Posted by: reformedmusings | June 24, 2017

Lessons learned from the Philando Castile shooting

Here’s an excellent discussion on the Philando Castile shooting, as well as good advice for concealed carriers and police officers:…

Greg Ellifritz retired from a full law enforcement career and had been a weapons instructor for most of his LE time. He now teaches civilians and law enforcement. I’ve found that Active Response Training has usually provided excellent perspective which helps everyone.

I agree with Greg’s analysis. Mistakes were made by both men involved, but Mr. Castile did not deserve to die for his simple mistake. Former Officer Yanez made the worst mistake in panicking and shooting wildly into Mr. Castile. Had Yanez not been so close when he shot, I suspect that the girl in the backseat would have been hit as well if not the passenger as well. I’m pro-law enforcement, but Yanez should never have been accepted to be a police officer. As a military veteran I can testify that panic only gets yourself, your team members, or innocent people killed – maybe all three.

For legally armed civilians, the lesson for me here is simple – don’t offer information that’s not required or answer any questions that you aren’t asked. Most states don’t require one to inform law enforcement that one is legally carrying. If that’s your state, I highly recommend keeping your carry status to yourself. Minnesota doesn’t require notification, so if Mr. Castile didn’t say anything about his legal firearm, he’d probably be alive today. You never know the experience or mindset of the officer that stops you, and you want to go home alive, too.

If your state requires notification on LE contact, then follow Greg’s advice. Mas Ayoob has an excellent video on such interactions if notification is required:

As Greg Ellifritz says, when in any doubt, keep your hands on the steering wheel until achieving clarity as courteously as humanly possible. If moving or reaching when uncertainty occurs, stop immediately and slowly but deliberately put your hands on the wheel.

Sadly, Mr. Castile isn’t the first innocent concealed carrier of any race to be killed by police while trying to obey conflicting orders, and likely won’t be the last. Stay courteous and default to hands on the steering wheel until you have crystal clarity about what the officer wants you to do.

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