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Category Archives: Police brutality

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

No Charges for Cops Who ‘Accidentally’ Fired 107 Bullets at an Innocent Mom and Daughter

Los Angeles, CA – Exposing the double standard between police and civilians, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday that no criminal charges will be filed against the eight LAPD officers responsible for nearly killing an innocent woman and her daughter. Although the cops ambushed the unarmed women without warning and fired over 100 bullets without provocation, the district attorney justified the case of mistaken identity due to the fact that the officers involved were afraid and incompetent.

At 5 a.m. on February 7, 2013, Margie Carranza and her mother, Emma Hernandez, were delivering newspapers throughout a residential neighborhood in Torrance when eight LAPD cops suddenly opened fire. As Carranza suffered cuts from the flying glass, Hernandez was shot twice in the back while trying to protect her daughter. One bullet exited just above Hernandez’s collarbone, while the other bullet struck her lower back, near her spine. A fragment of shattered glass also flew into her eye.

After firing 107 bullets at the innocent women, the LAPD cops ordered them out of the vehicle and immediately realized their mistake. Instead of a 33-year-old black man, two Hispanic women exited the pickup truck and demanded to know, “Why did you shoot at us?”

Instead of rendering first aid or even apologizing for the act of attempted murder, the officers called for paramedics while refusing to offer any explanation for the ambush. Awakened by the gunfire, residents emerged from their homes to find their vehicles, houses, and front doors riddled with bullets. With five bullet holes in the entryway to his house, one neighbor asked, “How do you mistake two Hispanic women, one who is 71, for a large black male?”

Twenty-five minutes after the shooting, Torrance police officers stopped David Perdue a few blocks away as he was driving to the beach to go surfing before work. After the officers questioned him and ordered Perdue to turn around, he complied with their commands and began driving away when another Torrance police cruiser raced towards his vehicle and broadsided him. Suffering from a concussion and back pain, Perdue remained in his vehicle as an officer opened fire on him.

Although Torrance PD and LAPD were searching for a black man driving a gray Nissan Titan, Perdue is a white man who was driving a black Honda Ridgeline. Carranza and Hernandez were driving a blue Toyota Tacoma when the officers ambushed them without bothering to confirm their identities.

The officers responsible for nearly killing Carranza and her mother had been tasked with guarding the house of LAPD Capt. Justin Eisenberg. Because the police captain had been a member of the Board of Rights that voted to terminate former Officer Christopher Dorner, police suspected Dorner might attempt to kill Eisenberg or his family. The police captain was also named in Dorner’s manifesto, which he posted online after the initial murders.

In his manifesto, Dorner accused Sgt. Teresa Evans of kicking a restrained suspect named Christopher Gettler in the chest and face. After filing a complaint against Evans, Dorner was labeled a liar by the department and subsequently fired. Dorner also pointed out in his manifesto that many of the officers involved in the Rodney King beating and Rampart scandal during the 1990s have been promoted to supervisory or command positions within the LAPD and surrounding departments.

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced that LAPD officers Jess Faber, Marlon Franco, Sergio Gramajo, John Hart, Geoff Lear, Deshon Parker, Jonathan Roman, and Sgt. John Valdez would not face charges for the attempted murders of Carranza and her mother. Due to the fact that the entire police department was scared of one man and could not be held accountable for their incompetent actions, none of the officers who fired 107 bullets at two unarmed, innocent women will face prosecution. Although the women received a $4.2 million settlement and a new pickup truck, no cop will be held accountable for firing the first shot or failing to correctly identify the make/model of the vehicle along with the race and gender of its occupants.

Although LAPD Chief Charlie Beck announced during the manhunt that officials would re-examine Dorner’s allegations of police misconduct, nearly three years have passed without any results. Instead, Sgt. Teresa Evans filed a lawsuit against the LAPD last year alleging racial discrimination against her. Evans is white.

Andrew Emett is a Los Angeles-based reporter exposing political and corporate corruption. His interests include national security, corporate abuse, and holding government officials accountable. Andrew’s work has appeared on Raw Story, Alternet, Activist Post, and many other sites. You can follow him on Twitter @AndrewEmett and on Facebook at Andrew Emett.
Read more at http://thefreethoughtproject.com/charges-lapd-cops-fired-100-bullets-innocent-mom-daughter-dorner-manhunt/#DE2ZcvpSjoLoVvMH.99

Cops Came To Take His Son Away Because He Used Marijuana… Then They Killed Him

The police had come to take his son away from him, and it was all because he alleged used marijuana. To make matters worse, he never actually did use the plant, but a police officer accused him of it, and when he tried to stop Child Protective Services from kidnapping his son, he was gunned down by police.

Now, a prosecutor in Gaylord Michigan has cleared the police officer who shot and killed William Reddie, 32, during the course of this kidnapping, as police and CPS employees tried to take his three-year-old away.

All of this began with a report to CPS that a police officer smelled marijuana. The officer reported the incident to CPS, who said that this was grounds to take the child away and place him in a foster home.

The kidnapping and killing took place on February 3 of 2015. But it wasn’t until the end of the year that prosecutors decided that the police officer’s use of deadly force was justified.

The Crawford County Avalanche reports that Grayling police Officer Alan Somero had been called to Reddie’s apartment for what was claimed to be a domestic disturbance.

But seeing no evidence of this, Somero made no arrests. He did believe, however, that he smelled marijuana, which he reported it to CPS.

CPS obtained a court order to remove Reddie’s 3-year-old son, Cameron, and told police to assist them with the removal of the child from his home.

The Gaylord Herald-Times obtained the CPS removal order. It added a lot more detail, reporting that Reddie was accused of smoking marijuana in front of his son.

The order said that Reddie was “agitated” and threatened police when they threatened to take his son away for him allegedly using marijuana.

The court order said: “There are reasonable grounds for this court to remove the child(ren) from the parent … because conditions or surroundings of the children, and is contrary to the welfare of the child(ren) to remain in the home because: It is alleged that the father used marijuana in the home in the presence of the child. In addition, there is concern for the safety of the child due to a domestic disturbance and threats made toward law enforcement by the father.”

Reddie allegedly displayed a pocketknife, when Crawford County Deputy John Klepadlo shot and killed him.

The police had Tasers out, but re-holstered them and chose to shoot Reddie when they saw he had a knife – even thought Tasering him would have worked perfectly well at incapacitating him.

Crawford County Sheriff Kirk Wakefield asked the Michigan State Police to investigate the use of deadly force. The Michigan Attorney General’s Office sent this request to the neighboring Roscommon County Prosecutor’s Office.

Roscommon County DA Mark Jernigan said that “the deceased was in possession of an edged weapon. The deceased pulled a knife and hid it behind his back. At the point where he pulls his hand forward and lunges at the officer, he is in such close proximity, and presents a clear danger of deadly force, the officer is left with no option other than to use deadly force to protect himself, the other officer and the three civilians that were present. The use of deadly force is completely justified and therefore, the homicide was justified.”

Toxicology reports returned no sign of marijuana or alcohol in Reddie’s system. Marijuana shows up in one’s system long after it has been consumed, because it is fat soluble. This means that the accusation that Reddie was smoking marijuana in front of his son that day could not have possibly been true.

“They took the only thing he ever loved,” Reddie’s mother, Michelle VanBuren, said to the Avalanche.

“I was on the phone with my son all day, and that cop was bullying him and harassing him so badly,” she added. “Where was protect and serve?” VanBuren continued. “The officers always have to stick together and for them to do this is just totally uncalled for.”

“I can’t believe they (police) could not subdue Will without killing him, and over what, marijuana,” Joanne Michal, who knew Reddie for most of his life said. “Why didn’t police just arrest him or cite him for marijuana instead of removing his child?” she said to the Herald-Times.

“It is particularly sad that Will was shot to death right in front of his son,” Michal added. “Why not use a Taser? Even if he (Will) had a knife and lunged at police, they didn’t have to kill him. Instead of using a Taser, you shoot him in front of his child. It is just totally unjustified. They didn’t have to kill him. I think it’s very sad that his life was taken during the removal of his son. And the smell of marijuana shouldn’t have been a reason for an emergency order. Just a few days before he was killed, Will was visiting, and he was so excited because a hearing was coming up for custody. And it seemed to give him hope of getting permanent custody. His son was everything to him.”

Crawford County Clerk Sandra Moore said “it’s truly a shame. He was a good guy and very fond of his son. He had been very excited just days before” about gaining custody of his son.

Cameron Reddie has now been taken by the State and is in foster care. His family is fighting for the right to at least get visitation rights. Remember, he was stolen from his father – who the state killed – because an officer suspected that he smoked marijuana – which toxicology reports disproved.

How is this not murder and kidnapping?

Oh, and Deputy Klepadlo is currently back on the job, after receiving a short paid administrative leave.

Police Shoot Man For Recording Them With Phone, Claim They Feared For Their Lives

Sheriff’s deputies in California claimed they feared for their lives after shooting a man who was filming them from his own garage.

The Sacramento sheriff’s deputies shot Danny Sanchez on Friday. Sanchez is currently in the hospital at the UC Davis Medical Center, where he underwent surgery to remove bullet fragments, according to his father, John Sanchez.

The shooting occurred when the Sheriff’s department SWAT team showed up to arrest a neighbor, Ben Ledford, 62, after he fired off an illegal machine gun from across the street.

When Sanchez saw the incident, and the SWAT team converge, he began recording from his garage. He assumed there wouldn’t be any problem, since he was so far away from the incident, on his own property and even out on the edge of the garage.

Police say that Sanchez was extending his arm with “an object” in his hand. That “object” was a cellphone, Sanchez’s father John “Sonny” Sanchez said. His son was simply trying to videotape the arrest of Ledford. That’s when police opened fire on him.

“He was yelling, ‘Dad I’m shot, I’m shot,’ so I grabbed him inside and closed the garage door. I put a tourniquet around his leg and a clean towel,” John Sanchez explained.

He pointed out four additional bullet holes in his garage as well as several more in his car.

“You can see how many shots they did: one, two three, four — shooting at my son with a cell phone. C’mon that’s ridiculous,” Sanchez commented.

Sgt. Jason Ramos, of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s department Sgt. Jason Ramos’s department said “I think it’s reasonable to think that the officers perceived an immediate threat either to themselves or continued threat to that individual.”

On top of shooting him and arresting him, Sanchez’s home was also searched. But Sgt. Ramos acknowledged Sanchez committed no crime and is not facing any charges whosoever.