NYPD Shoots another innocent – but it’s not negligence this time.

It was, however, fatal.

Dramatic security video released by police shows the uniformed officer, his gun drawn, positioned outside the Bronx shop’s front door moments after a 911 call. In a flash, the store manager rushes out the door. Closely behind with his head down is Renaldo Cuevas, who runs full speed into the officer, sending both men tumbling to the sidewalk.

A pool of blood appears to form on the ground the instant Cuevas lands on his back. The officer is kneeling and pointing his semiautomatic at Cuevas when the video clip ends.

I may catch flak for this, but because of how things happened, this looks to be truly an accident, not negligence. I can’t even call a Rule 3 violation, here, given the situation. From the surveillance video, it’s obvious that something from the other direction spooked the officer so that, while he was still monitoring the door next to him, his attention was mainly focused in the other direction.  So when the robbery victims ran out of the shop, he was completely surprised by them and was ready to shoot. The fact that he didn’t shoot either person intentionally is a testament to his restraint, but he didn’t have time to transition from “ready to shoot” mode when the second robbery victim came out the door and ran into him (seriously, watch the video – if you blink, you can miss it). His finger was likely still on the trigger, and the impact either hit just right to manipulate the gun in his hand so the trigger was pulled, or it triggered the officer’s “monkey grip” reflex and he pulled the trigger in the process.

This is a tragedy, but it looks like the only ones at fault are the robbers for creating the situation in the first place. I can’t blame the officer this time. Fortunately, the suspects are in custody, and are facing murder charges.

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[Source: AP article on Yahoo! News, retrieved 9/8/12]

Jennifer Agee update

A minor update to a story from last year – the murder of Jennifer Agee (link goes to my posts on the murder and scandal). From today’s Roanoke Times:

Ewell Hunt, who lost a bid for re-election last year to Bill Overton, has been charged with misconduct in office stemming from a Memorial Day 2011 shooting rampage believed to have been committed by one of his former deputies.

Hunt has been charged under common law, or law that hasn’t been codified by the Virginia General Assembly, said Carl Tobias, a professor at the University of Richmond School of Law.

[...]

Almost a half-hour before Jennifer Carter Agee was shot to death in the parking lot of a Sheetz convenience store in Roanoke on Memorial Day 2011, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office was warned that her sheriff’s deputy ex-husband, Jonathan Agee, had a rifle and was driving to Salem to kill her.

But Hunt told his dispatch center not to issue a “be on the lookout” alert to other law enforcement agencies, saying he would take care of the situation himself, according to a sheriff’s office radio call log. He ordered a dispatcher “not to mention anything,” that log shows.

This murder, and his actions relating to it, are what ultimately cost Hunt his reelection bid. The surviving family has already accepted a settlement in their wrongful death lawsuit against him. Now he will have a permanent mark on his record that will hopefully keep him out of any kind of law enforcement forever.

The charge is a Class 1 Misdemeanor – I’m not sure if that’s an upper limit because it’s not statutory law, or some other reason – which is punishable by jail for no more than 12 months and up to a $2,500 fine. It’s not real justice for the results of this man’s actions, but it is something.

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[Source: Roanoke Times article, retrieved 6/1/12]

An April 16 victim’s mother speaks out… in support of guns on campus.

Holly Adams, mother of Leslie Adams, one of the 32 victims of the Virginia Tech massacre, speaks out against the likes of Colin Goddard and other anti-Rights activists. I received this on Monday – the fifth anniversary of the shootings – by email from VCDL, and I will reproduce her entire statement here.

On April 16, 2007, my child, Leslie Sherman, was killed by Seung-Hui Cho during the Virginia Tech massacre.  Today is the fifth anniversary of her death.  Always in my memories, every day I wish that this tragedy was a nightmare and I could wake up to hold my daughter even if it is just one more time.  That opportunity might have been possible if someone been able to defend and protect my daughter in her classroom before Cho took 30 precious lives.

There is an unfortunate drive for more gun control and the continuation of preventing guns on campus by parents whose children lived or survived during that fatal day.  Several family members of those victims have actively voiced their support for increased gun control measures.  As result, it has been assumed that they speak for all families of the Virginia Tech victims.  I am writing this to make it clear that this is not the case.  They do not represent me and my views.

Speaking for myself, I would give anything if someone on campus; a professor, one of the trained military or guardsman taking classes or another student could have saved my daughter by shooting Cho before he killed our loved ones.  Because professors, staff and students are precluded from protecting themselves on campus, Cho, a student at Virginia Tech himself, was able to simply walk on campus and go on a killing rampage with no worry that anyone would stop him.

