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#224444 - 05/27/11 02:54 PM Re: Knife rights and five seconds to live. [Re: Pete]
Russ Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 4914
Loc: SOCAL
This happened a while back. As I recall the victim here was near deaf and probably did not hear the call to drop his "weapon". Regardless, the knife itself was legal in Seattle and when recovered at the crime scene, it was closed.

This has less to do with knife laws and more to do with misconduct on the part of this particular now former-LEO. From eye witness accounts and police video, the victim did nothing to initiate the incident.

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#224447 - 05/27/11 03:20 PM Re: Knife rights and five seconds to live. [Re: Pete]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2946
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Pete
Whatever happened to a warning shot by a peace officer?


To the best of my knowledge there is no law enforcement agency that currently trains or permits the use of warning shots. As with everyone who carries guns, the police are responsible for every bullet that they shoot.

Using a taser, on the other hand, might well have been justifiable.

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#224448 - 05/27/11 03:24 PM Re: Knife rights and five seconds to live. [Re: Art_in_FL]
JBMat Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 03/03/09
Posts: 745
Loc: NC
Warning shots are basically a legend, much as shoot to wound.

You fire when you have a clear site picture, and you aim center mass so as to ensure a hit.

Hollywood is the only place you fire a warning shot and then shoot a gun out of someone's hand.

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#224451 - 05/27/11 03:56 PM Re: Knife rights and five seconds to live. [Re: Art_in_FL]
quick_joey_small Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/13/09
Posts: 489
Loc: UK
>Crimes perpetrated by the watchmen are far more serious than those >committed by common citizens as they're entrusted with the public >good.

So you don't think people should be treated equally before the law?
Policemen know they are the one minority it's considered enlightened to be in favour of persecuting.
I'm still waiting for a 'civil liberties' organisation to defend a cops right to silence. They only want civil liberties for people they like.
qjs

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#224454 - 05/27/11 04:44 PM Re: Knife rights and five seconds to live. [Re: quick_joey_small]
paramedicpete Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
Quote:
So you don't think people should be treated equally before the law?


Actually, many professionals in many fields are legally held to a higher standard based upon the idea they have received education and training above and beyond that of the average citizen.

Pete

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#224456 - 05/27/11 04:59 PM Re: Knife rights and five seconds to live. [Re: Art_in_FL]
quick_joey_small Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/13/09
Posts: 489
Loc: UK
>Actually, many professionals in many fields are legally held to a >higher standard based upon the idea they have received education >and training above and beyond that of the average citizen.

That is fair. If the training is relevant. If say I've had many hours of safe handling training, but still wave my gun around like an idiot. I should be punished more than someone who doesn't know what they are doing.

But the idea that just because I'm a cop, I should be automatically punished more for any crime and have nil legal rights isn't.
qjs

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#224457 - 05/27/11 05:29 PM Re: Knife rights and five seconds to live. [Re: quick_joey_small]
Phaedrus Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2155
Loc: Great Plains
Originally Posted By: quick_joey_small


But the idea that just because I'm a cop, I should be automatically punished more for any crime and have nil legal rights isn't.
qjs


Yet you probably will be. You can't have it both ways; assaulting an officer is generally held as a more serious crime than assaulting a fellow citizen based on the theory that you're attacking the whole of society. And one entrusted with representing society is often held to a higher standard.

Specialized training can also lead one to being held to a different legal standard. For instance, a professional boxer who kills someone in a bar fight will likely be judged differently than an untrained person because of his specialized skills. It's just the way the law works.

It should go without saying that we're basing these comments only on the facts as they have been presented; there may be important bits of the puzzle that we've not been shown. This is a discussion on an internet forum, not a trial in a court of law. However, it doesn't look like there'll be a trial. That's tragic since at first face is looks like an unjustifiable homicide.
_________________________
“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” Naguib Mahfouz

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#224460 - 05/27/11 05:45 PM Re: Knife rights and five seconds to live. [Re: quick_joey_small]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3077

Quote:
But the idea that just because I'm a cop, I should be automatically punished more for any crime and have nil legal rights isn't.


Cops commit crimes everyday, they are just like any other part of society and in this case one of Seattle's finest committed murder.

Here lies the problem of Quis custodiet ipsos custodes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quis_custodiet_ipsos_custodes

This cop hasn't been charged with murder and justice has not yet been served. Failure to do so will just eventually lead to further violence within Seattle as public resentment will grow.

