Tag Archives: police shooting

VIDEO: Cellphone Footage Details LaVoy Finicum Traffic Stop, Shooting

Following the Department of Justice’s announcement that Oregon State Troopers were justified in shooting and killing Oregon protestor Robert “LaVoy” Finicum on Jan. 26, cellphone video was released which gave additional insight to the events leading up to the shooting.

The video, which was released by The Oregonian on Tuesday, was taken by Shawna Cox, 59, one of the passengers in the truck Finicum was driving. Other passengers included Ryan Bundy, 43, Ryan Payne, 32, and Victoria Sharp, 18. Both Finicum, 54, and the passengers, were part of a group of protesters occupying the Malheur Wildlife Refuge headquarters in Burns, Oregon.

The DoJ claimed Finicum was struck by three bullets fired by Oregon State Troopers after he exited the truck during an encounter with the FBI and reached for a gun at his side. While the FBI released footage from a plane flying over the area at the time of the shooting, it did not include any type of audio.

[RELATED: FBI Agents Under Criminal Investigation in LaVoy Finicum Shooting]

The cellphone video gives the first glimpse with audio into Finicum’s deadly encounter with federal officials. It starts with a traffic stop, when the protesters are pulled over by Oregon State Police while traveling along U.S. Highway 395.

“The sheriff is waiting for us, so you do as you damn well please, but I’m not going anywhere,” said Finicum, leaning out of the driver-side window of the truck. “Here I am, right there. Right there, put a bullet through it. You understand? I’m going to go meet the sheriff. Back down or you kill me now.”

The officer’s speech is not clear in the video, and Finicum continues yelling, “If you want my blood on your hands, get a gun, because we’ve got people to see and places to go.”

The passengers in the car begin to question whether they should flee the scene, and they note that a second vehicle of protestors behind them is also being pulled over, and communicating with the State Troopers.

While waiting, Cox says, “We have no service here,” and another passenger says, “We should never have stopped.” They question whether the officers will shoot out their tires if they leave the scene, and then all passengers duck down, and Finicum begins to drive away.

As the truck progress down the road, it enters a blockade set up by Oregon State Police and the FBI, and Finicum veers to the left, ands drives off of the road into a snow bank.

Finicum gets out of the vehicle with his hands up, and yells, “Go ahead and shoot me!”

Immediately surrounded by officers, Finicum continues to yell, “Shoot me, shoot me!” He puts his hand on his left side, and then the State Troopers surrounding him fire several consecutive shots.

While Finicum is lying in the snow and the other protesters are huddled in the vehicle, one begins to open the backdoor on the driver side, and then another round is fired at the car. He closed the door as another two rounds are fired.

Following the announcement that the DoJ has ruled that the Finicum shooting was justified, LaVoy’s Finicum’s wife, Jeanette Finicum, released a statement Tuesday claiming that the police are bringing forward “selective evidence.”

“This was not a traffic stop,” Jeanette Finicum said. It was an ambush with a roadblock placed on a blind curve along a lonely stretch of highway. I am told that in law enforcement and prosecuting circles this is called a ‘Dead man’s blockade,’ and is designed to allow a ‘kill stop’ which is illegal.”

An autopsy of Finicum reportedly showed that he was struck by three bullets from behind: one pierced his heart, and two struck his shoulder. Police claimed they found a loaded 9mm. semiautomatic handgun on Finicum’s body.

[RELATED: Bundy Family Claims Protestor was Unarmed, had Hands Up When Killed by FBI]

Jeanette Finicum said she does not believe her husband was reaching for a gun when he was shot. Instead, she argued that he was reaching to his side because he was reacting to a gunshot wound to the leg.

“The FBI said Finicum was shot after reaching for a gun,” Jeanette Finicum said. We reject that statement. The FBI’s aerial video was of poor quality, edited and provided no audio. Our family asserts that he was shot with both hands up; he was not reaching for anything at the time of the first shot. He was walking with his hands in the air, a symbol of surrender. When he reached down to his left hip he was reacting to the pain of having been shot. 

Federal officials announced Tuesday that two of the rounds fired, which did not contribute to Finicum’s death but were aimed at the vehicle, were not reported by the FBI. As a result, both the agent who fired the rounds and four other agents who are suspected of helping him cover it up, are under criminal investigation for failing for report the gunshots.

Follow Rachel Blevins on Facebook and Twitter.

Jury Awards $23 Million to Paralyzed Man Shot by Sheriff’s Deputy

On February 3, a 22-year-old man was awarded $23.1 million by a federal jury following a lawsuit filed against a sheriff’s deputy for a shooting that left the man paralyzed.

The award follows the jury’s ruling that Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy Adams Lin used excessive force when he shot Dontrell Stephens.

Stephens was shot by Lin in 2013, when Lin pursued Stephens after observing him riding a bicycle and talking on his cell phone. Truth In Media’s Rachel Blevins reported in April 2015 on the incident after dashcam video showing the September 2013 shooting was released.

“The video shows Lin trailing Stephens, as Stephens rides on his bicycle while talking on his cellphone. Stephens pulls off to the side of the road, gets off of his bicycle, walks towards Lin and out of the dash cam’s frame, with his cellphone in his right hand,” Blevins wrote in a description of the video. “Four seconds later Stephens reappears in the video and Lin opens fire, shooting Stephens four times.”

The video of the shooting can be seen below.

[Read more here: VIDEO: Florida Deputy Pursues, Shoots Unarmed Man Holding Cellphone]

Blevins reported that West Palm Beach news station WPTV had noted that Lin told another deputy shortly after the incident, “He starts backing away. I said, ‘Get on the ground, get on the ground,‘” and the second deputy responded, “I got your back man. I got your back. Hey, you hear me?” 

However, attorney Jack Scarola told WPTV that “there are no records of any commands ever made to Dontrell Stephens,” and added that “the deputy’s recorded statements following the shooting were absolutely false. Internal affairs completely ignored that evidence.”

The shooting left Stephens paralyzed, and his attorney, Darryl Lewis, claimed that Stephens deserved $18 million for “pain and suffering” in addition to $6 million in medical expenses, according to ABC News. The jury ultimately awarded Stephens $6.45 million for medical care, more than $10.6 million for “pain and suffering,” and $6 million for “mental distress and humiliation,” according to a report from WPTV.

