Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"You want I should freeze or get down on the ground? Mean to say, if'n I freeze, I can't rightly drop. And if'n I drop, I'm a-gonna be in motion."

The father of Erik Scott, who was gunned down in front of a Las Vegas Costco for the crime of... uh... well, the LVMPD isn't really clear on that, but they'll think of something, apparently has a blog. It makes for interesting reading.

Sebastian smells civil rights lawsuit. At the very least.

41 comments:

Robert Langham said...

This stinks to high heaven.

Bram said...

Too bad the security tapes were "damaged." Otherwise I'm sure Vegas Metro would release them right away and clear this up.

Bob said...

There should probably be a standardized response for people able to carry legally so that police aren't confused/give conflicting orders in such cases. I'd probably place my hands on my head, turn my back to the police (so they're forced to shoot you in the back if they do overreact), and drop to my knees, hands still on head, and wait to be kicked to the ground by the stupid bastards. It might be enough to avoid being shot.

Anonymous said...

Funny the video tape is unusable and the car video is unusable and eye wittnesses are notoriously unreliable..................... WV: dante
eeire

tomcatshanger said...

if it was for these damn people and their damn internet, they'd get away with it for sure.

tomcatshanger said...

horrible thought....

What are the chances those asshole at CBS will make a CSI episode about this?

Anonymous said...

Maybe just the attitude that, "If we've got this many officers here, we've got to shoot somebody to justify it all."

Tam said...

My first finger of blame goes to the Mall Ninja who called the cops and told them there was a crazy man with a gun acting all drugged up and come quick!

The cops rolled up half expecting things to go active shooter at any moment, and then apparently one of the responding units was Officer Rambo, who's reduced the tax base of Las Vegas by three citizens already in his brief five-year career...

What could possibly go right in that situation?

Anonymous said...

I dunno, that whole "I'm disarming" thing strikes me as odd. It seems to be consistent in various links. Frankly, the one thing I don't want a potential bad guy to do is move anything unless I tell him to do so. If it's ever me, I'm going to be one frozen dude in the jumping jack position until I get a command, not moving my arms, talking back, etc., etc. Three guys with drawn guns is pretty much a show stopper for me. Also sounds like the GF sure didn't help things a bit.

Al T.

WV - deride - how apt. You may beat the rap, but you won't beat deride.

Joanna said...

I've always been taught that dealing with cops comes down to:

a) Don't move unless instructed otherwise;

b) Don't offer an explanation of anything unless directly questioned;

c) Be firm, but polite. (This goes double if it's a refusal.)

Granted, my experience is limited to a couple traffic stops and COPS reruns -- but I always have to wonder how things looked from the cops' perspective. (Not that I think they're automatically in the right, just that I want both sides of the story.)

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if offering the officer your holstered weapon is a very wise choice. If a cop is holding me at gunpoint, myhands aren't going anywhere near my gun. they're staying high in the air, and away from my body if I prone out. Having all three responders shouting conflicting instructions must have made this very hard, and doesn't sound like the most professional response by Metro.


Matt
St Paul

Papa Whiskey said...

On a lighter note, this is far and away the best post title of all time or my name ain't H.I. McDonough.

Robert Langham said...

Someone pointed out that the three different conflicting commands the shooters were yelling actually weren't MEANT for the shootee. They were CYA sound track that the police trained themselves to yell when killing someone. They had already decided to shoot at that point.

And I have to add to any LEO types who bestir themselves to high dungeon at the lack of popular support they enjoy: Everything we know about the police we have LEARNED from watching the police.

Jeff said...

Thats one Jury I'd like to be on.

Bob, I believe at least one guy did shoot him in the back.

Trent said...

If ya follow the first link and read the write up it looks like he was shot once in the arm pit, twice in the chest and four times in the back after he was down.

If my knowledge of self defense law is accurate, to finish someone off like that turns even the most righteous of a shooting into a crime of one degree or another.

Anonymous said...

How about manslaughter? Cops get their panties in a bind over a citizen exercising an enumerated right, go after him for it, and end up killing him. Enter TITLE 18, U.S.C., SECTION 242
http://www.justice.gov/crt/crim/242fin.php -- Lyle

Trent said...

I'm rooting for 1st Degree Murder + Death Penalty on this one.

Matt G said...

Everything about this stinks to high heaven.

I've seen so many times, where the first person tells the second person who tells the caller to 911 "what happened" (which is already so overblown, that it bears no virtually no relation to the facts, at which point a 911 calltaker passes it on to a 911 dispatcher (often with further distortion), at which time the dispatcher throws out a series of code-phrases that are cubbyholing the situation quickly and improperly.

So it is that you get the following exchanges:
__
"Sir, you can't be in here with that gun."
"Ma'am, I'm a licensed weapon carrier, breaking no laws, excercising my right. I'm going to continue shopping."
--
"Boss, there's a guy with a gun, and I told him that he couldn't be here with it, but he argued with me and refused to leave."
"The hell he won't! Everyone knows guns are dangerous! The customers will feel threatened. Who the hell does he think he is? I'm calling security. And the cops!"
--
"Hey, kid-- there's some nutcase with a gun on aisle 14, who argued with Hive Associate 481. We can't reason with him to leave. Keep an eye on him, and call the cops!"

"This is the moment that I have waited my entire life for!" [Begins duct-taping on ceramic plates.]
--
"911 what's your emergency?"
"Yeah, I'm security officer G. Pyle, with Costco Security. We've got a Code Red situation, here! I repeat, Code Red situation!! There is a man here, who is argumentative, out of control, waving a gun around, threatening the customers, and we need the cops here, now! Send backup!"
"Where in the store is he now?"
"He's in the drug store part of the store. For all I know, he's getting more drugs!"
--
"Attention all units-- be en route to the Costco. Caller there reports a man threatening people with a gun, being out of control, belligerent, and possibly on drugs. Caller reports a dangerous situation. Contacting SWAT and on-call supervisors."

++++++++++++

All it takes from there is a cowboy who really wants to smoke someone, and the scene is set.

I can tell you from experience, that once the phalanx of cops surrounds the suspect, the commands are shouted at full volume, and they're usually shouted from several cops at once. You're lucky if you can understand half of what they are saying. They're just not real likely to hear and parse what you're saying back to them.

I'm not defending that; I'm just reporting what I've seen.

To attempt to communicate to them that you're going to disarm at that point is to hope that they can understand you. If they're amped up, they can't. They're often not even hearing themselves. (I've seen cops shouting "Get on the ground! Get on the ground! Get on the ground!" to a subject who had been proned out as flat as possible for 10 seconds, not moving.)

The ONLY answer to such an over-reaction, if you want to assure that you will live, is to immediately submit, and prone out. If that's not possible, grasp your hands above your head while kneeling or sitting. Don't let your hands drop below ear level, even if they tell you to disarm. They want that gun, they can come get it. But reaching for the gun in the presence of an amped-up person pointing a gun at you is a recipe for disaster.

Sue their asses later. But live through the encounter first, please.

Kristopher said...

I would assume any cop ordering me to touch my weapon is lookin for an excuse to shoot my ass.

Standard smart felon tactic for dealing with angry and belligerent cops is to prone out with hands spread out.

When three angry cops point guns at you and start yelling, take a hint from Sumdude and be a smart felon. If you are going to get retribution later, you have to survive now.

hazmat said...

I read SailorCurts thread about the policy of firearms at Costco. Pretty much on par with 'State Secret' when it comes to the subject.

I'm fully behind the family on this, and to be perfectly honest, this was nothing more than cold-blooded murder.

Forget the 'inquest'. A full Grand Jury needs to be enpaneled and indictments for 1st Degree Capital Murder need to be handed down to the badge wearing scum who did this.

You know, I thought Death Squads were a Central American thing. The more I read of things like this, and the further militarization of our police departments, the more I have to wonder if that little phenomenon hasn't been resurrected here.

Tam said...

Trent,

"If ya follow the first link and read the write up it looks like he was shot once in the arm pit, twice in the chest and four times in the back after he was down.

If my knowledge of self defense law is accurate, to finish someone off like that...
"

You might want to check yourself, there. More than one good citizen has put rounds into backsides, backs, and wherever. A lot of stuff can happen between the time your brain sends the "SHOOT!" command to your trigger finger and the time said finger receives the "STOP SHOOTING!" command.

Derfel Cadarn said...

The cops are thugs,their function is to protect their elitist masters. This is not just a few bad apples it`s all of them. All that is required for EVIL to triumph is for good men to do nothing. Where are all the good men? Come on stand up!
There are LEOs who know the truth.

Brad K. said...

