Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Irony, thy name is Borris Miles

Night before last, State Rep Borris Miles shot a man in his under-construction new home. The man was attempting to steal copper from the structure. So far, so good, if that was all there was to the story, I'd want to shake the man's hand. Here is where the wheels start coming off the wagon. Rep Miles shot the man after he threw a pocket knife at him. At that point, the man was no longer visibly armed. Secondly, he intentionally shot to wound instead of shooting at the center of mass to stop the attack as he was trained to do. Point of information: Rep Miles is a former HISD police officer, he also holds a Texas Concealed Carry License, he has been trained in the proper use of deadly force, he does not have the excuse that he didn't know. But here is the bit that really makes the situation ironic, Rep Miles voted against the castle doctrine bill that would have given him civil immunity from lawsuits arising from the proper use of deadly force.

But then again, this was not a proper use of deadly force. He shot an unarmed man, and he shot him, not to stop an attack, but instead he intentionally and with aforethought, shot him in the leg, possibly to keep him from escaping. This man put the right to protect yourself in jeopardy by violating the law so flagrantly. It is my sincere hope that he is indited for this. We, the supporters of the right to keep and bear arms, must be willing to eat our own when one of us breaks the law, in order to protect this right for the rest of us.


Blogger The Dude said...

"Rep Miles shot the man after he threw a pocket knife at him. At that point, the man was no longer visibly armed. Secondly, he intentionally shot to wound instead of shooting at the center of mass to stop the attack as he was trained to do."

Both excellent points that I hadn't considered. It's particularly interesting to me in that I just took the CHL certification class this past weekend and there was quite a bit of discussion about the "castle doctrine" as you might expect.

For one thing, it doesn't go into effect until September, so whether or not Rep. Miles supported it wouldn't seem particularly relevant to me in consideration of a shooting that took place before that effective date. For another, my understanding of the new law is that it effectively extends your "castle" to include your business and vehicle. Seeing as the shooting took place in his home, wouldn't Rep. Miles have the same legal protection in his home whether he holds a CHL or not (excluding civil immunity of course)?

July 11, 2007 9:18 AM  
Blogger Rorschach said...

Dude, you are right, the law does not take effect until Sept. and in the case of your home, the only change is the civil immunity. the "castle doctrine" part of the law really only affects your car or your business or the public street. Anywhere that you have a legal right to be.

Another aspect is that there is some question as to the timeline as to when this happened. Some of the reported timelines would have put the shooting occurring in daylight which the law is different and more restrictive during daylight as you know. Other timelines put the shooting around dusk which may or may not meet the legal definition of "night".

Bottom line, the story does not hold together in a way that makes this a legal shooting. If Miles thought the man was still armed, it makes no sense to shoot him in the leg as he could still kill Miles with a leg wound. If Miles knew the man was unarmed, or suspected as much then there was no need to shoot him at all. There is no grey area when it comes to use of deadly force, either the guy needed to be dead, or he didn't. There is NEVER justification to merely wound (because even a leg shot can kill if the artery is knicked after all). If the circumstances were dire enough for a shot to be fired, the circumstances were dire enough that the aim point needs to be COM.

July 11, 2007 11:02 AM  
Blogger The Dude said...

The whole thing really is strange. When I first heard about this story I thought the fact he shot the guy in the leg was a result of just shooting low rather than it being intentional. That the leg shot was intentional really makes it weird. I can't help but think that Dude or Rorschach (being non-legislators) wouldn't be given the same leniency by a court given the same circumstances.

Then it gets even stranger. Miles uses the incident as a launching point for a statement about how we need to provide more opportunities for impoverished people or some such tripe. I keep waiting for someone to jump up and yell "April fools!". But it ain't April and I'm pretty sure I'm awake right now.

July 11, 2007 12:52 PM  
Blogger Rorschach said...

Dude, we aren't fools either....

July 11, 2007 1:08 PM  
Blogger Rorschach said...

I think I'm going to make a few calls.

July 11, 2007 1:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well for once there is no "race Card" in the deck here!

Now we really need to consider Miles intentions here. How much distance was there between the purp's leg and his COM? Quite a bit and for a police officer, that would not be considered a miss. So you can bet that the purp will sue the bejebus out of Miles and I seriously doubt he will get to move in when a good attorney cleans his clock!

July 11, 2007 7:31 PM  
Blogger Thunder said...


We will see if the DA has any cajones here and presents this to a Grand Jury.

The facts may change in this case, but a gunshot wound is pretty severe punishment. Pick the place on your leg or body where you would want to get shot, and perhaps have a permanent life altering injury....

Then sit on the Grand Jury that will hand down an "true Bill"

Vigilante comes to mind possibly, but I'd like to reserve for the statements of the bad guy in this case.....

July 11, 2007 10:40 PM  
Blogger wtweldon said...

A couple of other points that come to mind, are since the house was under construction and not in an state that it could be occupied, by Mr Miles, the castle doctrine really could not apply.

Also since the building is underconstruction, who is the true owner of the property, the builder, or Mr. Miles. Is this property that he owns and is building on or is he buying the home from a builder/developer. Because he could also be in danger of tresspassing and violation of concealed cary laws, if the builder does not allow weapons on site.

Just my 2cents.

July 12, 2007 11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know thisis old news, however, Borris Miles was the builder of his own property. Also, I don't see where he was wrong in this issue. He shot a burgular who was attempting to still from him, and it was the second time.

October 29, 2008 4:32 PM  
Blogger Rorschach said...

Anon, like I said the issue of where he was shot and the fact that the leg shot was intentional and not a result of a miss, the fact that the perp was no longer visibly armed (he disarmed himself when he threw the knife.), and the fact that the house was not yet habitable and therefore not his "home" yet, and the discrepancy as to whether it was "night" or not all are factors that add up to the shooting not being legal. It would appear the shooting was revenge for the theft, not an attempt at self defense. you are NOT allowed to be judge, jury, AND executioner. you may shoot to protect your life or property, not because you are mad at the guy.

October 29, 2008 4:46 PM  

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