Police Shooting in Elk Grove of Handcuffed Man Should Draw Serious Questions

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police-shootingWhile the Judicial Watch covers mainly Yolo County, our goals extend more regionally, and certainly a matter of grave concern are the actions that occurred last weekend in Elk Grove.

What we know for sure is that last Sunday, an Elk Grove police officer shot a handcuffed man in the back seat of his police vehicle.  Initially, the Elk Grove Police Department had provided no explanation as to why the officer fired his rifle at the suspect, which ended up grazing the 32-year-old man in the face.

They did allow that it was not an accidental shooting.  This of course invited speculation and criticism.  It is clear that the Elk Grove Police Department is suffering from a public relations nightmare as the result of the incident.

The man was arrested around 3 am after his wife called to complain that he had threatened her and their young daughter.  The original release said that the suspect had moved around in the back seat of the police vehicle while handcuffed.

On Thursday they released more information that only added fuel to the fire. 

When the suspect refused to leave the home, he verbally threatened an officer and “remained by a security door in a shooting position,” according to published reports in the Sacramento Bee, taken from the department’s spokesperson.

It is here that it gets fuzzy.  He was searched, they found no weapon.  He was then handcuffed and taken to the police vehicle.

The police then report that the suspect “suddenly started shouting that he had a gun and made quick movements as if he did. An officer using the computer in the driver’s seat quickly left the car and told other officers that [the suspect] said he was armed.”

The Bee goes on to report, that he “moved his hands toward his rear waist band, ignoring officers’ commands to keep his hands visible.”

“[The suspect] stretched his body away from the officers and reached below the backside of his waistband where his hands were in his pants positioning as if he was [sic] aiming a weapon,” the report said. “Believing that [the suspect] was about to shoot a weapon and fearing for his safety, along with the safety of the other officers present, the officer with the rifle fired a single round that grazed the left side of [the suspect’s] face.”

He was then taken from the vehicle, and no weapon was found on him, police said.

Elk Grove’s Police Chief, of course, said that the matter is under investigation and that they review every officer-involved shooting exhaustively “to determine if policies, procedures and training were followed.”

He said that in the meantime “I would ask that people reserve judgment about the appropriateness, or not, of the actions of all parties associated with this case until such time as all of the information is available and the reviews have been completed.”

Right.  Before I get into what is wrong with this story, let me point out the obvious flaw in the Chief’s reasoning.  They just put out a detailed explanation that places the officers in better light before conducting their investigation.  They are asking the public to reserve judgment, but it is very clear that they have not.  How can the public have confidence in the police’s own internal review, given that they have attempted to explain the incident before the investigation is concluded?

I say this in advance, because after talking with a few people experienced in the matter, they agree that this story is at best fishy and more likely a CYA attempt.

The first reaction that people will likely have is that the guy got what he deserved for claiming he had a gun.  I do not agree with that conclusion, but even granting it, what evidence do we have the guy claimed he had a gun?  Was the conversation or incident recorded? 

Otherwise, the only evidence we have that the man made such threats and claims is the word of the officer shooting the man.

But I submit that this was not properly handled, even if the guy was stupid or drunk and making such claims. 

Also this situation would be seen in a different light if the guy did have a gun, but that gets to my first problem – was it reasonable to believe, even if he made such claims, that he did have a gun?

First, when you handcuff a man, the first thing you do is a proper search.  So if the officers really did believe the guy had a gun, then they are admitting they did not properly search him.

This reminds me a bit of the Galvan case where the Officer is claiming that he feared the guy had a weapon in his jacket after observing him putting his hands in and out of his pockets.  But the officer’s actions were not consistent with that fear as he had his partner drive down the street, and he casually walked alongside the Galvans.  Now, would you do that if you believe the guy had a weapon in his pocket?  No way.  He would have ordered him to remove his hands from his pockets and then searched him.

In the Elk Grove incident, had they properly searched him, they would have known he had no weapon.  So did they properly search the guy?

Second problem, even if he did have a gun, his hands were handcuffed behind his back.  It would be difficult to aim and shoot a gun quickly in that position.  The officers would have a huge tactical advantage.  And most people I talked to felt that the guy would be more likely to shoot himself than a cop.

So why the need to shoot before checking the situation thoroughly?  Why use a gun rather than a taser or a non-lethal weapon?  In other words, even granting the guy had a gun and the story happened as they suggested, they had no business shooting a guy in the backseat of a police car who was handcuffed.

