Read Books By AWers!

Welcome to the AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler! Please read The Newbie Guide To Absolute Write

editing for authors ad

A publisher or agency using Google ads to solicit your novel probably isn't anyone you want to write for.


Go Back   Absolute Write Water Cooler > Discussion > Story Research: Experts and Interviewees Wanted
Register FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-03-2012, 07:47 PM   #1
Mustafa
New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: right behind you
Posts: 351
Mustafa is well-respected
Do police fire warning shots?

Or not so much.
Mustafa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2012, 08:10 PM   #2
Xelebes
Delerium ex Ennui
 
Xelebes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Posts: 10,686
Xelebes is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsXelebes is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsXelebes is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsXelebes is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsXelebes is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsXelebes is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsXelebes is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsXelebes is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsXelebes is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsXelebes is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsXelebes is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
I'm thinking they wouldn't. They have to account for the trajectory of that warning shot.
Xelebes is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2012, 08:18 PM   #3
lorna_w
grump
 
lorna_w's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,684
lorna_w has a double-platinum reputationlorna_w has a double-platinum reputationlorna_w has a double-platinum reputationlorna_w has a double-platinum reputationlorna_w has a double-platinum reputationlorna_w has a double-platinum reputationlorna_w has a double-platinum reputation
Never, in most jurisdictions. it's against procedure.

I just looked it up, to edit this. I thought never, no way, but there are jurisdiction where they can. If you're setting your story in a real place, call them and ask.
__________________


New novel 85,000/85,000.


I write when I'm inspired, and I see to it that I'm inspired at nine o'clock every morning. - Peter de Vries
lorna_w is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2012, 08:18 PM   #4
Cliffhanger
Banned
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 95
Cliffhanger is on a distinguished road
Only in the movies.
Cliffhanger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2012, 08:35 PM   #5
JimmyB27
Dazed & Confused
 
JimmyB27's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Milton Keynes, UK
Posts: 4,736
JimmyB27 is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJimmyB27 is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJimmyB27 is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJimmyB27 is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJimmyB27 is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJimmyB27 is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJimmyB27 is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJimmyB27 is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJimmyB27 is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsJimmyB27 is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffhanger View Post
Only in the movies.
Even in films, they generally have a megaphone, rather than a warning shot.
"This is the police. You are surrounded. Lay your weapons down and come out of the building with your hands where we can see them."
Probably more effective too.
__________________
Destiny Deceived - Internet serial story. Written by one of the best writers I have ever been.

"Having been an English literary graduate, I've been trying to avoid the idea of doing art ever since. I think the idea of art kills creativity. I think media are at their most interesting before anybody's thought of calling them art, when people still think they're just a load of junk."
Douglas Adams
JimmyB27 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2012, 08:40 PM   #6
Mustafa
New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: right behind you
Posts: 351
Mustafa is well-respected
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyB27 View Post
Even in films, they generally have a megaphone, rather than a warning shot.
"This is the police. You are surrounded. Lay your weapons down and come out of the building with your hands where we can see them."
Probably more effective too.

I meant more in the sense that someone is approaching, say with a knife, from a distance (a dozen or so meters), and they tell they guy to stop or they'll shoot. The guy doesn't stop so they fire a warning shot to show they're serious. No?
Mustafa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2012, 08:50 PM   #7
Amadan
Toaster
 
Amadan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 4,751
Amadan is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsAmadan is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsAmadan is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsAmadan is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsAmadan is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsAmadan is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsAmadan is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsAmadan is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsAmadan is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsAmadan is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsAmadan is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mustafa View Post
I meant more in the sense that someone is approaching, say with a knife, from a distance (a dozen or so meters), and they tell they guy to stop or they'll shoot. The guy doesn't stop so they fire a warning shot to show they're serious. No?
No. If you tell him to stop and the guy keeps coming, you'd be surprised how much ground a crazy person can cover in one second, and even after you shoot him, a person with a knife can keep coming, even if he dies of his wounds afterwards. People have taken many rounds and still charged a cop with a knife. So by the time someone with a knife is within rushing distance, it's already serious. Cops don't point their guns unless they intend to shoot if the suspect does not stop/retreat/drop the weapon.

It's not inconceivable that a cop who really, really doesn't want to shoot someone might violate procedure, but it's a good way to get killed, and he or she would certainly be raked over the coals in the subsequent investigation if it emerges that s/he "fired a warning shot."
Amadan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2012, 08:52 PM   #8
Drachen Jager
Professor of applied misanthropy
 
Drachen Jager's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 13,639
Drachen Jager is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsDrachen Jager is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsDrachen Jager is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsDrachen Jager is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsDrachen Jager is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsDrachen Jager is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsDrachen Jager is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsDrachen Jager is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsDrachen Jager is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsDrachen Jager is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsDrachen Jager is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
Warning shots have a chance of killing bystanders. In the air, it must come down somewhere, at the ground it can ricochet. I was taught (army) to shoot only for the centre of visible body mass.
Drachen Jager is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2012, 09:44 PM   #9
Forlorn Radiance
Thick skin:Check. Published book:?
 
Forlorn Radiance's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 85
Forlorn Radiance is on a distinguished road
I'm in the Navy, not police, so take my advice for what it is worth.

Where I work, warning shots are only authorized with crew serve weapons and rifles. We would never shoot a warning shot with an M9.

Deadly Force is only authorized when the suspect shows ALL of the above criteria: Capability, Opportunity, and Intent.

AND deadly force is the last thing we want to do, we'd rather force you to comply than to kill you. If you charge us with a knife, if you're close enough we may shoot, but honestly, I'm probably going to spray you with OC before you get in that dangerous range.

Hope this helps!
__________________
The 1st Book of the Eden Series: Awakening 53,691/100,000 words
Forlorn Radiance is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2012, 09:49 PM   #10
Soccer Mom
Crypto-fascist
SuperModerator
 
Soccer Mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Under your couch
Posts: 18,632
Soccer Mom is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSoccer Mom is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSoccer Mom is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSoccer Mom is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSoccer Mom is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSoccer Mom is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSoccer Mom is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSoccer Mom is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSoccer Mom is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSoccer Mom is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsSoccer Mom is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
Short answer: no.

Longer version: You don't fire unless you truly feel you need to use deadly force. You don't shoot to wound. You don't fire shots up in the air or off in the distance where they can have unintended consequences. Firing your weapon is a last resort. This is why so many departments use tasers now in order to have a non-lethal option.
__________________
<clickety to see my books


Join us for the Absolute Write-in #AWritein

Marguerite Says...Microwave Peanut Butter Fudge

I also Twitter & Facebook

People think I’m disciplined. It is not discipline. It is devotion. There is a great difference ~Luciano Pavarotti
Soccer Mom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2012, 11:40 PM   #11
Steve Collins
practical experience, FTW
 
Steve Collins's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 211
Steve Collins is well-respected
I'm a UK and US Police Firearms Instructor, the bottom line is no. You shoot to stop a threat , you don't shoot to wound or kill you just shoot to stop the threat. In the circumstances you outline with the man with the knife if he was warned and kept coming he would be shot center mass.
__________________
"We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those that would do us harm" - George Orwell
Steve Collins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2012, 02:56 AM   #12
I survived
practical experience, FTW
 
I survived's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 116
I survived is on a distinguished road
Chicago PD family member

Growing up in a family Chicago PD officers I would tell you legally no, actually well?
I survived is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2012, 02:49 PM   #13
Becky Black
Writing my way off the B Ark
 
Becky Black's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 1,743
Becky Black is a glorious beacon of lightBecky Black is a glorious beacon of lightBecky Black is a glorious beacon of light
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mustafa View Post
I meant more in the sense that someone is approaching, say with a knife, from a distance (a dozen or so meters), and they tell they guy to stop or they'll shoot. The guy doesn't stop so they fire a warning shot to show they're serious. No?
The thing is, does firing a warning shot actually demonstrate that the warning you just gave "if you don't stop I will shoot you" is serious? Because if you say you will shoot someone if they continue, and they do continue and you don't shoot them but do something else instead, then you aren't serious, are you?
__________________
Writer of m/m romance. My novels are available from Loose Id. See more details in my Absolute Write Library thread.
Becky Black is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2012, 03:28 PM   #14
Astronomer
I'm an excellent poofreader.
 
Astronomer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: North Texas
Posts: 508
Astronomer is a shiny, shiny jewelAstronomer is a shiny, shiny jewel
Quote:
Originally Posted by Becky Black View Post
The thing is, does firing a warning shot actually demonstrate that the warning you just gave "if you don't stop I will shoot you" is serious? Because if you say you will shoot someone if they continue, and they do continue and you don't shoot them but do something else instead, then you aren't serious, are you?
This. Besides what experts have already said, a warning shot is an equivocation, not a demonstration of intent. It would be better that the guy rushing you with a knife think you're a bad shot than that you missed intentionally.

Warning shots across an enemy ship's bow notwithstanding.
__________________
-Brian

My Stuff: AndroidAstronomer.com | @AndroidAstro | Google+
Astronomer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2012, 05:19 PM   #15
TNTales
figuring it all out
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 65
TNTales is on a distinguished road
Not an expert, but in modern times I think they would go with the taser or pepper spray if they could.
TNTales is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2012, 07:14 PM   #16
Amadan
Toaster
 
Amadan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 4,751
Amadan is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsAmadan is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsAmadan is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsAmadan is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsAmadan is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsAmadan is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsAmadan is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsAmadan is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsAmadan is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsAmadan is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsAmadan is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
Quote:
Originally Posted by TNTales View Post
Not an expert, but in modern times I think they would go with the taser or pepper spray if they could.

if someone is charging them with a knife, probably not.
Amadan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2012, 07:19 PM   #17
fdesrochers
practical experience, FTW
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Fredericton, NB
Posts: 195
fdesrochers is on a distinguished road
Escalation of Force

As with most military rules of engagement, police forces are typically taught to respect certain escalations of force and to try and restrict them from higher up the threat scales, if possible.

A drunken beligerent doesn't warrant drawing your weapon, let alone a warning shot. Neither does a protest march that has escalated into *some minor* physical property damage. They have response targets to various scenarios. Back in the day they might have fired a warning shot, before the advent of numerous non-lethal methods of escalation (pepper spray, water cannons, tazers, etc). That said the threat levels were likely less severe.

I can't think of **any** scenario a police officer didn't draw his pistol to shoot center of mass to stop an imminent threat to himself or a victim. That said, in a stand-off with people in an armoured Brink's truck, shooting the tires out may be considered as a 'warning shot' of sorts. We're parsing terminology though.

Warning shots of any sort would likely be limited to non-lethal forms of 'coersion' or 'influence.' Heck that's one of the reasons the tazer was developed; the arguements over tazer efficacy as a warning is likely another topic altogether.
__________________
Francois

Blog: http://signalsfromthearc.blogspot.com
fdesrochers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 12:02 AM   #18
Trebor1415
practical experience, FTW
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 454
Trebor1415 has a spectacular auraTrebor1415 has a spectacular aura
In the United States the police are not trained to fire warning shots and, in most cases, are strictly prohibited against firing warning shots by their department policy.

This is primarily because a "warning shot" still has to land somewhere and there is the chance it could cause death or injury to some other person.

Another reason is that in the time it takes to decide to fire a warning shot, fire the shot, and wait to see if the suspect complies, the suspect could attack the officer.

My understanding is this has been the general policy of the vast majority of PD's in the U.S. going back to at least the 1980's or 1970's.

You can find recorded instances of police firing warning shots back in the 50's and earlier, but for anything contemporary, the answer is "No."

Btw, other countries have different policies and it seems warning shots are still used by police in other places either as a regular practice or as part of "crowd control" during a riot, etc.
Trebor1415 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 03:19 AM   #19
ironmikezero
practical experience, FTW
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: LA & TX
Posts: 907
ironmikezero is a glorious beacon of lightironmikezero is a glorious beacon of lightironmikezero is a glorious beacon of light
No warning shots.

If it's time to shoot, put the round where it'll do some good.
ironmikezero is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2012, 01:24 PM   #20
Once!
Still confused by shoelaces
 
Once!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Godalming, England
Posts: 1,414
Once! has earned our admirationOnce! has earned our admirationOnce! has earned our admirationOnce! has earned our admiration
Not an expert, but wouldn't you want to keep your gun aimed at the miscreant at all times? Shifting your aim to get a warning shot off doesn't sound a very sensible thing to do.

As far as I am concerned, an armed police officer facing a dangerous suspect would take aim and then keep that aim locked in whilst negotiating.

I'd also be worried that the sound of the gunshot might spook the bad guy into doing something stooopid.

So no warning shots in real life. You might spin a story about a maverick cop who breaks the rules, Dirty Harry style. But, apart from that, it doesn't feel realistic.
Once! is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2012, 06:17 AM   #21
L.C. Blackwell
Keeper of Fort Blanket
 
L.C. Blackwell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: The Coffee Shop
Posts: 1,619
L.C. Blackwell has a golden reputationL.C. Blackwell has a golden reputationL.C. Blackwell has a golden reputationL.C. Blackwell has a golden reputationL.C. Blackwell has a golden reputationL.C. Blackwell has a golden reputation
Quote:
Originally Posted by Once! View Post
You might spin a story about a maverick cop who breaks the rules, Dirty Harry style. But, apart from that, it doesn't feel realistic.
It's not. Here in the US, you don't draw your weapon unless you're prepared to use deadly force. Once that gun comes out of the holster, the only difference between a dead suspect or a live suspect is whether he chooses compliance or aggression. Which is why the police try their best to keep things from escalating to that level.

