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A protestor was videoed pouring gasoline on an occupied NYPD van. I think this action justifies use of deadly force under FL law. The risk of starting a fire with a firearm discharge is a possibility. What do you guys that study the FL law MUCH more closely than me think?

Go to 27 sec to see gasoline pouring.
 

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No different than a molotov cocktail into / onto an occupied structure / residence / business.

I'm saying deadly force is justifiable. Trying to set you on fire is a lethal threat.
 

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Is there a question here?...pouring gasoline on an occupied vehicle seems pretty dangerous to me....there are plenty of ignition sources without gunfire involvement...
 

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If it’s me, I’m Doing what the NYPD guys did unless someone can correct me on the danger of my shots igniting the gasoline! o_O
 
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A protestor was videoed pouring gasoline on an occupied NYPD van. I think this action justifies use of deadly force under FL law. The risk of starting a fire with a firearm discharge is a possibility. What do you guys that study the FL law MUCH more closely than me think?

Go to 27 sec to see gasoline pouring.
It is. Arson is considered a violent felony.
 

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Bob, If you are talking about F.S 776, then the words you are looking for are "forcible felony" but the words -a felony involving violence- also appear in the chapter. However:

Depending upon state specific statutes, the crime of "arson" usually includes the element of fire or burning. In this case I would argue that the act of pouring an accelerant on an occupied vehicle might be attempted arson, but then that does not fit as nicely into the clear language of 776.

Under federal law you might have a case:

Definition. The FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program defines arson as any willful or malicious burning or attempting to burn, with or without intent to defraud, a dwelling house, public building, motor vehicle or aircraft, personal property of another, etc.

18 U.S C. 844
(1)
Whoever maliciously damages or destroys, or attempts to damage or destroy, by means of fire or an explosive, any building, vehicle, or other personal or real property in whole or in part owned or possessed by, or leased to, the United States, or any department or agency thereof, or any institution or organization receiving Federal financial assistance, shall be imprisoned for not less than 5 years and not more than 20 years, fined under this title, or both.


IANAL; and am just sharing my thoughts, and definitely not giving legal advice.
 
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Bob, If you are talking about F.S 776, then the words you are looking for are "forcible felony" but the words -a felony involving violence- also appear in the chapter. However:

Depending upon state specific statutes, the crime of "arson" usually includes the element of fire or burning. In this case I would argue that the act of pouring an accelerant on an occupied vehicle might be attempted arson, but then that does not fit as nicely into the clear language of 776.

Under federal law you might have a case:

Definition. The FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program defines arson as any willful or malicious burning or attempting to burn, with or without intent to defraud, a dwelling house, public building, motor vehicle or aircraft, personal property of another, etc.

18 U.S C. 844
(1)
Whoever maliciously damages or destroys, or attempts to damage or destroy, by means of fire or an explosive, any building, vehicle, or other personal or real property in whole or in part owned or possessed by, or leased to, the United States, or any department or agency thereof, or any institution or organization receiving Federal financial assistance, shall be imprisoned for not less than 5 years and not more than 20 years, fined under this title, or both.


IANAL; and am just sharing my thoughts, and definitely not giving legal advice.
Great post,
In my own world, we were on stake out for a known arsonist who'd threatened to burn the place down after he'd been released from a previous arson conviction.

When we saw him carrying a gas can across the lawn, we waited until he lit the fire so that we had him on arson, not just attempted arson or trespass across private property with his previous statement of the intention to burn the place to the ground. At best, attempted arson if we'd grabbed him before he could light a match for simply carrying a gas can at 2am.

An attempt to burn would have to include an ignition source ignited to a burning of that accelerant poured on the vehicle. One COULD connect the dots, but proving intent to burn without their first using an ignition source may be problematic in the courts.

Defacing gov property would be a lawful charge. Reckless endangerment perhaps as well. Arson? Not without an ignition and actual burning of something.
 

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does arson really matter when someone is dumping gasoline on an occupied vehicle...if someone is pouring gasoline on a person does ignition have to be the motive or is pouring gasoline on a person or occupied vehicle/domicile a forcible felony?...

if i threw gasoline in a cup at someone would i have to have matches or a lighter in my pocket for it to be an attempt at bodily harm?...
 

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does arson really matter when someone is dumping gasoline on an occupied vehicle...

In all prosecutions for arson there are two elements of the alleged crime, which the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) That the fire was caused by the willful criminal act of some per- son; and (2) the identity of defendant as the one responsible for the fire if someone is pouring gasoline on a person does ignition have to be the motive or is pouring gasoline on a person or occupied vehicle/domicile a forcible felony?...

if someone is pouring gasoline on a person does ignition have to be the motive or is pouring gasoline on a person or occupied vehicle/domicile a forcible felony?..

Very well could be a forceable felony, but without ignition, it's not arson. As I mentioned, other charges would apply.

if i threw gasoline in a cup at someone would i have to have matches or a lighter in my pocket for it to be an attempt at bodily harm?...
Not in my opinion, petroleum products like gasoline are caustic, and may cause blindness or burning of the skin.
 

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Again, anyone know the probability of gunfire igniting the fumes? :unsure:

AND IMHO , given the history of BLM setting fires, I would definitely be in fear for my life or GBH and able to articulate same. o_O
 

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The original question was "can I just shoot him" under F.S. 776 to stop the alleged forcible felony of arson. The original question was limited to the pouring an accelerant on a vehicle but not igniting it.

You have now changed the question, as to whether pouring or throwing an accelerant on a person would be aggregated assault.

In the first case I speculate that "it depends."

In you new question, the question is whether you are stopping the assault on your person by using deadly force, or whether the assault has already occurred. This is never as easy as it seems. Sometimes timing is everything.

As I have said many time before, it depends... "if the court finds" is always the question.
 
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Let me take a stab at it, I actually do study the law for a living. If the van is the one pictured in the video, it appeared to be capable of being started and driving away in a moments notice. Next, it appeared the guy pouring gasoline, unless the video is missing something, only poured for a matter of seconds.

The officers did the absolutely correct thing, they drove away. Now to convert it to a deadly force case what would you have them do, roll the window down and shoot the guy that poured gasoline for a few seconds on the van as he was walking away? Should they jump out of the van and shoot him? They had a readily available alternative and took it, descalating the situation professionally.

I don’t think it would be a justifiable homicide under Florida law. Now if it actually were the same as throwing a Molotov cocktail into an occupied dwelling which it is not, there would be a point there. The occupants were being hit with a fire bomb and the container in which they were in, the house or business was stationary. A Molotov cocktail Is a clear attempt to burn you and the building down around you therefore an attempt on your life.

If the gasoline guy pulled a lighter out of his pocket and started flicking his bic, if the van was somehow immobilized or unable to vacate the area, I think it officer outside observing the behavior could justifiably shoot.

Circumstances are always nuanced but I strongly suggest that you not take anything said above to cause you to think pouring gasoline on a mobile untethered vehicle justifies killing the person pouring the gas cause I don’t believe it does.
 

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I was taught “Assault is in the mind of the assaulted, not the intent of the perpetrator .” Again, given BLM’s history of setting vehicles on fire, I wouldn’t take the chance that he was, “Only funnin’ “

That said, my action inside would be to drive off. If outside and other Officers were in danger of being immolated, I would shoot. I think the history and behaviors of Antifa and BLM mitigate in favor of reasonable fear. He who hesitates may be toast.
 

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Again, anyone know the probability of gunfire igniting the fumes? :unsure:

AND IMHO , given the history of BLM setting fires, I would definitely be in fear for my life or GBH and able to articulate same. o_O
Technically, they are gasoline vapors, not fumes.
Fumes manifest only after combustion.

The risk is fairly low, but not zero.
 

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Are we trapped onto believing that deadly force is only delivered by a firearm?...another case of "if all you have is a hammer"...
 

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Can I suggest that we all re-read F.S 776 and try our best to understand the theory of the "presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm" There are specific elements that trigger that defense.

776 is one of the shortest chapters in the Florida statutes and if you line out the parts about not shouting peace officers (because we are law abiding citizens and don't really need to be told that) then you can read the entire chapter in 10 minutes.

There are only a few cases in which you can "just shot them" without a reasonable fear, or in other words, with the presumption of a reasonable fear as provided by statute.

In most cases you will need to justify your actions in a court room.

 
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