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Old 09-24-2012, 02:45 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by GSDolch View Post
While I agree that we should have as many facts as possible before we pass judgement, the public can't keep quiet about something that they feel is wrong. To do so, or to be told that we shouldn't voice our opinion about something IMO does a disservice. Sometimes, without public outcry, an incident will go without an investigation and then, if the event its a bad cop, is left to continue to do as he has been doing.
No one is asking anyone to "keep quiet." But how about NOT jumping to conclusions and assuming the worst, before knowing the evidence? It's one thing to call for an investigation, it's quite another to "rush to judgment."
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:46 PM   #42 (permalink)
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honestly, I cannot see a guy, with just one arm and one leg to be so dangerous that a cop feels the need to shoot the guy, especially when it turns out that that metal object was just a pen.
I've dealt with folks like this and they can be as dangerous as anyone else. They may lack the mobility, but if one is close enough and they have a stabbing weapon, it's simply a matter of pushing it into the officer's body. Stabbing in this fashion with any weapon is extremely dangerous.

As to "especially when it turns out that that metal object was just a pen." I have a couple of comments. A pen can be just as deadly as a knife, when it's used against the right target on the body. And the officer DID NOT KNOW IT WAS A PEN until after the incident was over. You can't reasonably base your opinion on what the officer did, knowing what you know NOW. In order to do that, you have to place yourself in his position knowing ONLY what he knew at the moment he decided to use force. If you want to be fair, rational and reasonable, that is.

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Seriously... again, I am not anti-cop but maybe cases like that should be used for training and maybe these are the cases that should be learned from.
Such cases are extremely rare. But the facts remain that while you are unable or unwilling to "see ... danger" here, it exists.

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If you have to shoot a double amputee in a wheel chair... personally to me, that is unacceptable.
That's because you're not there, you're not the one dealing with him and you've conveniently forgotten that he was using a deadly weapon to stab the officer. It makes no difference that he's in a wheel chair or that he's a double amputee. ONLY his actions and his capabilities are to be judged when deciding to use force and what level of force to use. If the officer is close enough, it's easy to stab him with a pen, potentially killing him.

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Originally Posted by Mrs.K View Post
Unless he's got a bomb belt around his chest and threatens to pull that trigger.
This is a typical response from someone who's really never been in many dangerous situations and thinks that things happen in real life, as they do on TV and in the movies.

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Plus, doesn't a cop learn self-defense? How disarm somebody? What about non-lethal methods like pelet guns or a that taser?
The best martial artist on the planet will not try to take someone on who has a stabbing weapon unless he is cornered and has no choice. Again, this is a case of too much TV and not really knowing how these incidents occur. A stabbing instrument, such as a screw driver, a pencil, a knife, an ice pick or a pen constitute deadly force. The correct response to them, is deadly force, NOT [i]"self defense" or a "Taser" especially in a rapidly unfolding situation.

IF there is time to form a plan then the Taser might be an option, but in the heat of the moment, it's not. They only provide one shot, often fail and are ineffective at close ranges. In "drive stun" mode (where the Taser is pressed against the body of the suspect) it relies on pain to be effective. If the suspect is not responsive to pain, it has no effect.

I’m not sure what "pellet gun" you're talking about, (perhaps a shotgun with less lethal munitions) but again, that would be an option IF THERE WAS TIME. If the assault from the suspect comes as a surprise, it's not.

Keep in mind that police officers don't decide what weapon to use arbitrarily. Suspects decide what happens to them. If they submit to arrest, then no force (beyond force of voice) is used. If they bring out a deadly weapon, we do the same.

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Sorry, I can't keep my mouth shut about a case like that. It makes me extremely angry. There are so many other options to deal with a double amputee in a wheelchair. Lethal Force should be the LAST OPTION!
Not if the officer is very close, as he would be while making an arrest, and the stabbing instrument comes out as a surprise to the officer. Sorry, you're entitled to hold any opinion that you like, but here, your opinion, is wrong. The FIRST OPTION to deadly force, is deadly force. You don't have enough facts to reasonably have such an opinion. You base it on two absolutes, 1. "wheelchair" and 2. "double amputee." NEITHER prevents a suspect from stabbing an officer who comes close to them to make an arrest.

The emphases are mine in the following quotations.

