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Deadly Force

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 22, 2010 | Steve Lopez
Tuesday was kind of a busy day for me. I got shot when I interceded in a domestic dispute, then I was attacked by a knife-wielding vagrant, then I shot a robbery suspect but didn't see his partner, who took me out with a shotgun. Then I went to lunch. I guess I should start at the beginning. I was on my way to the police academy in Elysian Park for a video-simulator training session on deadly force, when I heard on the radio that eight current and former officials from the city of Bell had been arrested in the ongoing corruption scandal.
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NATIONAL
April 22, 2014 | By Cindy Carcamo
Less than two weeks after federal officials rebuked the Albuquerque Police Department for a rash of unjustified officer-involved shootings, an officer fatally shot a 19-year-old woman suspected of stealing a vehicle and pointing a gun at police, authorities said. Mary Hawkes became the first person to be killed by Albuquerque police since the U.S. Justice Department released a scathing report that called for a systematic change to address what it said was a long-ingrained culture of deadly force within the Police Department.
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NATIONAL
April 10, 2014 | By Cindy Carcamo
Albuquerque police have used deadly force more often than necessary, resulting in a series of unjustified fatal shootings by officers, according to a damning report released Thursday by U.S. Justice Department officials. Acting Assistant Atty. Gen. Jocelyn Samuels said the Albuquerque Police Department needs a “systematic change” to address a long-ingrained culture of using deadly force. “This is no longer an acceptable way to proceed,” Samuels said. Speaking to a crowded room of reporters and community leaders in a televised news conference from Albuquerque, Samuel listed a number of recommended reforms , such as stronger oversight of the department and better police training.
NATIONAL
April 10, 2014 | By Cindy Carcamo
Albuquerque police have used deadly force more often than necessary, resulting in a series of unjustified fatal shootings by officers, according to a damning report released Thursday by U.S. Justice Department officials. Acting Assistant Atty. Gen. Jocelyn Samuels said the Albuquerque Police Department needs a “systematic change” to address a long-ingrained culture of using deadly force. “This is no longer an acceptable way to proceed,” Samuels said. Speaking to a crowded room of reporters and community leaders in a televised news conference from Albuquerque, Samuel listed a number of recommended reforms , such as stronger oversight of the department and better police training.
OPINION
May 17, 2004
Re "O.C. Police Shoot 2 Men to Death After Armed Confrontations," May 12: With so much violence in the world these days, is it so shocking to see that two young men were slain by the protectors of our society? Yes! I, for one, find it appalling that the police force of Fountain Valley finds it acceptable to use deadly force against a 23-year-old man wielding a knife. I certainly hope that those two officers receive the punishment they deserve. How can we explain to the family and friends of this young man that it was acceptable to terminate his life out of fear of a 3 1/2-inch blade?
NATIONAL
April 13, 2012 | Ry Richard Fausset
SANFORD, Fla. -- Two new polls in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting show divergent views among black and white Americans over whether the unarmed black teenager's shooting was justified, and show that most residents believe they should have the right to use deadly force if their lives are threatened. Both polls were conducted by Reuters/Ipsos. In the poll on the Feb. 26 shooting , 91% of black Americans surveyed said that the fatal shooting of Martin by Sanford neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman was unjustified.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 9, 2013 | By Adolfo Flores
As he watched a video of a homeless man being beaten by Fullerton police, a former FBI agent and use-of-force expert testified Monday that the officers' actions were excessive and that blows to the head constituted deadly force. John A. Wilson provided commentary to surveillance footage that is considered key to the prosecution's case against the two former officers charged in the beating death of Kelly Thomas. "That would not be good proper police procedure," Wilson, a 26-year FBI veteran, said when asked hypothetically about a suspect being hit on the head.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 17, 1996
A summary of four shooting incidents involving LAPD officers: 1 West Valley March 9, 1996 Time call came in: 9:15 p.m. Nature of call: Assault with a deadly weapon. Number of suspects: 1 Summary of incident: Suspect flees scene. A high-speed pursuit is called off after 45 minutes for safety concerns. Police reengage suspect when suspect enters a cul-de-sac. When suspect sees pursuing officers, he attempts to ram his vehicle through a wrought iron gate.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 28, 2001
Re "A 'Less Lethal' With Lethal Results," by Steve Lopez, June 27: Would someone please explain why several police officers couldn't disarm a 100-pound, middle-aged woman without shooting her with a beanbag? After a lifetime of these kinds of stories, going back to the Eulia Love incident in Los Angeles, I have concluded that there is something wrong with the training that police officers receive. All too often, their use of deadly force is out of proportion to the actual threat they face, and somebody ends up dead.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 25, 2011 | By Richard Marosi, Los Angeles Times
A coalition of immigrant and human rights groups Friday urged Congress to investigate the Border Patrol's use of deadly force against rock throwers along the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the frequency of such confrontations is disturbing and inhumane. The request came three days after an agent in San Diego fatally shot a 40-year-old Tijuana man suspected of injuring an agent by throwing rocks and a nail-studded wooden board. Such incidents typically lead to demands for congressional scrutiny, but Congress in recent years has not taken up the issue.
