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another police shooting - a therapist helping a man with autism


hornblower
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A group home patient had run away from a care facility. His worker was trying to help him. 

http://reason.com/blog/2016/07/20/north-miami-cops-shoot-behavioral-therap

 

"When I went to the ground, I went to the ground with my hands up," Kinsey told WSVN, "and I am laying there just like this. Telling them again there is no need for firearms. He is autistic. He has a toy truck in his hand."

 

"I was really more worried about him than myself. I was thinking as long as I have my hands up," Kinsey continued. "They're not going to shoot me. This is what I'm thinking, they're not going to shoot me. Wow, was I wrong."


 

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The video (from a different news article) played automatically. It's horrifying. He was lying on his back, on the ground, with his hands in the air. Clearly nothing in his hands. No threat to anyone. Truly heartbreaking.

Edited by zoobie
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He asked the cop why he shot him, and the cop said "I don't know."  So I take that as a strong indication that this was an admitted mistake / perhaps accident, and I hope they will come clean on it, take that cop's gun away permanently, discipline him, do some serious immediate retraining, and give the victim a ton of compensation as well as heartfelt apologies.  We'll see how it plays out.

 

I am very thankful that the man's injury is not life-threatening.

 

That said, I predicted this (more innocent people being shot) because of all the cop ambushes in recent weeks.

Edited by SKL
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This case is really disturbing, and further supports that the entire country needs to de-militarize the police and get trained in deescalation rather than aggression. 

 

The good news is that Florida handles these cases differently than other states.  A neighboring department comes in and takes over routine duty immediately, and it is investigated by FDLE (the state), rather than the same department.

 

The moron who pulled the trigger will be fired and (my guess) will be prosecuted.  Whether he spends any time in jail or gets a deferred judgment though, is anyone's guess.

 

side note: my spell check on my browser says the word is spelled deescalation, but it looks wrong to me. Can anyone confirm?

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This is so confusing because there's so much information that is missing.

 

Like, how on earth does someone see guy wandering around with a toy truck, and think, suicidal man with a gun?  And then "why did you shoot me?"  "I don't know"  Like really?  Huh?  I can't even think what could possibly be going through the minds of either the caller or the cop. 

 

The local news video that a Florida friend posted on Facebook said that a neighbor had called and complained of "a disturbed man wandering the street with a gun."  So my guess is the cop came prepared to shoot & had decided to do so before he even got there and evaluated the situation.

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I'm betting that they were aiming for the guy sitting, up, the one with autism playing with a truck. Not that that is any better. Ugh. 

 

Yes, but if this is the case, the guy is a terrible shot.  As in, how did he get or keep his shooting qualification terrible shot.  Center body mass of the person sitting up and the therapist's leg was what?  At least 3 feet apart?

 

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Yes, but if this is the case, the guy is a terrible shot.  As in, how did he get or keep his shooting qualification terrible shot.  Center body mass of the person sitting up and the therapist's leg was what?  At least 3 feet apart?

 

 

Worse, there were 3 shots fired I believe, and I think the guy was hit once. 

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That said, I predicted this (more innocent people being shot) because of all the cop ambushes in recent weeks.

You think this particular situation was expected because of ambushes? Police shooting a man with his hands in the air who's being respectful and communicative?

 

This is not the type of situation that happens just because an officer was on edge. It's an example of someone seriously unfit for duty & I hope he spends time in jail.

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The pro-police argument I've seen over and over is that the police are trained to, when they pull their weapons, be willing to shoot to kill only and that they won't pull a gun until they're willing to do so - until the situation warrants it potentially. And they are trained to be able to do it.

 

This case seems to belie every single one of those arguments. The guy apparently said he didn't even know why he was shooting. He shot repeatedly and missed whatever target he had. The situation couldn't have been less threatening.

 

I mean, sure, maybe it's a "bad apple" again. But... can't we just re-evaluate (hey, another re- word that needs a dash!) the approach? Shouldn't it be all about de-escalation from the get go?

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You think this particular situation was expected because of ambushes? Police shooting a man with his hands in the air who's being respectful and communicative?

 

Obviously, the guy deserves to be fired.

 

But yeah, I think it's reasonable to assume that nearly every cop out there right now is a little more on edge than they were a few weeks ago. And that for some small number, that's going to result in bad decisions that wouldn't happen otherwise.

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You think this particular situation was expected because of ambushes? Police shooting a man with his hands in the air who's being respectful and communicative?

 

This is not the type of situation that happens just because an officer was on edge. It's an example of someone seriously unfit for duty & I hope he spends time in jail.

 

I agree with your assessment.  If the gun had been shot by someone other than a cop, the gun owner / shooter (possibly both) would usually be prosecuted, whether it was intentional or not.

 

This also raises the question of whether the cop's boss bears some responsibility for putting a gun in this officer's hands.

 

That said, yes, I think the atmosphere has affected some cops' ability to think clearly.  I'm not saying it's acceptable.  It's reality.  It may be why the cop's finger was on the trigger in the first place.  Of course it may also be that this guy was just a loon.  That happens too.

Edited by SKL
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Just to get ahead of the inevitable...

"We don't have video of the actual shooting, you don't really know WHAT happened."
Yes, you're right, I'm sure the guy lying on the ground with his hands up, trying to convince his patient to do the same, suddenly decided to jump up and pull a gun on the police.

"All we have is his word for it that this is what happened."
Well, that and the bullet wound, and the video, but maybe those things were just made up.

"Cops have a very difficult and scary job."
Yep.

"I'll wait for the official police video and statement before jumping to conclusions."
It's a good thing police departments have never lied, spun things, or had video go missing before! If THAT had happened a lot, people might start believing objective third party video instead (or even *gasp* the word of criminals like behavioural therapists and school employees).

 

"I heard he was once caught jay-walking, AND that he had an unpaid parking ticket!"
I'm sure the police on the scene who didn't know his name, his occupation, or what he was doing there had full access to the information on everything he's ever done wrong in his life and made the rationed, reasonable decision that he was a threat to their lives based on his terrifying history of parking violations or other such capital crimes.

Edited by SproutMamaK
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I saw that last night. He also asked the officer why he shot him and he replied, "I don't know."

 

It's going to be awfully hard to victim-blame on this one, I hope.

 

 

I give it 24 hours max before people are blaming the victim.

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The pro-police argument I've seen over and over is that the police are trained to, when they pull their weapons, be willing to shoot to kill only and that they won't pull a gun until they're willing to do so - until the situation warrants it potentially. And they are trained to be able to do it.

 

This case seems to belie every single one of those arguments. The guy apparently said he didn't even know why he was shooting. He shot repeatedly and missed whatever target he had. The situation couldn't have been less threatening.

 

I mean, sure, maybe it's a "bad apple" again. But... can't we just re-evaluate (hey, another re- word that needs a dash!) the approach? Shouldn't it be all about de-escalation from the get go?

I would really love if we could more closely examine the "bad apple" concept. I find it almost impossible to believe that many, forget most, of these incidents start with "Imma gonna shoot me a black man today." I think the supposed quote could very well be honest. He probably doesn't know. Which makes the problem bigger than conscious prejudice.

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Yes, but if this is the case, the guy is a terrible shot.  As in, how did he get or keep his shooting qualification terrible shot.  Center body mass of the person sitting up and the therapist's leg was what?  At least 3 feet apart?

 

 

The husband of one of my best friends is a cop. He has talked about how hard it is to be an accurate shot in the heat of the moment, even with training and practice and having to qualify, and this is one of his big reasons for being horrified by the "good guy with a gun" proponents.

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Just as background info, my husband worked as an occupational therapist to developmentally disabled. He had a laminated card to give to the police in case one of his clients began to act out. He was trained how to address the police because they do encounter police more often than you would think. 

 

If this man had reached into his pocket for a card, he would be riddled with bullet holes.

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I would really love if we could more closely examine the "bad apple" concept. I find it almost impossible to believe that many, forget most, of these incidents start with "Imma gonna shoot me a black man today." I think the supposed quote could very well be honest. He probably doesn't know. Which makes the problem bigger than conscious prejudice.

 

I think it's absolutely unconscious bias in the vast majority of cases.

 

That's why I think the whole "bad apple" theory is useless. In this case, I think it may turn out that the cop was a "bad apple" in that I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that, say, he wasn't up to date on some gun skills thing he was supposed to be or that he had problems in the past or something. In other words, that he was just, across the board, for administrative and disciplinary reasons, a "bad" cop. (Nothing has come out about him hardly - I'm just saying none of that would surprise me.) Think about the cop who shot Tamir Rice and what a messed up history he had - how he'd been found not fit before but put out there anyway. But most of the cops who shot unarmed people or use excessive force aren't bad cops. They're cops who have always done a decent job or couldn't have been predicted to do something so "bad." And bad or good, they're all subject to these unconscious prejudices. It's the unintentional racism that's at the heart of it all.

