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Deadly Force

Looking for a bodyguard? Don't call a San Diego City Council member. Judy McCarty, Wes Pratt and John Hartley showed their ineptitude with a handgun Wednesday during a council committee hearing on the use of police deadly force. Police Chief Bob Burgreen set up a simulated shooting scenario used at the police academy in which officers must react to a video showing a variety of scenes in which characters may attack police officers.
September 11, 2010 | By Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles police officer who fatally shot a day laborer in Westlake was previously found by the department's watchdog arm to have used improper tactics in 2008 when he shot and wounded a man in the leg, authorities said Friday. Officer Frank Hernandez shot then 18-year-old Joseph Wolf on the morning of Dec. 12, 2008, according to an LAPD statement from the time and a civil rights lawsuit filed this March by Wolf's attorneys. The suit, pending in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, accuses Hernandez of improperly using deadly force.
December 14, 2006 | From Times Staff Reports
The officer who shot a teenager in the leg after mistaking a toy gun for a real weapon was justified in using deadly force, the San Bernardino County district attorney's office said Wednesday. On July 25, Ontario police responded to a call about four teens running around with guns near an Ontario Kmart shortly before 9 p.m.
July 21, 2005
Re Tough calls at street level," Opinion, July 19 Terry Hara left out one important reason police officers exercise the utmost restraint in their decision to use deadly force. Besides their intense and continuous training, every officer on the force has witnessed the public's microscopic scrutiny and condemnation whenever the police shoot and kill a suspect. Common sense dictates that anyone would be inclined to avoid a situation that would certainly bring about an unwanted barrage of protracted investigations, public criticism and criminal or civil liability.
December 6, 1994 | from From Associated Press
The Supreme Court will not review a ruling that allows police to shoot defendants who try to escape while awaiting criminal trials, even if they are unarmed and not dangerous. The court also turned down the appeal of a Florida man who said a Halloween celebration at his sons' elementary school offended his family by including brooms, caldrons and teachers dressed as witches. He said use of such symbols in a public school violates the separation of church and state.
February 21, 2005 | Rod Bernsen, Rod Bernsen is a broadcast journalist and a retired LAPD sergeant. E-mail: roderick.bernsen
There are two things that make police officers different from civilians. First, officers know when they go to work that they may not come home -- they could be killed in the line of duty. Second, all officers know they may have to kill another human being, also in the line of duty. Thirty years ago, when I joined the Los Angeles Police Department, the use-of-force policy on shooting at moving vehicles was "generally shooting at moving vehicles is prohibited."
July 9, 1989 | RICHARD BEENE, Times Staff Writer
The decision to use deadly force is often made in a millisecond, but the investigations and legal reviews on the shooting can often run into years. Although the process varies throughout the state, in Orange County it is standard practice that the district attorney's office investigates each case in which a police officer fires his or her weapon in anger or in self-defense.
April 4, 1986 | HOWARD ROSENBERG
A trial is like an elevator that stops at every floor. Just when you think you're really rolling, there's a procedural snag or a conference with the judge. On and on it goes. Or doesn't go. You'd never get that impression from watching trials portrayed on TV, though. During a recent stint of jury duty, I watched a defense attorney in a drunk driving case interview prospective jurors. He asked several if they watched much TV, and whether they understood that real trials were not like TV trials.
April 9, 1986 | CLARKE TAYLOR
"A Case of Deadly Force," a CBS fact-based television drama airing at 9 tonight, tackles a sensitive subject involving the black community and the largely white police department of Boston, a city where racial tensions are highly charged. Representatives of the real-life principals involved have previewed the film and the response--from both the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People and Boston's Mayor Raymond Flynn--has been favorable.
April 14, 1996
Police have extremely difficult choices to make under duress when suspects flee, as happened in Westminster on Feb. 14. Hong Il Kim, a 27-year-old Korean national, led officers from Orange, Westminster and the California Highway Patrol on a televised chase. When the pursuit came to its conclusion in an Orange mini-mall parking lot, Kim was fatally shot by officers. When the pursuit ends badly, as happened in this case, it is tempting to criticize officers for their handling of an incident.
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