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Off-duty cop “Road Rage” 911 call: “I had to fire my weapon.”

Off-duty cop “Road Rage” 911 call: “I had to fire my weapon.”

NJ police officer Walker recounts to 911 his shooting of Joseph Harvey, Jr.

Today’s post on the Joseph Walker “road rage” murder trial in Maryland covers the 911 call made by Walker and his wife, apparently simultaneous with Adam Pidel’s 911 call previously covered here:  Off-duty cop “Road Rage” 911 call: “They were going to fight on side of road”.

(The transcript of this 911 call was attached as Exhibit D to the defense’s recent motion to dismiss the charges against Walker, and copy is provided at the bottom of this post. This transcript includes attribution of the use of the “N-word” to Harvey by Walker, as Walker describes events to the dispatcher.)

The call appears to have been initiated by Elaine Walker, the wife, but Walker himself takes control of the call within moments of the dispatcher coming on the line. (Walker is identified as “MALE” in the transcript, and his wife as “FEMALE”.)

Walker’s first words to the dispatcher serve to anchor his narrative, and in the passive voice at that:

A police officer got attacked by two people.

He then identifies himself and provides more detail in the first person:

Joseph Walker with the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, two people ran us off the road. And they came and attacked me.  And I had to fire my weapon at one of them. . . .

I had to fire my weapon.  We need an ambulance out here.

I’m an off-duty police officer from New Jersey. My name is Detective Joseph Walker with the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office. They ran us off the side of the road–

As was the case with Pidel, Walker initially had some difficulty in identifying their specific location for the dispatcher, but it did not take long to straighten out.  Around this same time Walker’s wife notes that Pidel (whose name was unknown to her at the time, of course) was also calling on his cell phone–this would have been Pidel’s 911 call.

There’s another guy calling 911 right now. I think he’s calling. I don’t know what he be doing.

At this point Walker is sitting in the Kia minivan alongside his wife, close enough that both their voices are captured in the 911 recording clearly enough to be transcribed.

Walker again sought to describe the events to dispatcher:

Like I said, two of them came out the car. And the heavyset, the driver came at me.  And the other person that was with him, he’s talking to him [presumably this is where Pidel was urging Harvey to keep breathing, as captured in Pidel’s 911 recording].

Asked by the dispatcher if they’d had a car accident, Walker said no, then continued:

We don’t know what happened. We were trying to get onto the highway. And the guy, he just came up like beating around our car. And we were, you know — I’m like trying to not him him. And he just kept trying to swerve into me. And then I rolled down my window and said, “You know, what’s your problem?” And he was like “Nigger, I’m not afraid of you.” Nigger this, nigger that.

When asked by the dispatcher what happened to Harvey, Walker again lapses into the passive voice, and then re-emphasizes the disparity of numbers and threatening conduct:

He was shot.

Him and the other person in his vehicle, they pulled us off the road. When I came over off the road onto this little skid place here — him and the other individuals were coming out of their vehicle.

Walker’s use of the passive voice clearly confuses the dispatcher, giving rise to this exchange:

Dispatch: Okay. The person that shot him, is he still there?

Walker: Yes. That’s, ma’am, that’s me.

Dispatch: That’s you. Okay. What is your name?

Walker: I’m a police officer. Joseph Walker.

The transcript gets a little confusing at this point as there are two different dispatchers engaged in discussion with Walker and each other, and there’s some repetitive exchange of information as a result.

Soon after, however, the police arrive, and dispatch turns things over to the responding officers.

Here’s the actual transcript of Walker’s 911 call:

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.

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Comments

Obiously more nuanced than initial reports would suggest. Who’d have thunk it?

I still don’t know what to make of this case, not having heard enough actual evidence to push me towards either “side”, but I really do thank you, Mr Branca and Prof Jacobson, for presenting such in-depth coverage to us here on this blog. It’s something I know I’d never get out of the old-style “mainstream media”.

Keep up the good work!

Like Amy I appreciate this coverage or real life. It is the main reason I am a subscriber here.
When I read more than I run off at the mouth you can tell I am seriously interested and take the topics seriously.

My thanks, as well. I, too, appreciate the coverage, and have no idea how this one will fall out.

Someone get me up to speed on this.

Is this a white on black thing yet?

    Bruce Hayden in reply to Musson. | March 11, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    Actually, the shooting was black on white, though the original assailants were the white men.

    And, for that reason, I don’t think that you are going to see a conviction if you have even a single black on the jury. This wasn’t a wanna-be gang banger like Trayvon Martin, but a Black man who had done well with his life, joined the middle class, had a wife and kid, drove a mini-van, etc. And, then, the decedent used the N-word on him. Some very large southern crackers were trying to whup ass on an uppidy, much smaller, Black, presumably because of his race, and one of them died as a result. (Not that I am sure that they were southern crackers, or the MD equivalent, just that it makes a good narrative).

      tom swift in reply to Bruce Hayden. | March 11, 2014 at 4:37 pm

      though the original assailants were the white men.

      At this point, a tendentious claim.

      It all depends on what you mean by “original” and, even more importantly, by “assailant”.

      Anyone who thinks those have easy answers hasn’t been paying attention.

maybe its my jaded side coming out but I’d like somehow to get some verification of the name calling.
I don’t remember the other witness saying anything about it (I may have missed it) although there is a chance he would have lied about it.
overall I am thinking walker is right here, of course as more comes out I may find that to be wrong.
but if the name calling did happen and he needed a defense would this drive an attempted hate crime defense? Would he have made this up to help him? From what I know (from what we have seen) I would not be surprised if walker is being truthful.
I don’t know, but I tend to question with statements like that.

    tom swift in reply to dmacleo. | March 11, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    although there is a chance he would have lied about it.

    Pidel’s police statement avoids specifics about the actual words used.

    Pidel, page 21 – “Now, he’s [Harvey] pretty angry, so he’s walking much faster than me. I’m pretty far behind him . . . 20 feet? 30 feet?”

    Pidel, page 22 – “He [Walker} gets out of the minivan. And I can’t exactly make out what he’s saying. You know, I’m not close. . . . And they’re — they’re kind of yelling at each other at this point. . . . [Harvey]’s far enough in front of me, and I’m far enough away from the guy in the minvan that I can’t clearly hear him.”

    The impression is that Pidel didn’t want to get into the conversational details.

    – Did he consider them unimportant?

    – Did he think that they would reflect badly on Harvey?

    – Was he actually unable to hear it all clearly, either due to a hearing problem or an unusually noisy environment?

      walker was talking about while still moving, pidel statement was about after getting out of car.
      I haven’t seen anything else (specifics) about the language while driving except this statement by walker.

      and yelling a racial slur while assaulting someone (and trying to force car off road is in some states) creates a hate crime, this is what I am concerned about. I detest hate crime laws.

        tom swift in reply to dmacleo. | March 11, 2014 at 3:10 pm

        Right. Witness B said something about both parties yelling while still driving, I think, but it wasn’t very specific.

      Baker in reply to tom swift. | March 11, 2014 at 3:59 pm

      As far as actual language and racial slur perhaps you should check out Exhibit A, Pidel’s Recorded Interview, page 34 lines 9-14.

        tom swift in reply to Baker. | March 11, 2014 at 4:40 pm

        Oh, so Pidel did get specific.

        Well, that blows one theory about what Pidel might be lying about.

    tom swift in reply to dmacleo. | March 11, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    would this drive an attempted hate crime defense

    I don’t think there’s any such animal. Use of force for self defense is justified, or it isn’t. Some assailant on the street may hate you, or he may just be in it for the money (as in the typical robbery) or the sheer joy of inflicting harm (as per The Knockout Game); it’s the actual attack (or pretty clear threat that one is imminent) which makes it a case of self defense.

    So here, the “hate” part wouldn’t seem to be of importance unless the need for defense can be established. Nothing that Harvey may have said would constitute a deadly attack of the sort which would justify a claim of self defense. Words aren’t weapons when it comes to the use for lethal force.

      Yep. Hearing a word you don’t like doesn’t give you any right to pull a trigger.

        yelling racial slur while assaulting someone creates a hate crime though. and I wonder if the defense is going to argue walker was first the victim of a hate crime.
        hate crime laws suck 🙁

          tom swift in reply to dmacleo. | March 11, 2014 at 3:06 pm

          But it’s still extraneous. Defense still has to show that there was a potentially deadly assault in progress or imminent. The “hate” part makes no difference.

          rorschach256 in reply to dmacleo. | March 12, 2014 at 8:56 am

          Tom Swift, I would suggest driving a 2000+ lb vehicle at you would be considered assault with a deadly weapon or vehicular assault in most jurisdictions.

          tom swift in reply to dmacleo. | March 12, 2014 at 9:59 am

          rorschach256

          OF COURSE it would. D’uh.

          But how would it be a hate crime?

          rorschach256 in reply to dmacleo. | March 12, 2014 at 12:38 pm

          I’m not a fan of “hate crime” anyway but under the definitions I’ve seen of it, an assault that is happening in coincident with racial epithets generally is considered a “hate crime”. so someone driving a vehicle at you while calling you a racial slur would seem to fall into that definition if you ask me.

          tom swift in reply to dmacleo. | March 12, 2014 at 1:31 pm

          So what?

          The question was about “hate crimes” and self defense.

      Bruce Hayden in reply to tom swift. | March 11, 2014 at 3:51 pm

      Agreed, that there is no hate crime aspect of self-defense. Yes, at least the decedent was apparently a racial bigot, and seemed to be intent on exhibiting his bigotry in beating up a smaller black man in front of his buddy and the black man’s family.

      What I think the racial aspect might accomplish though for Walker is to humanize him, and paint him as the victim. So, while the racial epithets may not justify the use of deadly force in protection of his life and that of his family, it probably will make the two white guys, and esp. the one who died, look a lot like back woods racists. It is harder to emphasize with the victim, when he got to where he was through racial animus. And, easier to emphasize with the shooter when he is the recipient of this, and is protecting his family from these racial bigots. (Again, this is potentially the defendant’s narrative, and may not be completely accurate).

        tom swift in reply to Bruce Hayden. | March 11, 2014 at 4:44 pm

        and may not be completely accurate

        It may even be pure fantasy. But that won’t prevent defense from shoveling it with both hands.

          sequester in reply to tom swift. | March 11, 2014 at 6:17 pm

          Your posts consistently show hostility to the defense. I don’t understand why.

          Self defense cases are fact intensive and trial is more effective than witness statements in reaching a factual determination.

          The racial slurs and aggressiveness of the decedent are factually relevant to the defendants state of mind and what the mythical reasonable person would do.

          It is not shoveling.

          tom swift in reply to tom swift. | March 11, 2014 at 9:56 pm

          Depends on what you mean by “defense”.

          Do you mean the concept of armed self defense in genuinely life-threatening circumstances, or do you mean speculation about what Walker’s attorneys will say in court?

          Those two can both be called defense but they are not the same.

          sequester in reply to tom swift. | March 12, 2014 at 5:48 am

          The term “Defense” refers to the sum total of the accused legal representation. Defense constitutes the totality of factual claims, law and legal arguments presented by the accused.

          A defense claim or argument can be either frivolous or meritorious.

          The totality of your writings suggest to me that you believe the Defense is making only “frivolous” claims. I have seen post after post from you on this case. I cannot recall anything you wrote that would lead me to conclude you view any of the potential defense claims as meritorious.

          I find that baffling.

          tom swift in reply to tom swift. | March 12, 2014 at 10:08 am

          You Are Correct.

          I don’t see a legit case of self defense here. I have nothing against the principle of armed self defense, and I have nothing against Walker, off-duty police, or Kia vans. But I’m just not seeing the things which would qualify Walker for a claim of self defense.

          Of course we don’t have much about the case. We don’t have Walker’s full statement, or his wife’s, or more than one random witness.

          And Reasonable Doubt always figures into things when the jury conducts its business.

          But this isn’t a jury here, this is people trying to figure out some tiny aspects of the indigestible mess which is American law.

          tom swift in reply to tom swift. | March 12, 2014 at 10:25 am

          EDIT: No, you are not correct. I don’t recall ever using the word “frivolous”, or evaluating anything about this case in such terms.

          sequester in reply to tom swift. | March 12, 2014 at 4:59 pm

          Fair enough. My remarks were not intended to impugn you. You did raise an interesting point. Do you consider the potential defense arguments and evidence meritorious or frivolous?

          tom swift in reply to tom swift. | March 12, 2014 at 5:33 pm

          Those words when used in this context are legal jargon. They wouldn’t mean the same thing to non-lawyers and so are of little use in general communication. This is not unique to the legal profession – certainly my fields use words which convey very specific meanings to others educated in the same fields, but misleading or meaningless to others.

          So I will say only that I don’t see a convincing narrative of last-ditch emergency self defense here – and that’s the only kind of self defense which justifies lethal force. I don’t even see a probable narrative of such. I see a possible narrative, and that might be enough for a jury. The defense lawyers may come up with more possible narratives. But anything which can’t do better than “Well Harvey was big and ugly. And aggressive,” which pretty much sums up what we’ve seen floated here at LI, will fail to convince me that this is a real self defense case.

Emperor Penguin | March 11, 2014 at 12:29 pm

I agree dmacleo, it would seem like Joseph is in the right. Pidle even said in his call to 911 that his buddy wanted to fight Joseph. Josephs family was in the car and two guys were threatening them, so he defended himself. at least that is how it looks so far.

    I think what’s going to get him convicted (though not of Murder 1, probably Murder 2 I think), is 3 things – Walker getting out of his car at all, the complete disconnect between levels of force used, and Walker’s failure to call 911 or the local police until he’d already shot somebody.

    1) With reference to getting out of his car. If you’re involved in a situation like that, and both of you stop on the side of the road and get out of your cars, you are looking for a fistfight. Anybody that tells you otherwise is a liar. You don’t have peaceful discussions on the side of a road. So we have Walker looking for a mutual fistfight.

