Police Abuse

Town of 91,000 Suffers Fifth Shooting by Police of the Year


shot by cops

Police officers in Yakima, Washington, a town of 91,000, have shot at suspects five times this year, three fatally. Police say the latest victim, 24-year-old Rolando Villanueva, told a relative four years ago he wanted to commit "suicide by cop." He spent 90 days in jail after that incident, on one count of felony harassment (for threatening to kill someone).

This time police say Villanueva used his car to ram into police vehicles after a chase started because Villanueva was allegedly driving erratically. Police say dashboard video supports their story but they won't release it. Police cited privacy concerns, but then, via the Yakima Herald:

A city attorney later clarified that statement, saying the video was part of an ongoing investigation and therefore isn't yet subject to release under the state's Public Records Act. As with previous cases, the video should be released when police conclude their investigation.

Of the two other people fatally shot by Yakima cops this year, one was in a stand-off and the other pointed a toy gun at a cop.

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  1. Related – town to change name to Yakillinme…

    1. Oh, that’s very good; and just two minutes after the story posted.

  2. Or

    Town of 91,000 Suffers Fifth Police Shooting of 2014

    1. I like “shooting by police”. Leaves no ambiguity about who was holding the gun. Either is much better than “police involved shooting” which police and police-friendly media seem to prefer.

      1. My argument was with “shooting by police of the year” which implied the police were shooting the year or it was the “Police of Year” (i.e. award winners) which were doing the shooting.

        1. Oh, po-lease!

          1. Too pedantic?

    2. Fifth Police Shooting This Year in Town of 91,000.

      1. So, does that mean the Fifth policeman was going to be shooting this year in that town? Do you have to buy tickets?

  3. Must be the hops…

  4. Sounds like some folks need to settle down out there.

  5. “Of the two other people fatally shot by Yakima cops this year, one was in a stand-off

    Needs more specifics. Mexican? Corsican? Manchurian? Its not like there aren’t at least a dozen kinds of ‘stand-off’. What kind of music was played, and was it at high-noon?

  6. Not saying the cops were right, but my impression of Yakima is that it’s a pretty rough town. I’m sort of surprised there’s only been five police shootings so far; that seems kind of quiet.

  7. Rams police cars after a chase, standoff, points toy gun at cops…

    These all sound like “good shoots”. Just because there are a lot of bad cops and bad institutional policies and procedures out there doesn’t make these five shooting incidents in Yakima unjustified or otherwise wrong. I cop-hate with the best of ’em but please focus on the multitude of real instances of abuse. Without contrary specifics this could well be good police work in a tough town.

    1. The dash came being conveniently unavailable in this case makes me doubt the cops story

      1. Sounds like a job for a genuine journalist. You know, start asking around for additional evidence, like damage to police vehicles.

        I brain hazed over the “cited privacy concerns” bit when reading the article on the first go through. That bit does raise a red flag.

      2. The dash came being conveniently unavailable in this case makes me doubt the cops story

        According to the linked story they have the video, claim it backs up the officers account and intend to release it as required by law at the conclusion of the investigation. It isn’t like they lost it or are insisting it is “inconclusive” Who knows? But the story sounds much tighter than even a “questionable” shooting. If no shots were fired until the second reported ramming of police cars they showed more than the usual restraint. The suspect wasn’t riddled with gunfire either. His 2010 attempt at “suicide-by-cop” is well documented too.

        1. I do find it strange that they say they cannot release the video because of an ongoing investigation, when police departments routinely release video to local news outlets under similar circumstances (during an ongoing investigation) when that investigation does not include a shooting by the police.

          Drunk guy runs wild and resists arrest? Dashcam video on the 11pm news. Crazy chick swings at officer citing her for running a red light? Dashcam video on the 6pm news with live standup with police chief.

          Idiot gets shot running from police? Nope… can’t release it.

  8. I dont think Sammy De Meemo is going to like that.


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