Police Abuse

Lawsuit Over Fatal Police Shooting of Marine in California Delayed Again, DA Still Deciding Whether to Charge Another Marine


Allan DeVillena

More than two years after their son Allan, an active duty Marine, was shot to death by police in Palm Springs, California, the DeVillena family is still waiting for their wrongful death lawsuit to be taken to trial. It was postponed again, from April to September, because while prosecutors decided in October not to file charges against the two officers who shot and killed DeVillena, they say they're still not sure whether they're going to charge Clinton Harris, another Marine who witnessed the fatal shooting, more than two years after the incident for which he'd be presumably charged.

The Desert Sun reports:

[The] shooting occurred in the early morning hours of Nov. 11, 2012, the birthday of the Marine Corps. DeVillena and Harris, both stationed at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, had driven to Palm Springs the previous evening to enjoy the downtown nightlife.

About 2 a.m., a drunken DeVillena was shot during a confrontation with two officers on bicycle patrol, Chad Nordman and Mike Heron. The officers shot DeVillena six times as he attempted to drive out of the downtown parking garage in a Chrysler sedan. Harris, who was in the passenger seat, was unhurt.

According to Palm Springs police, the officers were trying to stop DeVillena from driving drunk, but he ignored their commands and tried to drive away. As the sedan attempted to leave the bottom floor of the garage, Nordman jumped through the passenger side window of the vehicle, sprawling across Harris' lap, in an effort to stop the car. Police say that DeVillena then accelerated the car at the other officer, striking Heron in the leg, prompting both police officers to fire their weapons.

The sedan crashed into a wall in the garage. DeVillena died in the driver's seat. At some point, the officers cuffed his hands behind his back.

The Desert Sun talked to eyewitnesses who presented a different account of events, one where DeVillena did not strike or try to run over either officer, and was actually driving away when fatally shot.

The cops who shot and killed DeVillena have not yet been officially identified. While the California Supreme Court ruled earlier that police agencies couldn't withhold the names of cops who fire their weapons on duty without a reason the Palm Springs police department refuses to release the names of the officers to The Desert Sun. In fact, the local police union sued Palm Springs and The Desert Sun to prevent them from identifying the officers.

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  1. So assuming that the cops’ account is 100% accurate, they escalated a risky but not dangerous situation into a dangerous physical confrontation that ended with them gunning down an unarmed man who was strapped into a car. Does that about cover it?

    1. Anybody who DISRESPECTS their AUTHORITEH is dangerous to the public and especially the CHILLUNZ and therefore must be put down like the devil dog they are.

  2. The cops who shot and killed DeVillena have not yet been identified

    About 2 a.m., a drunken DeVillena was shot during a confrontation with two officers on bicycle patrol, Chad Nordman and Mike Heron

    I’m confused.

    But regardless, I guess the pigs think it’s perfectly ok to 1) dive through windows and 2) shoot someone to death for potentially drunk driving, instead of just calling in some patrol cars to pull him over.

    Or they just hate it if you don’t follow their orders to the letter. Nah, it couldn’t be that.

    1. Yea, jumping through the window was a great idea. Both officers opening fire was even better. I guess Heron wasn’t too worried about hitting his partner. They probably would have charged the passenger with it if he had.

      I think a lot of cops have watched way too much “Starsky and Hutch”. Or maybe they are using it as their training videos. We had one in Austin commandeer a private vehicle, chase down an unarmed “suspect”, shot him in the back of the head under a bridge, the aristocrats. The amazing part is, he goes on trial in the next few months. So, indictments do happen.

      1. I think they are considering charging the passenger unless I read the article wrong

  3. Palm Springs police have had some decent reform in the last decade, but obviously not enough.

    They are usually pretty good at dealing with drunken Marines.

    One proposal was putting a 29 Palms Brig in the Palm Springs jail, so that the Marines could just sleep it off until they were picked up by a commanding officer. The Desert Sun has a whole series about the issue.

  4. *Sighs deeply*

    That last paragraph is enraging.

    I’m also really glad I don’t live in Palm Springs.

  5. LOfuckingL.

    No civilization would tolerate what America has done

    Institutional racism. Rampant income inequality. A broken justice system. America may never be a great society

    We’re probably the most benevolent superpower in the history of the planet, but an Alternet writer wants to throw a hissy fit so that basic fact is irrelevant.

    Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman wrote the classic Manufacturing Consent, about the manipulative and exploitative relationship corporate media has with the American public. What if the consent is not manufactured? What if, as historian Morris Berman contends, the plutocratic theft of American lives and treasure is not actually a robbery, but a transaction?

    It’s like this guy wrote a paragraph designed to make me hate everything he is, everything he was, and everything he will ever be.

    There is no question that the criminal justice system is racist, and that the American political system is vicious. Black people have always suffered the worst beating and battering in America, because the mental disease of racism is too viral to quickly heal. African Americans were three-fifths human during slavery, and it seems that in 2014, with a biracial man in the White House, they are four-fifths human.

    I wish I could make a masturbating hand gesture over the internet.

    1. I love when people bring up the three fifths thing as if considering them whole people for census purposes wouldn’t have given slave states even more power.

      1. I know. It’s the free states that wanted them to be worth nothing for census purposes so that the slave states wouldn’t be empowered by the people they held in bondage.

        That would require some degree of historical knowledge though, and if you had historical knowledge you wouldn’t write for alternet.

      2. They don’t know it was a compromise to reduce slave state power, dude. Or that it was about the census and nothing else.

        You have to realize the profound ignorance of mongoloids like this guy. They don’t know anything that hasn’t come from an approved gatekeeper. Anything.

        1. Pictured: The author

          I have nothing more to say.

          1. Dude, it’s that a Member’s Only jacket?

              1. How could I never have seen that before?

              2. Ha! I had one of those.

          2. Spot on HM, if i would ever want to fuck somebody up this twit fits the bill.

            The dude is inherently stupid and since I have no desire to suppress even the stupid it’s just an aside.

            Restraint is tough when you see this level of stupid.

      3. Perhaps I am being too fair to them, but I always imagined they were getting at how sad it was that the liberty praising Founders were having that debate and coming to that compromise.

        1. You’re being too fair to them. His exact quote is that the three-fifths compromise was evil because it meant black people were only three-fifths people. However, the people who wanted to make black people count for the least during census taking were actually those who were most opposed to slavery because they didn’t want slave states to have more power in the House due to their massive slave populations.

          The way he frames it makes it seem that it would have been better if black people had counted as full people for census taking, but if that had been the case it would have actually empowered slave holders by giving them more power in Washington.

          So yes, you’re being too fair. The people who behave as if the three-fifths compromise is evil usually don’t understand it and are just looking for a buzzword.

          1. Also, I realized I’m playing into his logic. ‘Black people’ weren’t even counted as 3/5ths, it was only slaves. A free black person was counted equally to a white person.

            This makes their logic even more idiotic since the 3/5ths compromise only pertained to people currently being held as property, not to black people generally.

            1. This is mostly irrelevant, but were black people counted? I suppose it varied by state, but I thought that they weren’t necessarily considered citizens.

              1. I believe in some states African Americans were allowed to vote, while in others they weren’t. However, free blacks were counted as part of the census for determining House representation.

                It would make no sense to count slaves as 3/5ths of a census person and count free blacks as 0.

                1. It would make sense to slave states where free blacks can’t vote. I think you are probably right, though.

          2. I guess. I always thought it was chosen for rhetorical power to demonstrate in a very concrete, mathematical way how blacks were not seen as ‘fully human.’ Yes, it was those opposing slavery that were pushing for a less than full number, but I think it’s supposed to be the debate itself they’re trying to draw attention to.

            I guess if they wanted a more straightforward example they should point to the Fugitive Slave Clause.

            1. In other words, it’s “truthy”

              1. It reminds me of the other day when someone here made the common joke about ’emanations and penumbras’ in criticizing judicial decisions aggrandizing government power. Of course that phrase technically was first used in a case striking down a government prohibition of the sale of contraceptives among adults, not in one like Wickard. But I think everyone gets the gist, it’s supposed to be a send up of the kind of judicial activism which, in many other cases, did seem to play very loose with constitutional language and leading to increases in federal powers.

                1. I got a letter from the government the other day. Opened and read it, it said they were suckers, they wanted me for their army or whatever. Picture me givin’ a damn, I said, never. I got a letter, I got a letter, I got a letter. Picture me givin’ a damn, I said, never.
                  Mmm, mmm, mmm
                  It occurred to me, the suckers had authority.

