Posted on October 5, 2022 by Justin Collett in Podcast
CCW Safe Podcast – Episode 107: Gary Eastridge
This week Rob and Phil are joined by CCW Safe Critical Response Coordinator Gary Eastridge to discuss post incident actions. What should you do after a self-defense incident has occurred? Gary and Rob discuss their experience dealing with these situations both as Law Enforcement officers and in their role of Critical Response Team members for CCW Safe.
Video version of the podcast:
Phillip: Hey folks, this is Philip Naaman here with Rob High from CCW Safe. We have a very special show for you today. As a matter of fact, this show is so important we’re actually airing it also on my radio show this weekend at the same time. We want to get this information out to you as early and as seemly and as easy to understand as possible. Joining us here we have Gary Eastridge. Gary Eastridge and Rob High, both from CCW Safe the Critical Incident Command Center, basically, if you will. One of the things today that we want to go over is, or I should say, what do you do after a critical incident? Now Rob, maybe you should start with just defining what is a critical incident.
Rob: Well, for the purposes of what CCW Safe carries, it is a recognized self-defense incident and it’s going to involve whatever level of force utilizing a firearm. That Gary can tell you just as well as I can. We had hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of successful uses of a firearm without ever firing a shot. That could be the case in this instance as well. We have plenty of folks out there that because of age or physical limitations or numbers of attackers, anything else like that, that plays into it where it brings you to that point where your only option you don’t have an avoidance option in place.
I can’t move away from the threat, I can’t vacate the surrender portion of this or the de-escalation portion of this is out of the question. Somebody has to display and beyond and actually even make just verbal notification, step back I don’t want to hurt anybody, but I’m armed, I have a firearm. We’ve talked multiple times about how many people in this world there are that that’s not going to deter them from whatever act of evil that they’re actively engaged in.
Especially if I’ve displayed that firearm, pointed that firearm, or had to discharge that firearm, and if it’s something that rises to the level of us bringing critical response team members out there, it’s going to be something that results in significant bodily injury or death. Is there something you want to add on that, Gary? I think that’s a big wide open lane.
Gary: Yes. A critical incident in general as Rob said, is an incident where somebody has suffered significant injury or death. As far as our post-incident guidelines, there doesn’t have to be injury or death. There’s still criminal repercussions for the actions even if that firearm’s not discharged, so it’s very important that you establish that you are the victim and that you had to act in a lawfully correct manner because ultimately, self-defense is a legal defense to what would otherwise be a crime. I can’t strike you. I can’t use force against you with certain exceptions. One of them being acting in self-defense.
Phillip: You mentioned a couple of words in there. Brandishing and display. What is the difference?
Gary: Depending on the state, the jurisdiction. Most states brandishing has, in my mind, more of an illegal act connotation to it, whereas display of the firearm is to display the firearm for a certain result. In many states to do so without legal justification can result in brandishing charges. In some states, they don’t use the term “brandishing.” They just charge an assault if you display your firearm inappropriately or illegally.
Phillip: Could it be an illegal display of a firearm if somebody says “carrying” and they lifted up their shirt or moved their shirt or jacket to show somebody that, in fact, they did have a firearm?
Gary: Yes, it could be.
Phillip: They didn’t put their hand on it but just pulled their shirt back.
Gary: This is actually our most common claim as Rob can tell you. Our most common claim is where a member perceives a threat, takes self-defensive actions to address that threat, the threat dissipates, and the other party immediately runs. He calls 911. To 911, he says some of this crazy man or crazy person just pointed a gun at me. That’s why we advise members that if it’s important enough to pull your weapon, whatever that weapon may be, it’s important enough to make a police report. Establish that what you did was legal in the act of self-defense.
Phillip: I did a seminar for the Inland Empire gun group here in Southern California, and one of the things we talked about was brandishing. Rob and I talked about that ahead of time. It’s interesting people’s conceptions of what they can do because we took a lot of questions from the audience. Some of the people were older and you could tell that they’re afraid of getting jacked. You get hit from behind, you fall on the curb, your life’s never the same from the stupid sucker punch or let alone anything worse. They were under the impression that you would if a threat was coming toward you, walking toward you, two or three guys, that you could pull your firearm at a distance and tell them “Stand back. I have a gun.” I was trying to persuade them that may not be the best idea at some points. That’s something that you resonate to, right?
