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Old October 26, 2013, 02:47 AM   #26
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You can't go killing people unless you are threatened.

If YOU, Joe civilian shot this kid, you'd be going straight to court and prison.

If YOU, Joe civilian can't shoot, then sure as heck a squad of cops who are PAID to take extra risks and disarm suspect and not shoot on the spot have a GREATER responsibility. Training, tactics, tools (Taser, anyone?).

I wasn't there, but lets assume for the moment that the 13 year old REALLY did have a loaded AK47. Even assuming that's the case, it's still a stretch that he's an imminent threat that you must shoot to kill, and that not giving him a moment to comply isn't just a better plan... this is a civilian neighborhood in California - it's not Afghanistan.

I would further assume that the cops have taken some tactical cover (car engine block, trees, etc.) for instance (actually I just watched the video, and the cops did not take any cover, just concealment). Anyone that honestly appraises the situation must have understood that this kid is probably not going to be very proficient with an AK47... hence he's almost zero 'real' threat given the circumstances. Give the kid a moment to comply or heck even if he opens fire you've got 2 guns trained on him. And a 13 year old isn't going to hit you behind your cover. And that also does one of two things:
1. Saves his life - no shooting, OR
2. Makes it justifiable for the cops to shoot him.

Now this hypothetical ignores some REALLY important points.
A. Perhaps, since AKs are illegal and very rare in CA, this 13 year old might have a toy gun. Where is the sane person in the police force that says, "Hold on a second, my kid has a toy gun just like that?" Heck growing up every kid (and cop) knows of stories of kids with toy guns getting shot. It should have crossed SOME of the cops minds that this might just be a toy.
B. Didn't it occur to any of them that when the kid's back was to them, when they yelled, the kid would naturally turn with the gun toward them. Seems they were abit trigger happy when they called to get his attention and when 'it worked' and he turned, they blasted him!

I noted several tactical mistakes from the video and article.
a. They pulled the car up so only the doors offered cover. That is a mistake. Should have pulled up perpendicular so they could get behind the wheels.
b. The 'toy' is obviously a toy to anyone that has handled an AK47. The size, shape and colors and barrel length are wrong.
c. Not giving the boy a chance to comply. Obvious mistake.
d. They shot the boy numerous times. The missed numerous times. Less validity in their argument they were 'protecting the community' from gunfire when they are dumping 8 rounds into the neighborhood rather than waiting to see what the boy does.

It's clear this will be investigated. I don't know the facts. But this does NOT look good on the surface.

Last edited by leadcounsel; October 26, 2013 at 03:03 AM.
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Old October 26, 2013, 03:39 AM   #27
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The tragedy of this is undeniable, and of course the event should be closely scrutinized.

However, in my experience the internet firearm community can be quite quick to scorn the police, perhaps a side effect of our small government, strongly individual rights oriented community. In this matter some context may be illustrative - namely, that in California 13-year-olds involved in gun violence are not at all a rare thing. In a book that I read for a class in my Pre-Law Criminology undergrad - Monster, an autobiography by Sanyika Shakur, a former L.A. Crip - socialization into gang activity throughout California (though obviously concentrated in L.A.) was common for children much younger than that.

In the end, this thing will get armchair quarterbacked to death like every OIS, but never forget the context of the state's criminal history, and most importantly never forget that it happened in heartbeats. This will not be an excuse in all cases - sometimes the police gravely overreact, and they should be penalized accordingly in such situations. Sometimes, though, sad things just happen, events set in motion by other events that come to a head that, perhaps, could not have been avoided. Tweak a fact here or there and it could be a story about how an AK-47 armed teenager fatally shot a cop who hesitated thinking the firearm was a toy.

And on it goes.
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Old October 26, 2013, 08:52 AM   #28
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leadcounsel wrote:
If YOU, Joe civilian shot this kid, you'd be going straight to court and prison.

If YOU, Joe civilian can't shoot, then sure as heck a squad of cops who are PAID to take extra risks and disarm suspect and not shoot on the spot have a GREATER responsibility. Training, tactics, tools (Taser, anyone?).
Agreed, and thus the problem. LE should be held to a higher, or at the least, an equal standard to the "civilian" CWP holder. Sadly, it seems the bar is much lower for LE, as are the penalties for a "bad shoot"

LockedBreech wrote:
sometimes the police gravely overreact, and they should be penalized accordingly in such situations.
That is the other part of the problem, this incident may be "armchair quarterbacked" by any and everyone, but it will be investigated by the peers of the LEOs involved. There appears to be no citizens review board in place in Santa Rosa, despite public outcry for one. The "penalties" if there are any, will be "administrative" at the worst.

If LE had to face the same criminal charges as you or I would in such an incident, I suspect it might temper the way it unfolded.
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Old October 26, 2013, 09:21 AM   #29
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It's going to be "armchair quarterbacked" by the FBI.
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Old October 26, 2013, 10:06 AM   #30
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If I were walking down the street, carrying a concealed firearm and shot the kid who was holding an airsoft gun, how do you think I would be treated?

Based on the facts presented in the article, would I be justified in pulling my firearms out of concealment? Pointing my gun at the child? Shooting the child with who was carrying a toy AK?

The answer is clearly NO. The reason the answer is "NO" is because the boy carrying the toy gun was not pursuing or threatening anyone. My life would not be in danger. It would not be a justified shooting, EVEN IN A STAND-YOUR-GROUND state. Therefore, I feel the officer who shot the kid has no more legal basis to claim his life was in imminent danger and therefore justified in using deadly force.
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Old October 26, 2013, 10:36 AM   #31
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It's going to be "armchair quarterbacked" by the FBI
As well as right here on TFL. ...

..and I'm sure when the FBI start their armchair quarterbacking, they(FBI) will be privy to a lot more facts then we will ever know.

But alas, a few have already held court here on TFL and quickly convicted LE of murder with nothing more then their own assumptions of what happened based on what they've seen in the media. `

Understanding that this IS a true tragedy that needs to be investigated very closely by those that have experience in these types of investigations and will use actual facts of the incident to do so rather then 'media' facts, wouldn't it be fair to say at this point that saying LE is guilty or not of wrongdoing is a bit premature?

Jumping to conclusions and leaving out pertinent facts(facts usually left out by the media) in shootings is the same tactics the anti-gun crowds use to try and disarm the general public.
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Old October 26, 2013, 10:55 AM   #32
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13 year old boy tragically shot by California Police

This is a tragedy, but one that can be learned from. A child is dead, there is a public outcry for the heads of those responsible, and no one knows what exactly happened. Sure, we can have a general outline, but that is nowhere near enough to say that the officers fired without justification. I am not a LEO, and don't have any family members that are. However, I do have some good friends that are. Many of them have made comments to the extent that far too many LEOs shout a command that can hardly be understood and then react with more force than necessary when the suspect doesn't comply. Stress can make you (and others) think that you are being completely clear and giving ample time for another person to respond when you are doing neither.

Hopefully LE agencies take the time to review this and understand just what went wrong (if anything). And no, it isn't guaranteed that the officers did something wrong as so many people are quick to assume. But, the way the articles are written it sure seems like that is the just of it.
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Old October 26, 2013, 11:16 AM   #33
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Too much speculation and knee-jerk reaction.
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