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Fatal shooting of man by police raises some troubling questions
RICHMOND TIMES DISPATCH ^ | Sunday, November 17, 2002 | MARK HOLMBERG

Posted on 11/17/2002 7:15:50 AM PST by putupon

Edited on 07/20/2004 11:47:58 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

If only Jeramy O. Gilliam had matched the description of the late-night burglary suspect on July 20.

If only the .38-caliber Taurus revolver Richmond police say he pulled and pointed at a Richmond officer had his fingerprints on it.

If only police could trace ownership of that revolver - bought at a gun show - to him.


(Excerpt) Read more at timesdispatch.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: banglist; police; shooting

1 posted on 11/17/2002 7:15:50 AM PST by putupon
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To: *bang_list
Caste system alert: how often are non-officers given "the benefit of the doubt" when there is a shooting murder?
2 posted on 11/17/2002 7:20:54 AM PST by coloradan
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To: coloradan
Caste system alert: how often are non-officers given "the benefit of the doubt" when there is a shooting murder?

This case appears to be very clear-cut. The man resisted being even required to identify himself and fought with the officer. The rest means nothing IMO.

In a struggle the gun could easily have been flung some distance away. It matters not about record of ownership. Fingerprints are often not part of the evidence in situations like this.

The officer fought for his life and was successful. His opponent at the least used very bad judgement and died as a result. End of story.

3 posted on 11/17/2002 7:42:48 AM PST by toddst
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To: toddst
--if it happens to you, I wonder what your last thought will be?
4 posted on 11/17/2002 7:51:49 AM PST by rellimpank
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To: toddst
Let's compare that situation to one in which a homeowner and a SWAT team got into a scuffle and a cop was shot - by another officer. The homeowner never fired a shot and was jailed for a week while evidence was searched for, but never found. Meanwhile, prosecutors were already trying to decide if they were going to go for the death penalty.

http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3b5902996f01.htm

Read this and tell me that police are held to the same standard as citizens are when they shoot someone.

5 posted on 11/17/2002 8:04:12 AM PST by coloradan
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To: rellimpank
--if it happens to you, I wonder what your last thought will be?

The first rule when confronted by a police officer is - do exactly what he/she says. I won't be resisting arrest in any manner. We'll sort out possible unlawful arrest in court, not on the street.

I have a suggestion: Spend an evening riding with a police officer in your town (most departments offer "ride-along" opportunities to citizens.) Watch what the officer has to deal with on his shift. You will be amazed at how much bad behavior he/she encounters by "upstanding"citizens, let alone the scum who clearly have done something wrong.

I believe you will conclude that police officers are seriously underpaid, patient, professional people who typically don't over-react even in dangerous situations. After your ride-along experience, let's discuss this again.

6 posted on 11/17/2002 8:08:19 AM PST by toddst
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To: coloradan
Let's compare that situation to one in which a homeowner and a SWAT team got into a scuffle and a cop was shot - by another officer.

I will read the article. However, the tip-off is "got into a scuffle with a cop." Never resist arrest - period! Sort it out later.

We can always find instances in which officers make a mistake or over-react. When that happens, the situation is reviewed by the courts. Most of the time everything is dealt with properly.

You must decide whether you wish to operate in a society based on law or emotion. I choose law, myself.

7 posted on 11/17/2002 8:24:24 AM PST by toddst
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To: toddst
His opponent at the least used very bad judgement and died as a result. End of story.</ credibility>

Gee, it's nice to know you were there, we needed someone to give us a detailed account so we know how everything went down.

We got it. The police handled everything properly (as usual) and the dead guy had it coming. Do you happen to own a donut shop?

8 posted on 11/17/2002 8:34:13 AM PST by AAABEST
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To: toddst
Sorry, the SWAT team got into a scuffle with the house - the guy was inside and never did anything. SWAT started firing wildly, something like 360 rounds fired into this guy's house, and he's pulled out and charged with felony murder of an officer, thanks to the false testimony of police officers. "First shot fired from inside..." "Got into a gun battle with police ..." All false. Please also read the righteous indignation of the officers when dismissing possible claims of friendly fire.
9 posted on 11/17/2002 8:36:47 AM PST by coloradan
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To: AAABEST
Gee, it's nice to know you were there, we needed someone to give us a detailed account so we know how everything went down.

