This video has been all over my Facebook feed. The kid is screaming all sorts of “I didn’t do nothing!” stuff while his friends record it with a cell phone. Finally, one of the kids’ friends shoves the officer and knocks him over a bush. The kids then start to surround the off-duty officer who pulls out a gun and fires it. Here is what the LA Times writes about the story: 300 protest in Anaheim after videos show off-duty LAPD officer firing gun in dispute with teens. It looks like this incident was a result of “ongoing issues” with the group of teens walking across the officer’s property.
I’m a big believer in letting cases like this play out in the courts. I’m sure there’s a lot that we don’t see in the video. But it’s clear to me that that off-duty cop was about to get his ass kicked. He had already been bum-rushed and knocked down, and the kids were beginning to surround him, and my gut tells me that this is legitimate self-defense. I don’t know about the legality of firing a gun, but if you watch the video, that gunshot most definitely saved him from a hard ass-whooping where he was outnumbered. As a homeowner, I’d also be pissed if people disrespected my property line. As someone who follows the news, I’m also aware of how Black Lives Matter has created a new generation of petty criminals crying discrimination and abuse, even with criminals who aren’t Black. It looks to me like the officer was simply trying to detain the kid; he wasn’t beating him up, choking him out, or doing anything that was inflicting harm on the kid. The cop didn’t draw his gun until he was physically assaulted by one of the kids in the mob. I’m not sure what you’re supposed to do if kids go tramping across your property; it would seem to me that this guy did what he was supposed to do. Kids will be kids, of course. Incidents like this undoubtedly took place even before Black Lives Matter. But there’s the practical question of what a homeowner is supposed to do.
I guess we’ll wait and see.