MOBILE USERS: m.isthmus.com
Connect with Isthmus on Twitter · Facebook · Flickr · Newsletters 
Sunday, July 13, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 78.0° F  A Few Clouds
Collapse Photo Bar

Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

If it's news, but not politics, then it goes here.

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

Postby jonnygothispen » Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:26 pm

david cohen wrote:I apologize John- clearly you were there!
^This is perfect. Much of your opinion of what happened is debunked by O'Malley's first hand account, and it's my fault. :)
jonnygothispen
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2893
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:53 pm

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

Postby bcs89 » Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:51 pm

jonnygothispen wrote:
david cohen wrote:I apologize John- clearly you were there!
^This is perfect. Much of your opinion of what happened is debunked by O'Malley's first hand account, and it's my fault. :)



Much of your opinion of what happened is debunked by the complete bias you've shown since this incredibly sad situation occurred. And anyone who thinks O'Malley has no reason to be concerned about possible liability being thrown on himself is being foolish. As a matter of fact, a cynical person might even think O'Malley might be relieved to have the blame firmly on other shoulders. Lastly, you may notice, his statements in that article are very carefully worded.
bcs89
Senior Member
 
Posts: 97
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:10 pm

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

Postby jonnygothispen » Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:56 pm

What O'Malley saw isn't any of my opinion.

My opinion is that when a skinny, unarmed drunk "neighbor (not burglar)," who can't overpower me, is 5 or 6 feet away, I do not blow him away, back-up or not.

How is pointing out Mr. Heimness' history of over reaction bias? How is pointing to facts about cops lying frequently as part of the conversation bias? I was only suggesting that what Mr. Heimness said can't be taken as the facts w/o other proof. Nor does that mean he lied. It just means he has a vested interest in making it look like he had no other option once the act occurred.

The sad part about it is that people assumed an apologist position before they knew what happened, never mind what the situation merited. And now that you know, a bit too stubborn to admit it wasn't accurate. That's not my fault either.
jonnygothispen
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2893
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:53 pm

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

Postby david cohen » Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:11 pm

I've not proffered an "opinion" as to what happened. I've stated that if Paul Heenan had obeyed the officer and not charged him, none of this would have happened. O'Malley's recollection of the events doesn't differ whatsoever. O'Malley obeyed the officer, Heenan did not. I can't imagine what either the O'Malley's or the officer have been going through as a result of Paul Heenan's irrational behavior on that evening. I'll leave it to the legal system to determine if this was a preventable death, your use of inflammatory characterizations like "blow away" notwithstanding. Clearly some folks believe the officer was engaged in self defense, to the best of his knowledge given the immediate situation.
david cohen
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1303
Joined: Fri Jul 07, 2006 12:48 pm

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

Postby jonnygothispen » Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:13 pm

... which is a "license to kill," no questions asked, despite what the situation merits. Yeah, that's all you did.

When you decide to shoot someone in the chest 3 times with a high powered gun, you decided to blow them away. That's exactly what happened.

Truth is "inflammatory." That's kind of Orwellian.
jonnygothispen
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2893
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:53 pm

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

Postby bcs89 » Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:35 pm

jonnygothispen wrote:What O'Malley saw isn't any of my opinion.


Correct - it's his opinion, and as I said, a very carefully worded one. I would bet the farm his lawyer had some edits before it was released.


jonnygothispen wrote:My opinion is that when a skinny, unarmed drunk "neighbor (not burglar)," who can't overpower me, is 5 or 6 feet away, I do not blow him away, back-up or not.


Whether he could or could not overpower you, me, a cop, my cousin Dupree or my aunt Mabel is pure speculation. The fact he was not a burglar is not only hindsight - a lawyer would claim this fact has not been proven one way or the other i.e. he was in a house that was not his own with out the owners consent. The fact he was A. a neighbor and B. very drunk, does not automatically preclude him from criminal motive.


jonnygothispen wrote:

The sad part about it is that people assumed an apologist position before they knew what happened, never mind what the situation merited. And now that you know, a bit too stubborn to admit it wasn't accurate. That's not my fault either.