Read the account. The struggle would not have happened if the person who got shot had not started fighting over providing his ID. Things esclated from there, according to the account.

We don't improve our situation on the street by demonizing every police officer who ends up shooting someone who fights him while he's doing his job IMO.

10 posted on 11/17/2002 8:44:45 AM PST by toddst
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To: toddst
There are a lot of bad guys out there. Some of them are wearing badges.
11 posted on 11/17/2002 8:51:23 AM PST by fifteendogs
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Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: coloradan
Sorry, the SWAT team got into a scuffle with the house - the guy was inside and never did anything.

You are correct about the SWAT team being its own worst enemy in this case. Sure looks like their own sniper shot the officer.

From my point of view the homeowner has some responsibility here because of his actions - throwing his wife out of the house and setting her belongings on fire in the front yard. It appears there would have been no assault on the house IF the guy would have simply walked out the front door with his hands on his head.

Just my opinion.

13 posted on 11/17/2002 8:54:20 AM PST by toddst
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To: toddst
Read the account. The struggle would not have happened if the person who got shot had not started fighting over providing his ID. Things esclated from there, according to the account.

The "account" is nothing more than the word of someone who killed another human being. He benefits greatly by making certain that his "account" clears him. Apparantly that's enough for the factually challanged, unscientific types.

14 posted on 11/17/2002 8:58:29 AM PST by AAABEST
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To: toddst
You're more than an "Idiot" to even begin to believe the KILLER's story..!!!
15 posted on 11/17/2002 9:07:34 AM PST by freddy
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To: AAABEST
The "account" is nothing more than the word of someone who killed another human being. He benefits greatly by making certain that his "account" clears him. Apparantly that's enough for the factually challanged, unscientific types.

OK, let's wait until the full investigation is completed. It's my opinion - assuming I'm allowed to have one - the conclusion will be the same. This officer fought back against someone who was armed and attempted to shoot him. The officer lived, his adversary didn't. I'll give this officer the benefit of the doubt, but it appears you won't.

16 posted on 11/17/2002 9:11:20 AM PST by toddst
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To: freddy
You're more than an "Idiot" to even begin to believe the KILLER's story..!!

Now you're getting nasty, "Freddy." The "killer" is a police officer who fought for his life, it appears. I doubt seriously there will be any other finding. Looks straight-up to me, but apparently that's not good enough for you.

Sticks and stones, "Freddy."

17 posted on 11/17/2002 9:25:04 AM PST by toddst
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To: toddst
From my point of view the homeowner has some responsibility here because of his actions - throwing his wife out of the house and setting her belongings on fire in the front yard. It appears there would have been no assault on the house IF the guy would have simply walked out the front door with his hands on his head.

That may be so but it isn't responsive to my point, which regards a caste system. How was this police officer treated for killing a homeowner vs. how was the Lubbock homeowner treated for NOT killing an officer? There is a gigantic double standard and I find it unacceptable. What finally happened to the Lubbock cop who actually killed the other officer is that he was FIRED - while the homeowner was looking at the death penalty if it had been him. When a Lord kills a Lord he gets slapped on the wrist (Lubbock), but when a peasant kills a Lord he would be executed (Lubbock). When a Lord kills a peasant, he doesn't even get a slap on the wrist - it was a "good shoot" (the present case).

18 posted on 11/17/2002 9:30:33 AM PST by coloradan
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To: toddst
This officer fought back against someone who was armed and attempted to shoot him. The officer lived, his adversary didn't. I'll give this officer the benefit of the doubt, but it appears you won't.

How do you know what happened, or who fought who? You know nothing.

Heck I'll give him the benefit of the doubt, that's not your position however. You already had figured everything out and came to the "end of story" conclusion, when the only evidence available was a dead non-suspect with two holes in his back, and a flying gun with no fingerprints or chain of ownership.

