Thanks to decades of gun control, there are parts of America where legally-armed civilians are so rare that the boys in blue don’t consider the possibility that a man holding a gun could be a good guy. New York City, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Providence, RI. The idea of a defensive gun use by an average Joe in these “gun free” zones is so outside the realm of police experience that they make a simple and sometimes deadly connection: gun = threat. Period. They shoot first, ask questions later. (And maybe not even then.) I could play the race card, but that’s not my point. Actually, I have two points. Gun control doesn’t make anyone safer—save criminals. And open carry does. [h/t to Allen V for the link]

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87 Responses to Brooklyn Cops Shoot Armed Homeowner

  1. What a tragedy.

    I saw a kid in my neighborhood shooting squirrels with a pellet gun. Once I realized it was just a pellet gun (I could see that it was a common Daisy model pistol), I told him that he needs to get back home and not be walking around like he was.

    I was very direct. I told him a black kid walking around a predominantly white neighborhood with what looks like a gun WILL draw the attention of the police (I almost called the cops myself) and he WILL end up hurt.

    I asked him how his momma would feel if that happened. He agreed to get back home.

    • No, not the victim’s fault. On my blog about this I suggested the cop was lying about the way it went down. I figure he fired too quickly and later added that part about telling the guy to freeze and to drop the gun.

      I disagree strongly with Roberts attempt to blame it on the gun control laws. Regardless of what gun control situations you’ve got, lawful shooters have to be certain there’s lethal threat before blowing someone away. Often there not and shoot prematurely, as in this case I think. That’s why many DGUs are bogus.

  2. Or some PoPo advocate. I love how the people that are paid large sums of money to protect us generally put their lives far before ours and then whine about how tough and dangerous it is be a cop. News flash – pizza delivery is a more dangerous profession than policing, and given the choice of the two, who would you prefer show up at your front door?

  3. Not a fan of large suburban or urban police. To big a community to know the people who live their. I am in a small town. We know most of our police men by first name. Their kids attend school with ours. They show up and conduct gun and police k9 demo’s.

    I’d say race had something to do with it. But I agree with Mr. Farago 100%. This happened because gun ownership in NY is a no-no. The moment a cop arrived on the scene, the black guy with the gun was a “perp”.

    • Bloomberg has his spin machine out to make this a just shooting. Recall the cop who was killed – news dried up after it was revealed one of his approved goon judges was responsible for letting the killer go free, despite a warrant for attempted murder . . . .

      • Seriously though, I want to know how “someone goes to raise their hand”? You are raising your hand, or you are not. Are the officers Psychic or something?

  4. So tragic.

    This situation is similar to a case where a SWAT raid team kicked in the door of the wrong house on a drug warrant; the innocent homeowner woke up to armed & masked men in his house in the wee hours of the morning and naturally grabbed his 12 gauge. The encounter ended with one injured cop and one bullet riddled corpse of a homeowner. The slain man had a CCW permit and legally owned every weapon in his home.

    As I recall the cops received a wrist-slap for the shooting, so that’s another concern for the law abiding citizen investigating a bump in the night.

  5. Full Disclosure: I am a cop.

    Please, for the love of God, when a cop orders you at gunpoint to “DROP THE GUN!”, drop the damn gun! Don’t try to put your hands in the air, don’t try to holster it, DROP IT. NOW.

    If things went down as described in the NYPost article linked above, the homeowner didn’t do that and it unfortunately cost him his life.

      • Yup, I’m just a Jackbooted, hat wearing thug!

        Per the article, the homeowner was outside, came from a driveway alley, and aimed his gun at the cops.

        I’d like to think that most of the TTAG readers wouldn’t do that…

        • Seriously? Of course the cops say that he pointed the gun at them. What else would you expect them to say? The cops in this story clearly had no idea wtf was going on. They killed an innocent man. And you want to turn around and say that we mere civilians must comply with the demands of badge-bearers or face a similar fate? Spare me. Clearly, you do not and cannot understand why we do not trust you.

        • Well, where I come from, we tell the truth.

          I can’t say for sure that the officers on scene didn’t make a mistake and cover it up.

          But at the same time, I can’t say that the homeowner didn’t make some mistakes that may have lead to his death.

          If you can’t see that, there’s no use debating here.

          I thought TTAG was better than the GNG Lounge at GlockTalk, apparently I was wrong.

        • Of course both possibilities exist. Your original post made it sound like your mind was already made up as far as who was telling the truth. If that is not the case, I’ll happily retract my statement.

          However, you should be aware that blind acceptance of a cop’s authority is in short supply.

        • That is not the case-
          I should have worded my first post more carefully; it was meant more as a reflection than directly pertaining to this article.

