Police Abuse

Lawsuit: Iowa Man 'Posed No Threat to Anyone' When Cops Shot Him 5 Times

Driving while black

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Jovan Webb, 27, is suing Waterloo, Iowa, police for shooting him five times as he fled in his car. Webb's suit contends that he had no idea the man who approached him was a cop; he feared for his life when he drove off to avoid the officer.

For good reason, it seems.

On the night of April 5, 2015, police were called to the scene of a Waterloo bar to break up a fight. The fight had already ended by the time they arrived. Webb witnessed the altercation, but was not involved and did not know the participants.

According to Webb's lawsuit, a police officer approach Webb's car as he tried to leave. Webb, a black man, believes he may have been targeted because of his race. Since the officer was wearing plain clothes, and it was too dark outside to see the officer's badge, Webb didn't know he was obligated to stop and chat. And since the man appeared to be holding "a black object," Webb was reasonably afraid and simply drove off.

The officer chased the vehicle, following alongside the passenger window, and eventually opened fire. Webb was shot five different times, and drove directly to the hospital—where police promptly placed him in handcuffs. According to the lawsuit:

"At no time during the encounter did Mr. Webb pose a threat to Defendants or anyone else that could have justified Defendants' use of deadly force. Accordingly, Mr. Webb was not charged with any crime related to this incident."

The Iowa Attorney General's office looked into the matter and decided that the cops acted responsibly, according to CBS2 News:

After a review of the case, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), found the force used by the officers was justified and was not a criminal act. The actions of the officers were reasonable under the circumstances.  

The local news story notes that Webb hit one of the officers during his escape from what he believed to be an attempt on his life, though the injury was minor compared to the extensive damage Webb suffered. His lung collapsed, and doctors have been unable to remove two of the bullets from his body.

Attorneys representing Webb posted surveillance footage of the shooting online. It's hard to glean much from the video, but Webb certainly doesn't appear to be madly running over cops. The most logical explanation for his actions is consistent with what his lawsuit claims: He did nothing wrong, but was afraid for his life.

And—again—that fear was justified. He was shot five times.

I'll update this story if Waterloo's attorney responds to my request for comment.

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  1. Iowa Man is black? I did not see that coming at all.

    1. Florida man is tan.

      1. The real Florida man, my brother, is definitely very tan since he rarely wears a shirt.

        1. Don’t leave out the dreads. That’s very important.

          1. I would post pictures but I think that would be a violation of his privacy, but he has a sleeve of tattoos that include a spark plug and fishing lures.

      2. Difference is, I think it’s impossible for Florida Man to “pose no threat,” up to and including when he’s passed out.

        1. Florida Man is never passed out. He’s merely playing possum in order to lure you into face eating range.

          1. Fortunately, Florida Man has a short attention span and little long-term memory – by the time you get into face-eating range, he’s forgotten what he was lying around waiting to do and so drifts off to sleep.

    2. Duh! Iowa is so white that there is only one black guy in the entire state. He gets to be Iowa Man. All others must merely be Iowa man.

      Seriously, lily-white Minnesoda even looks down on Iowa for their lack of diversity.

      1. I found more video from the incident. Weirdly, he’s white in the recording.

        1. You know, since TV has gotten so much better, I often forget how fucking terrible most TV shows in the 80s were.

          Try and go watch some A-Team or Manimal now. I dare you.

          1. A-Team is awesome still! I only saw it the first time couple years ago, and I love it to pieces.

            1. I loved it as a kid, but it’s unwatchable to me now.

              This is the only 80s TV show that really held up.