NATIONAL
April 10, 2014 | By Cindy Carcamo
Albuquerque police have used deadly force more often than necessary, resulting in a series of unjustified fatal shootings by officers, according to a damning report released Thursday by the U.S. Justice Department. Acting Assistant Atty. Gen. Jocelyn Samuels said the Albuquerque Police Department needed a "systematic change" to address a long-ingrained culture of using deadly force - a culture the report called indifferent to operating within constitutional guidelines. "This is no longer an acceptable way to proceed," Samuels said.
NATIONAL
March 7, 2014 | By Brian Bennett
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Border Patrol has restricted border agents' authority to shoot at moving vehicles or at people throwing rocks, changing a controversial policy that has contributed to at least 19 deaths since 2010. In a memo released Friday, Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher directed border agents not to step in front of moving vehicles, nor to use their bodies to block them, in order to open fire at drivers. He also barred shooting at vehicles whose occupants are fleeing from agents.
NATIONAL
February 28, 2014 | By Lalita Clozel and Daniel Rothberg
WASHINGTON - Lawmakers and watchdog groups called Friday for tougher restrictions on the use of deadly force by U.S. border agents and more transparency in the investigation of killings, including the release of an independent audit that recommended reforms in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency's "use-of-force" policies. The comments followed a report Thursday by the Tribune Washington Bureau that revealed that a 21-page audit - which the border agency commissioned but has refused to release to the public or Congress - cited examples of border agents unnecessarily stepping in front of fleeing cars to justify firing at passengers, and responding to rock-throwing with firearms.
NATIONAL
February 28, 2014 | By Cindy Carcamo
TUCSON - Spanish-language media - particularly in Mexico - are abuzz following a Tribune Washington Bureau report on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency's use of deadly force while patrolling the nation's border with Mexico. The article was based on an independent review of U.S. Border Patrol shootings. The report - conducted by a group of law enforcement experts - criticized agents for “lack of diligence” in theirs investigations, suggesting agents intentionally provoked confrontations by sometimes stepping in the path of cars apparently to justify shootings.
NATIONAL
February 27, 2014 | Brian Bennett
WASHINGTON - Border Patrol agents have deliberately stepped in the path of cars apparently to justify shooting at the drivers and have fired in frustration at people throwing rocks from the Mexican side of the border, according to an independent review of 67 cases that resulted in 19 deaths. The report by law enforcement experts criticized the Border Patrol for "lack of diligence" in investigating U.S. agents who had fired their weapons. It also said it was unclear whether the agency "consistently and thoroughly reviews" use-of-deadly-force incidents.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 18, 2014 | By Joel Rubin
The Los Angeles Police Commission on Tuesday revised the way it evaluates police shootings, tying an officer's use of deadly force to his or her actions in the moments leading up to the incident. The unanimous decision by the civilian panel that oversees the Los Angeles Police Department was made to bring the department in line with current legal standards. It also is expected to clarify commission rules that in the past have led to confusion over how the panel evaluates some officers who fire their weapons or use other deadly force.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 17, 2014 | By Joel Rubin
The Los Angeles Police Commission is poised to adopt a major shift in the way it judges police shootings, tying an officer's decision to pull the trigger to his actions in the moments leading up to the incident. The rule change, which will be taken up Tuesday, would settle years of debate over whether the commission can make a determination that a shooting violated department policy if the officer created a situation in which deadly force was necessary. Until now, the commission has generally focused on the narrow question of whether an officer faced a deadly threat at the moment he opened fire.
NATIONAL
February 15, 2014 | By Michael Muskal
The jury in the murder trial of Michael Dunn, accused of shooting an unarmed teenager to death during a dispute over loud music, has reached verdicts on four charges but said on Saturday it could not agree on the top count of first-degree murder. The jury, which is in the fourth day of weighing Dunn's fate, announced its status in a note to  Judge Russell L. Healey late Saturday afternoon. The judge read the jury the so-called dynamite charge, urging them to return to their deliberations and try to resolve their differences.
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