Video of California police shooting spurs investigation

elder999

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WARNING: Video on the website stops just short of the prone, restrained subject being shot.

-- A New Year's Day shooting in which a subway police officer fired a deadly shot into the back of an unarmed man has the San Francisco Bay Area demanding answers as authorities appeal for patience.
Oscar Grant, 22, was killed January 1 in a shooting at a subway station in California's Bay Area.


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Bay Area Rapid Transit spokesman Linton Johnson told CNN affiliate KTVU-TV in Oakland, California, that the officer is presumed innocent and described him as devastated.
Attorney John Burris called the shooting "unconscionable" and said he filed a $25 million claim with BART on Tuesday, alleging wrongful death and violation of civil rights by use of excessive force. BART has 45 days to respond, Burris said.

I think what happened is he had one of those Tasers that llooks and feels like a Glock, and he grabbed his sidearm, thinking it was the Taser, but I've got to question why he felt he had to use his Taser.....
 

Big Don

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I think what happened is he had one of those Tasers that llooks and feels like a Glock, and he grabbed his sidearm, thinking it was the Taser, but I've got to question why he felt he had to use his Taser.....
A deputy sheriff one county over had exactly the confusion you describe, of course the suspect was kicking, swearing and spitting at her when she shot him.
 

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WARNING: Video on the website stops just short of the prone, restrained subject being shot.



I think what happened is he had one of those Tasers that llooks and feels like a Glock, and he grabbed his sidearm, thinking it was the Taser, but I've got to question why he felt he had to use his Taser.....
I've seen those and I would imagine that an officer who would have many hours handling his weapon on the firing range would definitely know the difference when holding the taser or his firearm.
Since there is no audio it's difficult to say who said what to whom, and if the witnesses who were on the ground with the shooting victim words will be weighed against the officers.
Tragic end to this is the daughter of the man won't get to know her daddy.

Have to wait and see how this turns out.
 

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The cops in the dept. where I work, are required to wear the Taser on the opposite side from their gun and its usually facing the opposite direction. In other words, they carry their gun on the right, the Taser is on the left with the butt of the gun facing out. Yeah, it does look odd and one would have to wonder how it could be deployed quick, but it has, and it seems to work for them.

As for the cops in this case, I have no idea, but I would be interesting to know where the taser was, how it was positioned, etc.
 

Kembudo-Kai Kempoka

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The cop failed the scenario, period. He let his adrenaline get the better of him, and capped a submitted, prone, suspect. He screwed up, and video from other sources demonstrates this well. His fellow officers also know he screwed up: One vid has one of his crew shaking his head in disbelief, with an expression that clearly says, "Aw, hell. This is bad. This is a serious screw up".

Human error factor cannot be accounted for all the time. No matter how well candidates are screened or trained, there will always be human error that rears it's head in some fashion. Unfortunately, human error with guns is a bit more dramatic than human error with a tight pair of tennis shoes. BART po-po has a bit fo a steep history of these sorts of whiffs, however. I suspect this will lead to a training and command issue within the department(s).

D.
 
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elder999

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A deputy sheriff one county over had exactly the confusion you describe, of course the suspect was kicking, swearing and spitting at her when she shot him.

There's been a few of these, actually-it led to Taser altering the shape, as well as some implementation of the cross draw mentioned by another poster.
 

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Carol

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Oy...that looks bad. I hope this can be resolved as peacefully as such a situation can be.
 

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Some interesting points:

1) States that some of the men were hand cuffed, but not the one who got shot. One would think that until the situation issorted out, everyone would be cuffed.

2) I hate to use the video as a base to form a full opinion. I would like to know what happened from the beginning all the way to the end, including anything that was said.

3) Is it safe to assume that when he was placed chest down that he was going to be cuffed? I don't want to say that he was submitted at that point, because technically, he was not. Nothing says that he still can't resist and someone in the article states that is what he was doing.

4) Seems that there is video from the train station that caught this incident. I hope it becomes public so that we can have another point of view.


This is certainly a tragic incident. Nobody wins in cases like this. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.
 

sgtmac_46

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The cops in the dept. where I work, are required to wear the Taser on the opposite side from their gun and its usually facing the opposite direction. In other words, they carry their gun on the right, the Taser is on the left with the butt of the gun facing out. Yeah, it does look odd and one would have to wonder how it could be deployed quick, but it has, and it seems to work for them.

