Crime scene (courtesy redbackgreen.com)

We’ve posted this advice many times before: after a defensive gun use (DGU) don’t say anything to the police. OK, you can say “My life was in danger” and “I will be happy to provide a statement after I speak with my lawyer. I want to speak to my lawyer.” And that’s it. We usually come at this topic from the police entrapment point-of-view. In other words, the post-DGU po-po will pretend to be your friends to elicit information, ostensibly to help understand your righteous shoot. But it’s entirely possible – indeed probable – that they’re gathering information to use against you in a court of law. You must assume so. And here’s another way of looking at it: everything you know about your DGU is wrong. And we know that because the cops know it, too, now . . .

In their latest email blast, the Force Science Institute revealed the memory-related results of an experimental simulation of an Officer Involved Shooting (OIS).

The unique memory component of the traffic stop study involved 24 of the participating officers, sergeants, and detectives–all randomly selected males, ranging in age from 27 to 54, with up to 31 years on the job.

Promptly after they had been “intensely stressed” by being fired on [with Simunitions], each was given a sheet of paper with a diagram of the shooting scene, including the positioning of their patrol car and the suspect vehicle.

During the scenario, most had fled to the rear of the gunman’s car in an attempt to escape. Based on their memory of what had just occurred, they were instructed to draw “as accurately as possible” their path of travel from the instant the assailant drew his weapon until they heard the whistle that ended the scenario. They were allowed “as much time as necessary” to complete the drawing.

Later, the research team made meticulous, frame-by-frame computerized analyses, comparing the officers’ drawings with digital video recordings of their actual flight paths from danger.

And the survey said! . . .

1. the officers tended to recall and draw a much tighter curve of travel around the rear of the offender’s vehicle than they actually made as they ran to their eventual stopping point, and

2. they thought they ran a significantly longer distance than they actually did.

The fact that memory errors occurred was not surprising to the researchers, based on well-documented studies of brain function under stress. “In a life-or-death confrontation,” Lewinski explains, “the brain automatically filters out what it believes to be irrelevant in its laser focus on what is most important–survival. Later, exact details that were subconsciously judged to be extraneous are likely to be impossible to recall with precise accuracy, because they were not imprinted in a person’s working memory.”

That’s one theory. There are others. But the main point remains the same: the memory of your DGU may not match up with the emperical evidence. Prosecutors can use that discrepancy to paint you as a liar. This happens to cops (who are immune from civil penalties) and it could happen to you (who may not be).

There are studies that show that memory of a stressful event improves after a night’s sleep. Regardless, don’t say anything to the police after a DGU, no matter how good their intentions or your own. Even a small mistake in your recollection of events can cost you your freedom. That is all.

85 Responses to Self-Defense Tip: STFU After a DGU

      • Amen. Every armed US citizen should watch this. And then those in the comments below who say, “Well, actually, it is OK if you say the following things…” should watch it twice.

        • I think the whole thing can be summed up by dividing the things you can say into two categories.

          First, the bare bones of establishing self defense.

          Second, all the details of the situation that don’t fall into the first group.

          It’s the details the article is talking about. Exact path you ran? Number of rounds fired? Color of the bad guy’s clothing? Word for word what he said when he was trying to rob/kill/rape/whatever prompted the DGU? Try and give these accurately during an initial interview and you can get hemmed up later in court for having a human brain that doesn’t record everything with photographic detail.

          If you refuse to say anything, including “I thought I was going to die, I was defending myself,” then fine. Nobody is saying you can’t take that course. If you want, you can even bring a lawyer to the police station when you’re reporting a burglary to your house, and have all your statements go through him about coming home from work to find your door kicked in, and then demand that police get a warrant before dusting for fingerprints.

          Yes, I know that’s a ridiculous example. As in all things, do what you think is best, try and be reasonable, and take some deep breaths and a moment to think before you decide what the best answer is for you.

