Dan T.

Some More Cops Who Need to Be Fired

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I don't understand how we can have a legal system where citizens are (rightly or wrongly) allowed to own and openly carry guns and yet in the same state police are allowed to shoot a person with a gun without that person having actually fired the gun or actually threatened anyone.  

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Are they trained to drive right up next to a person who supposedly has a gun and could be dangerous? If he had a gun and wanted to shoot them they just gave him the perfect opportunity; sitting in a car right next to him. I'd think they would stay farther away, exit the car and maybe draw their weapons if they think he's a threat and tell him to get down on the ground from a distance. It was the same thing with that guy who got kicked and had his jaw broken by the cops. The police said they thought he was armed and dangerous and yet they went right up to him without guns drawn. That's not very smart.

Hence why I laugh at most police training.

 

 

I don't understand how we can have a legal system where citizens are (rightly or wrongly) allowed to own and openly carry guns and yet in the same state police are allowed to shoot a person with a gun without that person having actually fired the gun or actually threatened anyone.  

Because the two are different? Police only need to feel threatened.

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Are they trained to drive right up next to a person who supposedly has a gun and could be dangerous? If he had a gun and wanted to shoot them they just gave him the perfect opportunity; sitting in a car right next to him. I'd think they would stay farther away, exit the car and maybe draw their weapons if they think he's a threat and tell him to get down on the ground from a distance. It was the same thing with that guy who got kicked and had his jaw broken by the cops. The police said they thought he was armed and dangerous and yet they went right up to him without guns drawn. That's not very smart.

 

I've wondered this from the beginning, because I think it's important. I do not believe it's ever been answered.

 

If that's how they were trained, then the criticism should directed at the training. While the one who fired the shot was a rookie whose credentials are questionable, I believe the driver was an experienced officer... The one that made the decision to drive up on him.

 

I could see it going both ways, and I have no idea who is trained what in that circumstance. If they sit back and guy flees into an alley and kills someone, the same people criticism them would ask why they were too afraid to do their job.  On the flip side, you have this. I don't know what the right answer is, but where the blame should be directed for that part of it is determined by the question you asked...

 

To me the biggest issue is with the lack of information being relayed to the police. The dispatcher was told there was a kid with a toy gun, the cops were told there was a person with a gun pointing it at people. Maybe that's policy, that they don't distinguish based on the original 911 call when relaying, but it would seem to me that is important information the police didn't have. In this day, with the mass shooter stuff, guy with a gun pointing it at people seems very different to me than kid with a toy gun scaring people as they walk by.

 

The second biggest issue is that the cops clearly lied. I don't see how they've been held accountable for that. That is a problem.

 

The third would be how it was handled (though I don't know that the outcome should have been different if it was handled correctly, other than them being punished for lying.)

 

I just have a hard time blaming a cop for shooting someone when they're responding to a call about someone with a gun pointing it at people, and the person does what he did when the cops show up. It seems like some of you honestly want the police to be shot at first before acting. I think that's completely unreasonable.

 

It also seems like some of you are so wrapped up in the political style side of the issue that you cannot see clearly. The #1 indicator is the constant mention of him being a kid, when it's clear the cops didn't have that information. The #2 would be the toy gun, for the same reasons. It's hindsight information. Another indicator: the inability to discuss any part of the case without constantly bringing up every other part.  Also: constantly referencing ever police involved shooting as if they're all somehow equal.

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The part about him being a child is significant. That's why it keeps coming up. It's essential. They killed a child playing in a park. If they react so violently that a child in a park is seen as such a deadly threat that they have to immediately kill him that speaks to how bad, and how incredibly reckless, their chosen approach to an unverified report of a possible crime really is. Did you see the video? The child was shot in 2 seconds or less upon their arrival. The car may have still been moving when the officer first moved to shoot him.

That approach could see any of us killed. I don't know how I'd react to seeing a police car bearing down on me in a park and I'm in my 30s. I can't tell you what I'd do with my hands or if I thought they were coming for me or were simply cutting through the park. Would I move to grab my phone? Would that move mean that i'd have to lay bleeding while they ignore me and offer me no assistance? I'm certainly more threatening than a 12 year old.

This isn't about one situation. This is about seeing that we have a national problem. A standard of behavior that puts us all at risk from the people we depend on to keep us safe.

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You keep trying to bring this back to things I'm not arguing with you about.

 

You keep bringing up the child, you now say it's significant. You use it to play on emotions. "If they react so violently that a child..." They didn't know it was a child.

 

Did you not see the radio transcripts? They called it in as a man at first, after they shot him.

 

They didn't know it was a child.

 

Not sure why this is so hard for you to understand.


This isn't about one situation. This is about seeing that we have a national problem. A standard of behavior that puts us all at risk from the people we depend on to keep us safe.

 

And this is exactly what I'm talking about. The constant need to tie all of these together as if they're in any way related.

 

And no, not all of us are at risk. Some of us have no problem dealing with the police when/if it happens.

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you are looking for two different things here... correct versus culpable.

there is no doubt that what happened was incorrect. but the question was whether the officer was legally culpable (criminally) for his actions. being criminally culpable is different than being incompetent, afraid and jittery.

There is such a thing as negligent homicide. Many of these cases seem to be in that category. If current law classifies these kinds of shootings as justified, the laws should be changed. Of course the police unions and far-right wingnuts would yell bloody murder and **** about it being a soft on crime measure that would endanger the lives of officer friendly so that's just not going to happen. In the meantime people will continue to die needlessly. Yay, the system works!

The good news is that these events have taught us the value of civilian lives to the "justice" system. Less than a ham sandwich...since as the old saying goes, any prosecutor can get one of those indicted.

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They didn't know it was a child.

 

And no, not all of us are at risk. Some of us have no problem dealing with the police when/if it happens.

Has anyone in an authoritative position investigated the dispatchers? Vital information was not relayed, that it was possibly a minor & that the gun didn't look real...where's the culpability in regards to them?

And not to argue "dealing with police", but stray bullets kill as well. We are all at risk.

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Has anyone in an authoritative position investigated the dispatchers? Vital information was not relayed, that it was possibly a minor & that the gun didn't look real...where's the culpability in regards to them?

And not to argue "dealing with police", but stray bullets kill as well. We are all at risk.

The entire incident was investigated. It's entirely possible that asking about age is not part of the procedure. More over, people are terrible about estimating age. Caller could have said black teenager. That can mean anything from 12 to 19 years old.

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Has anyone in an authoritative position investigated the dispatchers? Vital information was not relayed, that it was possibly a minor & that the gun didn't look real...where's the culpability in regards to them?

 

Don't know, it's another issue with this case. We don't know this stuff. I'm not sure what we're entitled to know, but not telling us the procedures certainly isn't helping them from a PR stand point.

 

Like Slateman said, and I talked about earlier, it's entirely possible that their procedures are not to relay that kind of information. They may only want the specific facts to avoid clouding the situation, to avoid injecting a bias into the situation. I could see it going either way.

 

It's the same issue that we have with them driving up on the kid the way they did. As far as I know, they haven't told us whether that's by the book or not either. Which, to me, is an incredibly important piece of information. It determines where the fault lies - are the procedures bad or did these officers not follow procedures? The answer makes a big difference...

 

The fact that we know they lied about what happened and still nothing has happened casts a huge black cloud over the entire investigation. I don't know how anyone being objective can understand that the two officers lied about what happened, see that no punishment was handed out of any kind, and put any faith in the rest of the process.

 

Can't this prosecutor be reported to the bar association to have his handling of this reviewed? Isn't the entire point of a profession (a real profession) to have a licensing system that allows for review and revocation of license when someone is shown to have done something like this?

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And this is exactly what I'm talking about. The constant need to tie all of these together as if they're in any way related.

They are related. That is the core issue here. You keep trying to look at this as an isolated issue when it's clearly not. This is a systemic police culture issue across the entire country. In every city of every size.

They weren't told it was a kid. I get that. But if they had reacted the way you would hope they would to an actual threat by assessing the situation how long would it have taken them to figure that out?

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Has anyone in an authoritative position investigated the dispatchers? Vital information was not relayed, that it was possibly a minor & that the gun didn't look real...where's the culpability in regards to them?

And not to argue "dealing with police", but stray bullets kill as well. We are all at risk.

 

Except that the gun absolutely looked real. Quick quiz: Which one is the real gun and which one is the Airsoft gun Rice had?

 

HT_guns_tamir_rice_01_jef_151228_16x9_99

 

Are you willing to bet your life the one at the top is the toy gun?

 

Also Tamir Rice's autopsy report documented that he stood 5'7" and weighed 195 pounds.  That's pretty much adult size.

 

So while there were a lot of issues with this whole tragedy, I doubt the dispatchers were negligent by not announcing that a child was in the park playing with a toy gun. 

 

 (As an aside, I happened to watch that video of the squad car rolling up to Rice with a Federal law enforcement officer with a ton of street-level experience, and he was dumbfounded at the stupidity of that maneuver.)  

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Yeah the rolling right up to him thing was pure stupidity and may have exacerbated the situation because they put themselves in a horrible position to deal with any sort of threat.

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So, hypothetically speaking, lets pretend Tamir was an adult with a real gun.  Given his size, I don't think his actual age is a giant strike against the police in this situation.  Still, though, should he have been shot without being questioned?  Should he have been arrested?  Of course not.  He was playing with a toy.  He wasn't menacing or threatening anyone.  

 

We have a system of laws in Ohio that specifically state that people can openly carry firearms.  I may not agree with it, but that's the law.  At what point does a person openly carrying become threatening and shoot-able?  Pure gut feeling by a cop?  That system didn't end well here.  I think it is reasonable for police to question people with guns to make sure that they are not a threat.  I don't think it is reasonable for police to shoot people carrying guns before determining if they are a threat.  No attempt to actually assess this situation was made.  

Edited by bcl05

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To play devil's advocate to that...there is also a big difference if you're open carrying and have your pistol in a holster on your hip or you're walking around with a pistol out in your hand. HUGE difference.

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They are related. That is the core issue here. You keep trying to look at this as an isolated issue when it's clearly not. This is a systemic police culture issue across the entire country. In every city of every size.

 

They're not related.

 

One had a toy gun. One struck an officer multiple times. One was simply refusing arrest in a non violent manner. In the other cases one had a gun and was running away (and that gun was real, not that it matters), and another had a knife.

 

These situations are all different and trying to judge who is at fault and to what degree they are at fault, and subsequently how they should be punished, requires you to look at them all differently. If you can't handle doing that then you're not being objective what so ever. Which is fine, but at least own your stance in it. Quit pretending you're the only one that "gets it".

 

 

 

 (As an aside, I happened to watch that video of the squad car rolling up to Rice with a Federal law enforcement officer with a ton of street-level experience, and he was dumbfounded at the stupidity of that maneuver.)  

 

Same, though not a ton of street-level experience. They had the same concerns - why would you do that?

 

But we still don't know if that's how they were taught to handle that situation... Remember, the shooter was this rookie with a questionable past but I believe the driver was a veteran... Not sure what his past was. Different departments have different training... wish we would get an answer on that.

 

 

So, hypothetically speaking, lets pretend Tamir was an adult with a real gun.  Given his size, I don't think his actual age is a giant strike against the police in this situation.  Still, though, should he have been shot without being questioned?  Should he have been arrested?  Of course not.  He was playing with a toy.  He wasn't menacing or threatening anyone.  

 

We have a system of laws in Ohio that specifically state that people can openly carry firearms.  I may not agree with it, but that's the law.  At what point does a person openly carrying become threatening and shoot-able?  Pure gut feeling by a cop?  That system didn't end well here.  I think it is reasonable for police to question people with guns to make sure that they are not a threat.  I don't think it is reasonable for police to shoot people carrying guns before determining if they are a threat.  No attempt to actually assess this situation was made.  

 

It doesn't matter if he was an adult or not, at least it shouldn't. It should be just as tragic if Tamir was 28 as it is that he's 12.

 

He was menacing people, that's why the police were called....

 

You allow open carry, but I imagine you (like every other state) has laws about pointing guns at other people. Brandishing a firearm in VA is a serious offense, I would imagine it is in OH too.

To play devil's advocate to that...there is also a big difference if you're open carrying and have your pistol in a holster on your hip or you're walking around with a pistol out in your hand. HUGE difference.

 

or pointing it at people

 

or in your wast band under your shirt

 

i'll never get how anyone thinks it's ok to **** around with a weapon around police. that's a recipe for being shot dead, as it should be. how is this not common sense?

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They're not

I'm sorry but they are. You can name a thousand different cases where a police officer responded with disproportionate force with a million different variables in hundreds of cities and towns and in each case it boils down to the fact that these officers work in a culture where they are above the law, where they believe that what they want to do is more important than the safety and well being of those they are supposed to protect.

The same scenario plays out every time, regardless of the specifics. Officer(s) injures/kills citizen(s) in disproportionate use of force. Officer(s) is suspended with pay. Officer(s) is cleared of wrongdoing, often after being shown to have been lying about what really happened. Officer returns to work like nothing ever happened.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

As a matter of fact it's such an automatic thing that people are actually shocked when a police officer is actually convicted of a crime even when there is indisputable video or witness evidence against them that they indeed committed a crime.

As far as pretending to be the only one to "get it," that would be odd considering so many people in this thread seem to see this issue the same way as I do. As a matter of fact you're the only one acting like you've got a unique perspective on the situation.

Your stance is fine if you want to view every situation in your life in a vacuum. But the rest of us don't see this or any of the numerous examples listed In this thread as such.

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Kinda belongs in this thread, and kinda in some other ones.  And I think maybe it deserves it's own thread, but I don;t think so. 

 

This is an old story that I just found out about.  (Via a link from a news story I was reading, on another topic.) 

 

In 2011, Florida Highway Patrol officer Donna "Jane" Watts was cruising down the turnpike, when he car is passed on the right by a police car driving very fast, without lights of siren.  She hit the lights, and pursued.  The vehicle continued to flee, and to weave in and out of traffic, for around five minutes, occasionally exceeding 120 MPH.  After 5 minutes, the cal pulls off the road (on the left side).  Patrolman Watts drew her weapon, and arrested the uniformed officer driving the car. 

 

Youtube video of some of the dashcam video: 

 

 

(I found several other YouTube videos on the subject, but all of them seem to have been edited.  Many of them are part of various news stories.) 

 

The officer, Miami officer Fausto Lopez was apparently off duty, and was late to get to his second job. 

 

Officer Lopez was convicted, and fired. 

 

The arrest led to an investigation my the Sun Sentinel, who used FOIA requests to pull the records of the Sun Pass activity of police vehicles, measured how long it took police cruisers to move from toll booth A to toll booth B, and calculated what speed the officer had to be averaging, to cover that distance, in that time.  The investigation found numerous cases of off duty officers using their official vehicles at very high speeds.  It apparently won a Pulitzer. 

 

(And, the article points out, only some of the time were they able to tell whether the speeds were on duty or not.  They observe that they caught a lot of speeding by city cops who weren't in their city, but that for example, county cops rarely leave their county, so they can't tell if speeding was on duty or off.)  (They also assumed that some officers, like K-9 or SWAT officers, were on duty when they sped, because such officers are often called in to emergency duty, when they're home.) 

 

But back to patrolman Watts. 

 

She claims, at least, that her arresting a speeding off duty cop seems to have targeted her for harassment.  She receives threatening phone calls.  People order pizzas delivered to her address.  Her car's been vandalized.  On multiple occasions, she has come out of her home, which is on a cul de sac, and seen strange cars idling, watching her house. 

 

She says that she, and her supervisor, agree that it's too dangerous for her to go on patrol. 

 

She issued a records request to the state.  It seems that, over a three month period in 2012, her driver's license info was accessed by 88 police officers, from 55 different police departments, over 100 times. 

 

She's filed a lawsuit for invasion of privacy.  Apparently, it's a violation of federal law for anyone, including police officers, to access someone's driver's license info without an official reason to do so.  The fine, per offense, is $25,000. 

 

I've found at least a few stories about various departments settling their part of the lawsuit.  The settlements seem to involve paying a small fine, and a written reprimand in the file of the officer who pulled her records. 

 

The most recent article I've found is this HuffPo article, dated 2/11/14, about her lawsuit.  (Apparently, several police departments are trying to have her suit thrown out, claiming that the Federal law is unconstitutional, unless the officers accessed her information for the purpose of selling it.)  According to that article, patrolman Watts has been relocated, and no longer drives a cruiser, although she is still employed by FHP. 

 

Ugly story.  Thought people might like to look / comment about it. 

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unfortunately not too unusual for many in authority to access records for non-official purposes....even politicians.

 

power corrupts

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Accessing computer records is about the easiest and most cut-and-dried thing in the world to discover and prosecute if necessary. I personally know of several people in hospitals who were fired for accessing records of patients they weren't treating or working with. In a couple of these cases, it was due to accessing the records of members of a certain local football team. Other times, it was celebrities.

 

Another example of this is a relative of ours is an FBI agent. We asked him to check the records of someone we know from our own research is a felon because he's been harassing and subtly threatening my wife. Nope. Can't do it. He'd get fired. So tell me again how it's the Feds that are out of control and trying to create a police state and local police are the paragons of virtue. Yeah, right.

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Isn't that just more "blue wall" nonsense. She arrested one of their own, correctly, and now there's hell to pay. Imagine what the fallout would have been if she'd testified against a cop for beating someone up?

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 So tell me again how it's the Feds that are out of control and trying to create a police state and local police are the paragons of virtue. Yeah, right.

 

keep making arguments I never made while acknowledging illegal access is common. :P  

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keep making arguments I never made while acknowledging illegal access is common. :P

What made you rush to defend yourself? :)

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What made you rush to defend yourself? :)

 

 

Not a defense, rather a mocking 

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Not a defense, rather a mocking

Ah. That explains why you made a post accusing him of making an argument he didn't make, complaining about people accusing you of making arguments you didn't make.

That sure was some subtle mocking. Well done.

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Not a defense, rather a mocking 

As in most cases, you're a little too clever by half. I was making a general observation about the failure to do anything about officers using their computer access to harass and possibly threaten another officer. It had nothing to do with your comment. Here's a hint. The fact that a post follows yours doesn't always mean it's a direct response to your post. In other words, it's not all about you...as much as you'd like to believe it is.  :P  ;)

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