Let’s start with this: “I think it’s reasonable to think that the officers perceived an immediate threat either to themselves or continued threat to that individual [across the street].” That’s Sgt. Jason Ramos’ take on his officers decision to shoot a young man standing across the street from police arresting a neighbor for allegedly “firing up to 100 machine gun rounds at a home across the street, killing a dog inside the house.” I guess Sgt. Ramos isn’t the type to “wait for the results of the investigation.” Anyway, the gentleman perforated by the po-po, one Danny Sanchez, was “aiming a camera phone at the cops when they opened fire.” Thankfully . . .

the Sacramento PD’s marksmanship wasn’t entirely accurate. Despite unleashing an unknown number of rounds – more than one and no more than their guns held – cops responding to the “man with a gun” incident “only” managed to shoot Mr. Sanchez in the leg. According to Mr. Sanchez’ father, some of the bullets “went right through the paneling and hit my car and they kept going and went out the other side of the wall.”

As indicated above [via sacramento.cbslocal.com], Sgt. Ramos was unrepentent.

“He found himself in the midst of things and some of his actions were perceived to be threatening to law-enforcement officers,” Ramos said.

Ramos says officers fired several shots, hitting Danny in the leg.

“They told him they were sorry that he got shot and everything, that they made a mistake,” Sanchez said.

D’oh! Doesn’t the SPD teach its officers not to admit liability about anything, ever? That’s going to cost the City some serious coin methinks. I guess it’s important to note that the alleged machine gunner was arrested without incident. You know; before the cops shot Mr. Sanchez. Sarcasm aside, honest mistake?

[h/t Pascal]

95 Responses to Sacramento PD Shoot Camera-Wielding Bystander

  1. “I think it’s reasonable to think that the officers perceived an immediate threat either to themselves or continued threat to that individual [across the street].”

    Sure, it’s “reasonable” to “think” that the officers perceived an immediate threat; however, that’s not the salient question. Rather, the question is: did the officers reasonably perceive a threat?

    The answer to that question is almost certainly “no”. A man holding a camera, 100 feet away, would not pass the “reasonable man” test.

    • Except in the case of police shootings, the courts have decided that the “reasonable person” refers to a “reasonable police officer”, similarly situated. Which effectively means that only the police can say what is reasonable for police to believe.

        • Don’t hold back, Chip. Tell us how you really feel.

          All kidding aside, I have come to the same conclusion.

          The really BIG question that keeps running through my mind is, “What do we do now, given that so many of our courts are a sham?”

        • I propose a good old fashioned committee of vigilance. Take ’em and hang ’em high. Keep going until we run out of rope or they run out of dumbass cops.

        • Wood-chipper really? newbie. ok jk about the newbie thing lol
          HOGS do a far better job and you get the extra benefit of eating BACON mmmmmmmmmm
          Just saying its what I heard or something like that…um what? what was that? um gotta go now, I see them through the window with a straight jacket. y’all take care now ya hear, Drew’s out…

    • Chip nailed the problem. With police use of force, we have somehow moved from an objective standard to a subjective one. An objective standard focuses on what would a hypothetical reasonable person confronted with a similar situation as the officer do. A subjective standard focuses on what was that particular police officer in that particular situation thinking. If you listen carefully to police spokespeople or police lawyers, their comments focus on what the officer(s) in question was thinking instead of what a reasonable person or police officer should have been doing under the circumstances.

    • What penalties would a civilian in the same circumstance be facing?
      That is exactly what the cops who shot this guy should be facing.

      • First of all, Citizen…you need to realize that the police are regarded as a higher level of person than you, so don’t come in here with your silly notions that police be subjected to and are responsible to the same laws as you regular citizen peons.

        Now, pick up that can, Citizen.

        Police have successfully carved out a protected class for themselves. Remember, they call you “civilians” and they are not “civilians”. In facts, they regard themselves as the same level as “military”, and don’t you forget it.

    • In Illinois, the Second Amendment zone ends at the threshold of your garage. Stands to reason the First Amendment zone would end in the same spot.

  2. What the Hell is it with the cops in California shooting innocent people? First we had the Dorner manhunt: cops shot the $hit out of two ladies in a pickup truck that did not even match the description of Dorner’s pickup truck. Next they shot the $hit out of some other guy’s pickup truck that did not match the description of Dorner’s pickup. Then we have the bank robbery and high speed chase with hostages in the car — and the police killed the hostage who received something like a dozen gunshot wounds from police who eventually opened fire on the car. And now this?

    I thought all of California’s clean air regulations removed all of the lead from the air.

  3. I like to use the ‘me’ standard in situations like these. If I was in or around a gunfight, and I shot someone across the street holding a cellphone, would the police deem my actions ‘reasonable to think that I perceived an immediate threat either to myself or continued threat to another individual’? Almost certainly not. Would I feel that way about my own actions? Probably not either.

    But, as we know… one standard for me, another for thee.

    • Nonsense. A doctor is judged by the standard of care of a doctor in the community, as are lawyers, accountants, and any other professional or licensed person you can think of. This is how the standard of care is defined pretty universally. The standard is not what a hypothetical reasonable person would have done (in these situations), but whether the conduct breached the standards of care for that profession. So the question here is whether this police officer breached the usual standard of care of reasonable police officers, on which issue both expert testimony and department standards of conduct are admissible. This is to be distinguished from the standard of care applicable in typical auto accident.

      • Is the determination of reasonableness of perception of a threat necessitating the use of deadly force in self-defense any different for police officers than for non-police officers?

        The ONLY difference between police officers and non-police officers is that police officers have arrest authority, and can use force in effecting lawful arrests. That’s it. In every other way, police officers are identical to their fellow civilians.

        • Given that citizen’s arrest powers have been a part of black letter law for centuries, it’s not even that much of a difference. The actual difference is the qualified immunity offered to police. A matter that could be resolved with stronger “good samaritan” laws.

        • No, the other difference is that part of a cop’s job is going to crime and capturing/stopping the criminal while a crane operator who happens to be in the area and hears gunfire would raise no eyebrows by calling the police and getting the hell out of there.

        • No, the other difference is that part of a cop’s job is going to crime and capturing/stopping the criminal

          No, that’s not actually part of a police officer’s job. Some may do that, and I applaud them for it when they do. But as police actions and court (including SCOTUS) decisions have made plain, police officers have no legal responsibility to stop any specific crime or to protect any specific individual. Their responsibility to “serve and to protect” is only in a generalized sense.

          If police officers want to ignore the pleas of a mother who is in the middle of having her children kidnapped by her estranged spouse (Castle Rock v Gonzalez), or lock themselves in a booth while a knife-wielding maniac attacks/kills a bunch of innocent victims (Lozito v City of New York), or simply do a drive-by and call it a day in response to a call regarding a burglary/assault/rape in progress (Warren v District of Columbia), they’re perfectly within their rights to do so.

      • Which is not really applicable as none of those professions routinely get away with virtually unrestricted use of lethal force. That’s the difference here, in case you were not paying attention. A pretty badge does not give you extra rights. If the courts do not agree, a few hundred citizens with guns and some rope can correct that impression.

      • Mark, it seems to me the law governing police use of deadly/lethal force is indeed governed by a reasonableness standard. Would a reasonable person believe their life (or that of an other innocent) was in immediate danger? This, as opposed to a “professional standard of care” that you allege. It simply isn’t true that courts take from the law of negligence (as applied to physicians and attorneys) a “level of reasonableness” that prevails in a town or county. SCOTUS, in Graham v. Connor, used this blended objective/subjective standard, not a tort “level of care” standard.

      • Nonsense. The proceedings you list area all accountable to the same criminal law as anybody else. There may be activities unique to a profession, like performing surgery or writing briefs, that are judged by the standards of that profession. And indeed we can allow police officers to be the judges of, for instance, the writing of reports or how to preserve a crime scene.

        But self-defense is not unique to the profession of police work, it IS part of the criminal law, and there needs to be ONE standard for it.

      • He shot an unarmed bystander guilty of absolutely nothing, are you saying that falls into the normal standard of care for police officers, *anywhere*?

  4. 2 questions have I.

    First, have they destroyed the phone with the picture/video evidence yet?

    Second, what is a “machine gun round?”

      • Unless you’re referring to the 8mm German rounds from WW2 marked “Nur fur machingewehr” and that was a typo, then I think you’re confusing a machinegun with a submachinegun.

