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Category Archives: Americans Killed By Police

SHOCK VIDEO: Police Body Cams Capture the Public Execution of Unarmed Mentally Ill Man

Fresno, CA — On September 3, 2015 at approximately 11:00 a.m., Fresno Police Officers, Zebulon Price and Felipe Miguel Lucero shot 40-year-old Freddy Centeno seven times causing severe injuries. Mr. Centeno was unarmed, was wearing shorts, no shirt on, and walking along the street when he was approached by Fresno Police who immediately started shooting2

Freddy Centeno would not recover from the multiple wounds suffered at the hands of these two Fresno cops.

According to Roger Centeno, the victim’s brother, Freddy is bipolar and schizophrenic and abused drugs.  The family had been asking the city and county for help and were told “something needs to happen” before Freddy could get help.

“Is this what needs to happen?” asked Roger, after the shooting.

Centeno was in the midst of a schizophrenic episode and a neighbor called the police after he knocked on her door holding a garden hose nozzle and asked if there were any drugs in the home.

When police responded, Centeno was walking down the street, shirtless, unarmed, and wearing only shorts when officers arrived on scene. The hard to watch footage from the officers’ body cameras shows them immediately start firing upon exiting the vehicle.

Centeno was never given a chance to comply with their orders.

On Thursday, after a press conference was held, the Cristobal Galindo Law Firm released the body camera footage to the public.

This execution by Fresno police is one of the worst police shootings ever caught on film.

Fresno police Chief Jerry Dyer told The Fresno Bee that the video he reviewed showed the officers giving Centeno multiple commands and that he reached for his waistband. However, none of that is evident in the video below and, the officers gave him almost no time to comply.

After the shooting, Fresno police Deputy Chief Robert Nevarez issued a clearly false statement to the press. “Officers commanded him to raise his hands, and he grabbed for the object in his right front pocket and raised it towards them,” he said. Centeno was holding a garden hose nozzle, but he most assuredly never raised it or threatened officers with it at all.

Chief Dyer also released a statement to the media, blaming Centeno’s death on the non-existent “war on cops.”

“There’s no question what’s happening across America,” Dyer said. “There’s an increase in aggressiveness toward officers. We’re seeing police officers that are being shot, officers that are being assassinated.

“Certainly police officers are being very vigilant, but at the same time, I know that there’s a high level of scrutiny and criticism on the actions of officers. What we have seen this week is an increased level of aggressiveness toward officers, and when officers fear for their life, or for the life of someone else, they use deadly force, and unfortunately we’ve had three of those incidences occur in the last week. This is our sixth officer-involved shooting in the last year.”

The officers fired 9 rounds at Centeno, 7 of which hit him. The last shot fired hit him as he was falling to the ground.

The officers involved in the shooting have not been disciplined. The Free Thought Project called the Fresno Police department on Thursday and asked if Zebulon Price and Felipe Miguel Lucero would be held accountable for killing Centeno. They declined to answer

As we have previously reported, the Virginia-based Treatment Advocacy Center, an organization dedicated to eliminating the barriers faced by those with severe mental illnesses, released a jaw-dropping report, last year. In their report titled, Overlooked in the Undercounted: The Role of Mental Illness in Fatal Law Enforcement Encountersresearchers discovered that people with an untreated mental illness are 16 times more likely to be killed during an interaction with police than anyone else.

According to the study, by all accounts – official and unofficial – a minimum of 1 in 4 fatal police encounters ends the life of an individual with severe mental illness.

Where official government data regarding police shootings and mental illness have been analyzed – in one U.S. city and several other Western countries – the findings indicate that mental health disorders are a factor in as many as 1 in 2 fatal law enforcement encounters.

Freddy Centeno was one of these men.

Attorney for the family, Humberto Guizar, told the Free Thought Project in an email, “The death of an unarmed mentally ill man without provocation is a tragic event as Mr. Centeno leaves behind a young child and loving parents.”

City Blames Pedestrian After Cop Fatally Runs Him Over In Crosswalk WARNING GRAPHIC VIDEO

City Blames Pedestrian After Cop Fatally Runs Him Over In Crosswalk
by Christopher Robbins in News on Mar 22, 2016 3:43 pm


Felix Coss was struck and killed by an NYPD officer driving a marked police van as he crossed the street in Williamsburg in July of 2013. Coss, a 61-year-old Spanish teacher, had the right of way when he was killed. The officer who struck him, Paula Medrano, was never charged, despite a witness’s statement that she was on her cell phone when she failed to yield to Coss in the crosswalk. Coss’s family sued the city and Madrano, but the Law Department argues that Coss should have known better than to cross the street with the “Walk” signal.

“They have things in here—that he should have known, that he was engaging in a dangerous activity,” the Coss family’s attorney Andrew Levine told Streetsblog, referring to the City’s response to the lawsuit. “He’s a pedestrian walking across the street with the walk signal.”

Graphic video shows Coss crossing Broadway with the right of way and Medrano turning left from Hooper straight into him.

Streetsblog quotes the Law Department’s filing:

Plantiff(s) voluntarily performed and engaged in the alleged activity and assumed the risk of the injuries and/or damages claimed. Plaintiff(s) failed to use all required, proper, appropriate and reasonable safety devices and/or equipment and failed to take all proper, appropriate and reasonable steps to assure his/her/their safety … Plaintiff(s)’ implied assumption of risk caused or contributed, in whole or in part [sic] to his/her/their injuries.

Levine added that the NYPD has (unsurprisingly, in cases like these) failed to turn over evidence in the case, including witness statements.

“We believe those statements are going to be very powerful evidence about the conscious pain and suffering that Felix Coss went through,” Levine said.

The parties are due in court again next month. The Law Department declined to comment, citing the pending litigation.

