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Old 03-23-2012, 08:50 AM   #16
Baron Samedi
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I am interested in the law here.

Since when do cops get to decide not to press charges?

I mean...can I claim temporary insanity and not get arrested or charged?

That's supposed to be for the courtroom.

I have the feeling that the law is fine, but there is smalltown cop abuse going on here.
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:29 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Baron Samedi View Post
I am interested in the law here.

Since when do cops get to decide not to press charges?

I mean...can I claim temporary insanity and not get arrested or charged?

That's supposed to be for the courtroom.

I have the feeling that the law is fine, but there is smalltown cop abuse going on here.

Cops make that decision all the time.

Every time they investigate a crime or incident they have to make an few evaluations.

1) has a crime been committed?
2) Is there any evidence that someone at the scene committed the crime?
3) Is that evidence sufficient to justify an arrest?

#3 isn't trivial since being sued for false arrest happens.

I don't know what evidence the cops saw at the time of the incident, but the question of a cop deciding if there is a reason to arrest or not happens all the time.
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:43 AM   #18
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Cops make that decision all the time.

Every time they investigate a crime or incident they have to make an few evaluations.

1) has a crime been committed?
2) Is there any evidence that someone at the scene committed the crime?
3) Is that evidence sufficient to justify an arrest?

#3 isn't trivial since being sued for false arrest happens.

I don't know what evidence the cops saw at the time of the incident, but the question of a cop deciding if there is a reason to arrest or not happens all the time.
Well, this is certainly true.

But when you have a corpse involved with bullet holes in it..not in anyone's home....the shooter is right there...

Something smells wrong here.
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:00 AM   #19
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Well, this is certainly true.

But when you have a corpse involved with bullet holes in it..not in anyone's home....the shooter is right there...

Something smells wrong here.
If I understand your post, if this happened inside someone's house, then the fact that there was a dead body, it had been shot, and there was little doubt who pulled the trigger, then you understand why a cop wouldn't make an arrest.

Assuming this is true, then that would mean the claim that the person was defending themselves in their home would be accepted.

That's the whole point of why the "Stand Your Ground" law played a role. Under that law, it eliminates the need for the event to occur within the home for the same self defense criteria to apply.

If the acceptance of self defense inside the home is appropriate, then it would also apply outside the home.
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:44 AM   #20
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If I understand your post, if this happened inside someone's house, then the fact that there was a dead body, it had been shot, and there was little doubt who pulled the trigger, then you understand why a cop wouldn't make an arrest.

Assuming this is true, then that would mean the claim that the person was defending themselves in their home would be accepted.

That's the whole point of why the "Stand Your Ground" law played a role. Under that law, it eliminates the need for the event to occur within the home for the same self defense criteria to apply.

If the acceptance of self defense inside the home is appropriate, then it would also apply outside the home.

Well, to be precise, the law PRIOR to "Stand Your Ground" dictated that you had to attempt to flee or escape the danger....

So, if you were in your house, and there was a home invasion, you were required to try to get out of the house if you felt you were in danger.

This, according to NPR's coverage on the radio.

So..I get the Stand Your Ground Law, and support it.

The reason I mentioned the Home, is because I can understand how officers would make the call not to arrest in a home invasion scenario.

If someone breaks into your house, reasonable people would feel they are in danger, and shooting someone who broke in, is, IMO, a reasonable act.

However, IMO...a shooting in neutral ground...meaning ANYWHERE outside of the home, is de facto an act that must be questioned.

Where being in one's home...or even in a hotel room....self defense is a reasonable conclusion for a reasonable person...

Being in neutral ground...whther on the street, in a public place, or whatever...is not so clear about self defense, as BOTH parties have equal claim to be there.

So..the RIGHT TO BE THERE being equal, what is left is to determine WHO was the aggressor.

Without being present at the time of the shooting...there is NO WAY to establish with any certainty who was the aggressor at the time the police arrive at the scene.

Therefore, I find it reasonable to ARREST someone who is deemed to be the shooter, and ESPECIALLY someone who admits to being the shooter.

Public safety, IMO, demands it.

Suppose this guy Zimmerman claims self defense...the cops, giving him the benefit of the doubt and judging him innocent, they let him walk.

Suppose he then walks down the street, shoots the kid's brother who was angry about Zimmerman shooting the first brother?

"HEY! It was self defense! The guy came at me!"

In short...In my view, outside of the home, you ARREST the shooter as S.O.P., and let judges determine bail, and let DA's determine charges.

Stand Your Ground is not the problem.

Implementation of it is the problem.
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:10 PM   #21
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Where being in one's home...or even in a hotel room....self defense is a reasonable conclusion for a reasonable person...

Being in neutral ground...whther on the street, in a public place, or whatever...is not so clear about self defense, as BOTH parties have equal claim to be there.

So..the RIGHT TO BE THERE being equal, what is left is to determine WHO was the aggressor.
So without knowing the circumstances of how person A got into the house or hotel room of person B, you assume person A was the aggressor? Why?

Or more to the point, why is it reasonable to assume that under those circumstances, but not in the other?
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:51 PM   #22
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:51 PM   #23
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So without knowing the circumstances of how person A got into the house or hotel room of person B, you assume person A was the aggressor? Why?