I ask a simple question:  Would the other parents of victims be forever thankful if a professor or student was allowed to carry a firearm and could have stopped Seung-Hui Cho before their loved one was injured or killed?  I would be. I also suspect that the tragedy may not have occurred at all if Cho knew that either faculty members or students were permitted to carry their own weapons on campus.  Cho took his own life before campus police were able to reach him and put a stop to his killing spree.

A sad testament to this anniversary date is the number of similar killings in schools and public places that have taken place afterwards as if nothing has changed to help prevent such needless and heartbreaking events.  That is why I fully support the VCDL in their outstanding efforts to help prevent this type of tragedy and loss from occurring in the future.

Holly Adams

Given who is making the statement, and in order to keep it a faithful reproduction, I will make an exception to my normal policy of redacting the killer’s name.

This statement stands on its own. It is, in it’s entirety, today’s quote of the day. I can add nothing, except to note that you won’t see the mainstream media printing this, or even acknowledging its existence.

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(h/t to SayUncle and Robb Allen for reminding me about this.

The Media Lies: Part II – The Dowdification of George Zimmerman

Les Jones did a post based on a comment I made at Weer’d’s blog, and I thought I should probably do my own post on it as a follow-up to yesterday’s post. It’s a contemporary and easily verified example of the media lying by misquoting, in what can only be a deliberately misleading and malicious attempt by MSNBC to paint George Zimmerman as an unapologetic and open racist.

“This guy looks like he’s up to no good … he looks black,” Zimmerman told a police dispatcher from his car.

The thing is, that’s not really what he said. If you look at the transcript of the 911 call, or listen to the recording, you can easily see that for yourself. And while the words MSNBC published did come from Zimmerman, you’ll see that an important part of that conversation is missing. A part that makes what he actually said incredibly different.

Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.

Dispatcher: Okay, is this guy, is he white, black, or hispanic?

Zimmerman: He looks black.

That paints an entirely different picture, doesn’t it? One that’s far less damning to Zimmerman in the court of public opinion.

If they’re going to lie that brazenly about something that’s so easily verifiable, what else are they lying about, in this case and in others? I and others pointed out the problem with their quote in comments at their site four days ago, but it has not been changed and no retraction or correction has been published that I am aware of. This means it can only have been deliberate.

Do not trust the news media. Whether it’s to boost their ratings, to advance their political agenda, or simply because they’re too lazy to learn the truth, they cannot be trusted.

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[Source: U.S. News on MSNBC.com article, retrieved 3/23/12 (for my comment at Weer'd World) and again on 3/27/12]
[Source: Examiner.com transcription of George Zimmerman's 911 call, retrieved 3/23/12 (for my comment at Weer'd World) and again on 3/27/12]

(h/t SayUncle)

An update to yesterday’s home invasion story – now a homicide

Update – 6 January 2012: The suspect has been arrested.

New information has been published about Monday’s home invasion beating in Roanoke, that I posted about yesterday. There are two key facts I want to cover before anything else.

First, this is now a murder. The male victim has died from his injuries.

Secondly, I need to make a correction. The original story made it appear as if the female victim owned the home where this occurred, and that the male victim did not live there. The new story states that they were actually married, and rented and lived in the home together.

The police have now named a suspect.

On Wednesday, officers were looking for Christopher Lee Saunders, of Roanoke, who was wanted on charges of breaking and entering, malicious wounding and assault and battery, said Roanoke police spokeswoman Aisha Johnson.

They are still saying this was not a random attack, but are not releasing anything about any suspected motive or any relationship between the victim and attacker.

Expanding a bit on my previous post, it is worth noting that the suspected attacker is 24 years old, and the victim was 56 years old and a dialysis patient. The family says he had recently been in the hospital for several months, and was bedridden. How can a 56 year old man on dialysis and who was bedridden be expected to defend himself against a (presumably) healthy man half his age without some type of force-multiplier – such as a firearm? Yet the victim in this case was permanently barred from firearm ownership because of a single incident 20 years ago, despite the fact that he was trusted with such other dangerous items like gasoline, fertilizer, matches, or any of dozens of household chemicals. Even worse, because of his history, his wife was effectively prohibited from possessing a firearm in the home as well, without taking elaborate and probably prohibitively expensive precautions to prevent any possibility of her husband having “access” to it. Her age is not given, but it’s likely it would be difficult for her to defend herself against this attacker, much less her ailing husband, using only the weapons she would be allowed to keep in their home.

I will reiterate here that, as far as I can tell, he turned his life around and had been a law-abiding and productive citizen for the last 20 years. There is simply no valid reason someone like that should have been prohibited from possessing a firearm.

