Making decisions on defending a third party

…we see what appears to be the black male instigating a fight with the white male. It’s hard to see who initiates actual physical conflict, but the body language of the black male is clearly aggressive. For purposes of our discussion, we’ll assume the black male was the initial physical aggressor in the fight, and the white male responded with defensive force in response.

For the first 30 seconds the fight appears largely balanced between the two, ending on the ground with the black male on his back and the white male astride him. This clearly puts the black male at a considerable tactical disadvantage, and is essentially the reverse of the Zimmerman case in which Trayvon Martin attacked and “mounted” Zimmerman “ground-and-pound MMA style,” as testified to by an eye witness.

via Law of Self Defense – GRAPHIC VIDEO: A Two-fer: Unarmed Deadly AND Excessive Force.

Please go check Andrew’s post and the videos.

Now, the question I want to approach is: You are a passerby and see this action happening. You see that it went from the tussle to the head-kicking, What do you do? My heart goes out to the guy but should we intervene? Andrew also provided an answer via Facebook:

Law of Self Defense Hey Fred: If I see a some geniuses giving each other a beat down on a public street I vacate the area as quickly as safety allows. If I happen to have my cell phone on me I might call 911, depending on the severity of what I saw and what the schedule for the rest of my day looks like. I’m not a super hero, and I’ve not been selected by the state, nor taken the oath, to be a law enforcement officer. My first priority is to my three children and my life, and nothing about getting involved in a street fight advances that imperative. But that’s just me–other folks prioritize other choices. In terms of strictly legal issues, in coming to the defense of another, I would urge you to determine whether you live in a “reasonable perception” state or an “alter ego” state–the difference may well determine whether you come out a hero or spend the rest of your life in jail. No joke. –Andrew

There you have it. Comments?

 

 

14 Replies to “Making decisions on defending a third party”

  1. One afternoon I was in downtown Atlanta with my family, leaving a well known hot dog joint. It is a large parking lot and we were parked out by the street and as we approached our car two locals began shouting at each other on the sidewalk about 30 feet from the car.

    As we got up to the car the two started coming to blows. I admit one idea was to intervene, but instead I told the family to get in the car. I hung back slightly while they did, ready to take action if they moved our way. Once everyone was in the car I got in as well and called 911.

    I had no intention of waiting for the police to arrive but there must have been a car around the corner because one pulled up before we got out of the lot.

    My decision wasn’t based on how Georgia law would treat me, it was based on my obligation to my family.




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  2. Unless I’ve seen enough back-story (Say the woman I saw leaving a bar with a dude following saying “Get Away From Me”….after some discussion he went back in, and she left….if he had attempted something I was planning on helping her leave….but that was TELEGRAPHED)

    Generally I doubt I will have any idea who the good guy is, or IF there is a good guy. Even if I THINK I know who the “Good Guy” is, it isn’t worth me being wrong given that they are total strangers, and generally most brawls I’ve seen or read about there are no good guys.

    So yeah, I WILL call 911 once I am in a safe location, I never leave the house without my phone for that exact reason. But that is literally the smartest move.




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  3. Wait a minute. Aren’t we always the guys who are always saying that we’ll take care of those who don’t carry? And aren’t we also justifying our concealed carry by complaining about how long it takes for the cops to respond?

    So when the situation presents itself to actually practice what we preach, we walk or run away?

    Please don’t let the other side see this post…they’ll laugh their nuts off.




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    1. Not me. I’ve always be the one saying “If you are not paying me to protect you, you need to tend to your own self defense.”

      I’ve got a short list of those that are near and dear to me that I will try to protect. Over half of them are armed and most of them say they will try to protect me.

      If you have ever seen a sheepdog in action you know they do not try to round up strays and add them to the flock, and often will “argue” with the shepherd about a stray that has been thrown in, trying to cut it out and keep it away from the flock.

      Most “innocent third party” situations will get a call to 911 and maybe some cellphone video. My threshold for intervening is when one party is overwhelmed and no longer able to defend themself.

      stay safe.




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  4. No, “we” as a group don’t argue that we’ll actively protect the innocent. We ( those who believe in legal carry ) argue that society benefits from having a greater number of “hard targets” making violent crime more dangerous for the criminal. The would-be protector who intervenes in a violent case and makes a mistake not only buys a ton of trouble for himself but also brings calls of “vigilante” from the anti-rights people.




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  5. Best option that doesn’t require psychically intervening :

    In your most authoritative voice, loudest you can get “BREAK IT UP”
    This will stop a lot of fights ( learned from years bouncing in bars) follow it up with ” Cops are on the way” And you call them.

    Now personally if the loser looked like they were about to take ” great bodily harm” or death … I might physically intervene. hard call I’d have to make in the moment.




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  6. All this said, there is a situation when intervening will carry no legal problems — when the person getting the beating is a cop.

    Make sure it’s a real cop, of course.




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    1. Even then, I wouldn’t get involved.

      In Colorado Springs, most of the cops are fairly decent, but I can’t do anything to anybody capable of overpowering one of them. I’d be putting myself in harm’s way with little or no benefit to the victim.

      Elsewhere in the US, the cop probably deserves it. Doubly so anywhere in New York or California.




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  7. The problem we have is one of Morality versus Legality.  In this particular video, it would be a righteous intervention only if we could have 100% bulletproof evidence that we were in the right.  And that is counting that the law in our particular state allowed for Good Samaritan intentions. 

    In this case, a video surfaced. But you cannot bet on that happening to you when doing the morally right thing. In fact, the two jackasses will swear on a stack of bibles that they were just on their way to church to feed the homeless when they happened to bump into the poor man on the ground. As they approached, you came out of nowhere, gun in hand and threatened them/shot them. It is suddenly the word of two victims against yours…guess who loses in court.

    So unless you walk around with a GoPro camera embedded in your forehead, you have a great chance of being morally right but facing prison time in a case similar to this. 

    Each case will present its own individual set of pros and cons. The bitch is to figure out in a couple of seconds what is what. 




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  8. In NC, as opposed to a lot of other states, a third party is only justified in using violence in defense of another IF that other party was themselves justified and met the criteria for the level of force used.
    What that means is that if you enter into a fight as a third party, you had better have guessed right as to who was the instigator and what passed between the parties before you showed up… because if you are wrong, you’re in deep kimchi.
    As an armed citizen my best tool is a cellphone. Snap a couple of pictures, call 911, let them sort it out. It’s what we pay them for, after all.




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