        I guess you could throw 12.7mm and 14.5mm in there (the Russian DSHK and ZPV calibers). Those and .50 are the only “MG only” rounds I can think of offhand.

  5. I’m more interested in the machine gun side of the story than the innocent bystander. I want more details on the machine gun. Was it really a machine gun? Or just a semi-auto AK?

    • I live in SACTO and had the opportunity to participate neighborhood security seminars held by SACPD, they are all sincere people but the lack of knowledge of catogorizing firearms stunned me. They use terms like machine gun, assault rifle, assault weapon, AR15, AK47 interchangeablly, my takeaway is thay Mini14 Ranch Rifle is your best friend here in CA because of the adorable name.

  6. No wonder so many people in California are anti-gun: with so many irresponsible police officers shooting people who are not involved in any crimes, the masses would be terrified at the thought of millions more armed like the police.

    • Fortunately I’ve never met a gun owner who was “armed like the police” or even “like the police.”

      The anti’s are simply so stupid that they’re lost and confused beyond any hope of ever identifying reality. Their brains are drowning in a see of hormones and “feelings” to such an extreme that even the most obvious observations and thoughts are beyond their ability.

  7. Is there anything that these cowardly cops don’t perceive as a threat? Are they going to shoot their own shadows? Seems they’re afraid of every damn thing on the face of the earth. These are the highly-trained superheros?

    • The training is slanted towards teaching them that anything they don’t kill first might end up killing them. Then, if it comes to criminal charges for shooting an innocent citizen, they have the universally applicable defense of “acting in accordance with training and department policies”, as if either of those concepts trumps the written laws passed by legislative bodies and signed into law by governors.

      • First, neither police or firefighters are heroes—they are simply people who get paid to do a job, just like anyone else. A hero is a person who places himself in grave danger to save the life of another human being without receiving any monetary compensation. Sorry to burst your bubble. And, yes, I was both a soldier and a police officer so I am qualified to make that statement.

        • You see it like I do.

          Personally I believe when someone is labeled a “hero” it says more about the person(s) assigning that term than it does the person who acted out of instinct and duty. I’d be embarrassed to be called a hero for doing what I saw as my obligation as a human being and duty as part of my calling.

  8. Shoot a guy at 500m holding a cell phone you mistook for a gun? Plausible. 100ft away? Absolute nonsense, if you can’t tell it’s a phone at that distance you’re not going to be able to identify a gun either. They lit this guy up for whatever reason, and have the “immediate threat” excuse to fall back on.

  9. “Once I shoot a dog in California; your government get after me with a whole army of cops … whole army! One little dog. Is clear the meaning: in California, only cops can shoot dogs. Ha ha.”

    — Ben Ledford, Rancho Cordova machine gun enthusiast

  10. Using the recent high profile killings of police officers the past few months, it’s reasonable to assume that a law enforcement officer’s life is only at risk when a black man is present.

    Sanchez doesn’t sound like he is black, so he was at no time a threat to the police.

  11. You OWN every bullet that comes out of the front of YOUR gun. And should be directly responsible for the consequences of that bullet’s flight. Cops should be no different. If I was this guy I’d sue the city.

  12. It is stuff like this that make me wonder why we the people allow “police” to be armed. Shot him in the leg? Either they can not shot for sh|t or they are lying about feeling “threatened”. Or both. We in the “civilian” market spend more money, time, and are better trained then any “police officer” out there.

    • “Shot him in the leg” Yes, but he was bending over, and was holding the “Gun” (cell phone) down at the level of his knee caps. Sarc. don’t you know.

  13. Machine gun dude should just say he “perceived an immediate threat” from the dog, and that sending a bunch of hot lead across the street was an appropriate response. The police have already declared such actions “reasonable” for the situation, after all.

  14. I live five blocks away from the street where this occurred, I was listening to the scanner during the incident. The reports were of three shooters, at the time this “bystander” was fired upon, the police were taking suspect #1 into custody. The cameraman, stuck his arm out of his garage to film the arrest. If I were concerned of another shooter and saw an arm with an object in it, after performing house to house, room by room searches, I too may discharge my firearm in fear. I think the PD will need to retrain their special operators to confirm the threat before firing, but civilians need to pull their head out of their *sses and stay out of the way when your neighbor is ripping beta mags in the neighborhood. I expect to be vilified for deflecting blame from storm troopers using excessive force, when in reality I think had he stay out of the way the only story would be about the *sshole who was unloading his AK into his neighbor’s house, one block from an elementary school.

    • So apparently, having your arm sticking out of your garage from across the street means you’re “getting in the way?”

      Oh, but I forget, he was holding “an object”. Not a weapon, mind you, nor anything a reasonable person would mistake for a weapon, but it was an object. Everyone knows you can’t be recklessly holding objects where the police can see you. Makes me wonder how anybody manages to serve them coffee and survive.

      • Oooo, there’s a lot more there than that:

        “after performing house to house, room by room searches,”

        House to house and room by room, huh. Throws out 4th Amendment. Check.

        “I too may discharge my firearm in fear.”

        Discharge firearm “in fear.” Sorry. It takes a little more than that.

        Little demonstrated understanding of Ability, Opportunity and Jeopardy. Check.

        “I think the PD will need to retrain their special operators to confirm the threat before firing,”

        Throws a bone, but falls back on bureaucratic solution. Check.

        “but civilians need to … stay out of the way”

        Ah, the meat and potatoes of this comment. We “civilians” just need to stay out of the way and let the PROPER authorities handle everything.

        So, going looking to see what is going on RIGHT OUTSIDE YOUR OWN HOME, in your OWN neighborhood, in your own community is not proper, eh?

        No, I get it. When shots are fired outside our homes is to pull our head out of our asses and stay the hell out of the way…like good little MICE. Check.

        “the *sshole who was unloading his AK into his neighbor’s house, one block from an elementary school.”

        And what, other than a ridiculous Appeal to Emotion, does this incident being one block from an elementary school have to do with anything?

        Needless emotional tangent: Check.

        The regulars here will probably see what conclusion I draw from your comment. Hint: Starts with “S.”

        Notes:

        (1) On the 4th Amendment comment, I understand the purpose of “exigent circumstances” and all that. Not sure I fully buy into house-to-house and room-by-room searches, though. I think that’s mighty “Hollywood.”

        (2) Not ‘blasting’ over disagreeing because you are deflecting blame from the stormtroopers using excessive force; I’m blasting over use of words/phrases and a manner of ‘argument’ that fits a familiar pattern. I suspect this not-so-subtle point will be lost, however.

    • In this day and age, whenever a firearm is drawn by the police (much less fired), or fired by anyone else, in an urban setting, every cop should EXPECT at least 10 arms with objects stuck out from all directions, and that their every move is now being recorded. Suggesting that someone across the street deserved killing because he was filming the operators who were so involved with their operational operations is just silly. And don’t even tell me such cops do not expect cameras, more likely they are determined to dissuade people from using them, ballistically, due to the inherent limitations they impose on possible departmental excuses which will be believed.

  15. Sorry? They darn near kill a man and they say “Sorry”.

    I’m sorry, but if you are in police work and your goal is first and foremost to ‘get home at the end of the shift” perhaps you’ve chosen the wrong line of work.

    You are making life and death decisions and you need to be MUCH more cautious than you are being cops.. Far too many people are being killed on accident… like the young mother who was killed by a cop missing their (non aggressive) family dog… or the kids getting a flash bang in their crib when the SWAT Team went to the wrong house.

    We have a bill of rights that cover us against aggressive policing… too bad the cops and the courts are on the same side.

  16. Sounds to me as if an awful lot of people here are jumping to judgment before the facts are known. Under RC Resident’s scenario, this may indeed have been a reasonable response to a developing situation. I’ll withhold judgment for now until further facts are known.

    • The reporting on this had been really weird from the start. It feels like propaganda, which could just be lazy reporting.

    • Is it rash to condemn this? The officer admitted he shot the fellow just because he was in the area of a reported (but at the time unverified) crime. In other words the officer decided shooting dogs on the scene wasn’t enough. Young men with cell phones now need to be preemptively shot to assure LEO safety.

      Let me inquire: Do you think pre-emptively shooting grandmothers with cell phones would be OK? How about a 14-year-old girl on the scene holding an ice-cream sandwich?

  17. I’m still amazed that nationally police haven’t gotten any traction with the whole “anything can be a gun in disguise” premise they occasionally insert into scenarios like this.

    I guess that’s a win for sense?

    • I think it’s been countered by the social justice crowd, so maybe not reason. The idea has been lampooned pretty well. I hope it’s based in reason though.

      youtu.be/N3SHNjsajzs

  18. Seems to be the same story as these.

    http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/crime/article34755105.html

    http://m.kcra.com/news/rancho-cordova-school-on-lockdown-due-to-police-activity/35206316

    It was reported as a “machine gun” repeatedly without much detail in not sure when it came out that it was an AK.

    Sac PD shouldn’t be responding in Rancho Cordova, as it’s a different city.

    The other stories mention two people injured but not the video recording aspect, if they are the same story. But if not, I’m sure I’d have heard by now about two such incidents (I live in the area).

    This story has been bizarre from the getgo purely from the way it has been reported.

    • “Repeatedly” reported as a machine gun? Hell, it was difficult to find a sentence which did not have “machine gun” in it. And even then, I stand ready to bet good money it was not a machine gun, and also that the mistake will never be acknowledged, because it was not a mistake, it was a deliberate lie. Anything to advance the agenda.

  19. I’m ok with this shooting. The cop already admitted fault. Now he should make amends to the satisfaction of his victim. He does that and all is good in my book. I’d be upset about it if they had lied and did the usual cover and run.

    • and what if they killed the guy? Was that okay? Is a “Oops, sorry Ma’am, we killed your son for no good reason” okay in your book?

  20. I was talking to a colleague that has taken a “police psychology” course and they said the mentality of your average cop is “if you have a blue uniform, a badge, and a gun you are a good guy that isn’t trying to kill me; if you don’t have a blue uniform, a badge, and a gun you are a bad guy that is trying to kill me”. There are videos on YouTube from prominent defense trainers that say the save things, even those from the 80’s. “Police militarization” isn’t new. If you’re not in their uniform you’re a criminal, target, tango, insurgent, terrorist, enemy, perp, or whatever you want to call it. Police militarization is the mindset, not just picking up surplus APCs and armor. If you’re around a cop you don’t know treat it as life or death, especially if you are (legally) armed. Police have no responsibility to keep you safe and expect they will make no effort in that area. I’m not anti police but I am pro life (especially mine). This is just the reality.

  21. The real fix will only happen when insurance companies start refusing to insure police departments. With no insurance available they will be forced to take action against bad cops, instead of the usual vacation, and a wrist slap.

    • Cops should have to pay for their own malpractice insurance like doctors or nurses… and the rate goes up with each infraction to the point where it costs more than he can earn to pay for his insurance… that should get the crappy cops off the street.

  22. “firing up to 100 machine gun rounds at a home across the street, killing a dog inside the house.”
    Seems like the perps and the cops love to shoot dogs. Poor Fido. #dogslivesmatter.

  23. It’s about time that we ban cellphones so innocent victims aren’t killed by police officers who shoot first and ask questions later. After all, if it’ll save just one life it’ll be worth it. Won’t someone think of the children?

  24. In the version of the events posted here it says “standing across the street from police” yet in the article that’s linked from here it says the victim was “next door”. Why the discrepancy?

  25. Yeah, the police investigating themselves we know how well that BS works out, Shooting the unarmed is NEVER justifiable, if you or I did it our @$$E$ would already be in the slammer.

    • “Shooting the unarmed is NEVER justifiable,”

      Wrong.

      The standard justifiable use of deadly force is being in fear for your life from an imminent threat.

      The assailant being “armed” or not has nothing to do with it if you can articulate the threat.

      Both Zimmerman and Darren Wilson were found by juries to be justified in their shootings of ‘unarmed’ assailants, for example (one cop, one non-cop example). There are many other such examples.

  26. No double standards. There will be no max no min sentence there will be one for everyone if convicted. I further believe that judges should not be aloud to view the courtroom, his seeing is prejudiced against “fair” trial. The police shoot an innocent bystander they will be charged and stand trial like everyone else, let the jury decide.
    Thanks for your support and vote. Pass the word. mrpresident2016.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *