Police Abuse

Grand Jury Declines to Indict Cop Who Shot and Killed Man Through Her Car Window

In a "very fair and thorough process," according to the county attorney.

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via Photography Is Not a Crime

In June, Ryan Bollinger allegedly jumped out of his car in Des Moines, Iowa, while police were stopping someone else, danced erratically, then got back into his car and drove to another cop car. There, authorities allege he advanced at the police vehicle, which was when Officer Vanessa Miller fired at him once through her window, killing him. 

Now, a grand jury has cleared Miller of any wrongdoing. The Des Moines Register reports

Polk County Attorney John Sarcone told the Register Wednesday that the seven-member jury decided not to indict Officer Vanessa Miller for shooting 28-year-old Ryan Keith Bolinger on June 9. 

"After reviewing every piece of available evidence, they decided not to indict," Sarcone said. "The grand jury process is a very fair and thorough process." 

Last week, activists affiliated with Black Lives Matter released a set of policy goals, dubbed "Campaign Zero," to limit police killings and excessive use of force. A number of the proposals would be helpful in the case of Bollinger—among them independent prosecutors for such cases, de-escalation policies, and tighter discipline of officers who use excessive or fatal force. 

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  1. First, First, FIRST AT LAST!

    1. And this is what you did with it?

      1. A notable commentarian once told me to never doubt my firsties instincts.

      2. Let me analogize: Sometimes a guy is so excited that a gal has consented that the show is over before he takes his pants off.

        1. But enough about Vester Flanagan….

        2. Which means you have not done anything…to be proud of, anyway.

  2. At first glance, I don’t think BLM is interested in this case.

    1. Every time someone writes “BLM”, I spend fifteen seconds staring at it, wondering what in blazes the Bureau of Land Management has to do with any of this.

      1. Me too. Also took me a long time to realize “SJW” here wasn’t single Jewish woman.

        1. Based on most of the social justice warriors and many of the single Jewish women I’ve encountered, the two terms can be considered somewhat interchangeable.

    2. To paraphrase Orwell, some lives are more important than others.

  3. Last week, activists affiliated with Black Lives Matter released a set of policy goals, dubbed “Campaign Zero,” to limit police killings and excessive use of force. A number of the proposals would be helpful in the case of Bollinger?among them independent prosecutors for such cases, de-escalation policies, and tighter discipline of officers who use excessive or fatal force.

    I don’t see how it would have been helpful, Bollinger’s life doesn’t matter or something.

  4. “After reviewing every piece of available evidence, they decided not to indict,” Sarcone said.

    Every piece of evidence being police testimony.

    1. “After reviewing every piece of available evidence, they decided not to indict,” Sarcone said. “The grand jury process is a very fair and thorough process.”

      That’s a load of crap and Sarcone knows it. Grand juries are not there to look at ‘every piece of available evidence’, that’s what the petit jury is for. The grand jury simply looks at what evidence the prosecutor has to indicate he has enough evidence to present the case to a petit jury at trial. Of course, the prosecutor can throw the case by presenting the defendants case to the grand jury as if they were a petit jury, but that would be unfair and therefore no prosecutor anywhere at any time has ever allowed the defense’s case to be heard by a grand jury. Except when the defendant is a cop and then strangely the prosecutor decides it’s important that the grand jury hear the defendants side of the story. You think a cop getting a warrant ever presents any evidence he has to indicate the suspect he wants the warrant for is innocent? No prosecutor ever presents evidence to indicate the accused is innocent, that’s the defense attorney’s job, not his.

      1. Which reminds me – reading the paper: “Police say they have arrested Tyrone Johnson, 26, in connection wth the August 6th robbery of the Springfield Quicky-Mart. According to a police spokesman, Johnson, arrested near his home at 123 Fake Street, is a suspect in several other recent robberies. He is currently being held wthout bond at the city jail and awaiting a Monday morning appearance before Judge Friendly.” Just once, I want to see “Tyrone Johnson, 26, is currently being held without bond in the city jail. When we spoke to Mr. Johnson, he stated he was arrested near his home at 123 Fake Street for “no good reason” and “probably for some bullshit I didn’t have nothing to do with”. He also stated that he was treated roughly by the arresting officers and referred to repeatedly in a racist and demeaning manner.” Why can’t the “police report” just once be the “prisoner report”? Why do we never hear the other side of the story from our our fair and unbiased and truthful and accurate press? NEVER!

  5. Last week, activists affiliated with Black Lives Matter released a set of policy goals, dubbed “Campaign Zero,” to limit police killings and excessive use of force. A number of the proposals would be helpful in the case of Bollinger?among them independent prosecutors for such cases, de-escalation policies, and tighter discipline of officers who use excessive or fatal force.

    The only thing I’d add is we need some kind of Citizen’s Bill of Rights to protect us from government overreach.

    1. “The only thing I’d add is we need some kind of Citizen’s Bill of Rights to protect us from government overreach.”

      They don’t give a shit about the first bill of rights. What make you think another piece of paper is going to stop them from violating rights this time?

      1. Whoooosh! It was the same piece of paper, with an undercoat of sarcasm.

        1. Me, too. I thought we already had one. And some kind of Contract with America.

  6. For her to have to fire through her windshield to shoot him, that meant…there was a car engine and windshield between her and a man “advancing” on her. How was he possibly an imminent threat? It’s practically like shooting someone on the other side of a wall. She’s in a car, surrounded by metal and glass. There is time to assess the situation.

    Not if you’re a pants-shitting coward who has been given carte blanche to shoot first and ask questions later, I guess.

    1. I haven’t read the full account… I presume it was fully established he was unarmed?

      1. I just read the account and it was confirmed he was unarmed.

      2. He was probably on PCP. Broke every bone in his hand and wouldn’t feel it for hours. There was this guy once, you see this scar?

        1. …hyperalloy combat chassis ….VERY tough.

        2. Actually I broke my hand and it didn’t hurt (badly) for 12-14 hours. No PCP involved. In fact, that probably would have been helpful. The doctor only gave me some kind of headache pill.

    2. I had to read the article three times to make sure it said “through her windshield.”

      So much for the “ham sandwich” theory of indictments. I mean, how could a person on that grand jury not vote for at least indicting her. There is prima facie evidence that she committed a crime by shooting him. At least take it to trial. What possible mitigating evidence could she have demonstrated that would warrant not indicting her?

      Sometimes I think as a country, we deserve the shit we get if the citizens can allow this nonsense to get by.

      1. A police officer could walk up behind somebody in broad daylight and shoot somebody in the head. The shooting could be covered from 8 different camera angles, all showing that the victim wasn’t armed and made no motions towards the cop. Yet the cop would stand an incredibly good chance of (1) not being indicted and an even better chance of (2) not being convicted if indicted.

      2. The “ham sandwich” theory of indictments still works ? a prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict anything including a ham sandwich if they want and I don’t think prosecutors want to indict cops.

      3. I can’t find the word “windshield” in any of the linked articles. Just “window.” Firing through the windshield is pretty bizarre. Is that really what happened? Wow.

    3. As always, I apply the Citizen Test.

      If another person who was not an LEO had done this, would they walk?

      Note that this is not a case where a violent felon was fleeing, or anyone else’s life was at risk, as far as I can tell. This is a pure self-defense shooting.

      And I don’t see it.

      1. Unarmed. Acting goofy, but not violent. On foot. Shooter in car.

        I see no basis whatsoever for a reasonable person to be in fear of their life of serious injury.

        She panicked, and a man is dead, and she will walk scot-free.

    4. In the original, it said that only the officers themselves can determine when they fear for their lives. If a cop is scared enough of one unarmed man, who as far as we can tell, hadn’t demonstrated any will do violence, then that bitch shouldn’t be a fucking cop. Part of psychological testing for a cop should focus on having a quiet self-confidence. The kind of person who isn’t afraid of using violence WHEN it is absolutely necessary. But is also not afraid to try to de-escalate the situation and doesn’t need to initiate violence.

      1. But that’s not the kind of person who wants to be a cop. Being a cop is a shitty job, unless you get something else out of it. Like having power over others, power over life and death.

        The very job of police officer is inherently structured to attract the last people you’d actually want doing the job.

        1. Unfortunately you are so very correct!

  7. “After reviewing every piece of available evidence, they decided not to indict,” Sarcone said. “The grand jury process is a very fair and thorough process.”

    HAM SANDWICH LIVES MATTER!

  8. Blind item! Who said it?

    |8.25.15 @ 12:36PM|#|

    I swear, every time I’ve read an account a of cops shooting or maiming someone up close, there was always a struggle for the officer’s gun. Every. Single. Time. No exceptions.

  9. I wonder what the grand jury’s decision would’ve been if the roles had been reversed, and Mr. Bolinger had shot Ms. Miller through the window of his car!

    Silly gooses, I’m kidding! I don’t wonder at all!

  10. The brothers and sisters were called and per usual terror was vented through cop glocks.

  11. So the guy received the death penalty for doing nothing more than dancing erratically.

    Had Officer Miller been on the job in Footloose, it would have been a very different movie.

    “When I saw the perp trying to moonwalk, I realized I might not get home safe that day.” — Miller

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