Patterico's Pontifications

3/15/2006

He Went for His Gun . . . Yeah, That’s the Ticket

Filed under: Current Events — Patterico @ 6:53 am



Ouch. That sheriff’s deputy who told a suspect to get up, and then shot him when the suspect tried to comply with his order, initially said that the suspect had “charged” him — something the video shows to be false. Then, after seeing the video, he changed his story to say the suspect appeared to be going for a gun.

This deputy was “charged” — just not by the shooting victim.

UPDATE: I had to correct that last sentence, which originally said the deputy may be charged after all, to reflect that the deputy already has been charged. I had only skimmed the article and hadn’t realized that had already happened.

35 Responses to “He Went for His Gun . . . Yeah, That’s the Ticket”

  1. “He’s coming right at us!”

    Angry Clam (fa7fff)

  2. Hey, it worked for Amadou Diallo’s killers.

    biwah (f5ca22)

  3. “This deputy may end up getting “charged” after all.”

    It’s too bad, but he may well have it coming. And, changing his story doesn’t help out in the voracity department either. At least, the video tape hasn’t gone missing, and ought to tell the tale.

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  4. See my update. If you actually read the whole article, you’ll see he already has been “charged.” I hadn’t realized that and had to correct the post.

    Patterico (59bfb8)

  5. I work with a district attorney who used to be a cop. We were discussing this case and he commented that after a pursuit your heart is racing, you’re pissed off at the guys who put you and everyone else on the road at risk, and that it’s easy to just REACT without meaning to pull the trigger.

    I said, “Three times at point-blank range?”

    “That’s a problem,” he replied.

    The video looks devastating for the cop, but I have three words, times two, that say it all about the uncontrollable variable: the jury.

    Rodney King Trial.

    Change of Venue.

    Anything could happen, but it sure does look like the cop is good for it.

    Patterico, what do you think about the way they’ve charged it?

    Mike Lief (e9d57e)

  6. I wonder too, Mike. Is there such a thing as attempt voluntary manslaughter in California? [Yes. — P] Attempt is a specific intent crime and volunatary manslaughter is a mitigated general intent crime. Hmmm.

    From a personal perspective, everyone should thank God that Mr. Carrion is not dead and not look to get their pound of flesh from the police officer, i.e., no jail time.

    nk (32c481)

  7. Mike

    The venue is already changed… the Chino courthouse would have been the default court of filing and the trial would have been held at the Rancho Cucamonga courthouse if there were any regular attempt murder case. It’s now taking place at the Central courthouse in San Bernardino.

    At this point, I can only address information already public because case information is officially blocked.

    Darleen (f20213)

  8. And biwah illustrates quite clearly why cases like Dep Webb’s must be addressed in a forthright manner.

    Too many good and great cops are tarred, maliciously or in willing ignorance, by those would hold up Webb as the poster child of all cops.

    People who more than likely, have never been a victim of crime.

    Darleen (f20213)

  9. Too many good and great cops are tarred, maliciously or in willing ignorance, by those would hold up Webb as the poster child of all cops.

    Does President Bush know you’re cribbing his rhetorical style?

    And how do I illustrate why Webb should be charged? I would have thought that would be kind of self-evident. I would like to see officers who kill without justification punished, for the sake of justice and public safety. I’m funny that way.

    From all of us who hold this fringe point of view: thank you, Darleen, for (a) identifying our belief that there is only one kind of law enforcement officer, (b) that that one kind of law enforcement officer is, in Our perception, Very Bad, (c) that we’re naive about crime, but (d) it’s only because we don’t really know what crime is, having never been exposed to it.

    To use your logic, maybe it will take getting jumped by cops with flashlights, mace, and guns to educate you about what actually goes on. Which reminds me – I have been a victim of crime.

    biwah (f5ca22)

  10. Attempt is a specific intent crime and volunatary manslaughter is a mitigated general intent crime. Hmmm.

    Not sure why that’s so odd, any more so than the fact that attempted murder is also a specific intent crime, while successful murder is not.

    [Actually, it is. — P]

    Xrlq (703dae)

  11. Unless police training is different in Ca. you should not have your finger in the trigger guard unless you are sure you’re going to have to fire. The officer (and the gentleman who was shot) may be a victim of overwork, lack of sleep and poor training. The officer should be held accountable, but these may be mitigating circumstances.

    Gbear (dd348d)

  12. Xrlq,

    Attempted murder requires the specific intent to kill a person without lawful justification. Voluntary manslaughter, as I understand it, is a homicide without lawful justification which resulted from great fear or passion or from the belief that the defendant was acting in self-defense but that the belief was unreasonable. Can there be specific intent compatible with great fear or passion or unreasonable belief of imminent death or great bodily harm? The “hmmm” was me wondering whether the prosecutors were already creating a reversible issue for the defendant.

    nk (f58916)

  13. Patterico,

    I thought most cases of murder were general intent crimes. I think that’s the distinction that X was driving at, not that a successful murder was a strict liability crime.

    Joel B. (d49d2b)

  14. How serious is attempted voluntary manslaughter? The reason I ask is because I found the officer’s detailed account reasonable. I think he shot the man because he was afraid of what the other guy in the car was up to, and figured that if he shot this guy he could concentrate on the dangerous one.

    That’s probably not legal justification (right?), and he lied about what happened, but it isn’t like he just shot the guy for pissing him off; he did feel like his life was in danger, and the guy he shot was involved. I’d think the penalties for this should be relatively moderate compared to real murder.

    In fact, he probably didn’t even want to kill the guy, just put him down. Don’t you need intent to kill in order for it to be attempted manslaughter?

    Doc Rampage (47be8d)

  15. Doc

    Three bullets to the torso at almost point-blank range doesn’t seem much like an attempt to disable. BTW

    Webb told investigators that at that point Carrion said, “I’m going to get up” and began to rise. Webb recalled emphatically telling him not to. […]
    Webb told Swigart he ordered Carrion to stay on the ground but Carrion refused to comply and “tried to get up and lunge” at him, records state.

    I’m afraid that statement alone belies the “reasonable account” as the audio portion of the tape alone demonstrates that Webb was out of control, screaming at Carrion to get up. Carrion keeps his voice in control and even and says “Ok. I’m getting up now” followed immediately with the sound of shots, Carrion’s moaning, and Webb yelling “shots fired! shots fired!”

    Webb gets off lucky that Carrion was taken to Arrowhead Regional Hospital…one of the best trauma centers in the area (along with Loma Linda).

    Darleen (f20213)

  16. X and Joel,

    Calling murder a general intent crime is, in California, mostly inaccurate. It’s a complex subject. There need not be a specific intent to kill, but there must be malice aforethought, which includes an intent to do an act dangerous to human life. I don’t have time to go into the intricacies now, but that’s the essence of it.

    Patterico (de0616)

  17. “He shot him so he could concentrate on the dangerous one”? That’s not only the worst possible justification I’ve heard, it doesn’t even make sense. Gee, let’s shoot a _cooperating_ suspect because someone _else_ is doing something.

    Police are supposed to handcuff or otherwise restrain people so they can deal with someone else, not shoot them out of hand. That you think that’s a justification for use of lethal force boggles the mind.

    Dave (6001a6)

  18. Calling murder a general intent crime is, in California, mostly inaccurate. It’s a complex subject. There need not be a specific intent to kill,

    Which was my point. For attempted murder, there does need to be a specific intent to kill, n’est-ce pas?

    but there must be malice aforethought, which includes an intent to do an act dangerous to human life.

    Yes, but that’s far short of the specific intent NK was talking about in cases of manslaughter, or that I was talking about for murder. My point is that whether we’re talking about murder or manslaughter, there are acts that can constitute murder/manslaughter if the victim dies, but will not constitute attempted murder/manslaughter if he lives.

    Xrlq (f52b4f)

  19. That much is precisely true, and reminds me of a legislative proposal I have had bouncing around in my head for about 14 years.

    I may blog about it soon.

    Patterico (de0616)

  20. Dave, you are misrepresenting what I said. I didn’t say it was a justification, I said it was a reason. Not all reasons are justifications. Being pissed off at the guy is a reason but not a justification; fearing that the guy is distracting you while his partner searches for a gun is also a reason, but not a justification (in general).

    There can be differences in the quality of reasons even if the reasons don’t rise to the level of justifications. If you kill a man for whistling at your wife, that’s a bad reason. If you kill a man for raping your wife, that’s a better reason; still not a justification, but a better reason and something that should be taken into account in sentencing.

    Similarly, shooting a man for pissig you off in a high-speed chase or because you want to write a book is a bad reason. Shooting him because you suspect that he is deliberately distracting you while his friend looks for a gun is a better reason –one that should effect sentencing. It’s not like the guy was an innocent bystander.

    Darleen has a point though. Once the cop decided to shoot the guy, it looks like he decided to kill him, probably in order to prevent him from testifying.

    Doc Rampage (47be8d)

  21. Doc Rampage, I doubt the cop had any sensible reason for shooting the guy. It sounds to me like he was too scared and/or excited to be safe with a gun. I believe novice hunters are sometimes susceptible to a similar condition (“buck fever”).

    Obviously people who can’t function under pressure shouldn’t be cops (among other professions). If someone only finds this out the hard way I would be somewhat inclined to leniency as regards criminal responsibility (but obviously he should not be allowed to continue to be a cop even if absolved of criminal responsibility). I would be harsher if it should turn out the cop was drunk (or otherwise impaired), had lied in order to become a police officer or had violated policy by chasing the car in the first place. Lying about what happened is bad also.

    In general I think training for police officers sometimes over emphasizes self-protection. It should always be made clear that it is better for a cop to die than an innocent. It is part of the job. I also believe police departments could often do a better job of removing trouble prone officers before a major incident.

    James B. Shearer (fc887e)

  22. “It should always be made clear that it is better for a cop to die than an innocent. It is part of the job.”

    Since when? We pay them to kill to keep us safe but do we pay them to die to keep us safe? And just exactly what was innocent about Mr. Carrion? He was a potential murderer a hundred times as he careened through the streets at a 100 miles an hour. That tree he crashed the car into could as easily have been a mother and baby. I do not understand this anti-police sentiment. As for the three shots fired, I have never shot anyone but I understand that it is police protocol across the country. Keep shooting until the suspect is disabled. That’s why six-shot revolvers have been replaced with fifteen-shot automatics. As I see it, the good guy overreacted (according to the rules of engagement) against the bad guy and then lied about it. But he is still the good guy and the bad guy is still the bad guy. Pretend for just a minute that, leaving all other facts the same, the officer had accosted the suspect as he was just jimmying open the door of your house.

    nk (4d4a9d)

  23. nk, we pay them to risk death. As for Carrion he was a passenger not the driver.

    Btw making ridiculous excuses for clear police misconduct generates anti-police sentiment.

    James B. Shearer (fc887e)

  24. To paraphrase George Patton: “No S.O.B. kept me and my family safe by dying. He kept me and my family safe by making the other S.O.B die.” I know, I know, this is way simplistic but between the two of them I’m on the side of the law-enforcer and not the law-breaker.

    nk (6361d5)

  25. nk, the officer in this case was not enforcing the law, he was breaking the law. The law applies to everybody including cops.

    And I don’t believe trigger happy cops contribute to keeping me safe.

    James B. Shearer (fc887e)

  26. Anybody know if this video is on the Internet? Where?

    Jes me (2281d9)

  27. I know, I know, this is way simplistic but between the two of them I’m on the side of the law-enforcer and not the law-breaker.

    The policeman is accused of being a law-breaker as well.

    Patterico (de0616)

  28. Patterico, what law is Carrion accused of breaking?

    James B. Shearer (fc887e)

  29. Look here for the video (h/t Mudville Gazette).

    jinnmabe (7da6d1)

  30. Boy, that didn’t work. Let’s try that again. Look here for the video. (h/t Mudville Gazette).

    jinnmabe (7da6d1)

  31. OK, how about now?

    jinnmabe (7da6d1)

  32. Biwah,

    In Amadou Diallo’s case, he fled from the cops when they approached, then reached into his jacket. Under those circumstances, the shooting was a tragedy, but not criminal. Running from the cops boosted their suspicions that he was in fact the serial rapist who’s description he matched. By reaching into his jacket, he made himself appear to be a threat to the officers involved. In this case, Carrion was the passenger of a car that had fled the police, and was co-operating with them when the cop shot him repeatedly. Not all bad shoots are the same.

    Cybrludite (acb56d)

  33. (First time poster, Frequent lurker! :)

    I’ve been following this shocking case for some time now. One thing I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere is the cop’s change of tone when ordering Carrion to “get up”. Before and after that command, the cop is shouting and cursing at the top of his lungs, then in a relatively quiet tone says, “Get up, get up.” IMO, this is an indicator that Webb premeditated the shooting, if even by a few moments. He intentionally lowered his voice to limit what others might have heard. I read in another article that, immediately after the shooting, Webb shouted something to the effect, “DON’T YOU ATTACK ME!”

    The case is quite frightening. Makes you wonder how often things like this happen and there are no videos to dispute the officer’s story. I know I’ll be questioning every police shooting from now on.

    DJM (d5a340)

  34. Re # 21. Buck Fever:

    The term usually describes an overly nervous shooter who’s shaking so much he can’t properly align his sights, consequently his shots go wide of the mark. In the case of officer Webb, “buck fever” doesn’t fit.

    Black Jack (d8da01)

  35. Adrenaline stress could well be the answer.
    http://www.rmcat.com/page17.html

    Gbear (6a100c)


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