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[Source: The Roanoke Times, retrieved 1/5/12]

The Magical Thinking of the Anti-Rights Cult

We often talk about how the anti-Rights cultists* – and specifically the ones who oppose the Right to Keep and Bear Arms – continually push the idea that banning firearms in a location (parks, schools, libraries, post offices, banks, etc.) will prevent criminals from shooting people in those places. Those of us with a grasp of logic, human behaviour, and science like to call this viewpoint “magical thinking.” It is the irrational idea that passing a law – in other words, putting words on paper -  will control the behaviour of those who are already willing to violate other laws against murder, rape, assault, or robbery.

We see a particularly egregious** example of this in this article about the recent murder of a National Park Ranger in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington.

The shooting renewed debate about a federal law that made it legal for people to take loaded weapons into Mount Rainier. The 2010 law made possession of firearms in national parks subject to state gun laws.

Bill Wade, the outgoing chair of the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees, said Congress should be regretting its decision to allow loaded weapons in national parks.

He called Sunday’s fatal shooting a tragedy that could have been prevented. He hopes Congress will reconsider the law that took effect in early 2010, but doubts that will happen in today’s political climate. [emphasis mine - Jake]

He believes (or claims to) that somehow a law against possessing a gun in national parks would have stopped someone on the run from the police after shooting multiple people from bringing his gun into the park, so that it would have been impossible for him to shoot the ranger. And he expects other people to believe this irrational assertion, too.

Shooting people (outside of certain specific circumstances such as self-defense) is illegal. Fleeing from the police is illegal. There is some (currently unconfirmed) speculation that it may have been illegal for him to possess a firearm at all. None of these laws prevented him from doing any of those things, some more than once. How would one more law have stopped him?

Laws prohibiting the possession of guns (or alcohol, or drugs, or anything else) only stop the law abiding. They do nothing to stop those who ignore the law, they only provide a basis for punishment after the fact. A law against carrying guns in national parks would have done nothing to prevent this murder, and anyone who claims otherwise is simply denying reality.

END OF LINE

* Yes, it is a cult.

** Made even more egregious by the timing – just one day after her death, which is in itself an example of the common anti-Rights cultists’ practice of “blood-dancing” – and by the AP’s bias-induced failure to provide an opposing viewpoint.

[Source: AP article on FoxNews.com, retrieved 1/3/12]

(h/t Sean Sorrentino)

Presented without comment

The policeman stood and faced his God, Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining just as brightly as his brass.
“Step forward now, policeman. How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek? To my church have you been true?”
The policeman squared his shoulders and said, “No Lord I guess I ain’t,
because those of us who carry badges can’t always be a Saint.
I’ve had to work most Sundays, and at times my work was rough.
Sometimes I have been violent, because the streets are awfully tough.
But I never took a penny, that wasn’t mine to keep.
I worked a lot of overtime when the bills just got too steep.
And I never passed a cry for help, though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God forgive me, I’ve wept unmanly tears.
I know I don’t deserve a place among the people here.
They never wanted me around except to calm their fear.
If you’ve a place for me here, Lord It needn’t be so grand.
I never expected or had too much, but if you don’t I’ll understand.”
There was a silence all around the throne Where the Saints had often trod.
As the policeman waited quietly for the judgment of his God.

“Step forward now, policeman, You’ve borne your burdens well.
Come walk a beat on Heaven’s streets You’ve done your time in Hell.”

Author: Unknown

Deriek W Crouse, VTPD

Deriek Wayne Crouse
August 17, 1972 – December 8, 2011

Fallen in the Line of Duty

Short Update – Today’s Shooting at Virginia Tech

I’m now free from my other activities – those who have been following my blog and my comments elsewhere can probably guess what I was doing – and can give a short follow-up.

Here’s a quick summary of what happened, from my perspective and based on what I was able to determine with information from publicly available sources.

At around 1230 today, a Virginia Tech police car came past my office running emergently, and clearly responding to something, not simply pulling someone over. A second officer did the same thing a few seconds later. I didn’t think anything in particular, because it’s not unheard of, but it caught my interest, so I opened up the local internet scanner to see what was up. There’s about a 10-15 second delay from the radio transmission to it being streamed onto the net, so I was in time to hear the location and the words “officer down.” There was traffic about a “suspect vehicle”, so while the thought of a shooting did enter my head I was also considering the possibility of a traffic accident involving an officer. I still don’t know if it was an officer who had arrived on scene, or a dispatcher relaying information from the caller, but what I heard shortly afterward chilled my blood.

The downed officer had stopped someone and was writing a ticket when another person just walked up and shot him. The shooter then took off running, and his location at the time was unknown.

Even worse was the initial description of the suspect: A white male in a maroon hoodie and grey sweatpants with a backpack.

Virginia Tech’s colours are maroon and orange, and grey sweatpants are very common. It was like issuing a BOL for a white male in a red and white striped shirt with a red and white bobble hat and black glasses at a Where’s Waldo convention.

