Good samaritans (courtesy officer.com)

“Police were searching the area of Sixth Street after a reported burglary when they spotted the suspect, Charles Cole,” officer.com reports. “Officials said that Cole became verbally aggressive and then assaulted an officer during a fight. [Benjamin] Lawson and [Levi] Miniard saw the altercation and came to the officer’s aid, helping him take Cole into custody . . . Franklin [Ohio] Police Chief Russ Whitman said that while he was happy the two men helped out, it’s not something he advises civilians to do. ‘These two felt they were able to do it safely and they did do it safely but . . .

we’d never ask a citizen to get involved if it’s going to risk them or someone else.'”

Safely. Right. Helping cops subdue a suspect can be done safely. More to the point, WTF? If this wasn’t a teachable moment for police/community relations, I don’t know what is. “We commend Mr. Lawson and Mr. Miniard for assisting an officer in apprehending a dangerous criminal. The police department doesn’t recommend that our fellow citizens put themselves in harm’s way. But we appreciate any and all assistance they can provide to keep our city safe for all citizens.”

Saying that, any armed American who draws his or her gun in aid of a police officer is asking for trouble. Responding officers will likely see a cop in distress and a non-cop with a gun and draw the wrong conclusion. You have been warned. But not thanked by the Boys in Blue for carrying a gun and being the first first responder. More’s the pity . . .

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127 Responses to Cops Don’t Want Your Help, Apparently

  1. Don’t waste your time. I have four times been on an (vehicle accident) scene and tried to help and tell the cops what happened and got treated like dirt. Never again.

    • Don’t do it for the sake of the police but do it for the injured ones. Moral convictions and all.

      Here in Norway it is a law, you have to help somebody at the scene of an accident.

      • It doesn’t work that way over here. You will get questioned as to what you are doing there and then told to move along or else.

        • And you stand an even chance of being sued by the victim if you do something even slightly wrong.

        • Last time I reported a victimless crime, ~ 1999 , I was accused of causing it. Since that time if I dont see blood I dont see anything.

    • Yep, they are taught that cops need to command the scene and be the all knowing, omnipotent force in any situation. And if they fail in any way, lie, bullshit and cover your ass until you can talk to your union rep.

    • One time? Sure, some cops are rude. Twice? O.K., maybe. Four times? BS – the problem is you, not them.

      • Sounds like someone who has a scanner in their car and maybe (sorta) hidden strobe lights “just in case” they have to stop and help at an accident.

      • BS yourself, I was there, you weren’t. One was a hit and run pedestrian accident, the other three were car or car/motorcycle..

        • My Dad has been the first to roll up on three accidents with injuries and rendered first aid until cops arrived. They were grateful. Another time a man walking downtown had a heart attack and vomited. Dad cleared his airway and a foot patrol cop (They still had these in Columbus, OH, in the ’80’s) helped him give the man CPR until an ambulance arrived.
          Most, if not all states, have “Good Samaritan that protect non-professionals from liability in emergency situations.
          As the Apostle Paul said, ” Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in good time we shall reap if we do not grow weary.” Gal. 6:9.
          Don’t give up.

      • re: “Officer”

        What’s the point you were trying to make?
        If it happens often, that means the police often put themselves opposite to other citizens. What kind of logic you have? Don’t tell us you are actually an “officer” , maybe a “B.S. officer”.
        B.S. to who? Yourself?

    • Right! Never get involved… stay out of the way! If you are an CCW EDC, then only draw your firearm if you’re directly facing a lethal threat. Otherwise, run away and leave it for the cops. If you want to do more than that, be ready to deal with the fallout of that decision.

      • One of the cases where my conscience couldn’t allow something like that. I don’t have a problem killing someone (if self-defense) but I do have a problem letting somebody die if I could have prevented it (for instance a car crash).

        Also, I believe most places have so-called Good Samaritan laws. Check your local laws about that.

        • I drive a semi pulling 53 foot reefers to deliver product to convenience stores. At least once a year I break up an altercation involving stupid drunk people. Every time except the most recent event, all I did was use my voice and openly dial 911 on my phone. Everyone blinks twice, stands up straight, gets in their cars, and drives away (drunk).

          At the most recent event, a riot broke out at the bar across the street from the store. The melee moved to my truck, and then to the store. Using my above method I was able to keep people from entering the store, but the two officers that arrived on the scene were immediately surrounded by the chaos and ended up back to back not knowing who to taze. Using my voice again (I have a pretty intimidating drill sargeant voice) I startled a good number of drunk people and cleared a path for the officers to move backward toward the building. Less than a minute later, lots of help arrived.

          I tell the story because the officers thanked me. They gave me no discouragement about doing the same thing again. Also, the only weapons I saw were the tazers the officers carried, which were never deployed. As soon as the other cop cars arrived on the scene, the flashing lights snapped everyone out of their rage and everybody left.

          Two points: Cops appreciate a friend when they are in need, and most of the time a confrontation voice and a call to 911 will diffuse a situation before any weapons are exposed.

  2. It sounds to me like they just don’t want anybody to get hurt. Think of it this way: an intruder breaks into your home at night, do you want your entire family helping you take him down? Maybe, some people probably do. But a lot of people would rather their loved ones take shelter and stay out of the way so they don’t risk being injured or killed. I find no fault in the police chief’s statement.

    • If my family knows how to shoot and has a gun they damn well better be helping me!

      Rule #1 of a gunfight: Bring a gun. Preferably at least two guns. Bring all your friends who have guns.

      • ^This, the Chief pretty well has to say things like this or else open the department up to all sorts of liability. Everything from tort suits to evidentiary rules are caught up in whether or not you chose to help the police for some internal reason or they asked you to help. Down on the sidewalk it’s a rare cop who, while taking a beating trying to subdue a suspect, won’t welcome your help.

    • That’s exactly what he meant. I don’t see how the author made the jump to cops not wanting help.

  3. well we chastise the cops for going postal on dogs and dressing up in military garb and shooting someone that does not have a weapon but deep down inside there is the divide between good guys and bad guys… and we do the right thing when the time calls for it…

  4. I personally love when citizens take action to help the police out. My co worker was wrestling with a bank robbery suspect by himself in a target parking lot by myself when a random shopper walked out and punched the dude in his face and broke his nose. I thought it was freaking awesome and we put him in for our departments citizen award

    • I once saw a fight between a small sheriffs deputy and one huge suspect on the law of a hotel who’s bar I was visiting. After watching long enough to see that the deputy was on the losing end of the fight I approached, picked up the deputies maglight started swinging for the big guys knees and hips. Eventually he put a hand down to protect himself and a hit to the wrist that echoed off the walls dropped him to the ground and stopped his resistance instantly (I’m never going to forget the gut wrenching aluminum on bone sound). Initially I was afraid I might have just gotten myself in a heap of trouble but my instinct was to save the ‘good guy’ and it was irrepressible. With the suspect down and handcuffed the deputy took back his flashlight and suggested that I leave the scene and never speak of it. It was good advice, I took it, and he left me out of his report. No names exchanged, nothing, no way for it to come back and hurt me somehow criminally or civilly. I’d say he appreciated the help quite a bit.

      I think that in a moment like that virtually every cop would appreciate some help, no one likes to get beaten up or possibly seriously injured or even killed. In these small villages and rural areas where I live back up can be quite a while arriving and sometimes it’s the passerby who’s going to be the only backup to arrive in time to do any good. There is also just a different vibe in a place like this than there is in a large city. Something I’ve learned from talking to local LEO’s (a great many of them hangout in a LGS that has become a shooters clubhouse) is that if you’re going to try to help, communicate your intention. What they are afraid of is that you’re coming to help the suspect. If you approach near but not too close asking if they need help you’re demonstrating that you’re on their side, just jumping in can lead to a lot of problems all the way around.

