FPC Demands Police Training in the Wake of Another Unjustifiable Kill

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FPC Demands Police Training in the Wake of Another Unjustifiable Kill

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- Firearms Policy Coalition has issued the following statement in the wake of another killing of an armed and innocent person by police:

On October 12, in Fort Worth, Texas, Atatiana Koquice Jefferson’s neighbor called the police because he saw the door of her home left ajar. A Fort Worth police officer took the call. About 2:20 a.m., without announcing his presence, he began moving around outside Ms. Jefferson’s home, checking windows and making noise. Hearing alarming sounds from outside her home, Ms. Jefferson did what many responsible Americans would do: she went to investigate the sounds, prepared for the worst. Seconds later, she was shot and killed by the officer.

The tragic and unjustifiable killing of Ms. Jefferson underscores why law enforcement must be better trained to safely encounter people with guns and other constitutionally protected weapons. Especially with the ever-increasing number of individuals who keep and carry firearms for self-defense, the default assumption of law enforcement officers must be that someone armed is not a violent threat until that person proves otherwise. Assuming that every armed person poses a threat puts lives at risk and unnecessarily expands the class divide between government actors and the People they serve.

The Second Amendment codified the pre-existing right of self-defense, which includes the right to keep and bear instruments of force to repel unjust or unlawful force against them. Millions of people exercise this right every day by keeping and carrying guns for self-defense.

Effective self-defense sometimes requires responding, armed with a gun, to an alarming noise at one’s home. In fact, the U.S. Supreme Court declared in its landmark D.C. v. Heller (2008) decision that the Second Amendment “surely elevates above all other interests the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home.” Thus, law enforcement officers cannot use deadly force where it would otherwise be unjustified merely because the homeowner is believed to own a firearm.

Law enforcement agencies and officers must embrace the reality that the mere presence of a firearm does not, and cannot, make its possessor a target for deadly pre-emptive force. In its recent Hicks v. Commonwealth (2019) decision, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court adopted the arguments presented in our coalition brief supporting Mr. Hicks, explaining: “We find no justification for the notion that a police officer may infer criminal activity merely from an individual’s possession of a concealed firearm in public. . . . Unless a police officer has prior knowledge that a specific individual is not permitted to carry a concealed firearm, and absent articulable facts supporting reasonable suspicion that a firearm is being used or intended to be used in a criminal manner, there simply is no justification for the conclusion that the mere possession of a firearm, where it lawfully may be carried, is alone suggestive of criminal activity.”

Mr. Hicks was seized in public. Ms. Jefferson, by contrast, was in her home. And the U.S. Supreme Court said in Heller that “the need for defense of self, family, and property is most acute” at one’s home. Ms. Jefferson was therefore exercising a core Second Amendment right by responding to an alarming noise outside her home by retrieving her firearm to protect herself and her loved ones.

Law enforcement policies and practices that ignore or discount the right to be armed (such as by perceiving all people with guns as threats to pre-emptively shoot or kill), the militarization of our police forces, the absurdly expansive and dangerous qualified immunity doctrine, the senselessly frequent hostile police encounters, and casual use of deadly force are all incredibly concerning and demand serious reform.

FPC demands that federal, state, and local law enforcement throughout the United States immediately engage in substantive training programs that acknowledge the Second and Fourth Amendment rights of armed people, and adequately address the growing number of unjustifiable and tragic killings of armed and innocent people. FPC looks forward to supporting and promoting legal and policy reforms that put human rights and liberty first.


About Firearms Policy CoalitionFirearms Policy Coalition

Firearms Policy Coalition (www.firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)4 grassroots nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to defend the People’s rights—especially the fundamental, individual Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms—advance individual liberty, and restore freedom.

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Laddyboy
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Laddyboy

BUT I WAS AFRAID!!! This phrase is use inappropriately to many times by police who are trained to ARREST citizens so they earn “POINTS”. One is arrested then any charges that can be applied are quickly researched by the group of police on site. This is done even when the CAUSE of the problem is OVERLOOKED or IGNORED.

Doszap
Member
Doszap

This shooting as terrible as it was, was JUSTIFIABLE.The officers were told it was a suspected burglary(Not a welfare check ON CHILDREN),the Officer was peering into the house to see if anything untoward was going on, before alerting the occupants.they were there.
The lady pointed her handgun out the window at the Cop,fearing for his life he shot her.All a HUGE misunderstanding and horrible indecent.

Divino Vocamen
Member
Divino Vocamen

A person named Neville ..on here ..seems to have a low opinion of the education level of Law Enforcement Officers ..( and LEO’s in general ) .I do not know what it is like in most of the nation …but am very familiar with our local agencies ..having been a prosecutor for three decades and then have done volunteer work as an Auxiliary for our Sheriff …and we have people with Doctoral and Masters degrees on our local forces and almost all of the officers here have at least a two year degree and most a 4 year degree .… Read more »

Jay Dee
Member
Jay Dee

I blame the national Peace Officers Standards & Training (POST) regulations. It sounds like a great idea but the standards have had a corrosive effect on police officers. One problem is that by setting minimum training standards training standards have deteriorated to a common low rather than encouraging departments to train to the maximum possible. Another problem is aptitude testing. Rather than identifying the best and brightest, POST actually sets a maximum IQ acceptable as a police officer. Reportedly smart people don’t stay in law enforcement. Departments are encouraged hire the dumb ones because they will stay. Think about that… Read more »