Gary: Rob can tell you from the cases and the claims that we’ve had there are– and this is one of the things we struggle when members say “Can I pull my gun if this or that happens?” Hypothetical questions do not have the details needed. Those details are going to determine if that act was justified. If somebody was at a distance but they all had baseball bats and they’re pointing at you and saying we’re going to get you, we’re going to hurt you, yes, that may be a justifiable act, but if they’re all wearing baseball uniforms and they’re carrying their bats over their shoulder and you’re just scared, that’s probably not a justifiable act, so those details are going to determine and sometimes as we’ve seen in a lot of the high profile cases those little subtle details are what make the difference between a “Not guilty by self-defense” and spending a significant time in prison.
Phillip: How do you help people understand the difference between a perceived fear and a real threat?
Rob: Oh man. Again-
Phillip: As a trainer for the police department that’s something you probably had to do quite a bit.
Rob: It is. I remember when I first became a firearms instructor, a question that my dad posed to me was, “How do you teach them when it’s okay to shoot?” For me, that’s always been a very simple, easy-to-understand answer and it was when I have no other options at my disposal. That’s the biggest thing. There are many times as a civilian, I don’t have the obligation to plug in and do things that I was sworn to do as a police officer. There were times you’d get somebody that just doesn’t want to go to jail but we’ve not done anything to escalate to it’s an arrestable offense. Again, it’s like the things Gary was just touching on. The “what ifs” and determining factors. There are so many things that go into making that determination on whether or not that’s good.
Phillip: I hate to say it takes experience because that’s not something you want to have a lot of experience in. Let’s pick this up on the next segment here because I think this is really important for people to understand that your feelings may not matter in a court of law. It’s going to be the facts of the case and what can be proved. Hey folks, welcome back to our podcast here, Phillip Naman with Rob High, CCW Safe Firing Line Radio Show. We’re having a good show here with the heavy side, the responsibility side of carrying a firearm, and that’s knowing when and where to use it.
As Rob High just said, summarizing our last segment there was when he had no other option, it’s not the first option, It’s when you have no other option. Gary was about to make another point here for I cut him off [unintelligible 00:10:58] there, but Gary, why don’t you go with that?
Gary: We get to ask these questions almost daily. When can I, what has to be present before I can take action? Can I shoot here? Can I not shoot? Well, there’s not handbook. There’s not a book that says, “Okay, if they’re nine and a half feet from you can’t. If they’re nine foot, you can’t.” There’s not a book that says, “Go to chapter 10 paragraph one, section C, now you can shoot,” it just doesn’t exist. On top of that, as you brought up in the last segment, I’m 65 years old, so a threat maybe-
Phillip: I didn’t bring up your age that wasn’t a personal thing.
Gary: Well, it’s starting to apply and I have to accept that reality that my mobility is not what it used to be. My vision’s not what it used to be. I have limitations that are now can be factored in.
Phillip: You just had shoulder surgery too.
Gary: Just recovering from the– Rob can tell you when you get a few miles on us and some of the things we’ve done in our career, you start paying for it and things start wearing out. I just spent five months recovering from shoulder surgery. You talk about vulnerable, my normal mode of carrying was out because my right arm was immobilized for over a month. Then I had limited mobility for several months after that. I had to switch to an alternative method of carrying.
Phillip: I liked it. His alternative method was a single-point sling in a SBR. I thought that was pretty.
Gary: Well, I had one of those, but I chose not to carry it. I switched to a J-Frame in my left-hand pocket. Luckily, when I train, I do train some offhand shooting. This brings up another point in your training regimen, you need to factor in, what if I can’t use that? What if it’s my strong arm is disabled during the fight or whatever. Then, all of this is things that you have to take into consideration before you have to start worrying about the post-incident. You have the things that are happening right now and how to respond to that. Then you have a whole set of things that you need to do after that, in the days after that, in the weeks after that. We’ve got some general guidelines on that subject.
Phillip: One of the things you were saying is there’s not a book that says, okay if this, then that. I mean somewhat, but not really. Even if, as we’ve seen whenever there’s stress and training or stress in an incident if there was a rule book that said, “These four things must be present in order to do this,” you wouldn’t remember what the four things were. You’d say, “Okay, there’s one of them, or there’s three, or gees where’s the sixth thing?” Because of the stress involved in that kind of situation, trying to go through some a checklist is going to be a negative for you anyway. You’re going to fail, you’re not going to remember it, or you’re just going to get wrong. Most people, don’t, nobody trains that mobilities.
