Reported by USAToday
DES MOINES, Iowa — An Ames, Iowa, police staffer twice suggested that an officer back off his pursuit of a 19-year-old man who allegedly stole a truck Monday from a work site where he and his father were working, according to dispatcher audio obtained by The Des Moines Register.
The officer, identified as Adam McPherson, continued his pursuit of Tyler Comstock onto the Iowa State University campus, according to the audio.
Minutes later, the truck Comstock was driving stopped, and officers commanded him to shut off the vehicle. Instead, Comstock revved the engine, and McPherson fired six rounds at the truck, police said.
Comstock died from two gunshot wounds, one each to his head and chest, according to the Iowa State Medical Examiner’s office.
McPherson, an eight-year veteran of the Ames department, was placed on leave while the shooting is investigated.
Ames police have not yet reviewed whether the chase followed department policy, Cmdr. Geoff Huff said. An investigation into the shooting, led by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, will be completed first, he said.
On the audio, an unidentified Ames police staffer can be heard saying that the driver’s identity is known.
A copy of the department’s chase policy, obtained by The Des Moines Register, requires ending pursuit “when the suspect’s identity has been established to the point that later apprehension can be accomplished.”
Huff said he could not comment on the dispatcher audio obtained by The Register. The audio is from Broadcastify, an Internet site that broadcasts dispatcher traffic.
“We have not released any audio or video about the incident,” Huff said. “We don’t know where they came from, so we wouldn’t comment on them.”
In the audio, an officer in pursuit of Comstock tells dispatch that the truck’s driver “just rammed me, he just rammed my vehicle.” A few seconds later the officer, who is not identified, says: “He blew the stoplight … he lost the trailer.”
At that point, the unidentified police staffer tells the officer: “If he’s that reckless coming into the college area, why don’t you back off.”
Moments later, the police staffer again suggests the officer cut off the pursuit. “We know the suspect. We can probably back it off.”
On the audio, there’s no indication that the officer responded to the suggestion.
On Monday, Huff had said police discussed ending their pursuit as it neared the ISU campus but decided to continue because of the driver’s dangerous behavior. The driver had shown a “disregard for all pedestrians in the area,” and police wanted to stop the truck before the driver hit anyone, Huff said.
Ames police Tuesday released a six-page policy on the pursuit of motor vehicles, created in 2004. According to the document, the policy requires:
– Officers and supervisors involved in a chase to “continually evaluate whether or not the seriousness of the offense justifies continuing the pursuit.”
– The pursuit be ended if the officers or supervisors believe the danger created by a pursuit outweighs the capture of the suspect.
– The pursuit be ended when the suspect’s identity is confirmed and the suspect could be apprehended at a later time.
William Moulder, a law enforcement consultant and retired Des Moines police chief, said it’s a standard rule in law enforcement not to shoot at a vehicle when the driver is inside, even if the vehicle is stopped.
“If the guy’s in a car, it can presumably drop into gear and go,” he said. “If you hit the driver, the car may continue moving and run into a pole or somebody, and you really increase the danger.”
In an officer-involved shooting, the officer will have to explain whether he believed someone’s life was in danger when he fired, Moulder said. Iowa law requires deadly force be used only to stop danger to another person.
When deciding whether to continue a chase, some departments have a policy that requires a police supervisor to monitor the chase, Moulder said. The supervisor then has the authority to call off the chase, if necessary.
Moulder cautioned that dispatch audio reveals only a portion of the events. A full investigation could reveal other details.
“It’s one of those things, you can’t really Monday-morning-quarterback it until you have all the facts,” Moulder said.
Reported by AZFamily.com
PHOENIX — The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of an inmate at the Towers Jail early Sunday morning.
A sheriff’s officer found Felix Martinez Torres, 47, sitting upright but unresponsive in his cell shortly after midnight, according to MCSO spokesman Deputy Joaquin Enriquez. The officer called for assistance from medical staff.
Nurses and detention officers from the Towers Jail Medical Clinic responded within two minutes, according to Enriquez. CPR was administered until members of the Phoenix Fire Department arrived and took over.
Torres was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital where he later was pronounced dead.
Detectives interviewed Torres’ cellmates and family members, who said that he had a history of medical issues.
Enriquez said no suspicious circumstances are suspected. The medical examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of death.
Torres was booked into the Fourth Avenue Jail on Sept. 30 on warrants stemming from driving on a suspended license and failure to appear in court.
Reported by HuffingtonPost
Police in Georgia say they had no choice but to shoot a man who was, according to his family, experiencing an adverse reaction to medication he took for his diabetes.
The family of Jack Lamar Roberson claims they called 911 on Friday for medical help and that the 43-year-old was not a threat at all. Police say Roberson was armed.
“They just came in and shot him,” Alcia Herron, Roberson’s fiance, told First Coast News. “He didn’t say nothing, the police didn’t say nothing, anything, it was like a silent movie. You couldn’t hear anything, all you could hear were the gun shots go off and I seen them going into his body and he just fell down.”
Waycross Police Chief Tony Tanner said Monday that authorities responded to a suicide threat and that Roberson approached them “aggressively armed with two items used as weapons,” according to the Florida Times-Union.
The chief refused to specify what those weapons were, according to the Associated Press.
Roberson’s mother insisted that her son was unarmed and that there were “no weapons in this house whatsoever.”
“I saw my son shot down,” she told the newspaper. “It was ‘Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom.”
The officers involved were placed on administrative leave as the Georgia Bureau of Investigation reviews the case.
Reported by Afro.com
An immigrant from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angel Chiwengo arrived in the U.S. with only a few dollars in her pocket last year.
Chiwengo, 46, who joined her family in Baltimore, held a job and was soon to be a grandmother, was one of three killed in a fiery crash Sept. 24 that ended a four-mile police “pursuit.”
