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Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby Ducatista » Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:40 pm

Meade wrote:This sad event would not have ended the way it did if: 1. The O'malleys had been trained in and armed for self-defense,

And what outcome would that have produced, d'you suppose? We already know Heenan grabbed for the officer's gun, so it's reasonable to think he might've reached for O'Mally's gun. Maybe O'Mally's training would've allowed him to dodge that situation (though I doubt "try to dodge the guy trying to take your gun" is part of a typical self-defense curriculum). Or maybe he'd've shot Heenan. Or maybe he wouldn't have had the will to shoot, and Heenan would've gotten the gun and shot O'Malley... and what would the responding officer have done in that case? Talked Heenan into surrendering the gun? More likely: two dead men instead of one.

Adding another gun to the scenario doesn't seem like such a great solution.
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby Meade » Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:11 pm

O'Malley, trained and armed; Cop, trained and armed.

But here's the difference: O'Malley purportedly knew what and who he was dealing with. He recognized Heenan as his confused stupid drunk neighbor.

For whatever reason, the cop never got that information and had to assume he was dealing with an armed burglar. An armed burglar who was behaving belligerently and suicidally reaching for the cop's gun.

A trained, armed O'Malley would have left the safety on, never dropped a bullet into the chamber, and never pointed his gun at the intruder.

Of course, a trained and armed O'Malley likely would have locked all his doors - at least for the night.
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby jjoyce » Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:20 pm

Apparently, the only thing that can stop a good guy without a gun is a good guy with a gun. Or something.

Why blame one victim when you can blame all the victims?
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby Mad Howler » Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:26 am

Meade wrote:
But somehow, Mr. Heenan had become stupid drunk. How? Somehow, Mr. Heenan had the keys to open and enter the O'Malley's front door. How?

I could go back and quote ya, but I seem to remember you suggesting the deceased entered though an unlocked door in your original objections.

Meade wrote: 2. a Madison culture of alcohol abuse had not lulled Paul Heenan into wrongly believing that public drunkenness is safe, desirable and acceptable

How familiar are you with Wisconsin?


The difficult thing I am trying to wrap my mind around is having been told back in Civics class that winging an assailant is a grave litigious liability over closing the deal. Current statute seems to encourage/favor the later.
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby Mad Howler » Mon Dec 31, 2012 3:49 am

Sorry, got err a bit wrong above:

Meade wrote:How about the homeowners who left their key in their front door - the door Paulie made the mistake of entering? Or the bartender or whoever provided whatever substance Paulie might have had too much of?


viewtopic.php?f=12&t=56202&start=60#p711426
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby scratch » Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:10 am

All Meade is interested in, on this topic and nearly every other thread in which he posts, is something he can bloviate about from now until the next topic that excites his mad desire to be considered a commentator on the same level as his live-in meal ticket comes along. He'll never attain the rarefied level of respected commentator on anything, and he's such a lackluster thinker and polemicist that he'll be confining himself to this relatively small Internets pond while Mommy rolls out the same sort of routine--but better done--in the larger world.

But when it comes to substance, Meade is totally lacking whereas Mommy is glib to the max. Enjoy Meade while you can.
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby wack wack » Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:19 am

Maggie wrote:This is a very important point because many of the forons defending Heimsness are Heimsness' friend.

My viewpoint is objective and their viewpoints are not.


Not only is Heimsness' not my friend, I've made no secret on this forum regarding how I feel generally about police officers and the people that become them. Based on all available information, my truly objective opinion, as opposed to your opposite-leaning "objective" viewpoint, is that Heimsness was justified in his actions.

Maggie wrote:And Paul had already backed away or been pushed away where 5 to 6 feet were separating them. At this point shooting Paul is totally wrong.


Is that 6 feet and falling back, or 5 feet and charging again? Your lack of objectivity is clear here.

Maggie wrote:I speculate that Paul pissed Heimsness off, just like that drunk in the bar on State Street pissed Heimsness off and just like the people driving the van in the parking ramp pissed Heimsness off. Heimsness is a hot head. He can't control his temper and the result is an unarmed drunk is dead.


So, that would be speculative objectivity?

You seem like a nice person with a big heart, Maggie, but your lack of objectivity and limited understanding of policing challenges makes you seem silly here.
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby fisticuffs » Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:21 am

Maggie, but your lack of objectivity and limited understanding of policing challenges makes you seem silly here.


It's pretty clear the lack of knowledge of police procedure's and the reasons for them are making people post some pretty dumb comments.
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby jonnygothispen » Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:03 am

green union terrace chair wrote:
jonnygothispen wrote:If you cant aim at a dudes leg and hit it from 5 feet away, why do you have a gun?

Yes, aim at someone's leg but don't hit any major arteries / veins and also don't hit the femur and hope that this magic shot causes enough pain to make the person drop and break off their attack. That's as Hollywood as trying to shoot a gun out of someone's hand. Police are trained to shoot at the biggest target that's most guaranteed to stop an assailant and that's the chest.

