Two views of self-defense

So, on July 18, 2018, SPD officers Wood, Hay and Stubble arrest me and they are very stern and serious. They are convinced, or so it seems, that I have done something very, very bad, and I need to be locked away for some time.

And I am telling them, in slightly different words, This is a clear case of self-defense.

I am, on July 18, 2018 generally smiling and happy and cheerful. In fact, I am so smiling, happy and cheerful that they think that my being smiling, happy and cheerful indicates there is something wrong with david’s head . . . something wrong in david’s head . . . even worse than walking in undies at Greenlake . . . and even worse than just committing 2 felony assaults, including, ha, ha, felony assault on a child.

Either Wood, Hay and Stubble are manifesting great bias and their bias was clouding their judgment, or Wood, Hay and Stubble had and have a different understanding of the propriety of self-defense than does zaitzeff. Wood, Hay and Stubble had approximately the same facts available to them as I had one hour earlier. Wood Hay and Stubble had the facts available to them when I told them the story . . . I had the facts available to me when I was in the experience and making a decision.

Either one, or the other, or both, or Wood Hay and Stubble perhaps carelessly arrest people “out of the abundance of caution.” Arresting someone out of the abundance of caution means arresting a person who might have done something, just for good measure, until you get things straightened out.

Now if someone has been committing random gun or knife murders and has not yet been caught, then, yeah, police may be overly jumpy and inclined to arrest a guy with inadequate evidence. Other than for rape and murder we would hope that police do not arrest based on the abundance of caution and do more investigation prior to arrest.

Now, we would normally assume that officers Wood, Hay and Stubble are right in their understading of the law and david wrong, but that is not the correct assumption to make, especially when the law is cloudy or ambiguous.

In criminal courts there is the rule of lenity, which is, if there are 2 reasonable interpretations of the law, and one is more favorable to the defendant and one is less so, that the court and courts must adopt and apply the one more favorable to the defendant. But police do not go by a rule of lenity. Police are supposed to protect public safety. Police will often do the exact opposite of the rule of lenity.

Some police do not even know what is the rule of lenity as it applies to the interpretation of criminal law in the courts!

If there are 2 interps of the law, and if the guy’s behavior could be a threat or harm to public safety, then, the police go with the more expansive view of the law, often, depending on the context to justify arresting or detaining or citing the guy.

Courts have a rule of lenity to protect the rights of defendants. Police have a tendency of non-lenity, by culture, training and responsibility, to seize and/or arrest and/or charge items and conduct in a gray area of lack of clarity.

Now, no one should blame the police too much for going by “nonlenity” rather than lenity in the case of a felony. Their job is protecting public safety by bringing bad guys in and questionable cases to the courts.

But, the question is, given that Wood, Hay and Stubble and I all had approximately the same facts on the evening of July 18, 2018, how did we come to such completely opposite conclusions about the law and how it applies in the events?

Here is how.

Wood, Hay, and Stubble went by one chief criteria of when “self-defense” is justified and I went by another. Now, I think that bias was a part of their decision and that can be proven or so I believe. Wilful blindness was a part of their decision and that can be proven or so I believe.

Now police in their use of pepper spray and other forms of force have had their conduct judged by the standard of reasonableness, and the standard of reasonableness was firmly established in 1989 in some Sup Court case. Reasonable does not mean perfect, infallible or all-knowing. Reasonable acknowledges that we are human and we lack perfect and complete knowledge. The reasonableness standard also means that, in some cases, the police do some things or take some actions or give some orders, for the sake of safety.

There is a gun safety rule and everybody should know the rule. Treat the gun as if it is loaded, even when it is not and know the condition of the gun.

Here is another safety rule . . . at one local theatre, they do not let you in with a backpack.

You and I and a lot of humans have a safety rule about how close we get to other people in general, or to some people. For some of the people out there, verbal contact at a distance may be ok but close contact is bad or dangerous.

Some dads have a safety rule about their 16 year old daughters, related to how late they are out, with whom they are and their use of the internet activity. It is not that every case of being out past 11 or 12 is going to kill or injure, but having a safety rule reduces problems, if the safety rule is followed.

So, police often go by and have their conduct scrutinized by the reasonableness standard, and in many cases, the reasonableness standard boils down to “what is safe (mostly),” and “what is not safe.” Things that are “not safe,” need to be evaded, avoided, confronted or suppressed or stopped.

Now, due to some jury instructions used in some cases of self-defense in Washington state, some people think of self-defense as being appropriate only when done when a person reasonably believes he is about to be injured.

But the standard of reasonableness as police use it and apply it to themselves is per what is safe or not, and that is actually a different standard than the one of what a reasonable person would believe about whether he is about to be injured.

What is safe and what is not safe establishes a very clear boundary . . . the idea of what a reasonable person believes about he being about to be injured or not is all over the map.

