You have to wonder how a retired cop who also worked as an investigator for the AG, his son, and a friend of theirs come to the conclusion this was a good idea, or justified, especially considering they called 911 prior to getting in their vehicles and going after him. Not to mention the lack of imminent threat
There is a big back story to this, what I found interesting was that the shooter had been one of the investigators that helped get the victim convicted of a crime years prior to this.
I agree with/follow your statements above, but a couple of things to point out:
- He worked for the DA (local) not AG (state). When the state got the case, they arrested the two.
- There was no threat to life of limb until these idiots inserted themselves
- The local police wanted to arrest the guys at the scene, but were advised not to by the DA.
- The local DA has got a lot of explaining to do and will probably be investigated for prosecutorial misconduct.
- The second DA did NOT find there was no grounds for arrest, but recommended it go to the grand jury…which is on lock down until June 12. I may be wrong, but a DA can’t “order” an arrest, but has to go to the grand jury for an arrest warrant.
- Bottom line is this:These morons are going to jail for a long time. They went vigilante on a person for a “possible” property crime. Even in the most favorable light, they created a situation where a man was illegally killed.
From the USCCA Membership Agreement
This Protection Plan does not apply to and the benefits described in SECTION I – PROTECTION PLAN BENEFITS shall not be available for:
- Criminal Acts
“Bodily injury” or “property damage” arising out of a criminal act by any member or caused by or during any criminal act of any member. This exclusion does not apply to “bodily injury” or “property damage” resulting from an “act of self-defense”.
Isnt there a premise of “innocent until prove guilty” and doesnt this imply that at least the criminal defense portion of the insurance would need to be paid.
Albeit restitution could be sought following a guilty verdict?
But then wouldnt that imply a potential conflict if interest given the insurer could profit more by loosing the case…
This is why I wouldn’t be a good lawyer… I’m too confused…
How would this process play out though? I am fairly certain USCCA would not cover this shooter, but I am curious about the process and decision points… Maybe @Dawn can shed some light?
Presumably, the shooter in this case would say it was in self-defense (i believe he’s already said that). It is only later that video evidence arrived that it is clear it was not self-defense.
Would USCCA cover the shooter until it became obvious that he had committed a crime? Or when they review the facts of the case do they make a determination? When more facts come to light, do they re-evaluate?
Does USCCA make that determination? Or doc they have to wait until it is “official” by a court verdict?
I do apologize, I was reading a lot and got mixed up between the AG and the DA. My longer post showed many of the points you are making except that George Barnhill stated in a letter to Capt Tom Jump that
It appears Travis McMichael, Greg McMichael, and Bryan William were following, in
pursuit of a burglary suspect, with solid firsthand probable cause, in their neighborhood, and
asking/ telling him to stop. It appears their intent was to stop and hold this criminal suspect until
law enforcement arrived. Under Georgia law, this is perfectly legal,
He also stated that
We do not see grounds for an arrest of any of the three parties.
He lastly stated that it would be up to the next DA on how to proceed, the grand jury wasn’t brought up until later.
This was his advice on how to proceed and at one point stated, Myself and one of my Senior Trial Attorneys have
reviewed the evidence extensively and concur on all points.
This was not about the arrest warrant as much as it was his opinion on whether the chief of police should make an arrest. It wasn’t until the GBI reviewed the case which took two days and they decided the suspects should be arrested, and rightfully so.
My much longer post also mixed up the AG and DA, I was writing off of memory and should have been more concise of my wording. I believe two of the DA’s on the case also wanted to see it go to a grand jury but one had to recuse because his son and the shooter were involved in an investigation that helped convict the victim in a previous crime. From my reading it didn’t look like any of the DA’s were wanting to pursue this case and would only go further if the Grand jury indicted when it was a clear violation of their law and an arrest could have been made, as we seen just happened. Once you removed the DA’s office from the decision making.
As a neighbor watch they stopped him. We do that all the time, in fact I did that this week. Ahmaud fit the description of a burglar in the area and was just seen leaving a home under construction that was not his, a felony in GA. There is zero evidence that their was anything race related or the guys were white BS involved. The guys made a mistake having a shotgun in hand when they approached Ahmaud, lawful but not right smart. This creating fear in Ahmaud. Conceal carry could have prevented this.
Georgia §17-4-60. Grounds for arrest: A private person may arrest an offender upon reasonable and probable grounds of suspicion.