    2) Shooting an unarmed man before the first blow is exchanged is EXTREMELY questionable. If Walker had gotten into a fight and beaten Harvey to a pulp, I’d acquit him, no contest. However, deadly force requires you to be in fear of your life, not in fear of losing a fight. If I were on the jury I would have an extremely hard time swallowing that Walker was in fear of his life before the guy even got to him. Self defense doesn’t mean you can kill people the minute you feel threatened.

    3) Walker didn’t appear to do anything to diffuse the situation. He didn’t call the police or tell his wife to call the police, he got out of his car to ‘handle’ it himself, and pulled his gun before the other guy even got to them.

    As a fourth aside that isn’t necessarily meaningful in a factual sense, but could possibly put a lot of weight on a jury, Walker spends an AWFUL lot of time on that 911 call saying he’s a police officer. Just from the edited transcript here I count 3 different times he says he’s a police officer. To be blunt, it sounds like somebody who knows he’s done something wrong trying to play the ‘hey I’m a cop too guys’ card to get out of it.

      pjm in reply to Olinser. | March 11, 2014 at 2:32 pm

      Your point #1 – I agree, at least possibly. Seeing as Harvey was however many yards away. Lock the door and crack the window. If he breaks the window in, shoot his sorry white ass from your seat. But not until then.

      Your point # 2 – Bullshit. Utter and complete bullshit. Self defence does not mean you have to ‘let the other guy get some shots in for free first’. Fuck that. You raise your arm up to strike me, I squeeze my index finger to stop it from landing. One punch can be lethal, this is a well known fact. I’m not going to test my luck.

      Your point # 3 – you have no knowledge to make such a conclusion.

      Your # 4 – if I’m a cop I make damn sure I stress that point from the get go. SO what ?

        Olinser in reply to pjm. | March 11, 2014 at 5:04 pm

        @ pjm – First of all, tone down the language big guy, it makes you look like you don’t have a real argument.

        Second, take some time and actually think and read about what I wrote.

        For #2, The issue here is not that he didn’t let the other guy hit him first. Self defense of course does not require that you actually sustain injury.

        However, even if Harvey HAD hit Walker, that wouldn’t suddenly make shooting him okay. The issue is responding to a threat with a REASONABLE AMOUNT OF FORCE. If somebody comes up to you and punches you in the face, you don’t get to just pull a gun and shoot them. Because that isn’t a reasonable amount of force.

        Likewise, just because a hothead comes toward you on the side of the road clearly wanting a fight doesn’t automatically give you the right to shoot him dead.

        To employ deadly force requires you to be in reasonable fear for your life or grievous bodily harm. Walker is going to have an extremely tough sell on that note.

        My point #3 – I absolutely have the knowledge to make such a conclusion, and you would too if you actually read the stories here, never mind on other sites. It is a fact that nobody from either car called 911 before Harvey was shot. It is also a fact that Walker exited his vehicle with his gun, and pulled it on Harvey before he got close to him, and then shot him 3 times. Not exactly the actions of a man trying to de-escalate a situation. He shouldn’t have left his car in the first place.

        Point #4 – again, reread what I said. The issue is not that he stated he was a police officer. It’s that he felt the need to state it multiple times without prodding (without, by the way, bothering to say that he was from another state). Others may not feel the same way, but it strikes me as him trying to say, “I’m a cop, so I’m in the right here”.

        To repeat what I said the first time, I think Murder 1 is a stretch,

          pjm in reply to Olinser. | March 11, 2014 at 6:27 pm

          Gee, thanks for the advice on language, Mom.

          “If somebody comes up to you and punches you in the face, you don’t get to just pull a gun and shoot them. Because that isn’t a reasonable amount of force.”

          No ? How many times do I have to get hit first ? Am I supposed to engage in some kind of street fight first, like on TV ?

          “The issue is not that he stated he was a police officer. It’s that he felt the need to state it multiple times without prodding ”

          You make no sense at all. What the hell difference does it make ‘how many times he mentioned it’ ?

          Olinser in reply to Olinser. | March 11, 2014 at 6:55 pm

          Boy, you really have trouble with reading comprehension don’t you?

          To use deadly force, you have to let him hit you zero times. You don’t even have to sustain any injury at all.

          But you have to be in REASONABLE fear of your life.

          To use Zimmerman as an example. If he had pulled his gun and shot Trayvon Martin the instant Martin punched him and broke his nose, he would have been convicted. Because he wasn’t in reasonable fear of his life. When Martin started pounding his head on the pavement? Now he has reasonable fear. And he was acquitted.

          An unarmed man, even if he is big and pissed off, will be an extremely tough sell to a jury as a threat to Walker’s life. He certainly intended to get into a fight with Walker, but actually threaten his life? Walker didn’t have any real indication of that.

          And pointing out that he’s a cop doesn’t mean anything. It’s the fact that he did it several times, without prompting, clearly trying to stress that HE was a police officer and knew what was going on, and clearly worded to try and get them on his side. Look at his first statement. Not, “A man has been shot”. Not, “I was attacked”. Not, “A guy tried to attack me on the road and I shot him”, but “A police officer was attacked.” That is a statement intended to elicit a specific response, to Walker’s benefit. And it looks like it worked, because apparently when Maryland police showed up, they cuffed PIDEL, the unarmed passenger, and not Walker, the guy that had just shot somebody.

          In response to the straightforward question, “What’s your name” he feels the need to add “I’m a police officer”.

          Also, from another story on another site, his wife was actually the one to call 911 before handing the phone to Walker, and HER first words were also “A police officer was attacked”, not “My husband shot somebody”.

          All of that forms a picture of a man that thinks he can pull his, “I’m a cop” card to get out of killing somebody.

          Also, looking over this page, I think I’m done with you now, as you appear to be trolling the thread and the site with not a lot to add other than curses and insults.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to Olinser. | March 11, 2014 at 8:08 pm

          #3 Also, the statement of Mr. B even states that walker got out of his car and “stood there with his arms crossed across his chest.” To which Mr. B attributed the meaning of such a stance to be “wanting peace”, however I think most folks would argue that standing there silently with you arms across your chest seems more defiant than peaceful.

          Surely as a Police officer Walker has had some kind of training in verbal deescalation. I would have expected someone who wanted peace to use a stance with arms akimbo and palms facing Harvey. Also I would expect him to be asking questions of Harvey; Like “Hey, why are you so upset?” or “What did I do that upset you?” But just standing there with arms crossed across his chest indicates a closed attitude, possibly anger, but certainly defiance.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to Olinser. | March 11, 2014 at 8:12 pm

          @Olinser

          “If he had pulled his gun and shot Trayvon Martin the instant Martin punched him and broke his nose, he would have been convicted. Because he wasn’t in reasonable fear of his life.”

          It would also have been a clear disparity of force issue, because at that time Martin’s attack hadn’t risen to the level of deadly force. Once he used the sidewalk as a weapon then it became a deadly force issue.

          ThomasD in reply to Olinser. | March 12, 2014 at 9:00 am

          Reasonableness of force is an issue for the jury.

          http://blog.robballen.com/Post/16477/disparity-of-force-and-the-liars-who-abuse-it

          Shooting someone punching you in the head is entirely reasonable given the potential for serious harm or lethality.

      Bruce Hayden in reply to Olinser. | March 11, 2014 at 4:09 pm

      Agree on low chance for Murder One. I think that the state would have to show that Walker somehow set up the confrontation, and would have shot the victim, regardless of whether he continued to advance or not. Highly implausible. Murder Two is not that much better in my mind. Was shooting Harvey somehow dangerous? Showing a depraved heart or mind? Not really. There weren’t a lot of stray shots all over the place. And, it is going to be hard to show heat of passion, beyond a reasonable doubt, when Walker was apparently standing by his vehicle with his arms crossed, until he drew his firearm. Sounds more like someone relatively cooling facing danger. Manslaughter though is plausible, assuming that self-defense is not proven.

      Absent the retreat doctrine, with the facts that we have so far, I would expect an acquittal based on self-defense. Two massive guys advancing with menace on a smaller guy with wife and kid in his vehicle, looking for a fight. It is probably also significant that Walker did not shoot Pidel, when the latter stopped advancing. Can the state prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Walker was not in reasonable fear (absent his use of deadly force using his firearm) of his and his families lives or great bodily injury to at least one of them? Harvey was major big – appearing from his description to have been almost as wide as he was tall, much of that muscle. Pidel, not much smaller.

      Which is why I think that AB is right, that the case is going to revolve around the Retreat Doctrine and (lack of) SYG. Be interesting to see how the Black community reacts to this, since many are still whining about SYG in the Zimmerman case, despite SYG not having been relevant. In this case, a Black man may go to prison because MD has Retreat Doctrine, and not SYG. Rationally, they should back Walker over Martin any day, since the latter was heading towards all that is bad about parts of the Black community, while the former is all that is good – family man, member of the middle class, establishment, etc. We shall see.

        Olinser in reply to Bruce Hayden. | March 11, 2014 at 5:17 pm

        Bruce, 2nd degree murder isn’t only ‘depraved mind’, that is only one part of the law.

        At it’s basic level, 2nd degree murder means that the defendant had an intent to kill (and was successful).

        In this case, a reasonable case can be made that Walker pulling his gun, and then firing and hitting Harvey 3 times shows clear intent to kill. (It’s not a 100% lock, but certainly reasonable).

        Mitigating circumstances may bump it to Manslaughter, but at this point I would not be hugely surprised if he were convicted of Murder 2.

        However, I would be shocked if he is convicted of Murder 1. That’s a big overreach, IMO.

          pjm in reply to Olinser. | March 11, 2014 at 6:31 pm

          “In this case, a reasonable case can be made that Walker pulling his gun, and then firing and hitting Harvey 3 times shows clear intent to kill. (It’s not a 100% lock, but certainly reasonable).”

          Is that your idea of how the law works ? Really ? ‘Reasonable case for guilt’ = guilty verdict ?

          Wow. I though I heard something somewhere about ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’.

          My bad.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to Olinser. | March 11, 2014 at 8:18 pm

          I would actually think that if there were a conviction at all it would probably be manslaughter secondary to imperfect self defense.

          For a great description of “Imperfect Self Defense” read “The Law of Self Defense” 2nd ed. by Andrew Branca. (Andrew you owe me some shooting tips when you make it to Arkansas to do your seminar for the book plug, LOL!)

          Bruce Hayden in reply to Olinser. | March 11, 2014 at 8:56 pm

          Ok – looked up 2nd Degree murder in MD, and you are correct – it is murder w/o premeditation. And, murder, I believe, is an intentional killing.

          tom swift in reply to Olinser. | March 11, 2014 at 10:03 pm

          Is that your idea of how the law works ? Really ? ‘Reasonable case for guilt’ = guilty verdict ?

          Learn to read English.

          Three shots implying clear intent to kill, not three shots implying guilty.

          Jeez, you do have a brain problem. The simplest stuff flies right over your head.

          Really.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Emperor Penguin. | March 11, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    That isn’t what Pidel said. Walker and Harvey were both yelling back and forth. Pidel said this in the same breath that he said “THEY” were going to fight.”

    “They were yelling and THEY were going to fight.” – Pidel

    Got it?

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Emperor Penguin. | March 11, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    Actually, here is an exact quote of what Pidel said with regard to your misinformation: “And they were yelling at each other. And they were going to fight on the side of the road.” – Pidel

    That’s a two-way conversation.

      No, that is TWO things !

      A ) A recitation of claimed fact, and then

      B ) A CONJECTURE, a SPECULATION, as to what might happen next, as to what either party might intend.

DINORightMarie | March 11, 2014 at 1:04 pm

I find it fascinating that the law in Maryland doesn’t exempt police officers and military from transporting and carrying weapons in their vehicles, and that MD is using such stringent laws against a member of the police force who has documented proof (the 911 calls), even admission from one of the apparent assailants (Patel), that they were being forced off the road and in a position of vital threat and/or life-threatening aggression.

The idea that “required retreat” (I believe it’s called) is applied to the NJ officer is remarkable to me. Not that law enforcement should be subject to lesser, or different, laws; it’s more that they usually carry and use weapons due to their job, and would understand criminal intent and aggression moreso than most people, due to their training.

Also, does NJ have similar laws about carrying guns withing their border, and the use of such guns? Should Det. Walker have known that having his weapon and using it would cause such a fracas and charges against him? If so, would that add to his understanding, his sense, of how serious the threat must have been to him and his family – so much so, that he chose to use his weapon?

    MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to DINORightMarie. | March 11, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    AFAIK there are no general weapons charges. For example for illegally carrying. My understanding si that there are Federal laws which supercede local laws, and those laws allow out of state LEO’s to carry guns.

    I’ve seen it remarked that the fact the defendant is a police officer from outside the state means the book is being thrown at him.

JackRussellTerrierist | March 11, 2014 at 1:30 pm

Absolutely bizarre.

First, the wife is asked do they need police, fire or ambulance. Wife informs they need police. Why not an ambulance for Harvey? Was the wife good with him laying there bleeding to death? Why was getting the police there THEN, AFTER Harvey was down instead of before, more important than getting an ambulance at that point? Why not call the police BEFORE the shooting occurred if you think the police is the agency to help the situation?

“A police officer got attacked by two people.” Beyond bizarre. Use of the second person and the fact that Walker was not attacked shows he began lying from the very beginning and tried to establish a narrative.

Nowhere does he say he was afraid for his life or that of his wife and kids, nowhere does he say the target of the “attack” was his wife or kids. Nowhere does he say Pidel was coming at him, only the driver (Harvey).

What he does say, which is pretty well already established as a lie, is that he was “run off the road” by Harvey and “they pulled us over.” And, lol, Joe-Blow citizen, pissed off or not, does not “pull over” an off-duty cop who doesn’t WANT to pull over.

There’s also nothing here to indicate Walker viewed Pidel as a threat. Walker, here, is focused on Harvey and his use of the enword, and Walker specifically says it was the driver who “came at him.” Even more telling is that the wife gives no indication of fear. She wants police, to hell with Harvey laying ten feet from her bleeding to death.

Walker tried to establish a narrative at the outset that “A police officer was attacked.” He repeatedly pointed out his LE status to dispatch. Even the dispatcher was confused by the use of the second person “A police officer was attacked” and the police officer shooting someone and that the caller was the police officer/shooter.

Based on what we know from other witnesses vs. Walker’s 911 call, Walker has a huge hurdle ahead of him. It’s very damning in terms of what the defense is trying to now claim was the case at the moment and the nature of Walker’s actions. My take is that Walker was angry about the enword usage, and decided to just shoot the asshole. There was no indication of fear, never a thought of retreat, none of that.

I also note that Walker makes no mention of it starting because he ran Harbey off the road. You don’t run somebody off the road while making a turn and not notice it. Yet Walker makes it sound like Harvey just started calling him the enword, yelling and swerving without an iota of provocation (which is not to suggest that Harvey’s response was proportional to Walker’s original offense). “Just another crazy-assed cracka, no idea what he’s on about”.

Walker’s temper got the best of him and now he’s (deservedly) in deep trouble for it. This second person narrative when it came to who was attacked and who fired the shot has that “The dog ate my homework” ring to it. He just couldn’t come out and own it personally. I call BS on his whole story, then and now.

    You are one long winded mother F…..

    And also full of crap.

      tom swift in reply to pjm. | March 11, 2014 at 2:46 pm

      Your reasoning ability is substandard. I can’t be the only one who’s noticed that.

      But I’m willing to give credit where it’s due. At least you keep your silly comments short.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to pjm. | March 11, 2014 at 3:15 pm

      Name calling just makes it seem like you can’t make a logical objective argument and lowers peoples opinions of your comments automatically. Frankly you make some valid logical points at times, name calling is beneath you.

        MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Gremlin1974. | March 11, 2014 at 3:24 pm

        Pot this is the kettle calling.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | March 11, 2014 at 8:25 pm

          Actually, I have never called you or anyone else names that I can remember, I may have refereed to you as Mr. Wizard or as a psychic when you make claims that you can’t substantiate. I have also said that you specifically lack objectivity, which is still believe.

          However, I try to point out why I think those things, I don’t just call someone a name and then tell them they are stupid and then sign off. Which when you think about it is kind of like screaming “Poo Poo Head” and marching out of the sandbox. You, however, and a couple of others seem to take the “Poo Poo Head” tact more often than just simply defending your arguments.

          tom swift in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | March 11, 2014 at 10:11 pm

          There seem to be two people using Mr Dog’s computer or his account. One can do a tolerable job of tying two points together and making a coherent statement. The other has delusions of adequacy as an acerbic wit. Hence the routinely large thumbs down count on all posts under his name – the wit wannabee annoys many regulars, but the somewhat reasonable poster gets blamed for it.

          MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | March 12, 2014 at 1:56 am

          Actually, I have never called you or anyone else names that I can remember,

          Soooo
          how long have yopu been suffering from Alzheimer’s?

    “First, the wife is asked do they need police, fire or ambulance. Wife informs they need police. Why not an ambulance for Harvey?”

    Wow – maybe she was scared and nervous and wanted POLICE help ?

    ““A police officer got attacked by two people.” Beyond bizarre. Use of the second person and the fact that Walker was not attacked shows he began lying from the very beginning and tried to establish a narrative.”

    Bull. When a big guy just walked 150 feet towards you yelling that he’s going to kick your ass, you ARE under attack.

    “What he does say, which is pretty well already established as a lie, is that he was “run off the road” by Harvey and “they pulled us over.” And, lol, Joe-Blow citizen, pissed off or not, does not “pull over” an off-duty cop who doesn’t WANT to pull over.”

    More bull. I have a car – I can run ANYONE IN THIS WORLD off the road if I try hard enough. Or get them (or me) killed trying. Regardless of where they work.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to pjm. | March 11, 2014 at 8:32 pm

      “More bull. I have a car – I can run ANYONE IN THIS WORLD off the road if I try hard enough. Or get them (or me) killed trying. Regardless of where they work.”

      I am wondering what is your definition of “run off of the road”?

      To me is means being forced off of the paved/concrete area demarcated as a roadway, i.e. off into the grass or median. I have seen no reports that lead me to believe that Harvey forced Walker off of the road. Especially since their cars never actually made contact, which I realize contact is not required to force someone off of the road, but we actually have conflicting statements as to who pulled over first. What is not conflicting is that all statements seem to indicate that Harvey and Walker both has control of their vehicles and pulled over of their own accord. So I am thinking that you mean something different than this.

      tom swift in reply to pjm. | March 11, 2014 at 10:13 pm

      that he’s going to kick your ass, you ARE under attack.

      Not if you hope to justify a claim of legal self defense, you’re not.

        gxm17 in reply to tom swift. | March 12, 2014 at 1:57 pm

        But if you have a gun which you’re pointing at a large and angry man coming at you, and you let him know to stop or you’ll shoot but he keeps advancing, then IMO you *are* under attack. As a small woman, I’d have to shoot an attacker at a distance because I can’t take the chance they’ll wrestle the gun from me (which is one reason I don’t keep guns for self defense).

        Granted, I haven’t followed the case closely, but it sounds to me that Walker was defending his wife and child against a very hostile threat. IMO, Harvey and Pidel were terrorizing a family with a child in the car. Who does that? Unfortunately for Harvey the father of the family had a gun.

          tom swift in reply to gxm17. | March 12, 2014 at 8:37 pm

          But if you have a gun which you’re pointing at a large and angry man coming at you, and you let him know to stop or you’ll shoot but he keeps advancing, then IMO you *are* under attack.

          That scenario may have little to do with this case. The eyewitness statement we have of the actual shooting is that the large and angry man did stop. That would seem to be the appropriate move by him; and as a reward, he was shot to death.

          If the defense can present something fairly credible which implies that Harvey did not stop his advance on Walker when the gun was displayed, Walker’s case for legal use of deadly force would become much better; perhaps even good enough. (Though he’d still have to deal with the failure to retreat.)

          Granted, I haven’t followed the case closely, but it sounds to me that Walker was defending his wife and child against a very hostile threat

          Yeah, you haven’t been following it to a useful degree.

          That theory has been mooted, but it pretty much died due to a total absence of any reason to believe that Harvey had a grouse with anyone but the driver of the van, which was Walker, and Walker alone.

          A briefly fashionable bit of pretzel logic postulated that (a) if both parties were sufficiently foolish to continue their game of highway bumper cars, then (b) that might have ended in a road accident, and maybe (c) one or more passengers in Walker’s van might end up injured or dead. That’s a pretty flimsy chain of speculation to pin on Harvey, and it’s even flimsier if it’s pinned on Harvey alone.

          gxm17 in reply to gxm17. | March 13, 2014 at 8:26 am

          I agree that if Harvey stopped advancing then he shouldn’t have been shot. But I don’t think it’s clear whether Harvey had backed off or not, and I’m not sure it will ever be. The only point that everyone seems to agree on is that Harvey was angry and shouting racial epithets. Which, IMO, make him look like the aggressor.

          tom swift in reply to gxm17. | March 13, 2014 at 10:04 am

          and I’m not sure it will ever be

          The trial hasn’t even started yet. We don’t have Walker’s police statement. We don’t have much at all. It might be premature to decide that that’s all we’ll ever have.

          The only point that everyone seems to agree on is that Harvey was angry and shouting racial epithets.

          The really big point is that a man is dead and it remains unclear that the guy who shot him was justified in doing so. Pretty much by definition, being shot to death is a once-in-a-lifetime event. Was there any threat to Walker which genuinely rose to such an occasion?

          Which, IMO, make him look like the aggressor

          That’s been flogged to death already too. Basically, so what? You don’t get shot to be death for being an aggressor. Who is the aggressor is of little importance. The aggressor might have more trouble if he was the one trying to claim that he killed someone else in self defense, but maybe not; it depends on the details.

          But that’s not the situation here.

          To claim legal self defense, Walker has to offer something approximating a compelling story about believing that Harvey presented an immediate and deadly physical threat. Not that Harvey was big, ugly, angry, or any other trivia. Deadly threat. Right now. And unavoidable (which, since Walker had a duty to retreat in Maryland, is another hurdle for him). That compelling story is what we don’t have yet.

          gxm17 in reply to gxm17. | March 13, 2014 at 1:30 pm

          Yes. I know. I’m making a prediction that the defense will say that Harvey was coming at Walker and that the prosecution will say he had stopped and/or was backing off. The news articles I’ve read say that Harvey was shot as he approached Walker’s car, so I’m guessing that’s his story and he’s sticking to it. We shall see.

That Harvey never got close enough to physically attack him is going to be the breaking point.

It is for me. Regardless of the other provocations or what have you, you cannot shoot someone outside your home unless they at least are close enough to actually physically touch you or have some other weapon that lengthens the distance of threat.

He was probably right that Harvey intended harm but there’s no proof (that’s been offered in the reporting) that shows that Harvey tried to or succeeded in laying a hand on him.

I haven’t seen anything but did Harvey make any verbal threats? Even then that doesn’t count. If he was in fear because there were two of them, why didn’t he shoot the other guy?

This all smells bad and looks bad for Walker. IMO.

    pjm in reply to jakee308. | March 11, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    “That Harvey never got close enough to physically attack him is going to be the breaking point.”

    I read elsewhere hear ‘6 – 10 feet’. That is ‘danger close’, ‘death close’.

    No one need be ‘close enough to touch you’, IOW ‘arms’s length or less’ before you have the right to defend yourself. Regardless of what he may be holding. A knife ? Does he have to be within arm’s length plus 6 inches ? Hell no ! Fucking shoot him at 15 feet !

      Ragspierre in reply to pjm. | March 11, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      You should do yourself a favor and NEVER carry a firearm unless you are hunting or at a shooting range.

      Someone might be inclined to punch you in the face, and you’ll go to prison…rightfully.

        Really ? You think you have some kind of obligation to ‘absorb the first punch or kick’ before having a right to defend yourself ?

        Really ?

        What if that first punch or kick disables you, cripples you, or kills you ?

          Ragspierre in reply to pjm. | March 11, 2014 at 3:49 pm

          I don’t think “self-defense” means the use of deadly force when no deadly force is present.

          You certainly seem afraid, to the extent you should never carry a firearm except as noted.

          Maybe you should invest in a course in street fighting.

          MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to pjm. | March 11, 2014 at 4:44 pm

          @Ragspierre
          There is no such thing as a course in street fighting.

          There are courses on ( Asian ) martial arts, boxing, fencing etc. but the only course on street fighting is experience, and a passing grade is when you don’t wind up in the hospital.

          tom swift in reply to pjm. | March 11, 2014 at 5:01 pm

          There is no such thing as a course in street fighting.

          If this was the Gong Show, the noise in here would be deafening right about now.

          Ragspierre in reply to pjm. | March 11, 2014 at 5:18 pm

          I’m not really a brawler, though I’ve have my innings…

          I have been in LOTS of fist-fights, and was never hurt in one. Usually, not even a visible bruise, though I was hit repeatedly by a guy who had thrown a Lube-Refiner cartridge at me as hard as he could, and was beating me about the head and shoulders until I put my thumb in his eye-socket and asked him politely to stop.

          Last one, two people assaulted me. When the LEO arrived, I had one under each arm.

          Don’t be afraid.

          MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to pjm. | March 11, 2014 at 7:01 pm

          @Ragspierre
          First, if you want to convince people you know WTF you are talking about do not use bing as your search engine.
          Second, the oldest and lamest scam on the internet is going to a search engine, looking up a few words and claiming to know something. You do realize that the fourth hit is not a course on street fighting but an MIT course on mathematics?
          Third, one of the later hits is for “real street fighting” videos. You really buy that? Btw most are for videos or classes that you have to pay for.

          Let me correct one thing. OK. There are courses on street fighting, but there are no legitimate courses on street fighting.

          You want to disagree? Fine. I’ve got some penis enlargement stuff I want to sell you.

          Ragspierre in reply to pjm. | March 11, 2014 at 7:04 pm

          …didn’t work, huh?

          Ragspierre in reply to pjm. | March 11, 2014 at 7:36 pm

          Hey, mouse…

          When you get over the butt-hurt about your penis enlargement stuff…

          look up “Krav Maga” (which I know zip about in practice).

          You’ll find it is

          1. a street-fighting system

          2. “legitimate”, and

          3. taught in a lot of places…yes, for money…which is why I said “invest”.

          They also have remedial reading programs available.

          Jes’ sayin’…

          tom swift in reply to pjm. | March 11, 2014 at 10:18 pm

          Krav Maga has a remedial reading program?

          That’d be cool.

          Ragspierre in reply to pjm. | March 11, 2014 at 10:21 pm

          You learn to read out of blackened eyes.

          And you seldom make more than one mistake…

          MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to pjm. | March 12, 2014 at 2:03 am

          @Ragspierre
          look up “Krav Maga” (which I know zip about in practice).

          You’ll find it is

          1. a street-fighting system

          2. “legitimate”, and

          Actually I looked up “Krav Maga fraud” and found that a lot of serious people don’t think it is legitmate.

          Ragspierre in reply to pjm. | March 12, 2014 at 6:31 am

          Wow, mouse.

          “Serious people” like who? Name them.

          Not the Mossad, certainly. They are pretty “serious people”.

          Are they the same population that looks down there noses nearly 5 million Bing returns?

