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“Deputies were searching for 24-year-old Cedric Ramirez around 5 p.m. Friday at a house in the 9000 block of Reichling Lane,” latimes.com reports,”hoping to arrest him on parole violations. Ramirez spotted deputies and ran away, and when deputies tracked him to the driveway of a nearby home he opened fire on them. Ramirez broke into the home through a rear window. Deputies entered through the front door and rushed an adult and two children out of the house, while Ramirez continued firing at them. When resident Frank Mendoza, 54, appeared in the doorway, a deputy mistook him for Ramirez and shot him twice.” Killing him. Earlier reports of the incident report that a SWAT team then made the scene (auto-play video after the jump) . . .

Ramirez took Mendoza’s wife hostage and held her until 1:30 a.m. Saturday, when a tactical team entered the house and fatally shot him, McSweeney said. The woman was unharmed.

Ramirez was wanted on felony warrants for vehicle theft and being a felon in possession of a firearm, authorities said.

Could this entire incident have been avoided? Once the deputies missed their chance to take Ramirez without gunplay, probably not. But one thing’s for sure: once the lead starts flying, never assume the police will see you as the good guy. Just as the police should never assume that someone is a bad guy. [h/t SS]

129 Responses to CA Deputies Shoot and Kill Innocent Homeowner

    • Suggestion:

      Put up a screen shot of the video, then indicate that clicking on it will result in an auto-start video.

      You guys have got to stop embedding auto-start videos. It is incredibly irritating since each time you post a comment or refresh, you have to kill the video, etc.

      • Just switched to chrome, still dunno how to turn that on yet…. it would also kill the annoying as hell talky ads.

        • Click on the three parallel lines at the top right.
          Go to Tools.
          Go to Extensions.
          Search for “Flashblock.”
          Select “Add.”
          Enjoy life once again…

          I also strongly recommend installing AdBlock.

      • Good grief. I spend 95% of my time with the speakers turned off, this stuff bothers me not at all. And awfully easy compared to these other suggestions.

      • “Chrome + FlashBlock, problem solved”

        GFY. I’m not about to use a browser I don’t trust, plus some third party addon, to solve a problem on somebody else’s web site.

        If it gets intolerable, I’ll just quit visiting.

        • Agreed.

          I’m unwilling to change browsers or install software to avoid something that should never be forced on me to begin with. Kill the damn auto play videos.

    • +1 For the love of……….whatever. It is getting so one does not want to be bothered with articles which contain videos.

  1. This issue has serious concerns for good guys with guns. If you use a gun for self-defense or intervene for the benefit of a third party, you must immediately scan for other threats 360 degrees. This includes additional bad guys, other CCWs and cops. You’re are just as dead from a cop as from a bad guy.

    Once all threats have been resolved, holster up. Contact LE ASAP. Leave the scene ONLY if staying there would put your life in further danger.

    David Kenik
    http://www.armedresponsetraining.com

    • I did nt gather this was about a good guy with a gun. Article said he appeared, did not say armed. Would have been a good time to hide in the closet, but he probably did not know his family was safe. Bummer. Cops owe that family a few million. But I cannot say anybody needs to go to jail, can’t be sure I would never make the same mistake.

    • The shooting vic did all of that (except for the “holster up” part). He was being escorted out when he was caught in an overexcited Deputy’s sights and ventilated. And I would certainly not stay in the house with an armed perp inside.

  2. And had the homeowner been able to arm himself in Commiefornia, he may very well have been able to dispatch this criminal himself prior to his wife being taken hostage.

    • The are no impediments to ownership of firearms by California homeowners other than those imposed by federal (and parallel state) laws of disqualification. Our biggest impediments are as to restrictions on which firearms we are allowed purchase (and as to some, own or possess such as NFA items) and carrying outside the home.

      • Perhaps not, but it’s all part of a long campaign toward disarmament. Little restrictions here and there on the state’s part beget little indifferences and forfeitures on the citizenry’s part. Over time, it’s easier and more effective to disarm people through nudging neglect of their rights, than through active confiscation of their arms. Hence, a man and his family are left powerless against a violent criminal whose actions the police were powerless to prevent.

  3. What would have happened if the police were shot by the homeowner, or ramirez was shot by the home owner?

    • I suspect the owner would have a problem if he shot a cop, especially since the cops were out front with bull horns. Shooting the intruder would not be a problem, as state law presumes that he would have been acting in lawful self-defense.

  4. Here come all the arm-chair commandos with tactical advice well after the fact with zero experience in that same sort of scenario…

    This is simply a singular mistake by one person in a stressful situation and a tragedy. I’m sure that deputy regrets his mistake. End of story.

    Ramirez is the one that put that entire family at risk in the first place.

    • That family focusing their rage on the police is actually kind of repulsive. Really? On the police and not the guy shooting at the police and breaking into their home? Maybe next time it would be better for Ramirez to hold them hostage or kill them himself.