Ahmaud saw a shotgun, open carry is legal in GA, and thought he was under an attack, feared for his life and responded to the attack. Any reasonable person could assume this and take the action Ahmaud took. If Ahmaud had a gun he could have drawn and shot the guy and have been justified in doing so. I would have at least drawn my gun and told him to put his shotgun down and maybe shot him. The only difference would be that it would never have made media BS.
Both side have a valid reason for their actions. I could go though the 5 laws of self defense and both sides and show they are justify in their actions. I believe the guys created this problem with open carry of the shotgun, even if their actions were legal. This case fits the “Awful but lawful” case. If you listen to the media, it is all about making news and creating hate.
I only cover the 5 laws of self defense on the guys because they lived to get arrested.
When Ahmaud attacked he started the fight, therefore satisfied the elements of Imminence and Innocence.
When Ahmaud went for the guys gun, Ahmaud turned the fight into a deadly force fight, therefore satisfied the element of Proportionality.
Anyone could be reasonable assume if Ahmaud took the gun he intended to use it, therefore satisfied element of Reasonableness.
Since you can’t outrun a bullet avoidance is not possible, therefore satisfied the element of Avoidance.
Prosecutors only prosecute cases they can win because they are rated on by their wins. The media is pushing to prosecute but the prosecutors know they will not only loose the case but likely destroy their future, so they keep passing it off.
In the FL vs Zimmerman case a prosecutor had to resign, the lead detective got demoted, the FL state investigator quit in discuss and Zimmerman sued FL for 150 million because they prosecuted Zimmerman based on media BS with ZERO evidence of wrong doing. I have link to the case details, make for interesting reading. Zimmerman was one of most clear cut cases are self defense that can be found, he did nothing wrong and everything right.
I’m no lawyer, and don’t know anything about GA state law, but you make what sound like valid legal viewpoints.
If correct, awful but legal may be the case.
It’s still a terrible idea to chase people over simple property issues, no matter what state you live. Just sad. All of it.
This is an interesting post. If what you say is true, many neighborhood watch programs need to re-evaluate how they function. I honestly can’t think of them stopping the man being the right move. I could understand maybe calling the police, but the 911 calls made 0 sense from what I read.
Im a white male, but the The moment a vehicle drives up and stops by me, my alertness jumps up multiple levels. (I couldn’t imagine being a black man, pulled over by a truck with two- older white males (no uniform) holding guns in the open with another vehicle following behind) My immediate reaction would be Who are you, what do you want? Im going to try to run too, and if it comes to not being able to escape, I’m fighting… but I’m armed (I know this is what you said, I agree the shotgun was a HUGE mistake).
I’m not against neighborhood watches, but there have been some very high profile problems with this. The Zimmerman case is what comes to mind. If there is not an immediate/ present violent act going on, neighborhood watches should just be calling the police and maybe taking pictures. They shouldn’t be stopping people or arresting them. Now if you see a man kicking a door down or attacking someone, that is different. LEOs have a hard enough time doing stops, arrests, and justifying there actions.
I can’t agree with you more on the making good weapons carrying citizens look bad to the non 2A people out there in this country. And to make things worse one of them was a retired officer of the law who should have known better. Just goes to show that there are some bad apples in law enforcement that need to be weeded out even retired ones.
Zimmerman did call 911 and did not attempt to confront anyone. He simple stays on the phone with 911 and reported what he saw. He only got out of his truck when the 911 operator ask him where the Martin went. He looked, did not see Martin and went back to his truck as instructed by 911. He was jump my Martin on the way back to his truck. Martin being a 17 year old football player pushed Zimmerman to the ground, mounted him and started banging his head on the side walk. That is when Zimmerman drew his gun and shot Martin.
We stop and question people all the time, we live on a private road. We start with good afternoon, can we help you? Since this is a private road we are wonder if your lost? What beings you to our development? 99% of the time the people check out and all is well. 3% lie and we get the license number and have LE run the tag. 1% are butts that cause a problem, for those we call 911. For all we know these guys intended on doing the same. Stopping to talk to someone should not be cause for an attack by that someone.
The fact they had a shotgun in hand created a problem. In the video of this case the black guy did not allow the white guy to get Hello out of his mouth before he attacked. We have open carry in this state but we still carry concealed so we don’t create a problem where there isn’t one.
The one I stopped last week told me they came to watch the sunset over the mountain. It had rained all day and it was completely overcast. Think this might be a clue something is not as it appears? I told them to leave and they started to get a red neck. I told them I was not going to argue with them but will call 911 and let LE explain it to them.
