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westphoenix
October 9, 2006, 02:35 PM
Sorry if this is a repost:

Direct Video Link: http://media1.break.com/dnet/media/2006/10/once_a_crook_always_a_crook.wmv
Page Link: http://www.break.com/index/once_a_crook_always_a_crook.html

This is my first time watching this video and didn't like what I saw.
I know some of these clips are editted for entertainment purposes.
When the cop goes to shoot the tires it seems to me as he is risking many lives.
What do you guys think?

Please no cop bashing!

stephen426
October 9, 2006, 03:01 PM
Holy crap! Did the police truck just run him over? I hope this guy doesn't end up suing the pants off of the police department for that officer's stupidity. The suspect was on foot. How hard would it be for them to surround him and either taze him or pepper spray him? Some scumbag attorney is going to have a field day, especially since it was caught on tape.

As for the officer firing on the vehicle, I clearly saw other vehicles behind and in the proximity of the fleeing vehicle. While it would be very bad if the fleeing driver hit a pedestrian, I'm not sure the officer was really aware of (or did not care) what lay beyond his his target. I do give him credit for being able to hit the tires while giving chase though. I think the proper procedure is to get on the radio and call for a road block and/or tire strips. It would certainly be safer for the innocent bystanders. You can't outrun radio. Chopper assistance would have been very helpful as well.

springmom
October 9, 2006, 03:08 PM
westphoenix said:
Please no cop bashing!

to which came the reply:
I hope this guy doesn't end up suing the pants off of the police department for that officer's stupidity.

I think it's too late. :(

Videos on the internet are, for the most part, worth exactly what you paid to watch them. Think "Photoshop" writ large, with movement.

However, that said, this was a terrifying chase. I don't think I'd have been too thrilled to be the car or truck in FRONT of Flores when the officer started firing....

Springmom

threegun
October 9, 2006, 03:13 PM
12 shots and no hits wow.

stephen426
October 9, 2006, 03:17 PM
springmom,

How can you watch that video and condone that officer's actions, even from a tactical standpoint? What about watching the officer run the guy over? I'm not sure what is fancy video editing and what is real, but assuming what I saw was real, that officer opened the department up for a serious law suit. If you want to call that "cop bashing", then I apologize.

threegun
October 9, 2006, 03:23 PM
12 shots and no hits is definitely cop bashing.........although I respect every officer. If your job might require you to use a weapon to survive or better yet to save me, it seems more practice would be voluntary. I have seen some ugly shootin from LE to say the least.

Bender711
October 9, 2006, 03:26 PM
What do you mean no hits? The back window was gone after the first string of fire, at least thats what it looked like.

Big Calhoun
October 9, 2006, 03:48 PM
I don't know all the specifics but since I've lived here in Texas for the past 6 months, I have seen at least two police chases covered on television in which officers involved in a chase, and during the chase, shot at a moving suspects vehicle.

Again, I don't know the specifics nor am I agreeing or disagreeing. One of the chases was the semi chase that happened a month or two ago, and the other was a chase that ended in Denton County, maybe 2 or 3 months ago. In both cases, it doesn't seem that locals took the shots, I believe they came from DPS. At least in the case of the semi chase, I absolutely remember it was DPS officers that fired on the move...and hit their marks.

threegun
October 9, 2006, 04:11 PM
What do you mean no hits? The back window was gone after the first string of fire, at least thats what it looked like.

Bender, I was referring to the bad guys inside. We are taking about an AR-15 at point blank range (for a rifle). He should have hit both with a handful of shots.

Syntax360
October 9, 2006, 04:24 PM
They had already shot a cop and another person, were unquestionably putting a great number of people in danger by speeding through the neighborhoods like that, and then the girlfriend started shooting at the pursuing officer. At that point, do what you have to do - I'll sit back and watch my tax dollars work for me. That chase needed to stop right away and I'm not going to critize any of it - no innocents were shot by the officer - I'm going to trust he used a reasonable amount of discretion before slinging .223's all over the place.

springmom
October 9, 2006, 04:26 PM
I didn't actaully condone the officer's shooting. I said I would have hated to be the car in front of the one he was shooting at. That implies that I think the act was dangerous. It was.

The question is, if they hadn't done what they did, what would have happened?

I have no crystal ball so I have no answer to this question. But in the last few months there have been some truly terrifying chases, with suspects firing out the windows of the fleeing vehicle. While shots from the officers' cars are dangerous, so are the ones from the bad guys. And unlike the officers, the bad guys don't give a hoot who they hit.

We had one, some months ago, where someone had kidnapped his girlfriend and her daughter from Dallas and it ended up on I-45 in north Houston. The suspect had the woman driving. HE was firing out the back window of the car with a shotgun.

The tough question is, how do you stop someone who is in the middle of traffic and who is perfectly willing to kill not only the police following him but anybody and everybody who gets in his way? Kill the driver if you can? Then what happens to the car that's going 70 miles an hour as the dead body relaxes into the wheel and onto the accelerator? What happens if, as with the Dallas woman, it's the victim that's driving? I don't have a clue how to do this and keep everybody safe. I don't think there is a way.

If y'all know one, well, maybe the Fort Bend Sheriff's office would like to talk to you. (Or maybe not) :rolleyes:

Springmom

JimJD
October 9, 2006, 05:02 PM
I'm not all that crazy about the rounds fired from the LEO's squad car.
But, I wasn't there. We only saw edited footage.

With that said, in regards to the beginning of the video where Flores was struck by a Police pickup truck... I don't consider it stupidity.
I think it showed....initiative.
But Flores was released after that incident. Why!?!?!

:confused:

stephen426
October 9, 2006, 05:30 PM
springmom,

I don't know if you ever saw that tv show that aired quite a few years back that featured a Dodge Viper as a police car? It had some kind of electric charge that supposedly fried the other car's electronics, disabling it. I read that the technology actually exists in real life and bumping a suspect's car with a charged probe sure beat spraying hot lead. I think there was some other country that actually used a harpoon gun to snag fleeing cars. I'm not sure if it is still done, but I will look it up online. One other option would be to "tag" the car with a homing beacon similar to Lojack. I'm not sure what the cost would be to equip squad cars with a homing beacon launcher, but it would be a lot easier to track them down.

I believe that LA decided to cut back on high speed chases. It seems like you could see on on tv at least once a week. Basically, I think it came down to a matter of public safety and liabilities. Helicopter assistance would be great (I know it takes time), and strategically placed road blocks would be a much safer alternative.

I hate for bad guys to get away just because it is too much of a liability for the police to pursue them. Public safety should be the utmost concern however. I fully understand that the fleeing suspects are a danger to the public, but I am not sure that adding to the danger is all that wise. Another thing I am willing to concede is that I was not in the officer's position and I do not have the surrounding details to give me a complete picture. I can say for certain that what I did see was pretty disturbing.

stephen426
October 9, 2006, 05:36 PM
With that said, in regards to the beginning of the video where Flores was struck by a Police pickup truck... I don't consider it stupidity.
I think it showed....initiative.

Jim... I'm not sure if the JD after your name means Juris Doctorate, but the use of deadly force on a fleeing suspect is clearly illegal, provided he is not an immediate thread to someone's life. Using the truck to hit him is the same as shooting him in the sense that it is lethal force. If the suspect was no longer in possession of a weapon (it did not look like he had one from the video), then the police were not justified in using deadly force against him. I'm not quite sure if your idea of "initiative" is legal. In fact, it is probably why he was released afterwards, and probably with a lot more money than he made as a criminal.

criminal attorneys = redundant :rolleyes: :barf: :mad:

jcoiii
October 9, 2006, 06:06 PM
It's hard to tell what was actually happening in the first part of the tape. I seem to recall seeing the rest of that footage at one time or another. But there was more to the story than that guy getting "run over." I just don't remember what was going on or what was said by the perp/officers afterwards.

I will not say that this particular officer was right or wrong, as I wasn't there. i will say that I, myself, am not confident enough to fire a rifle in my left hand while driving. The first time he shot at them, he looked stopped. So I guess he could have two-handed those shots and been fairly accurate (read: hit the truck). As for shooting out the window, while moving..... I'm definitely not that accurate. I'm not sure any of the super secret, hi-tech stuff is within the budget constraints of most departments (other than the black helicopter units;) ). Usual tactics include the PIT, stopsticks, boxing in. Any of these tactics put officers in an even more dangerous spot due to the fact that these two perps had already shot people, and were shooting out of their windows. Any of the three tactics listed require officers to get pretty close to the vehicle.

I'm pretty sure I remember something about not getting shot in the rules of gunfights. I'm not up for it anyway

FirstFreedom
October 9, 2006, 06:13 PM
For me:

-the first 12 shots fired by the officer chasing seem justified, because there did not appear to be innocents in the immediate area, and since the LEO was at a stop, and the suspect pickup very close, hits were very likely, and thus misses unlikely. The guy was being shot at just moments previously, so deadly force was justified in my view.

-the second shots while they were rolling at the tires, OTOH; that's pretty marginal, given that that's a very hard shot to make and another vehicle was just up ahead. He did in fact hit the tire at least once, maybe more, but still, shooting AT a moving vehicle FROM a moving vehicle WHILE driving and WITH innocents in view in a vehicle just up ahead seems too dangerous to me.

-as for the old video for when the cop ran him over, that definitely looked like unnecessary deadly force, if he was trying to hit him as it appears. If he wasn't trying to hit him, but just cut him off, then he's a very bad driver who needs to be re-assigned to desk duty. Either way, it's a bad situation. But that part was a rehash of something that happened awhile back.

-As for the risk of speeding down residential streets at 70 mph, this is justifiable in my view because (a) the suspect is a robbery and cop-shooting suspect, so he's so highly wanted that he's likely to himself keep speeding like a bat outta hell regardless of whether or not he is pursued - thus the issue of "pushing" the suspect to endanger the public by driving is not exacarbated, and (b) the cop speeding to justify capture makes sense because he's suspected of at least two felonies! If this had been just someone who ran from a speeding ticket, then I don't not think that kind of speed would be justified.

On the whole, the cop did the right things (the main LEO in the video, not the driver who ran the guy over in the flashback).

JimJD
October 9, 2006, 06:23 PM
My comment was mixed with a little dash of "tongue in cheek" stephen426.
But, it was meant in all seriousness as well. I imagine that most, if not all states/cities/towns, etc. would consider the officers action to be extreme. I might be mistaken though. This is in regards to Flores being struck with the vehicle by the way.

True, Flores might not have had a weapon on him. But maybe he did.
Who knows?
The suspect was running, and showed no intention of stopping from that clip.
Could the officer just keep following the suspect until he tired? Sure. If there wasn't an escape route that we could'nt see.
Could the suspect have drawn a handgun from his waistband, and fired at the officer when he or she was pursuing him with the truck? Maybe.
Could the same thing have happened when said officer was exiting from the vehicle, weapon drawn, only to find the suspect is armed and is shooting at him or her? Maybe.
The officer stopped him. He or She made a judgement call, and went with it.
I feel they greatly reduced their immediate exposure and risk, while keeping the innocent out of harm's way.

f8lranger4x4
October 9, 2006, 06:27 PM
This officer made a choise to shoot the tires it must have been a choice he thought was his last option to save the life of the innocent. You have to concider all of the factors that went into makeing that choice. The thing they didn't show on this video and I have seen on the unedited version is that he tryed to kill 2 other police officer with that vehicle when they tryed to block his path. A fact I may add is that the longer a chase goes on the more dangerous it gets for all involved LE and passers-by. I would have to say though I have never done it, shooting from a car in a high speed would have to be a hard task but if thats what it takes then I belive that would be a decision you would have to make in about 3 seconds. That doesnt leve much time to second guess or please everyone.

azurefly
October 9, 2006, 06:45 PM
Levity break:

However, that said, this was a terrifying chase. I don't think I'd have been too thrilled to be the car or truck in FRONT of Flores when the officer started firing....


I wouldn't want to be a car or truck, either! I'm plenty happy to be a human being! :D


-azurefly

Glockamolie
October 9, 2006, 06:47 PM
For those of you that missed my post...

http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=224026

...Deputy Waller is the person I sold my Bushmaster to, and I'm pretty sure that's what he's using when firing at the truck. The first incident where the guy got run over was a totally different department than the one firing at the truck.

