Post Shoot-Out Trauma

One of the major law enforcement executives’ associations recently realized…

One of the major law enforcement executives’ associations recently realized that it needed to update its recommended protocols for handling OIS (Officer-Involved Shooting) investigations. One of the many they reached out to was attorney Steve Harris from South Florida, who appreciates cops enough that he spends a considerable amount of his time giving them advice at no charge. Going over the recommendations he gave the organization, I thought readers would be interested in hearing just a few of them.

Interviews
Recommends Harris, no interview for 36 hours, and then only after officer has opportunity to consult with attorney.  If desired, attorney makes sure state law is followed and can be present during all interviews.

Amen to that. In Case One, both the officer who fired and the partner who didn’t were “grilled” intensively after details in the tense aftermath of a fatal OIS. Neither really had time to “catch their breath” from their near-death experience. The partner, attempting to satisfy an authority figure’s demands to specify distance “took a guess.” The guess was predictably off, and a prosecutor took that and ran with it, charging the officer who fired with Manslaughter and the officer who guessed at the distance with Perjury. Both were ultimately acquitted, but only after arduous legal ordeals.

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