Welcome to our News/Q&A Show for August 13, 2020. These News/Q&A shows air LIVE every Thursday at 4PM ET, and are our ONLY open-access weekly content available to non-Members of Law of Self Defense.
In today’s show we cover the following news items from the past week:
- VIDEO: Man points shotgun at cops: Outcome is as one might expect
- VIDEO: Man with knife in each hand attacks cop: Good guy wins, under incredible stress
- VIDEO: Armed gunmen threaten pickup-truck driver: This one gets a deep-dive legal analysis
We also answer the following questions sent in ahead of time to email@example.com:
- Violent mobs swarm Portland neighborhoods outside city center, what to do?
- Use of unusual non-deadly weapons–paint gun fired pepper balls, smoke grenades, against protestors
- Use of weapon-mounted laser as non-deadly defensive weapon
- If spouse with you in use-of-force event, what should THEY say to the police?
- Can defense lawyer object to prosecution during closing arguments?
A transcript of this show will be available, usually within 24 hours, for those of you who prefer to read rather than watch a video. The podcast version of this show will be available solely through the members-only Law of Self Defense Podcast.
Enjoy the show!
Attorney Andrew F. Branca
Law of Self Defense LLC
Law of Self Defense Platinum Protection Program
[Usually arrives within 24 hours of live show concluding.]
Hey folks, welcome. Welcome to the law of self defense, our news and q&a show for August 13 2020. This is the one show of the week that we do that’s completely open access most of our content that we produce, you need to be a lot of self defense member. We’ll talk more about that later. But normally you need to be a member to access our content. The one exception is our weekly Thursday news and q&a show which goes live every Thursday at 4pm Eastern Time. 2pm Mountain Time where I happen to be located.
For those who may not know, let’s see if I can pull myself up here. I am attorney Andrew Branca for law of self defense. Thank you very much. That’s greatly appreciate it. As always, because I know so many of you are not existing law of self defense members may be unfamiliar with the law of self defense community law, self defense is a law practice that focuses exclusively on use of force law. That is all we do all the time. Make a couple little adjustments here. There we go. So by use of force, we mean defense of yourself, defense of others, and defense of your property. We cover all of those when we cover those for all 50 states.
So what do I have for you today? Well, in our news and q&a show our normal format is I cover some use of force events that have been in the news today, those consists mostly of videos, a couple of very short videos.
And then the one I know you’re all interested in, which is the brief video that’s come out this week of two gunmen mass gunmen, quote unquote protesters, mostly peaceful protesters, I guess it’d be called in the media, a two gunmen who stopped a blue pickup truck. I’ve gotten a lot of inquiries about how the law of self defense applies to that kind of scenario, what that pickup driver would be privileged to do in defense of himself, whoever else may be in the truck with him. So we’re going to cover that video in great detail. That’ll be the bulk of today’s news and q&a show we’re going to do a thorough kind of after action analysis, legal debrief of that event, stepping through all five elements of a claim of self defense.
Now, the first two videos will cover a very short there’s really not much to say about them, but I’ve had a lot of questions so we’re just go over them very quickly. One is the shooting by police of a man who, well he points a shotgun at the police. They were return the favor and that ends poorly for the man who points a shotgun at the police.
The second video also very short, is that of a man who attacks a police officer with a knife in each hand, the man has a knife in each hand. And fortunately that ends with the good guy winning as well. And then that longer video that will do the very detailed brief on the two gunmen who stopped the pickup truck.
After we cover those news events, we also have a number of questions that have come in over the course of the week. One of those is notes, these violent mobs in Portland are now beginning to expand beyond the city center into neighboring communities. What to do about that, what can those people in those neighboring communities do now that they too are being aggressed by these riders, looters and hopefully not, but potentially arsonists? We’ve got a question from one of our Platinum Protection Program members, which always get priority on the show about the use of unused usual non deadly weapons like paint gun fired pepper balls, smoke grenades, things like that against protesters. We have a question again from a platinum protection member. What about weapon mounted lasers, non deadly force lasers that many of us might carry on our personal defensive weapons. We’ve all heard in the news that the protesters, the bad guys are using some powerful, actual damaging blinding lasers on law enforcement causing permanent eye injury. I’ve talked about that on previous shows. But what about the purportedly non deadly lasers, we might carry on our personal defensive weapons lawfully? To what extent can we use those as non deadly defensive weapons independent of the gun? They’re mounted to? We have another question from a platinum member about the fact that I’ve talked extensively in my courses about interacting with the police in the aftermath of the use of force event. But what about if your spouse is with you? What are they supposed to say to the police? What should they say to the police? If nothing else, they’re going to be a witness to events of their presence. And the police will certainly want to speak with them. And finally, we have a question about defense lawyers and they’re privileged to object to the prosecution’s arguments during closing statements. So we’re going to cover all that today as time permits.
Now before I dive into the show proper, I do have to of course, mention our sponsor, which is CCW Safe.
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Okay, now let’s get back to the show proper, the news and q&a show for August 13 2020 and start stepping through these videos that we have here. Now the first video very short, involves a man who points a shotgun at police. Now, generally the videos I show don’t have any gore in them folks, and this one doesn’t have any gore in it either. But it does show a man falling to the ground after being shot. So if you’re uncomfortable with that, you may want to turn your head away for the roughly one minute 23 seconds that this video plays.
But with that out of the way, let me clear the screen here for that video. I’m going to go ahead and play that for you. Now, I believe it does have audio, but I don’t believe there’s any bad language involved. Now, what I want you to pay attention to here is how, first of all how clearly this is basically an attempt to commit suicide by cop. I, in fact, don’t know whether the suspect here survives a shot or not. He is decisively hit as you’ll see, by the manner to which he falls to the ground. It looks frankly, like a spinal hit to me, a paralyzing hit.
But I want you to note the professionalism of the police officers, they really do everything right here. And we’ll step through that after the video. And it also raises some interesting questions about this whole defund the police movement because we don’t have these guys willing to go toe to toe with someone walking down the street with a shotgun pointing it to people, including police officers, who you’re going to call but in any case, here’s that video and then we’ll come right back
Are you that is in fact the wrong video. So let me step back and try again and this time I should have the right video. Sorry about that. Here we go. Good.