          You are seriously beclowning yourself.

          Some more.

          Again.

      jakee308 in reply to pjm. | March 11, 2014 at 7:31 pm

      You have a distinct problem with not reading what people say here. I said “or have some other weapon that lengthens the distance of threat.”

      That covers a knife or a ball bat or a gun or what have you.

      Next. You seem to be emotionally involved with this case.

      I’m guessing you are either black or a cop or both.

      You are not doing yourself, your cause or anyone else’s cause by being so obnoxious and ignoring what people actually say. You seem to hit a spot in a sentence and you go off. Disregarding anything that was said beyond that point.

      It’s unnerving seeing that here as most are fairly calm and collected and try to be objective.

      You apparently are unable to do that and I’d appreciate it if you’d either get yourself calmer before replying or just go away.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to pjm. | March 11, 2014 at 11:42 pm

      You are actually correct. Pretty much anything under 21 feet is considered the immediate danger zone, whats know as the Tueller (sp?) drill. So 6 to 10 feet is well within that zone.

      The concept that people keep questioning in your statements is disparity of force, basically using deadly force against a non-deadly threat equals murder.

        tom swift in reply to Gremlin1974. | March 12, 2014 at 5:04 am

        Tueller’s tests were specifically about how quickly a man armed with a knife could travel 21 feet. The idea was that when knife guy arrives, he’s assumed to be able to inflict a lethal wound immediately.

        The same idea would obviously apply if some other weapon such as a hatchet, a club, etc. was substituted for the knife.

        But Harvey has not been reported to have had any such weapon. So while the “danger zone” would still cover the same distance, the actual danger would not be anywhere near as great as in the basic Tueller scenario.

    Bruce Hayden in reply to jakee308. | March 11, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    I suspect that you are going to lose on this. That police training is that you shoot before someone gets w/i 6-10 feet of you, and that letting someone get any closer is extremely dangerous. Now, if he had been on duty, and on the street, he might have tasered the decedent, or maybe used a baton, but he only had his firearm, so used that. Making that more credible, I think, is that he apparently fired a warning shot, and yet, the decedent continued to advance to the distance which is probably considered in police training to be the minimum distance to allow someone to advance before using deadly force.

    We shall see.

      MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Bruce Hayden. | March 11, 2014 at 3:51 pm

      He fired a warning shot ( or what probably was a warning shot ) that shot ricochet and caught Harvey in the leg severing his femoral. It turned out to be the killing blow.

      After that Walker fired two more shots. It’s not clear that exactly how Harvey was moving at the time.

        Bruce Hayden in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | March 11, 2014 at 9:02 pm

        If that is the case, that the warning shot was the killing shot, then they may get to 2nd degree from the depraved heart/brain point of view – but I don’t see that in the 2nd Degree statute (§2–204.), but rather, that the killing has to be (unpremeditated) murder, and that is problematic here, since the shot was not apparently aimed at the decedent. So, if that is accurate, then they might have manslaughter and attempted 2nd Degree Murder (for the other two shots), and not 2nd Degree Murder itself.

        Should be interesting.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to Bruce Hayden. | March 11, 2014 at 11:45 pm

          Yes, warning shots are not generally and accepted practice even for police, but I don’t think that raises to the level of 2nd degree murder, that sounds more like negligence which imho would be manslaughter.

      tom swift in reply to Bruce Hayden. | March 11, 2014 at 4:06 pm

      fired a warning shot

      And that would be another legal problem for Walker.

    tom swift in reply to jakee308. | March 11, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    unless they at least are close enough to actually physically touch you or have some other weapon that lengthens the distance of threat.

    That’s one of the sticking points of this case – how close is “enough” to make the threat both credible and imminent?

    I tend to think that it has to be pretty damn close, but that belief is not universal. There’s a current case in NY ( http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2014/03/04/li-man-facing-manslaughter-charge-for-shooting-killing-alleged-armed-burglar/ ) involving five would-be burglars or home invaders fleeing from three of their would-be victims, two armed with sticks of some sort and one with a shotgun. Shotgun guy shot one of the five in the back, killing him, and is now charged with manslaughter. But many online commenters insist that shooting a fleeing man in the back is still self defense because the fleeing man had, a few seconds earlier, definitely been the aggressor (one of the gang of burglars), though not the aggressor in any personal attack on the shooter. I disagree. The target presented no imminent deadly threat to the shooter. Earlier, sure; he’s trying to break into an occupied house, and the case for self defense seems pretty clear (though I don’t know about NY). Later, maybe, if he came back to try the burglarize the house again. But at the moment he was shot? Self defense? No way.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to tom swift. | March 11, 2014 at 11:50 pm

      “But many online commenters insist that shooting a fleeing man in the back is still self defense because the fleeing man had, a few seconds earlier, definitely been the aggressor.”

      I think even Andrew would agree that those commenters would be dead wrong. I have never heard of a case where shooting a fleeing attacker would be justified, unless the person fleeing was hit because you missed the person who was the imminent threat. There is one state that allows you to shoot someone who is taking your property, Kentucky maybe, I I just don’t see how shooting someone who is fleeing could be justified. Andrew may have a different view but I doubt it.

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Gremlin1974. | March 12, 2014 at 1:07 am

        There was the Joe Horn case in Pasadena, TX, several years ago. Horn was never charged for shooting two black illegal aliens from Columbia when they came into his yard after burglarizing his neighbor’s house. Quannel X and his New Black Panthers came to town some time later to protest in Horn’s neighborhood. It was right after obastard was elected. Epic fail. Mr. X and his boys were literally run out of Dodge by the locals, but I heard he and the boys stopped at Wally world on the outskirts to buy fresh shorts for the trip back.

        Here’s a kWiki about the case: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Horn_shooting_controversy

        There’s a Youtube video somewhere of Quannel and the Clowns turning tail and jamming away from Joe’s hood as fast as they could. It was sort of like the clown car at the circus that lets multitudes of clowns out of a little car, one after the other, only the reverse. These clowns were getting in, lol.

    pjm in reply to jakee308. | March 11, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    “That Harvey never got close enough to physically attack him is going to be the breaking point.”

    6 – 10 feet isn’t ‘close enough to attack’ ? Really ? Ya think ?

    “He was probably right that Harvey intended harm but there’s no proof (that’s been offered in the reporting) that shows that Harvey tried to or succeeded in laying a hand on him.”

    So, you’re in the ‘you have to get hit first’ school ?

      Ragspierre in reply to pjm. | March 11, 2014 at 6:46 pm

      A fist-fight is not a binary system…

      Off…nothing.

      On…you stand stupidly and let yourself get hit.

      Jeeeeebus!

      Plus, as a fist-fight approaches, you are not helpless. You CAN defuse the situation with a tiny bit of civility.

    pjm in reply to jakee308. | March 11, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    “It is for me. Regardless of the other provocations or what have you, you cannot shoot someone outside your home unless they at least are close enough to actually physically touch you or have some other weapon that lengthens the distance of threat.”

    Bullcrap.

      Ragspierre in reply to pjm. | March 11, 2014 at 8:43 pm

      Well, of course you CAN shoot them.

      You WILL be charged and very likely convicted of some form of felony.

      And quite rightly, too.

      You are a very frightened person.

It’s not obvious that this adds all that much to the story.

Walker reporting himself as a police officer when he’s actually a police officer in another state strikes me as bizarre; in Maryland he’s not a police officer, he’s just another lousy driver.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to tom swift. | March 11, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    Heh. When you’re looking for a solid, you milk it for all it’s worth.

    I think it adds a great deal to the prosecution’s case. Walker and his wife were immediately able to call 9-1-1. The could have called before the shooting, before they pulled over, but the didn’t. Instead of requesting the ambulance when given the choice of what sort of help was needed, the wife chose the police, not the ambulance for Harvey.

    The wife makes the call “A police officer was attacked.” Not “My husband was attacked, a man’s been shot, hurry, please send help, an ambulance and police!” And, lol, she says “A police officer was attacked”, as though some local street cop just got shot. THEN Walker gets on the phone and repeats “A police officer’s been attacked” as though Walker told his wife how to phrase it when she called, then took over the call because he wasn’t confident in her ability to handle the call/know what to say. He then goes on with his false narrative about them being run off the road onto the shoulder, “pulled over”, attacked, etc.. That’s a big clue right there that Walker knew he could have just kept going – by trying to blame the fact that he was stopped at all because he was “pulled over” by Harvey and/or run off onto the shoulder by Harvey – and, lol, was somehow stuck in the mud?

    What a load.

      You think this adds a great deal to the prosecution’s case?

      I guess that’s why the defense attorney included it in his motion to dismiss.

      There is no prosecution case–there is just a persecution case by the hysterical anti-gun Democrat political matrix.

      They are going to lose legally, for any number of sufficient reasons, but not before breaking Walker and ‘sending a message’,even in losing, to other potential non-conformers everywhere.

      And you’re tooling right with them.

        MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to bildung. | March 11, 2014 at 4:01 pm

        The lead defense lawyer is appearing pro hac vicea. What od you want to bet he is a PBA lawyer?

        If so Walker won’t be going broke.

      “What a load.”

      Yeh – your post.

    MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to tom swift. | March 11, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    Incorrect. As a police officer. Even an out of state police officer, Maryland’s laws on guns, are superceded by Federal laws allowing LEOs to carry guns even if they are from other states.

    And Walker did point out that he is a police officer in NJ. EHe even pointed out that he is an officer from Huddon valley (??).

    Bullshit. He is in fact a police officer.

    He thus is entitled to state that truthful fact.

    “Walker reporting himself as a police officer when he’s actually a police officer …”

    Do you ever actually read your own BS before hitting ‘Submit’ ?

      tom swift in reply to pjm. | March 11, 2014 at 4:02 pm

      There you go again.

      You really should get your mind out of the BS. It’s an obsession.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to pjm. | March 11, 2014 at 7:06 pm

      Walker knew he had no peace officer authority or powers of arrest in MD. He has never been sworn in by any entity in MD with the authority to bestow on him any peace officer status. That is a significant reason why he should have called 9-1-1 and is the reason why him not doing so is suspicious as to premeditation.

      His background as a “police officer” (he’s not a street cop) is only relevant to the decisions he made and how he handles himself. Although not always identical, policies and procedures for handling the variety of incidents and cases that peace officers are presented with don’t vary that much from department to department. Some specific codes of conduct are nearly universal.

      So, if you’re defending Walker, I suggest you avoid discussing his peace officer status because he was way out of line in the way he handled the matter. He was looking for a break from the responding officers, which is why he kept stating he was a police officer after stating an officer had been attacked. he left it to dispatchers to connect the dots that he was the one who shot somebody. He just couldn’t bring himself to admit it. If it was a righteous shoot, that would be no problem.

      Walker made a very deceitful statement to the dispatcher that a “police officer” had been attacked. When you tell a dispatcher that a “police officer” has been attacked, the reasonable assumption is that a uniformed cop has just been attacked in the line of duty. Walker never says, “I was attacked.” He says a “police officer” had been attacked. Then he goes on to state where he’s from, and the dispatcher has to ask him something to the effect, “Then you’re off-duty?”

      If Walker wasn’t trying to be deceptive, which he wouldn’t need to do unless he knew he was in trouble because he let his temper get the best of him, what he would have said, according to most departments’ procedures, is “We need an ambulance to north/southbound HWY __ between ___ and ___ for a gunshot victim. My name is Joseph Walker. I’m an off-duty, out-of-state peace officer from Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, New Jersey. I shot the man who is down. I’m still armed. My family is with me, and we are stopped. We are in a yellow Kia mini-van on the shoulder, tag #___. My phone number is ____, and my address is ____. I’ll wait for your officers.” Dispatch would have then given him any instructions required and probably kept him on the line until the officers arrived by asking him further questions.

      Instead, we get “A police officer’s been attacked” as the first information given to dispatch, by an out-of-state, off-duty investigator who doesn’t have a scratch on him.

        OMG.

        In that situation, under that stress, you want him to give a freaking speech over the phone to 911 ?

        And no matter HOW many times you claim otherwise – he IS a police officer, exactly as he stated.

          tom swift in reply to pjm. | March 11, 2014 at 9:45 pm

          Why is that a problem? You think he’d be in danger of running out of dimes to stick in his cell phone?

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to pjm. | March 12, 2014 at 1:18 am

          Yup, that’s what he’s supposed to say. His department would require it, and so would the responding department.

          It’s called ‘protocol’. Do you know what ‘protocol’ means?

    “Walker reporting himself as a police officer when he’s actually a police officer in another state strikes me as bizarre; in Maryland he’s not a police officer, he’s just another lousy driver.”

    So, a school teacher in NJ isn’t a school teacher any more after they cross state lines ?

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to pjm. | March 11, 2014 at 7:16 pm

      Having a profession doesn’t mean you have a job in every state.

      Let me give you an example. Let’s suppose you’re a janitor in Georgia and you take a trip to FL to visit family. Are you employed as a janitor in FL? As in officially been issued your keys, mops, etc., there? Can you just go in any ol’ place and start sweeping?

      Let’s say you’re a chef in Phoenix, and you go to visit family in Vegas. Can you just pop in to the kitchen at Caesar’s Palace and whip something up?

        The janitor can still say he is a janitor without lying. The chef, a chef. A cop, a cop.

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to pjm. | March 12, 2014 at 1:27 am

          No job, no authority. No job in MD at the time, no more authority in MD than the chef in NV or the janitor in FL – zip, zero, zilch, nada.

          Walker, currently suspended without pay, has no LESS police power right now in MD than he did when he shot Harvey, which is zip, zero, zilch, nada.

      tom swift in reply to pjm. | March 11, 2014 at 8:49 pm

      Nobody gives a hoot if he’s an policeman, an astronaut, or a ditchdigger. He’s citing an authority which he doesn’t have in that state.

allowing LEOs to carry guns even if they are from other states.

