Dustin Theoharis

Dustin Theoharis was napping at an apartment he was renting in his friend Cole Harrison’s home in Washington,” blacklistednews.com reports. “Police weren’t looking for Theoharis or even his friend Harrison, but instead for Harrison’s son. Harrison’s son hadn’t done anything particularly catastrophic. Instead, he had failed to check in with his state Department of Corrections probation officer.They didn’t find Harrison or his son. The King County sheriff’s deputy Aaron Thompson and corrections officer Kristopher Rongen found Theoharis sleeping. They woke him up and asked him for ID. When he reached for it . . .

they unloaded on him.

“I woke up and there were two guys standing at the door,” Theoharis said. “They asked me for ID and I went to grab for it and that’s when I was shot.”

Theoharis was shot in the jaw, both upper and lower arms, his wrist, hand shoulder and abdomen, and both legs according to medical records. He never made it out of bed and never made a move that could in any way be interpreted as “threatening” the officers. He was simply responding to what they told him to do.

The original suit was for $20 million, but a $3 million settlement was agreed upon, followed by an additional $2.5 million paid out by the state.

Officers Thompson and Rongen were never charged for their mistake. Seattle and Washington State taxpayers, however, were. And probably will again, given the SPD’s checkered (to say the least) and ongoing history of scandal, malfeasance, mistakes and coverups. [h/t TP]

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158 Responses to Court Awards $5.5m to Seattle Man Shot By Cops 16 Times; Officers Not Charged

  1. Wow. I’m pretty sure he should have gone to court on this one. Complying with commands? Check. Got shot? Check.

    My step brothers are both LEO but the system is getting WAY out of hand.

      • Morality. Most people don’t want to kill an innocent person.

        Of course laws and the punishments for breaking them enforce that morality, and the prosecutor has clearly failed.

        • LOL @ cops having morality. If they did they’d quit enforcing terrible laws and taking orders from malignant narcissist politicians.

        • Police training has nothing to do with morality – at least anything we would generally classify as “good”.

          They are drilled on command and control, compliance, and that everyone who looks at you crossways is going to kill you. This is the nonsense that they are brainwashed with at academy. Then the blue wall and the culture of “the club” kick in. We’re lucky they don’t kill more of us.

      • Really Bob, do you work for an agency that allows officers do anything they want? My agency entertains all complaints. If a person says an officer gave him or her a dirty look, it is investigated. How about addressing the offending officers and not every officer! I think you just hate the police and need to let everyone know. Been ticketed or arrested before?

        • Back at ya. So with all your claims, how many officers has your dept sent to prison in the past 10 years, after an “investigation”? Let me guess. Zero, right? But no coverups, I am so sure.

        • The question is not whether conduct is investigated, but what happens after. There are already too many reports of government personnel/agency misconduct that resulted in nothing (even though guilty) or promotions. The problem is all cops. When was the last police rally where they were chanting, “no more bad cops”? When police in surrounding communities, or even all the major cities do not have their spokesperson make a public disavowal of bad conduct, the only logical conclusion is the bad conduct is acceptable. Too many people forget that Frank Serpico uncovered not just a few bad cops, but a police department riddled with bad actors.

        • Cops make their own law. I’ve had seizures ,epilepsy, and was charged with drunk in public. 3 times this happened and I failed the sobriety test, all the while telling them I’m epileptic. The last cop, the usual super d#ck, wouldn’t let it go. He even took me to county to take a breathalyzer. After I passed, he was mad. I was laughing, and then I got mad, he didn’t read my rights, I called him everything I could think of. Cops make up what they want. That’s the truth.

        • Personal Injury lawyers (ambulance chasers) do not like the risk of trial. Mostly such attorneys take cases on contingency. Thus, “a bird in the hand….”. Getting a piece of a sure settlement is way better than the maybe of a trial. If you ever need an ambulance chaser, ask for proof of their trial skills (cases won and lost at trial) before you lay out a retainer. You want an attorney who is known to litigate…scares crap out of insurance companies, other attorneys and government agencies.

        • 95% of cases settle and for all sorts of reasons. Litigation is expensive, time consuming, and there’s no guarantee, even with the best representation, that you’ll get an acceptable result. If you can get something reasonable now, that often makes much more sense for the client than some hypothetical payout five years or more into the future.