Got one nail down.
Okay, so there we go. Let’s step through it quickly here. First of all, note the cops, they really do everything right here. They give the man an opportunity to drop the gun even after he raises the muzzle at them the first time. Then they fire a single shot when he raises the muzzle a second time that takes the suspect down. They approach reasonably with an expectation the man could still be a threat. But once it’s apparent, he’s no longer a threat and the scene is secured and then they can begin providing care. They begin asking him if he’s okay, well, he’s not good. Obviously. He just got shot, but they’re talking to him. It’s not like they’re beating him. For example, when he’s on the ground. This is the way it’s supposed to be done. In terms of any prospect for a non lethal intervention by the police. Folks non lethal against the shotgun doesn’t work shotgun may not have much reach compared to a rifle for example, or arguably even a handgun in skilled hands, but it has vastly more reach more potent reach than a taser, for example, or a beanbag projectile or pepper spray or any other non lethal means there’d be no way for officers to deploy those kinds of non lethal tools without exposing themselves to imminent deadly harm.
So as far as I can tell, cops did everything perfectly appropriately here, and negative outcome for the suspect positive outcome for Well, everybody else in the world. And of course, it raises an interesting question about this whole defund the police movement, folks, because who’s going to respond to a dude walking down the street pointing a shotgun at people, including at the police? If not the police? are we planning to send a social worker to talk that guy down? Because I don’t think that’s going to end well.
And this next video just reinforces that as well. So let’s talk now about the cop who was attacked the second video, the cop who was attacked by a suspect who he appeared to know the way the cop communicates with the suspect. He calls him out by name or nickname. I expect this as a emotionally disturbed person who’s known as such in the community, including law enforcement. I’m sure the cops got plenty calls about this guy many times, and now they’ve responding to yet another call where the community’s disturbed about this person’s behavior. That’s I don’t know that for a fact. But that’s my sense from the video. And the demeanor of the people involved. So what we’ll see here is the the cops initially in this car, he pulls up, we’ll see him holding his notebook. This is all body cam footage. Now, he gets out of his car, he begins conversing with the suspect. And what I want you to note, here are a few things.
First of all, note how fast things go south, this whole videos, only about a minute long. And it’s a fraction of the time that goes from the initial inquiry of the cop to the suspect, asking him if he’s doing okay to the point when the cop has to shoot this suspect to the ground with multiple shots. happens very, very fast. And by the way, this could have happened quickly. Anybody didn’t have to be the cop, right? It could have been any pedestrian, it could have been us walking down the sidewalk, walking your dog walking with our kids walking with our spouse, who suddenly got targeted by this now lethal, emotionally disturbed person with two knives.
The other thing I wanted to note is how much stress the officer is under by the end of this, this is a very short encounter, probably the whole physical encounters, maybe 30 seconds. And yet at the end, you will hear that officer breathing as if he’s just run a mile. And that’s not the physical stress that induced the physical exercise that induced that degree of stress. It’s the fight or flight adrenaline dump the stress, chemicals, hormones that are dumped into the body that trigger that kind of response. And that will happen to all of us, folks, you have to expect it’s going to happen to you too. And how are you going to conduct yourself How does it impact your ability to respond to events to perceive, capture store recall information about the event, especially in the context of providing a narrative after the fact about what actually happened in an absolute sense. So again, very short. Not gory at all. But again, someone is shot in the video ultimately, and there is a violent attack upon a police officer. So if you’re sensitive about that, this video runs about a minute you might want to divert your gaze from that as well. Okay, folks, here we go. How you doing roughing? Are you find that are you fine this morning? Can you just have a seat for me? Can you just have a seat for me? Step back. You’re gonna get tased bro. Step back. You’re gonna get tased
Shots fire, forfeit their headquarters shots fire soon all units
and there we go. So everything happens very quickly very, very quickly by the way. You think it might be useful to be able to engage in a target while you’re attempting to maintain distance from that target moving backwards because of that carpet simply stood his ground and fired shots like we might in a, you know, local pistol match against cardboard targets. And the guy with the two knives had gotten on top of them you think three or four 9 millimeter rounds in the guy with the knives is going to keep him from cutting that cop up, good, likely fatally. So the ability to maintain space really, really important folks, especially against that kind of impact bearing attacker.
So this cop again, it appears to me he did everything right. He certainly wasn’t overly aggressive on first encounter with the suspect was giving him verbal commands. By the way, folks, one of the reasons you give verbal commands, well, one of the reasons is you hope to obey the verbal commands, which would be great, right? If the guy with the knife keeps his distance stays back sits down like you tell him to That’s awesome.
The other reason you give verbal commands, because you can’t control whether or not that other person is going to obey your commands that’s beyond your control. That’s up to them. But the other reason you give verbal commands is to compel that person to either obey those commands and act consistent with somebody who’s no longer in apparent threat, or to not obey those commands and act consistent with someone who is in imminent threat, and provide remove any ambiguity from the situation and provide an evidence based rationale for your use of defensive force. And again, you can hear the stress in this offers his voice, the breathing, the high rate of breathing.
We encountered this all the time, when we do our own law, self defense live courses, level one live courses and we run people through a simulator, a self defense shooting simulator after the fact. Just like this, the videos they we show them that they have to respond to with this fake pistol, this infrared pistol, there are only about 30 seconds 40 seconds long. And of course, everyone knows it’s fake. The video is not going to jump out and actually stab you. But when those 30 or 40 or 50 seconds are done, and we turn the lights back up, and we asked that person to tell us what they saw what they did and why they did it. They often can’t tell us in any coherent way. Their respiration is obviously up their hands are shaking, they can’t remember what they did. Or they, if they do, they can’t remember the sequence in which they did it, they can’t remember what they saw. Or if we suggest things that weren’t in the video, they agree that those things were in the video. And we all know they weren’t there.
