Tag Archives: police shooting

BREAKING: Officials Announce Suspect Has Been Arrested in Ferguson Shooting

St. Louis, Mo. – On Sunday, St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch announced that 20-year-old Jeffrey Williams was arrested around 10:30 p.m. Saturday night and charged in the shooting that wounded two police officers just after midnight Thursday.

At a press conference on Sunday afternoon, McCulloch said that Williams has been charged with two counts of first degree assault and one count of firing a weapon from a vehicle. If convicted, he could face up to life in prison.

He has acknowledged firing the shots,” McCulloch said, regarding the suspect, who is African American and lives north of Ferguson. “He was on probation here in St. Louis County for accepting stolen property.”

McCulloch said that Williams was a regular protestor, and that his intention in the shooting is pending investigation, due to the fact that he may have been targeting someone other than police. McCulloch added that the weapon police recovered from Williams matched the casings found at the scene.

The shooting occurred just after midnight on Thursday, as a demonstration was winding down outside of the Ferguson Police Department. Protestors had gathered on Wednesday night following the resignation of Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson, who resigned in the wake of a scathing report that revealed the police department in Ferguson exercised discrimination against the black community.

At a press conference on Thursday, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said that two officers were wounded in the shooting: a 41-year-old officer from St. Louis County was shot in the shoulder and a 32-year-old officer from the suburb of Webster Groves was shot in the face. Both officers were released from the hospital on Thursday.

March 15, 2015, 4:10 p.m. Eastern: UPDATE: Following the press conference with St. Louis County officials on Sunday, Mediaite reported that both reporters and protesters spoke out on Twitter, and contested the claim that Jeffrey Williams was a “regular” at at any of the  Ferguson protests.

DeRay McKesson, an activist and a regular protestor as the Ferguson demonstrations, said that he hadn’t seen Williams at the protest on the night of the shooting, or at any protests prior to that night: 

Matt Pearce, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, questioned whether Williams had ever attended a Ferguson protest:

Wesley Lowery, a reporter for the Washington Post, said that none of the regular protestors he knew were familiar with Jeffrey Williams:

Former APD Officer Jeremy Dear Interview: Camera Was Unplugged, Not An Internal Error

Albuquerque, NM- The Albuquerque Journal obtained audio of the interview conducted with former APD Officer Jeremy Dear two days after he fatally shot Mary Hawkes last April. The audio reveals that Dear said he realized that his lapel camera was unplugged immediately after he fired shots at Hawkes.

“I remember at the end, I was like oh (expletives)- my camera, it was unplugged,” Dear said. “I’ve had problems with it in the past. It comes unplugged and it won’t record.”

The Albuquerque Journal reported that Dear said he had told himself “Oh, I’m going to be in trouble for this.”

“I was scared to death. I don’t think I’ve ever been more scared in my life,” Dear also said in the interview. “I was afraid to die. I didn’t want to die. I have a girlfriend that I love very much. I have my 6-year-old son. I wanted to go home.”

The Albuquerque Police Department has never publicly acknowledged that Dear’s camera was unplugged before and during his pursuit of 19-year-old Hawkes, a suspected car thief. In a press conference held on April 23rd, two days after the shooting, Albuquerque Police Chief Gordon Eden said that footage of the chase and subsequent shooting could not be retrieved from Dear’s lapel camera and that the camera was being sent to the manufacturer for technical and forensic analysis.

When asked “Does that mean he [Dear] did or did not start it?” Eden responded, “That’s information we don’t know, that’s why we sent it to the experts to have them do a technical and forensic analysis of the on-body camera system.” Someone in the conference asked Eden “What does Officer Dear say to that question, I’m sure he’s been asked that?” Eden answered that “There are still witnesses that need to be interviewed, and hopefully we will know more information as this investigation continues.”

Taser International Inc., the camera’s manufacturer, stated in its analysis of Dear’s camera last year that the device had turned on and off several times late in the evening of April 20th through the early hours of April 21st: “Before the incident, the camera was powered on around 11:15 p.m. on April 20, then went off around 11:30 p.m., recording once. It was turned on again shortly after midnight, and went off again around 4 a.m., recording three times. It was turned on again around 4:15 a.m. and turned off a minute later without recording anything.”  

Dear’s partner at the time of the shooting, Tanner Tixier, was also interviewed. Tixier was asked if Dear recorded the shooting, and he said “I know he did not.”

“According to him, and this has happened before, I think, when he got out of the vehicle to go on a foot chase, that cord unplugged itself from the battery pack, which completely made his camera inoperable,” Tixier said.

In order to turn on the camera, Dear needed to push a button on the battery. According to The Albuquerque Journal, he said that he pushed the button as he was exiting his vehicle but he didn’t hear it beep so he was aware that it was not recording. “But I was more concerned about watching her running,” Dear said.

Dear was reportedly asked why his camera wasn’t turned on before chasing Hawkes, and he answered that the shooting, which occurred at around 5 a.m., was close to the end of his shift and had been worried about preserving battery life.

Dear shot and killed Mary Hawkes on April 21st, 2014 after Hawkes was allegedly spotted by police driving a truck that had been reported stolen April 10th. Hawkes allegedly abandoned the truck and was running from police when she was confronted by Dear before he shot her three times. According to the autopsy report on Hawkes, all three shots were fired from a downward trajectory. A report from the Office of the Medical Examiner stated that Hawkes suffered “seven blunt-force injuries” on her body “including on each knee, the top of her forehead, each forearm, her chest and back of her right hand.”

Dear said in his interview that while he was chasing Hawkes, he yelled “Stop” and she looked at him, making eye contact, before turning toward Dear. Dear said that Hawkes was about 5 feet away from him when she turned and pointed a gun at him. “She says, ‘don’t, don’t,’” Dear said. “I draw my gun out and come up on her and say, ‘Drop it, drop it.’ She doesn’t drop it, and I’m focused on the gun and I start firing my gun until she drops.”

Dear has claimed body camera errors in the past. In January 2013, Dear was accused of hitting a 22-year-old suspect “several times in his facial area with a closed fist.” Dear’s camera was not on at the time, and his partner’s camera had captured the beginning of the fight and its aftermath. In February 2013, a man filed a complaint accusing Dear of using excessive force during a traffic stop. The man alleged that Dear pulled him out of his vehicle and kicked him in the genitals. Dear denied the accusations and claimed that the battery on his body camera died after he pulled the man over.

Dear had also been accused of giving conflicting information in a wrongful death suit stemming from an APD-involved shooting in 2011. APD officer Sean Wallace had shot and killed Alan Gomez, a suspect in a hostage situation. Dear had been at the scene of the shooting, and there was audio of Dear telling an investigator that he was unable to see Gomez’s hands before he was shot.

Dear was fired last December for “insubordination and untruthfulness” according to a statement from Eden, but did not directly cite the shooting of Hawkes as the primary reason for termination. Dear has appealed Eden’s decision.

 

Last updated February 10th, 2015, 2:44 p.m.

Attorneys Defend Albuquerque Officers: “Terrible Decision” To File Murder Charges

Albuquerque, NM- Attorneys for Albuquerque Officers Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez defended the actions of their clients on Monday regarding the killing of James Boyd.

“Unfortunately now, the district attorney  has made a decision- which is a terrible, terrible decision- in charging Officers Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez with murder,” Sandy’s attorney, Sam Bregman, said at a press conference held as news that the officers had been charged was being made public.

Bregman said that Boyd had a violent past and had once broken a police officer’s nose. Boyd, who has a history of mental illness and had spent time in the state’s psychiatric facility, was shot and killed by Perez and Sandy after a lengthy standoff last March. The shooting has since gained national attention and increased scrutiny surrounding Albuquerque’s controversial history of excessive force used by the city’s police officers.

“Keith Sandy was following his training, and very likely saved the life of a fellow police officer,” Bregman said at the conference. Bregman has also asserted that neither Sandy nor Perez had intended to kill Boyd during the standoff on March 16th, 2014, and said Sandy had fired his weapon to protect a K-9 officer who was nearest to Boyd. “He’s spent his whole career in life protecting people,” Bregman said of Sandy. “And the idea that he’s charged with murder for protecting a fellow officer? You can imagine that goes right to his core.”

“While Mr. Boyd’s death is a tragedy, it is not the result of a criminal act by Keith. Keith now looks forward to to clearing his good name through the judicial process,” Bregman said in a statement.

