Originally posted by Shazam The Unbowed
Again, this article was published the day after the shooting. they were clearly idetified as
"In all, Five plainclothes officers"
According to the person briefed on the accounts, the detective, his police badge around his neck, then pulled out his gun, identified himself
as a police officer and ordered the occupants to show their hands. They did not comply, the person said, but instead gunned the car forward, hitting
the undercover officer and, seconds later, an unmarked police minivan.
Note this does not come directly from the officers or direct witnesses to the event. It comes from "a person briefed on the accounts" of the
detectives, which basically means someone who heard about the whole thing third-hand. It doesn't even state the source spoke directly with
the detectives, and
it doesn't cite who
this source is. There's some other interesting info in this article as well:
The undercover detective who fired first had been monitoring the group in the club. Once outside, the detective heard Mr. Guzman say “Yo, get my
gun, get my gun,” and head with the others to his car, according to police. The undercover officer followed the group on foot, then positioned
himself in front of their car.
So let's get this timeline straight:
This "undercover officer" is watching this particular group.
They get up to leave so he follows them out.
He is close enough to clearly hear these guys talking amongst themselves, well enough to hear “Yo, get my gun, get my gun".
Instead of identifying himself at that point, calling for his backup, and questioning them, which he would have been fully justified in doing (and
than justified in searching their car--hearing someone say "get my gun" sounds like probable cause to me) he waits for them to get
into the car
(giving them time to arm themselves with a weapon-gun, car, whatever) and steps in front of it.
NOW he still
has not identified himself at this point.
So, they get in the car. He (supposedly) has his badge around his neck. He (supposedly) identifies himself as an officer while drawing his weapon.
And that's when the bad stuff goes down.
Now keep in mind a few of things here, people:
1) It's dark.
2) It's late.
3) The suspects are most likely intoxicated.
4) Everyone involved just left a strip club. If you've ever been to one something you'll notice is that they're loud as hell and when you leave
your ears are often ringing.
5) At least one suspect has a criminal record, which means he is unlikely to trust police, but even further, he may have reason to believe there are
others out there from within the criminal world who mean him harm for one reason or another.
All of these things lead to an altered perception of reality on the part of the suspects.
Let's put ourselves in their shoes:
You're drunk, you're tired, it's late and dark, and some random guy just followed you to your car. He pulls a gun. He's got something around his
neck that's gold and shiny (assuming the detective told the truth). Whatever it is could be a badge, but it could also be a big ugly disco
medallion. Under those conditions it's hard to tell. He yells that he's a cop. Maybe he is. But maybe someone you ticked off in jail or on the
street has it out for you, and we all know
that no tough guy hitter would ever
impersonate a cop to get the drop on someone, right?
Point is, you don't know what
the hell is going on, except there's a gun on you, more guys with guns on the way, not one person in a uniform,
and in your mind there's every possibility that if you do as he says you'll still
end up dead
So what do you do?
What could the cops have done to prevent killing a man?
Many strip clubs, especially the "classy" ones, have surveillance cameras, including cameras watching the street, parking areas, etc. Where's the
If the cop suspected these guys in the first place why didn't he try and stop them earlier?
Why were they under surveillance? Were they even the primary target, or was it the club, as the article suggests? If it was the club why were they
singled out? The article states they were outside when the detective overheard the "gun" comments. Why did he follow them?
Personally I think there's a whole lot about this case that has not been released to the public.
ANY time something like this happens and there is not a full, immediate disclosure of facts and evidence I get suspicious.
I don't believe police officers are above reproach and I know for a fact they often
lie to protect themselves and their fellow officers, or to
get convictions in difficult cases. The possibility of the detective making the "gun" thing up to cover his butt is one I'm willing to
I do not
think race was a factor in this case, although Sharpton, having something of a one-track mind, is practised at finding hate crimes
where none exist.
, however, think, based on the facts known to the public, that the officers in question displayed questionable judgment in their handling
of the situation, especially the detective who fired the first shot.
Without having the incident itself on tape it's impossible for us to know exactly how this went down.
Maybe the cops are telling the absolute honest truth.
Maybe they're stretching the truth a little bit.
Maybe they're lying through their teeth.
Relying on internal investigations for, of, and by the NYPD is not
likely to yield anything close to the Truth.
If Sharpton honestly wants an independent investigation I appluad his attention to this case, because I want the same thing.
If he's just grand-standing for more face time with the press he can rot in jail for using the people he claims to help as pawns in his little
[edit on 5/8/2008 by The Nighthawk]