Houston man shot by police in group home

This is a discussion on Houston man shot by police in group home within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Can we try this again with intelligent discussion so the thread does not get closed again. I seldom agree with mods when they close a ...

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Thread: Houston man shot by police in group home

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    Houston man shot by police in group home

    Can we try this again with intelligent discussion so the thread does not get closed again. I seldom agree with mods when they close a thread but last time I agreed.

    For those that think the LEO was correct or "waiting for more information" can we get something better than "do stupid things, win stupid prizes"? I respect LEO's and would like to think they do not like handing out stupid prizes to mentally ill people regardless of the situation.

    For those that are LEO haters let us try something better than....well, what ever it is that gets these threads closed.

    My question is pretty straight forward. Obviously with the advantage of hindsight, with the facts given in the article, is there anything that folks think could have been done to avoid the death of the guy. LEO's, I particularly am interested in your opinions. The man was threatening one officer but the officer that shot him was apparently not. I have a hard time seeing a circumstance where he had to be shot but I do have an open mind and am curious to the thought process going through their heads.

    We have to remember that the LEO's were called to a group home for mentally disturbed folks.


    Houston police chief asks for FBI's help in shooting of disabled man - CNN.com
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    Distinguished Member Array Chaplain Scott's Avatar
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    Well, my first reaction is "Wow!! A head shot for trying to stab with a pen" But then, perhaps the shooting officer was at an angle that he could not see what was actually in the wheel-chair-bound man's hand. He MAY have just seen the hand motions towards his partner (who was backed into a corner by the mentaly ill man) that made it look like he was going to stab his partner.

    I also find it interesting that the shooting officer was involved 3 years ago as a younger LEO in shooting and killing a man who had actually stabbed a couple of people---possibly that experience colored his judgment in this situation--mentally unstable man acting in a similar manner (similar hand montions??), while attacking his parter??
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    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    We have a group home on our street and the LEO;s are there like every week. They seem to have to come for the same guy. He has serious mental issues and one of the LEO's said they take their time him because they know his history. They usually have 3 cars or more on a call and an ambulance. Wondering if the it is the same situation here.
    Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
    And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

    Isaiah 6:8

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    VIP Member Array Badey's Avatar
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    He made an aggressive move with something in his hand, and failed to comply with the officers' lawful commands... I am not glad the guy is dead, but I think the officer made the right call from what I have read.

    I'm not sure how they could have handled it differently, unless they tazed the guy earlier on, but then they would have been accused of police brutality for tazing a disabled man in a wheelchair...
    "My problem with life is not that it is rational nor that it is irrational, but that it is almost rational." - G.K. Chesterton

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    Member Array JayTee's Avatar
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    Umm...the guy in the wheelchair was a DOUBLE AMPUTEE! Now, I am in no way a cop hater, but really? A double amputee??

    I can't really say for sure what I would have done, but I can damn sure tell you what I wouldn't have done, and thats shoot a wheelchair-ridden double amputee in the head!

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    Senior Member Array Lish's Avatar
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    I'm having a hard time with this story. I do think most LEO's will react to protect their partner or themselves. They don't often have all the info we have looking back after the fact. It is a hard visual that a man in a wheelchair was shot, but I wasn't there. My biggest issue is the group home. They called the police -justified? - maybe. Because he was causing a disturbance? That's got me curious. I've seen a lot of staff overreact and involve LEO's when they really didn't need to. I've seen a lot of people get set off by the way their caretaker was handling or speaking to them.
    "On Saturday officers went to a group home for the mentally ill where Brian Claunch lived. A reported schizophrenic, Claunch was acting aggressively because his caretaker refused to give him a cigarette and a
    soda, according to police and the facility owner."

    I'm curious too that the group home staff didn't say to the police "he's just got a pen" I guess maybe they did? But I'm guessing not as it's been reported the police didn't know what he had in his hand.

    It makes me very sad that this ended the way it did but I hold the group home more responsible overall. It seems they could have communicated with police better and prevented this kind of outcome.

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    Distinguished Member Array dangerranger's Avatar
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    I'm most sorry for the officers. I have seen an 80lb female mental patient take out 5 grown men while trying to subdue her. Ive seen a guy in a wheel chair send two officers to the hospital while trying to give him the meds that he requested! With the mentally ill you never know what they will do! I work In a very large jail, and on my wall I have a collection of pics of things that Inmates have done to guards. This includes a pic of a woman with a pen sticking out of the side of her head! I keep these pics to remind my guys why we don't get careless around inmates.

