April 23rd, 2014 11:53 AM
Police shooting Good or Bad? What's your opinion?
I've mentioned this case before. It happened in my town last year. IMO this reporter is a little biased towards the BG as he soft peddles the fact that the man stabbed a police officer with a "small pocket knife" but since the officer wasn't seriously hurt, thanks to some protective gear, it's less serious.
Disclaimer, I personally know the parents of one of the officers involved, so I'm on the side of the LEO's.
The officer is a really nice young guy and not some hothead looking for a shootout.
However, I'd like to hear your opinion and if you disagree with me, that's ok. I'm not sensitive about it.
Autopsy shows Martinsburg police shot Virginia man 23 times - Herald Mail Media: West Virginia
Last edited by Jeanlouise; April 23rd, 2014 at 12:24 PM.
Reason: left out a word
April 23rd, 2014 12:07 PM
Number of shots is a bit excessive, but it comes from that group mentality issue in which on person firing leads to everyone firing and 23 rounds from multiple officers really isn't much time.
The sad part is with the right jury the family might win this lawsuit.
April 23rd, 2014 12:21 PM
This statement IMO is total crap. Train them to handle people with weapons differently. I do not by it. The family has dropped the ball on this, they failed to ensure the safety of their brother. Once again, if your going to pull deadly weapons on Police, they are going to shoot you.....
From the article.
Jones’ death stemmed from (the) defendant City of Martinsburg failure to train officers who might come into contact with individuals in mental health crisis or otherwise diminished mental capacity, and that the need for training to avoid mishandling of these types of situations has been obvious to (the city) for years prior to this shooting ...” the lawsuit claims.
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April 23rd, 2014 12:22 PM
The officers tried to use non-lethal force with 2 stun gun hits that had "little effect" - it is presumed in the story that the BG kept going after the officers used the stun gun(s). The knife clearly qualifies as a deadly weapon and the amount of damage done to the officer attacked is irrelevant in my opinion - it was either his training or sheer luck that the BG didn't hit an artery, his head or some other area that would cause significant damage. Thus, IMHO, and that of the grand jury, the shooting was justified.
From there, we see that 4 officers fired on the BG. While the total round count is high and we have the issue with 8 shots to the back, we do not know what the BG was doing at that point. If the officers were spread a certain way around him and he charged at one of them, I can see hits to the back at an angle as the officers tried to defend themselves. Additionally, to some extent dead is dead. Whether one officer fired 5 shots that killed killed him or 4 officers each fired an average of 5 shots the results are likely to be the same.
I would like to have some more info, but in general I would tend to side with the officers unless it is proven or shown that the BG was trying to give up or something similar as they gunned him down.
April 23rd, 2014 12:24 PM
From experinence, when does an attack on anyone, let alone a police officer, end ? What the article does not articulate is when did the man finally succumb to death during this confrontation with multiple officers. According to the article several of the wounds with non-life threatening, therefore, it could be a reasonable assumption on people revewing the incident the man was still aggressive. Quite frankly, merely because one officer sustained a "minor" wound does not lessen the fact the dead man carried a deadly weapon, namely a knife . If the officer were shot in the vest with a bullet, would that be less threatening ?
Sorry if this offends anyone here, but it is not part of the job as a police officer to be wounded or killed. Many seem to believe officers should, for some reason, have higher thresholds of fear than the average Joe Citizen and being injured "just comes with the job." Further, the fear doesn't go away simply because the confrontation has ended...those feelings remain with the officer for quite sometime after deadly incidents...sometimes causing problems for officer(s) who have been known to resign because of the memories.
A grand jury has decided the incident was non-criminal, which has little to do with civil actions, thus, the federal civil lawsuit.
Regarding officers needing training to deal with people dealing with mental problems...that maybe in this case. However, it still does not change the fact that a man attacked a police officer with a deadly weapon. When did the issue of schizophrenia appeaar...before or after the shooting ? I know of no person who can predict mental illness without first examining a subject. Police officers are not psychiatrists.
April 23rd, 2014 12:25 PM
Glad to hear that the officer that was stabbed was able to recover! Unfortunately the only winners in this incident are the bottom feeding attorneys that seek to make money off a tragedy like this. Hopefully the Department and the good citizens of that community support the very ones who walk that thin blue line and go into harms way on their behalf.
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April 23rd, 2014 12:29 PM
Wow they are asking for $200Million That is the problem in this country with crazy lawyers and law firms.
The guy was tazed twice and stabbed an officer.. 23 shot is high.. but they did what they thought was needed at the time to stop the threat.
Or is the family saying the BG have waited until the officers present discussed who was going to employ deadly force?
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April 23rd, 2014 12:32 PM
Stun guns would have been my go to move with but with that being tried and ineffective pepper spray then guns would be the best sequence IF there were time for all that. Be easier to evaluate if we had some video but after stun gun failure an officer got stabbed. That changes everything. Time may not have allowed a more iffy response (pepper spray) before the threat needed to be stopped.
The "gory details" described by the reporter are just sensationalizing the incident. Several officers fired those shots in the matter of a few seconds so lots of holes? Sure, I have no problem with that. The guy lay on the ground 4 hours? Well get over it. He was not suffering and a thorough investigation was going on to evaluate if the officers had acted appropriately. Complaints that the officers were allowed to do desk work and get training while the investigation continued? So what? They had not been convicted (innocent till proven guilty anyone?).
Yeah, I'd say the reporter was trying out for a gig with the National Inquirer. William Randolf Hearst would have been proud.
The fact that an officer was stabbed indicates they were trying to control the man without killing him wantonly. Perhaps they could do with some more training but given the scant relevant facts we have here I think I'd side with the officers. They tried non lethal method (or less lethal) and fired when one of them was stabbed. Pocket knife or machete makes no difference to a dead officers family. Fortunately it didn't come to that but not for lack of effort or intent.
While sad that we have folks with mental problems and it would be "nice" if society could lovingly provide and control them such isn't possible. And many of them would fight such provisions tooth and nail. If they are committing crimes or attacking others they represent a threat and officers may not have time to do anything other than stop the threat.
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April 23rd, 2014 12:33 PM
"Wayne A. Jones died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds, with injuries to multiple organs, including his brain, heart, lungs, liver, kidney and stomach,..."
I certainly hope so. I'd have hated to waste that much ammo and he live. If you count up the shots attributed to each officer though, it comes to 22. And an extra hole with no misses? That's fine shooing by any PD.
I wasn't there, so I can't say whether it was wrong or right for four officers to shoot a man who had stabbed one of them. I guess they shot until they didn't need to any more.
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April 23rd, 2014 12:33 PM
The family claimed the man had mental problems for quite awhile but they admit they hadn't see him for several months.However his mental problems weren't so severe that he couldn't buy Marijuana and some other drugs. They are also trying to make this a "hate crime" because all the LEO's were white and the BG was black. They've already contacted the NAACP about it.
The BG attacked the LEO's after they repeatedly tried to stop him with a taser. The BG got up from the taser hit and ran to a corner doorway, when the LEO's got there he came at them with a "small knife". That's when all hell broke loose.
April 23rd, 2014 12:37 PM
As a former police officer, I'm also biased. The reality: crazed schizophrenic stabs cop in the chest, his deadly physical force is returned by the officers. I'm sure the rounds were fired concurrently and that only takes a couple of seconds.
The perception: 23 rounds is excessive. That's the rub. I wasn't there so I can't judge a fellow officer(s). But I can understand/expect some public outcry.
Back in '99, after the Diallo shooting, I was my precinct's Youth Officer and ran our Law Enforcement Explorer program for local teens. Following the news, the kids' emotions varied from dismay to anger to a heightened distrust of the police. They were very vocal in pleading for an explanation and justification.
Aware that any speech I could manage would largely fall on deaf ears, my partner and I devised a series of scenarios for the Explorers. Scenarios had been done frequently with them so they could act out police tactics and be graded accordingly.
We had a car stop, domestic violence incident, aided case, etc. We also concocted one scene to parallel Diallo. We changed enough so as to not alert the kids. For all scenarios, they were outfitted with point-to-point radios, training batons, and cap guns which could offer a harmless pop when fired.
We did our best to build tension as my partner played the very distracting, non-compliant suspect. As he reached for something in his pocket and began to raise it, one of the kids yelled, "gun! gun!!!"
The chorus of pops from those little cap guns was deafening, I ran in yelling for them to cease fire and said, "what are you doing?! You shot him over a cell phone! A cell phone!!!"
Their reaction was honest, the resulting adrenaline dump left a few shaky and weary. Their eyes glossed over a bit at the horror of their mistake.
These are kids, not trained as we are and therefore not at all expected to react as a professional. We only sought to give them a window into the emotion that can be involved and how not everything may be as it seems. When the desire to survive may overtake tactics.
I then drew the conversation back to Diallo when the oldest in the group said, "hey Officer Mac, that was real. I thought he had a gun and I just didn't wanna die. I don't know what the police were thinking when they faced Diallo, but I doubt that they left the police station that night intending to kill someone." The rest of the group agreed and the consensus was similar to mine, unwilling to judge.
April 23rd, 2014 12:38 PM
If all officers fired in unison, the shooting could well have been over in just a couple seconds. Not excessive at all, particularly if they were all close to the man armed with the knife.
April 23rd, 2014 12:38 PM
200 million from a city of less than 20,000 people? Gimme a break.
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April 23rd, 2014 12:42 PM
How exactly is the family saying the officers should have been trained differently? Were they supposed to just allow themselves to be attacked and stabbed? The officers are also people with families and want to go home at night. This isn't just an issue of getting compliance with the minimum amount of force, but an issue of defending themselves.
April 23rd, 2014 12:43 PM
Who fired the 23rd shot? Only 22 shots are accounted for, per the article, but 23 shots are proclaimed and noted. I assume that one of the bullets may have made 2 holes, but that is not how the article is written.
Grand jury no billed the cops - that says a bunch right there.
Perp appears to have been shot while on the ground, or attempting to get up from the ground. I am somewhat surprised that with 5 cops they could not subdue him with night sticks after the stun gun failed. Sure seems to me like 5 cops could have smacked the pocket knife out of his hand with a night stick.
I am sure that the GJ saw much we are not seeing and would rely on their opinion. 23 shots does seem like a few too many, but that is more of a PR nightmare than a legal issue if the GJ cleared the cops.
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