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Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

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Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:15 pm

I refused to bump the other threads on this topic, given how quickly they had deteriorated into idiocy, but this is newsworthy and of note to many Forons, so I figured I'd start a new one.

Here's the story from Madison.com.

There are some interesting details in there which I don't recall reading earlier.

And please, fellow Forons, if we're going to discuss this, I'm begging you all to keep it civil and on-topic. It's really not that hard.
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby Meade » Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:33 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:There are some interesting details in there which I don't recall reading earlier.

Which details do you find interesting?
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby Crockett » Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:58 pm

He shouldn't have been shot and I don't know why the cop didn't use a Taser or a nightstick. That cop is a serious wimp (and that is confirmed by his photo in the story).

HOWEVER, its pretty well-known that if you don't follow cops instructions and physically go after them they can shoot you. Once you assault them its pretty easy for them to say you were going for their gun. Hence, don't assault cops.

My issue is that it seems like cops are assaulted all the time on TV shows (Alaska State Troopers, COPS, etc) and they don't blast people for it. If nothing else this cop should lose his job for being a p*ssy.
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby Stebben84 » Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:01 pm

Wow, three posts in and the civility is gone. Bravo.
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby O.J. » Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:04 pm

Crockett wrote:He shouldn't have been shot and I don't know why the cop didn't use a Taser...


I could be mistaken, but I don't believe officers are allowed to use a taser unless another officer is present.
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby Toonces » Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:07 pm

All of the details from O'Malley regarding his struggle with Heenan are new. Those are key details that could not be reported the first time around and that resulted in much conjecture and poor tact in those other threads. Now we have a clearer picture as to what the officer saw when he arrived on the scene.
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby Crockett » Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:13 pm

O.J. wrote:
Crockett wrote:He shouldn't have been shot and I don't know why the cop didn't use a Taser...


I could be mistaken, but I don't believe officers are allowed to use a taser unless another officer is present.


Pepper spray seems to be a good first line of defense as well. Hell, they seem to use that stuff a the mere whiff of a physical confrontation.

I think its pretty well-documented that this cop has issues. He doesn't belong on a police force after this incident. He chose the nuclear option and somehow should be punished for it.
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby Boyce Johnson » Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:16 pm

So the officer should have tried to put his gun away, while it appeared that the person he thought was likely a burglar appeared to be reaching for it, and pulled out pepper spray, a tazer, or a club? Or do you think he should have responded to what he believed to be a burglary in progress without his gun drawn?
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby Meade » Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:18 pm

Based on the details in the article Wagstaff linked to, I'm going back to my original theory: suicide by cop. Aggressively reaching for a police officer's sidearm is suicidal.

But I would still like to know exactly how Heenan was able to open the O'Malleys' front door at 3AM while they slept. Did they know their front door was unlocked? Who called the police to report a burglary?
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby Igor » Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:27 pm

I still keep going back to the fact that driving is not the only stupid thing you can do when drinking too much. I did plenty of stupid stuff in my younger years, but can't imagine how much booze it would have taken to make me not be able to find home, or to think that grabbing for a cop's gun was a good idea.
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby Stebben84 » Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:42 pm

Crockett wrote:Pepper spray seems to be a good first line of defense as well. Hell, they seem to use that stuff a the mere whiff of a physical confrontation.


I love how all of the sudden people become armchair cops. You know, he should have given him a karate chop right to the neck and then blew him over once he was stunned.

This isn't television.

You were never put in that position and you will never be in the position the officer was in. You have no idea what the reaction should have been and what it was like to make a split second decision.
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:45 pm

Meade wrote:I would still like to know exactly how Heenan was able to open the O'Malleys' front door at 3AM while they slept. Did they know their front door was unlocked? Who called the police to report a burglary?


Answer to your first question is in the article

O'Malley attempted to locate his keys, which he believed Heenan had used to open the front door.


As far as how Heenan got in, my guess is someone left the door unlocked. O'Malley seemed to assume he had left his keys in the door, so forgetting to lock it doesn't seem implausible.

It looks like Heimsness followed proper procedure in his approach. He arrived on the scene with a physical confrontation in progress, ordered the two combatants to the ground, and was subsequently assaulted by one of them. He could have pulled his baton instead of his gun but given two subject in front of him, both of whom could have turned on him, his sidearm is a safer choice. Of course Crockett has watched COPS so clearly he knows everything that Heimsness did wrong. Perhaps he should volunteer to finish up the MPD investigation.
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby fisticuffs » Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:48 pm

I love how all of the sudden people become armchair cops.


Seems to be more a symptom of discussing gun violence not so much law enforcement.
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby snoqueen » Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:59 pm

I would like to know the results of the toxicology report. On the face of it, the description of the victim's behavior doesn't fit with stupid-drunk. In my experience drunks stumbling home late at night from the bar are more often helpless and easily tipped over than aggressively combative, though anything is possible.
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby Stebben84 » Thu Dec 27, 2012 5:05 pm

snoqueen wrote:I would like to know the results of the toxicology report. On the face of it, the description of the victim's behavior doesn't fit with stupid-drunk.


I thought the same thing. Although I have seen some people so crazy drunk they didn't know what was going on.
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