          If you choose to give the bare bones of establishing self defense, then the next words out of your mouth should be something like, “this is a very stressful situation, and I would like to speak to a lawyer before answering any further questions. Please contact my lawyer/a public defender for me.”

    • After a DGU? Yes, you are being detained, for investigation of murder/manslaughter/assault depending on if the other side survives. If it becomes clear that the D part of DGU constitutes a legitimate case of self defense, then you will likely be released. None of that makes a lawyer unimportant, but just because you ask if you are being detained doesn’t mean they have to let you go.

    • You are detained and when you say nothing you’ll be arrested. If you screwed up this is probably still better for you. But when granny in Detroit shoots at three teens trying to break in her door, do you REALLY think it’s a good idea to ‘stfu’? No, that’s silly and why no ‘rule’ ever works out to your benefit 100% of the time. If you shoot a ‘teen’ who wasn’t armed with a gun on a dark night? Welllll…. that changes the equation. But consider:

      If you think police and jurors don’t look at clamming up as suspicious (even if jurors are instructed not to), you’re wrong. A lot of the justice system is based on humans and what they think they would do in such a situation. If you want to know why Zimmerman was found n\g it wasn’t just because the prosecution had a terrible case, it was also because the forensic evidence (including his injury) showed that his story that he immediately and consistently gave was sound.

      Of course,don’t trust too much in the way of legal advice given out on the internet comments section. But also take the blog post with a grain of sale when it’s by someone who uses a legal word like ‘entrapment’ without knowing what it means.

      • It’s funny you bring up GZ, as nothing he said to the cops was able to be used in his defense. The only time anything he said was brought into the trial was when the prosecution brought it in to impeach him (he lied a little bit on Sean Hannity). You cannot use your own story to the police as a defense, that’s hearsay. It can ONLY be used against you, and cannot help you in any way, unless you manage to convince the cops to let you go (lol good luck with that)

        • Now imagine the same sequence of events, but in a case not distorted beyond recognition for purposes of race baiting and making an example out of someone. GZ was released and not charged in large part because of what he said to police, and because that matched the facts as they were known.

          It was only long after the initial investigation that everything got turned upside down, and as bad as they wanted a conviction, I don’t think keeping quiet would have helped him at all.

        • “You cannot use your own story to the police as a defense, that’s hearsay. ” – internet lawyering failure.

          Check out your desk copy of the rules of evidence. Perhaps, just maybe, you’ll find one, or more, exceptions.

        • Are you a lawyer, Doug? I am, or was, and I’m pretty sure that’s not exactly correct. In fact, I’m thinking “prior consistent statement” may be one of those exceptions Eric was talking about., although, again, I’m not entirely certain. And speaking of Eric–you wouldn’t be the same guy that used to post on a P-64 forum a few years back, would you?

        • In court, the cops are not even allowed to testify for a defendant’s innocence, it is automatic hersay. They are only allowed to testify to help prove guilt. Everything you say to the cops is ammo for the DA. The more you say to the cops, the more a DA can use to build a case against you. The less you say, the less the DA has to work with and be less inclined to go to trial. The more you give the DA, the more likely he/she will push charges since every word you say makes their case stronger, that is why you STFU until you get a lawyer. They you can carefully give a statement that gives the DA the least amount to work with. DA’s usually only go after fairly easy cases they can win or plea deal quickly with. Most are overloaded with cases and only go after sure things and drop difficult cases, don’t give him a sure thing by STFU.

      • All you have to do is say “I’m too shaken up to speak with you right now. Let me talk to a lawyer.”

      • Nothing you tell the police will ever help you in court. You might sway the opinion of the officer on site, but nothing else. If the DA takes it to trial, everything you said to the responding officers that is damaging to their case is thrown out as hearsay. Regardless of what you say here, S’ing the FU is absolutely your best course of action.

      • There is a reason the cops don’t answer question about a police involved shooting for at least 72 hours.
        It takes NOTHING to arrest a person, but it’s quite a bit different story to convict in court.
        I’d highly recommend people DON’T talk to the cops until much much later and after the person has sought out legal counsel. The cops do and they have far far more legal protections.