Chiwengo, who was living with her brother in Reisterstown, was returning from her job as a housekeeper at a DoubleTree Hotel, and being driven home by a colleague, Andrew Baker, when a car carrying two men who police had been pursuing for four miles, slammed into the Jeep Baker was driving.
The resulting collision triggered a fire that killed the Chiwengo and the two men police were following and tied up the intersection of York Road and Northern Parkway for ten hours.
Baltimore police officials declined to say whether the pursuit was a chase in violation of police policy prohibiting all but authorized chases under the directive of a police commander. They also declined to say whether the pursuing car was a marked or unmarked police vehicle.
“We didn’t know anything,” Chiwengo’s brother-in-law, Nathan Franklin told the AFRO. “We had been calling her since 6 a.m. that morning because her daughter went into labor.”
Franklin said after driving to Chiwengo’s house, and not getting an answer at the door, he and his wife Pascaline began to worry.
“For some reason the crashed that happened earlier that morning popped in my head,” Franklin said. After he told his wife about the story, she instantly knew it was her sister.
“She became hysterical and was crying,” Franklin said of his wife.
According to police, officers were following the Honda occupied by the two men, later identified as Devell Johns, 36 and Terrell Young, 30, after they observed what officers described as “suspicious activity.”
Police said the occupants apparently disregarded police attempts to stop the car.
The pursuit ended four miles later.
“It was a very horrific scene, it was a very horrific crash,” Commissioner Anthony Batts said at a news conference. “Any loss of humanity in the city is tragic for us.”
Johns, Young and Chiwengo were pronounced dead at the scene. Baker is in critical condition at Johns Hopkins Bayview.
Batts said, “My heart is broken and it’s an impact to the organization.”
Now Franklin and Pascaline, want answers.
“She was a big part of me, we did everything together,” Pascaline told the AFRO. “That was my best friend.”
The last time they spoke with Chiwengo on Sept. 23. “We talked about normal everyday issues,” Franklin said. “We were just talking about life.”
“She was just a great person with a lot of life,” he said. “She was a mother, a sister, a friend and a grandmother—who wasn’t able to see her first granddaughter.” Her daughter delivered a girl several hours after the crash.
Just 20 days shy of qualifying for life insurance offered through her job, Chiwengo’s family seeks justice for their loss and seeks help for paying for funeral arrangements.
“No one has reached out to us,” Franklin said.
“Not the mayor, or councilman in my district has yet to contact us,” he said.
Franklin told the AFRO Commissioner Batts was scheduled to meet with he and his family on Sept. 30, however he never showed up.
“It was a no call no show,” Franklin said. “I called the office later on and I was told the Commissioner didn’t come due to scheduling mishap.”
“We want to know everything that happened. We want to see what is going on now,” he said. “It’s not fair to us, we want the truth.”
Pascaline said her sister came to the U.S. to be with her family and start a business. “She travelled the world, visiting China and Dubai, and she just wanted to be with family.”
“Now she is gone and we don’t know what happened.”
Franklin said the Bea Gaddy Foundation, Huber Memorial Church and Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens all stepped in and helped. He said Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens donated a plot, the opening and closing fees, the weekend facility charges fees and the vault holding the casket.
“It has been limitless to the amount of help they have provided,” Franklin said.
Chiwengo was a member of Christian Revival Church in Westminster. She was a mother of three, two daughters and one son.
The viewing will be held on Oct. 4 at Mitchell-Wiedefeld Funeral Home and the funeral will be held on Oct. 5 at NorthSide Baptist Church.
The family is in the “process of seeking legal advice.”
Reported by CNN
(CNN) – Police in North Carolina shot and killed a man running toward them Saturday morning — but he may have just been looking for help after a car wreck.
Officers responded to a “breaking and entering” 911 call at a home in Charlotte.
The homeowner told dispatchers that a man had been knocking on her door repeatedly.
Police say that when they got to the scene, a man matching the caller’s description ran toward them.
One of the officers fired his stun gun, but it was “unsuccessful.” Another officer then opened fire, police said.
Jonathan Ferrell died at the scene. He was shot several times.
He was unarmed.
Police now believe Ferrell was seeking assistance after crashing his car.
Ferrell was 24 and a former football player at Florida A&M University.
Police found a wrecked car nearby, indicating that he may have been trying to get help.
“It was a pretty serious accident,” Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe told CNN affiliate WSOC.
The crash was so severe that authorities now believe Ferrell had to climb out of the back window, affiliate WBTV reported.
He ran to the closest house for help.
The woman inside thought it was her husband.
“To her surprise, it was an individual that she did not know or recognize,” Monroe told WBTV. “She immediately closed the door, hit her panic alarm, called 911.”
The man stood outside and “continued to attempt to gain the attention of the homeowner,” a police statement said.
Police have charged Officer Randall Kerrick with voluntary manslaughter — a felony. He turned himself in Saturday afternoon and was released Sunday on $50,000 bond.
Police used “charged” and “ran” and “advanced” in their description of what Ferrell did.
There were three officers at the scene, but Kerrick was the only one to use a gun.
He fired several times, police said.
“The evidence revealed that Mr. Ferrell did advance on Officer Kerrick and the investigation showed that the subsequent shooting of Mr. Ferrell was excessive,” police said in another statement issued late Saturday night. “Our investigation has shown that Officer Kerrick did not have a lawful right to discharge his weapon during this encounter. ”
All three officers have been placed on paid leave.
A charge of voluntary manslaughter means the person used excessive force in self-defense, or carried out the act without intent to kill.
Police called the incident “unfortunate.”
“It has devastated a family as well as caused a great deal of sadness and anxiety in our organization,” a statement said.
Kerrick’s first court appearance is scheduled for Monday at 1:30 p.m., the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office said.
“In every case, the District Attorney’s Office evaluates the evidence available and works to achieve a fair and just outcome,” the office said in a statement.
Friends expressed grief on social media, calling Ferrell a “brother” and demanding “justice.”
