Deputy Terminated For Firing At Vehicle

Discussion in 'Concealed Carrying & Personal Protection' started by Doc3402, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. Doc3402

    Doc3402 New Member

    2,823
    0
    0
    First off let me start this thread with a warning. This is not the controversy laden part of the forum. Keep it clean, keep it smart, and keep the rhetoric to a minimum. I am posting this here because we can all learn something from this incident. More on that later. Just keep in mind this is to give us a scenario that we can learn from. Keep the cop bashing to yourself.

    Out of respect for copyrights I will not post the entire story. I will provide links to the stories at the end of each quote.

    Finally, as you read the release from the LE agency and the impressions from the investigation assess the level of threat to the deputy. Was deadly force indicated?

    http://jacksonville.com/breaking-news/2013-11-12/story/putnam-deputy-fired-shooting-vehicle

    http://www.pcso.us/default.aspx?ArticleId=629

    So what do you think? Was the deputy right or wrong? What do you think you would do? What do you think would happen to a civilian that responded as the deputy did? Picture yourself coming home from work and seeing someone fleeing from your home with your TV set and your wife's jewelry box in their arms.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  2. WebleyFosbery38

    WebleyFosbery38 New Member

    7,510
    2
    0
    The Ruratain in me says shoot and shoot again, the armed citizen that knows he's not in any imminent danger in me says if hes running away from a non violent crime scene, probably better try to get a good description and let the forces track him down.

    Should the cop have been booted? Only if that wasnt part of his bosses ROE's.
     

  3. JonM

    JonM Moderator

    20,110
    19
    38
    According to what you posted all the shots hit the rear of the vehicle. Hard to tell from that poorly written news story.

    Personally i have no problem with police shooting cars to end high speed pursuits. I see that as the same thing as an active shooter trying to kill people.
     
  4. JTJ

    JTJ Well-Known Member Supporter

    9,677
    390
    83
    I could better justify the shooting if the shots had been in the windshield and the vehicle was trying to run him down.
     
  5. txpossum

    txpossum New Member

    1,638
    0
    0
    I don't see how, in this situation, the officer was justified in shooting. There is no suggestion (at least not in the excerpts posted here) that their was a danger to the officer or anyone else that justified the use of deadly force. There is no information listed on how strong the information was that led the officer to believe the truck was connected to the robbery; even if it was connected to the robbery, des the potential involvement in a property crime justify deadly force absent any other threat? Was it on a rural road, where the threat of stray bullets was low, or in a residential area?

    Don't get me wrong -- I think it's a stupid idea to try to run from the police, but I don't think that the use of deadly force was warranted.
     
  6. Jagermeister

    Jagermeister New Member

    6,811
    1
    0
    I do not see the big deal. In LA people shoot at other people's cars all the time while on the freeway. After all, honking is just plain rude! :p
     
  7. Rick1967

    Rick1967 Well-Known Member

    4,992
    51
    48
    I do not think he should have fired at the car. But I believe he was correct to try to chase him. The police chasing someone is not what makes them drive crazy. It is the fact that they are a criminal and don't care about other people's safety. In my opinion, if someone is running from the cops, that is reason enough to be chasing them.
     
  8. Doc3402

    Doc3402 New Member

    2,823
    0
    0
    It looks like we're all pretty much seeing this in a similar way. The shooting apparently was against department policy, which is why he was terminated. For what it's worth, I don't know if it was against the law. I can't find anything about any pending prosecution, but around here it's normal procedure to handle things on a departmental level after the state attorney makes a decision on legality.

    Admittedly the news story left much to be desired. Other media sources in this area are just as vague. Even so, we know from these sources that it was a residential area, but we don't know how densely populated it was. We know this because the truck ran up in someone's yard during the pursuit. We know the truck was moving away from the deputy because all the shots hit from the rear of the fleeing vehicle. As far as how strong the truck's tie was to the crime scene, we just don't know anything for a fact. We will probably never know what information was available to the responding deputies in regards to that truck at or before the time the shots were fired.

    So, was the guy in the truck a fleeing felon? Since he ran from the deputy it might be reasonable to think so, but he also could have hit the gas because he didn't have insurance. People do some crazy stuff when they see blue lights in the mirror. I think they were right to terminate the deputy based on the fact that he did fire his sidearm in the absence of the threat of death or great bodily harm. If it had just been the pursuit without shots fired a day or two off might have been more appropriate.
     
  9. Doc3402

    Doc3402 New Member

    2,823
    0
    0
    I can see shooting at the vehicle if there is a high chance of success with a very low degree of risk, but not for a possible fleeing felon on what they believed at the time was a property crime.

    While you're around, please keep an eye on this thread. If it gets out of hand don't hesitate to shut it down. Thanks.
     
  10. AIKIJUTSU

    AIKIJUTSU New Member

    2,883
    0
    0
    The article claims that the truck was moving toward the deputy. If that was when he shot it, it would imply that the driver was backing toward the deputy. I've never seen a vehicle back so fast that a person couldn't sidestep it. So, I think he shot the vehicle out of anger because the guy wouldn't stop. And probably the truck crashed because the driver was panicky, and maybe even ducked down while the vehicle was moving. So the deputy should be disciplined in some way. The specific nature of the discipline, I can't address.
     
