13 Year Old Gangster – Update


You can check out my earlier post here.

During the outcry from the scum of the neighborhood at least a few groups are putting forth some common sense.

The Law Enforcement Alliance of America (LEAA) today defended members of the LAPD who have come under attack for their role in a shooting involving a juvenile car thief. The suspect allegedly led police on a high- speed chase in a stolen car at 4 a.m. through the streets of Los Angeles. After crashing the stolen car, the suspect rammed into a police cruiser and officers fired at the driver of the stolen car, killing him.

LEAA Spokesperson Ted Deeds called the actions of the LAPD officers self-defense saying, “the question is not why these officers used deadly force on a criminal who turned out to be a juvenile, but what was this juvenile doing allegedly stealing cars at four a.m., leading police on a high speed chase and then attempting to use the stolen car as a weapon by ramming the police cruiser?”

The facts are that officers in this brief and violent chase instigated by the juvenile car thief had no way of knowing the age of the criminal they were pursuing. Deeds added that the violent act of using a vehicle as a weapon to ram a police car during a pursuit makes the use of deadly force a clear act of self-defense.

“This young man is dead because of the choices he made and the actions he took; he was allegedly out stealing cars at four a.m., leading police on a dangerous chase and then attempting to injure or kill police officers as he rammed their patrol car — his age, race and being a good student have nothing to do with it.” said Deeds.

Plus the LAPD Chief had a press conference (surprise surprise, since he is just a big showboating politican anyway) that detailed the shooting. Below is the timeline of the chase.

In his description of the shooting itself, the chief estimated that “the whole scenario took about six seconds,” from the time the maroon Toyota Camry collided with the patrol car to the time shots were fired.

Police officials say the incident began earlier in the evening, when the Camry was stolen from in front of an apartment building in the 2100 block of West 54th Street. Bratton said the owner of the car last saw the vehicle about 12:15 a.m. and noticed it was missing half an hour later, reporting it stolen to the 77th Street Division shortly afterward.

At 3:49 a.m., Officer Steve Garcia, who would shoot Devin roughly four minutes later, first saw the Camry at the intersection of Grand and Gage avenues. He and his partner, Officer Dana Grant, both of the Newton Division, which covers a portion of South Los Angeles, then saw the car run a red light where Gage crosses under the Harbor Freeway.

The officers radioed a report of a suspected drunk driver. A recording of the call, with sirens audible in the background, was played at Wednesday’s news conference.

The officers then pursued the Camry, which ran up onto the curb at Western Avenue and 83rd Street, after apparently failing to make a right turn. Based on skid marks at the scene, Berkow said, the Camry was going 40 to 50 mph at that point.

Then, with Grant and Garcia’s patrol car stopped behind it, the Camry moved back 21 feet, striking the police vehicle, Berkow said. The car went back an additional 18 feet ? leaving paint marks from its driver’s side mirror on the trunk of the patrol car ? before rolling forward to a final stop nearly side-by-side with the patrol car, according to Berkow.

Berkow would not say precisely when the shots were fired. But at 3:53 a.m., a call was made from a patrol car from the neighboring 77th Street Division. That police car, at the corner of Western and 83rd, reported a collision between the Camry and Garcia’s patrol car.

As they were broadcasting the accident, Bratton said, there was a “very slight hesitation and then reports of shots fired.”

An ambulance was requested at 3:56 a.m., police said.

Bratton said Devin’s body was found in the driver’s seat. A 14-year-old who fled from the front passenger’s door on foot was arrested near the scene.

CNN (I know, I know…hate using them) has this:

Ten shots were fired — all coming from the gun of nine-year veteran Steven Garcia, 31. He and his partner, six-year veteran Dana Grant, 26, have been assigned to desk duty during the investigation.

A photo showed damage on the police car starting from just forward of its front passenger door and spanning back toward its rear. Another photo showed broken glass inside the police car.