        • A man was shot. In his home. For no valid reason.

          You or I would be in the greybar hotel on day one and still be there 100 years later when they finally pulled our dead dry husks of corpses out to bury.

          F**k that nonsense.

  2. One of the cases where the plaintiff deserves every penny. It’s unfortunate who footed the bill though.

    • Cops get off scott free and we (the taxpayers) pay the bill. Something wrong with this system. I did not shoot the guy so why do I have to pay? And the officers are not even reprimanded. They should be fired and something in their records so they never work in law enforcement again. This at the very least. Prison would be more appropriate.

    • Well, on one hand, the actual payout is probably coming from an insurance policy, so it probably isn’t the taxpayers directly.

      On the other hand, if the police union is going to prevent departments from dumping bad cops, the police union should be paying the premiums for the insurance policy, not the department.

      • “Well, on one hand, the actual payout is probably coming from an insurance policy, so it probably isn’t the taxpayers directly. “

        Who pays for this alleged insurance policy if not the taxpayers?

    • Who, exactly, has the authority to sign off on a $5.5 million settlement without court action, who also did not insist charges be brought against the offending officers? My guess would be the Governor. Is no one going to call him on that? The charge is attempted murder, when is the trial date?

    • If the settlements came out of (even partly) the salaries of the bad shooters, that might go a long way to improving conduct.

    • I actually think there’s LESS dumbassery amongst cops today than before. Before the cops, courts and media all played on the same team. The oxygen of publicity is changing the accountability game. Thanks to Al Gore’s Internet.

      • Yep, with instantaneous information available, we are now more well-informed about what is going on around us and beyond. Before that, it was only what the talking heads gave us, before that, what the beeps gave us, before that was the pony gave us and on and on. We see the violence that goes on around the world and think “my, the world is just getting worse and worse”. No, the world is actually *less* violent than ever, but we just know more about the violence that *does* happen.

      • Yes, and the cops aren’t quite sure what to do about it. Their usual boilerplate explanations, “officer safety” and the like, aren’t working and there’s a growing public opinion that increasingly questions police behavior. Every time the police do something like this . . . and then just walk away without consequences, it just gets worse and worse for them. Politicians, being soulless vote whores, are listening.

      • I have been reading about William H Bonney recently, and I think he would say police officers are better now than in his day.

      • According to Mollen Commission, corruption in the NYPD has shifted from semi-consensual extortion to outright brutality and armed theft. So dumbassery has been replaced with blatant criminality.

  3. I cant believe he survived. We had a local 19 year old thug who pulled a gun on police where i live they shot him 5 times in the chest and abdomen with a 357 sig, he survived and i saw him last summer with his shirt off, he now has a tattoo across his chest that says bullet proof. I was the paramedic who took care of him that night.

  4. SPD, only one of many reasons to stay the hell out of Seattle. It’s a liberal screwball cesspool of stupidity.

    • Seattle being the progressive paradise it is, sure has a brutal police department. At least they got that $15/hr minimum wage thing going on, the socialist workers paradise can’t be far away.

      They sure priced me out of living here, I am moving this summer. Maybe when the tumbleweeds are rolling down Pike Place they will figure it out.

    • Something crazy has been going on with warrants, for a long time. I am assuming there was a warrant, of course. But when the object of the warrant has been accomplished, ie the fugitive was apprehended, WTF were the cops still doing in the house? Probably executing an “incidental” search for drugs, guns, other fugitives, or anything they might want to steal. And thug tactics dictate pointing guns at sleeping people and screaming at them about ID, get on the ground, hands up, shut up, whatever.

    • Thanks for the S.T. link. I got quite the chuckle. “Oh, look! He doesn’t hate the popo. They make mistakes! EVERYbody makes mistakes!”

      Yeah, well, I guess I could turn the other cheek, forgive my brothers, all that crap if I had a 5.5 fucking million dollar settlement to take the sting out of things.

      Otherwise, I think I’d be having a problem with some people.

    • End absolute immunity. End qualified immunity. End any kind of immunity for these megalomaniac psychopaths, and start putting them in prison before they start instigating massacres, ’cause that’s the very next step.

