Monday, October 12, 2015

Officer Acted Reasonably In Shooting Tamir Rice, 12

I really don't know what to say about this.


Blogger The Mystic said...

I read only their conclusions, and it seems like the investigators are making that judgment without critique for the method by which Rice was approached. Their conclusions assert that, given the officer's vulnerable, cover-less position as he exited the passenger side of the vehicle very close to Rice, he was acting reasonably in responding to Rice's potential weapon and aggressive movement.

Of course, if they hadn't rolled up on Rice like the fucking Dukes of Hazzard, they probably wouldn't've been put in such a stupid and reckless position.

I'm guessing this is an observation we share? When I first saw the video of the police careening up to Rice, I could only laugh, as it reminded me of a bunch of idiot n00bs playing Battlefield; have no plan or concern for doing anything properly and demonstrate this by driving right up next to a guy with a gun and frantically trying to exit your vehicle before he shoots your ass.

They're lucky Rice didn't have a gun and wasn't a dangerous lunatic, 'cause the officers would almost certainly be dead or critically wounded.

I'm interested in reading the rest of the report to verify that they are failing to critique the officers' approach of Rice. If they aren't failing to make that critique, then I don't see how their conclusions are anything less than utter failures for completely omitting any reference to what appear to be flagrant and obvious errors in judgment which put the officers in such dangerous and vulnerable positions as to virtually require violence on their behalf.

9:16 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Yeah, we're on the same page there. It seemed wrong to me to stop the car so close to him. Also, all I've seen is the conclusions really.

I'm not sure why the piece said that evaluating their choice to stop so close to him was off-limits..."Monday-morning quarterbacking" or whatever...

It *does* matter that two independent experts reached the same conclusion... The conclusion is *prima facie* hard for me to believe...but I shouldn't say anything else unless I've read more than I have, I reckon.

9:24 AM  
Anonymous rotgut said...

Both investigations seem open to questioning the tactics as a matter of policy, but note case law suggesting that the tactics don't matter when assessing whether it was a reasonable use of force.

One consideration seems to be that opening up the question of whether the tactics caused the confrontation opens things up too much, since it is the job of cops to instigate confrontations. The courts seem to want to avoid a possible "if he didn't stop me he wouldn't have been in danger" defense before it ever gets off the ground.

The other consideration they mention is that the 4th amendment only protects against unreasonable searches and seizures and a "seizure" hasn't occurred until someone is confronted with police authority or force. So whatever tactics were used to initiate the confrontation, it's only after it's initiated that the question of whether force is reasonable is asked.

One more thing one of the investigators points out is that the one who shot him was the passenger and so wasn't the one deciding to approach him that way. So the relevant question is whether force was reasonable given the situation that officer found himself in.

I don't know if any of those are good reasons, but that's what they point to.

10:03 AM  
Blogger The Mystic said...

Interesting, rotgut, interesting. Seems to me that they're so afraid of a slippery slope that they won't even entertain a reasonable point, but I'm going to have to read more of what they've written. On the justification you're citing, it seems awfully hard not to observe how dangerously defensible that makes any ridiculous, albeit technically-within-the-law, thing an officer might do in provocation of an aggressive action..

Regarding worries of "Monday morning quarterbacking," the tactics employed seemed so outrageously poor to me that this is a pretty egregious failure we are observing, and not some minor technical offense committed in the heat of action.

But yeah, guess I'll have to read more of the damn things..

10:15 AM  
Blogger Winston Smith said...

Yeah, definitely interesting, 'gut... Way beyond my impressionistic reaction in terms of actual understanding of the actual issues... I should have taken my own advice and shut up about it...

10:18 AM  

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