NewsOK noted that Lin said during testimony earlier this week that he believed Stephens had reached toward his waistband and then was “holding a dark object that he thought was a handgun.” The “dark object” turned out to be a cell phone in Stephen’s right hand; Stephen’s left hand was not holding anything. Lin had reportedly also testified “that he would still shoot an unarmed 22-year-old black man given the same circumstances.”

While the jury awarded over $23 million to Stephens, ABC News clarified that Florida state law dictates legislators must approve awards that are over $200,000.

A statement from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office criticized the verdict and argued that Lin, a “minority himself,” saved Stephens’s life after shooting him.


The jury verdict reached today is both shocking and disappointing. Sgt. Adams Lin, who is a minority himself, and who had worked in the high crime neighborhood where the incident occurred for many years had never used deadly force prior to his unfortunate encounter with Mr. Stephens. In fact Sgt. Lin had worked with many residents in the community including raising funds to send underprivileged African American youth to Washington D.C. on school field trips. Sgt. Lin also fostered an African American child and he had many encounters with African Americans and other minority citizens prior to his encounter with Mr. Stephens. Based upon Mr. Stephens’ actions, Sgt. Lin reasonably mistook a cell phone that Mr. Stephens held in his hand for a firearm, and fearing for his life, he shot Mr. Stephens. Sgt. Lin then saved Mr. Stephens life due to the fact that he had extensive medical training as a result of serving his country as a member of the U.S. Army while on deployment in Afghanistan in 2008. He did so by rendering first aid to Mr. Stephens until EMS arrived.

The narrow issue decided by the jury in this case was limited exclusively to whether Sgt. Lin intentionally used excessive force upon Mr. Stephens on September 13, 2013. The civil rights claim against the Sheriff’s Office was properly dismissed by the Court before trial. The Court dismissed the civil rights claim against the Sheriff’s Office because there was no evidence to support a claim that the Sheriff’s Office’s customs policies, practices and procedures including investigations of officer involved shooting, could have caused the use of excessive deadly force in this case. As a result the jury was not asked to decide any claims against the Sheriff’s Office regarding its customs, policies, practices or procedures, including the investigation of officer involved shootings.

The only remaining claim against the Sheriff’s Office was a state law battery claim for excessive force which has a cap on damages in the amount of $200,000.00 absent passage of a claims bill by the state legislature.

The defendants intend to appeal this verdict.





University of Cincinnati to Pay $4.85 Million to Family of Samuel DuBose After Police Shooting

The family of a man shot and killed by police during a traffic stop in July has reached a settlement of $4.85 million with the University of Cincinnati.

In addition to the money, the family of Samuel DuBose will receive approximately $500,000 in educational scholarships or free undergraduate education for DuBose’s 12 children, a memorial to DuBose will be created on campus, and the family will be included in future discussions with the Community Advisory Committee about police reform.

[RELATED: Cincinnati Officer Indicted for Murder After Body Camera Reveals False Report]

Ray Tensing, 25, was indicted for murder in the shooting death of DuBose, 43, on July 29, 2015. The shooting occurred during a traffic stop on July 19, 2015, in which Tensing pulled DuBose over for driving without a front license plate on his car.

Tensing told his fellow officers that he fired his gun because he feared for his life after his hand got caught on DuBose’s car, and he thought DuBose would run him over.

However, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters confirmed that the footage from Tensing’s body cam appeared to directly contradict his story by showing that the car did not did not start rolling until after Tensing pulled out his gun, shot DuBose in the head, and then fell backwards.

Deters called the shooting “totally unwarranted” and said it was the “most asinine act” he had ever seen from a police officer.

[RELATED: Officers Involved In Samuel DuBose Coverup Will Not Face Charges]

The same grand jury that indicted Tensing for DuBose’s murder announced on Aug. 1 that the other two University of Cincinnati officers who arrived on the scene would not face charges.

Officers Phillip Kidd and David Lindenschmidt, who were initially placed on paid administrative leave while the university investigated, claimed they witnessed Tensing being dragged by DuBose’s car and corroborated his false account of the shooting.

In a statement from UC President Santa Ono, he said the agreement was made as part of the healing process for the family, as well as the community of Cincinnati.

“I want to again express on behalf of the University of Cincinnati community our deepest sadness and regrets at the heartbreaking loss of the life of Samuel DuBose,” Ono said. “This agreement is also part of the healing process not only for the family but also for our university and Cincinnati communities.”

Ex-Cop Indicted for Killing Walter Scott Granted Bail, Released from Jail

Michael Slager, the former police officer who was indicted for the murder of Walter Scott during a traffic stop in North Charleston, South Carolina in April 2015, has been released from jail on a $500,000 bond.

Slager, 33, was previously denied bail at the Charleston County Detention Center after footage from a cellphone video revealed an entirely different narrative from the one Slager reported after he shot Scott, 50, eight times in the back on April 4, 2015. Prior to his release, Slager had been held in solitary confinement since the shooting.

[RELATED: Videos from Walter Scott Shooting Expose Police Officer’s Lies]

The initial police report claimed that during a routine traffic stop in which Slager pulled Scott over for a broken taillight, Scott fled the scene and Slager “deployed his department-issued Taser in an attempt to stop him.” The statement further claimed that “an altercation ensued as the men struggled over the device,” and that Slager “resorted to his service weapon” and shot Scott, only after Scott “gained control of the Taser” and attempted to use it against Slager.

However, the video of the shooting appeared to show Scott running away from Slager, Slager pulling out his gun and shooting Scott in the back, and Slager then approaching Scott’s limp body on the ground and planting his Taser next to it.

[RELATED: South Carolina Grand Jury Indicts Former Officer For Murder of Walter Scott]

Slager was initially charged with the murder of Scott in April after the release of the video. He was then indicted by a South Carolina grand jury in June 2015.

Slager’s trial was set to begin in the spring. However, he is being prosecuted by Scarlett Wilson, who is also prosecuting Dylan Roof, who was charged with shooting and killing nine people at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston in June 2015. Wilson said a state Supreme Court order gives precedence to the church shooting.

