No charges for Calif. officer who kicked suspect

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by ronduke, Dec 31, 2009.

  1. ronduke

    ronduke

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    No charges for Calif. officer who kicked suspect

    The Associated Press

    Wednesday, December 30, 2009

    LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles County prosecutors have decided no charges will be filed against a suburban police officer who kicked a surrendering suspect in the head after a dangerous car chase.

    Deputy DistrictAttorney Jason P. Lustig wrote in a decision Tuesday that evidence indicated the kick by El Monte Officer George Fierro was likely an attempt to stun or distract gang member Richard Rodriguez.

    Rodriguez, a parolee heavily covered in gang tattoos, was lying face-down on the ground during the May 13 incident, which was broadcast by a TV news helicopter. After four officers converged on Rodriguez, two of them did a "high five."

    Rodriguez's attorney, Nick Pacheco, told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune that he plans to file a lawsuit because the city of El Monte has denied his client's claim for $5 million in damages.

    Fierro should have held his gun on Rodriguez and waited for backup, Pacheco said.

    "Instead he kicked him in the head," he said.

    A telephone message from The Associated Press seeking comment from an attorney for the El Monte Police Officer's Association was not immediately returned Wednesday.

    The incident began with a 30-minute auto pursuit through eastern Los Angeles County. The fleeing car went on sidewalks and sped through intersections before it crashed in Pico Rivera and the driver jumped out.

    News helicopters following the pursuit showed Rodriguez giving up after running into a back yard. He was down on a lawn with arms and legs spread when Fierro — pointing a handgun — ran up and kicked him in the face.

    In deciding against charges, Lustig indicated that Rodriguez lifted his head slightly as Fierro approached, which provoked the kick.

    "The physical evidence of Rodriguez's injuries are significantly more consistent with a blow intended to stun or temporarily distract him than with a kick done out of anger or vindictiveness," Lustig wrote.

    Lustig also concluded that another officer's use of a flashlight to strike Rodriguez while one of his hands was under his body was justifiable because the known gang member could have been reaching for a weapon.

    The "high five" is a common gesture signaling that the suspect was captured and no one was hurt, he wrote.

    "In sum, Rodriguez clearly demonstrated that he did not want to go back to prison and was trying to escape at all costs," Lustig wrote. "Fierro was presented with a highly dangerous and unpredictable suspect who appeared to have no regard for human life."

    El Monte police Chief Thomas Armstrong told the Tribune he was pleased with the decision and that Fierro will return to patrol after being assigned to desk duty since the incident.

    "Officers do have to make decisions in a split second," he said.

    http://www.dailyadvance.com/news/nation/no-charges-for-calif-officer-who-kicked-suspect-1040916.html
     
  2. G-man

    G-man Millennium Member

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    Finally a prosecutor who isn't afraid to stand up for us and not bow to public outcry.

    He shouldn't get a dime either!

    G-man
    1*
     

  3. Kahr_Glockman

    Kahr_Glockman

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  4. snair

    snair

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  5. Trigger Finger

    Trigger Finger

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    A decision that makes sense. I don't believe it. A small glimmer of hope among dozens of statements and decisions that don't.
     
  6. TBO

    TBO Why so serious? CLM

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    Waiting for the GNG outrage...[​IMG]
     
  7. JohnnyReb

    JohnnyReb Lifetime Member

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    While I agree, my agency would have a field day if I did this.
     
  8. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

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    It just keeps getting better, don't it?
    Good, as it should be. That knucklehead is lucky he didn't get more. Too bad he didn't try that in San Bernardino County.
     
  9. ateamer

    ateamer NRA4EVR

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    In the hallway - it's on cuz!
    Because we are servants, and our service serves them when they want service.
     
  10. FiremanMike

    FiremanMike Way too busy

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    Win, the more we try and water down society, the worse it's going to get, finally someone is taking a stand..

    Now for that pesky 9th district which will surely overturn this decision.
     
  11. Patchman

    Patchman Florist

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    A very satisfying conclusion. Glad the DA didn't choose to punt.
     
  12. CAcop

    CAcop

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    When I saw the crooks face covered in gang tats I knew this thing was going nowhere. The jury would come back with a verdict of "Can we kick the dirtbag in the face too?"
     
  13. glocksterr

    glocksterr DirtyGlockHippy

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    almost kill how many people then take one boot to the face for 5 mill...


    hhmmm!
     
  14. ChaneyD

    ChaneyD

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    Soooooooooo! Did this prosecutor just hand the police a go-ahead for future police brutality? What's the definition of police brutality going to be in California now? Does the next person who surrenders to the police wonder if he'll be abused? Yes, kicking someone in the head and hitting them with a flashlight is abuse. Think it's going to cause more problems down the road.
     
  15. gasboffer

    gasboffer

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    After you've chased a subject through city streets at 60-80 mph, dodgeing pedestrians, dogs, and vehicles, and finally catch him, you're not likely to be in a very charitable mood. I've done a lot worse. (Back in the days when everyone didn't have cell phone cameras, etc.) Those were the days.
    IHMSA70
     
  16. 4949shooter

    4949shooter

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    The world is not a friendly place.

    We have to do what is necessary to stay alive out there, within limitations.

    The District Attorney's office has made the decision not to file charges on the officer.

    Case closed.
     
  17. ChaneyD

    ChaneyD

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    Am curious what constitutes 'within limitations'. Apparently getting kicked in the head and beaten with a flashlight is within limitations? Think in this case they're sending a wrong message. If you let your emotions run wild maybe a new job is in order? Navy seals are being court-martialed for giving a BG a fat lip. Apparently they have 'limitations'. I'm just saying that if it becomes widespread that a BG surrenders and he still knows he could be abused by the police, what incentive does he have for giving up? When does self defense kick in against abuse?
     
  18. OLY-M4gery

    OLY-M4gery

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    Hitting someone that is potentially reaching for a weapon, and not following directions to stop reaching, after a high speed chase, and attempt to flee on foot, isn't abuse.

    Anyone who would characterize it as such has proven they have no ability to understand the risks officers face, or understand what is a reasonable reaction to continuing resistance by a felony suspect.
     
  19. ChaneyD

    ChaneyD

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    In this case, I followed it live on the news as the chase and apprehension was going down. This guy threw himself on the ground, spread-eagled and gave up. Then he was kicked in the head. In your scenario I would give the police a pass.
     
  20. TBO

    TBO Why so serious? CLM

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    1. Just because someone is talking, doesn't mean they know what they are talking about.