      The death is a tradegy — it was not planned or intentional. And what of the family members that survived the incident because of the police? Nah, let’s focus on the mistake, rather than the saved lives.

      If this was a DGU by an armed citizen rather than the police, I think this whole issue would take a different stance.

      • If the mistake costs a life, then thoroughly and impartially investigating the events surrounding the incident must be accomplished. Just because the man who pulled the trigger was in uniform does not absolve him of guilt – and I say that as a man currently wearing a uniform. The cop who shot the wrong person must be held accountable for his actions. Similarly, Ramirez certainly holds some blame for setting the events in motion.

        • Well yeah, that goes without saying.

          But the problem with this entire scenario is until they map out exactly how it went down, there’s just a bunch of assumptions to be had. The whole situation seems to have been a mess, with the police swarming an occupied house, innocents caught in the crossfire, etc.

          I can guess that the police decided to go in to avoid a barricaded suspect scenario in an effort to subdue an active shooter, but I imagine it could’ve just as easily resulted in multiple casualties if they waited.

        • TJ, the suspect has to eat, drink, sleep and cr@p. There is no way that going in guns blazing makes more sense than waiting him out, UNLESS he is about to shoot a hostage. If you wait, you get to choose to either negotiate a settlement or engage when you know the bad guy is at a disadvantage. This was an assault, and a profoundly stupid one.

          Since, in this case, it was the police who apparently did all the hostage shooting, I would advise a little patience as the better part of valor.

      • I disagree entirely.
        it the DGU killed an innocent bystander, it would be plastered over the front page and top story on all the news programs as an example of why GUNS ARE BAD AND SHOULD BE TAKEN AWAY

      • Unfortunately for the officer, intentionality isn’t the only standard of criminality. It’s the highest standard and warrants the harshest penalty, but it isn’t the only one.

        Criminal culpability generally falls into four categories: intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, and with criminal negligence. What actions correspond to what categories are influenced by the actor himself. One would expect a higher standard of care from a supposedly highly trained officer than from an ordinary citizen. So even though the officer didn’t act intentionally, he may well, based on the totality of the circumstances, be guilty of a lower level crime.

        • I don’t think I could go with that. The cop was not in the wrong house, and was not overemphasizing the dangers, he had an active shooter. He was under great stress and he made a mistake. I suspect if it was me I would resign, knowing I could never be effective again, but I don’t think he should be hung out to dry for a mistake made in good faith.

        • I read somewhere else that the victim:
          was being ESCORTED OUT,
          that shooting started elsewhere during that evolution,
          the Deputy fired twice, and
          he was shot in front of his son and grandkids.

          Sort it out.

          The wife can’t even go back to the house. At a minimum I see a gigantic payout for her and paid therapy for all involved.

    • I understand why you feel as you do, but as a retired cop I can lay the blame fully where it belongs–on the shoulders of the officer who fired negligently without knowing his target and thus killed an innocent man.

      There is always a tendency to do the ‘There But for the Grace of God’ thing in these sorts of situations, but we MUST hold our professionals to a professional standard; Human life cannot be replaced, there are no ‘do-overs,’ the dead are dead and no amount of ‘I’m sorries’ can change the finality of death. There cannot BE these kinds of mistakes; If a target cannot be POSITIVELY identified as a lethal threat that can be engaged without endangering the innocent, beyond all doubt, no matter the lethal risk to the officer/s, then that target CANNOT be engaged with lethal force. It’s a tough rule, but it’s the only right one.

      • Right. If this had been a DGU with a concealed carrier instead of a cop, we would already have the lynching platform built and ready to go.

      • Target ID is one of the reasons I have a light mounted on my pistol. I don’t ever want to be the one who makes that mistake.

        • Just a general warning to folks considering weapon mounted lights, don’t get lazy and search with your weapon. Have a primary unmounted flashlight for that. Accur81, not saying you do this, but I’ve seen people do it in my department. We try hard to train it out of ourselves.

