Police accidently hit toddler while shooting bank robber

This is a discussion on Police accidently hit toddler while shooting bank robber within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; It goes with the job, sometimes you don't have a lot of time to think about the actions you will take. You make the best ...

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Thread: Police accidently hit toddler while shooting bank robber

  1. #16
    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    It goes with the job, sometimes you don't have a lot of time to think about the actions you will take. You make the best decision you can make in a split second, then spend the next several years trying to live with that decision. The whole time your actions are put under a microscope and a lot of people say that you sure should not have done it the way you did? They make their decision many times years after the event, so they have had a whole lot of time to think over the decision you made in the blink of an eye.

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  3. #17
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    re: sixto

    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    Seems clear to me.
    Yes it is clear. I misunderstood it first time through.

    Car jacking had to be stopped.

    Anyway, here a person is responsible for what they hit when they fire a gun.

    The main point I was trying to make is that the child receives compensation for the accident and the parties involved--government, child's (guardian), individual officer, don't all get into a protracted legal fight over responsibility.

    We all know that the BG has the ultimate responsibility and will pay the ultimate price if the child dies.

    I'm talking about responsibility for injuring the child in a more direct way. I just don't want everyone to have the idea that it should just be the child's "tough luck, she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time." A little more happened.

  4. #18
    Member Array rhyfl's Avatar
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    Update on Jacksonville Shooting

    Really a tragic situation - seems to me that the officers were caught between two bad options - looks like the best option was to stop the BG as they did. Here is an update to the story from today's paper..



    'Volatile' Jacksonville shooting, with 42 rounds, still being investigated
    Police say 2-year-old is still in critical condition after five officers fired 42 rounds Friday at a carjacked vehicle.


    Posted: March 28, 2010 - 12:45am
    By Deirdre Conner

    Questions lingered Saturday about why Jacksonville police officers fired 42 rounds at a commandeered car a day earlier, injuring an innocent toddler and his mother.

    At a news conference, Sheriff John Rutherford had few solid conclusions about the complex sequence of events that played out Friday afternoon at a suburban commercial strip.

    Five officers fired during the police-involved shooting on Baymeadows Road. Those bullets killed a bank robbery and carjacking suspect, but also sent the woman and her son to Shands Jacksonville. He remained in critical condition late Saturday.

    "We had a very volatile situation," Rutherford said. "I just don't want to try to speculate on why they felt the need to shoot at the suspect while he was in the vehicle."

    None of the officers has been formally interviewed yet, in order to avoid interference with the criminal investigation, Rutherford said. There will be at least two investigations, one criminal, and after that, an administrative inquiry.

    The boy's family is asking how officers' use of force to stop a bank robbery and carjacking suspect ended so tragically.

    The boy, identified as Daniel Crichton, was hit by bullets in his arm and upper torso. The sheriff said it is uncertain how long the toddler's status will remain critical.

    The boy's mother, Joann Cooper, 35, was driving when her car was commandeered by the suspect after he fled the bank robbery. Cooper was hit in the foot by shots from the officers and is also recovering at Shands Jacksonville. Her stepdaughter, Alexis Cooper, 7, was in the car but unharmed during the shooting.

    On Saturday, the boy's father spoke out against the actions, saying he now fears the police.

    Daniel Crichton's father, Kirk Crichton, said he was frightened and gravely concerned about what happened to his son. Crichton lives in Jamaica and said by phone from an airport there that Daniel was in critical but stable condition.

    "There were two children in the car," he said. "How can you shoot indiscriminately at the car? It's ridiculous."

    Jacksonville Sheriff's Office policy prohibits officers from firing at a moving vehicle other than as a last resort to prevent death or great bodily harm to the officer or another person; as a last resort to prevent escape of a felon who would pose imminent threat of death or great bodily harm; and when authorized by a watch commander or higher authority.

    Rutherford would not speculate on the exact conditions that prompted the officers to shoot. The car was hit at least 15 times in the windshield, hood and passenger and driver's-side windows.

    "If the officers felt that they had a opportunity to end it without endangering the carjack victims, then I think it was wise that they would try to do that, if they could do that safely," he said. "And I don't know the answer to all that yet."

    Rutherford said he doesn't yet have all the information about the sequence of events or whether the firing officers knew the woman and two children were in the car.

    "We don't know what they saw. That's part of the problem," he said.

    Cooper and the two children were in a car at the Wendy's drive-through on Friday afternoon when the suspect, whose identity has not yet been released, ran from a bank he had just robbed and carjacked the car by pushing Joann Cooper into the passenger seat of the Nissan she was driving, police said. One officer shot at the suspect just before he got into the car.

    As the suspect drove onto Baymeadows Road, four more officers working in teams of two shot at him until the car came to rest in the middle of the road and the suspect was dead.

    The officers involved were both veterans and new to the force. Four were on duty and one was off duty.

    They were: Lt. J.E. York, a 22-year employee; Officer J.E. Lederman, a 13-year employee; Officer R.C. Santoro, an 11-year employee; Officer R. Black, a 21/2-year employee; and recruit D. Griffith, in field training and employed for a year.

    It was the first officer-involved shooting for all but York, for whom it was the first officer-involved shooting where a suspect was shot.

    Rutherford said the department had not yet been able to reach the suspect's next of kin. The gunman did not discharge his gun, a .357 revolver he was armed with when he entered the Wachovia bank about 3 p.m. and committed a takeover-style robbery, police said.

    An expert interviewed Saturday by The Times-Union called such circumstances extremely rare and a "worst-case scenario."

    That makes training for such a situation virtually impossible, said Thomas J. Aveni, executive director of The Police Policy Studies Council. The presence of innocent bystanders in such proximity to an armed suspect could either keep an officer from shooting to avoid hurting the bystander - or make him more likely to shoot to protect them.

    It seems unlikely that stop sticks - spiked strips that officers can lay over a road to puncture a car's tires - would have been a possibility.

    They take time to set up, and typically are deployed a mile in advance or more, Aveni said.

    "It takes quite a bit of time and directional knowledge," he said.

    Aveni said that nationally, many police departments are taking stronger steps to restrict when officers can shoot into or at moving vehicles. The main reason? Accuracy. A car moving at 20 miles per hour is equivalent to 30 feet per second.

    "Officers tend to miss significant number of rounds when firing at human beings on foot," he said.

    Joann Cooper's children attend a day school and academy run by Baymeadows Baptist Church. A woman who answered the phone at the home of Pastor Garry Broward late Saturday said he was unavailable for comment, but that a special time of prayer for Cooper and her children would be held during a church service today. She said Cooper's family had asked for no other information to be released, and declined further comment.

    Nelson Cuba, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, said he had spoken to the officers involved.

    "The only concern of the officers right now is that child and that family," he said. "That's all they're thinking about."

    deirdre.conner@jacksonville.com, (904) 359-4504
    ~~~sequence of events
    - At 3:09 p.m. the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is dispatched to an armed bank robbery in progress at the Wachovia at Baymeadows Road and Baymeadows Way. According to witnesses, a masked, armed gunman entered the bank and ordered customers to the ground. Armed with a .357 revolver with a 6-inch barrel, the suspect jumped the counter and knocked two tellers to the ground.
    - The suspect left with an undetermined amount of cash and fled into the wooded area behind the bank.
    - The suspect ran into the Wendy's parking lot and into the drive-through lane. He yanked open the driver's-side door of a white four-door Nissan sedan and pointed his gun at the female driver, identified as Joann Cooper, 35.
    - A pursuing officer, not identified, heard the suspect yell, "I'm going to kill you." Officials say it is not clear whether this statement was intended for Cooper or the officer.
    - The same officer fired his agency-issued shotgun at the suspect, who was standing outside the car with his gun pointed at the driver.
    - The suspect overpowered Cooper and forced her into the passenger seat, then began driving the car toward Baymeadows Road.
    - Other officers had set up tactical positions on Baymeadows Road. As the car moved past them, two officers fired shots at the gunman.
    - The car continued forward, and as it went over the top of the median, another two officers fired at the gunman as he attempted to exit the vehicle, which was still rolling to a stop.
    - Officers approached the victim's car and discovered Cooper, as well as two small children in the car seats in the back. They are identified as 7-year-old Alexis Cooper, who was not injured, and 2-year-old Daniel Crichton, who was critically wounded by gunshots to the upper torso and arm. Joann Cooper, his mother and Alexis' stepmother, was shot in her right foot.
    - Cooper and her son were rushed to Shands Jacksonville, where they remained Saturday.
    Source: Jacksonville Sheriff's Office
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  5. #19
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    Cream of the crop bank robbers here in Jax

    I doubt if many of you live where the brilliant bank robbers "plan" their getaway by trying to find a car to carjack. What's that saying? Ya can't fix stupid.

    Lots of loose ends still in this story. None of the LEO involved have been interviewed. The local forums, no surprise, are focusing on 5 cops unloading 42 shots into the car plus 1 shotgun (that apparently didn't do much). No info yet on line of sight, kids and mother out of sight behind car seats, headrests, etc. Luckily the 2 year old is still hanging in there.

  6. #20
    Distinguished Member Array nutz4utwo's Avatar
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    Tragic. My thoughts go out to the victims and officers involved.

    When people break the law and act violently, we must respond with force and sometimes mistakes are made. The blame here lies squarely on the BG. The LEO's may have been able to respond better, but we need to hold them to a realistic standard.

    Don't shoot at or from cars folks. There are too many unknowns.
    "a reminder that no law can replace personal responsibility" - Bill Clinton 2010.

  7. #21
    VIP Member Array hogdaddy's Avatar
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    I Hated hearing about the two yr old, Sad
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  8. #22
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    "Always know your target and what is behind it."

    Sadly you cannot always know what is behind your target and/or hidden from view when you have seconds or fractions of a second to react to a "life or death" deadly threat.

    That is why we practice so that we can help insure that our shot placement is (hopefully) as good as is humanly possible.

