Man Fatally Shot By Police Was Carrying Toy Rifle

This is a discussion on Man Fatally Shot By Police Was Carrying Toy Rifle within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Man Fatally Shot By Police Was Carrying Toy Rifle A rifle carried by a man shot and killed by North Miami Beach police Wednesday afternoon ...

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Thread: Man Fatally Shot By Police Was Carrying Toy Rifle

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array DefConGun's Avatar
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    Man Fatally Shot By Police Was Carrying Toy Rifle

    Man Fatally Shot By Police Was Carrying Toy Rifle

    A rifle carried by a man shot and killed by North Miami Beach police Wednesday afternoon was determined to be a toy, NMBPD spokesman Sgt. Warren Hardison said.

    The man, who was identified by authorities as Ernest Vassell, was the subject of multiple 911 calls that reported him walking south on Northeast 14th Avenue near 153rd Terrace and carrying a rifle.

    One caller reported the man had pointed the rifle at a dog.

    Hardison said several NMBPD units responded to the scene.

    "[They] saw the man with the rifle," said Hardison. "There was an encounter between the gentleman and police. Shots were fired, and as a result the man with the rifle has died."

    The weapon was recovered on scene, Hardison said, and later determined to be a toy.

    He was not yet able to confirm how many police officers fired their weapons.

    Vassell was airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center after the shooting, but did not survive.

    No one else was injured in the incident.
    Man Fatally Shot By Cops Was Carrying Toy Gun | NBC Miami
    Mentally disabled man shot dead by police while playing with a TOY GUN after 911 calls from terrified neighbours Mentally-disabled-man-shot-dead-police-playing-TOY-GUN-911-calls-terrified-neighbours

    A mentally disabled man has been shot dead by police because he was playing with a toy gun. Police gunned down Ernest Vassell after residents, who saw a man carrying what appeared to be a rifle, called 911. Authorities said they had to fire as Vassell was terrorising the neighbourhood in North Miami Beach, Florida.

    But devastated family members say the 56-year old, who had been mentally disabled since he was a child, had been had never been violent.

    Police spokesman Sgt. Warren Hardison said there was an encounter with the man and officers and shots were fired. He was taken by helicopter to Jackson Memorial Hospitalís Ryder Trauma Center, where he was pronounced dead.
    Vassell's devastated family is now demanding answers. Older sister Claire Harding said that her bortehr was autistic. She said: 'They murdered him in cold blood for a toy gun. That's no reason for you to kill somebody.'

    She added: 'They could tell him to drop the gun. They say they told him to drop it and he raised his hand,' WFOR reported. 'He probably raised his hand to hand them the gun because he is afraid of police.'
    The family has called for changes to the Police Department.

    Harding added: 'They should train these police officers better. This is ridiculous, they just go around killing people for nothing.'

    Officers encountered the man shortly after 5:15 p.m, said North Miami Beach police spokeswoman Maj. Kathy Katerman.

    Mentally disabled man shot dead by police while playing with a TOY GUN after 911 calls from terrified neighbours | Mail Online

    I'm not sure on what to make out of this event. I can see it either way. I can see why people would be concerned seeing a man carrying a rifle around. Having a rifle in of itself (to my knowledge) is not a crime here but I don't know about other statutes in other states. If he was being careless in his handling of what was being perceived as a weapon, I can whole heartily understand concerns.

    On the other side of it, however, I can also see how some may over react in a society that is anti-gun in many ways.

    What do you think?

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array Old Sarge's Avatar
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    Just because he was labeled mentally disabled, does not mean he did not wish to die , via suicide by cop.



    Sad all around.
    If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Agreed, very sad. Some blame falls on whoever allowed a mentally disabled person to roam the streets with a replica of a weapon.

    As far as LE, I would have to be there to make a call one way or the other.
    DefConGun and JDE101 like this.
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    VIP Member Array Guns and more's Avatar
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    Sad. Don't point anything at cops. They will not cut you any slack.
    Forget your excuses, nobody will feel sorry for you.