You sound like ex-LEO, I hope you're not current LEO. It would be troubling to know that you're on the street given your bias and approach to critical thinking.

If nothing else it's s***ty and unprofessional police work when non-suspects wind up dead during the course of the investigation.

19 posted on 11/17/2002 9:30:55 AM PST by AAABEST
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To: toddst
Why didn't the Lubbock homeowner get the benefit of the doubt?
20 posted on 11/17/2002 9:31:38 AM PST by coloradan
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To: putupon
Perhaps there is a missing piece to this puzzle...what if the upstanding cop had some type of personal vedetta agaist the "suspect." Sleeping with his wife/daughter/son..whatever. Sold him some bad viagra, beat him at bowling last Tuesday night. Who knows?

The point is, even the non-accused "suspect" is presumed innocent until PROVEN GUILTY. Or has something changed? A man should not have to die over a simple case of mistaken identity...no matter how unsavory his character.

21 posted on 11/17/2002 9:32:48 AM PST by Ground0
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To: AbbaDabba
You're an idiot.

Well, newbie, what else can you do but call people names? If that's all you bring to FR few will respond to you.

You have anything to say that's constructive, hotshot?

22 posted on 11/17/2002 9:35:09 AM PST by toddst
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To: fifteendogs
There are a lot of bad guys out there. Some of them are wearing badges.

I agree with you. However, the bad guys wearing badges have to worry about Internal Affairs reviewing their actions. Also the Prosecutor's Office if evidence of criminal behavior is identified. For the most part, the system of checks in police departments works pretty well IMO.

23 posted on 11/17/2002 9:41:40 AM PST by toddst
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To: putupon
It's always difficult to decide what happened when there's only a single witness, who may not be lying but who would have a strong motivation to lie if he were guilty.

My guess is that the young man who was shot was drunk, or on drugs, or acted foolishly. But it's just a guess, based on what we are told about the police officer not being known as a troublemaker. The family of the victim or the perp always says, "He was such a good boy." And the policeman's colleagues always say, "He is a good officer." Hopefully the jury listened to the various stories and used their best judgment.
24 posted on 11/17/2002 9:45:18 AM PST by Cicero
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To: AAABEST
If nothing else it's s***ty and unprofessional police work when non-suspects wind up dead during the course of the investigation.

We don't disagree on this point. However, it appears the police officer was fighting for his life against an armed adversary who objected to having his identity checked.

This kind of situation has gotten many police officers killed because they didn't react quickly enough. In this case I would like to see what the final outcome of the investigation is. However, I seriously doubt anything new will be uncovered other than more information on why the dead man was resisting being identified.

25 posted on 11/17/2002 9:50:13 AM PST by toddst
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To: coloradan
Why didn't the Lubbock homeowner get the benefit of the doubt?

All I can do is speculate. The homeowner had already exhibited pretty unstable and hostile behavior. Also, a police officer was dead and it wasn't clear where the shot came from. That situation tends to cause police officials to assume the worst per the adversary.

Once all the information came out the homeowner was cleared and released. Again I will say if the homeowner had not behaved in such a strange and hostile manner initially there would never have been any actual confrontation with the SWAT team.

26 posted on 11/17/2002 9:57:25 AM PST by toddst
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To: coloradan
When a Lord kills a peasant, he doesn't even get a slap on the wrist - it was a "good shoot" (the present case).

It remains to be seen what happens with the officer in this case. I'm assuming the investigation isn't over, but perhaps I missed something.

I don't really believe there is a double-standard, to answer your question. A shooting by a police officer is always a tough situation. In too many cases police officers find their careers essentially derailed after they are involved in a shooting incident, even if it's "clean." This alone can cause an officer to hesitate to fire in a situation where he really shouldn't. Some officers get shot as a result. My opinion.

27 posted on 11/17/2002 10:19:54 AM PST by toddst
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To: toddst
Talk about an identity problem points straight to the Peace Officer. He was not in uniform but was wearing a "bib". Police wear bibs?

