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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 bcs89 » Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:01 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:
bcs89 wrote:Yes, I also have a personal connection to this event
Then your insensitivity is even more baffling.

Your point could just as easily have been made without the snottiness, as I demonstrated in my initial response which got this idiotic pissing match started.

I agree that Heimsness does not deserve some of the nastiness that's been heaped on him. But how does that justify heaping nastiness on Heenan and his friends?


My "insensitivity" as you call it was, as I stated before, brought about by the massive amount of venom directed at a undeserving target. And no where did I start "heaping nastiness on Heenan and his friends" as you say I did.

And when you say:

"Your point could just as easily have been made without the snottiness, as I demonstrated in my initial response which got this idiotic pissing match started. "

are you referring to your post that starts out:

"Wow... that's a whole lot of insensitive, accusatory crap you just spewed, bcs."

But hey, you are allowed to say what you want as well as make any assumptions you care to make, not to mention be as "snotty" as you like, right?

Tell me Wags, whats it like to pass judgement on others from such a lofty height?
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:22 pm

bcs89 wrote:My "insensitivity" as you call it was, as I stated before, brought about by the massive amount of venom directed at a undeserving target.
Two wrongs don't make a right. The solution to combating venom isn't more venom.

bcs89 wrote:And no where did I start "heaping nastiness on Heenan and his friends" as you say I did.
After you've calmed down, go back and re-read the post I took umbrage with. It's mostly a nasty rant full of accusatory questions.

bcs89 wrote:are you referring to your post that starts out:

"Wow... that's a whole lot of insensitive, accusatory crap you just spewed, bcs."
That's the one. Read the paragraph which follows that line which so incensed you. It's the part wherein I make the same point you did, only without all the nastiness and minus the accusatory tone.

bcs89 wrote:But hey, you are allowed to say what you want as well as make any assumptions you care to make
I sincerely apologize for my assumption.

bcs89 wrote:Tell me Wags, whats it like to pass judgement on others from such a lofty height?
I only passed two judgements in this stupid exchange. I stand by the first -- that your post was insensitive, unhelpful, and essentially just more of the very behavior you are decrying. The second was when I called you a jerk. I'll apologize for that one as soon you apologize to waylan for suggesting that he and other friends of Paulie's are somehow responsible for this tragedy.
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby bcs89 » Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:55 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:I only passed two judgements in this stupid exchange. I stand by the first -- that your post was insensitive, unhelpful, and essentially just more of the very behavior you are decrying. The second was when I called you a jerk. I'll apologize for that one as soon you apologize to waylan for suggesting that he and other friends of Paulie's are somehow responsible for this tragedy.



I’m guessing this is the portion of my post that prompted you to jump in and set things straight:

“You say “i know in my heart of hearts paulie would have not tried to kill the officer” You know him that well – apparently well enough to predict his actions, right? Well then why did you not stop him that night? You would have known he was about to make some really bad decisions, correct? Why did you let him? Why did you not tell him drinking to the point of oblivion was not a good idea? You were aware he drank like that, right? The same questions about illegal entry of a house, attacking his neighbor, attacking the responding officer – why did you not tell him the dangers?“



Could I have expressed myself with out the snark and anger? Yes, I could have, but again, days and days of seeing so much hate, and so many out and out lies directed at the officer involved did not instill a need to temper my statement. But to say I suggested waylan and his friends (I never mentioned his friends) were responsible for Heenans death is just plain fabrication on your part.
My statement was in direct response to waylans assertion he “knew” what Heenan was, and was not thinking that night, at that exact moment in time - thereby putting himself in a position judge the officers actions/reactions to the situation. The point I was making is that if someone was able to know what Heenan was thinking, then they should also be able to see the tragic set of events he was headed for. But they did not see this coming for the same reason that they did not know what was going through his mind that night – they were not in his head. All of this I attempted to sum up in the last paragraph of that post:
...

“The truth is, due to the amount of alcohol he chose to drink, the events that played out that night involved a Paul Heenan that you, his family, and others in his life most likely would not even have recognized.”


So while I’ll admit I could have said what I had to say in a less confrontational way, I will not apologize for “suggesting that he and other friends of Paulie's are somehow responsible for this tragedy.” Because I did no such thing. So far as you thinking my post was “insensitive and unhelpful”, your indignation would carry much more weight if it were not reserved solely for your friends.
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:32 pm

bcs89 wrote:...days and days of seeing so much hate, and so many out and out lies directed at the officer...
I hear ya -- but again, the way to combat that is not by directing anger at others.
bcs89 wrote:But to say I suggested waylan and his friends (I never mentioned his friends) were responsible for Heenans death is just plain fabrication on your part.
Well ya got me there -- I coulda swore you'd mentioned others too, so bad on me. I'm assuming I conflated your post with other stuff I read today, either here or on Facebook. As you say, there's been a lot of angry -- and stupid -- words posted on this subject. That's no excuse for misrepresenting your words, but it's the only explanation I have. All that said, parts of your post most definitely read like an attack. "Well then why did you not stop him that night?" is a pretty direct question, and it's pretty offensive. I completely agree that it's been very hard to read some of the nasty stuff written about Heimsness, but waylan hasn't been guilty of that from what I've seen. I disagree with him that Steve should lose his job or be taken off the streets (although I don't have a problem with him being assigned to a different beat) but it's not an unreasonable position to take, especially given how close he was to Paulie.
bcs89 wrote:So far as you thinking my post was “insensitive and unhelpful”, your indignation would carry much more weight if it were not reserved solely for your friends.
Perhaps I need to remind you that I am friends with Steve, as well. Which is exactly why I wish everyone would try to be considerate of everyone else's feelings.

I'll just admit I'm obviously the wrong guy to try to stop tempers from flaring and move on, I guess. I apologize (to you and everyone) for my part in our rude exchange and hope we can both find better ways to help move the conversation towards more productive ends.
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby jonnygothispen » Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:11 am

bcs89 wrote:
jonnygothispen wrote:^sigh... therefore, drunk drivers who have had perhaps 2 incidents resulting in property damage in 15 years should be deemed "responsible" after they kill someone while driving drunk?

It only takes one time to be irresponsible, or to over react. It doesn't matter if Heimness had a spotless record and only did something wrong once. But now we have 3 examples of his over reaction.

It's amazing how many people who weren't there criticize others, who weren't there, while asserting that their assumptions are accurate at the same time.

All you need are the facts. Heimness easily over powered or broke away from a "flailing and swatting" drunk guy after he was told "He's my neighbor! He's my neighbor!" with corroborating evidence that he was indeed warned. The wasted individual was not approaching Heimness again. He was standing with his arms at his side, in fact glancing in the direction of another officer who just showed up.

Everything else is speculation.

Here's mine: If Heimness "shit his pants" in fear of a skinny wasted, unarmed drunk guy who wasn't approaching him so much so that he had to pull the trigger, then he was incompetent, at best.

It will be interesting to see if the other officer saw anything.



So now you're just making shit up/ignoring the facts to try and get a response?

Considering the situation at hand, that is truly pathetic. Even for you.


You need help .
Interesting comment, BCS. We're talking about someone who was killed who didn't have to be. You're unapologetically defending an over-reaction by the officer who was clearly scared to death (feared for his life) of a skinny guy he just over powered, and who was so drunk that he was probably unaware he was struggling with an officer. Who likely had no idea how to grab for a gun, if he did, since Heimsness has made different statements about that with one of them being that he "believed" Paulie was grabbing for his gun, or hi arm. A person who was standing 5 to 6 feet away with his hands at his side and glancing towards another officer approaching with a tazer, if the speaker at the protest Saturday is correct. BCS, in your infinite chosen ignorance of what happened, do you pump 3 slugs into this guys chest, choosing to kill him, or do you somehow with your experience dealing with drunks on State Street understand what you're dealing with, and come up with an alternate plan? Why did Heimsness think he needed a gun to begin with? Why didn't he also have the mind set that his pepper spray or tazer was also at hand especially considering that Paulie wasn't charging him? People who'd like to see some resolution ask these questions. But not you. Did you ever think your lack of curiosity to be somewhat strange or a dead giveaway as to your intentions?
Last edited by jonnygothispen on Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby jonnygothispen » Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:24 am

Bland wrote:
jonnygothispen wrote:"He's a neighbor!!! He's a neighbor!!!"

very unclear why you continue to think this matters.

Can neighbors not be burglars?
Can neighbors not be armed and/or dangerous?
Should police responding to emergency calls just assume that anything anyone tells them is immediately true?

I don't think anyone disagrees that in retrospect, Heimsness probably need not have fired his weapon. The problem is that he wasn't making that decision in retrospect, with access to all the facts, he was making it in a split second during an intense altercation when he believed his life -and possibly others- were in danger.
O'Malley said it in the way you say something when it's going horribly wrong. Why would you try to disturb the officer who is engaging unless you were alerting him to something more important even if he is his neighbor? According to the Isthmus, O'Malley also said, "He's not a burglar." According to the speaker at the Paulie event yesterday at the MLK building, who claimed he read the internal reports, Omalley said, "Don't shoot! He's my neighbor!" I fail to see why everyone jumped on the officers bandwagon before they had all the details. I fail to understand why those who have are acting ignorant of the totality of facts in regards to Paulie not re-engaging, who was shot 3 times in the chest after Heimsness successfully pushed him away. I also fail to understand why Heimsness didn't even consider several other options considering the situation he was in. I also take into consideration that Heimsness has made poor judgements in the past indicating an pattern of inability to properly assess situations he is in. I also fail to see why that's ignored considering that w/o any doubt, if Paulie had that history many people here would incessantly HARP on it throughout the whole thread. Yet for an officer who is in a position of much higher responsibility who should be held to the highest standards there are, we should ignore it?
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby jonnygothispen » Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:37 am