I haven’t taken a side yet. I’m definitely leaning toward a certain side, but not committed yet as I don’t feel I have enough info. Here’s a video that mirrors that thought and gives some more info (I hadn’t seen this yet) and may change some opinions. I think it’s always best to find the facts first. https://youtu.be/sjCzJyFKoqo
Great questions everyone!
The intent of the USCCA legal protection portion of the membership is to help you legally defend yourself after a physical self-defense situation.
After a physical self-defense incident, please call the police and then call the USCCA. Our Critical Response Team will assist and get an attorney in contact with you as soon as possible after an incident for the immediate needs (police interview, bond, etc.)
There is then a review of the details of the case. If the charges are not related to self-defense, your Membership would not be able to assist you with your defense.
As far as this case goes, I do not have all of the details and am not able to comment on it.
Please remember, self-defense cannot legally be claimed in most states when the threat has ended (the attacker is no longer able to attack or has fled). You also need to be an “innocent” party in the situation. You cannot cause a big fight and then claim self-defense.
I would personally agree with you all who said they would take pictures and call the police. From what I’ve read so far there didn’t seem to be imminent danger of death or grave bodily harm. To me, just because you can defend property with lethal force doesn’t mean you should shoot someone over a piece of property.
I defended a case with some similarities but involved an accidental shooting, not a self defense incident.
I just watched the video and, based on it alone, I cannot guess what the results will be or what really happened leading up to this incident. It does not look like the alleged victim was just jogging by since he turned to the shooter as soon as he got to the front of the truck. But, I cannot tell if there was something that would have made him do it.
Specifically to @Greg35 and @Harvey questions. There is a presumption of innocence under the law. While USCCA/Delta Defense is not , per se, an insurance company, I would expect coverage for the shooter would be provided under a reservation of rights. The company would provide coverage but reserve the right to withdraw benefits if the company determined that the event was not a covered occurrence, an “act of self defense.” The big question would be if the shooter was the initial aggressor or if, as @Dawn noted, he was not an innocent party or they went to track him down.
The typical process in a situation like this would be the company would accept the defense of the case under a reservation of rights, identifying the potential coverage issues that exist. They would then provide a defense to the “insured”, the person claiming coverage and provide legal assistance. Concurrent with this, they would begin their own independent investigation to determine if this was a covered occurrence. If they determine it is covered, the coverage continues through the completion of the case. If they determined that it is not covered, they will usually retain “coverage counsel” to represent the company and institute a “declaratory judgement” action in a civil court, usually within the same jurisdiction but it can be elsewhere, depending on the circumstances. The declaratory judgment is a proceeding for a judge to decide whether or not there is coverage under the terms and conditions of the contract. If the judge decides there is no coverage, the person looses their defense protection. That is until the appeal is filed and it all starts all over again. In Kentucky, an appeal like this takes about 18 months at the Kentucky Court of Appeals and, it it goes to the Kentucky Supreme Court, probably another 2 years.
And even if they are convicted, the criminal case will go up and take several more years. There is a wrongful death case in Kentucky that was filed in January 2008 and after several visits “upstairs” on police officer immunity issues, was resolved in 2016.
Pardon my ignorance, but is there such a thing as a “private” road. When I think road, I think of a road funded by the city or town and is “public” meaning anyone can walk. Every now and then we’ll see someone strange down the street, but if they’re just walking I don’t see why anyone would stop them. If we suspect anything we, watch them and call the police. I fear sometimes strange people are simply strange people wandering, but other times it’s someone new to the area, someone visiting, or someone one hadn’t met. I am concerned that this man was primarily stopped because he was black, and they were looking for a black male (for a crime that was not even on record anywhere from what I’ve read).
Stopping someon on the road and asking them to leave is how the first Rambo movie started .
I assume that bodes poorly for a defendant if their initial counsel bails on them because the insurance company determines it was not an act of self-defense?
The property owners, own the road and HOA dues maintain the roads. No funding comes from county or state. It is listed with the county as private road with public access for invited guests only.
Yes 99% of the time all is OK but we have had known criminals driving though casing homes. Not so much anymore since they know we get car type, plate numbers, pictures of them and they know we watch. Before the neighbor watch also had Ginseng hunters ($1000/oz market value).
Private roads are more common than you might think. I live in a solidly suburban area (depending on where you are from, you might actually consider this “urban”) and live on a private road in a community of townhouses. Our HOA “owns” the road and is responsible for it’s upkeep. I have a friend who lives in a community of single family houses, that does not have an HOA (or similar) and no one maintains the road because its a private road so the county ignores it and the homeowners just look at the potholes and shrug their shoulders because “they” arent paying for it.