Cops Cleared

Ivory Webb, the San Bernardino police officer captured shooting an unarmed man by amateur video, was acquitted of all criminal charges over the weekend. Webb says he inadvertently told the victim to "get up," when he meant to say, "don't get up," then shot the victim when he obeyed the order, and started to get up. It's the first time a police officer has ever even been charged in San Bernardino.

Meanwhile, an internal review board has cleared of any wrongdoing the Arkansas police officer accused of choking two skateboarding teenagers. That incident was also captured on amateur video.

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  • ||

    Ice T was right...

  • Axel||

    What was that song by NWA? F#@! the Police?

  • JohnD||

    hey Axel.... Don't make me choke you

  • ||

    This is what drives me to drink. I'm not surprised when we hand someone a gun and a badge, and they become drunk on power. What gets me, is that most people seem to be just fine with that.

    Why isn't there more outrage? We all have to live under this regime. Perhaps people think that since they're not war veterans or skateboarders, these incidents don't concern them.

  • ||

    I guess I'm just out of gas on my disdain for porks. There's really no way I could respect cops less. Every once in a while you come across a literate cop, but c'mon, being a cop is purely for thugs.

  • SugarFree||

    Fuckheads: 2
    Humans: 0

    "Bitch tried to swing her scales and hit me, but she was still blindfolded. I had already taken her sword and ripped off that fag toga. I told her to stay down or I'd rape her, she stayed down so I raped her. Then I arrested her for soliciting her own rape. Then I charged her with assaulting a police officer for bruising my law enforcement organ while I was raping her. Justice may be blind, but her vag is definitely sore.

    I'd like that paid vacation now."

  • ||

    As long as they're shooting the innocent and assaulting the children FOR THE CHILDREN, most people will be okay with it.

  • Teen||

    New rule: everyone run like hell except the guy with the camcorder.

  • mith||

    It's clearly important that we all be able to videotape the police when this sort of thing happens so that ... absolutely nothing will happen.

    Not trolling, just being sarcastic.

  • thoreau||

    Shit, I'm moving to Pomona, right between San Bernardino County (where this stuff happened) and Los Angeles (home of the infamous LAPD).

    I'm installing 24/7 surveillance cameras in my apartment and car.

  • ||

    You folks need to calm down a little - there is little reason to believe that the great majority of police officers in America don't serve the public well, despite not being paid much and being expected to perform flawlessly, often under highly stressful and dangerous conditions.

  • SugarFree||

    Nightstick party at thoreau's place!

    BYONS!

  • Fluffy||

    Actually, I don't have a problem with the Ivory Webb thing as reported.

    The officer admitted he made a mistake and gave the wrong command. That made the shooting an unfortunate accident. I think his willingness to admit to the error, rather than engage in the usual pattern where the cop blames everyone else but himself, gives him a certain amount of credibility here.

    In the absence of malice or recklessness, a simple error by a police officer should not be grounds for criminal penalties.

  • ||

    a simple error by a police officer

    Putting three bullets in a guy is a "simple error"?

  • Jennifer||

    In the absence of malice or recklessness, a simple error by a police officer should not be grounds for criminal penalties.

    Imagine how much more those bullets would've hurt if they'd been shot recklessly and with malice.

  • Russ 2000||

    Actually, I don't have a problem with the Ivory Webb thing as reported.

    This got me to thinking...

    If police could be sued for malpractice, would an insurance industry for such malpractice spring up or is the rate of malpractice so high that no private insurance companies could sustain themselves.

  • Mith||

    The officer admitted he made a mistake and gave the wrong command.



    Then he shot an unarmed suspect multiple times. He was rising up from the ground, slowly, and could not possibly have been a threat to the officer or anyone around him. Shooting him should have been far outside the realm of acceptable actions by the officer, even if the officer was telling him to stay down, and he was disobeying the command.

    Also, saying you made a mistake to escape criminal prosecution doesn't seem like a difficult decision.

  • ||

    I'm installing 24/7 surveillance cameras in my apartment and car.

    Sorry, no can do. They get you coming and going.

  • SugarFree||

    Fluffy,

    I just don't think that shooting someone twice that you had already subdued for compiling with your orders is a simple error. We can agree to disagree.

    But this is another case of the police being held to a much lower standard than everyone else. If someone had broken into your home, with every intention of robbing it, and you had surprised them, got the on the ground at gunpoint, and then shot them, you there be any doubt you or I would be in jail? Would a prosecutor or jury excuse your actions on the grounds of "I told him to get up, he got up so I shot him?" I'm not even suggesting we hold cop to a higher standard, just the same one. Thousands of people make mistakes and snap decisions that land them in jail every day.

  • ||

    "there is little reason to believe that the great majority of police officers in America don't serve the public well, despite not being paid much and being expected to perform flawlessly,"

    The fact that the entire profession is staffed by underpaid and slighly educated individuals is one reason to believe that there is a problem.

  • ||

    despite not being paid much and being expected to perform flawlessly, often under highly stressful and dangerous conditions.

    Hmm, I wonder how their pay and working conditions compare to the poor military grunts that are over in Iraq and Afganistan? Somehow I just can't summon much sympathy for the "thin blue line".

  • ||

    Fluff, some things are so dangerous that a simple error should be prosecuted criminally...like transporting dynamite or pointing a gun at somebody, for example.

  • ||

    FYI - I did miss that there was a follow-up story to my original link, where they dropped the charges. They didn't back away from the wiretap accusation. They just didn't think it would hold up in court.

  • ||

    The officer admitted he made a mistake and gave the wrong command. That made the shooting an unfortunate accident.

    That may very well be. Still, it's clear at this point that this cop is just way to fucking stupid to be armed with either a gun or a badge.

  • ||

    Thoreau,

    Don't forget mudslides and forest fires. The neighborhood I lived in as a child in the San Bernadino area was nothing but an open field the last time I saw it.

  • ||

    The fact that the entire profession is staffed by underpaid and slighly educated individuals is one reason to believe that there is a problem.

    That might be the cause of some problems, sure, but then again like everything else we get what we pay for. We could raise taxes and up the salaries of police officers and attract more educated and responsible people. But we don't, which kind of indicates that most of us are fine with the police.

  • Fluffy||

    I think lots of lawyers answered my last post.

    The striking thing about lawyers is the way they expect every other profession in the world to perform without error, and wherever an error is made it's a criminal act.

    I don't think Webb's error is any more criminal than firing at a suspect in the dark when you mistakenly think you see a gun.

    Charging a police officer who admits to an honest error and demonstrates no malice is like charging a fireman with assault if he drops you on your head while carrying you from a burning building [or a building he reasonably thinks is burning]. Hey, the bump on your head hurts just as much as it would if there were malice involved, right?

    My problem with police misconduct is generally a result of my problem with a particular law being enforced. If quasimilitary SWAT teams are kicking in doors and shooting old ladies in a dubious search for drugs, I blame the drug laws and the case law that allows for searches of that type. I don't see police misconduct when in a confused situation an officer sees a suspect engage in behavior that seems threatening, even when that behavior is the fault of the cop's own stupid mistake.

  • db||

    Sorry, the "simple error" thing just doesn't fly. Professional engineers who make a "simple error" and whose bridges collapse resulting in deaths and property damage don't get paid "administrative leave" and then return to work. They get their licenses revoked, their reputations ground to bits, and then they get sued and in some cases imprisoned.

    Doctors, too. You want to tell me how a license to police is different than a license to practice engineering or medicine?

  • ||

    I like how he tells the guy he just shot, rolling on the ground and screaming in pain, to "shut the fuck up."

    How can you give the wrong command *twice*? I'm not sure who is the bigger idiot here: Webb or the jury that aquitted him.

  • ||

    Sorry, the "simple error" thing just doesn't fly. Professional engineers who make a "simple error" and whose bridges collapse resulting in deaths and property damage don't get paid "administrative leave" and then return to work. They get their licenses revoked, their reputations ground to bits, and then they get sued and in some cases imprisoned.

    Doctors, too. You want to tell me how a license to police is different than a license to practice engineering or medicine?


    It's because the nature of police work requires officers to a) deal with very dangerous people on a regular basis and b) make snap decisions regarding the use of force, often based on limited information.

  • ||

    I don't expect officers to act without error, except when they are pointing a gun at someone.

    This wasn't juxtaposing two digits of a license plate on a traffic ticket, this guy told someone to get up, then shot him for it. In this case, there was absolutely nothing the guy could do to avoid being shot. Nothing. That error is too big to let slide.

  • db||

    Doctors don't have to make "snap decisions?"

    Engineers don't deal with dangerous situations and aren't required to make quick decisions regarding forces that can kill people (think engineers in an operating chemical or power plant)?

  • ||

    That might be the cause of some problems, sure, but then again like everything else we get what we pay for. We could raise taxes and up the salaries of police officers and attract more educated and responsible people. But we don't, which kind of indicates that most of us are fine with the police.

    Is it that simple, Dan T.?

    I wonder if it's more like a Stanford Prison Experiment sort of thing - where ordinary decent folk grow ever more irresponsible and power-trippy due to a number of job-related factors.

    However, I also wonder if the job of "policeman" is peculiar enough that salary isn't the biggest concern - I know plenty of people who wouldn't be a policeman for any price. Conversely, there are the people who want to be a cop just a little too much, you know? Alas that they often get their wish.

  • ||

    Dan T., this officer didn't have "limited information." He had all the information he needed.

  • ||

    Ivory Webb had Marvin Gaye's Sexual Healing stuck in head all day. Bad too, what the Germans call Ohrwurm ("earworm") where you absolutely can't get the melody or lyrics out of your head.

    Is that a crime?

  • Gray Ghost||

    In the absence of malice or recklessness, a simple error by a police officer should not be grounds for criminal penalties.

    There are no simple errors with firearms.

    Webb repeatedly ordered the victim to get up, the victim complied, and was shot from less than three feet away. The video tape of the incident is really damning.

    I'd really like to see LEOs start to pay some of the penalties for misuse of their weapons, that I, a non-LEO, would pay in the same situation. I've said it before, but they ostensibly have higher training in firearms use than non-LEOs. (Yes, I know the reality is often different. How many cops go to e.g. Thunder Ranch, or compete in IDPA?) Why then, are they not held to a higher standard in deadly force encounters? In fact, isn't the opposite true?

    Thankfully, I've never been in a deadly force situation, but if I were, I doubt I'd get the same understanding from the police/DA if "the weapon accidently discharged" (explanation for the Sal Cuneo shooting) or "I made a mistake in ordering the victim to get up."

    That said, it's not surprising to me that Webb was found not guilty, given a typical jury's deference to law enforcement coupled with the mouthing off the victim did to Webb. Without the videotape, I don't think Webb's even indicted. I disagree with the verdict---I'd have convicted for manslaughter at a minimum; I'm just saying it doesn't surprise me.

    Cases like this, and the great deference to law enforcement they exemplify, make me snicker at the idea of replacing the exclusionary rule with a private tort remedy.

  • Gray Ghost||

    And I see that SugarFree has already said at 9:24 everything that I did, and more concisely to boot. Sorry.

  • ||

    The general belief that police officers are ill paid is an F.O.P. perpetuated myth. (See also "public school teachers, poor poor".)

    www.theblueline.com/salary1.html

    My dad was a police sergeant and retired after 25 years at age 49 with pay and benefits and has spent the last 18 years fishing, traveling and playing blackjack. And good for him.
    (And he never shot anybody.)

  • SugarFree||

    Gray Ghost,

    It's a message that bears repeating. :)

  • Fluffy||

    db -

    Unless the engineer acts with really gross negligence, I don't think they should be subject to criminal penalties either.

    If an engineer in a chemical plant makes a snap decision in an emergency and it turns out to be the wrong decision, I don't think they should face criminal penalties.

    "I'd really like to see LEOs start to pay some of the penalties for misuse of their weapons, that I, a non-LEO, would pay in the same situation."

    Gray Ghost - Here's one difference. If I'm hanging out at home with my firearm and I hear on the radio that people are rioting down town, I don't have to go down town with my firearm and try to stop them. Police do. The fact that they are required to enter dangerous situations that the rest of us can just bail on if we feel like it means that they get to have a different standard applied to them.

    If a cop was entitled to say, "Hey, it's dark out, so I might make the wrong decision here and shoot someone - I think I'll just go home and have a beer instead of responding to this call," I might think differently. But I expect that when I call the police for help, they will try to come and help, even if the situation is inchoate and ambiguous.

    When I initially posted, I didn't realize Webb had told the suspect to stand up multiple times, because I hadn't seen the video. The multiple incorrect commands might lead me to believe that he wanted the guy to stand precisely so he could shoot him [i.e. the element of malice may have been involved]. So having all the facts might make me change my mind. But it is possible for police to be mistaken - even to mistakenly kill - without it being a criminal act.

  • ||

    Great comments ghost. Why can't the police be held to the same standards as any other citizen who carries a gun? As a CCW permit holder, I am responsible for every bullet that leaves the barrel of my gun. Including any that go through my target and an innocent bystander. If I can do this, why can't cops, who should be better trained than I am.

  • ||

    In fairness to Webb, here is some coverage of his side of the story:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/crime/la-me-ivorywebb30may30,0,7580600.story

    And let's remember that a jury did acquit him, so the state by definition failed to prove that Webb was guilty of the charges.

  • ||

    The general belief that police officers are ill paid is an F.O.P. perpetuated myth. (See also "public school teachers, poor poor".)

    I was going argue with that notion, too. Police, firemen and teachers in my area make well above the median income, coupled with better benefits and retirement packages than most private sector employees. Maybe if they didn't compare their salaries to pro athletes all the time, they'd realize how good they have it.

  • SugarFree||

    But it is possible for police to be mistaken - even to mistakenly kill - without it being a criminal act.

    I believe that. But. This goes on too often to give the police the benefit of the doubt. It is the automatic assumption that the officer is never wrong and that no matter what overwhelming evidence exists they are almost impossible to convict of wrongdoing that infuriates me. The public is like an abused spouse that keeps making excuses and letting the bastard back in the house.

  • SugarFree||

    And of course those who have never found a government boot too filthy for them to lick...

  • Dave W.||

    The officer admitted he made a mistake and gave the wrong command.

    Actually he said that the suspect lunged at him. After lying to investigators, he changed this story after he was informed that there was a video showing something different.

    The jury was also told that Webb believed that the suspect was reaching for a weapon because of his hand gestures.

    Both of these things are clearly lies. The only problem is: (i) IIRC the jury was told that Webb initially said he lunged; and (ii) the jury got to see the videotape and saw that there were no threatening gestures.

    As best as I can interpret it, the jury wanted to give the policeman a wide margin of error because he was dealing with a reckless and drunk driving situation and the victim was drunk and high and not acting smart. I don't agree (personally, I think it was an execution for mouthing off), but at least this officer wasn't looking for trouble initially -- he was legitimately engaged with Mr. Carrion.

    My preferred outcome at this point:
    Charges brough against Webb for initially lying to investigators when he said the victim lunged at him. I find this kind of lying despicable, independent of whether anybody gets shot. I find this kind of lying more despicable than negligent discharge of the weapon itself.

    Best realistic outcome:
    federal case and civil damages.

    Most likely outcome: civil damages. btw, all you corporatarian types who don't like to see civil damages in cases of corporate negligence -- sorry, but negligence is what civil damages (as distinct from criminal penalties) are mostly for. That applies here, too, even though this is SBPD and not Exxon Valdez.

  • ||

    What bugged me was the logic of the jury, that the "chase" before the stop figured somehow as a factor in their decision.

    ...apparently under the theory that it's okay to shoot a man so long as he was in a car going over a certain speed limit.

  • thoreau||

    There are two separate issues here:

    1) Should he retain his liberty? On that issue, the burden of proof must be on the state, and since the state failed to prove it to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt, he should be a free man. I may not like every acquittal ever made, but I accept that our process is designed the way it is for the sake of us all.

    2) Should he retain his position of authority? On that issue, the burden of proof must be on him. From what we know, I cannot see any way that he can meet that burden.

    So I say he should lose his position of authority but remain a free man.

  • ||

    Fluffy,
    "If quasimilitary SWAT teams are kicking in doors and shooting old ladies in a dubious search for drugs, I blame the drug laws and the case law that allows for searches of that type."
    The officers that shot the old lady in Atlanta then handcuffed her and planted cannabis in her house. I find it hard to blame the drug laws for their actions.

  • ||

    thoreau, it appears that Webb is no longer a police officer, although it's unclear as to whether he was fired or resigned.

  • ||

    What bugged me was the logic of the jury, that the "chase" before the stop figured somehow as a factor in their decision.

    ...apparently under the theory that it's okay to shoot a man so long as he was in a car going over a certain speed limit.


    I think that's more of a mitigating factor, isn't it? It's not hard to understand how a high-speed chase results in a situation where everybody's pumped full of adrenaline and stress levels are high. I think that played a factor in the Rodney King case as well.

  • ||

    Dave W,

    Maybe the cop "misremembered" when he said the guy lunged at him. Also, it's possible he forgot that he'd told the guy to get up when he shot him.

    I think GWB will commute his sentence if he gets federal prison time...right?

  • ||

    Jennifer won this thread at 9:18am.

  • ||

    I may not like every acquittal ever made, but I accept that our process is designed the way it is for the sake of us all.

    OK thoreau, I'll go along with you here. But can you muster up some despair with me over the fact that a guy shot an unarmed man who posed no threat to anyone, and the reason that he isn't going to prison is that cops don't have to obey the law?

  • ||

    But can you muster up some despair with me over the fact that a guy shot an unarmed man who posed no threat to anyone, and the reason that he isn't going to prison is that cops don't have to obey the law?

    No, he's not going to prison because the state could not prove that he broke any laws.

  • thoreau||

    Warren, I didn't say I feel no despair. I said that I wouldn't call for him to go to prison at this point, now that he's been acquitted.

    I still can't believe that a guy who changed his story like that gets off with his lame excuse. "I wanted him to stay on the ground, but I told him to stand, then I shot him for standing."

    What, so now you get credit for the things you meant to say but didn't actually say?

  • ||

    Jennifer won this thread at 9:18am.

    Eh, not really since the question was about Webb's intent. Nobody is disputing that it hurts to get shot.

  • Timothy||

    As a person who doesn't believe the state has grounds to kill its citizens, ever, I find any case like this extremely troubling. And, thoreau, I think this guy is not guilty in the same way that OJ is not guilty. Yes, it's good that the state can't retry either of them for the sake of liberty, but sometimes juries really fuck up. That, of course, cuts both ways.

    However, I also sort of doubt the prosecutors tried very hard given that it was a cop.

  • Dave W.||

    Maybe the cop "misremembered" when he said the guy lunged at him. Also, it's possible he forgot that he'd told the guy to get up when he shot him.

    T. and I have been back and forth on this lying to investigators / perjury stuff over at the highclearing recently. Suffice to say that I think lying to investigators is a really serious matter whether it is Bill Clinton, Scooter Libby, Martha Stewart or Ivory Webb does it. And by "serious," I mean prison time, like Martha got. T. tends to take a more permissive approach on these issues, so, reasonable minds can differ, I guess.

    I also think that the issue of whether Webb lied to the investigators is separate from the charges upon which Webb has been tried for double jeopardy purposes. The lying about the lunging might have been taken as evidence of manslaughter or murder in the case that has been tried, but ultimately, lying to investigators is a separate putative bad act from firing the gun for insufficient reasons.

    I also think that letting Webb know about the videotape before trial made the entire SBPD and the individuals directly involved guilty of conspiracy to obstruct justice. (I am assuming that Webb found out about the videotape from the PD). I think it would probably be appropriate for several LEOs to go to prison on this. I think having several LEOs go to prison on this would send a very, very healthy message to the police departments of America.

    Geez, I guess I can be even more of a hardass than Mr. Balko sometimes! No wonder they don't let me post on Cop Talk any more!!!

  • ||

    Carrion, who is gesturing with one of his hands as he talks in the darkness, tells Webb that he and Escobedo "mean you no harm" and are "on your side," lawyers for both sides agreed.

    Carrion says he is in the military and has more police training than Webb - statements Webb's attorneys say the deputy viewed as threats to his authority.


    Respect mah ahthoratay!

  • Gray Ghost||

    I see your point Fluffy, but police have no duty to assist you. True, the vast majority of the time they do assist us when we are in need, but they don't have an absolute obligation to do so. And you can't sue them when they don't help you, absent a special relationship (See DeShaney v. Winnebago Cty Dept of Soc. Serv. 489 U.S. 189, 195-97) From which follows the behavior of the LAPD in cordoning off South Central LA during the 1992 riots and watching it burn, or my own personal experiences trying to obtain the assistance of the Houston PD with violent intoxicated patrons in the early hours of the weekend. (Short answer: don't expect them in less than an hour.)

    But yes, generally, it's a police officer's job to put herself in harms way for us, just as it's a doctor's job generally to heal the sick and save life. Both actors though, when they act, must act reasonably. And what is reasonable behavior for an expert, is usually much more restrictive than what is reasonable for lay folk like me. Doctors, when treating a sick bystander, get much less slack in court for their actions than a good Samaritan like me would. Their expertise gets imputed to them in figuring out what's reasonable and what isn't. I'm just wondering why the same dynamic doesn't seem to be used when comparing LEO use of deadly force to Nick M's CCW use of deadly force.

    Certainly, we can both come up with fact patterns where an officer's use of deadly force was mistaken, but reasonable. That wasn't the case here though with Officer Webb, and he should have been convicted of manslaughter.

    The Webb case will be a philosophical struggle with me, reconciling my federalism-based dislike of federal criminal civil rights actions with the idea that he badly needs jail time for what he did to that Air Force policeman.

  • thoreau||

    I agree, Timothy.

    The other point I want to reiterate is that clearing the high standard of reasonable doubt does not mean that one's actions were perfectly fine, it only means that a jury was unsure about the matter and didn't decide to send the person to prison. That doesn't mean he should be trusted with authority again.

  • Dave W.||

    Speaking of the Cop Talk, on the thread over there on this got a funny lock:

    http://www.glocktalk.com/showthread.php?s=ac64393fd9621828c43b14fe3829e06a&threadid=721119&perpage=25&pagenumber=3

    It is funny to see the admin over there talk about the "forum rules" like they are some kind of talismanic charm. When he banned me he admitted that I had not broken any of those magic rules. I was simply "not working out."

    Frankly, I hope he closes the whole Cop talk down like he is threatening to. those LEOs obver there aren't doing each other any favors with the constant Blue Kool Aid routine.

  • ||

    "It's the first time a police officer has ever even been charged in San Bernardino." Can this be right? This is the only time that there has been cause to charge an officer? I wonder how hard the state tried to prosecute this guy?

  • Timothy||

    Thoreau: he should definitely be unemployed, at least in any kind of position of authority. I'm sure he'd do fine flipping burgers, provided he didn't shoot up the freezer.

  • ||

    That would explain why they want to make video taping cops illegal. It makes it so much easier to get away with abusing your authority if there is no evidence.

    Not that evidence really makes a difference apparantly.

    But I really would have thought even the law and order conservative crowd would be hyper-pissed off at a cop shooting an Iraq vet for obeying a command.

  • ||

    I don't think cops are all that poorly paid. I know a husband and wife who are both Cal State Highway Patrol officers. They each make about $70K per year. Seems like pretty good money to me.

  • mith||

    It's because the nature of police work requires officers to a) deal with very dangerous people on a regular basis and b) make snap decisions regarding the use of force, often based on limited information.



    Officers are also trained to only shoot if they mean to kill the person they are aiming at. (One point in this officer's defense - that's why he shot multiple times, not just once). They are only supposed to shoot if they are reasonably sure that they or someone else will be killed if they don't act.

    The man was lying down and slowly raising up, facing away from the officer. Even if he WAS reaching for a weapon, the officer wasn't in danger.

    (Having said that, here's a random tidbit - if a person has a knife and is 12 feet or less away from you and lunges, it is virtually impossible to draw a gun from a holster and fire before that person stabs you, even with your hand on the gun ahead of time.)

    As to police salaries - the amount they are paid varies widely by position and location, just as in any job. My dad retired after 25 years making 45k a year as a patrolman. Not sure if he was happy or sad when I got my first job out of college making more than that.

  • ||

    "Outside the San Bernardino County courtroom, jurors said they were swayed more by the volatile, dangerous situation the suspects created during the high-speed chase than by the video.

    "Police officers have to be given the right to make their decisions," said juror Richard Day, 43, of Highland. "If they make a bad decision in the line of duty, should we hold them responsible for that to the point that we incarcerate them for it? I don't think so."


    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-airman29jun29,1,1134828.story

  • ||

    "Outside the San Bernardino County courtroom, jurors said they were swayed more by the volatile, dangerous situation the suspects created during the high-speed chase than by the video."

    The high speed chase is a point that has been glossed over. I admit that I have not paid a great deal of attention to this case, so maybe the high speed chase was talked about a great deal and I just missed it. A high speed chase certainly jacks up the anxiety level for all concerned. Why was the guy who was shot fleeing?

  • ||

    "A high speed chase certainly jacks up the anxiety level for all concerned. Why was the guy who was shot fleeing?"

    He wasn't fleeing at the time he was shot. He was on his face at worst--he was on his knees at best.

    ...not that we're certain there was a "chase". How do you pull over a speeding car without chasing it down? ...and what's the difference anyway?

    Why does chasing him down make it okay to shoot him on his knees? ...Once the guy's on his knees, why is the speed of the car he was no longer in a contributing factor?

  • ||

    ""Outside the San Bernardino County courtroom, jurors said they were swayed more by the volatile, dangerous situation the suspects created during the high-speed chase than by the video."

    Take a deep breath and relax. I did not say it was OK to shoot the guy. A high speed chase certainly jacks up the adrenaline though and makes it more likley that a tragic event happens. I guess the jury decided the victim was sufficiently at fault to acquit the cop. I agree the cop used poor judgement, but the incident did not happen in a vacuum.

  • Scooby||

    Why was the guy who was shot fleeing?

    The guy who was shot was not fleeing- he was a passenger, not the driver.

  • ||

    "The guy who was shot was not fleeing- he was a passenger, not the driver."

    OK, why was the driver of the car fleeing. i.e. what was the context of the whole incident?

  • Gray Ghost||

    According to this L.A. Times story, the driver was intoxicated. Police officer hits the discos, driver in blue 'Vette decides to run, hits ~100MPH at times, loses 1 cop car, later loses control and hits wall.

    Bad behavior, definitely. And I wouldn't have minded if Officer Webb had ended the chase by ramming the Vette off the road, a la the Scott SCOTUS case. But once the chase was over and the two men weren't going anywhere, I don't see how deadly force was reasonable.

  • Scooby||

    "OK, why was the driver of the car fleeing. i.e. what was the context of the whole incident?"

    It's a red herring when discussing the matter of the justification of the shooting. I could see it as a mitigating factor when considering sentencing, but not as justification for the use of deadly force.

  • ||

    wayne--

    A high speed pursuit certainly jacks up the adrenaline. That's why I'd have convicted him of aggravated assault and not attempted murder. Just like the classic example of walking in on your wife with another man and killing her right then and there -- it's generally considered to be manslaughter and not murder, but you're not off the hook.

  • Russ 2000||

    That's why I'd have convicted him of aggravated assault and not attempted murder.

    Which could explain why they tried him for attempted murder - he's more likely to be found innocent of the extreme charge.

    (I thought this exact same topic came up in the case of the old lady vs. SWAT in Atlanta.)

  • davidstvz||

    Honestly, I have little sympathy for the fella who was shot. I have just a hair because he was merely the passenger. The fact remains that he and his buddy were both intoxicated, he willingly got in the car with his intoxicated buddy, and his buddy had just crashed said car after driving at speeds of 100 mph with a cop or two chasing. He also didn't have the good sense to shut up when the officer told him to. He was drunk in other words. Webb had to go in expecting, as this link suggests:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/crime/la-me-ivorywebb30may30,0,7580600.story

    ... that the perps were willing to risk their lives to evade capture. The incident may demonstrate that Webb isn't cut out for police work. I would support having him removed from police work if that hadn't been taken care of already, but other than losing/quitting his job, I don't really see a reason to charge him further. Sounds like the airman will recover in any case. That's good.

  • ||

    "It's because the nature of police work requires officers to a) deal with very dangerous people on a regular basis and b) make snap decisions regarding the use of force, often based on limited information."

    And I'm fine with firing them for the slightest fuck up if it involves someone getting shot or injured. As far as I'm concerned, if a cop makes a mistake and shoots someone, it only proves that he is incapable of making the correct snap judgment and isn't right for the job.

  • ||

    Webb had to go in expecting, as this link suggests . . . that the perps were willing to risk their lives to evade capture.

    Except, of course, that Webb wasn't a perp, but merely a passenger in the perp's car.

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