Police Sniper Killed Fla. Hostage
July 26, 2000 4:57 AM   Subscribe

Police Sniper Killed Fla. Hostage
Police brutality at it's best. This is just sad.
posted by jdiaz (10 comments total)
I wouldn't call it brutality. They were obviously trying to end a volatile situation. Stupidity is more like it. The question is whether the sniper had a clear shot or not. If he did, and missed, and the round hit her, I would hold the entire department responsible, mostly for giving him the "green-light" to fire.

If he didn't have a clear shot, and fired, then I would say 75% of the responsibility falls on him for reckless endangerment. The other 25% still goes to the department for giving him the "green-light" to fire.

If the department didn't give a green-light, and he still fired, then he is totally responsible.

Either way, nothing good will come from this.
posted by da5id at 5:58 AM on July 26, 2000

How many times in a year are snipers, hired by the police, called upon to "take that shot"? They're not going to be successful 100% of the time. They're human. Shall we insist police cease any use of snipers because of this one incident?

Perhaps it was meant in jest, but indicating this is a police brutality issue is just really uncool.
posted by ZachsMind at 6:37 AM on July 26, 2000

Hostages die all the time, all over the world, when the authorities try to take out the kidnapper(s). Get over it.
posted by aaron at 6:47 AM on July 26, 2000

More importantly, it's easy to say "The police should have. . . they should not have. . . " when you're removed from the situation. We don't know what the sniper saw. He certainly wouldn't have shot if Ms. Hall, the victim, were the one in his crosshairs. (Unless he's insane, no indication of that, though.) Petron might have moved at the last second -- that seems most likely to me.

Let's put the blame for this entire horror where it belongs -- Jamie Dean Petron, the thief and murderer who started it all, and the Florida Department of Corrections, who released this career criminal 9 years into what was to be a 20 year sentence for attempted murder. If Petron had been made to serve his full term, he'd still be behind bars where he belonged, and Andrea Hall and the four other victims would never have been in the line of fire.
posted by Dreama at 7:22 AM on July 26, 2000

You're right I'm wrong...police stupidity, not brutality. Thtat's what I get for being reactionary first thing in the morning. And why are hostages being killed all over the world by the authorities? I'm simply amazed this guy didn't just snap after this and take everyone else out.
posted by jdiaz at 8:20 AM on July 26, 2000

It was a *mistake* -- I don't think any sniper would fire unless he thought he had a clear shot. Maybe the hostage guy moved, or maybe he was told that the victim was actually the hostage-taker.
But I'm reasonably sure that he'll have this death on his conscience for the rest of his life, and I, for one, feel sorry for the guy.

posted by metrocake at 8:36 AM on July 26, 2000

Well JDiaz, I may have snapped a bit too. it's just that since Rodney King I have noticed a growing tendency to paint police as monsters. They ain't the badguys and they ain't heroes. They're people like us, put into situations I personally couldn't ever be paid enough to voluntarily tolerate.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:28 AM on July 26, 2000

It's clearly a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don't situation. Still, they would be wise to re-examine training procedures and look closely at command communication in this incident.
posted by dhartung at 11:31 AM on July 26, 2000

Lets blame the gun, ammo, scope. it was just a fuck up. man, i would hate to be that guy, train all your life for a situation like that and then you screw it up, poor guy
posted by Goonan at 9:28 PM on July 26, 2000

They aren't 'put' into situations. They knew the risks when they joined the police force, yet they made the choice anyway. You say they aren't heroes, then you put them on a pedestal for daring to do a job you wouldn't.

These are the people we are paying to uphold the law. These are the people we're being forced to trust with our lives. And so when there IS police brutality, the entire system should be and sometimes is looked at skeptically. So I think that a high degree of scrutiny is not only valid, but absolutely necessary. Because when something like the Rodney King incident occurs, our trust is betrayed.

That being said, calling this police brutality is ridiculous.
posted by fable at 10:40 PM on July 26, 2000

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