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Video of a San Bernardino Sheriff's Deputy shooting an unarmed man who appears to be complying with orders.
February 2, 2006 7:15 PM   Subscribe

Video of an unarmed man being shot by a San Bernardino Sheriff's Deputy while appearing to comply with orders.

Senior Airman Elio Carrion, 21, had been riding as a passenger in a Corvette that was involved in a brief, high-speed chase with the deputy that reached speeds of 100 mph before the Corvette crashed into a fence, authorities said. The videotape, shot by Chino resident Jose Luis Valdes, shows Carrion sprawled on the ground and repeatedly telling the deputy, "I'm on your side." The deputy then seems to shout, "Get up!" after which Carrion appears to lean forward. "I'm going to get up, all right?" he says. The deputy then fires his gun three or four times from about five feet away. "Shut … up, you don't get up …!" he shouts. Moaning in pain, Carrion responds: "You told me to get up." The deputy then radioed in to dispatch that shots had been fired. [LA Times]

posted by Mijo Bijo (154 comments total)

 
The man who was shot three times was an Air Force security officer who, according to the videotape and neighbors, told the deputy that he was in the military and "on your side."
posted by Mijo Bijo at 7:19 PM on February 2, 2006


didn't he know 9/11 changed everything?
posted by quonsar at 7:23 PM on February 2, 2006


this is why i hate cops, and probably authority. WTF.
posted by brandz at 7:24 PM on February 2, 2006


He underwent surgery Monday at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton after being shot in the chest, leg and shoulder, according to his wife. By evening, he was listed in good condition.
posted by Mijo Bijo at 7:27 PM on February 2, 2006


Truly shocking.

So many issues on many levels.

One of the most interesting is that the news guy spends several seconds of airtime providing a disclaimer due to the "extremely graphic" nature of the video, yet the video bleeps out the swear words.

They show a human being shot three times, but censor the "F- word". Interesting choice. I bet if there was ass-crack showing, they'd censor that too.
posted by SSinVan at 7:28 PM on February 2, 2006


It just goes to show that a certain segment of society thinks they can defy any and all authority, and they seek to blame those people who (for the most part) try to serve and PROTECT.
posted by orthogonality at 7:28 PM on February 2, 2006


Guy sounds pretty wasted, and it sounds like the cop was repeating "don't get up, don't get up." The "I'm on your side," and "I'm in the military," seemed like he was just trying to justify doing something he had been told not to. I can definitely here a distinct "No" that they cop had said before he told him not to get up.
posted by GooseOnTheLoose at 7:30 PM on February 2, 2006


It really doesn't matter if it was a miscommunication or not.
If you're a cop, you don't shoot unarmed men.
posted by nightchrome at 7:32 PM on February 2, 2006


Now that I watch if again, those "bleeps" really have an effect on ones interpretation of the video - the cop could very well be saying "DON'T GET UP".

But, an unarmed and wasted dude hardly needs three gunshots to control him. WTF?!?!?
posted by SSinVan at 7:33 PM on February 2, 2006


In the 20+ years I've been in America, I've seen the police do many more illegal or immoral things than I have seen them do useful, societally-positive things.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:37 PM on February 2, 2006


The video mentions that the Sheriff is investigating, but what investigation do they need to have?

Charge him - attempted murder? assault with a deadly weapon? - put him in the lockup, let a judge decide if he should be allowed parole.

If he's found innocent for some reason (that video is pretty bad, who knows what's really happening) he can go back to work, otherwise he goes to jail like everyone else who shoots someone four times. Shouldn't this be the standard procedure? The court decides guilt for everyone else, right?

The dude on the ground should have shut the fuck up. (But just being a loudmouth isn't grounds for getting shot.)
posted by The Monkey at 7:39 PM on February 2, 2006


(But just being a loudmouth isn't grounds for getting shot.)

If it were, mefi would be a lot quieter.
posted by nightchrome at 7:41 PM on February 2, 2006


lupus_yonderboy,

I would agree with that statement completely.

In my county one need not have graduated high school to uphold the law of the land. That seems to create a fundamental problem in staffing respectable police officers.
posted by sourbrew at 7:41 PM on February 2, 2006


"...seemed like he was just trying to justify doing something he had been told not to."

Seemed like you were just trying to justify shooting an unarmed man.
posted by dsword at 7:43 PM on February 2, 2006


Oh, and I find it hard to believe he would have told him to get up. Surely it's safer to restrain him on the ground, maybe even wait for backup to cuff them while he covers from a safe distance, but why stand him up first? Just makes the "suspect" more dangerous.

But yeah, like I said before, for the sake of openness and transparency, this sort of thing needs to go before the courts.
posted by The Monkey at 7:45 PM on February 2, 2006


I love the fucked up priorities in this country. Images of violence? Roll tape! Four-letter words that are probably just as familiar (if not moreso) to people as the sound of gunshots? No, no, no, mustn't be able to hear those.
posted by emelenjr at 7:51 PM on February 2, 2006


I've got the shock and I've got the anger, but the video is out of context. We don't know how he came to be on the ground. The bleeps cover much of the dialogue. Seeing the cop call in the shots fired is very strange.

Seeing it from the beginning could tell quite a bit more.

Still, I was always told that cops are trained to shoot as an absolute last resort. To my untrained eyes, there were other options available.
posted by Bucket o' Heads at 7:52 PM on February 2, 2006


THREE shots? if it came to the point where a gunshot was necessary (i feel uncomfortable saying those words), isn't ONE shot supposed to be enough to subdue a suspect?
posted by avocet at 7:52 PM on February 2, 2006


There's another thing on the same story on Google Video. Plus extra commentary from an alleged expert.
posted by The Monkey at 7:53 PM on February 2, 2006


dsword writes "Seemed like you were just trying to justify shooting an unarmed "

A brown man. That's what terrorists look like.

Sometimes, the executive powers have to ignore old laws, in order to keep us safe. As long as we're at war, we shouldn't criticize the decisions our protectors make to keep us safe. Why do you liberals endlessly insist on following outdated laws that undermine our safety?
posted by orthogonality at 7:56 PM on February 2, 2006


One theory I've heard is that the deputy wanted to say "Get down! Shut up!" and, under pressure, wound up mangling it so that it came out "Get up!". That's pure speculation, but it explains why the deputy would be saying "Get up!", which doesn't make since otherwise....
posted by mr_roboto at 8:00 PM on February 2, 2006


orthogonality, I don't really see why you feel the need to put this sort of show on now, in this thread.
posted by nightchrome at 8:04 PM on February 2, 2006


One theory I've heard is that the deputy wanted to say "Get down! Shut up!"

So he shot a man who was complying with orders because he's an idiot? I'm sorry, but is that supposed to excuse him?

I find that scenario hard to imagine, anyhow. Have you ever seen a cop tell somebody to get on the ground? If they want you there, they let you know in a very clear way... in the same way that cop yelled at the guy to shut up after shooting him 3 times. More than anything else, they're trained how to control people when they need to.

Also, when he called in "Shots fired!" did anyone happen to hear him mention that a suspect had been shot and might need an ambulance? Did I just miss it?
posted by dsword at 8:13 PM on February 2, 2006


From what I understand, police and firefighters are trained to give orders affirmatively. "Do this", "Do that" and never "Don't do this", "Do not do that", because they can easily be misunderstood during high stress situations.
posted by Mijo Bijo at 8:18 PM on February 2, 2006


This is what happens when you train police officers so that they think they're in action movies.
posted by MegoSteve at 8:21 PM on February 2, 2006


dsword, he said that later. Apart from the ambulance part.
posted by The Monkey at 8:21 PM on February 2, 2006


Hmm, it is weird that you can show an unarmed man being shot by the police, but can't play audio of either one of them swearing.

Talk about fucked up priorities.
posted by delmoi at 8:28 PM on February 2, 2006


100 mph. That's gotta get you pumped up.
posted by ColdChef at 8:28 PM on February 2, 2006


If you click the "more" tab, there's a video of a police trainer doing a breif analyzing of the clip. He indicates that its hard to ascertain a clear picture of what's happening here...
but then again, who needs an expert when you have mefites on the case.
posted by wumpus at 8:32 PM on February 2, 2006


0:52 to 0:57:

Calm voice -- "Ok. Get up. Get up."
"OK I'm getting up."

*BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM*

You can think something else happened. You can also think the sky is lemon merengue. I've got quite a few friends in law enforcement, at both the local and federal level. I wouldn't degrade my friends by defending this attempted murderer on their behalf -- and neither should any of you.
posted by effugas at 8:35 PM on February 2, 2006


Not really defending him; we're just trying to figure out what's going on. It's doubtful that he shot him for no reason whatsoever. Now, that reason might be something like the deputy is an idiot, or he got stressed out, or he was on something. Not excusing for a moment the shooting of an unarmed man, but rather just trying to make sense of it. That's not so bad, is it?
posted by Lord Chancellor at 8:38 PM on February 2, 2006


...police and firefighters are trained to give orders affirmatively. "Do this", "Do that" and never "Don't do this", "Do not do that", because they can easily be misunderstood during high stress situations.

That's the most interesting thing said in this thread so far. It should be easy to verify if that's indeed part of police training.
posted by mediareport at 8:51 PM on February 2, 2006


Let's add discussions of any police actions to things that can't be discussed on Metafilter (along with fat people and cat declawing).
posted by smackfu at 8:54 PM on February 2, 2006


0:52 to 0:57:

Calm voice -- "Ok. Get up. Get up."
"OK I'm getting up."


Listen very carefully. The voice that says "okay" is not the same voice that says "get up". I'm 90% sure it's the victim saying "get up". Right after you hear "get up" said twice, the victim says "I'm going to get up" it's sounds very similar.
posted by Bonzai at 8:59 PM on February 2, 2006


I've seen the police do many more illegal or immoral things than I have seen them do useful, societally-positive things.

Wow. Did you just see that baby tossed out with the bath water? I mean, wow, that baby really flew. Good thing we got rid of that bath water, though.
posted by frogan at 9:00 PM on February 2, 2006


On a re-re-listen I retract my earlier post.
posted by Bonzai at 9:02 PM on February 2, 2006


Whiskey Tango Foxtrot !?
posted by AllesKlar at 9:04 PM on February 2, 2006


He obviously shouldn't have been shot at all, let alone four times. I remember a sociology professor in college mentioning that one would probably be prosecuted for shooting an intruder or burglar who had broken into one's home multiple times.
posted by Devils Slide at 9:05 PM on February 2, 2006


Soon to be an ex-cop, if all things go as they should. Trigger happy fucktards do not need to be in charge of public safety.

Dude was getting up after clearly being told to get up, and clearly cooperating. What part of this situation justifies deadly force?
posted by geekhorde at 9:15 PM on February 2, 2006


Was he wearing a T-shirt listing the number of dead U.S. soldiers? Because, if so, I have personally seen that some MeFites will claim he brought it on himself.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:26 PM on February 2, 2006


The bleepers of that video were incompetent morons.

I've seen a much better edited version on the local news: the cop seems to be saying "Get up, get up"

and the guy on the ground says "OK, I'm getting up." and then the cop shoots him. Three fuckin' times.

And I came to that conclusion before I read this MeFi post, and I was just flippin' channels, so I did not hear any of the local news lead in, so I heard that independently the first time I saw this.

Fucking cop needs to go to jail.
posted by teece at 9:28 PM on February 2, 2006


pssst...Charlie Hunter. Pass it on.
posted by edverb at 9:31 PM on February 2, 2006


Wow...boy was that ever posting in the wrong thread. See, I have twenty five tabs open, and I saw "Video of..." and assumed it was the Stanley Jordan thread, see, and...

sorry, flagged myself, moving on.

posted by edverb at 9:35 PM on February 2, 2006


I really was put off by the framing of this. The FPP was slanted but not inflammatory; the uploader at Google lost credibility by using the word "pig". So I may have been prompted to try extra hard to look at this from the other direction.

The basic problem is that I don't see why the cop, inches away from some guy with his gun at the ready, would be telling him to get up. Cops are trained to reduce stress in situations, and telling the guy to get up would violate that principle. Now, I'll allow that the cop is very excited -- the 100mph chase must be part of that -- and isn't doing a good job. But ordering the guy to get up is exactly the wrong thing to be doing. mr_roboto's point about affirmative orders is a good one, but that again is a principle that could have been violated. I'm also willing to entertain the training expert's suggestion that the cop confused two phrases.

I'll also interpolate here that many departments have been revising their high-speech chase policies in recent years, precisely because of the way they tend to end badly, not only like this but often with car accidents that endanger the public. That is something that might be laid on the Sheriff's Department as a whole, or perhaps the shift supervisor who authorized this chase to begin with. (There was a shooting in Chicago a couple of years ago where a woman dropped and instinctively reached for her cell phone. In that case, the cops had broken protocol and a weak suggestion from a supervisor that they not pursue.)

Anyway. When I listen to it, I'm not sure whether he's saying "Get up" or "Don't get up".

I will say that the three or four shots fired is not a valid criticism. You're taught to shoot to kill, not to wound, because shooting to wound (whatever the moral value) is likely to get you killed by a wounded man. It doesn't make a lot of sense to shoot once, then wait to see if you get shot back at before you shoot again. This is why non-lethal weapons are really good to have, though (as the older thread shows, of course, even using those garners criticism).

I don't think it's "murder" and I don't think it's fully exonerated behavior. The cop wasn't doing his job properly, and his supervisors may not have been doing theirs. I don't think it's accurate, though, to say that the cop shot someone who was following his orders.
posted by dhartung at 9:35 PM on February 2, 2006


Most cops are good people doing an incredibly difficult and stressful job. I thank them for it.

As is so often the case, a minority of assholes give a bad name to the rest. It seems that this trigger-happy fellow falls into the latter category.
posted by I Love Tacos at 9:39 PM on February 2, 2006


(And yes, it's totally and completely fucked up that shooting somebody is fine, but cursing is not. But I guess it all makes sense, given the militaristic theocracy that exists today.)
posted by I Love Tacos at 9:43 PM on February 2, 2006


How hard would it be to put cops under surveilance all the time? Tens of thousands of retail workers have cameras trained on them all day at work, and few of them are authorized to carry or use weapons. I'm serious.
posted by cali at 9:46 PM on February 2, 2006


You're taught to shoot to kill, not to wound, because shooting to wound (whatever the moral value) is likely to get you killed by a wounded man.

I'd need to consult with an officer, but I'm 99% sure you're totally and completely wrong here.
posted by I Love Tacos at 9:46 PM on February 2, 2006


How hard would it be to put cops under surveilance all the time?

In many cities the patrol cars keep cameras running for the dual purpose of protecting the citizens from police abuse, and protecting the polcie from false claims.
posted by I Love Tacos at 9:48 PM on February 2, 2006


You're taught to shoot to kill, not to wound, because shooting to wound (whatever the moral value) is likely to get you killed by a wounded man.

Actually, you are taught to shoot at the torso because it's the largest mass and you have a better chance of putting the suspect out of commission.
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:55 PM on February 2, 2006


avocet writes "THREE shots? if it came to the point where a gunshot was necessary (i feel uncomfortable saying those words), isn't ONE shot supposed to be enough to subdue a suspect?"

Nope, keep shooting until the guy stops coming for you.
posted by Mitheral at 9:55 PM on February 2, 2006


The warning about the graphic nature of the video was a damn joke; between the shakiness and darkness I could barely make anything out, and the bleeping bleeps don't help either.

lupus_yonderboy: In the 20+ years I've been in America, I've seen the police do many more illegal or immoral things than I have seen them do useful, societally-positive things.

Still doing those ride alongs with Vic Mackey?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:55 PM on February 2, 2006


dhartung: Google this on Google News. Pretty much every report I find is saying the cop appears to say "get up."

It's possible that the recording itself is misleading in someway, but the overwhelming consensus seems to be that the cop said "get up" and then shot the man for complying.

Indeed, most of the reservations about blaming the cop stem from that seeming so irrational. But that's what the tape shows.

And like I said, I came to that conclusion right away, before I found this thread, and with no prior coaching.

At the very best, the cop fucked up something fierce. At worst, he let his emotions get the best of him and he shot an unarmed man three times at point blank range because the cop himself gave a fucked up order.
posted by teece at 9:59 PM on February 2, 2006


dhartung: Cops are trained to reduce stress in situations.

That's not even remotely true. They're trained to respond at the next most aggressive, or higher, level. Otherwise they'd never pull out their guns, period, never use mace on people who haven't attacked them, never raise their voice, etc... They also wouldn't yell at a man they've just shot 3 times to "shut the fuck up."

In my opinion, their training likely increases the risk of violence and injury for a cop, when compared to other methods. People who work with the mentally ill are trained to reduce stress, because injury is the least desirable outcome. And it's the least desirable outcome largely because there are real consequences for harming a patient (not to mention that the idea of harming somebody so that you can provide them with medical care is a hard one to rationalize).