              1. that theme song is jan hammer, who was the original mahavishnu orchestra keyboardist. i don’t like listening to their music, but that’s a pretty serious credential

              2. HOW IS THAT WIDESCREEN? WIDESCREEN WASN’T INVENTED IN THE 1980’s.

              3. Hill Street Blues holds up pretty well too.

          2. A-Team is kinda shit now, but Magnum PI is still great.

    3. The oldest standing mosque in the US is in… Cedar Rapids, IA.

      Mother Mosque of America

  2. Clarification needed: did he hit an officer before or after they shot him?

    1. Doesn’t matter, if the officer thought he might get hit, killing him is justified.

      1. Even if the officer thought he might get hit, simply moving out of the way of the car is a far superior option to opening fire. Discharging your weapon in panic is a good way to get other people hurt, and shooting at the driver of a car is a good way to put the vehicle out of control. Given that this happened in a parking lot and the officer was not being specifically targeted, opening fire is reckless (criminally so for most people).

        1. Why would a cop care about any of that?

          1. On the one hand, the guy drives out of the parking lot, you get his license and he’s quietly questioned and/or arrested later. On the other, you get to experience a high-speed chance with guns a’blazin’ as you drive down city streets!

            I choose B!

        2. That’s the other big thing that cops like to ignore. Even if a shooting is justified in isolation, the lives of innocent bystanders should come before the cops’ lives.

        3. There was a piss-ant fist fight and some guy who may or may not have been involved tried to drive away before being properly interrogated.

          He HAD to open fire. He could have driven away and forgotten something crucial to this very important investigation!

  3. So, the prosecutor is on the cops’ side. What a shock.

    What is it with these stupid cops and shooting people? They seem so damn eager to embarrass their departments.

    I would think that 9 out of 10 situations, if a cop pulls a gun out, he’s more likely to end up on the news for the wrong reasons. Yet, there they go, eager to put a bullet in something.

    1. What is it with these stupid cops and shooting people? They seem so damn eager to embarrass their departments.

      There’s not a lot embarrassing about shooting a guy 5 times and then have every institution of power and law circle the wagons around you and tell you, “Good job!”

    2. Yet, there they go, eager to put a bullet in something.

      Seeing as that’s one of the reasons they wanted the job in the first place, how does this surprise you?

    3. It seems like it should be easy to add a little underbarrel mount on police guns that (a) automatically notifies the police department when a gun is drawn and (b) starts recording and streaming video of what the gun “sees”.

      It would legitimately help police safety by letting dispatchers know “oh shit, violence is about to happen”, and it would clear up a whole lot of this “what exactly was the cop seeing” crap.

      1. And it could communicate wirelessly with the police PR computer to generate a press release saying that after a thorough internal investigation, the officer’s actions were deemed lawful and justified.

        1. See, now you’re thinkin’.

    4. “What is it with these stupid cops and shooting people?”

      It’s called a perk. Shooting peasants.

  4. The officer chased the vehicle, following alongside the passenger window, and eventually opened fire.

    Yeah, of course. I mean, why wouldn’t you?

    1. There’s literally no reason not to. If you’re a cop.

      1. I don’t know about no reason. The paperwork has to be a real hassle.

        1. I’m sure the paperwork for why they didn’t reach their quota of petty fines for that month is vastly worse.

          1. A cop can get fired for that kind of thing!

            1. It’s a serious offense, unlike shooting random people or dogs.

    2. He’s like the George Zimmerman of cops!

  5. He did nothing wrong, but was afraid for his life.

    Civilians don’t get to fear for their lives. Only heroes in blue get to fear for their lives. Civilians have no idea how dangerous it is out there.

    Here’s the problem with police and prosecutors: they are pathologically incapable of putting themselves in anyone else’s shoes. They have no way of imagining what their actions might look like to an unaware member of the public.

    1. Even if everything that transpired justifies what the individuals involved did, irrespective of their status as police officers, one could ask the very prudent question: why were they not in uniform? Why are plainclothes officers being sent to break up bar fights? Why are they conducting overt investigations out of uniform?

    2. Here’s the problem with police and prosecutors: they are pathologically incapable of putting themselves in anyone else’s shoes.

      Apes don’t read philosophy.