    • I’m not really satisfied dismissing critiques of shooting tragedies by characterizing them as arm-chair comando’ing. Nor am I satisfied by characterizing each such incident as isolated.
      – – – There are two broad classes of incidents: A) police as tragic shooters; and, B) civilians as tragic shooters. These two deserve to be judged by different criteria.
      – – – If granny – a civilian – commits a tragic shooting, she might be forgiven. The incident is still a tragedy. We aught to critique it on such forums as TTAG for the benefit of all of us learning from the experience. I do NOT agree that granny’s error is grounds for sweeping aside the 2A. That granny had occasion to feel threatened and shot in error is unfortunate; but, that is no grounds to disarm all civilians. It is a rare event and unlikely to occur with that particular shooter again.
      – – – If Officer X – a professional – commits a tragic shooting, he ought to be excused only after careful independent objective evaluation. First, we don’t hire police to introduce greater danger into society; we hire them to make us safer. Society ought to have very limited tolerance for error on the part of our paid public servants. Officer X is going to be on the streets with a badge and a gun for many years to come; that set’s him apart from our civilian “granny”. If his training or instincts are not of high-enough standards he is a great public danger. (Granny is but a slight public danger.) What caused Officer X to fire the tragic shot? If it was an insufficiency or incorrect training then it is critical to identify and correct that fault. All officers in the field (throughout the country) ought to learn from the discovery. All future trainees at police academies need to be trained correctly,
      – – – I hesitate to engage in blanket cop-bashing. That is totally inappropriate when a large percentage of LEOs are careful and dedicated to pubic safety. Nevertheless, I do not believe that pinning a badge on a trained LEO is any sort of talisman of near-perfection. I suspect that the number of ill-trained and bad-attitude LEOs is somewhat higher than the public at large assumes it to be.
      – – – The UK has never – ever – routinely armed the cop-on-the-block. The original thinking (I believe) was that the cop could summon armed citizens if moral suasion failed and the cop felt that physical force would be compulsory. While I don’t advocate that the US summarily adopt the UK convention, I do think that the UK’s tradition is worthy of our reflection. Did the Brits originally have the right idea? Armed citizens; un-armed cops.
      – – – The story here seems to have deteriorated rapidly due to a hot-pursuit. It was a pretty bad situation for the perpetrator to have penetrated an innocent party’s home. Nevertheless, once that occurred, his escape was pretty well precluded. Did it then become a hostage situation where different tactics suddenly should have applied?
      – – – The more I think about self-defense the more convinced I become that armoring one’s perimeter is by far the most important tactic. The average citizen would be far safer if neither: A) a lawless perpetrator; nor B) a negligent LEO could quickly and easily gain entrance. Admittedly, a SWAT team will eventually gain entrance even to Ft. Knox. Even so, the longer it takes the SWAT team to breach the perimeter the longer the homeowner has to recognize and evaluate the gravity of the force and persistence. He should then be able to make a rational judgement as to whether the assailant is a perpetrator or a LEO. The appropriate response-to-force differs depending upon the identity of the assailant.

      • I keep going back to the money angle.

        Taxpayers are paying the salaries and benefit packages of cops. This means that taxpayers don’t need to say “please don’t shoot us by mistake.” Paying means the taxpayers don’t need to say “please,” period. When I was paid to do a job, my boss didn’t say “please.” He said “do X.” If I didn’t want to “do X,” then I had the option to find a new job and take someone else’s money. I suggest cops who don’t like public criticism start thinking about a new job.

        If some non-LEO citizen, attempting to act as a “good guy,” rushed into a house after someone who had started a gunfight and, in subsequent “confusion,” shot an innocent occupant of the house, we all know how the court system would respond to that. It would be charged as murder in the second degree – the “good guy” had intent and a lethal weapon, was in pursuit, and snuffed the wrong person. The DA’s office would salivate at such a case – they’d puff themselves up with moral righteousness against “vigilantism” and other such nonsense. DA’s love these sorts of cases, because they want to preserve the legal fiction of a state monopoly on lethal force.

        But when a cop does it? Oh, now it’s a “tragedy” and a “mistake.” And the board of inquiry will likely whitewash the whole incident, spouting such pablum as they are wont to do “in the confusion,” “in hot pursuit,” etc, etc. The taxpayers will be charged for a tidy payout to the widow/family, the family made to sign a NDA upon receipt of the payment, and the carnage of innocent people killed by police will continue. The officer involved will be given paid leave, which is hardly a disincentive to make such mistakes.

        For all y’all public employees, here’s a news flash how things work in the private sector: When you screw up… your employer usually quits paying you, and if you really screw up, you’re out on the street the same day, usually without any severance pay. There isn’t such a thing as “paid leave” in the private sector when you screw up. It is long past time that public employees start feeling real financial incentives to “not screw up.”

  5. Could it have been avoided? Yes, by the police either getting positive ID before firing, OR not firing if the target isn’t presenting a weapon. They shot a totally different dude in a doorway that was not being threatening. It might not be murder but I’m pretty sure it’s negligent homicide or something.

      • No, it’s something better than that. Reasonable people can be permitted to assemble the ‘facts in evidence’ and come to a reasonable conclusion. It does not take a comprehensive knowledge of ‘law’ to reason right from wrong if the facts are presented truthfully.

        This is why we have a jury system in this country and not ‘trial by lawyer.’

  6. When cops start shooting, everyone in the area should take cover. Police standards of shooting are not very high.

    • Pretty much. No sudden moves, stay away from window and doorways, and make the floor your best friend.

    • Not to be insensitive but it sounds like accuracy was not the problem here… target identification was.

    • Shameful, but true. Many agencies ‘qualify’ only once a year due to that being the statutory requirement, do no real ‘training,’ and only require maybe 25 or 30 rounds be fired each year. Some do it twice, and think that they’re really accomplishing something. Three times a year, with training in there somewhere, would be a defensible minimum for most, and FOUR times a year with regular training would be Nirvana. With more training comes more confidence, more poise under pressure, more ability to take the time to make the right shoot/don’t shoot decisions.

      Ammunition and officer training time all cost MONEY, though; Administrators usually see only the expense, and fail to see that the money spent on training and more regular ‘qualification’ is money saved in litigation and huge payouts to aggrieved victims of errant police gunfire. They’re much more willing to gamble on nothing going badly in the future, thus saving cash NOW, than to take the hit up front and spring for the necessary training.

      And, so, we lose an occasional innocent bystander. That’s what insurance is for, right? It’s similar to Ford and the Pinto gas-tanks: Ford could afford to make crispy critters out of X number of drivers and passengers before it became prohibitively expensive, and a recall on Pintos then became cost-effective.

  7. I assume Frank Mendoza no doubt had on a black balaclava, shades, and helmet which prevented the amped up cops from telling that he was 54yr not 24YR old.

    Cedric Ramirez in the US legally?

    • Well darn, you started out strong then went all racist on us. Do you have any idea how many people with Spanish surnames have been in this country for generations. Hell, the Southwest used to BE Mexico for Christ’s sake! Maybe this is news in your lil’ corner of NE Iowa though.

      • It’s RRRAAAACCCIST! Get over it, no one cares anymore. Mexico lost the Mexican American war, what, one hundred and forty years ago? And the United States still paid 15 million dollars to Mexico for the land we won.

  8. This incident sucks. I know there is a lot of complaints towards LEO, but this is a bit different. If you were being shot at and entered a home and seen a suspect I can’t say I would wait to give him a chance to fire again. I wasn’t there but I can only imagine the psychological pain the LEO has due to his mistake. I also feel for the family for their loss.

    • That is the point of being a professional, proper P.I.D. and awareness of the ROEs. The fact that IS soldiers in a war zone are held to higher standards than our own countries Police is telling about Law enforcement standards these days.

    • There is are two key flaws in your statement. The first is that this was a situation were the LE knew there were friendlies on the scene. Under such circumstances, officers must take extra care to very sure of their target before engaging. The second is that the victim was shot as he was exiting, not as the police were entering (they had already entered and then retreated from the house). This is a bad shoot, hands down. The officer shot into a situation where innocent civilians were in play without being sure of who he was shooting. He needs to never work in LE ever again.

      • That hindsight must be nice. As well as sitting comfortably behind a monitor and keyboard expounding such clear wisdom and judgment for something you were not involved in and for people you are strangers to.

        How about, have some sympathy for both sides.

        • Hindsight? These are items that should have been front in center in his mind. You are in a residential area, people live there. You can’t just shoot anything that moves. While I don’t believe the officer should be prosecuted, he should never work in law enforcement again. I have had to clear multiple villages where we new multiple insurgents were located and we had taken fire from but I didn’t just shoot people cause they came out of a door. Again that is part of being a professional in your job.

        • Oy vey. I’m not absolving the deputy for a bad shoot. That deputy had one egregious error in judgment and cost someone their life. Closed and shut case. I’m sure he / she is regretting it, and I’m not sure how a whole thread about that part of it is anything short of people being given a forum to be anti-police about it.

          As far whatever “tactical” information that can be gleaned from this situation:

          Don’t get caught in the middle of a shootout. Because bullets.

        • So you require a sports commentator to play in the current game he’s commentating to have any credibility? TJ I hear your opinion occasionally when discussing certain police scenarios. It usually goes “well you weren’t there, being shot at, having to think on your feet in a highly tense situation” I say true I wasn’t, I had no stress, no adrenaline clouding my judgment, no tunnel vision and the benefit of hindsight. Having hindsight puts sabrewolfe In a great position to critique the situation, decide what went right and wrong and what to do next time. If your a LEO out there why not learn from the bad police shoots? Too many are too caught up in the fraternity mindset to look at these situations objectively instead of defensively. Defense is often their default setting. LE have been given tremendous power AND responsibility. Who’s job is it to hold them accountable? Yours and mine. I have a great respect for a respectable, responsible LEO. I wish there were more.

        • @vvind

          I have nothing against hindsight. I do have something against cop-bashing from arm-chair quarterbacks who have zero LE experience. I don’t have any LE / military experience, but do you see me here crapping on military or LE members? No. I try to insert myself into their situation and seeing things from both sides (if at all possible), not just the victim’s. You know, to be objective.

          The thing that’s annoying is people already saying no corrective action, investigation, or justice is going to happen to the deputy that was involved in the bad shoot. Maybe that will be the case, but until it does happen, it’s all just conspiracy theorizing. Until then, all we can do is wait and see how the facts fall and what happens.

          And even then, let’s say the deputy’s job is somehow protected, don’t you think the deputy knows they committed murder (even if unintentional)? It’s one thing to blame “the man” or “the police”, and it’s quite another to lump all police into the “police are evil” bandwagon because of the actions of a few.

        • tj, I assume your quals to armchair quarterback the armchair quarterbacks you so detest are being able to stare into a monitor and press keys?

    • “If you were being shot at and entered a home and **seen a suspect** I can’t say I would wait to give him a chance to fire again.”

      Except the they didn’t see a suspect or even someone who matched the suspect’s description.

      There’s no excuse for just shooting any male in the area who is within 30 years of the suspect’s age.

      That’s fvking ridiculous.

  9. The police have the advantage in manpower, firepower, communications and time. Why do they need to come in guns a blazin’?

    • The police do NOT have an advantage in ‘time’ when the home invader can kill a hostage at any second.

      • You are correct, but the reality is that hostages have no value to the hostage-taker once dead; The tendency in a real ‘hostage’ situation is that time IS on the side of the police if the hostages are not immediately killed.

        That is why we have negotiators. This is also, even if the bad fellow with hostages is blazing away at the cops outside, the reason why the cops don’t blaze back–hostages are supposed to have higher value than the cops, unless the possible loss/gain ratio is such that a few hostages must be expended to prevent the loss of MORE innocents. I know, being a hostage is a dangerous business and people should know that before they are taken hostage, but the whole idea is to protect the innocent, not to make the arrest at all costs OR take out the bad guy at the expense of a few hostages.

      • Depending on a huge number of variables in each particular scenario, recognizing the moment when an active gunfight turns into a hostage situation, or vice versa, can be one of the most difficult and yet vital things to do.

        I don’t know if that was a failing here, until some more info comes out. So far the only failing I feel confident in recognizing is failure to ID the target. That is not and never should be acceptable.

        • The part where I said I don’t know if they failed to recognize a transition between an active gunfight and a hostage situation means I don’t know if they failed to do that- not sure how that can be read as endorsing any particular course of action.

          If you know more than the original article, especially information that sheds more light on if the wrong decisions were made beyond not getting positive ID on a target before firing, please post a link so we can discuss it. It is entirely possible that when more info comes out, a better understanding of the whole situation will show glaring mistakes were made. That doesn’t mean we can make a reasoned judgement before we actually know what happened.

  10. “It is better 100 guilty Persons should escape than that one innocent Person should suffer”.
    – Benjamin Franklin

    It is more important that innocence should be protected, than it is, that guilt be punished; for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world, that all of them cannot be punished…. when innocence itself, is brought to the bar and condemned, especially to die, the subject will exclaim, ‘it is immaterial to me whether I behave well or ill, for virtue itself is no security.’ And if such a sentiment as this were to take hold in the mind of the subject that would be the end of all security whatsoever.
    – John Adams

    • Police have no requirement to protect innocence and are never charged for murder of innocent citizens. Well ****.

    • That axiom is not morally supportable. The killing of Nazi’s during WW2 did not come close to killing 100 evil Nazi’s to one innocent civilian. Sometimes you have to defeat evil no matter how many innocents it’s going to take to get the job down.

      With that said, in general, the police of current incarnation suck. Big time. My opinion of LEO’s have taken a 180 shift in the past decade and I’m not alone in the transformation.

  11. Expanding on the closing comments of the article, maybe once they lost the chance to take him without gun play they could have backed off and waited to nip him another time? Similar to how some jurisdictions have done away with high speed pursuits maybe?

    • Exactly! One common thread running through so many of the recent stories about LEO’s killing people is the excessive force they are using when backing off would be the best solution. These crimes do not warrant anyone getting hurt, much less dead. Physicians have “Do no harm” as a motto. If only…

      • Depending on the circumstances, backing off can definitely be the best option. After the bad guy starts shooting, though, what is the alternative? If the guy was willing to open fire in the first place, unless society is going to declare that anyone willing to shoot at police is immune to arrest, someone is eventually going to have to go get him, using whatever force is appropriate. When he starts shooting again, do you let him go again? And the time after that?

        If you mean backing away until the target is more exposed, or the backdrop safer, or the hostages negotiated out, then again, depending on the circumstances this can be a valid option- just remember that SWAT is likely to be an hour or more away, and that SWAT calls don’t always work the way we’d like.

        • Sniper. Window. Bang. Pack your bags boys, we can all go home.

          That’s why you spend $200,000 training those guys, right?

          If they are an hour away, you can surround the house. I know, establishing a cordon is a really advanced tactic only invented in the last few years, but you might try it.

          These clowns had all the options in the world available and they used HORRIBLE tactical judgement. No sympathy.

        • I know you’re being somewhat sarcastic, but are you seriously suggesting that police departments make it standing policy to surround and execute anyone offering violent resistance? No attempt to arrest, just wait for the sniper, shoot them, and call it good? I guess it saves time in court, inquests seem to go faster than trials.

