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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thoughts on Ferguson - Police and Deadly Force

Here are my thoughts on the events in Ferguson, MO. The grand jury got it right in no-billing Officer Darren Wilson in the Michael Brown shooting. I commend them for their courage in not bucking under to the combined pressure of the Obama-Holder regime, mainstream media, and the mob.

Let's set aside the fact that Brown was black and Wilson was white. Brown was 6'6'' and 300 pounds. H and his thug companion had just robbed a liquor store. When the owner, an Asian man who looked about 5' tall, tried to stop them, Brown grabbed and pushed him like a rag doll. Brown obviously thought that he could break the law with impunity. So, when Officer Wilson ordered him and his friend to get out of the street, they probably refused to comply and mouthed off to him. Cops are charged with maintaining peace and order. Apparently Wilson started to drive off, then realized that Brown and his buddy were the two hoodlums who had just robbed the liquor store. Brown didn't believe he had to follow the rules like the rest of us, and assaulted Wilson and tried to take his gun.

 I've mentioned before the book White Girl Bleed a Lot: the Return of Racial Violence to America and How the Media Ignore it, by Colin Flaherty. There is a subclass of blacks who are heavy into thug culture, and assault whites, who are supposed to just take it. If whites defend themselves, they may well end up on trial for murder, like George Zimmerman did. The so called civil rights leaders like the repulsive tax cheat Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Obama, Holder et al. pile on.

Aside from my personal opinions, the grand jury got it right. I'll cite the Texas Penal Code, which  I believe is similar to Missouri's, which are both based on centuries of English common law. PC 9.31 and 9.32 states any person is justified in using deadly force against another when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary to protect himself against the other's use or attempted use of unlawful deadly force. If Brown struck Officer Wilson in the face and tried to take his gun, Wilson had the right to shoot.

Brown's defenders argue that once he left the side of the car that Wilson should have done nothing. This is crap. Under Code of Crim. P. 2.13, a peace officer has the duty to preserve the peace within the officer's jurisdiction. He has the authority to arrest offenders without a warrant in every case where the officer is authorized by law. He may arrest without a warrant when a felony or an offense against the public peace. CCP 14.01.

So it seems that Officer Wilson was doing his job, and Brown charged him like a bull. He had already tried to take his gun, so Wilson had good reason to fear for his life. And the idea that he should have shot him in the leg or something is ludicrous. When someone is trying to kill you, you do what you have to do to stop them. If you want to know what damage a determined man with a bullet or multiple bullets can do, look up the Miami FBI gunfight, say at 5 Gunfights That Changed Law Enforcement .

And the Supreme Court comes down on the police officer's side. See Plumhoff v. Rickard ___ U.S. ____
No. 12–1117. Argued March 4, 2014—Decided May 27, 2014
ALITO, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which ROBERTS, C. J., and SCALIA, KENNEDY, THOMAS, SOTOMAYOR, and KAGAN, JJ., joined, in which GINSBURG, J., joined as to the judgment and Parts I, II, and III– C, and in which BREYER, J., joined except as to Part III–B–2.

Donald Rickard led police officers on a high-speed car chase that came to a temporary halt when Rickard spun out into a parking lot. Rick- ard resumed maneuvering his car, and as he continued to use the ac- celerator even though his bumper was flush against a patrol car, an officer fired three shots into Rickard’s car. Rickard managed to drive away, almost hitting an officer in the process. Officers fired 12 more shots as Rickard sped away, striking him and his passenger, both of whom died from some combination of gunshot wounds and injuries suffered when the car eventually crashed.
Respondent, Rickard’s minor daughter, filed a 42 U. S. C. §1983 action, alleging that the officers used excessive force in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.

The officers acted reasonably in using deadly force. A “po- lice officer’s attempt to terminate a dangerous high-speed car chase that threatens the lives of innocent bystanders does not violate the Fourth Amendment, even when it places the fleeing motorist at risk of serious injury or death.” Scott, supra, at 385. Rickard’s outrageously reckless driving—which lasted more than five minutes, ex- ceeded 100 miles per hour, and included the passing of more than two dozen other motorists—posed a grave public safety risk, and the rec- ord conclusively disproves that the chase was over when Rickard’s car came to a temporary standstill and officers began shooting. Un- der the circumstances when the shots were fired, all that a reasona- ble officer could have concluded from Rickard’s conduct was that he was intent on resuming his flight, which would again pose a threat to others on the road.
Petitioners did not fire more shots than necessary to end the public safety risk. It makes sense that, if officers are justified in firing at a suspect in order to end a severe threat to public safety, they need not stop shooting until the threat has ended. Here, during the 10-second span when all the shots were fired, Rickard never abandoned his attempt to flee and eventually managed to drive away.

We now consider respondent’s contention that, even if the use of deadly force was permissible, petitioners acted unreasonably in firing a total of 15 shots. We reject that argument. It stands to reason that, if police officers are justified in firing at a suspect in order to end a severe threat to public safety, the officers need not stop shooting until the threat has ended. As petitioners noted below, “if lethal force is justified, officers are taught to keep shooting until the threat is over.”
Even if the officers’ conduct had violated the Fourth Amend- ment, petitioners would still be entitled to summary judgment based on qualified immunity. An official sued under §1983 is entitled to qualified immunity unless it is shown that the official violated a statutory or constitutional right that was “‘clearly established’” at the time of the challenged conduct. Ashcroft v. al-Kidd, 563 U. S. ___, ___. Brosseau v. Haugen, 543 U. S. 194, 201, where an officer shot at a fleeing vehicle to prevent possible harm, makes plain that no clearly established law precluded the officer’s conduct there. Thus, to pre- vail, respondent must meaningfully distinguish Brosseau or point to any “controlling authority” or “robust ‘consensus of cases of persua- sive authority,’” al-Kidd, supra, at ___, that emerged between the events there and those here that would alter the qualified-immunity analysis.


  1. The Judges, Prosecutors and Defense Lawyers of Kerr County are a disgrace and embarrassment to Texas and to America. Here is a sample of what the rest of Texas and the world is saying about your twisted, evil justice system:

    1) http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/24/opinion/will-texas-kill-an-insane-man.html?_r=1

    2) http://www.chron.com/opinion/editorials/article/Executing-the-sick-5918013.php

    3) http://www.dailytexanonline.com/2014/11/25/texas-upcoming-execution-of-scott-panetti-a-schizophrenic-man-is-unjust

    4) http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/editorials/20141123-editorial-texas-plans-to-execute-mentally-ill-scott-panetti-arent-fitting-for-a-civilized-society.ece

    5) https://www.baptiststandard.com/news/texas/17169-editorial-texas-should-not-put-mentally-ill-man-to-death

    6) http://www.eldiariony.com/death-sentence-schizophrenia-panetti

    7) http://www.eldiariony.com/death-sentence-schizophrenia-panetti


    9) http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/latest-columns/20141118-abby-johnson-if-texas-values-life-it-has-no-business-executing-mentally-ill-man.ece

    10) http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Parnham-Courts-sentenced-man-to-death-without-5894170.php

    11) http://www.star-telegram.com/2014/11/15/6289734/execution-of-mentally-ill-man.html

    12) http://letterstotheeditorblog.dallasnews.com/2014/11/going-against-christian-values.html/

  2. I suggest the local defense lawyers obtain a video of Oliver North testifying to a Senate committee in 1987 when North's lawyer, Brenden Sullivan breaks in and tells Senator Inouye:

    ''Well, sir, I'm not a potted plant,'' replied Mr. Sullivan, smiling. ''I'm here as the lawyer. That's my job.''. Perhaps local defense lawyers need to watch this tape every morning before going to work.

  3. Absent from your "Thoughts of Ferguson" is the fact that 60% of the witnesses testified to the fact that the officer shot Brown while his hands were up. This in itself is cause for an indictment.