Circuit Judge Clifton Newman set a trial date for Oct. 31 and allowed Slager to be released on a $500,000 surety bond, as long as he stays in South Carolina, on house arrest in an undisclosed location.

Police Tactics Questioned after Chicago Officers ‘Accidentally’ Kill Grandmother

Chicago police officers responding to calls about a domestic disturbance early Saturday morning shot and killed Quintonio LeGrier, 19, along with Bettie Jones, 55, who lived in a neighboring apartment.

Police were initially called by Quintonio’s father, Antonio LeGrier, who claimed that his son began banging on his locked bedroom door around 4:15 a.m. Saturday morning, and then left and went downstairs to the apartment where Jones lived.

LeGrier told the Chicago Sun-Times that his son, a student at Northern Illinois University, was a “whiz kid” who had emotional problems from growing up in foster care, and that he was prescribed medication in November.

LeGrier said that in addition to calling police, he also called Jones to warn her, and he said Jones claimed she saw Quintonio standing outside her door with a baseball bat.

LeGrier began to run downstairs when police arrived, but that he stopped when he heard gunfire, followed by one officer saying, “F—, no, no, no. I thought he was lunging at me with the bat.” However, LeGrier told the Times he believes that the officer “knew he had shot blindly, recklessly into the doorway and now two people are dead because of it.”

The official statement from police described Quintonio LeGrier as a “combative subject,” which resulted in “the discharging of the officer’s weapon which fatally wounded two individuals.” Jones was shot at least once, and LeGrier was shot seven times.

The statement said Jones, a mother of five and a grandmother, was “accidentally struck and tragically killed.”

During a news conference on Sunday, Jones’s friend Jacqueline Walker questioned why police “have to shoot first and ask questions later,” calling current techniques “ridiculous.”

Sam Adam Jr., a lawyer representing Jones’s family, claimed that “shell casings were found some 20 feet away,” which he said raises “questions about whether police could have perceived LeGrier as a threat at such a distance.”

While the Chicago police department has not said how many officers were involved in the shooting, it did issue a statement claiming that the officers involved “will be placed on routine administrative duties for a period of 30 days.”

[RELATED: Under Federal Investigation, Chicago PD Releases Controversial Videos of Officer Conduct]

This shooting comes at a time the Chicago police department is already under a federal investigation by the Department of Justice, which was launched after a Chicago police officer was charged with first degree murder for the first time in 35 years.

Under Federal Investigation, Chicago PD Releases Controversial Videos of Officer Conduct

As the Department of Justice launches a civil rights investigation into the practices of the Chicago Police Department, a series of videos have been released depicting controversial officer conduct.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced on Monday that the DoJ was launching the investigation because when “suspicion and hostility is allowed to fester, it can erupt into unrest,” and a lack of trust between police and their communities, “makes it more difficult to gain help within investigations, to encourage the victims and the witnesses of crime to speak up and to fulfill the most basic responsibilities of public-safety officials.”

[RELATED: Chicago Police Shooting Video Released Officer Charged First Degree Murder]

[pull_quote_center]The Department of Justice has opened an investigation into whether the Chicago police department has engaged in a pattern or practice of violations of the Constitution of Federal Law. Specifically, we will examine a number of issues related to the Chicago police department’s use of force, including its use of deadly force, racial, ethnic and other disparities in its use of force and its accountability mechanisms such as its disciplinary actions and its handling of allegations of misconduct.[/pull_quote_center]

[RELATED: Chicago Police Union Stands By Officer Charged with First Degree Murder]

The investigation comes weeks after the dashcam video from the shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was released on Nov. 24. The shooting occurred on Oct. 20, 2014, and the officer involved, Officer Jason Van Dyke, was charged with first degree murder after the video showed him opening fire just six seconds after exiting his patrol car and shooting McDonald 16 times.

The case of Van Dyke was unique due to the fact that it was the first time in 35 years that a Chicago police officer has been charged with first degree murder.

[RELATED: Lawyers: Alleged “Black Site” In Chicago Detaining And Interrogating Suspects]

The DoJ’s announcement came on the same day prosecutors announced they would not charge the officer who fatally shot 25-year-old Ronald Johnson III on Oct. 12, 2014. Dashcam video of the shooting showed Officer George Hernandez, who was responding to a call of “shots fired,” exit an unmarked police car and chase Johnson on foot, taking four steps before firing several shots.

Warning: The following video contains graphic content.

While Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez claimed that Johnson was carrying a gun at the time of the shooting, Johnson’s family attorney Michael Oppenheimer alleged that a gun was planted on Johnson’s body, and claimed that Alvarez had not interviewed any of the officers involved in the incident.

A third video was released, also on Monday, which depicted the events that led up to the death of 38-year-old Philip Coleman in 2012. In the video, which shows the view of a security surveillance camera, Coleman is lying on a cot in a jail cell when six officers enter.

Warning: The following video contains graphic content.

While the video does not have audio, it does show the officers speaking to Coleman briefly, and then surrounding him and shocking him with a taser multiple times. They then drag his limp body out of the cell. Coleman was taken to a hospital where he later died.

Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel released a statement condemning the way Coleman was treated by the officers. “I do not see how the manner in which Mr Coleman was physically treated could possibly be acceptable,” he said. “Something is wrong here – either the actions of the officers who dragged Mr. Coleman, or the policies of the department.”

Chicago’s Acting Police Superintendent John Escalante said the case of Coleman’s death is “under investigation, as it should be.” He also said that while the independent investigation is ongoing, the department “will be doing our own review of our policies and practices surrounding the response to mental health crises.”

Chicago Police Union Stands By Officer Charged with First Degree Murder

Chicago’s main police union is standing in support of Officer Jason Van Dyke after he was charged with first degree murder last week, accused of shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times on Oct. 20, 2014.

The Chicago lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) posted a bail fund appeal for Van Dyke on its website on Saturday after creating a bond fund appeal on Wednesday. Currently, Van Dyke is being held without bail.

[RELATED: Chicago Police Shooting Video Officer Charged First Degree Murder]

The shooting, which was captured on dash cam video that was recently released via a court order, shows Van Dyke opening fire on McDonald just six seconds after exiting his patrol vehicle.