      1. Yes they do, they just don’t understand it!

    3. Here’s the problem with police and prosecutors: they are pathologically incapable of putting themselves in anyone else’s shoes.

      Who else is going to be in that job? It literally incentivizes sociopaths. If you feel empathy, or feel bad when you give some poor person an absurd ticket for nothing, you’d hate the fucking job. It basically requires people who don’t give a shit about other people. At all.

    4. “Here’s the problem with police and prosecutors: they are pathologically incapable of putting themselves in anyone else’s shoes.”

      Not anyone’s shoes, a peasant’s shoes. That’s the whole point of being in the ruling class – it is simply absurd for anyone to think of you like as if you’re a peasant.

  6. This story is proof that cops are holding back on investigating crimes. Normally, Webb would be dead.

    1. Black Privilege

      If the suspect was white he’d be dead.

      1. P(they will shoot him|they shot him) = 1

  7. Webb’s suit contends that he had no idea the man who approached him was a cop

    How do I know you’re a cop?

    Webb was shot five different times

    Ok, now I know you’re not!

  8. It’s hard to glean much from the video, but Webb certainly doesn’t appear to be madly running over cops.

    Best I can tell is that someone in dark clothing jumped in front of the car at the exit to the street, right before the baboon ran up to the car and opened up. Might have been a cop and if so, gosh, how could he have gotten hit by the car?

    1. From Robby’s botched CBS2 link:

      The Attorney General’s Office decision in this matter was made after reviewing the following information:

      Relevant background information on Jovan Webb including any previous encounters with law enforcement.

      How is that relevant at all in this situation? The cop had no way of knowing this.

      Webb drove from the area. Nissen called for assistance to stop the vehicle Webb was driving. Officer Bose, who was in full uniform, stepped in front of the vehicle on the driver side and placed his hand on the front hood. This encounter took place a short distance from where Nissen first observed Webb and was near the entrance to the parking lot for New World Lounge just off Broadway. For a very brief time, Webb stopped the vehicle, however, continued to bump into Bose with his vehicle hitting Bose in the lower leg.

      Yep. Officer Hooker got hit again. No choice but to shoot.

      1. Ah, I see the < quote tag is now gone.

      2. Heather Locklear handled a fleeing perp without even pulling her gun. That was real, right?

        Shatner of course would have just stopped them with the power of his toupee.

        1. Nobody fucks with Officer Stacy Sheridan, or her “police baton.”

      3. More like Officer Bozo.

  9. I thought saying “I was afraid for my life” was all-encompassing excuse since no one can question what someone was feeling at that moment. Oh wait, that only works for cops.

  10. We may ned to make it a law that an officer can not shoot a fleeing person unless the person fleeing is known to have committed a violent felony. Of course they will still claim he stubbed their toes thus justifying the shooting. Police need to quite approaching every situation with a gun out.

    1. Aren’t there already laws against attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon?

      I don’t think that knowing they committed a violent felony is even enough to justify opening fire. They should have good reason to believe that the fleeing suspect is likely to commit another violent act immanently.

      1. They should have good reason to believe that the fleeing suspect is likely to commit another violent act immanently.

        That used to be the standard. Technically, it still is, but only on paper.

        1. In effect, they can point out their lack of ability to predict the future as meeting that standard.

          precautionary principle+imminent threat= universal excuse to kill someone

  11. And?again?that fear was justified. He was shot five times.

    He probably would have fared better if it had been someone trying to rob him.

  12. He’s black and wasn’t obeying. That there is a supreme danger to society.

    1. Holy shit! Give a guy a warning before you do that, next time, willya!?

      My heart is still racing at that idea!

  13. Again, how could anyone dislike a police officer?

  14. Robby–Fix your Channel 2 link: http://cbs2iowa.com/m/news/fea…..fH9yxFVhBc

  15. So lets see the legislative hierarchy of who gets to fear for their lives and who doesn’t get to.

  16. After a review of the case, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), found the force used by the officers was justified and was not a criminal act.