Takes more than a gun – even a legal one – to make him a police officer in the local jurisdiction.

    So ? He never said he was ‘on duty’ did he ?

      tom swift in reply to pjm. | March 11, 2014 at 3:00 pm

      Irrelevant.

      As usual.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to pjm. | March 11, 2014 at 7:19 pm

      The first words to 9-1-1 were “A police officer’s been attacked.”

      Walker is not/was not a police officer in MD. It was a lie. That was Walker already looking for cover, looking for a solid from his brothers of the blue wall.

        He was and is still ‘a cop’. No lie.

          Ragspierre in reply to pjm. | March 11, 2014 at 9:09 pm

          There are things we can say that…while “truthful” in some sense…are spoken for the purpose of deception or for advantage.

          “A police officer has been attacked” is certainly one in this case. It was said to have the effect of, “Officer needs assistance”.

          Wasn’t it?

          Gremlin1974 in reply to pjm. | March 12, 2014 at 12:02 am

          I agree with you he is a police officer and yes he does have very right to tell the dispatcher that fact.

          My problem is that he didn’t identify himself as a New Jersey cop, which may have just been a oversight on his part due to stress.

          However, he keeps telling them that he is a cop and that makes me wonder if even Walker realized that it might be a questionable shoot. I mean it has to be going through his mind, he realizes that he is not in his own jurisdiction and that being a police officer isn’t going to carry as much weight as if this happened while he was on duty.

          Also something we have to remember about transcripts is they only convey words, which many times tell you the least about a persons actual state of mind. We can’t hear Walkers tone, volume, timber, and rate of speech.

          Frankly to me he sounds like the is reverting to what he understands best and he is trying to make what he said sound like a police report, which typically sound very cold.

If I was a black man and just shot a white guy, you’re damned right I would make sure they knew it was me that was the police officer. I would make damn sure they knew and would repeat it as often as needed. And I really despise a law that tells a man to act like a coward (retreat) in the presence of his family. THAT is bizarre. Walker could very well be guilty, but you don’t know that and neither do I. I always find it amazing how we can sit here and judge people who were literally in a struggle for their life, declaring what they should have or should not have done.

    pjm in reply to gasper. | March 11, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    If I was a green cop, and I just shot a purple guy, I would make damn sure everyone knew I was a cop.

    In jurisdiction or out.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to pjm. | March 11, 2014 at 7:23 pm

      And why would that be important to you?

        Possibly for the same reason that if I stop and a car wreck or help an injured person in public and I have to make the 911 call I make it very clear to those around me and to the dispatcher that I am a Nurse. Yes that does provide me some legal cover in case things go bad, he may have been doing it for just that reason. Even if he is doing it to try to cover himself, I really can’t blame him.

        Another reason I make is clear is because I am honest with myself I don’t look like what most folks picture when you say School Nurse, being 6′, being closer to a keg than a 6 pack in the middle region, boots, jeans, t-shirt with leather vest, goatee, and balding close cut hair, I look more like an extra from Sons of Anarchy not School Nurse so identification can be very important.

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Gremlin1974. | March 12, 2014 at 1:45 am

          Thanks for your ideas, but my question really was specifically to pjm this particular time (yes, I know we all answer each other’s posts and questions 🙂 )

    Bruce Hayden in reply to gasper. | March 11, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Don’t know any more, but when I lived in MD maybe 3 decades ago, it was still fairly racist. Sure, it stayed in the Union during the Civil War, but the rather large Army of the Potomac stationed near there may have had some impact on that. The racism was more noticeable there than in N. VA, where I had lived right before that, despite VA having been part of the Confederacy.

    So, yes, I think that it probably was a good move to repeatedly identify himself as a police officer. The passive voice probably helped too – to make it clear who the bad guys were.

      “Don’t know any more, but when I lived in MD maybe 3 decades ago, it was still fairly racist.”

      I agree, there are large swaths of Maryland where no white person had better go.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to gasper. | March 11, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    Recent cases indicate that the opposite racial roles you state are actually the case. Black on white crime is rampant, and it’s constantly overlooked or a narrative of justification is manufactured. Yet non-guilty whites become national pariahs with white libtards and Jackson, Dumbton, etc., at the helm.

    Have you already forgotten the Zimmerman case? Have you forgotten the Duke lacrosse case from seven years ago? Do you know the lengths to which that street whore, that prosecutor, the university, the police department and even some of the citizenry went to in their effort to destroy the lives of three promising young men by putting them in prison for forty years each for a crime that never occurred?

    It might do you some good to read Tom Wolf’s Bonfires of the Vanities if you don’t want to take the time to follow what’s happening in this country racially, which apparently you don’t.

when you just shot someone and still have the weapon its in everyones best interests to let the arriving officers know you are a cop too.
doesn’t absolve you of anything, just means they won’t shoot you on sight. cops arriving would know before hand that when they arrive the person with weapon is the reporting party and does have control of a weapon.

    tom swift in reply to dmacleo. | March 11, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    Seems like a pretty unexceptionable comment.

    But somebody gave it a “thumbs down”.

    What do we have here, a spree by the Mad Downthumbbot?

      tom swift in reply to tom swift. | March 11, 2014 at 4:13 pm

      Hey, this is kinda cool – you can give your own comment a “thumbs down”. As software innovations go, that has to count as something really special. I don’t think that even Microsoft would consider that a good feature.

      I don’t know if you can give your own comment a “thumbs up”, though.

      Phillep Harding in reply to tom swift. | March 11, 2014 at 5:15 pm

      Yeah, some of those down thumbs are awful puzzling.

      And I don’t see a down thumb on your post. (?)

        tom swift in reply to Phillep Harding. | March 11, 2014 at 5:26 pm

        I’ll admit, I was tempted to add one.

        But, being the insufferably good sport that I am, I’ll let someone else go first.

        Most of the ‘puzzling’ ones are probably from PJM – he doesn’t seem to do a lot other than troll the pages and spew curses.

          tom swift in reply to TheDude. | March 11, 2014 at 7:04 pm

          A tenable theory, but . . . he only has one vote and so can’t account for those enviable multiple vote counts which some manage to rack up. Unless he also logs in as his own evil twin to vote again. Or maybe clearing browser cookies would be enough.

          In any case, experimenting’s not worth the bother.

          TheDude in reply to TheDude. | March 11, 2014 at 7:08 pm

          All that’s required to get an account to vote up/vote down posts is an email address.

          Heck give me an hour I could create enough accounts to give my own posts 10 upvotes and everybody else 10 downvotes in just a few minutes.

          People do it on other sites all the time – log in and out with multiple posts to try and vote themselves up and other people down. It gets really obvious when you have nothing but curse-filled tirades that have multiple upvotes.

          Branca should be proud. He’s popular enough to have his own trolls!

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to TheDude. | March 11, 2014 at 7:27 pm

          Can something like that really be that important to anyone over the age of about 14? I mean to log in and out over and over?

          tom swift in reply to TheDude. | March 11, 2014 at 8:54 pm

          All that’s required to get an account to vote up/vote down posts is an email address.

          Sure, but you’d have to be a real obsessive to bother.

          . . . But, we do know the gent in question is an obsessive . . .

          So maybe that’s it, after all.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to tom swift. | March 12, 2014 at 2:29 am

      Maybe we’ve got some Romans roaming around. Back in their gladiator days at the coliseum, a thumb down meant the poor bastard got to live at least another week until the next show. Thumbs up meant, yeah, toss him to the lions.

        I think you have it backwards. “Thumbs down” was bad news for somebody. Unfortunately the Roman phrase for it, pollice verso, just means “with a turned thumb”, which leaves out the vital info about which way it should be turned. It’s not the sort of thing one would want to leave open to interpretation.

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to tom swift. | March 12, 2014 at 4:32 pm

          Tom, here’s a little something on the subject for you. It is a surprise to most, as it was to me when I learned it in some Humanities course ages ago. But it makes sense in the context of the Romans, the gladiators, etc..

          🙂

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to tom swift. | March 12, 2014 at 8:52 pm

          Oops, forgot the link for you 🙂

          http://wordinfo.info/unit/3735/ip:1/il:K

          tom swift in reply to tom swift. | March 13, 2014 at 3:44 am

          Very interesting, thanks.

          Unfortunately, on examination, it’s not terribly convincing.

          The most solid citation is Juvnal. But the translation from Juvnal is unidentified. It is the only translation I’ve seen which says anything like “thumbs up”. Juvnal wrote

          Quondam hi cornicines et municipalis harenae
          perpetui comites notaeque per oppida buccae
          munera nunc edunt et, verso pollice vulgus
          cum iubet, occidunt populariter

          The last two lines I translate as

          the crowd, turning their thumbs,
          give the command to kill

          Of real translators (as opposed to hacks like me) we have

          Dryden –

          Where influenc’d by the rabble’s bloody will,
          With thumbs bent back, they popularly kill.

          Badham –

          And wretches at their signal live or die.

          Gifford –

          . . . and, at the will,
          Of the base rabble, raise the sign—to kill

          Humphries –

          . . . Thumbs up! Thumbs down! And the killers
          Spare or slay, and then go back to concessions for private privies.

          Kline –

          . . . and kill
          To please when the mob demand it with down-turned thumbs;

          Ramsay –

          and win applause by slaying whomsoever the mob with a turn of the thumb bids them slay;

          Gerome’s very famous painting of the late 19th century doesn’t really tell us much either. He depicts the signal (thumbs down) but doesn’t show the result: modern viewers may assume that Gerome’s murmillo is about to finish off the supine retiarius, but the visual cues of Western art through the nineteenth century were elaborately developed in ways which are generally lost today, and it’s not obvious that the conclusion we’d reach today is what Gerome intended.

          As for the gesture meaning “throw your sword down”, well, possibly. In English, “put your sword up” has the same functional meaning, and would be more appropriate to a gladiator who wasn’t surrendering. In the modern West, hand gestures generally mimic the action appropriate for the meaning. Our signals to kill mimic putting a gun to a head or cutting a throat, our signal to stop mimics the action of stopping a moving object with outstretched hands, etc. A downward pointing thumb would indicate the weapon is to be pointed downward. But that’s where the defeated gladiator is; no successful gladiator would look to the crowd while his opponent was still standing and active. So the business end of the weapon would move downward to finish the defeated gladiator off. A thumb up would be a signal to put the weapon back into ready (if a sword or club) or carry (if a spear or trident) position. Of course just because we do things this way doesn’t make it a slam dunk that the Romans did too.

          The citation to Pliny I’m not familiar with.

          So, in sum, color me skeptical.

    It’s unfortunate this is life, but yes, it’s a wise black man carrying a gun at the scene of a shooting who informs the police that he is an off duty police officer. That is, even more so than anyone in this situation would be wise to do so.

    At least he called 911 at all. I’m trying to cut him some slack on the fine linguistic details for having been in a traumatic situation.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to JBourque. | March 11, 2014 at 7:33 pm

      As a peace officer, his own department would require him to immediately identify himself as an off-duty officer from another state.

      He didn’t call 9-1-1 when it would have mattered. His wife called, and the first thing each of them said was “A police officer’s been attacked.” The first thing out from each of them was not that a gunshot man was down. Also, the wife selected the police as her agency of choice, not an ambulance, when the dispatcher asked her if she needed fire, police or ambulance.

I always find it amazing how we can sit here and judge people

You misunderstand the purposes of fora such as this.

There are no judges here. Nobody here is going to vote on whether to send Walker to jail or send him home. There are people trying to understand the nuances and peculiarities of America’s vast web of laws, and how they themselves might avoid the numerous pitfalls concealed under that web. In fact we’re required to do that, because “ignorance of the law is no excuse”. How do we dispel that ignorance? Knowledge of the vast body of law is not something humans are born with. We have to work at it.

    gasper in reply to tom swift. | March 11, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    tom: there is one judge here and he’s hitting the dislike button quite frequently. I am sure I will get one soon.

      tom swift in reply to gasper. | March 11, 2014 at 6:57 pm

      Congratulations! You have a few “downs”.

      Beats me why, though.

      (No, I’m not the responsible party.)

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to gasper. | March 12, 2014 at 1:53 am

      I just added an uppie to your existing two to balance out the three downies. Getting downies for that particular post is bizarre.

      Hope you feel better now. 😉

    Gremlin1974 in reply to tom swift. | March 12, 2014 at 12:17 am

    Also remember the defense attorneys provided Andrew with this info and all of these exhibits are attached to a motion for dismissal, so we are going to see things that are probably more favorable to Walker, its just to be expected.

    Also if you remember Andrew flat out said in an earlier post that Walkers defense attorney’s were going to be looking here to see what arguments and comments are being made because it could give them insight into how potential jurors might feel or how they might view things. So it is good to have conflicting view points.

      All of the above is absolutely correct, so I don’t want the following to seem as if I’m undercutting anything Gremlin1974 said in his post.

      I just want to make clear that the defense is not providing me anything that is not otherwise public record–I have no access to confidential records or information of any sort.

      Maryland doesn’t share Florida’s generous open records law, so much of this stuff is publicly available, but only if one actually goes to the courthouse in Maryland.

      Living in Massachusetts, I’m not inclined to make many of those trips.

      So, having the defense make those public records available is a great convenience, both to me and to everyone who follows my posts here re: the Walker case.

      But there’s nothing secret going on, and I have no unique insight to the case. Pretty much what I know, you know. 🙂

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Andrew Branca. | March 12, 2014 at 3:04 am

        Living in Massachusetts, I’m not inclined to make many of those trips.
        Oh come on, I would have thought that a trip away People Republic of Massachoooooosets, would have been a welcome respite. Even if it is only to Maryland.