[WARNING: The following video contains graphic content]


The FOP is reportedly “paying the lawyer representing Van Dyke, Daniel Herbert, himself a former FOP member the union pays to represent Chicago cops in misconduct cases,” and that an earlier link on the FOP’s website to a GoFundMe campaign was “removed after the fundraising site said it violated a policy against its use by criminal defendants.”

Between 2008 and 2014, 74 percent of the people shot by police in Chicago were black. According to interviews with white and black police officers conducted by Reuters, the officers indicated that it was worthwhile to put Van Dyke’s actions “in the context of a racially divided city beset by violence.”

During Van Dyke’s 14-year career as a police officer, there were at least 20 complaints against him, according to an online database of police misconduct complaints compiled by the Citizens Police Data Project. None of those complaints resulted in discipline.

The release of the dash cam video from the shooting has led to protests in Chicago, and in response, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago police Superintendent Garry McCarthy announced on Sunday that by mid-2016, police officers will wear body cameras in six additional police districts.

[RELATED: Investigator Says He was Fired for Finding Police Officers At Fault in Shootings]

Earlier this year, former Chicago Police Commander Lorenzo Davis said he was fired from his job as a supervising investigator at Chicago’s Independent Police Review Authority (IPRA) after he determined that several officers involved in civilian shootings were unjustified, and he refused to change the status of his reports.

As previously reported, the case against Van Dyke is the first time in 35 years that a Chicago police officer has been charged with first degree murder.

Lawyer: Father Had Hands Up When Police Opened Fire, Killing 6-Year-Old

Chris Few posed no direct threat to police and had his hands up when two deputy city marshals opened fire on his vehicle, severely wounding him and killing his son, according to Few’s lawyer.

Few’s son, 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis, was pronounced dead at the scene after he was struck by five bullets. Few remains hospitalized and in serious condition after the encounter on Nov. 3 in Marksville, Louisiana, and he has not yet been notified of the death of his son.

While reports claim that there were four officers on the scene, two were arrested on Friday and held on $1 million bonds.

Derrick Stafford, 32, a Marksville police lieutenant, and Norris Greenhouse Jr., 23, a full-time marshal in Alexandria, Louisiana, were arrested on second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder charges.

Lt. Jason Brouillette and Sgt. Kenneth Parnell, the other officers involved in the shooting, are currently on administrative leave.

[RELATED: Two Officers Arrests in ‘Disturbing’ Shooting that Killed 6-Year-Old Boy]

Mark Jeansonne, an attorney for Chris Few, told the Associated Press that while he has not seen the footage from the officers’ body cameras, it was described at the bond hearing on Monday.

“This was not a threatening situation for the police,” said Jeansonne, who said that Few had his hands up when the officers opened fire.

When describing the body camera footage from the shooting, State police superintendent Col. Michael Edmonson said, “It was the most disturbing thing I’ve seen, and I will leave it at that.”

District Attorney Charles Riddle recused himself from the case on Monday, citing the fact that one of his top assistant prosecutors is the father of Greenhouse.

Questions remain as to why Few was pursued by police, as Edmonson noted that there is currently no evidence of any warrants out for his arrest. It is unclear why police opened fire on Few’s vehicle when it did not contain any weapons and reportedly did not appear to pose a direct threat at the time.

In addition to refusing media requests, Judge William Bennett did not allow any transcripts from the bond hearing to be released, and he issued a gag order to prohibit anyone involved in the case from giving information to the media.

Two Officers Arrested in ‘Disturbing’ Shooting that Killed 6-Year-Old Boy

Two deputy city marshals in Louisiana were arrested on the counts of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder last Friday, after video footage from their body cameras showed a shooting that killed a young boy and wounded his father.

Jeremy Mardis, a 6-year-old autistic boy, was killed on Nov. 3 after he was struck by five bullets while riding in the front passenger seat of his father’s SUV. His father, Chris Few, is hospitalized and is in serious condition after the two were the subject of a police chase in Marksville, Louisiana.

However, it remains unclear as to why Few was initially pursued by the officers, due to the fact that State police have said there were no warrants out for his arrest. The officers’ initial report of Few’s vehicle backing into theirs conflicts with newer information, and no weapons were found in Few’s vehicle.

The officers in question are Derrick Stafford, 32, a lieutenant with the Marksville police, and Norris Greenhouse Jr., 23, a full-time marshal in Alexandria, Louisiana.

At a news conference on Friday, State police superintendent, Col. Michael Edmonson called the video footage of the shooting, captured on the body cameras worn by the officers, the most disturbing thing he has seen during his career.

“Jeremy Mardis, six years old, he didn’t deserve to die like that, and that’s what’s important,” Edmonson said. “I’m not going to talk about it, but I’m going to tell you this – it was the most disturbing thing I’ve seen, and I will leave it at that.”

Edmonson also said he believes nothing is more important than the badge police officers wear on their uniforms, and the integrity of why they wear it. “It’s not a right, it’s a privilege,” he said. “Tonight that badge has been tarnished by the following two individuals.” 

On Sunday, Edmonson credited the video footage with helping the department come to its decision on the officers.

“I’ve been a police officer for 35 years, but as a father—much less as a state police—it was a disturbing, disturbing video that I watched,” Edmonson said, “and that really helped move us forward.”

NBC News reported that earlier this year, both Stafford and Greenhouse, along with several other Marksville officers, “were accused in a civil lawsuit filed in federal district court of using excessive force during a Libertarian event July 4, 2014, in downtown Marksville.”

The lawsuit was filed by Ian Fridge, who alleged that after openly carrying a firearm at the event that he thought he was allowed to have, he was tasered by the officers and charged with “resisting arrest, battery on an officer and other crimes,” despite claiming to be “completely compliant.”

Family Of Wheelchair-Bound Man Killed By Police Challenges Officers’ Narrative, Citing Witness Footage

An investigation is being launched into the shooting of Jeremy McDole, who was killed by police in Delaware on Wednesday. McDole was shot while sitting in his wheelchair on the street, and McDole’s family has cited cellphone footage from a witness to challenge the Wilmington Police Department’s narrative of the shooting.

Wilmington police reportedly responded to a call that McDole, a 28-year-old black man, was suffering from a self-inflicted gun wound in a neighborhood near the nursing home where he lived.

During a news conference following the shooting, Police Chief Bobby Cummings claimed that when officers arrived on the scene, they found McDole “still armed with a handgun” and they repeatedly told him to raise his hands.

Cummings said it was after McDole refused to comply and reached for a handgun at his waistband that four officers opened fire on him. Cummings also claimed that after McDole was killed, the officers found a .38 caliber gun at his side.

McDole’s mother, Phyllis McDole, interrupted the news conference and insisted that there was video evidence showing that her son was not armed.

[quote_center]“He was in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the waist down. There’s video showing that he didn’t pull a weapon,” she said. “I need answers.”[/quote_center]

The Delaware Justice Department’s Office of Civil Rights and Public Trust is investigating the shooting. Richard Smith, the head of Delaware’s NAACP chapter, has called for a special prosecutor to investigate the shooting in order to “not have cops investigating cops.”

While Cummings has maintained that he couldn’t confirm anything until the investigation is complete, a cellphone video was released online that showed footage of the shooting.

WARNING: The following video contains graphic content.

The cellphone video appears to show Wilmington officers confronting Jeremy McDole on the street, where he is sitting in his wheelchair. As they approached with guns drawn, they yelled at him to “drop the gun” and to put his “hands up.”

McDole, who appears to be bleeding, fidgets for a few seconds, rubbing his hands on his knees and thighs, and then tries to raise himself out of his wheelchair. The moment his hand touches his waistband, the four officers open fire, striking McDole.

After he is shot, McDole freezes for a second and then falls out of his wheelchair and is motionless on the ground. No weapon appears to be visible in the bystander’s video.

McDole’s uncle, Eugene Smith, called the shooting “an execution” and said that when he saw his nephew 15 minutes before the incident, he did not have a gun.

[quote_center]“It was an execution. That’s what it was.” Smith said. “I don’t care if he was black, white, whatever.”[/quote_center]

Georgia Police Go To Wrong Home, Shoot Man, His Dog, And Fellow Cop

By Casey Harper – Georgia police busted into the wrong house, and chaos ensued.

Three DeKalb County police officers were looking for a suspicious person Monday night when they went into the wrong home, shooting a dog, the homeowner and maybe even one of their fellow cops in the process, KTLA5 reports.

Police say they entered through the unlocked backdoor and identified themselves, but that somehow one officer and the owner of the home were both shot in the leg. What exactly happened remains unclear.

“Early investigation indicates that the injured officer was likely shot accidentally by one of the other officers on the scene,” Georgia Bureau of Investigation officials said in a statement.

All three officers have been put on administrative leave, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is looking into the incident. The dog has died.

“The officer is critical. He lost a lot of blood,” Alexander said. “The homeowner, who was struck in the leg, is also at the hospital as well.”

Follow Casey on Twitter and like him on Facebook





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Peaceful Protests End In Violence As Gunfire Erupts On Anniversary Of Michael Brown Shooting

Ferguson, Mo. – A day of peaceful protests commemorating Michael Brown, the 18-year-old unarmed man who was shot and killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson one year ago on Sunday, turned violent after gunfire erupted Sunday night leaving one man in critical condition.

Police claim that gunfire was initially exchanged between two groups of protesters, and that officers only engaged after one of the protesters opened fire on four detectives in an unmarked vehicle. They returned fire, and the man was critically injured.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that gunfire erupted after police officers had threatened to arrest any protesters who stayed in the street, and at that point protesters were “estimated at fewer than 100 and were outnumbered by members of the media.”

At a 2:30 a.m. press conference on Monday, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said that the groups exchanging gunfire “were criminals” rather than protesters, and that he believes there is a “small group of people out there that are intent on making sure we don’t have peace that prevails.”

The man injured by police has been identified as Tyrone Harris Jr., 18, from St. Louis. His father, Tyrone Harris Sr., told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that his son went to high school and was good friends with Michael Brown, and that, regarding Sunday night’s shooting, he thinks “there’s a lot more to this than what’s being said.”

Belmar said that in addition to being in an unmarked vehicle, the four detectives were not wearing body cameras. This decision was criticized by coalitions such as the Ferguson Action Council, who said that “having plainclothes officers without body cameras and proper identification in the protest setting leaves us with only the officer’s account of the incident, which is clearly problematic.”

[RELATED: Ferguson Police Have Body Cameras… But Don’t Wear Them]

Reuters noted that the gunfire on Sunday night was in “marked contrast to a day of mostly subdued, peaceful commemorations” in Ferguson, where about about 1,000 people gathered together to share 4-1/2 minutes of silence in honor of the 4-1/2 hours Brown’s body lay in the street after he was shot, and to release doves and embark on a “silent march through Ferguson to honor Brown and others killed in confrontations with police.”

On Sunday night, a few local businesses were looted and robbed, and Post-Dispatch reporter Paul Hampel said that he was beaten and robbed while covering the protests.

Officers Involved In Samuel DuBose Coverup Will Not Face Charges

Two University of Cincinnati police officers who arrived on the scene when former officer Ray Tensing shot Samuel DuBose during a routine traffic stop, will not face charges for corroborating Tensing’s false claims of being dragged by DuBose’s vehicle.

After officers Phillip Kidd and David Lindenschmidt were placed on paid administrative leave while the university investigated, the Hamilton County grand jury announced on Friday that it will not indict the officers for charges related to DuBose’s death.


DuBose, 43, was shot and killed by Tensing, 25, after Tensing pulled DuBose over for driving without a front license plate on July 19. While Tensing claimed that he opened fire because he feared for his life after his hand was caught on DuBose’s vehicle, and DuBose started accelerating, footage from the body camera Tensing was wearing revealed that his hand was placed on the car door and that DuBose’s vehicle only started moving after Tensing shot DuBose in the head.

In addition to showing that Tensing’s story was false, the body cam also revealed that after arriving on the scene, Kidd and Lindenschmidt were quick to accept Tensing’s narrative, with Kidd going as far as to say that he had witnessed DuBose’s vehicle dragging Tensing down the street.

[RELATED: Cincinnati Officer Indicted For Murder After Body Camera Reveals False Report]

The same grand jury that chose not to indict Kidd and Lindenschmidt, indicted Tensing for murder in the death of DuBose on Wednesday. Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters called the shooting “totally unwarranted” and said it was the “most asinine act” he had ever seen a police officer make.