The police chief said further, “These reviews cannot reasonably occur until the investigation into the incident is complete. In this case, there are a number of details that still require verification.”

He is correct.  But that should apply to his PR department to.  They should never have sent this obviously hastily fabricated story to the press.  It will lead reasonable people to have more questions than answers.  And it’s such an obvious rush rationalization of the incident that to me it should be more likely than not that the police know they handled this in the wrong manner.

Now, unless it was caught on tape, we may never know what really happened.  But at the very least the police here are guilty of overreacting and improperly handling a situation at multiple points in time – even if things occurred as they report they did occur.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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37 thoughts on “Police Shooting in Elk Grove of Handcuffed Man Should Draw Serious Questions”

  1. Roger Rabbit

    lol, easy there, you covered a lot of what the police are obviously guilty of expect one thing! Could this be a mistake? Could this be he was medication, over worked, double shifts, personal problems, preoccupied with other life issues, any of which could have distracted him and his judgment and he made a mistake. As much as people want to think cops are robots, they are just people with people issues.

    From reading this I would bet the guy either thought he had his tazer and intended to taze him, which happens across America many times, not saying it is good, but mistakes do happen. Or it could be the cop wanted to end his career and shoot an unarmed handcuffed guy in the back of a police for kicks and was so stupid that he thought it would be a fun to shoot someone for no reason and then it would be fun defending his job, getting public ridicule and facing jail. Which one sounds more reasonable?

    As for the press releases and what the Bee said, what the hell do they know? They print what they are told and no agency is going to admit they have a training problem or that it was their fault and the cop is going to be told not to talk to press and his lawyer is going to tell him to keep his mouth shut. So the only info that will get out is what the city wants to say and what will cause the least damage and exposure to law suits. In the mean time most will bash the cop, jump to conclusions and make up their own story.

    This is not like this is the third of forth time this officer has done this? There is a big different between an accident and rare or isolated occurrences and a constant trend for a person to be a liar, unethical, sneaky, underhanded and repeats evil behavior.

  2. E Roberts Musser

    dmg: “First, when you handcuff a man, the first thing you do is a proper search. So if the officers really did believe the guy had a gun, then they are admitting they did not properly search him.”

    This is the problem I have w the police’s story. They should have searched the guy, and should have known he did not have a weapon. If they failed to search the guy (which is hard to believe), they were negligent in carrying out their duty and were responsible for creating the dangerous situation. If they searched the guy so they would know he could not have had a weapon but shot him anyway, they are probably more than negligent. Sorry, but the police’s version of events just does not hang together – but they are now stuck w it bc someone in the police department opened their mouth to the press when they should have kept quiet…

  3. E Roberts Musser

    This reminds me of the Washington D.C. sniper case, when the police chief taunted the sniper by foolishly telling the press the sniper was not killing people near schools, so there was no need for the public to panic. Immediately after that press statement, the sniper went to a school and shot a child (cannot remember if the child died – I think he did). The handling of the case by the police chief was atrocious – bc he was overly interested in getting press exposure…

  4. Rifkin

    If someone has medical knowledge to show why this is a bad idea, I’d be happy to hear it, but I don’t understand why (in place of lethal force or Tasers or beatings of unruly suspects) cops don’t use what Jim Fowler and Marlin Perkins did every week on Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom ([url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGMf4QQdI9c[/url]): they shot the beasts with some kind of tranquilizer. Once knocked out, Jim and Marlin could safely inspect the animal. If a suspect is fighting or otherwise threatening the police, I would think they could tranquilize him. Bad idea?

    ============

    P.S. Great made-up Marlin Perkins line: “While I sipped Mai Thais with the natives, Jim was busy wrestling those vicious man-eating crocodiles in the river. Take a look at the film.”

  5. Superfluous Man

    DMG,

    “First, when you handcuff a man, the first thing you do is a proper search. So if the officers really did believe the guy had a gun, then they are admitting they did not properly search him.”

    I’m curious, do we know if officer who conducted the weapons search the same one who shot the suspect?

  6. Superfluous Man

    Rabbit,

    “From reading this I would bet the guy either thought he had his tazer and intended to taze him,”

    From the quoted Bee article, “Believing that [the suspect] was about to shoot a weapon and fearing for his safety, along with the safety of the other officers present the officer with the rifle fired a single round that grazed the left side of [the suspect’s] face.”

    Seems unlikely that officer mistook his rifle for a tazer. Unless they’re now issuing rifle-sized tazers to law enforcement officers.

