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 Airsoft replica that triggered the shooting (courtesy

Regular readers know I adopt a guilty until proven innocent approach to police misconduct. In case you didn’t catch it, I am deeply suspicious of the boys in blue. But when the TTAG telegraph lit-up on the story of the 13-year-old California lad killed by cops after brandishing an Airsoft AK-47 I thought I’d let it sit. According to the reports I’d read, the cops ordered Andy Lopez to drop the weapon. Twice . . .

Lopez turned and aimed the gun in their direction. So they shot him. Unless this account is proven false, it’s a righteous shoot. Sorry but there it is. If you aim a gun at a cop something bad’s gonna happen. If you don’t comply with their order to drop said weapon, you’re toast. It doesn’t matter which way you’re facing. It doesn’t matter if the gun has an orange tip on the end or not. It doesn’t matter of you’re 13 or 30. I figured that the wider world would see it that way too.

I was wrong about a couple of things. First, in my defense, here’s the version of events:

The two deputies who opened fire called for backup when they first spotted Lopez walking around with his friend’s toy weapon. Then they repeatedly ordered Lopez to drop the gun, and he failed to comply, according to authorities.

CNN‘s published this account:

Two Sonoma County deputies spotted the boy holding what appeared to be an assault rifle Tuesday afternoon, the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s office said. They pulled over “but maintained cover behind their open passenger door,” the press release said.

They yelled at the teen to put the weapon down. He had his back to them and began turning around toward the officers, the statement said.

“One of the deputies described that as the subject was turning toward him the barrel of the assault rifle was rising up and turning in his direction. The deputy feared for his safety, the safety of his partner, and the safety of the community members in the area,” the statement said.

A deputy shot the teen. The teen was handcuffed, and the officers called for an ambulance, the statement said. Deputies found the fake rifle on the ground near the boy. The bogus handgun was tucked in his waistband.

So did the cops order Lopez to drop the gun before opening fire? Probably. That’s standard operating procedure. Did Lopez make a common and sometimes fatal mistake of turning to see the person giving the command before processing the information and complying? Most likely. Does that make this a bad shoot? That’s a good question. And even more important one, why were they assuming evil intent in the first place?

Comparison between real AK-47 and Airsoft replica (courtesy

I’m not the first person to wonder about that. Check this—Cops Shoot Thirteen-Year-Old Because Second Amendment Is Dead Letter—from

The cops were never shot at (not even by airsoft pellets). No one else was in the area being seemingly threatened by the “replica rifle.” The cops pointed their weapons at the boy, shouted orders, and then opened fire.

We can talk about how police are trained and whether this could possibly be a reasonable response. But I’ll skip that and turn to a slightly different issue.

This kid was killed because the Second Amendment is a dead letter in California and many other states.

He was carrying an apparent “assault rifle.” The police believed that, because he was carrying this weapon (or so they thought), they had a right to draw their weapons and aim at him.

He wasn’t threatening anyone.

He wasn’t shooting the gun.

He was just carrying a firearm.

He was bearing arms.

We live in a country where a boy can be stopped by the police, with their weapons drawn and aimed at him, just because he is carrying a rifle.

The Second Amendment says the right of the people to keep and bear arms is not to be infringed. Shooting someone for carrying a gun is about as serious an infringement of the right to bear arms as can be imagined.

Yet, even the way this story is being reported, it is assumed that, if the boy had been carrying a real rifle, then it would have been OK to order him at gunpoint to drop his firearm.

If our country had never had a second amendment in its Constitution, then the behavior of the police would make sense.

Society’s disregard for the Second Amendment gave those cops license to kill. Everyone who supports taking away the right to keep and bear arms is advocating that cops be permitted to behave in this way toward thirteen-year-old children.

It’s a compelling argument: the lack of “gun normalization” leads to police “over-reach” re: citizens keeping and bearing arms Or, if you will, a police state.

Maybe so BUT I still think the importance of this particular incident rests on what these cops did in this particular instance. Then again, facts had little to do with the Zimmerman case. And if the Lopez homicide leads to questions about gun rights and police militarization that’s not an entirely bad thing. More likely, though, California will ban replica guns.

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  1. Andy Lopez? Considering the race and Latino population in Cali, its likely he couldn’t even understand what the police were saying to him.

      • This brings up a pretty good question actually, is it okay for police to operate under the assumption that their verbal commands are understood? I don’t know how they would handle the alternative, but its not something that you think about until something like this happens.

        • Yes. This is America. Our language is English. If you live here you should speak English, I don’t give a damn where you are from. I would expect no less from any other country. If you are not willing to learn the language of the country you live in, and die because of it, good riddance.

        • That’s two assumptions for the price of one… First, you don’t know that he gave that quote to Fox (it doesn’t say that he did), they could have lifted it from another report. The second is that the quote was provided in English. They could have had a Spanish speaking person obtain the quote, which was then translated for the story.

        • And using the boy’s ethnicity (not race, for what it’s worth) isn’t? In fact, what about this thread is not an assumption? At least I have evidence, and since the article didn’t say the quote was translated from another language, I’d say the preponderance of evidence is on my side.

      • thats exactly why they should have a national language as English many of the people that come into the country now do not want to learn English it should be required by law in order to live here

    • I am reminded of an incident of a Polish man immigrating to Canada who became disoriented in the Vancouver, BC airport.

      Robert Dziekański (April 15, 1967 – October 14, 2007; was a Polish immigrant to Canada whose death on October 14, 2007 was a homicide. He was tasered five times by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) at the Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, British Columbia.

      The final inquiry report released Friday June 18, 2010 concluded the RCMP were not justified in using a Taser against the Polish immigrant and that the officers later deliberately misrepresented their actions to investigators.

      Full details here:

      • LOL, disoriented in an airport? No, he was crazy and acting like a crazy man. I was recently lost in a Japanese train station, but nothing I did brought me to the attention of the police. Perhaps because I am not crazy and don’t act like a crazy person who needs to be taken to the mental hospital.

    • Hearing could also be a factor, as well as language, it would be illustrative to see the dash cam video to verify events. It is already illustrative to see the 2 different stories, one clearly biased toward justification of the police shooting. It reminds me of another shooting where a police officer shot a person carving a block of wood in public. The person was partially deaf by other reports, however was shot very quickly after being ordered to drop the knife. There is another video from a second police car that responded that shows the person with the knife sprawled facing away from the officer, and if I recall correctly the gunshot wounds were in the side and back such that the officer shot as the person was turning to see what the yelling behind him was about. It was suggested that the officer had been trained to distrust the public and shoot at the slightest threat if there was a “weapon.

    • Theres a good reason to speak the language of the country you live in. Also, this is the reason i believe thal ALL cops should be mounted with cameras with audio. Some fire depts. were doing that, but after they ran over and killed the girl on the runway, some of them are moving away from being recorded during their duties. That whole accountability thing is a son of a B1tch…

  2. Initializing countdown sequence to the proposed ban on making *anything* that resembles a *gun*….

  3. I’m in agreement with the need for more facts before I pass judgement.

    There is, however, one “fact” in all the accounts that is making me call shenanigans. I don’t for one second believe they fired ONE shot and hit him…

    • from NBC:
      “One of the deputies described that as the subject was turning toward him the barrel of the assault rifle was rising up and turning in his direction. The deputy feared for his safety, the safety of his partner, and the safety of the community members in the area. He believed the subject was going to shoot at him or his partner. The deputy described that he is aware an assault weapon of this type is capable of firing a bullet that can penetrate his body armor, the metal exterior of his car, and the walls of the residential houses behind him. The deputy then fired several rounds from his service weapon at the subject, striking him at least one time.”

      “several rounds” and one managed to find it’s target, sounds on par with police marksmanship…

      • Policing is literally safer than pizza delivery. It’s stunning to me that anyone at all, much less anyone familiar with so called “assault weapons”, buys into this “the officer knew AK-47’s can penetrate body armour” crap.

        • “It’s stunning to me that anyone at all, much less anyone familiar with so called “assault weapons”, buys into this “the officer knew AK-47′s can penetrate body armour” crap.”

          Really? It’s fairly common knowledge (except maybe amongst the muggles) that any rifle round more powerful than a .22lr will penetrate a standard issue police vest. You need ballistic plates to stop rifle rounds.

        • Why? I’m sure they’re told that their armor will not protect them from [centerfire] rifles. IF it’s something that actually goes through your head or not in a situation like this, I’d bet top dollar that police are specifically told their vests won’t protect them from rifles, or are otherwise fully aware of this by the labeling on the vests, etc.

        • Julian, I’m not sure if you’re out to fix the internet today or just spot check all my posts, but the quote I was referring to was “The deputy described that he is aware an assault weapon of this type is capable of firing a bullet that can penetrate his body armor”. I wasn’t saying that AK-47 rounds won’t penetrate body armor, I was saying that anyone familiar with firearms will know that essentially any firearm is capable of firing a bullet that can penetrate body armor, a bullet from essentially any rifle will do just that, and that “assault weapon” doesn’t functionally describe any firearm. The cop was clearly laying the spooky sounding words on thick to try and justify his actions.

        • Standard Issue SOFT ARMOR vests are Level 3A correct? that would mean handgun rated only, NOT rifle rated. Not like its hard to get a Level IV plate if youre an LEO anyway.

          If a .22 LR could penetrate a vest, it better be because its one made out of a jean jacket and has a Poison logo on the back.

        • I don’t think anyone said .22 can penetrate body armor. I think he said any rifle round stronger than .22 can penetrate body armor.

        • Statistically, sure, but if you believe that someone is pointing an AK at you, average police safety numbers will not be foremost in your mind.

          Whether this shoot was proper or improper (I can’t use a word like “clean” or “righteous” with the death of a kid with a toy) depends on both the actions of the boy and how the cops perceived it.

  4. No matter what your philosophy or your take on the right to bear arms, if you are walking around with a rifle in public sooner or later someone is going to call the cops. How you react when they arrive will determine what happens next. That’s reality, whether anyone likes it or not.The way things ought to be and the way things are, are usually two different things.

    • I’m total agreement, but one of the ways “things are” that “ought to be” different is how quick cops are to solve a situation by opening fire. Cops have a dangerous job, but that’s also the way it “ought to be”. A cop ought to have to a much higher standard to meet before pulling a trigger – they ought to have a higher risk of loosing their job or being criminally prosecuted for injuring or killing as a result of poor judgement.

      Can anyone honestly say they don’t think a police officer in this situation could have waited a few more seconds, to gather a bit more precious information about the danger he/she is actually in, before dropping a 13 year old child?

    • There is something more insidious at play here, and the Political Outcast article illuminates it well:

      “This kid was killed because the Second Amendment is a dead letter in California and many other states.”

      With all the anti gun and anti gun rights Progressive Democrat political activity in this state, the sympathetic anti gun message of the media, and the constant barrage of guns and ammo suppression legislation, the 2A protection for citizens to keep and bear arms has been suppressed to the point where many people have been conditioned to think it is unlawful for anyone to even HAVE a gun, let alone bear it in public.

      The anti gun atmosphere has become so established that even legal activities are looked upon as questionable.

      With this societal mindset established in so much of CA, it is hardly a surprise that The Law (cops) will be more edgy, less tolerant and quicker to act decisively in any gun involved encounter; kinda’ like how the outrageous zero tolerance anti gun ANYTHING has become prevalent in our schools.

      So with that anti gun mindset in place, it’s not surprising that, unlike places like Alaska or other states where gun ownership is openly supported and not looked down upon, people in CA will, with the current hoplophobic mindset, be more at risk WHENEVER they participate in an activity involving a gun of any kind, even a replica.

      • Yep. In the progressive utopia that is California, this incident comes down to one evil factor: guns. This kid was killed because guns exist, and that’s all. He shouldn’t have been carrying a toy gun, because guns. And the officers were afraid for their lives because…guns. Nobody is safe. Because guns.

        As for the reality of the incident, there are virtually no facts except that a kid is dead and the police say they believed he had a real weapon. The world can be a shitty place.

      • I think your analysis is true, Roscoe. Police don’t invent the culture in which they live. The newspapers, dead tree or electronic, and the TV news…do. I’m actually stunned that the laws around the big coastal cities are so set set up for the upper class, and for the upper-middle at their place of work and residence, but average middle class people are oblivious to the effects. They are never going to get a higher ratio of police protection, because the states and cities can’t afford it. All the may-carry laws do is leave the vast middle and working poor exposed to the thugs. The very affluent have their state licensed personal protection service. The politicians get their LEO details. The mass? “Just take the beating. We might find the punk later, who knows?”

  5. Interesting hypothesis, in certain states like in CA, or DC, or in my state of CT even carrying a firearm is treated by the police as a crime and they respond in kind.

    At the end of the day the loser here is the poor kid. He did nothing wrong, and nothing I didn’t do with my friends playing with toy guns when I was a kid.

  6. I’m surprised by RF’s initial take on this story. The police seem to have changed, or at least enhanced, their story a number of times. It makes zero sense that this kid, who was by all accounts smart and well adjusted, would point the gun at the cops. The more likely scenario to me is that the kid saw guns being pointed at him by two shouting cops, froze and joined eternity seconds later.

    My guess is that no one will be demanding any action, a plan or anything else common sense, and given UC Davis’ $38,000 payment to the cop that maced all those protesters, I can only assume these two will be millionaires before this thing is over.

    • I don’t know all the details of this story, but from previous calls I’ve been on that made the news (not because of me, thankfully), the media tends to run with whatever rumor they can get, and update it as information becomes available. This is made worse by the city spokesperson not always having the complete story, or even the complete initial picture before making announcements. In officer involved shootings, this is compounded by the officers often having a day or two before making their complete statements by policy.

      Non uniformed civilians should, in my opinion, also be granted this opportunity. It is not given to police as a means to cook up a good story, but because the human brain under stress can focus on whatever seems most important to survival and skip over conscious recognition of other things, which come back to the memory of the event later in a less stressful environment. Doesn’t happen to everyone, but it’s sure not limited to cops. Makes for inconsistent statements at times, though, even if the person is being completely honest with every repetition.

      • I agree on the media jumping on whatever they happen to have at the moment, rumor or not, but I’m referring to the direct statements made by the cops themselves or the department.

        Also, just FYI, non-military police (ie, the vast majority) are civilians too. That seems to be a major misconception, particularly around cops.

  7. Quite frankly, I’m not surprised this isn’t happening more frequently. The replica (and by replica i mean so damn close you can’t even tell when you’re holding it) airsoft market is huge! Place right down the street in a warehouse where you can play commando. Have you ever seen the airsoft handguns by Tokyo Marui? Incredibly detailed toys.
    We’re at an impass where 13 year olds with guns and/or assault weapons is a reality. Its the parents responsibility to ensure their child isn’t acting inappropriately, or fulfilling the appearance of impropriety.

    • I don’t see an impasse with “assault weapons”, replica or otherwise. Tt’s never been safer to be a cop in this country. The impasse is with unchecked police militarization and the ever increasing shoot first and ask questions never attitude.

    • I don’t know how real you think this toy looks, but a clear plastic receiver and a broken barrel make it look basically just like a toy. I don’t know how anyone could confuse the two.

      • I dont think the barrel was broken before. I think that the barrel was there with the orange cap on it and it “mysteriously” disappeared after the kid was shot to save their asses. But I’ve been known to be a bit cynical.

      • In the photo of the gun in the field, its pretty convincing looking. I know if somebody pulled that out of a car or flashed it at 50 feet, my red flags would go up.

    • I’m sorry but I believe some parents out there must take some blame in all this due to allowing a teenager to play out in public with this type of gun. These are NOT simply ‘toy’ guns. They are made to resemble the real deal and an AK-47 is about as dangerous as it gets. Have you ever seen the damage they cause or how easy it is to let loose an entire clip. A monkey could easily kill someone with this gun which is why its the gun of choose for militant groups. So WHY would you let your child have one and much less a kid who obviously doesn’t understand the significance of what a real AK47 means to law enforcement.

  8. Some of the stories coming out are even worse, as in, the cops shot the kid after he was down. Waiting to hear how many shots were fired. And if any of the bullets penetrated vertically into the ground.

  9. Let’s not forget the shooting of the woman in D.C. who had no weapon, a kid in the car and was shot by who knows how many police for???? Running into a barricade outside the WH. Why are we surprised by this?

      • And she was well on her way away from the police officers before they fired their first shots. I’m no HSLD operator, so I’m habing trouble understanding the imminent danger of a car that’s 50 yards away and retreating.

  10. I would like to know if the gun was absent entire front end of barrel and front sight (and orange airsoft barrel tip) when the kid was carrying it, or if the cops ripped it off and disposed of it to make the shooting more “justified”.

  11. This is the way it works today. Your Constitution — dead. Your rights — dead. Your dog — dead. Your kids — dead. Your spouse — dead. You — dead. Our country — dead.

    And the cops are having a kegger. Welcome to the executioners’ ball.

  12. Given the different versions of the story I’ve read over the past few days, I am not entirely confident in the cops version of the truth. Kinda like the guy in Dallas why “lunged at the cops with a knife” and was shot… but the video from the camera that was on a neighbor’s house showed him standing still with his arms by his side when he was shot. So, the police said they shouted three times for him to drop it (probably because that’s policy), but I read an eyewitness said twice. Then he was turning to them, then facing them, and now, pointing the weapon at them before they fired. And it was multiple shots from multiple officers, no three shots and three hits. My question.. how long did they wait from the last “drop it” to dispensing lead justice? Cops do a hard job, but they aren’t perfect

  13. This is all so simple as it is tragic. People in general, and the police in particular, simply do not THINK on their feet anymore. I recognize the value of training as much as the next person, but all the training in the world is of little use without the ability to critically analyze a situation and exercise sound judgment.

    TIME, even a few seconds, can make all the difference. Sometimes that’s not always possible, but I guar-a-damn-tee ya that in a LOT of shoots, had the police learned to take steps to buy more time, tragedies would have been avoided. That Monroe Isadore fellow, for example. I’ve heard it claimed he was shooting out of his window, but then again he might not have been. That’s why they call it a ‘perimeter.’ You have someone bottled up in a house inside a perimeter, you have the time to establish a strategic advantage. They could have waited the old goat out, but instead they just had to go in, and wouldn’t you know, they shot and killed him. What a surprise.

    I won’t even comment on the spate of dog and cat shootings. Maybe some officers just have small dick syndrome, but most of them just don’t think things through. Not only are they being outsmarted by a second grader, they’re being outsmarted by Fido!

    For Christ’s sakes, LEO needs to use their brains once in a while!

    And YES, Nazifornia is an incipient totalitarian police state. Until the PEOPLE throw down the hammer and CRUSH this in its tracks, you can expect the situation to get far, far worse. I’ve already had family issues over relatives living in slave states (my sister fled New Jersey and moved back to Kansas, thankfully, but one of my cousins lives in San Jose. He’s a smart guy and makes a lot of money, but I don’t know if that’s worth living in such a state, even if he’s not into guns in the first place.) and I can only do so much thinking for them. It’s a sad and frustrating state of affairs.


    • Misery, I agree. There are specific bull sh#t supposed truisms taught in the Ninja Academies of America, spreading the bad-shoot virus like wildfire. “Train as you fight, fight as you train,” they say. Sure, so a policeman goes through shoot/don’t shoot training, learns to max his score by only hitting the bad guys, fast. When he gets on the street, of course, he’s mightily prepared to shoot the guy with the gun fast, but not the lady holding the makeup compact. So he shoots the kid with the toy gun very fast.

      We are training people to do very very quickly what should only be done as fast as it absolutely has to be. Trainers should stop spreading lies (e.g. the ‘knife at 21 feet” BS.) The problem, of course, is that too many training centers are staffed by out-of-work second-string SpecOps guys, rather than the more thoughtful among recently-retired LEO’s.

  14. Depends on how the kid reacted. Turning and not complying with “drop the gun” is not bad as long as the replica wasn’t in a shooting position. Then again this is Cali.

  15. I am sure this will allow the super majority in Sacramento to bend us over a little more and force the full retard a little farther up our asses.

    How do we start a full recall on Steinberg first here in Sacramento, he needs to goooooooo….

  16. From what we know so far, it looks like the cops were in the right. Its unfortunate and sad, but if you point a gun or what seems to be a gun at a cop you are asking for it. If anyone points a gun at me, expect me to return the favor with my gun.

    • And if said person turns out to be a kid with a plastic rifle you will most likely spend the rest of your life in jail. if not jail the court of public opinion on the matter may end up an even more uncomfortable experience. God help you if your white and the kid is black…
      (edit: that is assuming you reacted in a similar manor to the police and escalated the situation beyond ill show you mine if you show me yours)

      • 🙂 I can deal with uncomfortable, I dont want to shoot anyone if they dont force me to, but if I’m in fear for my life or my famliy’s I will.

        Oh yeah, using an object to mimic a gun and threaten someone with it is a crime in itself: Brandishing.

        • ….He didn’t threaten anyone. I don’t know why this point is so hard to absorb. He was turning in response to their warnings (as people often do, particularly children), the barrel was rising due to some unknown force (the police have yet to attribute that to his actions) and they fired 5-7 shots at him.

          No threat. No crime that I can think of. Just two cops that will likely get off scot-free where a regular Joe would be at the center of a media storm and eventually, an 8×5 cell for the balance of his existence.

  17. Just to prove a point after reading that article, I walked into the local Starbucks here with my AK strapped up to my back. Not a single ounce of fucks was given by anybody in the store. Nobody even acknowledged it. Nobody looked up to even stare at it. They all just went about they’re day as if nothing out of the ordinary was going on.

    The 2nd amendment is quite dead in California, because if I pulled that stunt there I’d be in jail or worse, shot dead.

  18. Also from NBC:
    “As is standard protocol, this officer-involved shooting is being investigated by the Santa Rosa and Petaluma police departments, and the District Attorney’s Office. The Sonoma County deputies who were involved in this incident have been placed on administrative leave, which is routine for such events”

    Ahhhhh yes, the police are to investigate the police. That will expose the truth I’m sure. Who wants to make a bet that this will result in a “justifable shooting” and the officers involved will get off with just a slap on the wrist and reinstatement?

    • …because civilian oversight commissions have worked out so well?

      Name 3 jurisdictions in which this is the case. The ones in CA sure haven’t.

  19. Oh, please. Tempest-in-a-teapot, much?

    California simply isn’t an open carry state. Whether it should be, whether we should be able to carry openly, or at all, is moot in this case. As in many things, until or unless the law of the land has been changed, one simply cannot walk around with a weapon of any sort on display. [Unless you have a badge, of course.]

    This wasn’t an organized protest of the infringement on our 2nd Amendment rights. It was a stupid kid, carrying what virtually anyone would have thought was an AK, failing to obey the cops.

    Trying to make this anything more is just silly. Surely, there are better examples of police brutality and excessive use of force that are further from this clear-cut case of “suicide by stupidity” that TTAG and it’s readers could use their bandwidth on?

      • From your perspective, go with “douche.” It’ll probably help you sleep at night…

        In CA, you simply can’t open carry in an urban environment. And everyone knows it – liberal and conservative, pro- and anti-2A.

        CA is a state where SWAT-clone teams are called out on teens using AirSoft/BB guns on each in the open space [read: undevelopable] areas that take up a vast amount of the real estate around here. We all know it isn’t “right” and a few of us are trying to do what we can to reverse things, but unless one is terminally stupid or looking to make a point from a coffin, the point remains: you can’t open carry in a city. It’s wrong, it’s bad law, but it’s consistently enforced.

        I live near where the shooting occurred. I’m familiar with the neighborhood the shooting occurred in. No “well-adjusted” kid is going to walk the streets of Santa Rosa with a couple of weapons out in the open and not expect the cops to be called, and not expect the cops to come out of their car the way the deputies apparently did. It’s insane; stupid can still be fatal, even in our Nanny State.

        Seriously – do any of you realize the hurt you put on pro-gun/pro-2A supporters’ credibility when some of the above crap gets read? Some of you seem like Obama-fanatics and anti-gun KoolAid drinkers, only in reverse.

        • Whisky helps me sleep at night, but choose whatever phrasing you like in your word salad.

          Seriously – are you sitting in a rocking chair by a window, shaking your fist at the outside world right now? You’ve literally based your entire argument on a persona you created for this kid based on the neighborhood he was murdered in.

        • And i believe your post just proved to the world that you will read and comprehend only that which marches lock-step with your hatred of cops.

        • I think Blinky was trolling.
          You ignored some things regarding timing/mechanics of the confrontation, the cops’ trigger happy nature, but still made an important point about being cautious in bad areas.
          Blinky made two responses, both ad hominem and one including the irrelevant fact that he drinks.

          For the record, I’m guessing it happened a lot faster than it seems, and the victim (though intentionally uneducated and unprepared) did not really think about where his toy weapon was facing, what the cops would interpret, etc. He was probably more startled and confused than anything, so without preparation did not respond properly.

        • Bart – are you a cop? I ask because that statement, and any “hatred” therein, was directed at you, not cops in general. Your rantish comment that I was responding to was largely “the world today” gibberish, that’s really all I was saying.

          Patrick – The whisky comment was in regards to Bart’s “whatever helps you sleep at night” remark that you apparently missed. Also, I think you’re confused about what i>ad hominem is… I suggest checking out the relevant Wikipedia article before tossing it out there like that again.

          And for the record, I agree with your assessment of the boy’s actions. I think he probably was startled, turned towards the people shouting at him and was immediately greeted with a volley of lead. It just appears you don’t see a systemic issue in that, and I do.

        • Nope – not a cop.

          And you keep proving my point – you are deliberately obtuse in your analysis and worldview, ignoring information that, if you had the capacity to make an informed, objective opinion, might change your opinion.

        • You keep saying that, but you fail to use examples of me being obtuse or even state what your point actually is. And for what it’s worth, I generally do my best to be objective in situations like this and to acknowledge it when I’m being subjective. If you scroll up you’ll note that I did, in fact, side with the cops in their shooting of that woman in DC, even though she was driving away from them and had a kid in the car. Sure, I was subjective in still calling them hooved critters, but I do think it demonstrates that I view things on a case by case basis even if I am predisposed to choose the side of whatever woman, child or dog cops have shot today.

  20. I’m sick of this LEO’s face so much danger we ought to respect them and cut them slack for the risks they take. IMO, they may face a given criminal encounter more frequently than a non-LEO, but they are in FAR LESS danger than a no-LEO in the same situation. They are always armed; they usually have body armor; they have a direct and near immediate source of help at all times; they have plausible dependability; they have the assumption of innocence/duty about their actions; and they have a giant “brotherhood” to cover their ass should they misuse any of their authority. The non-LEO has what to face danger with?

    /end rant

    • And…They are NOT drafted into the police force. They are all volunteers and if they reach a point where they can’t take the stress and use common sense before shooting people then they really need to be looking for other work.

    • Fishermen. Farmers. Loggers.
      Those should be our heroes because they have dangerous jobs. Those jobs are WAY, WAY more dangerous than police officer. Fishermen are about 15 times more likely to be killed on the job. Loggers and farmers about 5 times more.

      Heck, even “landscaper” is more dangerous, so there’s that.

      (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

      • …and don’t leave out the roofers. You’re so right. But because there is a gun involved sometimes, people think it must be a deadly profession. Nope. We have to pay them a lot because that’s the deal that assures the politicians’ kids don’t get charged for what they actually did. And what the pol’s do (hello, Corry). And that the banks get extra patrols. And so forth.

        A good honest well-trained PD is a great value to a town. A PD that hires on subverted merit, has effective legalized election muscle, and has a very thick blue line… is a bane. And the entire SpecOps Admiration Society should be thrown out immediately. Policemen inevitably have open means, more time, and excellent supply lines. There is no rush. Let the citizen take care of the stuff for which 911’s dilatory response will inevitably prove of no help.

  21. well, a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking, but a raised/pointed rifle is assault. A slung rifle on your back is not. Maybe he did not speak english, maybe he ignored the threat, maybe this and maybe that. No I do not think someone should wait to be shot to prove that the threat was real. Gun normalization is not the problem, nor is the lack of the second amendment. Basic safety training is. If you are walking around with a raised rifle on the street, expect to be shot.

    • a raised/pointed rifle is assault

      And a raised/pointed toy isn’t. And killing a kid with a toy is murder — unless you’re a cop, in which case it’s just another day at the office.

      • in the 500 milliseconds you get to judge the difference, i doubt you’d even notice the orange tip. the pictures are pretty realistic. my airsoft and crosman air guns look pretty real from 5 yards. add adrenaline, and its hard to second guess the officer.

      • Gangs give teenagers guns, and airsoft “toys” can look quite realistic. If some “kid” drew that on me, I would defend myself, and probably get a no-bid.

    • Again, where does it say the kid didn’t speak English? His family seems to speak English. It also doesn’t say the rifle was “raised”, and the police seem to be choosing their words very carefully. They described him and turning around and the barrel coming up. They never attribute the action of the barrel rising to him, so it must just have been one of those free-floating barrels, right? Bad pun intended.

      Again, this was a 13 year old kid carrying a toy. The most logical assumption is that he did what most people do when they see people shouting and pointing guns at them – he froze. And now he’s dead. How anyone could attribute that to anything other than negligence on the part of the people that are supposed to be trained to keep us safe is beyond me.

      • maybe, but around here there are kids robbing and carjacking people with airsoft and co2 guns. So if one of those “unarmed” kids breaks into my house and I shoot him while turning and raising their (toy) gun, you are going to rip the prosecutor a new a–hole for an overzealous prosecution. A 13 year old getting shot with (what turns out to be) a toy gun is a tragedy, but it seems to me the fault is with the parents not the LEO here.

        • I can’t find anything you wrote there that isn’t hyperbole. I don’t give a damn what some kids do in your stupid state with BB guns and pellet guns, nor do I care what you imagine yourself doing to people that break into your home. I care about this kid, who was doing nothing more than carrying a toy gun. The fact that you can’t tell the difference between that and the scenarios you described above is astounding.

          And once again, even the cops aren’t saying he pointed it at them; they’re basically saying he almost lasered them as he turned.

        • hindsight is always 20/20, and in that situation people have about a half second to decide. Wait too long and it might be the cops who are dead not the 13 year old. I have seen the pictures of the boy, he does not look like a “kid” and I have seen pictures of the rifle, and it looks pretty real to me.

          I have no doubt you care about the kid, but that does not make it the LEO’s fault.

        • Be honest with me here – does anyone with dark skin look like a kid to you? You seem pretty transfixed on his ethnicity; far more than you are on any of the facts available on the incident.

          If it was me and not two cops, you can bet your life that I wouldn’t have fired, or likely pointed my gun or gotten out of the car. I’d have observed the situation from the safety, and mobility, of my vehicle and determined the next course of action then. If I’m going to shoot someone, I’d take the decision damn seriously; I’d know that it would weigh on my conscience for the rest of my life, not to mention lead to a long, expensive and psychologically and emotionally demanding legal proceeding. But then again, I’m not a solipsist, and I place equal importance on all innocent life as I do on my own. Oh, and I’m not an overpaid goon backed by one of the most powerful unions on earth.

        • my oldest is in middle school, and she looks 18. my nephew at 13 was 6 foot 1. but thanks for the absurd assumptions.

          a witness reported to cnn that they told the kid to put the rifle down. the police said they positioned themselves behind the car door while calling for backup.

          but im glad you fell comfortable as the judge of the rest of us.

        • I’m not judging everyone here, I’m not even really judging you specifically. I’m making a judgement of your character and your statements, and the fact that you can’t seem to make a point without bringing up what language the kid speaks, gang-bangers in your area, or even be compelled to acknowledge that is this 13 year old is, in fact, a “kid”, leads me to the conclusion that your view has more to do with the kid himself rather than anyone’s actions that day.

  22. Something that is often overlooked in these situations is the moronical inconsistency in our domestic vs. foreign policies.

    ROE’s (rules of engagement) in OEF, OIF, and OND have largely been that members of our military cannot fire until being fired-upon. It is certainly understandable when trying to win the “hearts and minds” of locals as to not fire indiscriminately at someone simply holding a weapon in a warzone.

    On the contrary, a deputy can fire on a child because he “perceived” the barrel to be rising in his direction as a child turns around.

    The inconsistency in policy is maddening and simply unintelligent.

    • Exactly. And just to be a broken record: I lived under the “do not fire unless fired upon” doing six to eight sorties a day over Laos, as did thousands of other aircrew. The thing they fired, if they fired, was a .51 caliber machine gun. Giving them a one or two second advantage was giving them a 20 or 25 rounds advantage…. of .51 cal from an NSV. And we weren’t lined up for fat paychecks or pensions.

      The whole cops as military, rather than cops as extensions of the DA’s office and cops as civilians with the occasional need for lethal defense (like many people who live in Oakland….) strikes me as pathetic. Frankly, the gun industry is a big part of that push. Go ahead, start telling the soldiers in the field “Above all, get home safe!” What rubbish. “Use your mind so that you don’t kill anyone needlessly. The entire reason for having a patrol rifle is to not need to close with a dangerous person precipitously.”

      • I second your “exactly”, and appreciate your additional comments.
        And why in the world did the officers presume that one single kid in a respectable neighborhood in Santa Rosa represented a threat? Were they bored and happy to just happen to randomly find the action (there were no calls, no complaints before they arrived)? Wow.

        • I believe that all veteran’s, active duty personnel, and family members of military personnel will find this atrocious and criminal. I do not accept the fact that immediately after enemy contact our men and women overseas are approached by JAG to interrogate the returning unit to determine if their use of lethal force was justified.

          On the contrary, the children of these same men and women overseas can be shot down like a dog in the street for carrying a toy and have America rationalize that “yeah the deputies have to return home too!”

          This a gross disregard for human life. I can’t even say this is militarization of America’s police force because our military operates by higher standards than this.

  23. Very little if any wrongdoing will ever be found by law enforcement agencies that are allowed the luxury of investigating themselves.

    Give criminals the same opportunity of investigating themselves and soon all the prisons would be empty as there wouldn’t be any more criminals.

    All law enforcement agencies in this nation should be investigated by an outside agency and if any wrongdoing is found they should be prosecuted like any civilian would be, or even more so.

    Take away this luxury of self investigation and most of this killing of innocent people and children would cease.

    It must be done for the safety of the children.

    • Hence the EPA, CFPA, CPA, OSHA and all the other outfits created in order to keep corporations honest.

      No organization should police itself. None whatsoever. No siree.

    • I agree but the same should go for all govt officials. Just like we pick juries we should pick civilian investigators to conduct investigations of alleged wrong doing by govt officials.

    • What? Do you mean “break the bond between the politicians and the FOP”? Give up votes and campaign contributions? Reduce the power of local police boards or commissions to subtly negotiate ‘a package’ after an incident? What an astounding idea.

  24. A black kid about 12-14 year old was prowling around the alley with what I realized was a BB gun, probably looking for squirrels to shoot. I confronted him, warned him that he was taking his life in his hands. I told him to go home and stay out of trouble.

    He did, thank goodness.

    • I recognized the difference from a distance, and this was before I had a CCW and carried piece. Still, in broad daylight and a good 10 yards away is a great deal different than a few feet away in the dark.

      I would not be nonchalant if a realistic airsoft rifle had been pointed at me. Hopefully now that I carry, I will not face a kid with one.

    • Thank you for doing that, Tim. I’m glad you didn’t call the cops.

      It’s sad that most of live in a place where “a black kid with a BB gun” “a Latino kid with a BB gun” or “a white kid with a BB gun” might elicit different responses. My son is a wonderful, responsible, careful teenage boy, but it makes me so angry when people clearly judge him in a certain way because he’s nonwhite.

      (and was he really “prowling”, or was he just being a 12-14 year old boy?)

  25. Weeelll… Legally, a 13 year old — or any minor — hasn’t any Constitutional rights. They are a ward, of their guardian(s) and/or the State (as in an orphanage or other institution), and the rights are exercised by their caretakers.

    While the right to keep and bear arms is a logical extrapolation of the natural right to defend ones inherent sovereignty by tooth, nail and wit, the Constitution neither recognizes nor protects this right on the part of minors.

    Let a kid raise a hand to a parent and see what happens. Rights…?

    While in specific communities, certain privileges might be extended to minors, Constitutional guarantees to not apply.

    That said, I feel that this should’ve gone differently. Had the kid spoken no English, or had he a hearing or cognitive impediment, what then?

    Firing first — outside the home — is not the Right Thing. While he was on the cops’ “turf,” they do in fact have a sworn duty to use minimum force, and firing first doesn’t qualify as behavior compliant with their oaths of service.

    While we are all a little on edge about kids with Big Guns these days, and after exhibiting such galactically poor judgement maybe it’s good that kid took a dirt nap before (probably) spreading his pollen around, this was still a case of overkill.

    Until the danger is proven real by rapidly flying bits o’ heavy metal, the cops should paint the target, but not fu¢king fire until someone has been fired upon.

    This even applies in a DGU. When the BiB get there, drop it and don’t go near it ’til everything’s been sorted out in trippplicate. Twice.

    My 2¢.

    • EDIT: That last paragraph is a fail.

      In event of a DGU, one condition “justifying” a police shooting has been satisfied, so be extra careful, compliant and attentive.

      There; fixed it, sort of.

    • Russ, children have Constitutional rights, but they are limited because minors are thought to lack the physical and mental capacity to make judgments and exercise those rights.

      Still, children have rights under the 4th and 5th Amendments. Charges against a minor must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. They have a right to counsel. They cannot be made to incriminate themselves. Probable cause is necessary for a search. Under Tinker v. Des Moines School District, they have limited First Amendment rights, and these rights are expanding.

      So, saying that kids have no Constitutional rights is about 50 years out of date.

    • …but he’d have Secret Service protection to beat down any local PD’s nosy intrusive inquiries.

  26. This is a flashback for me. Similar incident, except it was a revolver. As soon as I saw the kid, I knew him personally as a friend of my sons. And he was on probation for burglarizing a home and stealing a gun. As soon as he pulled it, I kinda froze. I had already drawn mine and was at a low ready. Back stop were his two friends and a store. It just didn’t look right. It was a toy he painted black.
    I was worthless the rest of the day thinking I almost shot a kid.

    • I was worthless the rest of the day thinking I almost shot a kid.

      That’s because you’re a good man. Cops like Nicks87 would be worthless thinking that they missed a golden opportunity for a live fire exercise.

      • Old school Oregon cops were pretty cool and we had a really good friend of the family that was an officer. Around the 90’s I noticed a change. Gone were the guys that looked like your next door neighbor and they were replaced by what I called the clones. Buzz cuts, mirror shades and scowls. This was shortly after the crime bill came into effect with grant money.

        There are still some good ones out there and while I have been stopped by the Lane county Sheriff’s department three times, they let me go twice without even a warning for speeding. The third time I left my proof of insurance at home and instead of writing me a ticket that would get me a for sure fine, he wrote me a ticket that was dismissed when I showed the clerk I had current insurance valid before the date of the stop. He even told me what to do to get it dismissed. I think he pulled me over because I was driving a 69 Mach 1 and he wanted to see it.

    • You kind of froze because you didn’t want to *have* to shoot a person, or to miss and hit someone else.

      If, instead, you’d spent your days and nights dreaming of when you’d see some Real Live Heroic Action (maybe even with an awesome heavy metal soundtrack in the background), you would have immediately seen that as your opportunity.

      Here is a link to two different departments’ recruitment videos. What kind of culture do you think exists in these two departments? Who do you think these videos appeal to?

  27. The police were justified in the shooting. I’m sorry the kid was too stupid to realize that police officers, with REAL guns pointed at him, means that he should immediately drop his fake gun. If parents would teach their kids some common sense and discipline, incidents like this would be even more rare then they already are.

    I had a similar experience while I was out on patrol near a city park. It was dark and I observed two people running from tree to tree with what appeared to be rifles. I turned on my spot light and put it on the individuals and saw that they did indeed have rifles, one had a shotgun and one had an AR-15. I then used the PA system in the patrol vehicle and told them to drop the weapons and put their hands in the air, palms out where I could see them. Before I could finish the sentence they dropped the guns and had their hands up. One of them yelled out: “They are just airsoft!” I said “ok, but stay where you are and keep your hands up.” so I waited until back up arrived and then approached them (I did have my gun drawn but not pointed at them and I had my vehicle turned so I could use the engine block as cover if need be). Long story short, they were just a couple of high school kids playing airsoft and after a brief discussion about common sense I thanked them for following my commands, reminded them that the park closes at 10pm and let them go back to playing. However, if those kids had pointed the “guns” at me or my back up officer that situation may have ended very differently.

    • Stupid kid, huh, Nick?

      Seriously – thank you for justifying every single negative thing said about cops on this thread. Thank you for reinforcing every notion I’ve ever had about cops mostly being immature, emotionally stunted bullies. In a just world you’d be serving burgers and shakes for a living, or you’d be in jail for pointing a loaded firearm at a group of kids playing with toys instead of simply observing the situation as any normal person would. Instead you’re out there on patrol, deluded with the idea that you and your buddies are what separate the criminal element from society.


      • Blinky, we don’t agree on much — but we see eye to eye on this. And the worst problem is, Nicks87 just doesn’t get it.

      • Who pointed a gun at kids? Maybe you need to work on your reading comprehension skills. Flip burgers much?

        • Forgive me Nick, you had your gun drawn and not pointed at them. That totally changes the dynamic, and I’m sure if that was a regular, concealed carrying Joe threatening and detaining a couple kids the outcome would be exactly the same. I appreciate your well thought out response, and you aren’t at all the ignorant bully I initially thought you to be.

          Oh, and I actually cook the fries. I used to flip burgers, but operating the fryer includes hazard pay, and the last guy that did it screwed up a couple orders and got demoted to cop.

        • I think it changes the dynamic. It’s not like I did a somersault out of the patrol vehicle and started screaming at them while getting into the prone position because it offers a better platform to return fire.

          You know why cops are such assholes? It’s because people like you think you know how to do our job better than we do. I bet you would get pretty angry if I showed up at your job and told you to cup the balls and stop using your teeth so much and maybe you would get a better response from your customer…

        • Oh, blowjobs, I get it! Say, are you a comedian in your spare time?

          I think cops are assholes because pathetic, emotionally stunted dipshits tend to hire pathetic, emotionally stunted dipshits. Seriously, nothing but nothing is more telling about the psyche of a police officer than your comments here tonight. It’s clear than you view yourself and your cohorts as being in a class above us lowly proles, you hold your lives as more important as those of the people you’re paid to protect, and that policing is a culture of unchecked abuse of power.

          And by the way, dingus, every single profession on earth is a target for interlopers saying “well, I could do that better”. You guys aren’t special. Quit whining.

    • We don’t know exactly what happened. The shooting may be justifiable…maybe…but hindsight shows that it was absolutely unnecessary.

      Your story mostly just shows that there’s an unconscionable double standard at work here.

      The rest of us don’t get to light up a suspicious-looking person, hold them at gunpoint until we’re satisfied (or even shoot them), and then walk away. If I had done anything like that, I’d be kicking my heels in the county jail afterward.

      If this shooting turns out to be unjustified, the cops involved might lose their jobs…or more likely get reprimands and additional training…and they’ll scrape through with their 2nd Amendment rights intact. If Joe Citizen had done the same thing, he’d be rung up for negligent homicide at the very least, and never legally touch a gun again.

      And again…the facts aren’t all in. When it comes to the fatal moments, WE DON’T REALLY KNOW WHAT HAPPENED.

    • @Nicks87

      “The police were justified in the shooting. I’m sorry the kid was too stupid to realize that police officers, with REAL guns pointed at him, means that he should immediately drop his fake gun.”

      You ween’t there so you can’t be certain if it was justified or not.
      Did the kid turn around far enough to even see that it was police officers with REAL guns before he was shot down?
      The dashcam video IF there is one may reveal something other that what the officers reported, if it did it was probably deleted and claimed there wasn’t one.

      Like the security video that shows two Dallas police officers that gunned down a man then reported he made several steps towards them in an aggressive manner when the video plainly shows that he did no such thing. It plainly shows they gunned down a man for no reason then lied about it.
      Do you also support them as well claiming it was a justified shooting?
      Here’s a link to the video if you haven’t seen it.

      BTW, the officer lost his job, so what, big F’ing deal, he should have been charged with attempted murder IF the guy survived (no word on that yet) and lose his guns rights FOREVER just like anyone else would that committed such a crime. Cops get off scott free with just a loss of a job only to be hired by another department while civilians go to prison charged with a felony and lose there gun rights forever. And they call that justice. I think not.

    • Nick,

      Seems to be a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking second guessing going on in this thread by some who don’t fully comprehend the nature of police work, and whose experience consists mainly of their imagination and cop show entertainment.

      In my view regarding the after dark park encounter you describe your actions were spot on to protect all players involved and reach a satisfactory outcome. These days, I would see myself responding exactly the same way you did.

      If those kids had turned toward you with their weapons at the ready, it would have changed the dynamic calling for a more aggressive effort to control the event. That’s when perception backed by local experience and little nuances of the kids’ conduct become critical, particularly in todays often volitile environment.

      Did the Santa Rosa Deputy overreact? Hard to say; seven rounds *seems* excessive, but I was not there and didn’t see what he saw, nor have any of his experience (or lack of) from working that area. Did the deputy, a 24 year veteran (his partner was a rookie), shoot prematurely? Maybe, but again, I wasn’t there so I don’t know and don’t have an opinion.

      An evaluation of the event and all factors that lead up to the shooting will shed light, but *we* may never know for sure. But *we* don’t have to know. It is the deputy and the family who must live with the results of that tragic encounter.

      I’m with you on this one, Nick.

  28. “The cops were never shot at (not even by airsoft pellets).”

    Next some of you want cops to get shot and identify if it’s a 7.62 or 5.45 by examining the wound, right? And then to call out “Please stop shooting me!” in the five most common languages before requesting permission to shoot the gun out of his hand with one round?

    I have no problem with people questioning whether guns should be legal and commonly open carried. But I am amazed at how many hindsight geniuses there are out there.

    • No hindsight. They killed an unarmed kid. Most people go to prison for that. George Zimmerman was tried for doing much less.

      But cops are special.

      • “But cops are special.”

        Yeah we are, it’s also our job to make sure our co-workers and ourselves go back home to our families every night. I have no idea what’s in the minds of others so I have to take every precaution to protect myself and others from those whose actions could cause serious bodily harm or death.

        • I can’t let that one sit- not that I think you’re wrong to want to make yourself safe in the situations you face, but everything has to meet the reasonable person standard as much as possible.

          If we wanted to be completely safe, we would never leave the station. If we want to leave the station but be as safe as possible, we would travel in the Bearcat to each call, with eight guys holding perimeter while the other two dusted an unoccupied stolen car for prints. If we want to travel in a regular patrol car and be as safe as possible, then we would treat every stop for a burned out brake light as a felony stop, and call drivers out with rifles.

          Since we don’t do any of those things, we have to figure out where the happy medium is between not getting murdered and not taking people’s rights. Nobody signs up for a suicide mission, and you shouldn’t have to wait for muzzle flash confirmation that the guy pointing a gun at your face means business, but probably the most important thing you can tell yourself every day when you show up for work is that you serve the Constitution, and even the worst people you meet are likely to be Americans.

          Even if they’re not, they are human beings. Just like you, and just like me. And we’re not special.

        • Cops are special because they get the benefit of the doubt, and will even lie or accept the statement and never dig into the investigation to convict unless there were credible eye witnesses or video. Us lowly folk are guilty until proven innocent, although less so within the walls of our home. The unwashed masses also have a growing government looking for any reason to disarm us and hold up examples in overly hyped cases, depending on the local DA’s political aspirations.. Police need not worry about this.

          As for “it’s also our job to make sure our co-workers and ourselves go back home to our families every night”, you have no more right to that than any other person alive. Panicking at the sight of a rifle and blasting away without a shot fired at you is NOT your job.

          You are empowered by the elected members of your employers, the people. That power is to protect the people. Your training, gear, backup, and pension/insurance are the reason you are expected to not fire until fired upon. It’s not your place to assume intentions. 1 or 2 seconds of patience could have saved that adolescent’s life, and the officer’s conscience.

        • “But cops are special.”

          “Yeah we are, it’s also our job to make sure our co-workers and ourselves go back home to our families every night. ”

          And how exactly is this different for any other citizen or resident? Laws are not just for the little people.

        • Oh, cry me a river Nick. You have an incredibly safe job, and the vast majority of on the job cop deaths (6 out of 7) are non-violent health and traffic related deaths. You don’t need more guns or body armor, you need to lay off the donuts, use the stairs and learn to drive.

          A cursory check of every “most dangerous/deadly jobs” list seems to indicate a conspicuous lack of policing. Instead, we have people that actually work for a living, like fishermen, loggers, construction workers and miners who get paid a whole hell of a lot less than you, don’t have ridiculous benefits and lifetime guaranteed employment and aren’t holding every town, city, state and municipality hostage with dangerous and greedy unions.

          So much for your “I just wanna get home” paradigm, huh?

        • Yep it is always about them getting home. The heck with the protecting and serving the people who are paying for all their benefits and salary. It is the biggest bunch of BS advertising ever and people are dumb enough to believe it. They are the first ones to try to take away our rights because they think they are so special. They have the us versus them mentalty
          All the police every do is cry about how hard and dangerous they perceive their job to be. More construction workers die on the job then cops. I think most police are afraid of their own shadow.
          They have everything in their favor . All the weapons they want, body armor a whole crew of accomplices to help out or lie for them it needed, they have every thing in their favor. They just want you to submit to their will.
          They just don’t think use their brains. They want everyone else to follow every law when they do anything they want at will. I used to have a lot of respect for police and actually thought about joining when I got out of the military. They lost any respect I had for them by their actions their lies covering for each other. no matter how bad the crime is that they committed they have a get out of jail free card . They complain abut the gangs in some cases they are worse than the criminals they are just they just hide behind the badge.
          With protection like this I think I will take my chances all these guys can do is shoot first . But when you have a hammer you go looking for nails

      • Are you saying Zimmerman’s trial was appropriate and justified, or that if he got screwed, everyone should get screwed the same way?

        • If he’s saying “had the two people, GZ and TM, been of the same race, then given the statements of witnesses on the night of the incident, and given the location of the altercation within the set of walkways, there likely would not have been a trial” he’s probably right. The lesson to be learned from the case is that an effective defense which actually shows the evidence to the jury and undoes the political/media swarm and the DA’s power….is very expensive. In every tough neighborhood in America, people are accepting plea bargains because, whatever they have done, an effective defense is beyond the means of most young men. Many are guilty. More than a few are not. Almost all take the bargain, having a sense of futility about fighting a DA backed by tax-paid expert witnesses and intimidated informants. Everyone goes home at night, safe if they can, and launches into a state of denial about the flaws in the system.

        • Well, I took his meaning to be that it doesn’t matter what the facts _appeared_ to be at the time, because they turned out in the end to be different, and the cops in this case should have known that ahead of time. Or that they should be punished for acting on the information they had at the time.

          Regarding Zimmerman, I agree with you, but another lesson I took is that you can’t trust anyone to not cave in the face of political pressure. The original report cleared him, and it took weeks before they decided to gin up a case based on speculation.

          It would take someone smarter than I am to figure out a system where we could give everyone a fair trial and avoid the reliance on plea bargains, but not bankrupt the country. Sure would be nice, though.

  29. Here is where the rubber meets the road. If 10 police officers were carrying rifles in hand as “beefed up security” at a public event, none of the officers would claim that “another officer was turning and his barrel was rising and was going to point at me so I shot him”. Similarly, a man wearing blaze orange is walking through the forest in the fall with a rifle in hand. And a police officer wants to talk to the man. If the man is turning to respond to the the police officer and his barrel is going to sweep the officer, Is the police officer justified shooting the man then?

    Thus the question is, why is it okay for police officers to sweep people with their muzzles when no one else can? By the way, I am not bashing the police. This is a legitimate question?

    • We can point our guns at potential threats because the threat of using deadly force is not the same as actually using deadly force. Basically, it’s to get someone who is non-compliant to comply with your commands but it has to be justified (reasonable belief that there is an imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm).

      • Nicks, I’m not jumping into the early exchanges, but the issue of point a gun directly at someone suspected to be dangerous is a big issue. Let me explain. I had an incident that was rightly ruled an appropriate presentation of a firearm. The aggression was obvious and over-the-top. Nonetheless, two LEOs in an otherwise civilized PD tried to catch me up as to whether I pointed my shotgun at any of the perps. I didn’t, and had witnesses ….but they were trying to make an aggravated assault charge, just for the collar and promotion points. It was exceptionally cheesy. But worse, the same cops do point their firearm directly at the perp. One reflex flinch upon some loud noise, and boom, the citizen is dead. It doesn’t take a tenth of a second to go from pointed just to the right, to dead on. So why the pointing dead on? No reason. (In reality it’s for the intimidation factor of looking straight down the barrel…and that’s a horrible way to up the intimidation.)

        • When did the police job description include intimidation of the people they are supposed to be “serving”

        • John, my point was that there is no hoplological (new word, laugh) need to point a pistol directly at someone the officer is not forced to defensively and immediately shoot. Holding the gun up but a bit off to the side isn’t going to noticeably slow an emergency response. If I can hit a high eight with the gun on my hip at pull, a young cop can move his barrel three inches.

          I had a G36 rifle pointed directly at my head two summers ago, from about twelve feet away at a road block. I really didn’t see the need to point it so directly.

  30. A brief perusal of the comments on this article reminds me why I rarely check in here these days. Most of you are talking about the officers in this situation the same way the mainstream media talked about Zimmerman. Nice.

    • Thank you John, it’s real easy for these guys to play monday morning QB without ever having been in a situation such as this.

      • Yeah, Nick, none of us are the Star NFL QB that you are, but when you watch enough seasons of the same bullshit, you do start to get a sense for what they are doing wrong – if you get my meaning.

        Maybe your particular team is on top of their game. Well that’s great! But it seems like a helluva lot of players in your league don’t know what the hell they are doing. And the refs sure as hell aren’t callin’ them on it.

    • Some of us do, some of us don’t. Do understand, please, that for residents of NY, NJ, MD, DE, and CA there is an underlying anger for many: The associations of police chiefs in the major cities of each of those states have made armed defense on the street impossible, have actively supported “may iissue” and and other defacto limits. One of my brothers lives in one of those jurisdictions. An Ivy League science major and now dentist, he can’t get a permit to carry a pistol. Why? Do you really believe the average Police Academy graduate in his state, with an average education of two-years community college, has better sense? Dexterity? Caution?

      In summary (and rhetorically), he cannot defend against a knife-wielding mugger, period. But Joe Sixpack can, if he is now a member of the PD, shoot if the guy grabs a cell phone in the dark. That isn’t how it’s supposed to be. Worse, if my brother could defend, and did, in his state he would still face costs ruinous to anyone (but a dentist….). Yet, in actual case, the LEO faces no defense costs, and probably isn’t even required to mount a legal defense. So get a thicker skin and maybe half the comments here will inspire you to make your workday response patterns even better than they are now. I feel certain you wouldn’t hop out, get behind the door, and open up on a kid who hadn’t even seen you as you pulled up from behind. I bet you keep your distance, use your loudspeaker, unlatch your carbine if you really think it is an AK, not a toy, and are ready to hit the gas hard if the kid doesn’t respond. Just like the LEO’s in the news article should have.

      • So you are blaming the police because politicians wont let you have guns to defend yourselves? I’m sorry I dont understand your point. Most cops are very pro 2nd amendment but we want to keep that upper hand. Ya know, so the criminals dont take over like they have in Mexico and most African countries.

        I’m not just going to walk up on someone who has a gun, real or fake, with my hands in my pockets and ask: “Hey buddy, is that a real gun? Because if it is I trust you enough, eventhough I have never met you before, to put myself in a life threatening situation just so I dont violate your rights.” That is absolutely ludicrous!

        • No, Nicks, I’m not. I’m saying that most big-city police chiefs on the coasts actively supported the politicians pushing “no gun for you” and that this activity by Chiefs rubs off ineluctably on the blues generally. In my state and town police aren’t bothered seeing a gun properly holstered. It doesn’t ‘freak them out.’ But in a state in which the news and politicians demonize armed self-defense incessantly, that, too, rubs off on the blues. They start to react more on more aggressively upon sighting a firearm. I can see it just crossing between PA and NJ on a regular basis. Surprise, the people in NJ resent it. Just because the pols and upper class are afraid of the masses does not mean the ordinary professional should have to go bare in a state which keeps throwing six time losers back on the streets. Does that make sense?

        • This seems to be true in my experience. Many cops who transfer from big city departments (especially CA) seem to have trouble understanding why WA is shall issue, and sometimes appear to struggle with not hassling open carry guys. I’m lucky, my chain of command makes it very clear that open carry folks are completely within their rights, and that they are not the enemy.