Luis Robles, an attorney for Dominique Perez, provided KRQE with a similar statement in defense of Perez’s actions. “This is truly a shame. Throughout his career, Officer Perez has been called upon to make life-altering decisions while protecting Albuquerque citizens and his fellow officers. And having made one of those decisions, Officer Perez now faces an open count of murder. Regardless, I am confident that the facts will vindicate Officer Perez’s actions in this case,” Robles said.

Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry said that “It’s important for all of us to allow the process to progress without prejudice in order for our community to move forward” in response to the charges filed against Perez and Sandy.

According to KOAT News, the city of Albuquerque will not be paying for the legal fees of either officer; both Perez and Sandy will be responsible for paying for their defense fees.

In a statement, the Albuquerque Police Department said “Having the case presented to a district court judge at a preliminary hearing will permit the evidence to be presented in a transparent and public forum.”

The Albuquerque Police Officer Association said “We are disappointed in the District Attorney’s decision to pursue charges. This was an unfortunate situation, but in no way criminal,” according to a released statement.

Following a preliminary hearing, it will be up to a judge to deliver a final decision on whether or not to move the case forward. “We refer to it as a mini-trial, where evidence is heard in court, open court,” said Brandenburg. “The defense can cross-examine and present their own testimony, and then a judge will make a decision.”

A date for a preliminary hearing has not been set.

 

 

Extended Tamir Rice Shooting Footage Released: “The Cruelest Thing I’ve Ever Seen”

Cleveland, OH- Additional surveillance footage, revealing what occurred shortly after Tamir Rice was shot and killed by Cleveland Police officer Tim Loehmann, showed that Rice’s 14-year-old sister was thrown to the ground and handcuffed as she was rushing to her brother before being placed into a cruiser, and that several minutes passed before Tamir Rice received first aid.

Rice’s sister was forced onto the ground by Loehmann’s partner, Officer Frank Garmback. Cleveland.com reported that the girl was placed in the police cruiser less than ten feet away from her injured brother, and the officers stood idly before a man identifying himself as an FBI agent administered first aid to Tamir. “No one thinks that it’s appropriate to try to save him,” Walter Madison, an attorney representing the Rice family, said of the officers’ behavior. “The first person who does is not affiliated with the Cleveland police department.”

Madison described the video as “shocking and outrageous” and said “This has to be the cruelest thing I’ve ever seen.”

“This is the level of service that makes people very upset and distrustful of law enforcement,” said Madison.

Northeast Ohio Media Group made a request for the additional footage on December 11th, 2014, and it was initially denied by the office of Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson. Northeast Ohio Media Group hired an attorney to obtain the footage before city officials agreed to release it.

The footage corroborates a statement given by Tamir’s mother, Samaria Rice, during a press conference in December when she said that her daughter had been tackled by police after the shooting. Samaria Rice had also said at that press conference that her daughter was told she’d be placed into a cruiser if she refused to calm down.

The two officers involved in the killing of Tamir Rice have each been involved in prior incidents that may raise additional questions as the investigation of Tamir Rice’s death continues. Officer Loehmann was hired by the Cleveland Police Department after he had resigned ahead of termination by his previous employer, the Independence Police Department, for various documented emotional problems and an inability to properly fire weapons.

Officer Garmback was named in a 2012 lawsuit filed by Tamela Eaton, who alleged Garmback had “placed her in a chokehold, tackled her to the ground, twisted her wrist and began hitting her body” as another officer allegedly punched her in the face following a disagreement in 2010. County prosecutors accused Eaton of interfering with an investigation and punching Garmback  in the mouth; Eaton was acquitted in a jury trial and received a $100,000 settlement from the city of Cleveland.

Mayor Jackson said last week that the investigation into the death of Tamir Rice was being handed over to the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department.

Georgia Police Chief Critically Injures Wife In Reported Accidental Shooting

Peachtree City, GA- Atlanta NBC affiliate 11Alive has reported that Margaret McCollom is in critical condition after being shot on Thursday by her husband, Peachtree City Police Chief William McCollom.

Police arrived at the McCollom home early Thursday morning in response to a call from Chief McCollom at around 4:15 a.m. reporting that he had accidentally shot his wife with his service weapon. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has initiated an investigation into the incident.

It was initially stated by GBI spokeswoman Sherry Lang that Chief McCollom called 911 reporting that he accidentally shot his wife twice. Lang has since clarified that only one bullet had been fired.

