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Old January 7, 2009, 09:31 PM   #26
Playboypenguin
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do you know a good cop?
Yup, and I was a good one myself...as are many forum members. In fact the good ones I knew outweighed the bad at least a dozen to one. The bad ones just stick out like sore thumbs.
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Old January 7, 2009, 09:32 PM   #27
hoytinak
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Originally Posted by RocketRider
they become cops just so they can get even with society for always picking on them,,
Or maybe perhaps they just wanna help clean up and better their cummunity.
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Old January 7, 2009, 09:43 PM   #28
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I really am sorry for that,,I was just very angry at seeing that video,,,and your right,,if the media and press would show more positive actions of officers instead of all the negative,,we as the general public would have a better perception of them,,,and again, I apologize for my words,,but not my thoughts,,,
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Old January 7, 2009, 10:01 PM   #29
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No LE agency trains 'shoot to wound'.
He was either going to tase the guy or he was not intending to pull the trigger. It certainly would not be the first time a trained officer got nervous and accidentally put pressure on the trigger.
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Old January 7, 2009, 10:14 PM   #30
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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.
Sure..you betcha. Lets just give the officer a pass this time. He was doing a tough job and he meant well...when he shot an unarmed man who was lying prone on the pavement with another officer holding him down.

All police officers should receive a pass in similar situations, because...they mean well!

Now, all you mere "civilians", don't nun of you go gettin' any ideas that you can do the same. We have laws against homicide, you know...

You or I would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law! In an incident like this, an officer is put on paid administrative leave, while his department conducts an internal investigation/shooting review, enroute to a conclusion of "justified".

Police officers can't commit murder, nor manslaughter, nor negligent homicide, because, you know....THEY mean well!

All you sheeple, just put your heads down and pretend not to notice. If you don't think about these things then, they didn't happen!

Just submit and comply and behave like a good little WOMAN and everything should be fine.
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Old January 7, 2009, 10:19 PM   #31
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That cop should never be allowed to see the sun again. Period.

If you hold a guy in cuffs down and I shoot him in the head then what is going to happen to me? Same thing that should happen to that cop. Being a police officer should be a responsibilty not an excuse.
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Old January 7, 2009, 11:33 PM   #32
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I'm glad that was edited out, before I came back and saw it.

Read them rules, RocketRider. I'm dead serious about enforcement. We will not have another L&P debacle here.

Feel free to PM or email me about anything you (or anyone else) don't understand.

The officer did what he did. The Courts will sort it out.
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Old January 7, 2009, 11:53 PM   #33
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I would like to apoligize to the LEO'S and anyone else that took my words to heart,,Those where words of anger,,and this was not the place to spew such statements,,,,,,thank you,,
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Old January 8, 2009, 02:27 PM   #34
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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.
There goes presumption of innocence, eh?



I think it's time for an Occam's Razor check. The idea that this was an intentional shooting seems much less likely than it being an unintentional shooting (meaning that, given that Tasers do generally have very similar form factors, the "thought it was his Taser" excuse is perfectly plausible). I've known good cops. I've known, and met, bad cops.

I've never met a cop this bad. In front of a crowd, many of whom obviously have cellphones and cameras out to film what's happening? The idea that this was an intentional homicide is...not quite absurd (crazier things have happened), but highly unlikely.

That's why I was curious regarding what legal ramifications an officer is likely to face in such a situation. I've always been under the impression that legally police officers are given pretty wide latitude regarding criminal liability for uses of force, so I guess I was just wondering if it was generally this wide. Assuming this is found to be accidental, what criminal penalties would an officer in California even face? Compared to what a regular firearm owner would face for an accidental shooting.

I'm sure the city can expect to write a big check either way, of course.


Also I have to agree that, thinking about it, making Tasers so functionally similar to firearms may not have been the brightest idea ever. Would require a bit of extra training if they used some form of different trigger, of course, but maybe that would be worth it.
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Old January 8, 2009, 03:01 PM   #35
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The whole confusing a Taser for a firearm thing just...confuses me. Generally, every agency around here that uses them (ours included) requires they be carried on the weak side. One agency even went so far as to order the bright yellow taser to help prevent the whole confusion issue.

