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Law of Self Defense: Did Police Shoot Suspect for “Crime” of Sleeping in Car?

Law of Self Defense: Did Police Shoot Suspect for “Crime” of Sleeping in Car?

Watch a false narrative of racist police murder being created in real time

This Case of the Week is about a police use-of-force event in California on February 9th in which six police officers shot and killed a suspect, as reported by The Hill. (Hat tip to Tim G. on Facebook for forwarding me this story.)

What’s notable about the article, in a totally expected manner, is how hard the “journalists” writing about this event are working to make it appear to be yet another racially motivated killing by racist police in institutionally racist America. We can literally see the false racial narrative being created in front of our eyes. The victim of the police use-of-force in this instance was a black male name Willie McCoy, a rapper who goes by the name of “Willie Bo.”

The races of the officers involved are not mentioned, but given that the police are part of the amorphous “institution” the narrative presumes that the officers are agents of institutional racism regardless of their individual races.

What Actually Happened?

Here are the actually relevant facts supported by actual evidence:

The management of a fast-food restaurant called the police to report a driver passed out in a car in the drive-through lane of the restaurant, about 10:30 PM. The police observed a handgun (later learned to be stolen) in the driver’s lap.

From the police statement on the shooting (embedded at the bottom of this post):

While officers were still positioning a patrol unit to the rear of the vehicle, and waiting for the supervisor, the driver began to suddenly move and looked at the uniformed patrol officers. Officers gave the driver several commands to put his hands up. The driver did not comply and instead he quickly moved his hands downward for the firearm. Fearing for their safety, six officers fired their duty weapons at the driver.

The driver died of his wounds.

What False Narrative is Being Created?

Pretty straightforward, right? Well, it ought to be. But that wouldn’t fit the narrative.

Is this story headlined “Six California police officers fatally shoot suspect reaching for gun”? Of course not.

The headline in The Hill is instead: “Six California police officers fatally shoot rapper found sleeping in car.”

Here’s the headline used in the UK Independent “news” site in covering this story: “Willie McCoy: Rapper shot dead by six police officers in California as he slept in car outside Taco Bell”

Here’s the Yahoo Finance—yep, Yahoo Finance—headline: “6 Cops Kill Rapper Willie Bo While He Slept in His Car”

Here’s the BuzzFeed News headline: “An Aspiring Rapper Who Was Asleep Inside His Car Was Shot And Killed By California Police”

Wait, did the police shoot this suspect for the “crime” of sleeping in his car? Was the suspect asleep when the cops shot him?

Of course not. But that’s clearly the narrative being constructed in real-time, right before our eyes, and it’s likely to be just another of the false narratives that we’ll have to live with for years to come.

Not Our First Time at the False Narrative Rodeo

This is much like the false narrative that Trayvon Martin was killed for the crime of wearing a hoodie and having Skittles, rather than killed in lawful self-defense when he tried to maim or murder neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman.

Or the false narrative that Michael Brown was simply a “gentle giant” who did nothing to deserve being shot, rather than a criminal thug who viciously attacked a police officer who then shot Brown in lawful self-defense.

Or the false narrative that Freddie Gray died because of a neck injury allegedly caused by some never-specified physical abuse by the officers who arrested him, rather than from his own stupidity in standing up in a moving van while handcuffed and shackled and falling on his head as a result (all the officers involved were ultimately cleared of all charges).

Fully Half the Story Given Over to Suspect’s Family

Also notable is that fully half the news report is devoted to quoting the dead suspect’s family, even though none of them has any personal knowledge whatever of the events that led to the suspect’s death, and thus cannot possibly have anything substantive to contribute to understanding whether the officers’ use of force was justified.

Naturally, the article tells us that “McCoy’s [the suspect’s] family has since public questioned the police response.” There is, of course, nothing wrong with questioning any police use of force—police need to be held accountable for their use-of-force decision-making just like anybody else. Naturally “held accountable” does not necessarily mean “found guilty of misconduct,” it simply means “evaluated for lawfulness.” This should always occur whenever one person kills another.

Such “questioning” is also only useful if it is based on actual facts, actual evidence, and actual law, and isn’t merely an emotive exercise (of course, an emotive response is a normal response for the suspect’s family members, which is why they aren’t the ones who evaluate the lawfulness of their family member’s killing).

Too often, too, such “questioning” appears to be not a search for the truth of what happened but rather part of a concerted propaganda-based effort to extort §1983 money from the taxpayers.

“There was no attempt to try to work out a peaceful solution.”

The Hill article quotes the suspect’s older brother as bemoaning: “There was no attempt to try to work out a peaceful solution.”

Actually, there was an attempt to try to work out a peaceful solution: that’s precisely what “Don’t reach for the gun!” and “Put your hands up!” are. It’s an explicit attempt to try to work out a peaceful solution. That goes out the window, however, once the suspect actually reaches for the gun.

“This was senseless … shooting a man sleeping in his car.”

The Hill article also quotes a cousin of the suspect, who claims: “This was senseless … shooting a man sleeping in his car.”

The false suggestion, again, is that the police shot the suspect for the “crime” of sleeping, rather than the actuality that they shot the suspect for presenting an imminent threat of deadly harm.