  9. #23
    Member Array Deuce130's Avatar
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    I sympathize with the family and the officers involved. I know many of you do too. With that said, as professionals, they are responsible for their own actions. It's easy to throw your hands up and blame the BG, but the BG isn't the one who made the officers shoot up the car. If it's found, objectively, that the officers made a mistake, they need to be held accountable. As a father, I know I'd be pissed if there were 42 shots fired into my wife's Explorer while my two kids were in car seats in the back, car jacking or not. How about you?

  10. #24
    Senior Member Array tbrenke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bandolero View Post
    This is the third such incident, where a baby was brought along during the commission of a crime, that I have read about in the last 10 days or so.
    did you read this at all?
    "brought along during the commission of a crime"

    the crime ran TO the child.
    the child was in the Wendy's drive-through.
    "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution, which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents." -1792, James Madison
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  11. #25
    Distinguished Member Array jumpwing's Avatar
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    Sometimes you only get two choices: Do something and get bad results, or do nothing and get worse results.

    People too often simply can't bring themselves to proactively do something that will have bad results; so they freeze, do nothing, and end up with worse results because they're too busy wishing for option "C" where everything turns out okay.

    As far as I'm concerned, the cops did right: The innocent are alive and, apparently, will recover; the bad guy is dead and won't reoffend.
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  12. #26
    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    A worst-case scenairo.....that ended bad.

    Here's hopeing that two year old recovers fully. Kids are pretty tough.
    As for the officers, they to need recovery as well.

    J'ville has gotten pretty dicey.
    "Just getting a concealed carry permit means you haven't commited a crime yet. CCP holders commit crimes." Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, quoted on Fox & Friends, 8 Jul, 2008

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  13. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by jumpwing View Post
    Sometimes you only get two choices: Do something and get bad results, or do nothing and get worse results.

    People too often simply can't bring themselves to proactively do something that will have bad results; so they freeze, do nothing, and end up with worse results because they're too busy wishing for option "C" where everything turns out okay.

    As far as I'm concerned, the cops did right: The innocent are alive and, apparently, will recover; the bad guy is dead and won't reoffend.
    Innocent are alive by sheer luck. There is no way to know had the officers withheld fire that something "worse" would've happened. What if the kid was killed? Would we still say "oh well, the BG would've killed him anyway so the cops did nothing wrong." Not likely.

    I'm glad everything worked out. Since it did, it's fairly easy to say the LEOs had no choice in the matter, they acted appropriately, yada yada yada. In my opinion, they did not. Firing as they did is akin to returning fire in a daycare. If you're not sure who you are going to shoot, don't shoot. The standard applies to citizens, and it should be applied in the same manner (if not higher!) for our professional LEOs.

    Again, if the toddler was shot in the head by a cop while getting caught up in a carjacking and killed, there is no way anyone should be saying "the cop acted appropriately." To say otherwise likely betrays internal biases.

  14. #28
    Senior Member Array Holdcard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holger View Post
    Innocent are alive by sheer luck. There is no way to know had the officers withheld fire that something "worse" would've happened. What if the kid was killed? Would we still say "oh well, the BG would've killed him anyway so the cops did nothing wrong." Not likely.

    I'm glad everything worked out. Since it did, it's fairly easy to say the LEOs had no choice in the matter, they acted appropriately, yada yada yada. In my opinion, they did not. Firing as they did is akin to returning fire in a daycare. If you're not sure who you are going to shoot, don't shoot. The standard applies to citizens, and it should be applied in the same manner (if not higher!) for our professional LEOs.

    Again, if the toddler was shot in the head by a cop while getting caught up in a carjacking and killed, there is no way anyone should be saying "the cop acted appropriately." To say otherwise likely betrays internal biases.
    I wasn't there so there is no way we can know everything. I'm no LEO so I would no doubt if I did the same thing, my actions would be viewed differently. Yes, I believe there is an LEO bias. I do my best to look past that and look at the facts (or at least as many facts as I can get).

    Here's how I see it, if the officers were simply firing round after round or full auto then I'd say they were wrong. If they took carefully aimed shots (as carefully aimed as possible when someone is shooting at you and aiming a automobile at you) then I say they did the right thing.

    The officers may have known that all parties involved may be in much worse peril had the dirt bag been allowed to leave.

    Would I personally return fire in a daycare? ONLY for my grandkids, and if I did fire they would be the absolute best shots I could make. It may sound harsh and unfeeling but I'd rather injure them or even kill them rather than have them... well... just read the papers. There are very, very few people for whom I would be willing to face those consequences.

    I suppose I am projecting my own preferences here, I'd rather be dead at my families hand, then be tortured to death etc. at a bad guy's hand.

    Only my opinion.

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  15. #29
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    I am praying for the child's recovery. I can't even begin to know what the mother is going through. I hope that she doesn't have a grudge against the PD or the officer. LEO's job is tough and thankless. It never helps when stuff like this happens.
    There is something about firing 4,200 thirty millimeter rounds/min that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

  16. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by razor02097 View Post
    I am praying for the child's recovery. I can't even begin to know what the mother is going through. I hope that she doesn't have a grudge against the PD or the officer. LEO's job is tough and thankless. It never helps when stuff like this happens.
    She and her son were shot by the police. I imagine a grudge is pretty automatic. I'm sure a lawsuit or two will follow as well.

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