          I was just reiterating how we were trained in the academy if we were plainsclothes or off duty and were challenged by an on duty officer. IMO it’s very pertinent to most of the TTAG readers and anyone who carries concealed.

        • Yep. Lots of cases where an undercover or off-duty cop didn’t realize the “drop it” was meant for him, and not the skell he had at gunpoint. You will do under stress what you’ve trained under stress, or what you’ve trained period.

        • How did he know they were cops? Did they adequately identify themselves? Did they give him a reasonable amount of time to respond? Due to the way things ended, at least one answer would have to be “no”.

          This is similar to the case of Kenneth Green, who had a legal warrant served on his home, shot the cops serving it, and was found innocent by a Cook County jury.
          http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/iteam&id=8339076

          “I was just reiterating how we were trained in the academy if we were plainsclothes or off duty and were challenged by an on duty officer. ”
          How is it reasonable for a on duty officer to assume anyone and everyone is out to do them harm, and to require blind subservience?

      • As much as I understand why people are suspicious of cops — it’s not like there aren’t enough horror stories to warrant a little healthy suspicion — I’m wondering what you would recommend we do instead.

        Someone who is already holding a gun on you, and is telling you to drop the gun rather than just opening fire, has probably not made killing you #1 on his priority list. There aren’t any good options once you get to this point in an encounter, but dropping the gun may be the least worst, whether the other guy is the cops, your next-door neighbor, or Clyde Barrow.

        • “There aren’t any good options once you get to this point in an encounter, but dropping the gun may be the least worst, whether the other guy is the cops, your next-door neighbor, or Clyde Barrow.”

          Sadly, you’d probably have lower odds of being murdered by Clyde Barrow than the police.

    • FYI he has more of a right to be armed than you, its his home, not yours. Instead of being trigger happy, how about accepting that most jobs are dangerous? I work in IT and i’ve almost been killed on the job. I’ve worked in public education environments for 5 years and had kids unsuccessfully try to rob me twice. I’ve also had to go get stiched back up a couple times after having various things fall on my hands. But do you see anyone worrying about IT personnel safety?

    • Please, for the love of God, when a cop orders you at gunpoint to “DROP THE GUN!”, drop the damn gun! Don’t try to put your hands in the air, don’t try to holster it, DROP IT. NOW.

      What about when a masked intruder in the dark orders you to drop the gun?

        • A lot of people own Single Action Armys, myself included, and similar guns which are not drop safe.

        • Touche, matt, but would that be the gun you would either a) have on your or b) grab in case of an attempted robbery?

        • I think most gun owners own multiple guns, dont carry in their home, and would grab whatever gun is closest.

          Personally I wouldnt do either, but that is because my SAA has timing issues, and i’m worried about it turning into a grenade when I pull the trigger.

        • What is a driveway alley anyways?

          Seriously- I don’t know if it was public or private property, but is that really the issue here? If you call to report an armed robbery, is it OK to aim a gun at the cops, as long as they’re on your property?

        • A driveway alley, is a driveway which connects to an alley, one my friends houses has one, it is essentially private parking on private land. In the legal world, this is known as curtilage, and is considered the same as being in your house.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curtilage

          And yes it is ok to aim a gun a cops on your property, just as much as anyone else.

        • Hrm-
          Thanks for the definition, I’ve never seen an alley like that.

          And yes it is ok to aim a gun a cops on your property, just as much as anyone else.

          Just curious what would give you that privilege? In Wisconsin, there are limited circumstances in which anyone can legally aim a gun at another human being, regardless of location or profession. Your state may vary.

        • As I said “just as much as anyone else”, if you have a right to aim a gun at someone on your property, you should be able to do so without regard to their profession.

        • Of course it’s not OK to aim at police…

          But if I’ve just been victimized and two more people I can’t see enter my home or property without identifying themselves I HAVE to assume the threat may not have passed. I would have told Dispatch where I am, what I look like, and that I’m armed. From there, PD absolutely MUST take that into account – not just go all Cagney and Lacey through the front door.

        • “I would have told Dispatch where I am, what I look like, and that I’m armed. From there, PD absolutely MUST take that into account – not just go all Cagney and Lacey through the front door.”

          Looks like we touched on the same thing in different posts 🙂

    • I just wish I hadn’t watched that episode of COPS where the perp (?) is standing there and one cop is shouting FREEZE! and another cop is shouting GET DOWN!, WTF is the poor SOB supposed to do??!!

    • Justin,
      The Second and Fourth Amendments are sacred and absolute. You should have a chat with your Sargeant or Watch Commander about both before the next time you go on patrol or, God forbid, barge into a citizens’s house. Then, review the laws where you patrol regarding legal ownership, possession, and use of a firearm.

      THEN… think long and hard about the problem you could create for yourself with respect to officer safety by going straight to condition red on every armed citizen you may meet if there is no other reason to believe he’s a criminal or had just committed a crime.

      I teach my students to always comply with law enforcement… I wish I could teach law enforcement to comply with common sense and the reality that not every armed citizen is a criminal or out to kill cops.

      Some of your brothers and sisters get that – maybe you should spend some time with them…

      • Thanks for the comments Mr. Normal.

        I certainly understand “the reality that not every armed citizen is a criminal or out to kill cops.” As you’re aware, we just recently got CCW in Wisconsin. I’m one of the few officers that I know who is pro-CCW and happy to see the law change. I actively encourage people to get their WI CCW and advocate for their 2nd A rights.

        That said, I don’t see how you can’t see that a reasonable officer would go to what I would call a “high Condition Orange” when confronting an unknown subject with a gun in his hand while responding to an armed robbery call.

        There’s a difference between that and “going straight to condition red on every armed citizen you may meet if there is no other reason to believe he’s a criminal or had just committed a crime.”

        Another lesson we can all take away from this is that we ensure that our spouse/SO tells the dispatcher that we are armed, gives a description of us, etc.

        • “That said, I don’t see how you can’t see that a reasonable officer would go to what I would call a “high Condition Orange””
          —–
          Now wait a minute. Gun is out, sights are aligned, finger is on the trigger, and you’re going to try to spin that away from condition red? I am all for giving everyone the benefit of the doubt, but come on, man.

        • Hrm-
          You’re right, I thought that red was more indicative of actually firing, but doing some quick refresher reading on the color codes, I was wrong…

          lol- you and I just keep going in circles today, no? Disagree, kinda agree, disagree, etc 🙂

        • It’s all good. If I wanted to hang out with a bunch of people who always agreed with me, I’d clone myself. 😉

    • Uhhhh…

      No.

      Not all guns are drop-safe, and that doesn’t even take the damage a drop can cause into account. Who would pay for my gun to get deburred and refinished after being dropped on cement?

      This is a common problem with police: they take the “only us” position that only we have the immutable right to go home to our families at night. Wrong. Everyone has that basic right to life and liberty.

    • Why is it OK for you to shoot someone you know nothing about because they don’t submit but it’s not OK for us to shoot you (when we know nothing about you other than that you have a gun pointed at us) for failing to submit to us? After all, we do write your paycheck, so that means YOU are supposed to be OUR bitch, not the other way around.

  6. I once heard the argument (by my own father I’m shamed to say) that gun ownership just makes dealing with police more dangerous. My response? It’s the police that should change, not the Constitutional right. Knowing that homeowners could be armed legally, police need to re-evaluate and change their approach in a way that maximizes safety to them and the citizen while still enabling them to do their job. It’s their problem, they need to figure it out, not blame people who exercise their right.

  7. According to nypost “Drop the gun! Drop the gun!” cops yelled at Browne, sources said.
    When Browne took a step back and went to raise his hand, a cop fired one shot…”

    Really? When has NY police been known to fire once? (except point blank into a federal agent). I have no doubt the police officer only fired once, but I do doubt the homeowner pointed a gun at him. Me thinks somebody had a negligent discharge.

  8. Watch shows like Alaska St. Troopers or “Frontier Force”. The police in Montana and Alaska, while somewhat wary of gun owners understand that lawful gun owners are out there, plentiful and that you cannot go into “condition red” on every single gun owner you come across. Mind you, that the media/producers of the shows try to make it look like the cops fear and hate lawful gun owners but most of the officers seem to be pretty cool with it.

    All things being equal; 99% of the time in NYC when a cop sees someone with a gun inside or outside their home they tend to be a bad guy who is threatening them. Gun ownership by private lawful citizens is relatively low. I really don’t blame the cops in this case, I blame the training. Your anti gun mayors like Bloomberg could care less about making sure that officers know how to properly deal with lawful gun owners on their own property, they want people to be AFRAID of owning a gun and what might happen to them.

    • There is definitely a problem with training going on: Examples: The 12 LEO’s who served a warrant on one lone man in his home in Utah. 1 officer DOA, 5 wounded. I ask this: What tactics can lead to such a result? In the NYPD case in which the officer was shot as the suspect fled, shooting the LEO by the front door…two other officers had proceeded into the house and down the hall without clearing side-room the suspect was hiding in as they proceeded. What? MUCH more communicating should take place, it would seem, before LEO’s/SWAT move into a house, alley, etc. I get the impression that there is a reluctance to use bull-horns, cell phones, and (for a high risk warrant) thermal imaging…before closing in. LEO’s are not military and the idea of moving in silently and low profile (except in very special circumstances…a weapons factory or such..) seems counterproductive. Hell, throw a radio hand unit through the window if necessary. And with loner/BB gun kids in recent school deaths…why is there not an LEO with a LL shotgun by the side of the others, with priority decision authority? The credibility of Police in their tactics and patience is critical in an open society. We need a peace-keeping force that is trusted.