Gary: That’s why I believe it’s important to keep that simple as possible. Some offer very in-depth and in-detailed response on things to do. There’s really about four or five things that you need to concern yourself with. One of the other things you touched on, I believe in the last section, and one of the things that I highlight in my presentation is perspective. Just because you see things one way, Rob may see it totally different. Since there isn’t a book that defines what a reasonable belief or threat is, your perception may be that you acted when you had to my perception and the people who may well set on a jury judging your actions, their perception may be totally different.
Rob: Yes, that’s absolutely perfect. For the context of the information that we want to press out today though, let’s address this like something happened to you carjacking, and the guy’s got knife, bat, pole, whatever, even a firearm that maybe you could get to yours prior to them engaging. There’s so many things about facing somebody that’s armed. If they are failing to heed verbal warnings and things like that, everything has gone as bad as it can possibly go, and you have to discharge that firearm.
Whether you strike them, whether you injure them, whether you mortally wound them, whatever the case may be. Our responses, once it goes to that extreme are the same. It just is. The very first thing is to make certain that I’m safe, that my loved ones are safe, that nobody else is under extreme threat at that time. The threat has been concluded one way or the other. They ran away. They dropped and quit the attack. They’re injured, or as I said, they’re mortally wounded.
Step one for us is establishing that the threat is no longer a threat. That comes also with making the determination that he’s not acting in concert with somebody else. I want to make certain that we’ve truly come to at least a pause in the incident. Is there a piece you want to add there, Gary?
Gary: I think that’s established and that threat is gone. That threat has been neutralized either by them fleeing or you taking lethal force action. That’s number one is to assess that the threat’s gone and your loved ones whether they be your friends or your family are safe.
Rob: Where would you go next, brother?
Gary: The next step is calling 911. This is where things have the potential to get tricky. 911 conversations are not privileged. They can be used against you in a court of law.
Phillip: Wait. They can be used against you in a court of law or they will be used against you in a court of law?
Gary: Absolutely. I spent the last seven years in the homicide unit, I don’t think any call that was made by a participant in the incident we listened to in the court during the prelim and during the trial. It’s absolutely admissible.
Phillip: There never was a case you didn’t do it. Whatever is said, we’ve talked about this before, a lot Rob and I and you whatever’s said on that 911 is going to come back and it’s going to come back 18 months, two years after the fact, after all the news stories have happened. To a jury who’s had a fat breakfast and cut blow cups of coffee and they’re not worried about anything when they hear your call. That’s an important factor to think about. Let’s take a break right here and we’ll come back right after this.
Rob: Welcome back to the CCW Safe Podcast for this next segment. We’re doing a co-production today with Firing Line Radio. My normal co-host here is Phillip Naman and my partner in crime, Gary Eastridge, is with us. We’re discussing those issues post-incident, post-critical incidents, and how to respond. Obviously, we started with making certain that the threat is no longer a threat in whatever regard. Then secondly, to making that 911 call.
Gary was touching on some points about that, and we were getting into the weeds a little bit about, in very significant cases that this call is going to be played in the courtroom. It’s going to be played at the preliminary hearing, it’s going to be played in front of a jury at jury trial. It’s going to be a piece of this packet. Something that a lot of people don’t understand is that the first reporter, the first person that calls 911, is many, many, many times looked at as the victim in this thing.
Now that can change very quickly depending on evidence at the scene and statements from bystanders or witnesses or whatever. What we would train, because, in law enforcement we’ve talked about this on other shows, those guys usually are afforded two sleep cycles before they have to give a formal statement because we understand what that trauma response is and that things are not going to be exactly well thought out.
Incidents get reported out of sequence and if you don’t understand how trauma responses are you don’t understand that that’s really a very normal phenomenon. On previous shows, we’ve touched on the fact that as Gary and I would respond to an officer-involved shooting, we’re immediately responding to him or her as the victim in this thing. When we respond to anybody else’s shooting, we are strictly there to investigate a crime. Gary had touched on the point earlier that this is a lawful way to do something that any other deployment of that level of force would be a criminal act. It has to be something that you can prove that this is the reasons why I did it.
Phillip: On that part that you’re hitting on right there, let’s explain why because maybe not everybody’s heard that about if you do choose self-defense which you’re really saying in a court of law.
Gary: It’s what’s called an affirmative defense. You’re admitting that you took the action, “I shot that person.” Shooting someone is a crime with certain exceptions, one of those being when acting in self-defense. You have to establish that, but by it being an affirmative defense, you’ve just crossed the first threshold that a prosecutor has to prove that you’re the one responsible for the injury or death of the other person. You’ve just admitted it. If that jury’s perspective is then that you didn’t act in self-defense, now it’s back to a criminal matter. If they find you guilty there’s tremendous consequences.
