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Old January 7, 2009, 01:49 PM   #1
eriadoc
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Police Shoot Handcuffed Man in the Back

The bolded part is pretty amazing,

Link

Quote:
BART's police chief asked for patience from the public on Sunday after video footage surfaced showing one of his officers fatally shooting an unarmed man who was on the ground on a station platform on New Year's Day, and after an attorney for the dead man's family said he planned to sue the transit agency for $25 million.
Quote:
Officials have not said whether the officer intended to shoot Grant. One source familiar with the investigation said BART is looking into a number of issues, including whether the officer had meant to fire his Taser stun gun rather than his gun. Alameda County prosecutors are conducting their own investigation, as is standard in officer-involved shootings.
Evidently, it's OK to taser a suspect that is cuffed, on his face, and surrounded by three officers.

Also, you have to be pretty arrogant or stupid (or both) to do something like this in the day and age when everyone has video capability in their pockets. This was all over CNN last night as well. Warning - Graphic videos:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXWSg...layer_embedded

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQxBg...layer_embedded

Last edited by Al Norris; January 7, 2009 at 03:56 PM. Reason: Edited Thread Title
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Old January 7, 2009, 02:06 PM   #2
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UMMM.... WOW... What else can I say?
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Old January 7, 2009, 02:25 PM   #3
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Quote:
Quote:
Officials have not said whether the officer intended to shoot Grant. One source familiar with the investigation said BART is looking into a number of issues, including whether the officer had meant to fire his Taser stun gun rather than his gun. Alameda County prosecutors are conducting their own investigation, as is standard in officer-involved shootings.
Evidently, it's OK to taser a suspect that is cuffed, on his face, and surrounded by three officers.
This'll vary based on a department's use of force guidelines...in some departments, I'm pretty sure this is okay.

The question I have is, even assuming for a moment the "I mean to fire my Taser" argument is absolutely true, what kind of criminal liability the officer could face and what kind of civil liability the officer and department could face. Seems like that goes well beyond "oops."
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Old January 7, 2009, 02:45 PM   #4
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It's pretty obvious that is was "accidental", no sane person would do that intentionally. Stupid, negligent, inexcusable? No doubt. But accidental.

A tragedy all around.
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Old January 7, 2009, 02:47 PM   #5
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There have been several such incidents where officers have meant to draw tasers and instead drew their gun. I didn't see in the video, but in two previous incidents, tasers were draw from holsters and the tasers carried like pistols and as such, it would appear that while the officer intended to draw a taser, in the short period of time in the draw to firing, no realization occurred that the wrong tool was in hand.

Quote:
Evidently, it's OK to taser a suspect that is cuffed, on his face, and surrounded by three officers.
Yes, sometimes it is. There is no reason for the officers to risk being harmed unnecessarily by a combative suspect and officers have been injured by downed and cuffed suspects. So sure, there are certainly cases where such use of force may be necessary.

With that said, the thread's title is misrepresentative and sensationalistic. The victim was not a "kid" as claimed, but a 22 year old man. We don't like it when the MMM, VPC, and Brady Bunch classify adults as kids or children when it comes to their arguments to ban guns because of their use against "kids" and we should not make the same misrepresentative claims.
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Old January 7, 2009, 02:53 PM   #6
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All officers i've seen don't carry a tazer on there strong side. In the vid he draws pauses to walk back giving him plenty of time to notice he has his duty weapon drawn and then fires on a handcuffed man belly down. I hope they get him for murder. IMO
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Old January 7, 2009, 03:15 PM   #7
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According to some TV new reports, he had earlier had his taser out.

This may be getting OT, if so, mods snap my mouth shut.

What was the original use of tasers? My belief is that it was to provide a non-leathal alternative to using a firearm. If so, then there has been much mis-use of the taser in situations where no sane person would have used a firearm due to an absence of a taser.
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Old January 7, 2009, 03:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Peetza said...
It's pretty obvious that is was "accidental", no sane person would do that intentionally
I bet a bunch of folks have been murdered by people who would pass as "sane" in much the same execution style slaying. Actually most convicted of such heinous crimes likely tried to say they were insane to some degree or other and were shot down as sane enuff to stand trial.
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Old January 7, 2009, 03:39 PM   #9
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spent a night in jail once for standing up after a MARTA officer told some 13/14 year old that he was going to break his arm if he didnt drop that cigarette he was palmin, leaving the OMNI, after a Aerosmith concert. i said "what did you say that for, you arent really going to break his arm"

those guys got no sense of humor.
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Old January 7, 2009, 03:41 PM   #10
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I'm thinking that it was not smart of the cop to try to get the camera and I'm glad she was smart enough not to surrender it. If she had I suspect the video would have somehow disappeared.

The officer should be charged with Involuntary Manslaughter which according to CA Penal code 192(b) is:

192. Manslaughter is the unlawful killing of a human being without
malice. It is of three kinds:
(a) Voluntary--upon a sudden quarrel or heat of passion.
(b) Involuntary--in the commission of an unlawful act, not
amounting to felony; or in the commission of a lawful act which might
produce death, in an unlawful manner, or without due caution and
circumspection. This subdivision shall not apply to acts committed in
the driving of a vehicle.http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/di...0&file=187-199

Sad day for everyone involved.


This is not the first time this has happened where an officer means to use their Taser but uses their gun instead. I see a good case for a suit against Taser for producing a non-lethal weapon that even in trained hands is so easily confused with a lethal one. Bad, bad, bad, design. The fire control system on the Taser should be in some way radically different than that of a handgun. IMHO Tasers are one of the worst products ever unleashed upon the population. There are dozens of cases of deaths by them and of police using them excessively. There is one case where they Tasered a 9 year old mentally handicapped child. Whatever you may think of the group the documentation of the cases where they were used inappropriately makes for some chilling reading http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AMR51/139/2004

Disturbing cases continue to be reported. In May 2004 a police officer from South
Tuscon, Arizona, used a taser on a nine-year-old girl who was a runaway from a residential
home for severely emotionally disturbed children. According to reports, the child was already
handcuffed with her hands behind her back and sitting in the back of a police car when the
taser was used as an officer struggled to put her into nylon leg-restraints. The officer is
reported as saying that the girl was “screaming, kicking and flailing, and would not listen”.



An intoxicated man, arrested at a residence after complaints of loud noise, refused to
allow police to attend to a cut on his eye and was taken out of the house in handcuffs
and leg restraints. He was placed on a gurney to be taken to hospital. When he
resisted having his hands tied to the gurney, an officer shot him in the chest with a
taser. After going limp, the man again began to “thrash about” on the gurney and the
officer “pulled the trigger for another five seconds”. After the man became compliant
and was placed in the ambulance, the officer handed his taser to one of the transporting officers “in case she needed to use it again”. When the officer went to
retrieve the taser later, the transporting officer told him that “she had to use the Taser
for one five-second cycle while on the way to hospital because J again became
resistive”. The suspect was in full restraints at the time. 67 (Lakeland Police
Department, Colorado)


Portland, Oregon: elderly, bind woman paid damages
In April 2003, the City of Portland, Oregon, agreed to pay $145,000 to 71-year-old Eunice
Crowder in an out-of-court settlement of an excessive force claim. The claim arose from an
incident in June 2003 in which City employees arrived at her home with a warrant to remove
rubbish and debris from her yard. Police were called when Ms Crowder, who was blind and
hard of hearing, failed to follow orders not to enter a trailer where items from her premises
were being placed. The lawsuit claimed that two officers struck Ms Crowder in the head with
a taser, dislodging her prosthetic right eye from its socket. It also claimed that she was tasered
in the back and on the breast as she lay on the ground.
In legal briefs filed by the City, police reportedly acknowledged that Ms Crowder was
“pushed onto the dirt next to the sidewalk” when she ignored their orders not to enter the
trailer. The police also reportedly admitted that Ms Crowder’s eye became dislodged; that
they pepper-sprayed her (when she reportedly refused to stop kicking them) and stunned her
three times with a Taser (twice in the lower back and once in the upper back). The City
argued that the officers’ actions were “lawful, justified and privileged” and that they used a
“reasonable amount of force to defend themselves”. 86 Nevertheless, City commissioners
voted to approve the settlement rather than defend the case in court. The case is believed to
have been one factor in a decision by the Portland Police Department to review its policies
and impose restrictions on use of the Taser in the case of vulnerable people such as the elderly,
children and pregnant women

Last edited by Wuchak; January 7, 2009 at 03:56 PM.
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Old January 7, 2009, 03:46 PM   #11
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I can think of many circumstances where it IS okay to taser someone that is already cuffed, but to confuse your gun with your taser???
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Old January 7, 2009, 03:47 PM   #12
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It looks like the officer grabbed the wrong weapon, nothing more. It happens. The idea of charging him with murder is ridiculous. There should certainly be some sort of disciplinary action for the officer and lessons learned exercise for the department. Civilly, the the victim's family should pursue a wrongful death claim but compensation should be made with complete regard to the facts of the case. Meaning that if the facts show the victim resisting arrest (which looks likely) and he was committing a crime which resulted in the confrontation with the police (which also seems likely), compensation should be much, much lower.
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Old January 7, 2009, 03:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
The idea of charging him with murder is ridiculous
He should still be charged with manslaughter and tried....and his ability to actually perform his job is seriously in question after such a mistake. I would be one that would call for his removal from active duty regardless of criminal charges.
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Old January 7, 2009, 03:57 PM   #14
eriadoc
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If a guy is cuffed, face down, with three officers surrounding him, how much of a threat is he really? I'll tell you what - I'm no police officer, but let me handcuff a guy with two of my buddies (hell, pick any two, don't care), and I'll guarantee that I don't have to taser him or shoot him to control the situation. That is utter incompetence and he shouldn't be a police officer.

These are the guys we should expect more from, just as more is expected from people who carry concealed. Justifying or rationalizing this behavior is akin to enabling it.
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Old January 7, 2009, 04:02 PM   #15
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There is a specific legal issue here. Let's keep that in mind, and not the idle speculation we seem to be starting with.