There has been plenty of information regarding the previous background of the victim and virtually none regarding this cop.

There will be plenty of folks doing there hardest to ensure that this cop isn't prosecuted if only to protect there own positions especially if this cop has been previously involved in other acts of unjustifiable violence either whilst serving in the Seattle police force or in a previous career.

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#224462 - 05/27/11 07:03 PM Re: Knife rights and five seconds to live. [Re: quick_joey_small]
juhirvon Offline
Newbie

Registered: 03/09/11
Posts: 36
From http://www.seattleweekly.com/2011-02-23/news/ian-birk-why-he-wasn-t-charged-and-what-happens-next/
"(...)Last week, although SPD's own Firearms Review Commission deemed the shooting "unjustified" and Birk resigned, there was still anger (although not enough to provoke a riot; see above) directed at King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg for not charging Birk. But that decision was inevitable, as Washington law protects officers like Birk from prosecution over the use of deadly force in all but the most egregious cases.

That specific state law (RCW 9A.16.040) lists 10 different ways in which a peace officer can legally kill someone—including one that says an officer can do so if he or she has "probable cause to believe that the suspect, if not apprehended, poses a threat of serious physical harm to the officer or a threat of serious physical harm to others."

(...)

But to take this point further, the law also says that "a public officer or peace officer shall not be held criminally liable for using deadly force without malice and with a good faith belief that such act is justifiable pursuant to this section." In other words, Satterberg would have had to prove that Birk didn't actually believe Williams posed a threat and that he shot him with the direct intention of committing a crime.

Proving what anyone believes is a nearly impossible legal task. Thus, it's the law itself, more than anything else, that kept Birk from being held criminally liable for Williams' death."

-jh

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#224491 - 05/28/11 01:37 AM Re: Knife rights and five seconds to live. [Re: Pete]
Art_in_FL Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2432
Hmmm ... thread not locked ... good sign.

Originally Posted By: Pete


[...] And why does it require ten deputies to subdue one man who is shot and lying motionless on the ground?

The police have a very difficult job to do. But there needs to be a better balance in their response to incidents like this.

There is a phobia about knives in this country. It's weird - almost some sort of deep primeval fear. Maybe it comes from the ridiculous number of Hollywood horror shows that show people getting carved up.

Anyway - the takeaway is to be careful how you carry a knife in public. And perhaps avoid doing it near civic centers.

Pete #2


I think you nailed a big part of the story there Pete.

Some of this might come down to rote learning of police academy classes where an instructor might repeatedly drill the students that you tell a knife holder to drop the knife three times and 'then you shoot them'. Police Academy 101 taken too literally. Fact, under stress people revert to lower levels of understanding and loose the nuances in their training. Was Birk under inordinate stress?

The other thing that pops up related to police training is the nuget of conventional wisdom that 'A man with a knife can kill you faster than you can use a gun'. This is sometimes stated as 'within 25' a knife is faster than a gun'.

Like most such bromides there is a grain of truth. In a situation where the knife man can use concealment a highly trained or talented person with a knife, a cross between a ninja and 'Mack the knife', can cover ground so fast, and inflict so much damage, that they might, conceivably, get the drop on an inattentive person carrying a gun and kill them before they can shoot.

Thing is that Williams, half drunk or better, doesn't strike me as being ninja material. A street corner in broad daylight limits opportunity for sneaking up on a person unaware. Birk seemed much more aware, alert, and prepared than Williams.

The one thing that sticks out in this is just how frightened the police seem to be. The initial shooting seems to be a combination of reversion to simpler levels of understanding, rote learning, and fear. But after that it is all fear. IMHO irrational fear. Holding gun/s on prostrate victims when they are pretty clearly no longer a credible threat. it is likely policy. But what were they thinking? Maybe he had a bomb vest? That the knife was a super weapon? That he might pop up and slash them all to pieces?

Waiting until you have ten officers present and forming a tactical stack seems to point toward irrational fear and deep need for reassurance and support. That it was the police feeling small and weak when confronted with a half-drunk guy with a knife using a cross walk. He even crossed with the light. Clearly a well mannered and traffic aware slasher ... the best kind.

One thing is clear; people who carry knives need to be aware that much of the public, and some police, see a knife, no matter how small and innocently carried as an immediate deadly threat. As people move toward electronics and away from hands-on use of tools this inordinate fear is only likely to grow.

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