Seattle Shooting and the 21 Foot Rule

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This is a tragic and sad story for all involved, and there are no real winners in this case.  I usually write about guns, gear and tactics, but I have been asked by people to touch on this case that has been sweeping the nation since it ties in with my recent blog on the 21 foot rule.

Ok, there are facts, not so facts and lies.  Only 3 people know all three in this case.

Here are the “reported” facts of the case

  • Liles was arrested on June 5th for Harassment, obstruction of a public official and harassment of a LEO.
  • Ms Liles was armed when she was arrested June 5th with a large pair of scissors or shears.
  • June 18th Liles called police to report a burglary.
  • Liles was 2-3 months pregnant.
  • Liles has a history of mental illness.
  • Liles failed to obey the 2 officers SHOUTED orders to “get back” shouted repeatedly by both officers.
  • Liles was shot by both officers while 3 of her children were home.
  • Liles was pronounced dead on the scene.

Ok, now we can all listen to the audio recorded of the altercation and can hear the event as it unfolded.  However, we can NOT see what unfolded.  The pleas from friends and family are that police should have used a taser or other less lethal options.  Also, the police should not have shot mentally ill pregnant mother in front of her children.

Well, as I stated earlier, this is a tragedy that these children will not have their mother in their lives-EVER.

BUT, I want to get to the heart of the matter.  I just wrote a blog on the 21 foot rule, regarding knives and guns and I also wrote about complying with LEO’s orders.

I could care less that her children were in the house, or that she was pregnant, or that she was small in stature, or that she was black.

I guess the officers should have escorted the children out of the apartment and let Ms. Wiles have her baby to make sure everything was on the up and up.

I care that she was armed with a deadly weapon, charged officers, didn’t comply with the officers’ orders’ and she put herself in this position while she was pregnant with her children at home.  Let’s lay some responsibility on her shall we?!?!?

Now, before you write me off as some heartless, blood thirsty lunatic, hear me out.

Do I agree that the officers should have had a less lethal weapon out and ready to use?  ABSOLUTLEY.  Supposedly their batteries were out in their tasers.  This is completely unacceptable.  Officers conduct an equipment check every time they put their belt on for duty.  I guarantee you they checked to make sure their pistols were loaded and spare magazines were topped off.  Obviously this was over looked.  Could they have used OC spray or a rapid deployment baton?  Possibly, but there is no guarantee those will work either.  Then, you will have 2 white officers beating a pregnant, mentally ill black woman with sticks, in her house in front of her children.  As I said, it is a no win situation.

There is a 120lb black woman on our tactical team who is a brown belt in Ju Jitsu, who runs a 5:40 mile and can do 10 good pull ups.  She is very small in stature, but when she gets you to the ground, she WILL submit you and can hurt you in a hurry.  BUT, just to look at her you would think, I can put her in my pocket.  I have stood beside this woman and fought alongside her on several uses of force.

Don’t be lulled into thinking small in stature means ANYTHING.  In my experience the really big muscled up guys are far easier to deal with than a 150lb man who is on drugs or fueled by emotional rage.

Now, if you have never been to an edged weapon training, you need to keep quiet when it comes to discussing what you do not know.  What you are taught from day one is, you will more than likely get cut-even if you shoot the knife wielding assailant.

Disarming someone with a knife is an absolute LAST resort, with a very low chance of success.  I certainly don’t want to turn my back on the knife to run, so what are my options?  This is why we carry isn’t it?!?!?!   To stop a deadly threat?!?!?!

Ms. Liles sister Monika Williams asked “why didn’t they tase her, they could have taken her down, I could have taken her down”.

Well, why didn’t she?  Or that they should have shot her in a non lethal area?  Here we go, if the police have a reason to shoot you, obviously you have proved you are a deadly threat.  What if they were shooting at her shoulder and missed the charging woman and shot her child?  What then? The officers would be in hot water for missing the woman or failing to make a precise shot.

Guys, this is a sad reality that we live in.  It is easy to armchair quarterback every shoot/no shoot situation.

Just remember, after you pull the trigger YOU will have to justify your decision to a jury of your peers why you chose to use deadly force.

Fortuna Paratus Remunerat= Fortune Favors the Prepared.

Story by Shane Smith

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