Neighbors reportedly said they hadn’t heard anything unusual before the shooting. Investigators have not yet disclosed what was happening in the moments before the incident but stated that the shooting occurred in the bedroom.

Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard said that if the shooting is ruled accidental, charges could still be filed against Chief McCollom.

McCollum is said to be cooperating with police as the investigation is underway, and he has been placed on administrative leave.

 

 

 

 

18-Year-Old Shot And Killed by Police Near Ferguson, Protest Erupts At Scene

Berkeley, MO– A teenager was shot and killed late Tuesday night by police at a gas station after police claimed the teen pointed a gun at an officer.

The young man, identified as 18-year-old Antonio Martin, allegedly pointed a firearm an an officer who is yet to be identified. Surveillance footage has been released by the St. Louis County Police.

The St. Louis Police released a statement regarding the video and the shooting:

“This video shows the suspect pointing a gun at the officer. More information on the incident: At approximately 11:15 PM on December 23, 2014, a police officer with the City of Berkeley was conducting a routine business check at the Mobile Gas Station located at 6800 N. Hanley when he observed two male subjects on the side of the building. The Berkeley Police Officer exited his vehicle and approached the subjects when one of the men pulled a handgun and pointed it at the officer. Fearing for his life, the Berkeley Officer fired several shots, striking the subject, fatally wounding him. The second subject fled the scene. The Berkeley Police Department requested the St. Louis County Police Department’s Crimes Against Persons Unit to handle the investigation. St. Louis County Police Detectives have recovered the deceased subject’s handgun at the scene. At this time, I cannot confirm the identity of the deceased subject. The investigation is on-going and further details will follow as they become available.”

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said that the suspect “produced a pistol with his arm straight out, pointing it straight at the officer kind of from across the hood” and the officer fired “what we think is three shots.” Martin was pronounced dead at the scene, and his body was removed at 1:40 a.m. Wednesday morning. Police said that a loaded 9mm gun was found on the suspect. The officer who shot Martin was not wearing his issued body camera, and the dash camera of the police vehicle was not turned on.

Belmar said that this is the officer’s second use-of-force incident.

A protest ensued shortly after the incident at the scene of the shooting. St. Louis Today reported that hundreds of protesters congregated at the scene, and video footage has captured an explosion during the protest.

Police are currently looking for a second individual who was with Martin at the time of the shooting.

Breaking: Florida Police Officer Shot And Killed

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s office said a Florida police officer was shot and killed early Sunday morning. The shooting occurred at 3 A. M. when the officer was responding to a noise complaint in the town of Tarpon Springs.

The male suspect has been placed in custody. A news conference is scheduled for Sunday afternoon.

Mayor de Blasio Blamed By Pataki, Police Supporters For Deaths Of Brooklyn Officers

Former Gov. George Pataki publicly blamed New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio as well as Attorney General Eric Holder for the killings of officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos on Saturday afternoon, tweeting that the deaths “sadly are a predictable outcome of divisive anti-cop rhetoric” from Holder and de Blasio.

The NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association sent out a similar tweet.

The alleged culprit behind the shooting deaths of the officers, identified as 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley, made his plans in an Instagram post before carrying through.

dontrunup

The post stated “I’m Putting Wings On Pigs Today. They Take 1 Of Ours…… Let’s Take 2 of Theirs #ShootThePolice #RIPErivGardner #RIPMikeBrown This May Be My Final Post.”

Brinsley allegedly “took a shooting stance on the passenger side and fired his weapon several times through the front passenger window, striking both officers in the head” at approximately 2:47 p.m. on Saturday, according to Police Commissioner William J. Bratton. Bratton said that after Brinsley shot the officers he ran to the Myrtle-Willoughby subway station where he shot himself in the head.

Police said that Brinsley was involved in a separate shooting earlier on Saturday in Baltimore County, MD. Brinsley allegedly shot and wounded his ex-girlfriend before posting his future plans to “shoot the police” and traveling to Brooklyn.

Personnel Files Of Officer Who Shot Tamir Rice Reveal “Emotional Perplexity”, Inability To Handle Firearms

Cleveland, OH-  Personnel files of Cleveland Officer Tim Loehmann released by Cleveland.com revealed that Loehmann displayed serious problems with handgun training stemming from emotional issues.