Phillip: You can’t plead not guilty and then come back with self-defense.
Gary: “I didn’t do it, but if I did, I acted in self-defense.” Most judges will not allow that in a court of law.
Rob: Part of the things that I would personally want out there, whether it’s on the 911 call or to the very first, and actually I would keep that 911 call very, very brief. Very brief. I’ve been assaulted. I had to defend myself. I shot this guy, he’s still here. I need medical response and police. This is my location. This is what I’m wearing. I’ve secured my firearm. That’s really enough. I really don’t need to go into the full details of anything else that occurred right then.
As such a critical thing that that’s occurred, you’re going to see first responders coming in a little heightened. We know that I’m coming to a scene where there is at least one gun that’s been in play and somebody’s been injured to some extent with that firearm. I don’t want to be the guy that’s sitting there pointing a gun at everybody as first responders show up. I know how that goes. I know how I react to that. I know how almost every cop I’ve ever around react to that.
I don’t want to get shot because I had to defend myself. We’re going to take that out of play. Even then, as the investigator– Not investigator’s going to be an hour later, but as the patrol guys roll up and they see that you’re the one and you’re telling them, “I was a victim. He attacked me. I didn’t have any other options. I wish this had never happened, but I shot him,” whatever the case may be.
Gary: Which is one of the real critical points too to where especially you have to consider you’ve just experienced the most traumatic thing you probably will ever experience. The average person will go their life and never have that. If they do, one of the habits that are almost a human trait is you want to tell somebody. It’s really easy at that point to just go off and start talking, talking societal ills, everything you think led up to this, politics, whatever. That’s not the time. This is the time to express. “Hey, I’m too shaken up to talk right now.”
Phillip: Just the facts, man.
Gary: Just the facts. Unfortunately, people get what my dad used to call constipation of the brain and diarrhea of the mouth. Once they start talking they can’t stop talking. I can tell you from firsthand experience as a homicide investigator if I can wind you up and let you start talking, there’s been a lot of people talk themselves right into prison.
Phillip: Obviously we’re talking about the people who were innocent here and had to defend their lives but the effect on your body, your adrenaline dump, the fight or flight syndrome, you get so much of that in your bloodstream, and then it takes 30 minutes to an hour to come out. Just about the time, everybody starts asking these questions, I’m sure when you were doing your interviews you saw this, that person’s physically shaking.
Their body has these little convulsions as it’s going back to a normal state and it’s very emotional and it’s a traumatic event to go that hard into the adrenaline curve. Then as your body works its way back out of it, if you’ve never seen that or aware of it before, that’s when they just want to hug you and tell you the whole story as an investigator.
Gary: The other downside to that is as that adrenaline bleeds off and you return to that normal state, anybody that’s been in a competitive match can tell you that once that adrenaline bleeds off, you become almost exhausted. We saw that in one of the cases of a member we defended who was charged with murder following what we believed and the jury agreed with us was a clear-cut self-defense case. By the time they took our member to the police station and left him in a room for two hours. After being through this super intense three separate attacks incident, he gets in the interview room and almost goes to sleep.
Law enforcement then talking about perspective, saw that as a sign of, “Look how calm he is.” Anybody that’s been involved in an incident can tell you that once that adrenaline bleeds off, you’re absolutely exhausted.
Rob: That’s a big deal. Now, I know that we’re sitting here talking about limiting my engagement, my communication. There are other things though that I do need to make known. Gary can tell you that once we show up and work a scene when we leave, it’s no longer evidence. It’s just gone. I can’t recreate my evidence. I can’t recreate my scenes.
Phillip: Let’s bring that up on our next segment here because that’s a great point, Rob. We’ll be right back after this folks.
Rob: Welcome back. As we were cutting way to break we were talking about things that can’t be recreated. Evidence is one of those, if I don’t identify certain things that are present at the time that the officers are, they may not comprehend the value of what that stuff was. Gary, you’ve been involved. You have a guy that is deceased. Law enforcement shows up, you’ve given just the bare minimum. This is who I am. This happened to me. I had to defend myself. Are you finished?
Gary: No. I encourage. There’s some line of thought that says absolutely say nothing to law enforcement. I think that changes and shifts that perspective. What I’m going to want to do is express my willingness to cooperate.
