After Action Analysis: June 3, 2020

Hey folks,

In this After Action Analysis show I share what is in effect a first draft of our upcoming video, “Lawful Defense Against Riot, Looting, and Arson.” Please feel free to share your comments and feedback, which we’ll take under advisement in creating the final version of that show.


Hey folks, come on in, come on in, Make yourselves comfortable Make yourselves at home. Welcome to the Law of Self Defense After Action Analysis Show for June 3, 2020. For those who don’t know, I am of course Attorney Andrew Branca for Law of Self Defense. [Applause.] Thank you very much. I was appreciated.

If, as always, you could please leave a comment with your city and state in the comments. And perhaps most important of all folks hit that Share arrow above the comments. Yesterday there were something like 100 of you here live and only 20 of you hit that share button. I can tell, folks, I don’t bother looking who did or who didn’t, but I can tell how many of you did. So if you hit that share arrow above the comments, that’s greatly appreciated. Hit that Like thumbs up. That helps trick the Facebook algorithm into sharing our show more broadly. So always appreciate it.

Today’s show is, of course, our after action analysis show, which we do every week on Wednesdays at 2pm. Eastern time, this show is going to be a little different. Normally when we do our after action analysis show we take your use of force event caught on video. And we do a five elements of self defense, legal analysis in plain English of that use of force event. Was it a good shoot? Not a good shoot? Why what kind of different hypothetical variations on what we saw in the video might have changed the legal outcome, and so forth.

We will be looking at videos today. But as you’ve heard me mentioned before, I am working on a special video on lawful defense against Riot looting and arson. And as we’re working on that, I thought I would take the opportunity today to kind of share a first draft with all of you so today is also kind of a draft, lawful defense against Riot looting and arson show. So you guys get a first peek. It’s not quite stream of consciousness, but it’s also not the final product. So I’m hoping to get questions and feedback from all of you that will help us refine the content into its most perfect state.

Before we jump into all that, I should of course mention our sponsor CCW, safe a provider of legal service memberships, what many people call self defense insurance. In effect, they promised to pay their members legal expenses if their members are involved in the use of force event. And those expenses get big fast, folks, they started 10s of thousands of dollars, they go up to hundreds of thousands of dollars and that can be pre trial before the trial even begins. So it’s good to have somebody backing you who has the resources you need to really fight that legal fight. There’s a number of companies that offer this kind of service. I found that CCW safe is the best fit for me. I’m personally a member my wife Emily is personally a member whether they’re the best fit for you is something only you can decide. But I do urge you to take a look at what they have to offer. At And if you do decide to become a member you can use the discount code LOSD10 for 10% off your membership.

Okay, let’s bring me back up. What I’d like to talk with all of you about today is lawful defense against riders, looters and arsonists. We’ll spend most of the time on riders because that seems to be the biggest area of concern for people particularly getting trapped in their cars amongst protesters slash riders.

So we’ll step through a number of videos that have people being trapped in their cars and people using their cars arguing bleed to escape that entrapment. And a few still shots from each of those videos as well. We’ll use these as kind of case studies to look at. And by the way, folks, for any of you who I’d love to get your comments of course throughout today’s show, but if you have additional comments you’d like to send offline, you can send those to my attention at show at law, self defense calm.

If you have other cars surrounded by protesters videos you’d like us to consider for the final version of this, this is very much a draft version. Please feel free to email those links to those to us at show at law of self defense calm, and we’ll certainly consider them for inclusion. So one of the reasons I kind of titled this class, lawful defense against Riot looting and arson is because I really think of those in very as very distinct categories. They’re not the same, the rationale for your use of force are not the same. They often happen all at the same time, of course. But the particular reasons and legal rationale and legal basis for a defensive use of force in those circumstances vary considerably. So I’m going to treat them as if they were distinct categories. Again, of course, in real life. It tends to be a Venn diagram where they overlap, but you need to be able to understand what it is you’re actually using force against what your justification for your use of force actually is. And that’ll differ in each of those circumstances.

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And we have it available for 65% off this week, so less than half the normal price at And if you purchase the defense property course, this week during the sale, you’ll also get as a free bonus. The final version of our defense against rioters, looters and arsonist video as well.

Okay, so let’s take a look at the first of these videos. Now folks, I will say that all these videos when listened to in original form Have lots of profanity, lots of cursing, so I’ve taken the sound out, I’ve muted the sound and all of these, what’s being said isn’t relevant for our purposes, the words aren’t important. So lots of screaming and shouting and cursing. So I’ve just muted the sound. If I’ve goofed when I play one of these videos, you’ll hear sound in the video just mute your computer. Okay, because the sounds not important, but I think I’ve taken all the sound out.

So the first video we’ll look at is a video of a will see a, a car, turn a corner, and then we’ll see what looks like a Prius, a silver Prius being obstructed by protesters. And we’ll we’ll see the Prius essentially force its way through the protesters to to escape the obstruction.

So before I even jump into that video, there is one legal argument for use of force against these kinds of obstructive protesters that I’d like to Raise and then I’d like you to forget about it. It’s the kind of tricky, clever legal argument that overly smart attorneys come up with. It doesn’t mean I wouldn’t necessarily use it in real life. But it’s not the basis on which you I want you to be justifying your use of force against another person. And that is that legal argument is that in theory, these people obstructing your vehicle are committing a false imprisonment. In many states, it’s a felony false imprisonment. We’ve seen from the Ahmaud Arbery case, for example, the gentleman who took the video of a mod jogging towards the pickup truck. He’s been charged with felony murder on predicated on the underlying crime of felony false imprisonment, the idea that he was coordinating with the McMichaels to stop or detain a mod Arbery without the state claims legal justification.

And that constitutes felony false imprisonment well of detaining stopping someone under those circumstance As qualifies as felony false imprisonment. detaining anybody without lawful authorization constitutes false imprisonment. Now false imprisonment in many states is a felony. In other states, it’s a serious misdemeanor, where it is a felony, then these people are technically committing a felony against you. They’re using force to do it, they’re committing a forcible felony against you. So you could argue many states, it’s explicitly lawful to use deadly defensive force against a forcible felony being committed against you.

So you can see the legal reasoning there. The reason I don’t want you to use that argument, is because I don’t, I don’t want you to find yourself in a position where you’re arguing, yeah, I ran over that college student, not because they were presenting an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to me, but because they were committing a false imprisonment when everyone listening to the argument is going to believe, again, in the absence of an actual imminent threat of safety. If there’s a threat to safety, it’s a completely different scenario. You would have a completely different rationale than false imprisonment for your use of force.

But if your justification for your use of force is resistance to false imprisonment, even if it is a forcible felony, when everyone listened to that argument is going to know well, in the absence of a threat, if you were just patient and sat there, eventually they would have moved on. And you would have been able to safely get home without having to run over that college students.

So don’t put yourself in a position where your justification for having used a car as a weapon against someone is that they were committing some kind of false imprisonment, you want your justification to be that it was necessary in preservation of innocent life, my own life, the life of other people I had in the vehicle. So let’s start stepping through my notes here. And I again I divide these categories into I’ll put it up here again for a moment, lawful defense against Riot looting and arson.

