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Old 06-28-2011, 07:13 PM
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Default Deputy cleared by three review panels for shooting 74 year old pastor...WA state

http://www.policeone.com/investigati...Wash-shooting/

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The internal probe officially concluded the matter after sheriff's officials reached the same conclusions as the Spokane County prosecutor's office and the sheriff's 12-member Citizen Advisory Board.

Knezovich said Hirzel, who has been working desk duty helping detectives, is now free to rejoin his patrol duties anytime between today and September.
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Old 06-29-2011, 08:55 AM
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A relevant detail that is omitted is whether the deputy was in uniform. Article says he was in an "unmarked patrol car", so who knows what that means (beyond the obvious).
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Old 06-29-2011, 09:40 AM
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Another relevant detail is that there was but one side of the story told and that story was not supported by all the evidence available.
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Old 06-29-2011, 09:49 AM
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Since dead men tell no tales, there are no witnesses and there are no contradictions (other than a possible missing bruise) between the available evidence and his story - we will have to assume the officers account is correct.

That being said, it looks like a justifiable shoot.

My only question would be to the legality of disarming someone in Washington state when they have a lawful right to be where they are and carry a firearm. Since the article makes it sound like the man approached the car with the gun in his hand I would imagine that the officer could make the case that he initially had the right to disarm the man .

After introductions were made - "I'm a cop" - "I live there and we have problems with theft" - and the gun went in the waistband, I'm unsure about the need or legality of disarming the man.

Anybody familiar with some Washington state court law?
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Old 06-29-2011, 10:01 AM
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If a civilian had done the shooting would he have been treated differently?
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Old 06-29-2011, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Xzuatl View Post
If a civilian had done the shooting would he have been treated differently?
That's what I was thinking. Sounds like both men had a justifiable fear of their safety. So what if he had shot the cop first? I have a feeling the results of the investigation would be slightly different.

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Originally Posted by Twenty five ought six View Post
A relevant detail that is omitted is whether the deputy was in uniform. Article says he was in an "unmarked patrol car", so who knows what that means (beyond the obvious).
According to this article he was in uniform:

http://www.kxly.com/news/28326785/detail.html

Not sure how that corresponds with the other article saying he had the wrong badge.

Either way why was the cop there? Why did he decide to hit the guy with a baton after the man put his gun away?
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Old 06-29-2011, 10:18 AM
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Either way why was the cop there? Why did he decide to hit the guy with a baton after the man put his gun away?
http://www.spokesman.com/stories/201...tors-shooting/

That article says that he was filling out an accident report.

The officer is quoted as saying that he hit the man with the baton because he wouldn't comply. It does not state exactly why he felt the man had to comply - which takes me back to the legality of the whole thing.

For example, in Georgia, LEO do not have the right to disarm you for the sole reason that you have a gun. Other states laws are different - as may be the case in Washington.

*Edit to give the case law before someone asks for a cite*
see State v. Jones

Last edited by Bhrama; 06-29-2011 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 06-29-2011, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Bhrama View Post
That article says that he was filling out an accident report.

The officer is quoted as saying that he hit the man with the baton because he wouldn't comply. It does not state exactly why he felt the man had to comply - which takes me back to the legality of the whole thing.

For example, in Georgia, LEO do not have the right to disarm you for the sole reason that you have a gun. Other states laws are different - as may be the case in Washington.
Clearly the cop thought it was a safety issue, the guy didn't just have a gun he was threatening the cop with it. So the cop probably had a right to disarm him.

However, I think striking him in the leg with a baton was a pretty poor approach. Cop seems to have caused the confrontation then escalated it to the point of some one getting killed. But he had no other choice. So its all good. Interestingly, this same cop seems to have choked another suspect to death.
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Old 06-29-2011, 10:48 AM
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Okay. I don't get it. The guy put his gun in his waistband and the cop hits him with a baton. What would you do at that point? This in an older gentleman that probably couldn't defend himself bare handed, the reason for carrying, and this cop hauls off and hits him with a baton. Please explain that course of action. I probably would have acted in self defense also.
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Old 06-29-2011, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Lukikus2 View Post
Okay. I don't get it. The guy put his gun in his waistband and the cop hits him with a baton. What would you do at that point? This in an older gentleman that probably couldn't defend himself bare handed, the reason for carrying, and this cop hauls off and hits him with a baton. Please explain that course of action. I probably would have acted in self defense also.
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Old 06-29-2011, 11:42 AM
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So how is a citizen supposed to know if you're a real police officer when you're wearing the wrong badge and you're in an unmarked police car?

Gee officer, you have a county x badge and we're in couty y. Guess I should just beleive you're real though because you're in a set of clothes that look like you might be official?
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Old 06-29-2011, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Twenty five ought six View Post
A relevant detail that is omitted is whether the deputy was in uniform. Article says he was in an "unmarked patrol car", so who knows what that means (beyond the obvious).

And ...

Quote:
Hirzel told investigators he then struck Creach on the outside of the left knee with a police baton, although the autopsy examination found no corresponding bruising on Creach's leg.
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Old 06-29-2011, 12:52 PM
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Ahh it's a zen question! If a leo kills a person and there is nobody around to see it, is it a crime?
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Old 06-29-2011, 01:06 PM
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"Deputy Brian Hirzel followed all departmental policies and procedures during the Aug. 25 encounter ..."

Move along, nothing to see here.
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Old 06-29-2011, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by UYD4L View Post
Clearly the cop thought it was a safety issue, the guy didn't just have a gun he was threatening the cop with it. So the cop probably had a right to disarm him.
This is what I would like to see in the record one way or the other. LEO (in GA anyway) can't just declare a man with a gun a safety issue and therefore disarm him without RAS.

Initially, it doesn't say that he he threatened the officer, but you seem to be able to infer that he had the gun in his hand. I'm not sure if gun in hand qualifies as threatening but I'm sure the LEO could make that case and I may not disagree. That being said, the LEO didn't think he was threatening enough to shoot him when the gun was out.

After introductions were made and the gun was put into the waistband at the man's back I would think that the "safety hazard" level was lowered. So legality at that point to disarm the man was what I was questioning.
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Old 06-29-2011, 02:10 PM
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Struck him on the left knee. Was the Cop ambidextrous? Baton in one hand pistol in the other. Or did he suddenly drop the baton and arm himself like a superhero when he saw the handle? I don't buy any of it. There is more missing info along with the misinfo.

If no one is around to see it, the truth can be told or not. Vacation was priority anyway.
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Old 06-29-2011, 02:29 PM
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Vacation was priority anyway.
Right. You kill a guy but don't let that get in the way of your vacation plans. I can hear it now. Chief to officer "No, don't worry about anything, we've got it handled, just go on and have a good time".

Is it policy to shoot to kill and not to just wound and disarm?
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Old 06-29-2011, 02:32 PM
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Ability, Jeopardy,opportunity
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Old 06-29-2011, 02:51 PM
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Yep, jeopardy is the question here that is supported only by the statement of the officer who has removed any possible statement to the contrary.
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Old 06-29-2011, 02:53 PM
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Ability, Jeopardy,opportunity
"Jeopardy: The assailant must be behaving in such a manner that a reasonable person, knowing what you know at the time, would conclude that he is placing you in jeopardy. In some jurisdictions this is also known as motive."

"However, Creach eventually placed the gun in the back waistband of his pants."

Seems to me the jeopardy part wasn't there. If I'm not mistaken the ability and opportunity part are present in all police stops where the citizen is armed.
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Old 06-29-2011, 03:00 PM
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Ability, Jeopardy,opportunity
Very broad word. The PO was cleared of wrong doing or lets say an unjustifiable killing. So be it. But he was on private property and the victim claimed he was armed because of recent robberies. In my mind one whom swears "to protect and serve", the oppurtunity of deadly force was already over. I doubt this is the last we hear on this case.
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Old 06-29-2011, 05:15 PM
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We must be reading different articles. I could swear the one I read said he reached to the back again after refusing to comply. Where the weapon was. Im not stumping for the cop, I wasnt there, just like you. Would it have been so terrible to follow the officers orders in this tense and dangerous situation untill it could be sorted out.

So what if he was on private property. 90% of your calls are on private property. Why is it that the victim claims are all legite and the officers are not. Do you think just because the victim said he was armed because of recent incidents makes him a less threat. The opportunity of a deadly threat was not over untill the "person" was unarmed and under control. I wish I had a dollar for every person that swore to God they were innocent.

30 yrs. in the business and if an officer draws on me for any reason im going to follow his instructions without fail untill it's resolved. I dont need a freshly pressed uniform and a shiny patrol car with flashing lights. Like you said, what a reasonable person would think.
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Old 06-29-2011, 05:25 PM
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Seems to me like this situation should have been defused by the officer. The officer said that the land owner put his weapon away. When he did that, the land owner signaled that the confrontation had ended.

I doubt that the land owner was responsible for escalating the confrontation further. Had he wanted to harm the officer he would never have put his weapon away and would have retained the advantage that was already his.
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Old 06-29-2011, 05:51 PM
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seems to and I doubt mean I wasnt there. I find it incredible your slogan at the bottom of your post. Is that a joke or you really think that.
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Old 06-29-2011, 06:21 PM
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If you go around brandishing weapons, you better be prepared to use them. I understand wanting to protect your property but when you confront people with a weapon, unlike TV the outcome is never predictable. Had the old man concealed his weapon and just ask the cop what he was doing, instead of rushing on scene armed, he would probably still be alive.
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Old 06-29-2011, 07:36 PM
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seems to and I doubt mean I wasnt there. I find it incredible your slogan at the bottom of your post. Is that a joke or you really think that.

I don't understand yur first sentence.

The slogan at the bottom of my post is exactly how I feel. If I find myself or my family in danger of severe injury or death at the hand of a criminal, I will not wait for an officer to come to my assistance. I find it odd that you would find that incredible. Would you explain why you feel that way?
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Old 06-29-2011, 09:01 PM
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My first sentence merely says you nor I can put ourselfs in the mind of the landowner. You cant "assume" to know what he was thinking. To assume you may have know or had an idea what was in his mind would be irresponsible.

As to your slogan, I feel the exact same way. But your slogan and all your comments about the officers decisions to me contradict. While your infer that you will take care of business, and you should, could your decision not put you in the same situation that the officer ended up in? Would it be justified then or would you fall victim to and be judged by those who assume .
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Old 06-29-2011, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Xzuatl View Post
If a civilian had done the shooting would he have been treated differently?
Cops are civillians!! But if you or I did it, things would more than likely be completly different.And yes if you get whacked with a baton on the knee the bruse will show up on the skin when an autopsy is done. There is a rat in the hay stack on this one!!

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Old 06-30-2011, 11:01 AM
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My first sentence merely says you nor I can put ourselfs in the mind of the landowner. You cant "assume" to know what he was thinking. To assume you may have know or had an idea what was in his mind would be irresponsible.
There was no assumption on my part, only conclusions drawn from the evidence available. It is not irresponsible to conclude what is in the mind of another based upon the available evidence. It must be done all the time. The officer in this case claimed to do that very thing. He claimed to determine that the landowner had the intent to cause him to suffer death or severe bodily injury. I spent 34 years proving beyond a reasonable doubt what was in the minds of people. One of the elements of each of the crimes that I investigated was intent, that is that the violation was done knowingly and willfully.

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As to your slogan, I feel the exact same way. But your slogan and all your comments about the officers decisions to me contradict. While your infer that you will take care of business, and you should, could your decision not put you in the same situation that the officer ended up in? Would it be justified then or would you fall victim to and be judged by those who assume .
I do not see my comments as contradictory at all. I am very supportive of good law enforcement and very critical of bad law enforcement. The evidence presented in the article indicates that there is a lot more to the story than we have been told. Only one person is doing the telling and some of his statements are not supported by the other available evidence. Therefore, I smell a rat.

If I ever have to "take care of business" I will undoubtedly be judged by a lot of people. Those people may or may not make me a victim of justice wrongfully applied. I will, however, have the opportunity to argue the case that I was justified in my actions. I would not have been given that opportunity by the perp.
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Old 06-30-2011, 12:20 PM
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I've read a few articles on this story.

The old man has had issues with theft at this location before and has started to react with a gun in hand. Understandable. Point for old man.

The cop parks an unmarked on private property where thefts have occurred in past. Point for old man.

Cop is wearing a badge from wrong county to match his location and vehicle. Point for old man.

Cop orders the old man to drop the weapon and the old man backbelts it. Point for old man.

Cop orders old man to ground, old man refuses. Point for cop.

Failure to obey results in getting whacked across the knee. Point for cop.

After getting whacked {according to cop's statement} old man reached for weapon. Point for cop.

Cop shoots old man. Point for cop.

Cop goes on vacation. Point for cop.

Cop gets administrative pay. {paid vacation} Point for cop.

Co has a week to come up with story to clear himself. Point for cop.

Cop is cleared of any wrongdoing. Point for cop.

Obviously, the cop scores big. But, to my notion, something is really wrong. Anyone with a slight of forensics background would knowthat if the cop whacks the old man's knee, there will be bruising. That person would also know that old people bruise really easily and very badly.

But, there is NO bruising. Being that the basis of exoneration is on cop's statement that the old man reached for his weapon after being whacked and that is why he shot the old man, I have to question the "facts".

Would it be possible that the cop wanted the old man to put his weapon on the ground, the old man refused and the cop shot him for failure to comply? We know that the baton was not used to hit the old man and that since this crucial statement was not substaniated, what other fiction has been contorted to suit the need of the moment?

I also call into question the use of force. This was a 74 year old man. A gentle breeze could have knocked the man over, so why shoot to kill? Why not just pop a cap in his knee? Why couldn't the cop simply explained what he was doing and left? Why was there no action taken for the cop using his work time, work pay, work computer while in a work car to plan his Vegas trip?
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Old 06-30-2011, 12:41 PM
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I also call into question the use of force. This was a 74 year old man. A gentle breeze could have knocked the man over, so why shoot to kill? Why not just pop a cap in his knee? Why couldn't the cop simply explained what he was doing and left?

why "pop a cap" in his knee when he could have just breathed hard on him and knocked him over and him begged for mercy while the cop was giving him a dissertation on the do's and don'ts of the law?

T
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Old 06-30-2011, 01:16 PM
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Ok, lets look at it from another point system.
LEO in LEO vehicle marked or unmarked
LEO sees half clad man approaching with weapon in hand
LEO takes protocol and orders half clad man to put down weapon
Half clad man refuses to put weapon down after ordered to by uniform LEO
Half clad old 74 yr. old man has eyesight so keen he notices officer in uniform has a badge from another county.
Half clad old man still refuses to put gun down, instead maintains control of gun but now has it in waistband still within easy acess
LEO goes to next level of compliance with the baton as trained
LEO aledgedly strikes old man once, not three or four
Halfclad old man after realizing the uniform officer with the wrong print badge is trying to disarm him without beating him to death decides to reach for weapon again.
Halfclad old man knows that all senior citizens do not carry lethal rounds in their 45's only softfoam rounds and knows LEO wont meet deadly force with deadly force.
Halfclad, keen sighted oldman was regretably wrong

you sir have obviously never been in a use of force class much less ever heard of one
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Old 06-30-2011, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Bhrama View Post
This is what I would like to see in the record one way or the other. LEO (in GA anyway) can't just declare a man with a gun a safety issue and therefore disarm him without RAS.

Initially, it doesn't say that he he threatened the officer, but you seem to be able to infer that he had the gun in his hand. I'm not sure if gun in hand qualifies as threatening but I'm sure the LEO could make that case and I may not disagree. That being said, the LEO didn't think he was threatening enough to shoot him when the gun was out.