However, in the case of Kidd and Lindenschmidt, Deters said that although they initially repeated Tensing’s false account without witnessing it, since then they “have been truthful and honest about what happened and no charges are warranted.”

“These officers were totally cooperative in the investigation and consistent in their statements,” Deters said. “There was some confusion over the way the initial incident report was drafted, but that was not a sworn statement by the officers and merely a short summary of information.”

[RELATED: Officers Caught In Samuel DuBose Coverup Were Involved In Death Of Another Unarmed Man]

In addition to initially covering up the DuBose shooting, Kidd was also one of seven officers named in a lawsuit in the death of Kelly Brinson, 45, a mentally ill man who died at Cincinnati’s University hospital in 2010. Brinson was taken to a seclusion room after suffering a psychotic episode, and was shocked with a taser three times and restrained by shackles. As a result, Brinson went into cardiac arrest and died three days later.

Tensing, who has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and involuntary manslaughter, was involved in another heated traffic stop in May 2014 after he pulled two men over claiming that their bumper was dragging.

Officers Caught In Samuel DuBose Coverup Were Involved In Death Of Another Unarmed Man

University of Cincinnati police officers Eric Weibel and Phillip Kidd, who repeated the false narrative of former officer Ray Tensing after he shot and killed Samuel DuBose during a routine traffic stop, were involved in the death of another unarmed black man in 2010.

Weibel and Kidd were two of the seven officers named in a lawsuit, according to court documents obtained by The Guardian, in the death of Kelly Brinson, 45, a mentally ill man who was a patient at Cincinnati’s University hospital.

The Guardian reported that after suffering a psychotic episode in Jan. 2010, Brinson was taken to a seclusion room at the hospital by UC officers and was then shocked with a taser three times and restrained by shackles. As a result, Brinson went into cardiac arrest and died three days later.

Brinson’s family filed a civil lawsuit against both UC police and the hospital, alleging that the seven officers involved used excessive force and acted with “deliberate indifference to the serious medical and security needs of Mr. Brinson.”

Accusing the officers and hospital staff involved of civil right violations, malpractice, discrimination and negligence, the lawsuit notes that Brinson was a civilian hospital patient, not a criminal, and that the only drugs in his system at the time were psychiatric medications prescribed by the hospital staff.

Derek Brinson, Kelly Brinson’s brother, told The Guardian that while all of the officers involved in the case were supposed to be terminated, they ended up keeping their jobs after Brinson’s family received a settlement of $638,000.

Five years after Brinson’s death, Weibel and Kidd have been involved in the case surrounding the death of another unarmed black man: Samuel DuBose.

[RELATED: Cincinnati Officer Indicted For Murder After Body Camera Reveals False Report]

As Truth In Media previously reported, former UC officer Ray Tensing was indicted for murder on Wednesday in the shooting death of DuBose, 43, after body camera footage contradicted Tensing’s account. In addition to showing that Tensing’s story was false, the body cam he was wearing also showed that the officers arriving on the scene were quick to repeat Tensing’s false account, even going as far as to say that they witnessed it occurring.

While Tensing initially claimed that he shot DuBose during a routine traffic stop because he feared for his life after his hand was caught in DuBose’s car, which began to accelerate, dragging Tensing down the street, the footage from Tensing’s body cam directly contradicted his account.

After reviewing the footage, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters noted that while DuBose did put his keys in the ignition of the car, it did not start rolling until after Tensing pulled out his gun, shot DuBose in the head, and then fell backwards.

The Guardian reported that in the UC police division report, authored by Weibel, he does not say anything about witnessing the shooting, but he did write that the uniform Tensing was wearing “looked as if it had been dragged over a rough surface,” and the report overall supports Tensing’s account.

Weibel also wrote that Kidd told him he witnessed the Honda Accord DuBose was driving “drag Officer Tensing,” and that he witnessed Tensing “fire a single shot.”

Kidd and another officer on the scene, David Lindenschmidt, who both claimed to have witnessed Tensing being dragged down the street by DuBose’s car, have been placed on paid administrative leave and an internal investigation is being conducted.

Cincinnati Officer Indicted For Murder After Body Camera Reveals False Report

University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing was indicted for murder on Wednesday in the shooting death of Samuel DuBose, after body camera footage contradicted Tensing’s account.

Tensing, 25, pulled over DuBose, 43, for a missing license plate on the front of his car on July 19. Following the shooting, Tensing told his fellow officers that he fired his gun because he feared for his life after his hand got caught on DuBose’s car, and he thought DuBose would run him over.

“I think I’m OK,” Tensing said after the incident, according to his body cam recording. “He was just dragging me. I thought I was going to get run over. I was trying to stop him.”

However, the footage from Tensing’s body cam appears to directly contradict his story. At a news conference on Wednesday, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters noted that while DuBose did put his keys in the ignition of the car, it did not start rolling until after Tensing pulled out his gun, shot DuBose in the head, and then fell backwards.

“It is our belief that he was not dragged,” Deters said. “If you slow down this tape you see what happens, it is a very short period of time from when the car starts rolling to when a gun is out and he’s shot in the head.”

CNN noted that while Tensing left the scene with another officer to go to the hospital to get checked out, the footage from the body cam “shows no one rendering aid to DuBose.”

Deters called the incident “totally unwarranted,” and said he believes Tensing’s false report was his way of “making an excuse for a purposeful killing.”

[quote_center]“I’ve been doing this for over 30 years. This is the most asinine act I’ve ever seen a police officer make – totally unwarranted,” Deters said. “It’s an absolute tragedy in the year 2015 that anyone would behave in this manner. It was senseless.”[/quote_center]

Deters also noted that while “people want to believe” that DuBose, who was unarmed, “had done something violent towards the officer,” video footage from the scene shows that he did not. “I feel so sorry for his family and what they lost, and I feel sorry for the community, too,” Deters said.

Following the shooting, The Guardian noted that in addition to Tensing giving his account of events to other officers arriving at the scene, two of those officers repeated Tensing’s version, claiming he was dragged by DuBose, and one of the officers “claims to have witnessed it occurring.”

The Associated Press reported that during Tensing’s arraignment on Thursday morning, where he pleaded “not guilty” to charges of murder and involuntary manslaughter, “people in the courtroom audience erupted into cheers and clapping” when Tensing’s bond was set at $1 million.

Cleveland Judge Finds Probable Cause For Murder Charges In Tamir Rice Shooting

A Cleveland municipal court judge ruled on Thursday that there is probable cause to charge two Cleveland police officers in the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice. Rice was shot and killed by police on Nov. 22, 2014, while he was playing with a pellet gun at a park in Cleveland.

Judge Ronald Adrine issued a ruling that stated he found probable cause to charge Officer Timothy Loehmann, who shot Rice, with “murder, involuntary manslaughter, reckless homicide and dereliction of duty,” and he also found probable cause to charge a second officer on the scene, Officer Frank Garmback, with “negligent homicide and dereliction of duty.”

Adrine noted that although the municipal court determined that “complaints should be filed by the prosecutor of the City of Cleveland and/or the Cuyahoga County prosecutor,” the court’s role is only “advisory in nature,” and it is ultimately up to the City Prosecutor to “decide to issue felony complaints in the Cleveland Municipal Court based upon his acceptance of the court’s determination that there is probable cause to believe certain accusations found in the affidavits posted against these Patrol Officers.”

The New York Times reported that county prosecutor, Timothy McGinty, released a statement in response to the court’s ruling, indicating that he would not be “rushed into filing a criminal complaint.”

“This case, as with all other fatal use-of-deadly-force cases involving law enforcement officers, will go to the grand jury,” McGinty said. “That has been the policy of this office since I was elected. Ultimately, the grand jury decides whether police officers are charged or not charged.”

As Truth In Media previously reported, the family of Tamir Rice filed a lawsuit on Jan. 30, stating that Rice’s death and subsequent injuries suffered by his family were “directly and proximately caused” by officers Loehmann and Garmback.

While the city of Cleveland’s response noted that it was unable to respond in full due to the ongoing investigation, it did cite 20 defenses, with one including the allegation that Rice’s death was caused by his failure to “exercise due care to avoid injury.”

In April, attorneys for Loehmann and Garmback asked a federal judge to halt a lawsuit filed against them, until the criminal investigation into their actions has been completed. In response, Rice’s family filed a motion on May 4, in objection to the request, stating that delays in the lawsuit will hurt their case.

While Adrine’s ruling claimed that the video surveillance from the incident was low in quality, it does acknowledge the fact that after Rice is shot, nearly four minutes pass where he is left lying on the ground, and when his sister arrives on the scene, she is “restrained from going to her brother’s side.”

The video shows Rice’s 14-year-old sister rushing to her brother’s side, and then being thrown to the ground, handcuffed, and placed in a police cruiser by Garmback. She is then forced to wait in the cruiser, and to watch while police stand around, without attempting to provide any first aid to her brother.

“This has to be the cruelest thing I’ve ever seen,” said Walter Madison, an attorney for the Rice family, who called the video “shocking and outrageous.”

South Carolina Grand Jury Indicts Former Officer For Murder Of Walter Scott

A South Carolina grand jury indicted former police officer Michael Slager on Monday for the murder of 50-year-old Walter Scott. Slager fired eight shots at Scott’s back as Scott ran away from him following a traffic stop in North Charleston on April 4.

As Truth In Media previously reported, Slager was fired and charged with murder by state law enforcement almost immediately after a video of the shooting surfaced.

The video, which was captured on a bystander’s cellphone, showed a different narrative of the shooting than what Slager originally reported.

An initial statement from Charleston police spokesman Spencer Pryor claimed that during a routine traffic stop, in which Slager pulled Scott over for a broken taillight, Scott fled the scene, and Slager “deployed his department-issued Taser in an attempt to stop him.” When that did not work, the statement claimed that “an altercation ensued as the men struggled over the device,” and that Slager “resorted to his service weapon” and shot Scott, only after Scott “gained control of the Taser” and attempted to use it against Slager.

In contrast, the video of the shooting, filmed by 23-year-old barber Feidin Santana, shows a different scene.

Warning: The following video contains graphic content.


The video of the shooting that was taken by Santana appears to show Slager running back to the initial scene of the altercation, picking up his Taser, and then running back to Scott, dropping the Taser next to Scott’s body.

Following the release of the video from the shooting, the State Law Enforcement Division of South Carolina released a video from the dash-cam in Slager’s car. The video shows Slager approaching Scott’s car, and notifying him that he is being stopped for a broken taillight. After speaking with Scott, Slager returns to his car, and moments later, Scott jumps out of his car and started running away.

While the dash-cam video does include the audio of the moments when Slager attempted to stop Scott with a Taser, it does not show video footage of the two, and it does not include the moments when Slager pulls out his gun and begins to shoot at Scott.

The Associated Press reported that Prosecutor Scarlett Wilson said that although Slager has been jailed without bond since his arrest, and faces 30 years to life in prison, if convicted, the death penalty does not seem to apply in this case because there were “no aggravating circumstances such as robbery or kidnapping as required under South Carolina law.”

Waco Police Deny Public Access To Information On Deadly “Biker Brawl”

After a fight that broke out between rival biker gangs at a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas on May 17, Waco Police have yet to release information regarding the exact details that left nine dead, 18 injured, and over 170 arrested for “participating in organized crime.” 

Yahoo News requested information on the shooting, as is allowed by the Texas Public Records Act, but noted that the documents it received “appear to be haphazardously redacted.”

The documents obtained by Yahoo News ommitted the names of arresting officers, while leaving the “identities, addresses and other contact information of suspects’ next of kin,” and they did not give any information regarding “where each victim was killed and by whom.”

Waco Police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said that the department suspected there would be issues at the Twin Peaks location prior to the shooting, and as a result they were prepared with officers on the scene.

While the details have not been released regarding how many of the nine deceased and 18 injured were wounded by the officers on the scene, Swanton claimed that “there were multiple people on the scene firing weapons at each other,” before the bikers began shooting at police, and the officers returned gunfire, “wounding and possibly killing several.”

After Yahoo News submitted its original request for information on May 19, the Waco city attorney’s office sent a letter to the Texas attorney general on Wednesday, requesting permission to “withhold the records from Yahoo News and other media outlets that have made similar requests.”