The Hill reports: “McCoy’s family has since called on the officers involved in McCoy’s death to face criminal prosecution.” Coincidentally (not), a criminal prosecution would contribute substantially to the strength of a §1983 civil suit against the officer’s department, with the prospect of a huge taxpayer-funded payday for both the suspect’s survivors and their lawyers.

Bottom line: How do you know the media is lying, participating in a false narrative creation, or at least substantially deceiving, about a self-defense event?

Easy: they’re covering the story.

Pro-Tip: Don’t Want to Be Shot? Don’t Act Dangerous

Pro-tip, folks: If you don’t want to get lawfully shot by police, or anybody else, don’t conduct yourself in such a manner as to be reasonably perceived as presenting an imminent deadly force threat.

Remember: You carry a gun so you’re hard to kill. Know the law so you’re hard to convict.


Attorney Andrew F. Branca
Law of Self Defense LLC

If you enjoyed this case of the week I urge you to take a look at the Law of Self Defense Blog, the premier source for authoritative education and insight on self-defense law. There’s always free content, as well as premium content for members of the Law of Self Defense Community.

Here’s that police statement referenced above:

[Featured image is a screen capture from a “Willie Bo” rap video found on Willie McCoy’s Instagram account.]


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Geez! Facts always getting in the way of Raycisss ‘Merica Meme

These false narratives are a real danger for many reasons, but one of the first is at some point, there’s a chance that part of Vallejo is going to be damaged or destroyed by riots. And when there are riots, the msm profits. The msm can push the false narrative, create division which leads to violence, and hide behind the 1st Amendment. The American msm wields a lot of power, and with that power comes responsibility. They are and have been highly irresponsible for a long time.

    PersonofInterests in reply to CKYoung. | February 18, 2019 at 8:48 am

    Something needs to be done about the Poisonous and Corrupt Media Complex of Alphabet Networks, Presstitute Tabloids, and Social Media Censors. Boycotting their product and their advertisers isn’t getting the desired result of putting them out of business fast enough. And our Slander and Defamation Laws are not doing the job either albeit it was delicious watching Gawker go down after Hulk Hogan sued them into oblivion.

To be fair (heh) the media does this for just about every story now.

You can see it in the headlines how they will take part of what someone says add in their interpretation of what that means and then add another quote from what was said. All so it winds up seeming to have the person say something entirely different from what they said.

They do this to Trump all the time.

And THIS is why they are a danger to the country as they formulate everything in the manner in which they want it taken which usually is to enflame whoever the readers or participants are. Decrying the waste or racism/sexism, transgender hate whatever is rampant in America now.

I guess I’m too old to see this the way most of you see it. Of course, this idiot acted like a fool but was there no other way to confront him? 6 cops who could have blocked his car both front and rear with their own cars and then from well-placed cover using a bullhorn demanded that he get him out of his car. Why do they have to shoot because a command was not obeyed? There could be many reasons that the guy didn’t raise his hands. I am not defending him for his stupid actions but is there no alternative but comply or die? This isn’t like a lone cop seeing the gun in his hand. This is simply a case where without seeing a gun they shot and killed a man who was stupid and did not comply. I think there should be a higher burden of action before killing someone than that.

    rabid wombat in reply to inspectorudy. | February 17, 2019 at 3:48 pm


    You are correct there may be other ways to have addressed this. I will disagree – it was not the failure to comply that resulted in the shooting. It was the deliberate action that caused the shooting.

    “The driver did not comply and instead he quickly moved his hands downward for the firearm”

    If the driver has sat like a stone, not complying – there would be a lot of yelling, but no shots. It was the movement to the firearm that netted the shots.


    “This is simply a case where without seeing a gun they shot and killed a man”

    Did you not bother to read this blog post before commenting?
    “The police observed a handgun (later learned to be stolen) in the driver’s lap…The driver did not comply and instead he quickly moved his hands downward for the firearm.”

      tom_swift in reply to pst314. | February 17, 2019 at 4:28 pm

      The question is consistent with the situation outlined in the post. And it’s a good question. Six guys simultaneously yelling orders at someone who has just woken up is probably not an optimal way to handle a situation like this.

        So, Tom, you are asleep in your car in a restaurant drive through lane, with a pistol in your lap. A 17 year old employee walks up to your car, knocks on the window to see if you are alright. You are startled awake, grab your pistol, from your lap, and shoot him dead. After your arrest and indictment, you attempt to argue at trial that you should be held blameless because were not fully awake, or were confused, at the time you fired the shot. What do you think your chances of being found not guilty are?

        You are ultimately responsible for your actions, not the rest of society.

          tom_swift in reply to Mac45. | February 17, 2019 at 6:47 pm

          That’s nice. And what does your fantasy scenario have to do with six officers shouting instructions and shooting into the car?

          Mac45 in reply to Mac45. | February 17, 2019 at 7:35 pm

          Everything Tom. Your position was that he was disoriented from waking up while surrounded by armed uniformed LEOs and was so confused that he instinctively reached for the pistol in his lap. What do you think he was likely to do with that pistol? The same thing that I mentioned in my scenario, use it. As these LEOs were in uniform, he can hardly argue that he thought he was being robbed, or even in danger of attack. So, why was he reaching for a pistol?