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I would like to go all polly-anna on this and say that even in our polarized society, we can find common ground on things like this.

 

I think going into the discussion with our guns drawn so to speak is a bit polarizing.

 

Would love to look back on this year, ten years from now, and say, "wow, we've come a long way since then."

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I think it's absolutely unconscious bias in the vast majority of cases.

 

That's why I think the whole "bad apple" theory is useless. In this case, I think it may turn out that the cop was a "bad apple" in that I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that, say, he wasn't up to date on some gun skills thing he was supposed to be or that he had problems in the past or something. In other words, that he was just, across the board, for administrative and disciplinary reasons, a "bad" cop. (Nothing has come out about him hardly - I'm just saying none of that would surprise me.) Think about the cop who shot Tamir Rice and what a messed up history he had - how he'd been found not fit before but put out there anyway. But most of the cops who shot unarmed people or use excessive force aren't bad cops. They're cops who have always done a decent job or couldn't have been predicted to do something so "bad." And bad or good, they're all subject to these unconscious prejudices. It's the unintentional racism that's at the heart of it all.

 

And the lack of training on how to de-escalate situations, or in this case, evaluate the situation before rushing forward with his gun in an offensive position. There was no rush here. 

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I saw that last night. He also asked the officer why he shot him and he replied, "I don't know."

 

It's going to be awfully hard to victim-blame on this one, I hope.

 

Oh, but I'm sure they'll do their best. :glare: 

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Sadly, I don't see police working on de-escalation tactics in my state when 1 in 3 residents has a concealed carry permit.  There are just too many citizens with guns here.  I think that for de-escalation and nonviolent tactics to work, we need to reduce (not necessarily eliminate) the amount of weapons in the hands of every day Americans.   In particular, assault weapons.  You don't need a license to purchase a gun in Florida.  There is no duty to inform LEOs that you are carrying, etc.  So I'm sure LEOs assume everybody is carrying.

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I would really love if we could more closely examine the "bad apple" concept. I find it almost impossible to believe that many, forget most, of these incidents start with "Imma gonna shoot me a black man today." I think the supposed quote could very well be honest. He probably doesn't know. Which makes the problem bigger than conscious prejudice.

 

A hundred times this. This isn't usually about some bad apple on a power trip. It's usually a guy honestly trying to do the job the best he can, with inadequate training, a confrontational us vs. them mindset shared by his entire department, and a loaded lethal weapon not seen as an extreme last resort but rather a routine precaution, and quite possibly undiagnosed PTSD.

 

None of which makes what happened excusable, but does mean that higher-ups and THE SYSTEM ITSELF need to be held accountable and changes made, not just scapegoating the individual officer, although he (it's usually he; I suspect female officers, in addition to being less common, also know how to use their words a bit better on average) should also be held accountable--but it should not be JUST the individual officer held accountable

 

Unless you are at war, the wielding of deadly force should not be ROUTINE.

 

And when a mistake is made, some frickin' FIRST AID would be in order, rather than leaving a man who was never a threat unnecessarily handcuffed and bleeding on the road.

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Sadly, I don't see police working on de-escalation tactics in my state when 1 in 3 residents has a concealed carry permit.  There are just too many citizens with guns here.  I think that for de-escalation and nonviolent tactics to work, we need to reduce (not necessarily eliminate) the amount of weapons in the hands of every day Americans.   In particular, assault weapons.  You don't need a license to purchase a gun in Florida.  There is no duty to inform LEOs that you are carrying, etc.  So I'm sure LEOs assume everybody is carrying.

 

De-escalation as a mindset and practice is even MORE important when so many citizens are armed.

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This case is mind blowingly ridiculous.  I have no doubt the police are on edge.  But an unarmed man laying on pavement with arms up? 

 

Jeronimo Yanez the officer in the Philandro Castile case, took 20 hours of training called "The Bulletproof Warrior" and 2 hours on de-escalation training.  Some police forces will not pay for "Bulletproof Warrior" training because they believe it sets police up for an us vs. the world mind set and the assumption the world is out to kill them.

 

Officers are walking into situations without even knowing what they're walking into.  When you get a phone call from the public, you don't know that's story is true and it obviously wasn't in this case.  Are police trained to recognize and deal with mentally disabled people?  Can they evaluate situations they go into without assuming the original phone call is 100% correct?  It sounds like no one even had a weapon in this case.

 

I think forces are doing a disservice to their officers by not training them to deal with situations in a broader way. 

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/12/police-gun-shooting-training-ferguson/383681/

 

ETA - I totally agree that it's the training that's failing, not necessarily the cops.  In many cases they are doing what they are trained to do.  Although, I see some big question marks in this case and the Philandro Castile case too (local to me, so that coverage has been non stop here). 

Edited by WoolySocks
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Speaking of cops "routinely" wielding their weapons, does anyone have stats on how many cops have actually shot at a human during their career?  I think the % is still quite low.  The cops I know hope and pray they never have to do this.  It might vary by location, I don't know.

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A hundred times this. This isn't usually about some bad apple on a power trip. It's usually a guy honestly trying to do the job the best he can, with inadequate training, a confrontational us vs. them mindset shared by his entire department, and a loaded lethal weapon not seen as an extreme last resort but rather a routine precaution, and quite possibly undiagnosed PTSD.

 

None of which makes what happened excusable, but does mean that higher-ups and THE SYSTEM ITSELF need to be held accountable and changes made, not just scapegoating the individual officer, although he (it's usually he; I suspect female officers, in addition to being less common, also know how to use their words a bit better on average) should also be held accountable--but it should not be JUST the individual officer held accountable

 

Unless you are at war, the wielding of deadly force should not be ROUTINE.

 

And when a mistake is made, some frickin' FIRST AID would be in order, rather than leaving a man who was never a threat unnecessarily handcuffed and bleeding on the road.

 

Liking this for everything but the handuffed thing.  This is the routine they are supposed to follow for LEO shootings, at least in Florida.  Perhaps the regulation should be changed, but that was the "correct" thing to do.

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Speaking of cops "routinely" wielding their weapons, does anyone have stats on how many cops have actually shot at a human during their career?  I think the % is still quite low.  The cops I know hope and pray they never have to do this.  It might vary by location, I don't know.

 

Those would be some of the gun violence statistics that government is not allowed to collect.

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De-escalation as a mindset and practice is even MORE important when so many citizens are armed.

 

Not disagreeing, but based on what I know about my state....I don't see them moving towards that.   It's going to take a major culture shift.  I hope I'm wrong, though.  Plus, the training they are getting is often the complete opposite.  http://www.npr.org/2016/07/15/486150716/are-police-being-taught-to-pull-the-trigger-too-fast

 

"

"One of the cultural changes that has gone along with what we call the militarization of policing is a type of training that specifically comes from military-trained people that emphasizes that the police need to have a warrior mindset," Kraska says.

By that he means certain training companies, which, over the past couple of decades, have become very influential in the police world. What he doesn't like about these companies, Kraska says, is the way they rely on videos from dashboard cameras and body cams that show officers being surprised or ambushed by suspects, sometimes with fatal results. He says emphasizing these moments in training can make officers paranoid."

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Just as background info, my husband worked as an occupational therapist to developmentally disabled. He had a laminated card to give to the police in case one of his clients began to act out. He was trained how to address the police because they do encounter police more often than you would think.

 

  

If this man had reached into his pocket for a card, he would be riddled with bullet holes.

My DS has aphasia from an in utero stroke. He is non verbal in stressful situations. He also as mild cerebral palsy and Asperger's. Son's doctors have told us that DS can get a laminated license stating his disabilities to show police, which will also have instructions to police on best ways to communicate with DS. (Via typing vs speech.) my brother's response to that: Thank God your son is white as he would never be allowed to get the license out if black.

 

I mentioned this on the locked BLM thread, but a white male with Down syndrome was murdered by police last year in a movie theater.

I personally witnessed an episode last year where an uneducated and paranoid mother called police when a young adult male with Down syndrome talked to her children at the park.

 

At a time when society is said to be more embracing and accepting of people with special needs, as a parent of a child with special needs, things like this terrify me. I do not think police are well trained in how to interact with special needs patients. I do not think society (in general) can identify or put the clues together to recognize special needs children/adults.

In the incident I witnessed at the park, the young man with Down syndrome had low muscle tone and was riding an adapted bike. I wouldn't expect most to realize low muscle tone, but the adapted bike was a big giveaway.

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The pro-police argument I've seen over and over is that the police are trained to, when they pull their weapons, be willing to shoot to kill only and that they won't pull a gun until they're willing to do so - until the situation warrants it potentially. And they are trained to be able to do it.

 

This case seems to belie every single one of those arguments. The guy apparently said he didn't even know why he was shooting. He shot repeatedly and missed whatever target he had. The situation couldn't have been less threatening.

 

I mean, sure, maybe it's a "bad apple" again. But... can't we just re-evaluate (hey, another re- word that needs a dash!) the approach? Shouldn't it be all about de-escalation from the get go?

 

What becomes frustrating is that "bad apples" are allowed (??) in one camp, but get a few "bad apples" in the other camp (see: Dallas), and it's an indictment of the other movement.

 

If you allow the actions of one individual to speak for an entire group, that generalization should go both ways, right?

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What scares me is that so much is based on these phone calls. Tamir Rice was justified because of a phone call. The man, bless him I can't remember his name, who was shot in the Walmart for carrying a gun he had taken off the shelf and was thinking of buying, was shot because of a phone call. This one was because of a phone call. The recent one in, was it Baton Rouge?? was because of a phone call. I've talked to the wife of a police officer who says, well, if you get a call about a man threatening someone with a gun you have to go in as if that is the case. But that's making bystanders into experts, and we can't be executing people based on a bystander's phone call. 

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What becomes frustrating is that "bad apples" are allowed (??) in one camp, but get a few "bad apples" in the other camp (see: Dallas), and it's an indictment of the other movement.

 

If you allow the actions of one individual to speak for an entire group, that generalization should go both ways, right?

 

I think it's when it can be shown to be part of a larger trend. The statistics are pretty clear that you're much more likely to be shot by police if you're black. It's a larger trend. And that trend fits into larger problems with race in society. Even if you take race out of the equation, I think it's becoming clear that there are simply enough sheer volume of incidents of police over aggression to say that this is a problem in general. And going through and excusing the individual cops one by one doesn't really cut it when taken as a trend. We have to say, okay, some of these cops were really bad guys, some weren't so much, but all of these incidents have larger societal and cultural forces (as well as policy forces) underpinning them and the larger trend isn't going to change unless we address those bigger forces and make policy changes.

 

On the other hand, the two well known incidents recently of violence against police weren't committed by people who were part of a group (they may have sympathized with BLM, but in neither case were the shooters members of BLM nor were they representative of BLM's demands or beliefs). The police are an official part of the government. They're an institution. This is individuals. I wouldn't call them "bad apples" either. I mean, the whole idea of "bad apples" implies that you have a group and that the actions of a few people in the group shouldn't be made to speak for the whole. But who are the group that the police shooters are supposed to represent? I sure hope it's not African Americans on the whole, because I don't think we'd, say, refer to those guys who took over that federal land in Oregon as "bad apple" examples of white people.

 

So far, it's hard to know if those incidents are part of any kind of trend. Historically, we can say that they are not. Violence targeted in a premeditated way toward police has, for decades, been very low overall. That's a pretty big difference from police over-aggression where we can see trends.

 

I think those are pretty key differences.

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What scares me is that so much is based on these phone calls. Tamir Rice was justified because of a phone call. The man, bless him I can't remember his name, who was shot in the Walmart for carrying a gun he had taken off the shelf and was thinking of buying, was shot because of a phone call. This one was because of a phone call. The recent one in, was it Baton Rouge?? was because of a phone call. I've talked to the wife of a police officer who says, well, if you get a call about a man threatening someone with a gun you have to go in as if that is the case. But that's making bystanders into experts, and we can't be executing people based on a bystander's phone call. 

 

ITA. And, I think we're all aware too of how an "anonymous tip" to CPS can get a family in trouble. Sigh. Anonymous tips and random bystanders' phone calls. Not a great source of information. Obviously the police (or CPS or whatever) should follow up on these things - I mean, I've called in violence I've seen on the street and I'm glad the cops showed up - but there's got to be a sense of balance.

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What becomes frustrating is that "bad apples" are allowed (??) in one camp, but get a few "bad apples" in the other camp (see: Dallas), and it's an indictment of the other movement.

 

If you allow the actions of one individual to speak for an entire group, that generalization should go both ways, right?

 

I don't understand what you mean by "bad apples" in Dallas. 

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