Sebastian chimes in on the Scott Case and was it justified?

After taking a closer look at the reports, there is some question arising into whether the Erik Scott shooting at the Costco in Las Vegas may have in fact been justified.

Regardless, let me re-admonish my readers.

1) If on private property and asked to leave, do so immediately and respectfully. The most common occurrence of this situation is due to “spotting” (the situation where someone notices one’s firearm arm through concealment or exposure).

If this occurred to me, and I was in Costco. I would first express that I am a licensed and trained to carry a firearm.  I’d then apologize for the accidental exposure and any disturbance it may have caused in their establishment.  If asked to leave, I’d politely comply and apologize for the need to re-stock the items in my cart and the loss of my business.  Politeness goes a long way, they might even allow me to go straight through the checkout.

2) I repeat, never disarm yourself while under the gun of law enforcement. ANY move toward your firearm may be deemed as a threat – even if instructed to do so. It is better to humble one’s self and go prone, than to take a discharged bullet over a mistake.

Yes, we can all agree to the fact that such behavior SHOULD NOT occur. But it does, and it will.  Law enforcement officers are only human, and they don’t know you from jack-scum-on-the-streets. So they have a tendency, sadly, to assume everyone is potentially Jack-scum.  They do this, because doing keeps them alive.

If you want to remain alive, then you must use strategy. And strategy dictates that you pick your battles. A shoot out on the street or a in the courts. You decide which one you have a better chance of winning.

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Published in: on September 27, 2010 at 3:27 pm  Comments (4)  

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  1. Sebastian is relying on the results of the coroner’s inquest for his justification.

    The Coroner’s inquest process is highly biased and weighted toward the government actors. It is no surprise that the testimony presented there (Erik Scott’s family attorney was not permitted to participate, call or cross-examine witnesses) tended to support the Officer’s claims of justification.

    The fact that all of the video of the incident, both from cameras inside the store, and outside where the shooting took place, were conveniently damaged and unuseable should tell you much more about what is going on than the biased testimony at a proceeding rigged and pre-ordained to find for the government.

  2. To that end, I expressed similar viewpoints in my original post.

    With this post, my point was to re-emphasize responses to save one’s life. (As well as recognize other’s private property rights.)

    But yes, I agree. Tired of the camera recordings always being damaged in these circumstances.

  3. Jason,

    I hope you have the opportunity to read my latest posts on this over at CY. I intend to do a lot more checking into the Scott case through some other resources outside the web before I go back to CY, it’s just too intense over there. This may or may not have been a justified shooting, but too many have their minds made up without full knowledge of the facts. I’m also going to hit Mas up about it and see what he knows or thinks about it.

    One of the things that has come up has been that Erik may have been either trying to show the officers his gun or trying to disarm himself/give it to them. THIS IS A VERY BAD IDEA. Like it or not, officers are trained that in order to be ahead of the curve in a life threatening situation, any furtive movement toward a weapon OR WHAT IS PERCEIVED AS A WEAPON is justification for deadly force. Particularly when they have knowledge or have been told that the subject they are dealing with is armed.

    What many people don’t seem to understand is that if the officer waits until he sees and fully identifies the gun, it is too late. He/she is behind the curve and will likely be shot or at the very least shot at.

    Remember the Amadou Diallo and Sean Bell shootings by NYPD? In 1999 three NYPD officers fired 41 shots at Diallo thinking he was a wanted dangerous suspect (he resembled the individual) and that he was drawing a gun (he was presenting his wallet). In 2005 several NYPD officers fired 50 shots into a car driven by Sean Bell. Bell was killed and two of his friends severely wounded. The cops thought one of the friends (last name Guzman) was going for a gun.

    Both shootings were found justified. In the Bell shooting three detectives actually were tried criminally and found not guilty.

    I understand the frustration in the community about Erik’s death. But, the officers may have been within policy, which would make the shooting justified.

    Now, they may have been outside policy with regard to the bystanders, but no human being, even cops are going to stand there and take a bullet if they have the means to shoot back or shoot first and prevent the suspect from firing. I say they might have been out of policy on this because we all train to be aware of our backstop. Even most CCW trainers will emphasis this. I mentioned having been in a couple of shootings. YOU WILL NOT BE AWARE OF YOUR BACKSTOP. I guarantee you, if the officers perceived that Erik was going for his gun or “made a movement as if going for a gun” that is all they saw. Tunnel vision will block everything but the person you think is a threat. While shooting, those officers did not see anyone else around or near Erik. I have experienced it and it is weird, but it is real. Thank God no one else was shot. It is very unusual for that many shots to be fired and all of them hit the intended target even at very close range.

    I have some more thoughts I would like to share with you, one of which is the idea of “contagious shooting” among police and military personnel. This came to mind because I mentioned it over at CY and the Diallo and Bell cases are, in my opinion examples of it (my son’s department in California recently had a shooting (suprise they are part of the LA metro area) that may have involved a little of this phenomena also.

  4. “One of the things that has come up has been that Erik may have been either trying to show the officers his gun or trying to disarm himself/give it to them. THIS IS A VERY BAD IDEA. ”

    Yes, there is question to that. And whether he might have been responding to the law enforcement officer’s command to drop his firearm.

    It’s why I advise simply surrendering, and letting the police disarm.

    I also think it’s good advice for friends/spouses in the area to record video and immediately post it up to Facebook/youtube/etc. This makes it impossible to confiscate quickly. And ensures honesty.


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