“What we can do to reduce gun violence? Admit the problems. Use a strategy to attack and prevent homicides.”
Today, we have all seen how quickly the facts regarding a shooting can be twisted. Just look at Zimmerman or Ferguson if you want a clear example of how a shooting can be misrepresented. What has been portrayed and repeated isn’t accurate, but over time reality is replaced with propaganda. Sadly, this is also true for many companies providing legal protection for citizens involved in self-defense incidents. Many companies either don’t understand what type of coverage is needed after a self-defense incident or distract you by bundling their coverage with a focus on the wrong things. The reality of a self-defense incident, especially one that involves a lethal use of force is there will always be a thorough criminal investigation. Making sure you have enough coverage and the right coverage is crucial. When a company bundles their coverage, you need to take time to see if they are actually covering the real costs and not just focusing on the things that rarely happen. Civil lawsuits are rare if your use of force is found to be justified by law enforcement. Many states actually indemnify you from civil lawsuits if your use of force is found to be justified. When you really need protection is when you are found guilty of a charge or take a plea. What many companies don’t tell you is their coverage stops immediately after you are found guilty or take a plea. These same companies claim you will have no “out of pocket expense” with their coverage, but that just isn’t true. So rather than debate the issues, let’s describe what you will actually need after a lethal use of force, which results in criminal charges.
- Your bond could easily be set between $250,000 to $1,000,000. That means you will need 10% for the bail bond agent. Many companies offer $2,500 to $10,000 for bail bond. That means you will have an out of pocket expense for bail bond unless you have CCW Safe, which provides bond coverage plans from $$25,000 to $100,000.
- Your retainer for an attorney will easily be in the six figures. That means you could need $200,000 for a retainer. Many companies offer total criminal cover of $50,000 to $100,000. You could have an out of pocket expense to retain an attorney after being charged after a lethal use of force unless you have CCW Safe, which doesn’t place a limit on your criminal defense.
- You will need to immediately hire an investigator to start your defense. CCW Safe is currently defending a member on a 1st degree murder charge and has already spent over $50,000 on the investigator alone. Some companies don’t cover investigators or place a limit on your criminal defense. If you already spent your entire coverage limit on a retainer, you will have an out of pocket expense unless you have CCW Safe, which doesn’t place a limit on your criminal defense.
- You will need expert witnesses, jury consultants, trial exhibits and discovery work. This can easily exceed $100,000. Many companies don’t cover this or place a limit on your criminal defense. If you already spent your entire coverage limit on a retainer, you will have an out of pocket expense unless you have CCW Safe, which doesn’t place a limit on your criminal defense.
- At some point, you might decide to take a plea deal or you might be found guilty. What many companies don’t tell you is their coverage stops immediately if you take a plea or are found guilty. This means you will be on your own unless you have CCW Safe, which continues your coverage even if you are found guilty or take a plea.
CCW Safe is the only company based on the police union model. CCW Safe covers all your expenses upfront after a self-defense incident – from the 1st moment. From incident to interviews to grand jury to arrest, it doesn’t matter because CCW Safe truly covers all your out of pocket expenses. So please don’t get distracted by companies that try to pressure you into buying their coverage through pressure sales or claiming that they are the only company that cover all your expenses upfront, but then place limits on your criminal defense. Take your time and do your research. Getting less coverage for more money isn’t just a bad deal, it can cost you your freedom.
I Just Shot Someone!
Do I need to worry about a lawsuit or a Criminal Prosecution?
I found it odd today that so many companies use scare tactics to pressure citizens into purchasing their self-defense coverage. We’ve all seen them. One company tells people that attend their seminars “you will be arrested by police if you are involved in a self-defense incident – regardless of the facts.” Another company scares citizens by implying that “if a bad guy breaks into your house and you shoot him while he is molesting your daughter, his family will sue you.”