Or more to the point, why is it reasonable to assume that under those circumstances, but not in the other?
I assume person A is the aggressor because they apparently have no cause to enter...unless there is reason to believe otherwise.

"Cause" meaning they live there or have some other reasonable reason. (Sorry for the repetition, my mental thesaurus is already off for the weekend. )

We are not playing juror here, we are playing cop, remember?

Proof is not required...just reason to suspect.
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Who is this self-important instigating douche-bag, anyway?
Dude, Baron has been a valued member of this forum for quite some time.
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:41 PM   #24
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:50 PM   #25
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Hoodies? Is he serious?

Like, I could understand if this was something like blue or red bandanas or something else with obvious gang ties (it would still be silly, just ...less so)
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Old 03-23-2012, 04:01 PM   #26
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Hoodies? Is he serious?

Like, I could understand if this was something like blue or red bandanas or something else with obvious gang ties (it would still be silly, just ...less so)
Hoodies signify you're from da hood
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:02 PM   #27
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I can shoot, yes?
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:32 PM   #28
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I can shoot, yes?
No Skittles .

Sad, sad story. Zimmerman should be in police custody.
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:34 PM   #29
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Without being present at the time of the shooting...there is NO WAY to establish with any certainty who was the aggressor at the time the police arrive at the scene.

Therefore, I find it reasonable to ARREST someone who is deemed to be the shooter, and ESPECIALLY someone who admits to being the shooter.

Public safety, IMO, demands it.
I know very little about the particulars of this case so my comments are based not on this case but rather Baron's post.

I feel that you have it backwards here. If investigators don't know, they don't have probable cause and legally can't make an arrest. Police can't make an arrest if there is no way to establish who was the aggressor. They must have probable cause to arrest which means they must have reason to believe (and the evidence to back it up) that the suspect involved committed a crime and was the person who committed it. OPT is correct. Investigators must prove that a crime was committed and prove who did it. In this case, it sounds like there is plenty of evidence indicating who did it but the evidence to prove that a crime was committed is lacking.

You're suggesting they arrest the man absent probable cause and sort it out in court. That's a violation of the defendant's rights and the case would be dismissed. Any information obtained as a result of that arrest would be suppressed at any later criminal legal proceeding.

I do not know what system is used to investigate homicides (it's not always the police who are the authority) in Florida but if a case exists and there is no probable cause to arrest and the investigators can not determine that the homicide was justified, there are avenues available such as grand jury investigations or coroner's inquests which can examine all the evidence and determine if probable cause exists to bring charges.

For all I know probable cause exists in this particular case but it appears that the investigators either do not think it exists or they feel the case is weak. Maybe the protesters are right and the investigators were inept or corrupt. That doesn't change the need for probable cause to make an arrest.

Investigators in Fla previously arrested Casey Anthony on weak evidence that did amount to probable cause but was weak none the less and were faced with prosecuting her on that evidence. The public demanded her arrest and were placated temporarily by it but in the long run building a stronger case prior to arrest may have been a more appropriate response.

Public safety demands do not trump the rights of suspects even in the most serious of cases and many times waiting and continuing an investigation even if PC exists makes far better sense.

As an exercise:

The elements of burglary (a felony) in Massachusetts are:

1. Breaking and entry in the nighttime;
2. into a dwelling of another;
3. with felonious intent.

Felonies are arrestable upon probable cause.

I am on patrol and dispatched to a call that a man broke into someone's house at 1:00AM. I arrive and the home owner tells me he arrived home and found a drunken man sleeping under his dining room table, woke him up and the man ran off. That's the only information available. He describes the man and I find him and bring him back and the home owner identifies him as the guy who broke into his house. I have plenty of PC that the guy broke into the man's house. Can I arrest him for burglary?

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Old 03-24-2012, 10:40 AM   #30
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Yeah, I think the way it's being handled is almost as outrageous as the story seems to be.

The city council voted no confidence on the police chief tonight. Asked him to step down.

I think the way it was handled is actually more outrageous than the incident itself. I mean, a paranoid probably racist guy with a gun and bad judgement is almost a cliche.

I think what Zimmerman did was possibly first degree murder, but when you track down an unarmed person who is trying to get away from you and shoot them to death and then aren't charged with ANYTHING, the system has clearly failed. Self-defense? Zimmerman weighs 250 and this kid weighed 150 and all he had on him was a bag of skittles and a coke. Even if the kid did get physical, that's understandably how he should react after being stalked and cornered by this big threatening redneck.

Probably no one in here will disagree with that, but they will with this. It's very likely that the ever broadening "stand your ground" kind of gun laws contributed to this. I understand the motivation behind the original "castle doctrine" laws, where people who are legitimately confronted with a late night prowler in their house don't want to face charges for a snap decision they made in the dark while they're startled and terrified.

But, if someone's going to go out in the street and blow people away, they should expect to have a burden of proof that they had a damn good reason for it. Fear of the law should inhibit them from taking that action except in the most dire emergency, and not enhance their sense of justification.
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