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  1. #1
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    Las Vegas Metro PD shoots and kills handcuffed teen running from them

    Las Vegas Metro Police say a handcuffed 17-year-old murder suspect somehow got away from officers, but murder suspect or not police confirm the teenager was running away from them when they shot and killed him Saturday morning.

    As the investigation begins, we are learning more about Metro's "use of force" policy and how the community is reacting.

    Most of the people I spoke with in this community are scared. They are scared and they want answers. Police held a news conference Monday afternoon to try to answer some of the questions surrounding the incident.

    Detectives Ken Hardy, who's been reported before for delaying in giving Miranda rights to suspects, and Shane Womack arrived at the Brownstowne Apartment complex looking for two teens that are accused of killing 18-year-old Kyle Staheli and leaving his burned body in the desert.

    "We eventually took the suspects into custody, one of the subjects who was taken into custody was found to have a .45 caliber handgun in his pocket, he was then handcuffed and placed in one of the detective's vehicles," said Deputy Chief Greg McCurdy.

    Police say the suspect, who was seated in the front of the detectives car, somehow manipulated his handcuffs so his hands were in front of him and then got out of the detectives car and started running.

    "I understand that the officers out there did issue commands, which we normally try to do, trying to seek assistance, or cooperation is the better word, for the person to stop and comply with police," McCurdy explained. "At that time the officers did give chase, with one of the detectives shooting at Lopez striking him followed by a second officer also firing hitting the suspect."

    At this point, police do not have answers to how far the officers were from the suspect, how long it took for them to start shooting, and they will not speculate about what the officers were feeling.

    "We still have a lot of work to do to uncover all the facts and circumstances surrounding the events out there Saturday morning," said Undersherrif Doug Gillespie.

    Some, who live near where the shooting took place such as Brandy Romero, are worried about what happened and want more answers.

    "It was just the fact that my children were there, and that it was carelessness on some of the police's part," Romero said. "Why couldn't they just run him down instead of shooting him?"

    According to Metro Police's use of force policy, officers can use deadly force if they are protecting themselves from death or serious bodily harm or if they believe a fleeing suspect would pose a threat to other people if that suspect should escape.

    Metro Police are also saying that the officers involved did not use tasers and they still have yet to elaborate any further. However, Metro has placed the two officers on administrative leave pending the investigation.

    The only reaction from anyone associated with the dead suspect was a woman who said she was the teen's grandparent. The woman said she feels like her grandchild was murdered.

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Sounds to me, on its face, that it fits Tennesse v. Garner. He's a fleeing felon with articulable risk that he will inflict derious bodily injury or death on others should he escape. Of course, that risk sounds like the weak/debatable part of the incident.

    I'm sure the drive-by media will obscure the real issues at hand and work to keep emotions high so they can capture more drama and get the ratings they want.
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  4. #4
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    I suppose this would fall under the provisions of Tennesee v. Garner. It will be interesting to see what happens, this could end up at the Supreme Court.

  5. #5
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    It is reasonable to assume a murder suspect would be a danger to others if he got away. Sounds like a clean shoot.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RdrB67
    Sounds to me, on its face, that it fits Tennesse v. Garner. He's a fleeing felon with articulable risk that he will inflict derious bodily injury or death on others should he escape. Of course, that risk sounds like the weak/debatable part of the incident.

    For this to fit, don't the officers have to have witnessed the crime?

  7. #7
    FishTail Guest
    I've seen some biased reporting, but wow!

  8. #8
    FishTail Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Virginian
    For this to fit, don't the officers have to have witnessed the crime?
    My reading of Tennessee v Garner is that the officer needs only probable cause to believe that the crime has been committed. It doesn't say it has to be personally witnessed by the officer.

    Thus, if the suspect threatens the officer with a weapon or there is probable cause to believe that he has committed a crime involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical harm, deadly force may be used if necessary to prevent escape

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by zpd307
    who s up for some arm chair quarterbacking?
    That will teach murder suspects not to run.

  10. #10
    Cheech Guest
    I was arguing this with my class yest. I dont think its justified. the Nevada NRS states that justifiable homicide by a police officer is acceptable when you have someone apprehended and they try to flee, Or when the public is endangered or the officer. I dont think it was a justifiable homicide to tell you the truth. Where not getting the full story either. My class is for killing the guy. I say its not justified. ( all though I believe if he killed someone it should be done to him! )

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 06AccordLX
    I was arguing this with my class yest. I dont think its justified. the Nevada NRS states that justifiable homicide by a police officer is acceptable when you have someone apprehended and they try to flee, Or when the public is endangered or the officer. I dont think it was a justifiable homicide to tell you the truth. Where not getting the full story either. My class is for killing the guy. I say its not justified. ( all though I believe if he killed someone it should be done to him! )
    If it is currently legal, new case law will probably come about that makes it illegal in the future.

  12. #12
    Cheech Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by me again
    If it is currently legal, new case law will probably come about that makes it illegal in the future.
    Tenn. V gardner

  13. #13
    Cheech Guest
    NRS 200.140 Justifiable homicide by public officer. Homicide is justifiable when committed by a public officer, or person acting under his command and in his aid, in the following cases:

    1. In obedience to the judgment of a competent court.

    2. When necessary to overcome actual resistance to the execution of the legal process, mandate or order of a court or officer, or in the discharge of a legal duty.

    3. When necessary:

    (a) In retaking an escaped or rescued prisoner who has been committed, arrested for, or convicted of a felony;

    (b) In attempting, by lawful ways or means, to apprehend or arrest a person; or

    (c) In lawfully suppressing a riot or preserving the peace.