  11. steadyshot

    steadyshot New Member

    919
    0
    0
    The Putnam County PD did the right thing. I think if more PD's would do the same we would see less and less of stories like this.

    Obviously Putnam County felt that Deputy Brandon Culbreth was a loose cannon and let him go. This was probably not his first bad decision Culbreth made while with the Putnam County PD.

    Too often the misdeeds by some of our nation's law enforcement officers are covered up by that "blue line" crap....

    However, this seems to be an isolated incident. Because from all indications the 'good ol boys club' is still alive and well in this country....
     
  12. deathkricket

    deathkricket New Member

    777
    0
    0
    I agree that according to the article the use of the officer's side arm may have been unjustifiable, He did have every right to draw it but not use it if the truck was attempting to flee (he can always get back in his vehicle and pursue). It is the LEO's who do things out of anger that end of in our negitive threads here. If you are a LEO's you are expected to represent yourself in a professional light at all time (I have worked with more then a handfull who tell me what they really think and it can be scary :)). If indeed the truck had been backing near him enough to cause him fear of being run down I am sure the board would have found evidence of this which leads me to my conclusion, he already had disciplines on file or they found reason to doubt his testimony and he is now a liability.

    But it is hard to tell from this article becuase it is missing most of the information of what happened if you read it semi close. I would be intrested if someone can find a real link with a better composed article about it.
     
  13. AIKIJUTSU

    AIKIJUTSU New Member

    2,883
    0
    0
    That's a big problem with many "news" reports. They only present enough info to generate the response they want from the readers, and leave out info that would lead to a reasonable conclusion.
     
  14. Doc3402

    Doc3402 New Member

    2,823
    0
    0
    From the Florida Department of Law Enforcement:

    and:

    Looking at it again a few hours later with a different mindset I can see what you are talking about. What we don't have now is his distance from the truck when he fired. Was he 20 feet away, or was he hoping his toes didn't get run over? Either way the truck appears to have been in motion moving away from him.

    One of the main reasons I posted this story has to do with a repo man story I've posted about a couple times in this forum. In case you didn't read about it he fired at a guy that tried to run him over while getting his car back without authorization. The repo man ended up firing through the driver's side window and killing the driver. They did charge the repo man with murder.

    If what you noticed is in fact a near miss in an attempted murder of the deputy, it is very close to the repo man case. If the guy was trying to run over the deputy, and if the repo man was about to be run over, both would have been totally justified in shooting before the vehicle got to them. Once the front bumper passed them without contact the threat was over. In both cases, timing is everything.

    This timing thing applies to us, too. If somebody comes in your house, and you manage to scare them into running for the door, should you shoot them on the way out? I know, that may not be a good example because of the Castle Doctrine, but if the home invader has bullet entry holes between his shoulder blades it's going to make it much harder for you to defend your actions.

    At a minimum the deputy has lost his job. What would happen to you as a civilian if the threat you fired at was moving away from you while trying to escape? I suspect there would be charges filed and a possible loss of freedom once the jury got done with you. Never let anger override your sense of what is right and wrong. Know your local deadly force laws inside and out, and never let anger cause you to go outside of those laws.
     
  15. Doc3402

    Doc3402 New Member

    2,823
    0
    0
    Did you read the press release from Putnam County SO? It's the second link in the first post. You will get more info from that than you will from the media story.

    As a side note, I have been looking, but I can't find a more informative media generated story from the local sources.
     
  16. deathkricket

    deathkricket New Member

    777
    0
    0
    That article is also missing the same chunk of information between the shooting and the escape. Was the LEO near his car? is this why he chose to fire instead of continuing pursuit? Did the suspect flee the scene with a disabled vehicle? Did he jump out and run? After the officer went through great lengths to stop his vehicle why was he not able to apprehend the suspect? Did he suspect the perp may have been armed? Did he radio for backup? There is a large grey area where after firing the shots the situation goes right to him being fired. After shooting a vehicle every LEO I have ever seen will finish the job so to speak.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  17. Doc3402

    Doc3402 New Member

    2,823
    0
    0
    Yes, there is a lot of missing information on this. Maybe once the crack instigating reporters get hold of it we'll find out more. Meanwhile I'll do some more digging, too.

    Oh mercy me. Did I say "instigating" reporters? I think we all know I meant investigative reporters.
     
  18. AIKIJUTSU

    AIKIJUTSU New Member

    2,883
    0
    0
    It looks to me that, as usual, the point of the poorly reported article was to get the public bent out of shape about the "dirty, no-good cop" shooting at the vehicle, so they left out any details that would clarify the story.
     
  19. orangello

    orangello New Member

    19,156
    0
    0
    If the deputy can explain why he felt threatened or in fear for his life from the truck, then I think he was right in shooting at it, otherwise he may need some retraining on shoot/no shoot situations and some desk duty while he is retrained.
     
  20. Doc3402

    Doc3402 New Member

    2,823
    0
    0
    I'm not seeing it that way, but you could very well be right. I see it as more of an attempt to bolster the PCSO image for getting rid of him. There has been a lot of bad press about that department, and when something happens that they see as right with they will give it some coverage.