I don't think it's "murder"

No? Not even seeing how it could have been done? [WMV]
posted by dsword at 10:03 PM on February 2, 2006


And above, I meant "[attempted] murder." I guess it's clearly not murder, though I don't see why that would matter when you shoot somebody thrice at close range.
posted by dsword at 10:05 PM on February 2, 2006


I really was put off by the framing of this. The FPP was slanted but not inflammatory...

I'm sorry, what slant do you see in my wording? Was an unarmed man shot while appearing to comply with orders? After that is a section from an L.A. Times article, which I linked to, on the incident that lists some facts before the incident took place and what is on the video that MeFites will be clicking on. I tried my damnedest not to editorialize, slant or frame this FPP in anyway. If you think I could have worded this post any better feel free to email me, my email is in my profile.

...the uploader at Google lost credibility by using the word "pig".

I noticed it as well, but it was the best source for the video and the video speaks for itself.

mr_roboto's point about affirmative orders is a good one...


Here's the comment that you're referring to, look down at the user name at the bottom of it.
posted by Mijo Bijo at 10:05 PM on February 2, 2006


And there is no remorse or sorrow or trepidation in the cop's voice afterward. He's telling the guy he just shot (now moaning), to "shut the fuck up." A man it really seems he just ordered to get up, and then shot for obeying that order. While it's nice to give the cop the benefit of the doubt (and he'll get it at a jury trial), it's also possible he lost it and wanted a reason to shoot the guy.

Not all cops are good, just as they're not all bad.

Unless this video is wildly misleading, that cop is out of a job and probably on his way to jail (assuming there is justice, and again, that the video is not wildly misleading).

If the cop felt legitimately in danger, he also should have backed up. If he is truly afraid this man is going to attack (and he's ordering him up), he should put a little more daylight between him and the civilian. His gun is a distance weapon. No matter what, he handled this traffic stop spectacularly badly.
posted by teece at 10:07 PM on February 2, 2006


Y'all think that the shooting itself is fucked up? Check this shit out:

http://www.dailybulletin.com/news/ci_3462770

"Ruiz said he immediately turned a tape over to the Sheriff's Department after the incident, but he has retained an attorney because of incidents that have happened since then.

Luis Carrillo, a South Pasadena attorney, said he's helping Ruiz to make sure his rights are not violated. Carrillo said over a 12-hour period after the video tape was handed over to deputies, Ruiz was pulled over three times by officers.

"His whole vehicle gets searched. It was totally unnecessary," Carrillo said."
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:09 PM on February 2, 2006


p.s. this is murder and if you don't think so please move to mogadishu where you will find it more to your liking
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:09 PM on February 2, 2006


doh, attempted murder, of course
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:10 PM on February 2, 2006


You're taught to shoot to kill, not to wound, because shooting to wound (whatever the moral value) is likely to get you killed by a wounded man.

I thought they were taught to shoot to "stop" someone. In some cases involving SWAT, they are indeed taught to shoot to KILL.
posted by Devils Slide at 10:27 PM on February 2, 2006


And that's where we get the term "stopping power" when referring to a firearm's strength. I most recently heard it applied to the Colt .45, which is technically supposed to stop an attacker in his tracks if a round hits him anywhere other than the hand.
posted by Devils Slide at 10:35 PM on February 2, 2006


I thought they were taught to shoot to "stop" someone.

You're trained to strike a target with a bullet, period. The result is ancillary to the decision to fire. Once a decision to fire is made (and that's based on several factors), aim for center mass. Fire, evaluate, and fire again if necessary. This is the most effective way to resolve the situation as quickly as possible, removing the threat to the cop's life, the life of his partner, the lives of bystanders, and anyone else that might be harmed by the individual in question.

And keep in mind this all is supposed to happen in milliseconds.

Something obviously went haywire here, and that could range anywhere from "horrible mistake" to "bad cop" to "bad training" to "attempted murder." By the grace of God, this man is still alive.

But the knee-jerk "Cops are bad, mmm-kay" reaction doesn't add anything to the discussion.
posted by frogan at 10:39 PM on February 2, 2006


Cops are trained to reduce stress in situations.

That's not even remotely true.


I think what is really intended here is not "reduce stress" but "Cops are trained to get and maintain control." Which is the same thing people dealing with the mentally ill intend to do.

Except cops don't always deal with the mentally ill. If it were only that easy. ;-(

This is why it's extraordinary for a cop to instruct an uncuffed, uncontrolled suspect to stand up. Allowing him to stand up reduces the level of control the cop has over the situation. It's a strange turn of events, and a full-on investigation is entirely justified.

The allegations that the person who captured the video is being harassed is particularly troublesome. Hopefully, an outside agency (e.g. the FBI) will handle an investigation on the grounds of civil rights violations.
posted by frogan at 10:55 PM on February 2, 2006


>>You're taught to shoot to kill, not to wound, because shooting to wound (whatever the moral value) is likely to get you killed by a wounded man.
>I'd need to consult with an officer, but I'm 99% sure you're totally and completely wrong here.


My parents have been in law enforcement for more than thirty years. As a young kid, I asked my mother "Why don't police just shoot a guy in the legs or something to stop him?"

I forget the exact wording, but her response was something to the effect of "you don't fire your gun at someone unless you intend to kill them."
posted by mrbill at 11:09 PM on February 2, 2006


(note: there are good cops, then there are bad cops - the officer in this instance needs to go to jail for a very, very long time..)
posted by mrbill at 11:11 PM on February 2, 2006


Carrillo said over a 12-hour period after the video tape was handed over to deputies, Ruiz was pulled over three times by officers.

Wow, that is seriously fucked up, and doesn't say good things about the local police department. Were they looking for something to hold over the cameraperson's head? Or looking for other copies of the tape? What on earth could possibly explain pulling over the witness who turned over a tape *three times* in 12 hours, if not an attempt at intimidation? I'm asking seriously; I'm really trying to come up with something.
posted by mediareport at 11:13 PM on February 2, 2006


You're trained to strike a target with a bullet, period. The result is ancillary to the decision to fire. Once a decision to fire is made (and that's based on several factors), aim for center mass. Fire, evaluate, and fire again if necessary. This is the most effective way to resolve the situation as quickly as possible, removing the threat to the cop's life, the life of his partner, the lives of bystanders, and anyone else that might be harmed by the individual in question.

In other words, defuse the threat. Firing four times on an unarmed man--admittedly the cop didn't know that, but the victim wasn't reaching in his coat or pointing anything at the police, he was slowly getting up (probably) at the officer's request/order-- who is lying down or at a prone position a few feet in front of you is criminal.

But the knee-jerk "Cops are bad, mmm-kay" reaction doesn't add anything to the discussion.

I'm assuming that wasn't directed at me because I said nothing resembling that.
posted by Devils Slide at 11:28 PM on February 2, 2006


Offering him ice cream?

I could eat ice cream three times per day.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:29 PM on February 2, 2006


I just watched it (like 30 times) and it really sounds to me like this is what's happening:

The cop is saying something dumb like "Reckless driving... cause harm....I served more time than you and you wanna fuck with me? You don't wanna fuck with me."
The guy on the ground says, "Ok, I'm getting up. I'm gonna get up. I'm gonna get up" as he gets up.
bang, bang...
but I didn't hear the cop say at any point for the guy to get up. I of course think it was retarded to shoot the guy at all, but I don't hear him saying get up. I think every "get up" is the guy on the ground saying he's going to get up.

That's just for the record. The cop is obviously a vicious idiot.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 11:50 PM on February 2, 2006


He obviously shouldn't have been shot at all, let alone four times. I remember a sociology professor in college mentioning that one would probably be prosecuted for shooting an intruder or burglar who had broken into one's home multiple times.

I'm trying to lay off the corrections lately, but my comment gives the impression that one would be prosecuted for shooting someone who'd broken into one's home repeatedly (which one still could be, if the repeat burglar didn't pose a physical threat). I meant you'd be prosecuted for shooting an intruder repeatedly.
posted by Devils Slide at 11:52 PM on February 2, 2006


The guy serves in Iraq, manages to keep his guts on the inside, gets to come home alive and in one piece only to take three bullets at point blank from some trigger happy cop.

That really sucks.
posted by -harlequin- at 11:59 PM on February 2, 2006


Jesus, what an asshole.