So, all of this stress plays a real role, folks in terms of your ability to accurately perceive to store to recall information about the event that actually happened. And this does play a role in your ability to articulate what happened after the fact there’s a reason law enforcement is typically given 24, 48, 72 hours after a use of force events, especially a deadly force use of force event before they’re required to give a formal statement. And the reason is to allow all those brain chemicals triggered under that stress to metabolize out of the system. So the brains coherent again, and operating in the normal way.
Folks, I know a bunch of you are putting comments in the wall in the comments and that’s awesome. And if time allows at the end of the show, Before we close out, I will scroll through all of those and answer as many questions as I have we try to keep the show to an hour. But I’m not going to break the show every couple of minutes to answer those comments because we’d never get through the plant content. But I do encourage you to put the contents in there and if we have the time to answer them I’ll be happy to do that.
Alright, so that was the second video I wanted to share with all of you the third video now is the big one and that’s the one we’re going to spend the most time I’m do a detailed legal analysis breakdown on and that is the one of the two men masked men armed with pistols, amongst other people present protesters present cohort of theirs present facing down a blue pickup truck that presumably was just going about its business before its sound, found itself stopped by two masked men bearing pistols. So before I jump into that, however, I have another Message I’d like to share with all of you. And then as I said at the start, most of our content is intended for law of self defense members only this Thursday show is really the only exception to that.
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Okay, back to the core content. Let’s take a look now at this first video. So what we’re going to see here is a really a blue pickup truck. It’s already kind of stopped by these protesters in the road, two of whom have pistols in their hand. And that’s where we’re at then the pickup truck will back up a little bit try to drive around them continue in its intended direction. There’ll be the protesters including the men with the guns will run back in front of the pickup truck again. And ultimately the pickup truck will do a j turn slow j turn and turn and drive away in the other direction. So let’s go through the video first. And then we will step through the kind of five elements of Self Defense Law, legal analysis, as well as starting with a very powerful, I hope, cautionary note. Here we go.
Okay, so as you might have imagined I got probably a couple of hundred inquiries asked me to comment on this particular event. So, I am here to serve. So let’s go ahead and jump right into it before we jump into kind of the black letter of the law, legal analysis whether or not the conditions have been met for that pickup truck driver to resort to deadly defensive force under these circumstances.
I want to share what really should be perceived as the usual caveat. And that is, you don’t want to be getting into fights. You don’t need to be getting into folks, if you can, consistent with the safety of innocent persons, yourself and others. You have have a duty to protect, exit a confrontational situation without having to threaten or use force against another person. Guess what, folks, you just won that fight. That’s how law abiding people win fights by not having to fight and you’ve won it at zero cost.
Remember, the moment you get engaged in a physical confrontation, you’ve just incurred two risks. You were not incurring a moment before, a greater than zero risk of dying in that fight and a greater than zero risk of spending the rest of your life in prison. We can through training and practice in the physical realm and in the legal round here at law, self defense, we can get those risks awfully close to zero, but they’re never zero folks. It may not just be your day, you may just lose that physical fight, no matter how good you are. And you could lose a legal fight. No matter how innocent you are, that’s just reality. So don’t expose yourself to those risks. If you don’t have to, if consistent with safety, you can avoid exposing your To those risks, and folks, that’s particularly true these days. You don’t want to be potentially exposing yourself to the politically motivated decision making of some of these prosecutors we have out there now who are framing the term justice in terms of racial or gender equity, rather than in terms of actual legal merit to these kinds of prosecutors. You’re not a human being, with your own inherent value with a wife and kids and a life and a job. You’re just a means to their political ends upon to them.
And from the perspective of traditional American ideas of due process and individual justice, their politically motivated. prosecutorial decision making is to my eye a form of its legal sociopathy, do you want to unnecessarily put your life in the hands of a sociopath? Who doesn’t even think you’re human? I would hope not. And can we have any reasonable exhibition In today’s world that we’re going to be treated in a similar manner legally by this kind of prosecutor, or similarly to the people this prosecutor believes are on his team as opposed to your team.
I mean, look at the man who’s merely filmed the Ahmad arbory event in Georgia from his car. He’s now charged with felony murder, predicated on attempted unlawful imprisonment, ridiculous charge. Contrast that with the decision of the just elected prosecutor in Portland, Oregon has just announced he’s not going to press charges against even protesters who launched deadly force attacks on law enforcement. He’s not going to charge them. So they face no legal Jeopardy at all for their attacks on law enforcement. Is that justice? Well, I guess by some definitions, some people’s definitions might be justice, but not by any definition. You want to subject yourself to folks. Don’t put yourself in that cage.
Now with that caveat out of the way that said, if the circumstances make avoiding the fight consistent with safety impossible, well, then you need to win the fight, you need to win that physical fight. And you need to do it in such a way that you’re well positioned to also win the legal fight, which is what we help all of you with here at law, self defense, which means, of course, staying within the legal boundaries for use of force event. And that means staying within the five elements of Self Defense Law. And those elements are of course innocence, imminence, proportionality, avoidance, and reasonableness. And, folks, if you’re not familiar with those five elements of self defense, first of all, shame on you. You should be familiar with them by now. But if you’re not, I have good news. We have a totally free infographic you can get.
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So let’s take a look at each of these elements in turn in the context of this pickup truck event.
Element of innocence the first one this really asks who was the unlawful initial aggressor in the confrontation well I don’t know everything about this case. So I’m assuming the driver of the pickup truck was merely lawfully driving down the road, not seeking confrontation, just going about his business, exercising his fundamental freedom of travel and liberty of movement. Now, obviously, if that’s not the case of the driver, the pickup truck was some psychopath who decided to start milling down peaceful protesters with his truck.
Well, then the driver would be the initial physical aggressor with the truck being used as a deadly weapon and they deadly defensive response by the protesters being run over would almost certainly be appropriate. But there is of course, no evidence that the pickup driver was doing anything unlawful, whatever, when he was confronted by the two mass gunman in the street, and therefore it’s the two gunman who are acting unlawfully and threatening the pickup driver with deadly force. They’re not responding. Those two gunmen are not responding to some unlawful deadly force threat. So the requirements for the element of innocence are checked off favorably for the pickup driver. He’s got that required element.
