Yesterday an Essex County, NJ, grand jury indicted Newark police officer Jovanny Crespo in the murder of Gregory C. Griffin, who drove off from a traffic stop with passenger Andrew Dixon after a report from another officer that she'd spotted a handgun in Griffin's car.
Crespo's driver pulled Griffin over, Crespo ran to the driver's side of Griffin's car, and when Griffin sped away he fired three shots into the car. Crespo claimed a gun was pointed at him. A minute later Griffin's car stopped at an intersection, Crespo again exited his police vehicle, then fired three more shots into the car as it again sped away. A mile further down the road Griffin's car came to a stop, Crespo ran to the passenger door, fired two more shots into the vehicle, then opened the door and pulled Mr. Dixon out. Mr. Griffin was slumped in the driver's seat. He died in hospital the next day.
Some police officers seem to think it's the wild west out there.
The Newark Police Department remains under a federal consent decree after a federal investigation identified a number of problems.
Recent incidents documented in passing in these pages, which are primarily focused on police shootings with guns, say that police shouldn't have Tasers, either. The same poor training and judgment that argues against police having guns also argues against their having Tasers.
Maggie Thomas was parked in her car with her 4-year old daughter when she was approached by Atlanta police Sergeant James Hines who began questioning her. He discovered the car had no insurance and told her not to drive it. Returning to his vehicle he ran her name and discovered an outstanding warrant for a speeding ticket. Hines returned to Thomas's car at which point the incident escalated. Hines pulled Thomas from her car, slammed her to the ground, punched her in the face, tased her, and placed her in handcuffs, all in front of her 4-year daughter.
There's a video. It's sad that without these videos so little police misbehavior would come to light - the testimony of police officers is given much more weight than that of those wronged. For example, Hines claimed Thomas bit him, but there's no indication of this, not on the video and not on his person:
The warrant was later found to have been issued in error. Charges against Thomas have been dropped.
Hines was dismissed on May 17, 2019.
Thomas still bears the marks of Hines attack, and she and her daughter are both in counseling.
Most police do not need to carry weapons. Loud parties, wellness checks, routine patrols and so forth do not require armed officers. For reports of crimes in progress, shots fired, violent disputes and so forth, then you send specially trained officers.
Former officer Noor should not be suffering the lion's share of the punishment. The $20 million Minneapolis is paying out is small potatoes for a city that size, plus it's very likely the insurance company that is paying, so Minneapolis is getting away almost scot free.
The jury apparently didn't buy Noor's argument at the criminal trial that he was a victim of his own department's training, but I do buy it, assuming it's true. It must have received a great deal of credence in the civil suit, otherwise Minneapolis wouldn't be paying out $20 million. Reread Message 215 where Noor describes his training. He was trained to shoot first or you might die. We don't want people with this kind of training walking our streets, and it was the city of Minneapolis that provided that training.
As recounted in a Washington Post article, a 4-year old took a doll from a store, and police terrorized the parents by pulling their weapons and assaulting them, their young children looking on in confused horror. Video is available, and NBC News had a story that includes portions of it:
The full video is available in the article.
It is very fortunate no one was hurt. The parents are suing the city of Phoenix for $10 million. I'm guessing they'll settle out of court for an undisclosed amount, but that it will be in the neighborhood of $2 million.
The problem I see here is that it is too easy for police to slip into a frame of mind where lack of instant obedience is perceived as resisting, then the police go into full threat mode. Note the police accusation of feeling threatened. When police are in this frame of mind everything's a threat.
From news reports and statements by the family it seems that Hanna Williams, 17, was depressed and upset when she stole her family's rented SUV on July 5th and headed down an Anaheim freeway. Her father became concerned and called 911, but by that time Hanna was dead. She had sped past an officer taking his police dog to the vet. He attempted to pull Hanna over, but she purposefully stuck his vehicle, pulled a U-turn to point the wrong way, then came to a stop.
The officer exited his vehicle only to find Hanna in a shooting stance pointing a gun at him. He immediately pulled his gun and fired. Hanna, shot in the chest, died at the hospital a short while later.
Body cam footage shows that the officer behaved completely appropriately. I can't find the complete body cam footage online, but here's a news report that includes a short segment of the footage that I've positioned at the exact right spot. You may have to work a little to stop the video at the exact right spot, but when you do you'll see Hanna in a shooting stance with a gun pointed directly at the cop:
The police investigation isn't over yet, but to me this seems an obvious example of suicide by cop. Hanna's gun was a harmless replica. The cop, who hasn't been identified, could not know that and had no choice but to fire.