After introductions were made and the gun was put into the waistband at the man's back I would think that the "safety hazard" level was lowered. So legality at that point to disarm the man was what I was questioning.
In the one article, it says he approached the car with the gun. And he later puts it in his waistband. I think its safe to assume he approached with it in his hand.

I thought one of the articles specifically said he threatened the cop with the gun. You are correct they do not. However, under the circumstances, late at night, armed individual approaching, gun in hand, I do think the cop had a good case to feel threatened.

I also agree that once the man put the guy away the threat was reduced. However, I don't think the cop was wrong for wanting to disarm the man under the circumstances.

I would contrast this incident with the guy open carrying in Philly with a gun on his belt going about his own business. There no right to disarm. This case gun in hand, late at night, walking directly towards the officer, likely in a confrontational manner. I say probably a right to disarm, even after the threat is reduced and gun put away.

We both agree that whacking the guy in the knee once he put his gun away was a bad idea. Computer quarterbacking, I say he should have continued to make verbal commands, ordered hands on head, called for back up, etc. If at any time the guy went for his gun he could have shot him, like he ultimately did, anyway. So it seems like a bad idea to have escalated the confrontation with further violence.

However, as to the legality of disarming him. I think under the circumstances it was probably lawful. Just executed poorly in hindsight.
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Originally Posted by mtr3333 View Post
Struck him on the left knee. Was the Cop ambidextrous? Baton in one hand pistol in the other. Or did he suddenly drop the baton and arm himself like a superhero when he saw the handle? I don't buy any of it. There is more missing info along with the misinfo.

If no one is around to see it, the truth can be told or not. Vacation was priority anyway.
Face to face. Pistol right hand. Baton left hand. Backhand swat to the knee. Guy probably stepped back/dodged some what, so cop missed or near missed. Explaining why suspect didn't go down, and didn't get bruised. As he steps back guy goes for gun, perhaps to comply and disarm, perhaps to shoot. Cop shoots dead. All in the matter of a second or two.

I don't know about this one. This is probably one of the closer calls we've heard about lately.
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Old 06-30-2011, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by UYD4L View Post
Face to face. Pistol right hand. Baton left hand. Backhand swat to the knee. Guy probably stepped back/dodged some what, so cop missed or near missed. Explaining why suspect didn't go down, and didn't get bruised. As he steps back guy goes for gun, perhaps to comply and disarm, perhaps to shoot. Cop shoots dead. All in the matter of second or two.
I'm no Dr, but most people in their 70s who I know would have a massive bruise from any kind of contact with a baton.
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Old 06-30-2011, 01:42 PM
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I'm no Dr, but most people in their 70s who I know would have a massive bruise from any kind of contact with a baton.
I'm no Dr. either, and I know the guy was on the medicine that makes you bruise easy, but I'm just saying cop could have missed, could have just caught the guys pants a little, or this might be the one 70 year old who doesn't bruise easy, or who knows, could have something to do with how soon before he was mortally wounded he was struck, or it could be some combination of all that. I can see how he would have tried to strike him in the left knee and I can see situations where he wouldn't have inflicted a bruising blow.

And I guess part of my deal is why does that detail really matter? Why make that part up? Why not just say he put the gun away, and then as I was calling it in he went for it, so I shot him. Or I went to lunge at him and tripped and he reached and I shot him. Or I was commanding him to turn around, put his hands on his head and get on his knees, and he went for his gun, so I shot him.

To me striking him with the baton while the guy had his gun in his belt was the worst thing the cop did, so I'm not sure why he would make that up.
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Old 06-30-2011, 01:45 PM
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probably just yet another example of the wagons being circled by the police to protect one of "them" from "us".


the situation will have to get far far far worse before it gets better.
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Old 06-30-2011, 03:35 PM
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I'm not Dr. either, and I'm not taking signs, but bruising doesn't show up until some time after the blow.
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Old 06-30-2011, 03:55 PM
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I'm not Dr. either, and I'm not taking signs, but bruising doesn't show up until some time after the blow.
74 year old skin shows a lot!
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