Pennsylvania State Trooper robs toll booth and kills 2 people and then gets shot and killed by police

A retired Pennsylvania state trooper shot and killed a turnpike worker and a security guard while attempting to rob a toll booth on the Fulton County Exchange before being shot and killed by police at approximately 7 a.m. this morning.


According to local reports, retired officer Clarence Briggs, 55, parked his car next to the Fort Littleton exchange, 80 miles west of Harrisburg, then ordered two toll workers away from the tolls and into a nearby building. He attempted to tie them up, but a fight ensued and Briggs left the building.

When a security van arrived to collect the tolls, one of the toll workers, Danny Krouse, 55, ran to the van, but Briggs reemerged. Briggs fatally shot Krouse and one of the security guards, Ronald Heist, 71, who was also a retired York City police officer.

Briggs then stole the van, drove it to his parked car, and was attempting to transfer the money to his vehicle when police arrived. A shootout ensued, and Briggs was fatally shot.

Briggs had been a Pennsylvania State trooper for 26 years before retiring in 2012.

6 Cleveland police officers fired for actions in fatal 2012 chase

Six of the Cleveland police officers involved in the 137-shot, execution-style fusillade that killed an unarmed couple, have become “gypsy cops” eligible to be hired by other departments — which is to say that they have been terminated without facing criminal prosecution. Six others have been given suspensions ranging from 21 to 30 days, and a thirteenth has been fired, reports ABC News.

The shooting came at the end of a November 12, 2012 high-speed chase involving more than 100 officers and 62 police vehicles. The pursuit began when officers standing outside police headquarters mistook the sound of Russell’s backfiring Chevy Malibu for gunfire. When the car stopped outside city limits, officers opened fire, perforating Russell with 24 shots and Williams with 23. Neither of the victims was armed, or suspected of anything more serious than traffic violations resulting from the pursuit. A search of the vehicle following the double homicide revealed a crack pipe. Both Russell and Williams had been diagnosed as mentally ill.

Officer Michael Brelo, who mounted the hood of the vehicle to shoot through the windshield, was the only assailant who faced criminal charges. He was acquitted in a bench trial after W. Ken Katsaris, a retired sheriff and “expert witness” specializing in testimony tailored to exonerate police officers, testified that Brelo’s only mistake was to expose himself to potential danger, thereby potentially inhibiting his colleagues as they unleashed gunfire in the direction of the vehicle.

By leaping on top of the hood of the car, Brelo was “taking action that is not trained, not recognized, not safe, and put all of the other officers in the vicinity of his becoming a victim and their [the other officers] having to attempt to now engage to save his life,” Katsaris testified before trial judge John P. O’Donnell, who in predictable fashion exonerated the officer. Brelo was one of the six officers fired on January 26.

If an officer is in fear for his life and behind cover, which was Brelo’s posture until the last eight seconds of the engagement, it would make sense for that officer to abandon cover and “put [himself] standing on top of a car in the middle of, as he called it, a fire fight,” Katsaris explained. This violation of the sacred principle of officer safety, rather than the reflexive resort to lethal force and clear overkill involved in firing through the windshield, was why Brelo’s actions were “unreasonable” and “unconstitutional” fashion, according to Katsaris.

“You don’t put yourself in a position of officer down in the middle of a situation [like] that he was involved in,” the “expert” witness elaborated. “That’s why it’s objectively unreasonable…. It’s taking yourself out from behind cover. And you’re putting yourself in crossfire. And you’re putting the other officers in jeopardy of having to now, if you get shot, save your life which risks their lives.”

Asked if Brelo would have acted “reasonably” and “constitutionally” by remaining behind cover while firing the final fifteen shots, Katsaris replied: “I would probably say so.” Killing Russell and Williams efficiently and with minimal risk to the government-certified assailants would have been “objectively reasonable,” from his perspective.

That analysis ignored entirely any consideration of whether the use of lethal force was justified and proportionate. Once a police officer has decided on a “taking” – whether a traffic stop, investigative detention, an arrest, or a killing – the matter has been settled, and the subject has no choice but to submit. If this results in an innocent member of the unprivileged public suffering injury or death, this is a regrettable “error,” but the officer cannot be held responsible; doing so would inhibit his comrades in similar situations, thereby putting their incomparably valuable lives at unacceptable risk.

Similar considerations are behind the trivial disciplinary sanctions imposed on the thirteen officers by Cleveland Public Safety Director Michael McGrath.

“It was very difficult” McGrath said as he announced the terminations and suspension, but at the end of the day, there were general police orders. There are manual rules and regulations that we expect officers to comply with. If they didn’t comply with those particular general police orders or manual rules and regulations, I sustained charges.”

Among the administrative “charges” to which McGrath refers, are several instances of officers joining the chase and leaving the jurisdiction without authorization, and for endangering the lives of other officers by creating a cross-fire. Once again, the fact that two people whose offense was a traffic violation were slaughtered in that killing frenzy played no role in McGrath’s decision. This is because — to paraphrase the endlessly quotable line from the film Blade Runner — they weren’t cops; they were “little people.”

Not surprisingly, the local police union is prepared to contest the administrative punishments.

“It’s tragic that it went down this way, but at the end of the day, two people high on crack cocaine, high on marijuana, one of them intoxicated, made the decisions that they made and we responded to them,” sniffed union spokesman Steve Loomis said. “And we responded within our training.”

This is precisely the problem: Cleveland police, like their comrades nation-wide, are trained to kill people for reasons that will not withstand rational scrutiny — and they are expected to be rewarded for doing so.
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/killer-cops-escape-jail-time-firing-137-rounds-unarmed-couple/#a3O4CHRdykJ62Emj.99