He had at least one brother, Willie, who played with him at Florida A&M.
The university said it was “deeply saddened” at the loss. In a statement, Michael Smith, interim athletic director, said Ferrell played safety and was part of the 2010 championship team. “Our hearts and prayers go out to his family during their time of bereavement,” Smith said.
Ferrell was engaged.
“We loved him. Our family loved him,” his fiancee’s mother told WSOC.
He would have turned 25 next month.
Reported by ireport.cnn.com
On September 5, 2013, Jessica Spinney drove home from work without any indication that her life was about to be flipped upside down. When she pulled up to her home in Lynn, Massachusetts she encountered many flashing sirens on police cars and yards of yellow caution tape surrounding her home. The only piece of information Jessica knew was that her fiancé, an Iraqi war veteran, and their 5-year-old son were in the house that was surrounded by this chaos.
When Jessica ran frantically towards her home, she prayed that her family was safe and unharmed. However, on September 5, 2013, Jessica’s fiancé Denis Reynoso was pronounced dead and their 5-year-old child was left covered in his own father’s blood.
The first question that would come into anyone’s mind when someone’s life is taken away is “why did this happen?”. Even though a month has passed this question still remains unanswered. No one is giving answers as Jessica is left to raise two children alone as a single mother. Jessica Spinney has been forced into being a single mother without a choice, while what is left of this family has to deal with the trauma of this tragedy.
Denis Reynoso was murdered by a public figure that everybody in Lynn, Massachusetts is supposed to trust. The Lynn Massachusetts Police Department holds Reynoso’s blood on their hands.
On September 5th Lynn police officers entered Reynoso’s home without a warrant after supposedly receiving a noise disturbance complaint call. When they got inside, Reynoso’s 5-year-old son witnessed his father being gunned down by men everybody was taught to trust. After Reynoso was shot 3 times, the policeman tore up his home for drugs and weapons. They found nothing.
The Lynn police have denied accusations of any unlawful events occuring inside Spinney and Reynoso’s home. They claim that they entered the home in response to the noise complaint. But the question on everybody’s mind is how this noise complaint left a war veteran to be murdered in front of his 5-year-old son?
While Lynn Police claim that Reynoso had grabbed an officers gun, resulting in them gunning him down, others question if a trained war veteran would ever grab a police officer’s gun in the first place. If the police officers came in to his home in response to a noise complaint, why would Reynoso be standing close enough to an officer to want to steal his weapon?
Jessica Spinney lives with the torment of having to bury her fiancé on the day they were to be wed. Her children have no father and cannot understand why their dad’s life was taken away when he had spent years serving the United States of America.
This story boils down to corruption in the Lynn Police Department. A war veteran has died with no logical explanation. Children are left without a father and a mother is left without a husband. Questions are unanswered as Lynn Police try to keep the story as quiet as possible.
As Jessica has many supporters who are trying to get answers, the Lynn Police Department is trying to keep this story a secret. Their story is vague and confusing, and they do not give logical answers to Jessica or her family.The world needs to hear about this. Jessica Spinney and her children should not have been left without Denis Reynoso.
He served his duty to America and now it is time to give back to Reynoso. We need justice for Denis and we need answers as to why 3 police officers have gunned down Reynoso in his own home as the result of a noise complaint. Please help us spread this story to America. This war hero needs justice…
Reported by Knoxnews.com
LOUISVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The owner of an East Tennessee rental property that had been the scene of thefts and break-ins has been fatally wounded by a sheriff’s deputy conducting a property check.
The Blount County sheriff’s office said 68-year-old Henry C. Taylor was shot Wednesday night when 22-year-old Deputy Ernest Ti Ragland went to the property in Louisville (LOO’-ihs-vill) and found a broken garage window. A news release Thursday said Ragland saw a man inside with a handgun. He said he gave verbal commands and fired multiple shots, striking Taylor and killing him.
The sheriff’s office had responded to the property twice this week, including earlier Wednesday. Ragland took that report and told Taylor’s wife he would check the property throughout the night.
Sheriff James Lee Berrong called the incident “tragic.”
Ragland, who has been employed with the sheriff’s office since December, is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of investigations.
Reported by myfox9.com
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -
A 101-year-old St. Paul woman has died after being hit by a St. Paul police squad car on Aug. 16.
Police identified the woman as Roza Sakhina on Thursday.
Friends of Sakhina told FOX 9 News the Russian immigrant took a daily walk and was crossing the street to return to her apartment when a police SUV backed into her.
Sakhina suffered a head injury in the crash that led to her death at Regions Hospital on Wednesday.
The driver’s identity has not been released.
Several times a week, a group of Russian immigrants gathers on the patio of the high-rise where they live to chat about the news of the day. On Thursday, they were sharing stories about a good friend and neighbor who is no longer with them.
Friends say even though Sakhina was 101, she was still active and loved to walk around her neighborhood, using a walker the last few years.
“She wanted to be independent, wanted to do everything herself,” Sava Balaym told FOX 9 News. “She was a very balanced, very quiet person.”
Charlene Jerue lived on the same floor as Sahkina for 15 years.
“You should have seen her little eyes. She would put her head on my shoulder and say, ‘I just love you,’ and I’d say, ‘I just love you too,’” Jerue recalled. ” I felt like it was my grandma.”
Jerue said Sahkina often walked for hours and had just celebrated her 101st birthday in June. She was still living on her own after coming to the U.S. from Russia in the early 90s.
Friends tell FOX 9 News it’s a shame that a woman who survived so much — including the siege on Leningrad in WWII — would lose her life doing something so mundane just a few feet from her home.
Reported by KTLA
SANTA ANA, Calif. (KTLA) — The Santa Ana Police Department revealed Wednesday that a man shot and killed by an officer was unarmed at the time of the shooting.
Police responded to a disturbance call in the parking lot of a McDonald’s restaurant near Harbor Boulevard and McFadden Avenue around 3 p.m on Tuesday.