          The man was responsible for falling asleep. He was responsible for his actions upon awakening. The locked car prevented the LEOs from simply opening the door and securing the vehicle, which was in drive, and the weapon. And, the occupant of the vehicle did not obey simple commands from uniformed LEOs. Too bad.

          DaveGinOly in reply to Mac45. | February 18, 2019 at 2:53 am

          Tom has an excellent point. There have been situations in which suspects were shot in all likelihood because they were confronted by police who were yelling conflicting instructions. The overload of receiving multiple commands from more than one officer is a problem that police have to address in their training. When approaching an armed suspect (or any suspect, for that matter) the police should have a plan that include who will give the orders and what orders will be given under what circumstances. This not only puts other officers on alert concerning what to expect from a fellow officer, but what he will expect from the suspect. It can also reduce the confusion faced by the suspect by only having to hear (and listen to) a single officer giving him clear directions and making sure he understands the nature of the compliance expected by the police.

          Someone waking up to the confusion caused by multiple armed individuals yelling incoherently can obviously lead to a startle effect. Yes, in your situation an innocent person could have been killed. But in the actual situation the police had a responsibility to give the suspect the maximum chance of surviving his encounter with armed officers, and they may not have done that.

          I must be hopelessly old-fashioned, but passing out (or randomly falling asleep) in your car with a gun in your lap is suspect behavior right out of the gate. This guy was in a public place with a gun visible on his lap; how often do rational, law-abiding citizens fall asleep in their cars with their guns on their laps? And it later turned out that it wasn’t even HIS gun; it was stolen.

          This whole “oh he was just dazed because he hadn’t had his Starbucks yet” line of thought is bewildering to me. He wasn’t awoken in his bed by a half dozen LEO’s storm-troopering into his home (in which case, I could see being freaked out and not yet awake, perceiving a threat and reaching for one’s firearm).

          Given the horrific number of police officers killed when responding to calls, some of which were later shown to be staged ambushes, is it really that outlandish that the responding officers were not amused when the suspect reached for the weapon on his lap? Even without the pervading anti-police sentiment, this suspect was armed (or lapped, heh), and when he moved for his weapon, all bets are off. Could he have killed all of the responding officers with a handgun? Nope, but he sure could have killed and / or wounded a few of them had he been permitted to pick up and use his firearm.

          It’s not hard. Don’t ever ever move toward a weapon when confronted by law enforcement . . . even if you’re all dozey-do from your little nappy-poo in a public parking lot. Better yet, try not to nap in your car with a stolen gun on your lap. Chances are pretty good the police will show up and not quite understand that you need your jolt of java before you can comprehend the situation. What’s a cop to do? “Hey, don’t reach for that weapon right there on your lap in plain sight, we have someone getting you a cup o’ Starbucks so you can wake up and feel all betters. Yay! Won’t that be nice? Nothing at all suspicious about being asleep in your car with a gun on your lap . . . or reaching for it. That’s not threatening at all! How about some yummy breakfast? A breakfast burrito, perhaps? Let us know when you feel all awake and ready to chat with us.”


          MajorWood in reply to Mac45. | February 18, 2019 at 12:16 pm

          I think the problem started when he took possession of the stolen gun. The rest was just inertia.

          As I explain to people all the time, if you don’t take the first drink, it is really hard to get arrested for DUI.

          Bruce Hayden in reply to Mac45. | February 18, 2019 at 12:41 pm

          @Fuzzy – when I am traveling, and stop to take a nap, there will often be a handgun in my lap. Of course, this isn’t tying up the drive through at a fast food restaurant. What should I do there? People who pull over for a quick nap are assaulted and robbed, and, indeed, a guy a couple doors down when I was growing up was murdered years later sleeping at the side of a highway.

        The question might be legitimate, Tom, but he made an obviously false statement, and pst314 was right to call him out on it. Asking an uninformed question – even a legitimate one – should cause us to provide the information and see if the question still holds.

        SheAintNoFlowerChild in reply to tom_swift. | February 18, 2019 at 6:00 pm

        Exactly! And who just falls asleep in their car while in the drive-thru with their car still in drive? Clearly there was something else going on… he was likely inebriated or on some kind of medication. There is no doubt that he could be classified as ‘ability impaired’. I recently read that 50% of people who are killed by police were known to have some form of mental illness. Why is it that people with MRDD are a protected class of people EXCEPT when it comes to the use of deadly force that results in loss of their lives???

        As for this article itself. I find it insulting to the average person’s intelligence. (As are many of the comments from the clearly far-right responses.) The MSM business model is pretty simple. Write stories people want to read about in a way that gets people to read them. The thoughts of and impact on the family are relevant to the READER, whether they are relevant to the case or not. They aren’t submitting a court document, they are covering the news. And of course they are going to use the most enticing headline they can to get and keep the reader’s attention. I mean, idk, maybe Andrew’s typical reader is unable to decipher fact from thoughts/opinions of the family. Is that really the fault of the msm writers? No, it’s the fault of our failing education system.

        All I know for sure is that this 20 year old man should not have died in the manner that he did and these policeman are very poorly trained if this was the best resolve they could come up with.

          I find it insulting to the average person’s intelligence.
          Insulting is something you would know about, it seems.