What Rob’s touching on there is what we call in law enforcement, a public safety statement. That is things that will be pertinent to that investigator and the evidence technicians that they may miss if I don’t tell it. If that person threw their weapon and it went into some strawberries 15 yards away, I’m going to say, he threw his weapon over there.
I think it went in those shrubs. I’m also going to let law enforcement know it was just him, or it was him and four others. They ran in that direction. They ran down that street. Just those little things you’re now establishing that you’re the victim. The trick or I shouldn’t say trick because it’s not a trick, the balance is to not go into detail while you’re in that very heightened traumatic state. Express that cooperation when they– naturally, the officers if you answer any question, they’re going to ask more questions. You have to politely in keeping things focused on you as a victim expressed to them. I’m too shaken up, I need my representation. I need to relax which may, or I say, may it very well could end up you being detained for an evening or two.
Rob: Well, one of the surefire ways to get yourself detained is Gary’s the responding officer. I’m standing there given this safety statement and then he says, “Well, what else can you tell me about? What started this? Anything else?” All of a sudden I just go, “Not saying another word until my attorney’s here,” what’s probably your next step there, Gary?
Gary: The bracelets.
Rob: Yes, I’m [unintelligible 00:34:01].
Gary: Unless the evidence is compelling unless there’s a witness who can say, “Yes, I saw that person attack Rob,” all I have to go on is the fact that I have a person who is shot and a person with a gun who says, “I’m not telling you what happened.”
Phillip: Here’s a situation because I’m speaking as a civilian who’s one of your clients. The CCW carriers nationwide are the most law-abiding. They don’t realize that as an officer, every single person you talk to is lying to you the entire shift. You haven’t heard one truthful thing the entire day. Although they’re standing there telling you the truth, they don’t understand why aren’t you believing me because you’ve been shellac 10 coats thick with lies all day long, and you can’t sort them out. You’re going to have to take him downtown with his attorney. They can sort it out there because there’s just too much stuff that happens on the streets.
Rob: I know plenty of attorneys that will tell me that my client’s not making any statements. Man, that’s a red flag for me. At least let’s work this out and give me a time that we can get together and talk with you being present. I never had any issue with an attorney being present in an interview. Not ever. People think that’s a deal. There may be somebody I didn’t care for on a personal term, but as far as the business end of things, they were doing their job and I was doing mine.
Now, Gary put it really nice earlier when he was talking about, this happened to me. These are the things involving this. He threw the gun over there. I think I should stop now. I’m really shaken up. I’m having just this huge adrenaline dump and I’m telling you. I don’t get to tell them that, but it’s one of those that I am really not thinking very clearly right now. I’m really very emotional over this. Just for my own protection, I want to give you full cooperation, but I’m going to wait until my attorney is present so that we’ll do that together.
Gary: I’d even say something like, I hope you understand because I assure you that Bob [crosstalk].
Phillip: What he was saying is he wanted to be able to protect himself.
Rob: Just cut out on us, Phil. Anyway, moving on, the incidents occurred– Let’s say everything went just perfectly and we’re going to go in and the investigator says, “Yes, not a problem. You do your thing.” He gives his business card to the attorney or gives it to me and says, “Give this to my attorney. Have him call me. We’ll set up a time to make a statement and go over this.” Beyond that, there’s still things that I want to be very very protective of. That’s still my story.
It’s one thing Gary and I work side by side every single day. Unless he’s actually involved working my incident, it’s not the time for me to go, “Dude, you won’t believe what happened to me yesterday.” Keep that to yourself. That includes family. I really need to lock myself in a bubble until that interview’s been conducted and we’ve gone over everything. Even at that, I don’t want to get a whole lot of things out there. We all know. We’ve seen the little tests where you start on this end of a classroom and somebody whispers in the first guy’s ears and gives them a little blurb, and he has the requirement to pass it all the way down to the other end, and how jumbled and distorted that becomes by the time it’s gone around a classroom.
Gary: Those people that don’t understand the Fifth Amendment, don’t realize that if you’re talking there are only a handful of privileged conversations. Your attorney, your spiritual guide, spiritual, what am I trying to say mento and your spouse. If you tell your brother what happened, you’ve just made your brother a witness, and your brother can be subpoenaed to court. Unlike you, your brother can be forced to say what you told him. That Fifth Amendment is strictly for you and it doesn’t extend to witnesses.
Rob: Absolutely. The next thing I would do on that really strongly encourages you to avoid the media. I’d turn off the news. I would limit my social interactions. I want to keep– That’s when I want to bring my bubble in.
