Nov 1, 2013|
Stand your ground laws…the debate continues. Some say the laws are ineffective and need to be changed. Others claim that those laws work and should be left alone. Where do you stand on this issue: change the law or leave it the way it is? Don speaksto Lance LoRusso, Author of 'When Cops Kill'. ...
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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
This -- our return performance lancer Russo is gonna join us he's the author of when cops -- he's a former police officer of and we're gonna talk about the stand your ground laws. The debate goes on now some say that the laws -- ineffective. Needs to be changed so much of this was brought about by -- the and in the national attention that the -- -- -- George Zimmerman from abroad about. And I think some people really don't quite understand it. Other people would like to change -- do away with that they say it gives people the opportunity to commit murder. -- do that should we change it or leave it the way it is. If it's not up yet our website WW all dot com will reflect that won't ask you to participate in our unscientific poll. And weigh in on that but without further ado let me introduce re introduce Lance Russo the author of -- where cops -- And he's also a former police officer and -- -- -- him and you -- to alas thanks for being with us again we appreciate it I -- out. Couple questions first of all if you would explain what the stand your ground law isn't in what it isn't. It ended obviously different Herbert throughout the United States but essentially what the stand your ground law says in big picture is that if you are in a place that you lawfully are entitled to -- And you were not engage in any unlawful activity. And use do not instigate or start a fight or confrontation with someone. Then you have no legal obligation to leave if you were challenged or somebody starts a confrontation with he. Its simplest form that is what the stand your ground law is. What they did not. Is a bridge to the rest of the equation and essentially that's worthy dispute and debate has come up. Whether or not you are lawfully in that location does not give you the authority to use deadly force. Unless and until there is justification for that under the law so. This stand your ground law and use deadly force situation is probably about 15 of the analysis. We had this is a case that just came up on mature where it took place that I heard that someone who's threatened to end it is stood their ground they won't haunt. Fired a warning shot you were elated charged for doing that. Does that make sense to you would that you know and because it deter via the add these to suspect perpetrators. Successfully without having to shoot. I'm not exactly familiar with that one and I would have to look at the facts that I can tell you generally you know warning -- law enforcement got -- -- long morning shops along time ago warning shots essentially. Before you were able to use deadly force. You have to be justified in the court pretty much look at a warning shot the same way as the use of deadly force so. The charge actually would be an aggravated assault. It would be the burden on a person who pulled the trigger to prove that I really wasn't trying to shoot at them I was just trying to shoot away from them. But aggravated assault -- solid deadly weapon it's subjective based on the belief for the person who was shot. At or near. So that probably would not be justified on the most laws. Sabrina Fulton. -- Martin's mother testified before congress through it recently that. The stand your ground self defense -- doesn't work it must be amended. Did -- actually come in to play don't try all the way I saw the trial it was more of a question. Of whether George Zimmerman was in fear for his life -- great bodily harm. More sold and a stand your ground issue did you -- the same way. -- have it's underground lot actually nothing to do with the Trayvon Martin's case and unfortunately. It's been portrayed that way and I followed the trial pretty carefully and actually read the jury instructions that were given to the jury and that -- stand your ground law was not an issue what it was an issue in the George during case. What that you hit the nail on the head. And absolute analysis of whether or not he was in fear of life when he shot. And what's the interest in going back to that is indeed talking about the warning shot Jordan -- actually thought he messed. He pulled the trigger one time -- messed and he stopped shooting any city stopped sheeting because the attacks stop. And if he was really intent on killing someone if he thought he missed because he essentially did not see a reaction from trade on Morton when he pulled the trigger. Which is not uncommon. Why would he stopped shooting. So I think that's one of the things that got laughter and -- I think the jury wrestled with a lot of facts but I think that was a very compelling fact for them. Agreed Chrysler and we will be right back after this break we'll talk with Lance LaRouche so if you like to speak with a music author of the book went cops kill. We're talking about the stand your ground law should be changed should -- be done away with. We'll also check the results of up ready opinion poll question which is exactly that should it be changed. You'll find it at WW -- dot com we'll be right back to listen to the think tank come down Dubuque. Good Friday morning from the big 870 WW well. On the line with the -- -- -- Russo. He's an attorney a former police officer and author of the book called went cops