In the letter, assistant city attorney Judith Benton cited a “need to withhold the information pertaining to an open and pending case in order to deal with the detection, investigation, and/or prosecution of a crime is a compelling reason for nondisclosure.”

Although Waco did release 19 pages of documents to media outlets that requested information, Yahoo News noted that “other than a few dispatch call logs about the first shots fired, none of the pages pertain to the homicide reports” that had been requested.

In addition to refusing to release crucial information from the shooting, some of the details the Waco Police department has released, have contained major errors.

Following the incident, police claimed that as many as 1,000 weapons were recovered from the scene. However, they later admitted that 1,000 was an exaggerated estimate, and the actual number of weapons found was 318. Out of those weapons, only 118 handguns – the rest were knives, clubs, brass knuckles and chains with padlocks attached to them. Police also claimed that they found 1 Ak-47 accompanied by body armor in the parking lot.

Although Swanton claimed that the nine individuals killed were all part of criminal motorcycle gangs, the family of 65-year-old Jesus Delgado Rodriguez, one of the men killed, claimed that he was not involved in an outlaw motorcycle gang and did not lead a life of violence.

The Associated Press reported that not only did Rodriguez not have a criminal record in Texas, he was an active-duty Marine from 1969 to 1973, and he received several awards including a Purple Heart and a Navy commendation medal.

As previously reported, 170 individuals were arrested, charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, and held on $1 million bonds following the shooting. The AP noted that according to records kept by the Texas Department of Public Safety, four of the nine men killed and 117 of the 170 suspects have no previous criminal record in the state of Texas.

USA Today reported that one of the individuals arrested, Matthew Clendennen of Hewitt, Texas, has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the City of Waco, the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office, and the individual officers on the scene of the shooting.

Clendennen is a member of the Scimitars Motorcycle Club, and while he was present at the Twin Peaks restaurant on May 17, his lawsuit claims that he “did not encourage or solicit any criminal activity at Twin Peaks that day.”

While police have yet to release the video footage from the surveillance cameras at Twin Peaks, they did push the narrative that all of the of bikers present were engaging in the “brawl,” and fighting one another.

In contrast, when the New York Daily News obtained footage from the security cameras, it noted that “most of the leather-clad patrons ran away from the shooting or ducked under tables to dodge violence,” while some of the bikers “tried to direct other people to safety.”

The Associated Press also noted that while police claim the fighting started in the bathroom of the Twin Peaks, escalated into the bar area, and was then carried out in the parking lot, where the officers present became involved, representatives from the franchise told the AP that the “fighting began outside the restaurant, not inside as police have previously said.”

No Charges For Police Officer Who Shot Unarmed Man Seven Times

By Chuck Ross

A Madison, Wisc. police officer will not be charged in the fatal March 6 shooting of 19-year-old Tony Robinson Jr., Dane County district attorney Ismael Ozanne announced Tuesday.

Robinson — who had a criminal history which included armed robbery — was high on mushrooms, marijuana and Xanax when he went on a violent rampage in which he punched friends, chased bystanders, and, ultimately, slugged 45-year-old Madison police officer Matthew Kenny.

Kenny shot Robinson seven times in a three second span, Ozanne stated.

Ozanne, who, like Robinson, is bi-racial, said that 911 callers stated that “Tony was tweaking” and that he was going “crazy.”

Toxicology reports showed that Robinson had marijuana, Xanax, and psilocybin mushrooms in his system.

According to Ozanne, Kenny told investigators that after he followed Robinson into an apartment after responding to the calls, he came into contact with Robinson at the top of a stairwell. Robinson punched Kenny in the head with a closed fist, the officer stated. The blow knocked Kenny into the wall and Robinson continued swinging. That put Kenny on his heels, and he said that he said that he was afraid of being knocked unconscious and having his service weapon stolen and used against him.

Kenny’s seven shots all hit Robinson at close range and in the front of his body.

“I conclude that this tragic and unfortunate death was the result of the lawful use of deadly police force and that no charges should be brought against Officer Kenny in the death of Tony Robinson Jr.,” Ozanne stated.

He also addressed some of the unrest that occurred in Madison after Robinson’s death and that has occurred in other cases such as the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. and the recent death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore.

“I am concerned that recent violence around our nation is giving some in our communities a justification for fear, hatred, and violence,” Ozanne said. “I am reminded that true and lasting change does not come from violence but from exercising our voices and our votes.”

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VIDEO: Florida Deputy Pursues, Shoots Unarmed Man Holding Cellphone

On Thursday, dashcam video was published by WPTV, which depicted an encounter between 20-year-old Dontrell Stephens and Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Deputy Adams Lin that left Stephens paralyzed from the waist down in September 2013.

The video shows Lin trailing Stephens, as Stephens rides on his bicycle while talking on his cellphone. Stephens pulls off to the side of the road, gets off of his bicycle, walks towards Lin and out of the dash cam’s frame, with his cellphone in his right hand.

Four seconds later Stephens reappears in the video and Lin opens fire, shooting Stephens four times.

WPTV noted that Stephens has a criminal record for possessing cocaine, and that the release of the video is part of a joint investigation into police shootings as part of a federal wrongful death lawsuit filed against Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office.

A second Deputy arrived at the scene, and the video shows Lin defending himself, saying, “He starts backing away. I said, ‘Get on the ground, get on the ground.‘”

The other deputy replies, “I got your back man. I got your back. Hey, you hear me?

WPTV reported that Lin was “cleared to return to work four days later,” and that months later, “investigators from the State Attorney’s Office and PBSO ruled the shooting justified.

On the day of the shooting, Sheriff Ric Bradshaw defended Lin’s actions. “Stop what you’re doing and comply with us,” Bradshaw said. “There’s nothing in the rules of engagement that says we have to put our lives in jeopardy to wait to find out what this is to get killed.”

Jack Scarola, an attorney in West Palm Beach, told WPTV that he is suing the sheriff and the deputy on Stephens’ behalf, and that after viewing the video footage and listening to the audio recording from the encounter, he has discovered issues with Lin’s story.

There are no records of any commands ever made to Dontrell Stephens,” Scarola said. “The deputy’s recorded statements following the shooting were absolutely false.  Internal affairs completely ignored that evidence.