When I sold him the gun (he's a friend of a friend), the three of us hung out for about 3 hours in my friend's garage shooting pool and talking shop. I'm not about to second-guess his actions, but I can tell you that if the chips were down, he is a guy that I'd definitely want on my team. He's ex-Army, and an avid shooter. He's definitely not a reckless person. And if you want to criticize his shooting, you might want to try your best on a two-way firing range first, and get back to me.

stephen426
October 9, 2006, 06:49 PM
JimJD,

The officer stopped him. He or She made a judgement call, and went with it.
I feel they greatly reduced their immediate exposure and risk, while keeping the innocent out of harm's way.

So in your book, they would have been justified to shoot him in the back? I equate it to the same thing. If he had a weapon and was a threat, they would clearly be justified. If he did not have a weapon (and I'm not saying he didn't), running him over would have been completely illegal. Officers cannot be the judge, jury, and executioner. They are only allowed to use deadly force when they or someone else is threatened with deadly force. Even if the officer had seen the suspect gun down other officers, as long as he is no longer a threat, deadly force cannot be used. He must be aprehended and has the right to a jury trial. Does the suspect deserve to die for shooting at the police? Probably. In this country however, he still has rights and is innocent until proven guilty.

stephen426
October 9, 2006, 06:56 PM
Glockamolie,

He's ex-Army, and an avid shooter. He's definitely not a reckless person. And if you want to criticize his shooting, you might want to try your best on a two-way firing range first, and get back to me.

While the facts you stated indicate that deputy Waller is a good shooter and not a reckless person, firing at a moving vehicle from a moving vehicle is still taking unnecessary risks and endangering the public. The outcome does not justify his actions. Trying our best on a two-way firing range is also irrelavent. You simply give the suspect more room and then have a road block or tire spike set up further up the road.

Glockamolie
October 9, 2006, 07:00 PM
Before you people run off the deep end with the use of deadly force in the cop that ran over the guy, he was trying to cut him off, and got a little closer than he wanted. Try this experiment, especially in any vehicle with anti-lock brakes. Get on an uneven, offroad washboard-type surface, and hit the brakes. You're going to go a little farther than you wanted. And probably even a little farther than that. It was an error in judgement of distance, not an error in judgement of the situation. I can't back that up, as I can't find a link to the follow-up, but that IS the case. Even Texas cops don't just run you down while fleeing...especially with a helicopter above.

Glockamolie
October 9, 2006, 07:08 PM
"While the facts you stated indicate that deputy Waller is a good shooter and not a reckless person, firing at a moving vehicle from a moving vehicle is still taking unnecessary risks and endangering the public. The outcome does not justify his actions. Trying our best on a two-way firing range is also irrelavent. You simply give the suspect more room and then have a road block or tire spike set up further up the road."

I typed out about 4 different responses, but I'm going to leave it at this: I disagree. :cool:

JimJD
October 9, 2006, 07:24 PM
Glockamolie, I remember your post about the Bushmaster.
The second you mentioned it in this thread I thought "BINGO! That was the officer he was talking about?!".

springmom
October 9, 2006, 07:27 PM
Ummmmm....

I don't know if you ever saw that tv show that aired quite a few years back that featured a Dodge Viper as a police car? It had some kind of electric charge that supposedly fried the other car's electronics, disabling it. I read that the technology actually exists in real life and bumping a suspect's car with a charged probe sure beat spraying hot lead. I think there was some other country that actually used a harpoon gun to snag fleeing cars.

and....

You simply give the suspect more room and then have a road block or tire spike set up further up the road.

Stephen, I just shook my head at the "harpoon gun" comment, but when you start making facile comments like the second, I had to respond.

I am not a police officer and I do not play one on TV. But I have watched enough of these chases covered on the media in this area to be absolutely certain of this: there are no easy answers. You don't let the bad guy go. You don't let the bad guy drive along, spraying lead every which way at his whim. You don't have harpoon guns, zapping rays, or any other sci-fi answers. You have your department procedures, your training, and your own judgment in split second decision making situations.

For you to sit here and armchair quarterback, offering silly solutions like harpooning the escaping car, is just preposterous.

Nobody died. All the officers went home at the end of the day to their families, and so did everybody on the road. The bad guys are in jail. That constitutes a good day. Risky, yes. But good.

Springmom

bclark1
October 9, 2006, 07:32 PM
i'll just say i wished they'd have run him over more squarely and gotten it right the first time. i hope he's away indefinitely, as unlikely as that is.

stephen426
October 9, 2006, 07:56 PM
springmom,

Preposterous? With all due respect, today's science fiction is often tomorrow's technology. Here is a link for the harpoon (http://www.memagazine.org/backissues/november96/marketplace/news_notes/news_notes1.html). (Scroll down a little for the article) It is used to ram, rather than fired into the other vehicle. Do a google search and you will find the other technologies I mentioned.

Did you think tazers would work? Many police departments in my area have adopted them and they give the police officers an option other than deadly force. I recently saw a guy get tazed for resisting arrest. If it occurred a few years back, the guy might be dead. Further more, tazers have limited range and are not generally considered deadly. This allows an officer to fire a tazer at a suspect while minimizing "collateral damage".

You can call my opinion of the situation armchair quarterbacking but does that mean I have no right to an opinion simply because I was not there? In that case, what makes your opinion more valid than mine? As I mentioned, I am merely stating my opinion (I believe that is still acceptable on forums such as these) based on the information that was presented. I cannot assume what other factors occurred or did not occur since I was neither there nor was provided a complete and accurate record of the entire event.

You mentioned procedures and training. Do you think any police departments have shooting at moving vehicles from a moving vehicle as standard operating procedure? How about endangering the lives of all of the innocent bystanders that could have been hit with a stray round? While I know the suspects were firing at the pursuing officer, do you think they would have done so had the officer backed off?

Technology often improves lives. Homing devices are common place now a days. What major city does not have Lo Jack equipped cruisers? That technology can easily be adapted for car chases. Many big city police agencies even have transponders on their patrol cars so that they can see where each and every car is. Can this be modified so that they can "tag" a fleeing vehicle and converge on them rather than zooming through the streets searching for them and endangering bystanders?

Springmom, you are a well respected member of this forum and you certainly have mine, but there is a difference between science fiction and science fact. You asked for solutions and I presented some.

P.S. The outcome does not justify the means. I am glad no one got killed, but condoning this officers actions will eventually get people killed. If you want links to the other technologies, please pm me so we don't hijack this thread.

Glockamolie
October 9, 2006, 08:06 PM
I agree with stephen426 that in the future, there may be some excellent gizmos that can either shut down a vehicle via electronics, or tag it for tracking it electronically later. I can assure that Deputy Waller would welcome those ASAP.

That said, there was none of this involved. I know the roads where this happened. When the officer took the second set of shots, he was trying to avoid letting the guy get on I59 North, which from his location is about 5 minutes via the freeway from Houston, and a lot more traffic and a lot more people. Where they were was relatively unpopulated, compared to where they were heading. This officer knew this, and took extreme measures to combat an extreme situation. Would he have done this for your average fleeing vehicle, with no shots fired? I doubt it. With the totality of the circumstances, he did what he felt was necessary, to stop the pursuit (and the gunfire from the fleeing felons).

springmom
October 9, 2006, 08:28 PM
You said it better than I could have.

Springmom

stephen426
October 9, 2006, 08:31 PM
Glockamolie,

You have more complete information of this case so your assessment of the events have greater validity. I am sure Deputy Waller did the best thing he could given the situation. Given that you know the circumstances surrounding this event, I will stop my "armchair quarterbacking".

Thanks for at least ackowledging that new technologies exist that will hopefully improve the safety of both officers and bystanders. Think about knowing exactly where the suspect is and converging on him. the suspect would most likely think twice if he was surrounded by police. There are some stupid and desperate criminals that will just go down fighting, but there is little that can be done to change that.

By the way, all of the technologies I mentioned are available today. I'm not sure about cost, but I bet it is often less expensive than the collateral damage that often occurs from high speed chases.

stephen426
October 9, 2006, 08:35 PM
This is an except from the Pursuit Management Task Force Report (http://www.nlectc.org/txtfiles/pmtfascii.html)published in September 1998.