Weapons drawn on an unresisting suspect, for example at a traffic stop, usually mean the person is known to be armed and dangerous--thus the threat level has already escalated.

Edit: if Lorna is correct, this is only general and not universal US policy. However, I've never met an officer who would fire a warning shot--it's a stupid thing to do, for a variety of reasons.
__________________
I am sometimes here. You can also find me at: First They Came for the Communists, a human rights blog.

"We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can't think what anybody sees in them.”

-JRR Tolkien
The Hobbit

Last edited by L.C. Blackwell; 05-06-2012 at 06:24 AM.
L.C. Blackwell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2012, 09:09 AM   #22
chevbrock
practical experience, FTW
 
chevbrock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Hunter Valley, Australia
Posts: 967
chevbrock is a splendid one to beholdchevbrock is a splendid one to beholdchevbrock is a splendid one to behold
From another point of view, if you're a wrongdoer about to confront a policeperson forcefully enough for them to draw their weapon, that officer wants you to be very clear that if they need to fire, they will most likely kill you. Not, "maybe they'll fire at me, and maybe they won't."
__________________
"Kicker",

Troy Berrier has the world at his feet. He is about to take the freestyle motorcross world by storm when he wins the world MX-Stream game finals.

But Troy's definition of the word, “life”, is about to be shifted. The ensuing struggle will test his friendships and his faith in himself.

Email christinabatey@y7mail.com
chevbrock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2012, 11:57 AM   #23
Rabe
the living dead
 
Rabe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 597
Rabe has a spectacular auraRabe has a spectacular aura
Quote:
Originally Posted by Forlorn Radiance View Post
AND deadly force is the last thing we want to do, we'd rather force you to comply than to kill you. If you charge us with a knife, if you're close enough we may shoot, but honestly, I'm probably going to spray you with OC before you get in that dangerous range.
As an O.C. instructor, I'm very concerned by the above statement because, in the theorized example given, by the time the suspect comes into effective implementation range of O.C., he's already in the dangerous range.

As for the original question: as a law enforcement officer I will not, ever, do warning shots. Not with my gun, my Taser, my O.C., baton or any other tool I use in the job - except maybe with my citations.

I would give 'warnings' where those are concerned. But nothing else.

Rabe...
__________________
"Oh? And who are you? The primate garbage police?"
Rabe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2012, 01:25 AM   #24
Cavalier
Verschränkung baby!
 
Cavalier's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 25
Cavalier is on a distinguished road
From a logistical point of view, warning shots leave one vulnerable, and in that window, Bad Things Happen.

I believe, and please, law enforcement officers, correct me if I'm mistaken, the officer has to log in every shot they take with their side arm when the day is done. If five bullets were fired, then they need to logged when, where and how. "Warning Shot" might not look good in a report.

At least that's what I got from my own research. And again, if I'm mistaken, I welcome correction.
Cavalier is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2012, 02:39 AM   #25
rugcat
Lost in the Fog
 
rugcat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: East O' The Sun & West O' The Moon
Posts: 12,946
rugcat is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsrugcat is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsrugcat is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsrugcat is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsrugcat is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsrugcat is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsrugcat is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsrugcat is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsrugcat is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsrugcat is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsrugcat is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cavalier View Post
From a logistical point of view, warning shots leave one vulnerable, and in that window, Bad Things Happen.

I believe, and please, law enforcement officers, correct me if I'm mistaken, the officer has to log in every shot they take with their side arm when the day is done. If five bullets were fired, then they need to logged when, where and how. "Warning Shot" might not look good in a report.

At least that's what I got from my own research. And again, if I'm mistaken, I welcome correction.
Another (ex) police officer weighing in.

Situations where firing a warning shot is acceptable procedure: None.

And yes, any time you discharge your firearm, for any reason (outside the range) a full report detailing the circumstances is required.

Not at the end of the day or shift. At the conclusion of the episode, or as soon as is practicable.
__________________
Urban Fantasy rules:Play Dead My Website
rugcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Custom Search

If this site is helpful to you,
Please consider a voluntary subscription to defray ongoing expenses.

Buy Scrivener 2 for Mac OS X (Regular Licence)


All times are GMT +4.5. The time now is 12:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.