Stebben84 wrote:This is what drives me nuts:

jonnygothispen wrote: You have beat the crap out drunks


Really? Multiple times? Got a source for that? I'm sorry. I was typing to quickly. I should've said has had multiple interactions with drunk people and beat the crap out of someone at least one time.

jonnygothispen wrote:and one time so bad that the bartenders called 9-11


And if you read the actual report and not the journalistic hit piece, some bartenders(who were there) thought it was justified with the way the suspect was acting. I agree, that's hard to judge. However the settlement seems to indicate that was truly an excessive use of force

jonnygothispen wrote:And you're bigger (50 pounds) than this guy who you just overpowered despite having a gun in your hand. Now he's standing 5 to 6 feet away, hands at his side, and glances at or near an approaching squad car.


Until people stop acting like armchair cops, then this will go no where. Not like it was going anywhere to begin with. What concerns me is that Heenan wasn't re-engaging, and Heimsness seems to have a propensity for over reaction. There's no doubt that if another more rational and competent officer had answered this call, Paulie is still alive. You can't just blow drunks away because you misjudged the situation to begin with. Otherwise you're might as well just call it the 007 MPD.

jonnygothispen wrote:It might be interesting to note that Mrs. O'Malley heard Mr. O'Malley's loud shouting "He's a neighbor!!! He's a neighbor!!!" while inside the house.


And wasn't he on the porch, much closer to where his wife was?
Apparently, O'Malley struggled to get away from Heenan and Heimsness while at the same time noting Heimsness mind set with the gun. O'Malley's wife was inside the house. There are these things on houses called "walls" that, for some unknown reason, seem capable of blocking sound somewhat. Thanks for your reply.
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby jonnygothispen » Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:55 am

Francis Di Domizio wrote:
jonnygothispen wrote:
Francis Di Domizio wrote:An excellent point. It will be interesting to see what O'Malley's statement to the police said, in comparison to what he stated in the article. Not saying he's changed his story, but our perception of events change as even a little time passes.
It might be interesting to note that Mrs. O'Malley heard Mr. O'Malley's loud shouting "He's a neighbor!!! He's a neighbor!!!" while inside the house.


No one has says that Mr. O'Malley didn't yell that. Ever play in organized sports and not notice spectators shouting at you? Officer Heimness not hearing or registering what Mr. O'Malley was shouting is hardly out of line with the situation. Even if he did hear that, given his stated perception of the situation at the time, he followed proper police procedure. The fact that O'Malley had a different perception of the situation when he spoke with Bill Lueders actually has little bearing on the case. Now if there are facts in the case (rather than eyewitness statements) that contradict what Officer Heimness stated, then those would have bearing on the case.

I would like to point out to Maggie and Jonny that both have you have repeatedly made comments such as "Based on my experience with the police" or "Cops do <something bad> a lot". Perhaps leaving aside your clear dislike of police when discussing this case might help...
But unlike a sports event, where you routinely block out other sounds, this occurred on an empty, dark street where your skill set is designed to take everything in so you can assess what you're doing to the best of your ability, and the only other voice at this time is O'Malley's.

Yes, I've had quite a bit of experience with the police creating facts, lying, and/or omitting important details, all in an effort to make their specific case as rock solid as they can in their favor. And It's not uncommon. Even the best officers that I've met are guilty of it, but to a much lesser degree. It's no secret that police do this routinely to varying degrees. I'd also agree that there's a fair number of officers who would never do that deliberately.

With Heimsness, there is a history of over reaction. So we assess him the same way you're trying to assess me: by his history

Just to name a few: One officer essentially stole a 1964 389 Tri-power pontiac V-8 from me and sold it at a car show. Another openly bragged about weapons he kept that were supposed to be destroyed. Another keeps and smokes the marijuana he confiscates, according to his daughter. A certain unnamed police force routinely coerced people already in legal trouble to make false testimony under oath to get convictions for people they didn't like, or suspected of other crimes they couldn't prove. This doesn't prove anything in regards to other Police officers/forces except that this kind of mentality does exist, and has to be taken into consideration just as you would any potential criminal.
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby david cohen » Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:05 pm

John, I'd be very careful about generalizing about police officers, lest someone start generalizing about musicians. Seriously, it's not helping anyone come to grips with this entire fiasco. I get it, that you want to inflame folks over this, but it's counterproductive. The more muck you rake about the officer, the more muck will be raked about Paul Heenan. You don't want to go there.
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby jonnygothispen » Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:33 pm

David, thanks for your concern. All I'm pointing to is that these things happen in the police force too. The Police are not immune to problems just because they're officers. In fact, it's pretty common. Ironically, I brought that up because of the general idea expressed here that the officer was correct regardless of the rest of the circumstances.