      • … What do you mean “before”? Kelly Thomas was beaten to death by 5 police employees on camera. LAPD hit squads shot up those 2 ladies in that blue truck while they were out to kill Chris Dorner. Eric Garner refused to pay the out-fucking-rageous taxes on cigarettes in NY, so police employees choked him to death in the street. Our favorite federal friends at the ATF murdered the Weaver family and burned the Branch Davidians alive. The massacres have been going on for a LONG time now.

    • If you read the Seattle Times article I linked somewhere above, he ain’t doing good. Getting shot that much has some significant health effects.

      But he’s a lot less bitter than I would have been.

  5. Until these kinds of cops and everyone who helps cover up their wrong-doing actually start going to jail, and made to fully serve sentences at least long as anybody else would get without exception, this problem will only persist and it will only grow.

    But, I surmise that is entirely far, far too much to ask for from the “Just-Us” system.

  6. I finally understand why so many people want to work in local, state, federal government. Paycheck, full ride and NO accountability. What’s not to like.

  7. The most important question is; was it 9mm or .45? Obviously it had to be 9mm, the poor guy is still alive.

    Dumb jokes aside, this is horrific including how these two psychopaths are still free and being given guns and money by the state.

  8. The more Left-Wing the government and the population, the more oppressive the police force will be. Look how bad LAPD, NYPD, Chicago PD, SFPD, etc. are.

      • I dove into that map, which isn’t based on LE data but on media reports. Even so, it shows an increase in deaths of innocents and raids on innocents in NY and LA and their surrounding areas. Chicago is slightly more than Houston, which shares many demographics, but only slightly more.

        • The reason it is based on media reports is because most PD’s don’t bother reporting stats on their screwups.

  9. Good God. That is one lucky dude, survived being shot 14 times and actually won his case.

    Yep, Tango/Cash/Crockett/Tubbs are still out patrolling, Hell, they are prob Detectives now. I’d love to hear that debreifing. Can you imagine the storys they prob came up with?

    • Yeah, after hours of “why did you shoot the dude”, we can start on “you fired x rounds point blank at an unarmed and unresisting target, hit him 14 times, and he’s still alive? How do you spell ‘incompetent’?”

  10. Now you see why Washington wants to control the public’s guns, sooner or later people will start shooting back at the asshats.

    I’m a former LEO, back in my day it was “To Serve and protect.”

    Now it’s
    ” us against them and
    Them ain’t got no stinking badges”

    When the time comes I hope they remember it was they who brought it on.

    Remember the donut munching shithead sitting in a vehicle at Waco who said ” We are NOT above the law, WE ARE the LAW”

  11. It should be fair game to shoot rogue officers when the screw up like this. I think every state should have the Indiana style law.

  12. Should have never settled unless the agreement included the firing of these officers and that they would be permanently ineligible for rehire. King County and Seattle would have thrown them under the bus to save paying a higher settlement.

    • The guy is likely stuck paying medical bills for the rest of his life, and will have trouble finding a decent job, so when he got offered a substantial payout he took it. Can’t really blame him for not willing to gamble on how much he’d get through the court when he had a definitive sum at his reach already.

  13. The next thing after constitutional carry is to level the field. If cops have limited immunity then citizens also have it. if citizens don’t get it neither do cops.

    Ray

  14. Thats about right. Two cops shoot a guy 16 times and not one fatal hit (thankfully in this case). So not only was it a bad shoot, they were bad shots. I bet they are real popular down at the police station.

    • Police have ZERO remorse and only sad because the perp survived.
      Do citizens a favor, smoke your service pistol. Oops no integrity here, serve yourselves and protect your pension.

    • I’m not at all surprised. A few years ago, I went shooting at the SPD range near Boeing Field.

      Near as I can tell, most SPD only pull the trigger during their annual qualification tests.

  15. I don’t see the problem with cops unloading on a guy who’s simply taking a siesta. After all, the officers got home safe that night, and that’s the only thing that matters. Right?

    • You beat me to it. Yes, the officers made it home safely. However, we citizens aren’t safe in our own beds as long as they are free so shoot us with no consequences.