So let’s start with the right part first, and of course, there can be a very ambiguous line In between protesters peaceful protesters on the one hand and Riders on the other hand, but the scenario most people seem to be concerned about is this one where you’re out in a public space, dealing with an unruly crowd, perhaps peaceful protesters, perhaps not so peaceful, perhaps actually violent protesters, and likely you’re in a vehicle. Because if you’re on foot folks, you should be escaping, escaping out to the edges of the crowd as quickly as possible, and flee from the area on foot as quickly as you can you want distance between those and the unruly protesters.

If you’re in a vehicle on the other hand, it’s very easy to become trapped by protesters in the road. If that occurs, the vehicle is your primary protection and we’ll come back to that in a moment. If you’re not in a vehicle, but you’re in a structure, you’re in your office or home or wherever you’re in a building. You can also be trapped by protesters outside the building, then your structure is your primary purpose. protection. And again, we’ll come back to that in a minute. But a few key take home messages I want to share right up front.

First you need to be able to differentiate between peaceful protesters who are just exercising their constitutional rights to peaceably assemble, protest the government for grievances versus obstructive protesters. By which I mean people who may be blocking the path of your vehicle either just because they’re in the street because that’s what all the protesters are doing. They’re walking down the street, and it’s a blocking traffic or because they’re deliberately standing in front of your vehicle for the purpose of obstructing but not otherwise presenting a threat.

And then violent protesters is the most extreme bucket aka rioters, people who actually present a violent threat. peaceful protesters don’t require much of our attention, folks, the risk with peaceful protesters is not in their status as peaceful protesters. But we do of course need to be aware They’re peaceful protests but they can go sideways quickly, especially if there are agents provocateur in the crowd there for the purpose of making the peaceful protest turned violent, which certainly happens, doesn’t take a lot of people in a peaceful and initially peaceful crowd to start throwing bricks, get a response from other people, and pretty soon you have a violent protest rather than a peaceful protest taking place.

So peaceful protesters themselves are not really our concern. Our concern are the obstructive protesters and the violent protesters. So we’re going to focus our attention there. The second take home message, of course, is if at all possible, don’t be there, folks. Don’t be where there’s any kind of protest. That’s the best protection against violence from a protest slash riots. Remember, once you’re engaged in a physical confrontation, there’s always a greater than zero degree of risk of death and of prison.

And frankly, the tactical session In those crowded environments is particularly bad. So regardless of the legal merits of whatever your use of force decisions might be, the prospects for surviving the actual encounter are pretty grim. If you’re effectively alone, and you’re being attacked by a mob of people.

So remember, the first priority is to win the physical fight and the best way to win the physical fight is to not be there. Don’t go to fights. Don’t get into fights, you don’t need to get into don’t put yourself in ambush positions. Don’t Place yourself at watering holes, where you’re you’re identified and marked as prey for attack. If the fight has to happen, make the fight come to you. While you’re doing everything you can to disengage, evade escape.

If it looks like you waited for or even worse, went to the fight that doesn’t look like self defense, however lawful, it might actually be third, I also want to

With respect to riders, there are many states that have specific statutory provisions that allow for the use of force by private parties to suppress riots. ignore those statutes. I beg you please ignore those statutes. It’s much like the situation with citizens arrest laws. These suppression of riot laws are extremely old laws, they don’t necessarily reflect current societal norms. With respect to citizens arrest a lot of the citizens arrest laws are 100 150 years old, and they were created at a time when we did not commonly have professionalized law enforcement departments in every town, the people were the law enforcement and so citizens arrest laws were created for that purpose. There might be only one sheriff in the whole county and a handful of Deputies.

So the individual citizens were privileged under certain circumstances to do things like make a citizen’s arrest. That world doesn’t exist anymore, folks, and if you place your reliance on an existing And technically legitimate statute that no longer reflects societal norms. Remember, at the end of the day, it’s going to be modern day humans who are making the call on whether your conduct was reasonable and lawful.

And if you’re acting in a manner that’s consistent with society 150 years ago, but not today, it may not go well for you, however, technically, lawful your conduct was. And the same is true of these private citizens privilege to use force to suppress right you’ll find the statutes all over the country, please pay them no attention. They’re old, they don’t reflect current standards anymore. And in any case, again, we have that tactical problem, right? If it’s you, however, well armed and however well skim skilled against a mob of 5, 10, 15, 20, 100 people. You’re done, folks, that’s that’s not going to end well for you.

Now, can I imagine circumstances in which a community for example, might gather together to arm themselves and defend their community as some kind of Semi organized group? Yes, but these situations are not what I’m talking about in this course, I’m talking about you being in your vehicle being trapped by a mob of people around your vehicle. So please forget those suppression of riot statutes.

Fourth, again, and I mentioned this at the beginning, treat the scenarios as straight up use of force law analysis, scenario analysis scenarios, by which I mean, you want your justification for your use of force to be based on Self Defense Law, defense of others law that there was a threat to innocent persons.

You don’t want it to be based on something esoteric like, well, they were spying detaining me they were conducting themselves as committing the act of felony false imprisonment. You don’t want to base your use of force in those kinds of technicalities. You want your use of force to be justified based on self defense, defense of others, because everyone can be sympathetic to that if you had to defend yourself. So let me circle back now. To the classes of protesters I mentioned there were peaceful, obstructive violent protesters, three different categories. In my mind.

Our focus is really on the obstructive protesters and the violent protesters. And of course, the danger here is largely that you can have obstructive protesters that are blocking your progress in your vehicle but aren’t necessarily threatening imminent violence against you, but they can quickly become imminently violent, especially if provoked, remember, mobs are particularly prone, particularly prone to provocation to escalation.

That’s what makes mob so dangerous is the the lack of reason in the collective as opposed to in to the individual as well as the sense of anonymity. We’ll never be held accountable, and all those other human factors. So obstructive protesters, I mean, people protesters who are blocking roads, so you’re caught in your vehicle Now, the first thing you need to do obviously is, please for Pete’s sake, Lock your doors, make sure your windows are up, put your seatbelt on. Alright, those are the three very basic things you should do.


So before I jump in, let me of course, do my usual obligatory mention of our sponsor for today’s show. That sponsor is CCW Safe, a provider of legal service memberships, what many people mistakenly call self-defense insurance. In effect, they promised to pay their members legal expenses if the member is involved in the use of force event

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And by the way, several of the videos, we’re going to watch a vehicle surrounded by protesters, they don’t have their windows up, the windows are either completely open or they’re sufficiently open, that somebody could easily reach inside the vehicle. That’s not what you want. First of all, you want the glass to be a barrier.

And to the extent it’s an easily defeatable barrier. You want to compel a violent actor to actually break the glass in order to get you because that’s a clear, actual step of violence on their part one that you can articulate and it has the benefit of leaving actual physical evidence behind that can corroborate your story of violence of the windows merely open and people are reaching in reaching out, punching you grabbing you trying to get your keys. There’s no evidence of that after the fact there’s no broken glass to attest to that. So you want your windows up both to provide some degree of protection and to the extent it’s easily defeated protection and admin bleed is the breaking of the glass itself is evidence favorable to your narrative of self defense.

So we’re dealing with obstructive protestors, and there’s really it’s a situation where there’s no safety specific circumstance. There’s no apparent imminent threat of danger. Meaning really, it’s largely an inconvenience, right? Nobody wants to be detained, caught up in a protest. But it happens.

If there’s no threat, if there’s no danger, personally, I would not use any force, whatever, I wouldn’t even slow roll through the crowd. If I felt I had the luxury of being patient. Now, eventually, all our patients runs out, right. Nobody wants to be there for an hour, two hours, three hours. If you’ve waited a reasonable period of time to see if the crowd would move on and you’d be able to simply go on about your day.

You might start honking the horn, you might start leaning on the horn, you might start flashing your lights. The you’re trying to encourage people to get out Have your way the downside, of course is that those can all be conduct that’s provocative to the crowd doesn’t mean you’re being unreasonable doesn’t mean they’re they’re, they’re provocation is a reasonable response. But mobs are easily provoked as we already stated.

Horns, of course, are really unpleasant that can make people want to distance themselves from your horn, which clears your path theoretically.

But again, it could also provoke people to escalating degrees of violence. If we’re not talking about a strictly non threatening environment, if there are circumstances. And these may be circumstances unknown to the obstructive protesters, by the way, they may think they’re not doing anything violent, but they could be creating a danger, a safety risk to you or the people with you in the vehicle. Then the use of force to escape. Really, you’re escaping that unlawful detention, not just because you’re being inconvenienced, but because there is in effect Some kind of emergency, some kind of safety emergency that has to be addressed. What kind of things am I talking about?

Well, what have you or somebody in the vehicle with you is in need of immediate medical care? For example, what if they’re pregnant going into labor? What if they’re diabetic and need insulin to prevent going into insulin shock? What if they are, they’re injured, they’re suffered some kind of trauma, not necessarily from the protesters, they just fell off a ladder and you happen to find yourself, you know, broke a leg, they’re bleeding, whatever the case they got to get to the emergency room, and you find yourself caught up in protesters when you get there.

So you don’t have the luxury of being patient. Right? The woman’s in labor or someone’s bleeding, someone’s going into insulin shock, you don’t have the luxury of being patient. Well then I would immediately certainly try to progress the car out of the crowd. There. I think the the honking the flashing lights, the slow roll through the crowd, giving plenty of opportunity for people who want to get out of the way to get out of the way you’re not attempting to use The car as a weapon here, you’re simply attempting to get the car out of the obstruction so you can address the safety emergency that you’re dealing with.

Again, of course, this kinda kind of the unintended effect of provoking the what we’re merely obstructive protesters to become violent protesters. Or some other drivers conduct can do that right there could be a car next to you that’s fed up and decides they’re just going to drive through the crowd. And that makes the mob angry at everybody, every car, every vehicle in the crowd so the crowd could be provoked for reasons having nothing to do with you. Or the crowd could just organically become violent, right? It could be agents provocateur, there could be all kinds of reasons the cops could begin to move in to try to disperse the crowd so the crowd responds with violence itself. The crowd could become violent having for reasons having nothing to do with your vehicle or any other vehicle. It doesn’t really matter why the crowd becomes violent.

What matters is you’re now dealing not just with obstructive protesters But with violent protesters and now it’s imperative that you remove yourself from that violence situation. First of all, stay in your vehicle folks, under no circumstances exit the vehicle. If you exit the vehicle is your protection. If you exit the vehicle or you allow yourself to be removed from the vehicle, the consequences are likely to be maiming, death, or maiming followed by death or death, followed by maiming mobs that start and attack generally don’t stop the attack until the target is absolutely destroyed.

We’ve seen videos of this already right where individuals have been attacked by the mob and they are jacked, you don’t want that to be you. Become more forceful in the use of your vehicle. If you were doing nothing moving out at all start a slow roll if you were doing a slow roll. You know, make sure you’re using your horns and lights, maybe do the roll a little bit faster to encourage people to get out of the way. And folks Someone I mentioned in the comments here. Don’t Don’t worry about the traffic rules. Okay, so don’t worry about the red lights or the stop signs. I mean, obviously still pay attention to safety. You don’t want to get t boned in an intersection. But if it would otherwise be lawful to proceed through the intersection sorry, it would otherwise be safe to proceed through the intersection but for a red light, don’t let the red light stop you just so you can be surrounded again by the mob. I mean, one thing we’ll see many in many of the videos I’ll show you is a car successfully escaping and obstructive protest. And the mob chases the car. So if you stop at the next light, you’re just back in the same situation you were before except the mobs even angrier right? They chased you for a reason.

So don’t, don’t do that you need if your purpose is to escape the obstructive protesters to get to a place of safety will then keep going until you’ve achieved a position of safety. Don’t let Something like traffic regulations prevent you from achieving that position to safety. And it’s possible you might be held accountable for whatever the traffic violations are sure, who cares if they’re going to write you a ticket for running a red light, I’d rather have the ticket and get into a fight with a mob.

And then in case you’d also have the legal defense of the necessity, the fence are the doctrine of lesser harms. We talked about this in a recent show where your defense is essentially Hey, my conduct is normally unlawful to run a red light, but it was a small harm committed to avoid a much greater harm, the danger to myself the danger to protesters if I had to defend myself, so that would be your technical legal defense against any traffic violation. It’s also not just imperative that you remove yourself from the situation.

Don’t allow yourself to remove be removed from the vehicle, but you’re able to rationally evaluate what the actual degree of threat is. People get scared and we don’t make better decisions when we’re scared. We tend to make worse decisions when we’re scared. So you need to condition yourself prepare yourself to make rational evidence based decisions.

If all that’s happening, for example, is people are slapping your vehicle with their hands. You know, you just keep pushing your way through the crowd, do that slow road through the crowd using as little force as possible. You don’t want to cause any unnecessary harm, right? You don’t want to cause harm, not necessarily to you achieving a position of safety.

But at the same time, if you’re actually facing a threatening situation, you have to accept that some harm may result from the circumstances that were not your own creation, right, the violent protesters have created that circumstance and that risk if things escalate further and the protesters become explicitly violent and attempt to breach or in fact breach your vehicle, or the vehicle next to you if the riots gotten to that point where they’re breaching vehicles to get at the the people within two hours Remove the people from the vehicles. Again, that is an imminent deadly force attack at that point.

Technically, in many states, well, in almost every state if someone’s attempting to seize you from your vehicle unlawfully that’s a deadly force attack. Shooting that person would be technically lawful to prevent their unlawful forcible entry into your vehicle. But remember the tactical dynamics folks here you don’t want to be shooting people in a mob attack, especially if you’re by yourself because that will not end well for you. Much better. To make use of the far more powerful potential weapon you have which is your vehicle, stay inside your vehicle, use your vehicle to proceed to a position and safety don’t shoot your way out of the bomb folks, roll your way out of the mob unless you have no other alternative.

Again, using your horns and lights is not a use of force that doesn’t cause harm to anybody. You don’t have to use them. There’s no law that says you do but it might well prove helpful. It’s certainly an indication an objective indication of Your distress at the moment. The degree of force and acceleration you’re using to escape from that obstructive crowd should be proportional to the degree of threat. Again, if they’re just slapping your car you want to be using as little force as possible. But if they break a window, if they breach the window are able now to access the interior of the vehicle, then I’m going to step on the gas folks that’s become a deadly force attack situation, they can now reach you they can now remove you from the vehicle. They can remove other passengers from the vehicle, other innocent people who are with you, and it’s a mob attack.

They don’t need to be displaying weapons for them to present a deadly force threat. Folks, if it’s that great a disparity of numbers, five or 10 people are easily going to present a deadly force threat to you and your passengers, meaning a threat capable of causing death or serious bodily injury. Another thing is it’s going to be really important that you are able after after the fact to articulate not in a general way, but a very specific evidence based way, why you perceived an increasing ultimately a deadly degree of threat, and why your perception was reasonable.

So you need to be observing what’s actually happening in specific detail. And those specific details that actual evidence is what needs to be driving your decision making. You need to keep your head even if you’re acting quickly, you need to keep your head Do not panic, act reasonably, even if you’re acting forcefully.

Now a useful decision making framework that you might want to consider and I don’t claim to have tactical expertise, but I have some experience in these areas. And a lot of people find this framework useful and that is to set explicit decision points for yourself ahead of time. In other words before the decision has to be made, and that could be a minute before the decision has to be made or 10 minutes or a month or a year.

If you’re rehearsing mentally, visualizing what you might do in these kinds of scenarios. But the point is you want to have a set decision point where if x happens, my response will be y. But I will not do y until x or something like x happens. That’s very helpful because it allows you to be decisive in making the decision. X has happened time to execute, why, you know, you don’t have the wheel just spinning loosely in your head trying to get traction, you’ve already decided what you’re going to do under that specific circumstance. And it’s very useful for being able to articulate to other people after the fact why you took action why because that specific thing x had happened.

So I’m talking about things like for example, you might make the set the decision point that I’m going to sit here in my car patiently while all these people are walking around the street, in my locked and closed vehicle patiently, unless or Intel force is being used against my vehicle or unless Until I see other nearby vehicles being breached, at which point I’ll roll forward slowly for reasons to safety, I won’t accelerate at speed I will not accelerate at speed. unless or until I see other vehicles being breached my vehicles being breached as someone is attempting to disable my vehicle flip my vehicle folks, it’s not that hard for six or eight people to flip many modern cars today. And then you’re stuck then you’re really really stuck. Or I see a weapon displayed, or there’s some other imminent explicit threat of reaching the vehicle a raised brick, a model Kotov cocktail, something along those lines that clearly and explicitly represents a deadly force threat, then it’s no holds barred folks, then you need to use even deadly defensive force if necessary to secure your safety from that deadly force threat.

Now, I’m not saying those are the specific decision points you should set for yourself You only you can decide what your decision points are. And hopefully I can help you do that in an informed way.

But what I’m suggesting is by setting those decision points, it allows for more decisive defensive action and defensive action that it’s ultimately more defensible, because you did it for specific rational evidence based reasons, not simply out of panic or unreasonable fear.

If your fear is perceived as being unreasonable. That’s not a lawful use of force, folks. And then, even if it was not the intentional killing of another person, if you kill someone in your vehicle, it could well be manslaughter. an unreasonable use of deadly force that takes another human’s life is manslaughter. You don’t want to be on the hook for manslaughter either. So make sure you making rational evidence based decisions.

Also, if you’re if you’re doing as a suggest, and you’re kind of visualizing you should close your eyes and visualize when you watch these videos of the type I’ll show you in a few minutes of cars being obstructed by protesters. You should imagine yourself in that situation, you should be doing it. Now you should be saying to yourself, if I’m in my car surrounded by protesters, and they’re peaceful, what do I do? If they’re scary, but there’s not an imminent threat? What do I do if they start dragging other people out of their vehicles? What do I do if they break my glass and breach the vehicle forcibly and unlawfully breached the vehicle? What do I do, you should be thinking through those visualizing those scenarios now.

And if you’re doing that, and you’re setting decision points for certain levels of defensive action, certain levels of defensive force, I would also suggest that you think through those scenarios, not just in the setting of it’s only you in the car, think about those same scenarios in the setting of there’s other people in the car, whom you have a duty and obligation to protect. You have small children in the car. You have elderly parents in the car, people who cannot realistically defend themselves.

And if your defensive decision points are different, if they’re in the car with you, then if you’re alone, then I would ask you to engage in some introspection and ask yourself why, in my experience, it’s very common when I run people through this kind of exercise, that they’ll set decision points for themselves that are at a certain level. And then I say, Okay, what if your kids are with you, they become much more aggressive about the use of defensive force if their children are with them, and I feel obliged to ask them. Why is that?

Because aren’t you as worthy of protection of safety as your children, certainly your children need you don’t they? So if you find yourself visualizing and kind of strategizing what you would do in these kinds of circumstances, and your decision points would be different if you were alone than you. If you were in the company of people you feel you have a duty to protect, I would think carefully about whether you’re being too relaxed in terms of your own safety.

Okay, let me take a sip of coffee. All right.

It’s also true that many states, Florida as an example, have statutory provisions that create they treat an occupied vehicle as highly defensible property much like a home. And they have statutes that create a legal presumption that somebody’s forcibly and unlawfully entering your occupied vehicle is your reasonably perceiving them as an eminent deadly force threat against which deadly defensive force would be justified? It’s also presumed that they’re breaching the vehicle for the purpose of committing an act of violence against the people in the vehicle. Now, I wouldn’t rest my defense on those kinds of statutes.

 I urge people to think of those kinds of legal presumption statutes as a bonus feature, I think they’re a great feature of the law, which every state had them. But you should be basing your actual use of force decisions not on I’ll be able to fall back on that legal presumption. But just imagine the Legal presumption didn’t exist. And then if it applies in your circumstance, you have the extra benefit of that.

So what if you’re not in the vehicle? What if you’re in a structure, you’re in a building, you’re trapped in a store, you’re trapped at your place of work, you’re trapped in your home. And suddenly surrounded by protesters.

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Again, I think we need to consider the protests in terms of peaceful, obstructive and explicitly violent and in the context of being in the structure. Violent really means attempting to breach the structure, or set fire to the structure which we’ll address when we talk about arson. If you’re in a structure, and there you’re basically obstructed by protesters outside again, just like with the vehicle, folks, make sure your doors and windows are locked. If someone’s going to get in and make them break something to get in, make that entry be forcible as well as unlawful.

