Shoplifter Shot and Killed

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"Jessica80" wrote:

I wasn't comparing. I was responding to a post (don't remember who it was) that said we give them the benefit of the doubt because he's been a cop for so long. That was an example of why that doesn't always work. EW gave Drew Peterson. No, I don't always give cops the benefit of the doubt. I do feel that most of the time they are acting in the best way possible with info known at the time. I just feel that in this instance he didn't act in a justifiable manner.

Taking out the fact that he shot a shoplifter (who wasn't driving the getaway car) what about innocent people in the parking lot he put at risk? If one of my children was hit by that car I would lose it on this guy for doing this.

Any time a police officer fires their weapon there is going to be the danger of a bystander being hurt. What is the point of having the weapon if you are not allowed to use it under any circumstance? Why would you have an armed guard guarding a store? I am also interested in the findings of the investigation as well.

It is an unfortunate situation and I grieve for everyone involved. We do not have all of the information in this story and all we can do is speculate on what happened and who is to blame. We just saw a situation where a nurse made a mistake with the Kate Middleton situation that she killed herself. I do not see what is accomplished by ruining the life of an experienced police officer. He did what he felt was best at the time.

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"ethanwinfield" wrote:

I'm not. Drew Peterson retired with 30 years! The "benefit of the doubt" let him get away with the first murder:

We're having an incredibly high number of these type of shootings to the point where I think, if they *think* their life is in danger, they need more training. Maybe part of the mentality is "I'm a cop; I'm always a target because people want to kill me solely because I'm a cop; therefore, I am always justified in *thinking* my life is in danger."

Didn't he miss his target?

"Sapphire Sunsets" wrote:

Really?

Have ya heard a thing called the 3 strikes rule? You really think a repeat criminal (no matter what the charge) is going to take the possiblity of going to jail for the rest of there life lying down?

Actually, to prove this point i'm going to do some searching right now.

What are you talking about? How does the 3 strikes law relate to Drew Peterson?

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"Sapphire Sunsets" wrote:

They assaulted a police officer. Thats kinda something most normal people consider hurting someone.

Yes, they did put people at risk.

a)They put the kids in car at risk of being in a high speed car chase
b) Everyone in the parking lot
c) Everyone on the roads with them had there been a high speed car chase.

I think you are putting a lot of assumptions there. Considering they had done this before without this happening I'll assume they thought:
A. They put the kids in the car and just drive away normally as they had probably done previously.
B. Since driving normally no one in parking lot gets hurt.
C. Seriously, a high speed chase over shoplifting? I'll live in a bubble if this becomes the norm.

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"ethanwinfield" wrote:

What are you talking about? How does the 3 strikes law relate to Drew Peterson?

Maybe part of the mentality is "I'm a cop; I'm always a target because people want to kill me solely because I'm a cop; therefore, I am always justified in *thinking* my life is in danger."

Directed at that.

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"Jessica80" wrote:

I think you are putting a lot of assumptions there. Considering they had done this before without this happening I'll assume they thought:
A. They put the kids in the car and just drive away normally as they had probably done previously.
B. Since driving normally no one in parking lot gets hurt.
C. Seriously, a high speed chase over shoplifting? I'll live in a bubble if this becomes the norm.

My point is by assaulting him and then running out of the store instead of listening to him and to keep on running and jump into a get away car. Those are ALL the people they DID put at risk BY THEIR ACTIONS.

*eta : They didn't just shoplift. How is this not getting through that they assaulted a police officer and then tried to use there car (conisidered a weapon) to hurt him? That pretty much warrants high speed chase in my book.

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"Sapphire Sunsets" wrote:

Directed at that.

Still confused. Since we have the three strikes law, criminals are going to do whatever they can to keep from going back to prison ergo a cop is justified in thinking his life is always in danger and acting on it?

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"Sapphire Sunsets" wrote:

a)They put the kids in car at risk of being in a high speed car chase
b) Everyone in the parking lot
c) Everyone on the roads with them had there been a high speed car chase.

This just isn't a logical train of thought. It would be like saying because I decided to smoke a small joint with my husband out on our deck one night I put my family at risk of having a DEA raid with helicopters and tear gas.

I don't know how to find the stats, but a logical mind would be willing to see that probably 99% of petty retail theft does NOT end in high speed car chase. That sounds like what someone who watches a lot of TV thinks.

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Agreed. They shoplifted. Assumed he was a typical security guard and not a cop and when he tried to grab the stuff they were stealing they hit him. All bad things and no one is saying it is not.

At that point the only person technically at risk was the cop. I said earlier if the shooting happened while they scuffled I would probably think differently. He pursued out the store, grabbed onto the car and then claimed he felt he was in danger? Doesn't fly with me.

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"Jessica80" wrote:

Agreed. They shoplifted. Assumed he was a typical security guard and not a cop and when he tried to grab the stuff they were stealing they hit him. All bad things and no one is saying it is not.

At that point the only person technically at risk was the cop. I said earlier if the shooting happened while they scuffled I would probably think differently. He pursued out the store, grabbed onto the car and then claimed he felt he was in danger? Doesn't fly with me.

A cop who's JOB it is to stop criminals and shoplifters. That is what he is supposed to do. That is WHY he was hired. To do his job.

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"Potter75" wrote:

Oh. He didn't know that at the time he murdered her. The article clearly states that he tried to stop them because another employee reported to him that they saw the women putting merchandise in their purses. He did not see the reported theft firsthand, nor did he know she had been banned from all Walmarts while on probation for stealing a package of meat from a different Walmart.

Saying this is murder is presumptive at best. Unless you view every time a police officer kills someone as murder.

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"Jessica80" wrote:

They technically didn't put anyone at risk. They stole something (wrong), ran away (wrong) and attempted to drive off. Nothing unsafe about that.

I can go into a store, take something and leave and not hurt anyone.

Technically I can do many things without technically hurting someone, doesn't mean I shouldn't be stopped by any means necessary. And just because I don't doesn't mean or imply that I won't or couldn't.

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"Rivergallery" wrote:

Saying this is murder is presumptive at best. Unless you view every time a police officer kills someone as murder.

Oh come on. Who does that? Nobody I know. There are absolutely appropriate situations for the police to shoot a suspect. It's justifiable homicide.

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"Potter75" wrote:

ETA: And please stop saying he was a uniformed police officer. If he was off duty he was not wearing the uniform of a police officer. He may have been wearing a walmart security guard uniform, but he was NOT a uniformed police officer when this incident occurred, as he was not working in the capacity of a police officer at the time. I don't believe that Walmart security guards are allowed to wear state police uniforms when not acting as state police officers. If anyone can prove me wrong, please do, and I will happily stand corrected. Until then, don't act like this guy was dressed up like a police man, because he wasn't.

I haven't made it through the thousands of pages of replies to this thread yet (so this may have already been cleared up) Wink but I live in Harris County, where this happened. We have off-duty police offers who do private security where I work and yes, they are allowed to wear their police uniforms when they do off-duty security work (and they do).

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"ClairesMommy" wrote:

Oh come on. Who does that? Nobody I know. There are absolutely appropriate situations for the police to shoot a suspect. It's justifiable homicide.

Yes. Like when they try and run an officer over with a car to get away.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

He was an alone, off duty cop, on foot, who obviously did not have a great handle on the situation (as proved by the fact that he ended up in a life or death situation over shoplifting.) I'm not suggesting he should have let them go with no consequences, I'm suggesting that he should have called it in to the on-duty police officers who could have handled it.

It's funny to me that people are talking about this off-duty police officer as if he was somehow less equipped to handle a crime than an on-duty police officer. In Harris County, the entire reason that businesses hire off-duty policy officers is so that they have security that is equipped to handle actual crimes, instead of a security guard who had maybe been through one gun-handling course and spends half of their time parked in the corner of the parking lot in their little golf cart talking on the phone. The off-duty police officer will go from this shift at Wal-mart to being an on-duty policy officer for the Harris County Sherrif's Department. He was no more ill-equipped to handle the situation than an on-duty policy officer would have been. Maybe he should have called for back up, maybe in the moment he felt he could, or needed to, handle it on his own. Who knows, I wasn't there and I don't think any of us have all the facts. But he was certainly no less equipped to handle it than an on-duty police officer would have been.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Yes. Like when they try and run an officer over with a car to get away.