Shortly afterwards, there was a second description of the suspect given that did not match the original, including a report that he had a rifle. This caused speculation about the possibility a second suspect. As I noted in my original post, very early on there were reports of the second person down at the parking lot known as “the cage”. That single radio report that I heard indicated that the person down matched the original description, and had a handgun but no rifle. What followed over the next two hours or so was confusing to follow, but at at least one point included reports of shots fired in various locations that were too far apart for them to all be real if there was only one person involved. Each of these reports was checked and the locations secured. None of them were accurate. There was early speculation that he had gotten into a vehicle and fled, and a description and license plate number were given. I don’t know specifically what happened with that except that it was fairly quickly determined that he was in fact on foot, but I suspect it may have been the description of the vehicle the murdered officer had originally stopped. Things eventually settled into what sounded like a practiced and orderly search of campus and the buildings.

At my office, I immediately locked the doors and notified my coworkers once I realized what was going on. I also adjusted my sidearm from it’s usual “deep concealment” to an easier to access but still concealed position. We settled in to monitoring the situation through the internet scanner, twitter, facebook, and the local news websites. All reports put the shooter moving away from my office, but some of the shots fired reports were uncomfortably close. At about 1430, the boss (who was out of the office at the time) made the decision to send everyone home. As I was the only one at the office carrying at the time, I made sure I was the last one out and stayed in the parking lot watching until everyone else was in their cars and in motion before getting into my car to leave.

—–

From this point on, I was involved in activities that exposed me to some privileged information. At this point, I need to be able to look over the news reports to sort out what has been publicly released and what I learned through those activities that hasn’t been released, so I can’t really say much more. I will note that it was approximately 5-10 minutes, maybe as much as 15, from the time I became aware of the shooting to the time the campus alert sirens went off and the information appeared on the website. If you consider that the first officers needed to get there, find out that it’s a real report, find out from witnesses what happened and that the shooter was not there and still on the loose, relay that to dispatch, and for the dispatchers to do what they need to do to initiate the alert system, that 5-15 minutes is actually pretty reasonable (especially on the lower end).

I hate the “mainstream media”, with a passion. Especially once they reach the point of “we’ve told you everything that anyone knows for certain, now we’re just talking to fill airtime.” Wild speculation, blatantly stupid statements, misleading statements, blatantly wrong statements, idle chatter for hours on end, and repeating themselves for hours on end, just so they can avoid not talking about the killing for more than five seconds. They did the same thing on April 16, four years ago, and it infuriated me then, too.

It will take me a little while to get the rest of what I can and can’t say sorted out. To make things more complicated, I have a family funeral to go to tomorrow (not related, not unexpected, and a situation where it was probably a blessing for the deceased, but still a funeral for a loved one), and internet access at my parents’ house is spotty, so I’ll be mostly away from the ‘net until late Saturday.

It’s also going to take me a bit to get my head sorted out. I was here for April 16, and for the Morva manhunt. So… it’s just going to take a bit.

Stay safe, stay alert, and keep Virginia Tech in your thoughts and prayers.

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Guerena family sues Pima County

Jose Guerena’s family has filed a lawsuit against Pima County for the raid that resulted in his death.

Jose Guerena, a 26-year-old Marine and Iraq war veteran, was killed May 5 when a SWAT team broke into his home a little after 9:30 a.m. According to Guerena’s wife, Vanessa (who was home at he time, along with their 4-year-old son), Guerena thought the police were home invaders. He ushered his family into a closet, then grabbed a rifle. When the police battered down the door, they saw Guerena and his rifle, and opened fire. The SWAT team released 70 rounds. Guerena didn’t fire a shot; the safety of his rifle was still on.

Last week, Arizona attorney Chris Scileppi filed notice of a $20 million lawsuit against Pima County, Ariz., on behalf of Guerena’s family. The lawsuit provides a good opportunity to look back at what has happened since since the morning of May 5.

The linked article gives a good summary of the whole thing, and links to several other good criticisms of the raid. I’ve linked to my posts on this (one of which has video of the raid) above.

I hope the family gets something resembling justice in this. His death was nothing short of state-sanctioned murder.

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[Source: Huffington Post article, retrieved 8/19/11]

(h/t Sipsey Street Irregulars)

New development in the Jose Guerena killing

The Pima Co. Sheriff’s Office is now saying that one of the guns found in Jose Guerena’s home was stolen. There is no information on what kind of gun it was or how he may have gotten it.

Considering how hard (and unsuccessfully) they were trying to smear him earlier, I’m surprised it took them this long to release that information. Given their earlier behaviour, I have to remain suspicious.

[Source: KOLD News website, retrieved 6/30/11]

(h/t Linoge)

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