Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Understatement of the week

"Deputies lacked a plan", says an article from the L.A. Times. No kidding...

The Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies who fired 120 rounds at an unarmed car chase suspect early Monday appeared not to have a coordinated plan and at times worked at cross-purposes, department officials said Tuesday after a preliminary investigation. As a result, some deputies opened fire because they erroneously believed that the suspect had shot two colleagues, while others were firing because they thought the suspect was trying to ram officers, Capt. Ray Peavy said.

The findings prompted Sheriff Lee Baca, who said Monday that he was reserving judgment on the deputies' action, to question some of their tactics, saying Tuesday that the amount of gunfire seemed excessive. The shooting, which was broadcast repeatedly on TV newscasts across the country, also came under criticism from Merrick J. Bobb, who serves as the Board of Supervisor's special counsel on Sheriff's Department matters. He described the deputies' response as disorganized and undisciplined."The fact that 120 rounds were expended indicates panic, lack of planning and an absence of control," said Bobb, who plans to examine the policy issues surrounding the case and report to the Board of Supervisors.

An unedited videotape of the incident obtained by The Times offered a clearer picture of what happened when deputies blocked in a white SUV they had been chasing through a residential area of Compton early Monday.The tape shows that deputies fired several shots initially when the suspect, 44-year-old Winston Hayes, backed toward them.

That was followed a second later by a much larger burst of gunfire coming from deputies who had surrounded Hayes' Chevrolet Tahoe. The vehicle lurched forward a short distance down Butler Avenue, moving between two groups of deputies, who delivered a third barrage, with bullets flying wildly toward officers and into homes. Hayes and Deputy Edward Clark were wounded. Clark was treated and released; Hayes, who was shot four times, remains hospitalized.

I've seen the video. Oh God, the video...

You know, I come on from week to week and defend officers on the grounds that in stressful situations, people react in certain ways that they have a split second to decide and you have a lifetime to dissect. I try to show you the other side of the coin. I try to make you give them the benefit of the doubt.

But, oh God... the video...

I am not claiming to be a tactics expert. But right now in the Academy, I'm being taught by several tactics experts and they would kick me out of the Academy if I ever did what those deputies did on that shooting.

Besides firing 120 rounds into a car at an unarmed man AND NOT KILLING HIM, they let him get between them and started firing at each other! One guy pull his police car in front of the suspect car and exited his vehicle ON THE SIDE THAT WAS DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF THE SUSPECT CAR! I try to avoid profanity on this blog, as it is a family blog, but that was a clusterf**k of epic proportions.

And it's all on video.

Oh God... the video...

UPDATE: In case you can't get the video (oh god... the video...) I have a little diagram for you of what happened. It just shows the position of the suspect vehicle and how the officers were endangering them selves. The red dots are their approximate lines of fire. You can see how dangerous it was.

Image Hosted by


Mr. Hampton found an even better place to get graphical info for the shooting. Try this page!


Anonymous DemetriFBI said...

Wow!? What was that. I just watched the video of the shooting. I don't wanna jump to conclusions, but that video doesn't seem to be in the deputies' favor. Also, go to this site,,0,3470986.story?coll=ktla-news-1, and check out the diagram they have on the shooting. It's on the right column of the page.

12:41 PM  
Blogger Phil Aldridge said...

Thanks Sean, that's a much better graphic. I'll post it on the main page...

1:35 PM  

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