      • I know that there has been a lot of complaint about the new commenting policies here on the site, some of it justified. Most of the loudest complaints seem to come from the same names, names that I typically ignore as they tend to be contrary and belittling for no real reason.

        You often seem to post comments that disagree with the editors and the majority of other comments, but you always do it in an intelligent, well thought out manner. While I rarely agree with your opinions as I interpret them from your posts, I greatly appreciate the manner in which you present them. I think we all benefit from looking at complex issues from as many angles as possible.

  1. As always NEVER talk to a cop. EVER. Period. SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE! Answer NO questions. Learn how to read the Miranda rights carefully.

  2. This is one of those risk factors each person has to decide for themselves, based on their own local mores regarding gun rights.

    Using myself for a case study, I live in a community where the chief of police-and most of his staff- knows me from my day job, and most potential jurors here are gun owners themselves, including the DA . I’d be alright with offering a preliminary statement- if I had a DGU here.

    Were I forced to defend myself in a hotel room in Los Angeles California or New Jersey, I’m definitely gonna call my lawyer ,shut up, and brace myself for a trip to jail. No matter what I’d say , local norms on gun control mean I’d be going downtown no matter what.In anti rights areas it’s a foregone conclusion you’re going to court no matter how jusitifed the actions .

    • I thought that about the locals as well. And have been through one of their CPA classes as well. If I need to use a firearm in self defense I will be asking for a lawyer no matter who is wearing the badge.

      The Cops will tell you, don’t talk to them as they are trained to find the part where the story does not match. tell it to your lawyer first, second and third.

      If you need to say anything else make sure you use the words “afraid for my life”. Practice it at the range so when you shoot, that is the only thing you say.

      Had GZ followed that advice I think it might have been different. Course had he actually paid attention in the MMA class he would not have been jumped in the first place.

      • I disagree with one thing: They were going after GZ, no matter what. The press and the rest of the leftists had their narrative down before they knew the facts, and they never once deviated from that narrative. They bet on the wrong horse, but they went all in from the beginning.

  3. It’s not uncommon for cops involved in shootings to be asked only a few questions initially, then brought back after a few days to give a full statement. The questions will be along the lines of,

    Did you fire your weapon?
    Did you feel your life was in danger?
    Did you feel anyone else’s life was in danger?
    Are you aware of any injured people at the scene or elsewhere?
    Are you aware of any evidence that needs to be preserved?

    Now, while a case could be made that everyone deserves the same treatment after a shooting, remember that not all shootings are a legitimate DGU. If an innocent bystander hit by random gunfire is actually the guy who tried to rip off his drug dealer and got shot in the process, I certainly don’t want to give them the time to come up with a self-consistent story.

    The advice to keep quiet and ask for a lawyer is entirely correct. Probably a good thing your average criminal still hasn’t figured that out.

  4. Anyone have any advice on what to say in a 911 call? 911 calls are always major pieces of evidence in the court cases

    • I’d imagine probably the same stuff you’d say to the police. For 911 calls AFTER a DGU, that is.

      I know that if you hear someone breaking into your home, one of the best things you can do is get 911 on the line and let them hear you yell to the attacker “get out, I have a gun, if you come up here I’m going to shoot you!”

      • Don’t ever use these two words “shoot you” PD will then be able to say you were acting with intent to commit an act of violence with a lethal weapon. Only say this “I have a weapon and if you do not leave I will defend myself” and fire a warning shot. I live in MD and here you have to do multiple things to justify a DGU
        1. you must retreat
        2. You have to attempt to contact the police before discharging your weapon
        3. The suspect has to be facing you in order to justify the DGU
        On top of everything there must be unrefutable evidence that your DGU was the only way for you to be safe.

        This state is a Nazi state and until proven Otherwise you are guilty

    • I’d say “send the police and an ambulance” and hang up. They always want to play 20 questions. I have zero patiences for that.