  14. #14
    Cheech Guest
    Thats the NRS for it. Now in my word I think the officer will get off of this simply because the law permits him to do so. I do think its wrong though

  15. #15
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    I can't debate this solely based on a newspaper article.

  16. #16
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by lesta311
    I can't debate this solely based on a newspaper article.
    I have to agree, there's not enough information to make a call just based on the article. And that assumes the article is unbiased to begin with.
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  18. #18
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    Mr. 06 Accord LX seems to overlook the fact police officers have a sworn duty to protect the public from violent & dangerous felons.

    Obviously, security of the prosoner was lax allowing his escape. That fact aside, it depends what the suspect is wanted for. Forgery? You cant shoot them. How about if the guy was a serial killer or serial rapist? A suspect in a homicide? I think you could make a very strong argument the person was a danger to society. You would have to explain & justify that you had exhausted other resourses to capture the suspect or that the were not practical bufore you used the deadly force option.

    From the U.S. Supreme Court case Garner vs. Tennessee, which established the current standard for use of deadly force by police officers

    "This case requires us to determine the constitutionality of the use of deadly force to prevent the escape of an apparently unarmed suspected felon. We conclude that such force may not be used unless it is necessary to prevent the escape and the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others."

    Deadly force by cops justified, experts say

    By BILL HUGHES
    whughes@lohud.com
    THE JOURNAL NEWS
    Court ruling

    From the U.S. Supreme Court case Garner vs. Tennessee, which established the current standard for use of deadly force by police officers


    Three-tenths of a second.

    That's the average estimated time a police officer has to decide whether to fire a gun after drawing it from a holster and aiming it at a suspect.

    Five officers faced that decision in a dark alley in Yonkers last weekend as a cornered suspect in a high-speed chase rammed two police cruisers in an attempt to escape, police said. All five opened fire, 27 shots were fired, the suspect was killed, and no officers were injured.

    "It's the toughest decision any police officer makes in his entire life," said John Firman, a research director with the International Association of Police Chiefs. "The issue always comes back to policies and training. Officers are asked to make life-determining decisions in point-three seconds, and what it really comes down to is how well-trained are they, how well do they know what the policies are so they don't have to think about it, they just know what to do in these situations."

    While the killing of twice-convicted felon David Horn, who police said was wanted for violating his most recent parole conditions, remains under investigation, the preliminary determinations by police officials indicate that they believe the officers were justified in using deadly force.

    Michael White, an assistant professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and deputy director of the school's Research and Evaluation Center, said the constitutional standard for the use of deadly force by police officers was established in the 1985 U.S. Supreme Court decision Garner vs. Tennessee.

    The case stemmed from an incident on Oct. 3, 1974, when Memphis, Tenn., Police Officer Elton Hymon shot and killed an unarmed teenager named Edward Garner as Garner attempted to climb a chain-link fence while fleeing from the officer after a burglary.

    The officer was cleared under Tennessee state law, but Garner's father pursued the case up to the Supreme Court, which ultimately declared Tennessee's law unconstitutional and set the standard that prevails today.

    "It's a fairly strict, straightforward guideline as to when they can use deadly force," White said. "Essentially it says that for an officer to use deadly force, either the officer's life or the life of someone else must be in immediate danger. That's paraphrasing a bit, but that's what it boils down to."

    After reviewing the preliminary details of the Yonkers shooting, which were released by police three days later, White said that if the account given by officers is accurate, the shooting would pass the Garner test.

    "Is it possible that their lives were in danger if they were approaching someone in a moving car? Absolutely," White said. "The suspect doesn't have to have a firearm and be pointing it at you for your life to be in danger. Certainly the threshold can be met with other types of weapons. It's based on the perception of the officer at that moment."

    Randolph Scott McLaughlin, a Pace University law professor and attorney who formerly defended a Yonkers man who was shot by two New York City police officers in October 2003, said that one problem with police shootings is that they often involve a one-sided story, especially when a suspect is killed.

    "The problem with this case, and this is what it frequently comes down to, is that there are no witnesses other than the police officers," McLaughlin said. "They tell the story from their perspective. Unless there are forensics to back up the official version of the story, there's really no way to be sure exactly what happened."

    But while McLaughlin said he would reserve judgment until all the facts were known, he conceded that according to the version of events provided by police, Horn's killing appeared justified.

    "Here's what one cop told me years ago," McLaughlin said. "He said it's not the number of bullets that are discharged. If the first shot is not legitimate, then all the others aren't, but if the first shot is, then all the others are also.

    "You're not supposed to pull the weapon until you perceive a deadly threat, and if you've pulled the weapon, your job is to stop that deadly threat. It's not to wound the guy, it's not to wing him. It's to kill him. It's a shoot-to-kill policy, and I'm not saying that's a bad policy — you're supposed to shoot to kill somebody if they're trying to kill you or somebody else."

  19. #19
    me again's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 06AccordLX
    Tenn. V gardner
    He was just a burglary suspect. In Florida, we have caselaw that if someone has just murdered or seriously harmed someone, then we can shoot them in the back to kill them if they are fleeing from us. However, we have to be able to justify our use of deadly force. Can we articulate that danger-to-another was imminent if we didn't kill him vs. allowing him to escape??? While that's how our law is written, I would simply let him go unless he was wielding a gun and was a murder suspect.

    But who am I to Monday morning quarterback??? Whenever the sh*t hits the fan, it's when we least expect it and it happens fast.

  20. #20
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