Thursday, February 02, 2006

Airman Shot in LA by Police!

This has been all over the news, but I haven't seen much comment by the military sites (of course, I've been fighting viruses all day so maybe I missed it).

I tried to find the original video from the news program that showed the home made video of the incident so people could look for themselves, but the news sites archives wouldn't produce it. Instead I got this story about the FBI getting involved to investigate whether Senior Airman Elio Carrion had his civil rights violated.

This incident involved two of my favorite types of people, military and police (and I don't mean that sarcastically either, they really are my favorite people, particularly if you throw in firemen). I think the video has been pulled in case it is prejudicial to the investigation, but if anyone finds it, please let me know so I can link it.

In the meantime, I saw the home made video of the last few moments before the shooting and I have to say that the officer who shot the airman is in a big steaming pile of self induced crap right now.

Of course, we haven't seen the police cars video showing the chase (at 100mph) or the recording of the officer getting warrant information on the driver (who is not the Airman that was shot), or how long the chase took, or how fast anyone complied with orders up to the moment of the shooting, but there were somethings, even in the grainy night home video that were pretty clear:

1) The officer was clearly, audibly angry.
2) He made so many mistakes up to the moment of the shooting it's hard to catalogue them all, but the simple version is:

a) When he had both the driver and the passenger (Carrion) on the ground with their hands outstretched, which he had ordered them to do, he should have left them there until back up arrived and should have maintained a safe distance covering them until then.
b) He should not have ordered either of the men to move beyond the ground position at all since that is the position that offers the most control of the suspects and provides the most protection for the officer(s)
c) He should have waited for back up to arrive and then handcuffed each suspect (including Carrion) before attempting to get him up off the ground.

3) The Airman was calm and responding to the officers commands, confirming them verbally. It almost sounded like he knew the officer was in distress and was trying to calm the situation down (which may have angered the police officer more).

4) The officer ordered Airman Carrion to "get up", twice.
5) Carrion's hands can be seen silhouetted from the headlights and it is clear that they are both raised in the surrender position and moving slowly. He did not appear to make any quick or startling moves, nor reach for anything even slowly.

5) The officer shot Carrion with deliberation. He did not shoot Carrion until he had stood up about half way (he did not completely make it to an upright position before being shot). The first shot rings out and there is a pause before two more shots, slightly quicker, but not panicked shooting, ring out.

I'm no expert and I hate to prejudice a situation knowing how their are often factors before the little video clips we see that have more mitigating circumstances, but, if I was on a jury, no matter what was said or shown about the character of any persons involved or their actions up to that moment, seeing that small part of the video where you can see the arms clearly raised, palms straight up and pointing towards the officer, clear of any objects, the order to get up and then the deliberate shooting with a pause between the first shot and the subsequent two that even seemed slow to me - unless this officer was using a revolver - I hadn't considered that since an automatic would respond quicker to firing, though I assume that only an idiot would carry a revolver as their primary weapon in LA instead of a .40 or .45 Glock or other semi-automatic weapon- still, I would say with some authority and fairly decent sense of timing that the pause between the first shot to the chest and the subsequent two was longer than the time it would take to pull the trigger on a revolver. If it was a semi-auto, the shooting was even more unfathomable as a "fear" motivated because the time between the last two shots seems slightly drawn out, even for "double taps".

From my perspective, the officer was thinking through his actions and made a conscious and deliberate decision to shoot Carrion above and beyond any considerations for adrenaline, "sudden moves", etc.

I think the FBI is right to investigate for possible violation of civil rights.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would like to know why the airman's wife made no comment on the "chase" I think it makes sense that the officer would be saying shut up rather then get up. What difference does it make if the airman was one of them or not. He should have known then that he needed to shut up and be still and non threatening. He is as much to blame as the officer. How was the officer to know if he was really a MP or not.

Anonymous said...

The previous statement is idiotic. There should be a stupidometer applied to dumb fuck comments like the one above.

Kat said...

To the first Anon...the wife made no comment on the chase because it is very likely that they are going to sue the San Bernadino county Sherriff's department and her attorney probably told her to say nothing that would look like they are admitting any guilt, real or perceived.

Second, he was telling him to get up, not shut up. I saw the video. It is very clear what the officer said. Further, the airman repeated the officers commands twice. If he didn't want him to "get up", then he had several opportunities to say, not "shut up", but stay down! or "get down"! or "don't move, mo'fo'" or whatever else would have indicated the guy should not get up.

Whether the guy was an MP has nothing to do with this story. That is just a fact that has brought racial bigotry through law enforcement to the forefront of military supporters.

Finally, I am unsure why you believe the airman is to blame as much as the officer? He was a passenger with no control of the car. He complied with the officers orders. He was shot.

In effect, he committed no crime and was shot for it. How is he to blame as equal to the police officer?

Kat said...

Oops...anon2...good point, but my grandma always said their are no such things as stupid questions so I felt compelled to answer and provide education.

Anonymous said...

I say ditto to the idiotic statement made by anonymous that carrion is as much to blame as the officer. no doubt that person is a right winged prejudiced stupid idiot

Kat said...

Careful with the stereotypes, anon3, I am a "right winger" and I know prejudice when I see it. Do not assume that someone siding with the police and blaming Carrion is left or right (you can't really tell).

They may be a democrat with a police officer in the family who thinks police get a bum wrap; they may live in high crime areas where people are constantly doing things and feel that the police need to step it up a notch. Politics has very little to do with assigning prejudicial tendencies to a particular people or political standing.

I can name three acquaintances right now off the top of my head who are democrats and have displayed racial bigotry on several occassions. Of course, I can tell you about the wannabe militia guy I met two years ago that scared me even more, hated everyone including Democrats and Republicans.

Political party does not establish your bonifides as a bigot or not. It is totally the actions of the individual.

Anonymous said...

Can we just focus on the fact that a man was shot without justification. Clearly the airman was not posing as a threat to the officer, CLEARLY the airman was doing what any law enforcement official is trained to do in that circumstance. First, make it clear you are in no way a threat to anyone, and second, repeat commands given to you.

It also needs to be understood that the airman was not the drived of the vehicle, he was a passenger. I think it is unfortunate that people are treating this young man as if he were the driver. How are we to know if he supported the driver in running from the police. Could it be possible that the airman had no control over the actions of the driver?

The fact is a man was shot without any justifiable cause. He was following commands and was cooperating. The officer acted irrationally and had no justification for shooting anyone.

What confuses me is how a discussion over an unjustifiable shooting, that has PLENTY of evidence to support, turns political--discussing right and left wing agendas. Right or left wing, anyone can be racist or a "bigot" however who is to say that played a part in it.

Its simple. The officer did not act accordingly when presented with this situation. He unjustifiably shot someone. He purposefully shot an individual who was following his commands. He should be held accountable for his actions. The only thing the airman should be held accountable for, is having a stupid friend who got him into this situation--but that is not a violation of the law.

Anonymous said...

The video is conclusive, as are the officer’s lies to cover up the attempted murder.

Make no mistake, these are dangerous times:

THE BARBARIANS ARE BOMBING,
THE ELITE ARE THIEVING,
THE BUREAUCRATS ARE SCHEMING,
THE ILLEGALS ARE PILFERING,
THE IMMIGRANTS ARE KILLING,
AND THE POLICE ARE SHOOTING US IN THE BACK
AS WE ASSUME THE PRONE POSITION…

Anonymous said...

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19491972/