Oops! (courtesy latimes.com)

“Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck has found that eight officers who opened fire on two women in a pickup truck during a search for [cop killer] Christopher Dorner violated the department’s policy on using deadly force,” latimes.com reports. Wait. So it’s not standard police policy to open fire on civilians who aren’t posing a deadly threat to anyone? Who knew? “Beck will meet Tuesday with the Police Commission, which oversees the LAPD and has the final word on police shootings, to share his finding. The commission will then vote on whether it agrees the officers violated LAPD policy. It will then be up to Beck to decide how to discipline the officers, if at all.” If at all. Yeah, that’s always an option when it comes to police misconduct. One that requires a great deal of deliberation . . .

For months, police officials have been deliberating whether the officers’ mistakes were reasonable in light of the extreme circumstances that led to the incident . . . A panel of high-ranking police officials that reviewed the shooting urged Beck to clear the officers of wrongdoing.

Extreme circumstances, meaning someone was targeting their own – as opposed to “civilians.” An exigent situation that led the cops to fire on the wrong type of vehicle, the wrong color vehicle, occupied by two white women. John McEnroe had an expression for this: “You have got to be kidding me.” Sadly, no. Can you say wrist-slap?

98 Responses to LAPD Chief: Cops Who Fired on Newspaper Delivery Pickup Truck Violated Dept. Policy

  1. Violated policy?? You mean violated policy 120 or so times! Thank god they can’t hit the side of a barn, both innocent ladies survived.

  2. I’m actually surprised that they didn’t throw up the legal wall and see who blinked first. Locally, Henderson Police think its okay to storm someone’s home so they can setup a surveillance spot on a neighbor’s house. Oh, what, didn’t hear about that one? Most folks haven’t. It’s another one of those “pesky police power abuse swept under the rug by the media” things.

  3. So much for the public servants being held to a higher standard. Just like for Politicians nowadays, there is a different rule of law for policemen.
    This is nothing new.
    Lawlessness starts at the top, then trickles down, then finally the swastikas appear.

    The decay of law and justice in this country is just getting started.

  4. “Violated Department Policy?”

    Wait, why are we talking at such a low level? Where are the attempted murder charges? Or at least assault with a deadly weapon for the infringing officers?

  5. They not only tried to murder these two innocent people, but also put the entire neighborhood at risk.This was an act of terrorism. They should get the death penalty.

    • If it were a civilian, they would never see the light of day. Since it’s a cop, they’ll get a paid vacation and a medal for courageous service.

      • There’s the rub in today’s US of A. To paraphrase: Cops are civilians and all civilians are equal. Some civilians are just more equal than others.

        • If they’d been in Boston people would’ve poured out of their homes into the streets to cheer the cops for at least trying to shoot Dorner, even if they wound up shooting a couple of little old ladies. If it’d been in Boston, the two old ladies themselves probably would’ve led the cheers and jumped up off the blood stained pavement to thank the officers for protecting their freedom.

        • Tomy Ironmane: sadly, your statement is rather redundant.

          It really does scare me how spot-on Orwell was.

      • Bring your guns with you (or buy some good ones when you get here) and promise never to vote for Democrat, and you’ll be welcome. We can always use more good people.

        • I plan to stop in either Nevada or Oregon and assemble my magazine parts kits, and swap out the bullet button when I finally arrive.

  6. Im a nurse, if I “shot” the wrong person with medication I would loose my job and be sued. Imagine shooting someone wrongly with something more permanent than some medication, like 115-180 grains of copper covered lead, and get a verbal warning.

    • The officers and the department have already been sued–and settled for an appreciable sum of money in very short order. I seem to recall that it was about $1.5 million. Whether or not the officers will be fired is the subject of the inquiry identified in the post.

        • None of it came out of the pocket of any cop. Cops, just as any other employee, are entitled to defense and indemnity from their employer for any tort (negligence) occurring in the course o f their employment–and that is written into a statute. Let me put it this way–if you are involved in an accident while working and in your employer’s vehicle, would you expect to have to pay damages out of your own pocket, or instead would you expect your employer’s insurance company to pick up the defense and indemnity? The latter I am sure. Same here. The City (because it has a huge exposure and has lots of accidents with city owned vehicles etc etc etc) probably self insures for at least the first million dollars, the rest would be insurance. So yes, it comes out of the City budget. But also recall that the PD is funded by the City as it is, so it all comes out of the same pocket no matter whose budget it is charged to.

        • Entities though can be released from liability if the persons act was out of the scope of their duty. Which I think shooting up a truck of innocent people surely is.

      • $4.2 million from the LA times.

        “The LAPD and the City of Los Angeles agreed last year to compensate the women with $40,000 for a new truck, as well as a settlement worth a reported $4.2 million. “

  7. Cops need to train more like civilians. The lack of accountability certainly doesn’t help. For what its worth, I’ve never shot the wrong person.

    • Since they violated Dept policy then THEY are civilly liable for the outcome of the shooting the department will not back or defend them if they violated policy. the Department IS still liable for failure to properly train in the use of force and in a civill case each officer’s range “qualification records” and their trainer’s will be scrutinized. the cops ain’t getting off scott free.

      and ultimately it is the Proceutor who brings charges, not the PD, and has to show the probable cause to a judge to sign off on the warrant.

      • Simply not true. Just like any other employee, they are entitled to be defended and indemnified for any negligent conduct. That duty ceases only if they acted in an intentionally wrongful manner and outside the scope of their employment. There is both statutory and case law on this subject. But the point is moot–the civil case has already been resolved.

    • I haven’t shot the right or wrong person ever either, I have come very close on a number of occasions.

      I have been under the impression from my academy days that as cops we are under a microscope if we get in a shooting more than the general public. and the public expects every cop to be a Sharp Shooter and expert marksman on par with Wild Bill Hickock. and they also believe that a crown vic with 100k+ miles will out run a brand new Mercedes.

      • Hey Bgreenea

        If that were the case tell me honestly what would happen to a couple of non-cops in this EXACT situation. Their home/family was threatened by a black man, driving a different color truck? If two non-cops (lets say father and son) shot up the WRONG truck with two women in it do you think they would have gotten bail? do you think they would have just been sued?

        I dont think so. If you have a badge these days you get EVERY benefit of the doubt, while the people you supposedly server get locked up first and thought about later.

        • why would a father and son be out looking for a suspected murderer? the problem with your argument is that the officers are tasked with a job to locate and arrest dangerous people. Their right to self defense stops after the threat stops. we do not live in a Vigilante society. now if a similar vehicle pulled back into their driveway that looked simalar to the suspect’s they would be in reasonable fear at that point..

          I do not think it was a good shoot by the cops at all. But after 14 years as a cop I can honestly say that the color of a vehicle given out as a BOLO is usually wrong and you look for something close, the next wrong descripto is the make.
          If someone told me to look out for a Silver Toyota Titan extended cab P/U generally that would translate into look for a mid to full size light colored pickup either ex-cab or a crew cab. then check to see if what I found is either registered to who I”m looking for or the occupants came close to matching the suspect…. in this case the cops in the shooting did niether.

      • I don’t WANT any marginally trained cop chasing at 90mph anywhere within 100mi of me. I think most cops can hit the backstop 8 out 10times at a the rare qualification course.

      • My company car is a crown vic with way over a hundred grand on it. Guys driving new mercedes get out of my way. They’re afraid my crap wagon will try to mate with their shiny new cars. When I’m carrying one of my “clients” in the cage in back even cops get out of my way. Nobody wants any piece of that mess.

  8. Should we be upset that it took them this long to determine the cops broke the policy, or eerily relieved to find out the LAPD does not have an official policy of opening fire on civilians?

  9. It took this long for the LAPD Chief to come out with such a “no duh!” sort of statement?

    The higher-ups in law enforcement continue to amaze and impress me with their deep insights and mental acumen.

  10. So help me out here…

    What happens when the police randomly open fire on an innocent person (such as these two ladies) who has a conceal carry license, and that person returns fire in self defense? I am sure the authorities won’t just Kick the rocks, hang their head and say, “oops, we goofed.”

    What if an officer is hurt or killed by return fire when they “goof” like this?

    I really want to know. Not interested in sarcastic answers.

    • At least in California, the courts are very clear that people may use all justified force against an aggressor even if he wears a badge. The exception is that you may not resist arrest, even if unlawful. (that is true in most states and the dangerous fools citing a SCOTUS case otherwise are just that, fools). But if they use unlawful force, you may defend yourself.

      Doesn’t mean they would give you the benefit of the doubt…heck you being armed may be used as an excuse and unless you prove they acted first…

      • Your first two sentences do not make sense together, as shooting someone counts as an “arrest,” legally (see Tennessee v. Garner and probably a bunch more).

        • Sir, did you read the court case you just cited? That case ruled that an LEO may not use deadly force to prevent an escape of a suspect unless he had probable cause to believe that the suspect posed a threat of death or serious harm to self or others. California law, e.g., gives blanket permission to use deadly force even in citien arrest “when necessary” to prevent an escape of a suspected felon. This court case appears to modify that (the CA jury instructions place it in brackets for non-LEO cases, as the case strictly speaking only applied to LEO’s, leaving it to the judge’s judgment).

          And in anycase, I did not contradict myself. Nor did I contradict the courts. In CA the courts have been explicit about this point. That while statute removes the right to claim self defense against merely unlawful arrest, that the right to defend oneself against rape, murder, mayhem remains even if the perp has a badge. Heck even the CA jury instructions are clear about such being lawful even against a cop.

    • Well, the innocent would lawyer up with limited funding and have to fight the entire legal defense team of a cities PD with unlimited funding. In theory he/she would win, but I do not think so in this day and age.

      • It wouldn’t be the city prosecuting–it would be the Los Angeles District Attorney, which is probably even worse.

    • A citizen returns fire on a cop, regardless of how justified he is, will get the cop broadcasting “Shots fired at an officer” All the cops will show up at that point and the citizen will be dead before the misunderstanding gets squared away.

      This is truly a nightmare scenario for the law abiding. As bad as the 2 ladies in the truck had it, think if one of them had fired her j frame snubby out the window trying to defend herself.

      • Oh yeah, no doubt, the person would be made an example of and even if you survived, there would be twenty cops saying that you shot first.

  11. 2 things;

    Wait… 8? Wasn’t the original number 2? Why were there 8(+?) officers protecting a single house?

    And a full year to come out with this?

  12. Between the LAPD, LASD and the gangs of Los Angeles, I pretty much treat them and view them as about the same level as far as their threat to my personal safety and for the safety of my loved ones. While there are some good cops and sheriffs, the departmental mindset is so degenerate and corrupt that law enforcement in Los Angeles basically now functions as state sanctioned criminals. Don’t forget, their primary purpose is not to serve and protect but to generate revenue for the state.

  13. Well, it was pretty much either that or admit that department policy is to shoot at random pickup trucks that don’t match the description of a suspect’s truck when it contains to women who don’t match the description of the suspect. Even the most corrupt law enforcement officials (i’m speaking hypothetically here) in the political echelons have to keep up appearances of propriety.

  14. Can you say TRIGGER HAPPY STUPID? Cause that’s what those idiots are.Gee and if a civilian who is legal to own a gun defends himself in his home from an assailant,he has to prove his life was threatened even though it’s a break in AND he is subject to civil litigation from the perps family.That’s why I no longer live in STUPIDVILLE CALIFORNIA.

  15. We all know how this is going to turn out, so please LAPD, just promote the bastards already and stop the usual cop kabuki.

  16. what policy did they violate? were they among the 50% of cops who do not wear their seat belts? other than that, their actions seemed to be in accordance with standard police procedure.

  17. Hey, that could happen to anybody. I’m sure the cops knew there was only one PU in Cali & that haaad to be Dorner. Now the cops are going to investigate themselves….reminds me of the pensive smile on Scarry Mary, Randy

  18. Attempted murder is against LAPD policy? That’s good news. Not to make light of their crimes, but what’s the deal with 8 supposedly trained gun thugs not being able put rounds on 2 stationary targets in a metal box?

  19. Who cares what the Los Angeles Police Department thinks. Those cops were clearly wrong and the prosecutor of the appropriate jurisdiction should be seeking an indictment before a Grand Jury for assault with intent to commit great bodily harm and attempted murder.

    • California does not use the grand jury system for criminal indictments. Whether to charge is an exercise of official discretion by the District Attorney–and he cannot be sued for that decision whether it is to charge or not charge.

  20. And on another note, the White House announces Obama is creating so many jobs they are running out of jobs and the workers might have to get on welfare!

  21. I have thought about logging the scenarios of LEO shootings that have occurred and the consequence that the officer has suffered. Then loaning these to citizens that have been in a self defense scenario that match with a LEO as a tool for equal treatment.

  22. My primary instinct is to send all eight back to training until they would be able to get 8 hits with 8 shots. Would be harder on targets but better for the neighborhood.

    ROE should be changed to fire only if fired upon

  23. In this day and time this country is becoming more of a police state , there is injustice performed everyday by rouge police officers , and nothing done about it . The main reason that nothing will be done is liability , if these officers are found to be guilty of negligence ,this opens the LAPD up to civil suits , it’s about the money . On the other hand we are being indoctrinated into believing that the police cannot do wrong so that when they get to the point that they think the Constitution doesn’t mean anything at all to them that we will just go along with it . I used to be a deputy and things were not like what law enforcement is becoming today , which is militarization by the Federal government , look at all of the equipment that is being transferred to local police departments , do a lot of ya’ll really believe that they need this ? Be prepared and ready. Keep your powder dry.

    • Yeah, you’re right. I’m going to go get ready to fight the police. Because they’re being militarized by the federal government. On purpose. It’s all part of a plan.

  24. All over the country, we have a growing number of rogue police killing innocents, shooting unarmed civilians and family pets. None of them are being held accountable for their criminal acts. That is not going to end well if this pattern continues. When the ones who are supposed to uphold and enforce the law are lawless themselves, that paves the way for resentment, disrespect, open hostility and eventually citizens taking matters into their own hands against rogue police.

  25. Should LA City not discipline these individuals and charge them with attempted murder or attempted manslaughter, the civilian populace needs to collectively sue the city and hold them responsible. Hopefully the FBI will step in and investigate the violations of civil rights in this case.

  26. “It will then be up to Beck to decide how to discipline the officers, if at all.” = Paid Vacation = Administrative leave with pay

  27. when cops break the law, they get sent back for “retraining”, when the public breaks the law they get sent up the river.

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