          I have been on hundreds of calls where we surrounded a house, other building, or even a small patch of woods, dozens of which contained someone we had reason to believe might be armed and looking for a violent confrontation. Sometimes, based on the circumstances, we called out SWAT. Some of those times we talked the person out before SWAT arrived, some of them SWAT talked the person out, and some of them SWAT ended up making entry and arresting the person with no shots fired. Sometimes one of those things happened without SWAT even being called.

          We’ve also had times where we had to deal with guys who we thought or knew were armed, and stopped them before they were able to enter buildings containing potential hostages. Sarcasm aside, not every situation is as simple as a breaking story on the internet. I hope you understand my comment as a general statement, that the decision to back all the way off shouldn’t be a universal thing. Especially consider my statement –

          “If you mean backing away until the target is more exposed, or the backdrop safer, or the hostages negotiated out, then again, depending on the circumstances this can be a valid option,” which I think is exactly what you wish the deputies had done.

        • Yeah, that was sarcasm (I thought the whole $200k thing gave it away), A little patience could have made a big difference here. That said, I also know how difficult it can be to make correct decisions under stress. Nobody came out ahead on this one.

  12. Yep…can’t tell the difference between 24 & 54. And there’s no consequences for the POlice. Sounds par for the course. But of course I’m just an armchair quarterback. Kinda’ silly of me to expect more…

  13. Now this family doesn’t have the husband and father they once knew , he was probably the main breadwinner that supported his family , now that is gone too , is the county going to take care of this family , NO , not unless they are forced to by legal action that will have to be brought by the family . I used to be a deputy , we were trained to be sure of our target , and if that target was still armed , if this was a SWAT team member maybe the goggles he was wearing interrupted his line of sight , who knows but it appears a mistake was made here and if this happened with one officer , it could happen with others , maybe new training initiatives should be brought in to remedy problems before they happen , also knowing there were friendlies in the house should have changed the dynamic of the situation , to where more caution would have been used , yes there is a problem here but maybe it will be addressed or maybe not , it seems that now a days collateral damage is accepted much too quickly , and even bad shoots are deemed o k , maybe more physcological exams need to be accomplished on prospective officers of the law before hiring of said officers , as there seems to be an increase in innocent civilians being “accidentally ” killed by officers lately . A lot of you brother officers might see me as a turncoat by expressing my opinion , but here is a word of advice to you , what if this had been your family member ? Be prepared and ready . Keep your powder dry .

  14. I wish police would just tell the truth. Truth being, we create wonderful paramilitary castles justifying our coin…so when we contain a suspect, screw the citizens who live their homes because it offers us a chance to employ our training, you know to protect the public. When an epic fail occurs by killing an innocent citizen, it doesn’t really matter to us because we get to protect ourselves by saying oops, our bad. They’ll be an investigation, we’ll be cleared and get to say, our priority is to make it home safe. No worries though we have insurance and your lawyer will pull 35% of the settlement and with the rest, you can move out of the gang infested neighborhood and live happily ever after, but without your husband, boyfriend, lover or what ever.

    Another truth is citizens allow this to happen. Every citizen should be on the phone lambasting their council members, setting up spike strips in police patrol yards, hammering on the mayors door. Insist on firing the swat team leaders and chief of police. Walk up to every police officer in that town and scream at the top of your lungs they work for state sanctioned murderers. ONLY WHEN POLICE ARE HELD ACCOUNTABLE WILL THIS END.

    • Tell the truth? What are you blabbering about, are you suggesting they saw that he was not the suspect and decided to kill him anyway for fun?

      • No mention in the post about killing someone for fun. The gist is trained police get a pass when citizens are shot or killed. Accountability required of us, none for police. Police roll with mantra “arm to go home safe” yet more often than not, they kill or maimed the innocent citizens. Courts absolve police of responsibility. Police do what they are told, and for the moment they are told, when killing innocent citizens you get a desk job or get administration leave (paid vacation). Until the fear of losing their jobs and and placed on a national no hire list, will the murder by cop end.

    • Actually your post contains a great many truths about our new militarized police. Lots of expensive toys and lots of free passes.

  15. Frank Mendoza, age 54, was in his home when he was shot and killed by a police officer. The officer mistook him for a 24 year old. Police officers have a hard job, they make mistakes, innocent people die and that is just how it is. On the bright side, we can assume that police officers who kill innocent people regret their mistakes and feel bad. Also, surviving family members will get some money.

    This is not acceptable. Shooting and killing an innocent person is not just “making a mistake”. It is a little more serious than that, for most of us. The consequences should be the same for all of us. If officer safety trumps innocent life, if it excuses taking innocent life, there is no point in having police officers on the street.

  16. Speaking on a personal level – being shot at and not returning fire due to a lack of positive ID is not only possible and preferable, but absolutely necessary. When you start throwing rounds downrange without having a legitimate target you not only risk hitting a bystander or your own people, you make actual identification of an actual threat rather more complicated, what with the extra noise, impacts, etc. I’m not going to demonize the dude who did it; I get the inherent stress. The problem though is a deficit in properly training people to quickly and efficiently evaluate threats and non threats, thus creating a worse situation by the inclusion of unpleasant variables beyond what were already present. That and a culture that does not follow up appropriately or sufficiently to correct that deficit. I also have zero patience for people who like to say “oh but it was really stressful and you don’t know how you’d react”, mainly because yes, I do know how I’d react – been there done that -, and yes I know it’s stressful. Get over it, learn to cope with the inherent risk involved with armed confrontation, or find another line of work. Pansies.

      • Touche. I certainly don’t disagree, but it’s not like I made a habit of targeting individual persons with a SMAW…to that end I barely used the damned thing due to a lack of acceptable targets. But yes sure, if you make the decision to send one into a building, you risk causing a tone of collateral damage, though that is an entirely different situation. Of course the follow up argument is that taking down a violent, hostage taking parolee is also an entirely different situation to what I may be familiar with. Given that I also did something fairly similar though…my point is that different levels of threat require different levels of response; when you are facing a single armed MAM, then unrestrained force, to include the shooting of anything vaguely man shaped, or hell – blowing the whole thing with a SMAW or something similar is more likely to cause harm than not. In my humble opinion of course. I’m not an expert, I can only speak to my own experience.

  17. April 11, 2014: LAPD “accidentally” shoot two escaping hostages, killing one.

    July 17, 2014: Stockton, CA police “accidentally” shoot and kill hostage.

    August 2, 2014: Pico Rivera, CA police “accidentally” shoot and kill hostage.

    Once is a regrettable mistake. Twice is the clear indication of a problem. Three times in four months is a pattern of indiscriminate killing. And let’s not even talk about the innocent people shot by cops for no reason in the aftermath of the Dorner incident.

    But it’s okay, isn’t it, since all the cops got to go home safe at night. That’s the only thing that matters. Right?

    • I’m surprised Paul McCain hasn’t stared spewing his “COP HATERS!!!11” nonsense yet. Hey Paul, here’s the link from before in case you missed it. Please justify to me why that cop should not be in prison:

      Connecticut Police Department Tries to Arrest One of Its Own For Brutality,
      State’s Attorney Says Nope, Too Complicated
      http://reason.com/blog/2014/07/23/connecticut-police-department-tries-to-a

      I guess you’d say the victim is to blame, since he got in the way of the cop’s fists. Poor copper, must be protected no matter what, right?

  18. “Deputies entered through the front door and rushed an adult and two children out of the house, while Ramirez continued firing at them. When resident Frank Mendoza, 54, appeared in the doorway, a deputy mistook him for Ramirez and shot him twice.” Killing him.’

    So, cops go in, tell man and his two kids to run out the door and when they do they get shot by a cop outside as they are trying to escape by doing what police told them to do. Not only did that officer who shot endanger the other police in the house, he killed a man in front of his two kids who were following orders of fellow cops. Stressful situation, yes. Poor judgement, yes. Am I a armchair quarterback, sure.

    The difference here is that if I was in a stressful situation say someone broke in my home and I started shooting at them and then the police showed up and I started shooting at them because I thought they were the bad guy who broke in my home, I would go to jail for a very long time if I survived. So, my mistake means jail. What punishment will this officers mistake get him? Additional training? Maybe fired? I get my guns taken away, and prison. Same stress situation. Actually I would be under more stress because it’s just me not a swarm of people with guns behind me. Just me. Same stressful situation, two different consequences for bad judgement. Doesn’t seem right to me.

    • Yes – it seems that LE is given the benefit of the doubt based upon how stressfull the situation is, yet at the same time are heralded as being exceptionally trained. Meanwhile regular folk are not afforded that benefit. It seems to me that either they are exceptionally trained, in which case they need to be held to a greater degree of responsibility, or they aren’t exceptionally trained, in which case…judge them by the same standards as everyone else and maybe consider revamping your insufficient training standards.

      • Actually I think their “exceptional training” should mandate exceptionally high standards and excruciatingly close scrutiny and analysis in the event of an “oopsie.”

        In my field the certification I hold (and required ongoing training) means that if you screw up, too bad; if I screw up, get fired and possibly sued. Same should hold true for the po-po.

    • Police go “Full Retard” and once again, the public is safe.

      Except for those in the morgue/hospital.

      Idiots.

  19. That deputy must feel terrible. The family will get a good chunk of money, not that fixed anything. All around sad. Charge the parolee with felony murder.

    • It’d have to be posthumously; He’s rather dead at the moment. At least, at last report, doctors remain cautiously optimistic, but his condition is stable, and he is expected to remain dead.

    • The parolee did create the initial situation.

      The parolee isn’t the one who decided to try out some stuff he saw playing Call of Duty to resolve it. That was officer McDonuts and company. They decided to assault a residence containing an unknown number of noncombatants and at least one combatant, rather than cordoning it off an waiting the guy out. No one had to die here. The cops escalated the situation, it got out of hand, and people died.

  20. It sucks. It shouldn’t have happened but until Robocop gets activated cops will still be imperfect humans who make mistakes… and sometimes, depending on the situation, those mistakes are deadly.

    I saw someone point this out and I think it’s the best takeaway for this site: perhaps if the homeowner had a gun handy he might have been able to short-circuit the situation by killing the home invader. Maybe not. But at least there’s a chance.

  21. ” But one thing’s for sure: once the lead starts flying, [or even after the shooting’s stopped] never assume the police will see you as the good guy.”

    We’ll put. This the only thing the Armed Intelligensia can learn from this tragedy… for more clarity I added the passage in brackets.

  22. I think Seans observation is the winner of the thread…………….

    Our soldiers Rules Of Engagement against the Jihadis in a war zone are more restrictive than the average cop in suburbia against US citizens.

    WTF is with that?

  23. The police is responsible of bad judgement: a) no initial well thought out plan for the arrest, b) inability to identify the subject on sight which of course led to the dead of a bystander, c) not backing off to a protected position until SWAT made its presence, d) escalating the situation until it went out of control. If you are not properly trained for such tactical actions, then the probability of civilians getting hurt increases exponentially. They knew where the culprit was and they could have contained the situation until the arrival of SWAT and negotiators. It is obvious that too much adrenaline and testosterone were involved. The police are about saving lives, serving and protecting the public but that role is now reverse to taking lives and escalating the problem by not thinking through their actions first. They are humans, with human failings and that is where intensive training with common sense and judgement comes in. Their actions were haphazard and it is a miracle that more people were not hurt. Now it is time to investigate, analyse and assign responsibilities and maybe to come up with nonsense excuses and cover ups on the part of the police department. Looks like another law suit. This could have been avoided but testosterone got the better of the officers and now lives including the cop that kill the bystander are ruined.

  24. If the home owners had been armed this would of ended the moment the guy broke into the home. California gun laws and the liberal gun beliefs kill innocent law-abiding people.

    • Maybe a trifle extreme, don’t you think? There are tens of millions of people in this country who could be armed according to their local laws but choose not to be. Blaming this on CA law doesn’t make sense without further info.

    • +1 I’m sure these people were not even aware they could legally own a gun. That’s not extreme, that’s CALIFORNIA.

  25. This was a “bad shoot” on the Police side, however, I have to agree that there was a fatal error on Frank Mendoza’s part, and the only thing to be learned from this is that if you’re an innocent bystander in any sort of Police shooting situation NEVER assume the Police will assume you are NOT the bad guy. Stay put. Keep quiet and let them find you where they can clearly see you in a non-threatening position. Otherwise, you’re pretty much asking to get shot, and having the subsequent Police Investigation declare it was an “accidental shooting that we’re so sorry about, so here’s some money for your survivors” sucks to the max.

  26. Ooops huh…wrong place at the wrong time, stressful situation, who knows. Prayers go out to the family of this incident.

  27. They talk about the “Bubba effect” I think the incident that causes this scenario will be a angry relative of a innocent victim shot dead by police officers. The aggrieved relative hunts down and kills the specific officers after the police chief and the district attorney clears them. I predict in the not too distant future, it will happen. It will be tragic because neither justice or the rule of law was upheld, paving the way for such a reaction.

  28. YES ! It could have been avoided if the police didn’t enter the house without an warrant and if the ownder of the house was armed. Stupid freacking cops.

  29. While this isn’t a real good analogy, the deputy is like senior military officers (when they’re not screwing someone at the “front, for a book deal or sending thousands of emails to their new love while commanding troops in Afghanistan).

    We make them managers of many people (writing tickets or trying to figure out how to get promoted(military – sometime for sh##s and giggles look up a picture of Gen Pertreus in full uniform . . . . The only way to give him another award or badge is pin it on his ass). Most senior officers don’t know how to fire a pistol or rifle properly, their training is rubber stamped.

    Then we throw them into combat. The skills needed to write tickets and use a computer and cell phone in a car or the skills needed to “manage” thousands of troops and civilians are different than those required to deal with a shooting incident or “lead” troops into battle.

    If you want to be a cop and your department does not want to train you, carry an unloaded gun. Otherwise, train on your own time.

    Too many civilians dying at the hands of people who should not be cops or are ill trained.

  30. Police officers who take the life of innocent people as a result of their own negligence and stupidity or lack of training AND their bad dceisions should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Having a badge shouldn’t mean not having to answer for your misconduct. Identifying friend from foe in a hostage situation is a pretty freaking important part of the game.

    It’s a shame that too many officers in the field aren’t mentally and emotionally competent to do the tasks that citizens rely on them to do, and the people pay for that incompetence with their lives. Truly tragic.

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