To be honest, I find these tactics to be unnecessary and unethical. I’ve been involved in several “Use of Force” incidents during my law enforcement career. I have also seen numerous armed citizens defend themselves and were treated extremely well by law enforcement. In fact, a CCW Safe member recently defended himself outside of Los Angeles and law enforcement not only treated him as a victim but gave him his firearm back at the end of the interview. As reported by the NRA, citizens around the nation defend themselves every day and are treated as victims by police. You only hear about the ones where something goes wrong, just like with police shootings. The only police shootings that get any attention are when the facts get twisted or officers really did act inappropriately. To tell potential customers that you will be arrested after defending yourself regardless of the facts just isn’t true. Keep in mind, Zimmerman cooperated with police and wasn’t arrested till over a week later when politics got involved. On the other hand, we had a member charged with 1st-degree murder after a self-defense incident and he did cooperate with law enforcement. Every incident is different and just like every police officer.
I have also been sued numerous times during my law enforcement career. The lawsuit had a lot more to do with the deep pockets of my agency than in regards to my conduct. All the lawsuits were eventually dismissed. When I tried to do some research in regards to citizens being sued after a justified use of force, it kept taking me back to our industry. In fact, one of the companies that push this narrative actually points at an incident in which the police made a settlement after a questionable shooting, but portray it as a civilian involved incident. You would think, based on the number of times you hear these stories, you would find hundreds of incident in which citizens have been sued after a justified shooting. What you really find is a few times where a lawsuit was filed and then dismissed or just the threat of a lawsuit, but nothing ever filed. Now I am not saying that this can’t happen. I was able to find a few incidents where a lawsuit was filed and the case moved forward. What gets missed is the simple reality that if you are involved in a lethal use of force, there will be a thorough criminal investigation with a small chance of a civil lawsuit. Plaintiff attorneys sue to make money, not collect $20 a week for the next 100 years. They can’t take your house or retirement. Bankruptcy laws still apply. You always hear the example “but O.J. got sued.” First, O.J. never claimed self-defense. He claimed he wasn’t even there. Second, O.J. still lived like a king because even after losing the lawsuit, they couldn’t take his home or retirement. They were eventually able to get the proceeds from his book, but it didn’t really affect his lifestyle. Unless you have a lot of assets, most plaintiff attorneys don’t want to mess with you. Zimmerman was never sued. If you really are rich, you probably have moved your assets into structured accounts to protect them and your family.
I am not saying you shouldn’t have protection. Making sure someone has your back during what will be the worse time in your life isn’t just a good idea, it can be the difference between going home or going to jail. Police officers join their unions for this very reason. Less than 5% of cops will ever be involved in a shooting, but they still join their unions for this type of protection. Why? Because when it happens, you really need all the protection you can get. The first thing you need is criminal defense protection. Making sure you have enough protection to win the criminal case should be your first concern. And not just win it, but to win it so thoroughly that a plaintiff attorney will think twice before filing a civil lawsuit. A civil lawsuit will come later if it even comes at all. Many companies with civil judgment protection leave out the simple fact that if you are found guilty in the criminal case, they no longer offer civil judgment protection or any coverage at all. Those same companies limit your criminal defense coverage to such a point that you can barely afford to retain an attorney in a lethal use of force case, much less pay the bond agent fee to get out of jail, hire investigators, expert witnesses, a real critical incident response coordinator or peer support. Many states actually provide you protection from civil lawsuits IF your use of force is justified. The key is winning the criminal case.
So, take your time. Do your research. Learn the facts and only then make your decision. None of the other stuff really matters if your new home is prison.
Why it should concern us all
The most recent officer-involved shooting in Charlotte should be a warning to anyone carrying a firearm for self-defense. Before the investigation into the shooting even started, “witnesses” stated Keith Scott had his hands up when he was shot by police. Then we heard from another witness Mr. Scott was holding a book when police shot him. Next, we were told that plainclothes police with no identification just ran up to Mr. Scott and yelled, “He has a gun” and shot him. Mr. Scott’s daughter even posted on social media “The police just shot my daddy four times for being black.” “They Tased him first and then shot him.”
The family has stated Mr. Scott didn’t have a gun, was a good man and had never involved in any trouble. Anyone wanting to provide a statement was given a platform by the media and we quickly saw a picture that Mr. Scott was gunned down by racist police officers while sitting in his car reading a book. Protests followed and the Charlotte Chief of Police tried to explain a thorough investigation would be conducted and for everyone to slow down. We even saw a cute little girl go in front of city council and ask why police keep killing the mommies and daddies.
We’ve seen this too many times. Before all the facts are collected, something normally called rumor, becomes fact without any verification. Now we know the officers were clearly identified as police. Mr. Scott didn’t have his hands up. Mr. Scott wasn’t shot immediately after police “tased” him and yelled, “He has a gun.” Police never deployed a taser . In fact, the police clearly told Mr. Scott 10 times to drop the gun. While you can’t positively identify a gun in Mr. Scott’s hand due to the camera angle and dark clothing, you can see an ankle holster on his leg. While police surround Mr. Scott and yell for him to drop the gun, he keeps his arms by his side. At the same time, his wife is screaming at him “Keith, don’t you do it.” During this time, Mr. Scott backs away from law enforcement. My assumption (and that is all it can be) is that Mr. Scott was moving back so he could gain cover to engage the police in a gunfight. In fact, we now know that Mr. Scott had a long history of violence. He was convicted in 2005 for Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon in which he shot at a neighbor 10 times. He also resisted arrest when police captured him. He was sentenced to seven years in prison. This doesn’t include his lengthy rap sheet for numerous other crimes of violence. His wife even filed for a protective order against Mr. Scott in 2015 claiming “hit my 8-year-old in the head a total of three times with his fist” and “kicked me and threaten to kill us with his gun.” The family attorneys now contends “regardless of what details come out about his past, about what he may or may not have done in the past, nothing changes the footage we’ve seen,” Mr. Bamberg said. I completely agree. This incident should be thoroughly investigated and anything in the past shouldn’t influence how we view this incident. Although his past conviction does show a motive why he didn’t want to be captured with the gun since he would be facing several years in federal prison and explains his wife’s comments.
Now we take a look at the recent shooting in El Cajon, California. Immediately following the shooting, numerous witnesses start providing their statements to social media. “He had his hands up and the police just shot him” and “The police just ran up and shot him without saying anything.” The video clearly shows that this didn’t happen. In fact, when you watch the video, it clearly shows the suspect being given instructions by the police and when one of the officers attempts to use a taser, the suspect quickly pulls something out of his pocket and points it at the officer directly in front of him while taking a shooting stance. The officer fires and kills the suspect. It turned out to be an e-cigarette, but if it had been a gun, the officer would have been shot.
VIDEO – https://youtu.be/DXzvTG-UwHY
Many of you might not understand the simple reality that a reaction will always be slower than an action. The simple fact that a suspect has a gun in his hand down by his side or another suspect pulls an object quickly out of his pocket and takes a shooting stance doesn’t mean police don’t have time to examine the situation before shooting. Please watch the following video.
VIDEO – https://youtu.be/buCgztsdaE0
As you can clearly see, the suspect had the gun down by his side. When police attempted to use a taser to subdue the suspect, he was able to raise his firearm and shoot two police officers before they could respond and shoot him. This all happened in a split second. Even though the suspect had numerous firearms pointed directly at him, he was able to shoot two cops before officers were able to return fire. This is the reality.
This should matter to every citizen because even the most justified shooting can quickly be portrayed as a criminal act by forces outside of law enforcement. The police should conduct a thorough investigation on any lethal use of force. In fact, a good thorough investigation provides the best defense. Just remember Zimmerman. The thorough investigation by police actually proved his innocence. While the media will eventually report all the facts, it will most likely come too late and people’s minds have been made up regardless of reality. Politics get involved and suddenly citizens involved in a self-defense incident can find themselves being criminally charged. Trust me, if this can happen to police, it can happen to anyone.