          All I know for sure is that this 20 year old man should not have died in the manner that he did and these policeman are very poorly trained if this was the best resolve they could come up with.
          “All I know” – and yet you say we’re wrong for asking more of those who would claim to inform us? *smh*
          You’re right about “should not have died in [this] manner” – and he evidently had several points in the incident chain where he could have stopped it.

    Looking at the report it appears they did not know he had a gun until they had approached the car, and were in the process of doing just what you described when he woke up and started going for it.

    Note, a car door is not a protection against bullets, so hiding behind their cars in case he started shooting was not a safe option. Doubly so as he was in the drive through lane, which means he was also right up on top of the fast food place; also not a bullet proof structure.

    I think the moral of the story is if you keep a gun in your car, don’t keep it in your lap, don’t sleep in the drive through lane, and don’t go for it if the police show up.

      MajorWood in reply to Voyager. | February 17, 2019 at 4:11 pm

      Some of the newer ford SUV can be equipped with level 3 and level 4 door inserts.

      PersonofInterests in reply to Voyager. | February 18, 2019 at 12:59 pm

      There is another lesson that so many before seem to overlook and endup dead: OBEY LEOs AND GIVE THEM RESPECT. IF YOU HAVE A PROBLEM AND FEEL YOUR RIGHTS HAVE BEEN DENIED, THE PLACE TO RESPOND IS IN A COURT ROOM.

      What better examples than “The Gentle Giant of Furgeson”, 294 lb 6’4″ Mike Brown (WHO DIDN’T HAVE HIS HANDS UP AND DIDN’T SAY DON’T SHOOT) and “The Peach Tea and Skittles Kid”, Trayvon Martin. If they had only respected others, they may be alive today perhaps in jail, but alive.

    You are a LEO confronting a person who you know to be armed, but have no indication as to his intent. You point a pistol at him and tell him not to touch his gun or you will shoot. At this point a reasonable person would stop what he was doing and wait for further instructions or, possibly, attempt to explain that he does not present a threat. Unless the person attempts to touch the firearm, he is relatively safe. His safety is entirely in his hands, at this point.

    But, in this case, the armed man did not follow instructions. He continued to reach for his pistol. If he takes hold of the weapon, it is possible that he will shoot, and possibly, kill one or more LEOs or an innocent civilian. His intent is still unknown, but he is acting contrary to explicit instructions of the LEOs with whom he is interacting.

    Now there could be any number of reasons why he chose to ignore the LEOs. Having just awakened, he might have been confused. Or he might have been on some drug which had altered his decision making capability. He might have thought, erroneously, that the LEOs would not shoot him. He might have thought, again erroneously, that hiding the pistol would keep the LEOs from finding it and his being charged with possession of a stolen firearm. Whatever the situation, the rapper would still be alive if he had simply followed instructions.

    Unlike some third and fourth world countries, LEOs in the US do not usually carry out summary executions. In fact, the use of almost any force by a LEO, especially one resulting in death, is screened by multiple groups; the LEO’s LEA, possibly another LEA or LEAs, the local prosecutor’s office, the media, sometimes a citizen use of force committee and the deceased family’s attorney. This has a tendency to greatly reduce the number of incidents involving excessive or unlawful force.

      PersonofInterests in reply to Mac45. | February 18, 2019 at 12:53 pm

      Or perhaps this “Music Legend” was attempting “Suicide by Cop” to generate lawsuits and out of court settlements as we have seen many times before albeit gambling that he would survive; even when the person killed was completely in the wrong, e.g., Trayvon Martin, “The Gentle Giant of Furgeson, Mr. Hands Up Don’t Shoot, Michael Brown.

        SheAintNoFlowerChild in reply to PersonofInterests. | February 18, 2019 at 6:29 pm

        He was 20 years old. The more likely scenario was he was drunk and/or drugged. He was woken up suddenly and clearly confused. The chances of him even being cognitive of the fact there was a weapon in his lap, I’d say is slim to none. The most natural place for your hands to go when you wake in a seated position with six people screaming at you are down to the seat in order to elevate yourself to assess the situation better. So to say, he flinched and that gave them the right to shoot him is in my opinion, utter BS and a total failure to recognize the fault is in poor police training. If you can’t think on your feet, then patrol officer is probably not the job for you. Find these trigger happy cops a clerks position in the file room. Pay police more, vet and train them better (particularly in regard to recognizing & dealing with people with MRDD, mental illness and physical disabilities) and stop putting the dumbest of the dumb in these position of authority (over other humans lives).

          So, the man is ONLY 20 ears old. He might well have be on some kind of drug, which caused him to fall asleep, behind the wheel of a running vehicle which was in gear. Waking up caused him to be disoriented. He was armed. His hands moved toward the firearm in his lap. He failed to respond to the repeated orders of uniformed LEOs. And, because he was 20 yoa and may have been impaired, this excuses his actions?

          He is two years past his majority; he was an adult. If he was under the influence of some drug, which caused him to become unconscious for a rather long time, while sitting in a running vehicle which was in gear in a restaurant drive-thru, then he should not have been out in public to begin with and certainly not in control of a motor vehicle. And, if he was that impaired, he should not have been carrying a firearm, especially in public. With power comes responsibility. And, it was this man’s responsibility to be able to operate in a public environment in a safe and sane manner. He failed. He was a danger to himself and others, before he reached for the gun.