      • Yeah, questions like “what are you wearing” so the police don’t shoot you thinking you’re the intruder, genius.

        At worst put the phone down so it captures you warning off the bad guys.

        • Putting the phone down doesn’t tell the cops what you look like or what you’re wearing either. I stand by my comment.

      • Regardless of how you meant that, it could so easily be considered in the same tone as “plea bargain that, FLAME DELETED,” that I would never consider it good advice.

        I actually typed “flame deleted,” in case anyone is wondering.

        Seriously, while there’s nothing in the law that says you have to answer any particular question, if you’re considering the added complications of a civil suit afterwards, keeping your comments polite and inoffensive can help your image.

    • Keep it simple, don’t guess at anything that might turn out to be wrong later. Basically,

      Someone attacked me (or whatever other reason for the DGU),
      I thought I (or someone else) was going to die,
      I fired at the bad guy because of the above,
      Please send help to (your location).

      You should be safe answering questions like,

      Was the bad guy armed?
      Where is his weapon now?
      Is anyone injured/dead?
      What does the bad guy look like?
      What do you look like?
      Where is your gun now?

  5. Ok folks riddle me this ! It may be minutes until the first responders show up. And those guys might not be the popo. Ems or fire dept. Sooooo…do you do like the Zman and use the ubiquitous cell phone to call your lawyer or wife or friend? Or do you stand with gun like a statue?

    • If you’re not calling 911- then yes, call the lawyer that you have loaded in your contact list.

    • While you’re waiting, if you think the threat is finished, holster up. If you think the threat is still there, such as holding someone at gunpoint, or they ran off but might come back, then stay at the low ready or similar until you hear sirens/people running up and announcing themselves as police.

      At that point, then either holster up, or if you are commanded to drop the gun/get down on the ground, or similar, then follow the commands calmly and wait until the situation is a bit settled before trying to say anything.

      As far as the phone goes, I would be surprised if the 911 dispatcher doesn’t try to keep you on the phone until the police arrive. If they don’t, then by all means call someone. Either a lawyer or a family member, but if you call family, tell them you were in a shooting and they need to call your lawyer to visit you at the police station. Don’t give them the full story, either, in case they misunderstand and tell the media or someone later on, with whatever spin they have in their heads.

      If you don’t have a lawyer, then tell your family member to start looking for one, and in the meantime, like Rich said elsewhere, ask for the public defender.

      • I would like to add, and I stress that this is just my personal opinion, if you are confident that the threat is ended, but the police have not yet arrived, drop your magazine and hold it in your weak hand, then clear the chamber and leave the slide locked back. Place the pistol in plain sight but within arm’s reach. The pistol can be made ready to fire quickly if necessary, or you can drop the mag and back away from the pistol when ordered by LEOs.

        If you have a revolver, open the cylinder and hold the pistol by the back-strap. When LEOs arrive dump the rounds to the floor and place the pistol in plain sight or on the floor out of reach.

        I just have a problem with having a loaded weapon when the police arrive and/or handing said loaded weapon to a stranger. YMMV.

        • I think that is probably good advice, Cliff. If you didn’t call 911 yourself or someone did before you, then you have no idea what the officer has been told is happening.

          There have been so many cases of unarmed people being gunned down, just because the police assumed they were going for a weapon, that it is not something I would want to risk anywhere.

        • Hmmm, that reminds me of an incident a while back in NYC. Now not all places have the same laws so YMMV. But what happened was as follows. Mafia families are warring with each other. One group tries an assassination of a capo. His crew interrupt the guys in the hit team, and pull their own guns and start running after them and shooting. When the cops arrive only minutes later, the defenders are still on the street outside the building, their revolvers are empty. Under NYC law they couldn’t be charged with felony possession of a loaded weapon. Only a misdemeanor of an unregistered weapon.

          So there could be implications in some locales of having live rounds in the weapon or not when the po-po arrive on the scene. Makes ya think….

