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I've been sitting on this about a month, debating if I'll be labeled a cop basher for posting it.

YouTube - APD dash cam video of Sanders shooting

Go to about 2:45 in the video. Watch for the one LEO low crawling to cover while the other does a STAND UP job of defending himself, and his fellow Officer's "retreat". Does this LEO need to have his "man card" revoked, or is there something tactically sound in his actions?

The news story:

News 8 Austin | 24 Hour Local News | TOP STORIES

Sanders family wants feds to review case
Updated: 8/6/2009 9:39:03 PM
By: Bob Robuck

Attorneys for Nathaniel Sanders' family said they're “extremely disappointed” that Quintana wasn't indicted by a grand jury.
The family of the man shot by Austin Police Officer Leonardo Quintana now wants the feds involved.

Attorneys for Nathaniel Sanders' family said they're “extremely disappointed” that Quintana wasn't indicted by a grand jury. Now they want the Department of Justice and a federal prosecutor to look into the case.

Sanders' attorney, Adam Loewy, said Quintana never identified himself as a police officer when he tried to wake Sanders up inside a car May 11. Loewy also called into question a list of things the District Attorney’s office said happened before Quintana fired shots, killing Sanders and wounding Sir Lawrence Smith. All of those actions happened within a short four second span.

"You would have to believe that in those four seconds Nate Sanders woke up, Nate Sanders grabbed officer Quintana's wrist, officer Quintana was able to loosen the hold on the grab, officer Quintana then grabbed Nate Sanders, a struggle then ensued, at some point during the struggle officer Quintana lifted Nate Sanders' shirt and saw a gun allegedly in his waistband, and Nate Sanders then reached for the gun. All of this needs to take place in four seconds," Loewy said.

Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg issued a statement saying the grand jury carefully considered 27 hours of testimony and evidence. The DA's office went on to say the Grand Jury has made its decision, and Lehmberg would have no further comment.


Sanders' attorney, Adam Loewy, said Quintana never identified himself as a police officer.
Loewy said he is also interested in the findings of APD's own investigation. That's due to come out next Tuesday.

"Five shots in three seconds. And we are alleging that's excessive force, and we will see what Chief Acevedo says," Loewy said.

Chief Art Acevedo declined to comment, saying he can't talk about the case while the internal investigation is still going on.
 

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I've been sitting on this about a month, debating if I'll be labeled a cop basher for posting it.

YouTube - APD dash cam video of Sanders shooting

Go to about 2:45 in the video. Watch for the one LEO low crawling to cover while the other does a STAND UP job of defending himself, and his fellow Officer's "retreat". Does this LEO need to have his "man card" revoked, or is there something tactically sound in his actions?...........
I'm no Cop, but I think you're wrong about this one. I've watched the video over and over and I believe the tactical advantage in his action was getting out of the line of fire of the other police officer. The "stand up" officer is the active shooter and the "low crawling" officer is directly in the line of fire at the onset. You can't see the first two shots, but the last three are fired directly over the "low crawling" officer. It appears to me that as soon as he's sure he's clear, he's up with his weapon drawn.

Hoss
 

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Here's the problem. We have no idea what happened outside the view of the camera. These dash cams can really be a double edge sword in cases like this.

From my observation, I heard multiple gunshots firing off camera. You have no idea who is doing that actual firing at that point. The bad guy? The officers? Both LEO's and bad guy?

As you see the officers come into the view of the camera. One is already crouched down in what appears to me, like he may have tripped while outside of the camera's view and that his has his hands out in front of him scrambling to get back up or at least stay on his feet. Then he rolls behind the parked car for cover.

Regarding the officer who remains upright... He is backing up, in an attempt to put distance between him and the bad guy. This leads me to conclude that quite possibly it was the bad guy who opened fire on the officers from a position of surprise or ambush this prompting the hasty retreat for cover. This could also explain how or why the the officer on the ground may have tripped while getting to cover as he was most likely in a "startled mode."

In any case, the upright officer is returning fire and as you can see, the bad guy was charging him at the time as he quickly came into view of the camera and collapsed right at the upright officers feet after being shot!

Getting back to the first officer who was crouched and scrambling... If he did in fact trip, while bullets are still headed in your direction, his best and possible his only means of survival is to get on the ground and roll out of the way towards cover. Also as the other officer was still on his feet and returning fire, he certainly didn't want to "pop up" directly in the upright officers line of fire!

