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Miami Police shoot, kill man carrying toy gun

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posted on Sep, 1 2011 @ 09:31 AM
There really aren't enough facts described to make a judgement either way, but regardless, when an officer of the law uses lethal force, you can be assured an investigation will follow.

Unfortunately, even if the details become public, it will not 'unkill' the apparently feeble-minded individual who failed to consider the consequences of brandishing a toy as a weapon.

Fault is easy to attribute from the chair in front of my computer. I hesitate to reject the possibility that this was justified, but I do not hesitate to lament the death which, as most involving gunfire, was probably avoidable.

Calling it "murder," however, is hyperbole. Unless someone has weighty evidence to indicate that intent to kill was pre-existing.

posted on Sep, 1 2011 @ 09:37 AM
I am so sick of hearing about "danger to the public"

What a bunch of douche bags we all are.. If everyone carried a damn gun and modern media did not portray them to be little WMD's in the hands of Prozac laden belligerents and attention whore kids that shoot other kids this would not be a problem.

We are so scared to death now at the thought of someone carrying a weapon its frankly sick to see. However if the opposite were true and many more carried that were trained and licensed and or permitted...this would not be the case.. Everyone would be on alert ready to defend themselves and the "public".

Instead we have everyone screaming to the hills that cops are in danger wah wah the public is in danger wah wah please rely on the "state" to make sure all whom make an aggressive move are shot and killed and don't blame the police officers because even with there hundreds of thousands of dollars in training and equipment they make mistakes albeit the same ones over and over and over again.

It is our own generated fear that has made us so afraid of our own shadows at night. It is this fear which will and has already lead to our dependency on the state to solve all of our problems we refuse to deal with.

posted on Sep, 1 2011 @ 09:44 AM
reply to post by pryingopen3rdeye

No need to re explain buddy, educated to degree etc

You clearly failed to get my point and the main reason I entered into this discussion.

Fact as Of Now:
Mentally Disabled Man carrying toy Gun shot by Police...

Facts When Incident Happened:
Suspicious Looking Man Carrying Fire Arm seen in vicinity...

The Police, I am sure acted on the information they had at the time the decision was made when the shot/s were fired.

I am sure (despite what some believe) had they had the correct information of 'Toy Fire Arm' and 'Mentally Disabled Man' they wouldn't have fired a shot to kill or even fire any shots at all.

I have no desires at all to 'fall out' with anyone here but what I don't like to read is a Breaking News thread where the OP has made up his mind straight off the bat without giving consideration to ALL those involved and also giving consideration to facts that were at hand at the time of the shot being fired. I little thought would have gone a long way.

The fact is, a person has died who's death could have been avoided had the Police had the information and also had the person been not carrying what can only be described as a fire arm at the precise moment in time, regardless of it being a toy or not.

Thoughts are with the family of the deceased but also with the officer/s that fired the shot after the realisation that it was in fact a toy and not the serious threat of a real fire arm.

Sad but completely avoidable

posted on Sep, 1 2011 @ 10:02 AM
reply to post by Old77

I could not resist.

Perhaps it has to do with the 9,146 (Corrected by edit , Thank You thisguyrighthere) homicides by firearm committed in the US in 2009 (stats from earlier are even worse)

FBI Data

Compare that to the 406 justifiable homicides by law enforcement, and 261 justifiable homicides by private citizens in the same year.

Law enforcement

Private citizens

Although I do believe in gun rights (though I do not own a weapon personally, I do have gun training), brandishing a weapon in a public area will get you shot especially if you do not listen to Police commands. Are you trying to say this suspect was using his "weapon" in a responsible manner? Walking around a residential area threatening dogs, and generally carrying the weapon in a threatening manner is the correct way to handle a weapon?

edit on 1-9-2011 by Dreamwatcher because: (no reason given)

edit on 1-9-2011 by Dreamwatcher because: Corrected Stat

posted on Sep, 1 2011 @ 10:10 AM
reply to post by Dreamwatcher

9,146 by firearms according to the data you provided.

Weapons 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Total : 14,965 15,087 14,916 14,224 13,636
Total firearms: 10,158 10,225 10,129 9,528 9,146

posted on Sep, 1 2011 @ 10:11 AM
reply to post by Flyer

The maximum is one because he would have been taken down after the 1st shot.

If it were a real gun, what if that one person taken down by the 1st shot was you or someone you cared about?