When asked about technologies of the future, 96
percent of the responding agencies favored
development of electronic disabling technology.
Mechanical devices were similarly well received by
90 percent of the agencies. There was strong
interest in having technologies that are handheld
(84 percent), considered to be "officer portable"
(91 percent), or deployed from a police car (89
percent). This indicates widespread interest in
portable devices. This does not discount an
interest in fixed-point or larger units, because
agencies were not asked to comment on them.
Eighty-eight percent of the respondents indicated
an interest in purchasing technologies (assuming
they could afford them), with 21 agencies noting
that the devices would be deployed from a
supervisor's car. Assuming the accuracy of
responses, the 209 agencies that indicated
interest in purchasing such devices could account
for approximately 2,661 devices.


Science fiction or science fact? You guys decide...

Glockamolie
October 9, 2006, 08:46 PM
I believe stephen426 is on "our" side, Springmom. He's just talking about the what if, instead of what is. I concur wholeheartedly that something other than chasing these morons and shooting at them is preferred. No police officer wants to be out of a job, or out of his life. Given the knowledge he had, and the tools he had available, he took calculated risks. Calculated risks are just that, and sometimes it turns out OK, and sometimes not. I believe that he knew that immediate action in stopping them, while at some risk to the population around him, was necessary to attempt to prevent the reality of the guy racing towards a heavily-populated area, while possibly still firing at officers and having a general disregard for everyone around him. It's OK to have your opinions, stephen426, and I do believe that they have merit. I simply agree that given the circumstances, Deputy Waller did what I'd have him do with my tax dollars and possibly my own personal safety at risk.

stephen426
October 9, 2006, 08:48 PM
I simply agree that given the circumstances, Deputy Waller did what I'd have him do with my tax dollars and possibly my own personal safety at risk.

Agreed! :D

Blackwater OPS
October 9, 2006, 11:13 PM
I have no monday morning quarterback comments on the shooting, but on the truck hitting the guy, it was muddy and the truck lost traction. It was not really something the officer could have controlled, the bad guy should have stopped running.

westphoenix
October 10, 2006, 02:52 AM
What major city does not have Lo Jack equipped cruisers? That technology can easily be adapted for car chases. Many big city police agencies even have transponders on their patrol cars so that they can see where each and every car is. Can this be modified so that they can "tag" a fleeing vehicle and converge on them rather than zooming through the streets searching for them and endangering bystanders?

I think this is a terrible idea. As soon as everyone knows this is what the police do they simply speed off and bail out. They go into an apartment complex, a mall, someones house, anywhere. So what the police find the car; they may not be able to prove who was driving it or what or who they had with them. I believe once this is known to criminals it will be a hey, lets speed away ASAP so they back off and we can bail out. It may get the fleeing car off the street faster, but it will not catch the criminals.

Running from the police needs to be a much more serious crime.

stephen426
October 10, 2006, 03:10 AM
West Phoenix,

If you watch the video again, you will notice that the suspects managed to lose the police for a little bit. I am not saying the police should not follow the suspect at all. What I am advocating is that the police back off when the chase endangers too many people. Basically, follow the suspect, but do it in a safer manner. If the vehicle was tagged with a tracking device, other units would be able to converge on it and block it in rather than simply chasing it. Criminals are still able to lose the police by pulling into apartment complexes and malls right now. A tagged car is much harder to hide however. Nothing can keep suspects from ditching their cars and bailing.

Running from the police is a serious crime. Collateral damage must be considered however, and having this technology will make it safer for the police and bystanders.

Savage10FP308
October 11, 2006, 06:39 PM
as if anyone cares!:rolleyes: As someone else already pointed out, these people had tried to kill or wound a police officer at least twice. They also shot innocent civilians while committing a felony. The officer did what he had to do to stop the chase. No one was injured by the police officer and both suspects are in custody. Take it for what it is and that is a succesful attempt at taking armed and dangerous criminals into custody and putting them behind bars. It is easy to play monday morning QB, but let me ask you this: what if that was you they were shooting at? They tried to kill two cops and shot civilians before hand. Do you have kids? What if your coworker had to go tell your family that some criminal killed their spouse/father/mother? Im not asking anyone to agree or saying anyone is wrong. All I am asking is that you look at it from the officers point of view (and no I don't mean just watch the video)!:rolleyes: