I recently did a fifteen-minute video on the Wilson Combat YouTube channel explaining why I – and a number of very experienced criminal defense lawyers – go against the common advice of “Never talk to the police” and recommend a brief statement to law enforcement in the immediate aftermath of a defensive drawn gun or shooting incident. You can find it here:

Or watch video here.

It’s a follow-up to an earlier video I did there about the “five point checklist” of things that need to be established at the scene as soon as possible, in hopes of avoiding a legal nightmare. That one can be found here:  

Or watch video here.

It’s already had a couple of million views.

It’s sad that people want simple answers to complicated questions. That never seems to work out well. It’s becoming a TL/DR world: “too long, didn’t read.” It results in people parroting bumper sticker advice that simply doesn’t work well in complicated, high stakes situations.


  1. Good advice, as long as you can keep from running off at the mouth and saying too much. With the current state of policing today, don’t expect an experienced/intelligent officer to show up at your lethal force incident, especially in a chronically understaffed urban area.

  2. Longtime subscriber to WC channel and regularly add that content to my discoverable documentation of training packet from my MAG40. Thanks Mas, stay well.

  3. I read your post about the 5 points checklist back in May of 2020, and revised it after your post in September of 2020.
    I printed out credit card sized copies and laminated them.
    I keep 1 in my wallet, 1 in my glove box, and hand them out to all of my students.

  4. I think the advice of not talking to the police comes from lawyers who have had experience with clients who have verbal incontinence. That is a recipe for bad things happening especially with the stress involved in a deadly force incident. However, planning for an event in advance with your 5 point plan mitigates that and gets stuff on record that needs to be.

  5. While a lot can depend upon where you happen to live, overall good advice. Not really sure which is the worst alternative: logorrhea or “Ain’t say’n nothin’ till my lawyer gets here”. Miranda doesn’t apply until you’re the focus of the investigation.

    • Miranda doesn’t apply until you’re the focus of the investigation.

      I have to assume you’re referring to the right to legal counsel in a criminal case? In that, you are correct.

      But Miranda covers more than just the 6th Amendment. The “right to remain silent” is a 5th Amendment protection against self-incrimination, and that protection applies everywhere and at all times.

      Otherwise, you’re not allowed to remain silent until after you’ve already given them everything they need to open an investigation on you.

  6. Maz is correct, again. When I read or hear anything on this topic I am reminded of advice I received from a retired federal judge in a business legal dispute. It was very simple: 1. Tell the truth. 2. Stick to the facts, DON’T GUESS. 3. Answer the question while being brief, do not babble. These simple 3 guidelines have served me well throughout life, not just legal matters. Maz’s 5 point statement is right in line with the valuable guidelines I received as a young man 50 years ago.

    • Steven Albrecht,

      Thanks for that good, easy to follow advice. I could do those three things with a clear conscience.

  7. I understand the advice on “Never talk to the Police”. Many of the people questioned by the police are guilty of something. It is so easy to talk yourself into prison by saying the wrong thing.

    I often watch “The First 48” on TV. (This is research. 🙂 )

    It is an education to watch the police question suspects and witnesses. People have heard of the “Bad Cop / Good Cop” technique. However, the police have other techniques as well.

    One that I have noticed is (as I term it) the “Grab the Female and Squeeze Her (for information)” approach. Whenever the police have a mixed group (male/female/whatever) of suspects/witnesses to question, they will (invariably) choose one of the female to begin the questioning. They will place the female in an interrogation room, put one or more big (Alpha Male) cops in the room with her, close the door, and then pressure her for a statement.

    I am not being sexist here when I observe that, for tens of thousands of years, female have survived by taking action to appease angry males. It has been, literally, programmed into the female brain (by survival of the fittest) to cooperate with Alpha Males in stressful situations. Now, occasionally, you will get a hard-nosed female who is not intimidated by this technique. However, I estimate that (in about 8 times out of 10) the female will “Sing like Celine Dion” when put in such a situation. 🙂

    After pumping the female(s) for their information, the police will then question the males and will use the info provided by the women to catch any lies that the men try to spin.

    In order to (correctly) use the “Brief Statement” approach, advocated by Mas, one needs:

    1) To be innocent or justified, under the law, for all your actions in the incident.
    2) To be reasonably intelligent to give thoughtful answers.
    3) To have a cool head under the pressure of being interrogated.

    Most of the clients, that criminal lawyers have, will fail at least two out of three of the above criteria. So, for that class of client, “Never Talk to the Police” is very good advice.

    If one can satisfy all three of the above criteria, then Mas is right. A careful, controlled statement is best.

    If I am ever placed in such a spot, I hope that I can satisfy all three. My main worry would be keeping a cool head. In the after-action period, with adrenaline pumping in my system, could I be cool and collected enough to make a careful, controlled statement? I hope so!

  8. Steven Albrecht,

    Thanks for that good, easy to follow advice. I could do those three things with a clear conscience.

  9. Thanks for the great advice, Mas! Where I live, I am more afraid of the anti-gun legal system trying to make an example of me, than I am afraid of a criminal attack. Of course, that could change in a moment. Anything can happen.

  10. Mas is spot on with the “brief statement” advice. As a retired major crime detective, who has been involved in a deadly self-defense incident as an officer, as well as investigating both officer and citizen uses of force cases, I agree 100%.
    Following the “Garrity” precedent I made my brief statement at the scene, and following statements with attorney present, provided further details at a later time. Not only was I cleared by the grand jury (in Portland Oregon no less), but the deceased’s family attorney did not file a wrongful death civil suit after reviewing the case in discovery. As a bonus, the FBI cleared me of civil rights violations due to ethnicity claims. Despite negative reporting for weeks by local media in Portland, the truth prevailed.

  11. There are many classes that focus on various tactical, self-defense skills, both with and without firearms. I wish there were classes, in-person and online, that focus on interacting with law enforcement after a self defense incident. I’ve taken MAG40, which was a great beginning, but there needs to be more, especially since more jurisdictions are becoming very anti self defense

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