Shoot a cop…
Doesn’t happen, generally – unless the cop’s done something grossly wrong. Cops and district attorneys take “shooting at cops” pretty seriously. Rightly so.
We don’t exactly know what happened in the shooting incident on Highway 10 last week in which a civilian concealed-carry permit holder shot an undercover cop who was – according to the civilian – engrossed in road rage and pointing a gun at the shooter’s wife, as he drove his family in an SUV.
But the fact that the shooter was released without charges after a night in jail might, maybe, possibly, indicated that Minnesota’s latest concealed-carry permit holder to defend himself and his family might have been in the right:
Nearly 72 hours since he was involved in a rolling argument in Coon Rapids that led him to shoot an undercover police officer, Martin S. Treptow still believes he had little choice but to act as he did, his attorney Marc Berris said Saturday.
Endangered first by the officer’s “extremely aggressive” driving, and then stunned to see the officer point a gun at his wife, Treptow, 35, was simply trying to protect his family and himself, Berris said.
He added: “When all the facts come out, it’ll show he had absolutely no opportunity to deescalate the situation.”
Which is part of the burden that a citizen bears in a self-defense case; proving they weren’t a willing party to the conflict, that he/she tried every reasonable means to de-escalate, that the force was reasonable under the circumstances, and that there was a reasonable fear of death and/or great bodily harm – where “reasonable” means “a jury would buy it”.
So you be the judge:
[Treptow’s attorney Marc] Berris, who said he is in the midst of his own investigation of the incident, offered this account of the Thursday altercation:
Treptow, his wife and their two children were heading to St. Paul when they were confronted by a man driving erratically, including pulling alongside Treptow’s SUV and yelling at him and his wife.
At one point, Treptow honked, but the feud continued. It came to a head along 99th Avenue NW. near Foley Boulevard NW. as the two vehicles were stopped behind other cars at a stop light.
According to Berris, the man, who Treptow did not know was a police officer, reached out his window and pointed a gun at Treptow’s wife. Treptow, who had been working as a security officer until last month and who has a permit to carry his gun, quickly reached across his wife and fired at the car. The officer was hit in the legs and an arm.
Still fearing for his family’s safety, Treptow drove away from the scene while his wife called 911, Berris said.
They stopped at a nearby gas station, where police took them into custody.
Which is far from abnormal, even if the alleged victim isn’t a cop.
While Treptow left jail after an evening, the Coon Rapids police aren’t saying much:
But for Coon Rapids police officials, such conclusions regarding the Thursday afternoon shooting are premature.
Sgt. Tom Hawley said Saturday that investigators are still analyzing evidence and trying to compile and sort through conflicting accounts from the parties involved and several witnesses. He said it could be several days to weeks before their work is complete.
We’ll know more than that, soon.
Joel Rosenberg writes:
Note the shape of the defense: the cop was the aggressor; Treptow’s response was minimal initially; he was reasonably in fear of the immediate death or GBH for himself and/or his wife; he fled not out of mens rea but because he feared for his safety, and they immediately called 911.
Note how important that latter is.
Money quote: “When all the facts come out, it’ll show he had absolutely no opportunity to deescalate the situation.”
Just guesses: Treptow won’t get charged at all. Officer Friendly will end up seeking other career opportunities.