      As for traffic accidents and the like, it’s unconscionable out here not to stop and help if there aren’t emergency personnel already on scene. There isn’t a cop in the county who would think it was odd that someone without a uniform or credentials was out at the scene of an accident since most of the time when they get there that’s exactly what they find. My SUV is a treasure trove of things useful at such a scene and many of the supplies and such have come in very handy at various crashes I’ve stopped at. I’ve even been resupplied by EMTs giving me things off their truck to replace things I’ve used up at a scene. Then again, small towns, rural areas, the cities I’ve been in don’t have that sort of feel to them.
      As to being sued, Ohio has a good Samaritan law to shield non-professionals trying to render aid and, as with the deputy that night so many years ago, once I announce that I’m not a witness but stopped to help after the event no one has ever so much as asked me my name, let alone requested identification or made any official record of my having been there. I’m just not sure how anyone would know who to sue unless they knew me personally.

      I’m sure that if I see another crash scene or an officer involved in a struggle I’ll stop to help, I’ve yet to have a negative reaction to it, and it’s just the right thing to do.

    • http://www.wafb.com/Global/story.asp?S=4527526

      East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s spokesman Greg Phares says Officer Brian Harrision was escorting a funeral procession Friday when he pulled Temple over and wrote him a ticket for breaking into the procession. According to Phares, that’s when Temple attacked Harrison. Police say Perry Stevens was walking outside of the Auto Zone on Greenwell Springs Road when he heard Harrison yelling for help. Harrison was reportedly on his back with Temple on top of him. That’s when Stevens went to his car and grabbed his .45 caliber pistol.

      According to Col. Greg Phares, “[Mr. Stevens] orders Mr. Temple to stop and get off the officer. The verbal commands are ignored and Mr. Stevens fires four shots, all of which struck Mr. Temple.”

      Perry Stevens fired four shots into Temple’s torso. Officer Harrison had already fired one shot into Temple’s abdomen. With Temple still struggling with the officer, Perry continued to advance toward the scuffle.

      “He again orders Mr. Temple to stop what he was doing and get off the officer. Those commands are ignored and he fires a fifth shot and that hits his head. The incident is over with, and as you know, Mr. Temple is dead.”

      Cop knocked down after pulling feral freak over for cutting into a funeral procession, who’s so hopped up on rage that it takes a nearby Good Samaritan 5 .45ACP slugs to kill him.

  5. That’s some damn fine community relations right there!

    Give that Chief an MRAP. He’s gonna need it.

  6. Cop who taught my ccw class told us that if we ever saw a cop in need, we better damn well stop and assist even if we have to draw our weapons

  7. If someone needs my help and I know I can assist they will get it what uniform they are wearing makes no difference

  8. I see this statement as a product of our litigation happy country. Everyone has to CYA on everything to protect themselves and organizations. Imagine if he encourages people to come to the aid of officers and someone gets hurt. Suddenly the department has a lawsuit on their hands. It’s just easier.

    • Exactly. We’re not seeing a cop being a dick, we’re seeing the PD’s lawyer be a lawyer. There’s nothing wrong with his statement at all. People are just hating because an LEO said it.

        • Are we reading the same quote here? The one that says “We commend” and “We appreciate”? While the actual words “Thank you” aren’t there the sentiment sure is.

          Learn to read between the lines.

    • More correct than you might think. If you are called to aid a police officer, then you are an agent for the police, and any misconduct by you is attributable to the police department.

  9. This sounds more like a legal liability thing. If they came out and said “thanks for the help and we’d love to have more!” then they open themselves up for all sorts of liability issues.

    • Yep… just a run of the mill liability statement to cover their ass. Im sure the Officer appreciated the help… but if the guys would have gotten hurt while helping, would the PD be liable for their injuries? Sad that a police department needs to do ass covering like that but we live in a sue happy society these days.

      • No, that’s nonsense. One of the oldest maxims in law is “volenti non fit injuria.” Look it up.

        • That’s nice. Hey, how about all those homeowners who have been sued after a burglar gets injured trying to rob them. Use all the Latin you want, you’ll still get sued. And even if you’d win in the end, you’re going to have to get there. And cities usually try to settle anyway.

  10. First off all it didn’t sound like there were responding cops. Second if this “officer” can not handle one person, maybe he should be riding a bench instead of putting himself at risk. Third if those gentlemen had not helped the police would be asking people to point the perp out. Fourth if the cops can’t do the job, why are the taxpayers paying them? Fifth the chief should have praised the two for helping, not using it as an example why people should not help. My 2 cents worth.

    • The chief did thank them, twice if not more. In fact he “commended” them for their actions.

      Take off the “we must always hate cops” glasses for 5 min. Some are bad, some are not. Know the difference.

      • The problem is the “bad ones” are the majority, and always have been. I remember getting hassled by them back in the 1970’s as a teenager out riding motorcycles- I have no arrest record then or now, but they sure didn’t endear themselves to me.

        • “The problem is the “bad ones” are the majority, and always have been.”

          Sorry, but my experience has been the opposite. Even when I was getting rousted for DUI, they were always very professional. The fact that I never gave them any “lip” probably helps, but even drunk I’m not the kind of idiot that picks fights with people who carry guns and clubs and Mace and stuff.

        • I have seen both. That said it is probably a 80/20 split, with 80% of them being good people.

          In anything in life you usually get what you put into it. Treat cops with respect and you usually get that right back at you. Common sense is in such short supply these days.

        • My experience has been the opposite as well. Mostly good but the bad apples garner the most attention.

        • That makes sense, Rich. A libertarian is a conservative who’s had a run in with the law. =P

        • “That makes sense, Rich. A libertarian is a conservative who’s had a run in with the law.”

          That makes a lot of sense, but I believe I was born Libertarian. 🙂 I’ve always known intuitively that Free Will is always right, and authority is always wrong. Free Will gets blamed for all of the problems, but only a will that’s been overpowered and overridden by unloving intent is capable of doing any harm. It is the Nature of Free Will to do no harm. Without Free Will, compassion is impossible.

        • “In anything in life you usually get what you put into it. Treat cops with respect and you usually get that right back at you”.

          You guys didn’t live in the local area back in the late 60’s to early 70’s. It’s some better today, but back then if you were a teen on a mortorcycle, be prepared to get pulled over and hassled each time a cop car passed you. I lived it, I remember it well, and I was a clean cut dude not a punk out causing trouble.
          You guys help the cops all you like, I’ll pass thanks.

    • If it was an ATF cop getting his ass kicked? I’ll have to think about that; But a regular cop? Absolutely! Like I said; the cops out here in New Mexico have been great with my OC’ing. Plus, all the Sherriff’s Dept.’s out here except for one, has come out and publically said they would not enforce an unconstitutional gun law.

    • The video is on LiveLeak.com. This perp was giving the cop a run for his money in a see-saw battle.

    • “if this “officer” can not handle one person, maybe he should be riding a bench instead of putting himself at risk.”

      This is total nonsense. Seriously, give me an f’in break.

      Plenty of people can’t handle one person. UFC matches are a guy that can’t handle one person.
      I have a partner that is roughly six feet tall and 200 lbs. He went head-to-head with a dirtbag that was around 6’6″ and 270. Before we arrived, my partner was getting his ass kicked. I suppose he should be on the bench, though, right?

      Now, go ahead and tell me how you could totally always handle one guy on your own. For good measure, you should throw in how you are some sort of BJJ idiot-savant and a Krav-Maga champion.

      We should set something up so you can come out and go on a ride. We’ll find someone on PCP and you can show us how its done, superstar.

    • “Second if this “officer” can not handle one person, maybe he should be riding a bench instead of putting himself at risk.”

      Do you honestly think that the only good police officer is one who can, in hand to hand combat, defeat and arrest every person he could possibly come into contact with in every situation every time? By that standard there is no person who has ever existed who would quality to be a police officer. There is always someone bigger and badder, on the day you’re sick, who catches you unaware, and who is luckier than you that day. The only people who don’t know this to be true have never been in combat of any kind enough to learn it. On any given engagement, you can lose.

    • First: “Police were searching the area of Sixth Street after a reported burglary when they spotted the suspect, ” – officer.com

      Second: There is and will always be someone tougher/better than you out there, Does that mean you should sit at a desk all the time? No. Work out more? Maybe, wouldn’t hurt any. Run home to mamma? I guess if you wish to be a big baby about the big-bad world.

      Fourth: If you can do better, get the training and join the force. They apparently need super-cops that can stop anything including people so hopped up on PCP as they exhibit aggressive super-human traits until it wears off. Otherwise, shaddap already.

      Fifth: The officer involved was grateful enough to thank them and give them a fist-bump. – WDTN-TV News. The chief: Well, the immediate links do not say either way. He had to state the legal “helping” thing though to keep the city happy and protected from liability if something were to go wrong and somebody got hurt or killed.

  11. Call me crazy but I don’t see anything wrong with what they said. They thanked them, more than once but stated they do not recommend people to put them selves in harms way.

    Un-tie the knot in your panties. Sometimes TTAG is a little to drama queen for me.

  12. Ohio, says it all. Things are still different in the small towns down south. Big cities are just like up north.

    We help our own but they know us when they see us. This makes it much safer.

    • I live in and am from southern Ohio. Things really are different here compared to the cities. I don’t often relate some of the conventions and events here because they are ill-believed on the internet. This is one of those things:

      When I was about 17 and a senior in high school I happened by the local chief of police who also happened to be my science teacher. He looked to be getting the worst of a fight with someone he’d pulled over. I pulled in and asked if he needed help. He replied by asking if I had a gun. I responded that I did. He said that I should get it and shoot the suspect. I returned to my car, secured my revolver and came back the stage of their fight. I never even had to raise it; once the guy knew I had a gun, and having heard the instruction as plainly as I had, he immediately surrendered.

      Now, A 17 year old isn’t allowed to possess a handgun, nor at the time was anyone allowed to have one loaded in their vehicle. Not only did the chief know me well enough to be fairly sure I had a gun, he was pretty sure I’d use it on his instruction/permission. I don’t know if I would have shot that guy or not, but he was apparently convinced I would and that was enough. Of course the chief never mentioned it again, and there was no discussion of my unlawfully possessed, unlawfully stored handgun either. There is a lot to be said for small towns and one of those things is that actually knowing the police as people, and them knowing you, makes them a lot less threatening and vice versa.

  13. That statement is about liability, if heaven forbid someone gets involved and is killed by the BG, or mistakenly shot by responding officers if the police chief had said he wanted MORE people to intervene he could be held partially liable and it could cost the city money. Thats the messed up world we live in where a lawyer writes all public statements.

        • In the sane world that may work but legal sanity doesn’t apply in Chicago and Cook County (where I live). A pregnant woman last year decided to run from a traffic stop, almost running the officer at her drivers side window over, the officer decided to deploy his tazer, in no small part because the woman also happened to be pregnant. Woman gets zapped, goes to jail..sues the city because she was tazed while pregnant and the city settled. The moral of the story? big cities settle and a case with even a shaky legal argument is likely to cost a major city major money in the courts.

        • You could be less pompous and just say “assumption of the risk.” Which does not apply to the perp injured by the overly aggressive actions (“excessive force”) of the volunteer(s) that violate his civil rights. Moreover some, perhaps a majority, of states have adopted sliding scale comparative fault, and applied that to assumption of the doctrine, such that it is no longer a complete defense to liability. So for example, if in coming to the assistance of the police officer, the officer negligently discharges his weapon, injuring one of the would be rescuers, assumption of the risk doctrine would not be a complete defense to a claim against the officer.

        • Okay, I looked it up. The fact that there’s a section right there on the esteemed wikpedia that is labeled “Unsuccessful attempts to rely on volenti” should tip one off that speaking in Latin doesn’t make you a lawyer.

          “This case is one of the many in which the courts have refused to hold rescuers who have suffered in their rescue attempts to have negligently contributed to their injuries or accepted the risks involved in their rescue attempt. This applies to both amateur and professional rescuers.”

        • I don’t hold either the knowledge or the practice of law cheap Ralph. I know that even legal scholars <=lawyers. I would not cheapen your skillset or the experience you gained both in law school and since. However, volenti non fit injuria is not a blanket defense. If the chief of police were to say that citizens ought to enter violent situations to assist officers and one of these citizens is injured, the department is open to liability based on the chiefs request. Additionally, if the chief endorses citizens coming forth to assist officers in an arrest and the suspect is unduly injured by the citizen the department could be held liable for the injuries thus caused. There is also the issue of evidentiary rules regarding those who work at the behest of the police versus those who do so without formal collusion. What the chief has done is carefully sidestep a multitude of potential legal issues.

          Also, there is the possibility that, if not rebuffed, officers would find themselves with too many citizens 'helping' and in fact creating an unsafe and problematic situation.

          If you were the attorney for the city, what sort of statement would you have had the chief make?

  14. Re: Frank Masotti…. perhaps one day you will actually become involved in a life and death struggle with a drug crazed felon who is facing mandatory life with out parole and will kill to keep from ” going back” until then I find your comment childish and totally without merit. On one point you are correct that thanks are in order to the citizens but I am sure encouraging such behavior is against the legal departments advice and the Chief knows it.

    • The chances of that actually happening are almost the same as being struck by lightning or hitting all 6 lottery numbers.

  15. Wow Robert you are assuming a lot here. The anti-cop attitude is very clear here. Here is an education, for liability reasons you are ignorant of the city had to discourage this behavior.

      • Where did you? Or, more importantly, where did the lawyer who will sue the city hoping for a settlement even if he wouldn’t win on the merits (because the city doesn’t want to bother trying it). Liability is everywhere in this society.

  16. 1- He probably had a talk with a city attorney who is scared shiiteless about the possibility of the city being indemnified by a civilian good samaritan being hurt helping the police.

    2- They do not want “civilians” doing “police work”. Makes it harder to justify training budgets if “any joe can do it” without the 40 annual hours of pencil whipped training.

  17. Sorry. I’m not jumping in just because it’s a cop. A woman or a kid yes. In a one on one tussle between a heavily armed armor wearing cop? Do I know why he’s fighting with the ” suspect”? Nope. I’ll call 911. They sure won’t pay your medical bills if you get hurt.

    • I wouldn’t waste my time on a cop. Back when hurricane Ike hit here, we had over two weeks with no power and no police anywhere in sight.
      The only time I saw cops in my neighborhood was when a lady down the street was scared to death of some stray dogs going in her yard and a couple cars showed up.

    • Exactly. Any other non-armed government employee / non-politician, I’d help out. The others, well they view themselves as so “superior” that clearly they don’t need my help. Besides, even if you helped successfully, they’re still likely to shoot or arrest you for hurting their egos.

      • Stay the hell out of the way. Let the operators operate. Besides I very seldom leave home without my dog so it seems prudent for both of us to stay as far away from cops as possible.

      • No such thing. There are female officers, a true lady is a completely different thing.
        The last female cop I encountered (white) at a traffic accident left such a bad taste with me that I will never stop and help again.
        Two white teens (boy and girl) in a Jeep ran a stoplight and a Black dude in a car hit them broadside and flipped the Jeep on it’s side. He had a green light, I know the area well. I was the third car back from the Jeep and saw exaclty what the idiots did- no one was hurt.
        She blamed the Black guy and gave him the ticket. I tried to tell her she was wrong and she got arrogant and asked me why all the other witnesses said different? Probably because they weren’t there prehaps?

  18. That’s not what I got from watching the video. The Chief said, “I think its great”. Of course they can’t “ask” you to get involved or they’d have some serious liability. I think he sounded pretty appreciative.

  19. All the chief said was that he wouldn’t ASK anyone to help out if they thought it would be a risk to their safety. That reads more like a CYA statement to me in case someone got hurt in the future and said, “Hey, the chief asked us to help!” He commended the 2 for helping the officer. Also, that was a pretty weak effort trying to tie this incident in with anything gun related at the end. The conclusion you drew is completely unsupported by this article. This incident had nothing to do with guns or the usage/carrying of, just a police chief making a release-of-liability statement after thanking 2 guys for helping his officer out.

  20. I had one really bad knock-down, drag-out fight where I would have gladly welcomed the help.

    This chief obviously didn’t work the street very much or for very long. Good grief.

  21. So much cop hate from this site lately. Police need to be better in the community and need to be friendlier again, but TTAG is turning into LE hate 101.

  22. I see nothing wrong with the Chief’s statement. I heard him in the video and read the quotes. He didn’t even appear to misuse the word “civilian”. Instead, he referred to them as citizens; as in fellow citizens.

    For the record, I have been involved in helping track down felons and I wouldn’t have likely been inclined to help in the situation that I saw on the video. I’m also not who one would particularly call “pro-law enforcement” as its practiced today.

  23. Police are not obligated to help you, and the same goes the other way. Keep in mind, as well, you do not have the protection under the law that they do.

  24. Evidently, Cops don’t need your help, If they cant taken the guy down physically, their egos act as backup.

  25. After hearing so many times when somebody helps out and the police always have to throw in something about even if the person helped they don’t want people jumping in it made me even more pleased to see this in the local news blog and on the police departments facebook and press release.
    http://lostcoastoutpost.com/2014/jun/11/video-shows-citizen-aiding-eureka-police-officer-d/
    It in a small city in Northern Ca. And the local sheriff issues carry permits to most eligible people. Granted, the cop was suposably asking for help so them saying he shouldn’t have jumped in would be a bit ridiculous but I was happy with the effort they put into publicly thanking the man, even if they misidentified him in the beginning. Personally I think it shows they have some level of respect for people taking self defense seriously.

  26. I am sure many readers are familiar with the Newhall shooting (sometimes call Newhall Massacre(. Felony stop gone horribly wrong.

    The first two officers were killed quickly, two more showed up and joined battle with the felons. Neither hit either, but were struck themselves. It was a passerby, Gary Kness iirc, that jumped out his truck, tried to drag one wounded officer to safety and ended up taking that officer’s service revolver and returning fire…scoring the only hit on one of the bad guys during the whole fiasco, though unfortunately not incapacitating. He promptly ran out of ammo. The other cop also did, and right as he was closing the cylinder having loaded the 6th round one of the felons snuck up and executed him point blank They did flee after that when a 5th cop showed, with the wounded felon engaging in yet another firefight with a civilian (who had an Enfield revolver), who unfortunately ran out of ammo and got pistol whipped by the felon who then stole his camper.

    While there were many lessons to be learned (the CHP became the first department in the country to adopt speedloaders after that, and start practicing with the same ammo they carried), it does seem very likely that that “civilian” saved that 5th officer. After all the two felons had already killed the 4 officers that had arrived, a single cop shows up…I think being wounded changed things.

    Anyhow, I do recall that the training videos and the legacy of it within the CHP rarely, if ever, contain any mention of that civilian who came to their aid.

  27. Quite a few cops I know have a story where they were helped out by a citizen who just happened to be there. One got his ass saved by a criminal he’d locked up a few times. There’s plenty of appreciation for it. But even the specter of liability will get the higher-ups, driven by lawyers, to qualify their statements.

  28. If help is needed you help.
    Anyone can be outmatched in some circumstances
    If you really are expecting praise for doing the right thing, then you are obviously not an experienced rescuer, of any description.

  29. Worst POS article I’ve ever read on here. Not the underlying story, but the editorializing. This was one that should have never been posted.

    • Couldn’t agree more. Kinda wish TTAG will do less cop-bashing, what about some positive LEO stories?

        • The vast majority of cops are good cops, and good people in general. They just don’t get any press. It’s like the old adage in the press: “If it bleeds, it leads.”

