Pardon me, but can you spare $50,000.00?
It is a frightening thought: an officer involved shooting (OIS) when everything goes wrong. Not the shoot, mind you. That will be the topic of another blog post. This is something totally different. I’m talking about an OIS when the use of deadly force is appropriate but there is no video, no witness, and the evidence on the scene is not enough to confirm the LEO’s account of events and the justification for the use of deadly force. These are the nightmares of LEOs, command staff and attorneys who stand up for LEOs.
The use of deadly force by a LEO in the performance of her duty is a legal defense to prosecution known as a justification. It is your burden to establish that defense. When the evidence is not sufficient to carry the day, the LEO’s statement becomes critical. Your perceptions, knowledge, physical abilities and experience become the focus of an intense effort to determine if your use of deadly force constituted a crime or a lawful arrest.
Although many times these matters are resolved quickly by the prosecutor or a grand jury, LEOs have been prosecuted for their on-duty use of deadly force. In my review of some of those instances, I believe critical mistakes were made during the initial investigation and the LEO was left alone to establish the affirmative defense to prosecution.
The Fraternal Order of Police Legal Defense Plan protects LEOs in these instances. If your attorney is approved by the plan, there is no limit on the amount of legal fees expended on your behalf. Legal bills for a criminal defense through a trial and appeals can exceed $50,000.00. For less than $1.00 per day, you can be protected. The nightmare may still be just as scary, but you will be able to stand and fight because giving up is overrated.