What about the second An element imminence was the threat facing the pickup driver in imminent threat. In other words, was it a threat immediately about to happen? Now a great way to evaluate eminence is to apply a framework a conceptual framework known as the AOJ triad, ability opportunity jeopardy. And by the way, folks, if you were taught AOJ or a similar framework, as if it were the entirety of Self Defense Law, you were badly misled. eo j is a very useful conceptual framework, but it applies to only one of the five elements of self defense, that element of eminence. All the other four elements still apply are still required, unless they are independently waived for some reason. So you can have a AOJ and still not have lawful self defense folks have one of the other required elements is missing. Be very careful about that.
A lot of instructors teach AOJ as if it were the entirety of Self Defense Law. And they do that mostly by presuming that the other elements are present. But often they’re not folks and they’re all targets for attack by a prosecutor in going after your claim of self defense. So you need to be aware of all five elements, not just eminence represented by AOJ.
In any case, AOJ stands for ability opportunity jeopardy. And when all three of these components are present, well, then we have an imminent threat. And then the element of imminence is checked off and that second step towards meeting the conditions to justify a defensive response has been met.
So what are those each stand for? Well, ability has to do with whether or not the aggressor has the ability to cause harm to the defender. Well, we all have some ability to cause harm, right, if only our fists, our feet. So the real question is not whether there’s really an ability to cause harm but the degree of harm. Do we have an ability to cause only non deadly harm or do we have the ability to cause deadly harm? And that distinguished distinction between non deadly and deadly really falls within the scope of work? proportionality, which is the third element of self defense, which we’ll talk about in a moment. So we’ll cover that in detail that here we’ll just assume ability exists. T
he next element of AOJ is opportunity. Does the aggressor have the opportunity to immediately bring that ability to bear against an innocent victim, presumably the defender. Now imagine the two men in this instance, we’re not armed with guns, but we’re armed with knives instead. If they were unwritten knives would they have the immediate opportunity to stab the driver of the truck? arguably not right, they’d first have to get within contact distance of the driver and they’d have to breach the vehicle. That may not take much time, but it’s not instant. Of course, if they did breach the vehicle, then they would clearly have opportunity to bring a knife to bear. But of course, in this case, the men are not armed with knives are armed with guns, projectile weapons, and if your attacker has a gun, and he can see you, it’s virtually certain he has the opportunity to bring the ability of that gun to bear again. Do if he wants to that’s the nature of firearms throwing hot lead fast. at long distances, you can’t outrun a bullet. You can’t outdrive a bullet. This pickup driver cannot outdrive these two men’s bullets. So they clearly have the opportunity to use their guns against them. So we can check off the O of AOJ.
The J, of course, is Jeopardy because you can have ability and opportunity and not be an imminent threat, there must also be Jeopardy meaning an apparent intent on the part of that aggressor to bring that ability and opportunity to bear against an innocent person. Now, a good example of a situation where you have the ability and opportunity but don’t have Jeopardy might be simply the presence of a uniformed police officer standing nearby. He’s got ability, he’s got his gun, he’s got opportunity. He’s only a few feet away. But there’s no jeopardy. There’s nothing about his conduct from which we can infer an intent to use that ability and opportunity against an innocent person.
In this case, Do we have Jeopardy from those two men with the guns is there conduct from which we can infer an intent to use unlawful force against an innocent? I’d argue that we do. These are not two guys who are open carrying the guns are in the holster. We can look at the aggressive positioning of them in front of the path of the pickup truck. They’re in the road. They’re arguably committing an unlawful arrest under the circumstance and unlawful imprisonment by stopping this pickup driver from lawfully continuing on his journey. Not only that they have the guns out the guns are at a low ready or ready to use position right now.
Clearly the two mass armed men are communicating an intent to use unlawful force against the pickup driver and it would be reasonable for the pickup driver to make that inference from their conduct. Particularly since when the pickup driver goes to the other side of the road. The two men with the guns run over to stand in front of his truck again with the guns still at low reading. So bad Conduct checks off Jeopardy that gives us ability opportunity and Jeopardy meaning we have in fact, an imminent threat. But you may wonder, what about the fact that the two men Well, they’re not shooting yet, right? Well, you’re not required to wait until the gun armed aggressors actually start shooting at you. You’re privileged to defend against the shooting that’s imminent, that’s reasonably perceived as being immediately about to occur. Obviously, self defense wouldn’t be very helpful if you had to wait to get shot first.
The next element proportionality has to do with the degree of force involved in the attack. You can only use deadly defensive force if you’re facing a deadly force threat with some exceptions. Here of course, the two mass gunmen are threatening the pickup truck driver with guns which are deadly force as a matter of law. With the pickup truck driver facing a deadly force threat he’s privileged to use deadly defensive force, assuming of course the other elements of self defense are also met. Now can that deadly defensive force be in the form of his truck just driving these two gunmen over. Sure. use of force law doesn’t really care about the particular manner of deadly force. It really only cares if deadly force is justified period. If deadly force is justified, then the form of that deadly force could be a gun, or a knife, or a piano dropped from a great height, or, in this case, a pickup truck, it doesn’t really matter.
That brings us to the fourth element of self defense avoidance. This involves the issue of whether the defender violated some legal duty to retreat. Even if we assumed this occurred in a duty to retreat state and there’s only about 14 of those folks out of the 50 states. So it’s a small minority of states that impose a generalized legal duty to retreat. But even in those states retreats are only required. If it can be accomplished with complete safety. You’re not required to increase your Jeopardy in order to attempt to retreat from an unlawful threat of force. At least if you’re not the initial agent. And we’ve already presumed that to be the case, when your aggressor is armed with a gun already displayed. Is it really possible to retreat without increasing your Jeopardy before that eminent threat can be used against you, especially when your ability to retreat is constrained by the many other people on that guy’s team who were surrounding your vehicle? Is it possible for you to do that without endangering those other people backing over them, for example? I’d argue not in a safe retreat is not possible, then the duty to retreat, even if it would otherwise have existed is not imposed. So we can check off the element of avoidance for the pickup driver too.