It is also sad that people assumed a apologist position before they knew what happened, never mind what the situation merited, regarding the suspect involved.

For the record, I think we are still a long way from knowing what happened that night, and will probably never know the exact details - not due to some nefarious plot, or cover up, but simply because we were not there, that night, in their shoes. Our memory/recollection is not anywhere near as reliable as we would like to think. We all see our own reality, and have our own reasons for how we interpret it.
bcs89
Senior Member
 
Posts: 97
Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:10 pm

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

Postby fennel » Sun Jan 06, 2013 6:11 pm

An article about smart guns. This seems relevant to the discussion. If police forces required these, they could update their policies regarding the use of deadly force.
fennel
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3107
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 4:24 pm
Location: Inside the Green Zone, Madison

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

Postby snoqueen » Sun Jan 06, 2013 6:13 pm

Anybody who's ever listened to various witness accounts of a traffic crash knows it's nearly impossible to piece the versions together at all, let alone get a coherent account of what happened. And that's when none of the witnesses was actually in the wreck.

Research on sworn statements in a courtroom shows eyewitness testimony is among the least reliable types.

There are no neutral witnesses here at all. I don't think we'll ever know the sequence and timing in any final sense. Lawyers will come up with versions that suit the interests of the clients, but nothing guarantees those accounts are neutral either.

It takes a lot to just say "we don't know" but in the end that's what has to be done in a case like this.

That doesn't mean a statement like "if the victim had followed police orders, this would not have happened" is unreasonable. But an "if" statement is not the same as knowing what actually went down.

--
I read the story on smart guns too. I sure would like to know why even technological fixes like these are too much for the gunnies. One begins to doubt their sincerity.

Other proposals I've read include laws that limit not guns but ammo. Ammunition can be marked so it's traceable to one weapon and one buyer, for instance. How could anybody reasonably argue with that? You'd think they'd be all proud of being the "good guy" and having shot the "bad guy" and being able to prove it.

Then there's the Israeli solution, where a gun licensee (stringently trained and screened) gets 50 bullets for life, and no more.
snoqueen
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 11268
Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2003 11:42 pm

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

Postby jonnygothispen » Sun Jan 06, 2013 6:26 pm

The first thing I said was that we'll probably never know what happened (therefore speculation was just a waste of time). All I could feel was sadness. All I thought with what happened to Paulie, who again I never met, was a huge tragedy, and most likely he did something to make the officer shoot him out of necessity. As I said earlier, one of my friends was shot by the police. I loved that guy. I was biased against the police until I read police reports and the published witness reports. I also grew up a few houses away on a dead end street from one of the officers involved. So I thought This was going to be kind of the same thing. But as it turned out, it wasn't at all.

I also jumped in again in part because we learned that Paulie was 5 to 6 feet away, and because of a few more details that jumped out, but mostly because a small group of people here were going after Maggie (who I don't know either) who was obviously very hurt by it. I threw in a different perspective because of how biased in favor of the officer this thread has been, but was willing to change my mind if the details came out in a different way.

And then we find out that the circumstances were a LOT different than the initial police reports. O'Malley yelled at Heimness, "He's my neighbor!" several times alerting Mr. Heimness to the fact that this isn't what it seems. And we've since learned that Paulie was not re-engaging with Mr. Heimness when Mr. Heimness made his decision. We've also found out that another officer had just pulled up. Coupled with the fact that Heimness was able to push away because and Paulie stayed put, I came to the belief that this was an avoidable situation by a more competent officer. That's exactly how I formed my opinion. So I apologize for not being more straightforward earlier.

What Mr. O'Malley literally saw isn't his "opinion," by the way. There has been a tendency to minimize any other scenario that doesn't fit the narrative that many people believed at first.
jonnygothispen
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2893
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2008 3:53 pm

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

Postby Maggie » Sun Jan 06, 2013 7:45 pm

It took a lot of work, but I have forgiven Stephen Heimsness for killing Paul Heenan. In my mind, I think Stephen Heimsness did something horribly wrong. In my heart, I see him as a victim of a murderous policy that must be changed.

