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"From left: Sgt. Sierra Brucia, Elias Ambriz, Robert Ranch and Steve Nelson run during the second day of a two-day training session at Lodi Lake on Thursday, April 4, 2013." (courtesy

“More than a week after a young boy pulled the trigger of an Officer’s gun, causing it to accidentally discharge at a children’s event, Lodi [CA] Police Chief Mark Helms issued a statement about the incident,” reported last Thursday. “This should have never happened, especially in an environment where children were present. As peace officers, we have a responsibility to the public to ensure our weapons and equipment are properly safeguarded. We’re fortunate this didn’t result in a tragedy.” Damn straight! Only that’s something of a change from Lodi Police Capt. Chris Piombo’s position on the 31st of the month: “There is nothing we could have done differently. It was just an accident. It boggles the mind why a child would do that . . . It’s an unfortunate incident. We’re thankful none of the community members were hurt and that [Officer Robert Rench, above, third runner] was alright. I think we all learned something from it.” Maybe a little something about police accountability, or lack thereof. Meanwhile, know this: “because of the child’s age, he won’t face any charges.” [h/t Jan]

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  1. His mind is “boggled” that a boy behaved the way boys are universally-known to behave.

    I guess that’s how you get to be police chief. There’s nothing else that they’re competent at.

    • Maybe if they allowed the Eddie the Eagle program back in schools, then accidents like this wouldn’t happen! But no, Eddie is on the NRA payroll, and they’re evil!

  2. Well, that’s good. It’d really suck for a 6-8 year old kid to have a gun charge follow him around the rest of his life because of someone else’s lack of due care.

    Also: “It boggles the mind why a child would do that…”

    Spoken like someone who has never spent any time around a child under 10. And by “any time,” I’m using the definition of “has never in his life come in contact with,” because any non-zero amount of time with a child that age would tell you that “poking at random things” is exactly what you can expect out of them.

  3. I too am “boggled” whenever my one year old knocks over a glass and spills water all over the place. I don’t know why he would do that. Obviously it is not my fault for leaving water glasses where he can reach them.

    • Probably be at least a few felonies in NJ…

      I’m guessing violation of local firearm discharge ordinances, reckless endangerment, child endangerment, permitting unlawful access of firearms to a minor, etc.. etc.. etc…

      • So… you’re actually suggesting there’s a double standard with cops as opposed to “civilians”?

        I’m SHOCKED!

  4. No charges, eh?

    Surprising in this age, wherein being a kid can land one in the spinbin with the State mandating chemical warfare against ones individuality.

  5. So, did the SWAT member leave his firearm out somewhere; did the holster have
    no straps, active retention or even cover the trigger; or was he overpowered
    by a 6 year old? Seriously, how exactly does this happen.

  6. I guess as long as your a kid and shoot the Cop with his own weapon your just fine. Own a M-1A with a bayonet lug and its off to the gas chamber for you. The sick logic of Fascist Kalifornia.

  7. “There is nothing we could have done differently. It was just an accident. It boggles the mind why a child would do that…”

    Jesus Herbert Christ, is there one goddamn ounce of accountability left in the law enforcement community? First they’re playing Army Guys, now they’re pointing at kids and saying, “It was Jimmy’s fault!”

    Grow the f*** up. “Reno 911” isn’t supposed to be cinema verite.

  8. I think it’s funny that everyone here is blasting the chief for what he said previously without acknowledging that he has made a turn-around and has the right idea now…

    • What prevented him from getting it right the first time?

      Oh, yeah… stupidity… stubbornness. Yeah, just what you’re looking for in a Chief of Police.

  9. Most cops are very careful but I don’t blame the kid. How is it possible a swat officer allows anyone to do his. If you are speaking around young children, “Secure your weapon”.


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