Residents of a small central California city are asking for a response from officials after the local police department has been attributed with fatally shooting two suspects in a span of just 11 days this month.
The Tuesday afternoon shooting death of man alleged to have attempted to burglarize a Salinas, CA home and then expose himself to the person inside marks the second time this month — and third time this year — that officers there have come under fire for what some are calling excessive force.
A local newspaper, the Monterey Herald, reported on Wednesday that Salinas residents were responding angrily to the previous day’s incident in light of video footage published online showing local law enforcement officials firing the fatal shots at the man from point-blank range. The victim was not immediately identified by police.
According to the Herald, cops were alerted of an attempted break-in on Tuesday afternoon after a female caller told 911 that a man was not just trying to enter her home, but was trying to kill her dog and had exposed himself.
When police arrived and found the man on an adjacent street carrying a pair of gardening shears, the incident quickly escalated. The Herald quoted Salinas police Cmdr. Vince Maiorana as saying that the man was initially unresponsive when police tried to approach him about the alleged attempted break-in, then began to act strangely.
“Officers end up talking to this individual, trying to find out what he’s doing and what the situation was based upon the original 911 call,” Maiorana said. “This individual started to wave the gardening shears at the officers. We tried to deploy a Taser; the Taser did not work and as the officers tried to detain this individual, this individual pulled the gardening shears and actually attacked the officers with the gardening shears.
“In response, the officers, fearing for their personal safety, shot this individual and he is now deceased.”
Cell phone video footage obtained by the paper shows that two officers with guns drawn and only a few feet away from the man fired four or five shots in broad daylight on Tuesday in a commercial part of Salinas, a town of roughly 154,000.
“There’s some split-second decisions that have to be made by the officer,” Maiorana told the Herald. “When the officer commanded this individual to drop the shears and to get down on the ground, this individual actually attacked the officer with the gardening shears.”
According to the paper, though, witnesses — including the 19-year-old college student who captured the video footage of the shooting — disagree. The source of the Herald clip, Yoanna Prieto, said the man appeared to be backing away from police the entire time she was filming.
The Salinas Police Department is likely to have a harder time than ever justifying Tuesday’s shooting, though, in the wake of an all-too similar incident that unfolded a week-and-a-half earlier.
On May 9, two Salinas cops fatally shot 26-year-old lettuce farmer Osman Hernandez outside of a grocery store only one mile away from the scene of this week’s tragedy after he reportedly was chasing shoppers with a knife. Reports have since suggested Hernandez was drinking heavily at a nearby bar for two hours before the incident.
According to the man’s family, at least one of the shots fired by law enforcement after the police arrived hit Hernandez in the head while he was lying on the ground.
“They killed Osman like a dog as he lay on the ground. Why are we to trust them investigating themselves? Why does it take so many bullets to the head to subdue a man who is already lying on the ground? Osman’s life had value. We want the truth,” a spokesperson for the man’s family told reporters earlier this month.
KSBW added that the one eyewitness told the network that Hernandez was on the ground and stunned from the Taser when police fired no fewer than four shots. .
Christopher Dolan, a noted civil right attorney, told KSBW that the killing of his client “appears to be an excessive use of force resulting in a senseless killing.”
“This is what is commonly referred to as a homicide,” Dolan said. “The police state that they killed Mr. Hernandez for having a knife, not for actually threatening them with harm. Mr. Hernandez didn’t even have a weapon in his hand when he was gunned down.The police, given the ultimate power by us, the citizens, owe each of us a duty to use only the minimum amount of force necessary. Officers are trained how to disarm a suspect and it’s not by shooting them in the head over and over! This family deserves real answers so we will have private investigators speak with the witnesses, have Osman’s body transferred to a private pathologist for analysis of the bullet trajectories, gunshot residue, and we will retain nationally renowned use of force experts to analyze the officers’ conduct. It’s in times like these when the police have killed someone that we need to be most vigilant as to protect ourselves from those entrusted to protect us.”
Law enforcement up and down the West Coast have come under attack in recent years for a string of office-involved shootings and other acts of violence believed by some to demonstrate a trend towards using unnecessary force, but the comparably calm city of Salinas has endured three fatal police shootings alone so far in 2014.