  6. I wouldn’t talk to a cop after a doughnut, much less a DGU. But you will have to say something. “He attacked me. I had to fight for my life” or words to that effect might be a good start.

    Then you might want to consider asking to be transported to the hospital. You might be hurt or have had a heart attack and you wouldn’t even know it without medical care.

    Call your lawyer from the ambulance.

      • So when both a lawyer AND a police officer say essentially the same thing, you disagree and suggest some kind of Generic Action Movie Star (TM) one liner?

        Have fun with that.

    • What if you can’t afford a lawyer, or you don’t have him/her on speed dial, or they took away your phone along with your gun? What then?

    • I really like the “transport to the hospital” advice. You can arrange for an attorney and have a little breathing spell to get your thoughts together about what just happened.

      By the way, in my experience (not with DGUs) keeping yourself from talking while under the residual influence of an adrenalin dump is not any easy task.

    • Keep in mind, though, that once you’re on the phone with your lawyer, you’re apt to spill everything right then and there. If others, like EMS, are right there, too, tgen you,have no expectation of privacy and your may not be privileged. Factor in thst you may only be speaking to an answering servicd at that time of night, so it’s not even your lawyer. You don’t want EMS on the stand recounting your comments.

  7. I don’t think you should completely STFU; Massad Ayoob says there are 5 things after a DGU:

    1. Call 911
    2. Officer this person attacked me, I will sign the complaint,
    3. Officer here is the evidence (knife, gun, ball bat, whatever).
    4. Officer these are the witnesses.
    5. Officer you will have my full cooperation in 24 hrs after I see my attorney.

    Beyond that, you can SFTU till lawyer (#5). If you don’t point this out when the scene is “warm”, witnesses may disappear, evidence may be lost, cops will steer their investigation in the wrong direction. You need to set the scene initially.

    Mas’ video is here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCZXZMYyRl4

    If you remember, Zimmerman was very cooperative and walked the police through the scene immediately after the shooting (next day). It turned out to help him in that case, as the cops actually had a pretty clear idea how things played out (contrary to what MSNBC thinks). And the “loud music” guy screwed up on #1, which is certainly hurting his position.

    I think Mas’ list is a good middle ground between not being an ass to the cops, and yet not saying too much, and preserving potentially exonerating evidence.

    • It helped him with the cops, didn’t mean crap during his trial as he wasn’t allowed to present that as evidence (that’s hearsay, don’t you know!). His running his mouth hurt him when the prosecution caught him in a lie.

      • I seem to recall the defense asking the cops about what Zimmerman had said and how co-operative he had been and how what he told them was consistent with what they saw themselves, etc etc. I also seem to recall that eliciting that info from the cops made Zim look pretty good. So yes, he was indeed able to use it for himself.

    • Ayoob’s a nice guy, an expert in self-defense. A lawyer in your area is an expert on the laws of your particular jurisdiction. Go sit down with a lawyer, most of them will do an initial consultation for free and get their advice and put their number in your phone. You don’t necessarily need to have them on retainer– that’s expensive. But you can call them and if they aren’t available they will put you in touch with someone who is.

    • Sorry–but this is bad advice, especially trying to discuss what happened with the cops. As the article said, the scientific evidence shows that your brain is faulty (especially after stress) and thus your version of the story–even minutes after it happened–will probably not line up entirely with the evidence and with what other witnesses claim to have seen. And that can be used to paint you as a liar.

      If you are going to be a big proponent of the 2nd Amendment, you had better be a big proponent of the 5th as well.

      • Considering Mas is a cop, trains cops, and has given expert testimony for DGU for decades, I don’t think you can say it’s “bad” advice. He’s seen many, many cases involving DGU. He has a very short list that he recommends you say: he attacked me, here’s evidence, those guys are witnesses, let me talk to my lawyer, stop talking. He does not advocate chatting away or volunteering other information. He doesn’t advocate doing walkthroughs at the scene. Once you get to #5, you stop talking. Check out his video; you’ll see there’s very good reasoning behind his suggestions. I also posted a link to his take on Zimmerman talking to the police (and how it helped him in this case).

