Thursday, September 25, 2014

If A Cop Orders Someone To Produce A Driver's License... should come as no surprise if the guy reaches into his vehicle to get it. I think it certainly should not be a shooting situation, at least not in the case in question. Sure, I understand that a cop may be leery but he has to remember that he ordered the guy to give him the license and when the guy bent into the vehicle (apparently to retrieve it as evidenced by what the driver says after the cop shoots him and from his actions) the cop also then ordered him back out of the vehicle. 

The officer should have expected the guy would go to retrieve his license but should never have assumed it was on his person and also had to have expected the guy to get out of the car since he ordered it and the guy had been complying. As for the guy bending over into the car for his license, I for one, among many others, take my wallet out of my pocket while driving and place it on my center console or front passenger seat; that is for comfort and for my hip's sake if I am carrying it in my back pocket. I understand, that move could have been seen as potentially threatening but then why on earth order the guy back out of the car instead of telling him - STOP, DON'T MOVE once he bent into it. The officer's commands, were contradictory to those he should have given in light of what apparently were his perceptions of what was taking place.

Watch this video and watch what I think were the completely inappropriate commands and actions of the police officer. In my opinion, he was probably fearful at least to some degree to have taken the actions he took and that fear was probably in great part due to the incompetence of the officer himself.

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Yes again, a move like that on behalf of the driver he had stopped may seem suspicious but it did not warrant the officer shooting him, at least not in my now retired professional opinion. Maybe he should have drawn his gun as he got behind cover (a wise and legal move), I think he definitely should have ordered the guy not to move (also a prudent move on the part of the officer) once he bent over into the car INSTEAD OF ORDERING HIM TO GET OUT OF THE CAR and maybe he should have tackled the guy (a questionable move but not one that would get the officer arrested). Whatever - the guy evidently was complying with each order the officer gave him and the officer was so fired up as to not realize that the guy was indeed following his orders! The officer also apparently shot the guy after he had put his hands up in surrender, at least it sounded like that to me while watching the video. I think (based on the video) that there was a major foul-up on the part of the officer in as much as the orders he gave to the driver, and then were followed by the driver, along with the officers evident panic are exactly what made the officer think the man was an armed threat.

Maybe, just maybe - it all could have been prevented. Before the officer told the guy to produce the license - he should have been close up in a field interrogation/interview stance, told him not to move and to please keep his hands in plain view, asked him where was his license, and then decided on whether or not he wanted the guy to get the license by bending over into the car once informed it was in there somewhere. They was no way this should have devolved into a shooting even if he thought he was stopping an armed felon because there is no way that driver should have been out of the car and still next to the doorway to be able to reach inside of the vehicle if that was the suspicion on the part of the officer. I think that either this cop got some of the most piss poor training available, or totally disregarded appropriate training about communication and how to carry out a stop and control the situation and a subject. Otherwise, maybe he just was some sort of unstable and incompetent douche bag who should not have been an armed law enforcement officer. Hopefully the police department did not hire a guy who was a sociopath or psychopath and who was just hoping for any opportunity to kill someone.

Also, I am hopeful that the guy who got shot will recover enough to enjoy whatever wealth he garners from the lawsuit I would think he will file (and win).

Last paragraph edited (on 09/25 at 1632) to: I have to point out that under similar circumstances wherein the subject acted the way he did, I might think the officer justified to have shot him at least once but in such a case there are things that would have been different that what I saw in that video. Not drastically different, for instance, to me that the driver was not holding a weapon is not necessarily important in deciding if this shooting was justified or not. What is important to me here is how the officer seemingly paved the way, in his own mind, to turn this into a shooting situation. If he had been more logical and level headed, instead of seemingly panicky, shots would likely not have been fired. Please also note, I have given my opinion based on the video alone; well, and also on the fact that his department fired him but I am not on a jury and am not convicting him or the police in general. The officer should have his day in court as any other person so accused.  In my view though, that day in court will probably be the toughest day of his life to date.

All the best,
Glenn B

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