  9. A couple of thoughts.

    Intelligent criminals on home invasion crews have impersonated special tactics officers on multiple occasions.In Texas a crew of robbers posed as DEA agents and kicked in the door with the whole ‘police EVERYONE DOWN’ routine and cuffed the homeowners before then ransacking the house.

    Since anyone with a thigh holster and tac vest can pull that caper ,how can a law abiding citizen tell if a home invader has a badge?

    • This happens too often. We suffered a young woman raped and murdered six miles away by a punk impersonating an unmarked cruiser, light on dash, and in uniform with a badge. We need known protocols and much greater requirements of verification before knocking down doors. Also, much too often raids are conducted at night (see Utah): This used to be unconstitutional when it could be avoided. With stand-off officers with optics backing up a high-risk warrant team, a slower moving raid can still be a safe one. Improved and mandatory communications protocols would be a good start. Better communications equipment would be a nice supplement to the guns and battering rams. I think changes will save lives on BOTH sides of the door. (And yes about the NYC ‘all guns in hand must be illegal’ problem.

  10. White cops shoot black civilians. They also shoot black officers, off duty or in plain clothes, with monotonous regularity. As the exception that proves the rule, a white cop recently snuffed a white ATF agent. It’s one of the few white cop on white cop killings that I was able to find. Now that the seal is broken, I’m sure that there will be more of such shootings once the cops realize that there are no repercussions..

    I believe that cops shoot black men because they can get away with it. It’s harder to shoot white people and get away with it, but some cops do that, too. Cops also punch white women in the face on the subway and kick handcuffed white women in the head and rape women that they are supposed to protect because they can get away with it. They plant evidence because they can get away with it. The steal drugs and guns from dealers and sell them to other dealers because they can get away with it. They can damn near get away with anything, and they know it. The only time a cop will get in trouble for brutality is when someone nearby has a video camera or cell phone.

    In my opinion, it’s not all about race. It’s all about power and the abuse of power. Bullies usually choose their victims carefully, and blacks and women are easier victims.

    As an older white male, I’d like to think that I’m fairly safe from predacious officers of the law. But if I was a young, law-abiding black male, I think that I’d both hate and fear any police on sight.

    • See Ralph, you are just like me. Your more than willing to engage in racism. And just wondering, but what makes blacks and women easier victims?

    • I agree. Cops will tend to prey on those whom they think not to have political connections and clout or those who cannot afford good legal representation to fight them in court.

  11. It may sound coarse, but it sounds like this man was pursuing the bad guy and went outside with a gun and became a target of the responding cops. Yes, cops should be held to a high standard when it comes to identifying a target. If you’re holding a gun outside your castle and the police show up and you get shot, who was in the wrong place at the wrong time? Yes castle doctrine extends to the edge of the property, but my battle plan is to gather everyone in one room with one door and if the bg comes through it then he gets it. Sad story, hopefully a lesson is learned from this.

      • O.K. good to know. I bet that the other 99% didn’t know that either. Final analysis says it don’t much matter. The point is that the ignorant police rolled up on this man and he was shot dead because he had a gun in hand outside a dwelling that was in distress. Fault or no blame, a man is dead because he pursued. The cops come and clear a house because they are called. No call, no cops or any other circular logic. Bunker down and weather the storm, the cops show up afterward. I live in AZ and the cops really don’t mind the sight of a firearm on a person. But if that firearm is in my hand at the exact time that they come to “rescue me” is would be a whole nother ball game. Oh and hey matt, I’ve read your stuff and consider you a bit of a troll.

  12. I’m clearly missing something. The video says the cops were responding to a robbery call. They saw the victim with a GUN in the alley. The victim pointed the gun at the cops and was shot. Then the victim wonders back into the house and dies.

    This has nothing to do with NYC’s gun laws . It could and does happen every day. Point a gun (fake or real) at a cop and the cop is going to get pissy. Heck, point a gun at me and I’m going to get pissy.

    Sorry, but this looks like a good shoot by the cops. It could happen in AZ, TX, GA and other pro-gun states. As Justin says, drop the frickin’ gun when the cop says so.

  13. When I had the armed thugs on my porch and the shotgun in my hand…the perps went off and broke in another house…the cops showed up about 10-15 minutes later….I made sure not to approach the cops with the gun. As a matter of fact, I really did not bring up anything about the shotgun.

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