Matt G.,

""Sir, you can't be in here with that gun."
"Ma'am, I'm a licensed weapon carrier, breaking no laws, excercising my right. I'm going to continue shopping."
"

Wrong. You just got thrown out, it doesn't have to be legal, the store representative isn't a sworn peace officer.

At this point your response is "I want to see the manager." Only the manager can instruct the employee on correct procedure. If the manager isn't called, ask for the instruction in writing and call your lawyer, and contact the organization of concealed carry citizens in your state.

Get thrown out of a store, for any reason, you cannot resist or ignore it without creating a public disturbance. Settle the details later, with competent people such as lawyers or managers. I am sure a $4,000 judgment against the store, naming the erroneous employee and manager on duty, will get things cleared up much faster than a call to the cops for some dude, armed, that refuses to leave when thrown out.

That is how it seems to me. If you are in a government building, then the laws apply, and whoever is throwing you out for being armed had best have their ducks in a row. The point is still to avoid having the cops called on you. Take names, pictures, etc. Act like a citizen ready to wield the court system like an experienced professional.

Please.

Anonymous said...

Although this action can't be justified it certanly will be. Gross overreaction is the norm today. Look at the situation. One man armed no shots fired. Multiple officer response, helicopter, Poor comunication, poor proceedure (multiples shouting comands when only one should be) no leader= mob.

Anonymous said...

If there is any justice in this world, the "Hero Officers" along with the store employee who made the call and lied will meet death, slowly, painfully and screaming like a baby for their mothers when their time comes.

Steve C said...

We may be jumping too quick on this one. This story is 2 months old and the inquest is just coming in. Mr. Scott was addicted to pain meds and at the time of his death had what would "normally would be lethal levels of morphine and Zanax" I really doubt he was all there mentally. Also, there is a witness that said that he drew his gun. For more details goto http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2010/sep/22/coroners-inquest-erik-scott/

Michael said...

@ Steve C: Check out: http://erikbscottmemorialblog.blogspot.com

Here’s what Metro and the DA will tell us, the effectively gagged family, attorney and friends in the courtroom, plus the jury and thousands of Las Vegas citizens comprising the TV audience: Erik was taking high doses of pain medication.

What they will not tell the jury: That Erik had a broken back and suffered from excruciating, debilitating pain. They won’t mention that 40 percent of Erik’s L5 vertebra was fractured, and that several of his spine’s discs were compressed. These old injuries probably were incurred by jumping from C-130 airplanes five times, during Army airborne training. His old back injury was aggravated greatly by a car accident in recent times, which caused chafing of the spinal nerves and severe pain.

The DA and Metro will somehow forget to read this diagnosis by Dr. David Kuo: “Anterosuperior L5 vertebral body chip fracture without adjacent bone marrow edema. No significant compression deformity. Minor disc space narrowing sparing L2-L3, L3-L4, and L5-S1. Normal lateral alignment. Conus medullaris is unremarkable. Mild disc bulging from T10-T11 through L5-S1. No significant spinal stenosis. Bilateral neural foramen narrowing at L5-S1.

Hypnagogue said...

"Lethal levels of morphine", and he was shopping at Costco. Right.

Way to spread the manure around, Steve. You missed a spot.

Will said...

Steve C:
when I hear statements about drug levels like that, I have to laugh, cause it's mostly bullshit. There are so many variables involved in an individuals ability to function with any sort of drug in his system. Even family members can have quite dramatic differences in their tolerance to the same drugs, especially pain medications.

The only adverse drug levels I would consider to be fairly accurate would be when it is stated that above a certain amount it can cause damage to specific organs, such as the liver. That is what you need to pay attention to.

But blanket statements as you quoted should be taken with a grain of salt, as they are typically made to influence the publics viewpoint. In other words, it's politics.

Tam said...

The only thing he had demonstrably lethal levels of in his system was Element #82.

Anonymous said...

the ONLY drug that has a measurable effect is alcohol. That is a fact all others are subjective. Even with alcohol the measure only works on a novice or sporatic user.

Trent said...

Tam,

"You might want to check yourself, there. More than one good citizen has put rounds into backsides, backs, and wherever. A lot of stuff can happen between the time your brain sends the "SHOOT!" command to your trigger finger and the time said finger receives the "STOP SHOOTING!" command."

Don't know how to do the Italic thingy for the quotes.

Anyhow I'm totally willing to be wrong on that one. I was just taught by my CHL guys that bullets into the baddie while the baddie was on the floor = world of hurt and lawyers fees for me.
The emphasis being "on the floor" not "in the back" just my understanding of how the legal eagles screw us over wherever they can.