And that brings us to the fifth and final element of self defense reasonableness. And this asks whether first, did the defender have a genuine good faith subjective belief in the need to act in self defense? And second, was that belief objectively reasonable, in other words, what a theoretical reasonable and prudent person in the same position have shared that subjective belief now absent in Interview with the truck driver will have to presume that he had a subjective perception of an imminent deadly force threat.
Certainly the reasonableness of such a perception seems well founded, the driver did not see two men who were actually armed with bananas and mistakenly and unreasonably perceive that the bananas were handguns. He saw two men with a parent handguns threatening him with deadly force. So we can check off the element of reasonableness for the pickup driver as well. So, with all five elements checked off for the pickup driver, innocence, imminence, proportionality, avoidance and reasonableness, have all the legal conditions been met for the driver to use deadly defensive force against these two men?
I would suggest the answer to that question is yes, of course, even with the driver possessing all the legal requirements for the use of deadly defensive force, I want to remind you of my caveat at the beginning, that if you can avoid the confrontation consistent with the safety of innocent persons without having to use it threaten force. That’s a huge win, grab it with both hands. Don’t get into fights you don’t need to get into. Don’t forget about those sociopathic prosecutors, you don’t want to be in their grasp if you can safely avoid it. It is wildly better to be safely at home and at work and with your family and going fishing and living life without a threat of massive criminal liability and perhaps a lifetime in jail. In prison, as I presume this pickup driver has because he ended up not running anybody over. It’s wildly better to be in that position then do have unnecessarily not compelled by the mandate of personal safety have driven over some jerks standing in the road waving guns around just because some might argue they deserve it. criminal justice system is not about what other people deserve.
Okay, folks, before I proceed on to our questions, I do want to mention if you like this kind of content, boy, do we have a treat for you a couple of times a year. We host our last self defense level one class, live online class.
Law of Self Defense LEVEL 1 Live Online Course: Sat., Oct. 3, 2020
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This is our live full-day course taught in a webinar format, taught live by me, not a recording, so there’s plenty of opportunity for live Q&A, but streamed directly to your computer, laptop, or tablet. So you don’t have to travel anywhere. I don’t have to travel anywhere.
This is the most in-depth education available anywhere on self-defense law. And I include law school in that, folks, law schools do not teach this stuff at anywhere like this depth. In my three years of law school, I got a few minutes of self-defense law education. That was it.
In our LEVEL 1 Live Online Course self-defense law is taught in plain-English, so you need not be concerned about the class being too technical, the course is perfectly appropriate for everybody.
We answer more than 100 very specific self-defense law questions during the course. I expect most of you don’t know the answers to most of those questions. Indeed, I expect many of you don’t even know the most of the right questions, which is a terrible place to be.
We have ONE more of these courses in 2020, folks, on Saturday, October 3. And after that, it’ll be months, well into 2021, before you have the opportunity to take another one. In fact, we’re probably only doing two of these LEVEL 1 Live Online Courses in 2021. And when the seats for these are gone, folks, that’s the end of this opportunity.
Now, the current early-bird price for a ticket to that October 3 Level 1 LIVE ONLINE Course is $149 per person ($50 off the usual price). But we know that many of you are prudent enough to understand that you can’t necessarily wait until October 3 to learn the legal boundaries of self-defense law—after all, it’s the bad guy who determines the time, place, and manner of attack, not us. What if you’re attacked in September? Or TONIGHT?
So, we’ve set up a special bonus package that gets you not only a ticket to the Level 1 LIVE ONLINE October 3 Course, but immediate access to much of that content.
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Collectively that’s $600 worth of Law of Self Defense education, insight, and expertise, and it’s available to you for ONLY $249—that’s right only $100 more than the early-bird ticket to the October 3 Level 1 LIVE ONLINE Course by itself.
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Okay, folks, let’s begin to get to the questions now. The first one is going to be kind of quick, because I’ve already answered it elsewhere. So I’m going to point you to where I’ve answered it, but someone sent in the inquiry. Hey, these violent mobs that have been in the Portland city center, doing their rioting, looting and arson, are now beginning to expand outside the city center into neighboring communities, residential communities threatening those communities have threatened to do well what they’ve done inside the city center, rioting, looting, and arson, and what are those homeowners, those residents in those communities supposed to do? Well, the good news folks is we’ve already done an entire course on this subject. It’s our course on, believe it or not entitled lawful defense against rioters, looters and arsonists.
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Alright, let me dive now into the other more substantive questions. So we got a question from a platinum protection member, asking about the use of unusual non deadly force weapons, things like paintball guns that fire pepper balls, smoke grenades, if you’re in your home and you see a mob of protesters coming down the street. Maybe they’re protesters, maybe they’re obstructive protesters. Maybe they’re violent protesters. Maybe they’re rioters, looters arsonist, you may not know yet but you’d like to be able to deter them from occupying your street in front of your home. We’ve all seen the footage of buildings being set ablaze, cars being set ablaze. Even police officers being subject to deadly force attacks. We’ll come back to that in a moment.
We don’t want to be subject to those we don’t want to rise and children to be subject to those we don’t want our home set on fire. So what can we do in terms of deadly for self defense and some of these deadly force means that have reached like a pepper gun that fires pepper balls as opposed to a can of saber red that sprays 20 feet however much it sprays. Ideally, you’d like to be able to say in the protection of your home and kind of reach out and touch the protesters in a non deadly force way. Well, the answer is, strictly speaking, the same legal standards apply as always, we have the five elements or self defenses, we just stepped through them except in this case in the non deadly force context.
Now, we do need to be careful in the non deadly force context to maintain proportionality within that non deadly force bucket I mentioned earlier that really All deadly force is equivalent to all deadly force once deadly force is authorized, the law doesn’t really care what the form of that deadly force takes. That’s not true of non deadly force, there is a continuum of force within the non deadly force. Someone pressing their finger against your chest, non deadly force, technically a simple battery unlawful, but it’s a lesser degree of force than if they punch you in the face. Most of those are both both of those I should say maybe non deadly force. But clearly the punch is more force than the finger poke to the chest.