    RR “As for the press releases and what the Bee said, what the hell do they know? They print what they are told and no agency is going to admit they have a training problem”

    Would the Elk Grove PD be the ones training this officer? I recall, FWIW, an incident no too long ago in which a WPD officer accidentally fired his service weapon upon entering a hotel room, investigating a domestic disturbance of some sort. WPD issued a statement that when such things occur, it’s usually a training issue.

    RR “So the only info that will get out is what the city wants to say and what will cause the least damage and exposure to law suits. In the mean time most will bash the cop, jump to conclusions and make up their own story.”

    Interesting statement, coming from you.

    RR “There is a big different between an accident and rare or isolated occurrences and a constant trend for a person to be a liar, unethical, sneaky, underhanded and repeats evil behavior.”

    Who are you referring to here, DA Reisig?

  7. Bob Aaronson

    Rifkin

    02/05/11 – 11:38 AM

    If someone has medical knowledge to show why this is a bad idea, I’d be happy to hear it, but I don’t understand why (in place of lethal force or Tasers or beatings of unruly suspects) cops don’t use what Jim Fowler and Marlin Perkins did every week on Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom: they shot the beasts with some kind of tranquilizer. Once knocked out, Jim and Marlin could safely inspect the animal. If a suspect is fighting or otherwise threatening the police, I would think they could tranquilize him. Bad idea?

    Rich:
    Tranquilizers take time, no matter how ‘strong’, to disable someone. The suspect’s unloading thirty rounds from a semi-auto hand gun will take less time than the tranquilizer will to have its full effect.

    The proper dose is going to vary enormously, not just by body mass and the location struck by the dart, but also according to what other
    drugs/chemicals the suspect has on board. Too much and you risk permanent damage or death; too little and you may have only lower the suspect’s inhibitions against engaging in even more aggressive behavior.

  8. Rifkin

    Thanks, Bob. Tranquilizer darts always seemed to work pretty quick on wildebeests. But then again, those were TV wildebeests.

    [img]http://www.tomuphoto.com/albums/album04/Wildebeests.sized.jpg[/img]

  9. craised

    This guy was a convicted killer who apparently told the officer he had a gun and he was going to shoot him. He was making motions like he was retrieving it. The officer sitting in the drivers seat jumped out of the vehicle and shouted to the other officers, he has a gun! Believe it or not, officers have been shot by handcuffed criminals in the past, and sometimes weapons are found even after multiple searches.

    After the incident the suspect was transported to the hospital for treatment. While at the hospital this person went into a tirade and trashed the treatment room. Two officers were hurt while trying to control the suspect. To me, the only bad thing was the officer missed his target. Oh well, maybe this criminal will repent and make a life change. Though doubtful , since serving a prison term didn’t seem to be enough to motivate him.

    If anyone on this blog were put into the very same scenario, what would you do?
    1)Shoot him with whatever weapon you have in your hands at the time.
    2)Try and calm him down and just HOPE he doesn’t have a gun.
    3)Run like hell and hope he is not a good shot.

    Personally I will go with answer number (1).

  10. Superfluous Man

    Craised,

    “If anyone on this blog were put into the very same scenario, what would you do?
    1)Shoot him with whatever weapon you have in your hands at the time.
    2)Try and calm him down and just HOPE he doesn’t have a gun.
    3)Run like hell and hope he is not a good shot.

    Personally I will go with answer number (1).”

    Is being a competent law enforcement officer not an option? I would like to go with the option that allows for a proper weapons search to have occurred, following which any threats from a handcuffed suspect, in the back of the patrol car no less, claiming to possess a firearm or use a firearm would not need to be met with lethal force.

    That’s the hypothetical option I like best.

    You don’t list the use of non-lethal force as an option on the hand cuffed and presumably searched suspect. Why?

    Also, for option #1, how do you know the officer had a rifle in his hand at the time? Did I miss that in the reporting?

  11. craised

    [quote]
    Also, for option #1, how do you know the officer had a rifle in his hand at the time? Did I miss that in the reporting?
    [/quote]

    “Hesselbein stretched his body away from the officers and reached below the backside of his waistband where his hands were in his pants positioning as if he was aiming a weapon,” the report states.

    “Believing that Hesselbein was about to shoot a weapon and fearing for his safety, along with the safety of the other officers present, the officer with the rifle fired a single round that grazed the left side of Hesselbein’s face.”

  12. Superfluous Man

    craised,

    But I wonder if the officer already had the rifle or if the officer grabbed it after the suspect began making those claims.

    What’s the protocol for dealing with a man, whose hands have been cuffed behind his back, who claims to have a weapon and/or use a weapon? LEO’s demand that he show his hands or stop moving and if not…use lethal force?

  13. roger bockrath

    I believe the it was reported in the Sac Bee, that the officer with the rifle was part of a hostage team that was called in because the suspect was holed up and would not exit the residence.

    I thought it was suspiceous how quickly the police initally reported that the shooting was not an accidental discharge, while offering no explanation of why their officer shot an unarmed,handcuffed suspect, who was essentially sitting on his cuffed hands.It is difficult to shoot a hand gun accurately from the best position, with both hands on the weapon,and your eye alligned with the front and rear sights.

    Most likely, the rifle cop was attempting to intimidate the suspect into quieting down, by pointing his rifle at the suspects head, and experienced an accidental discharge.

    Number one rule in firearms handling: never point the muzel of a gun at anything you do not intend to kill.

  14. E Roberts Musser

    craised: “Believe it or not, officers have been shot by handcuffed criminals in the past, and sometimes weapons are found even after multiple searches.”

    Can you give specific reputable examples? I find this statement interesting. I am willing to concede I don’t know that much about police work, so I am more than willing to listen…

  15. Roger Rabbit

    [quote]RR “There is a big different between an accident and rare or isolated occurrences and a constant trend for a person to be a liar, unethical, sneaky, underhanded and repeats evil behavior.”

    Who are you referring to here, DA Reisig? [/quote]

    lmao, this is the question of the year. I was talking about career criminals, felons and people that tend to be continuously untrustworthy, but how appropriate that you immediately connected that to DA Jeff Reisig. An appropriate connection that I would tend to agree with, thanks for making. 🙂

  16. craised

    [quote]Can you give specific reputable examples? I find this statement interesting. I am willing to concede I don’t know that much about police work, so I am more than willing to listen…[/quote]

    This happened to Sheriff John Mc Ginness when he was a patrol officer. You can call him if you like he works at KFBK currently.

  17. craised

    One more example. This one happened around the year 2000.

    St. Louis police Officer Robert J. Stanze, father of a toddler and husband of a wife pregnant with twins, was shot to death Tuesday afternoon while arresting a suspect in the wounding last month of an officer in Berkeley.

    The suspect, Eddie Belk, 20, of St. Louis, fired while handcuffed with his hands behind his back, using a pistol that Stanze and his partner apparently missed when they searched him, Police Chief Ron Henderson said.

  18. Superfluous Man

    Rabbit,

    “lmao, this is the question of the year. I was talking about career criminals, felons and people that tend to be continuously untrustworthy, but how appropriate that you immediately connected that to DA Jeff Reisig. An appropriate connection that I would tend to agree with, thanks for making. :-)”

    Not my feelings towards DA Reisig. It’s just one of the relatively few comments of yours in which you don’t use such words to describe and attack the character of the DA…by name/title. I figured you were doing more of the same, just more subtly.

    If you really have concrete examples of just how unethical, unlawful, etc DA Reisig is, why don’t you write it up so we can all read it. I’m not an apologist for DA Reisig or LE. However, you’ve got a lot to say, but rarely do you substantiate it. Why not compile everything you know and can support with evidence, so we can educate ourselves?

    I get a lot of hyperbole/ad hominems from you, but little else.

  19. Superfluous Man

    craised,

    So what is the protocol, use lethal force because the officer(s) may have failed to execute their duties as required? Shoot a hancuffed suspect because he’s moving around and claiming to have a gun even though you can’t see a weapon and he shouldn’t have one b/c the officer searched him?

    Is that what the training teaches them? Can you tell me?

  20. craised

    Superfluous Man
    I searched the internet from end to end and I think I found an appropriate answer to your question.

    A law enforcement officer is justified in using deadly physical force upon another person for a purpose specified in subdivision (1) of this subsection only when it is or appears to be reasonably necessary thereby:

    a. To defend himself or a third person from what he reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of deadly physical force;

    b. To effect an arrest or to prevent the escape from custody of a person who he reasonably believes is attempting to escape by means of a deadly weapon, or who by his conduct or any other means indicates that he presents an imminent threat of death or serious physical injury to others unless apprehended without delay; or

    c. To prevent the escape of a person from custody imposed upon him as a result of conviction for a felony.

    It is possible to legally shoot someone in the back. Lets say you have a guy with a big ax and he has hacked up a couple of people and you approach him. The guy is ranting and raving about how God told him he had to kill all the sinners today. The guy then turns and runs down the street. This man has already shown that he will use deadly force. He is talking about killing others. And it is possible if he is not stopped that he will kill others. His back is to you as he runs down the street……read section b. above.
    This is an extreme case, obviously, but I wanted to make it obvious to prove a point.

    The news story would read something like:
    “Crazed cop shoots fireman in the back as he tries to save woman from burning house.”

  21. Mr Obvious

    [quote]They should never have sent this obviously hastily fabricated story to the press.[/quote]

    I’m trying to figure out how you know this story was “obviously” fabricated.

  22. Mr Obvious

    I don’t know what happened, I wasn’t there. The first press release came out pretty quick after the incident. When officers are involved in a shooting there are lawyers involved and a full statement may not be taken from the officer for a day or so. Generally as the investigation progresses more information is released.

    Prior to this the officers version had not been released. There will be more facts later. It’s not like there won’t be a trial on this.

    I simply asked how you knew it was “obviously” fabricated. I thought you might have information nobody else knew about. Since I don’t know enough facts about this incident I will refrain from forming an opinion.

  23. David M. Greenwald

    The first thing I did when I read the new version of the story is I send it to a few people who work in law enforcement, know police procedure, have reviewed use of force cases, etc. All of them believed there were very serious problems with the police’s account of the story. Maybe the choice of the word “obviously” was too strong, perhaps under reflection it should have been “probably” or “likely,” nevertheless there are a lot of holes in their story.

  24. E Roberts Musser

    dmg: “The first thing I did when I read the new version of the story is I send it to a few people who work in law enforcement, know police procedure, have reviewed use of force cases, etc. All of them believed there were very serious problems with the police’s account of the story. Maybe the choice of the word “obviously” was too strong, perhaps under reflection it should have been “probably” or “likely,” nevertheless there are a lot of holes in their story.”

    I too talked to my cousin who used to be a law enforcement officer. Here is what he had to say: “It is not only possible, it happens all too often. At the police academy, we were told about such incidents that ended in officers’ deaths, and I’ve heard about several such incidents since. Many subjects have hidden weapons (including firearms) that were not found during an initial search incident to an arrest. As you can imagine, most of the time these weapons were hidden in private regions that weren’t adequately patted down. Arrestees also have been found with camouflaged weapons (including firearms). I have seen ballpoint pen guns, cell phone guns, wallet guns, belt buckle guns, and camera guns. I’ve also seen ice picks and shivs concealed in such innocent-looking devices.

    I have seen many officers do incomplete searches. When l was a rookie at Easley PD, I patted down a drunk, including feeling around his Wellington boots. I noticed that the subject was rubbing one leg against another, as if to raise one pant leg above the top of his boot. I double-checked his boots and found the sharpest hunting knife I’ve ever seen. It had a 6″ blade. I still have it, to remind me how close I came to being sliced that night. When I got him to jail, the Deputy Chief asked me how I had managed to arrest him without help. I asked why he asked. The Deputy Chief said that the last several times that that subject had been arrested, it took two city officers, a sheriff’s deputy, and a state trooper to get him under control. I told him that the subject had told me that if I was taking him to jail, I was going to have to “call them all out here.” I laughed and joked with the guy (even after finding the knife), and told him that the city didn’t pay me enough to fight guys who were over 6 feet tall. (He was 6′ 4″.) I wasn’t being genuinely friendly, just using humor to get him in the car without a fight. Fortunately, it worked.

    I have also read about arrestees who found weapons that had been left in the back seats of patrol cars by previous arrestees. When I worked for the Columbia Police Department, several of us found weapons dumped in the back seat (between the back cushion and the seat cushion) by arrestees from previous shifts. As a result, most of us started removing the back seat and searching underneath it and under the front seat at the beginning of the shift.

    Most attacks on officers happen without warning. When a subject makes a verbal threat, states that he has a weapon, and makes a threatening motion as if to retrieve a weapon, the officer who does not heed that warning takes a great risk of winding up dead. Any officer who assumes the subject is bluffing is a moron.”

  25. E Roberts Musser

    dmg: “Elaine: That’s why you have non-lethal means to subdue people, particularly people who are handcuffed and in the back of a police car.”

    And what non-lethal means do you propose the police should have used in this situation, where the suspect was inside a police car stating he had a weapon and was ready to use it? Suppose he actually had a weapon and started firing it randomly and took out an innocent bystander?

  26. Roger Rabbit

    Sorry, but shooting a guy handcuffed in the back of a patrol car because you think he has a weapon is not reasonable and cannot be justified. The resonable standard is would an officer, with the same training and experience, in the same situation, do the same thing. Most officers would not shoot a handcuffed man without seeing a gun or other immediate threat.

    As for shooting a fleeing felon rule, you can justify shooting someone in the back, but it is extreme and unusual and must be supported by facts that prove the officer’s state of mind and is it reasonable that he was in fear of his life or the life of others. A handcuffed man without actually seeing a weapon, is not an immediate threat. Especially after Gov has already seized the person, search the person, has the person in custody and has had an opportunity to search and control the person. Now if you add the person busted the handcuffs with superior strength and was on pcp (mind altering drug) and the officers were in fear of their life then yes. However, with just what is being reported in this case, I cannot see a reasonable justification for shooting a handcuffed man in the back of car, absence seeing an actual weapon.

    But like I have said before, the spin and pc machine kicks in and even if the cop made an honest mistake, getting anyone to admit that is slim and none and slim left town.

  27. Superfluous Man

    Rabbit,

    “Sorry, but shooting a guy handcuffed in the back of a patrol car because you think he has a weapon is not reasonable and cannot be justified. The resonable standard is would an officer, with the same training and experience, in the same situation, do the same thing. Most officers would not shoot a handcuffed man without seeing a gun or other immediate threat. “

    This is sort of what I was getting at. Just because suspects who’ve been searched for weapons and are handcuffed have been able to retrieve a hidden firearm with their hands behind their back…that doesn’t equate to it being reasonable for an officer to shoot a handcuffed suspect who claims to have a gun and is moving his hands behind his back. My opinion anyway.

    I guess we don’t know what really happened, but I tend to agree with you. If the suspect had retreived something from his waistline or had something in his hands that resembled a weapon, maybe then would I find the officer’s response (using lethal force) to be more reasonable.

  28. Superfluous Man

    ERM,

    “And what non-lethal means do you propose the police should have used in this situation, where the suspect was inside a police car stating he had a weapon and was ready to use it? Suppose he actually had a weapon and started firing it randomly and took out an innocent bystander?”

    Were the back doors, I assume the suspect was in the back of the patrol car, shut?

  29. E Roberts Musser

    SM: “Were the back doors, I assume the suspect was in the back of the patrol car, shut?”

    I’m not sure where you are going w this…taser the guy through an open back door? But I was trying to think of what an officer could use that was nonlethal in a situation like this, and I can’t really think of any and still keep everyone safe. That is why I challenged dmg to come up with one – I’m ready to listen to ideas…

    After reading what my cousin said, that a search does not necessarily mean there is no weapon, I still tend to give the benefit of the doubt to law enforcement, unless someone convinces me that officers could have reasonably used nonlethal force in this situation…

  30. David M. Greenwald

    Elaine:

    I have to question your cousin who seems to be justifying some sloppy work. First of all, any officer that does not properly search a suspect for weapons, is putting their life in danger.

    Second, if there are weapons in the car from a previous shift, how did they get there in the first place?

    Third, there are plenty of ways to deal with a guy who is handcuffed behind his back. It’s still unlikely that they could aim and get off a clean shot. Moreover, the police should have enough of a tactical advantage to deal with it without shooting the guy in the face (which btw way, if he had a gun, wouldn’t have stopped anything).

  31. Roger Rabbit

    [quote]Moreover, the police should have enough of a tactical advantage to deal with it without shooting the guy in the face (which btw way, if he had a gun, wouldn’t have stopped anything).[/quote]

    My guess is the cops were not trying to just wound him in the face. There was a case where a handcuffed suspect did pull a gun while in the back seat of a car and actually started firing at the cops from behind his back. I think the cops shot the man like 12 times. A later lawsuit accused excessive force by the cops since they shot the guy 12 times when he was handcuffed. The court found and their decision stated something like “the fact that the cops fired so many rounds does not show an over use of force, but show a justified fear for their lives.” No over use of force was found.

    Just another perspective.

  32. Double Bogey

    It seems to me that a search of a person prior to arrest is cursory at best. The person is clothed and the search is primarilly on the outside of the clothes is it not? There are many handguns in existence that would pretty easy to conceal that could be missed even during a “proper search.” I am going to be interested to see how this plays out. I wonder what the response from some of the commenters on this thread would say if the arrested individual confirms that the released version of the incident is correct?

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