Imagine your shift as a beat cop.By Dave Robbins, retired Metro Officer and Publisher VegasNewsReview.com
You get a call from dispatch about a suspicious individual that is prowling around different residences and trying doors.
You get a vehicle description and find the vehicle, driving around the area.
You attempt to stop the vehicle and it refuses to stop, heightening your belief that this is the “suspect”.
The suspect’s vehicle rams one of the patrol cars and the driver continues to press on the accelerator, causing smoke to billow from his tires as the car struggles to move forward, but can’t.
You know if the suspect is able to push through the patrol cars, it may shoot forward, striking one of the officers, maybe plowing into some other vehicles, a building or some other pedestrians nearby. A pursuit may ensue, with devastating results.
Your department’s restrictive policies come to mind when a vehicle is involved.
The department’s shooting history has been splayed out by the media, skewing the facts for the public.
Your thoughts go to the other officers involved in shootings and the harassment, scrutiny, lawsuits, less than favorable coverage by the media and stress that they’ve endured.
A decision was made and the driver, a war veteran and troubled man is shot dead.
Can you imagine such an article printed by the media, looking at a use of force situation from the officer’s point of view? An officer who made a decision within seconds, maybe split seconds?
Yet the media can take their time and armchair quarterback the event within their own leisure time, researching the background of the deceased, finding out that he is an emotionally troubled war veteran and husband, as if the police were supposed to know that, and printing the info from a slanted point of view.(Review Journal Story)
Stanley Gibson was a decorated veteran of the Persian Gulf War and was suffering from cancer due to his service. For some reason, the medications that he needed were not refilled by his doctor and he had sought the assistance of an advocate to help him with the VA issues. He suffered from severe depression and had attempted suicide before.
It is very unfortunate that all this resulted in the outcome of December 12th.
I’m sure most of us still salute all our war veterans and appreciate the liberties that are afforded to us by them.I do not blame Stanley Gibson for his actions, nor do I blame the officers involved. The media was not there, nor was I. I’m not a mind reader, psychic, or fortune teller of any kind. I’m pretty sure no one in the media has those credentials either.
In a press release, Sheriff Gillespie read a prepared statement to the media. (Sheriff Douglas Gillespie ) He did acknowledge that it has been over a year since the last inquest and claiming that LVMPD is always looking at “innovative ways to do policing”. Not once, during the broadcasted video, was support offered to “his” officers. As far as “innovative ways” to do policing, more restrictive policies are inducted into operating procedures of Metro, restricting officer’s ability to stop suspects with different types of force. How is that “innovative”?
Sounds like a deteriorating spine, not innovation.
Maybe a couple of rounds into the vehicle’s engine could’ve disabled it, giving the officers time to wait it out.
Department policy forbids it.
Commissioner Chris Guinchigliani asked why police shootings were not treated as regular homicides.
Officers would probably embrace a regular homicide investigation. That procedure would be less time consuming, use less man hours, and would be more productive from any way you look at it. You shoot someone, you talk to homicide detectives and that would be it.
Now, if an officer is involved in a shooting, they are quizzed on scene by any number of supervisors (Sergeants, Lieutenants, Captains, Watch Commander, Deputy Chiefs, etc.), detectives from various groups (Homicide, CIRT(Critical Incident Review Team), FIT(Force Investigation Team), IAB, etc.). They may opt to hold out for legal representation and a union representative before speaking to anyone else. The officers involved are placed on leave, but have to be available for internal interviews at any time. The officer(s) name(s) are given to the media as they are painted in any light the media so chooses. The coroner’s inquest process puts the officer(s) in the spotlight. Meanwhile, the department microscopically dissects the officer’s actions during the incident and may choose to discipline the officer for some trivial perceived policy violation. The deceased’s family will find an attorney who will sue the department and sometimes the officer for wrongful death and civil rights violations.
Yes, I’m pretty sure they would vote for a homicide investigation…..