Oh, so you have the ability to know what their intent was? How do you know they tried to run him down? Not a hair on his head was harmed or even touched. And you think it's reasonable for him to think he was in mortal danger and just fire into the car?

I am so glad I don't live where this is called justice and justifiable. Where I'm from police are held to an extremely high level of accountability. Every time an officer simply fires his service weapon there is an investigation by a team called ASIRT. Every time an officer shoots and injures/kills a civilian they are put on paid leave until the investigation reveals that the use of their weapon was justified.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

Page 4 for me!

Hey, how do I change my settings? I hate having to scroll through all these dang pages!

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"ClairesMommy" wrote:

Oh, so you have the ability to know what their intent was? How do you know they tried to run him down? Not a hair on his head was harmed or even touched. And you think it's reasonable for him to think he was in mortal danger and just fire into the car?

I am so glad I don't live where this is called justice and justifiable. Where I'm from police are held to an extremely high level of accountability. Every time an officer simply fires his service weapon there is an investigation by a team called ASIRT. Every time an officer shoots and injures/kills a civilian they are put on paid leave until the investigation reveals that the use of their weapon was justified.

1- Once you resist arrest an officer has legal rights to stop you.
2- Just because someone isn't hurt in an altercation doesn't mean he wasn't physically in danger.
3- Just because he discharged his firearm and a woman died, doesn't make it wrong, or him less able to do his job.
4- You are assuming there will not be an investigation, as far as I know that is the same in the States.

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"Rivergallery" wrote:

1- Once you resist arrest an officer has legal rights to stop you.
2- Just because someone isn't hurt in an altercation doesn't mean he wasn't physically in danger.
3- Just because he discharged his firearm and a woman died, doesn't make it wrong, or him less able to do his job.
4- You are assuming there will not be an investigation, as far as I know that is the same in the States.

The legal right to stop you doesn't not mean by any and all means necessary. That is vigilante justice. The police officer is not the law itself; he is the medium. The end did not justify the means in this case. Of course there will be an investigation because of the circumstances.

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"SID081108" wrote:

Hey, how do I change my settings? I hate having to scroll through all these dang pages!

I'll PM you so as not to take up a ton of space on the thread. Smile

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"ClairesMommy" wrote:

The legal right to stop you doesn't not mean by any and all means necessary. That is vigilante justice. The police officer is not the law itself; he is the medium. The end did not justify the means in this case. Of course there will be an investigation because of the circumstances.

Once you assault a police officer which FYI is a FELONY, and they try to run him down with a car (deadly weapon in the eyes of the law) which FYI is ANOTHER FELONY, he had the legal right to use all means necessary.

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"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

I'll PM you so as not to take up a ton of space on the thread. Smile

Thank you, Alissa!

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"Potter75" wrote:

This just isn't a logical train of thought. It would be like saying because I decided to smoke a small joint with my husband out on our deck one night I put my family at risk of having a DEA raid with helicopters and tear gas.

I don't know how to find the stats, but a logical mind would be willing to see that probably 99% of petty retail theft does NOT end in high speed car chase. That sounds like what someone who watches a lot of TV thinks.

A logical mind would realize that once you assault a police officer is BECOMES a felony not just "petty retail theft" and they have the right to use all measures to stop you.

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"ClairesMommy" wrote:

Oh, so you have the ability to know what their intent was? How do you know they tried to run him down? Not a hair on his head was harmed or even touched. And you think it's reasonable for him to think he was in mortal danger and just fire into the car?

I am so glad I don't live where this is called justice and justifiable. Where I'm from police are held to an extremely high level of accountability. Every time an officer simply fires his service weapon there is an investigation by a team called ASIRT. Every time an officer shoots and injures/kills a civilian they are put on paid leave until the investigation reveals that the use of their weapon was justified.

In order:

a) We know they tried to run him down by all the articles/reports that once he got between the car and the drivers door (or the passenger door?) that they tried to get away.

b) Really? So assaulting him with the purse didn't touch his head when they hit him in the head? Really?

c) Hell yes!

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"Sapphire Sunsets" wrote:

A logical mind would realize that once you assault a police officer is BECOMES a felony not just "petty retail theft" and they have the right to use all measures to stop you.

if they have this implicit right you speak of why is suspension and investigation automatic? Oh right, because they don't have the automatic right to kill people. I assumed that was obvious. So no, I really disagree with your version of what is logical.

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"Sapphire Sunsets" wrote:

A logical mind would realize that once you assault a police officer is BECOMES a felony not just "petty retail theft" and they have the right to use all measures to stop you.

Yeah well so is forgery. You think some kid who fakes his mom's signature on a sick note deserves to get shot? Or how about someone who paints a pretty picture and passes it off as a Degas? Or how about breaking curfew? Yeah, felony - low class of felony, but still one. Let's round up all the kids who stayed out later than they were allowed and just put them in front of a firing squad. Loitering? Yep, felony. You can't throw around the word 'felony' and class everything under that umbrella as something potentially deserving of being shot by police.

I can't believe what I'm reading here - all you who think she got what was coming to her. When it comes to guns and laws more than ever I'm so thankful to live in Canada. Just look at your gun-related crime and death rates...I guess the 'hell ya, shoot her' mentality is really is as prevalent in your country as it is on this thread. Pretty sad, actually.

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"ClairesMommy" wrote:

I can't believe what I'm reading here - all you who think she got what was coming to her.

Not that she got what was coming to her. Any loss of life is tragic. Just that sometimes it is unavoidable. If you back an armed Police Officer into a corner, then you are taking a risk that he or she will shoot.

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"Sapphire Sunsets" wrote:

A logical mind would realize that once you assault a police officer is BECOMES a felony not just "petty retail theft" and they have the right to use all measures to stop you.

I had no idea that committing a felony gives police officers the right to shoot at will!

I just went and looked up a list of felonies in my state. Apparently, I can be killed by a police officer (if s/he so chooses) for:
1. Giving false info about my residence
2. Promoting a pyramid scheme (okay, that actually seems reasonable...pyramid schemes are pretty despicable. :p)
3. Bringing an armed guard with me to work. (???)
4. Embezzlement
5. The unauthorized sale of hearing aids (???)
6. A second violation of Practicing barbering or hair styling without a license.

And so on. It's actually kind of interesting to know what is a shootable offense in my state.

http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite?blobcol=urldata&blobheader=application%2Fpdf&blobkey=id&blobtable=MungoBlobs&blobwhere=1251704777044&ssbinary=true

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[QUOTE=AlyssaEimers]Not that she got what was coming to her. Any loss of life is tragic. Just that sometimes it is unavoidable. If you back an armed Police Officer into a corner, then you are taking a risk that he or she will shoot.[/QUOTE

they didn't back him into a corner! They ran AWAY from him!

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"Potter75" wrote:

[QUOTE=AlyssaEimers]Not that she got what was coming to her. Any loss of life is tragic. Just that sometimes it is unavoidable. If you back an armed Police Officer into a corner, then you are taking a risk that he or she will shoot.[/QUOTE

they didn't back him into a corner! They ran AWAY from him!

That depends on what actually happened, and we do not know that. If they put the car in reverse as some have reported, with the expressed purpose to run over and kill the Police Officer, he did not have a choice but to try to stop them. It is neither here nor there how he got to be near the car. At that point they were trying to kill him and he had to stop them. I am sure there will be a full review to find out if that is actually what happened or not. If all they did was hit him with a purse, then no, I do not think he should have shot them. If they did try to run him over, then yes I think he was justified.

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