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Mother calls 911 to save suicidal daughter. Cop arrives, shoots daughter dead.

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posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 02:53 AM
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Mother calls 911 to save suicidal daughter. Cop arrives, shoots daughter dead.


www.informationliberation.com

"It's just completely insane," said Edward Burns, who said he was a cousin of Smith's now living in New York City. "Apparently Heather was feeling suicidal, and my aunt Patti called 911 as a last resort to get some intervention because there was nothing left to do. She called 911 to save her daughter, and the result was quite the opposite."
Donley said Rohnert Park police officers recently participated in a countywide training for law enforcement on interacting with mentally ill patients.

Donley said Rohnert Park police did have protocols in place on how to treat suspects dealing with psychological disorders.
(visit the link for the full news article)



[edit on 23-3-2008 by Sanity Lost]




posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 02:53 AM
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Are we now living in a time in which cries for help are resolved with the death of those in need?
Why didn't the officer use non-deadly force in place of gunfire?
Did the officer wear any protective gear? Could he not have tackle the woman to the ground, minimizing any injuries that may occur?
What type of training did they receive in dealing with those with mental disorders?

www.informationliberation.com
(visit the link for the full news article)

Video pertaining to the shooting
Many thanks, Nailer, for the video link.


[edit on 23-3-2008 by Sanity Lost]



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 02:57 AM
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I see stun-guns are fulfilling their basic requirement for manufacture.


"Donley said he did not know the specifics of Sunday's shooting but said in close life-threatening situations, an officer's use of a nonlethal weapon might not be appropriate.

"In general, if someone is using deadly force against you, a Taser is not the weapon you could use," he said."



Er... hang on a minute..



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 03:00 AM
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reply to post by Throbber
 




"In general, if someone is using deadly force against you, a Taser is not the weapon you could use," he said."


Pepper spray would work just fine in this incident. Gunfire in close quarters can result in injury or death to others than intended as well.



[edit on 23-3-2008 by Sanity Lost]



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 03:04 AM
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reply to post by Sanity Lost
 


Yes, exactly - my point is on why the officer was relying solely on his stun-gun to apprehend the suicide victim.

Pepper-spray then baton to the wrist would have done the trick - i agree.

It makes you wonder whether they're going to start rolling out some sort of new non-lethal close quarter armaments though, if it turns out that stun-guns are so ineffective in situations like these.



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 03:12 AM
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A woman shot and killed by a Rohnert Park police officer Sunday was armed with a straight-edge razor blade she refused to drop as she came at the officer, investigators said.

But a family member of 31-year-old Heather Smith, a single woman living in Rohnert Park with her mother and pre-teen son, said the shooting was the tragic conclusion of a desperate family seeking help.
Source


The cop used way too much force. He could have easily used pepper spray, stun gun, or the baton. I honestly think the cop hesitated and made a mistake.
They should teach these cops better protocol at handling situations like this.



The death is the second to involve a police officer in Sonoma County this year. In Santa Rosa, 24-year-old Jesse Hamilton, a mental health client, was shot by a Santa Rosa officer after Hamilton came at officers with a weapon.

In that case, a stun gun was initially used but failed to stop Hamilton, authorities said. It was unclear whether the Rohnert Park officer had access to nonlethal weapons in Sunday's incident.

The shooting also raises concerns similar to those surrounding the death of 16-year-old Jeremiah Chass a year ago. He was shot and killed in a struggle with two Sonoma County sheriff's deputies after he became psychotic and violent at his family's home.


If they had no access to other non-lethal weapons then it is understandable but he could have shot her in the foot rather then dead. It also seems to me that this is not the first incident. The police chief should take the time to train his men in these types of situations.



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 03:13 AM
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From City of Rohnert Park's Website

Law Enforcement Code of Ethics




As a law enforcement officer, my fundamental duty is to serve mankind; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the Constitutional rights of all men to liberty; equality and justice.

I will keep my private life unsullied as an example to all; maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in thought and deed in both my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the laws of the land and the regulations of my department. Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature, or that is confided to me in my official capacity, will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty.

I will never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities or friendships to influence my decisions. With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities.

I recognize the badge of my office as a symbol of faith, and accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the police service. I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself before God to my chosen profession - law enforcement.


Was this officer following his city's code of ethics or not?



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 03:20 AM
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Additonal link from SF Gate


Billings was shot three times in the chest by Officer Robert Lankford about 4 p.m.

Police said Rohnert Park public safety officers have responded to the home 29 times since 2004 for a variety of reasons, including previous disturbances involving Billings and her mother.


29 times? Come on. When is anyone going to get the idea that the poor woman needed more help than she was getting at home?



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 03:21 AM
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From your source:


The officer opened the unlocked front door and found a woman holding a blade in her right hand. Her left arm was bleeding.

The woman moved toward the officer, still holding the blade, according to the statement. The officer ordered her repeatedly to drop the blade and stop advancing. But the woman would not stop, and the officer opened fire, said Sgt. Lisa Banayat, spokeswoman for the Santa Rosa Police Department.


I think it kinda sufficinetly explains as to why the officer used the force he did. He was being threatened, though not necessarily life threatnening, it was still something that was in a malicious attempt towards him.

Though if they did use the baton and or the stun gun, wouldnt you guys be bashing on him about Police State tactics?

I dont condone what the officer did nor do i agree with it, but from whats been said, he was in (i guess) a reasonable spot to use it, though it shouldnt of came to it.

[edit on 23-3-2008 by jarheadjock]



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 03:23 AM
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reply to post by Equinox99
 


Police are trained to never shoot to injure . . . you shoot to kill. If you draw your weapon, you better be prepared to kill.

That is why there are non-lethal forces available . . . OC spray, TASER, baton, etc.

Just an FYI.



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 03:30 AM
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Heather Billings


Police may be trained to kill not wound but I think there's more to this story than this anyway.



But Smith said her daughter already had dropped the blade and wasn't threatening the officer when she was shot the first time. Billings collapsed and was shot twice more on the floor, her mother said.


source

This sounds more like murder to me.




[edit on 23-3-2008 by Sanity Lost]

[edit on 23-3-2008 by Sanity Lost]



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 03:37 AM
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reply to post by Sanity Lost
 


Speculative thought on the reasons why the pistol was the weapon of choice in this circumstance does lead one to think in that manner.

Other points also lead to this speculation, like why wasn't the officer prepared when he was on his way to the scene?

Surely before he opened the door he would have spent at least a few minutes considering how he would apprehend an opponent whose intent was to maim or kill him.

The police have two non-lethal ranged weapons at their disposal, the stun-gun and the pepper-spray, and neither of these could be used instead of the pistol?

Speculative thought leads one to believe the officer on duty was not exactly interested in saving people in this instance.

Of course, perhaps he was merely indulging himself morally, reasoning that because she was going to kill herself anyway he'd be doing her a favour or something twisted like that.

I wouldn't go so far as to think of it as an outright slaying though.



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 03:52 AM
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reply to post by Sanity Lost
 


If you want someone shot, a home wrecked, a mess made, call the police. A person is more likely to be shot or robbed (via legalized extortion) as a result of contact with lawenforcement than being the victim of a crime. They do not recruit brain surgeons unto lawenforcement, they recruit individuals who are aggressive, capable killers who are much like their criminal counterparts. There are exceptions and those are who front the lie and facade....they are really hired guns and their Serve & Protect mode is selective and dependent how lucky you are. If you doubt this, wait, the realities are coming. Meantime, never call the police unless you have no choice and are white.



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 03:53 AM
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reply to post by Throbber
 


Good points, Throbber, but let me add this to the mix.

also from The Press Democrat


Patti Smith, who lived with her 31-year-old daughter at Smith's Cornell Avenue home, said her daughter, Heather Billings, had removed the blade earlier that day from a disposable razor and was using it to carve gashes in her arms, prompting Smith to phone 911 for help.

In the living room where the fatal encounter took place, Smith said she bent down to retrieve the blade after her daughter dropped it. She said she then placed the blade on a glass-covered table at the Rohnert Park officer's instructions.



Santa Rosa police, who are investigating the shooting, previously described the item as a "straight-edged razor blade" and said Billings wielded it as a "weapon."

On Tuesday, a Santa Rosa police spokeswoman described the item as a 2-inch blade from a utility knife. She said the blade did not come from a shaving razor.

Family members were incensed that police described the item as a weapon, however, and insisted that it could not be perceived as a threat.

According to a police evidence log provided by the family, police seized two "razors" and three bullet casings after the shooting.


Now was it a razor or a more threatening utility knife?







[edit on 23-3-2008 by Sanity Lost]



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 03:54 AM
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Don't get me wrong. I was not defending the guy . . . I was just letting you know some info . . .



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 04:02 AM
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reply to post by xxpigxx
 


I didn't get your statement wrong. I was trained with the same thinking when I work as armed security.

Now I'd still like to know what sort of training they had with dealing with mental disorders.



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 04:04 AM
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reply to post by Sanity Lost
 


Going off what was retrieved from the scene i'd have to say razor, which can be used as a deadly weapon if the person wielding knows how to use it as one, and is quick enough to get past the officer's guard.

An implement such as that would probably be used the same way one would use a toothpick, although of course a razor is far more deadly than your typical toothpick.

I can't help but wonder if she had came at him armed with nothing more than a toothpick whether or not the response would have been the same.



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 04:07 AM
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I'm also greatly interested in the background behind those 29 other instances where police assistance was required, and the level of service that was provided.

Unfortunately it ain't the kind of thing you'd be able to find in crimelibrary.org.



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 04:11 AM
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reply to post by Throbber
 


At this point I'm not certain she still had the razor as her mother claims to have put it away.

The story states she was drinking beer and vodka that day. I wonder how much she had consumed and how steady she was on her feet as well.



posted on Mar, 23 2008 @ 04:14 AM
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reply to post by Sanity Lost
 


So for all we know it was infact a toothpick?

Great.



[edit on 23-3-2008 by Throbber]





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