        Also, with Florida’s crappy web sites, I couldn’t find anything. Which I guess is going to be the case for Florida for a long time.You are going to need Pacer or Lexus access–long live Aaron Shwartz.

        As for the exhibits, I think pretty much everything was included that can be included, aside from grand jury transcripts, which would probably be too big. They prosecution isn’t going to submitted an exhibit which will counter the impression that ( as an example ) the trooper misrepresented witness #49’s statements.Whatever is there is pretty much already there.

        What the prosecution will do is highlight facts that do not support the defenses argument eq two minutes later the trooper corrected his misrepresentation. They will present their case law that says the judge does not have to grant the defense motion and they will present their arguments.

“dislike button” should be “thumbs down”.

I think Walker did go to his gun too soon. He still had a viable retreat option, and it was not clear that Harvey intended anything other than yelling, and maybe shoving. That’s not a “forcible felony” or threat of death.

Now, would I convict him? He might skate on reasonable doubt. It’ll depend on the evidence that comes out in court.

    “I think Walker did go to his gun too soon. He still had a viable retreat option, and it was not clear that Harvey intended anything other than yelling, and maybe shoving. That’s not a “forcible felony” or threat of death.”

    And Walker is supposed to know this at that moment HOW ? That Harvey is ONLY going to that and no more ?

    If anyone comes up to me yelling and shoving, I assume there’s a REAL good chance he’s gonna do more. Don’t you ?

      Ragspierre in reply to pjm. | March 11, 2014 at 6:57 pm

      Actually, no.

      Someone who’s yelling and shoving is not someone to be afraid of. You just keep you hands up and keep backing away.

      A red-faced, loud, cursing guy is not a big worry.

      The quiet, pale person is. They have made the psychological switch to “fight mode”. Like the dog who is no longer barking or growling.

        “Someone who’s yelling and shoving is not someone to be afraid of.”

        Bullshit.

          Ragspierre in reply to pjm. | March 11, 2014 at 9:11 pm

          But it is apparent you are afraid of almost anyone.

          pjm in reply to pjm. | March 11, 2014 at 11:00 pm

          If someone comes up to me yelling threats and shoving me, it occurs to me that maybe, just maybe, that person intends me harm.

          Maybe that’s just me.

          Ragspierre in reply to pjm. | March 12, 2014 at 12:23 am

          Yeah. And “maybe” you will go to prison for years, because “maybe” is not deadly force.

          I repeat: do NOT carry a gun. You WILL…with your fears…put yourself in prison.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to pjm. | March 12, 2014 at 12:26 am

          I think he could have worded that better in saying that someone that is screaming and cursing is someone to be wary of and to keep your tactical awareness on.

          Now shoving, with me crosses a line. My body, no touch. That is assault and you would be perfectly within your right to retaliate.

          Now I would feel better about Walkers actions if there was any witness saying that he was actively trying to deescalate the situation, but so far we have him standing there with his arms crossed. But we have more evidence to come.

          pjm in reply to pjm. | March 12, 2014 at 9:03 am

          “I repeat: do NOT carry a gun. You WILL…with your fears…put yourself in prison.”

          Thanks for the advice. I’ve only been CCW carrying for 20 years, and ALMOST had to display the weapon (an escalation step that occurs BEFORE pointing it, and BEFORE firing it) once. That was the time some drunk guy on the street put his hand behind his back at waist level and stated ‘I have a gun right here, MF’r, I’m gonna bust a cap in your ass right now MF’r’. I ALMOST took out my 2″ snubby .357. After he was arrested that night, then in court, he denied having a gun. I’ll never know.

          pjm in reply to pjm. | March 12, 2014 at 9:07 am

          Gremlin – I agree, to a point.

          However, as to ‘actual contact first’ -try going up to a cop some time and screaming and cursing in his face, telling him you’re gonna kick his ass. Don’t touch him, just get up in his face like that. See what happens next.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to pjm. | March 12, 2014 at 3:50 pm

          @PJM

          Oh, I agree, you can’t just walk up to a cop and start yelling and screaming at him and he would have every right to subdue and arrest you, however if he pulled his weapon and shot you he would go to jail. If you do the same to a regular joe, well he can file a police report, but he can’t shoot you either, now if he backs you into a corner and keeps up the threats, pop him and get the heck out. But these are all hypothetical s that really don’t matter here.

          While I realize that Walker was a LEO, he is an off-duty law enforcement officer who is well outside his jurisdiction. Which makes it perfectly legal for him to carry a weapon, but he doesn’t maintain his powers of arrest and detention. I have a buddy who is a Deputy US Marshall and I asked him about it. (Just to be clear he was a State Trooper before joining the Marshals Service.) But that also really doesn’t apply her because we have no evidence that he tried to arrest Harvey.

      TheDude in reply to pjm. | March 11, 2014 at 7:05 pm

      I don’t. And I guarantee you a jury wouldn’t agree with you, either.

      Somebody yells at you and shoves you, and you pull a gun and shoot them? That’s so far outside the bounds of reasonable behavior it convinces me you’re just trolling.

        tom swift in reply to TheDude. | March 11, 2014 at 9:34 pm

        Well, I imagine myself on a jury, hearing a description of an incident which I’d expect to progress to lots of really up-close yelling, so close they’re catching facefulls of each other’s spittle, and, possibly, some shoving. But I don’t see it as the sort of thing which results in death or injury. Barring accident, of course, like a passing truck hitting them both.

        Now, shoving – if it actually happens – moves the whole thing into the realm of physical assault (though hardly deadly assault). Walker is under no reasonable obligation to stand still while somebody shoves him around, so I, Mr. Juror, would think that maybe Walker is justified in upping the ante a bit to head that off. Displaying the gun should do the job. And, from the only eyewitness account we have so far, it did; Harvey stopped moving toward Walker. The “what if” game is fraught with traps, but it’s a game jurors have to think about individually, even if they don’t discuss it as a group. So my “what if” is, what if Walker had given Harvey a few seconds to consider the altered circumstances, and had a chance to alter his plans? If Harvey’s new response would be to dive at Walker, then shooting him would be justified. But if Harvey decided that in light of new developments he’d best drop the whole thing and go back to his car, no shooting would be justified.

        But, so far as we can tell, Walker didn’t wait for a further response from Harvey.

        So, I’m in the jury box, thinking, no, that’s not what I would do, I would have waited a few seconds, or for however long it would take Harvey to reach a decision. I would lose nothing by waiting, so long as Harvey’s buddy wasn’t using the time to sneak up around me. If Harvey was stuck and couldn’t reach a decision, the scenario would end when the police arrived, and I wouldn’t be vulnerable while fiddling with the phone because my wife would be letting her fingers do the walking, and I’d be free to watch Harvey and friend.

        So I, Mr Juror, imagine I know what I’d have done in that situation, and I’d know that Walker hadn’t done the same. So then when I postulate that I’m a reasonable man, at least sometimes, then I’d conclude that Walker’s actions were not that of The Reasonable Man. And I would feel duty-bound to vote accordingly. At least on the first ballot.

          So you think actual hand to hand combat must occur before using a gun is justified ?

          Wow.

          Ragspierre in reply to tom swift. | March 12, 2014 at 12:25 am

          No. The apparent threat of deadly force or imminent serious bodily harm is required.

          Getting in a fist-fight is not any of that, and you will go away for years. As you should.

          tom swift in reply to tom swift. | March 12, 2014 at 4:42 am

          So you think actual hand to hand combat must occur before using a gun is justified ?

          Still having trouble with that reading comprehension problem, I see.

          You’re going to have to put some effort into that. Nobody else is going to do it for you.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to tom swift. | March 12, 2014 at 3:56 pm

          @PJM

          Do you believe that someone punching you is a deadly attack? You seem like you do know what you are saying and I have never seen anything that makes me think that you would just shoot someone for just swinging on you. Yes, a hand to hand attack can be deadly, as in the Zimmerman case, but if Zimmerman had shot Martin after just being hit in the nose, I would have been advocating for 2nd degree murder.

          Now if a guy advances on me with a weapon, knife, club, broken branch, ninja stars, or anything else that can do great bodily harm, I am gonna give him a double tap center mass and take it up with my lawyer and therapist later. But not an unarmed person.

      BrokeGopher in reply to pjm. | March 11, 2014 at 7:16 pm

      If you’re going to shoot someone, you’d better be able to articulate why it you had no choice. Because he MIGHT attack you is not good enough. I don’t know that every person I pass on the street isn’t gong to jump me from behind. That doesn’t mean I can shoot them just in case.

        If it’s a big guy getting up in your grill TELLING YOU that ‘he’s gonna kick your ass’, that’s not a ‘might’ situation.

          Ragspierre in reply to pjm. | March 12, 2014 at 12:27 am

          Big talk is not a justification for the use of deadly force.

          You will be convicted if you act on your fears. Do NOT carry a firearm.

          Get some training and some counseling.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to pjm. | March 12, 2014 at 12:32 am

          Actually, yes it is until he attempts it. Just telling you he is gonna do it, is terroristic threatening, maybe assault depending on the state. I can tell you I am gonna “cut your heart out and eat it”, but if I never display a knife and or attempt to make good on my threat, it doesn’t rise above a verbal threat and using deadly force against a verbal threat is murder plain and simple.

          pjm in reply to pjm. | March 12, 2014 at 9:09 am

          Gremlin – Now I disagree with you.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to pjm. | March 12, 2014 at 3:59 pm

          @PJM

          Ok, we will just have to agree to disagree on that one. I think the law is on my side, but that’s why we are here to give our opinions and I respect yours.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to pjm. | March 12, 2014 at 2:03 am

      So if you come barreling toward me in a store or a parking lot because I accidentally cut you off or took a parking spot you had your eye on, I get to shoot you? pjm is pushing up daisies – no harm, no foul, I get to walk. Okey-dokey.

        If you reasonably believe from my actions (coupled with my words – not just cursing etc, but actual immediate threats coupled with physical action such as coming at you in a combative threatening manner) that I am going to assault you – yes.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to pjm. | March 12, 2014 at 4:03 pm

          Ok, I will have to admit, I have no idea what I might do in that situation, I don’t think it would be shoot, but I also have extensive Military and Martial Arts training, not to mentions psychiatric restraint training.

          But lets be clear, so far, that is not what is being described as happening by witnesses in this case. Walking quickly and running and charging at someone are different and imply a different level of threat.

Humphrey's Executor | March 11, 2014 at 6:43 pm

What standard applies to a motion to dismiss the indictment?

    MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Humphrey's Executor. | March 11, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    While a standard applies, it is not a standard in the sense that you are thinking.

    The judge is going to have to decide two things ( actually two or four or six, because he has to decide two things on the motion to dismiss, two things on the motion for jeopardy to attach, and if he decides that jeopardy does not attach two things on the motion to put constraints on a new grad jury hearing).

    The first thing to decide are the circumstances needed to find for the motion. An example of this is, the trooper misrepresenting witness statements to the grand jury. Is that a sufficient condition to set aside the indictment? But it’s not just the trooper misrepresenting witness statements, it’s is also how much did he misrepresent them by. If one witness said Harvey was running, and four others said Harvey. was walking. The trooper testified that all witnesses said Harvey was walking. Is that 20% misrepresentation enough to set aside the indictment. 40%, 60%? the judge has to decide how much is necessary to set aside the verdict.

    The judge also has to decide what the facts are. Did the trooper misrepresent witness statements? My understanding is that he has to decide by a preponderance of the evidence. keep in mind, this not a decision that Walker acted in self defense but whether the trooper misrepresented witness statements.

    Also the judge doesn’t decide one then the other he sort balances the two.

    In this case the judge doesn’t have to work hard at deciding what the facts are. He has the troopers statements to the grand jury. he has the witness statements to the trooper. There’s nothing for the lawyers to fight over. The question is what does the case law say?

This is too good a case for dismissal at this stage. The defense will be on the defensive (that sound silly). 1) Duty to retreat – He is a cop and cops don’t retreat. 2) He may not have been aware that “duty to retreat” was the law in Maryland. Not knowing does dot absolve him of the duty. 3) It appears he had opportunities to retreat safely. This will be the key argument on both sides. 4) He will probably have to testify.
If this were a SYG state he walks.

This case is coin flip.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to CharlieMack. | March 12, 2014 at 12:39 am

    Frankly I think the case is over charged. I can get Manslaughter mainly as an aspect of imperfect self defense, but even though I lean towards that, I am no where near 1st degree murder, and I am gonna have to see some pretty strong evidence to get me to 2nd degree.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to CharlieMack. | March 12, 2014 at 2:06 am

    Walker was not a cop in MD, no police powers or authority for him there.

    Walker was a cop in NJ, which is also a duty to retreat state.

Emperor Penguin | March 11, 2014 at 9:15 pm

Do we know why the guy ran Joseph off the road in the first place?

    tom swift in reply to Emperor Penguin. | March 11, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    !!!Terminology Obfuscation Alert!!!

    Both Walker and Harvey are Josephs.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Emperor Penguin. | March 12, 2014 at 12:36 am

    No there has been not testimony or evidence that either party “ran the other off the road”. Apparently, Walker may have cut Harvey off which may have made him move to the shoulder but not really ran him off of the road. The 2 vehicles never actually made contact and from witness reports so far both vehicles pull off onto the shoulder and stopped.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Gremlin1974. | March 12, 2014 at 2:18 am

      There is evidence. Pidel stated that Walker turned in a way that forced Harvey’s vehicle onto the shoulder. The shoulder is not the roadway. If a maneuver by driver A forces driver B to avoid a collision by forcing driver B out of the roadway, driver A has effectively run driver B off the road.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Emperor Penguin. | March 12, 2014 at 2:09 am

    He either didn’t see Harvey or he just wanted to mess with a white boy who looks like a redneck. I suspect the former, but the latter is also possible.