    Bullshit. Unless there are truly colossal facts not yet disclosed, there is no way this shooting passes legal muster.

    Basically cops can shoot a fleeing “suspect” (query: was this guy a suspect? If so, on what grounds and starting, when, exactly?) only when the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others. Its the Garner case.

    I don’t see any way they can meet that standard.

    Even if a uniformed cop is approaching your car, you have no legal obligation whatsoever to stop and chat. Driving away from a cop is perfectly legal. Who was threatened by this legal act? Not the cop, who had to run to catch up to the car. Not the public.

    1. The cop’s ego requires regular strokes…

    2. Your mistake is thinking that the law matters in any of this. The DCI is playing CYA for the locals. Professional courtesy is a helluva drug.

      1. The law? That thing is secondary to internal protocols and training. As long as protocols were followed, what’s the problem?

      2. Rules are for the peasants, not their rulers.

    3. Pish-posh RC. the cops were able to eventually get their stories straight, scrounge up enough evidence and a drop gun, to make it seem totally legit.

    4. I see your error here, RC, you failed to apply higher standards.

      Once you apply the higher standards, it all makes sense.

  17. OT, but nothing on Hillary’s server-orphan?
    “Hillary Clinton’s former staffer who worked on her personal email server invoked his Fifth Amendment rights today and did not answer the House Select Committee on Benghazi’s questions in a closed-door deposition.”
    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics…..d=33662105
    Another story has her urging him to tesitfy. You bet! They can throw in in jail while she walks.
    Also:
    “On Tuesday, she finally apologized.

    “I’m sorry about that,” Clinton said Tuesday during an interview on ABC News’ “World News Tonight with David Muir,” acknowledging that she should have used separate accounts for work and personal business. “I take responsibility and I am trying to be as transparent as I possibly can.”
    http://edition.cnn.com/2015/09…..index.html

    Oh, well, in THAT case….

    1. acknowledging that she should have used separate accounts for work and personal business.

      She did.

    2. I’m sorry about that assault and battery Your Honor. I take full responsibility.
      Well then, be on your way young man. And here’s a cookie.

  18. Iran’s supreme leader: There will be no such thing as Israel in 25 years

    Obama: So, do we have a deal or what?

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/10/…..index.html

    1. What does our Supreme Leader think about that?

    2. Obama: Look, Mr. Grand High Exhalted Mystic Ruler Poobah Supreme Leader, can you just promise not to nuke us or the jew bastards until I’m out of office?

      MGHEMRPSL: Death to America!! Fuka you and your face showing cow of a wife!

      Obama: Um, uh, ok where do I sign.

  19. OT: U.S. Treasury Secretary urges raising Debt limit to avoid “turmoil”.

    The federal government maintains a ‘debt limit’ why again?

    http://www.cnbc.com/2015/09/10…..risks.html

    1. Dude, if you think they are ever going to stop (barring total collapse), I have some property in the Everglades I’d like to sell you.

    2. The federal government maintains a ‘debt limit’ why again?

      So that Congressmen don’t have to explain why they voted to borrow money. “We just voted to let the *President* borrow money, if he wanted to. He’s the irresponsible S.O.B. who actually borrowed it!”

  20. Driving while black

    You really know how to pander to the SJWs don’t you Robby? It can’t be an issue of abusive police, it’s an issue of abusive white people!

    When is your summer internship over so you can pursue a career at Salon?

    1. Maybe Robby’s not old enough to remember previous incidents.

      1. He might have been old enough, but that social justice boner we see fall out of his pants every couple of articles was in full swing back in those days.

      2. Or another recent Iowa shooting – cleared within hours by the county attorney.

        http://www.iowastatedaily.com/…..963f4.html

    2. I’ll be generous and assume he thinks this is the only way to make progressives get outraged about injustice, and numerically speaking, libertarian outrage doesn’t really count for shit.