If you can, if you can manage it, try not to be seen not try not to be observed by the people in the mob. They don’t things they can’t see, folks, if they don’t know you’re in the building, there’ll be less inclined to come to the building unless they’re coming for purposes of looting, which again, we’ll talk about in a moment. If you can just be completely off, the radar lights off, don’t attract attention, perhaps they’ll just move on. And if they move on, you’re no longer trapped in the structure.

Otherwise, the dynamics are a lot like being trapped in the vehicle. with of course the exception that in the vehicle, you have the potential of locomotion of being able to move the vehicle out of the danger area. If you’re trapped in the building the danger area, the protesters have to move past you. I would still however, like being a vehicle don’t use defensive force unless there’s actually some substantive, eminent threat, and no deadly force unless there’s a deadly force threat, but again, a forcible and unlawful breach into a structure especially in a riot kind of situation, is a deadly force threat.

Mere property damage, on the other hand, is not a justification for the use. deadly force with the possible exception of Texas, which we’ll leave off the table, and I urge you not to take advantage of that statute anyway. For those who are interested, Texas has a deadly force in defense of property statute 9.42 You can find it at But I urge you not to take advantage attempt to take advantage of that statute, if it’s merely property we’re talking about do not use deadly force in defense of property. But again, a violent breach of your shelter is not mere property damage, it’s destruction of your shelter of your safety, it’s a clear risk to your safety. So it’s really important to be able to differentiate between mere property damage on the one hand and a forcible and unlawful entry for the presumed purposes of inflicting violence on the people within the structure.

On the other hand, there are two different things so throwing a rock through a window, brick through a window, well that’s property damage, but there’s also on the other hand, smashing out the windows for purposes of entry. First, just throwing a rock through a window in a rage is, in my opinion something that ought to be ignored. In the absence of some other imminent threat. The breach of the structure the entering of the structure the forcible unlawful entering however, is a different matter entirely. Again important to keep your head don’t panic make reasonable fact informed decisions and of course, if there’s an opportunity for safe escape, take advantage of the opportunity for safe escape. If you’re not sure if escape will be safe. If you’re worried you might get a block or two from the building and be back in the middle of the mob. Maybe stay in the building. That’s a call only you can make. I already talked about ignoring please ignore the state laws that allow for the private use of force and suppression of writing.

I see someone in the comments asked me What about action versus reaction. While any use of force is the actual physical use of defensive force is always reactive, you’re reacting to some other outside stimuli, some external, apparent imminent threat. You’re not allowed to use force proactively as a private citizen. That’s not allowed self defense is the use of defensive force against some threat against you.

What you’re allowed to do proactively is plan proactively prepare your decision making proactively. So if you see a particular threat, you can react reactively, obviously to the threat, but in as a as decisive manner as possible. You’re not allowed to use force against speculative or imaginative threats. The fact that something could happen theoretically is not a sufficient basis for the use of force. There has to be evidence from what you’re inferring an imminent threat of force being used against you so you’re always acting reactively hopefully you’re making decisions proactive.

All right, so that’s dealing with the riders themselves peaceful riders. Let’s call them protesters, if they’re peaceful, normally, I wouldn’t say ignore, don’t engage, you need to pay attention to make sure that they don’t escalate into violence, obstructive protesters and of course actual violent riders at that point.

Let’s talk now about looters. So I’m differentiating looters from violent protesters in the following way. The primary purpose of looters as I’m using them here is the their breach of private property primarily for the purpose of theft. They’re looting, and the violence is incidental. In contrast, violent protesters may be attacking someone out in the streets attacking lots of people out in the streets, but they’re not necessarily breaching private property for the purpose of that.

Now, again, I’m treating these in a theoretical sense as if they were different buckets. Obviously, in the real world. There’s a lot of overlap between these but your use of force decision making has to be based upon whether they’re in fact threatening violence which would make them writers in my scheme of things, or they’re simply causing a property destruction or theft, which would make them looters. Now a looter that’s threatening violence would simply be treated as someone threatening violence. Someone who’s not threatening violence would simply be treated as a leader. So in that sense, it’s two different buckets for purposes of use of force decision making.

Let’s see.

So let’s consider first people who are looting other people’s property. That’s we see this on TV, of course, it’s generally going to be a business property. The business might be a large business, a target, a Walmart or CVS, in which, you know, people are going for TVs and apparently, air fryers and presumably all the illicit drugs that are contained in the pharmacy, if they still do that kind of thing at these pharmacies.

But it could be smaller shops to smaller mom and pop shops. These are primarily crimes against property. And however great the economic destruction that may result from this kind of looting, especially to the smaller businesses, which are effectively destroyed. If they’re looted that they’ll never come back.

Keep in mind that it’s not your property, folks, it’s not your property. And it’s rarely prudent to kill or die, even over the defense of your own property, much less to kill or die over the defense of somebody else’s property. Now, again, when we talk about looting here, in this context, we’re talking about looting in the absence of a threat to innocent persons. So there’s no defensive persons rationale here, it would only be a defensive property rationale. And in any case, deadly force and defensive property particularly is rarely lawful. As we already mentioned, Texas 9.42 being the only state that has any provision for the use of deadly force, purely in defense of property, in the absence of a threat to innocent parties.

So all that is happening is property is being damaged or stolen especially other people’s property, I would suggest you take the position that it’s really none of your business. Your core mission is the safety of yourself and others that you have a duty to protect your spouse, your children, your parents shelter, if that’s the best way you can secure that safety. If safe escape as possible, do not get engaged in a confrontation unless you are compelled to do so for reasons of securing the safety of innocent people. And if that’s the circumstance, that we’re not talking about looting anymore, and then we’re talking about a threat to persons and it’s a straight up self defense, defense of others situation.

So again, it’s really important to distinguish between looting in the sense of mere disk destruction and theft of property on the one hand, and the unlawful enforceable breach of your shelter on the other. Those are two different things particularly if that shelter is actually your home, or your stay recognizes a place of business or an occupied vehicle as being highly defensible property for which it’s treated largely like your home for use of force purposes. If your home is being unlawfully and forcibly breached, that is a deadly force threat. All right, folks, and you are privileged to use deadly force to repel that forcible unlawful breach of your home.

Especially, by the way, the breach is being committed by a mob with all the escalating danger that comes with a mob attack, as opposed to a simple burglar trying to kick down your door and steal your TV. The mob is not going to be satisfied but merely taking your property, especially if you’ve put up any form of resistance or threatened resistance. So we had protesters slash writers, depending on the degree of violence, we just talked about looters.

Let’s talk now about arson. So arson is technically treated as an offense against property. It’s often described as an offense against property. violation of the law. If you look for the crime of arson, you generally find it in the property sections of your state’s statutes. But every jurisdiction recognize that the arson of an occupied structure, which means setting it on fire or blowing it up, the arson of an occupied structure is an eminent deadly force threat against the occupants of that structure, and arguably the occupants of adjacent structures. And of course, this is because of the the obvious nature of fires to quickly sweep through structures.

And by the way, the flame doesn’t have to be what kills you right for you to die as a result of arson. In fact, in many cases, it’s the smoke, it’s the toxic fumes that that take the human life rather than the flames itself. And that can all go through a building real quick, especially residential buildings, especially older buildings, and they can jump from one building to an adjacent building very quickly. So it’s a tremendously intense deadly force threat against anybody who might be in the building. So, every state recognizes that there’s an arson of an occupied structure that is a deadly force threat against which deadly defensive force can be used to prevent or stop the commission of the arson. Now there could be edge cases where the argument for the use of deadly force to prevent arson where the use of deadly defensive force to prevent arson may seem less justified. If for example, you knew the structure was unoccupied. You knew it was an abandoned building or decrepit structure that people are not normally in, I would not be inclined, absent again the risk of fire jumping to an adjacent structure to personally use deadly force against to protect the structure I know to be unoccupied, but most structures are not unoccupied. Most structures are occupied most of the time. So I wouldn’t worry too much about those edge cases unless you knew for a fact that the structure was unoccupied. And once the structures already ablaze, you’re not really stopping arson.

At that point if you shoot the person who started the fire, we don’t allow for vengeance as a justification for use of force. So to prevent the arson to stop the commission of the arson, deadly force would be justified to shoot the person who set the building on fire as they’re running away. Short, they’re an arsonist, but you’re not stopping and preventing arson at that point the buildings already in flames.

Now of course, stopping arson also means you can stop the attempt of arson so you don’t have to wait for the building to be lit on fire. Preferably, it wouldn’t come to that. You don’t have to wait for that flaming Molotov cocktail to crash through the window of your house. You can defend yourself against the imminent threat that’s about to happen the threat of the middle tough cocktail being thrown. So that raised flaming bottle, the bottle with a rag about to be lit with a match. Someone with a box full of Molotov cocktail. tails and they’re not using them for barbecue folks. It’s an imminent threat of deadly force.

So, let me jump to the little videos now that I have.

And the first one is the one I mentioned at the start, it’s we’ll see a card turn right around the intersection coming towards the camera. Then we’ll see the car of interest which is a silver Prius being blocked by a crowd of protesters.

George asks about shooting a fleeing felon, please don’t shoot any fleeing felons. You’re just don’t do that. I don’t care what the legal merits are. Unless they’re presenting an imminent threat to other innocent people, in which case it’s a straight up defensive persons analysis. So here’s that video of that car the should not be any sound. If you hear sound when the video starts other than my voice, please mute your computer because you might hear a bunch of cursing. So here we go.

Alright, so there’s one car here’s the Prius blocked by the protesters. You see this guy come up on the passenger side, you know they’re grabbing a hard revenue entry like the Prius kind of snow rolls its way through the blockers out there, doesn’t look like anyone is seriously injured, and there’s a man in the yellow jacket pursue the vehicle.

So a couple still shots I wanted to bring to your attention. One is here’s that scene of that man at the passenger side window. Is that threatening? It seems like it’d be pretty scary, right? We don’t know what he’s saying. We don’t know what’s in his hand, something’s in his hands. How much would the driver the passenger vehicle need to see in order to perceive a reasonable threat of harm. If he’s got an object that could be used as a weapon to breach the vehicle, I’m definitely at least slow rolling my car out of there. If it’s a weapon that’s about to be brought to bear. So a brick raised up in the hand for example. I’m stepping on that accelerator real hard in the interest of not having my vehicle breached and of course we have all these other people are grabbing onto the car,

you know the people slapping the car, grabbing the windshield wiper, That, to me is not damaged or breaches the vehicle. It’s not a primary concern to me. I’m primarily concerned by people trying to get into the vehicle.

But something I mentioned earlier that’s always important to keep in mind is it’s very common in these cases for the car to clear the obstructive protesters and for the obstructive protesters to pursue the vehicle on foot.

So if you get caught up a block later, at a traffic light or a stop sign or behind other vehicles, be prepared to be surrounded by that same obstructive crowd. In fact, you’ll be surrounded by the most aggressive members of that obstructive crowd, the ones who chased you down so the situation is not going to be better the second time or the third time or the fourth time they catch up. If you’ve achieved a position where you can get to safety. You need to do what you have to do to maintain, make sure you get to that position of safety.

Let’s see. Here’s another video. This one is right here in Denver.

This is a weird one. So we see we’ll start it’ll be a black a mini SUV. There’ll be a gentleman on the hood. The SUV kind of proceeds forward slowly the gentleman falls or jumps off the hood. It’s hard to tell lands on his feet he stays on his feet and then the mini SUV takes like a right hand turn and bumps him with the front fender and knocks him down. So let’s take a look at this

There he goes falls off car turns bam. So and then the car tries to go and he chased by the other pedestrians so so what’s really happening there? It’s interesting right? So the the the mini SUV is doing Kind of a slow roll the guy’s up on the hood that would be pretty freakin scary to me. Now he says he’s been interviewed since he says he jumped on the hood to avoid getting run over. I don’t know, the man he was if he had to avoid the rest of getting run over because he’s standing in front of the vehicle, which is the only reason I can imagine that’s kind of on him.

But in any case, whatever his intent was for the people inside the vehicle, having someone jump on the hood of your car is going to be perceived as threatening conduct dangerous conduct, especially with all the other people surrounding the vehicle. The sides of the vehicle, which are much more easily breached, so that many SUVs rolling forward to get away from that crowd, I think is perfectly reasonable. Then we have that right turn in the middle of the street where they knocked down the guy who was on the hood.

Well, what’s the reason for that? I mean, I could imagine reasons entirely consistent with innocence you could imagine. The the person driving is a woman. She’s got a couple screaming kids in the back she’s desperately calling 911 or husband on the cell phone, drops the cell phone onto the floor, the car leans down to pick up the cell phone incidentally The car, no one tend to strike anybody with the vehicle. That would be a reason for the impact of the car and the man on the hood to have been for totally accidental purposes, nothing unlawful about that.

On the other hand, if she turned the wheel, the driver turned the wheel for the purpose of hitting the guy after he was off the hood. That’s going to be very difficult to justify.

By that point, the SUV was sufficiently clear to the crowd that it could just simply have driven down the street. There was no need to use force under that circumstance. So you’d want to hear from the driver and have them explain why it is they did that. So here’s a still from that. Here’s the guy on the hood. Pretty big guy. mask, of course, lots of other people surrounding the vehicle.

Definitely objectively scary, frightening circumstances. When the car first goes to leave, we have this gentleman preparing to throw something at the car. Obviously threatening conduct. It could just be a soda. It could be a brick could be a Molotov cocktail, it would be hard to tell from inside the building. And once again, as the mini SUV rolls off to safety, we see all the people chasing the vehicle folks are not going to be happier the second time they catch up with the vehicle.

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So here’s a another video. This is kind of a creepy one. So what we’re going to see here if I’ve got this correct, I may have these in a slightly mixed up order. I think the next video I’m going to play for you is one where we see a car rapidly come down the street from the left to the right, moving pretty quickly through a crowd of people. And then I cut the video a little bit to save time and we see the same vehicle coming back the other way at speed down the street.

