Remember the Chris Dorner case, where one cop going rogue drove just about every other cop in Southern California rogue? Remember the two incidents of terrified cops blazing away at “suspects” who in no wise resembled Dorner, in vehicles that differed from Dorner’s in make, model, body style, and color, as well as plate number? Remember the multiple magdumps (103 rounds total) by LAPD into the Tacoma with two Filipinas (one middle-aged, one older) delivering newspapers?
Yeah, well, while LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said some bad things about those cops, he didn’t think they were bad enough to actually discipline. The 8 cops that burned that truck down in a textbook case of contagious fire are still on the streets, still armed, and still a menace. Website The Wire notes different treatment for these attempted-murderers and an LAPD cop who merely emailed pictures of some celebrity we never heard of. Guess who got fired, the ones who shot the citizen with their duty guns, or the one who shot a celebrity with her camera phone?
The decision to fire Reyes was made by a disciplinary panel and police chief Charlie Beck in 2012 after a three year investigation into the leak. Enough evidence was found to fire Reyes, but not bring criminal charges against her. Reyes maintained that she did not sell the photo to TMZ, though admitted that it was one of the photos she took that made it to the site.
Meanwhile, the eight LAPD officers who shot 103 bullets into a pick-up truck they believed was being driven by a suspected cop killer were disciplined with additional training. They could have been suspended or even fired, but police chief Charlie Beck — the same man who decided Reyes should be fired — decided that their actions did not warrant such harsh punishment.
Wait, additional training is discipline? That’s the tailpipe emission of a male bovine, LAPD.
Just to be clear: those actions were shooting a truck that was a different make, model and color than the one they were looking for and was driven by two Hispanic women delivering newspapers rather than the one black man with a vendetta against cops. And shooting it 103 times, hitting one of the women twice. The city gave the women $4.2 million and new truck.
It was not just a different make, model and color (and, don’t forget, plate, every cop had Dorner’s plate), it wasn’t even close. The other guy, the surfer whose truck was also destroyed by another SoCal department’s blind and rapid fire, was in an even more radically different vehicle. (He was also rammed by those bozos).
“I sympathize with the officers, but I have a very high standard for the application of deadly force, and the shooting did not meet that standard,” Beck said at the time.
It didn’t meet the standard, Charlie says, but it didn’t fall far enough below that standard to warrant disciplining the cops involved. WTFO? What would it take for a cop to get fired, go full Dorner? Massacre Beck’s family? Oh wait, we do know the answer to that: leak images of a minor celebrity.
So: leaking photos of a famous person who was the victim of a horrific assault is conduct that “places people at risk of injury and the government at risk of incurring liability” and merits dismissal. Shooting two unarmed but not famous women and exposing the city to a $4 million settlement won’t even get you suspended.
What Reyes did was very wrong. Instead of serving and protecting the public, Reyes exposed an abused woman’s injuries to the entire world. She should have been fired for it. But I don’t see how it was worse than what those eight officers did.
We’re with the writer of The Wire (whoever that is) on this. But… “one more thing,” to quote that great native Californian, Steve Jobs. Where do these bozos learn to shoot like this? Look at the picture with this post, that’s the victims’ vehicle. And note:
- The 8 cops who engaged this truck never had a clear target due to the tinted backlight. That didn’t deter them.
- Despite that, if you’re shooting at people in a truck, you know pretty much where they are. Most of the hits seem to be concentrated at the center mass of the tailgate, and so would have missed the occupants. (As it turns out, this is a good thing, but those eight cops swore that each made an individual, personal decision to fire in response to a clear threat. Obviously, that was “testilying,” something else LAPD apparently encourages. But most of the shots are not within two feet of where the occupants were).
- And most of the 103 shots fired at the two little ladies in the truck did not even hit the truck. Think about that for a minute. These guys’ shooting sucks so bad they can’t hit a target that’s 6 feet 3 inches wide by 5 feet 6 inches high, from less than 100 feet away, with half their shots. Some of them were firing from less than 20 feet away at the doors of the cruiser, and then closed in on the vehicle to functional contact range, and still missed. The truck.
After a year, Beck admitted that the spray-and-pray cops never had eyes on target, but one started shooting at a sound; and that the other 7 of them irresponsibly collapsed into contagious fire after a single shot; and concluded (as has everyone who’s reviewed this abominable performance) that they were in the wrong:
The women inside were delivering newspapers and when one threw a newspaper that hit the ground at a house, an officer thought that sound was a gunshot and opened fire, with seven other officers at the scene joining in, Beck said.
“This incident has been found to be out of policy for all officers involved,” Beck said.
But he elected not to discipline them. That really says it all.
Their biggest failing, of course, was the lack of judgment and discipline that produced the gunfire in the first place. (Judgment will get you in a lot more trouble than marksmanship will, unless you have The Badge of Impunity like these clowns). But consider that their marksmanship — 2 wounds out of 103 rounds fired, neither in the target’s x-ring (thank God), about 1.94% accuracy.
Whoever signed these guys off as safe to go armed is guilty of instructional malpractice.