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    Distinguished Member Array jumpwing's Avatar
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    As he advanced toward the officers, Claunch was "refusing to show his hands," the representative said.

    From the shooting officer's perspective, the item in the patient's hand could have been a disposable first-aid scalpel or a syringe filled with God-only-knows what.
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    Distinguished Member Array Chaplain Scott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lish View Post
    I'm having a hard time with this story. I do think most LEO's will react to protect their partner or themselves. They don't often have all the info we have looking back after the fact. It is a hard visual that a man in a wheelchair was shot, but I wasn't there. My biggest issue is the group home. They called the police -justified? - maybe. Because he was causing a disturbance? That's got me curious. I've seen a lot of staff overreact and involve LEO's when they really didn't need to. I've seen a lot of people get set off by the way their caretaker was handling or speaking to them.
    "On Saturday officers went to a group home for the mentally ill where Brian Claunch lived. A reported schizophrenic, Claunch was acting aggressively because his caretaker refused to give him a cigarette and a
    soda, according to police and the facility owner."

    I'm curious too that the group home staff didn't say to the police "he's just got a pen" I guess maybe they did? But I'm guessing not as it's been reported the police didn't know what he had in his hand.

    It makes me very sad that this ended the way it did but I hold the group home more responsible overall. It seems they could have communicated with police better and prevented this kind of outcome.
    I have a daughter that is an RN is a psych ward of a hospital---sometimes they have had to call the local PD to tazer an overly aggressive patient---the patient has been too much for the in-hospital security team to handle.
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    VIP Member Array Secret Spuk's Avatar
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    My opinion... based on my own training and experience.

    I dont know what really happened in that group home. Based on the news report... I'd have a problem with the actions of the two Officers. There are established prociedure, and precaution for dealing with emotionally disturbed people. I was involved with a very newsworthy situation where an EDP was shot to death. Her death resulted in quite a few changes in prociedure. I suspect these Officers mis-handled this situation. I cant understand how one officer got himself trapped off by an amputee in a wheelchair. I dont understand why an officer would shoot someone because he cant see what is in his hands. I dont get why a police officer would even bring deadly force into the situation. I wonder if their department has the training or equipment to deal with EDP's on a regular basis. A city the size of Huston I would hope so.

    What would I have done?... Probably kicked the wheelchair over.
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    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    The officer has been on the force for five years and has been involved in two shootings? That seems unusual.
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    Wow...just wow...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Secret Spuk View Post
    My opinion... based on my own training and experience.

    I dont know what really happened in that group home. Based on the news report... I'd have a problem with the actions of the two Officers. There are established prociedure, and precaution for dealing with emotionally disturbed people. I was involved with a very newsworthy situation where an EDP was shot to death. Her death resulted in quite a few changes in prociedure. I suspect these Officers mis-handled this situation. I cant understand how one officer got himself trapped off by an amputee in a wheelchair. I dont understand why an officer would shoot someone because he cant see what is in his hands. I dont get why a police officer would even bring deadly force into the situation. I wonder if their department has the training or equipment to deal with EDP's on a regular basis. A city the size of Huston I would hope so.

    What would I have done?... Probably kicked the wheelchair over.
    Good questions, and good points.

    But for kicking over the wheelchair, that would put your leg within striking range of whatever he's carrying. This doesn't explain how the officer got trapped in the first place, but it explains the difficulty in getting out of it.
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    VIP Member Array blitzburgh's Avatar
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    Bad shoot. Guy in a wheelchair armed with a ..... pen.

    I mean, surely there was a less than lethal weapon to use. IMO, sounds like the perfect time to use a less than lethal.

    Imagine how it'd go if one of us who CC or OC shot in the same situation. Shouldn't be any different for the LEO here.

    Having a badge doesn't make it any more or less screwed up.

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    Member Array RichB70's Avatar
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    Whatever happened to the good old night stick. I lived in Boston Mass. as a teenager and never saw a LEO pull a gun but the night stick was used quite often. Big Irish cops who didn't take any bull. This is a bad shoot IMO.


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