        One part I’ll always remember from his video is to look at it from the point of view of the police: they show up, see you with a gun in your hand, and the assailant on the ground doing a “very good imitation of a victim”. If you immediately clam up, they very well may assume your guilt, and may pass on looking for evidence or witnesses suggesting otherwise. Frame it as a case of self defense up front. You have to make sure they are aware of anything that will help you at the scene (and/or make sure they have a reason to look for it). Identifying witnesses is super critical; without them, it’s he-said vs dead-guy. Additionally, they quickly disappear if they aren’t identified at the scene.

        I’ve seen the other video by that lawyer (followed by the cop) about clamming up, and for the most part, it’s sound advice, certainly when they haul you to the station and try to question you, but I think Mas is right that you just want to get the critical bits out first at the scene.

        • I agree with Geoffrey Hoffman. I have never found error with Massad Ayoob’s self defense information. A similar list was presented on The Best Defense with Rob Pincus and Michael Janich. None of these three men are fools, they are professional trainers. Stick to the points and do not deviate! You need to tell the police that you were defending yourself/others!

        • “You need to tell the police that you were defending yourself/others!”

          No, you need to tell the police nothing and let your lawyer tell the police that you were defending yourself/others.

        • You really should not offer the comment that you were defending yourself our others, IMO. The evidence should speak for itself on that point, and/or any witnesses that can be located. The best advice I have heard is that your first comment to law enforcement should be: “I was in fear for my life,” or “I was in fear for their life,” and point to the victim your were defending.

          Next, “I will cooperate fully as soon as I have spoken to a lawyer.”

          Not that Mas Ayoob’s 5 points aren’t good advice, but unless you have them written on a card in your wallet, will you actually remember them? “In fear for my/their life” and “I want a lawyer” should about max out your logic center at that point in your life.

        • I doubt very many of these cases are true whodunnits. The physical evidence speaks for itself, but so does the background of the participants. If it’s your living room at 2:00 a.m., that’s pretty much open and shut. Even if it’s the corner store at 3:00 p.m, when it’s crackhead thug with a long rap sheet and an illegally carried gun, versus you, upstanding citizen with a license and no record, the story tells itself.

          If it doesn’t, your lawyer will. There’s just far too much downside risk to talking to the police, beyond “I’ve been the victim of a violent crime. I invoke my right to remain silent. I want my lawyer.” There’s not much upside benefit, if any, so don’t do it.

  8. Absolutely, you gloss over after the event and need time to recall what had happened. The reason is, immediately after a violent encounter your whole body is in fight or flight mode, blood drawn from the extremities to your core and a kind of glossing over of general perceptions. How long it takes to recover from this is an individual experience, 24 hours, 72 hours, and is somewhat dependent on the severity of the event. Your comment directly after a stressful event might completely contradict your comment given 72 hours to decompress. Think PTSD and in the case of LEOs, cumulative PTSD.

  9. Anyone who has ever watched the tv show Cops knows that it is in your best interest to just shut up when you’re involved in something serious.

  10. Always remember that your intent was to “stop the threat.” Did you aim to kill? “No, I aimed to stop the threat.” No matter how many ways it’s put to you, that is your answer. Agree just once that you intended to kill the person, and you are toast. I’m not saying to lie, I’m advising all who carry to always have the mindset that you will aim to stop the threat. Or as I was taught in The Department of Corrections, “I aimed to stop the action.”

    • For some reason, this brought up a memory from the catacombs of my mind – in HS physics, Mr. Detloff was teaching us about Newton’s laws of force and motion: “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” And used the example of pushing on the wall. In order to stay up, the wall has to push back as hard as you’re pushing. One of the students piped up, “How does the wall know how hard to push?”