If someone like me, whose heart was full of hate and anger towards Stephen Heimsness, can manage to forgive him, then I think the apologists and defenders of both Stephen Heimsness and the shoot to kill policy ought to be able to say that Stephen Heimsness could have reacted better, that we ought to expect and demand better of those few officials that have the power of life and death over us.

I don't think that is too much to ask.

And please drunk people and messed up people, don't act crazy. Be cool. Crazy scares people and we do stupid things when we are scared.
Maggie
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 109
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:39 pm
Location: Near East Side Madison

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

Postby amused2death » Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:21 pm

Just curious Maggie if you have forgiven the perpetrator that put everyone in a position for this to happen or do you not need to because you believe that Paul was blameless in what happened?

Johnny - How does yelling it's my neighbor change anything?
amused2death
Senior Member
 
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2011 4:17 pm

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

Postby fennel » Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:37 pm

amused2death wrote:Just curious Maggie if you have forgiven the perpetrator that put everyone in a position for this to happen or do you not need to because you believe that Paul was blameless in what happened?
Was there a perpetrator?


BTW, is that first 'd' in your handle extraneous? The handle seems to fit better without it.
fennel
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3107
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 4:24 pm
Location: Inside the Green Zone, Madison

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

Postby Maggie » Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:49 am

amused2death wrote:Just curious Maggie if you have forgiven the perpetrator that put everyone in a position for this to happen or do you not need to because you believe that Paul was blameless in what happened?


Paul is not blameless, but he is dead and he can't be here to explain his side of the story.

Part of the process I went through in being able to forgive was in understanding that Paul Heenan acted like a total moron that night. But like I said, Paul Heenan is dead so...
Maggie
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 109
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:39 pm
Location: Near East Side Madison

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

Postby Maggie » Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:13 am

david cohen wrote:...I've stated that if Paul Heenan had obeyed the officer and not charged him, none of this would have happened... I'll leave it to the legal system to determine if this was a preventable death, your use of inflammatory characterizations like "blow away" notwithstanding...


"obeyed the officer and not charged him" is inflammatory too. David, you are not "leaving it up to the legal system". You have picked your side in this matter. You are siding with the police and you are employing your emotions and your rhetoric towards defending and apologizing for the system.

This is fine but just don't criticize those of us like Johnny and me for doing the same thing you are.

Actually, I think it has been Johnny and me who have employed logic and reason to this case. Thank you Johnny for making many of my points clearer than I have.

1. The people Stephen Heimsness saw struggling were not even at the house of the 911 call so Heimsness jumped to a conclusion that he should not have made.

2. Paul Heenan was separated from Heimsness and was not charging at him according to O'Malley when Heimsness shot him. At that point, Heimnsness' life was not in danger.

3. O'Malley was shouting at Heimnsess that he was a neighbor and, yes, that makes a huge difference.

4. Heimsness' previous record is relevant and points to emotional problems that should have put him on a desk job.

5. Of course Paul should have been cool and complied with a police officer's orders. But if we shot every out of control drunk when they did not comply with a police officer we would have a lot more dead people in this country.

6. I am willing to bet that even Stephen Heimsness wishes he had acted differently that night. He just can't come out and say it, even though I wish he would.
Maggie
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 109
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:39 pm
Location: Near East Side Madison

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

Postby mayact4 » Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:28 am

I find it hard to believe that people continue to accuse Heimsness of "emotional problems" and being a problem cop who should be on a desk, because of 3 incidents in 14 years. Out of the thousands of contacts he's had with citizens, especially riding a downtown beat, those 3 are a tiny tiny percentage. If he had a problem, there'd be far more than 3 incidents.
mayact4
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 109
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2004 3:44 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Headlines

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

moviesmusiceats
Select a Movie
Select a Theater


FacebookcommentsViewedForum
  ISTHMUS FLICKR

Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar