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Old January 9, 2009, 01:50 AM   #51
nate45
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BillCA did a good job of predicting the eventual legal outcome of this tragedy. An Involuntary Manslaughter charge seems fair and reasonable to me, at least based on what we see in the video.

I have to say though that this is one of the strangest things I've ever seen. Unholstered his weapon, almost instantly fired, then re-holstered his weapon and threw up his hands as if to say 'did I do that ?'.

I suppose we will never know what was actually going through his mind when he did it, or as far as that goes he may not even know and/or remember. Glenn E. Meyer's suggestion that it was perhaps stress related may be on the mark.
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Old January 9, 2009, 02:07 AM   #52
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The reason Cops close ranks is because we know that excrement happens and that we are going to be judged and judged harshly by people who have no idea what it means to be a Cop. I am pleased that denizens of the forum are able to convict a man on 30 seconds of cell phone video. I hate nothing more than a corrupt cop, a brutal cop, a hiding behind the badge punk. However I know that the true percentage of bad cops is a lot lower than 1%.

You should not be charged with a crime for making a mistake in good faith at work.

I didn't see one post blaming the true criminal-----The resisting offender. He stops being an ******* ----game over

It is a wonder Cops do anything anymore.

I feel more and more like Col. Jessup everyday.
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Old January 9, 2009, 04:14 AM   #53
maestro pistolero
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The officer has handed in his resignation rather than be questioned by IA. It does not look good for him. It seems pretty obvious this was a terrible, stupid mistake. I cannot imagine why he drew the weapon, and having drawn it, why he had his finger on the trigger.
I wonder if the tasers have heavy or light triggers. If they are heavy, maybe he thought he was 'pre-loading' some trigger weight on his taser. Horrible event, one for the academy to be sure.
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Old January 9, 2009, 04:17 AM   #54
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The officer has handed in his resignation rather than be questioned by IA. It does not look good for him.
This quote from the DA does not look good for him either.
Quote:
District Attorney Tom Orloff told CNN on Wednesday the incident is a “pretty clear” homicide and his office will focus primarily on Mehserle’s mental state prior to the shooting.
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Old January 9, 2009, 04:21 AM   #55
maestro pistolero
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You should not be charged with a crime for making a mistake in good faith at work.
The charge of manslaughter is on the books so that when murder is accidental, there is an appropriate charge. If he's guilty, he has to be charged. If he is convicted, his 'good faith' can then be considered at sentencing.

If I accidentally kill someone while driving a sick person to a hospital, and it's my fault, I can be charged with manslaughter, regardless of the 'good faith' inherent in the activity.

It's a sad day. But closing ranks does little to reassure the public. Transparency will go a long way toward healing the trust of the people.
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Old January 9, 2009, 06:12 AM   #56
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You should not be charged with a crime for making a mistake in good faith at work.
This wasn't a mistake in "good faith" at work.

Quote:
I didn't see one post blaming the true criminal-----The resisting offender. He stops being an ******* ----game over
Sure, if the criminal stopped it would not have happened. However, the officers actions given how the suspect was acting were not legal. So had the officer done his job within the bounds of the law, this would not have happened.
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Old January 9, 2009, 09:49 AM   #57
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I didn't see one post blaming the true criminal-----The resisting offender. He stops being an ******* ----game over
The actions of a criminal do not justify summary executions, unless the lethal force is in response to a deadly threat.

If a dump truck driver runs a traffic light through inattention, and kills a pedestrian crossing the street, he will still be charged with a homicide, even if the pedestrian was not inside the crosswalk.

Accident? sure
Was pedestrian violating the law? yes
Still chargeable? you bet
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Old January 9, 2009, 10:02 AM   #58
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I think a re-defining of "RESISTANCE" is in order! Handcuffed on your face with a knee on your neck says you ain't able to resist much!
Also, many arresting officers are borderline assaulting suspects and physical response to physical abuse SHOULD be resistance... it is the nature of all but the weakest of species!
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Old January 9, 2009, 10:56 AM   #59
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The reason Cops close ranks is because we know that excrement happens and that we are going to be judged and judged harshly by people who have no idea what it means to be a Cop. I am pleased that denizens of the forum are able to convict a man on 30 seconds of cell phone video. I hate nothing more than a corrupt cop, a brutal cop, a hiding behind the badge punk. However I know that the true percentage of bad cops is a lot lower than 1%.

You should not be charged with a crime for making a mistake in good faith at work.

I didn't see one post blaming the true criminal-----The resisting offender. He stops being an ******* ----game over

It is a wonder Cops do anything anymore.

I feel more and more like Col. Jessup everyday.
Anybody else noticing anything, here? Interesting, considering one of these two men didn't kill anybody.

Also, you should almost certainly be charged with a crime when making a mistake at work causes somebody to be killed. What crime you should be charged with will vary on circumstances. Whether or not you should be convicted depends on whether a jury believes that you were acting in good faith, whether there was any negligence involved, etc. The punishment should you be convicted would depend on other mitigating circumstances as well.
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Old January 9, 2009, 12:24 PM   #60
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I am pleased that denizens of the forum are able to convict a man on 30 seconds of cell phone video
Most here, including myself, have said that he should be charged with a crime. Whether or not he is convicted is up to a jury. I have said that he is presumed innocent but that doesn't mean he shouldn't be charged.
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Old January 9, 2009, 03:12 PM   #61
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When I went through the academy (pushing 40 years ago) they really emphasized that LEOs were held to a higher standard. I came to know, when on the streets, that there were few friends out there. And also that there was a lot of "contempt of cop." Not against the law. But it was almost a sacred duty to protect a person suspected of a crime when they were cuffed - even in the face of some pretty stiff contempt. One of the officers on the local PD lost his badge and got some jail time for working over an abusive suspect in cuffs.

One of my classmates at the academy was a retired Navy CPO. He shot and killed a drunk kid (he was off duty at the time) with his county issued revolver. He was charged and convicted of murder 2 and is probably still in jail. For me, it was very sobering...

Carrying a badge is tough. No other way to see it. But still - you must be held to that higher standard. That being said, the shooting was a tragedy - both for the suspect and the LEO who shot him. And whether the LEO should face charges, I believe that he should. And stiff ones at that. Not only did the LEO violate the Penal Code but he violated the trust...

When I got a cell phone, I carried it on my weak side. I have carried concealed and open for enough years that I wanted no chance of confusion. The department that I was with held night shoots on a regular basis. One of the drills was to draw your weapon and point it in the direction of the target. The OIC would then pop a flash bulb and you were to fire six shots into the target and reload. It worried me because I could see it as the basis for unintentionally shooting during a traffic stop if you caught the flash of the headlights from a turning vehicle nearby. Under stress, a learned and reinforced response to the stimulus will tend to rule out other action. Not always. But possible. Lots of words - but I agree with the poster who said that a taser should feel very different from a service sidearm.
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Old January 9, 2009, 03:22 PM   #62
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You want to get to the root causes of this?

1. Training
2. Hiring practices.
3. Training.


I predict the jury will convict him of whatever California's criminally negligent homicide equivalent is. If I was the guys attorney, thats what I would be aiming at, as the DA is going to look for more to appease the "public". I would go so far as to have him testify before the grand jury and admit he screwed up.

WildseemypsbelowAlaska ™

PS...99% of cops are good solid citizens. 99% of gun owners are good solid citizens. Neither should be tarred by the actions of the bad one's, dont you agree?

PPS...what kind of handgun are these officers issued?
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Old January 9, 2009, 04:06 PM   #63
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You want to get to the root causes of this?

1. Training
2. Hiring practices.
3. Training.
I suspect you're right, but for what it's worth:

Quote:
Qualifications and training for BART police officers exceed the mandates of the state's Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, which certifies all California peace officers.
BART Police

I don't know what type of guns they're issued.

I really don't understand those that call this a summary execution. I didn't see that on the videos. Let the courts figure it out. Good chance the guy will be over-punished anyway, given the political pressure on the DA.
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Old January 9, 2009, 05:45 PM   #64
shoot870p
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so bad

poor thing. he turned in a resignation to avoid internal affairs. looks like a "I'm sorry" action and I do not like those. you favorite cat dies- im sorry. you get a hang nail- im sorry. a family member dies- im sorry.
WA is right - Train
train the way you fight and fight the way you train.
I hat it for the families but he needs to be relieved of any and all police power. let him push a short mop for a while.
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Old January 10, 2009, 12:45 AM   #65
Wagonman
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From what I heard at roll call tonight, he drew the pistol when he meant to draw the tazer.


It was a tragic mistake, however, I think that leaving his job is more than enough punishment.


I think a suspension coupled with some retraining would be more fitting.


I understand being held to a higher standard, The problem I have with the Cop bashers is that this Police Officer was doing his job in good faith when a mistake occured. He doesn't have the key factor in determining guilt, INTENT, his intent was to arrest a resisting offender.
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Old January 10, 2009, 01:01 AM   #66
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Negligent Homicide (or whatever your State calls it) needs no mens rea. It is an act of criminal negligence whereby recklessness itself generally meets the legislated criteria of mens rea.
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Old January 10, 2009, 01:12 AM   #67
Wildalaska
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Or as the model penal code points out

"Criminal negligence requires that the defendant should be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the death of another human being will result from his conduct. The conduct must be a “gross deviation” from the standard of care of a reasonable person"

WildtheloweststandardAlaska TM
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Old January 10, 2009, 01:44 AM   #68
Wagonman
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I don't see the "unjustifiable risk" He was assisting in a difficult arrest and drew wrong tool. I am sorry I can't take the leap of criminally charging a guy for making a mistake while doing his job. The only way I could interpret negligence is if he was playing with his gun and it went off or something of that nature.
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Old January 10, 2009, 07:09 AM   #69
divemedic
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I think a suspension coupled with some retraining would be more fitting.

1 He was trained in the use of firearm and taser
2 he was aware of the risk
3 he failed to ensure that he was using the correct weapon
4 he killed another person

This man's mistake cost another his life, and some here think a suspension is enough to compensate for that? What if that dead person had been your child? Would you feel the same way?

Allowing the defense of "I didn't mean it." opens the door for any person anywhere to use "oops, my bad" as a legal defense.

Quote:
The problem I have with the Cop bashers is that this Police Officer was doing his job in good faith when a mistake occured. He doesn't have the key factor in determining guilt, INTENT, his intent was to arrest a resisting offender.
California law:

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.


Don't need intent for involuntary manslaughter. How is it that when people want to hold a cop accountable for his actions, and are not bashing cops in general, do people always come forward and excuse the cop's actions and accuse those wanting to hold him accountable of cop bashing? This thread is not about bashing cops in general, but is about holding one cop accountable for taking the life of another human being.
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Old January 10, 2009, 08:02 AM   #70
alloy
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years ago...i saw a friend of a friend punch his fist thru a wall or door on a few occasions. what flipped his switch is hard to say, but to an onlooker it kinda looked like that video, especially when his pistol stuck in his holster for a sec and he just kept on going regardless.

of course it couldn't be, but it still looks like an execution. disturbing.
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Old January 10, 2009, 08:18 AM   #71
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a note from this observer...i would hope all responses are in line with all the thought provoking posts on typical threads regarding:

"accidental or negligent discharge?"
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Old January 10, 2009, 08:37 AM   #72
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Training

We all must train and train until an act becomes second nature, without thought. Sufficient training would help to eliminate incidents such as this in the heat of engagement or battle. This ex LE type will get some jail time because he had not received , I am sure, the necessary training and BART will also get some bad press and rightly so.
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Old January 10, 2009, 10:58 AM   #73
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While training is obviously important and folks say that if you practice intensively you will be ok- we know that is not always the case. There are two well known pathways for an action:

1. An automatic one that is not under conscious control and is very quick
2. An analytic one that is slower and under control.

A handgun like taser may just be a response trap that leads to a quick draw on the gun if stress moves you towards an automatic response. I don't recall folks confusing their night stick for a gun or vice versa. We have heard of folks trying to reload with their cell phone (if that is true).

Perhaps, the nongunlike civilian tasers would be a better carry if we continue to see this.

As far as the legal ramifications - I can easily see the civil suit bringing in human factors experts to discuss such. I have a friend who was involved in a Glock lawsuit with someone shooting themselves by pulling the trigger on a loaded gun to fit it into the box with the post and a discussion of the components of liability. Yes, there are warnings but the design suggests the bad action - etc.
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Old January 12, 2009, 03:03 AM   #74
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My son would not be fighting with the police.

I am sorry, I can't work up sympathy for this piece of police fighting human debris that is causing my brothers in Oakland such aggravation. His family just hit the ghetto lotto.
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Old January 12, 2009, 03:09 AM   #75
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His family just hit the ghetto lotto.
Wow, that is pretty racist right there. :barf:
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