As police approached the man, identified as Hans Arellano, there was a short foot chase and an altercation, according to Corp. Anthony Bertagna.
Hans Arellano was unarmed when a Santa Ana police officer shot him.Arellano, 22, was shot in front of a juice shop at 622 S. Harbor Blvd. He was declared dead at the scene.
Arellano was homeless and a father of two children, according to Celine Lopez, who said she was romantically involved with Arellano.
The officer who fired the fatal shot was a 13-year veteran of the force, according to Chief Carlos Rojas of the Santa Ana Police Department.
Reported by Austin Chronicle
At a press conference Monday afternoon, Austin Police Assistant Chief Brian Manley acknowledged that the fatal shooting Friday of Larry Eugene Jackson Jr. by an APD detective was more complicated than initially described, and that it involved not simply a “foot chase,” but a search in a private car commandeered by the detective.
Manley said police are “confident” that Jackson – shot and killed by APD Detective Charles Kleinert on Friday afternoon – had come to the Benchmark Bank where the detective was investigating an earlier (unrelated) robbery to “commit a fraud,” and not to conduct any legitimate business.
Jackson reportedly misidentified himself when he was questioned by the bank manager that afternoon, outside the bank on West 35th Street. Jackson had previously tried to enter the bank, police said, but the door was locked because of the ongoing robbery investigation. Jackson left briefly, police said, then returned and tried again to enter the bank before he was confronted by the manager; the manager then told Kleinert, who was inside the bank conducting a follow-up investigation of the morning robbery, about the exchange. Kleinert went outside to talk with Jackson and after a two- or three-minute conversation – captured by surveillance cameras – Jackson fled, police said.
Police said that Kleinert, dressed in plain clothes and displaying his APD credentials on his shirt collar, took off on foot after Jackson – why he decided to pursue him immediately remains unclear. (With video of Jackson and info about his “fictitious” ID, it would seem Jackson could be found later.) Manley said that Kleinert’s reasons for taking immediate action would be explored during the department’s criminal and administrative inquiries into the shooting. The department will “have a better idea [of] what his intentions were” and “what was his mindset” as the investigation proceeds, Manley said. And although it’s not illegal to do so, it’s “really not a good idea to run from police,” he said. Manley also provided a bit more information about that pursuit – including that although Kleinert did initially follow Jackson on foot, he later stopped a “motorist and employ[ed] their aid,” which is legal under state law.
According to Manley, Kleinert followed Jackson under the bridge near the Shoal Creek Trail and there a scuffle ensued; Jackson was shot once, in the back of the neck. He died just before 4:30pm, police said. Manley said police are still trying to determine what happened during the altercation and whether Kleinert’s gun was fired “intentionally or accidentally.”
More questions will certainly be raised about Kleinert’s one-man pursuit of Jackson. According to APD policy, mere “flight by a subject who is not suspected of criminal activity shall not serve as the sole justification for engaging in a foot pursuit without the development of reasonable suspicion regarding the individual’s involvement in criminal activity,” reads APD’s policy on foot pursuit. Deciding to “initiate or continue” a foot chase is a “decision that an officer must make quickly and under unpredictable and dynamic circumstances,” the policy continues. Foot chases place the officer and public “at significant risk,” and therefore, no officer “shall be criticized or disciplined” for deciding not to give chase, it reads. “Surveillance” – presumably including the video surveillance available outside the bank (and the same cameras that captured the movements of an alleged witness to the shooting) – and “containment” are the safest ways to track a fleeing suspect, reads the policy. Officers should “consider alternatives to engaging in or continuing a foot pursuit” under a number of specific circumstances, including when “the officer is acting alone” or when the fleeing person enters a “wooded or otherwise isolated area and there are insufficient officers to provide backup and containment.”
Manley declined to release any additional information about why police believe Jackson was there to defraud the bank – or how that would be done, especially with the bank closed – or to discuss any additional details about the confrontation that led to the shooting, saying there were additional “critical” witnesses yet to be interviewed. As of Tuesday, police said Kleinert had yet to give his formal statement about the incident to internal affairs investigators.
Manley said APD extends its condolences to Jackson’s family, though Jackson’s sister, LaKiza Sibley, wrote in an email to the Chronicle that police have not done so personally, and merely provided notification on Saturday evening, at 5:45pm, that Jackson was dead, the victim of a police shooting. (Manley is serving as acting police chief while Chief Art Acevedo is with his mother, who is in hospice care in California.) Jackson’s is the third fatality out of six officer-involved shootings this year.
Jim Harrington, director of the Texas Civil Rights Project, says he is concerned that Austin police are overreacting and improperly using force when it is unnecessary. “These shootings seem to indicate that the police are not being properly trained and supervised and are overreacting in situations, to the peril of the citizens,” he said in a press release. “We cannot tolerate this constant use of deadly force. People should not have to fear for their lives when they are in a parking lot, stopped for a traffic offense, or go to the bank.” Harrington said TCRP intends to take the matter up with the U.S. Department of Justice.
Reported by Politix
A 95-year-old World War II veteran was killed by police when he refused medical treatment, and his family wants to know why.
John Wrana needed a walker to get around, according to the Chicago Tribune. When he resisted medical treatment at his retirement home in Park Forest, IL, staff called an ambulance and they brought police with them.
Police entered the room carrying riot shields. First they tased him, then they shot him in the stomach with a 12-gauge shotgun loaded with beanbag ammunition.
Wrana bled to death internally, according to the Cook County medical examiner, who ruled the death a homicide, according to the Southtown Star. Illinois State Police are investigating the incident.
The police version of events differs from that provided by family’s attorney Nicholas Grapsas. Police claim Wrana threatened staff with a metal shoehorn, a metal cane, and a 12-inch kitchen knife. But the assisted living home’s staff later told Grapsas that there was no such knife in Wrana’s room, according to the Tribune. They also said that Wrana was sitting in his chair and posed no imminent threat to staff.
