“Police said the man who was shot picked up an officer’s gun that had fallen to the ground and, at one point, turned toward several police officers,” charlotteobserver.com reports. Wait. What? “Police were called about a robbery at a strip mall on Central Avenue in east Charlotte. Officer Joshua Skipper was the first policeman to arrive at the scene, where he made contact with the robbery victim and the suspects’ vehicle, which was still on the scene, police said in a release. As he waited for his backup to arrive, a person inside the car jumped out and tried to run away . . .
Skipper chased him, and a scuffle ensued as Officer Skipper attempted to place the suspect in handcuffs, according to police. Skipper carried a second, or backup, pistol, which is allowed by Police Department policy. As he scuffled with the suspect, his backup gun fell on the ground, police said in a statement.
Police say the victim of the robbery picked up Skipper’s backup pistol, walked back toward the suspects’ vehicle and pointed it at one of the people accused of robbing him.
Meanwhile, Officer Prince Blue had arrived on scene.
According to police: “Officer Skipper told Officer Blue to tell the man to drop the weapon. Officer Blue at the time was unaware that the man holding the gun was in fact the victim of a robbery.”
Blue repeatedly told the man to drop the weapon, police said, “at which time the robbery victim turned towards the officers and pointed the weapon directly at them.” Blue fired three times, according to police, striking the victim once in the leg.
What’s not wrong with this story? Even if we take these “facts” at face value—which is a bit like believing that Hollywood stars are hospitalized for “exhaustion”—it’s an ideal example of why the rabbi tells his students to “avoid stupid people in stupid places doing stupid things.”
There are a lot of lessons to draw from this incident. Always secure your gun or guns securely. (In the famous FBI Miami shootout two officers lost their guns in a car wreck; one from his lap one from under his leg.) Cops’ marksmanship generally sucks. And my favorite: you’re not the good guy.
That’s as far as the police are concerned. And BOY are they concerned when there’s a gun anywhere in the picture. Yours, theirs, someone else’s—any gun will send them into, uh, “intellectual shock.” At that point, fellow officers in uniform are the only other guaranteed good guys. Everyone else is a potential target. And that means you.
If you are going to defend yourself with a gun, know this: you are in grave danger of being shot by the cops. Don’t think for a second that your situation is obvious to anyone with half a brain. If you can, as soon as you can, either put the gun down or put it away. Don’t put your hands anywhere near your body and don’t make any sudden movements.
Yes, you need to dial 911. But, as Ralph constantly reminds us, police mistake cellphones for firearms. If the cops are already there, fuhgeddaboutit. And be ready to drop your gun, phone or whatever you’re holding. And I mean DROP IT. (Yes, even a Wilson Combat 1911.)
Do NOT turn to face the person issuing the command; it could well be the last face you ever see. Freeze and drop what you got.
I know we’ve been over this before. But I can’t emphasize this strongly enough. Doing what needs doing in a self-defense scenario is only part A. Part B is making sure you’re not victimized by the police. Both legally (STFU) and ballistically.