Kayla Shay (kaylashay) wrote,
Kayla Shay
kaylashay

NCIS and Deadly Force

So... there's been some discussion on a certain aspect of the end of Season 6 on NCIS in regards to deadly force. I'm putting this behind the cut to avoid spoilers for people...


Based on some discussions I've seen lately in regards to "was it right or wrong" for Tony to use a kill shot against Rivkin in the fight when he could have made an incapacitating shot instead (leg, arm, shoulder, etc.), I decided to put my Google searching skills to work and came across several NCIS documents before finding this little gem: Click Here to View Document

This document focuses specifically on USE OF DEADLY FORCE AND THE CARRYING OF FIREARMS BY PERSONNEL OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY IN CONJUNCTION WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT, SECURITY DUTIES AND PERSONAL PROTECTION. I am not sure if this is the most recent issuance of this document as the latest date on it is August 27, 2003. However, I have enough experience with government contracts/pws/jargon/etc through work that I know things such as this don't vary often, if at all. So I'm pretty confident this is current or extremely close to current wording. Now, on with the key points of this document. (I will notate which pages what I copy/paste can be found on. I read the whole thing before doing this post...)

from pages 14 and 15 of PDF file
E2. ENCLOSURE 2
GUIDANCE ON USE OF DEADLY FORCE

E2.1.2. Deadly force is justified only under conditions of extreme necessity and when all three of the following circumstances are present:

E2.1.2.I. Lesser means have been exhausted, are unavailable, or cannot be reasonably employed;

E2.1.2.2. The risk of death or serious bodily harm to innocent persons is not significantly increased by use; and

E2.1.2.3. The purpose of its use is one or more of the following:

E2.1.2.3.1. Self-Defense and Defense of Others. When deadly force reasonably appears to be necessary against a hostile person(s) to protect law enforcement or security personnel who reasonablybelieve themselves or others to be in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm by the hostile person(s).

E2.1.2.3.2. Assets Involving National Security. When deadly force reasonably appears necessary to prevent the actual theft or sabotage of assets vital to national security. DoD assets shall be specifically designated as "vital to national security" only when their loss, damage, or compromise would seriously jeopardize the fulfillment of a national defense mission. Examples include nuclear weapons; nuclear command, control, and communications facilities; and designated restricted areas containing strategic operational assets, sensitive codes, or special access programs.

E2.1.2.3.3. Assets Not Involving National Security But Inherently Dangerous To Others. When deadly force reasonably appears to be necessary to prevent the actual theft or sabotage of resources, such as operable weapons or ammunition, that are inherently dangerous to others; i.e., assets that, in the hands of an unauthorized individual, present a substantial potential danger of death or serious bodily harm to others. Examples include high-risk portable and lethal missiles, rockets, arms, ammunition, explosives, chemical agents, and special nuclear material.

E2.1.2.3.4. Serious Offenses Against Persons. When deadly force reasonably appears necessary to prevent the commission of a serious crime that involves imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm (for example, setting fire to an inhabited dwelling or sniping), including the defense of other persons, where deadly force is directed against the person threatening to commit the crime. Examples include murder, anned robbery, and aggravated assault.

E2.1.2.3.5. Protect Public Health or Safety. When deadly force reasonably appears to be necessary to prevent the destruction of public utilities or similar critical infrastructure vital to public health or safety, the damage to which, would create an imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm.

E2.1.2.3.6. Arrest or Apprehension. When deadly force reasonably appears to be necessary to arrest or apprehend a person who, there is probable cause to believe, has committed one of the serious offenses referred to in subparagraphs E2.1.2.3.2. through E2.1.2.3.5., above.

E2.1.2.3.7. Escape. When deadly force has been specifically authorized by the Heads of the DoD Components and reasonably appears to be necessary to prevent the escape of a prisoner, provided there is probable cause to believe that such person:

E2.1.2.3.7.l Has committed or attempted to commit one of the serious offenses referred to in subparagraphs E2.1.2.3 .2. through E2.1.2.3.5., above; and

E2.1.2.3.7.2 Would pose an imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm to law enforcement or security personnel or to any other person.


Also for my purposes in discussion below, from page 8 of the PDF File

3.6. Serious Bodily Harm. Does not include minor injuries, such as a black eye or a bloody nose, but does include fractured or dislocated bones, deep cuts, tom members of the body, serious damage to the internal organs, and other life-threatening injuries.


Now, let's break down what I copy/pasted above in regards to the Tony and Rivkin fight. First, were all three circumstances present to warrant Tony using deadly force?

  1. Lesser means have been exhausted, are unavailable, or cannot be reasonably employed - YES

    I would say that Tony exhausted lesser means in regards to hand-to-hand combat and was on the losing end. Other shots to in an attempt to incapacitate Rivkin without killing would have been risky for several reasons. Tony was already injured and at this point, his aim may not have been reliable. Rivkin is highly trained and taking out one arm or leg may not have stopped him. A kill shot is easier to make than an incapacitate shot.

  2. The risk of death or serious bodily harm to innocent persons is not significantly increased by use - YES

    Only Tony and Rivkin were in the apartment. Rivkin was not holding a hostage in the way like the situation where Gibbs shot through Lee to kill the bad guy. Unless he completely missed his shot and it went through a window and *somehow* managed to strike someone from the second (or whatever) floor... well... no one else was at risk if Tony used deadly force.

  3. The purpose of its use is one or more of the following - I will indicate the ones I feel fit for a YES

    Self-Defense and Defense of Others. When deadly force reasonably appears to be necessary against a hostile person(s) to protect law enforcement or security personnel who reasonablybelieve themselves or others to be in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm by the hostile person(s). - YES

    Tony already qualified for serious bodily harm from the fight with Rivkin. Refer to but does include fractured or dislocated bones from the section on what constitutes serious bodily harm. This was self-defense on Tony's part against a superior fighter.

    Escape. When deadly force has been specifically authorized by the Heads of the DoD Components and reasonably appears to be necessary to prevent the escape of a prisoner, provided there is probable cause to believe that such person:
    E2.1.2.3.7.2 Would pose an imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm to law enforcement or security personnel or to any other person.
    - YES

    We know by this point that Rivkin has killed more than one person on US soil. He has been asked to leave the US by federal agents. He essentially poses an imminent danger to person or persons unknown because of who he is and what he does. So yes, Tony would have this as a justifiable reason.

    That is two from that section and only one was required. And I think a strong argument could be made for several of the other items that falls under this section.


Now... Since Tony met (in my opinion) the three requirements needed to exercise the use of deadly force, then he was fully justified in killing Rivkin. He followed protocol on that point.

The only point that I feel I might have slipped on was that he didn't take backup to Ziva's apartment. However, he went into that with the intention of just 'visiting' a co-worker. He was not aware that Rivkin would be there. So even that, I can forgive him on because he wasn't thinking in terms of 'potential dangerous situation' prior to him learning Rivkin was in the apartment.

Feel free to discuss away below and give me your opinions, even if they differ from my own. I love to see friendly debate... Just keep it respectful. :-)
Tags: .episodediscussion, .research, fandom: ncis
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