I worked Gangs, Special Enforcement and a few other details that had my team and I "undercover" or at least wearing plain clothes.  The job required that, as having a uniform on would have defeated the entire point of the exercise.  But we knew that the moment we needed to engage the bad guys, we would either need to don some sort of attire that signified we were police.  That either was a raid jacket with the words "POLICE" emblazoned on it in bright yellow, or a Point Blank SWAT vest with a badge and the word "POLICE" readily visible.  The reason is that we did not want to be mistaken for other bad guys.  As it was I got plenty of police guns pointed at me through the years I worked those details.  But we knew that a criminal would more likely surrender to the police than to another thug that wanted to rob him. 

And, if the situation allowed it, we always tried to have a marked police unit with a couple of uniformed officers on hand should the situation allow for them to lead the arrest for us.  The last thing we wanted was to be mistaken as bad guys. That was common sense when working such jobs.  And it was also common sense when off duty. The prime tactic when seeing something happen off duty was to call 911 and advise that you were witnessing something that needed to be addressed.  The only exception was if you were being assaulted or if you witnessed a violent crime in progress.  Again, the concern was to be mistaken as a bad guy...not only by the parties involved, but also by any officers responding to the event.

In my classes this is one of the things we discuss (it is more than just shooting).

And now I see this video -


Having lived the life I have lived I will make a statement about what I think happened.  The motorcyclist was likely speeding excessively.  And likely split traffic cutting off the Detective.  The Detective became emotionally upset and decided to pull the badge card and handle the situation himself.   Bad decision?  Damn right.  We all get angry but it is the mark of a gentleman to have self control. This man acted stupidly.  My the very freaking least have the badge in the other hand showing it so people don't rightly assume you are an armed robber.

How should this have been handled? Well, its simple isn't it. I did this very thing a few weeks ago. There was a driver that for some reason was swerving in the lanes, passing traffic on the right in the bicycle lane, and doing it at speed.  I caught up to him, got his plate, backed away and called the local police.  No big deal.

The detective in the video will have a difficult time after this I suspect but what I want to discuss is more from a CCW perspective.

So step into the video for a moment.

You are minding your own business when suddenly off to your left is a creepy guy with a pistol and he is yelling something at you.  You see no uniform, no badge, and you are out in traffic.  Clearly your situational awareness was not good, but there you are.  What does it look like at face value??

My impression is that this is an armed robbery, and I would likely handle it accordingly.  Too bad for the detective.

I don't ride bikes, and I expect we may hear from some that do.  On foot, my inclination would be to move sharply to his left side as you draw, keeping his body between you and his muzzle, then fire as many rounds as you can into him at close range, tracking up his back as you continue to move continually around him.  It would be an unfortunate event precipitated by a mis-identification of an emotionally disturbed good guy...but based on what was on the video, you would be totally justified.

It has been said that you never get a second chance to make a first impression.