When the Police Show Up

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

One of the most dangerous parts of any shootout is the aftermath. It is then that the police show up and we must handle that pat correctly. There have been too many people who have been mistakenly been shot by the police, not because they were the bad guys, but because they were armed and acting in a way that could be interpreted as dangerous.

On the other hand, there have been a large number of people who have used their guns in self-defense, without ever facing any risk of being shot by the police. While it might be easy to blame the officers in question for those who have been killed, in most cases, it is the actions of the individual, not any fault of the police officer, which gets them shot. Knowing what to do and what not to do can make all the difference in the world.

The first thing we have to realize is that any police officer showing up at the scene of a shooting is going to be on edge. His or her adrenalin will be running high and their nerves will be sandpapered. They don’t know if they are in danger or not. They just know they want to go home to their families.

If they walk into the situation and see you with a gun in your hand, they don’t know if you’re the hero of the day or the bad guy. Prudence dictates that they treat you like a bad guy, until they know better. Otherwise, the way they might find out that you’re not a good guy is when you start shooting at them.

So, what do you do?

The aftermath of a shooting starts with calling the police. I don’t care how many other people do this, you do it too. They’re not going to tell the police the same thing you are and they may tell them the opposite. Your call is important to put your story on record and identify yourself to them.

In that call, you want to say:

  • Your name
  • That you’re a concealed carry holder (if you are)
  • That you’re the victim of a crime (this is important; don’t tell them you shot someone, make yourself out to be the victim; be specific of what crime)
  • If you’re holding the perpetrator at gunpoint, tell them

Once you do that, get off the phone. That may not be easy, as the person on the other end of the line is going to try and keep you there; but get off. If you stay on, there’s too much of a chance they’re going to get you to say something more, something that might be incriminating.

Your next action is to holster your gun, if you don’t need it out to control a captured bad guy. You really don’t want t gun in your hand when the police show up, so if there is any other way to control them, like getting a couple of guys to help you gang up on him and tie him up, then do that.

If you have to have that gun in your hand to control the perpetrator, then you want to put it down or holster it as soon as the police show up. Even holding a gun can be construed as a threat. Better to be unarmed and have the bad guy run away, than to be holding your gun and have the police assume that you are the bad guy, just because you have it.

You must realize that even if you told the dispatcher that you are a concealed carry holder and that you are holding a suspect at gunpoint, that information may not get to the police officer before they arrive. If everything goes right, they’ll pass that information on; but if they are too busy, they may not manage to do so. You just can’t count on it.

The police have a right to ask you for your gun, both as evidence and for their own protection. If they ask for it for their protection, they’ll return it to you, probably unloaded and in an evidence bag; but you will get it back. On the other hand, if they see a need to keep it as evidence, ask for a receipt to prove that they have taken it. you may need that receipt to get your gun back.

If you end up putting your gun down, don’t retrieve it without asking the officer first. They don’t know that you’re just going to reholster it or put it in your car. For all they know, you could be getting ready to use it. They don’t know you from Adam, so they’re just trying to be cautious.

For that matter, you really shouldn’t do anything without their permission. Reaching to get your wallet or turning to get something from your car can also be misconstrued as potentially aggressive actions. If your wallet is in your hip pocket, it might be right by your holster. If you’re reaching into your car, they don’t know what you’re grabbing.

All in all you want to do everything you can to avoid being a threat. Those officers have enough on their minds, trying to figure out what happened and separating the good guys from the bad; they don’t need  anything extra.

Finally, don’t tell them anything. while “Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law” the converse isn’t true. There is no way you can talk yourself out of the police charging you with a crime. Better to say nothing, than to say something that might be misconstrued. Let everyone else tell them how much of a hero you are. They’re more likely to believe that, than they are to you telling them yourself.

And as always, keep your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand. It might be good to keep your cell phone close at hand too.

Dr. Rich

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