Oh for the days when we had just a stick and a firearm. It made things so much easier in some cases. Now, you have to go through the whole mental checklist of the bat belt to decide which of the new fangled, less lethal do-dads to use. Sometimes, too many choices is a bad thing.
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Old January 8, 2009, 04:43 PM   #36
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Yeah my problem with grabbing the wrong tool is that the officer had to have very little training with both to confuse them. Heck I can reach for a tool while laying on my back under the car and feel the difference in 2 different wrenches. Having no experience with tazers I am willing to bet dollars against doughnuts that the overall weight, weight bias, grip feel, trigger feel etc. are different 'tween the two...
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Old January 8, 2009, 04:50 PM   #37
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What went awry?

1. Pulling the gun instead of the taser - that's possible under stress. Folks underestimate the brain fades that occur under stress. There's a big literature on such. And folks just make dumb mistakes. How many guns are unloaded and kill - even in training exercises by professionals? People leave their babies in car seats to die in the heat. What is more important than your baby.

2. Pulled the gun on purpose and then had an ND. That happens also. Bad trigger control initially or the finger went to the trigger under stress. Gun designs have what is known as an affordance - meaning the design channels the function to put the finger on the trigger almost automatically. Then with some stress or movement - bang. I know of two videos where an officer runs up to a downed and controlled suspect and fires a round near the head of such and feet of colleagues. One was a female officer with a Beretta, IIRC, and the second was a male with an MP-5. In the latter case, there was some claim that the suspect was being unruly so the officer fired a round near his noggin to make him behave. But from the clip, that was a touch after the fact.

One doesn't have to look for malacious behavior to explain this and one should remember it is not that unusual. However, this doesn't mean that the appropriate processes should not deal with the aftermath in terms of penalty - legal and financial.
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Old January 8, 2009, 05:19 PM   #38
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Just submit and comply and behave like a good little WOMAN and everything should be fine.
Yes, because the worst insult you can throw at someone is to call them a female.

And because we know that all women are compliant, sheep-like victims, and are completely unable and unwilling to stand up for themselves.

And because, of course, every thread can be improved with a snide reference to forcible rape, even when it really has nothing whatsoever to do with the original topic. Bonus points if the poster manages say something demeaning about women who get raped, without actually saying anything negative about rapists.

Back on topic: horrible event. Feel sorry for all involved. Plenty of room for outrage here, but I'm not sure the frothing-at-the-mouth responses really help understand what happened or how to prevent it happening again.

Actions have consequences. Always have, always will. Sometimes, the consequences seem a bit out of line with the size of the offense, especially when no harm was ever intended. As an example, I know a teenager who rolled a truck this past summer. No alcohol or drugs involved, nothing at all like that. The physical consequence of his inexperience behind the wheel was that the truck rolled when a tire blew after he took a corner slightly too fast. The financial consequence was the loss of the truck, a huge increase in his insurance costs, and some $30,000 in medical bills for two people who walked out of the hospital the next day with [case 1] no lasting injury whatsoever, and [case 2] a small laceration that required six stitches to close. The legal consequence was that the state was looking at felony charges against the teenager, but eventually settled on "only" pulling his driver's license (and thus throwing him out of a job) instead. All the above seems a bit out of proportion since the kid never intended any harm -- but nonetheless, harm was done. And even unintentional actions have consequences.

Same here. Cop almost certainly did not intend this outcome, but this outcome is the result of his actions all the same. Following the strict letter of manslaughter law against him might seem harsh, but that's the nature of a law that is (by definition) aimed at "accidental" acts.

A murder charge would not be appropriate here, because it would be difficult or impossible to establish the existence of malice, which is the sine qua non for a murder conviction.

No criminal charge at all? Well, that's the way it's most likely to go -- but manslaughter laws are on the books for a reason.

One of the consequences for an "accidental" shooting should always be a careful and dispassionate attempt to understand what went wrong and how it happened. In this case, there's still so little to go on that it's difficult to post anything useful -- but it might be worthwhile to discuss the costs vs the benefits of carrying a less-lethal weapon (Taser) that so closely resembles a firearm. Humans do make mistakes, so the question is what can be done next to minimize or eliminate this particular type of mistake.