If Bruce Lee had been walking and Bruce Lee were confronted by 2 or 3 guys who demanded his camera, Bruce Lee would have known that he was not going to be injured and that the robbers would be defeated.

Safe or not safe establishes one set of criteria and “about to be injured or not” established a dozen different criteria and varies dramatically from person to person. A man who is a trained fighter and who is big and strong, being confronted by a smaller person of 12 years old and not trained in fighting, asking for his cell phone has dramatically more safety a 3 feet away than a woman being confronted by a larger man at 3 feet away.

So, “being about to be injured or not” leads to all kinds of different standards of conduct being allowable or stopped by self-defense.

Police with guns, training and experience are generally “not about to be injured” by the exact same approach of an aggressive smaller person, as compared with an inexperienced woman being confronted by a larger man. Correct?

So, the “about to be injured or not” standard is going to vary dramatically from person to person, even with otherwise identical facts of the same case. Bruce Lee and anyone else like Bruce Lee can reasonably foresee that he is not going to be injured or even touched and those who are not trained fighters are more likely to be touched or injured. Those who are small, weak and already injured are going to be more likely to be injured than those who are big and strong, even in the absence of them being trained.

But, the “about to be injured” criteria has another problem. The problem is that you and I do not know very well when a person is about to hit is, if they are standing at 3 feet away from us.

If someone with hostile and aggressive intent is standing at 2 or 2.5 or 3 or 3.5 feet away from us, that person can hit us without us being able to react in time to defend ourselves. If a person has a concealed knife and is standing at 5 feet away or 10 feet away, the man with the concealed knife can get to us or me or whomever is the indidivual, in the space of .5 to 1.0 seconds, which is less time than you and I need to take good action to defend ourselves.

The attack is upon us before we have had time to respond or move or both.

So, having a conversation with an aggressive hostile person at 3 feet away from you is not safe. Having a conversation with an aggressive hostile person at 5 feet away from you is not safe. Having a conversation with an aggressive hostile person who might have a knife is very unsafe even at 10 feet away.

So, the conversations that we have out in public with everybody are not a guide to what is safe when we are having a conversation with an aggressive hostile man.

Out in public, we have lots of conversations with people at 3 feet away or 3.5 feet away or 2.5 feet away. Out in public, when you and I go to the parade or festival or fair, we are going to walk by or stand by other people, at 3 to 6 inches away, and we think nothing of it. Standing “next to” someone at 4 inches away at the parade or festival we think nothing of, because generally speaking, no one at the parade or festival is hostile to us or others in general. Random knife attacks at the parade, fair or festival tend to not happen due to lack of motivation for them. The opportunity is there, but we who are law-abiding and who usually associate with other gentle law-abiding people we don’t worry about walking within four inches of a guy or gal, at the parade and festival.

Last year there was a milk carton derby at Greenlake. I decided that I would visit for some of the time at the milk carton derby and wear my sword. I have these nice 3 foot katanas. I have had to buy several after SPD seized a few of them.

Anyway, on this particular day and month, no one was particularly interested in bothering me or doing their seizure thing, but we did have spd present briefly.

I walk over to and then into the booths of the milk carton derby and turn around to walk out. As I was entering, I perceived a whisper or two that might have been in reference to me. After 5 or 10 minutes of my saying hi at some booths, I turn to walk out with the same path I had used to enter.

So, I am walking southbound and I see that there are 2 spd officers present in uniform. They had not been there 7 minutes previously. One is on the walking path I am using and is 10 or 15 feet of to the side.

Anyway, I am walking peacefully going south and there is this SPD officer on the path on foot who is either facing north or walking northbound.

Anyway, he and I pass by each other. We probably pass each other at 4 to 6 inches away, from shoulder to shoulder.

But he did not ascribe to me any evil or ill motivation in being there with the sword. I had no animosity to him nor he to me.

We both had deadly weapons, but naturally, not thinking of drawing them, at that point. His helper at 10 or 15 feet away, if needed, could have drawn if I were behaving badly.

We walked past each other just like normal people do, but if I had been an aggressive hostile person and placed himself in front of the guy for the purpose of stopping his walk or confronting him, then, sure, the spd would have drawn weapons, cleared the area, subdued me and taken me away . . . But only insane people who wish to go to jail or get themselves killed would confront a police guy with a sword . . . I may be Gomez Addams, but I am not that insane!

But that same thing the 2 of did, that day, for a second or so, is very dangerous if a person has aggressive and hostile intent.

If you are six inches away from a guy, he can hit you before you react very well or before you react at all.

We do many things, in terms of having conversations or allowing distances, with normal peaceful people that we should never do with an aggressive hostile person. We don’t even think about them, because they are so normal . . . No one goes to the parade or fair or festival while thinking about how many inches away other people can be without being a safety risk to them.