It's hard to see because the video is so dark, but it looks like as soon as he was behind the parked car, he immediately popped up with his weapon out and continued on with his duty as cover for the officer who was actively shooting and covered the bad guy who was on the ground.

It is also quite possible based on the dynamic actions of the upright officer that there may have been more than one bad guy, and after reading the story, there was in fact a second bad guy who got shot as well.

Again, I would like to add that after the the initial volley of shots is heard and they dynamics of the actions of both officers as they come into camera view, I'm suspecting that they were attacked from an ambush position, were startled and acted accordingly.

In no way do I see the officer on the ground as acting cowardly or inappropriate. On the contrary, it appears that was his only and no doubt the correct action to take.

To the untrained eye, it could be viewed as something completely different, but I'm thinking the officer did what he had to do and also avoided getting directly in the line of fire of the upright officer. Although, he may have been totally unaware of that. More than likely he was just trying to get out of the way of what was obviously a "hail of gunfire!"

Good job and very appropriate response as far as I'm concerned. Especially if he did in fact trip and was in that sort of "half falling, half running" type situation we all have been in before.

Again, although fairly hard to see... He was immediately back up and responding correctly providing cover and assessing the situation while the scenario was still unfolding and very dynamic.

From what I know about cowardice is that had the stumbling officer been a victim of it and afraid to the point of being paralyzed with fear, he would have remained crouching behind the vehicle for an extended period of time and not "back in the action" as quickly as he actually was.
 

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I'm no Cop, but I think you're wrong about this one. I've watched the video over and over and I believe the tactical advantage in his action was getting out of the line of fire of the other police officer. The "stand up" officer is the active shooter and the "low crawling" officer is directly in the line of fire at the onset. You can't see the first two shots, but the last three are fired directly over the "low crawling" officer. It appears to me that as soon as he's sure he's clear, he's up with his weapon drawn.

Hoss
I concur!
 

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I'm no Cop, but I think you're wrong about this one. I've watched the video over and over and I believe the tactical advantage in his action was getting out of the line of fire of the other police officer. The "stand up" officer is the active shooter and the "low crawling" officer is directly in the line of fire at the onset. You can't see the first two shots, but the last three are fired directly over the "low crawling" officer. It appears to me that as soon as he's sure he's clear, he's up with his weapon drawn.

Hoss

+1

...........
 

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I'm no Cop, but I think you're wrong about this one. I've watched the video over and over and I believe the tactical advantage in his action was getting out of the line of fire of the other police officer. The "stand up" officer is the active shooter and the "low crawling" officer is directly in the line of fire at the onset. You can't see the first two shots, but the last three are fired directly over the "low crawling" officer. It appears to me that as soon as he's sure he's clear, he's up with his weapon drawn.

Hoss
+3 that is the training they recieved to not be caught up in cross fire.
 

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Things aren't always what they seem.

I'm on dial-up, so I'm not watching the video, but as soon as I read the first post I had one thought running through my mind. Was the so-called, and most likely mislabeled, coward attempting to get to cover, be a smaller target and create distance?

From the response Bark'n gave I can presume with almost 100% certainty that my thought process was on the correct track in that regard. Thank you Bark'n for the well versed response that helps to clarify things for those of us on old computers and Ma' Bell.

Guns and gunshots tend to produce a high desire of wanting cover in me. I look for that before worrying about shooting. The shooting part is optional, the cover is not. Granted, cover is not always available, but it should be something you are constantly looking for and assessing.

Take care and stay safe,

Biker
 

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I don't see anything cowardly about what the officer that was low to the ground was doing.

Like Hoss, or Bark'n are suggesting the low officer either was not in a possition to return fire, tripped, had problems with getting his weapon out and then tripped or something similar happen. Maybe he was the one that was in direct contact with the BG and had his hands busy with no weapon available, then when the gun was presented had to move out of the firing line, and the standing officer already was in a possition to return fire.

Moving to cover and getting a weapon in a possition to return fire is much better in my book than staying in the line of fire and getting shot while trying to get your weapon to return fire.

Nothing wrong with what either of the officers are doing in my book. I do wish that the video of the squad car on the left was available.
 

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I have not yet watched the video, but wanted to say at the outset that it is a common tactic for ONE officer to advance and place hands on a bad guy while the other stays back to provide covering fire. If oatmeal starts hitting the fan, well, the cover officer shoots, while the contact officer gets clear, then engages as the situation dictates.

Edited to add: I watched the video, and the important action occurs out of the camera's view. I could tell that the idiot who charged at the officers was not their only source of concern at that moment. I saw no indications whatsoever of cowardice on the part of the officer who was moving low to the ground. I am totally puzzled why the OP would think of something like that.
 

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I don't know why the officer was on the ground crawling but he was heading for cover,he may of tripped,but as soon as he had cover he was back in the fight,I can't find anything wrong
 

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I am totally puzzled why the OP would think of something like that.
Preconceived notions.

Anyway, what some call cowardice, others would call smart. What some would call stupid, others call brave.

With only a narrow perspective of the video and not being there, its pretty damn near impossible to intelligently pass judgment on the officers actions. All I know is, thats pretty typical of combat, be it military or street action. Looks like typical team work in my estimation.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks guys. I never said the officer was a coward, just wanted your input. I figured there was something going on off-camera. Although a badge does not guarantee performance. Anyway, the video, as are all shooting videos, is certainly instructive.

I certainly can appreciate cover, although I wouldn't want to take a round in the butt getting there!
 

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Didn't call him a coward? You inquired if his "man card" should be revoked.

As to what can be seen, note that is different than what happened, I agree with what has already been stated. On the ground for whatever reason, it appeared the fallen officer worked to quickly and safely get back into the fight.
 

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More info for the interested (from Spartan Cops):

Facts of the incident:

The shooting occurred on Monday, May 11, 2009 at 5am in the Walnut Creek Apartments at 6409 Springdale Road in East Austin.

The shooter was Officer Leonardo Quintana, an 8 year veteran of Austin PD. The deceased was Nathaniel Sanders II, 18 years old.

Three days before the shooting while officers were investigating a recent robbery in the same apartment complex, residents notified them of suspects driving a Mercedes-Benz station wagon and firing shots in the air.

The morning of the shooting, Officer Quintana observed the Mercedes-Benz station wagon.

As Officer Quintana followed the Mercedes into the apartment complex, dispatch verified that the vehicle was involved in criminal activity and the occupants could be armed.

The driver, Michael Franklin, got out and was detained by Quintana. He secured Franklin in the back of his squad.

Backup Officers Alex Hitzelberg and Mohammad Siddiqui arrived. Of all three squads, only the video camera in Hitzelberg’s was recording.

Officers approach the Mercedes and Quintana attempts to wake Nathaniel Sanders, asleep in the back seat, with a sternum rub.

Quintana raises Sanders’ shirt and discovers a gun tucked in the waistband. The audio of Hitzelberg’s videotape records that Quintana alerts other officers of the gun as Quintana and Sanders struggle over it.

Quintana moves to the rear of the car and begins firing. Two out of three rounds hit Sanders, one in the shoulder and one in the back of the head.

The front passenger Sir Smith exits the vehicle and runs in a crouched position with his hands at his waistband toward Quintana. Quintana fires twice, hitting Smith once in the upper chest.

Smith was treated at University Medical Center at Brackenridge and is expected to make a full recovery.

The Austin American Statesman provides an excellent graphic depicting the positions of the vehicles and the location of Quintana as he fired. statesman.com

A handgun with one live round of ammunition was found in Sanders seat. Sanders’ Toxicology Report revealed cocaine, marijuana, and alprazolam (Xanax) in his system.
 

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Looks like a good shoot and decent job by PD involved. In the middle of a gun battle it isn't gonna be a ballet. Heck the shooting officer could have plowed into the officer who is down.
 

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I'm sure they were on their way to getting GED's and graduating Harvard except the cops picked on these innocent chilrun for nothing.Thank god no cops were injured in the making of this documentary
 

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Sounds like the D A in Austin thought it was a justifed shoot also, and it appears to any level headed individual watching, and then putting all the facts thereafter on top, it looked good to me for sure, and I would concur that the officer(s) were startled, and bugged for cover like anyone would, seeing as his weapon was still holstered.

WASHINGTON DID’NT USE HIS RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH TO DEFEAT THE BRITISH, HE SHOT THEM

"To my mind it is wholly irresponsible to go into the world incapable of preventing violence, injury, crime, and death. How feeble is the mindset to accept defenselessness. How unnatural. How cheap. How cowardly. How pathetic." Ted Nugent
 

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I'd like to see what happened off camera to the left before making any judgement.
 
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