For those who haven’t heard this story, here is a link to the local news story. https://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/crime/injury-to-man-shot-by-fbi-agent-at-denver-bar-much-worse-than-first-reported-victim-s-lawyer-says
There are so many issues here I don’t know where to begin. As a former police officer I am often the biggest critic as well as the biggest defender of Law Enforcement. I try not to comment on things unless I see things that I think need clarification for those who haven’t worked in Law Enforcement, or if I see a blatant injustice going on, whether to a law enforcement officer or by one.
This is a case where I simply want to offer some insight from my perspective as a basic city cop.
The biggest clarification I see that needs to be made is the issue of this agent having his gun on him. Police Officers as well as Federal Agents have the right and in some situations the obligation (by policy) to have their firearm on them at any or all times. While I think this would have been very irresponsible if he was drinking, and we do not yet know if he was, he had every right to be armed. If that is the problem anyone has with this, it is a moot point. If he was in anyway intoxicated not only was he irresponsible, he may have violated policy.
As a professional federal agent I am so disappointed to see this happen. Here is my review of his failures. 1) The holster which held his firearm had poor retention. As a police officer we had training in academy on holsters both on and off duty and what level of retention they should have and also to practice different scenarios with them. You want to be able to retrieve your gun quickly without problem, but you not only don’t want it to come out on it’s own, but you don’t want a bad guy to be able to take it out easily. Believe it or not, most holsters aren’t just lift and remove. There is a trick to pulling the weapon. This obviously wasn’t one of those type of holsters and is very poor judgement on his part. 2) ANYONE who has had any firearms training knows the NUMBER 1 RULE: Don’t put your finger on the trigger until you are ready to fire and sure of your target. This agent picked up his gun and in the process not only put his finger on the trigger but fired it. Before you say it, NO this gun did not go off on it’s own upon impact. There is no firearm currently authorized by the Bureau for an agent to carry which hasn’t undergone accidental drop fire testing. 3) The worst thing of all that he did was after picking up the gun not only did he again not properly secure it. He raised his hands and walked away. Meanwhile, someone in the crowd not only had been hit, but allegedly was hit in a main artery in his leg and would have bled out if not for a Good Samaritan who placed a tourniquet on it. A responsible cop would have immediately secured the scene and checked for anyone with injuries and rendered aid.
This was obviously an accident, so I am unsure where the criminal charge comes in, but only time and facts will tell on that front. He has huge civil liability though because there was incredible negligence on his part. He will most likely lose his job either way.