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Old January 8, 2009, 05:27 PM   #39
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This incident has made me a bit fearful of riots in response. There have been some reported instances of such. I live much too close to this stuff for comfort, and when juxtaposed with Palestinian protests I'll be glad if I can get out of this state soon.
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Old January 8, 2009, 05:43 PM   #40
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do you know a good cop?
Of course there are, and good cops outnumber the bad ones by the considerable margin.

It's like what my leadership teacher once said: "99 percent of people are good folks, it's the 1 percent that causes 99 percent of the problems."
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Old January 8, 2009, 05:59 PM   #41
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A little google search on past mistaken uses of guns vs. tasers for our info and some legal outcomes.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m..._/ai_n20518015

http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/s...26/daily2.html

http://policechiefmagazine.org/magaz...&category_ID=3
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Old January 8, 2009, 08:41 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by ProficientRifleman
Just submit and comply and behave like a good little WOMAN and everything should be fine.
Invective: noun 1)strongly abusive or critical language. 2) abusive or venomous language used to express blame or censure or bitter deep-seated ill will. — ORIGIN Latin invectivus ‘attacking’, from invehere (see INVEIGH).

A day old response, and I missed it. My apologies to Pax for her having to point this out to me.

That said, we will not tolerate this type of behavior. No notice. No second chances. No way. No how.
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Old January 8, 2009, 09:48 PM   #43
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If anything, I think that tasers should be required to look and feel nothing like a common handgun. Mabey it could prevent a few of these terrible accidents.

If the shooting was indeed an accident, then I think the LEO should be tried like any common citizen that accidentally shot a man in the back who was restrained. A badge should not be used as an excuse for poor choices.

Keep in mind, that somtimes innocent people do get arrested, and do get cuffed. Next time it could be somone you know. Having tasers that look and feel like guns seems to me almost as potentially dangerous as leaving real guns lying around with airsoft guns. Sure, most any adult should be able to tell the difference, but is it worth the risk?
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Old January 8, 2009, 10:24 PM   #44
johnwilliamson062
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If anything, I think that tasers should be required to look and feel nothing like a common handgun. Mabey it could prevent a few of these terrible accidents.
I never really thought about it, but this makes more sense than almost anything i have heard this week. Ahough i did spend the last day studying the federal crop insurance program, so maybe I am not saying much.

It seems to me that the group off to the right in the videos was making a lot of trouble. The LEO was not able to distinguish between individuals causing trouble and those not according to all the accounts I have read. I think it is obvious he made a mistake.
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A badge should not be used as an excuse for poor choices
Like the smart man said, send him to court where it can be reviewed and all the circumstance considered, including mitigating circumstances.
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Old January 8, 2009, 11:14 PM   #45
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As a resident of the bay area and someone who has used BART many times, I have to say that something went woefully wrong here and we should not indict the entire agency for the acts of a single individual.

There will be no winners in this case.

From the videos I have a hard time...
  1. Seeing any threat that would justify lethal force.
  2. Seeing a threat that would justify tasing the shooting victim.
  3. Believing the officer thought he reached for a taser.
  4. thinking the officer couldn't tell his duty weapon from a taser.
  5. Believing the officer actually meant to shoot/kill the subject.
At the end of one video the officer steps back after holstering his gun and raises his hands towards his head as if reacting to "Oh crap! What did I do?" At least it appeared so to me.

In the arrest, I could not see sufficient reason for even tasing the man on the ground. He was not entirely cooperative, but I did not see severe resistance that would warrant either taser use or the use of baton strikes to get compliance. Nor could I see any immediate threat that would warrant either tasing or lethal force.

Now...because I couldn't see it on a jerky, somewhat dark cell phone video does not mean a threat or justification did not exist. But I sure can't see one.

I'll give an example. The deceased was apparently talking on his cellphone at the time. His wife claims to have heard the gunshot over the phone. So, if we suppose a Bluetooth headset, it may be that his cellphone was in a pocket (right front or right rear). We can see the potential for error if the subject's right hand is still free and the officer sees a rectangular man-made object protruding from a pocket and the subject's hand appears to be reaching for it. Some cellphones when viewed from the back side, being black or dark "charcoal", may be mistaken for the grip of a firearm. One can then see the error leading to a tragedy.

