…apparently watch too many movies:
City cops are livid over a legislative proposal that could handcuff the brave officers involved in life-and-death confrontations every day — requiring them to shoot gun-wielding suspects in the arm or leg rather than shoot to kill, The Post has learned.
The “minimum force” bill, which surfaced in the Assembly last week, seeks to amend the state penal codes’ “justification” clause that allows an officer the right to kill a thug if he feels his life or someone else’s is in imminent danger.
And, because I just can’t leave well enough alone, A couple of asides:
seeks to amend the state penal codes’ “justification” clause that allows an officer the right to kill a thug if he feels his life or someone else’s is in imminent danger.
Um…EVERYONE has the right to use deadly force if they feel their life or that of another innocent is in imminent danger. It may be technically illegal in some areas, but the right exists regardless of any tyrannical legislation to the contrary.
Also, government actors are not “allowed” rights through legislation. Rights only belong to individuals. Citizens can delegate powers to government entities as promulgated through the legislation enacted by their elected representatives, but rights can only be granted by God. Legislators might like to try to PLAY God. And some of them probably even think they have Godlike powers…but, take my word for it…they’re not Him.
In fact, NYPD officers and detectives hit their targets only 17 percent of the time because of the incredibly stressful circumstances surrounding a shooting.
Or…alternatively…it could just be because they’re crappy shots. No offense to cops intended, but most of them are not gun enthusiasts. Most carry a gun because it’s their job to do so and they rarely shoot outside of their job requirements. I’ve been at the range with cops many, many times and they’re, generally speaking, no great shakes. The ones that are really good shots are so because they shoot outside of their Police duties. They’re good because they’re shooters, not because they’re cops. The interesting thing is that most non-LEOs that carry guns are shooters, shoot a LOT, and shoot well. Which is probably why the miss rate in citizen self defense shootings, and the rate of innocent bystanders being hit by citizen shooters, are both MUCH lower than with LEO shootings.
Finally: The piece, by cherry picking what they quote, is completely misleading about what Section 35.15 of the New York Penal code actually says.
The part they quote is actually about the duty to retreat, not the use of deadly force. The part obscured by ellipses in the piece completely changes the meaning of the section:
2. A person may not use deadly physical force upon another person under circumstances specified in subdivision one unless:
(a) He reasonably believes that such other person is using or about to use deadly physical force. Even in such case, however, the actor may not use deadly physical force if he knows that he can with complete safety as to himself and others avoid the necessity of so doing by retreating; except that he is under no duty to retreat if he is:
(i) in his dwelling and not the initial aggressor; or
(ii) a police officer or peace officer or a person assisting a police officer or a peace officer at the latter`s direction, acting pursuant to section 35.30 [bold added]
Basically, upon reading the entirety of Article 35 of the New York Penal Code, there is no special power to use deadly force delegated to the Police, the use of deadly force is recognized as legitimate in defense of one’s life or the life of other innocents. The only special dispensation to Police is that they have no duty to retreat before using deadly force outside their home.
I’m not really that anal retentive. The only reason I looked it up is because the quoted excerpt lends the impression that the use of deadly force in self defense by non-police officers is illegal in New York. That amazed me so I wanted to see what was inside those mysterious ellipses they used to tailor their excerpt. I was actually a little surprised when I found what I found.
This was a knowing misrepresentation…they had to edit the quote dramatically to make it say what they wanted it to say. As a result, their cherry picked quotation completely misrepresents the meaning of the section of law they quote. I don’t know why they felt the need to do that as it added nothing to their story…unless they are simply so philosophically opposed to citizens defending themselves that they felt compelled to promulgate misinformation about the subject.
And they wonder why their industry is dying.
Hat tip (via e-mail) to Airfield Shooting Club’s Chief Instructor (and all-around good guy) Dale who notes: “BTW, great photo of the cup & saucer grip… (I hope NYPD isn’t still using that…)”
And before anyone goes off about the cop in the picture having his finger on the trigger and pointing the gun at the photographer, I’ll pre-emptively remind you that the subject of the photo is one of “The Only Ones…” and, therefore, the rules don’t apply. Don’t be silly, Cops are WAAAAAY too professional to have negligent discharges during demonstrations…right?
Update: Tam addresses this idiocy as well, with her usual aplomb.