A woman shop clerk in Seattle is dead, or was dead and killed in January 2015 or 2016. She made a mistake of treating a shoplifter as a normal peaceful person, and the shoplifter was an aggressive hostile person.

The shoplifter drew his knife and killed her. The whole thing was probably over in a second or so.

If you wish to survive, then, you must distinguish between ordinary regular people and hostile aggressive people. And, you must keep hostile aggressive people either away from you a certain distance or subdued.

An ordinary civilian needs to be aware of the Tueller drill and studies . . . and to be aware of the danger presented by aggressive, hostile people at various distances.

So, given Wood, Hay and Stubble and zaitzeff, how do we analyze a situation such as in July 18, 2018?

Man approaching.

zaitzeff says, “Stop him.”

Wood, Hay and Stubble say, “Man has not balled his fists so you are not about to be injured. You have no right to stop him.”

Anyway, I am sure that things will be fun in court, if and when we ask Wood, Hay and Stubble if it safe to have a conversation with an aggressive hostile person at less than 5 feet away! Someone may have ask that question several times . . . Perhaps someone will do a little skit . . . I wonder what attack can be launched at less than 5 feet?

Anyway, I assume that either the judge and the jury and even some of the witnesses will end up agreeing with my view. I’d like to have Cameron, Wood, Hay and Stubble all agree with me that having a conversation with an aggressive hostile man at 4 feet away is bad, bad bad because it is dangerous, dangerous, dangerous.

Anyway, if there is a trial, things will be most interesting . . . here we have the intersection of law and morality with slightly different views of right and wrong.

Oh, Wood, Hay and Stubble, forgive me if this is a topic I have studied for 30 years, so far as knowing just war theory as taught by the Christian theologians . . .

Forgive me if you are at a disadvantage; I recommend you simply surrender and not fight, that is, in court, under questioning, in terms of disagreeing with me . . .

Or, maybe, you “fight” by disagreeing with me and maybe you even persuade a jury and I continue to hold and announce that your standard is wrong and dangerous to the public.

And I pray that God show the city of Seattle the right way . .

The Seattle guys, maybe, put me on probation or having no weapons for a few months or a year, while I cheer for and pray for God to show up and teach Seattle how to think about personal safety, when you are out in public.

Does Seattle or Washington state really want someone who prays and has been convicted unjustly, to be announcing Seattle’s injustice publicly and cheering for criminals to appear on public sidewalks and parks, to commit crimes, so that God can get it through the head of the city of Seattle what is right and wrong in terms of self-defense?

Seattle could try it but it is not a good idea. Now, the Bible says to leave the vengeance to God and not engage in private vengeance, but, would you really want me to be a cheerleader for a bunch of Seattle criminals? Really?

david the cheerleader . . . well that is sure a cross-dressing idea, but it is not your favorite, I think!

My suggestion is that the city of Seattle surrender promptly on its charges of assault!

God show Hay, Keller, Holmes, Monson and any others of their ilk the right way!

Let God arise and his enemies be scattered! Oh, let God arise and his enemies be scattered. Let God arise and his enemies be scattered; let God, let God arise!!

I think what I will do, is that pending such time as I have written apologies signed by Wood, Hay, Stubble, Keller and Holmes,

that I will pray that God show the city of Seattle the right way . . . Let God arise and his enemies be scattered!

And, we shall all remember, not even a Spitfire can be in north and south at the same time! That’s right!!

Luftwaffe German #1: The weather is constant.
We now have a stabilized high pressure zone…
and we shall make use of it!

Luftwaffe German #2: The proof is here, gentlemen.
We are destroying… as many planes on the ground as in the air.

#1: Thank you, Schmidt. On the desk, please.

#2: Reichsmarschall Goering will certainly be interested… in my report.
To date, almost 300 planes have been destroyed!
Almost half the entire British fighter force, gentlemen!!

Luftwaffe German #1: The Colonel can report what he pleases.
The fact remains… that our bombers continue to be intercepted.
Because the English are now bringing in their reserves.
As from tomorrow, we’ll increase our attacks on these airfields.
And five Luftwaffe squadrons will attack to the north and north-east.
Luftwaffe German #3: But that is outside the range of our fighters, Colonel!
Luftwaffe German #1: Also outside the range of the English fighters. smiling . . .
Not even a Spitfire can be in the north and the south… at the same time!!

German Pilot: How far are we from the coast?
Everybody, Action Stations.
Tomato Heinz to all.
Tomato Heinz to all.
Another ten minutes to target.
All ready at Fighter Stations.

German bombers, all ready at fighter stations, with no fighter escort . . .

***

A few days later . . .

Reichsmarschall Goering: Come, my friends,
Now, I have chastised you enough.
But I am here to help him.
Is there anything you want?
Foehn?
Falke?
Falke: Yes, sir, a squadron of Spitfires.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *