Police Abuse

Man to Sue Police After Being Shot While Walking Home Holding His Shorts

Underwear mistaken for a gun, according to authorities

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gun?
lyst.com

It's a strange case, but James Weyant says he wasn't disruptive or intoxicated, though he had taken his ill-fitting shorts off to smoke a cigarette, when a police officer shot him in an alley on his way home, according to a federal lawsuit he's filing over the April incident in Altoona, Pennsylvania. He insists he was properly covered, when, via the Altoona Mirror:

Police Officer Mark Sprouse drove into the alley. Weyant said he changed directions to avoid the car, not initially recognizing it as a police cruiser.

The cruiser came to a stop next to him, and Sprouse got out of the cruiser with his gun drawn.

Weyant alleged that the officer gave no commands and that no words were exchanged. The officer then fired his gun, the bullet hitting Weyant in the right armpit and shoulder area.

The officer, it is charged in the lawsuit, threw Weyant against a fence and handcuffed him, then would not let him sit down even though he began to "bleed profusely."

Authorities, however, cleared Sprouse:

Blair County District Attorney Richard A. Consiglio said in June that Sprouse was investigating the "suspicious actions of a civilian in a dark alley" when the officer was confronted by a man holding black underwear that appeared at the time to be a weapon.

The review of the case by the district attorney was followed by a similar review by Altoona Police Department Shooting Review Board, Freehling said. The board included representatives of the police department and the Fraternal Order of Police and found Sprouse had followed departmental polices [sic] and procedures.

You can add black underwear to the list of things cops might mistake for a gun. Weyant's attorney say they are suing for violations of his Fourth Amendment rights

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  1. It was the “furtive movement” done him in…

    And I think we allll know how much underwear can look like a gun in poorly lit areas.

    pew, pew pew pew, pew pew!

    1. “suspicious actions of a civilian in a dark alley”

      If I were military I’d be really pissed off at cops calling other people civilians as if they weren’t also part of that group.

      1. Ive shall repeat myself:

        Using the term “civilian” in this manner should be an automatic firing offense for members of the police force.

        1. If by “firing” you really mean “paid vacation”, then I agree.

          /Dunphy

        2. It would be an automatic firing offense, but Altoona, PA is evidently under military occupation and martial law.

          1. Im from the area, and until this, I was proud that my area actually prosecuted cops.

            http://www.altoonamirror.com/p…..ml?nav=742

    2. So he had a boner and it looked like he was packing???

  2. At least he wasn’t holding a doorbell!

    http://www.theonion.com/articl…..ngsta,739/

    1. The officers responded by opening fire on his strategic top-of-the-stairs position from point-blank range, discharging their standard-issue 9mm handguns 245 times and striking him with approximately 175 teflon-coated hollow-point slugs.

      No way they have that many on target shots at that range.

  3. Blair County District Attorney Richard A. Consiglio said in June that Sprouse was investigating the “suspicious actions of a civilian in a dark alley” when the officer was confronted by a man holding black underwear that appeared at the time to be a weapon.

    What kind of pathetic panic-stricken coward do you have to be to think a pair of underwear is a weapon?

    1. Depending on how he was holding them, I could see a pair of rolled up black shorts looking like a stun gun. Too bulky to be a phone, but, again, depending on how he was holding them it might look like a weapon. That wouldn’t excuse someone for just shooting his ass, of course.

      1. That wouldn’t excuse someone for just shooting his ass, of course.

        Exactly. Too often people stop at “well he had a gun” or “well he had something that looks like a gun”.

        It just so happens that guns are legal in this country and just holding one doesn’t mean the cops (or anybody) have the right to shoot you. Hell, even if guns weren’t legal it still wouldn’t mean that.

    2. But it’s a WAR OUT THERE!!!!!11!!!!

    3. Everything I’ve read about cop shootings has made it obvious that cops go into the field because they want to be seen as brave to make up for the heightened cowardliness.

  4. The board included representatives of the police department and the Fraternal Order of Police and found Sprouse had followed departmental polices [sic] and procedures.

    Cops and cop-suckers see nothing wrong with cop shooting man holding shorts.

    Procedures were followed, totality of the circumstances, force continuums, bigorati, bigorati, bigorati.

    1. Going from 0-to-shooting without any words being exchanged seems pretty close to a force delta function.

  5. Take your fancy clothes and your black silk underwear and go back to Disneyland.

  6. If you are carrying objects in your hand, you are suspiciously not sheepish enough to be trusted by your government.

  7. Some coppers must be constantly on the verge of wetting themselves. Honestly, shooting at someone simply because you’re afraid of what they might do is pretty much the exact opposite of heroism.

  8. oh those trigger happy rookies of the year. bet if it was a woman w/her bra in hand this would never have happened.

    1. nah she would have been shot and raped and the cop would have said it wwas some perp that got away -_-

  9. Jesus H. Christ.

    Need to have a white flag surgically implanted onto my skull to negate the chance I might ever be walking around with something in my hand.

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