Police Abuse

Officer who Shot Toy Rifle-Holding Teen Had Pulled Gun During Traffic Stop a Few Months Ago


Sometimes reckless officer behavior that doesn't kill someone can be a sign, as reported in the UK Daily Mail:

A driver has come forward saying the deputy who shot dead a 13-year-old California boy after mistaking his fake AK-47 as real pulled a gun on him also, after he failed to signal a lane change during a carpool. 

Jeff Westbrook, 57, of Santa Rosa said he was mistreated by Deputy Erick Gelhaus after being pulled over Aug. 21 in Cotati, so much so that at one point he asked Gelhaus: 'Sir, is there something wrong with you?'

'I felt like I was watching somebody I needed to help,' Mr Westbrook, a program manager at an information technology company, told CBS of Gelhaus.

'This was not right. He did not manage this correctly.'

Gelhaus shot Andy Lopez seven times at a Santa Rosa parking after recieving reports of a suspicious and believing his toy machine gun was real.

Mr Westbrook was pulled over by Gelhaus for not using his indicator.

He said he pulled into a shoulder, but offered to move the car forward because there was not much room next to the driver door for Gelhaus.

When the car started moving, Gelhaus is alleged to have drawn his gun.

'It was about a foot from by face,' Westbrook said.

'I've never had a gun pointed at me before.'

Reason on the shooting of Andy Lopez.

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  1. Why was this picked up in a UK paper and not a local or national paper?

    1. U.S. cops don’t have the capability to shoot you with relative impunity in England… they do here in the land of the free.

    2. Murrican newspapers aren’t interested in police brutality. If you don’t like the cops, you’re like a teafucker or something. Why do you hate healthcare for the poor?

      1. It gets better than that. From a Radley Balko Facebook/Twitter post over the weekend, if you don’t like the cops, it’s because you hate women and minorities, because law enforcement allows them opportunities. Or something like that.

    3. That link up there that looks kinda like this CBS also links to a local paper.

      But yeah, this should be an AP story in every local paper. It’s not. Nor will it be. Editors have a narrative to maintain, and this doesn’t further it.

      1. Not so much a narrative as much as they want to keep access – they are as bad as the White House Lackey, er, Press Corps. But they depend on the local cops, and prosecutors for their story material…

  2. So a mentally unstable bully with a badge and a gun had a history of abusive behavior and poor impulse control? What a shocker.

  3. hat tip to ‘ol sarcy?

    Haaaaaaaa ha ha ha ha! I’ll be here all week. Don’t forget to tip the waitress.

  4. Wait, so a position of authority with no accountability is being populated by violent sociopaths? Who could have foreseen this?!?

    1. Well politicians have been doing it for 2000+ years, why can’t cops get in on it?

    2. Who could have foreseen this?!?

      The people removing the accountability?

    3. Today is the day you may need to block a troll in order to go home, Episiarch. If you cannot turn on the ‘mean gene’ for yourself, who will? If you find yourself faced by shriek gibberings, tulpa’s peevish demands for attention, or in the kill zone of cytotoxic’s jihadist ravings, you need to turn on that mean gene.

      Do you have what it takes, Episiarch?

      1. I…I have a bag of weed, a bottle of Crater Lake gin, and 3 terabytes of porn. Does that cut it? Because I really hope it does.

        1. I visited Crater Lake a half dozen times in my childhood. Someone named a gin after the place? That’s pretty cool. Not that I’ll ever try it anytime soon. The state run liquor cartel doesn’t take kindly to adding new stuff to the shelf.

          1. You should try it of you get the opportunity. It’s quite good.

            1. You can really taste the caldera.

            2. Is it sweet or dry?

              1. Is it sweet or dry?

                It’s a collapsed volcanic cone, you moron!

              2. It’s not sweet. It has a ton of flavor, and is actually sort of harsh (I like to feel my alcohol when I drink it). Lots of juniper and other flavors. If you’re a Hendricks gin type of guy, you probably won’t like it. It’s not “smooth” in any sense. It’s strong.

  5. Only our valiant second responders can be trusted with firearms.

  6. If I remember reading correctly, the guy is a firearms instructor. I believe he was in the habit of telling students that if they hesitated to use their weapon, they might not get to go home at night. I’ll have to look that up to find a link.

    1. But in a 2008 article for monthly policing and gun rights magazine, S.W.A.T., he gave other officers advice on what to do if the possibility arises.

      ‘Today is the day you may need to kill someone in order to go home,’ he wrote. ‘If you cannot turn on the ‘mean gene’ for yourself, who will? If you find yourself in an ambush, in the kill zone, you need to turn on that mean gene.’

      There it was, right in the Daily Fail article. The “mean gene” is often confused with the coward gene.

  7. Someone told me that they heard somewhere that Deputy Erick Gelhaus fucks male sheep in their sheep asshole. Anyone else hear heard that?

    1. hear / heard

  8. Another salvo in the War on Cops.

  9. The “mean gene” is often confused with the coward gene.

    Panic fire will save your life, some day.

  10. You know what is going to happen to this pig? Nothing. He’ll probably be employed somewhere else in another year terrorizing (like real terror terrorizing) or out right murdering people.

  11. The ever-informative PoliceOne.com has an interesting comment on the shooting:


    The phrase “totality of circumstances” shows up right away.

    Here’s the author’s take on a policeman pumping 6 rounds into a kid holding a pretend gun:

    “The fight was over in seconds.”

    They think that was a fight.

    And, yes, this obligatory mantra.

    “As most PoliceOne Members would agree, I’m very glad that both deputies were unhurt and went home safe to their families.”

    I’d like to know how the deputies might have gotten hurt in that situation or been prevented from going home to their families.

    Maybe the risk is that friends and relatives of the dead kid might have strung the trigger happy bastard up from a convenient tree branch and practiced marksmanship by shooting the buttons off his uniform.

  12. Why is the false information of the “toy gun” being repeated over and over? Look at the picture; that’s no toy, it is a replica gun. Toy guns are required to have bright orange extensions at the tip of the barrel. If you had to make a split-second life or death decision based on that photo, what would you do if the suspect did not comply with your orders to put the weapon down?

    1. Did the officer in fact have only a split second to decide whether to shoot or not? He certainly made the life or death decision irreversibly in favor of death.

      And what is this business of policeone.com referring to the shooting as a “fight?” Do our uniformed officers of the law really define this incident as a fight?

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