“I understand there’s a lot of emotions and a lot of legitimate concerns,” Police Chief Kelly McMillin said during a City Council meeting on Tuesday with regards to that afternoon’s shooting. “We’re working hard to gather the facts, and when we have the facts, we will present them.”
In late March, a man was shot to death by Salinas police officers after the cops responded to a report of a suspicious person who reportedly brandished a handgun when approached by law enforcement.
“I heard three gunshots and a scream,” said a neighbor who lived near the park but did not want to use his name.
Another neighbor also heard gunshots, sirens, and a police dog barking. Salem Police said they found a gun that appeared to belong to Ford. The Oregon State Police are now investigating.
“I’m not laying down on this,” wrote her aunt, Marci, on Facebook. “My neice is going to get her justice.”
A spokesman for Salem Police declined to elaborate on the shooting while the state investigates what happened, which is routine.
Long Beach police were pursuing a man fleeing from a Target Store security guard for “a crime allegedly committed at the store,” the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said late Sunday.
When deputies arrived to help security officers locked in a struggle with the man, he pulled out a large pair of scissors, according to a department statement.
The man then fled to his vehicle and led the police on a chase which ended at the 1800 block of East Ocean Boulevard.
The department claimed that he was refusing commands to exit his vehicle and allegedly got out of his car with a “large wooden stick.”
When the man began to flea police they initially fired a stun bag at him, which showed to have no effect.
At this point the Long Beach Police claim to have “encountered the man” and shot him. However the video shows no such encounter. The man is completely isolated and it appears that he was shot in cold blood, in the back.
The following video was published to youtube after these claims by the LBP have been made.
Man gets out of his car at 1:51 of video:
What do you think? Was someone in imminent danger that justified the firing of actual bullets at an unarmed man?
Did this man deserve to die for fleeing from police? Why are all these ‘public servants’ assuming the role of judge jury and executioner, and nothing is happening to them?
Due process is dying a slow and ugly death in this country, one cold blooded, state sanctioned murder at a time.
Yesterday, a US Marshal shot an unarmed man in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Police allege that he had not been meeting his parole requirements since February and was wanted on new charges including 3 counts of child abuse and an account of aggravated battery. The victim is Gilbert Angelo Serrano who is currently in stable condition. The victim’s sister and her mother are currently at the UNM Hospital. Police were refusing to let Serrano’s family visit him in the hospital. Right after the shooting, US marshals started confiscating phones that had pictures and video of the shooting. Several witnesses told KRQE that Serrano was not armed. People also came to protest at the scene after news of the shooting spread online.
A witness, Gabriel Valdez, told KRQE about the shooting, “’Get out of the car! Get out of the vehicle!’ And then boom! She shot like right away. She just shot right away.”
Anonymous and local groups have called for protests against the local Albuquerque police department after a series police shootings resulting in fatalities. On March 16, Albuquerque police shot and killed James Boyd who was camping near the mountains. On March 26, 2013, Albuquerque police shot and killed another man, Alfred Redwine. Initially, police said that Alfred Redwine had shot at them first, but Redwine’s family says that he was unarmed and was only holding a cellphone. There have been more than 25 fatal police shootings, 13 non-fatal shootings, and 2 cases of excessive force by the Albuquerque police department since 2010. The Albuquerque police department is currently under investigation by the US Department of Justice. Lawsuits regarding police misconduct have cost the city more than $24 million since 2010.
Anonymous started #OpAlbuquerque and #APDProtest in response to the police shootings. The Albuquerque police department took down their own website and social media accounts in response. There is a protest planned for April 2 and another protest planned for April 4.
There is a huge controversy over the police shooting death of a homeless and mentally ill man, James Boyd, who was illegally camping. The victim refused orders to surrender by police officers. The stand-off lasted for 3 hours until he was shot by the police. Boyd died soon after.
Protesters took to the streets in Albuquerque saying excessive force was used against Boyd and that Boyd appeared to be turning away from officers when they fired six rounds at him. The police chief said that the shooting was justified because Boyd was threatening the canine office with his knife. However, with this public outcry since that statement he made a week ago, he has actually back tracked on his statement although police have admitted to no wrong doing.
Related Article: Americans Killed by Cops Now Outnumber Americans Killed in Iraq War
More than 1000 people marched to the Albuquerque police headquarters not only in protest of Boyd’s death, but the police killings of 23 people in Albuquerque in the last four years. That is far above the national average for a city of Albuquerque’s size.
America is quickly becoming a tyrannical police state with trigger happy cops.
For the full article and video click here:
By Chris McKee
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Critics of the Albuquerque Police Department are raising serious questions about the fatal shooting of a homeless camper in the foothills, one even calling it murder.
In the department’s first news conference since the shooting took place, APD did something they normally don’t do, releasing the entire video of the incident.
Police say 38-year-old James M. Boyd is the man who was killed in the shooting last Sunday. So far, they’ve been unable to contact any of Boyd’s family members.
New Albuquerque Police’s chief Gorden Eden said Friday that the video shows that the latest officer involved shooting is justified.
Boyd was arguing with police for more three hours last Sunday in the foothills after officers went to talk to him about illegally camping in open space.
(Warning: Graphic and Disturbing)
At the press conference Friday, Chief Eden released video of the moment officers first contacted Boyd. When one officer went to frisk Boyd, the homeless camper could then be heard refusing to comply saying he was a government agent. The video shows that Boyd continued to refuse officer commands and began threatening them.
“I’m almost going to kill you right now. Don’t give me another directive. Don’t attempt to give me, the Department of Defense, another directive,” said Boyd at the beginning of the incident.
As the hours passed, Chief Eden said an APD Crisis Intervention Team officer and a State Police liaison were called to the scene. Both attempted to speak with Boyd, however, Chief Eden says Boyd continued to threaten officers. Police also discovered that Boyd had a violent 20-year criminal history that included multiple incidents of violence against officers.
Around 7:30 p.m., video shows when officers moved in. At the beginning of incident, Boyd can be heard saying, “In a private world, if you were down at a bar or a bus stop, I would have the right to kill you right now because you’re trying to take me over. Don’t get stupid with me!”
Video shows Boyd grab his bags and attempt to leave when officers began to use non-lethal force.
As Boyd is moving, officers then threw a flash bang and released a K9 which appears to bite Boyd in the hand. Chief Eden said officers also used a taser gun and bean bag rounds. Two officers, Dominque Perez and Keith Sandy then both fired three shots each from their department issued rifles, causing Boyd to fall to the ground.
It’s unclear how many shots hit Boyd. APD says it is waiting on a report from the Office of the Medical Investigators to determine a cause of death.
But the video is already raising some questions because of how Boyd appears to be turning away from the officers when bullets were fired.
Chief Eden called the shooting justified at the news conference, saying officers used non-lethal force first and that there was a direct threat made at an unarmed K9 officer. According to Chief Eden, Boyd was less than eight feet from the unarmed canine officer.
“Actually if you watch the video tape, all the less than lethal devices were in fact deployed. It was when the canine officer was down directing the canine dog that the suspect pulled out the two knives and directed a threat to the canine officer who had no weapons drawn. He was handling the dog,” Chief Eden said.
News 13 asked Chief Eden directly, “do you believe this was a justified shooting?”
Chief Eden responded, “Yes, if you follow case law, ‘Gardner versus Tennessee’, there was directed threat to an officer.”
In the video recording, officer Keith Sandy’s gun can be heard firing around the same time as a beanbag gun. Officer Dominque Perez can be seen firing second after several pops.
The press conference ended abruptly Friday without reports being able to ask all of the questions they wanted. After taking questions for four minutes, an APD spokeswoman attempted to stop the press conference but Chief Eden took questions for two more minutes. After that, Chief Eden walked off, thanking reporters and saying “we’re good.”
News 13 wanted to ask why the officers didn’t try to use a taser on Boyd again before moving in and why they didn’t have shields.
APD says the two officers who fired shots remain on leave.
