In Meatloaf’s Paradise by the Dashboard Light, the hormone-crazed singer’s girlfriend won’t let him score a home run until and unless he promises to love her forever. His initial response: “Let me sleep on it. Baby baby let me sleep on it. Let me sleep on it, I’ll give you my answer in the morning.” When it comes to providing your version of events to the police after a defensive gun use (DGU), same answer. Do NOT submit to a police interview until at least 24 hours later. Say “My life was in danger.” Then STFU, contact your lawyer and put some time between the incident and your official statement or interview. How important is this? Let’s check in with our friends at the Chicago Police Department via an email blast from the Force Science Institute . . .
Late last year the IPRA ( Independent Police Review Authority) asserted that under the city’s contract with the FOP (Fraternal Order of Police) it had the right to compel an involved officer to give an official recorded interview within 2 hours of a shooting, regardless of the officer’s level of stress or sleep deprivation. FOP president Mike Shields characterized this as a “uniquely incorrect position” and pushed the matter to arbitration.
Recently arbitrator Peter Feuille ruled that unless an officer wants to talk sooner the IPRA must wait at least 24 hours after a shooting before its investigators can conduct a detailed interview and that the questioning can occur only between 0600 and 1800. If a shooting occurred at 7 pm, for example, at least 35 hours would then elapse before the interview is required .
FOP attorney Paul Geiger told Force Science News: “This gives the officer a chance to rest through 1 sleep cycle, collect himself, and consult with an attorney during reasonable hours in order to give an accurate account of what happened.
“We are not against an officer talking to the IPRA under Garrity protection. We just want him to be able to give an informed, thoughtful statement. Given how hectic and emotional a shooting situation is, we think the rest period is important.”
Fair’s fair, right? If the cop’s union rep can secure a 24-hour recuperation period for his fraternal brothers and sisters after an Officer Involved Shooting (OIS), your lawyer should do everything in their power to get the same “courtesy” for you, should you experience a You Involved Shooting.
Which raises another key, related point: after a DGU, the police are not your friend. Even outside of the political hellhole of Chicago, where the police keep the right to bear arms to themselves, the cops are a world unto themselves. Even though you pay for it, it’s not your world.
As far as the legal system is concerned, the cops are the good guys. Always. You? You’re a suspect in a shooting. Check out the ‘tude inherent in the end of the Force Science blast:
Chicago is on track to nearly double the number of OISs in 2011 if the current rate continues. As of July 21 police have shot 40 suspects this year, nearly as many as in all of 2010. This is a mid-year high compared to the last 4 years. Aggravated assaults and batteries of officers by the end of June had already exceeded the year’s total for 2000.
One OIS survivor, Ofcr. Danny O’Toole, who experienced 2 shootings in 2 weeks, told the Chicago Sun-Times: “The younger generation is brazen. They just don’t care.” FOP spokesman Pat Camden agreed. “There’s no fear of the police,” he said.
The newspaper noted: “No Chicago police officers have been charged with criminal wrongdoing involving shootings in recent memory.”