You logic is irrational.

posted on Sep, 1 2011 @ 10:17 AM
reply to post by thisguyrighthere

Corrected by editing the post, Thank you for pointing it out.

Point is, that is still an outrageous amount of homicides, especially when compared to the justifiable numbers.

posted on Sep, 1 2011 @ 10:21 AM
reply to post by pryingopen3rdeye

your post said (paraphrasing) that the police where justified to kill a man who appeared to have a gun because he might possibly have a real gun and might possibly do something bad with it, therefor its ok that they killed a disabled man with a toy rifle,

Ok I was trying to ignore you but you are just too rediculous to ignore.

Yes, if someone is walking around in public with a gun (or what appears to be a gun) it warrants immediate police action. If that person is confronted by the police, ordered to drop the weapon and they refuse or point it at the police, the police are justified to use deadly force.

i was telling you that is considered preventative violence, violence used to prevent potential violence,

which is the same logic hitler used to convince his countrymen that it was justified to round up and murder jews,

Your leap of logic is completely rediculous, illogical and irrational. Jews were not roaming the streets with guns threatening people. Hitler lobbied for the persecution of the Jews because of their religious and political views. He made them the scapegoat of the situation Germany was in at the time, namely their economic depression.

Please, stop it.

posted on Sep, 1 2011 @ 10:30 AM
If it were a 5 year old boy with a real looking toy gun, the outcome would have been completely different.

The fact is, it was a 56 year old man walking round with a toy gun, who pointed it at a dog, maybe some people too.
It doesnt matter that he was mentally disabled, there is no way of telling this by looking at somebody.

Not only that, if you were to have a real weapon and have the intention of going out to shoot people, the chances are you have some kind of mental problems, so any obvious signs of mental problems picked up by the officers who fired may not have been out of the ordinary in a situation where you have an armed man in front of you.

It is unfortunate, but maybe if he was willing to go walking the streets with a toy gun, he should have had some sort of carer.
Not the polices fault on this one.

posted on Sep, 1 2011 @ 10:52 AM

More information at this link. Supposedly they asked him to drop the weapon and he instead put his hands up. The man walked up and down this street every day for the last 30+ years. Everyone in neighborhood knew him, cops should have also. A relative has some interesting things to say in the comments section at the link above:

My uncle never had a gun! I've been asking questions even the neighbor said that the cops were looking in his yard for a gun and never found one! The police and the news work twist people words around! FACT is he didn't deserve to die and he had no gun whether it was fake or not! The police in the neighborhood know him! He has been walking this same route for over 30 years! Our family does not want money! WE WANT THAT OFFICER TO BE PUT IN JAIL! On the news they even show that there is no gun in the grass! First they said a pipe then they said sawed off shotgun now they saying toy riffle which one is it!

edit on 1-9-2011 by sligtlyskeptical because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 1 2011 @ 11:43 AM
reply to post by sligtlyskeptical

WHOA! The quote you posted is found in the comments section of the article? IF they were truely who they say they are and related to the deceased man, why wouldn't the news interview him directly? I mean, if the integrity of the person posting the comment was not in question, their comments would have been ate up by the news.

Also, the so called family member of the deceased man is claiming there was not gun involved at all? Calls to 911 are recorded and all police departments maintain a database of calls for service. If no gun was involved then how would he explain the numerous calls to 911 about a man with a gun?

Until it is verified who they are and go on the record with the news either themselves or through an attorney, no credibility can be given to the comments section of the article. Anyone can post anything they like in this section with absolutely no proof of what they are claiming.

I would consider this bunk until their identity is verified. No claims were mentioned in the news article itself.

It is quite funny that you moniker is slightlyskeptical yet you are not skeptical in the least of the comments section of the news article where anyone can post anything without any evidence whatsoever? Your new name should be slightly-skeptical-unless-it-paints-the-police-in-a-badlight.
edit on 1-9-2011 by areyouserious2010 because: edit to add

edit on 1-9-2011 by areyouserious2010 because: fixed name so it is easier to read

posted on Sep, 1 2011 @ 11:49 AM
reply to post by areyouserious2010

Don't be lazy. they are quoted in the news article as well.

posted on Sep, 1 2011 @ 11:50 AM
Bottom a situation like this, a cop is defending himself. How was he supposed to know it was a toy gun? Good idea: don't point guns fake or real at cops if you don't want to be shot and killed. It is sad that the person was challenged but should the cop have checked to see if he was challneged and checked if it was a eal gun before he shot him? Do any of you understand a cop's job?