Echoing what many are saying, there are good cops and there are bad cops, I like to think there are more good cops. As for seeing cops do more fucked up things than good things, in case you haven't watched the news in your 20+ years in this country, the good things don't make the news.
I have to say I can't imagine the guy saying or doing anything in that video that justified the shooting.
posted by crashlanding at 12:00 AM on February 3, 2006


As a 3rd generation native of San Bernardino County, I will be very surprised if any criminal charges are brought against the deputy by the local government despite the evidence that seems to justify a prosecution. San Bernardino was historically a Mormon county and things are handled differently here. Although the Mormons are now a small minority of the population, their residual influence still hangs heavily in our government and power structure. San Bernardino government and law enforcement is more like what you would see in Nevada or Arizona than California. The San Bernardino County DA's office has not filed charges against a single cop for an on-duty shooting in the entire history of the county.

And there have been more than a few on-duty shootings:
Officer-involved shootings and in-custody deaths for all
law-enforcement agencies in San Bernardino County:

2000 - 9 nonfatal, 6 fatal

2001 - 7 nonfatal, 8 fatal

2002 - 9 nonfatal, 10 fatal (one caused by a self-inflicted gunshot)

2003 - 19 nonfatal (one caused by a self-inflicted gunshot), 15 fatal

2004 - 10 nonfatal, 11 fatal

2005 - 8 nonfatal, 11 fatal (one due to heart failure)
posted by buggzzee23 at 12:01 AM on February 3, 2006


mrbill:

I forget the exact wording, but her response was something to the effect of "you don't fire your gun at someone unless you intend to kill them."

I would hope the exact wording substitutes "unless you intend to kill them" with "unless you're prepared to kill them".
posted by -harlequin- at 12:02 AM on February 3, 2006


Christ, what an asshole.
posted by sourwookie at 12:07 AM on February 3, 2006


Why did he have his gun out in the first place? Is it SOP in this kind of stop (If it's a felony stop it is). Unfortunately once you've got the gun out, you've limited your reaction posibilities to the lethal ones. Unlike, say, a taser or pepper spray.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:23 AM on February 3, 2006


As for seeing cops do more fucked up things than good things, in case you haven't watched the news in your 20+ years in this country, the good things don't make the news.

That's probably true. I've seen several pieces of police car camera footage where a pulled over motorist is lunging at an officer or otherwise attempting to attack him with a blunt object, and the officer wrestles the attacker or defends himself with pepper spray/ baton/ his fists, when he could have easily shot him instead. Shout out to all the level-headed cops! (I drive a black Mitsubishi Eclipse with CA plates and sometimes I speed or make left turns when the left arrow is red but there is no cross traffic, but I always have an excuse you'd sympthasize with so you shouldn't pull me over, you heroic upholders of the law)
posted by Devils Slide at 12:30 AM on February 3, 2006


Sympathize even. D'oh another correction!

I'm putting away the bottle and going to bed now/Chatty Kathy.
posted by Devils Slide at 12:34 AM on February 3, 2006


There was a case in Britain of a policeman tasering a woman and telling her, as she lay on the ground in agony, to turn over. When she said she couldn't do that, he tasered her again.

I think we are witnessing the Stanford Prison Experiment writ large on a social scale.
posted by Tarn at 12:59 AM on February 3, 2006


Here is another L.A. Times article with information about the deputy involved in this shooting, Ivory Webb.
posted by Mijo Bijo at 1:04 AM on February 3, 2006


Sheriff's officials said Thursday that Webb [the cop who did the shooting] had spent more than 10 years in the department, serving as a jailer at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga and, most recently, as a patrolman based in the sheriff's Chino Hills station. Webb's only promotion came in 2001, and he has not received any of the department's most common awards, officials said. They declined to elaborate on Webb's service record.
I read this as: "yeah, we pretty knew the guy was a fuck-up, so much so that he didn't even get the standard 'good deportment' awards, but not so much of a fuck-up that we'd take him off the force".
posted by orthogonality at 2:39 AM on February 3, 2006


My prediction: this case will be no-billed, Bill O'Reilly will call the guy a hero, and the department will pin a medal on him.

In this country, cops routinely get away with murder.
posted by Jatayu das at 2:46 AM on February 3, 2006


Wow.
Just wow.

This is why I'm happy to live in a country where cops don't carry guns.
And was happy to live in a country where cops do carry guns, but don't use them unless they really, really have to... There was no need to have the firearm out, much less to use it.

If you can't assert control in a simple situation like that without resorting to threatening a person with a gun, you're not fit to be a police officer.

Hell, I got trained in peacekeeping by the Finnish military and a situation like this would have gotten the person responsible fired, sued and jailed. Even in an unstable area of the world rules of engagement are followed strictly. The only time you take out your weapon is to return fire...
posted by slimepuppy at 3:09 AM on February 3, 2006


It really os a very emotional video, so let's calm down and introduce some rational analysis. First thing, the video
with all that bleeping isn't as good as the unbleeped version as far what was said and by who.

Yet

1* Why is the suspect in that position ? It's hard to hear something with bleeped compressed amateurly taped video, yet
it doesn't seem the officier was ordering the suspect to go face down hands on top his head.

2* There's absolutely a voice saying GET UP and it sounds like the voice of the cop

3* It sounds like the cop was angry ; maybe it was because of the officier statement that soundeded like "I have served more then you" which is a phrase that he cop may have understood as 'you are not as good as me' and consequently take revenge by shooting the
offender.

The gut feeling is that one that doesn't "take any bullshit" met another who is slightly more jingoistic, a lot more easily offended BUT with a weapon and a sensation of impunity and superiority ;it must be hard to be a cop while these other kind of cops burn all the trust a cop need to work.


On a tangent : blessed be the honest cizitens with videocameras.
posted by elpapacito at 3:28 AM on February 3, 2006


I would add that the part after the shooting reveals the officer's state of mind. "Shots fired," rather than "suspect down" or "ambulance needed." Then he tells the person who is moaning after being shot, to "shut the (bleep) up."
The officer should be charged with attempted homicide.

What do you think would be the "he said" vs. "he said" if there were no video?
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 5:32 AM on February 3, 2006


What do you think would be the "he said" vs. "he said" if there were no video?

I think that lawyers would have argued circles around the past of the two and the whole event would never have surfaced regardless of the judicial outcome.

Wonder if media will jump on this story which looks promising.
posted by elpapacito at 5:41 AM on February 3, 2006


When I watched this on the news last night, I instantly assumed that the policeman said 'Get up!' in order to shoot the victim for 'resisting'. (This assumption may have more to do with the fact that all the video footage of US policeman I've ever seen shows them being out of control and violent than what is happening here.)
posted by jack_mo at 6:39 AM on February 3, 2006


dances_with_sneetches writes "Then he tells the person who is moaning after being shot, to 'shut the (bleep) up.' The officer should be charged with attempted homicide."


STFU, dirty hippie. If you're not with the cop, you're aiding the terrorists. The cop is a Unitary Executive, and he has to do whatever he needs to do, laws or no laws, to protect us. The Constitution is just a goddamned piece of paper.
posted by orthogonality at 6:44 AM on February 3, 2006


I would hope the exact wording substitutes "unless you intend to kill them" with "unless you're prepared to kill them".

I can't speak for USAian police, but here in Canada, police are trained to shoot to kill. If they're shooting you, they're trying to kill you. It is my understanding that this is standard training for all police force, given that firearms are universally considered lethal force.
posted by Jairus at 6:49 AM on February 3, 2006


Clearly, by his attempt to stand, the victim (closest to the cop, and best able to hear clearly) thought he said "Get up." The bystanders, who gasp and protest - "but you told him to get up!" also seemed to hear that. As did most of the people who have previewed the tape. I doubt that there is any other credible interpretation - tho a judge & jury may still acquit, of course.

The preponderance of evidence shows the terrified passenger complied with a direct police instruction, and got shot for it, cos the cop misinterpreted his actions (after all, the cop was likely aware of the bystanders, to some degree, and knew he was being witnessed).
posted by dash_slot- at 6:59 AM on February 3, 2006


Tragic really, but this guy is now set for life! The settlement he gets will be for millions of dollars. Say what you want about the rampant litigiousness of this country, but in this case, it works out for the best.
posted by cusack at 7:20 AM on February 3, 2006


If they're shooting you, they're trying to kill you.

Jairus, this is just wrong. Please stop repeating this falsehood. There are very, very strict guidelines on when a police can deploy lethal force. Generally, police officers who use lethal force must be able to show that a credible threat existed. The general policy is to shoot at the center mass (the torso) until the threat no longer exists. The goal is to eliminate the threat not kill the suspect. As a result, police officers rarely shoot to kill. I can't imagine that Canada--or any other modern Western--has a blanket shoot-to-kill policy.

That's not even remotely true. They're trained to respond at the next most aggressive, or higher, level.

This is correct. Cops are taught to control the situation. This often means stepping up to the next level in terms of agresssion. The idea is to meet force with greater force. (This is pretty much the theory behind all law-enforcement protocols). Police will not go into a situation guns blazing unless they have reason to believe there are armed men inside who'll return fire.

There was no need to have the firearm out, much less to use it.

This officer actually did the right thing by drawing his gun. He had to assume the guy was either armed or had committed some crime (which is why he fled) and the risk of subduing the guy and handcuffing him would be too great a risk to everybody involved. Many times suspects will go down on the ground and then, when you attempt to handcuff them, they'll wrestle and try to break free. This is why you need other officers providing cover.

It's difficult to say exactly what went wrong here but it's quite clear that this officer had no reason to shoot. There was simply no threat there. The suspect was cooperating, was willing to follow directions, and didn't appear to be armed. It doesn't even matter whether the cop said "get up" or "don't get up." Even if the suspect stood up against the officer's orders, he did so in a calm, controlled manner and he warned the officer that he was doing so. There was just no threat there. The fault clearly lies completely with the cop. He should be prosecuted and should definitely lose the badge.
posted by nixerman at 7:32 AM on February 3, 2006


The only problem I see here is that the cop shot the wrong guy: the passenger. Any asshole who drives 100mph through a residential area deserves to be shot, for his actions are putting innocent people's lives at risk. I have no sympathy for anyone who tries to outrun the police in a high-speed chase, and the penalty for this sort of extreme recklessness should be execution by shooting in the cold wet gravel of a poorly lit roadside.
posted by soiled cowboy at 7:51 AM on February 3, 2006


orthogonality, will you please stop the "i'm going to make a nasty statement i don't believe to illustrate the injustice of those who would hold such beliefs" schtick?

it's really tedious.
posted by Hat Maui at 7:55 AM on February 3, 2006


elpapacito writes "On a tangent : blessed be the honest cizitens with videocameras."

No kidding, I hope the shootee kicks the videographer 10% of the punitive damages.
posted by Mitheral at 8:03 AM on February 3, 2006


100 mph. That's gotta get you pumped up.
posted by Mr_Zero at 8:20 AM on February 3, 2006


100 mph ain't all that fast, even in a city if it is only for short distances. I've travelled at 100+ for hours at a time.

And I wonder how that speed was measured? I can't imagine the officer using his radar gun at those speeds or even paying a whole lot of attention to his speedometer.
posted by Mitheral at 8:48 AM on February 3, 2006



>>If they're shooting you, they're trying to kill you.

Jairus, this is just wrong. Please stop repeating this falsehood. There are very, very strict guidelines on when a police can deploy lethal force. Generally, police officers who use lethal force must be able to show that a credible threat existed. The general policy is to shoot at the center mass (the torso) until the threat no longer exists. The goal is to eliminate the threat not kill the suspect. As a result, police officers rarely shoot to kill. I can't imagine that Canada--or any other modern Western--has a blanket shoot-to-kill policy.


You're basically agreeing with Jairus here, while arguing the semantics.

Whether a cop or armed citizen, you only resort to using a firearm when there's an immediate threat to life; in such a case, you try to stop the threat instantly by shooting at the center of mass, which is the biggest target and contains vital organs. You use hollowpoint rounds that expand on impact, transferring maximum energy into the body. Effectively, yes, shooting to stop must be considered shooting to kill, though you may hope the paramedics save him later so you can sleep better.

Nobody has any business "going for a leg" or "winging him" (as movie watchers who've never fired a gun think is so easy to do.) If the situation isn't serious enough to kill the adversary, it isn't serious enough for shooting at him.
posted by Tubes at 9:01 AM on February 3, 2006


The only problem I see here is that the cop shot the wrong guy: the passenger. Any asshole who drives 100mph through a residential area deserves to be shot, for his actions are putting innocent people's lives at risk. I have no sympathy for anyone who tries to outrun the police in a high-speed chase, and the penalty for this sort of extreme recklessness should be execution by shooting in the cold wet gravel of a poorly lit roadside.
posted by soiled cowboy at 7:51 AM PST on February 3


Yet somehow "The driver of the Corvette, identified by authorities as 21-year-old Luis Fernando Escobedo, was arrested for investigation of felony evading and was taken to the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga.

The district attorney later dropped the charges against Escobedo, who was released from jail Tuesday evening."

But thanks for advocating the abolition of the justice system, you fucking fascist.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:09 AM on February 3, 2006


He had to assume the guy was either armed or had committed some crime (which is why he fled)

No, this is the passenger. The driver is not in the picture. I assume he is the man talking in the background, whom the guy on the ground tells to shut up. I also assume the driver must be already handcuffed or something, as the cop doesn't seem to be paying a lot of attention to him.

And the fact that the guy is on the ground means NOTHING. Police where I live will regularly make young hispanic or black men get out of their cars and lie on their stomach in a regular traffic stop. It just means the cop was scared, it does not mean the guy resisted or did anything bad.

And to those of you that say you're not hearing "Get up:" you're just wrong guys. Somebody said get up (and the news people agree, and they've heard an un-edited version). The guy on the ground was calmly saying "OK, I'm going to get up" as if he had just been ordered to get up. People nearby are shocked at the shooting, and say something to the effect "but you told him to get up."

The more I watch this, the more I think the cop just lost his mind, and wanted to shoot the guy, but he didn't want to shoot him lying down.

Scarily, he would have gotten away scott free if there was no video (and he still might, even if he's not innocent).
posted by teece at 9:09 AM on February 3, 2006


Without reading the probably fairly outraged other comments, with the inevitable folks making excuses for what is obviously a dangerous, incompetent police officer (yes, I watched the video)---

I would like to reiterate my previous position, that just as people who hurt police are given tougher sentences for their crimes, so should police officers being given harsher treatment when they violate their incredibly important duty.

In short, unless an additional exculpatory circumstance is discovered, that cop should be fired and charged with at least attempted murder.

(I forget... is that attempted manslaughter? or do they call it 2nd degree murder, I'm not big on criminal law).

I don't feel bad for the cop at all, but the sound of the guy crying after being shot will probably be enough for the jury to convict him, and it's with a bit of schadenfreude that I consider the effect of the guy being a veteran and his fairly obvious terror and helplessness on the video when I think of how the jury will rule.

Fuckers.
posted by illovich at 9:19 AM on February 3, 2006


Also, who fires 3 rounds at point blank range at the back of a semi-prone person and doesn't kill them?

Thankfully this cop is incompetent in more ways than one.
posted by slimepuppy at 9:44 AM on February 3, 2006


“Cops are taught to control the situation”

This guy missed a few classes.

One of the problems I’ve always had with cops is that they are not trained to practically use physical violence. All of the (basic) cop-fu I’ve seen focuses on weapon retention (a good idea), avoiding injury to the subject (legally yeah, tactically, not so much) and quick subdual (a bad idea - unless you are planning to kill or injure your opponent). I’m speaking in circumstantial generalities obviously. But patience is a tactical virtue.
There are some very skilled officers out there, but some guys always wind up doing the minimum (and often get the cop gut). The minimum training standards for should be set higher for anyone in the field. Of course, that costs time/money. But so does shooting an unarmed man.

And if folks watching the video have some question as to the officers’ orders, doesn’t it make sense that a drunk guy might have some problems as well?
The officer failed in his initial duty to protect the subject and himself with clear, explicit, direct orders. I don’t know to what degree he is responsible for the shooting (attempted murder in the first, etc.) but I don’t think there is any question that he is responsible.

I think the department here failed as well. If I lived there I’d want some answers why my tax money is getting flushed down the toilet to pay for this kind of egregious failure.
This guy will walk away with millions of dollars of money that should be going towards the life safety and welfare of the people of San Berdoo.

I’d want to sting some asses and roll some heads from the Mayor down.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:25 AM on February 3, 2006


Jairus, this is just wrong. [...] I can't imagine that Canada--or any other modern Western--has a blanket shoot-to-kill policy.

I'll be sure to keep your comments in mind the next time I'm a delegate to an RCMP conference, and they explain their policies on use of lethal force.
posted by Jairus at 10:52 AM on February 3, 2006



posted by Jairus at 11:07 AM on February 3, 2006


But thanks for advocating the abolition of the justice system, you fucking fascist.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:09 AM PST on February 3


I'm not advocating the abolition of the justice system, I'm suggesting the system needs some adjustment to allow more instances like this one. In this case, a variation of a justice system worked well: an asshole complicit in the sociopathic and reckless endangerment of the lives of innocent people took several bullets to his body. That's justice.

But thanks for putting forward your opinion so politely, you fucking twat.
posted by soiled cowboy at 11:08 AM on February 3, 2006


slimepuppy writes "who fires 3 rounds at point blank range at the back of a semi-prone person and doesn't kill them? "

Humans are amazingly tough, this guy was probably in pretty good shape and modern medicine is pretty effective. If you don't hit the heart or a major artery with a police service sidearm it's not a garanteed kill, even with 3 rounds.
posted by Mitheral at 11:09 AM on February 3, 2006


He could have tazed him, if he had a tazer. Or shot him with wooden bullets. Or something.

This is retarded.

I can't believe there are people in this thread defending this cop.

"But, like, ok - the dude was told to stay down and he got up. He was asking for it."

And you're asking to be natural selected.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 11:12 AM on February 3, 2006


I can't believe there are people in this thread defending this cop.

If you flee from the police at extremely dangerous speeds, putting theif lives in extreme danger and others' lives in extreme danger, then you deserve to be shot.
posted by soiled cowboy at 11:19 AM on February 3, 2006


*their, not theif*
posted by soiled cowboy at 11:20 AM on February 3, 2006


soiled cowboy writes "then you deserve to be shot."

Judge Dredd style.

Is that really your assertion?
posted by Mitheral at 11:25 AM on February 3, 2006


How can a passenger in a speeding car be complicit? For all any of us know, he was screaming at the guy to pull over and stop. It's not like he was in control of the car or the guy driving it.

When I was in high school, I once found myself and two of my friends being driven to a football game by a guy that we knew fairly well and who we had no idea would be the sort to think it was a good idea to try to out-run cops for a simple speeding ticket ... but he did just that. He was driving 115 mph down the highway with three screaming, crying girls in the car telling him to please stop. I guess we should have been shot too for being "complicit"?
posted by Orb at 11:28 AM on February 3, 2006


God, you're a fucking moron.
posted by klangklangston at 11:34 AM on February 3, 2006


Like Orb, I found myself in the back seat of a high speed chase in high school (the driver's parents would have taken his car if he got any more tickets). I should be shot?

And hey, Soily, here's a fucking clue: The reason we have laws and due process is to make sure that no innocent people get hurt. Even if there is something like a high speed chase, there still has to be the rule of law involved. Otherwise I'd argue that making statements like yours, which if followed could endanger the lives of millions of innocent people, should be punished by a bullet in the head.
posted by klangklangston at 11:37 AM on February 3, 2006


(Of course, you're in Thailand, where cops routinely shoot suspected methamphetamine users, so maybe you're just not used to the principles of the civilized world.)
posted by klangklangston at 11:39 AM on February 3, 2006


thers' lives in extreme danger, then you deserve to be shot.

Uh bullshit. It's pure theory, if you do whatever dangerous BUT you don't actually harm anybody , do whatever you please. It's not society business to interfere with your freedom so long as you don't damage other people.

So....he was driving way too fast ? One year suspended licence will teach you and prison if you violate that.Driving too fast escaping police ? More the one year. Killed or seriously injuried somebody ? Licence revoked FOREVER.

Killed somebody under the influence of alcohol ? That + prison.

Too many people think shooting is an universal problem solver.
posted by elpapacito at 11:41 AM on February 3, 2006


Is that really your assertion?

Although I suppose a trial to determine guilt might be nice, I do assert that this sort of sociopathic behavior needs to be punished severely. Drivers who run at high speeds in residential areas are doing so with complete disregard for the safety of the community at large.

What it comes down to is the dichotomy between individual freedom and collective welfare. That people are upset over the fact that Carrion was shot rather than being angry over the fact that he recklessly endangered so many lives is testimony to their belief in the supreme importance of the individual. In my mind the safety of the community is more important. It is better that an innocent person be punished if the common welfare is protected than for a guilty person to be free to inflict further harm on the community.
posted by soiled cowboy at 11:43 AM on February 3, 2006


I once tried to determine exactly what was needed to become a police officer (for something I was writing). Not surprisingly, it varied from locale to locale. The "Police Academy" seemed to be the exception. Some places it was a high school degree and a physical. Some places waived high school degree if you had been in the armed services (although most soldiers already have high school degrees).

The police are in desperate need of a bumping up in the necessary requirements -- this to improve their image and because a lot of police work nowadays requires rudimentary science skills.

Buoying their reputations are the mostly positive cop shows. Dragging them down are the troglodytes like this one.

I looked for what is required to be a deputy in the San Bernardino sheriff's department. From the exam's webpage: "*Applicants must receive an invitation to the agility to participate. " In it's own way, making it through that sentence selects candidates.

Otherwise, they seem to be of the GED school.

Deputy Sheriff's must: 1) Be at least 21 years of age and have a high school diploma or G.E.D. 2) Be a United States citizen. 3) Pass San Bernardino County’s safety, medical, psychological and polygraph examinations, including a drug test. 4) Be fingerprinted and pass a background investigation; candidates must not have been convicted of a felony. 5) Pass a physical agility test based on California P.O.S.T. standards. 6) Complete a twelve-month probation period. 7) Have a valid California driver license. 8) Be available for rotating shifts, weekends, holidays. 9) Participate in mandated in-service training.

They do mention their recruitment targets those who have completed P.O.S.T. academy training.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:46 AM on February 3, 2006


Soiled: Try to at least get the facts right before you get your stupid all over the comments page.
The passenger was shot. Even had he been the driver, being shot for getting up after being told to get up is wrong. If you can't understand that, I hope you never hold any position of power.
Further, the safety of society is better served by having laws that are fairly and rationally applied, rather than your instant death sentence for whatever you feel is the crime of the day.
In short, shut the hell up, retard, and back away from my liberal democracy.
posted by klangklangston at 11:47 AM on February 3, 2006


(Of course, you're in Thailand, where cops routinely shoot suspected methamphetamine users, so maybe you're just not used to the principles of the civilized world.)
posted by klangklangston at 11:39 AM PST on February 3

While I think you're out of line for calling me a "fucking moron" and implying that Thailand is "uncivilized", I think you (inadvertently) raised a good point: in the Asian tradition the interests of society are held more dear than those of the individual. I share this perspective, and I think in this case there is too much emphasis on the rights of the criminal and not enough thought for the community which has been victimized.
posted by soiled cowboy at 11:56 AM on February 3, 2006


In short, shut the hell up, retard, and back away from my liberal democracy.
posted by klangklangston at 11:47 AM PST on February 3


You're doing a fine job of representing the high ideals of your liberal democracy by attacking me personally, calling me "retard", a "fucking moron", telling me to shut up and wholly insulting an entire nation. Keep it up, klangklangston, you're a paragon of enlightenment.
posted by soiled cowboy at 12:01 PM on February 3, 2006


soiled cowboy: How was the passenger a criminal?
posted by Orb at 12:25 PM on February 3, 2006


"...the deputy involved in this shooting, Ivory Webb."

So he's ebony and Ivory?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:38 PM on February 3, 2006


How was the passenger a criminal?

He was riding in a car that was fleeing the police. Although he may not have committed a crime, the cop was right to assume he was dangerous.
posted by soiled cowboy at 12:40 PM on February 3, 2006


Meh. This cop was stupid and should be punished barring the possibility that there's more to this video than we can see.

That said, all you internet toughguys are really amusing. Really.

Cops do OK financially, but do you really think they like to drive around looking for confrontations like this? This is the worst part of their job (pulling someone over, not knowing if they've made a simple traffic violation or have a gun under the seat) if only for the amount of paperwork involved. The cop in question looks like a cowboy, and luckily cameras were there, but I'd love--absolutely love--to see some of you desk jockies try to spend three days as a beat cop. Ever had to knock on the door of an apartment at 3 am because neighbors called to complain that a guy was beating his wife and children again? You can't do anything of course, ever, because your cherished "democratic principles" mean that if she won't testify against him, you can't do anything. Ever had to go through the personal belongings in the apartment of a strange, week-long rotting corpse to make an ID, since the person had a heart-attack and you don't know who to contact (or if there is anyone to contact)? Ever had to call someone and tell them their daughter was decapitated in a car wreck? Ever had to pick your way through a stand of trees looking for a human head? Ever had to talk down a 6'5' naked dude who forgot to take his meds that morning and has just come out of a manic state, knocking over trashcans and screaming at people nearby? Ever been called a pig just for doing your job?

You know who you are--kindly STFU.

PS luckily I live in a county where standards are relatively high to get into the academy. But neighboring counties aren't so lucky, and they pay out millions a year to settle messed up, preventable events like this. Maybe a national standard should be in place?
posted by bardic at 1:04 PM on February 3, 2006


Y'know, having talking to Thai police and military officers regarding their war on methamphetamines, I can say without hesitation that the law enforcement in Thailand is uncivilized. Warrantless searches, summary onsite execution of those found in posession, the use of torture to ensure confession... The officers were open about this because they thought that their actions were making Thailand a safer place. And that's leaving aside the RAMPANT corruption in the Thai police (I watched them make their rounds to collect 'business taxes' from the strip mall attached to the dorm that I was staying in, and every day the newspapers carried stories on it).

That I'm calling you a moron is because you're putting forth views that mark you as one. And my liberal democracy doesn't say a damn thing about having to put up with yoru retarded bullshit.
You're wrong on the facts, you're wrong on the law, you're wrong on the moral guidelines that should govern behavior.

"
He was riding in a car that was fleeing the police. Although he may not have committed a crime, the cop was right to assume he was dangerous."

And so shoot him for following orders? And you advocated the execution of the driver based on your interpretation of the events. Forgive me if I don't trust your judgement on anything else.
posted by klangklangston at 1:40 PM on February 3, 2006


Soiled Cowboy: Any asshole who drives 100mph through a residential area deserves to be shot, for his actions are putting innocent people's lives at risk. I have no sympathy for anyone who tries to outrun the police in a high-speed chase, and the penalty for this sort of extreme recklessness should be execution by shooting in the cold wet gravel of a poorly lit roadside.

posted by soiled cowboy at 7:51 AM PST on February 3


I know exactly what you mean. My road doesn't have sidewalks and the posted speed limit is 25mph. But my street is a shortcut from one main road to another, and even though it's posted DO NOT ENTER 7AM to 9AM people just barrel down my street at 30-45 mph, even though I'm walking my dog on the street and I have to worry about myself or my dog getting hit. It's pretty stressful.

My wife and I have tried several times to get local authorities to do a speed trap, or install speed bumps or something else. We've talked in the neighborhood about closing one end of the road, to end the drive throughs.

But you hit on a much simpler solution. With the blessing of the police (we might have to change a few laws locally) my neighbors and I could set up a Posse Speed Bumpus and check speeds on one end of the road (the road is a curve, so it's perfect for speed traps), and simply stop anyone who is speeding through our neighborhood, " putting innocent people's lives at risk" as you would say.

After we stop them, BANG BANG! BANG to the HEAD! ("in the cold wet gravel of a poorly lit roadside", of course. Not even the benefit of lush green grass to catch their blood).

We could probably donate the cadavers to the local medical school, and sell their cars for scrap to fund improvements to the local park.

And then those black kids who come across City Line to play in our basketball court? Well, my Posse Speed Bumpus is cool with that, but there's some other people in my neighborhood who aren't.

And they would love the way you think, buddy!

There's no government like no government, am I right?
posted by illovich at 1:45 PM on February 3, 2006


The cop in question looks like a cowboy, and luckily cameras were there, but I'd love--absolutely love--to see some of you desk jockies try to spend three days as a beat cop.

You know who you are--kindly STFU.


Agreed.
posted by frogan at 2:00 PM on February 3, 2006


klangklangston writes: yoru retarded bullshit

Shut up please.
posted by bardic at 2:01 PM on February 3, 2006


Oh, Bardic, you can spell check me any time.
posted by klangklangston at 2:06 PM on February 3, 2006


bardic, no one's saying that being a police officer is easy or fun or not valuable. But I don't see what that has to do with anything.

Yeah, the job's tough and emotionally draining, but that doesn't give one the right to indiscriminately shoot people who don't (or in this case do) do what you tell them to.

Just because I don't have first hand experience in being an American police officer, doesn't mean I can't have an informed opinion on their actions.
posted by slimepuppy at 3:02 PM on February 3, 2006


soiled cowboy writes "It is better that an innocent person be punished if the common welfare is protected than for a guilty person to be free to inflict further harm on the community."

This is where we'll have to agree to disagree. Personally I can't think of anything more tragic than the state punishing an innocent man. It's the very epitome of cruel. I also don't believe that the state should be in any panic to dispense justice.
posted by Mitheral at 3:06 PM on February 3, 2006


You're frothing at the mouth, klangklangston, about liberal democracy, yet your responses are filled with the kind of insult-the-messenger convulsions typical of reactionary blowhards. What's liberal and democratic about shouting down someone with whom you don't agree? You're a bullying loudmouth whose recess-yard tactics are an embarrassment to true liberals and whose taunts are so childish as to make even Rush Limbaugh disapprove. Instead of insulting me and the country I live in, you could simply disagree and discuss.

In other circumstances I'd be curious to hear about your experience with the Thai police, but right now you sound like such a prick I'm not interested.

My extreme and admittedly undefendable position on the shooting was prompted more by an emotional response to what I perceived as the misdirected anger in the thread rather than any truly held personal belief. Do I really believe the passenger should have been shot? No, I suppose not. I was wrong about him being complicit in crime and deserving of his wounds. But do I feel bad for him? No. While I clearly can't say for sure, I would guess he bore some responsibility in the decision to flee.

I do feel bad for the policeman who was doing his job and had the misfortune of being drawn into a position where he lost his temper in a manner so unfortunate for everyone involved. I distrust most cops and I hate abuse of authority, but I am more disgusted by over-testosteroned self-styled "outlaws" who wilfully and selfishly put public safety in jeopardy. I get a guilty but visceral pleasure when I hear they've been properly dealt with.
posted by soiled cowboy at 3:28 PM on February 3, 2006


slimepuppy, I hope they prosecute and/or imprison this cop if that's what the evidence shows. The umbrage of my post comes from the tone of some in this thread that, IMHO, amounts to "A cop gave me a ticket for speeding once and that's why this pig shot this civilian," or something. I'm not defending this guy, just trying to say that lots of what cops do is boring, important stuff that doesn't come up much in movies. If your only experience with cops is being pulled over and seeing video like this, you've only got about 5% of the total (often tedious) picture.
posted by bardic at 3:35 PM on February 3, 2006


soiled cowboy writes: You're frothing at the mouth, klangklangston, about liberal democracy, yet your responses are filled with the kind of insult-the-messenger convulsions typical of reactionary blowhards. What's liberal and democratic about shouting down someone with whom you don't agree?

Amen.
posted by bardic at 3:53 PM on February 3, 2006


Local TV news is reporting that, in an amazing coincidence, the INS has suddenly noticed a 1998 warrant for the the cameraman. Oddly enough the INS did not notice the warrant when Mr. Valdez renewed his green card during the past eight years.
posted by rdr at 5:35 PM on February 3, 2006


rdr writes: Local TV news is reporting that, in an amazing coincidence, the INS has suddenly noticed a 1998 warrant for the the cameraman. Oddly enough the INS did not notice the warrant when Mr. Valdez renewed his green card during the past eight years.

Even stranger, the cops are saying he'll be in Florida (where the warrant originated) within 24 hours. I guess that means he has waived extradition. Last I heard, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Office still had a couple of jets in their rather sizable county air force. I'm wondering if they're gonna sneak him out of town on one of those rather than use a commercial carrier.
posted by buggzzee23 at 5:48 PM on February 3, 2006


klang^2ston my be a bit over the top, but his point is valid.

Shooting someone for speeding (completely sans trial) has no place in a civilized nation. Shooting a passenger in a speeding car is just fucking barbaric.

soiled cowboy is being much more strident and unrealistic in what he says than klang.
posted by teece at 5:58 PM on February 3, 2006


Welcome to America, the police state. If you havnt been watching, your freedom is gone. Deal with any bureaucracy, Courts, IRS, DSHS, Police, etc, and you will see, you have no rights..
posted by IronWolve at 10:54 PM on February 3, 2006


It is better that an innocent person be punished if the common welfare is protected than for a guilty person to be free to inflict further harm on the community.

soiled cowboy, you just blew my mind. I wonder if you would feel that way if it were your wife, your father, your brother, or your son, being punished, being shot as a passenger in a police chase for complying with orders. Or if you were locked up for life, an innocent party, to protect the common welfare.

I also want to voice my amen for what bardic said. In this case, the cop was clearly in the wrong on so many levels it boggles the mind, and the feeble defenses of his case, even if one or more of them are justified (if he was actually saying "don't get up," for example), they are still outweighed by all the other massively wrong decisions he made.

However, using examples like this as fodder for "all cops are power-hungry aggressive assholes" is bullshit. As pointed out earlier, it is only stories like this that make the news, and the millions of altercations that occur on a daily basis in which the police do their jobs well and succeed in serving and protecting just aren't going to make headlines. Cops do an incredibly difficult job, one which I'll be the first to admit I don't have the cajones to do for even a day. The men and women who volunteer to contend with this kind of stress and sometimes incredible danger aren't compensated for it nearly as well as they should be, and while there are asshole cops, there are asshole lawyers and doctors and teachers and asshole janitors. In my experience, even back as a trainwreck juvenile delinquent, even as an adult when I've been clearly in the wrong, even living in big cities like New York, Philly, and Chicago, and down here in the south, I've only once come across a cop who was an asshole to me for no particular reason. In every other case, regardless for my reason of having to interact with an officer, they were unanimously polite, respectful, as long as I was polite and respectful with them. Clearly that wasn't the case here, where being respectful got this guy shot three times, but my point is that you can't and shouldn't characterize the police as trigger-happy idiots because of the few unfortunate incidents like this that make the news. This guy is a bad cop and I fully believe he should stand trial and never wear a badge again regardless if he is convicted or not. But police in general deserve nothing less than my respect and admiration for being willing to do a job every day that I never could, in order to maintain my protection.
posted by Meredith at 6:58 AM on February 4, 2006


He was riding in a car that was fleeing the police. Although he may not have committed a crime, the cop was right to assume he was dangerous.
posted by soiled cowboy at 12:40 PM PST on February 3


Yeah, he should have jumped out of the car at 100 mph. That would have been safe for everyone. Or maybe struggled with the driver and grabbed the wheel.

I'm glad that you're happy to live in a police state, and hope you never run afoul of the laws and unjust procedures there.

However, using examples like this as fodder for "all cops are power-hungry aggressive assholes" is bullshit. As pointed out earlier, it is only stories like this that make the news, and the millions of altercations that occur on a daily basis in which the police do their jobs well and succeed in serving and protecting just aren't going to make headlines.

Meredith, come on. No one is saying that all police are power-hungry assholes. But we do know that they never pay speeding tickets. We know that many of them beat their wives and are never arrested for it. We know that many have deliberately killed innocents and are never prosecuted for it. We know that the police officer's first duty is not to the public, but to his fellow officers.

We give them the power to uphold the law using force yet perversely do not hold them accountable except in the most egregious situations: even in this case - which is as open-and-shut as they get - many people are willing to overlook attempted murder just because they perform a service that is statistically much safer than pizza delivery.

It's a police officer's job pleasant? Of course not? Do I envy them their duties? No. But I'm not going to pretend that every officer is an upstanding citizen and that these incidents are isolated or unconnected to the culture of unaccountability in just about every P.D. across the nation.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:09 AM on February 4, 2006


well well well this is very convenient for officer webb

"(CBS) SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. Jose Luis Valdez, the man who videotaped a San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy shooting an unarmed Air Force
veteran, was arrested Friday on a warrant that came up from a background check.

Immigration officials say Jose Luis Valdez was taken intocustody by Pomona police on a Dade County, Florida, warrant alleging he used a weapon to assault an elderly woman in Miami.

The officials say the warrant came up during a routine background check when Valdez went to an immigration office for aninterview to renew his alien registration "green card."

Valdez, contacted by cell phone today, confirmed he had beenarrested but said the only problem he had in Miami was an arrest for a DUI.

Valdez says authorities want to send him back to Florida within 24 hours.

Earlier this week, Valdez released a homemade videotape he took of Senior Airman Elio Carrion's shooting.

The 21-year-old Air Force security officer recently back from Iraq was shot three times Sunday night by Deputy Ivory Webb."
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:21 AM on February 4, 2006


Optimus, I was reacting laregly to statements like this one:

this is why i hate cops, and probably authority. WTF.
posted by brandz at 10:24 PM EST on February 2 [!]


Do a lot of policemen and women get away with shit they shouldn't? Sure. Is there corruption in police departments? Yes. I'm not contesting that. What I'm contesting is the generalization of all cops and/or "authority" based on incidents like this.

I don't think the police force has a higher incident of greedy, corrupt jackasses in proportion to the rest of the population. I don't think most people sign up for the force because they want to get away with shooting someone, or never pay parking tickets, or be able to beat their wives without getting arrested for it. I think most of them sign up because they believe in what the job is supposed to be about, protecting and serving. Yes, a corrupt system can eventually corrupt even the most initially innocent, and I know this happens. But I don't think it's the norm.

Those who know me well know me as a cynical, mistrustful far-left liberal who feels like her rights are being stripped by the current administration, and expect me to be the last person to ever stand up for the police, and are surprised when I do. They think I'm being naive, and maybe I am, but my own experience supports my beliefs, and I hate to see the force as a whole take shit for the actions of a few.
posted by Meredith at 9:14 AM on February 4, 2006


I don't think the police force has a higher incident of greedy, corrupt jackasses in proportion to the rest of the population. I don't think most people sign up for the force because they want to get away with shooting someone, or never pay parking tickets, or be able to beat their wives without getting arrested for it.

Critical criminology disagrees with you.
posted by Jairus at 9:30 AM on February 4, 2006


Got a cite?
posted by Snyder at 11:18 AM on February 4, 2006


In my county one need not have graduated high school to uphold the law of the land. That seems to create a fundamental problem in staffing respectable police officers.
posted by sourbrew at 7:41 PM PST on February 2 [!]


That, and the fact that the pay is shit, and you earn it by being shit, spat and puked on, when you're not being attacked or told that you're a fascist asshole for pulling over a soccer mom doing 70 with her cell attached to her face. What sort of folks do you think are going to do that sort of work for $35K a year? Folks who have no other options. Not, by any means, the best and the brightest. You get what you pay for.
posted by onegreeneye at 1:19 PM on February 4, 2006


You're taught to shoot to kill, not to wound, because shooting to wound (whatever the moral value) is likely to get you killed by a wounded man.

I'd need to consult with an officer, but I'm 99% sure you're totally and completely wrong here.
posted by I Love Tacos at 9:46 PM PST on February 2 [!]


I work with cops all day long and they are indeed told that if you fire a gun at someone you are intending to kill that person. You're using deadly force, vs. taser or spray. Cops don't exist inside a John Wayne movie where you can wing someone, nor are they sharpshooters on 24 who can shoot a gun from the hand. If you fire your weapon it is at the largest part of the body (buh bye, internal organs) and with the intent to kill.
posted by onegreeneye at 1:33 PM on February 4, 2006


The general policy is to shoot at the center mass (the torso) until the threat no longer exists. The goal is to eliminate the threat not kill the suspect.

Semantics. The end result of being gut shot is often croaking. Shoot them in the gut until they are no longer a threat, i.e., lying on the ground gutshot.
posted by onegreeneye at 1:47 PM on February 4, 2006


I clearly can't say for sure

and yet you keep saying and saying... you prolly oughtta move to singapore -- you'd be happier in a place where they know how to handle miscreants properly. just don't chew gum in public.

why is this even a debate? sure, the job of a cop can sometimes be difficult, as can many other jobs. but this particular cop, the one in the video was certainly in the wrong in this instance.

anyone defending him or similar police tactics is also in the wrong. QED.
posted by Hat Maui at 1:56 PM on February 4, 2006


Got a cite?

Give me some time to root through textbooks and papers, and I'll get you one. It'll be an academic journal, though, not a link.
posted by Jairus at 3:37 PM on February 4, 2006


Thats fine, thanks.
posted by Snyder at 8:38 PM on February 4, 2006


Overkill: The Latest Trend in Policing
posted by homunculus at 11:24 PM on February 5, 2006


Note to the "they intend to kill" crowd:

If they really wanted to kill they'd pop a few rounds in the head once the suspect was down, and then smoke a cigarette before they called the ambulance.

There's a possibility of the suspect's death, but that's different than intent.

The intent is to stop the guy, and death is just an acceptable risk. If any officer shoots a suspect, in an attempt to kill the suspect, that officer should be taken off the force.

This is a summary of the response I got when I mentioned this discussion to an officer who has, unfortunately, had to use his gun. I removed the profanity, and the numerous insults he lobbed at people who think cops are trying to kill people.
posted by I Love Tacos at 9:55 AM on February 7, 2006


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