Loehmann’s personal and professional history is under scrutiny following the tragic November 22nd incident in which Loehmann shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice after a 911 call reported a person with a gun that was “probably fake”. Surveillance footage of the shooting showed that Loehmann shot Rice within seconds of approaching him in a cruiser, contradicting a statement from Deputy Police Chief Ed Tomba who said officers gave Tamir three orders to “show your hands”.

Before joining the Cleveland Police Department, Loehmann was a patrol officer working for the Independence Police Department. A memorandum, written by Independence Deputy Chief Jim Polak, expressed concern over Loehmann’s emotional issues during his poor performance at a state range qualification course for handgun training. Polak wrote that he was notified of Loehmann’s emotional issues by Independence Police Sgt. Greg Tinnirello:

[pull_quote_center]”I was notified by FTO Sgt. Tinnirello of the following circumstances related to our recruit, Ptl. Loehmann. A written statement was included. On this date, during a state range qualification course Ptl. Loehmann was distracted and weepy. He could not follow simple directions, could not communicate clear thoughts nor recollections, and his handgun performance was dismal. Sgt. Tinnirello tried to work through this with Ptl. Loehmann by giving him some time. But, after some talking it was clear to Sgt. Tinnirello that the recruit was just not mentally prepared to be doing firearm training.”[/pull_quote_center]

According to the memorandum, Tinnirello and Loehmann then went for a drive to discuss the incident at the shooting range. During this drive, “Sgt. Tinnirello continued to speak with Tim about his problems, and Ptl. Loehmann continued with his emotional meltdown to a point where Sgt. Tinnirello could not take him into the store, so they went to get something to eat and he continued to try and calm Ptl. Loehmann,” Polak wrote. “Sgt. Tinnirello describes the recruit as being very downtrodden, melancholy with some light crying. Sgt. Tinnirello later found this emotional perplexity was due to a personal issue with Ptl. Loehmann’s on and off again girlfriend whom he was dealing with till 0400 hrs the night before.”

Polak added that Loehmann was “not mature enough in his accepting of responsibility or his understanding in the severity of his loss of control on the range.”

The memorandum noted that Loehmann appeared to display lack of loyalty with IPD. “He [Loehmann] keeps referring to being told to stay in Independence, although it appears he often thinks of going to NY, where his best friend lives, and he has opportunities to work for NYPD,” Polak wrote. “He told me that he was called by NYPD, and although he declined their position, he was told he would be on their list for 2 more years. That theme was repeated many times by Ptl. Loehmann, even him stating, ‘I will work here as long as possible; and do my best, but if I find I don’t like it then I will go do something else.’ I found this lack of commitment to us, disturbing.”

Polak concluded that “due to this dangerous loss of composure during live range training and his inability to manage this personal stress, I do not believe Ptl. Loehmann shows the maturity needed to work in our employment. Unfortunately in law enforcement there are times when instructions need be followed to the letter, and I am under the impression Ptl. Loehmann, under certain circumstances, will not react in the way instructed. Ptl. Loehmann’s lack of commitment for his future here at Independence is disconcerting.” Polak recommended that Loehmann be released from the department and wrote that neither “time, nor training, will be able to change or correct these deficiencies.”

Loehmann chose to resign ahead of being released by IPD. Loehmann joined the Cleveland Police Department in March. Cleveland police spokesman Sgt. Ali Pillow acknowledged that Cleveland police never saw the the personnel files criticizing Loehmann and recommending his departure from IPD before hiring him. Cleveland police had inquired IPD’s human resources department about any disciplinary measures taken against Loehmann during his time there, and IPD informed them that there were none.

CBS reports that Loehmann has returned to work but is not on patrol while an investigation is underway.

 

In the midst of riots and protests, Michael Brown named as robbery suspect

The events preceding the shooting death of Michael Brown have been unclear since they occurred, but new security footage from a convenience store in Ferguson, Mo., allegedly shows Brown and his accomplice Dorian Johnson, stealing a box of cigars valued at just under $50.

A police report released by the Ferguson Police Department details the events leading up to the shooting, beginning with a call around noon to a police officer concerning a robbery in progress at a Ferguson Quiktrip convenience store.  The report goes on saying how the investigating officer obtained a brief description of the two suspects and the direction they had run off in.

