Search found 8 matches

by srothstein
Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:04 am
Forum: LEO Contacts & Bloopers
Topic: Officer Invades Apartment, Shoots Resident
Replies: 418
Views: 24818

Re: Officer Invades Apartment, Shoots Resident

K.Mooneyham wrote:
Wed Oct 02, 2019 1:19 am
Flintknapper, I'm not LEO, I'm an aircraft mechanic, so forgive the question if it's a dumb one. Where did that Police Officer's Creed come from? Is that something common to a lot of departments, or specific to a certain organization? Also, where did the other creed come from, and who uses that one?
I have seen it off and on since I was in the academy in 87. Your question made me curious and I found quite a few references to it in a google search. Laredo ISD PD has it posted along with a few other agencies. I did find one agency (I think it was Sacramento County California Sheriff's Office) that had a note with it saying it had been adopted by the Peace Officer Association of California in 1956.

Be careful searching for police officer creed. You get lots of different results, some along these lines and some less agreeable.
by srothstein
Tue Oct 01, 2019 9:44 pm
Forum: LEO Contacts & Bloopers
Topic: Officer Invades Apartment, Shoots Resident
Replies: 418
Views: 24818

Re: Officer Invades Apartment, Shoots Resident

The Annoyed Man wrote:
Tue Oct 01, 2019 3:36 pm
I think she made a fatal error during her testimony. The prosecutor asked her if, when she fired at the victim, did she intend to kill him....and she answered unequivocally, "yes". He immediately repeated the question, as if he couldn’t believe her affirmative answer, and the second time, she answered, "yes, to stop the threat" .... implying that she did intend to kill him to stop the threat. BAD answer. She must have been very flustered on the witness stand.

The answer that would have done less damage, would have been to answer the FIRST time, "no, I did not intend to kill him. I intended to stop the threat"; and repeat that answer if asked it again. I was really surprised when she answered the way she did.

But, it seemed likely that she would be convicted, and probably rightly so. David French published an article today saying that one of the "benefits" of her conviction is that too often, officers hide behind the "I was scared" defense when being investigated/charged in the shootings of citizens, and too often the justice system has given them a pass on that. He said that the Guyger verdict will have the effect of trimming that tendency back some.

I honestly don’t know of that’s a garbage take or not, but it was an angle I hadn’t considered.
TAM, that snippet was what I had seen on a news show when I posted that she had just convicted herself of murder. I agree that her answer, which we have always said here and drilled into cadets in the academy, should have been that you shoot to stop the threat, not to kill or even injure. In a shooting, you do not have a preference for how the threat stops, whether it is a surrender and drop the weapon they are attacking with, fall to the ground injured, turn and run, or are killed. You just want the threat stopped.

I disagree with Mr. French's assessment of police shootings and the effect of this case on them. In reality, I see this as more of an armed citizen arriving home to find a burglary than a police shooting. Her being an officer was just a coincidence and really had little to do with the case.

The next step will tell us a lot more about how the jury felt about her as a defendant and how the circumstances affect it. I am assuming she is letting the jury sentence her though I did not check it. They could even recommend probation if they feel the totality of the circumstances justify it. I know of one case where the jury convicted an officer of aggravated sexual assault and then gave him just three years of probation for a sentence. They followed the law on the charge, which was proven, but believed the officer that he thought the sex was consensual.
by srothstein
Mon Sep 30, 2019 9:35 pm
Forum: LEO Contacts & Bloopers
Topic: Officer Invades Apartment, Shoots Resident
Replies: 418
Views: 24818

Re: Officer Invades Apartment, Shoots Resident

Scott B. wrote:
Mon Sep 30, 2019 6:49 pm
You can 'see' what you expect to see. Who hasn't walked to the wrong car in a parking lot, got off on the wrong floor, went to the wrong door, kissed the wrong girl, etc., etc., etc., :lol:. We're all human and capable of error.

However, a man is dead who should not be and it is her fault. Her gun, her bullet, her mistake, her responsibility.

Manslaughter is the appropriate charge.
Originally, I agreed that manslaughter was the appropriate charge. I was just reading the Penal Code again and I think she will be convicted of murder due to her own testimony at the trial.

The difference between murder and manslaughter is only the culpable mental state. If you intend to kill or seriously injure or if you do an act that you know will kill or seriously injure, you have committed murder. If you recklessly do the same act, you commit manslaughter. From the news clips I saw, at one point she was asked if she intended to kill when she pulled the trigger and she answered "yes, but".

That means she had the culpable mental state required for murder.

Given the totality of the circumstances, I think manslaughter would have been the most appropriate charge. But I can no longer fault the DA for going for the murder charge.
by srothstein
Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:18 pm
Forum: LEO Contacts & Bloopers
Topic: Officer Invades Apartment, Shoots Resident
Replies: 418
Views: 24818

Re: Officer Invades Apartment, Shoots Resident

philip964 wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2019 11:14 am
Can you be found not guilty of murder and escape manslaughter? Overcharged?
No, manslaughter is a lesser included offense of murder. The two relevant sections of the Code of Criminal Procedure are:
Art. 37.08. CONVICTION OF LESSER INCLUDED OFFENSE. In a prosecution for an offense with lesser included offenses, the jury may find the defendant not guilty of the greater offense, but guilty of any lesser included offense.

Art. 37.09. LESSER INCLUDED OFFENSE. An offense is a lesser included offense if:
(1) it is established by proof of the same or less than all the facts required to establish the commission of the offense charged;
(2) it differs from the offense charged only in the respect that a less serious injury or risk of injury to the same person, property, or public interest suffices to establish its commission;
(3) it differs from the offense charged only in the respect that a less culpable mental state suffices to establish its commission; or
(4) it consists of an attempt to commit the offense charged or an otherwise included offense.
And I agree that murder is an overreach but manslaughter seems like a slam dunk to me, based on news reports and what we (the public) know so far. My guess is they could not agree on the penalty for a guilty plea and the murder charge is an attempt to convince her.
by srothstein
Sat Dec 01, 2018 11:02 pm
Forum: LEO Contacts & Bloopers
Topic: Officer Invades Apartment, Shoots Resident
Replies: 418
Views: 24818

Re: Officer Invades Apartment, Shoots Resident

ELB wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:59 pm
As far as I know every police officer - and every good student of self-defense - is taught to shoot to stop a threat, not to shoot to kill. Thus there is no intention to cause death even though that is a possible outcome of using deadly force.
I think you missed part (b)(2) of the law. It is not only the intent to kill. It can be the intent to cause serious bodily injury and then performing an act which is dangerous to human life. She intended to shoot someone, which is an intent to cause serious bodily injury. The standard for serious bodily injury is not as high as most people think. Section 1.07 of the Penal Code defines it as:
(46) "Serious bodily injury" means bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.
It would be hard to argue that shooting someone does not cause an impairment to some organ. And it is likely to cause a scar, which would be a permanent disfigurement.

But more importantly, 1.07(a)(17) defines a firearm as a deadly weapon, which is also anything that is designed or adapted or used to cause death or serious bodily injury. As far as I know, and I could be wrong, this means that using a firearm, in and of itself, is enough to prove intent to cause death or serious bodily injury. That makes shooting at someone, pretty much a case of murder or attempted murder. I know that a lot of prosecutors will not take this as a legal presumption but it can be taken that way, based strictly on the written word of the law. This is something all of us who carry might want to keep in mind. The politics of this case are also something we need to keep in mind, just in case.

As I said, I don't agree with the prosecution this way, but I do see how the law can applied this way.
by srothstein
Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:54 pm
Forum: LEO Contacts & Bloopers
Topic: Officer Invades Apartment, Shoots Resident
Replies: 418
Views: 24818

Re: Officer Invades Apartment, Shoots Resident

dlh wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:43 pm
There is much about this case that we do not know (witness statements, etc.).
However, having said that, how about a "mistake of fact" defense under Section 8.02 of the Texas Penal Code?
In other words, had it been her apartment she would have been justified in using deadly force under our castle doctrine. She thought it was her apartment (this has yet to be proved in court, of course)--she was simply mistaken.
Thoughts?
I think she might stand a chance with the mistake of fact combined with the defense of property justifications. I doubt it will do her a lot of good though, based on the people being upset so much. My honest expectation is about 5 years in prison followed by a fairly long term of probation. I think she will be convicted of murder, though I think manslaughter is a better charge. The incident does meet all of the elements of murder though.
by srothstein
Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:21 pm
Forum: LEO Contacts & Bloopers
Topic: Officer Invades Apartment, Shoots Resident
Replies: 418
Views: 24818

Re: Officer Invades Apartment, Shoots Resident

Jusme wrote:
Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:26 am
I wouldn't be so hasty, to denigrate the investigation. Most of what is being reported, is opinions from the victim's friends and family, and I'm sure behind the scenes activists are involved. None of the reports are from the Texas Rangers, and they have a pretty decent track record, of investigating. You won't see leaks, coming from the Rangers, and they won't report anything until the investigation is complete. I know we all want quick answers, but, even cases, that seem cut and dried, take time. There are ballistics reports, witnesses, to interview, etc. People, want to assume conspiracy, if they don't get instant information. I would not trust anything, as being official, that is being reported in the media right now. JMHO
I agree with this observation. So far, the news has reported a lot of claims from the victim's family, and darn little facts from anything else. This is because the city cannot tell them anything, having done the smart thing by turning it over to the Rangers for investigation and the Rangers, as a general rule, do not talk to the media about on-going investigations. The closest that they have come to saying anything about the investigation is by filing an affidavit to get the arrest warrant. Those are public and the media did report on that.

As for the searches in question, I would think the Rangers got a search warrant for the victim's apartment to cover it for evidence in the investigation. It is private property and the evidence would not be admissible if questioned without a warrant. This would be especially important if the evidence indicated anything like the rumored "affair" because it could give the officer standing to object to the search. The only thing better than a search warrant is if you get consent for the search. The warrant could still be argued in court but consent (if true consent and freely given) can not be. They would have needed much more evidence than just rumor to search her apartment for evidence of any prior relationship or knowledge of the victim, so her giving consent was the best way for them to search it. Her giving consent, BTW, does help make it look better for her, IMO.

I fully believe her story is possible and plausible. There are rumors of her having prior knowledge of the victim, both good and bad (an affair or complaints about his behavior). I have one serious question though, and it is possibly explainable too. It has been reported that witnesses heard someone shouting to open the door and that it was the police. This has been argued to be the female officer when she arrived. That doesn't match her story. But witnesses are not very reliable on time lines and this could have been the police after she called for help. For the obligatory cultural reference showing this problem, think about the "magic" grits which cooked in less time than anyone else's grits in "My Cousin Vinny". Honest mistakes on timelines can happen.

I am not yet convinced the officer's story is the straight up truth but I have not heard of enough evidence to say it isn't either. This makes her guilty of manslaughter at worst.

I am convinced that many people, especially the victim's family, are adding in race where it really had no bearing on this at all, though I could be wrong on this too.
by srothstein
Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:16 pm
Forum: LEO Contacts & Bloopers
Topic: Officer Invades Apartment, Shoots Resident
Replies: 418
Views: 24818

Re: Officer Invades Apartment, Shoots Resident

Jusme wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:12 pm
There are still a lot of details not, in the reporting. Did she give voice commands to halt, freeze, etc?
The story i read today, based on the arrest warrant affidavit, said she came home after working 14 hours serving arrest warrants. She mistakenly parked on the wrong floor of the garage. From the description, it looks like the apartment building has a garage that goes for each floor. She lives on the third floor and parked on the fourth. She went to the apartment that was located where hers was. She used her key but the door pushed open from the force of inserting her key. She entered the dark apartment and saw someone moving. She gave verbal commands which were not obeyed and she shot him thinking it was a burglary. She realized she was in the wrong apartment while talking to 911 when she turned on the lights. She then went back out the door to get the right apartment number.

I think this could be a murder charge but I do feel that manslaughter might be more appropriate. The details for murder (from 19.02 in the Penal Code) are:
(b) A person commits an offense if he:
(1) intentionally or knowingly causes the death of an individual;
(2) intends to cause serious bodily injury and commits an act clearly dangerous to human life that causes the death of an individual;
Unfortunately, by using a firearm, which is legally defined as deadly force, she meets the definition of both halves of this law. I know she did not intend to kill the person, but the law won't see it that way. A grand jury will see more about what happened and make a decision. I bet they will stick with the manslaughter charge over murder.

On a side note, i think the Dallas PD chief handled this correctly too. She started it as an officer involved shooting and when they found the basic details out, she asked the Rangers to take over the investigation. She publicly stated that it was not an officer involved shooting how they meant the term, but a citizen shooting where the citizen happened to be an officer. Then she referred everything to the Rangers.

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