    • Another good reason NEVER to offer any answers before you see a lawyer. Don’t make any remark as to your intent on shooting and don’t respond to police comments, even if they are not posed as questions.

      It’s called “deadly force” for a reason – your life or well being were in extreme threat and you were in theory reasonable in using potentially deadly force to protect yourself or someone else.

      If any pistol, from .22 to .50 S&W, were not potentially deadly there would be little point in carrying the damn thing. At the time you pull the trigger the outcome is always only to end the threat. The death of the perp is only a happy coincidence, given the relative unreliability of pistol calibers in this regard, therefore offering commentary as to your hopes and desires when you pulled the trigger is foolish in the extreme. The most you could say, honestly, is at that point you did not care if the guy lived or died, only that he stop being a danger, but you should NEVER offer that opinion to a LEO!

      • Thank you for your comments, Cliff H. They are about as close to ‘spot on’ as one can get trying to anticipate a deadly force event.

        Of particular note was “’In fear for my/their life’ and ‘I want a lawyer’ should about max out your logic center at that point in your life”. This would be accurate for most of us who are not practiced and experienced in the art of killing people.

        While one may be anxious to tell their story, don’t.

        At the scene the police need only know you have been defending yourself from a deadly threat, if there is still any imminent danger, if you or others are or could be hurt, and if there are other suspects at large. That information should flow intuitively. Beyond that which is needed to end the incident, the rest is “investigating”.

        Generally, there’s no point in muddying up the picture with detailed statements or answers to questions that can only come back to haunt you in the hands of an aggressive prosecutor. KISS, and request your lawyer since now that the spotlight is on you (at least initially), you are extremely vulnerable.

  11. What does a police union lawyer tell a cop immediately after a shoot? “STFU.”

    You were in fear for your life. He attacked you. You want a lawyer.

    Keep it simple.

  12. Massad Ayoob says you should point out evidence that will help your case.

    For instance, if the bad guy fired a gun, and you know where his empty cases landed point them out to the cops.

    You can’t just assume the cops will be thorough enough to find all the evidence.

    Other pointing out evidence that can exonerate you, I agree with everyone else; the only thing you should say is “I want to speak to my lawyer.”

  13. Just be honest. If the DGU wasnt justified then you deserve to go to jail. People who get into the worst trouble are the ones that try to lie or cover things up.

  14. After reading through the above comments, I am going with…”I want to speak to an attorney before answering any questions.” Period.

    Seems there are two options:
    1) Blab away under the stress of adrenaline and hope you don’t screw yourself.
    2) STFU and state you want to speak to an Attorney and leave the screwing to the Police and DA.

    Number 2 seems the path of least risk to your freedom. Never forget that our “Justice System” is rules of evidence/previous court rulings confounded, and that you are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. MOST Juries “get” that based on my experience serving on a few criminal trials with some total-morons amongst each Jury.

    It is the job of the Police to do their best to make sure what you depict as a DGU is NOT a case of covering-up foul play. They, although they may never consciously admit it, are looking at you as at least probably guilty of some wrong-doing, especially if there’s a dead guy lying on your property and it looks like you shot ’em. If the Police were all “Pollyanna” about these things, a lot of people would literally get away with murder.

    So, I do not begrudge the Police acting with a suspicious nature. It’s probably best that they do, but I am not going to help them get me convicted of a crime I did not commit. As someone else said, in effect, it’s probably a good thing criminals haven’t figured out the best defense is to STFU and consult with an Attorney before giving “your story” to the Police… because they are NOT your friend…it’s not their job to be your friend.

  15. I never thought it possible, but there are more lawyers here than were in my basic training company. If only it were possible to get advice from an actual attorney while in the process of finding one that you would like to have in your phone.

  16. Gentlemen? The study listed in the post is good, you want more? LTC Dave Grossman covers this ground quite thoroughly in On Combat, I believe in the second chapter, and be sure to read the entire book.

    If you have never been in an adrenalin rush situation you really can’t understand how freely you will talk, given the opportunity.

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