I once got attacked while on my mountain bike in the woods. I had a small tire pump in my backpack that from a short distance could easily look like a gun (about 6 inches long and black). I pulled it out of my backpack and pointed it at the attacker and he ran off...

Lots of things can look like guns....suggestion: don't point them at cops....
edit on 1-9-2011 by The Motorcycle Boy because: Typo...

posted on Sep, 1 2011 @ 12:30 PM
reply to post by The Motorcycle Boy

I didn't see in the article where it said he pointed the gun at the police. No matter how you look at it nothing makes a bit of difference without seeing the video that should have been attached to this report. Did they try to communicate with the guy? Did they warn him to put the gun down? These are questions that can be cleared up very easily if they allowed videos to be released on public demand.

posted on Sep, 1 2011 @ 12:32 PM
reply to post by HellstormRising

Pretty certain I read somewhere that he was asked to lower his 'weapon' but instead raised his hands. Its in one of the attached articles.

posted on Sep, 1 2011 @ 12:44 PM
reply to post by sligtlyskeptical

Don't be lazy. they are quoted in the news article as well.

Lazy??? Family members are quoted in the news article but none of them claim he was not even holding a toy gun.

In fact, let me show you from your own article.
CBS Article which you posted

His older sister said this:

"They murdered him in cold blood for a toy gun!" cried Vassell's older sister Claire Harding. "That's no reason for you to kill somebody!"

His older sister also said this:

Vassell's sisters say they have never seen him with a toy gun and believe he must have found it somewhere.

His older sister went on to say this as well:

"They could tell him to drop the gun. They say they told him to drop it and he raised his hand," Harding told WFOR. "He probably raised his hand to hand them the gun because he is afraid of police."

These statements by his older sister, who went on the record and her identity is confirmed by the news, seem to paint the picture that even she understands that he DID have a weapon. If she had any doubt as to if he had a weapon dont you think she would have voiced them while being interviewed? Why the differing stories between "alleged" family members?

I am slightly skeptical of the alleged family member who, instead of voicing his claims to the media directly, decided to post them in the comments section under the article. Something is not stirring the kool-aid and it is leading me to believe this is not a family member of the deceased man.

posted on Sep, 1 2011 @ 12:47 PM

Originally posted by areyouserious2010

If it were a real gun, what if that one person taken down by the 1st shot was you or someone you cared about?

You logic is irrational.

If it was a real gun, the officers would have been better off ducking instead of shooting, its safer to be behind cover than having your head exposed to aim.

Now thats illogical.

posted on Sep, 1 2011 @ 12:49 PM
reply to post by Flyer

and while they are ducking for cover, the loon with the gun would be popping caps in random asses would he not.
You seriously need to think buddy before posting this type of thing.

posted on Sep, 1 2011 @ 12:56 PM
reply to post by Flyer

If it was a real gun, the officers would have been better off ducking instead of shooting, its safer to be behind cover than having your head exposed to aim.

Really? Thats what you are going with? You are really worried about if the police had cover or not?

How do you know they were not already behind cover while challenging him? I am pretty sure if I were in that situation, I would already have cover before I told him to drop the weapon.

And who are you to make an appraisal of the officer's tactics during this encounter? Have you ever been in a situation like this? No, you havent so you have no idea what you are talking about.

What is really behind your comment is that you have absolutely no argument anymore. You posted this article in a half-brained attempt to get a little easy support from people on ATS. Instead, you found there were more people that were willing to disagree with you and claim they believe the officer was in the right, toy gun or not. Well, it didnt work so either come up with a relevant argument and defend it or stop.

Now thats illogical.

Yep, it sure is.....

posted on Sep, 1 2011 @ 01:30 PM
so far from the picture i saw that claimed to be a toy gun looked more like a stick as i have several real guns and airsoft guns and the picture of the item sticking out of his bag looked like neither it looked more like a stick as it was slightly bent ,also to clarify if it were an airsoft gun or realistic toy gun look alike where are the sites where are the hand gaurds rails etc that normaly come standard on those things.all im saying is from the pictures that were linked of his alleged gun none of them remotely resembled one least none thats been posted on this site

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