But many people today carry cell phones of all sizes, shapes and colors. These are not uncommon devices nor unexpected items to find upon a person. At best, it becomes an error in identification and judgement that could render this an involuntary manslaughter case.

Yes, I'm one of those who thinks tasers are over-used and used in inappropriate situations. However, tasering someone who looks to be reaching for a potential weapon is not excessive. But the officer reaches for the wrong side of his body, has to draw from a level-3 holster and does not fire immediately, but a second or so afterwards.

It's too early for people to really riot as they did tonight. The officer still has his rights, including the right to resign and the right to remain silent. We should let the process continue until we see what the D.A. and investigation recommend.

I forsee a minumum charge of 192(b) Involuntary Manslaughter. Punisment for 192(b) is up to 1 year in the county jail or 16 months or 2 or 4 years in state prison.

More likely, the D.A. will start with an initial charge of 2nd degree murder and let the defense argue for involuntary manslaughter. Lacking any evidence that the officer had any intent to kill or seriously injure the deceased, the manslaughter charge is probably correct. By the time the case is tried, if he gets a 3-year sentence with one year credited for "time served" he'll spend a year in prison.

But the rest of his professional life is ruined. It is also likely that his marriage will end in divorce and a civil suit will still tag him with tens of thousands of dollars of debt.

That's why I said there will be no winners in this case.
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Old January 8, 2009, 11:34 PM   #46
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Of course there are, and good cops outnumber the bad ones by the considerable margin.

It's like what my leadership teacher once said: "99 percent of people are good folks, it's the 1 percent that causes 99 percent of the problems."
The problem is, what happens when a "bad cop" screws up? Generaly, the "good cops" close ranks and the "bad cop" gets little if any punishment at all. Not all the time, but generally that is the apparent trend.

I'm not going to start listing examples and going into detail with them as I'm not going to try to respect the "no-cop bashing request"
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Old January 9, 2009, 12:05 AM   #47
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Crosshair, the problem I have with generalized cop bashing, is that it is off topic. It assumes all LEOs are the same. We all know this not to be true.

Now, bash this particular cop, and only this cop and you're on topic. True or not.
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Old January 9, 2009, 12:48 AM   #48
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One doesn't have to look for malacious behavior to explain this and one should remember it is not that unusual.
I completely agree. I do not for one second believe this officer intended to harm the victim.

Of course, most people that kill someone while driving drunk never intended to harm anyone either. That does not mean I do not think they should suffer harsh and lengthy punishment for their actions.

Granted some will say that this officer did not do anything is grossly negligent as drinking then driving, but he still made a grievous personal error that unjustly ended the life of another person. The fact that he made this error, at the very least, proves him unfit for the job he currently holds, IMHO.
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Old January 9, 2009, 01:28 AM   #49
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PBP,

I agree completely. Depending on the charge the officer's intent is completely irrelevant.

However, drawing a weapon, pointing it at someone, and squeezing the trigger would indicate to me intent to cause the death of the other person. Doing those three actions without intent to kill the person would seem pretty negligent to me because the result of those actions is likely to be death.

What boggles my mind about this situation and others like it is the reaction of people. Why do they riot in their own neighborhoods and in the process destroy the place they live. It makes no sense to me.

I could see organizing a protest outside of a meeting, or the police station, or a march through the streets, these can be peaceful and productive ways of exercising constitutional rights. But I just don't understnad how you take your anger at the police out on your own neighborhood.
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Old January 9, 2009, 01:34 AM   #50
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WOW.. How did I miss this?

This happened new years eve and I'm just now finding out about it.

What a terrible situation. I feel for all involved here. It's my feeling that yes it was a terrible mistake on behalf of the officer and that he inadvertantly fired the live round thinking he was going to taze the man.

I do think the officer should be criminaly prosecuted just as anybody else would be.
The victims family should be compensated with ludicris amounts of financial compensation as well. The entire department needs extensive training so that this doesn't happen again. $25 million just doesn't seem enough to me.

I also suspect this isn't the first time somebody got "Shot by a tazer" but we just haven't heard about it.

No winners are coming out of this one... Very sad. My prayers to both families involved and to the officer himself. I do hope he comes through it ok. He must be a nervous wreck.

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