    How does a post have 0 views but 3 answers? No worries.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guantes View Post
    Some blame falls on whoever allowed a mentally disabled person to roam the streets with a replica of a weapon.
    ACLU?

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    Member Array ConcealedG30's Avatar
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    Sticky?

    Could have gone down many ways.

    Who's in charge of watching the gentleman whom was shot? Did the gun have that cool little orange tip? Was it removed or painted black? How badly metally disabled? List goes on and on...

    Point a gun at me you will see my dark side.
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    Is clairvoyance a job requirement for cops? Are they supposed to know who is mentally disabled/deficient/retarded/disabled???

    Should we now require those with mental impairments to carry visible signs of their impairments so that if they do dumb things like pointing toy weapons that LOOK real at cops, the cops know they don't mean it?

    And in concert with ConcealedG30's comment, where were the "family" when Strange Uncle Ernie went walking out of the house with a realistic-looking toy gun? They're quick to suggest "charges" against the PD, but theirs is the greater burden of guilt.
    Tzadik, JDE101 and oneshot like this.
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    Senior Member Array MotorCityGun's Avatar
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    These two vendors thought the BG had a toy gun and one of them ended up dead.

    BAD: Taco vendors shot, one killed

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    Member Array ConcealedG30's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MotorCityGun View Post
    These two vendors thought the BG had a toy gun and one of them ended up dead.

    BAD: Taco vendors shot, one killed
    A perfect example.

    You only have a split second to make the decision to shoot or not, to fight or flight. Then the Judges, Lawyers & Arm Chair Quarterbacks have a life time to scrutinize your decision.
    Anticipation of Death is Worse Than Death Itself.
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    It's hard to criticize someone for shooting a guy if they point what you believe is a rifle at you.

    That said, if I lived my childhood over today I wonder if I would survive? Between playing with toy guns all over the neighborhood, and hunting with real ones, who knows. Oh that's right, all our neighbors new us and spoke to us. And would have probably came out and said something or picked up the phone and called my house instead of the cops. Knowing your neighbors can pay off in ways you never expect.
    hogdaddy likes this.
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    Let's suppose the cops knew the man was mentally handicapped.
    That doesn't make him less dangerous.
    Orange tip? That would mean nothing to me. Bad guys can paint an orange tip on a real gun to slow the police down.
    Good guys can cover an orange tip with black paint and end up shot, too.

    I say, IF the cops gave him a chance to drop the gun, and he didn't, they have every right to shoot.

    Maybe in small town America where everyone knows everyone else, the sheriff might say, "Bob, what the heck you doing scaring the folks like that? Gimmie that thing before you get hurt."

    Miami? Forget it.

    Someday, I'm going back to small town America, I miss it.

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    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    We cannot expect police to know the disposition of everyone they encounter. In there eyes, he had a gun, pointed said weapon and paid the price for that. IMO end of game.....
    Don"t let stupid be your skill set....

    Never be ashamed of a scar. It simply means, that you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you......

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    Cops shoot and kill old ladies with screwdrivers, young girls waking up in cars with cell phones (41 shots fired) in their hands, and unarmed grooms at weddings, and on and on it goes. Just one time I'd like to hear of the police shooting someone threatening them with a broom handle or a cell phone in the foot or leg to stop them instead of killing them. Just once.

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    Distinguished Member Array Hoganbeg's Avatar
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    "Just one time I'd like to hear of the police shooting someone threatening them with a broom handle or a cell phone in the foot or leg to stop them instead of killing them. Just once."

    If I did hear of someone shooting for the leg or foot when threatened with a broom handle, I would say they are seriously in need of re-training. A broom handle can be a deadly weapon.

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoganbeg View Post
    "Just one time I'd like to hear of the police shooting someone threatening them with a broom handle or a cell phone in the foot or leg to stop them instead of killing them. Just once."

    If I did hear of someone shooting for the leg or foot when threatened with a broom handle, I would say they are seriously in need of re-training. A broom handle can be a deadly weapon.
    That's pathetic, no wonder our country is so screwed.

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