          I’ve never had a bad encounter with cops, albeit that could be because I don’t give them any trouble.

        • “I’ve never had a bad encounter with cops, albeit that could be because I don’t give them any trouble”.

          Consider yourself the most fortunate of men, because I didn’t either and had the exact opposite experience- so have several other folks I know..

  30. What the chief should have said: “Folks, the next time that you see one of my guys getting the short end of the stick in a fight, please do not jump in and beat the snot out of the perp, kick him in the nut sack or in any way jeopardize your wellbeing, not that I recommend doing any of those terrible things as a way of helping one of my guys who is getting the short end of the stick in a fight, you understand?”
    Seriously, the two passersby probably will not get a ticket from a FPD officer no matter how they drive!

  31. What the Chief is saying is good advice to the average citizen, but he’s not speaking for all police officers everywhere…

    I’m sure any officer having a hard time with any suspect would welcome civilian assistance or even the posing of the question if they presented an offer to help. But that has it’s risks for the helpful civilian: risk of injury for example.

  32. Look @ how many lawyersin your area that specialize in personal injury. It’s likely more than the doctors you have. I do know EVERY statement I ever gave to the press was either written or reviewed & approved by cities lawyer. This country has become so lawsuit happy it’s sickening. There are legit suits but how many clog courts & raise insurance because you burned your mouth drinking hot coffee or tripped over your dog broken arm then sue your homeowners. Both true I got deposed for both being 1st on scene & giving basic 1st. aid. They both settled out of court with insurance co. Undisclosed sum sealed.

  33. As usual, Farago has his spin…

    What the hell is a police chief supposed to say: “All you armchair commandos and wannabe’s strap on some iron and get out here and protect and serve!” No, he’s giving the political answer that his leashholders expect…same one any politician would give.

    You piss and moan about the system, then you piss and moan when citizens take an active part in helping the police? What is your solution exactly?

    Yeah, I do agree that being a person in plain clothes with a gun in your hand when the cavalry shows up can be a bad thing…but as long as you handle yourself correctly and use some common sense…

    And the Chief can go f#CK himself anyway, sitting all safe in his office. The cop on the street, and their family, will most definitely appreciate the help when the chips are down.

    • “The cop on the street, and their family, will most definitely appreciate the help when the chips are down.”

      Be that as it may, they’re getting paid to tangle with suspects and I’m not. Besides that, I stand more chance of getting hurt or in trouble if I go butt my nose into some cop’s business. I don’t have a videocam-phone, but I can call 911 and say, “officer needs help.”

  34. I commend the two individuals who assisted the officer. However sometimes a citizen who is trying to help can become more of a nuisance or generally escalate the situation.

  35. I have been both helped and hindered during bad times on duty. I was, and still am, truly grateful to the ones that helped me.

  36. Another soldier I was deployed with in my last trip to the sandbox was a Prescott, Arizona (if I remember correctly) Sheriffs Deputy and was talking about his schedule. Usually, at night there were only a few officers working and backup could take a while, depending one where you were. Inevitably when the conversation came to 2A, he replied that in many situations, his only backup is an armed citizen.

    • He’s right.

      I worked as a city cop in a smallish town by “city” standards (50,000 pop) and then a rural Sheriff’s Office. The county was one of the top fastest growing counties in the country at the time, so it was having some ‘growing pains.’

      The rural nature was an important point on the SO. Backup could be more than 45 minutes away, easy.

      I always thought that because of that, it made a lot of sense to not be a d1ck to people. You never know who you might want helping you out of a jam. So, if you can’t not be a d1ck because that’s morally right, at least don’t be a d1ck for that practical reason.

      I personally knew cops that people outright said, “I would not help that SOB out of anything.” Shoot; I knew cops that said they’d drag their feet on an assistance call for some of our “officers.”

      Always tried to treat folks as folks…not inferior animals. Unfortunately, that kind of ‘old school attitude’ sure seems less prevalent these days.

      • You sound like you were an officer I coulda liked….Are you sure your initials are not A.T. with a son named “Opie” . ..grin…

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