Sorry y’all, I really dropped the ball on this. Peter’s bachelor party was awesome, though. I’m sure the three people who read this were very disappointed with the lack of daily updates.
Fleeing Felon shooting: read the Garner decision, TN v. Garner. The decision states that you can only shoot this suspect if his continued freedom and activity present a danger. Garner was fourteen years old.
There are 6 criteria for when it’s okay to shoot a fleeing felon:
- Shooting must involve a heinous felony against the person, against life and limb, not just property. Murder, attempoted murder, stranger kidnapping (not non-custodial relative!), arson of occupied structures, violent sexual assault.
- You know beyond a reasonable doubt that this is the perpetrator. You must have seen him do it. Cops shooting those women delivering newspapers during the Dorner thing would surely have failed this criterion if they were prosecuted like the rest of us. It’s not enough to see him pick up a bloody knife (or a pistol, see Zamudio at Giffords shooting).
- You should be identified and identifiable as the good guy. Chasing and shooting at unarmed badguy in the back makes one appear to be badguy oneself.
- Suspect escape would be open-ended. If he’s running toward a police roadblock, you don’t shoot, because capture is imminent.
- All other means of capture have failed or are obviously impossible or unlikely to succeed under the circumstances.
- Suspect’s continued freedom presents a clear and present danger to innocent human life and limb.
In any case, a private citizen never has any duty to shoot.
Read the dissenting opinion in Garner. Presidentender has a higher standard for the use of lethal force than at least 2 sitting supreme court justices.