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When can cops shoot in the back

Seems like a dangerous precedent to me but I don’t find it completely unreasonable:

Watch this carefully. Lewinski’s experiments have shown a suspect can fire, turn his back, and begin running, in just 18/100th’s of a second.

“The fastest was a forty-one-year-old women. She simply rotated her hips.”

It takes an average officer 33/100ths of a second to respond, and that’s with their finger on the trigger. The difference, is more than enough time for the bullet to hit the back.

It does not sound unreasonable to me that this is the case. But I do wonder how many defensive gun uses by private citizens result in someone getting shot in the back for the same reason? Then, of those, how many are prosecuted under the claim it wasn’t self-defense as the target was shot in the back?

5 Responses to “When can cops shoot in the back”

  1. lobbygow Says:

    I would think if a shot had been fired at me, I would be reasonable to assume the fleeing shooter might turn and shoot again. The fact that I shot them in the back is less relevant than the fact that they had demonstrated they were willing to use lethal force against me, and might do so again. Especially in a limited space like an alley or a rooftop.

    If they had thrown their gun down, that would be a different story.

    In my limited experience, it seems that cops are usually exonerated of any wrongdoing here in New York in shooting cases where the suspect was armed. It’s when an unarmed suspect is shot that the shit hits the fan.

  2. Les Jones Says:

    Yep, if they’ve fired a shot I think they’re fair game. I wouldn’t recommend that for a civilian, because like SayUncle says you can wind up in hot water.

    In the same vein, a police instructor named Tueller did some tests and found that a person with a knife can close a distance of 21 feet in about 1.5 seconds, which is about how long it takes an officer to draw and fire two aimed shots.

  3. lobbygow Says:

    a person with a knife can close a distance of 21 feet in about 1.5 seconds, which is about how long it takes an officer to draw and fire two aimed shots.

    Hmmmm. In that situation, I might prefer a baseball bat.

    With a spike in it.

    A poisoned spike.

  4. Les Jones Says:

    Make it an exploding poisoned spiked baseball bat and I’ll buy three.

  5. Marc Says:

    Let’s see. Compare the fastest to the average and see if you get the result you want – yep! – all done.

    In more apples to oranges comparison – you can try this yourself – get you one of those IDPA/IPSC timers and set the beep to random and with your finger on the trigger see how fast you can get a shot off.
    I bet you all beat 1/3 of a second (33/100).

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