If an officer wants respect he should wear a uniform, a hat, and a badge. There are many peace officers strolling around in POLICE t-shirts (which you can buy at any flea market), shorts, and tennis shoes. The victim probably had no idea he was being harrassed by a "real cop".

The trash collectors in many towns dress more proffesional than the police.


28 posted on 11/17/2002 11:36:47 AM PST by lightningrod
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To: lightningrod
There are many peace officers strolling around in POLICE t-shirts (which you can buy at any flea market), shorts, and tennis shoes. The victim probably had no idea he was being harrassed by a "real cop".

I doubt the police uniform or lack thereof was the problem in this incident. All this man had to do was provide ID to the officer and do nothing threatening.

And what department are you referring to with all the comments about they dressing badly? You sound very critical of police officers in general.

29 posted on 11/17/2002 11:45:24 AM PST by toddst
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To: Cicero
Several things come into play. Society as a whole and the race issue. Drinking changes a lot of people and in most cases they become hostile to authority or they become very submissive. Most people on alcohol and or drugs unfortunately act one of those two ways.The other is the police officer could have over reacted.Regardless there are no winners in this deal and the truth probably will never be known and for a fact several families including the police officer will never be the same.If the policemen is for real he will not get over it either way. But it didnt have to happen if the poor victim would have only surrendered to authority and followed the course laid out by society and I for one dont like that and know the court system is just as bad so why not lets try to improve the system from all angles.The first place to start is with children and teach them to respond properly to authority.
30 posted on 11/17/2002 12:34:36 PM PST by gunnedah
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To: gunnedah
. . . it didnt have to happen if the poor victim would have only surrendered to authority and followed the course laid out by society . . . so why not lets try to improve the system from all angles.The first place to start is with children and teach them to respond properly to authority.

I couldn't agree with you more. Let's DO teach youngsters the proper response to authority. Their lives hang in the balance.

31 posted on 11/17/2002 1:29:11 PM PST by toddst
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To: toddst
--I most assuredly will do whatever a cop tells me, as I live in a jurisdiction where several years ago the newspaper noted the one hundredth "civilian" killed by a police officer with never an officer charged with wrongdoing. Since then it must be well over one hundred twenty five including an unarmed individual, who according to all the other witnesses, was dribbling a basketball.

While this seems to indicate perfection on the part of the police, civil court actions or settlements amounting to multiple millions of dollars have been awarded to the survivors of some of "justifiable" deaths.

Knowing only what I read above about this case, I find it amazing that the gun was "thrown" thirty five feet as described--

32 posted on 11/17/2002 1:45:41 PM PST by rellimpank
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To: toddst
Hey, you should know better by now that to try to defend a cops action on FR. You get the libertarian, authority (cop) hating crowd out immediately. And they stoop so low as to start with the name calling instead of any intelligent discourse. I know. It happened to me. Just let it go.
33 posted on 11/17/2002 2:03:28 PM PST by germanicus
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To: coloradan
Excellent point, Coloradan...speaking from the Denver area myself, remember the Ismail Mena case? I used to watch 'Cops' and believe they really were polite and courteous, to serve and protect. After having to actually deal with them a few times during my divorce and whatnot, I have a somewhat different opinion!
I sincerely doubt they will ever be held to the same standard as the rest of us,however, and sometimes I admit I wouldn't even want them to. But their arrogance and bullying does really give me a pain!
34 posted on 11/17/2002 3:14:28 PM PST by notdownwidems
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To: germanicus
Hey, you should know better by now that to try to defend a cops action on FR. You get the libertarian, authority (cop) hating crowd out immediately. And they stoop so low as to start with the name calling instead of any intelligent discourse. I know. It happened to me. Just let it go.

Thanks for the warning. You are exactly right, based on what's transpired on this thread. However, I can't let this kind of insanity just roll unchallenged.

I know many dedicated police officers who've put their lives on the line to stop the gouls. Then, look out if they don't make the perfect PC decision in a split-second with their life in the balance.

Sure, mistakes are made. In this case the "citizen" made it. That's why he's dead. Prepare to respond as directed by a police officer, or run the considerable risk of dying. Just fact.

35 posted on 11/17/2002 3:24:26 PM PST by toddst
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To: notdownwidems
I sincerely doubt they will ever be held to the same standard as the rest of us,however, and sometimes I admit I wouldn't even want them to. But their arrogance and bullying does really give me a pain!

We could be describing Navy fighter pilots - arrogant and aggressive. It goes with the territory IF you're going to stay alive when you are attacked by someone who has no hesitation to come at you with a deadly weapon. Tends to set guys apart from "civilians."

36 posted on 11/17/2002 3:42:30 PM PST by toddst
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To: toddst
I meant that was the starting place but a lot of adults need that same lesson!I despise the system as much as anyone but someone must be in charge.
37 posted on 11/17/2002 4:23:23 PM PST by gunnedah
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To: gunnedah
I meant that was the starting place but a lot of adults need that same lesson!I despise the system as much as anyone but someone must be in charge.

10-4. Someone indeed.

38 posted on 11/17/2002 4:59:00 PM PST by toddst
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To: toddst
Taurus .38 with no fingerprints on it?

Couldn't perhaps be a "throwdown" gun?
39 posted on 11/18/2002 8:09:49 AM PST by Redbob
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To: Redbob
Taurus .38 with no fingerprints on it?

Couldn't perhaps be a "throwdown" gun?

Yep. Sure could be. We don't have enough information to know what happened per the gun and no fingerprints. My guess is the "perp" had sweaty hands and prints were smeared in the struggle. Reference was made to DNA evidence.

I've re-read the article several times and based on everything I believe it's a "clean shoot" by the police officer. The "perp" did have some problems in his past AND was really drunk. Drunks can get very mean and their judgement is lousy in situations like this. Just my opinion.

40 posted on 11/18/2002 1:47:06 PM PST by toddst
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To: toddst
"Your papers, Comrade!" What about the first few lines of the story?

If he had matched the description of the suspect...if the gun had his fingerprints on it...no independent witnesses...no court history of violent behavior...(Most telling of all) shot in the back at point blank range...which would probably explain why the weapon wound up 35 feet away.

This action is defensable in your opinion? Maybe the now deceased "perp" carried a weapon for fear of such an attack by a "peace officer."

Whatever the situation, the verifiable facts described in the article would certainly raise "reasonable doubt" in a court of law...if it ever got that far; but it didn't.

Do I distrust "law enforcement?" You bet, especially in light if this instance.

Are you in favor of vigilante justice or due process? What was your opinion on the Clinton/Lewinsky "he said, she said" dispute? At least she was able to draw a breath to say SOMETHING.

We have certain rights in this country to defend the general public from such deadly reprocussions of mistken identity as in this case.

As has been said in the past, "Riding the fence is a dangerous and painful endeavor," so on which side do you fall?

With all due respect, Ground0.

41 posted on 11/23/2002 11:08:04 AM PST by Ground0
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To: Ground0
We have certain rights in this country to defend the general public from such deadly reprocussions of mistken identity as in this case.

OK, let's go 'round again. The suspect was asked for his ID and refused in a seriously threatening manner - he drew a gun. In the struggle the police officer apparently knocked the gun out of the suspect's hand and (I believe)shot him in the back at point-blank range. I doubt the officer knew the suspect had lost his grip on the gun and fired believing if the suspect was able to turn toward him he would have shot the officer.

This all happened in a few seconds of desperate struggle, while the officer was fighting for his life. It's WAY too easy to second-guess the officer later, while we sit in a quiet place facing no threat whatever.

If a citizen is challenged by a police officer it is wise to do exactly what that officer directs him to do. Any other action in inherently dangerous - period. This specific confrontation went badly, with no way to fully verify the details of the encounter. However, I still land on the officer's side, given the actual circumstances of the situation.

42 posted on 11/23/2002 7:46:15 PM PST by toddst
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