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Police "shooting frenzy" (courtesy

The rather understated title of “Police Shooting Frenzy Raises Concerns” [click on link to see video] heralds a story from Miami, Florida’s CBS affiliate about an incident in December that saw 23 officers fire over 375 rounds into a car that held two men who turned out to be unarmed, one of whom was guilty of nothing except being in an extraordinarily bad place at an unbelievably bad time. Both men were killed, and two officers were injured in what amounted to a circular firing squad. Adrian Montesano had earlier that evening robbed a Walgreens at gunpoint, and then a short time later shot a Miami-Dade police officer in a nearby trailer park. Montesano stole the injured officer’s cruiser, driving it to his grandmother’s house where he parked it and took her blue Volvo. At that point, the chase was on, with nearly every law enforcement officer in three counties looking for that Volvo . . .

It was spotted a little after 6 a.m., and shortly thereafter Montesano crashed into a neighborhood back yard, pinning the car between a power pole and a tree. Exactly what happened next is still unclear, but what is known is that about a minute after the car crashed, officers fired about 50 rounds into the car, but the men apparently survived that volley. Then, after about two minutes of quiet, officers opened up again, this time with a volley of bullets that lasted for about 25 continuous seconds. Both occupants, Montesano and Corsini Valdes, who had committed no crime, were dead. One officer had taken a hit to the arm, and another a grazing wound to the head. The men in the car were found to be unarmed. Later, at least a couple more officers would be treated for ruptured eardrums sustained during the gunfire. The shooting is being reviewed by both the State Attorney’s Office and the Miami Dade Police Department, and those reviews are expected to take a year or more, at minimum.

A Daly City (California) police cruiser caught fire and burned to the ground last Sunday evening as an officer was taking a handcuffed suspect into custody., who has an extraordinarily uninteresting bystander video attached to their story, reports that the fire set off ammunition inside the car, and says that it “ricocheted” as the car burned. No one was injured, and the street the car was sitting on was kept closed for about an hour as fire crews extinguished the blaze.

A police officer in Sumter, SC recently showed that “serve and protect” isn’t just a catchphrase on the fender of his car. A 13-year-old boy called police after fighting with his mom, saying he didn’t want to live there with his family anymore. Officer Gaetano Acerra responded to that call, and told the boy that having a roof over his head was a good thing. But then he discovered that the teen didn’t even have a real bed to sleep on, or really anything else in his bedroom. He’d been sleeping on an air mattress that would slowly lose air overnight, leading to waking up with a sore back most days. Officer Acerra decided he could personally make a difference in this case, and a few weeks later he showed back up at the house with a bed, a desk, a chair, and even a Wii game system that someone had donated after Acerra told them the story. Acerra plans to find a dresser and mirror, as well, and has fielded several calls from other folks looking to help out. “I didn’t do this for publicity or to get people to notice me,” Acerra said. “I did it because I could. It was the right thing to do and I think people should do things like this.”

Dynamic Pie Concepts brings us Art of the Mag Flip: To maintain survivability an operator must possess inter weapon system awareness providing for autonomous kinetic targeting. By synchronizing the manual of arms to the Earth’s rotation, economy of motion is maintained. Utilizing centrifugal force allows for rapid jettisoning of an ammunition feeding device. Whether for ammunition hand off or critical attack capabilities. Leveraging and synchronizing capabilities at a primary component level requires less time and less steps than introducing a secondary munitions delivery device. Shortening the kill chain and ultimately reducing friction within an operator’s decision cycle. When prioritizing kinetic options to render defensive enablers ineffective- integrating improved methodologies produces a mechanism to deny and bypass an adversary’s asymmetric battle space advantage.

I lost it at “centri-fewgal” force.

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  1. This sentence is rather awkward. “Both occupants, Montesano and Corsini Valdes, who had committed no crime, were dead.”

    Makes it sound like Montesano had committed no crimes, when it clearly sounded like he did….

    • This use of force was excessive. At no time did the occupants fire on the officers or even leave the car. They put the entire neighborhood at risk and managed to wound two of their own. No matter what transpired before the policy is not to shoot 300+ bullets in response. It sure looks like everyone wanted to empty their guns into that car.

      Think about this: What if the wanted man wasn’t driving? They didn’t know for sure because they shot first and identified second. And the other guy didn’t commit the crime, what’s up with that?

      • Just another day in the age of incompetence…… Pretty much noone knows how to do anything at all, aside from crying to Massa Gommiment to “do something” about something, and to someone.

        300 shots fired in a residential neighborhood, against a car where noone is shooting back, and just MAY be the “dangerous” (yet unarmed………) guy they’re all up in arms about…… It’s so pathetic, the only reasonable response would be to fire all involved, take away their pensions and just tell them to do the world a service by crawling under a bridge and dying. And by all, include everyone up the hiring and training chains, up to the darned idiots who collect the taxes from presumable less hopeless cases to fund the all night (and day) monkey party as it goes on, and on and on and on……

      • OK, leaving aside the issue of whether the officers used excessive force (they probably did), as a practical matter this is pretty much what one would expect to happen these days to a cop killer. If the police are hell on harmless dogs…

        • Yep, ‘officer down’ brings EVERYONE responding, eager to GET EVEN.

          Remember that Christopher Dorner mess in LA County?
          And how they flung 100+ pieces of copper and lead in the general direction of a middle aged Hispanic newspaper carrier and her mother on the off chance they might be a 200+ lb black ex-cop?

        • What if the Cop Killer wasn’t actually in the car? They didn’t check his ID until he weighed 20 lbs more full of lead,

        • For my two cents,any time there is an officer shot, his department should be stood down from the chase as soon as possible, and another department,state, federal, just one not involved take over to ensure that the perp is brought to justice, not executed with out trial.
          Some years back in Topeka, a member of the SCAT got shot kicking down a door. When all was said and done, the shooter walked on the murder charge. The TPD still has blood in their eyes.
          Yes, ventilating Bonnie and Clyde saved the nation a great deal of money, but it denied a measure of justice. With them, it might have been the only way though. History shows they were wanting to fight.

    • Ya think he committed a crime? Sounds like he might have, that very morning! But that seems a bit quick to have held a trial, for a jury of 12 to have found him guilty, and a sentence of death of a thousand pistols pronounced and carried out. This was not “excessive force”, it was murder. The men were unarmed and offered no violence to the cops, they were just massively overkilled, including the discovery that after 50 shots they’re still alive, let’s shoot them 300 more times.

  2. Thanks for finding some balance, Matt. By and large, I don’t trust cops (at best, at worst I hate them), so it’s kind of nice to see one doing some good for once (as a reminder that they’re not all bloodthirsty bastards), a paragraph below a mention of some horrible ones murdering people (as a reminder that they’re not all about protecting and serving either). Balance is good, though admittedly not always practical.

    • It’s like Dennis Miller once said about the Middle East, “It’s the rotten few million that spoil it for the other eleven.”

  3. 23 officers fire[d] over 375 rounds into a car that held two men who turned out to be unarmed

    As long as the officers got to go home that night, it’s irrelevant how many people were killed.

    Isn’t it?

    • So with 23 officers, if they’re shooting 40, that means some of them had to reload and keep shooting.

      • Read the full story, that is what they did. They paused and then resumed firing even though nobody was firing at them. All the hits on the officers and nearby homes was all from the officers.

  4. I didn’t read that part of the constitution where in police get to execute criminals.
    I do see the plastic fantastic double stack evidence that these cops are followers of Glock, or the land of spray and pray.

  5. The massive cop shooting and the young man getting some furniture do not balance.

    Without getting furniture there may have been other options.

    However, on the issue of the massive cop shooting the two guys (they HAD TO ASSUME THEY WERE ARMED SINCE ONE HAD PREVIOUSLY KILLED A COP), their FAILURE was in opening up with 377 rounds. They were panicked, scared and not in control at all.

    It’s a miracle more innocent civilians weren’t injured or killed. Discipline time for every idiot who opened up.

    One of the witnesses stated one of the cars occupants put his hands out the window to surrender. Don’t know if this is true or not. Surrendering won’t work with scared, panicked cowards, they will kill you and laugh afterwards.

    I’ve said it before, fear the police for they WILL kill you.

    • “Discipline time for every idiot who opened up.”

      If by “discipline” you mean “commendation for bravery” and “promotion”, then you’re spot-on.

      • After the mandatory paid vacay.

        But what’s with the “civilian” thing? Po-po are NOT military (even though some play dress up and pretend to be “HSLD Operatorz”); they are civilians too.

        • The current (last 40 years) propaganda that somehow “they” aren’t “us” – therefore not subject to the same rules of engagement…

  6. How exactly did the other guy end up in the Volvo? Unless it was a carjacking/kidnapping i would assume he was voluntarily in the wrong place at the wrong time. Not a capital crime, but hardly innocent bystander, right?

    • Maybe he stopped over and picked him up…bad choice of friends but you don’t usually ask ‘Hey did you just kill a cop and steal his cruiser before getting grandma’s Volvo?’ Doesn’t make him guilty of anything more than bad choices in friends. Now if he was with him during the robbery/shooting that would change things in my eyes.

    • He was most likely there voluntarily; the two men were known to be friends. There’s no evidence that Valdes was in any way involved in the robbery or shooting of the police officer; they apparently met up sometime after Montesano switched cars. The exact circumstances of the meeting are only known to two people, and neither of them are in a position to tell us.

    • Most people who just tried to kill a cop and stole a cop car don’t just go bowling like Roman in GTAIV. I suspect the guy knew or was told something was amiss.

      Doesn’t mean he deserved to die, though. Good idea to try and select friends who you you can have drive you somewhere without this sort of thing happening.

      • They were unarmed, and there had been no trial. This was murder. There is about zero chance that the cops involved will even have to pay their own money to replace their bullets, never mind actual “discipline”.

    • My theory:
      Montesano figured that the cops would be looking for a single guy in the car, so he picks up the other guy to not fit that profile. If Montesano told me that he had just shot a cop and stole his squad and then ask if I wanted to go for a ride, I would decline.
      Therefore I assume he was duped into the ride along.

  7. That was just crazy. Bloomin’ crazy. 377 rounds? Standing a few yards away from the car and pouring lead into it. In response to what? Neither man was armed, so it damn sure wasn’t returning fire. And the firing stopped for a while, then started up again–what’s with that? Crazy–those are the only people who are to be trusted with firearms?

  8. That’s the first time I’ve heard a story about Sumter PD that was positive. Then again, I’ve been gone a while, maybe they started to clean up the department a bit.

    • Yeah. I don’t understand this either.
      I’ve worked arsons, rapes, murders. Nothing ever took that long.
      They are probably hoping that the public forgets this over time.

      • Nailed it, Tom. They’re hoping that public interest in the outcome of the “review” will have dropped off if they slow-walk it and let enough time pass. It sounds like a pretty simple series of events; even though there are a lot of officers involved, it still shouldn’t take more than a couple months tops.

        What it amounts to is they know any officer who fired on that vehicle should be shit-canned with extreme prejudice, but they don’t want to deal with the massive hassle involved in firing and replacing 23 officers. So a bunch of guys who are at best incompetent and panicky (or at worst, murderous thugs who wanted revenge for the cop Montesano killed) will get to stay on the street, and likely suffer only the mildest of punishments, if any at all.

    • Depends on what actions they are reviewing. Are we going to prosecute them for murder? Might take a year. Are we going to fire them all? 5 minutes. Are we going to forget the whole thing and/or promote these heroes? Need a year for outrage to blow over.

  9. One amazing officer, and I know there are more out there. I hope they are just as sickened by the thug behavior of the individuals involved in the lead story as we all are.

  10. “But then he discovered that the teen didn’t even have a real bed to sleep on, or really anything else in his bedroom.”

    I understand that as long as he was not malnourished or abused, they can’t really do jack to the parents, but come on, not even a finger wagging to the mother of the year? Or were they just beyond poor and the air mattress was the best she could do? Either way, sumpin’ ain’t right hur.

    Was the parent(s) grateful? Did they sell the furniture and Wii for drugs?

  11. We may never know why the 2nd unarmed guy was with the alleged murderer. I would tend to give the trigger happy cops a (very) slight break on this one. Or not. A year to investigate? Pathetic. Good for the other cop. I too wonder if it was neglect or just dire poverty. I’ve seen both up close.

    • I wonder if the guy was an innocent lamb as well. I wonder if he noticed the stolen police cruiser in the driveway.

      In any case at least they got the right car.

  12. Is it just me or did that shooting remind you of the kung fu Joe scene from I’m Gonna get you sucka?

      • I am wondering if the second volley, err firestorm, might have been fired if they shot their own officers while they fired the first fifty rounds, and then heard “officers down” crackle on the radios….

        Or maybe it was just a “tactical reload”. I doubt anyone could hear much of anything after the first fifty rounds. That said, 23 officers with 19 rounds each adds to 437 rounds so either there was no reload and they fired again when they so movement in the car, or some officers did not fire their weapons. A lot has to be figured out on this, including how many officers did not fire.

        • Most likely it was a negative feedback loop that led to this. Officers surround a car of a known cop killer. Someone moves inside and one or more of the cops fearing for life start shooting. Other cops not knowing why but figuring they want in on the action also open up. Incoming rounds from officers 180 degrees opposite of them fuel the the guys who first open fire into thinking the perp is shooting back thus triggering more shooting. Suddenly 23 officers have shot to slide lock thinking the guys inside the car were shooting back at them. The dust clears nobody can hear anymore and then suddenly they realized in their tunnel vision that the incoming rounds were from their own guys on the other side of the car.

          I’d actually like to know how many times they even hit the perp. I guess that its an embarrassingly low %

        • “The dust clears nobody can hear anymore and then suddenly they realized in their tunnel vision that the incoming rounds were from their own guys on the other side of the car.”

          That, my friends, is an iron clad, irrefutable “OH SH!T” moment. After which anyone who pulled a trigger is transferred to the Everglades, and will never be allowed back.

  13. “Circular firing squad?!” Are these guys f$#king idiots!?! “Uh….. derp…. let’s all stand in each other’s line of fire and shoot at him! deerrrp!”

    • I’m sure while you’re operating operationally you always manage to pull up on a car, move close to try and get the driver out along with a dozen other cops also arriving and yet all maintain ballet-like gun-fu awareness and communication (one pat on the tummy means you’re hungry, two means it’s time for situps). Oh… you don’t do anything like that but instead sit behind a computer criticizing others for their flawed tactics in the heat of the moment? Well. Derp then.

      I suspect if they planned out when they were going to open fire they might have tried to avoid the tunnel vision and other problems inherent to such a situation. But sometimes you don’t have time to plan things out as if you are waiting to ambushing Bonnie and Clyde. Like the man said, shit happens.

      • If any of them had tunnel vision his training and awareness sucks since there was no legitimate threat (both men being unarmed and seated in a disabled vehicle). At best this is manslaughter (that’s if you think the cops were than totally incompetent) and at worst a double murder (I’m going with the former). That said, not only did they shoot up an unarmed suspect and kill what amounts to a bystander they managed to shoot two of their own.

        When I’m operating operationally and one of mine puts a round in me I terminate them with extreme prejudice. The simple reason is that in CQB you don’t fire unless you have a target and if I’m between your gun and the target you don’t have a target (you can’t see the BG if you’re sights are full of me).

        This was a massive cluster F**k on so many levels that not one of these morons should ever wear a badge or gun again. Attempting to defend the fact that they managed to shoot not one but two of each other while facing an unarmed suspect is just ridiculous. There were 4 people shot in this incident that didn’t need to be, meaning everyone who fired his weapon was wrong (unless the two cops hit by friendly fire weren’t shooting until they were shot, then it’s more understandable for those two of 23 morons).

        The rule (outside of infantry) is really simple: Don’t shoot unless you have a target. If one of yours is what you’re seeing down the sights don’t shoot. If nothing at all is what you’re seeing don’t shoot. If there are 20-freaking-3 of you facing two guys who aren’t shooting just dive for cover and keep your weapon holstered, there are at least 20 too many gunners on the job and it’s not going to end well.

      • This “shit happens” attitude is WHY shit happens. I guess since I’m not a trained LEO I missed the part where it’s more important to unload everyone’s magazines on the suspect than to know your target and what’s beyond it. If you don’t have a shot, don’t take one. These guys didn’t have a shot, didn’t have situational awareness, didn’t have any particular reason to start shooting in the first place. The trained professionals “operating operationally” should also be thinking thinking-ally about what they’re f–ing f–ing-ally doing. And these guys obviously didn’t. It’s just blind luck they didn’t also shoot an innocent bystander in the process.

      • Here’s a whopper of a clue for you:

        We taxpayers are paying for this shit. The money that ends up in your pocket came from the sweat of another man’s brow, not your own. The government didn’t create that money from rubbing some magic lamp.

        And paying means we don’t need to say “please.” You don’t like being criticized for being incompetent?

        Then go get your paycheck from somewhere else.

  14. The linked article from the frenzy in Miami is very telling. The police dispatchers and supervisors lost control of the “mob” early on. And rounds went into people’s homes.

    There was another similar shooting a few years back by I believe the Polk county Sheriff’s SWAT team. They shot a cop killer over 300 times mostly with MP5s, albeit in a more rural setting and after a longish man hunt. When asked why 300 rounds the Sheriff did say something to the effect that ” they ran out of ammo”.

    • It seems to be a pattern any time a cop gets killed. It happened with Chris Dorner. It happened with the Boston Bombers.

      It makes me wonder if maybe they weren’t right to lock down Boston and have everyone “shelter in place”, not because of the Big Bad Bomber, but because the police were out of control and out for blood.

      • “To serve and protect” seems to go out the window when that mindset collides with the second mindset that deals with “officer down”, “one of our own” and “fraternity”. The two are incompatible, with the second being a much stronger, guttural, primal and emotionally driven one. It’s almost kind of tribal, and can lead to a “mob” mentality.

        The two mindsets cannot coexist and the second one seems to win out a lot. What the police fail to realize is that incidents like the one in Miami do nothing but cause an erosion of confidence in the police by the citizens they are sworn to protect, and furthers an atmosphere of distrust of the people that should be trusted the most. That “mob” mindset has to end, and it starts at the top.

        Incidents like the one in Miami should never be condoned, regardless of the circumstances. It was wrong and those responsible should be held to account, all the way to the top.

        • In the 80s there was a name for that type of activity: a Police Riot. Seems to fit here.

  15. It is interesting to compare the two police stories above. It illustrates the difference between a police officer (singular) and police officers in groups. One cop, one-on-one can be a compassionate public servant who really cares. I can usually reason with a lone police officer.

    Not the same with a group. A group of cops cannot be reasoned with. The citizen becomes the outsider and all the cops in the group attempt to “out cop” each other. It becomes a snowballing testosterone fest that produces mass firings like this. One officer firing becomes approval for everyone else to fire also. And not merely approval but also a demand that, to be part of the brotherhood, you must also fire. All common sense is lost and it becomes a group dynamic feeding frenzy like this.

    • I think you’re onto something, decent training and instinct dictate that no one don’t fire at all unless they have a clear target and view it as a threat. This sort of ‘pile on’ shooting is unjustifiable, ridiculous, tactically unsound and perhaps criminally murderous.

      t the point you have a suspect pinned in a disabled vehicle and 23 cops with which to form a perimeter staying behind cover and waiting the suspect out is the order of the day. If there is a potential innocent or perhaps a hostage in the vehicle this becomes even more the imperative: Stop, Contain, Discriminate, Resolve. These jack wagons were and are a threat to public safety and shouldn’t ever wear a badge or gun again.

    • Lack of fire discipline is a sure indication of inadequete training and loss of command and control by a supervising officer. With nobody in charge a group of armed men becomes an armed mob which is a very dangerous thing.

      • They are very well ‘trained’ to behave exactly in this manner. The ‘command and control’ is to encourage My Lai massacres whenever someone dares kill one ‘one of their brothers’.

        ‘Natch, you and I can’t go and seek revenge in this fashion, but for these low-risk-job-punk-cowboys it’s all good.

  16. Having read the linked article this scene is even more damning than I initially thought.

    First up: If you and your friends fire 50+ rounds without resistance into a vehicle occupied by two men and fail to kill either of them outright you’re absolutely horrible shots and/or using terrible tactics.

    Second, given that neither man was armed and one was guilty of no crime when a witness says the passenger attempted surrender and was shot to death for his effort you have a murder. If justice were served this might be the first time that forensic ballistics solved a crime: The officers that actually put bullets into this innocent man should be imprisoned for the crime of murder while all the rest should face charges of attempted murder. Any who are innocent are welcome to present such evidence at trial but all should be tried and allow a jury to decide their culpability. The level of incompetence and aggression involved in this incident is simply staggering.

  17. Looking into my crystal ball, smoke is swirling, swirling, clearing now, I CAN SEE, I can see… no trial.

    • And a paid vacay for 23 of Miami’s finest for a year while this blows over. Even better – they transfer to the Training Division…

  18. Police Shooting
    I wonder which officer will claim, that for this Firing Squad assignment, he was the one that was issued the blanks.

  19. Police Shooting #2
    “It will be the Wild West if citizens get guns”, ask any Chicago Police commissioner or Chief.

    I would like to ask McCarthy, Bloomberg, Watts, Giffords and Brady:
    How long will it take before you can count up 23 legally carrying CCW’s in the United States being involved in mag dump bad shoots?

    • Yep. That’s the irony of these LEO cluster-shoots with hundreds of rounds sent downrange, hither and yon.

      LA, Boston, now Floriduh.

      First time is a one-off, the second is a coincidence. When we have three incidents, we have a trend.

    • Wait, now, that would be a good challenge the way you put it, but a better question would be all in ONE, SINGLE bad shoot.

  20. Certain I am that some have recognized the potential offered and given consideration to the inherent value provided by a bullet-riddled vehicle for use as a mobile ’GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION’ display.
    The vehicle could be placed on a mobile trailer to be hauled to various locations, with a sign affixed to the roof that reads:

    ( Equally certain I am that, depending on position and perspective, Opinions will necessarily vary as to where, exactly, the vehicle should hauled and displayed.)

    Do No Harm / Successfully Defend

  21. And now you see why I want cops to go back to S&W Model 10’s.

    They should get six rounds of .38 Special in their gun.

    And in my world, they get two (2), count ’em, two speed loaders, for a total of 18 rounds on their person. That’s it.

    This will help prevent this type of utter foolishness. If it doesn’t, then we should give cops a radio that ties into a radio net of volunteers who will come to a scene with a gun. These volunteers would be people who know their ass from a warm rock about guns, gun safety, target ID, the Constitution, legal rights and liabilities, identifying good lanes of fire, etc. In other words, the people with the guns would be non-cops, and therefore, competent and accountable.

  22. What, seriously, is wrong with people who defend this atrocity in any way? The victims did not fire upon the cops…get it? In this country we have the presumption of innocence…get it? Without the presumption of innocence, then anything goes…anyone is a target. The cops were judge, jury, and executioners, which is what happens in totalitarian societies, or banana republics. Not in civilized countries. The victims had not be proven guilty of anything. Mistaken identities happen the time. What if the alleged criminals had in their escape kidnapped your mother or your child; would the mayhem be justified then? No, in a free country the idea is not cop safety at all costs. The exact opposite in fact. Civilian safety must come first. The risk comes with the job, otherwise get another job. But of course, the sheep love their sheepdogs, no matter how vicious.


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