One of the officers who was involved, Keith Sandy has a notable history with the department. APD hired Sandy in 2007 after he was fired by New Mexico State Police over the Wackenhut scandal. Sandy was accused of fraud for making money doing private security work while on the clock for State Police.
When Sandy was hired by APD, the department said he would be a civilian employee and he wouldn’t have a gun or a badge. However, Sandy quickly rose through the department, landing on the ROPE Team, which goes after repeat offenders or some of the city’s most dangerous criminals.
Christopher dreamed of joining the Marines. All of that ended when he was executed by a cop.
The OP-Nat Eye reports that 17-yr-old Christopher Roupe was shot and killed moments after sitting down to watch a movie in his family’s home.
At around 7:30 PM, young Christopher took out his Nintendo Wii controller to put on a movie.
As he was sitting down, he suddenly heard knocking on the front door.
A Nintendo Wii controller.
He asked, “Who is it?” but received no response.
At that point he got up from his chair and opened the door.
To his shock, the female cop already had her gun drawn and pointed at him, according to reports.
She immediately fired a bullet into the boy’s chest and killed him, according to Renee Vance, the boy’s aunt.
The police claim that “he had a handgun.”
It was actually the boy’s small Nintendo Wii controller, says the aunt.
The officer gave him “no warning” to drop the controller before taking his life, the aunt added.
The police claimed to be at his house regarding a “probation” matter. It turns out that it had nothing to do with Christopher.
His 13-yr-old little sister heard the gun shot and ran over to the door to find her brother bleeding and crying.
The little sister held her brother and tried to comfort him as he cried in pain, according to reports.
That’s when the female cop pointed her gun at the child and said “Shut up!” according to reports, forcing the girl away.
Moments later Christopher bled to death.
Both the female officer and the officer who was with her have received“paid administrative leave” as the investigation proceeds.
The boy’s family is deeply saddened.
They have set up Facebook page speaking out about the incident. Many of the boy’s friends are confused as to how this could possibly happen to a young man with so many plans for his future.”
“Prayers for his younger siblings, may they take pride in knowing what a great big brother they had, and what a great Marine he was going to be….” said one commenter.
Another commenter said, “God wrap your arms around this family in their time of grief! So sorry for your loss!”
Another young girl recounted the time when Christopher saved her family from a fire, already displaying heroism as a teenager:
“I remember at Americas best inn my mom and my sister was at the pool so was my dad and a paper towel blew in my moms candle and you helped me stop the fire. If it wasn’t for Christopher the room would of caught on fire thanks for helping me Chris.”
“I’ll never understand why or how this happened,but what i do know is you were a great friend and more than that you were family.I miss you bro and i’ll see you again when our paths cross. FLY HIGH AND PROUD!” said one of Christopher’s friends.
UPDATE (02/22/14): Cop Who Killed Christopher May be Mentally Unstable
The OP-Nat Eye has reported that Nancy Beth Daniel-Gatny is likely the officer who shot Christopher.
Her official photo was removed from the police department’s website when investigative journalists tried to find it after the killing.
But OP-Nat Eye discovered that her profile from another website wasn’t taken down in time.
Suspicions of mentally instability have risen after her cached comment was published, wherein she alludes to a weirdo being off of medication.
She describes her office mates as believing she is “more than a little odd.”
She continues, “I can try to pep talk myself into believing that I need to focus but the little weirdo that lives inside of me, she is off her meds, dancing through the trees and singing off key at the top of her voice…”
Her police report originally accused the boy of aiming a “gun” at her.
The boy’s family and attorney says that is false, and that Christopher only had a Wii remote control used for watching a movie.
The days of peace officers who interact with the community as neighbors and fellow law-abiding citizens has been dead for sometime. Check points, military hardware and a growing view that every citizen is an evil terrorist or violent criminal, has all but destroyed the way police used to behave. If Mayberry existed today, Barney would have kill numbers in the hundreds and no one would question it.
In Fullerton, California Kelly Thomas a homeless man diagnosed with schizophrenia was brutally beaten to death for nothing more than contempt of cop. His death was confirmed to be directly caused by actions of police officers. In the video Officer Manny Ramos was overheard saying “Now you see my fists?” while putting on latex gloves. Thomas replied “Yeah, what about them?” Officer Ramos replied “They are getting ready to fuck you up.” A short time later, Kelly Thomas was non-responsive face down on the street. Five days later, Kelly Thomas was pronounced dead. Officer Manuel Ramos was charged with one count of second-degree murder and one count of involuntary manslaughter; Corporal Jay Cicinelli and Officer Joseph Wolfe were each charged with one count of felony involuntary manslaughter and one count of excessive force. All three pleaded not guilty. A jury would find them not guilty.
When Rodney King, a convicted felon was beaten by numerous L.A.P.D, riots consumed the black neighborhoods around the area. What was the public outcry for Kelly Thomas, a white homeless man? A hundred people with signs and a bunch of keyboard warriors spouting what the would do.
When I was a child, I would play with toy rifles in my front yard and no one would say a word. In Santa Rosa, California, Sheriffs shot and killed a 13 year old boy for holding a toy rifle. Police only waited 8 seconds before deciding to shoot and kill the boy. Citing Officer safety.
In Honolulu, an 17 year old boy suffered from severe mental illness was shot by police after the boy’s school called the police to help control him.
Salt Lake City, Utah- Danielle Willard an unarmed woman was shot in the head and killed while in the parking lot of an apartment complex during a narcotics stakeout. Officers claimed she was trying to run them over. Video evidence surfaced and disapproved the officers statements.
Brian Newt Beaird 51, was shot dead by LAPD officers after a car chase. Brian had pulled over and stepped out of his car with no weapons and was quickly executed by pursuing officers.
Sioux Fall, South Dakota- Jacob Westberg was shot dead on his door step because a concerned citizen reported that he was suicidal. Before the shooting Jacob’s brother arrived on the scene and told the police he could calm his brother but police pushed him aside.
Orlando, Florida- Travis Mcneil was shot to death by officer Orosa when he pulled Mr. Mcneil. Officer Orosa stated he should have followed my commands as justification for the killing.
Dallas, Texas- Police shot an mentally challenged man. Bennett 52, suffering from schizophrenia was shot after police claimed Bennett lunged at them. Video emerged and contradicts the officers statements.
This is not even close to the amount of police shooting citizens in this country on a weekly basis. In fact, you are eight times more likely to be killed by a police officer than in a terrorist attack.
Only a week after the shooting of an unarmed man, with his hands raised in the air, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office has allowed the shooter back on the job. But now a video of the standoff, taken by an eye-witness to the shooting, has leaked which contradicts the Sheriff’s description of events that led to the death of a suspected car thief, who surrendered with his hands in the air.
After a lengthy chase through Casa Grande and Eloy deputies immobilized the car that Manuel Longoria was driving.
The deputies ordered Longoria to surrender as they aimed and fired their weapons – loaded with beanbag rounds – as well as tasers at him. At first Longoria waved his hands around, but then complied completely with their demands, turning his back for them to approach and handcuff him, while reaching his arms straight up into the air. That’s when officers fired.
“Officers and deputies attempted to use less lethal means to take him into custody including firing several bean bag rounds and Taser deployments. The suspect refused to obey the commands and suddenly reached back into the vehicle. A deputy felt the suspect was reaching for the gun he reportedly had, so he then fired two rounds.”
Investigators found no weapon on Longoria.
“I believe even looking at it in those circumstances, if I was a patrol officer and I was forced in that same situation, I would likely have shot him before that deputy shot him,” Sheriff Paul Babeu, said. ”This suspect sadly and regrettably when given every opportunity to surrender and to comply and obey our commands, decided not to.”
But Jess Torrez, a former Scottsdale Arizona Police Officer said that it was clear that with only one officer taking the shot, the others did not believe there was a justifiable use of lethal force against Longoria.
“You have multiple police officers on the scene and only one person makes the shot. That tells me that other officers at the scene did not feel there was justification to use deadly physical force,” Torrez explained.
Watch the video below, shot by a witness. Share your thoughts and spread the word about this latest act of police homicide against unarmed, non-resisting citizens.
(Article by M.B. David)