      The problem is that progressives, aside from shriek and tony, don’t read reason. No one important gave a shit about what Balko wrote until he went to Huffpo. It’s shitty and sad, but that’s just how it is.

  21. ” he feared for his life when he drove off to avoid the officer.”

    Well played.

  22. Fucking gits. Here’s to the inevitable multi-million dollar no-fault-acknowledged settlement, courtesy of Waterloo taxpayers. For whom, at this point, I have no sympathy. You put up with this bullshit, you deserve to pay for it.

    1. What choice to the taxpayers have? Seriously. No one with any sense of self preservation will run for office on a platform of holding the police accountable. Might was well commit suicide.

      1. Not to take a page out of the grievance peddler playbook, but Baltimore did at least get some political capital out of their protests. Capital which, it should be noted, they squandered immediately by rioting and calling for precisely the wrong remedial efforts. But a concerted effort by taxpayers sick of being soaked for the crimes of police? At least it would be something. Instead I suspect the majority of taxpayers continue towing the cop-fellating lion.

      2. What choice to the taxpayers have? Seriously. No one with any sense of self preservation will run for office on a platform of holding the police accountable. Might was well commit suicide.

        There was a Republican running in the primary for sheriff in my county who ran on that platform. If I can dig up my sample ballot, I might be able to give more details about him. I don’t think he has to worry about his self-preservation, but he did lose the election to the union-endorsed candidate.

  23. He didn’t do as he was told. These people who are commonly referred to as law enforcement officers are not tasked with enforcing the law. They are Compliance Officers. Their only duty it to make people do as they say. They are authorized to use force against anyone who doesn’t obey them, including deadly force. Enforcing the law is incidental in the course of their duties. Compliance is their only concern. Comply or die. This guy didn’t comply. He’s lucky to be alive. As for the cops involved, nothing else will happen. He didn’t obey. He should be dead as far as the cops and prosecutors are concerned. He may win a lawsuit, but there will be no admission of liability. Only high fives all around.

    1. I like Obedience Trainers better. Compliance would be accurate if they abided by or enforced laws, but that’s really no longer their job description. They enforce obedience.

      1. Compliance is their euphemism for obedience.

  24. But Robby, if you criticize the police, you’re contributing to the WAR ON COPZ! WHY DO YOU WANT OUR BRAVE MEN IN BLUE TO DIE, ROBBY?

    Seriously, are we at the point where being in your car near a police officer is automatically cause for them to shoot you?

    1. We’re at the point where anything is automatically cause for the police to shoot you, should they decide to. “Furtive movement.” “Suspicious behavior.”

      Shit, didn’t cops pull some guy over recently, and their reason was “he made eye contact with us”?

      1. Not avoiding making eye contact may or may not be unsuspicious. Everyone knows that.

    2. Robby thinks it’s because he was black

  25. Authorities will now decide if they are going to press charges against Webb.

    From the CBS link Rico effed right up.

  26. Since the officer was wearing plain clothes, and it was too dark outside to see the officer’s badge, Webb didn’t know he was wasn’t obligated to stop and chat.

  27. In old country, we have saying, “qij jush kjo ?sht? arsyeja pse”. It mean, if you die of shooting from police, the penalty is paid and you may be buried honorably at your family’s expense. But, if you survive shooting from police, you are guilty of crime and penalty is death.

  28. “After a review of the case, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), found the force used by the officers was justified and was not a criminal act. The actions of the officers were reasonable under the circumstances.”

    So if Webb feared for his life, like so many cops do, then Webb had every right to shoot them. According to the DoJ’s logic, then Webb would have acted reasonable under the circumstances.

  29. And they wonder why we rejoice everytime some P O S cop is shot and killed in the line of duty!

    http://www.Total-Privacy.tk

  30. We’re to believe a white person’s experience would have been better? In my experience, the police couldn’t care less that I’m white. This is not a race issue. It’s a stupid cop issue.

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