          Now, it is also possible that he knew exactly what he was doing. He either wanted to hide the gun or was intent upon using it to escape, either because he knew the gun was stolen or because he was operating a motor vehicle while impaired. We’ll [probably never know, for sure.

    judgeroybean in reply to inspectorudy. | February 18, 2019 at 1:10 pm

    That time of night and driver not awake. High probability of drugs, alcohol, or both. Weapon in his lap. Why? Robbery? Person not likely to be in full control of faculties. Now. Who wants to be the Policeman to drive a police car towards a dangerous person armed with a gun? As a senior officer on site, would you like to order another officer to block suspect in?

      SheAintNoFlowerChild in reply to judgeroybean. | February 18, 2019 at 7:38 pm

      I agree with you about his likely condition, but are there only two options the responding officers had at their disposal? Aren’t police paid to think on their feet and trained to deescalate so no one gets hurt? Why not form a perimeter to prevent innocent bystanders from getting involved/in harm’s way and then deal with him patiently? Is drug addiction or mental illness now a license to kill someone? Because from where I sit, those are the two most likely events that left him asleep with a gun in a drive thru. Why did they assess the situation and conclude, hey, he appears to have a gun, so let’s force his hand and poke the bear??? They might as well have surrounded a rabid porcupine. Almost guaranteed someone would get injured. In this case, the odds were heavily against the kid walking out of that unharmed. Even sober, I would have jumped out of my skin being woken up like that. (No, I don’t make a habit of passing out in drive thrus.) What if someone “ruffied” the guy and left him passed out with their stolen gun in a drive through? The fact is, the oddity of the scenario SCREAMS that something was amiss. For all they knew he was a victim himself.

        so let’s force his hand and poke the bear???
        What?!? They were still trying to get him surrounded when he awoke (according to the authorities). They hadn’t forced anything. (Smashing the driver’s window open and trying to grab the gun while he was still seemingly unconscious would have been “forcing his hand”.)

        What if someone “ruffied” the guy and left him passed out with their stolen gun in a drive through?
        You sound like a defense attorney coming up with outlandish possibilities to plant doubt in the mind of the jury. Someone put knockout drugs in him, as the passenger?! Then skeedaddled when he got in the drive-thru? I take it back – that sounds more like the blame-everyone-and-anyone-else relatives of Dindu Nuffin.

        I wonder… do you also think cops should shoot people in the leg or hand, instead of center-of-mass? Because, training?

This one will proably end poorly for at least one officer….

“We know that a crime has been committed. It’s a serious crime,” said Acevedo, who is referring to clear lies in the original warrant. “When we go into someone’s home, which is the sanctity in someone’s home, it has to be truthful. It has to be honest. It has to be absolutely factual. So, we know there’s a crime that’s been committed. There’s a high probability that there will be a criminal charge.”

    healthguyfsu in reply to rabid wombat. | February 17, 2019 at 3:39 pm

    And that relates to this case how?

      rabid wombat in reply to healthguyfsu. | February 17, 2019 at 3:57 pm


      As for Willie Bo, nothing

      As for “There is, of course, nothing wrong with questioning any police use of force—police need to be held accountable for their use-of-force decision-making just like anybody else. Naturally “held accountable” does not necessarily mean “found guilty of misconduct,” it simply means “evaluated for lawfulness.” This should always occur whenever one person kills another.” Spot on


Char Char Binks | February 17, 2019 at 3:47 pm

The music world lost a titan, no doubt.

More false narrative.
As Powerline Blog noted, only an imbecile could believe Smollette’s tale of MAGA lynching.

    MajorWood in reply to puhiawa. | February 17, 2019 at 4:14 pm

    Has #walkaway morphed into #runaway? Even dimwits may start to see a pattern here.

    Was there bodycam footage? I think bodycams are magical, because they seem to have made Al Sharpton disappear completely.

And the police cameras show what?

The usual way these sorts of things seem to proceed is that the police release video which shows the incident clearly, verifying the police story . . . about a week after the press and the shakedown artists have managed to plant their version in the public consciousness. And then it’s too late, the narrative grows like a tumor.

Speed is essential.

And if all six are too stupid to have body cams nowadays (or they just happen to have them “turned off”) they deserve whatever they get; Darwin will see to that.

Question why three or most likely 6 squad cars for a drunk a sleep in a drive thru?

Missing to much to know but did the employees approach the car first then report the gun?

    tom_swift in reply to Notanymore. | February 17, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    According to The Hill,

    Police were reportedly called to the restaurant late Saturday after an employee said he found a driver slumped over in his car.

      And I didn’t see anything saying how long the guy slept after the first cop(s) saw the firearm. Maybe they all responded after that backup call went out.
      Or, maybe they had no other crimes to worry about that evening.

      MajorWood in reply to tom_swift. | February 18, 2019 at 12:26 pm

      Well, “slumped over” could have been interpreted as having been shot and was dead at the wheel, meaning that there could have been a crime in the immediate area. Will the 911 call be released, ditto the message to the officers. What information were they operating on.

      The thing is, the rapper probably started to make bad decisions the second he woke up that day. Or maybe he just wasn’t cut out for thug life.

      Chris Rock said it best. “Martin Luther King was assassinated. Malcom X was assassinated. Tu Pac, that xxxxxx got himself shot.”

      But never say that the media won’t make it into something that it isn’t.

        SheAintNoFlowerChild in reply to MajorWood. | February 18, 2019 at 7:50 pm

        Police reported that they had time to move police cars in front of and behind his car to prevent him from driving anywhere when he woke up. They did that based on the information that the car was still in drive and claim to have assessed there was a weapon in his lap. Seems like quite a bit of time passed from the time they arrived and when he woke up. They also claim, he woke up suddenly… well there were flashing lights all around his car (there is video on YouTube from the perspective of someone sitting in their car 20-30 yards away with the police screaming at him and then seconds later a slew of gun fire. Idk about you, but I’d probably flinch if I woke up to that too and I doubt I’d be very aware of what was in my lap, even if it was a live hand grenade.

Having just awakened, he might have been confused. . . . rapper would still be alive if he had simply followed instructions.

He might also be alive if someone realized that a person who’s confused might need a little time to become un-confused to the point that he could follow instructions from multiple officers. That’s kind of what “confused” means, correct? Instant comprehension would mean he’s not confused. One to two seconds should be sufficient for a normal person to become un-confused. Might be worth the wait.

    tom_swift in reply to tom_swift. | February 17, 2019 at 6:54 pm

    How did this get down here? Bloody gremlins.

    The point is, Tom, that he MIGHT be disoriented. Then again, he might be a homicidal maniac, or simply believe that he can shoot at the surrounding LEOs and escape with his stolen gun.

    The LEOs were not responsible for him being asleep behind the wheel, with the vehicle in drive and loaded pistol in his lap. They were not responsible for not being able to secure the weapon prior to his awakening because the car door was locked. And, they were not responsible for his disregarding instructions to put his hands up, keep them visible and not to touch the gun. So, the responsibility for the results of this incident rest entirely upon the deceased. If he had not fallen asleep, for whatever reason, he would not have been in this situation. Had he not had a pistol in his lap. He would not be in this situation. If he had not reached for the weapon while being told by a uniformed LEO not to, he would not be in this situation. You can attempt to excuse his actions, but, this is all on the armed man in the car.

      DaveGinOly in reply to Mac45. | February 18, 2019 at 3:06 am

      As I mention above, there is a problem here that should be addressed by training.

      It reminds me of another problem, one that can also be mitigated by training and that has to do with armed persons who do not respond properly or promptly to police commands.

      Police will sometimes roll up on a shooting scene and command an armed individual at the scene to drop a weapon. Upon not receiving compliance, police have shot such persons in actual incidents. And sometimes those shot turn out to be the people who had lawfully defended themselves against lethal-force attacks. So, should they have complied with police instructions? Of course. But that presumes they heard them. I’m sure you’re aware of the phenomena of “auditory exclusion” and “tunnel vision.” Police should be aware of the phenomena – much of what is known about them comes from the experience of police. They need to be taught that the last man standing at the scene of a shooting may be temporarily disabled by auditory exclusion and/or tunnel vision – he may neither hear nor see the police. Failure to immediately comply with police commands does not necessarily mean that the police are in danger. Until they actually are in danger their default action should be one of restraint. We pay the police to risk their lives to protect us, not to occasionally shoot one of us by accident in order for the officer to protect himself. There is something terribly wrong when our police operate under rules of engagement less restrictive than those controlling our armed forces in combat zones.

        PersonofInterests in reply to DaveGinOly. | February 18, 2019 at 12:43 pm

        Making excuses for people who never learned to respect figures of authority, whether their parents, teachers, or law enforcement, is a fools errand. But of course, you know that.

        I’m always amused at those posing as “Monday Morning Quarterbacks” who have all the questions and few answers because truth be known, if it had been them, THEY WOULD HAVE EMPTIED THEIR MAGAZINES AND LATER, HAD TO CHANGE THEIR UNDERWEAR.

        The attacks on law enforcement, whether ICE or local cops is all about neutering them so when the violent insurrection fomented by Socialist/Communists and their Socialist/Communist Media Complex Cheerleaders finally gets started, they will be ineffective in stopping their madness without greater numbers or help from armed citizens. THANK GOD WE HAVE AND WILL ALWAYS HAVE THE SECOND AMENDMENT AND NEVER PERMIT OURSELVES TO BE DISARMED.

        You are correct about training. But, the training has to be done by the civilian weapons carrier, not the police.

        LEOs undergo extensive training in order to limit their use of deadly force. They usually identify themselves. They usually give multiple commands, to a person, before they use deadly force. They attempt to use less deadly means to neutralize a potential dangerous subject. They usually go far out of their way to neutralize a subject, verbally, before they resort to force. And, still armed people continue to get shot and sometimes killed. And, this is not limited to civilians. Plain clothes LEOs get shot as well. And, in almost all of these cases, the fault can be laid direct at the feet of the person shot.

        There are a few things that you have to realize, if you are going to be armed in public.

        1) All human beings are dangerous. That is why we are at the pointy end of the food chain, on this planet. And, armed human beings are even more dangerous. So, if you are armed in public, the rest of society will naturally assume that you are extremely dangerous and will react accordingly.

        2) It is impossible to accurately divine the intent of another human being. Any such attempt is simply a guess. And, in the case of an armed human being, guessing wrong can prove to be fatal. So, you have to thoroughly understand that other people have no idea what your intentions are. They will, naturally, assume the worst and act accordingly.

        3) Engaging in any dangerous activity requires extensive training, in order to conduct that activity safely. 30,000 people die every year because drivers are not trained to adequately control their motor vehicles. Most fatal aircraft crashes are the result of pilot error; usually due to a lack of training. And, a number of police shootings of armed people result because the armed subject made a threatening movement.

        4) You can not control the actions of other people. You can only control your own. This means that you have to walk through life aware and sober. You have to think. You have to be able to make correct decisions quickly. If you step off the curb and a horn blows nearby to your left. If your reaction is to jump back onto the curb, you live. If you stop, where you are in the street, and look around for the source of the horn, you might end up french kissing a bus at 30 mph and dying.

        But, for some reason people believe that they have an inalienable right to do stupid things and suffer no consequences. They believe that society and the individuals around them have a responsibility to look out for them and take care of them. If they are walking down the street reading texts on their phone and step into an open manhole or walk into a parked car or into the path of a moving vehicle, somehow this is not their fault. Now, it would be a simple, sane and intelligent step to step out of the roadway, or out of pedestrian traffic, and stop to read your phone. In this case, not moving would preclude you walking into a stationary, or even moving object. Being out of moving traffic would prevent you from being struck by that traffic. But, that does not happen, largely because people are not trained to do that. They operate under the Magic Kingdom mentality. Nothing bad is going to happen to them, so they take no steps to prevent disaster.

        If auditory exclusion is a problem during and after deadly conflicts, then a person who is carrying a firearm in public should be trained to control that. LEOs are [to some degree]. So are soldiers.

        So, what does actually being in danger look like, where an armed person is concerned. Is it at thee point where a person has the means and opportunity to use deadly force against you and makes an action would can reasonably be believed to be an effort to use deadly force against you? Or do you have to wait until deadly force is actually used, before you can act to neutralize it? If a tiger walks into a school, should people assume it is harmless, until it attacks someone?

        And, what makes you think that these situations are accidental. A few are. But most are a conscious act on the part of the LEO. They are taken based upon a reasonable scenario based upon observable facts. It may turn out that the scenario was not accurate, but it is rarely accidental. People usually get shot because they are armed and unknown and very often fail to respond to LEO commands.

        SheAintNoFlowerChild in reply to DaveGinOly. | February 18, 2019 at 8:51 pm

        YESSSSS!!!!!!! Thank you!

    PersonofInterests in reply to tom_swift. | February 18, 2019 at 9:03 am

    Just one question: What kind of person parks his car in a take out lane and goes to sleep with a stolen gun in his lap? Answer: The same kind of publicity Nut Case that files a false police report in Chicago that two white guys with MAGA Hats assaulted him and put a rope around his neck in the middle of the night with Artic weather and where crime ins 90% Black on Black, including about 700 Murders and 4,000 shootings per year; or a person waiting for a place of business to open to rob it and its employees when they attempt to ask him to remove himself and his car.

    In any case, we won’t have to be concerned with this loser pulling another stunt.

    How many times has any on this comment thread parked their car in a fast food pickup lane instead of defined areas that undoubtedly this business had; why the pickup lane if the person was NOT up to No Good which is obvious by having a stolen and loaded firearm??

      SheAintNoFlowerChild in reply to PersonofInterests. | February 18, 2019 at 9:08 pm

      His car wasn’t parked. They said it was still in drive. For all we know he had some kind of medical emergency or was drunk or narcoleptic. Sure wouldn’t be the first time the police planted a weapon on someone and they knew who he was bc he had prior arrests.

      You’re right, it was a really odd situation, so you’d think they would have proceeded with extreme caution. Yet they instead went in and poked the bear and then freaked out and opened fire when the bear got startled and jumped. Innocent until proven guilty, right? Not, cops are judge jury and God. smh

you read all this false narrative nonsense and you’ve got to wonder why on earth any decent man or woman would EVER put on a badge–in the course of protecting yourself, your fellows and innocent civilians you face the possibility of jail time YOURSELF–khryst, that’s just wrong

Moral of the story: Don’t go through a Taco Bell drive-thru.

While officers were still positioning a patrol unit to the rear of the vehicle, and waiting for the supervisor, the driver began to suddenly move and looked at the uniformed patrol officers. Officers gave the driver several commands to put his hands up. The driver did not comply and instead he quickly moved his hands downward for the firearm. Fearing for their safety, six officers fired their duty weapons at the driver.

As Andrew has pointed out, reasonableness, not perfection, is the standard. Why did he have a weapon in his lap in the drive-thru lane? I carry, but not in my lap. And certainly not in my lap in the drive-thru. (Brandishing??) It’s reasonable to assume that he didn’t have it to make sure he got enough hot sauce. If, as reported, he awoke on his own while the police were trying to block his vehicle, ignored their commands and reached for a weapon, it sounds like a reasonable response.

If police hadn’t already seen the gun, it may have been different. But they did see a gun and that changes things.

There is so much racism in this country that the race-baiters have to create it in order to keep the nation’s attention on the problem!

At some point, Jussie Smollett will be praised for “raising awareness of racism in America, which is very real,” even if he did so by manufacturing a racial incident.

    iconotastic in reply to DaveGinOly. | February 18, 2019 at 11:39 am

    As has been said

    “The demand for racism has far exceeded the supply. Hence the popularity of hate crime hoaxes”

    Of course I am referring to white racism–the only racism that sells ‘news’ and justifies electing Democrats.

    PersonofInterests in reply to DaveGinOly. | February 18, 2019 at 12:33 pm

    Maybe Jessie can get a Nobel Peace Prize just to make his hoax even more outrageous.

Young people are so ignorant of the past. If his name was “Willie McCoy”, you know he should have gone with “Slim” as his nickname. Then nobody would mess around with him.

(You shouldn’t go hustling people strange to you. Even if you do got a two-piece custom pool cue.)

“This was senseless … shooting a man sleeping in his car.”

The false suggestion, again, is that the police shot the suspect for the “crime” of sleeping
No, the false suggestion of that statement is that he was shot while sleeping, crime or not.

The initial call was for the crime of “sleeping” in the sense of “blocking access to a place of business.” (Taco Bell’s drive-thru is open until 1 or 2am, though the dining room likely closes at 10 or 11pm.) And his crime might have been trespass – had he peacefully interacted with the officers.

I have to give the poor guy some leeway, though. The Taco Bell order-taker was so slow with the person in front of him that he fell asleep waiting. And all he wanted was a couple of gorditas (which are a crime unto themselves).
Or, was he going to rob the Taco Bell through the drive-thru window? Why else would you have your gun in your lap at a drive-thru?

One legitimate question, though:
How, in the dark, with the suspect inside a car, can the cops see “he quickly moved his hands downward for the firearm”? Had he already put his hands up or on the steering wheel? Or, were the 6 cops so close to the car that they could see his hands move to the gun?

The decision whether this was reasonable or not is going to be decided by people who will see and hear as much of the evidence as is possible, then use the Graham v Conner standard to determine if these officers acted as other reasonable officers would have. This shooting was a moment in time we will never get back. To take our sweet time and explore every could-have, would-have, should-have is not fair to the officers. I posted up there earlier with the focus being the msm. Reading through the rest of the comments, I believe I can see there are many that have never worked a beat, never prosecuted or defended a case, or been presented with an armed human being/s that might or might not want to kill them (and I believe I can see the ones who have, but that’s not the point). Yet I don’t begrudge them their opinion. My suggestion. See if your local law enforcement agency has use of force simulation training. Then find out if you can go through some of the training scenarios. I think simunition training is realistic and effective, and puts some of your skin in the game since being shot by simunition rounds can be painful. There are videos online depicting lay persons going through these use of force scenarios. There are also websites which delve deeply into the use of force world. Most lay people have never considered what a foot stride from standstill is; how many foot strides until a subject reaches maximum velocity; perception/reaction time; how controlled substances might prolong an attackers endurance, despite receiving lethal force, and many more factors. LEO’s live in this world, but training is never going to be all inclusive. They are dispatched to calls or on-view incidents, use their training and experience to make (sometimes) split second decisions. Then we, society, get all the time in the world to analyze what happened. I would just ask you give everyone involved, including the suspect, due process.

    See if your local law enforcement agency has use of force simulation training.
    Unfortunately, so many do NOT. It is an excellent tool. It also helps teach tactics, where basic range time does not. (Also, way too many officers don’t get enough basic range time.)

    (BTW, you can also spend some money and get your own tactical training at places like Front Sight.)

    Good comment.

I always appreciate the lessons that Andrew Branca delivers. But sometimes I wonder. Are you really telling me this? Like I havent heard it before.

Yes, I should be dead.

My uncle was a battalion fire chief in a major west coast fire department. By major west coast fire department, I mean he crawled among the ruins of a collapsed freeway looking for survivors.

It’s hard to think he’s been gone so long. But I still have his cabin in the Sierras.

I went hunting with my uncle starting at age eleven. I think in some ways I modeled my life afterr his. Certainly after my dad, a Coast Guard life savior. And I am a rifleman like my DI would want it. But first and foremost I am a fireman. Google USS Forestall. I don’t farm this work out. It’s mine. Flight deck firefighting. Like my father and uncle before me I am a leader of men, which means I’ll be crawling among the carcasses along with the rest of you if that’s what we are tasked to do.

Now, apparently shifting gears but not really, I in general hate unions. Especially public employee unions. Growing up around my uncle I got to know a lot of police and fire fighters since he was considered something of a guru. How many cops did I know who wanted to kill somebody? Zero. I was just a kid. I was a nobody. If deep down they wanted to kill somebody I would have heard it. Do you realize how much work it is killing people? I really don’t want to bother. And my racisty racist friends didn’t either.o believe he’s been gone for so long. But I still have his cabin in the Plumas national forest.

If it seems I was redundant in my previous comment, I was. The thing is, I couldn’t edit my comment. I desperately wanted to. But I’m sitting here trying to edit, and finally I say **** it and hit submit.

It’s like the keys all of a sudden stopped working.