Wrana’s stepdaughter Sharon Mangerson told the Tribune that she doesn’t believe her stepfather would have been a danger to anyone.
A senior police official gave the Tribune a different perspective: “We don’t know what information they had at that time. If you don’t have all of the facts, it’s hard to judge someone…Anyone can be dangerous.”
Reported by foxbaltimore.com
It’s been nearly three months since Tyrone West died in police custody, but his family is refusing to be silenced. The family of West protested in front of City Hall on Wednesday to get answers – whether it is an autopsy report or communication from police. West died in police custody on July 18 during a traffic stop. Police say West resisted and fought officers during the stop, but the family says it was police brutality. West’s family says police kicked and pepper sprayed him and at one point, 10 officers were trying to detain him. The state medical examiner’s office say the autopsy report is still pending. While the physical examination takes only a few hours, the toxicology reports typically take 60 to 90 days. They say anytime there’s an unexpected dead and it’s a young person in good health, every avenue needs to be explored. West’s family say they will protest every Wednesday until the silence is broken.
Reported by World Socialist Web Site
On July 10, Jordan Begley, a 23-year-old factory worker, died after being hit with a Taser gun fired by police at his home in Gorton, a district of Manchester, England.
Reports said that he died shortly after a 50,000 volt charge Taser gun was fired at him inside his home at 8 p.m.
The circumstances around his death are still unknown, with Greater Manchester Police (GMP) only announcing they responded to an emergency 999 call stating “there was a man with a knife” at a residency in Beard Road in Gorton. GMP’s statement continued, “Officers were dispatched immediately and arrived in eight minutes. On arrival a Taser was discharged to detain a 23-year-old man.” Regarding Begley’s death, the police have refused to give any details, stating only that at “some point” after he was Tasered, “he suffered a medical episode”.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, “up to a dozen officers—some of them armed”, turned up at Begley’s house prior to the shooting.
Anger over Begley’s death quickly mounted, with his mother Dorothy telling friends, “They’ve killed my son, they’ve killed my son.”
Adam McAllister, 22 who had been a close friend of Begley for eight years, said, “There was a row in the house, someone called the police and suddenly eight police officers bashed the door in and Tasered him in the front room. His mum was distraught and angry”.
He told the Daily Mail, “It was just a domestic and then the police arrived. There was some discussion outside before Jordan went into the house. These officers followed him into the house, turfed his mother out and then they Tasered him and now he’s dead. I feel like my friend has been murdered. Police are saying he had a knife and was dangerous but no one saw him with a knife.”
He told another newspaper, “He has black eyes and strangulation marks around his neck. A Taser would only leave a small mark.”
Lee Wilkie, 25, a neighbour told the local newspaper, “He [Begley] was a good lad, a quiet lad, and he was very well-liked. People around here are just in total shock and really angry as well, why did they have to Taser him?”
The incident occurred just after Begley had finished a work shift at the Sivori’s local ice cream firm, in nearby Levenshulme, where he had been employed for at least three years. According to one media report Begley became involved in an argument with a neighbour and his mother called the police.
At the time of the incident Begley’s employer, Peter Sivori, had been driving past when he saw Begley outside the house with the police. Sivori said he was 30 or 40 yards from the incident. “He waved at me and tried to explain to the police that I was his employer, so a policeman came over and asked: ‘Is that true?’” he said. “The lad was pointing to me. He seemed to be in good condition then.”
Sivori said police told him they had received a complaint and told him to move on. “I thought they were quite aggressive. All I can say is that I think if I’d have been able to speak to him, I’d have calmed him down. I would have tried to help the lad.”
Begley had recently been diagnosed with an underlying heart condition.
On July 12, it was reported that an initial post-mortem on Begley, by a home office pathologist, proved inconclusive as to cause of death. The Independent Police Complaints Commission tasked with investigating Begley’s death said that further tests will be carried out.
His death brings the total number of people who have died in England and Wales after being shot by a Taser since 2006 to 10. Begley is the third person from Greater Manchester to have died in such circumstances.
The use of Tasers is on the increase in the UK, with an estimated three people a day being shot by police. A Freedom of Information request found that in 2011, UK police deployed Tasers 4,461 times compared with 3,219 times in 2010, an increase of almost 40 percent. They were fired into people 1,081 times, an average of almost three occasions every day, compared with 744 times in 2010. Greater Manchester Police fired Tasers the most in 2011, on 195 occasions, with London’s Metropolitan Police firing them 101 times.
In April this year, police were called to an incident in Plymouth, England in which a 32-year-old man, Andrew Pimlott, had doused himself with petrol and was reportedly threatening to kill himself. He was subsequently shot with a Taser, causing him to burst into flames. He died five days later, suffering from serious burns. At the time, the police reported from the hospital saying that he had non-life threatening injuries. Neighbours had described hearing an explosion and seeing Pimlott “fully on fire”.
Recent figures show that Tasers are also being used by police on teenagers as young as 12. Figures obtained by OpenWorld News through Freedom of Information requests to police forces across the UK, show that over just the last three years, Tasers were drawn at least 194 times against children 16 and under, with at least 24 were actually shot by the Taser. OpenWorld Newsfound that a 12-year-old girl was shot with a full 50,000-volt charge in St Helens by Merseyside Police after she was said to have obtained two knives and threatening to harm herself. A Taser was also aimed at a 13-year-old girl who was suffering from a mental health imbalance.
There are 13,794 police officers in England and Wales who are trained to use Tasers. Following the killing of the soldier Lee Rigby earlier this year, the Police Federation lobbied the government for the numbers of Tasers in use on the streets to be trebled.
Taser guns are misrepresented by authorities internationally as a “non-lethal” weapon, only used to subdue people. However there are growing criticisms of its supposed safety. Amnesty International has compiled figures that indicate that in the US, 500 hundred people have died since 2001 after a Taser has been used.
Taser International, the company that manufacture’s Tasers, have consistently denied that the weapon is unsafe and have fought back in court when people have questioned their safety. They often fall back on a victim’s medical condition, citing a weak heart or even possible drug abuse.
Since 2006, there has been mounting evidence that challenges the safety of the Taser from a number of peer reviewed studies. Dr Douglas Zipes, one of the world’s leading cardiac electrophysiologists, published in the journal of the American Heart Association in 2012, the first peer reviewed study of Tasers. This demonstrated that the darts used to attach the wires connecting the Taser to the human body can cause sudden death.
A recent report published in Frontiers in Physiology, a scientific journal in Switzerland—where there have been more than 100 related deaths in recent years—has suggested that the use of the Taser can also stop breathing.
Global experience testifies that these deadly weapons are now being used to force people to obey the police, simply by threatening their use, and are being used routinely on a daily basis in the UK and throughout the world. By May last year, it was estimated that Tasers had been used on three million occasions by police forces globally.
Reported by ABC
LITTLEROCK, Calif. (KABC) – The widow of an elderly man shot to death by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies in the Antelope Valley is filing a lawsuit.
Tonya Pate, 48, is seeking $50 million in damages from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department after detectives raided her Littlerock home during the morning of June 27 and fatally shot her 80-year-old husband, Eugene Mallory.
“I am here today to tell you how much I love and miss Gene every day. He was a hardworking, gentle, loving, kind man. He never harmed anybody,” said Pate.
Her lawyers filed a wrongful death claim alleging that narcotic detectives suspected methamphetamine was being cooked on the property, and, armed with a search warrant, busted into the retired Lockheed engineer’s home unannounced and shot him dead in his bed. No meth was found.
“All we know is we have a dead innocent man — a law-abiding, high security clearance gentleman, electrical engineer, fixture in the community dead, leaving a grieving widow…no evidence of any meth ever on that property,” said attorney Mark Algorri.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials say while detectives did not find meth on the 80-year-old man’s property, they did find other drugs and two weapons. They claim the man pointed one of the weapons at detectives, forcing them to shoot him.
“The truth of the matter is it was a narcotics search warrant. And what did they find on the premises? They found marijuana and they found a full grow operation that was producing the marijuana on site,” said Steve Whitmore with the sheriff’s department. “The gentleman pointed a semiautomatic weapon at our deputies, and deputies fearing for their safety as well as others, instigated deadly force.”
Pate says her 22-year-old son from another relationship lives in a trailer on the couple’s property and uses medical marijuana for a health issue. Pate’s lawyer said only a small amount of medical marijuana was found on the property.
The sheriff’s department says an investigation into the shooting continues.
Reported by NBCDFW.com
Police were “trigger happy” when at least one officer shot and killed a 72-year-old homeowner while responding to a burglar alarm across the street, the man’s wife said Tuesday.
Kathy Waller said she and her husband, Jerry, noticed bright lights from outside their bedroom window at about 1 a.m. Tuesday.
He grabbed a .38-caliber pistol and went outside to see what was going on.
“He probably thought it was a group of yuckos out there or something messing around,” she said.
It was police responding to a burglar alarm, which wasn’t at their house, but across the street.
“I’m just curious as hell how it happened,” she said. “I heard he was shot six times in the chest by a Glock, I guess, or whatever the police use. I’m disgusted.”
Police offered few details about the shooting but promised a thorough investigation.
Fort Worth police spokeswoman Cpl. Tracey Knight said two officers — each with less than a year on the force — responded to a burglar alarm call and feared for their lives when they encountered the armed homeowner.
Knight would not say whether Jerry Waller raised his weapon or refused an order to drop it or if one or both of the officers opened fire. She also would not name the officers involved but said they were on routine leave pending the investigation.
“This is a tragedy for everybody,” Knight said. “A family lost a loved one, and you can never replace that loved one, and we know that. It is a horrible tragedy. And an officer went through an incident that no officer ever wants to go through.”
Kathy Waller said she would like more answers from police.
“Married 46 years and somebody gets a little trigger happy and away they go, you know,” she said.
It was unclear why the officers were behind the Waller home because the call was at a neighbor’s directly across the street.
Kathy Waller said officers told her they thought the alarm call came from her residence.
Still in her bedroom, she heard yelling at about the same time she heard gunshots, she said.
Her husband, who had apparently just opened the garage door, was shot and killed by at least one officer.
“It happened in less than five minutes,” she said.
She ran downstairs and saw her husband lying at the edge of their garage and driveway.
“I looked down and saw he was gone,” she said.
At first, she said she thought her husband had been killed by a burglar.
Paramedics took Kathy Waller to the hospital because her blood pressure was high.
At the hospital, a detective told her what had happened, she said.
“I have to tell you the truth,” she quoted the detective as saying. “It was one of our officers.”
Kathy Waller said she responded, “I appreciate you telling me but I’m very angry. He’s a very good person.”
She and her husband had been married for 46 years. He operated a tire recycling business in Seagoville, she said.
The couple has three children and four grandchildren.
“He would give you the shirt off his back, and he was loving, and he was a wonderful husband,” Kathy Waller said. “I think the police made a terrible mistake.”
Reported by MyFox8
NEW YORK (CNN) — A Hofstra University student who died during a confrontation between a home invasion suspect and authorities was killed by police gunfire, a Nassau County, New York, police spokeswoman said Saturday.
Police fired eight shots at the intruder, who authorities say was holding a gun to the head of Andrea Rebello, 21, during a home invasion robbery Friday at an off-campus house in Uniondale.
One of the shots hit Rebello in the head, killing her, police spokeswoman Maureen Roach said.
Also killed was the intruder, whom authorities identified as Dalton Smith, 30, of Hempstead. He was struck seven times.
Authorities say Smith was wearing a mask. He invaded the home Rebello shared with her twin sister and two others during the predawn hours on Friday.
At some point, a female roommate of the twins was able to leave the home and call police, a police spokesman told CNN on Friday.
When a police officer arrived, Smith was holding a gun to Rebello’s head, Roach said.
He told the officer he was going to kill Rebello, and then turned the handgun toward the officer, she said.
The officer, fearing for his life, drew his gun and fired, Roach said.
Authorities have not identified the officer.
At the time of the shooting, Smith was wanted for jumping parole, police said.
He was on parole for first-degree robbery and had an “extensive” arrest history that includes robbery, assault, and promoting prison contraband, said police in Nassau County.
A warrant for his arrest was issued April 25 for allegedly absconding from parole, police said
Rebello’s high school principal, Carol Conklin-Spillane, said the twins’ home community in Westchester, New York, was heartbroken.
She described Rebello as a fun-loving, personable and self-aware young woman.
Her parents, Fernando and Nella Rebello, are closely tied to the Portuguese community, and always worked to create opportunities for their children, Conklin-Spillane said.
Rebello, a junior, was majoring in public relations.
Hofstra University said it is offering counseling to students.
“Our hearts and minds and our thoughts and prayers are with her family, her friends and her classmates,” the university said in a statement.
A funeral mass is planned for Wednesday.
Reported by Twincities.com
A memorial with smiling photos, red and white roses and messages scribbled in English and Spanish rested against a budding tree Sunday, May 12, on the Minneapolis corner where Ivan Romero was killed last week.
The 23-year-old Minneapolis man’s Yamaha motorcycle collided Friday with a Minneapolis police squad car en route to an incident about 10 blocks west in which two officers were shot and a suspect killed.
On Sunday, about 40 people gathered in the sun and about 25 motorcycles were lined in the shade at the corner of Blaisdell Avenue South and West 26th Street. Solemn faces were shown by women grasping children and men in leather motorcycle jackets.
Romero’s uncle Olegario Romero Flores said the family is seeking answers from police about what led to his nephew’s death.
“We are here because we want justice,” Flores said through translation from Romero’s friend Jesus Ramon.
Minneapolis police chief Janee Harteau said Saturday that the department is sharing information as quickly as possible.
“I ask for the public’s patience in allowing us the necessary time to thoroughly review and investigate,” Harteau said in a statement. “We owe it to everyone involved and the general public to be thorough and disclose the facts as we get them, and not simply respond to speculation.”
Minneapolis police said the squad car was traveling “well below the posted speed limit as it approached the intersection at the time of impact.” Police said Romero’s motorcycle collided with the rear passenger side of the squad car, which had its red lights and siren activated.
When asked to provide a timeline of the incident on Bryant Avenue and the motorcycle accident later, police spokeswoman Cyndi Barrington declined, citing the investigation.
“There are no benefits to anyone, specifically all those involved and impacted, to give information without supporting facts and evidence,” she said.
Earlier Sunday, Ramon and other friends rode to Stillwater to honor Romero and said his biker buddies will work to raise money for his family.
“We want to help his family because we know they need it,” Ramon said.
Romero’s passenger was his live-in girlfriend, Joselyn Torrejon, 20. She was in satisfactory condition Saturday at Hennepin County Medical Center, police said. The driver of the squad car was uninjured, police said.
Romero moved to Minnesota from Morales, Mexico, about eight years ago, family and friends said Sunday. He worked at the Franklin Street Bakery for the past two years, they said.
Romero loved the freedom of going on three- or four-hour rides on his motorcycle, Ramon said.
Also Sunday, the Hennepin County medical examiner officially released the identity of the burglary suspect killed in a struggle with two police officers in the 2700 block of Bryant Avenue South.
Terrance Terrell Franklin, 22, died of gunshot wounds, according to the medical examiner.
Two officers, Michael Meath and Ricardo Muro, shot during a struggle with Franklin were in satisfactory condition Saturday, Minneapolis police said.
At some point during the struggle, which took place in the basement of a home, Franklin tried to gain control of an officer’s firearm, an MP5 submachine gun, police said.
It has not been determined who fired the gun or how many times it was fired, police said.
Reported by WPTV.com
(CNN) — The family of a Florida man has released video of his death, hoping to get criminal charges filed against the police officer who ran him over.
On May 8, Marlon Brown was being chased by DeLand police because they allegedly saw that he was not wearing a seatbelt. At a dead-end road, Brown stopped his car and started running.
One of the police cars hit and ran him over, its dashcam video recording the entire incident.
Last week, a grand jury decided not to indict officer James Harris on a criminal charge of vehicular manslaughter. That’s when the family decided to go public, and release the video.
“We knew it wasn’t going to be an easy video to watch,” says Krystal Brown the ex-wife and mother of Brown’s children, “but in order to obtain justice, and that’s what we’re looking for, we knew it was something that we had to do.”
Justice, the family says, would be criminal charges against Harris for killing Marlon Brown. Harris, who has been fired as a result of the incident, could not be reached for comment.
The dashcam video shows Harris’ police car following two other police cars as they drive down a residential street into a grass lot. The two other vehicles stop but the one with the camera continues to chase after Brown.
As the police car approaches, Brown stumbles and falls. While on the ground, Brown turns and faces the chasing vehicle and within seconds, his face disappears under the hood of Harris’ police car. A thud is heard and the car stops.
“I think he’s underneath the (expletive) car,” a voice off camera can be heard saying.
The city of DeLand has already paid the family $550,000 in a settlement but the city did not admit any wrongdoing, according to Krystal Brown. The family decided to go public with their story and the video in hopes of triggering public outrage that would result in pressure for officials to file criminal charges for Brown’s death.
“We’re just asking for justice, nothing extra,” Krystal Brown said, “nothing no one else would want for their family member. ”
State Attorney for Florida’s 7th judicial district R.J. Larizza decided to present the evidence to the grand jury instead of filing charges, which he could have done if he felt a crime had been committed.
