I generally support police officers. But I also KNOW that power corrupts. And I think the GENERAL, ALL-AROUND standard for police has fallen significantly in the past decade. Lots of would-be factory workers (in a regular, correctly-functioning economy), and those with social-disorders, have gone into police work instead - this is a fact, look it up. A inordinate amount of policemen CLEARLY have difficulties with managing power.
This case below appeared in the NYT recently. Its disgusting from top to bottom. From a complete LACK of professionalism on the part of the officers to a power-struggle with a 68-year old man who simply didn't want to open the door (like many stodgy, stubborn 68-year old won't).
The official version of events?
The Gotham column on March 6 about a man in White Plains who was killed by a police officer when a confrontation ensued after the authorities had responded to the man’s medical alert system referred incorrectly to that system.Confrontation? What kind?
Mr. Chamberlain, in the commissioner’s telling, had withstood electric charges, grabbed a butcher knife and charged the officers.
My friend is a cop. He has been tased. He is not a pussy. He is a pretty tough guy. He said it hurt. A LOT. Your muscles constrict and you are in extreme pain. See for yourself. Other officers gather around when they do it to laugh at you, because YOU GO DOWN. But this 68 year old didn't? BE VERY SUSPICIOUS, DEAR READER. My 30 year-old, 200 pound buddy can't take the charge, but the old man WITH A HEART CONDITION CAN!?!?
Fuck you police officers. You are lying through your teeth.
Furthermore, officers are told NOT to tase anyone with a heart condition as THE TASER COULD KILL THEM. A piece of info you get WHEN YOU PERSONALLY KNOW A COP. So first off, the fact he was tased, IS OVERTLY AGAINST POLICE POLICY. And yes, they knew he had a heart condition, they followed a bloody ambulance to his house; an ambulance responding to a medical alert system.
Their next BS line? He grabbed a butcher knife. OH no. The big, mean, nasty, wheezing 68 year old had a knife. First off, I think that's fabricated by these clearly low-standard cops, who neighbors reported TAUNTING the old man.
Secondly, a butcher knife is heavy. If an old man attacked me with one, I would back up and move around. He would literally get tired before I got hurt. Thirdly, a few routine martial arts lessons in knife disarming WOULD ENSURE YOU HAVE NO FEAR AROUND A KNIFE-WIELDING 68 YEAR OLD. Its easy. You grab the knife, pull it toward you twist with your hips - I do it every weekend; after a few tries, even a strong knife-wielder goes flying - a 68 year old? Give me a break.
Fourth: HOW MANY COPS WERE THERE?!?! Sounds like 3-5 or more. AND THEY CAN'T DISARM A 68 YEAR OLD MAN who only has a knife while they have guns and batons? I CAN DISARM SOMEONE BY MYSELF FOR CHRISSAKE WITHOUT THE USE OF A WEAPON.
WHAT TOTAL COWARDLY SISSIES! Come at me with a knife. And tell me what you'll do when I KICK YOU IN THE STOMACH. Its a knife, NOT A SWORD. Trust me, I (anyone) can kick you before you get to them with the knife. HE WAS 68 YEARS OLD! I bet you anything, he picked up the knife out of fear and they shot him dead where he stood. The man didn't open up the door - THEY KICKED IT DOWN. Isn't this a form of BREAKING AND ENTERING? This is a citizen's PRIVATE RESIDENCE. The PUBLIC police officers HAVE NO RIGHT ENTERING.
ITS HIS HOUSE. HE CAN CARRY 50 KNIVES AROUND IF HE WANTS. If the cops want to be safe from him, THEY SHOULD STAY OUT OF HIS HOUSE! All they should've done is send him a bill for the ambulance that was accidentally called. That's it.
So let's review what is not in question. Several men - who happened to be bearing badges - wearing kevlar vests, armed and aggressive, broke into an innocent, 68 year old, taxpaying citizen's house and shot him because he supposedly attacked the people who just broke into his house - after he was tased with enough volts to bring down a cow.
ARE YOU SERIOUSLY FUCKING KIDDING ME!?!?!?!
The officer who shot him has been "reassigned." WELL THAT PUNISHMENT FITS THE CRIME, EH?!?!?!
p.s. When cops act like idiots - as they did here - the Dept. is sued for huge money by the victim's family and the Dept. must settle for huge money - WHERE DOES THAT MONEY COME FROM?
FROM THE GODDAMN TAXPAYERS!
And lastly, three cheers for the NEW YORK TIMES! I mean they went so far as to suggest that QUESTIONS BE ASKED DUE TO THE NATURE OF THIS INCIDENT.
NO KIDDING, NEW YORK TIMES. QUESTIONS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE ASKED..... BY YOU - THE GODDAMN NEWSPAPER!!! HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN HOW TO DO YOUR JOB!?!?!
HERE ARE SOME FOR YOU:
1 - Did the cop doing the shooting have a record of this behavior? Why was he cleared?
2 - Why wasn't non-lethal force effective?
3 - Did the officers MISS when they fired bean bags and tasers?
4 - Do most 70 year old assailants withstand such attacks?
5 - How on EARTH did a 70 year old withstand attacks that bring down young, strong men?
6 - How did MULTIPLE OFFICERS FAIL to subdue an old man?