This incident is full of ambivalence. Does a canine officer need to carry a gun? If he hadn't carried a gun then Hanna would still be alive. But if Hanna's gun had been real then the officer might be dead, in fact would be dead if Hanna was a good shot because she had the jump on him. This occurred on a freeway, putting members of the public in danger. Should the officer have exited his vehicle and strode toward her once he knew that Hanna had exited hers? Should he instead have immediately taken cover and called for backup, just because of the erratic behavior and it not being known yet whether Hanna was armed?
quote:Tony Timpa wailed and pleaded for help more than 30 times as Dallas police officers pinned his shoulders, knees and neck to the ground. “You’re gonna kill me! You’re gonna kill me! You’re gonna kill me!” After Timpa fell unconscious, the officers who had him in handcuffs assumed he was asleep and didn’t confirm that he was breathing or feel for a pulse. As precious minutes passed, the officers laughed and joked about waking Timpa up for school and making him waffles for breakfast. Body camera footage obtained Tuesday by The Dallas Morning News shows first responders waited at least four minutes after Timpa became unresponsive to begin CPR. His nose was buried in the grass while officers claimed to hear him snoring — apparently unaware that the unarmed man was drawing his last breaths. […] He had already been handcuffed by a private security guard before police arrived. He never threatens to hurt or kill the police. The footage also shows the officers mocking Timpa as he struggled to live. Shortly after one officer ridicules Timpa’s repeated cries for help, an officer notes that he appears to be “out cold.” They joke that he’s merely asleep and try to wake him: “It’s time for school. Wake up!” One officer mimics a teen saying: “I don’t want to go to school! Five more minutes, Mom!” They joke about buying him new shoes for the first day of school and making him a special breakfast, laughing loudly.
Facts don't lie or have an agenda. Facts are just facts
"God did it" is not an argument. It is an excuse for intellectual laziness.
If your viewpoint has merits and facts to back it up why would you have to lie?
30-year old Margarita Brooks was passed out in a grassy area of Arlington, Texas, when she was approached by a young officer only a month out of training conducting a wellness check. He asked her if she was alright and if this was her dog. The dog, a small beagle/Labrador retriever mix, charged the officer who fired three shots that only grazed the dog but struck Miss Brooks in the chest. She was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Yet another wellness check gone horribly wrong. Brooks was the daughter of Arlington's Fire Department Captain Troy Brooks. I'm betting the family all liked guns and still do.
Imagine that, wellness checks a menace to the public. Everything would likely have been fine if the officer had conducted no wellness check at all, or if he hadn't been carrying a gun. If you're carrying anything that can hurt people like a gun or a taser or a baton then you shouldn't be conducting wellness checks. Those things are the opposite of what is needed for a wellness check. Wellness checks should be conducted by people carrying not guns but little black bags of handy medical equipment like a stethoscope, Tylenol, inhalers, Narcan, etc. If the situation appears dangerous then they stand down and call police for backup. In this case they would have called an animal control officer.
Another very significant issue: This happened around 5:30 in the afternoon, likely at a public park or some similar public space. How many other people were in the park, including children? Yet this officer fired three shots indiscriminately in essentially random directions. Whatever direction the dog was coming at him from, that's the direction he fired.
There's no new news in the wrongful death case against South Pasadena in the shooting death of actress Vanessa Marquez who was killed during a wellness check back in August of last year. The subthread begins at Message 132:
Why are cops so afraid of dogs that they must shoot?
I have been chased/charged by over 200 (or 500) dogs in my life, and I never got any teeth sunk into me (just a few times when I was little, and it was never such a big bite).
I am not a cop, and I assume they will get a higher percentage of actual attacks (not simply a charging dog but a bite).
Back in NYC, I have literally been threatened with arrest for (almost) refusing to walk down a street where a man with a seizure had a dog protecting him. I think a dog got shot one time, right after an officer told me to go another way, so I could not see what was about to happen (I'm not sure what happened the time I was sort of involved).
I wish there was something that could be done, because this society is full of cowards that shoot dogs, knowing there will be no criminal charges against the shooters.
Why not wait until a dog actually bites before shooting? A gun ensures no problem getting them off.
(I know jaws lock on some dogs, as it happened when I walked a Pit Bull which got attacked by a skunk. He got too close and the skunk attacked him, then he killed it by biting its back. He got a good hold and his jaw locked. He could not unlock his jaw, and it took me 15 minutes to separate his locked jaw from the skunk. A jaw lock is the only reason a cop should shoot before actually getting physically attacked, and it is a weak reason.)
And most bites are weak anyway.
There has to be something better than shooting in most of these dog shooting cases.
The Dayton Shooter was shot and killed by police within 30 seconds from the outset of the event. Had police been unarmed (except for SWAT teams), it would have taken said SWAT team over an hour to mobilize. Given the suspect had two magazine drums of 100 rounds, and managed to kill 8 or 9 in the span of less than 30 seconds, means the massacre would have been infinitely worse in terms of casualties. An event such as this is precisely why American law enforcement is armed and it is only because they were armed and ran towards the gunfire instead of away from it that the numbers were thankfully mitigated.
"Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it" -- Thomas Paine
An event such as this is precisely why American law enforcement is armed and it is only because they were armed and ran towards the gunfire instead of away from it that the numbers were thankfully mitigated.
So you're trading one mass shooting for dozens of wrongful individual shootings by police. How does the body count balance?
"Come all of you cowboys and don't ever run As long as there's bullets in both of your guns" -- Woody Guthrie