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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:27 am 
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Impaired Thinking. One's very "ability to think in a rational, creative, and reflective manner" is likely to be reduced or perhaps eliminated under mortal threat conditions.

This "will generally cause a massive block of the brain's ability to process thought functions."183 The inability to process thought functions rationally and reflectively will have an obvious effect on one's ability to clearly sort out whether the situation is appropriate for the use of lethal force.

Tunnel Vision, Temporary Blindness, and Auditory Exclusion ("tunnel hearing"). Other physiological changes impact not only the ability of the handgun shooter, but the safety of innocent bystanders: tunnel vision, temporary blindness, and auditory exclusion (also known as "tunnel hearing").

According to expert Ayoob, these are a result of a primeval decision in the cortex of the brain that "there is only one thing that concerns us now, destroying or escaping the thing that is attempting to destroy us....The eyes still see and the ears still hear, but the cortex of the brain is screening out anything that is extraneous."

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:32 am 
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Do we think the police here _were affected by all this as written above?

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Law enforcement officers "rarely take flight, rarely freeze, and rarely fight out of control during a deadly force encounter because they continually train to confront problems.

They are successful because they are trained to use to their advantage the natural physical, emotional, perceptual, and cognitive changes that occur during the fear response." _Alexis Artwohl and Loren W. Christensen, Deadly Force Encounters: What Cops Need to Know to Mentally and Physically Prepare for and Survive a Gunfight (Boulder, Colo.: Paladin Press 1997)


Did they??

Think this will be enough for a successful defense arguments against the law suits surely to come by the injuried people?

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 2:42 pm 
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I don't know what will be enough to win lawsuits, but it seems to me that 10/16 under the circumstances was pretty good, and the decision to fire when drawn upon was 100% correct. The liability question seems to me rather whether they initiated the confrontation and were able to choose their lines of fire, and if so, whether they chose well or poorly given their options. Speaking of options, did I see the bystander on the park bench flee along the officer's line of fire?

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:00 pm 
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Details may change, but...

http://abcnews.go.com/news/t/blogEntry?id=17083629

http://articles.cnn.com/2012-08-26/us/u ... ee-bullets

Suicide by cop and taking the perceived cause of your pain with you?

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I was dreaming of the past...


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 3:19 pm 
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I've very impressed by the posts so far. We've gathered quite a learned and experienced group. And many unanswerable questions have been raised.

Here's an interesting piece from an article that Mike K cited.

Business Insider wrote:
A man hit in the elbow when police fatally shot the Empire State Building gunman is now suing the city, saying police should have received better training.

I suggest that Robert Asika's lawyer will need to offer what that "better training" looks like. Absent that, he may not have a reason to sue other than the simple fact that any individual who fires a gun should be responsible for the destiny of that round.

What "responsibility" entails is the real question. When the reason for firing is that the officers were facing deadly force, well then perhaps the ultimate responsibility lies with the gunman who created the dangerous situation in the first place. So, why then aren't the victims going to sue this gunman who allegedly already had killed an innocent person in cold blood and then put an entire crowd of people at risk by drawing his weapon on a crowd of police officers? I mean that's like swatting a bees' nest with a baseball bat in that crowd and expecting people not to get stung.

The simple answer is Sutton's Law. The trial attorney's don't care about culpability so much as they pay attention to where the deep pockets are. It's a sad but predictable commentary on United States tort law. Like the very scenario they're litigating over, the guilty don't get all they deserve and innocent bystanders - in this case those with deep pockets - take a hit.

Business Insider wrote:
"We believe that there were too many rounds fired under the circumstances, and perhaps there should be more of an exploration of whether these officers had the proper training," Asika's lawyer Michael Lamonsoff told The Village Voice, adding that his client is still receiving medical attention and might have a neurological impairment now.

While Lamonsoff doesn't deny the officers had a right to defend themselves against Johnson, who reportedly pulled a gun on police but never fired, he does question whether police took things too far.

Lamonsoff can explore all he wants. But here's the reality.

  • The alleged murderer pulled a gun and pointed it at a crowd of police officers in front of the New York City Empire State Building during rush hour. What was he thinking???
    ...
  • Rules of engagement here are clear. The officers were entitled to use deadly force. And it was their responsibility to see to it that this threat to public safety was neutralized as quickly and efficiently as possible.
    ...
  • There was no time for the officers to vote among themselves over who was to fire and who wasn't. If each fired at least two rounds - and that's the protocol they're taught - and you have a group of police officers who have been challenged, well then it gets down to simple arithmetic.
    ...
  • All the training in the world may mitigate normal physiologic responses under the circumstances, but it won't completely eliminate it. Given their hit ratio was higher than average, the statistics speak for themselves. A case can be made that their training was effective, and the results were about as good as they could have been -- under the circumstances.

The only argument I can see which could be effective can be uncovered from Van's line of questioning. Did the manner and timing in which police confronted the gunman create a bad situation? Was there a better alternative?

In my opinion, it's going to be difficult to make the case that the safety of the public was better served by allowing an unknown, armed, recent murderer to walk away and into a crowd of people. Remember the context; New York City is the birthplace of 9/11-style terrorist activity. Predictive modeling experts - and I am one - will tell you that the best predictor of the immediate future is the immediate past. Lacking more information, what was the best course of action for the NYPD? And 20/20 hindsight doesn't count. You have minutes to act on a recent murder, and a second at most to respond to deadly force.

At the end of the day, training matters. Was the training correct, and was it properly applied?

- Bill


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:10 pm 
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I agree with all Bill and others have said. However we read this_
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Wounded bystanders have successfully sued police in the past.

William H. Cooper, who represented a bystander shot in the head by police during a gunfight with a robbery suspect on a Bronx street in 2000, said such cases typically boil down to officers trying to show that "the danger to the public was so excessive that they had every right to discharge their weapon" and plaintiffs arguing that deadly force "created such a danger to others that the risk didn't equal that decision."

In that case, city officials settled with the partially paralyzed man, Wilson Ramos, for $6 million.

In another civil case, the family of a woman taken hostage in 1993 by a bank robbery suspect and then killed by police exchanging fire with the gunman was awarded nearly $4 million. The appeals court found "police violated clearly established protocols and procedures," partly because police guidelines tell officers not to fire when shooting will unnecessarily endanger innocent people.

But in another case, the state's highest court threw out a negligence lawsuit from a woman who was hit by a police bullet during a 2005 shootout between officers and a suspect on a Harlem street. The Court of Appeals found the officers were justified in firing because they had a clear view of the suspect and hadn't seen the bystanders.

___
Associated Press writers Verena Dobnik and Larry Neumeister contributed to this report.

Snip_

The biggest problem we faced in my claims office was the huge cost of defense, investigation, discovery etc. _ plus the concern that in court, many juries disregard the liability picture and find for the plaintiff solely on the damages.

In the majority of the cases the 'money people' at the top_would command us to settle instead of proceeding with litigation.

It will be interesting to see how far this is going to go.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 9:14 pm 
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The proper way to handle this is the way the Commonwealth of Virginia handled the Virginia Tech shootings. They awarded a monetary sum to every family of an injured student who chose not to litigate. It's the right thing to do.

Let the trial lawyers starve.

- Bill


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