kill would discussing. The stand your ground law he says from a legal standpoint and from law enforcement standpoint. The law doesn't work and does not need to be amended Sabrina Fulton has testified before congress that it -- stand your ground self defense on does not work. Needs to be amended as a discussion and debate ongoing we're asking you where do you stand on the stand your ground law. A right now it's 505050%. Of you saying yes it needs to be changed 50% saying no you'll find that hole you can cast your vote. At WW -- dot com Lance up got a text message that came in and I believe I mentioned this to you the first time you wore on and it just happened in. I you weren't aware of -- I don't know if you look into it anymore her anymore that has not been a lot of information released because the person then well was originally arrested. Has not been officially charged to my knowledge and -- kind of tight -- on giving any details but it is some gentlemen named Mary Landry who lives in New Orleans. Pretty much. Stand up citizen no record. He's at home one night -- his wife I think it was either his wife does expect and they have a child or maybe both. He hears a noise someone outside he goes outside. This someone standing there had jumped over his six foot fence next to his home he sees the person make a move is if they were going to reach for a weapon. He shoots and kills -- is a fourteen year old boy. 2 o'clock in the morning breaking curfew what he's doing inside his -- at that time nobody knows. Anyway he was arrested but has so far has not been charged. Have you heard anything about them or given those circumstances and in that scenario is this an example of stand your ground law. Actually it would probably be closer to example. The castle doctrine which I think is they stay underground laws are really an extension of the castle doctrine which basically that you have no obligation to retreat or a no conclusion is what it called in the long while you're inside your home and I read out a little bit of the article on in -- I agree with you some of the beat sales are sketchy. But you know the situation where -- and law enforcement guilty -- -- not talk about this when cops kill. This situation where somebody makes safer to move that gives a a person that private citizen or -- law enforcement officer. -- believe that they are reaching for a weapon. And someone get shot is something that's tough for around for law enforcement teams sort out and a lot of time to wind up going to a -- Well in keeping with that I got another text in that said and I'm sure dispersant is referring to the -- Casey says he lost his right when he got out of the truck. So in my eyes he couldn't have been too scared so I guess she could carry -- so it's the merit Landry cases say well Armenian no right to go outside he should have just called 911 and stayed inside. In either of these cases there was no crime committed buying new beginning out of a truck was stepping outside of your home. Absolutely and you hit the nail on the head again this is the issue with the stand your ground laws. The question is are we going to pass a law that -- you have a legal obligation to retreat. This stay underground laws that you have no legal duty to retreat. And these people that are advocating for the repeal of those laws actually wanna go one step further they're actually saying that they want -- to say that there's no obligation to retreat. The gentleman in -- wall agencies stepped outside -- home onto his own property at 2 o'clock in the morning. Perfectly has a right to do that of people may second guess that people have second guessed Jordan -- Decision to get out of his car to try to see where trade on Martin had gone. But the question is one is it illegal and two do we really want a law that says you're obligated to stay in your home on your own property. And wait for the police to get there. You know I think a lot of people who are either proponents or opponents of the castle law on the stand your ground would have we wanna call that. I don't think there -- fully understand. What happens following a shooting as far as what happens to the shooter. You know maybe you can explain -- you're going to be in trouble you can allusion gun temporarily you've probably going to be arrested. I don't know UB charges and -- and and convicted that stands to it took to find out what the in the courtroom is gonna happen there. But as far as just basically shooting someone walking away in accounts come -- an OK it was justifiable seal later. That very rarely is gonna happen. Very rarely and I think the thing that people need to understand is that. These this situation becomes the homicide investigation and the burden is on the person he sheets that's what college justification. The burden -- on the person he -- to show that they were justified. Reasonably to use that deadly force and and -- cops can like talk about those investigations and there's a lot of miscommunication about that. Foreign law enforcement for example there's an administrative investigation by internal affairs. There's a homicide investigation that's done that's criminal investigation. Then there's an oversight by other DA or some sort of a grand jury prosecutorial investigation. And even if the officers. Who is clear on all three of those levels again they can faces several -- So is there is a great deal that goes into this the on the police walking away and saying yep that looks like it's a reasonable use of forced -- May happen in the movies but it rarely does that happen -- sometimes what happens law enforcement will look at it -- the firearm as evidence that presented to a to a district attorney. And the district attorney will turn around and they wanted to present this to a grand jury what you have your side and let them make a decision and overwhelmingly in those cases. They agree injuries do not indict when you have a situation where the the homeowner in this case has acted appropriately. So the argument that this type of law promotes people to shoot first and ask questions later. Certainly is false is are they what are some of the other argument said bringing up in what would they like to see be amended -- changed. On these laws. Well you know it's interesting you say that because first -- I'd really have no idea what congress is doing involved in this these -- state laws this has nothing to do with federal law others. Not a federal statute that applied in this regard all the way across the United States. These state laws passed constitutional Muster so I don't really know why we were having senate hearings on it anyway. But we start talking about the -- going forward and in dealing with this I've heard every range from the people who say you know look it's not a big deal it's basically incorporates common law that you have a right behind your property. Q well one of the legislators who was in Colorado recently with the gun control debate. Called the notion that somebody we use of firearms to protect themselves and self defense some believe a word she used was silly. I think you have a lot of people with a lot of diverse. Interest and I think a lot of them quite frankly are. Our anti gun I mean they don't like gun ownership to start -- that. When you start talking about somebody being able to stand their ground that's only one part of the analysis the rest of it is that they have a reasonable threat did they act appropriately. And using a firearm was that legally justified. As a method of force to prevent an attack or an injury to yourself for a third party. Lance can you stay with -- Estes -- -- apple -- -- -- -- -- more about what's in the book went cops kill and also some comments on some recent shootings there was a case where. A young man was killed of the officers thought the weapon -- which was a toy gun. Was in fact the real firearm and very very difficult sometimes to determine. Who's the bad guy and who's not and you listening to the Friday edition of the think tank down to do filling in for Garland Robinette all of will be back with you on Monday were talking about the possibility of changing amending on doing away with the stand your ground laws. Are right now 79%. Who are responding to are ready opinion poll questions saying no. I'm only 21% saying yes they should be changed with talk with Lance Lou Russo -- is the author of a book called went cops killed. A phone lines are open text board's open -- Jemison -- she's got an interesting comment which I think she's correct on line one Janice thank you for calling. I carry a good. -- yet I didn't say that other gentleman that merit pox shot is not dead he is alive and eat at home to. Right you -- you run amok that I never did hear that he had passed away and they have really though not given any information on that and that might be the reason. Why hasn't been charged may be there waiting to a point where I don't know if he can testify at this point I'll give his side of the story yet maybe there waiting for that. OK but it that the gentleman said that. Merit -- -- right in the and it is decked out that Illinois and. Thank you for getting the record straight without it thank you thank you the last set that may well be the case that might be that there waiting until it has such time where they can get a statement you know from the the perpetrators. -- -- And it would make sense to -- have made a reasonable thing for law enforcement to do. I -- tech's cam comes in it says so just curious what if someone breaks in to the house and get shot and I -- Louisiana we actually have what is called they shoot the burglar law. Where in your home. I don't think you have to be held at the standard and in fear feel life although. That might well be the that the case in addition to someone burglarizing a home. Can you maybe expand on that may be tell us what the how the law looks set. Someone burglarizing may be not threatening the life but in your home breaking and entering. And maybe damaging stealing your property with -- possibility of may be and knowing them communal -- -- actually gone feels real life. Let the and that the distinction with interest thing is that those vary by state have been generally what you're gonna see is picture protecting property. The use the deadly force is going to be disallowed if you're protecting life. Or for the prepping to -- serious bodily injury present preventing a forcible felony. -- preventing an injury to a third party that will be justified so. That's why the home it's kind of an interesting thing belong in this is generally and in the United States but also getting back to around that common law in England. The burglary of -- home the and the forcible entry of a home was seen as a very very serious crime. And in a lot of states Georgia in particular somebody's making a -- and tumultuous entry into the home you can use deadly force to expel that person and prevent the entry. The other thing that you basically find in the home is that most people are breaking into the home. You don't know what their intentions are and if you articulating that they are breaking and for the purpose of committing a forcible felony in Georgia. -- -- rape armed robbery. Things like that and you would be justified in using deadly force to stop the forcible felony. But a lot of that require YouTube I'm -- hit somebody I really hard if they're trying to kidnap do you. The same for -- the same for aggravated assault and armed robbery in most places the -- gonna recognize that those crimes or serious enough. That the use of deadly force would be justified because the risk that the work comes down to it. Because of the risk of using deadly force is acceptable and that is the serious. Bodily injury or death of the person that's being shot. When we also have a shoot the hijacker law here in Louisiana I'm sure a lot of states have -- -- and coincidentally we have handy ranch. Of carjackings taking place over the last couple of days of this week. And and this is probably an extension of your home I mean you've got nowhere to go sometimes is no -- retreat of course if you got a a way to drive are -- -- and if someone is attempting to break into your vehicle in -- it. You are justified in shooting chemical and Louisiana law. I and that's kind of the Georgia would be the same in Georgia would look at it as a preventing a forcible felony. I mean you know a few years ago there was a an off duty police officer he saw a domestic violence situation taking place and a guy was estranged husband. I'm grabbed a woman forcibly dragged her across the parking lot at knife point and was stopping her into -- -- And the -- sir actually use deadly force an attempt to stop the incident and he didn't go over and wrestle with them you actually use deadly force to try to stop the incidents so. Generally that's where you can be looking at the law looks at the risk. As opposed to to the injury at the arbitrator and also the risk to the victim who has not played themselves in the situation. And what a lot of what -- force they can use to prevent an injury. Lance it would get more into your book a little bit later on that of course you I'm sure you cover this and as a former police officer of our policeman held to a higher standard. On using a reasonable decision on using deadly force as opposed to an average citizen. Or they both treated equally in -- in a court of law when it comes to that. Oddly enough a lot of the use the deadly force are almost identical for private citizens and law enforcement unit at a lot of people say well surprising. But there's very few situations where they would be different the most obvious situation I can tell you is that. You know a person who is working at a and I correctional facility where we're talking post conviction. They may be able to use deadly force to stop someone from escaping our private citizen wouldn't. But generally if you look at the law the law enforcement officer using deadly force. And two protect themselves protect a third party and to prevent a forcible felony the same way that a private citizen what. Well you would think the end I'm surprised to know that because you would think then law enforcement has certainly had more training. Maybe even been drilled in at the you know to -- issued on not shoot. Equipment certainly would be better than what the average citizen might have so it's kind of surprising that a I think. For citizens stay here that the united it to and just reaffirms that they have a serious. Our responsibility. To make that decision in a very short period of time on the some very difficult circumstances. And and you're actually right in this is one of the reasons why and when cops skillet interviewed officers who had been shot in the line of duty. I interviewed officers who had shot people interviewed family members who received a phone call they dreaded. And what you see is this misconception. As to what options what is left in the officer's tool kit if you will. If a person is armed and meaning to do them harm or person is acting like they have a firearm or they the question well the person was ten feet away -- -- had a -- The officers options are very limited whether they have a bulletproof vest on whether they have the uniform whether they have a hater or firearm. There are options are limited just like they are for a private citizen. So just the fact that they can get on a radio call for other people sometimes they don't have the luxury of time. And these shootings occur in a split second a lot of times the situation goes from. Any important and can -- challenging situation. To a deadly situation in a micro second. And that's certainly know the reason why the perpetrators always has the advantage he knows his intentions knows what he's doing. Whereas the public the private citizen all the law enforcement personnel. -- trying to get a read on and and then make a snap decision -- -- so the author of the book called when cops kill those been generous enough to give us and our missed time this morning. How to talk about the east stand your ground laws the possibility of -- being amended done away with what it means what it doesn't mean Lance your book when cops killed. What's in it and why did you righted in what are you hoping citizens who choose to on themselves on not on themselves would come away with from after reading. I've been training law enforcement officers in the use of deadly force and other areas probably over twenty years. So I wrote the book after practicing law and representing a lot of officer -- likes to respond after the scene about turned out shootings. Because I recognize that law enforcement officers the United States are very well trained not only just in the classroom with scenario training and sometimes even with. Higher tax things like down simulations machines. But what I recognize -- after the incident occurs we don't train officers very well and what to expect to we don't tell them what they can expect in terms of the administrative investigation criminal investigations civil -- media coverage. And then personally what they will experience. -- -- viewed for example a an officer who was forced to up from a sniper's perch was forced to kill someone. Who shot and killed two police officers completely justified cheating legally morally. That fifteen years after the shooting he was still very emotional trying to explain what happened to me so it takes -- hole on the officers and their families and the goal of the book is to explain to them what they can expect also explain to their families. I'm what this person will be going through and I found a lot of people who support law enforcement whether their family members or. Even people who like murder mysteries -- just wanna learn more about. Law enforcement in the real world have purchased the book and all profits from the -- are going to law enforcement charities. I don't think anyone who -- so far all morning actually in today's world those as time. Profile as firearm ownership and use is can can get too little information wears a book available. Look at available when cops kill dot com. Also on Amazon and iTunes. Very good -- before you go got a caller on -- she's got a question about. Having the right to shoot as someone breaks in let's go to line one Marianne thank you for calling your own financial Russo. Thank you for taking my call I'm Melinda I'm disabled I'm not sixty early sixties. That was the Marines. He was a sharpshooters his expert rifling everything he took me to their shooting range Thomas foundation capital needed not a pistol -- content on its. Anyway I just want to know if somebody breaks in on me. Do I have the right to keep them I don't wanna kill anybody. But my husband tell me if anybody broke in on me. To go ahead and -- them now I don't know. I wanna know if that's still the -- -- release him. Well I'm not licensed in Louisiana when I have. Have questions about that Louisiana -- -- -- do that I do in contact an attorney down in named Donovan liberal Carre is represents a lot of law enforcement officers example people where there. Those questions. Are dependent on state law. And Alec can tell you -- outfield -- I'm I'm happy for your husband service. And you should not go to sleep tonight into you have an answer that question so you don't have a question in your mind as to whether or not you can. He's forced and under what circumstances you can protect yourself. Well thank you -- Don do you know anything about that -- in Louisiana. Well all I can tell you marry is I would use. The same standard that I would -- -- someone outside in the home. In other words -- time fear of my life -- that someone is gonna do me great bodily harm. That as a last resort I would use as far as traders say -- broke in. And but he was run and out the dory was climbing out the window and I shot and killed in. I'm not gonna tell you that you're not gonna be justified in that. But it's certainly going to be a lot of -- a case for you again if you go by the standard of value in fear of your life from great bodily harm. I don't think you can be mistaken. But lancet Donovan looked militaries and it was just yet how easy in New Orleans -- what what yes. He's into -- actually represents the a lot of officers with the New Orleans Police Department and the fraternal order of police. I think he'd be a good person for -- to contact Marion just put your mind at -- about it. Well I think I was thinking was I have an alarm and if you come in what now long gone. We're coming after -- me. Must say you know nobody knows what's going on in your mind the Q. And I managed urine fear that someone's entering to do you harm and then it becomes you know up to use -- to prove because there's there's Lance said. It becomes a homicide investigation in the onus is on you to prove that you were justify. And you feel like you are. Then you gotta do what you gotta do Mary. I don't the and that's the way -- fill in if I have to go to jail -- -- -- -- break in Moscow and you are still outdoor. I'm sorry you don't like it. I'm Marion may be -- -- are firming may be ought to put a sign up. And as anybody is a criminal and hearing you the way you betraying I don't think they gonna mess with its true. Well -- I got you know how -- you know monetary and everything -- -- -- right. And I don't -- nobody -- -- -- about it I don't should come in intractable on me until like if you come in my house with no longer wants. And entering into the police. As well. I don't have to -- -- -- to the police get here if you can in on me. And I cannot I'm into better shape to try to defend myself as far as physically. Well all those factors would come into play we should best Marion and again I would take a Lance is advised. In contact an attorney or may be you know people like at Jefferson gun any of these places where they're professionals who do training in advise people on non non use of our. Yeah one thing on me. -- had a lot of training with my pit stop sound like you really them well I don't wanna kill anybody understood -- that I'm not let somebody come -- that normally. As she that's that's you right well within your right thank you for the call Marian appreciate it Lance thank you for the time we appreciate it when cops kill. It's a great greed you can check it out it went top skilled outcome thanks again as well thank you got to cover.