7 - Why did officers ESCALATE the situation and break in?
8 - Do officers typically FEAR a 70 YEAR OLD WITH HEART TROUBLE?
9 - The cops knew, or knew of this man. They shot him twice in the chest. Doesn't that suggest they did not like him, or else had a personal problem with him and could not maintain their professionalism around him?
10 - Suppose this superhuman 70 year old did charge them with a knife after being tased. Why can't these blind cops shoot an old man in the shoulder or leg, from CLOSE RANGE?!?!? Take off your vest and throw it over his face - think the old man can stab you now?
11 - Why was the old man shot twice IN THE CHEST, as if they were TRYING TO KILL HIM OUT OF MALICE??? Do they expect us to believe getting shot in the chest at that range is AN ACCIDENT? Because we're not that stupid.
Not one of these cops will lose his job, be suspended without pay or FACE CHARGES OF MURDER.
When someone goes to a house, kicks in the door and shoots the occupant in the chest, WHAT PRECISELY WOULD YOU CALL THAT?
Fatal Shooting of Ex-Marine by White Plains Police Officers Raises Questions
Full NYT article:
The niece stood in the darkened stairwell of the Winbrook Houses, listening, as 20 feet away five police officers yelled at her uncle, who had locked himself in his apartment.
It was 5:25 AM on a chill November morning. The officers banged loud and hard, demanding that her 68-year-old uncle open his door.
“He was begging them to leave him alone,” she recalls. “He sounded scared.” She pulls her shawl about her shoulders and her voice cracks; she is speaking for the first time about what she saw. “I heard my uncle yelling, ‘Officers, officers, why do you have your guns out?’ ”
The string of events that night sounds prosaic, a who-cares accumulation of little mistakes and misapprehensions. Cumulatively, though, it is like tumbling down the stairs. Somehow the uncle, Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., a former Marine who had heart problems and wheezed if he walked more than 40 feet, triggered his medical alert system pendant. The system operator came on the loudspeaker in his one-bedroom apartment, asking: “Mr. Chamberlain, are you O.K.?” All of this is recorded.
Mr. Chamberlain didn’t respond. So the operator signaled for an ambulance. Police patrol cars fell in behind — standard operating procedure in towns across America. Except an hour later, even as Mr. Chamberlain insisted he was in good health, the police had snapped the locks on the apartment door.
They fired electric charges from Tasers, and beanbags from shotguns. Then they said they saw Mr. Chamberlain grab a knife, and an officer fired his handgun.
Boom! Boom! Mr. Chamberlain’s niece Tonyia Greenhill, who lives upstairs, recalls the echoes ricocheting about the hall. She pushed out a back door and ran into the darkness beneath overarching oaks. He lay on the floor near his kitchen, two bullet holes in his chest, blood pooling thick, dying.
It makes sense to be humble in the presence of conflicting accounts. The White Plains public safety commissioner declared this a “warranted use of deadly force”; the shooter was later put on modified assignment. Mr. Chamberlain, in the commissioner’s telling, had withstood electric charges, grabbed a butcher knife and charged the officers.
The alert system phone in Mr. Chamberlain’s apartment recorded most of the standoff, as did a security camera in the hall. And the officers’ Tasers carried video recorders.
Last month, the Westchester County district attorney played these for the dead man’s son, Kenneth Chamberlain Jr., who teaches martial arts for a local nonprofit organization and intends to file a lawsuit. He is lithe, with a shaved head, and takes pride in a reasoned manner. “My family, we’re not into histrionics,” he says. “We don’t run down the street inciting riot.”
His voice cracks, though, as he describes the tapes. “I heard fear,” he says. “In my 45 years on this earth, I never heard my father sound like that.”
The district attorney will present the case to a grand jury and has not released transcripts. But the family’s recollection matches that of neighbors who listened through closed doors.
They say officers taunted Mr. Chamberlain. He shouted: “Semper fi,” the Marine Corps motto. The police answered with loud shouts of “Hoo-rah!” Another officer, the niece says, said he wanted to pee in Mr. Chamberlain’s bathroom.
Someone, the niece and neighbors say, yelled a racial epithet at the door. Black and white officers were present.
Kenny Randolph listened from his apartment across the hall. “They put fear in his heart,” he says. “It wasn’t a crime scene until they made it one.”
The police say Mr. Chamberlain was “known” to them, although it appears he had not been convicted of a crime. There are intimations that he wrestled with emotional issues. Sometimes, neighbors say, he talked to himself. Who’s to say? As often, life’s default position is set to “complicated.”
Many police departments have trained corps of officers expert in talking with the emotionally upset. Their rule of thumb: talk quietly and de-escalate. That night in White Plains, no one appeared to have de-escalated anything.
Mr. Chamberlain sounded spooked. His son recalls hearing his father say on tape: “This is my sworn testimony. White Plains officers are coming in here to kill me.” A few minutes later, a bullet tore through his rib and heart. The ambulance took him to White Plains Hospital, where he soon died.
His son lives five minutes away. He says he could have talked his father down. Standing in the office of his lawyer Randolph M. McLaughlin, he mimes knocking on his dad’s door. “Dad, it’s me, Ken, I’m here.” His eyes are bloodshot and brimming. “I always said, ‘I’m the protector now.’ But I wasn’t there when he needed me.”