Also, when we talk about any kind of unusual weapons, even in the context of non deadly force weapons, as a general principle, you want to look like as boring a defender as possible. The more unusual or bizarre you look, the more you look like a theatrical opportunity for a prosecutor. And if you think a prosecutor doesn’t like the theater of the courtroom, at least a little bit more He probably wouldn’t be in that job if he didn’t like it. So you don’t want to be attractive you want to maintain as low profile as possible, as boring a presentation as possible. Odd, unusual, bizarre defensive tools. And it could be almost anything that’s unusual. For example, if you have a, a 40 millimeter mortar that punches out non deadly for smoke grenades, right, or non deadly force, pepper, spray grenades, well, that’s going to look pretty unusual and bizarre. And that will definitely attract attention and you don’t want attention, you want not attention. S
o, so long as you can consistent with safety be boring. And frankly, it’s not clear to me what these unusual non deadly defensive tools get you in terms of actually being able to better protect yourself, your your home, your family, from what really matters which are not the non deadly force. Threats but the deadly force threats. Of course, that’s another whole subject that we cover in those combination of courses I just mentioned that are currently on sale for 75% off those combination of courses, lawful defense against rioting, looting, and arson and defense of property answers all this and much more detail than we can possibly cover in this show several hours of content.
Alright, let me proceed then to the next questions and then from a platinum protection member, and that is what about the use of weapon mounted lasers as non deadly defensive weapon so we’ve all seen now in the news protesters, riders using arguably deadly force lasers lasers capable of causing blindness blindness is deadly force folks using lasers in a deadly force manner as deadly force against law enforcement officers. Now I get a lot of questions. Well, what’s the appropriate response to that?
Well, if deadly, force is being used against you and the other elements of self defense has been meant deadly defensive force should be appropriate you’re not required to stand there and get blinded by some lunatic with a laser. Now there are practical complications of that of course the effect of a laser it doesn’t leave you know, other than the eyeball Of course itself of course if you’re blinded well that’s evidence you were blinded but it doesn’t near miss doesn’t scar your skin for example, it doesn’t burn buildings, there’s not brass casings all over the floor. So the the effects the evidence of it having been news can be translated. Also, of course, if you’re facing a mob, you don’t really know who in the mob is shining the laser. If there’s lots of people shining lasers who’s shining it you. You could make an argument that they’re acting as a mob, but therefore collectively responsible. That’s not an argument you want to make if you don’t have to. I mean, the best advice again, is as always, don’t be there be someplace else. If you’re law enforcement and you have to be there, brother, sister, you’ve got my sympathies. And I hope that they come up with some protective eyewear for you or a allow you to respond effectively to neutralize that threat, which very well might require deadly force.
Under the black letter of law if someone’s using a laser to literally blind you, or is eminently about to do that deadly defensive force would be justified. But what about the lasers we might have in our pistols, right many of us carry concealed I carry concealed. I’m not a big fan of lasers, but that’s a personal preference. You’ve got a surefire laser or some other manufacturer laser on your concealed carry pistol. Can you use that laser as a non deadly weapon against a prospective aggressor? Well, the answer is in theory, yes. I mean, even those lasers and I’ve seen them they have labels on them saying don’t shine it in your eyes. So I have to believe even those lasers are capable of causing perhaps permanent eye injury
If not, blindness, then PERS permanent deficiency of vision, or sustained the efficiency of vision or damaged division, which even if transience if it’s sustained enough might qualify as serious bodily injury and therefore fall in the deadly force bucket. But another issue you have of course is if the the lasers mounted coaxial with your muzzle as is normally the case. Well then you’re muzzling the person to you threaten them with the muzzle of your gun. Are you threatening them now with deadly force? Does that the independent of the laser create a deadly defensive force situation in which you have to justify that on the basis of you’re facing a deadly force threat.
Also, another factor to consider is we all know that lasers are being used in a deadly force way meaning in a manner readily capable of causing serious bodily injury blindness to other people. Currently, mostly law enforcement, but civilians as well non law enforcement as well. We’ve all seen the footage of that. Also. If you start trying shining your laser around how is anybody around you so much To know, that’s one of the good lasers and not one of the bad lasers, and they perceive it as a bad laser, and they perceive it as an imminent threat to their own eyesight.
You know, a lot of these crowds are a mix of rioters and peaceful protesters. If you are perceived by a peaceful protester, as imminently about to blind them with your laser because they don’t know it’s a quote unquote harmless laser, does that privilege them to use deadly defensive force against you? Is that the situation you want to be in? Because it’s quite possible for two people to be facing each other, each, maybe incorrectly perceiving that the other represents an imminent deadly force threat that justifies their use of deadly defensive force and they can shoot each other and they can both be wrong, but they can both be reasonable in their perception and therefore are both lawful in shooting each other.
This is not uncommon in playing close encounters between police officers who are not familiar with each other. It’s not a common an active shooter events for cops from different departments or agencies to show up and see they’re looking for a guy with a gun, they see a guy with a gun and playing clothes and they shoot them. It turns out, well, it was a plainclothes cop. So, again, it’s these kinds of complications, ambiguities, uncertainties that are just another layer on top of the rationale for simply not being there. Personally, the use of a laser mounted to my personal defensive weapon as a non deadly tool would would not be my first choice.
Now, there is an alternative Of course, because in addition to these deadly force, blinding lasers and the supposedly non deadly force, non blinding lasers, we also have things like flashlights that strobe now I can tell you, it’s very different to be behind a strobing flashlight, and to be the target of a strobing flashlight, especially at night. These strobing flashlights are very disorienting, and of course, it’s impossible for them to cause any kind of damage to anyone’s So that would be my choice before I were using something like a laser to attempt to blind somebody.
Next question, also from a platinum Protection Program member, and we’re getting to the last few minutes, folks. They say, all right, Andrew, in your courses, I took your course, you spent about an hour talking about how to interact with the police in the aftermath of the use of force event. And, folks, by the way, if you haven’t taken that course, there’s a lot more subtlety to this than most people think. I mean, for example, you’re not going to have just one interaction with the police or one type of interaction with the police, you’ll have at least three distinct types of interaction will please 911, the responding officers and the investigative officers and they’re all different in important ways. And they all need to be treated differently by you.
