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Sat Dec 20, 2014, 07:17 PM

Another Police Killing: Disabled Black Man Holding a Spoon. Racists Online Cheer.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/12/17/1352423/-Texakana-Police-kill-disabled-black-man-holding-spoon-call-it-knife-Racists-online-cheer

In Texarkana on Monday, a woman called 911 (click for the call) at around 2 AM to report a person in her garage. The woman was frightened and said that she heard banging on the windows from the person in the garage. A police office came to investigate, and found an African-American man holding something in his hand. The officer said the individual came at him in an aggressive manner, and so fired at him, killing him.

The man was Dennis Grigsby. From the article, "Family members say Grigsby had mental problems." He was holding a spoon, the officer said with the handle up, and the officer thought it was a knife.

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Reply Another Police Killing: Disabled Black Man Holding a Spoon. Racists Online Cheer. (Original post)
eridani Dec 2014 OP
Nye Bevan Dec 2014 #1
SamKnause Dec 2014 #4
nomorenomore08 Dec 2014 #25
SamKnause Dec 2014 #28
morningfog Dec 2014 #7
Scootaloo Dec 2014 #27
eridani Dec 2014 #18
jen1980 Dec 2014 #31
Ilsa Dec 2014 #2
Quixote1818 Dec 2014 #3
Lurks Often Dec 2014 #5
branford Dec 2014 #9
DrDan Dec 2014 #12
Lurks Often Dec 2014 #16
DrDan Dec 2014 #17
TorchTheWitch Dec 2014 #6
eridani Dec 2014 #8
branford Dec 2014 #10
eridani Dec 2014 #14
branford Dec 2014 #15
eridani Dec 2014 #19
branford Dec 2014 #20
eridani Dec 2014 #23
branford Dec 2014 #29
shaayecanaan Dec 2014 #11
eridani Dec 2014 #13
TorchTheWitch Dec 2014 #21
eridani Dec 2014 #22
nomorenomore08 Dec 2014 #26
eridani Dec 2014 #24
Tsiyu Dec 2014 #30
Wella Dec 2014 #32

Response to eridani (Original post)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 07:47 PM

1. I can see that a spoon might be mistaken for a knife in those circumstances.

It's obviously a tragic outcome but I will reserve judgment until more information becomes available.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 08:42 PM

4. I agree, given

the right circumstances that a spoon may be mistaken for a knife.

I do not agree that the correct response is to shoot someone holding a knife.

The same blather, he came at me aggressively.

The U.S. seems to have under trained cowardly cops as the standard.

This is intentional.

They are armed to the teeth.

What the hell are they afraid of ?

Their jobs don't make the list of the Top Ten Most Dangerous Jobs.

It is not a positive step for a country to allow its citizens to be murdered by the authorities.

The police union reps that have spoken, sound like robotic control freaks.

They have made veiled threats and ordered us all to get in line.

We have a parade of people admitting and condoning torture.

The Supreme Court ruling (8-1) the police do not have to know the laws they enforce.

I just don't like the path this country is taking.

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Response to SamKnause (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 11:06 PM

25. Well said. n/t

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Response to nomorenomore08 (Reply #25)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 11:14 PM

28. Thank you.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:16 PM

7. Of course you can,he was black after all.

 

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Response to morningfog (Reply #7)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 11:11 PM

27. I'm not the only one noticing a trend, thank god n/t

 

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 08:02 PM

18. But a white guy pointing a rifle at a cop isn't at all dangerous

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/12/08/1350348/-911-Caller-There-s-a-Man-with-a-Gun-so-naturally-Police-sit-down-with-him-and-Talk

@Vyan1 @rbw424 the cops are going to be rough on anyone smarting off,fact.


So the Cops are going to Rough Up anyone "Smarting Off" to them? Really?

Apparently not this guy.