As for the cops in this case, I have no idea, but I would be interesting to know where the taser was, how it was positioned, etc.
That is the current standard recommended by Taser.....I go one step further and recommend that the Taser be be carried on the support side and the officer learn to fire it with his SUPPORT HAND! That's the way I carry mine.
 

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Could have been a misfire.

At any rate, the officer will have to suffer the consequences whatever they may be.

What really rubbed me wrong was how quickly the family stated they were going to sue for 25 million. I guess we see where their priorities are, eh? Who do they think is going to pay for it? Where do they think that money comes from?
 
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elder999

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What really rubbed me wrong was how quickly the family stated they were going to sue for 25 million. I guess we see where their priorities are, eh? Who do they think is going to pay for it? Where do they think that money comes from?

That's the family's lawyer, who probably rushed to them as soon as he saw the video....(it kind of looks like a "slam dunk.")
 

LuckyKBoxer

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Could have been a misfire.

At any rate, the officer will have to suffer the consequences whatever they may be.

What really rubbed me wrong was how quickly the family stated they were going to sue for 25 million. I guess we see where their priorities are, eh? Who do they think is going to pay for it? Where do they think that money comes from?

Ya I think the point is they probably don't care, they simply see an opening for the big payday.
 

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Tort Attorneys aren't paid to care, they are paid to win money.
 

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Im thinking that it was most likely either a "Taser Confusion" or he intended to hold him at gunpoint and had his finger in the trigger guard when he shouldnt have.
 
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elder999

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Im thinking that it was most likely either a "Taser Confusion" or he intended to hold him at gunpoint and had his finger in the trigger guard when he shouldnt have.


Either one should probably wind up a fair sized payday for the family. Even without the best ambulance chaser in San Fransisco.....
 

Archangel M

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Yup. Money seems to be the solution for everything these days.
 

sgtmac_46

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That's the family's lawyer, who probably rushed to them as soon as he saw the video....(it kind of looks like a "slam dunk.")
I wonder how many trial lawyers were injured trying to be the first to get to the family?
 

sgtmac_46

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Could have been a misfire.

At any rate, the officer will have to suffer the consequences whatever they may be.

What really rubbed me wrong was how quickly the family stated they were going to sue for 25 million. I guess we see where their priorities are, eh? Who do they think is going to pay for it? Where do they think that money comes from?
'Nothing can assuage the anguish of my loss.....but 25 MILLION DOLLARS WOULD CERTAINLY HELP! :)'
 

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There is a SECOND video that is hard to find, it was a Channel 2 exclusve that was shot and shows EXACTLY what happened, It was not the one that Vargas girl shot thats all over the news and the web. I have seen it.

The Shooting victim was seated against the wall. He presented his hands and was taken from a seated position to a prone position. An officer kneed across his shoulders, took his hands behind him, restrained him. Then one stands up and shoots him. It never really appeared on video that he was fighting, struggling or was a threat.
 

MA-Caver

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Yup. Money seems to be the solution for everything these days.
Well it is for those who are GETTING it... as for the rest...

Shooting by Oakland, Calif., officer sparks anger


By TERRY COLLINS, Associated Press Writer Terry Collins, Associated Press Writer 27 mins ago
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090108/ap_on_re_us/train_station_shooting
OAKLAND, Calif. Mayor Ron Dellums urged residents to remain calm after protests turned violent in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man by a transit police officer.
What had started as a peaceful demonstration Wednesday over the Jan. 1 shooting of Oscar Grant escalated into trouble. At least three cars were set on fire, many other automobiles were damaged, and windows were broken on some downtown stores.
Police in riot gear threw tear gas to try to break up the demonstration. At least 14 people were arrested before the unrest ebbed overnight.
Grant, 22, was killed on a Bay Area Rapid Transit station platform after officers went there amid reports about groups of men fighting on a train. He was one of a small group of men taken off the train, and officers had made him lie face down at the time he was killed.
The shooting and events leading up to it were captured on amateur videos that have been broadcast on television.
Officer Johannes Mehserle resigned from the transit agency shortly before he was supposed to be interviewed by investigators Wednesday. Mehserle's attorney did not respond to calls for comment.
Grant's family has filed a $25 million wrongful death claim against BART and want prosecutors to file criminal charges against Mehserle.
"There were racial slurs directed at the young men," family attorney John Burris said Thursday. "But I have no evidence that this particular officer (Mehserle) directed racial slurs towards Oscar Grant."
 

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