So let’s take a look at that. If this is the right one. Here comes that car, moving at a pretty good clip just right through the crowd. goes in the distance. And then A moment later we see the same car, it does a U turn, comes back, and now it’s coming back through the crowd in the opposite direction.

Now, could there be reasons consistent with lawful self defense for the card to do that? reasons why it was accelerating down the road at speed in the first place from left to right. Maybe maybe they just been threatened by somebody with a gun, for example, and explicitly deadly force threatened they were trying to get away as quickly as possible. You want to create as much distance from you and the guy with the gun as possible. I’m speaking hypothetically here.

Of course, I don’t know why the car was going that fast. Is there a reason why it would come back at speed? Well, maybe you’ve encountered an explicit deadly threat at the end of the road or the end of the road was blocked or it was a dead end. And now the guy with the gun is chasing them. As we’ve seen. The obstructionists often chase the cars and they have to find another avenue of retreat.

But unless the driver has some kind of explanation like that, if they’re simply driving Up and down the street fast because they’re annoyed that people are in the road. That is not going to be a justified use of force using the vehicle in that manner.

Right now we’re going to see a little interesting video, we’ll see some people obstructed. They’re in a jeep. And it’s, I’m not great at all the models of Jeeps, but it’s a model of Jeep in which you can take the top off and the doors off. So it’s basically an open vehicle there’s there’s nothing to obstruct someone from reaching to the vehicle.

So that presents both tactical and legal issues on its own.

So here we have that Jeep, someone’s at the front kind of a corner, and then the Jeep accelerates, bam, knocks the person over, and that’s about it, the Jeep gets away. So one of the issues of course, is if you have an open vehicle like this, you don’t have those clear markers of breach of the vehicle. You don’t have the door that needs to be opened, you don’t have the glass that needs to be broken. You can’t lock and your doors and roll up your windows so you don’t have that opportunity with that. This kind of vehicle, this is not the kind of vehicle you want in a protest, folks. I know they’re fun. My neighbor has one he loves it. If you’re going to be stuck in a protest, you want a vehicle that can at least serve as some kind of closed structure.

The other question here really to is, whereas in many circumstances, it’s not hard to see how the driver vehicle might feel threatened. When he strikes this person at his quarter panel, I honestly don’t see in the video anyone approaching his passengers threatening himself or his passengers by the sides of the door where they can present a threat. It seems to me like he’s hitting this person with his fender simply because he doesn’t want the person obstructing him.

And I really don’t see any imminent threat here. There’s nobody climbing on the vehicle on the hood reaching into the vehicle. Unless you can articulate a reasonable basis for why he feared for his safety and the safety of his passengers and that’s why he used the vehicle as a weapon in this way. That’s why he used force against these people is going to have a very difficult decision. For that use of force. So let me bring myself back up and scroll through the questions here to see if I’ve raised any ambiguities. And please do continue to put questions in folks. That would be great. We’re hoping to use your feedback feedback to further refine what this is, which is currently very much in draft form, look at lawful defense against riot, looting and arson.

Somebody asks on a different subject. We’ll be covering them with Michael’s preliminary trial proceedings tomorrow. Certainly if it’s aired, I’ll be covering it. That will be absolutely fine. If it’s merely reported on I guess I’ll cover the reporting whenever that comes out. I don’t expect much to come from the preliminary hearing. I think the the political momentum is to proceed to trial on some of these charges. Just that I frankly think are ridiculous. I think this felony murder predicated on attempted felony unlawful imprisonment is quite a reach. And given the circumstances, but I don’t think any judge is going to toss any of those charges out. I think it’ll just proceed along. Its preordained path so I don’t expect much excitement tomorrow.

Let’s see. Yep. Steve mentioned is don’t be frozen in place simply by traffic rules or laws. Obviously, try to conduct yourself consistent with safety. You don’t want to get t boned going across the intersection. But you don’t want the only thing stopping you from going across the intersection to be a stop sign or a red light if you can proceed safely.

And we have racists I’m gonna ignore you, Mr. racist.

Let’s see.

John says, a mob surrounding a vehicle preventing forward movement doesn’t mean they want my autograph.

Okay, john, but it depends on whether what you mean by mob. That’s why I differentiate between peaceful protesters, obstructive protesters and violent protesters. Your use of force has to be justified by more than that there were a bunch of people standing around your vehicle. That’s not a reason to use force, there has to be some articulable eminent threat of danger to yourself or others for your use of force to be justified.

So, the vague use of the word mob fails to capture the very different scenarios you can find yourself in, all of which involve a being difficult or impossible to move your vehicle without hurting somebody. But not all of which involve a degree or a similar degree of threat to yourself or other innocent persons. Oscar asked will your final article discuss actions while on foot, I’m not sure what to say about being on foot if you’re on foot escape, if you can escape get away from that confrontation as quickly as possible from the mob as quickly as possible.

If you’re attacked, obviously you have to defend yourself. But you know, the tactical dynamics of defending yourself even with a firearm in a mob, if you’re surrounded, suck, that’s going to be a fight that really is almost impossible for you to win. So, obviously, you do what you have to do to stay alive, but the preferred option would be a path that keeps you alive, with much better odds than getting into some kind of armed confrontation by yourself against the mob.

Brian says, I’m confused you made it sound as though a burglar kicking down my front door is not a deadly force right now. There’s a forcible and unlawful entry of your home. You treat that as a deadly force threat.

Fleeing felon I already discussed

Yes, Art says hey Art How you doing? Still need an honest man. reasonable fear of death. Yeah, he’s talking to Brian. That’s the same point I just made.

John says you’re trapped on I 25. For those who don’t know, I 25 is the interstate that goes through Denver here north to south. I You can’t go north or south. He says the mob is walking towards you smashing out of the car windows in front of you sit and wait or exit and shoot.

If other vehicles are being breached in your vicinity, it’s reasonable to infer that your vehicle is next. There’s nothing special about you that’s going to protect you from a crowd that’s actively breaching, forcibly, unlawfully breaching adjacent vehicles. So I would assume the same thing is going to happen to you. It would be better not to be there.

Obviously, if you can run, I would run. If you can’t run consistent with safety, you’re going to have to do what you need to do to defend yourself. If you’re with an elderly parent, you’re not going to leave them behind.

But it’s a you know, there are situations that are no-win situations, folks, you even if I’m a legal merits, you’d be privileged to use deadly defensive force and you very well might be in those circumstances to use your sidearm against the people threatening you with deadly force harm. The prospects of winning that fight are about zero, folks. You’ve only got so many rounds because a lot of people they can come from every direction. That’s not a fight you want to be in because it’s a fight that’s almost impossible to win, especially if you’re pinned in place.

James says off-topic Minnesota Attorney General upgrades shelving charged a second degree murder. That’s a purely political exercise. The Minnesota Attorney General is a former politician all attorney generals are really politicians anyway. And it’s just the the mob crying for some higher degree murder. They weren’t happy with third degree murder. It’s all theater at this point.

By the way, folks, as I talked about that George Floyd case, some people seem to have the mistaken idea that I’m pleased somehow that George Floyd is dead. I’m on I wish George Floyd had not died. I don’t wish death on anybody. I wish none of this has happened. My interest is in the evidence and the law in the case. So that’s what I talk about the evidence and the law. And if I see the law being applied in a ridiculous way, I’m going to call that out. If I see facts, evidence being presented in a way inconsistent with the actual facts and evidence, I’m going to call that out. That’s not a celebration of George Floyd’s death. That’s an analysis of the law and the evidence. I wish George Floyd had not died.

Let’s see.

Wilson asks, Andrew, has there been a successful case of self defense of a citizen against a uniformed on duty police officer?

And the answer is yes, I can’t cite you a particular case doesn’t come to mind. But it’s not that uncommon, particularly if the police officer uses excessive force, deadly force and circumstances that don’t warrant that force.

The suspect subject to that unlawful deadly force, of course, it’s a suspect arguing it was unlawful deadly force. If they used force against the officer, it’s not uncommon to see them raise the legal defense self defense. You’re not allowed to claim self defense against a lawful use of force. So if an officer is lawfully arresting you you’re not permitted to use force to resist that arrest. If the officers unlawfully arresting you, then you may be privileged. Not every state allows this but you may be privileged to use force to resist the unlawful arrest. So a cop can’t just come up and try to shoot you for no reason. For example, He has to be justified in his use of defensive force. The difficulty in practical terms, of course, is that the presumption is always going to be in the cops favor, and overcoming that presumption is going to be extremely difficult. You do not want to find yourself in a position of having to argue that you were justified in using force particularly deadly force against a police officer because he was acting beyond his law firm. authority. Again, it’s just not an IT IS A permissible legal argument. It’s the one you would make. You don’t want to find your self in a position where you’re having to make that issue.

Tom asked, what are the issues with using rubber bullets from a 12 gauge shotgun assuming not shooting at their face? Well, it’s theoretically it’s a non deadly use of force, so it’d be authorized. And under any circumstance where non deadly force would be authorized of that intensity level, I mean, within the bucket of non deadly force, there are degrees of force, so you have to maintain proportionality within that bucket. If someone pokes you in the chest with the finger, shooting them with a rubber bullet out of the 12 gauge shotgun is probably disproportional use of force even if it is also non deadly force.

But most of the most of the ways that the officers are going to get in trouble in that respect is either in civil cases or if they somehow violated departmental policy. The use of the rubber bullets.

Okay, folks, I think that’s about all we have today just remind all of you about our sale on our defensive property class it’s 65% off less than half the usual price. And as a bonus, you’ll get the final version of our lawful defense against Riot looting and arson video which otherwise won’t be publicly available. You can take advantage of that defensive property sale at covers defense of your home, your business, your vehicle, your personal property, your pets, against both human and animal aggressors.

So if that’s of interest, and it is specific to all 50 states, folks, it’s a combination DVD webpage product. So we have the DVD provides a couple of hours of defense of property instruction, very concentrated, and then it links you to a webpage that has all 50 states defensive property law statutes, jury instructions, court decisions, again, 65% off this week plus you get the bonus, lawful defense against rioters, looters and arson has video.

All of that at

Okay, folks, as a as always, thank you for joining me here today. I appreciate your time. always appreciate all your feedback and your questions. hope you join us tomorrow for our News/Q&A show. Unless it gets preempted by this preliminary hearing in the Arbery case, I’ll have to check on the schedule for that.


And that is it for me today. As always, folks, as I sign off, I urge all of you to keep in mind:

You carry a gun so you’re hard to kill.

Know the law so you’re hard to convict.

Stay safe!


Attorney Andrew F. Branca
Law of Self Defense LLC
Law of Self Defense Platinum Protection Program


10 thoughts on “After Action Analysis: June 3, 2020”

  1. Jeffrey Arnold

    Remember that for most cars, if you put them in park the doors will all automatically unlock! I heard this was a factor in the death of the DEA agent in operation Fast and Furious.

    1. You can change these setting so that the doors will NOT open on park. This is generally an easy change. Also, 3M makes a protective film that is designed for car windows do not shatter immediately.

  2. I’m sorry I missed the live presentation, but I did watch the instant replay! As always Andrew was full of relevant and useful information to keep in mind.

    My basic takeaway was that there aren’t really any special differences in the use of force during riots, looting or arson. (Ok there are some old laws on the books, but they should be ignored.)

    If I missed something it might be good to do a highlight of what unique considerations arise during a riot or looting situation.

    Be safe everyone!

  3. Thank you for the very timely information Andrew. I think that the part on formulating a plan if your vehicle is attacked is very helpful. I have a suggestion for your final version. I am wondering if you could comment on the pros and cons of, if, while locked in your closed, running vehicle and a mob surrounds you and begins to become violent, you display, but not fire a pistol. The purpose would be to warn off those around your car long enough to escape. Do you think it would be helpful or not, and what are the legalities of it?

  4. Here in CA I noticed that there is a reference in the self-defense law about suppressing a riot, similar to what you mentioned. I agree that it doesn’t sound like a great defense to hang your hat on. But here is my question. Let’s say you are a business owner, and you are trapped inside your business in the midst of the riot. You hunker down and try not draw attention, but rioters break through the security gate and front door of your store and you, having nowhere to run, shoot at them, killing one while the others run away. If you were prosecuted for this, I would expect that your best defense is the castle doctrine (highly defensible property). But beyond that, wouldn’t it also make sense to mention that you shot not just any old intruders, but rioters, who seem to have an especially egregious status under this status at least. As old-timey as that law is, it would be nice to think that it may add an extra element of legal protection for those who need to defend their lives with deadly-force in the midst of a riot. Do you know of any case law along those lines?

  5. Andrew,
    I agree that you should try to avoid these areas. But what about when the crowd enters and blocks the interstate (or limited access highway) and you have the misfortune as traveling on that thruway. Especially at the very beginning of these protests when one or two people enter the roadway. You are not expecting people on these roadways and I am surprised that more are not being hit. Often limited access road do intersect urban areas. As a Fire Police Officer, I am taught to be acutely aware of the risk of secondary accidents, and to help prevent this we create cone tapers and place warning signs well before a temporary road closure or lane closure due to an accident, to alert on-coming traffic to a change in driving conditions. You do not want a truck to barrel into a line of stopped cars. Vehicles do not even see large fire trucks on the roadway (right before they hit them). Of course none of these safety items are put in place during a protest, so I would think that an argument can be made not to stop (slowdown of course if you can even see the person suddenly jumping into you lane), especially at the early formative stages of the road blockage.

  6. Document the threat with a smartphone video to show justification for your use of force.

    Sometimes, staying in your car can be even more dangerous than leaving it. For example, you are trapped in the middle of a traffic jam and the mob is approaching, breaking into cars and beating the occupants as they come.

    If you are being pursued on foot, shooting the nearest pursuers can change the mob’s focus from you to their own survival

    Do you plan to discuss defense of businesses and homes against mobs the way Korean businessmen did during the Rodney King riots?

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