First of all, thanks for all the well-wishers who gave the heartfelt "Glad you and your familiy is safe."
It means a lot to me.
In any state that allows a CCW, I committed no crime. I hesitated telling everybody about this very real occurrence, because I knew that my friendship with my previous police officers co-workers would be questioned as a "free pass" to act however I wanted. Fair statement and I can see why it would come up.
One of the comments was "If it were a civilian that the police didn't recognize wasn't a threat wouldn't they arrest you and confinscate your weapon until they sort out what happened? Just wondered how it would work in that situation."
Short answer is more than likely not.
A. The gun was put away before any officer(s) arrived. I put it away on the possible chance that the responding officer wouldn't recognize me. I would not fault him/her if he drew down on me had I still been holding the weapon. That is an officer safety issue and he/she should take all precautions.
B. I was in danger at the moment I drew the weapon. You do not have to wait to see a gun before you can defend yourself, a gun doesn't even need to be part of the bad guys arsenal. He was driving a 3000 lb weapon and was within 3 feet of hitting me head on. This exact circumstance has been tested hundreds of times in various courts. I was cleared criminally when I had to actually shoot someone under this similar scenario. I won a civil case brought against me for the same case also. Civil cases only require a "preponderance of the evidence (50% or more). Criminal cases are, of course, "beyond a reasonable doubt."
C. You cannot make an arrest just to "sort out what happened." Probable cause is very clearly defined in cases such as this. It would mean a short career for an officer to operate like that. TV hasn't helped this misconception much. We were taught very early in the Academy that you cannot "unarrest" someone. Any attorneys out there can chime in. If the officer later determined that I had in fact committed a crime, he/she could seek an arrest warrrant from a judge or an indictment from a grand jury. Many arrests do not occur the same day the crime occurs.
Also I'll address this; "I think, at a minimum, it's safe to say that a non-LEO wouldn't have made it to the fireworks display that evening."
I can't agree with that either. An officer should do as thorough an investigation as possible within reason and before letting victims/witnesses/and suspects go anywhere. We were there over 45 minutes. Since there were unrelated witnesses who told the officer exactly what they saw and these witnesses did not know me from Adam, I guess there wasn't too much in question. Remember that, among other things, the suspect was drunk, unlicensed, illegal, carrying false ID, and admitted that he was leaving the scene because he didn't "want to get in trouble." The totality of the circumstances is what the officer has to rely on, not that "Goatdog is an ex-coworker, so he must be right."
I worked several incidents where firearms were actually discharged, people were shot, and took the report at the scene. In 1985 in Kansas, a young man did a home invasion on my first wife and I. He ended up on the living room floor with #6 game loads from a Mossberg 20 ga in his chest (he was in the hospital for 3 weeks, but fully recovered). The responding deputies took the report at my coffee table and got 10-8. I received a summons to court about six months later and he pleaded guilty. Paid restitution for my broken door and stereo.
"After thinking about this, and not knowing what city/state you were in, I was wondering to what degree do you think you got the pass from the responding officer because she knew you, rather than busting you for "brandishing", or even "ADW"? I'm thinking most of us would get busted to be sorted out at the station. Your thoughts?"
I don't feel a "pass" was involved at all. I've had the distasteful duty of arresting other officers in my same agency for DUI and Domestic Assault. I even had to take in a respected officer for a drug charge. Do officers sometimes look the other way...hell yes they do, they have discretion granted by Federal, State, and Local laws. That discretion is not to be taken as a license to ignore non-cop victims. Being an ex-cop from that jurisdiction does not give me free reign to run around brandishing weapons or assaulting people. If you are falsely arrested, you have a lawsuit that you can win. The officer is smart to "secure" the scene, but to hastily snatch up a law abiding citizen, arrest him/her and take them downtown would be career suicide.
I know that some of you may have doubts about what I just wrote. Just remember this; I refuse to be a victim and always will. If the courts later determine that I was wrong at least I was alive to be told so. Learn these words and you will do yourself a lot of good. "I was in fear for my life and the lives of my loved ones." Everyone has a different point where we recognize danger, I know that a car will flat out mangle a human being...I need no further justification in my head.
"Now for the sad part.
He will be out on bail. Not show up to court, And stay in the country untill he kills someone. Then this will repeat it self. "
This part is SO TRUE. The court system is broken. Badly. At least that night he would not be able to hurt anyone else.
I am not offended by any of your valued opinions, I just want you to know, at least in my old jurisdiction, we couldn't get away with that kind of blatant favoritism. The CALEA cerification would have been pulled and it would tarnish the agencies image. Again, television hasn't helped this kind of misperception.
Finally, do I second-guess my actions? Yes. I always replay any action in my head and with others who may be involved. That is how we get better and learn to not do the wrong thing over and over again.
And had I thought of it Pathfinder, yes I might have said "No se mueva or I will keel you!"
Thanks for the adult level discussion and allowing me to explain my POV.