Upon not being able to locate the suspect, the investigating officer returned to the Quiktrip and observed security footage showing two suspects, reportedly Brown and Johnson, enter the store, and grab a box of Swisher Sweet cigars before a confrontation with the store staff begins.  As Brown and Johnson attempted to leave the store, an employee tried to block their exit and Brown grabs the employee before pushing him into a nearby rack.  Johnson exits without further incident, but Brown stands over the employee and, as the report claims, “intimidates” the employee, before leaving.

It was after this incident Brown and Johnson were located by Officer Darren Wilson, who was not the investigating officer, outside of an apartment complex, and Brown was fatally shot after a struggle with Wilson.

In the days after the death of Brown, Johnson has been in multiple interviews stating Brown was unnarmed at the time of the shooting, but he failed to mention his and Brown’s previous involvement in what could be robbery and assault.

Brown’s family have reacted strongly to the new accusations of their son being involved in a robbery before his death, and Ferguson residents have called the new evidence a “cover up.”

Benjamin Crump, the lawyer for the Brown family, said, according to the BBC, “The devious way the police chief has chosen to disseminate piecemeal information in a manner intended to assassinate the character of their son, following such a brutal assassination of his person in broad daylight.”

Details of the shooting are still cryptic as the police are saying, according to FOX News, Brown and Johnson assaulted Officer Wilson before the shooting, while Johnson claims he and Brown were running from Wilson as he fired shots at them.

Deputy Tries To Shoot Dog, Misses And Hits 10-Year-Old

Douglas, GA- A ten-year-old boy was shot by a Coffee County deputy last Thursday after the deputy had aimed to shoot a dog during a manhunt.

Police were searching for 19-year-old Christopher Barnett, who had allegedly shot a police officer following a robbery at a gas station earlier in the day. Barnett had made his way to a trailer park in Douglas and was followed by police. Dakota Corbitt was in the front yard of his home in the trailer park during the police search for Barnett.

According to Coffee County Sheriff Doyle Wooten, a deputy went onto the property where Corbitt lives and claimed that a dog ran up to him. The deputy fired on the dog, but somehow missed and shot Corbitt in the back of the leg.

Corbitt was taken to Savannah Memorial Hospital, where it was found that the bullet missed all major arteries and Corbitt would not need surgery.

Barnett was later found near the trailer park and was arrested and charged with aggravated assault.

The deputy who shot Corbitt has not yet been named. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is currently investigating the incident.

 

 

GRAPHIC VIDEO: Salinas Police Shoot & Kill Man On Busy Street Corner

Salinas, Cal.- Police officers in Salinas, California shot and killed a man they allege swung garden shears at them on a busy street corner.

The officers responded to a report that a man on Elkington Avenue, at 12:14 p.m., had attempted to break into a home and was threatening to kill them, according to the police.

Officers found the suspect walking down Elkington Avenue, as captured on a witnesses cell phone camera. The police allege that the suspect had gardening shears in his backpack.

Subsequently the officers demanded that the man get on the ground but he refused, said police. The police claim they attempted to use a Taser on the suspect but that it was ineffective and he simply kept walking away.

Officers said that the man eventually pulled the garden shears from the backpack and began swinging it at them, although from the footage this is unclear.

Fearing being stabbed, the two officers fired on the man, according to police. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The cell phone video footage captured by onlookers shows the officers following the man. Witnesses can be heard on the video screaming, “Why the f— didn’t you guys just Taser him? You guys didn’t even try.”

This witness’s statement seemingly calls into question the police statement that they attempted to use a Taser on the suspect before fatally shooting him.

Both officers have been placed on paid administrative leave during the investigation into the shooting. This is the third officer involved killing this year in Salinas and the second of the month.

 

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VIDEO: Family Releases Video of Man Being Killed by Fort Bend Officer (graphic)

Houston, Texas, May 10, 2014- On Wednesday the family of a man killed during a police shooting released video footage showing the final minutes of his life. The shooting occurred when Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office (FBCSO) deputies were responding to a 911 call on the evening of Nov. 4, 2013, at the home of Michael Blair.

Blair, who had been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, was threatening suicide and had locked himself in a bathroom. When deputies arrived they first knocked on the bathroom door, asked Blair how he was doing, if he was dressed and to come out and speak to the officers.

The officer then told Blair that if he didn’t open the door he would kick it in.

“Michael? You want to do this the easy way, don’t make us do it the hard way,” the officer could be heard saying on the video.

Another officer then picked the door lock and opened it slightly before yelling, “He’s got a knife” prior to Blair slamming the door closed.