Dubi Loo
Member
Dubi Loo

I’m extremely disturbed by the very large number of our “PUBLIC SERVANTS” who swear an Oath of Office and then spend their career completely disregarding the safeguards enumerated in our Constitution. The mantra of “officer safety” does not justify crimes committed by said servants in their official capacity. The qualified immunity doctrine subjects us taxpayers to pay the cost of their misdeeds. Self investigation means their crimes are rarely punished; prime example Chicago Police Commissioner Eddie Johnson and his DUI stop. ANY civilian in the exact same circumstances would have been immediately arrested and placed in a cage. We The… Read more »

gooder12
Member
gooder12

Well Kids back in The Day our Cops were trained not to shot! Really, shooting their firearm was the last thing they would do, and it worked. There were just as many nuts in 1970 the year I got my Draft # as there are today per population, so drop that line. Cops were trained to serve and protect first, and if need be shoot. Yes they shot some, and it was around then that The Double Tap came into play. It made sense, but today it is a 16 tap, reload, and then see if the dead or dying… Read more »

SGT_Wombat
Member
SGT_Wombat

Yeah, except there are a LOT of people gunning for the cops right now.

Bill
Member
Bill

Probably not the lady in her home responding to noises outside her house, though.

neville
Member
neville

And I hope they are good shots.

Heed the Call-up
Member
Heed the Call-up

So you are advocating violence and murder? The rest of us here do not advocate for violence against innocent people. Your advocating for illegal activities shows us clearly your immoral, unethical character.

Ned2
Member
Ned2

You can’t train knuckle dragging mouth breathers to understand the Constitution.
Focus on the hiring parameters first, then the training.

neville
Member
neville

You can not train “stupid”. The majority of cops are barely high school graduates and they graduated because the schools wanted to get rid of them.

24and7
Member
24and7

Maybe you should apply then..Im sure you barely meet that standard..

Heed the Call-up
Member
Heed the Call-up

Based on his/her post, I believe you are giving the OP too much credit.

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@Heed, OP … is that an abbreviation for out patient?

JebWorf
Member
JebWorf

My father was an auxiliary Policeman in a medium sized town in New Jersey, He served from 1966 to 1977, He carried a side arm, directed traffic, stood outside the high school during dances, and rode twice a month with the town police on patrol. He had to qualify with his firearm recite the same oath to protect and uphold the constitution. He enjoyed this part time job. He enjoyed giving back to the community. But the war on drugs and a shift from enforcing laws instead of using common sense prevailed. When the local police started pulling over young… Read more »

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

noville, noville, noville just making things up again. Your conclusion can only be made by knowing what every cop did in high school. That would be quite a study.

macdog
Member
macdog

Neville – obviously you have had no experience being able to work some of the finest, many are vets, who continue give all. From your statement you may qualify as cop in some third world SHole. Maybe you need to step up put on a pair pants; step up knowing you may not come home. Have you gone through POST training, do you have degree in some thing other under basket weaving, have you worked a stand up 24?

Wild Bill
Member
Wild Bill

@macdog, Nope, noville has no such training because, as he correctly observes, one can not train “stupid”.

Grim
Member
Grim

@neville – “The majority of cops are barely high school graduates” – really? Cite your references, please!

Will
Member
Will

@neville,a mind is a terrible thing to waste. Congrats,you made it loser.

24and7
Member
24and7

I would love to see all cops have a “woodstock” type moment..all cops leave there jobs for one week or two and go to a festival and have a great time..cut their phones and pagers off and just relax and blow off alot of steam..let the administrative brass and politicians handle the mess left behind..let black lives matter handle the rough or project neighborhoods security.. who knows maybe after that Society will have a Moment of clarity..

Chris Mallory
Member
Chris Mallory

Oh no, don’t throw us in that briar patch! NYPD did this a couple of years ago. Major crime rates fell during the time they were “on vacation” Hmm, no road pirates harassing people to raise money for the government. No one busted for owning or consuming a plant or plant extract. No losing our 4th Amendment because a trained dog sits on command. No getting shot for exercising our 2nd Amendment rights , holding a cell phone or a hose nozzle, or begging for our lives while kneeling in a hotel hallway. People waking up to the fact that… Read more »

24and7
Member
24and7

Dont worry when someone Jack’s your stupid ass up..they will answer your call for help..

SGT_Wombat
Member
SGT_Wombat

It’s called the “Blue Flu”

Will
Member
Will

The attorneys for this cop will have to get a change of venue.This man has already been convicted in the court of public opinion,no presumption of innocence,no due process. That’s not the way our system works,or is suppose to work. This case is totally about race,not justice. If the races involved would had been reversed,…crickets!Only one half of this story has come out,the biased side. Let it all come out at trial !

Finnky
Member
Finnky

Seems to me it is self interest of police to prevent a general expectation that cops will shoot anyone armed upon encountering them. It changes all expectations, so that anyone armed knows that their best chance to survive an encounter with LEO is to accurately shoot first. On a jury, I would entertain a claim of preemptive self-defense. We are not yet at a point where I would be likely to except the legal defense absent strong supportive evidence, and I hope we don’t reach that point. To me, supporting law enforcement includes holding them to a higher standard so… Read more »

RoyD
Member
RoyD

I always knew that I was doing the right thing because both the upper levels of Administration and the “less than good actors” in the ranks were both pissed off and wary of me.