      I’ve noticed that with more officers involved it becomes more likely that someone will be shot. It’s hard to follow conflicting instructions when two or more are yelling commands at you.

      • They are trained to scream barely intelligible commands that contradict each other. It provides audio cover should someone be recording, and provides the justification for someone to open fire at anytime for “non-compliance”.

      • “Look like nothin’s gonna change
        Everything, still remains the same
        I can’t do what ten people tell me to do
        So I guess I’ll remain the same, yes”

        …only nowadays you don’t even get to remain the same.

    • Officer Safety, it’s “National Security” for state and local LEOs.

      Surprised they didn’t claim it was attempted suicide.

  16. This is far from new behavior. I have a similar story that occurred in the late ’80s, but thankfully I have the same number of holes in me now than before the incident.

    I got pulled over, I assume for speeding, as I was driving home from work. The cop comes up to my door, and asks me for ID. Now, I don’t know where cops keep their id, but I keep mine in my wallet and I’m sitting on it.

    So, I start to reach behind me to COMPLY with his request and he starts grabbing his gun. I froze thankfully and I think I said whoa, whoa, whoa, wallet! so he didn’t clear leather, but DAMN, it was that close. At the time it seemed anomalous for a cop to be so aggressive. Well, apparently not.

    So, now we have a choice, ignore the request and get tagged with resisting arrest, or comply and get shot for complying. Lose/lose, and I don’t want to hear “well he just wants to go home to his family tonight,” because so do I you a-holes.

    /Rant

    • Wish I could figure out how to google a number for the times a person has been arrested with the only charge being “resisting arrest”. I mean, you just KNOW that is wrong, the cop should be fired on the spot, and investigated for prosecution.

  17. Interesting how the state gives you gay marriage. The state gives you marijuana intoxication. The state gives you pleasure. And the state takes your gun civil rights away. And you keep voting for the same people.

    • What state gives you pot directly? Or are you just rambling about all the things you don’t like and therefore nobody else should have? Hmmm, who does that sound like?

      • The “state” called the Dictrict of Columbia or DC for short is giving out free marijuana seeds and takes your gun civil rights away and you would vote for them correct? Because they give you pleasure correct?

        • Maybe he wants both gun rights and the freedom to use drugs without being shot by a cop. Shocking.

        • I found nothing supporting your claim that DC is handing out pot seeds. Care to cite your reference? Also, you can just stop with your false dichotomy. Consuming pot, marrying the same sex, and bearing arms are all human rights. Legislating your morality, whether it’s banning pot, gays, or guns, is NOT supporting liberty. And no, I don’t use pot. Just because I support the rights of others doesn’t mean I exercise all those rights.

          EDIT: Just saw your link, that is a non-government organization. Your case is not supported.

      • You and many people have a fundanmental misunderstanding about government force or you can call it state force. I do not care. I noticed it appears mostly in people who think like a white european socialist male. And you can be any color and think like a white european socialist male.

        But this is the United States of America. The state takes away your civil right to keep and bare arms. City governemnts take away your civl right to keep and bare arms. The federal government takes away your civil righ to keep and bare arms. Socialist have always woked to take away the civil rights of people and then try to kill them when they are defenseless like this man in Washington.

        The “state” in all its forms takes away your civil riights and gives you pleasure. And you will vote for the same people.

        • From your post, I am forced to believe you need to lay off the ganja and possibly other of your own “pleasures” before trying to get your brain into gear.

      • The state governement of washington gives you the pleasure of marijuana intoxication. Just like the state governement of colorado gives you the pleasure marijuana intoxication. And the “state” governement in DC also has decided to give you the pleasure marijuana intoxication.

        And all three have decided to take away your civil rights to keep and bare arms. But they do give you pleasure.

        • And what does one have to do with the other?

          BTW, the state does not “give me pleasure”. It gets the hell out of my business, which is what I put into my own body. Coincidentally, I don’t use that freedom to use drugs, but I don’t see why it should be any of theirs (or yours) business.

        • I am surprised I struck so many nerves out there. My point has been vindicated. Many people think “pot rights” and gun civil rights are the same thing. That’s why you keep voting for the same people. It was an equal trade gun civil rights in exchange for the “pot rights” correct?

          I think it’s funny, your knee-jerk liberal assumption I’m against pot intoxication. But it does help you when avoiding the gun rights issue.

          Are there any members of the pink pistols out there who think they are better off without gun civil rights in Colorado and Washington? Do you sleep better knowing the general public had their gun civil rights restricted while you celebrate your marriage and smoking pot in public? Was it all just an equal trade guns for pot and marriage?

        • >> Many people think “pot rights” and gun civil rights are the same thing.

          They are the same thing in a sense that both are natural civil rights. But the idea that people willingly “trade” one for the other is asinine.

        • >>Many people think “pot rights” and gun civil rights are the same thing

          They are. They’re both rights. Neither are available for trade.

  18. You all are really cute with your view of a dream of a constitutional paradise.

    This is an example of a monopoly at work… All people can do is complain on the Internet.

    Now be sure to vote for the “lesser of two evils” and tell yourself everything will be alright.

    Qualified immunity won’t end because the people who benefit from it (the government) would have to rule (government) that it no longer applies in court (government).

    That’s kind of like asking the mob to stop engaging in mob activities.

  19. The guy who got shot has my greatest sympathy and I can understand why he rolled over to grab his ID when suddenly awakened, but I strongly suggest that anybody looking down the barrel of a gun freeze and ask the officer if he can move.

    “Officer, I would like to get my identification out of the drawer, is that OK?”

    “Officer, my wallet is in my back pocket, will you let me pull it out?”

    Then move SLOWLY and deliberately!

    Any other action than that is leaving you wide open to get perforated. I don’t in any way think this is the right thing, in terms of personal freedoms, but it is the prudent thing. I have been faced down by a cop with a shotgun (mistaken identity) and it is scarey as can be.

    John Davies
    Spokane WA USA

  20. Look at it this way. At least our cops hit what they are shooting at unlike other major cites that will go unmentioned. Sorry this law abiding citizen had to be on the wrong end of their negligent discharge.

  21. Ah yes, yet more proof there is little difference between law enforcement and gang members. Both are eager to shoot someone, with little worry of being held accountable.

  22. If he wasn’t the probationer they were looking for, why did they need his ID? Fuck probation anyway. It’s just a scam to extort more money and weapons from the citizenry.

  23. My impression is that this shooting was basically point blank.

    How are any police such bad shots that the target survived after so many shots fired? Why isn’t that also a serious problem?

    Why are police such bad shots?

  24. Any department that supports and continues to employ people like this has absolutely no good people working there. None. How could they? If there were good people in that department these shooters would not be police.

    • insurance companies make money when your purchase the policy, then again when you use it and they up your rate/costs. it is to the insurance company’s advantage to not want the cops fired because they represent a continuing liability, for which the insurance company can charge higher premiums. while insurance companies do anything possible to avoid payouts, they make many times more profit than the losses they cover (else they would be out of business). in these cases, crime does pay….the insurance company

  25. Sad as it may be to depend on insurance companys to police the cops, at some point the County will be forced to fix the problem or disband their department. Payouts cost money and eventually no one will insure them at any price. Too many will die in the meantime!

  26. What good are the police if their right to wake up alive tomorrow, supersedes your right to do the same? The self-justifying excuse of “We thought he had a gun; or was reaching for a gun, so we shot him.” shouldn’t be a free pass from being charged with negligent homicide, and more to the point, paying for the consequences of their actions. In the 30 years that I’ve carried, not once have I ever shot an innocent man who was standing, sitting, or lying down.

    • Non-agents of government face the bar of reasonable fear of serious bodily injury or death. Agents of government not so much. It needs to change. There needs to be equality under the law and in reality.

  27. I guess it’s fortunate that our “highly trained” LEO’s in this case were such terrible shots. If more of those 16 rounds had hit center mass they’d be burying the poor man.

    Another fine example to chuckle about whenever you hear someone talk about disarming civilians but keeping firearms in the hands of our “trained and experienced” police officers.

  28. LarryinTX,

    As a matter of fact, a fellow officer was arrested by another in my agency two weeks ago on a felony charge. I have arrested a fellow officer as well. I cannot provide the statistics, my agency has over 4000 employees (civilian and sworn). We do not tolerate officers that engage in criminal activities. There have been other arrests as well. So, open mouth and insert foot!

    • >>We do not tolerate officers that engage in criminal activities.

      Conveniently, you happen to work with the people who write the laws and engage in prosecutorial discretion.

      Kill a civilian? Who cares?

      Steal from the donut fund? Throw the book at him!

    • arrests for bad shootings? subject here is not theft, or drug dealing, or other violent actions…only bad shootings.

    • He was arrested on a felony charge after doing bad things for years or decades. He finally did something that couldn’t be hidden, and now he faces justice. Please, I know waaayyy too many cops to not know how the system works. Everywhere.

      Cops will get stopped DWI 20 or 30 times before actually getting arrested. Perhaps you’re the boy scout, and nobody trusts you with reality, but I guarantee there is at least one guy carrying a drop-gun in your squad. At least 2 on your platoon are doing serious drugs (especially the narcs), and a couple are just bat feces crazy and shake people down on a semi-regular basis. I know how slow you’re back-up can get if you cross the line, or how things can get planted in your bag if you go against the flow. Unless you’re the boy scout, you know this too and you do nothing about it until the higher ups decide someone has become a liability. Then they get arrested.

      Statistics tell that there must be some tiny outlier department in some remote burg where 10 honest cops perform their duties. The reality is that there isn’t a 400 person dept, let alone 4000 that isn’t rotten from top to bottom anywhere in this country. Sure there’s good people in it, but they don’t do anything about the bad ones, because if they do, they pay a hefty price.

  29. There is no talking to those who hate the police. You keep on hating, have a great life. Oh I almost forgot, next time someone steals your car, breaks into your house or kicks your ass, who are you going to call, the police? How does it make you feel to be forced to pay the salaries of those that you hate so much? It must eat at you every day!

    • There’s a huge difference between hating police and wanting to see some accountability. You sound awfully defensive- let me guess, you’re a LEO and you’re upset that anybody should dare question your authority?

      • Yes, I am an LEO. The only authority I have is that which you and every other taxpayer gives me. You cannot question my authority I already have that authority given to me by you. You can question my actions and by all means do so, I have no problem with that. I’m not addressing the people who want to question the actions of the police, I’m addressing the police haters that you damn well know post here. There is not a damn thing any cop could ever do that is right in their eyes.

        • You cannot question my authority I already have that authority given to me by you.

          In a free society, any public servant’s privilege is fair game for reconsideration.

        • Yes, I can question your authority, because I didn’t give it to you — rich people who buy the politicians they want did.

        • not true. even gangbangers do good things somewhere in their lives. those actions do nothing to change the fact that gangbangers are evil, and should be rendered unable to harm anyone ever again. cop-haters is simply a term attempting to shut down those of us who are rightly suspicious of anyone with a gun presenting a threatening attitude. i respect the power of police, not the police itself.

        • >>You cannot question my authority I already have that authority given to me by you

          And you wonder why “police-haters” dislike you.

    • Yes, I will call the police. I expect them to do their jobs, the one for which they eagerly accept my taxes in support of their paychecks. I will continue to call-out the bad apples, and the ones who let them fester and grow. Two positions of the usefulness of police; neither exclusive of the other. There is also the fact that it is scary some people think, “well, that is just tough for whomever the cops brutalized….but criticizing cops means you give up the right/expectation that the same cops need to do their entire job and respond to crime calls.”

  30. I have a good friend, he’s a retired state trooper. One day we were talking about this trend in bad police shootings, and his reaction was fear.

    He said- and I’m paraphrasing- that if this keeps up, pretty soon civilians are going to show cops who outguns who, and it won’t be pretty for anyone.

    It was a very unsettling conversation.

    • In rural Ohio, some officers that I know well have been making short statements to me like that in private. They are worried. But, these were the officers who worked hard for many years keeping the new ones from letting the badge go to their heads. There are some very good officers out there and they know that the rot is deep. They’ve been doing what they can to stop it for years; or at least what they think they can without losing their jobs. Until criminal officers are held criminally and personally civilly liable like the rest of us, it unfortunately isn’t going to get better.

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