Do you think the officer did right here? There is a lot of angst in America right now about police conduct, and it’s appropriate to hold officers to high standards for sure. This suicide by cop that was caught on local surveillance camera shows some significant lessons for citizens and LEO alike about how fast these incidents happen. At Active Self Protection we’re pro-LEO (not pro-bad-cop at all!) and agree with the DA here that this officer acted in good faith to protect himself.
This video is sponsored by CCWSafe, who I use to help me win the fight after the fight: https://get-asp.com/ccwsafe. I am a member and I recommend them highly; please go check them out and thank them for being a sponsor of our daily lessons!
Original video with information on the incident: http://get-asp.com/htrw
Second video of the incident with details on the events: http://get-asp.com/oyvp
What does this Suicide by Cop teach self-defenders of all kinds?
- One of the five pillars of lawful, moral self-defense is “imminence,” (get a nutshell here: http://get-asp.com/wbbp or the whole concept here: http://get-asp.com/1fqe). Imminence means the threat is happening RIGHT NOW, that it’s neither too late nor too early for you to defend yourself! The standard of imminence is seen as a triad of ability, opportunity, and jeopardy (also known as the AOJ triad, which is explained here: http://get-asp.com/pm3k). Notice in this suicide by cop that the officer brought deadly force to bear not when the perp was yelling, but when he made the furtive gesture from concealment to do him harm. That’s an important reminder, that imminence is a critical principle of lawful and moral self-defense.
- In a deadly force encounter, decisions of life and death will be made in the blink of an eye. On the range and in class we have time to consider and to think and to reset and to make multiple attempts, but when the balloon goes up in real life you’ve got fractions of seconds to decide what the best course of action is to protect yourself. The way to be better at decision making in the heat of the moment is training, specifically scenario training and force-on-force training that is designed to work on decision-making skills under stress. It’s offered all over the country, so get training! This suicide by cop happened in a matter of 10 seconds of pre-shooting yelling, and then a second of action. Be ready by training!
- Even in a gunfight, empty-handed skills are important because many gunfights close to “extreme close quarters” or “bad breath distances.” Knowing how to protect your firearm from being taken, and how to win the fight that you’re actually in rather than the fight you want to be in, is crucial. For LEO, every encounter you have to use your firearm in will end with you going hands-on with a perp to get them in cuffs. Armed citizens might not have to deal with suicide by cop, but we might have to deal with gunfights that close to fistfights.
- To defend against this kind of attack, you need emotional fitness. Emotional fitness is defined as the ability to internally represent a situation or predicament to yourself in such a way as to make you strong and able to successfully defend yourself against it. Repeated practice and thousands of reps of sparring and self-defense absolutely build your emotional fitness to be able to handle whatever comes your way. In this suicide by cop the officer stayed cool emotionally and reacted appropriately because he had great emotional fitness.
- The human body is designed to take a ridiculous amount of punishment and still function. You can shoot someone multiple times and they can still pose a deadly threat! Even mortally wounded people can continue to pose a threat for several seconds to even minutes after being shot, so don’t think for a moment that shooting someone will necessarily immediately incapacitate them. That is Hollywood myth. In this suicide by cop we see that even a mortally wounded man can continue to function and fight for a long time.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
(music in the intro and outro courtesy of http://www.bensound.com)