Skip to comments.In North Carolina Rabbit Cops Shoot Hunters (Turkey Hunter Shooting)
Posted on 07/09/2009 6:20:22 AM PDT by Copernicus
If you plan to spend your recreational hunting dollars in North Carolina realize you do so at peril of your life!
Wildlife Enforcement Officers have gone as feral as their brothers in other parts of the Thin JBT Line .
Without fear of prosecution they now have license to shoot 76 year old landowners hunting their own property.
(Excerpt) Read more at johnjacobh.wordpress.com ...
Best regards to all,
I can’t believe this isn’t being prosecuted.
Well, maybe I can. Cops can come onto my property and kill me and say it was self defense.
This makes my blood boil.
Reading the story, it appears two stupid armed men met.
However, before assistance could arrive, Mr. Coffey descended from the tree stand with his weapon cradled across his arms, disregarding the instructions of Officer Minton to leave the weapon in the stand. According to the officer when Mr. Coffey reached the ground, he advanced towards Officer Minton, holding his weapon in a low readyposition and pointing it directly at the officer. Officer Minton commanded him multiple times to stop and then retreated up the hill from Mr. Coffey approximately 85 feet from the tree stand as Mr. Coffey continued to pursue Officer Minton with his shotgun pointing at him. Mr. Coffey was approximately 25 feet from the officer when again he was told to stop. Officer Minton stated that he thought Mr. Coffey was going to shoot him; he drew his service weapon, pointed it at Mr. Coffey and fired one round, striking Mr. Coffey in the chest. Mr. Coffey fell immediately. The distance between Mr. Coffeys body and the base of the tree that Officer Minton fired from was 14 feet. Officer Minton radioed to the other officers that he had shot Mr. Coffey and EMS was requested. Furthermore, Officer Minton attempted CPR on Mr. Coffey without success.
In the course of the investigation, SBI agents collected scratch feed, which is commonly used for baiting turkeys, from the area around Mr. Coffeys tree stand. This feed was consistent with feed located at Mr. Coffeys residence and with feed located near the tree stand occupied by Larry Helton. Agents also determined that Mr. Coffey suffered from hearing loss. According to information provided by the family of Clyde Coffey, the conduct described by Officer Minton was out of character for Mr. Coffey.
I’m trying to look for something that the game officer did wrong, but I can’t find anything.
He patrolled the area (legally), he investigated suspect activity (legally) and, if his story is true, an armed man approached him and aimed a weapon at him.
Again, this all depends upon the officer’s story and there’s certainly no one else alive to corrobarate or refute that story, but the article provides no evidence that would even minimally warrant an indictment.
A lot of honest, intelligent and capable people want to serve their fellow citizens by enforcing the law. It takes a lot of weeding to keep people like that away from a badge.
I know some posters on here have defended the officer, but I question his conduct. If the situation was growing tense, why not just diffuse it by walking away and returning later with backup, if the crime of turkey baiting is so egregious? Why force a confrontation with an obviously furious elderly man who is, after all, on his own property? If forced to shoot, why not aim for the arm or leg? Or did the officer not have that sort of skill from less than 20 feet? It’s just a senseless situation, and a man is dead because of a lack of discretion and common sense.
I’m not sure I want police officers backing down during confrontations.
Bad policy for a department, and a very bad tactic for the officer.
It only means he’s destined to get the SECOND shot off, if any.
Shooting for extremities is a complete non-starter.
If lethal force (gun) is required, it should be given every chance to be LETHAL.
I guarantee that YOU, if faced with a guy with a shotgun, aren’t going to be pulling any “Annie Oalkeys” with your service pistol.
“Center of Mass” is what you’ll be lucky to get, and you’ll be glad to have it.
Game officers have more power in these cases, because they don’t need warrants. The reasoning is that animals cannot be expected to respect property lines, so an officer should have to same latitude in enforcing game laws. They go where the animals go.
Please be aware that I’m not a police apologist.
I’ve come down against the cops in many a case.
Most recently, where a homeowner was shot on his porch because he had the audacity to check out suspicious activity on his property while armed.
In this case, the deceased had no reason to believe that he was being targeted for a shooting.
“He says there is no evidence suggesting the officer confused the
hunter with an animal. Instead, it appeared the officer was
The first part of this statement seems a strange statement for the investigator to make under the circumstances..
“holding his weapon in a “low ready”position and pointing it directly at the officer”
One part of this statement seems to contradict the other part, my low ready would be pointed towards the ground about six feet in from of me, not DIRECTLY AT a person 25 feet away.
As in any shooting of this type, the victor tells the story and the other side depends on physical evidence. I don’t know what happened, can’t even find a decent story about the circumstances/statements that the decision was based on but Mr. Coffey should not have had the firearm, or should have used it (not advocating that the officer should have been shot, only stating logical options for the confrontation), by the time the Wildlife Officer drew his weapon.
There are many versions of this on the Internet, why did you post the one with the provocative headline? Seems you are trying to make a statement about the authorities involved.
If someone is threatening you with a shotgun you DON’T aim for his arm or leg. You clearly watch too much TV. But, there is virtually no excuse for this shooting anyway. Killed on one’s own property for hunting turkey?? That’s when “law enforcement” has gone nuts and officers are super-arrogant thugs. The cop should have left and returned with a group of cops, either to the same spot or to the hunter’s home.
Check again. There are no plain clothes game wardens.
1. Game officers routinely wear plain clothes to catch poachers and other violators.
2. I didn’t see in the article or other links where the guy wasn’t in uniform? Maybe I missed that somewhere?
“Shooting for extremities is a complete non-starter”
Agreed, the purpose of any use of deadly force to stop threatening action IMMEDIATELY, best chance of doing that is center mass.
I know of a case, many years ago, where an officer shot an assailant three times in the chest with a .38 Special and still had to do “hand to hand” against a knife (undoubted the hits increased the officers chance of success)
“A .45 woulda blowed his arms an legs off!”
Coosa co. in particular. They have a 100% conviction rate. And not from great investigative skill. Also a nice, friendly Judge. And I mean friendly to G&F and wealthy landowners.
So, hunting here is becoming more of an elitist sport. It's a shame, really.
Game officers have expanded latitude in almost every state, IIRC.
However, they’re limited to the specific scope of their duties.
They cannot use their discretion as a game officer to search your home for anything they want.
They can’t stop a car driving down a city street, and they still need probably cause.
I’m aware, however, that “drug interdiction” officers of some states usually being a warden along, just in case.
“They cant stop a car driving down a city street, and they still need probably cause.”
“They cannot use their discretion as a game officer to search your home for anything they want.”
BS. BTW, I see you qualified that statement with “anything they want”.
By “can’t” do you mean never? Shouldn’t? Won’t? Are Forbidden? What? Cause I assure you they can and will.
I’m saying that they’re not as Constitutionally unlimited as you think.
Just like the Border Patrol has more power along the border, and almost none in the interior.
They still need PC to search your car.
Their PC is different than a state trooper’s traffic stop.
If they catch you coming out of the woods with a million-candlepower light, they’re gonna have PC.
Probable cause? PC can be anything they say it is. Just for instance: They get a report of someone shooting from a road. They stop anyone and everyone they feel like on that road. Or, they see a truck go by with a dog box on it. Deer hunting is illegal with dogs. But not rabbit, squirrel, coon, fox, hogs etc. etc. That’s PC in their book.
They can write you a ticket for anything game related, with no proof at all. I repeat, NO PROOF, and the attitude is, screw you.
Feel free to post any online story you find either in this thread or stand-alone.
I would be interested to read it.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.