Joseph Houseman, a 63-year-old white man who, back in May, stood with a rifle on a street in Kalamazoo, Michigan. When police arrived, he refused to identify himself, grabbed his crotch, flipped them the bird and cursed. They talked him down in an encounter that lasted 40 minutes. Houseman was not arrested. The next day, he got his gun back.

He also, while carrying a loaded weapon while intoxicated, had no ID on him at the time.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 22, 2014, 12:04 AM

31. It wasn't a knife!

 

What more information could you need?

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 08:11 PM

2. The disdain for disabled people in the comments is alarming.

They think the disabled should be warehoused away from everyone else. No choice in living with family. The ignorance is frightening.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 08:35 PM

3. Why can't they fire a warning shot or use a taser first? Why always a kill shot? nt

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Response to Quixote1818 (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 09:33 PM

5. Because warning shots are usually illegal and tasers don't have a 100% success rate

 

Additionally, where does that bullet from the warning shot go, firing a warning shot can put others at risk.

The officer encountered someone who appeared to be holding something that could have been a knife and that person advanced on the officer despite verbal commands to stop. The officer didn't know the person was mentally disabled. As described, the officer only has the time to make once choice before the person is upon him and if he makes the wrong choice he could have ended up dead and the person could have gone to hurt other people if he had indeed been armed with a knife.

This is a tragedy of course, but not necessarily a criminal action on the part of the officer.

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Response to Lurks Often (Reply #5)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 07:14 PM

9. I would add that the incident occurred in the garage of a private home in the middle of the night.

 

The perceived dangerousness of the individual was therefore appropriately heightened, and a warning shot could have endangered the homeowner.

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Response to Lurks Often (Reply #5)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 07:33 PM

12. thanks for some rational thought . . . it is lacking around here in these days of

police-bashing.

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Response to DrDan (Reply #12)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 07:54 PM

16. If more police departments were smarter

 

they'd let a certain number residents go through F.A.T.S. training on a regular basis.



I've went through when I was in the military police, it has lots of scenarios, including many which don't require the use of a firearm.

I don't think most people really grasp how fast a situation can turn to shit and I am sure glad I decided against a career in law enforcement.

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Response to Lurks Often (Reply #16)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 08:01 PM

17. agree - it is pretty easy to second-guess how someone should react

hindsight is a wonderful thing

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Response to Quixote1818 (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 10:13 PM

6. warning shots aren't legal and they're crazy

Whether police or civilian the only acceptable firing of a gun is if there is no other recourse but to kill an immediate and dire threat. I can't even believe people still mention warning shots. There is no such thing as a warning shot that isn't illegal, insane (that bullet is going SOMEWHERE), and means it's not necessary to use a gun at all.

Not all police have tasers nor do they always work. Many people even after being tasered repeatedly still aren't stopped by them. Though they can be a useful tool, they're far from perfect, and there's no way to know who will be unaffected by them, require more than one shot or how many shots or who might die for some reason by their use. Even police that do have tasers most often have the kind that require direct contact to a person anyway. They were never designed to be used in place of a gun but in place of a baton.

Police are trained that whenever they have to use their gun they aim for center mass. There's a reason for that. They're the ones that are put into these dangerous positions and have to make split second decisions on what to do. You want to trade places with them? Ever thought to put yourself in their position having to be the one to face the situation and make those split second decisions? How easy it is to second guess someone else whose position and actions you don't even bother to learn about or put yourself in even if just in your mind from the safety of your chair.

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Response to TorchTheWitch (Reply #6)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 07:08 PM

8. Odd that this doesn't happen too often in other developed countries

Sure, we have a lot more guns, and that makes a difference. But the mentally disabled black man didn't have a gun,

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Response to eridani (Reply #8)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 07:19 PM

10. You analyzing with knowledge that the officer did not possess.

 

He did not know the individual had mental illness. More importantly, if attacked by someone mentally ill, the officer would be just as dead or injured. Further, a knife is equally capable of killing an officer as a firearm.