Half of the 10 rounds fired by Garcia struck his own patrol car, according to Bratton. The chief said work was still under way to match autopsy results with physical evidence to establish trajectories.

Although real early in the investigation, it sure looks like the car didn’t just give the patrol car a love tap. It travelled 21 feet into the passenger side door. That is a deadly force situation folks and based on the above I would conclude the officers will be fine in this shooting. The idiots in the community can get all worked up but they will be fine.

Perfect example is the Inglewood caper. A couple of Inglewood cops we’re helping some Deputies during a traffic stop at a gas station for expired registration. The driver, a 16 year old punk was being a jackass and wouldn’t follow their commands. They put their hands on him and turned him around at which point the kid grabbed Officer Morse’ balls and squeezed. Morse picks him up and slam’s him into the trunk. All of this is videotaped and whahooo! the community goes all a twitter. The mayor on the first day calls the officers actions inexusable, way to back your employee’s huh? They get fired except the one black Inglewood cop gets a few days suspension, that’s kinda weird huh?

Jurors agreed with former officers Jeremy Morse and Bijan Darvish, who claimed they had been discriminated against by the city when they were not allowed to return to their jobs. The ruling results in a $2.4 million award.

Morse, 26, who is white, was shown on the tape slamming a black teen, Donovan Jackson, to the trunk of a police car at an Inglewood gas station and punching him in the face.

The July 2002 videotape was broadcast worldwide. Although race was never mentioned in the trials, the image of a white officer battering a black youth made national headlines and sparked angry protests in Inglewood.

“It sends a terrible message,” said Mayor Roosevelt Dorn. “If the jury had received the true facts, I have to believe this jury would have come in with a verdict for the city of Inglewood.”

Dorn said the attorneys representing the city did a poor job of presenting the facts.

The confrontation occurred after Jackson’s father was pulled over by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies for driving a car with expired license tags. Jackson’s family said the teenager, then 16, may have responded slowly to officers’ orders because he has a learning disability that makes it difficult for him to process instructions quickly.

The run-in videotaped by Mitchell Crooks was aired repeatedly on television.

Morse was later fired from his job. The case against Morse, who was charged with assault under the color of authority, ended with a hung jury. Darvish was aquitted of filing a false police report after four days of deliberations.

The lawsuit claimed that the city had treated the officers unfairly, allegeding that they were the victims of discrimination because they are both white and Jackson is black.

Morse will receive a $1.6 million award. Darvish was awarded $800,000.

Last February, an independent arbitrator released a report exonerating Darvish and recommending that the city pay him back wages for his 10-day suspension. The arbitrator wrote that he viewed the tape several times and determined that “in real-life speed, it would have been impossible for anyone to see whether Morse’s hand or right forearm was placed on or across the front of Jackson’s neck.” Smith said the Los Angeles Superior Court jury — which deliberated about a day in the case — “did the right thing” in awarding the damages.

He said when the jurors in Judge William Fahey’s courtroom initially were questioned about their knowledge of the incident, they had negative feelings about Morse and what occurred — feelings based on video clips widely shown on news broadcasts.

Smith said those feelings changed after the jurors heard the two officers’ side of what took place.

“It was the first time anybody had heard their story about what happened,” Smith said.

Attorney Paul Coble, who represented Inglewood in the case, said he believed the jurors seemed to focus on whether the discipline Morse and Darvish received “was fair, when the legal description provided by the judge was whether or not the action was based on race.”

Coble said the plaintiffs stressed that another black officer at the scene of the incident received a suspension half as long as Darvish’s. He said the city police chief explained the lighter suspension was issued because that officer was still in his probationary period.

“It leaves one scratching one’s head as to how the (punishment) of the city could have been so unfair when the Los Angeles County grand jury returned two felony indictments” based on the same conduct, Coble added.

If the facts of the case hold up then the LAPD officers will be just fine.

Check out Tempus Fugit, California Conservatives, and Michael Williams for some great comments on this incident.

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