Here, take a look at this and tell me where a cop should be aiming at to reliably cause a stopping injury but not kill:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... tem_en.svg
I'd say the non artery side of the hip, or either shoulder area. But first of all, was it even necessary to shoot? He had a variety of options. This guy was completely unarmed, drunk and belligerent. Is shoot to kill the first thing a cop who was also trained to serve and protect the first option, or only when you have a tendency to be a hothead? I'm just thinking in terms of how I would've reacted if I was a police officer: The gun is the last resort, not the first.
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby jonnygothispen » Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:09 am

Francis Di Domizio wrote:Johnny I'm just to take a wild stab in the dark and guess that you have never fired a hand gun in your life?
I've owned guns. I used to hunt, and even spent a day shooting a .75 caliber flint musket at the rifle range. Pretty wild. You can hear the ball whistle thru the air, and hear it hit the embankment. I have shot a pistol, but only once when we took pot shots at a beat up Yugo 25 years ago.

I know pistols aren't very accurate, and it was a volatile situation (that did not require the officer to blow him away). But again, why resort to using that right away when the guy is unarmed? I agree, how do you react or aim when there's not much time, but you can try, and he did shoot an unarmed guy 3 times literally blowing him away. I also want to note again that he changed his story from "grabbed for my gun" to "grabbed my arm."

I also have a friend who could kill a squirrel with a pistol from 20 yards pretty consistently, who was shot and killed by the police a couple years ago, BTW, since we're dealing with speculative scenarios (you assume Heimness had to use his gun). Doug Lisney in case you want to look that up. He was drunk, riding around on a horse, and had 2 loaded .45 pistols. A really nice guy except that he would completely lose his temper at times: blackout angry. When the police arrived, they tried tazing him. They discussed what to do while he cruised around on his horse and took pot shots at the ground likely somewhat near the police, so they blew him away. Take a look at their reaction. Despite that he had 2 loaded .45s and shot in their direction numerous times, the police calmly dealt with him until it was clear he wasn't going to settle down.

Paulie Heenan is gone. It didn't have to be that way. There were several other ways to deal with it. An officer with a different mind set gets that call and he would still be alive. I'm not going to argue about it anymore. Best wishes to you too, Mr. Heimness. I'm sure it's not easy. I can't say I fault you because anyone can react that way when they feel threatened. I'm only saying there were other ways to deal with it once you realized he was unarmed.
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby Bland » Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:46 am

jonny- again, characterizing the officer as a "hothead" and painting a picture of him as trigger happy simply makes no sense. Dude's been a cop for a loooooong time. The last time he fired his weapon, it was at car tires. This is his first and only time shooting a person. How can you continue to insist this is a pattern? if the cop was as gun crazy as you claim, surely he would have shot someone long before now.
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby jonnygothispen » Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:41 pm

Beating the living crap out of somebody helps me form that idea. It takes a inner rage to beat the shit out of somebody like he did. Also, anyone can lose it once or twice and be normal otherwise, if that's all it was. That's all that's on record that we know of for sure.

Likewise, how does anyone who wasn't there assess that it was a reasonable reaction? When you look at other examples, the use of a gun on an unarmed individual, especially while another officer had just pulled up, is pretty rare. So at least that opinion is based on something tangible.

I can't judge what happened in his mind during the flash moment he made that decision, but he had several other options. He chose that one. I think it was the wrong one.

He can also say whatever he wants about it. No one but him knows how accurate that really is either.
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby david cohen » Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:27 pm

In fairness to the cop, he had no way to know that the madman who was attacking him was unarmed. All the info the cop had, as far as we know, was that it was a burglary in progress. Burglars have been known to be armed. I still say that while this was a terribly unfortunate tragedy, the victim was at fault here.
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby Meade » Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:37 pm

david cohen wrote:I still say that while this was a terribly unfortunate tragedy, the victim was at fault here.

But isn't it always wrong to blame the victim?
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby jonnygothispen » Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:23 pm

Of course it's the victim's fault. You can't rush an officer like that no matter what. But in ALL fairness, Mr. Heimness had other options. Another officer just pulled up. Mr. Heenan hadn't pulled out any weapons, and it's unlikely he was "reaching" for one since he didn't have any. It's also unlikely that someone would engage w/o pulling out their weapon first if they had one. It's also true that an officer with another mindset would react a different way as evidenced in other cases.

Mr. Heimness could have: remained disengaged until he had help in wrestling Paulie down, or stepped back, and whipped out the pepper spray, or shot him in non fatal areas.

In all fairness, any time something like this happens it should be closely scrutinized, despite the blanket protection the law gives an officer, in order to make someone in Mr. Heimness' position think in advance about the options instead of reacting with the easiest one at hand at the moment. Right?
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