Continued speculation; LEO bashing in general; Off topic posts or Political rants will get this thread closed and the offender(s) will face consequences. There's a sticky at the top of this forum that explains the special rules that will be enforced, along with the general board rules.
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Old January 7, 2009, 04:14 PM   #16
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I am guessing this was accidental in which case he should face charges whatever they call negligent manslaughter. My understanding is the officer was holding the gun low at a spot hat would not be lethal. It hit the floor ricochet and came back up through his "lungs." Not sure how it could hit both, but that is what the article I read stated.
Watch the video again and keep an eye on the officers visible off to the right. It appears they are also dealing with a subject that is making a lot of trouble. There are officers screening what is going on from people entering the subway. Makes sense that they would just to make sure someone doesn't get involved accidentally, but it all looks very suspicious.
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Old January 7, 2009, 04:37 PM   #17
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I work in public safety. I drive emergency vehicles, I supervise emergency responders. I perform emergency medicine.

In each of these cases, I am held liable for every decision I make, and for every action my subordinates perform. I can be held criminally liable for a traffic accident if I am driving an emergency vehicle that kills someone. I can be held criminally liable if I order a rescuer to do something, and that order results in the death of a member of the public, or a rescuer. I can be held criminally liable if I give the wrong medication to a patient and it results in the death of that patient.

As a concealed weapons holder, I can be held criminally responsible for shooting a bystander by accident. I can be held criminally liable for shooting a person as the result of an ND.

I do not see where using a pistol to kill a person, when the LEO meant to use a Taser is a defense. In each of the above cases, the death would have been accidental, but I would still go to jail. I don't think the LEO in this case should get a free pass. Let a court decide, which is why we have courts and juries to begin with.
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Old January 7, 2009, 05:10 PM   #18
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If, "I meant to use my Taser but mistakenly used my pistol" is a valid defense then shouldn't "I meant to serve oatmeal for breakfast but mistakenly served rat poison?" also be? How about, "I meant to hit him in the head with the Nerf bat but mistakenly used the wood one".

Negligence is negligence and some mistakes carry a steep price but it has to be paid in a just and civil society. The Police are entitled to special rules when using force but that also means they should be held to a higher standard of accountability when using it. With increased privilege comes increased responsibility. I feel bad for the officer and his family but I feel worse for the person that died because of his negligence.

No matter how you slice it this is a tragedy for all involved.
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Old January 7, 2009, 06:21 PM   #19
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I saw several of the videos on the news last night. The first time I saw it my thought was, "That was an execution."

Quote:
The officer should be charged with Involuntary Manslaughter
That’s not what the dead man would have been charged with if their positions had been reversed.

Quote:
The idea of charging him with murder is ridiculous.
What is so ridiculous about it? That is exactly what the dead guy would have been charged with if their position had been reversed. In my opinion what the officer did was criminal. Around here getting drunk and having a car accident that kills somebody sometimes rates a murder charge. If that rates a murder charge then shooting someone laying face down on the ground with their hands restrained behind them sure as he11 does too. If the jury decides it wasn't murder then they can convict on a lesser offence.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. People like the police who voluntarily put themselves into positions of great trust should be held to a higher standard than the rest of us, not a lower one.
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Old January 7, 2009, 06:47 PM   #20
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I won't comment on legal issues, that is for the courts to decide. I also have the deepest respect for police officers, I have family members that are cops.

As far as this incident goes though, having been a former resident of the Bay Area I wonder how many people know what the BART police are. These guys are basically supposed to be the elite. They are trained in emergency response and so on and so on, above and beyond the requirements of regular police officers. More training, usually more education, ect. I won't argue if the use of a taser in this situation would be considered justifiable or excessive however I will say that pulling a sidearm, mistaking it for a taser and pulling the trigger is inexcusable in my opinion. These aren't rent-a-cops or mall commandos.
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Old January 7, 2009, 07:33 PM   #21
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The officer should certainly be charged with a crime. What that crime is will depend on the details of the incident.

Whether or not he is guilty of that crime is for a jury to decide. Let's remember he is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
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Old January 7, 2009, 08:09 PM   #22
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Quote:
I am guessing this was accidental in which case he should face charges whatever they call negligent manslaughter. My understanding is the officer was holding the gun low at a spot hat would not be lethal. It hit the floor ricochet and came back up through his "lungs." Not sure how it could hit both, but that is what the article I read stated.
No way. No LE agency trains 'shoot to wound'. And I doubt a ricochet would retain enough velocity to penetrate a lung. He was shot in the back and this is a homicide. The DA will specify what sort of homicide. IMO this goes way beyond any disciplinary action. This officer will be terminated, after due process, probably charged and convicted of something, but probably will not do time. His life is ruined, but at least he still has one.
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Old January 7, 2009, 08:39 PM   #23
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Old January 7, 2009, 09:27 PM   #24
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Quote:
,,its about cops and who they think they are,,,cops are born week humans, to get a sense of power or whatever,, they become cops just so they can get even with society for always picking on them,,,
As Antipitas previously stated, please refrain from police bashing. It serves no useful purpose and is a good way to get banned from this board.

PS. It is "weak".
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Old January 7, 2009, 09:29 PM   #25
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well I'm very sorry,,
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