The man was also in a private garage in the middle of the night waiving a metal object. It is hardly surprising that the officer perceived the man as a dangerous threat that required a split second decision concerning his safety and that of the homeowner.

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Response to branford (Reply #10)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 07:41 PM

14. True only if you believe the part about "came at him in an aggressive manner"

It might actually be true, but more often is not.

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Response to eridani (Reply #14)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 07:48 PM

15. If a mentally disabled man was in a strangers garage in the middle of the night,

 

I can certainly give credence to the allegation that his behavior might have been erratic and construed as (if not actually) threatening.

You focus on the man's mental disability. That is a double edged sword.

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Response to branford (Reply #15)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 08:03 PM

19. How was he more dangerous than a white guy pointing a rifle at a cop? n/t

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Response to eridani (Reply #19)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 08:36 PM

20. I don't really care, and that is certainly not the legal standard.

 

Every situation must be judged on its own merits.

Based on the facts as we now know them, do you believe the shooting lawful and/or justified? If not, what should the officer have done differently knowing what he knew then and given the resources at his disposal? Do you have any legal, tactical, law enforcement, security or related training or experience from which we can evaluate your objections or suggestions?

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Response to branford (Reply #20)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 10:51 PM

23. I don't take it as a "fact" that the guy charged him.

If that isn't the case, lots of options open up.

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Response to eridani (Reply #23)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 11:29 PM

29. I certainly have no objection to a thorough investigation to confirm the officer's account.

 

Last edited Mon Dec 22, 2014, 12:02 AM - Edit history (1)

However, I find your initial focus on the mental illness a little perplexing.

The officer had no way of knowing about the man's mental illness, it wouldn't have made him any less dangerous, and the fact that he was actually mentally ill and in a stranger's garage in the middle of the night waving a metal object, is substantial circumstantial evidence of erratic, and therefore threatening, behavior.

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Response to shaayecanaan (Reply #11)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 07:38 PM

13. Lucky for you living in a country whose government bothers to keep track

ow many police shootings a year? No one knows

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/09/08/how-many-police-shootings-a-year-no-one-knows/

Several independent trackers, primarily journalists and academics who study criminal justice, insist the accurate number of people shot and killed by police officers each year is consistently upwards of 1,000 each year.

“The FBI’s justifiable homicides and the estimates from (arrest-related deaths) both have significant limitations in terms of coverage and reliability that are primarily due to agency participation and measurement issues,” said Michael Planty, one of the Justice Department’s chief statisticians, in an email.


The article you cited says that from 2008-2011 there were 14 fatal police shootings, or 3.5/year. Given a population of 317 million for the US and 23 million for Australia, the equivalent would be 672 shootings per year. Given the "upwards of 1000" estimated by independent researchers, Us cops shoot twice as many per capita.

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Response to eridani (Reply #8)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 08:38 PM

21. it says right in the article why the officer shot him

He didn't know he was disabled or that he was holding a spoon rather than a knife until after the fact. He had to make a split second decision when he saw a man charge at him with something shining in his hand. Who among us would not have assumed the same? It's so easy to point the finger of blame after the fact from the comfort and safety of your chair with information only gotten from hindsight. It wasn't you or me that was the one facing the person unknown to be disabled or carrying a spoon that charged at us with something shiny in his hand. Civilians with guns tend to make a lot more mistakes just like this and worse when faced with someone that broke into their home that charges at them with something shiny in their hand but they aren't so easily condemned with information gotten after the fact.

He broke into someone's garage. He charged at the officer. He charged at the officer wielding something shiny in his hand. The officer has no idea that he's disabled and no idea what was in his hand was a spoon and had every reason to believe some nut caught breaking into someone's home charging at him with something shiny in his hand was wielding a knife and intent on using it on him. Is he supposed to wait to get stabbed by the person in order to determine what the shiny thing in his hand was? Was he supposed to just let him attack him with or without a shiny thing in his hand? Disabled or not, shiny thing or not, what was the guy's intension in charging at the officer with a spoon? Cripes, any civilian this happened to would have assumed it was a knife and they were being charged at to be attacked, and if they had a gun would have shot at them, too.

You're just looking for excuses using information from hindsight after the fact to condemn a police officer for shooting a person unknown at the time as disabled that just broke into someone's garage and charged at them with something shiny in their hand that was believed reasonably to be a knife. Never mind how reasonable it was for this officer to believe they were being attacked by a knife wielding assailant that just broke into someone's property and that if it was you that it happened to would have made the same reasonable assumption and that if you had a gun on you very well may have shot at him, too. Though maybe you would have just run away hoping you wouldn't get overtaken by the person and killed. And as a civilian you have that option. A police officer never does. It wasn't you that had to go face whoever broke into this woman's garage or you that was faced with a person charging at them with something in their hand that appeared to be a knife and reasonably assumed to be a knife. How easy it is to play armchair quarterback in hindsight from the safety and comfort of your chair.

It's sad that this disabled spoon wielding guy was killed. But what that officer did was reasonable and correct and any civilian in their position with a gun would likely have done the same thing though a civilian has the option to run away whereas a police officer does not.

Just when is it that you're going to be signing up to do what they have to and *cough* show them all how it's done? *cough* That's right. When hell freezes and pigs fly.

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Response to TorchTheWitch (Reply #21)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 10:49 PM

22. They always say the victim "charges at him"

In the majority of cases that's self-justifying bullshit. Why would you believe it?

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Response to TorchTheWitch (Reply #21)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 11:09 PM

26. Why do you always, without exception, believe the police account of the situation?

I don't see what they've done, especially recently, to deserve such absolute trust.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 11:04 PM

24. Can anyone actually visualize this scene?

How did the victim get into the garage anyhow? Was the door rolled up? Did he get in through an unlocked side door? How could he have been banging on the windows of the house? If the garage was detached, there would be no direct way into the house. Attached garages generally have only one door to the house--did it maybe have windows?

If the garage wasn't open, how did the cop get into the garage to find the victim? How close would the cop have to be to see anything at all in the victim's hand at night?

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 11:49 PM

30. Here's the thing

Last edited Mon Dec 22, 2014, 01:26 AM - Edit history (1)

How much of a double standard do we allow?

I am not scared of cops where I live because the majority of the local cops aren't control freak power trippers.

They are members of the community.

They do not kill disabled people, beat up women or murder teenagers.

But I AM scared of cops in NY, LA and in some of the surrounding counties where I live.

If a cop in a bad cop area approaches me, I have to make a split second decision.

BECAUSE THE TRUTH IS I AM MORE LIKELY TO BE KILLED BY A COP THAN THE COP IS LIKELY TO BE KILLED BY ME.

I am the one who must be afraid, after all I have seen and heard. I am the one who has to ask - in a split second - whether or not this cop is gonna shoot me, beat me up, take all my cash or otherwise ruin my day.

Do I have the right to jut kill a cop if, in that split second, I think he or she is gonna murder me?

Will that hold up with all of you who think this is fine if cops do it? Can I walk into the courtroom and say "I feared for my life" and that will be enough of a defense?

Or should I say, in the moment with the cop, "well, looks like this asshole is gonna go Kelly Thomas on me and beat my face in until it looks like nothing human evar, but since he is so much more valuable than me, I should not defend myself but just let him bash my skull in."

We have more to fear from cops than they do from us. So are law and order types okay with a "perceived threat" from a cop ALWAYS being met with lethal force?

I hate to inform the cop apologists, MOST in the US do NOT feel that cops lives matter any more than anyone else's life.

The cop apologists are different. They suck the teat of authoritarianism and it makes them feel as safe as a swaddled baby.

The rest of us are wondering where sanity went.

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Response to eridani (Original post)

Mon Dec 22, 2014, 12:05 AM

32. The police need to be better trained on how to recognize and deal with the mentally ill

 

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