CA Controversy Over Player’s Shooting By Off-Duty Cop


Is a driver required to pull over when ordered to do so by a guy in an unmarked car who claims to be a police officer? The answer, as a general rule, is no, say experts quoted by the San Diego Union-Tribune. The issue has been debated since San Diego Chargers linebacker Steve Foley was shot by an officer near the player’s home this month. The officer was off duty, wearing civilian clothes and driving his civilian car – a black Mazda sedan – when he spotted Foley’s car weaving erratically. Foley ignored the officer’s commands to stop, touching off events that ended with the officer shooting Foley three times. An attorney for a Foley passenger said the player thought the officer might be a carjacker or an “overexuberant fan.”

California law says that a person who refuses to pull over can’t be convicted of evading a police officer unless the officer’s car has a red light and a siren. The officer must be in uniform and the officer’s car must be “distinctively marked” as a law-enforcement vehicle. Many crimes and hoaxes have been committed by people posing as cops. Some Union-Tribune readers said they would have done what Foley did under the circumstances: kept driving. “I’m a 52-year-old Caucasian woman, and I’ll guarantee you that under no circumstances would I have pulled over,” said Janice Barnard, a document-management consultant. “If that person followed me home and pulled a gun on my husband, I (would) do whatever necessary to stop him.”


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