Also, many people are not aware that there are circumstances in which your silence to responding officers can be used against you in court. So folks, if all you know about interacting with the police in the aftermath of a user Force event is that YouTube video with the law professor who just says never talked to the police period. I mean, that’s one way to go. But if that’s all, you know, you don’t have a well informed understanding of police interaction period. Now, in terms of what your spouse should do, you’ve taken the class, you’ve heard my hour long lecture in interacting with the police, but your spouse wasn’t in the class.
So what should you tell them to do? Well, folks, it’s really kind of the same. It’s the same issues, how do they respond to stress? Just like how do you respond to stress you’ve taken if you’ve taken my course you’ve taken a professionals approach to understanding how to interact with the police, your thoughts through your planning for it as if it’s definitely going to happen someday? Is your spouse doing that too? I rather doubt it or they would have been in the class too. So if they’re not doing that, if they perhaps don’t respond well under stress, we’re talking life threatening stress. So it’s, it’s no
I don’t mean to be offensive when I say they don’t respond. Well, to stress. Most of us won’t. I’ve told you just now in this class how people respond to the stress of just a simulator that we use in our live courses. But if they don’t respond well under stress, or they’re not willing to invest the effort, the time thought to take a professionals approach to interacting with the place, then probably the smartest move is for them to say nothing to tell the officers that they’re going to defer to you to make any statements. They can do that now. Might the officer be privileged to talk about the fact that that’s what your spouse said at the time? Yeah, but I see that as less damaging than certainly less damaging than if your spouse simply starts to blather to the cops, maybe with imperfect understanding of what actually happened, maybe not having seen everything that you saw, those statements are certainly going to be admissible against you in court. So either I would urge your spouse to come take a class attend our live online course on Saturday, October 3. Think these things through to take that professionals approach or They’re not willing to do that. Really don’t say anything. Just defer to you on what to say.
Finally, the last question we have here is can defense lawyers object to the prosecution statements during closing arguments? It’s kind of a technical nuts and bolts question, but it has some important implications. So the answer is that yes, of course, your defense attorney can object if they have grounds for objecting to things the prosecutor is saying, during their closing arguments, especially by the way, if the prosecutor is actually misstating, the law for the jury, which is not uncommon in use of force cases, self defense cases, often the prosecutor doesn’t, frankly, really understand use of force law very well. So they may be misstating it not out of malice but out of ignorance. And you don’t want to be sentenced to 20 years because a prosecutor, however well intentioned, gave the jury bad law.
Hopefully your defense lawyer knows the law so they know enough to object when that happens. But a second reason is not only do you not want the prosecutor to do that, but if he does it, you want to reserved that issue for appeal. Now, appeal is not where you want to be folks appeal is a very bad place. It’s not a redo of the trial. At the trial, you are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. But if you’re on appeal, it’s because you’ve been convicted, you were proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Now, all the legal presumptions are against you, you’ve lost that presumption of innocence. So being on appeal is a bad place. But if you have to be there, then you want a solid foundation for your appeal as possible. And that means making sure your lawyer was smart enough to preserve those issues for appeal at a trial. And typically those issues are preserved by the lawyer saying I object and then giving presumably a basis for the objection. errors that are made of trial, genuine, true errors. mistakes that are made of trial that are not preserved by an appeal, by an objection are generally not appealable folks, unless there’s something of constitutional magnitude, and even if they are, if constitutional matter magnitude preserved errors objected to errors of constitutional magnitude get a much more favorable review than the exact same error that was not preserved by an objection.
So make sure you have the highest level of actual not just apparent or hoped for but actual legal expertise on your defense team is possible because things like a failure to object can not only let bad law or bad evidence get in front of the jury when it shouldn’t be there. It can also do any prospect for appealing your conviction after the fact. And speaking of having genuine expertise on your legal team. Last thing I’d like to mention before I look at the comments in well in the comments, and that is the loss of defense Platinum Protection Program.
Platinum Protection Program
Okay, folks, so we’re talking about all these politically motivated prosecutions, the cost of prosecution and that brings me to the point where I’d like to mention something else we can offer from Law of Self Defense to touch on both those points. And that is our Platinum Protection Program.
So, the Law of Self Defense Platinum Protection Program combines two of our most popular programs into one. The first thing it does is it guarantees my availability to be on your legal defense. The truth is, folks, that given my time commitments, most of the cases that come into my office that request a legal consultation, we have to say no to. I just I don’t have the time. Frankly, from my perspective, these consultations are among the least productive uses of my time. We almost cannot afford to do them for clients.
So very frequently, we have to tell people I’m sorry, we just we simply can’t help you on your case.
Unless that person who calls is a member of our Platinum Protection Program. If they are, we drop everything to work on their case immediately. And immediately is important folks, it’s almost like treating cancer, the sooner you can get in and engage the prosecution with your narrative of defense, self-defense justification, the more likely it is that you’ll be taken off that track to trial. Once the prosecutor’s got a year, two years, three years invested in your prosecution, it’s very difficult to get those charges dismissed at that point.
So, the more resources you can bring to bear sooner, ideally immediately after the event, the less likely it is you’ll be charged less likely it is you’ll be indicted, the less likely it is you’ll be prosecuted in the first place.
So that’s the first thing you get from the Platinum Protection Program, is my guaranteed participation on your legal team. By the way at no additional cost beyond what you’ve paid for your membership. My legal consultations normally cost many thousands of dollars. But if you’re a Platinum Protection Program member, that’s all covered. You don’t need to spend an additional Penny beyond your membership.
The other thing you get from the Platinum Protection Program is Platinum-level access to all our Law of Self Defense blog posts, videos, podcasts, and we do that partly for selfish reasons, because the more informed you are about the law, the less likely you are to need our legal consultation in the first place.
So we try to do both we try to provide you with the educational materials and insight you need to make better informed, more confident, more decisive, more lawful decisions in self-defense, in part so you’ll be less likely to get in trouble in the first place.
But if you do end up facing legal jeopardy, you’re guaranteed to have us on your legal team.