Richard Aubrey | March 12, 2014 at 8:00 am

Jack Russell.
Something like that happens to anybody who drives much once or twice a year. I’ve only been on the shoulder once, but I’ve had to jam stop, swerve in other directions, etc. more than I could count.
Somebody, I think it was me, said road rage is when the clueless meet the unbalanced. Walker, being in a van with kids, is more likely to be distracted than clueless, considering he’s a cop who’s sober.
But, in any event, you need both the clueless and the unbalanced to have road rage.
IMO, jurors, like anyone else, aren’t going to have much sympathy for the unbalanced. They aren’t going to be looking for ways to convict Walker if the prosecutor doesn’t make a hell of a case. Which, I suggest, will be a matter of dueling windows. Prosecutor–Walker had forever to apprehend the threat and retreat; long window. Defense–Walker had no place to go, even if he’d gotten in his car, Harvey would have pursued him; no window at all.

Mr. B. Question: Rags has been going on about street fighting. It occurs to me that nobody has mentioned anything about duty to retreat if he kills an assailant with his hands. Or a broomstick or something. Is DTR for guns only?

    Ragspierre in reply to Richard Aubrey. | March 12, 2014 at 8:13 am

    Deadly force comes any way you project it. Gun, brick, hands, feet. You have no right to use it right up until you do have a right to use it.

    DTR state or no.

    I’ve been mentioning street-fighting solely as pertains to our fearful poster, pjm. It has no application to the case at hand, but a course in street defense would help pjm be more confident…and frankly, realistic…about the threat posed by someone offering a fist-fight.

      “Deadly force comes any way you project it. Gun, brick, hands, feet.”

      Correct. IOW, I have every right to consider ANY of those as a ‘deadly threat’ and/or ‘threat of great bodily harm’.

      “It has no application to the case at hand,”

      Oh, so now you say Walker had no obligation to go ‘hand to hand’ ? Even though, as a cop, he’s had at least standard police training in it ?

      But I WOULD have that obigation in a situation ? Really ?

        Ragspierre in reply to pjm. | March 12, 2014 at 9:43 am

        Yeah, no.

        You need some sleep. I never said anything of the kind.

        Feel free to quote what you THINK (?!) I said.

        After you get some rest.

    “Mr. B. Question: Rags has been going on about street fighting. It occurs to me that nobody has mentioned anything about duty to retreat if he kills an assailant with his hands. Or a broomstick or something. Is DTR for guns only?”

    In most duty to retreat states the duty arises only at the point of the use of deadly force, and that would mean ANY form of deadly force–force reasonably capable of causing death or grave bodily harm. Gun, knife, or any object or even bare hands if used in a manner reasonably capable of causing death or grave bodily harm.

    That is the form of duty to retreat that exists in Maryland, tied to the use of deadly force.

    A few duty to retreat states, Massachusetts among them, impose a duty to retreat before the use of ANY force, deadly or non-deadly.

    It pays to know the rules in your state. 🙂

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      So in MA, if someone comes up and clocks you over the head with a 2×4, you have an obligation to run away if possible ? Really ?

        MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to pjm. | March 12, 2014 at 1:05 pm

        You would think that in a state like thazt going to Maryland would be a welcome respite.

        In MA, if you can secure your safety by use of a safe avenue of retreat, you are required to do so rather than use any degree of force against another person, even in “self-defense”.

        To put it another way, in MA the use of force cannot legally be self-defense if a safe avenue of retreat was available.

        Whether a particular avenue was safe or would have secured your safety is a question of fact to be determined by the jury, considering all the circumstances of the situation.

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          Wow. Someone punches you in the face, you hit back and knock his ass out, you go to jail ?

          Damn.

          Did this shit in MA exist duringn the Revolution ? I forget …

          Something about tea and midnight rides and battles and all that ? That we fought against the ‘just take it’ rule ?

          Gremlin1974 in reply to Andrew Branca. | March 12, 2014 at 4:09 pm

          Andrew, question. In PJM’s example you have already been struck with a 2×4. Would that relieve you of the duty to retreat, having already suffered an attack with a deadly weapon?

          “Andrew, question. In PJM’s example you have already been struck with a 2×4. Would that relieve you of the duty to retreat, having already suffered an attack with a deadly weapon?”

          The duty only exists if there is a safe avenue of retreat. Whether an avenue of retreat is safe or not is a function of all the circumstances.

          An avenue of retreat that is safe for a young athletic person may not be safe for an elderly person with an artificial hip.

          An avenue of retreat that is safe for a woman alone may not be safe for a mother who has to drag two children with her.

          And an avenue of retreat that may be safe for a healthy, uninjured person may not be safe for a person who has already been injured by a 2×4 blow to the head.

          Indeed, what is “reasonable” in all facets of self-defense law can change rapidly over the course of the physical fight, as one party gains tactical advantage over the other for all kinds of reasons–position, numbers, weapons, physical capabilities, etc.

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

Well, I guess I’m just not such a big bad-ass as you have told us here you are. ‘Never lost a fight’, ‘Held two guys under my arms waiting for the police’, etc etc.

I guess you think if some guy who has 6 inches and 75 pounds on me, 30 years my junior and looks like he works out for a hobby, gets aggressive and threatening towards me, and leads me to believe by his words and actions that he’s going to assault me right here, right now (not just some hypothetical time in the future), I have some kind of obligation to ‘test his fighting skills with my bare hands’ first.

Bullshit.

    Ragspierre in reply to pjm. | March 12, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Well, right. Bullshit.

    I never said what you attribute to me. You are dishonest, as well as fearful.

    Plus, given your story about your drunk assailant who claimed to have a gun, you aren’t even rationally consistent.

    You WOULD shoot down an unarmed person 15 feet from you who was speaking in a threatening way, but you didn’t pull on a guy who claimed to have a gun and expressly said he was going to use it.

    Nuts.

    MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to pjm. | March 12, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Well, I guess I’m just not such a big bad-ass as you have told us here you are. ‘Never lost a fight’, ‘Held two guys under my arms waiting for the police’, etc etc.
    If Rags never lost a fight it’s because he’s been picking fights with Pee Herman types. Let’s see him spend a few years on the south side of Chicago.

    That holding a guy under your arm trick only works until some guy takes a thumb, or a knife out of his sock, and shoves it in the back of your knee. Then you limp for the rest of your life.

      No shit.

      Life ain’t like on TV !

        Ragspierre in reply to pjm. | March 12, 2014 at 1:24 pm

        No. It isn’t.

        And people who engage in fisticuffs are not killers or determined to commit mayhem.

        It happens every day, thousands of times, all over the world.

        And people walk away without any serious injury.

        Don’t be afraid.

          Bite me.

          bildung in reply to Ragspierre. | March 13, 2014 at 8:27 am

          Its no wonder you’ve come out as a Harvey supporter.

          Judging from the increasingly rancid quality of your discourse as you are challenged, you come off as something of an alcoholic rage monkey too.

          There is a real opportunity for juries everywhere to begin to enforce a new civility and safety in this country.

          Those who traffic in violence and the threats of violence need to learn that their lives will not be protected by asinine legal sophistry, courtesy of hysterical pro-criminal Democrats and the rootin tootin Ragses of the world.

          Righteous shoot.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | March 13, 2014 at 10:51 am

          Odd. I didn’t lie to anyone to “make a point”, and I haven’t engaged in rank ad hominem as you have.

          But you are a known quantity here already, with your telekinetic powers of diagnosing sociopathic personality disorder from the single data point of loud music played in public in broad daylight.

          Good thing for the Beatles you weren’t around, huh?

          Whadda moron…

      I heard Pee Wee Herman could ‘beat you’ (off) too ! 🙂

Again, if I put it in quotes, the person posted it here, it’s indelible (for us end users) and undeniable. If I don’t put it in quotes, then I’m not claiming the person posted verbatim the words I type.

I would or would not shoot in any given situation based on the situation. It’s called ‘reasonable judgement’. If I do, my ‘reasonableness’ gets cross- checked by a whole bunch of people afterwards. First the cops, then maybe the DA, then maybe 12 citizens and/or a judge.

My preference is always, in any situation’, to NOT SHOOT ! In fact, to not even let it be known that I am carrying. If I can back off, talk my way out of it etc, that is ALWAYS my preference.

This would not apply to letting someone car-jack me, or invade my house, or beat the shit out of me, or take my wallet, etc.

    Ragspierre in reply to pjm. | March 12, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    You are a liar.

    I never said, ‘Never lost a fight’.

    I said I have never been hurt in a fist-fight. Which is true. I’ve been hurt worse playing basketball.

    ‘Held two guys under my arms waiting for the police’ is ALSO something I never said. I said “…when the LEO arrived”. I was not waiting for the police. I was unaware they were coming, in fact. I was happy when they did, since I was out of options, other than to hold on.

    And you DID say, “Does he have to be within arm’s length plus 6 inches ? Hell no ! Flucking shoot him at 15 feet !”

      Oh, OK – ‘never got hurt in a fight’ vs ‘never lost a fight’.

      How many fights have you ‘lost’ that ‘you never got hurt in’ ?

      Define ‘lost’ and ‘hurt’.

      etc etc – your bullshit isn’t even worth responding to any more.

      Unless I get in the mood, which I’m not right now.

        Ragspierre in reply to pjm. | March 12, 2014 at 1:31 pm

        You are a liar. Let that sink in.

        Win, lose, or draw, I’ve never been hurt in a fist-fight. Never a broken bone, never required stitches, never had my nose broken.

        I have had stitches and broken arm from playing basketball.

          Bite me again.

          bildung in reply to Ragspierre. | March 12, 2014 at 5:03 pm

          George Zimmerman got hurt in fist fight. Badly enough to be acquitted for killing the assailant.

          People get hurt in fist fights.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | March 12, 2014 at 5:19 pm

          No. That also is a lie.

          Zimmerman was cold-cocked, according to the evidence.

          When he was down, he was pinned.

          There was no “fist-fight”. That was a furious, deadly assault.

          And, if you could read, I never said “nobody gets hurt in a fist-fight”. I simply recounted my not inconsiderable history of being in fist-fights (and engagements which never became fist-fights) without any serious injury in support of my general thesis pushing back on pjm’s bs about shooting someone you FEAR may be trying to engage you in a fist-fight. Which, I contend, will get you in deep trouble if you swallow.

          bildung in reply to Ragspierre. | March 12, 2014 at 10:23 pm

          My goodness, everyone’s a liar except the roadhouse braggart.

          Zimm’s situation began as a fight involving fists; unfortunately for Zimm he couldn’t get off any blows after getting cocked.

          So Walker is supposed to wait to find himself in the same situation, in your universe of logic, before resolving on defense.

          Andrew has opined that the imminent threat is more than clear here and I certainly agree. I think your view is counterfactual and counterintuitive.

          Walker is supposed to duke it out with this goon because Rags is a baaad man and that’s what Rags would do?

          That’s the ‘reasonable’ standard you’d try to sell to a jury?

          The legal resolution revolves around this ‘retreat’ from a threat, not whether there was a threat.

          And I’ll say again, the jury, if it goes that far, is not going to decide the retreat issue in the arcane, ‘moot court’ fashion that is obsessing the legal beagles here.

          Reasonable doubt is abundant, a common sense verdict will be rendered, and you need to accept that reality.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | March 13, 2014 at 4:36 am

          You’re not just a liar, but an idiot as well.

          I never applied any of what I said to the killer in this case.

          He has his own problems, unique to him, and they start with him getting out of his car, and extend from there.

          My point was, and remains, opposition to pjm’s “kill them if they look scary” theory of “self-defense”. Which is both stupid and unsupportable.

Richard Aubrey | March 12, 2014 at 6:41 pm

Well, now we have a problem. I’m hiking around Gatlinburg and some of those trails have a couple of hundred feet drop after a six-inch shoulder. So somebody attacks my wife. I can’t retreat because she is under threat. The attacker and I get into a punch up. Now, a gun is on/off. Shoot or not.
Hand to hand, I might luck out and restrain the guy until his friends get him under control. That would be a reasonable use of force. Or he might swing at me and miss and off the trail he goes. Or I might get a hip into him and he tries to grab a tree and misses.
In other words, reasonable use of force in hand to hand can have vastly different results, some of which are not entirely predictable.
For which reason, it seems to me that trying to figure reasonable force in hand to hand is difficult, compared to guns. And, in fact, a lethal result might be nearly independent of the actual contact.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Richard Aubrey. | March 12, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    It’s very tricky, which is why we say that these cases are very fact sensitive.

    I can tell you that if someone engages me in hand to hand combat on a narrow trail that is right next to a considerable drop off, then I am gonna consider that a use of deadly force. If he hits me just right and I lose my senses I could fall to my death or he could push me to my death very easily.

    Here is a different situation that actually happened here. A man was at CCW was driving down the road. When he stopped at a stop light a young man opened his passenger door and told him to get out that he was taking the car. The driver told guy to close the door and get away from his car. The young man then threatened the driver and swept his jacket back and put his hand behind his back like he was going for a weapon. The driver then drew his firearm from a seat holster and shot the young man 2 or the times, memory fails me, the young man died before the first cop even arrived. (If I remember correctly the firearm involved was a short barreled .357.) The driver was never even arrested or charged, even though no weapon was found on the man that he shot, not even a pocket knife. So see these cases are very situational and fact sensitive. The driver has every reason to fear death or great bodily harm, not to mention the person was trying to car jack him.

Richard Aubrey | March 12, 2014 at 10:30 pm

Gremlin.
You point out why my example was faulty. I’m at deadly risk on that trail, too, which I had not considered. Too much time looking over the edge of the trail the last few days.
Try this. Rags or somebody is saying a punch-up isn’t sufficiently likely to be lethal as to justify shooting the assailant. Okay. Take that as given. So one guy falls down and hits his head on the curb and dies. No reasonable connection to the fight as it was described (“hardly ever lethal, ladies and gentlemen of the jury”) and thus, by accident, unreasonable force. Not seeing the end of that conundrum.

WRT your carjacking case: I think carjacking has been given, both legally and culturally, a special juju which would allow for lethal force in situations in which some other kind of robbery would not.

I dunno. Twisting back to the current case, would somebody make the case that driving in dicey areas with the car doors unlocked–which you pretty much have to choose to do–is looking for a fight?

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Richard Aubrey. | March 13, 2014 at 4:29 am

    The answer to all of your questions both legally and tactically is that it is situational. There are some clear cut things in most area’s, like if someone is breaking into your house, in most cases you are automatically considered to be in fear of death or great bodily harm, i.e. “Castle Doctrine”.

    Yea, fists can be deadly, but I would say that you are gonna have to go a long way to prove that you were justified in using deadly force if it is a one on one situation and someone just swings on you a couple of times vs what happened in the Zimmerman case where Martin straddled Zimmerman after he was incapacitated.

    Take for instance something that happened to me when I was young, and is actually what got me started in martial arts. How to put this, I was a wussy band nerd in Jr. High. One night after a concert I was walking to meet my mother so she could take me home. 2 older kids came up behind me and were just looking for someone to bang on and picked me. One of them hit me just out of the blue hit me in the side of the neck and just by chance actually hit the nerve bundle known as the Brachial Plexus Origin causing what is know as a Brachial stun, basically I dropped like a bag of rice and ended up in the ditch, now at this point the 2nd guy realized that I was a family friend and was telling the other guy to stop hitting me. My family friend actually hit me in the back a couple of times. The guy that hit me in the neck hit me in the mouth, (yes I had braces), but that was pretty much it. By the time I had regained my senses the attack was over.

    Now it might seem like this is an easy situation to justify the use of deadly force, multiple attackers, incapacitated victim, surprise attack, and so on. But if you pay close attention there are times that I may have been justified and then times when I wouldn’t have been. Surprise attack that was debilitating and came from multiple attackers, yea Justified. But then my family friend started intervening on my behalf, so no multiple attacker and I only took one more blow after that, questionable if I would be justified. Obviously I couldn’t use deadly force as they retreated.

    What it basically comes down to is every situation is fluid, that is why you have to train, know the laws in the area’s in which you move, and actually give some forethought to what you might do. Because just because you are justified in one moment you may not be in the next moment. You also have to think about what you are gonna do in the aftermath of an incident. We can talk hypotheticals all day and they do have their purpose in preparing for an incident.

    But the most important thing you have to realize is that if you chose to carry a gun for self defense you are assuming certain risks. You are assuming the risk of possibly actually having to take a life, which should give you pause and cause you to think. You are assuming the risk that you may be completely justified when you forced to use deadly force and 12 people might send you to jail anyway. That is just part of it. All you can do is be as educated and trained as possible and hope that that education and training helps us make the right decisions when the fecal matter hits the oscillating air motivator.

    God Bless and Good day brother.

      Amen to that last paragraph especially !

      When I carry, I try (and I find it comes naturally) to be DOUBLE aware of avoiding situations, conflicts, arguments, ‘escalations’, etc that could possibly lead to a potential ‘gun situation’.

      It’s always in my mind that I want to be ‘110% righteous’ if such a thing ever came up.

Richard Aubrey | March 13, 2014 at 7:53 am

Gremlin, I think that would give anybody religion.
I am thinking hard about carrying. Thing is, I can recall half a dozen times going toward trouble without thinking. More, if you define trouble as potential when I saw whatever it was happening. Twice, when I reported to the cops afterwards, they asked why I hadn’t called them. I had no answer. Never occurred to me.
And, if Mr. B is to be believed, if I flee trouble and find myself in a blind alley, a DTR prosecutor would insist I was in a blind alley because I wanted to suck the guy in.

    tom swift in reply to Richard Aubrey. | March 13, 2014 at 10:51 am

    I am thinking hard about carrying.

    Well, you’re on the right track. Thinking hard is the first step, a step I suspect too many skip entirely. There are some non-obvious pitfalls. Here, a modest example –

    Once when I returned to my house I noticed that someone had broken in; I had only been out about fifteen minutes, so the someone was probably still inside. Nowadays everyone has cell phones and can summon authority, but not back then. I went in, retrieved a locked gun, and proceeded to clear the house methodically, room by room, closet by closet, from the attic down. State of mind? I would not have shot someone for merely breaking into the house. I would not even have shot him for violating the sanctity of my home. But I might have shot him if he’d attacked me after being apprehended. Well, I never apprehended him; I deliberately made enough noise to alert him that he was being hunted, and he’d skedaddled before I got the floor where he’d broken in. He left in such a rush he’d actually cut himself on the window frame (blood spoor – cool!).

    Now for the speculation: suppose he’d been too dumb to get out while the getting was good, had been confronted by the angry homeowner (ie, me), had lunged at me with something nasty (like a knife), and I had given him a fatal dose of lead poisoning. Would I be charged? This is in my own damn home, but Castle Doctrine applies when I’m in my home and someone who has no business there breaks in. But I wasn’t in the home when the n’er-do-well broke in, I was outside. In order for the speculative deadly encounter to occur, I would have to go back into my own house, knowing that an intruder was probably still inside. I couldn’t claim that I was afraid the intruder was a (automatically deemed) threat to my life & limb, because if I was I’d have just stayed outside. I’m not even sure that regular, non-Castle Doctrine standards of self defense would apply, because if I had confronted the burglar and then been attacked, a sharp prosecutor could still claim that I had deliberately gone into a situation I knew was a dangerous one, so I wasn’t really on the “defense” at all.

    In the event, nothing happened, I gave the goon the chance to get away, and he took it. And I have no worry that he’ll be back; I strongly suspect that it was some local kid looking for money for drugs, and the episode probably scared him out of six year’s growth. But it’s why I carry today. I’m interesting in defending my house, but that’s tough if I don’t have the tools needed (one of my guns); but in my state there are major legal obstacles to leaving a gun in my car, even locked up. It’s actually far easier to (legally) carry it all the time that it is to stash it away for emergencies. Yeah, it’s a pretty f’ed-up state.

    So, as I said … non-obvious pitfalls await the unwary.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Richard Aubrey. | March 13, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    First let me say that I agree with Mr. Swifts comment.

    Your concerns sound to me like the concerns that you should be having if you are thinking about living the lifestyle of someone that carries. Make no mistake it is a lifestyle change. It changes the way you dress, where you go, and how you carry yourself in public.

    If you are thinking about carrying, seriously no plug intended, get Andrew’s book, I promise it will help. Also, I don’t know what is required in your state to get a permit or if you even need one. What I will say is that if you look you can find a class on concealed carry, find one at a reputable place and take it, especially look for ones that are NRA approved.

    Also realize that if you are wanting to carry so you can feel like a bad ass, that is not a good reason, not implying that you are.

    I get asked all the time how I can justify carrying a gun, because I am a Nurse, I have taken an oath to save lives, to help the sick and injured, and to assist patients. My answer has been the same for years; “Well I can’t do any of that if I am dead because someone decided to knife me for the 13 bucks in my wallet, could I?”

    The main stream media and liberals want everyone to think that anyone who carries a gun is either crazy or a predator, the truth is we are neither, we are simply people who have made a conscious choice to try to not be a victim in an increasingly dangerous world.

    Andrew has one of the best quotes that I have every read about carrying and one that I tell anyone who talks to me about possibly carrying; “Carrying a gun doesn’t mean that you don’t have to take crap from anybody, carrying a gun actually means that you have to take crap from almost everybody.” and that is 100% true.

Just want to add that, IMO, when Harvey was shouting racial epithets at the black family’s van, then the entire family had reason to fear. Whether or not Harvey only had a “grouse” with Walker, I think the racial invective would have struck fear into Walker’s wife and child too. As I said, who does that? IMO, that’s an extreme that shows someone (Harvey) was out of control.

    pjm in reply to gxm17. | March 13, 2014 at 9:17 am

    Yup. Any white man who who yells ‘N**’ at a black man like that, especially in front of his family who are also black, is making it clear that he is looking for a fight ‘right here right now it’s on’. That = ‘making a threat’. The law calls it ‘uttering fighting words’, I think.

    The intent of a threat, any threat, is to put someone in fear.

    Walker, and I’m sure his family, received the intended message.

    tom swift in reply to gxm17. | March 13, 2014 at 10:22 am

    “Control” isn’t the issue. The big issue is Imminent Deadly Threat. Was there, or wasn’t there?

    We have some parties here whose only virtue is a malignant persistence, and they keep trying to divert discussion to Harvey’s merits. But unless those allow some reasonably clear conclusions about the “state of mind” of either party, such consideration is just a red herring. The purpose of the trial is not to give Harvey some sort of approval or admonition of his life story, but to determine if Walker was justified in shooting three bullets into him.

      gxm17 in reply to tom swift. | March 13, 2014 at 1:36 pm

      IMO, shouting racial invective kicks the threat level into top gear. And I can empathize with the family who feels threatened. I’ve had black friends who talk about this sort of thing scaring the [email protected] out of them because of the history of blacks being targeted by racists. IMO, I’d feel the same way if it was a white family being pursued by black racists shouting racial pejoratives. IMHO, anger and racial animosity are a deadly mix.

        tom swift in reply to gxm17. | March 14, 2014 at 5:20 am

        anger and racial animosity are a deadly mix.

        Doesn’t matter in cases of lethal force used in self defense. Anger, animosity, threats, words – none of them lead inexorably and immediately to death or major bodily harm, and so none of them justify deadly force in response.

          Angry words by themselves do not justify a deadly force response.

          But angry words combined with some physical action reasonably perceived to make those words real may very well justify a deadly force response.

          And the physical action need not be much–appearing to reach for a pocketed weapon can be sufficient.

          It is important, however, to be able to articulate the specific action in question.

          Similarly, the action alone might not be sufficient–maybe he’s reaching for his wallet?–but when combined with the angry words it becomes sufficient.

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

Richard Aubrey | March 13, 2014 at 11:11 am

Tom Swift
Absolutely right. That’s why I, IANAL, used the metaphor of dueling windows. The prosecutor’s window must be wide and long for Walker to have had an obvious and easy avenue to retreat. The defense has to show a miniscule and even absent window for retreat.
Part of the characterization of the window is the actions and bearing of Harvey.
As I said, the prosecution wants the jury to know that Walker should have seen the threat immediately Harvey got out of his car, and taken off. But that means the jury will have to be instructed on how threatening Harvey must have looked even 150 ft. away. A kind of mutually exclusive set of pictures for the jury if Harvey is to be seen as so non-threatening that he didn’t need killing. There’s a lot about Harvey that Walker didn’t know and so wouldn’t factor into his decision. But the problem is…Harvey was so threatening Walker should have taken off. Gonna be hard to sell that without some of Harvey’s life coming in somehow.
Then, of course, there’s Harvey’s behavior in the preceding few minutes which Walker might have–probably will be told it would be a good idea to have–presumed would continue if Walker got back on the road. IOW, no avenue that way, a reasonable person might think.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Richard Aubrey. | March 13, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    “Gonna be hard to sell that without some of Harvey’s life coming in somehow.”

    And in a lot of places your attackers past can only be considered if you were aware of that past, which couldn’t be the case here. Now I find Maryland’s law on this a bit confusing because it seems to add a special circumstance for “committing violent acts”, and frankly I don’t understand how it applies.

    I think the prosecution is gonna concentrate on the duty to retreat angle and back that up with a claim that shooting Harvey was unreasonable. I can hear the closing argument now.

    “Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury the defendant allowed Mr. Harvey to walk 152 feet, not run, not charged, walked over 150 feet. During that 150 feet, what was the defendant doing? Was he saying stay back? Was he displaying his badge and saying “Stay back”? Was he attempting to find out what Mr. Harvey was so upset about? Was he attempting to deescalate the situation in any way? NO! He stood there with his arms crossed and waited until Mr. Harvey was within 6 to 10 feet and then he callously and intentionally drew his Service Weapon, the weapon he is supposed to use to protect and serve, and he shot Mr. Harvey. He shot Mr. Harvey who was unarmed, had not displayed a weapon, he shot him and hit him in the leg. The defendant would have you believe that this was an accident that he just fired a “warning shot”. You have heard from our experts and seen the documentation from Detective Walkers own agency that “Warning shots” are not an accepted practice. (I refuse to believe that any angecy actually condones “warning shots”.)

    Well this was the grand daddy of all “warning shots”, this was the “Warning Shot” that killed Mr. Harvey. The “warning shot” that severed his femoral artery and doomed him to death on the side of the road. So after his “warning shot”, what did the defendant do? Did he wait to see if it was effective? Did he take just 2 steps back and see if it had an effect. We have testimony from Mr. Pidel saying that he saw the victims leg lift off of the ground and saw him turn sideways as if he had been hit. So did Detective Walker take just 2 steps backward to see if the victim advanced again? Did he open the distance? Did he do any of these things? NO! He raised the gun higher and put 2 more bullets into the man with the already fatal wound.

    Ladies and Gentlemen I am a prosecutor and officer of the court. I have seen many cases of Self Defense in which I have recommended that no charges be filed. But when I look at a case were a Trained and Experienced Police Officer allows an obviously unarmed man advance up to him, without trying to deescalate the situation and then pulls his Service Weapon in full view of his children and guns down an unarmed man, I do not see Self Defense, Ladies and Gentlemen I see murder.”

    Wow, I think I was channeling John Guy for a moment there, lol. This will of course come after the arguments that Walker could have driven away and had plenty of time to do so.

    To me, I think Walker was in fear of his life, I don’t feel that his fear was justified, which is why I have said Imperfect self defense and manslaughter.

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