Matt G said...

I agree with Steve C that overreacting and jumping in over the points made by one subjective viewpoint would be unwise here, just as it was in that CostCo.

Brad, I don't know that was what happened-- it could just be a vignette of a way in which legally-acting people get guns pointed at him. Some minimum wage clerk tells me that I've got to disarm when I'm reasonably sure that he's just making up policy as he's going along, I'm going to tell him to pound sand; if he's legit, I'll hear from a managment type, soon, who will get to find out how unhappy I am.

I have to say that incidents like this are what make me root for people adopting concealed carry. Too many idjits get too worked up about the sight of a gun.

Yes, I recognize that boldly maintaining a human right is the way to do it. But too many folk over-react about guns, and then the cops over-react at the people's over-reaction.

To me, the "no weapons allowed" store policies should be like "no gum in school" policies that your teachers had: they're just there to make you keep it on the down-low.

Tam said...

Matt,

Of course, Eric Scott was carrying concealed. Just not concealed enough.


Trent,

And the police's lawyer will use the same argument your lawyer or mine would. Once the shooting starts, it's hard to stop on a dime. Just like there's reaction time involved in the draw, there's reaction time involved to stop shooting. People tend to turn away from guns. Bullets enter their back even before the shooter has processed what is happening.

I am not saying this to justify what I think was a bad shoot, but merely laying out facts as to why things happened the way they did. There's enough hinky stuff here without having to add a claim that they deliberately executed him while he was downed.

Will said...

Witness statements have him falling to his knees after the first shot, then pitching forward on his face, whereupon the officers fired more shots. Supposedly, the angle of the back hits support this, and there were no through-and-through wounds to muddy up the record. Time will tell.

Tam said...

Will,

See, this is why we need the video records. Even I have a hard time believing that all three officers present ceased fire, assessed, and then volleyed again into the back of a prone unarmed man. In broad daylight and in front of witnesses, no less. That's stretching credulity to the breaking point for me.

Brad K. said...

Matt G.

"To me, the "no weapons allowed" store policies should be like "no gum in school" policies that your teachers had: they're just there to make you keep it on the down-low. "

I am not sure what school you are going to; things have changed. I recall a couple of brothers in 7th grade that kept cutting themselves on their pocket knives. That was mid '60s. Last year my neighbor's kid got expelled from high school for three days for carrying a sharpie - and permanently for carrying a knife with a "spring assisted" blade - even though the criminal complaint identified the knife as *not* being "spring assisted". There is no "don't ask, don't tell" about guns in any school in America that receives US Department of Education "help", as far as I know.

Myself, when one of the (horrified) Democratic Senators propose banning weapons not in use by TSA from airports, I asked my Senator to propose an amendment: Require any business, establishment, or enterprise with a "no guns" policy or any restrictions on gun possession, to post a sign: Warning! Entering Disarmed Victim Zone! Mass Shootings are a risk in Disarmed Victim Zones!

If a store or airport hasn't considered this aspect of banning guns - they need to.

Steve C said...

Michael; Why Mr.Scott was using drugs is irrelevant to the situation. The fact, as testified in court, is that he was under the effects of of a very heavy dose of time of death. Waving the flag over how he was injured does not make him any more rational.

Hypnagogue; The quote about the drug dosage was taken from the doctor's testimony, hence the quote marks. If you don't like it, complain to him.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it was a righteous shoot. I'm just saying that the jury is still out.

Tam said...

Brad K.,

"There is no "don't ask, don't tell" about guns in any school..."

He said "no guM in school". :)

Brad K. said...

Tam, Matt G.

Ah. My bad. Sorry.

Hoosier Transplanted to NC said...

I have been watching this case since I saw an article about it on Pajamas Media. On blogger even went as far as to call this a hit on Erik Scott.

Some things I learned that haven't been included in the Inquest - Scott's second ex-wife was involved in a drug case with a Metro officer or sheriff's deputy. She plea- bargained.

Since 1976, the Coroner's Inquest in Vegas has cleared (meaning ruled a justifiable shooting) police officers 99.99% of the time.

Article I read today at the Las Vegas Sun, said a doctor testified that no one provided any assistance to Scott once he was down - no one checked a pulse or called for EMTs or anything. That is mind boggling.

Scott wasn't perfect but he surely did not deserve to die in this manner.