Patterico's Pontifications

3/1/2008

Another Misleading Anti-Law Enforcement Headline from the L.A. Times

Filed under: Crime,Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 3:58 pm

The latest example of the L.A. Times‘s anti-law enforcement bias comes in a story titled, incredibly, Police shot unarmed man, witness says. The deck headline reads: “The account of a teen present at the shooting in Van Nuys differs greatly from the department’s explanation.” And the opening of the story reads as follows:

A teenager who witnessed his friend being fatally shot by a Los Angeles motorcycle officer offered a dramatically different account of the encounter than police Friday, saying the man was killed while trying to surrender and wasn’t carrying anything in his hands.

A police official overseeing the shooting investigation confirmed that the teenager gave investigators a similar account, but said detectives believe he is lying. Two bystanders saw the suspect approach officers with an object in his hand, according to the official.

The object, which turned out to be a 24-inch metal microphone stand, was recovered at the scene, police said.

Let’s review the evidence. Two “bystanders” with no reported connection to police or the dead teenager say he approached police with an object in his hand. Indeed, in the 22nd paragraph, they are described as “two independent eyewitnesses.” This corroborates the police account, as does the recovery of the item. But the dead teenager’s friend predictably says he was unarmed. So we get a headline suggesting the cops shot an “unarmed man” according to a “witness” — not “friend,” but “witness.” Same for the deck headline, which calls the dead teenager’s friend “a teen present at the shooting.” Neither headline refers to the friend as a friend, nor does either headline mention that more than one disinterested witness corroborates the police account.

More sensationalism to the detriment of the LAPD. Par for the course.

20 Responses to “Another Misleading Anti-Law Enforcement Headline from the L.A. Times”

  1. NO COMMENT REQUIRED!

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  2. I am SHOCKED! His gangster friend claims that the suspect was unarmed? Wow, imagine that! The LAT is just as guilty as the gang members for the current state of how some people view the Police!
    Let me have that bipod and I will take a couple of swings at anyone’s head who agrees with the little pissant! Lets see if a blow to the head kills or greatly injures you! I would love for the Editor at the LAT to step up and volunteer! He would be sipping his meals from a straw and wearing a diaper for the rest of his life. Another irresponsible article from a rag that I wouldn’t let my puppy piss on! That’s why the LAT and NYT’s readership is plummeting like a led zeppelin!
    Ok, Police Haters lets hear your victocratic pissings!

    Ed O' Shea (56a0a8)

  3. I dunno. It makes perfect sense to me that a passenger of a car pulled over for a traffic stop, who was not himself wanted by the police and his only record is possession of a loaded handgun, would jump out of the car and attack two motorcycle cops with an iron pipe. Road rage?

    nk (7b0075)

  4. Let me have that bipod and I will take a couple of swings at anyone’s head who agrees with the little pissant!

    Can the “anyone” have a bulletproof vest, helmet and Glock 19?

    nk (7b0075)

  5. The LA police need a book listing/pictures of every employee of the LASlimes, including their address. They can always ignore their calls for help or take the long way to get to their home. As most police and Fire/rescue units work closely they can probably get some more people to ignore them also. Make the LASlimes nightmare come true.
    Firefighter

    Scrapiron (d671ab)

  6. ” 6:02 pm |Edit This

    I dunno. It makes perfect sense to me that a passenger of a car pulled over for a traffic stop, who was not himself wanted by the police and his only record is possession of a loaded handgun, would jump out of the car and attack two motorcycle cops with an iron pipe. Road rage?”

    1) If there’s anything I have learned in 10 years as a prosecutor, it’s that people always act rationally. Always.

    2) Wasn’t there a warrant out for the guy?

    Patterico (c8d3f2)

  7. 1) If there’s anything I have learned in 10 years as a prosecutor, it’s that people always act rationally. Always.

    I would say they always have a rationale… it may not be rational. That is, there is an internal logic to their actions if you can understand what they were thinking. Those thoughts may not be based in reality though.

    Stashiu3 (c8e98a)

  8. Sorry, Patterico, I would not have commented on this or on the Jack Dunphy post, but there’s something about Mr. O’Shea that brings out the
    Stephen Yagman in me.

    The linked story says that the warrant was for the unnamed driver not San Jose. The most likely explanation is that San Jose was trying to get away from the situation but did not want to leave his music stand behind. One officer tried to stop him and the other officer thought his partner was being attacked. The officer may have also thought the music stand was a gun from his angle of vision. Mine are all a dull black.

    nk (7b0075)

  9. Patterico, the spam filter is holding my response to your comment #6 hostage but it will be just fine with me if you only read it and not post it.

    nk (7b0075)

  10. I couldn’t bear to read the whole article, but did it also quote from the families-”He was a good boy, he was not a gang member”?

    Police shootings are always reported with active verbs (police shoot teen) and gang shootings merely allude to the event (man dies in bus stop shooting).

    And they wonder why they are losing readers…it’s beyond comprehension.

    Patricia (f56a97)

  11. Well at least you have no fear of getting tased in LA eh?

    TC (1cf350)

  12. Different people see different things; anyone who expects otherwise hasn’t dealt with human observation very much.

    htom (412a17)

  13. I am no fan of low life criminal types yet one must consider the possibility that perhaps in the aftermath of a fatal shooting that possibly, just possibly, law enforcement officers might shape the story to put themselves in the best light. It does not seem inconceivable that perhaps these officers might mold the recollections of the witnesses they chose to interview and “believe”.

    The use of deadly force by police has already slid down the slippery slope where if the officer “feels” endangered it is justified. It was alleged that the officer was attempting to run down the man with his motorcycle, and then killed him with three shots in the chest. Seems like very poor tactics to me. The chief advantage a firearm has over other common lethal weapons is that of range. Just as deadly at 100 yards as 5 feet.

    Attempting to pin a man down with a moving motorcycle weighing 500 pounds or more would look an awful lot like attempted homicide to the man under the wheel. Indeed if the tables were turned the law officer would certainly claim that he was in fear of his life. Without getting into the implications of whether or not a man has a common law right to defend himself if he believes his life is at stake whether the aggressor is a law enforcement officer or not it is certainly, without question, reasonable to believe that a man being run down by a motorcycle would believe his life to be in danger and act accordingly.

    The power to take human life as a matter of course in the performance of one’s job is a serious matter. Those who are empowered by society to do so should be held to an extremely high standard. Feeling scared isn’t by itself sufficent justification to excuse poor judgement and poor tactics. If they can’t handle situtions like this without the use of deadly force one might question if they are fit for that duty.

    Amused Observer (152523)

  14. hey can you ever expect less from the L.A Slimes?

    krazy kagu (f24007)

  15. Attempting to pin a man down with a moving motorcycle weighing 500 pounds or more would look an awful lot like attempted homicide to the man under the wheel

    you are absolutely right, except when you factor in it is a uniformed police officer doing this after engaging in a car chase to subdue the criminal.

    chas (fb7ad4)

  16. I’d like to know what the police think of the rash of copper thefts in CA. It’s a third world crime. Who’s doing it here?

    Patricia (f56a97)

  17. NK….”Sorry, Patterico, I would not have commented on this or on the Jack Dunphy post, but there’s something about Mr. O’Shea that brings out the
    Stephen Yagman in me.”

    NK, you might just look as good as the “convicted felon” Yagman, in his new prison duds! He is as guilty as Rafeal Perez, but if you want to align yourself with a low life like him, ummm ok?!

    Ed O' Shea (56a0a8)

  18. No Chas,

    Not “ you are absolutely right, except when…” just absolutely right. Homicide is an act not a crime. Ask the resident prosecutor.

    Your exceptions hinge upon whether or not it was justifiable. My point was quite clear, that a reasonable man might perceive being run down by a motorcycle as a life threatening incident and act accordingly. Further that the officer used extremely poor judgment in placing himself within range of the alleged weapon, a microphone stand, when he could have so easily kept himself out of harms way and that such poor judgment ended in the death of human being, a homicide.

    Amused Observer (866758)

  19. I guess we Officers use extremely poor judgment every day, in choosing to chase criminals instead of just taking a report (sarcasm inserted)! The absolute gall of us to actually chase and try to take into custody, which requires, ummmmmm getting CLOSE to: car jacking suspects, gang members, murderers, attempt murderers, child abuse suspects, rapists, robbery suspects, child rapists, burglary suspects, assault suspects, battery suspects, car theft suspects (stolen cars often used for drive by shootings) domestic abuse suspects, criminal threats suspects, purse snatch suspects, forgery suspects, and on and on! But if you would rather we Police be reactive than proactive then hope off the arm chair and you can sign the financial disclosure and go from being an “Amused observer” to a “knowledgeable observer”! Now it’s a shame that a life was lost, but the choice was that of the deceased, not the Officer! As I said above, if you would like to see the damage a bipod would cause? Have one of your friends bash you in the melon with one and IF you wake up from the massive head trauma, you can come back on here and wax “knowledgeably” about the affects! You can even wear a helmet like the Officer might have had on! And for your information it’s called a “justifiable homicide,” and they happen everyday!
    Here’s a news flash, don’t steal cars, flee from the Police, act like a savage and attack a Police Officer with a weapon and you won’t get shot! Pretty simple actually! Ignorance is bliss!
    Perhaps you naysayers should head on down to Vernon & Central (on a previous thread by Jack Dunphy) and explain your morally bankrupt positions to the 12 children and 3 adults that were gunned down by a 48th street gangster crip! The Newton gang unit had to, are you ready for this, chase on foot after the suspect and SHOCKINGLY, put hands on him to take him into custody! But according to the rhetoric outlined by some of you, they should just drive next to the fleeing suspect and beg and plead for him to PLEASE stop and give up?! In the real world it doesn’t work that way! Would I like every suspect to give up without a fight so I don’t have to hurt them, yes, but it will never happen!
    Some of you have been watching the Shield a little too much! Guess what the lead character on that idiotic show is a criminal moron who is nothing like 99.99% of the Police Officers out here!
    In closing, I am just glad my fellow officer is ok, and I will lose 0 sleep over the gang member that chose his own fate! This Officer would have only been a hero if the gang member knocked him out with the bipod then took his gun and killed him with it! But then sometimes I wonder by the callow views of some people, weather they might prefer that outcome! What a shame!

    Ed O' Shea (56a0a8)

  20. Hey Ed,
    I’ll stand by my comments. Running a man down with a motorcycle could very well be construed as attempted homicide. Putting yourself within range of a deadly weapon like a microphone stand when you are carrying a firearm is just plain stupid. Poor tactics and poor judgement.

    You might perceive it as justified homicide but the fact is that was a homicide caused by the piss poor judgement of two men. The lowlife that was fleeing and the idiot with a badge that put himself in a poor tactical position and should have known better.

    Your over dramatic strawman arguments have no bearing what so ever. You appear to have an attitude that perhaps is not morally bankrupt but certainly brings into question your fitness for a position that entails both deadly force and protecting the public. Maybe you need a less stressful assignment, metermaid perhaps.

    Amused Observer (e225c5)


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