So if any of that sounds of interest, I encourage you to learn more by clicking the image or link below:
Alright, folks, that is the heart of today’s show. Let me go through the comments. Now. As always, we first go through the comments In the law of self defense members area at our blog members come first. Oscar asks if I’ll be presenting attack con 2020. I don’t know Oscar, it’s it’s, um, up to Tom and Lynn. I was invited to speak again attack on this last year. But obviously that well, this this year, I guess earlier this year would have been, that obviously got derailed because of COVID. I’m not sure what the plans are moving forward. I’m not sure if they’re planning to do something online or rescheduling the live event or if I’ll be invited to speak at either of those. If you’d like me to speak, you might ask Tom and Lynn if they’d like me to do that. Obviously we all get along great. But all these you know, these events are very complicated to run.
So certainly, I wouldn’t take it personally if if the changing circumstances made it not viable for me to be there. I talk about this stuff every day regardless, folks, so it doesn’t really matter to me, but If I could contribute value to tech con 2021 for next year, certainly I’d be happy to be there. For Tom and Lynn. Alright, that’s really all the questions from the members. So that was brief. Let me scroll through the comments now and questions from Facebook. Lots of people here. Yes, Shauna, the gentleman who pointed the shotgun at the officers, I believe that was in roxboro, North Carolina. Let’s see.
Okay, I’ll um, I should have some little game show music playing in the background, right as I’m scrolling through these so you guys don’t have to listen to pure silence. Anthony asks, so in these Ryan’s situations where the police protecting citizens from riders brandishing their weapons in a threatening manner. This This would be the two men with the guns in front of the pickup truck. Folks, there is nobody. There’s nobody. There’s really nobody ever. You’re not going to be attacked. When there’s a cop standing next to you, the cops show up after the fact that’s not a knock on them. They’re only human. That’s all they can do. And particularly in these kind of riding situations, one, often they’re overtaxed. They don’t have the resources to send and if you call them, they’ll tell you, nobody’s coming. We don’t have the resources or especially in these urban centers with these sociopathic prosecutors, and, and government. They’re literally told they’re prohibited from responding. So they’re not coming, folks. They’re not coming anytime soon if they’re coming at all. So don’t expect that as always, you are your first responder and that’s even more the case in these riding situations.
Guy asks if we still sell our quarterly so for several years, we would take all our content, our videos and podcasts, burn them onto DVDs and CDs every quarter every three months and make those available as a separate product. We stopped doing that guy. So the content is still available. But it’s available in its normal digital form on our website, but only for members law, self defense members. And frankly, for the costs that people were paying for the quarterlies. They may as well be a member for 10 bucks a month and they get all that same content. So there really was no no reason anymore to offer it separately. And frankly, burning DVDs and shipping things and packaging things. It just gets too costly and inefficient.
Ray asks, What do I get as a member Ray, I would point you to law self defense comm slash trial sign up for the trial 99 cents, check it out. See if you like it. The experience is the best way to understand what you’re going to get rather than than me spending a lot of time talking about him. re asked Do I get all your content as As a member, the answer would be no, you get our ongoing stream of video blogs, podcasts and blog posts, and then occasional bonus content as well. So for example, our members got our newest course on lawful defense against writing, looting and arson for free. It’s just in their member area, so they didn’t have to pay anything for that hundred dollar course. But we don’t do that for every course. So I don’t want to give that expectation.
Let’s see. How long is the sale on the class? Well, if you mean the combo 75% off on the lawful defense against riders, looters and arsonist class, and the defense of property class, we’re running our sale this week. So if you’re interested in taking advantage of that, this would be the week to do it. Our expectation our schedule for marketing is next week, those are up to back up to their normal price of $100 apiece. So if you’d rather pay for 95 rather than 199 90 this week would be the week to get those two courses.
Henry says he took the person course a couple years ago said he liked it. Thank you very much, Henry. I appreciate that. We don’t do we used to do 40 to 45 live courses in person courses every year, folks, I was traveling that much. We don’t do that anymore. For obvious reasons we had stopped even before COVID. If you want a live class taught now, it’ll be this live online format that we do a couple times a year.
Let’s see. Forest asks if the 75% off courses are DVD or streaming their streaming forest. Okay, folks, I think that is all I have for all of you. Let me see. I got a couple of questions from
One question on the YouTube so it looks at the YouTube streamed properly this time first time ever Great. So Floyd asks, How can an elderly person on the issue of having to retreat from a confrontation? How can an elderly person particularly with a clear disability be required to retreat? Well, the law takes that into account.
So whether or not it would be reasonable for you to retreat is a function of the totality of the circumstances what the train is like, Is there a safe avenue for treat but also takes into consideration in terms of the reasonableness of the path of retreat, your particular abilities or disabilities, if you’re older, you’re going to be less quick as I’m learning every year less quick than you were when you were younger. So what might be a safe Avenue retreat for a young healthy fit person very well may not be a safe Avenue retreat for an older person.
And by the way, this can apply by extension to defensive other situation so you might be young and fit and healthy and able to flee at speed on foot. But maybe you’re with a small child, or maybe you’re with an elderly parent. You’re not required to leave them behind. So your rate of retreat is now limited to whatever their rate of retreat is. And that would be taken into consideration as well. All right, folks, I think I’ve answered all the questions.
So a bit over an hour now, which I try to avoid. But thank you very much for joining us. Again, I appreciate it all. If you’d like to send them a question for our consideration for the next news and q&a show next week.
That would be I suppose, August 20. Thursday 4pm Eastern Time live, then I would encourage you to email that to us at show at law of self defense Comm. If you are a platinum level member of law, self defense at your membership page, you’ll find a premier q&a forum where you could submit your questions they get priority. And if you ask for a private response, I’ll provide a response to you privately as well through that form.
But if you are a platinum member, take advantage of that forum because your questions get answered first.
Okay, folks, That’s all I have for you today. Until we meet again just remember if you carry a gun so that you’re hard to kill and that is why I carry a gun. I have my entire adult life so that I’m hard to kill so that my family is hard to kill. If you carry that gun so you’re hard to kill you also owe it to yourself and your family to make sure you know the law so that you are hard to convict.
Alright folks, until next time, I am Attorney Andrew Branca for Law of Self Defense. Stay safe.