Here are some updates to the incident. From this source, Double amputee in wheelchair shot dead by Houston police - Boston News | Examiner.com
Quote:
He trapped an officer in a corner.
Per this video the incident happened at a "group home for the mentally ill." https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=eRRAl0I1wEg
The suspect suffered from Schizophrenia and had threatened workers in his facilty with violence. One of his caretakers, when asked if he ever felt threatened by the suspect, responded, "he had a temper. He could fly off once in a while." The suspect "cornered the two officers in the room after numerous reqauest (from them) to drop the pen (they didn't know it was a pen at the time) one of htem fired.

Per this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=GLt1qYZxmHg

The officer who fired said, "The man was waving something in a threatening manner." This video cites a statement from the manager of the facility that the suspect suffered from schizophrenia and bipoliar disorder. Per the reporter, "The quarters in there (in the home) were very cramped, which was a factor in that officer's decision."

I'm sure that some are picturing a neat, well groomed, well dressed man in a well lit, large room but take a look at the photo of the suspect in this article from the Houston Chronicle, (I’m certainly not saying that his unkept appearance gave permission for the shooting, but it certainly contributes to how the officers perceived him). Double Amputee In Wheelchair Shot Dead By Houston Police | Texas Liberal | a Chron.com blog

Quote:
A schizophrenic double amputee waving a writing pen from his wheelchair was fatally shot early Saturday by a Houston police officer, authorities said….Police were called to the East End personal care home around 2 a.m. because resident Brian Claunch had become agitated after his caretaker refused to give him a soda and a cigarette…. ”He was approaching them aggressively,” said Houston Police Department spokes*woman Jodi Silva. “He was attempting to stab them with what is now found to be a pen.”..Claunch, who had been living at the home for the past 18 months with two other men, ignored officers’ commands and made threats against them and other occupants of the home… Claunch trapped one of the officers in a corner, authorities said…Claunch told him that he lost his right leg to just above the knee and all of his right arm when he was hit by a train… The victim, who was in his mid-40s, came to the East End personal care home more than a year ago, as part of a placement by the Harris County guardianship program. …Claunch liked to “doodle” and two days ago…(was) given…a black felt pen to draw with.
From this source, Houston police fatally shoot threatening wheelchair-bound amputee in head - CNN

Quote:
A Houston police officer fatally shot in the head a schizophrenic, wheelchair-bound double amputee threatening people with a pen at a group home for the mentally ill after authorities said the man advanced on the officer's partner, police said.

The shooting occurred early Saturday morning after police responded to a call that resident Brian Claunch was acting aggressively after his caretaker refused to give him a cigarette and a soda, the owner of the home and police said.

"The officers made verbal commands for the suspect to drop whatever he had in his hand, to stay still and to speak with the officers, but the suspect continued to make threats," Jodi Silva, a police spokeswoman, told CNN affiliate KTRK in Houston.

Claunch, who lost an arm and a leg in a train accident, trapped one officer with his wheelchair in the corner of a room "where he couldn't get out," said a Houston police department spokesperson who declined to be identified. The double amputee was "advancing towards" the officers and "refusing to show his hands."

According to police accounts reported in the media, including by KTRK, Claunch attempted to stab the officer with an object that turned out to be a pen.

Officer Matt Marin, "in fear of the safety of his partner and the safety of himself, discharges his duty weapon, striking the suspect," Silva said.
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:58 PM   #43 (permalink)
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No one is asking anyone to "keep quiet." But how about NOT jumping to conclusions and assuming the worst, before knowing the evidence? It's one thing to call for an investigation, it's quite another to "rush to judgment."

Personally I see that as a moral thing. /shrug

People judge, its the way of it. Jumping to conclusions that are not there, yes, I agree with you, but its because people are making judgements based on what they see or hear that things get noticed. Good or bad though is completely situational, sometimes needed, sometimes not.

When someone tells others I shouldn't have an opinion because I'm not a cop (not saying that you have said that) and I don't "understand", I equate that with them saying to "keep quiet" on the matter.
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Old 09-24-2012, 03:05 PM   #44 (permalink)
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I take it you mean me.

I never said "keep quiet", I said, if you were a police officer or worked with them, you'd understand better, it's about perspective.

While we pet owners are concerned with, and focus on our dogs, police officers work with people.
Their job is to protect people, not dogs.

It'd be like an ambulance driving along the road, and someone's dog just got ran over so they expect the ambulance to stop and help. Maybe you'd get a dog lover and he'd try, but maybe you'd get someone who doesn't even like dogs and they'd say "get it to the vet". Or maybe they are on their way to a traffic accident and they don't have time to stop and help the dog.
Either way, that's not their job, is it? Their job is to work with humans.

Cops are being payed to protect human lives, and dog lives get in the way at times, unfortunately.
That's what animal control is for, to work with and get the dogs out of the way, and unfortunately most often a/c has to be called out to deal with the dogs. By the time they arrive, things have already happened.
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Old 09-24-2012, 03:36 PM   #45 (permalink)
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The guy was in a wheelchair, how can you be trapped? You just.... jump over lol.
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Old 09-24-2012, 03:39 PM   #46 (permalink)
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First - Thank You, Sgt. Castle, for reading this thread & offering a lot more insight than I'd had before. An officer friend had explained this to me similarly but, not ever having been in such situations, I would not have been able to explain it coherently.

Actually, your explanation just makes me have even stronger thoughts that dog owners need to accept the reality for what it is - & take precautions with our critters. I watched my next-door neighbor's Barking Slipper run up to the mailman & attached itself to his leg. The whole time, the owner was standing there, saying her dog had never done that before. Then got mad at the mailman when he said he'd make an incident report & wouldn't deliver parcels to her front door any more - she'd have to retrtieve them herself at the post office. After *I* (she did nothing) kicked the dog off the mailman's leg & he left, she was indignant that he'd talked to her in the manner he did. I asked WTH she was talking about, when we BOTH knew that darn dog snapped at EVERYone!! And had been doing so for years! The mailman's "lucky" it was a little runt & not a GSD, or Pittie, etc. And my neighbor's lucky the mailman was not an armed LEO.

Point is, a LEO cannot take the word of a dog owner that his dog doesn't bite. And msvette is right - LEOs are there to protect humans, not dogs. What WE need to do, is take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of all.

Just as an aside, my former BIL is a double amputee from the VietNam war. With PTSD. Strong upper body & an even stronger mind-set when angry. Wheelchair or not, there is NO way I'd approach him - even if I could see no weapon - when he was in 1 of his 'episodes'. Dangerous, to say the least.

Thanks very much again, Sgt. Castle, for your time & background.
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Old 09-24-2012, 03:51 PM   #47 (permalink)
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Point is, a LEO cannot take the word of a dog owner that his dog doesn't bite.
I soooooo agree with that ^^..How many people say "oh he's friendly!",,and then have a big issue,,if I had some big german shepherd charging me and the owner yelled "he's friendly' I wouldn't believe him

Just to add, I don't condone anyone going nilly willy shooting dogs no matter who they are, but I'm sure since COPS are HUMAN, their are certainly some who may be afraid of dogs and have only moments to react
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Old 09-24-2012, 03:59 PM   #48 (permalink)
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Actually msv I wasn't talking about anyone in particular, if I were I would say so, and with quotes if possible.

But since you mentioned it, I think your stance only works if you are talking to someone with whom you yourself KNOW about and their own experiences. IMO, it shouldn't be a prerequisite for anyone to have to make their experiences known when stating an opinion or judgement on a matter. It's one thing to mention it I guess, but to many people on the internet have an elitist attitude and it turns into "what I say is better because...." nonsense. But that's my take it or leave it stance I guess.
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Old 09-24-2012, 04:06 PM   #49 (permalink)
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The reason I say it is that they have a much different point of view than your average pet owner. And I say it because people are up in arms over these things and it's like...when I told my husband about this situation, he completely understood why they'd shoot a dog, when the dog is in the way of their doing their duty, of them doing their job. My husband's perspective is as a Paramedic, not a dog owner (although we have plenty of dogs, and rescue dogs).

When out doing their job, dogs are not seen as Fluffy and Muffy, dogs are seen as a hindrance to their duties as an officer.

If you are going to insist you don't "get it" that is fine, but what I'm saying is plenty of us "get it" because we understand these guys have a job to do and dogs get in their way of doing their job.
How they handle the dogs in the way is really up in the air and individual to each person and each situation.
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Old 09-24-2012, 04:46 PM   #50 (permalink)
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Why can't both point of views be valuable? The pet owner may not understand the situation the cop was in, and the cop may not understand the important role the pet played in that person's life.
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