Thursday, June 26, 2014

How to get away with murder

Be a cop:
As Saenz was dragged back outside for transport to the hospital to be treated, he struggled with officers but never left the ground, his hands clamped behind his back in handcuffs. Officers couldn’t control Saenz, but he didn’t appear to be much of a credible threat to either of them, with his hands in cuffs behind his back and his pants falling down. He was certainly a nuisance and refusing to cooperate, but wasn’t much of a threat.

After struggling with Saenz for several minutes and apparently getting frustrated  with their inability to get Saenz sufficiently subdued, one of the officers, El Paso Police Officer Jose Flores, pulls his pistol and shoots a downed and restrained Saenz from behind, twice, killing him.

Note the muzzle flash.  This execution was captured live on video.  The result of a policeman shooting in the back a possibly mentally ill, handcuffed man lying on the ground?
Prosecutors have refused to charge Flores for what appears to be an execution born of nothing more than an officer’s frustration to get a restrained suspect to comply.
So what's the difference between the picture above and this one?

The answer, of course, is that there's no difference at all to the men lying on the ground.  Yeah, Godwin's Law and all that.


deadmandance said...

Want to know why I don't trust cops?

B said...

And as long as he gets away with it, other psychos will think that THEY can as well.....and they will as long as they wear a badge.

Until this is stopped, either by the courts or by members of the local community, then others will repeat it, as there is no downside for them.

And yes, I am talking revenge by friends or family. .

newrebeluniv said...

The difference is that the guy in the black and white picture is obeying the laws in his state. The guy in the color video is not.

Richard Blaine said...

It would be shocking except I've seen numerous examples of this. One cop chase a VICTIM down the sidewalk repeatedly shooting, when the VICTIM fell from the wounds, the cop walked up and shot him again from point blank range. - The copy claimed he was in fear for his life - self defense. Yeah I get really scared when someone is running from me as fast as they can. Huge threat, that.

I suppose it makes sense in a way, cops we hire today were raised to be special little snowflakes who were taught that no one should ever hurt their feelings, and the obvious reaction to getting your feelings hurt is to just kill the offensive person.

Sew and Reap

The departments cover this crap up all the time. There are only monsters watching the monsters anymore. Every single cop involved in these stories and so many just like them are all guilty of protecting and enabling murders.

Welcome to the Police State.

chiefjaybob said...

Oh, but they are strong believers in the Second Amendment and would NEVER obey an illegal order to confiscate legally-owned firearms.

Pull the other one; it's got bells on it.

Goober said...

I dream of a world where an officer like this gets his just desserts from a pissed off populace, or an angry family member.

Lynch mobs were rarely a good thing, but just every once in a while, in a blue moon or two, a lynch mob seems to be the only way to get things done.

I say this, but I'm prepared to do nothing about it other than post angrily on the internet, and maybe that's just - why should I care enough about a complete stranger, who was probably mentally ill or on drugs, to take action, risk my life and my freedom to bring justice to this situation?

I'll just wait until it's someone I love who they kill. Seems logical, right?

Terrible plan, but what else are we going to do?

This officer is still out there. Still has a badge and a gun. Remember that next time you interact with a police officer. You might get a good guy. Or, you might get a gangster with a badge, who will murder you if you annoy him enough.

In the mean time, one wonders how many enraged letters to the DA this is going to take to get something done?

Goober said...

Also, don't misunderstand Godwin's Law. All he said is that as an internet debate rages longer, the probability of someone mentioning Hitler or the Nazis approaches one.

It does not say that the first person to mention Hitler or the Nazis instantly loses the debate.

I'm not sure where people got that idea, but Godwin's Law has been twisted to mean that the first person to mention Hitler or the Nazis loses, and that's not at all what it says.

Apt comparisons are still acceptable. I would think that the execution style murder of a handcuffed prisoner would approach Nazi-style behavior enough that it's okay to draw the parallel

ASM826 said...

The difference? The guy is the first picture is pissed. The guy in the second picture is bored.

Also, the guy in the first picture is still operating without orders. The guy in the second picture is clearly working under orders as part of a systematic extermination.

votefordavid said...

I looked into this one when it first went down and decided to hold my outrage for when it was due. There was a story with the jailhouse video of the actual shooting online that showed a couple minutes of this struggle, with footage from before and after the shooting.

Background: The deceased was a bodybuilder. Tremendously strong AND flexible. Earlier in the day, he had demonstrated his ability to 'front' his handcuffs (to tie a shoe I think) quickly and with little effort, and then put his hands behind his back again as easily. He had been tazed earlier in the day also, and it was not effective against him.

Find the video and watch the critical second a bunch of times over and over, and you will see

*The shooting officer tried and failed to deploy his taser and grabbed ol' faithful instead and pointed it in the necessary direction. This may be a training issue but if you tug and tug at the less-lethal option and it won't deploy, going to guns makes sense.

*The other officer was thrown off the suspect (like a cartoon, he went flying) and bumped into the guy who was suddenly holding a gun behind/beside him. THAT is when the discharge happened.

We can argue Rule 3 violations till the cows come home, but this was at worst an AD. I think it is a few steps too far to call it murder.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

After a little digging and finding more complete information, I'm going to have to side with votefordavid on this - at worst, it was an AD caused about by the deceased's own actions.

A more complete article can be found here.

Key information:

"In the video, Officer Flores first reaches for his Taser. However, he decides not to deploy his Taser because he knew that Mr. Saenz — also earlier that same day — had undergone five cycles of the Taser device, without effect. He had been Tased earlier in the day after he assaulted a police officer and other people at the hospital where he was being evaluated."

CLEAT [Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas, the organization whose attorney represented the officer] stated that Flores drew his handgun because "Saenz could quickly front his cuffs and turn them into a deadly weapon, given his considerable strength, agility and demonstrated resistance to the Taser ... At the same moment Officer Flores draws his weapon, Mr. Saenz pushes off on that curb and, with remarkable strength, sends the civilian escort flying backwards. The civilian escort's arm then hits the trigger hand of Officer Flores, causing his weapon to discharge."

It was also not the prosecutors who refused to charge him, it was a grand jury.

Borepatch, the article you linked to is wrong. Worse, their omissions have been pointed out in the comments, yet there doesn't seem to have been any attempt by the author to issue a correction.