Sunday, April 12, 2015

Officer Involved Shooting

If you are involved in an incident and you make a mistake, document the mistake.  A mistake is not always a criminal offense.  In this incident we don't know why the officer fired at the running man.  Certainly there is no obvious reason for the officer to fire.  By the officer moving the Taser from the place it was laying to a place near the body of the man is evidence the officer is attempting to place blame for the shooting on the man.

If you cover up your mistake, tamper with evidence, and lie on your report, you then move from an error in judgement to a probable criminal offense.  We all make mistakes.  We all make errors in judgement or in perception.  Those are seldom criminal offenses.  Even if they are crimes, trying to cover them up will only provide further evidence of guilt, and increase the severity of the offense.

Your reports should be as accurate as your can reasonably make them.  If you tell the truth from the beginning it is easier to get credibility for your explanation that you made a mistake.  Changing the scene and lying about what happened causes you to lose credibility and creates an atmosphere that you knowingly performed a criminal act; that's what the SGT Says.

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