Gary: Close your Facebook page.
Rob: Yes. That’s exactly where we were going shut down all of your social media stuff and don’t look at it. You’re going to get so spun up over the things that idiots out there are saying about what they think you’ve done and there’s nothing in it except for heartache. It’s just going to wear you out because it’s like, holy crap, Phil said this and he knows I’m not that kind of guy. You don’t know how this stuff is going to blow up, and rumors are just that and they’re vicious.
There’s nothing good that comes from him, so just shut that stuff down. You got to do those things for self-protection. There are so many things that can be done even pre-incident. Gary and I have spoken about this before. There’s all kinds of little cutesy memes out there and we get comments all the time on our newsletters or podcasts or whatever where somebody’s like I’d rather be tried by 12 than carried by 6. I’d rather not have any of it come up. I’d rather just walk away freely and be healthy and whole and happy and live my life.
Phillip: That’s the way we’ve got to be. Folks, I want to thank my special guest, Rob High and Gary Eastridge, CCW Safe. They’re the best people to have on your team, but I hope you never have to meet them, so have a great week and we’ll be back next week.
Gary: Bye-Bye guys.
Phillip: If you want to continue your thought, they could cut that out for your podcast and continue. I just had to jump off the show on that part. If you want to do that, Rob because you were on a roll. I hate to jump on that.
Gary: I’d like to follow up a little more on that social media because that’s one of the things. I monitor our social media accounts for comments and it amazes me what people say on an open forum on Facebook about what they would do.
Rob: Let’s just pick it right back up then. As we’re moving forward, we’ll continue this in discussion regarding allowing access into our lives, into our incidents that are going to be detrimental. We do it, and we don’t even think about it. It’s amazing the things that pick things up these days. I had a discussion with Gary, and some of the guys from the office yesterday and we’re just discussing the viability of a J-Frame pistol. Great little gun. It’s concealable, it’s just something that helps us, and we get into other things and all of a sudden I look down at my phone and I told Justin today, I said, all of a sudden I’ve got this message that pops up and it’s a sale on J-Fram revolvers.
That’s not necessarily the things that are going to blow up, but I can tell you I’m investigating and one of the first things I do is it’s like Philip Naman, blah blah, blah. This is where he is from and I pass that off to our analyst and they dig into your life so all those-
Gary: Data mining.
Rob: Yes, all those stupid things that I thought were just funny. I didn’t mean them but they were funny. These things are being used against me. Go ahead, Gary.
Gary: I was going to say, I’ve got a couple of examples. We just ran a newsletter on the aftermath about needing support in the aftermath. It sparked a lot of comments. One guy talked about, I don’t need anything. I’ve got a back hole and a hole already dug implying that he’s going to bury the body. Then that was followed up with comments that said, “No body, no crime.” Well, I assure you that’s incorrect, and if you were legally justified in your shooting, you’ve just made it a crime by your actions.
Not only that, even if it’s an offhand remark or joke, you can bet you’re going to get to explain that in court. The thing is, a lot of times your attorney’s not going to let you explain it. He doesn’t want to put you on, so that statement’s got to stand on what it is. What does that show? It shows you have a disregard for your callous towards taking a life, that could be that little thing that pushes that jury over the edge to find you guilty.
Rob: One of the other things, and pretty much every one of them I’ve ever worked with across the table as they’re working a defense. I don’t think I’ve ever been around an attorney that did not give sage advice on what to do moving forward for their clients. I can say that from working on the civilian side as well, working in the defense of people, take that as gospel. When your attorney says, “Listen, I want you to do these things. I want you to stop doing these things.” Whatever that advice is, is lessons learned over time, and he’s given that advice for a reason because he’s had to go fight the fight after somebody has done whatever that is, he’s imploring you not to do, so follow that advice. Keep that circle really small.
Protect yourself from the things that spin out of control that become just absolute lies but we’ve all seen those things. It was one of the biggest obstacles in the George Zimmerman case was all that stuff blew up and then he was not intelligent enough to refrain from jumping in front of cameras and giving statements and that stuff is. It just gets used in spun all the way out of control. As Don West can tell you, we’ve had all kinds of things pop up with. They’re giving facts in the courtroom and outside the courtroom, you still have people that are thinking, he did this, he did that, the dispatcher told him to do this and this is what he did instead, and those things were all lies. It’s how that case proceeded at. If I avoid all those things, I don’t have to worry about defending all those things.
[00:47:56] [END OF AUDIO]