit by THEM. I don't even think you'd have a clearly-winning defense or immunity from a lawsuit if you started a gun fight with a bad guy in public, with people all around, and *HIS* bullet hit an innocent person.
Looks like it was a bad idea to approach this guy in a crowd. Definitely a bad idea shooting into a dynamic group of people.
Disclaimer: I am not a LEO, nor do I play one on the internet, so some may think I know nothing. That's the way I like it.
There is also an upside down police car.
All five were at a bus stop. That means they know from which direction the bullets must have came. Why all the "we don't know who shot them" nonsense?
AND, get this, the two officers did not kill the robbery suspect. They shot 5 bystanders. The robber ran away. A Louisiana State Trooper down the street responding to the officers need help call killed him in a different location.
Massive incompetence by NOPD.
Fish in a barrel.
Oh, was it really like that?
Cops just wanted to get a bunch of fish and wanted them dead immediately, without regard to the rules or common decency? Don't give the bus stop bystanders a chance to live-- just massacre them when they're helpless?
That's "shooting fish in a barrel."
Is that what you think of cops?
Cops have a notorious reputation for "getting their man" in the worst possible situations. Such as a crowded bus stop.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Thanks for saving me the trouble of having to jot down 4 or 5 thousand of them!
What can NOPD do to keep bystanders safer?
It's as if these cops were trained in New York City.
If this keeps up, ballistic vests might become more common even among those who don't carry guns - because the approved government gun-toters are starting to view us "mere citizens" as necessary collateral damage.
Just to be clear, there is immunity from criminal liability for lawful self defense. There is not civil immunity. There is just civil non-liability. While the result may be the same, the process to get to the result is not. And, while the non-liability statute does not provide for non-liability for "collateral damage," other tort principles might afford some protection.
GS, I really question your suggestion that a valid use of self defense (or defense of others) could result in civil liability for the defender if a bad guy shoots an innocent bystander. I have not researched that question, but that one seems like a stretch. Do you have any case law or other authority that might support your suggestion?
Nothing directly on-point.
It's just that tort law is a very flexible area of law where, in a nutshell, liability can come from not being cautious enough regarding the safety of others around you. Unless the legislature (or courts) make special rules for certain scenarios, certain activities, or special kinds of people, the general rule is the standard negligence formula.
Duty of care. Breach of that duty. Actual cause. Proximate cause. Damages.
The "duty of care" can be something new, some odd and unusual set of circumstances that a court finds for the first time in YOUR case, and finding you liable creates new caselaw that will later become an annotation in the Code books and various hornbooks and treatises.
Speaking of which, Prosser and Keeton on Torts, 5th Ed. (Sec. 1.3) says "new and nameless torts are being recognized constantly, and the progress of the common law is marked by many cases of first impression, where the court has struck out boldly to create a new cause of action where none have been recognized before."
I think starting a gunfight by firing the first shot at a criminal who is surrounded by innocent bystanders can be said to be reckless or negligent, and a breach of the duty of care owed to the bystanders, because you have to be aware that both your shots and the bad guy's return fire at you will endanger innocents.
If you say your alleged "neglegence" in firing at the criminal is a MOOT POINT when the bad guy's intervening criminal act was the real cause of the harm to the victim, such that your liability is cut off and all responsibility falls on the shoulders of the criminal (who may have broad shoulders but not deep pockets!), I say you can't always shield yourself with the "intervening act" doctrine.
Especially when you provoked that wrongful intervening act (and should've known that the bad guy was going to react the way he did to the stimulus you provided) through your negligent choice to fire that opening salvo.
See this recent case about intervening acts: JORDAN v. EVERSON, S17G1491, Supreme Court of Georgia (October, 2017).
Quote from EVERSON case:
"...there is no requirement in Georgia that an intervening act be “wrongful or negligent” to break the causal chain. As we explained more than 100 years ago...
...Some authorities have formulated rules on this subject designed for general application, as that the defendant is not responsible where there has intervened the willful wrong of a third person, or is liable where such act is of a negligent character merely. But the better doctrine is believed to be that whether or not the intervening act of a third person will render the earlier act too remote depends simply upon whether the concurrence of such intervening act might reasonably have been anticipated by the defendant."
Eleventh Circuit caselaw on officers shooting bystanders and qualified immunity (New Orleans is in the Fifth Circuit, not the Eleventh, which is here in Atlanta).
I would not so much rely on intervening act as the lack of a duty of care to someone you didn't shoot in the first place.