                  Read more: Tricky – Black Steel Lyrics | MetroLyrics

            2. Yes, it was those opposing slavery that were pushing for a less than full number, but I think it’s supposed to be the debate itself they’re trying to draw attention to.

              No it’s not. That’s what you’re trying to draw attention to. You have a habit of making way more rational arguments than the person actually under discussion, and then saying that the person we’re talking about probably meant the more reasonable argument that you’re making. Except it’s not true. Your argument would be reasonable, but that’s not what he’s saying.

              He’s saying that the lower the number was in the compromise the more evil and dehumanizing it would be. By his logic, if it had been 2/5ths rather than 3/5ths, it actually would have been worse because it would have shown that they viewed blacks as 1/5th less human.

              This is the inversion of the truth though, since the less racist, less anti-black people were the ones actually fighting for a lower number.

              Unlike your argument, which is reasonable, he’s making an argument which is literally the opposite of the facts.

              1. Facts are racist tools of the patriarchical hegemony.

        2. I think you are being far too charitable. From the way they say it, it seems to me that they really are upset that being counted as 3/5 is the upsetting part, not the compromise. But anyone who knows even a little US history knows that the compromise was the only way to have a country at all. The alternative would be to split up immediately or fight the civil war right then, in which case we’d just be South Canada or Mexico or something, depending where you live, and slavery probably wouldn’t ahve ended any sooner. But I guess maybe that’s what they wish had happened.

          1. You don’t think it’s worth noting that in order to get half the country to go along there had to be this debate among the liberty spouting Founders about how to count their human slaves? Sorry, but I think that’s worth noting myself.

            1. That’s not what they’re pointing out though, Bo. You’re making a far more subtle argument than the gibbering idiocy of this moron. Here’s his actual comment:

              African Americans were three-fifths human during slavery, and it seems that in 2014, with a biracial man in the White House, they are four-fifths human.

              First of all, he’s ignoring the fact that the three-fifths compromise was related to census taking, not to measuring humanity. I imagine slave owners, horribly enough, saw black people as less than three-fifths human, so this was obviously not an attempt to quantify how human a person was.

              His argument is also fucktarded because he moves the goalposts midsentence. Black people today have an equal right to vote and are counted equally in the census. Therefore, as far as the amended Constitution is concerned, they are full, equal citizens. However, the writer still argues that they’re only ‘four-fifths human.’ You can argue this is just a poorly educated rube’s idea of a rhetorical flourish or a turn of phrase, but he’s conflating a host of different things with no sign that he understands the difference.

              1. I think you’re discounting rhetorical power of something like the 3/5th clause. It’s supposed to be a concrete indicator of the opinion that blacks were not fully human to enough of our Founders that this debate and codification happened. His comment about ‘4/5ths human’ is a play on this idea meaning ‘we might have improved some, but we are not place where they are treated equally.’ Pointing out the context behind the 3/5ths phrase doesn’t negate that rhetorical power just as pointing out de jure legal equality doesn’t negate what he’s getting at with the 4/5ths rhetoric, which is more a ‘de facto’ kind of argument.

                I won’t defend him anymore than that given I think his points otherwise are pretty foolish.

                1. Bo, perhaps you would change your handle to Brick Wall Esq?

                  The 3/5ths was not about “fully human” or not. Had slaves — property under the law — been apportioned as such they would have counted as ZERO-fucking-fifths, just like horses and cattle. The slave-holding fucks didn’t want THAT because that would’ve reduced their over-representation in Congress. This dipshit, and yourself, are inverting the logic via misappropriation of the SLAVE-HOLDER position.

                  1. Yes, I get that, and I suspect the writer gets it too.

                    Let me use an analogy. A lot of feminists will note that at one time the common law recognized the right of a husband to beat his wife for disobedience with a stick no thicker than his thumb. Now, I guess if you wanted when someone mentioned that you could point out the context that (iirc) this rule was intended to help protect women, to limit the tools used in their chastisement to thinner implements. But is that really supposed to negate the intended overall rhetorical point of the example that our legal system allowed the beating of wives by husbands? That seems pedantic at best. Likewise, yes, yes, I get that the people pushing for the lower fraction were the ones opposed to slavery. But that doesn’t negate the overall fact anyone who is quoting that is trying to make: that our supposedly liberty focused Founding had to have a debate about how to count their slaves.

                    1. I suspect the writer gets it too

                      Assumes facts not in evidence.

    2. Whenever you see hyperbole like this, it’s an immediate and total indicator that you are dealing with someone who knows virtually nothing about history or probably anything else. It’s actually very useful and allows you to flag the retards right away.

    3. Irish, keep in mind that if the SJWs who complain that our society is brutal and oppressive were given unchecked power the gulags, firing squads and the ovens would would appear overnight. There would be rivers of blood and oceans of tears.

      1. Remind me, how many of these people were freaking out when Vicki Weaver got shot in the head by a sniper while holding her baby?

        If the right people get slaughtered by the state they don’t particularly care.

        1. Particularly care? If it’s the “right people”, they usually cheer. Ever seen left wing reactions to Waco?

          1. “Ever seen left wing reactions to Waco?”

            No, what were they?

            1. “Janet Reno, the ATF, and FBI were heroes and those ChristFags got what they deserved”

              Another commonly held prog sentiment from the first half of the 90s was “Rush Limbaugh isn’t a journalist and doesn’t even have a college degree so why is he allowed to talk about politics on the radio?”

              1. “those ChristFags got what they deserved”

                Someone said that? A lot of those people that ‘got what they deserved’ were children. Monsterous.

                1. There would generally be no acknowledgement children were present and when it was pointed out they’d follow the FBI/DoJ line that Koresh and/or the parents were wholly responsible and the Branch Davidians started the fire.

                  1. “the parents were wholly responsible and the Branch Davidians started the fire.”

                    Because when they were not being besieged the parents just regularly started fires in their homes. Sheesh.

        2. I am not aware of any freaking out, many who buried their heads in sand, and about an equal number who reacted gleefully.

          They are scum of the earth.

    4. “Black people have always suffered the worst beating and battering in America, because the mental disease of racism is too viral to quickly heal. ”

      I guess it doesn’t occur to him that it might have something to do with the idea that whenever a government exercises its coercive power more powerless groups are going to often, if not usually, get the worst of it.

      1. Can’t be that, govt is just what we all do together, right?

        No, that thought will only occur to him if he happens to get it beaten into his skull by agents of the state.

    5. The really ridiculous thing about this sort of thing is that people think that the US is somehow uniquely evil. A lot of their criticisms and complaints are at least in part valid. As people point out here every day in no uncertain terms, there is a lot wrong with the US. But much of the rest of the world and the rest of history is far worse. If you want to call the US imperialist, fine, but we are by far the most benevolent and gentle empire the world has ever seen.

    6. I am not normally a gif sort of guy, but this seems appropriate.

  6. In fact, the local police union sued Palm Springs and The Desert Sun to prevent them from identifying the officers.

    How does that work? They should have published it anyway. How does that hold up to first amendment scrutiny? How does prior restraint work?

    Also, as Episiarch also noticed, why are their names published here? Or are they not the ones who shot?

  7. Booyah! Unions.

  8. they say they’re still not sure whether they’re going to charge Clinton Harris, another Marine who witnessed the fatal shooting, more than two years after the incident for which he’d be presumably charged

    For what? Being a passenger in a car? Not averting his eyes when the cops gunned someone down so that he couldn’t be a witness?

    Sometimes I can’t figure out who is systematically worse, the cops, or the prosecutors.

    1. In my mind, it’s the prosecutors.

    2. It’s neither. It’s judges. If judges actually stopped giving cops and prosecutors a pass for misconduct, there might be you know an incentive to follow the law or something. As it stands there’s absolutely no downside for cops or prosecutors to do anything they damn well please.

  9. “DA Still Deciding Whether to Charge Another Marine”

    DA still coercing and threatening witnesses of police crime.

  10. According to federal court documents, authorities believe that DeVillena or Harris may have stolen from an unconscious man who was passed out drunk on the sidewalk outside The Village Pub, shortly before the police shooting took place.

    Or, according to SOP, authorities are looking at some way to punish the passenger for avoiding a bullet and testifying against wildly aggressive police.

  11. Drunk drivers are an unjust threat to life and limb.

    1. Because summary execution is the best way to deal with potentially bad drivers.

      1. It worked for Charles Whitman.

  12. Just before I looked at the check that said $4396 , I accept …that…my brother woz like they say actualie making money parttime from there pretty old laptop. . there best friend started doing this for under 11 months and by now cleard the mortgage on there villa and got a great new Cadillac .
    learn the facts here now —— http://www.jobsfish.com

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