Larizza stood by his decision at a news conference last week, following the grand jury’s decision not to return charges after two days of testimony.
“This has been a controversial situation and this has been a case that has been a challenge since the beginning,” Larizza said at the news conference.
“I wanted the most possible folks involved, people that were in the community, people that live here, people that care about this community to make the decision,” said Larizza, adding, “and I was confident and comfortable that they would do so.”
Krystal Brown said the family was “disappointed” and “felt let down by the criminal justice department” even before seeing the video, adding that they believe a vehicular manslaughter charge was appropriate.
“Just knowing what the charge entails, it doesn’t have to show intent — it only has to show reckless driving,” she said.
The video alone prompted DeLand Police Chief William Ridgway to fire Harris.
“The actions taken by Officer Harris that night are not consistent with our department’s training, directives, or accepted practices or techniques,” Ridgway told CNN, in a prepared statement.
DeLand police are conducting an internal review of the incident. This week, law enforcement officials have been going over more than 2,000 documents to determine whether appropriate tactics were used, whether police policies were followed and if those policies reflect the best way to deal with similar situations.
Brown’s family believes the video speaks for itself.
“We would have had no problem getting a call that morning saying, ‘OK Marlon ran from the police and we had to tase him’ or ‘the dogs bit him’ or something more along the lines of not using excessive force,” says Krystal Brown. “But to get the call that he has been ran down with a vehicle for running from the police? That doesn’t fit.”
Reported by WUSA 9
WASHINGTON (WUSA9) – A man is dead after an early morning officer-involved shooting in Southeast and his family has many questions they want answered about the details on Tuesday.
Officials say Cleman Sweptson was shot by a police officer shortly after 3 Tuesday morning in the 2500 block of Sheridan Road near Stanton Road after getting on his bike to leave his mother’s apartment building. According to police on Tuesday morning, officers in the area of Stanton Road and Sheridan Road noticed a man acting erratically, possibly high on drugs, in the street. They instructed him to get out of the street and move to the sidewalk, according to police. Once the man got to the sidewalk, police say he pulled out what appeared to be a gun, causing an officer to fire. An officer fired two shots that struck Sweptson in the upper body. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The officer was not injured.
His family says Sweptson does not criminal record, and he was not carrying a weapon at the time of the shooting. Police say, however, he was armed and fired at an officer. They also say a gun was recovered from the scene.
According to his family, Cleman Sweptson was sitting on the stoop of his mother’s apartment building when police came and told him to move along. The family says he got on his bike to leave, and the next thing they heard were gunshots. His mother says police may have mistaken a small radio she gave him for a gun.
She also said that he does not own any weapons. “He was not that kind of kid,” said Carolyn Bell.
Police later confirmed on Tuesday that Sweptson was riding a bike, but family members and police disagree about what happened after he turned the corner on his bike.
Ward 8 ANC Commissioner Natalie Williams, who was with the family on Tuesday after the shooting, also had questions about what happened. “My first question is, why was he asked to move? Then what happened from here to less than a block away for him to be shot?”
Williams says she has told the family to wait to see what the surveillance cameras in the area will tell them.
Bell says Sweptson was sitting on her porch playing music and was not high or acting strangely before the shooting.
Sweptson’s niece questioned why the crime scene was cleared so quickly and why an ambulance did not show up.
Around 2 p.m. Tuesday, MPD released the following information in an emailed statement:
“The Metropolitan Police Department is investigating a fatal police involved shooting which occurred in the 2500 block of Sheridan Road, Southeast.
Preliminary investigation reveals that at approximately 3:04 am on Tuesday, April 9, 2013, a police officer from the Seventh District encountered a subject that appeared to be under the influence of narcotics in the 2500 block of Sheridan Road, Southeast. While investigating, the subject brandished a handgun and fired at the officer, which resulted in the officer firing his service weapon striking the suspect. DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services personnel responded and did not find signs consistent with life and the decedent remained on the scene. A handgun was recovered at the scene.”
Reported by The Raw Story
Two officers in Florida have been placed on leave and a family is demanding answers after a suicidal man was shot and killed by police over the weekend.
The mother of 43-year-old Arthur Dixon Jr. called St. Petersburg police on Sunday evening because he doused himself with gasoline and threatened to take his own life.
Neighbor Ray Wuest told The Tampa Bay Times that he went into Dixon’s home and found the man soaked with gas and smoking a cigarette. Wuest said that he mopped up the gas and took the cigarette, but police told him to leave after they arrived.
St. Petersburg police spokesperson Mike Puetz said that Dixon had been “belligerent and threatening” when officers tried to negotiate with him.
At around 7:30 p.m., the suicidal man allegedly ran at Officers Devin Jones and Curtis Wright with scissors while they were stationed at the back of the house. Both officers opened fire, hitting Dixon in the torso multiple times. He was transported to Bayfront Medical Center and pronounced dead at around 10 p.m.
Dixon’s mother, Lydia Andrews, told Bay News 9 that officers did not have to shoot her son.
“The police assured me that they weren’t going to hurt him, that they were concerned for his safety,” she explained. “He has no weapons, he’s never hurt anyone ever. So, they forced him out the back of the house and they shot him three times.”
“I want to know why they shot him, he had no weapons and he’s drunk,” she continued. “He has a traumatic brain injury, he’s blind in one eye, can’t see well out of the other. Why did they shoot him?”
But the St. Petersburg police spokesperson insisted that officers had been threatened by the scissors.
“Scissors are a deadly weapon,” Puetz said in a statement. “They can cause great harm. They can be just as dangerous as a knife.”
Wuest said that Dixon had been a landscaper who became disabled after suffering a traumatic brain injury.
“If they would have left us alone with him, we could have gotten him out of the house,” Wuest lamented.
Officers Jones and Wright have been placed on administrative leave pending a routine investigation.