And actually, you don't get it, David. This is part of the conversation just like your assumption that it's Paulie's fault alone. I see both sides. I'm still on the fence a bit because like you, I wasn't there. I'm considering the alternative options Mr. Heimsness had, and trying to put myself in his shoes. I can see being afraid, at the same time, I'm trying to picture why I would just blow this guy away considering everything that happened: Home owner yelling at me, Paulie's weak attempt to struggle with me, and now standing a few feet away with his arms at his side. These are things you're not considering. The difference between us is that I'm not trying to shut down your opinion, or ignoring it. Meanwhile, you're ignoring the other possibilities and suggesting it's my fault they exist.

And while we're on that, apparently the Police entered Paulie's room w/o a warrant and confiscated his computer, his musician's log, and I think his "van" if I heard the person speaking at the event correctly.
Last edited by jonnygothispen on Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby david cohen » Sun Jan 13, 2013 12:54 pm

John, I don't think it's solely Heenan's fault. But I don't think the majority of the blame lies on the officer either. The totality of the circumstances can't possibly lay blame on either of them fully.
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby jonnygothispen » Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:01 pm

david cohen wrote:... Everything that happened after Heenan's failure to comply has to be laid on Heenan, not the cop.
If you say so...
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby jonnygothispen » Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:53 pm

david cohen wrote:John, I'd be very careful about generalizing about police officers, lest someone start generalizing about musicians. Seriously, it's not helping anyone come to grips with this entire fiasco. I get it, that you want to inflame folks over this, but it's counterproductive. The more muck you rake about the officer, the more muck will be raked about Paul Heenan. You don't want to go there.
If musicians start shooting unarmed drunk people, and making statements to defend their actions, that would make sense. We're not talking about anything Paulie said. I think everyone agrees he was too drunk to really know what he was doing. Everyone who knows him says violence wasn't his nature. I think that "minimizing" the officer's actions by using false equivalencies isn't exactly the right direction either.

It looks like the City of Madison will be facing a pretty hefty lawsuit this time. Only the 3rd instigated by the actions of one officer. That alone should be a red flag.
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby Stu Levitan » Sun Jan 13, 2013 11:49 pm

jonnygothispen wrote:Just to name a few: One officer essentially stole a 1964 389 Tri-power pontiac V-8 from me and sold it at a car show. Another openly bragged about weapons he kept that were supposed to be destroyed. Another keeps and smokes the marijuana he confiscates, according to his daughter. A certain unnamed police force routinely coerced people already in legal trouble to make false testimony under oath to get convictions for people they didn't like, or suspected of other crimes they couldn't prove.


These are serious crimes. What happened after you reported these events and actions to the District Attorney/Attorney General? You DID report these crimes, right?
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby jonnygothispen » Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:00 am

Stu Levitan wrote:
jonnygothispen wrote:Just to name a few: One officer essentially stole a 1964 389 Tri-power pontiac V-8 from me and sold it at a car show. Another openly bragged about weapons he kept that were supposed to be destroyed. Another keeps and smokes the marijuana he confiscates, according to his daughter. A certain unnamed police force routinely coerced people already in legal trouble to make false testimony under oath to get convictions for people they didn't like, or suspected of other crimes they couldn't prove.


These are serious crimes. What happened after you reported these events and actions to the District Attorney/Attorney General? You DID report these crimes, right?
Not a bad idea. However, the DA was usually part and parcel of the situation, even the City attorney one time, Ed Leinenweber, before he became judge in RC. I'll have to see what the statute of limitations are. I think it's too late now.

I, along with a number of other people, were so used to it, that no one I know of thought about doing that. It was so common that could become the topic of conversation with someone you just met. In fact, Paul Soglin's buddy, Bill Dyke (he was a public defender before he became judge), represented me in one case where I'd given a ride to someone who whose mom worked with the police. He stole a stereo receiver from a house and hid it in a paper bag under other stuff. I didn't steal it. I never saw or knew they took it, but they nailed me for that too. I told Bill, "I didn't do this." He replied, "Yeah, but it's their system and they're going to do what they want." And that was the general feeling down there. I did make fliers in regards to some of it.

Something perhaps more interesting... I'll have to type it in tomorrow. I'm at a cafe and it's closing.
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