Moderator: Van Canna
How do you present yourself after the incident? How do the responding police and investigator(s) perceive you? Are you evasive or combative with them, telling them you won’t answer anything until you talk with a lawyer. Or, are you helpful to the extent your lawyer has advised you to be?
You have consulted a lawyer before the incident, haven’t you? The lawyer I consulted gave me the same advice given by Suarez International, “I’m the victim, he tried to do X to me, his weapon is there and those people over there saw/heard what happened.”
Is that always the perfect answer, probably not, but in my opinion it’s a better answer than “I’m not talking and you can’t make me” while the thug’s friends and family paint a picture of him being the model citizen who was soliciting money to donate to the orphanage in between working at his home based pharmaceutical business.
Finally, while you did your best to avoid the issue, they pressed the confrontation and attacked with sufficient force to justify a gun solution.
You shoot one of them, wounding him, and the other runs off. You saw the first man drop his pistol in a clump of ivy and the other man throw his knife on a rooftop as he ran away.
You immediately call 911 and give a very cryptic account of what happened..."there has been a shooting...I'm the victim...send help".
In the meantime, one of the assailants...the one who got away, is also calling. His story is a little different. According to him you called them "dirty Norwegians", and pulled your gun on them and shot his buddy. As far as the police know...they got two calls. One a cryptic call, from someone who seemed to be concealing somet6hing, and another reporting what amounts to a racial hate crime.
They arrive on scene and after controlling the event, ask you what happened. What you do now will have a bearing on the rest of your life.
The guys who advocate saying nothing will not be able to point to the two weapons which were discarded...and which will disappear as soon as the scene is cleared. The police may not even look for them since no one told them they were in existence. No one will tell them you are a good guy who was a victim of an attempted robbery, as the ONLY info paints you as some KKK wannabe.
Sure...you'll have a lawyer...but all of the evidence the police may have collected will no longer be available, and the investigation will not have been an even and equal one, but rather one where you alone are the suspect.
See the point??
Is it hard to control your mouth? Yes it is. But no harder than to control your trigger finger, your desire to drink to excess, or to control the vertical displacement of your zipper. As the Nike commercial said....Just Do It.
It, like many other things, can be trained and developed. If you ignore it, it will never be developed.
Think in these terms...you train gun handling and shooting skills to make them reflexive in the most stressful event someone is ever likely to face....and we tend to do fine. The guys who never train...thinking they will "rise to the occasion" usually fail. To say, "I will simply say nothing", is in that same line of thinking is it not?
I agree that saying nothing is a good default, but the default is not always a good idea.
What I have done with success is this. I give a limited statement and them excuse myself from any further questions until my mouthpiece arrives.
Anything I say focuses on what the bad guy(s) have done and not on what I may have done. Something like this -
"Officer. I am glad you are here. Thank God.
I am a good guy. I was minding my own business on my way home when those two guys attacked me.
The one in the blue shirt had a knife. He threw it up there on the roof as he ran away. there should be some blood on it from my arm when I blocked his attempt to stab me.
The guy on the gurney was armed with a pistol. He dropped it right there in that pile of ivy when he fell.
I was terrified. Boy am I glad you guys are here.
Listen...I am still a little shaken up. I want to cooperate with you guys. This has never happened to me (or this hasn't happened in a while). I have heard stories of good guys getting sued for saying too much. My attorney is on his way and as soon as he arrives I will be happy to give a statement with him there. Until then, I think I need to sit down and calm my blood pressure."
At that point things are no longer in your control but you have set the investigation on the proper course, and the truth will be determined instead of being overlooked.
- Roman philosopher, mid-1st century ADSeneca quotes wrote:
Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.
So, I think what I need is general, guiding principles, mantras almost, and I'm trying to construct them based on what I'm reading here. Like:
1. Expect not to remember things. It's OK not to remember. Don't try to remember things until the next day.
2. Try to act like a witness, not a participant. Tell the officer what I saw, what he/they did.
3. When asked about what I did, see principle #1. It happened so fast. Emphasize that I'm shaken up and that I've never experienced anything like this before (100% true, no doubt).
Enjoying your page , loving the thread on the legal ramifications , excellent work very necessary .
I agree mostly with the conclusions of your thread , though I did think trying to report facts from a witness perspective to be risky , so much potential to say something seemingly to your advantage but for it to be used against you later with danger of contradicting yourself ...... I've talked to police interviewers before.
I have no illusions on how they can get what they want and can make the innocent trip over there own tongue.
A 26 year old was just convicted down here of killing a 53 year old man with a single punch in McDonald's , he got three years for manslaughter .... a week earlier someone got the same sentence for beating a puppy to death with a golf club ..... whats the world coming too ..... Justice and the law are a tricky combination at best.
I believe in keeping your mouth shut if your not sure and probably even if you are but I don't believe it's humanly realistic .
I think you should have a scenario story to stick too a framework in place in case you cannot remain quiet, in as such I mean not a fabricated tale, but a template in what you wish to establish, regardless of the situational details, because the details are what will be used for/against you in court.
What you wish to establish will not change and can be approached and supported without offering any evidence at the time of incident.
Basically establish your position/story, avoid the evidential details unless overwhelmingly in your favor, and in such a case let the evidence speak for itself.
Before and during the altercation sending a clear message to any witnesses through your actions is something that can be carefully practiced , seemingly calming defensive gestures/postures clear verbal and non verbal (body language) statements of avoiding escalation.
even techniques that look more accidental/incidental than purposeful should all be considered when training self protection .
When training self protection _practicing de-escalation in a proactive manner that has both the real chance of de-escalation and/or sets ourselves as the reasonable man both to witness while maintaining opportunity for practical cover to necessary pre-emption and or counter assault .
Being a good actor is important in scenario training , but remember in a real self protection scenario you need to be playing the avoider the de-escalator_
_ if you cant do that at least defining the boundaries' something as simple as being clear to stay back , this is all useful role-play work that can be combined with the technical skill training of the actual conflict , these skills should complement in strategy and physical application .
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