During the confrontation Blair was struck numerous times with a stun gun, but refused officers commands to drop the knife. The final seconds of the video show Blair stumble towards the bathroom doorway as a deputy yells at him to stop, at which point the officer begins to fire his weapon repeatedly.

It remains unclear from the footage whether Blair was coming at the officers intentionally or tripped on the bathtub wall.

The video shows that the deputy fired his weapon 11 times, continuing to shoot even after Blair had fallen to the ground. Inconsolable screams from family members can be heard in the background.

Quanell X a local community activist, along with several of Blair’s family members and others, held a press conference in Houston on Wednesday, May 7, where they gave the video to U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson’s office, representing Texas’ Southern District.

The Blair family, prior to calling 911, had called a mental health hospital asking for assistance and was told by the facility to call 911. Speaking for the family, Quanell X said the family reluctantly did so.

“They didn’t want to call the police, because they were concerned that if the police came they would not handle the situation accordingly, and it would have a dreadful outcome,” said Quanell X, adding, “So they continued to call, and then they were told again, ‘call 911.’ The worst thing they ever did was call 911 to help their loved one who was suffering a mental health breakdown.”

Quannel X called the shooting “nothing less than a cold-blooded execution,” going on to state that, “This tape shows a cold-blooded killing of a young man who was in dire need of mental health therapy. The man needed a prescription, not a bullet. “

He said the tape was only now released to “expose” the officers seen in the video. He went on to state that the family will be pursuing a civil suit over Blair’s death.

He also said the family wants the FBI to undertake a full investigation, as well as the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Kimberly Blair Olaniyai, the mother of Blair, said she wants people to know that she has forgiven the officer that shot her son.

“We want him to live a long life, so he will always remember my son and how he murdered him in that bathroom that day. My son did not deserve 11 shots to his head, and we have to find out from the media how many times he was shot in that bathroom. Even though we heard the shots ring out, we didn’t know. All that we’re asking is that someone recognizes what we recognize. That was brutality at its finest in that bathroom that day,” said Olaniyi

FBCSO spokesman Bob Haenel said the Sheriff’s Office couldn’t comment on the Internal Affairs investigation, or the shooting video, as the FBCSO hadn’t received a copy.

At the time of the shooting the FBCSO was in the process of creating a crisis intervention team and training its deputies on how to deal with mental health problems. Haenel said the 10-member team is now operational.

Follow Jay on Facebook and on Twitter @SirMetropolis

Los Angeles Police Acknowledge Killing Innocent “Tosh.O” Production Assistant

West Hollywood, CA- The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department admitted Thursday that they shot and killed an innocent man who had been caught in the middle of a hostage situation Monday night.

John Winkler, 30, was involved in an altercation between Alexander McDonald, 27, and two other people at around 9:30 Monday night. Winkler went to a friend’s apartment to try to offer help after he heard screaming coming from the apartment. McDonald was allegedly holding two people hostage inside and one of the victims had been stabbed.

Deputies came to the apartment in response to a call about an assault taking place, and once they arrived Winkler and one of the victims rushed outside the apartment. According to a statement from the sheriff’s department, “The apartment door suddenly opened and a male victim came rushing out. He was covered in blood and bleeding profusely from the neck. Simultaneously, victim Winkler ran out of the door, lunging at the back of the fleeing victim. Both ran directly at the deputies.”

Winkler was mistaken for McDonald, the stabbing suspect, and was fatally shot on sight. The second male victim who had fled the apartment with Winkler was also shot by deputies, and was injured by a bullet in his leg in addition to his stab wounds. Inside the apartment, deputies found McDonald and the third male victim, with McDonald choking the man and “tearing at his face”.

The admission of mistaken identity from police contradicts an earlier statement that was made shortly after the shooting: “As the deputies approached the apartment, they were confronted by two males exiting the residence. The men aggressed the deputies and a deputy-involved shooting occurred,” Deputy Lillian Peck said.

McDonald has been charged with one count of murder (presumably the murder of Winkler), two counts of attempted murder, and one count of torture. The three deputies who shot at Winkler and the victim currently have no charges filed against them, and an internal investigation of the shooting has begun.

Winkler had recently moved to California from Washington to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. He had just landed a job as a production assistant on the popular Comedy Central Show Tosh.O.

 

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