No charges for off-duty cop who killed teen


#1

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#2

This should be grounds to strip him of his firearm indefinitely.


#3

It has been said that competent prosecutor can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich...

...but this presumes the prosecutor actually wants an indictment.

Maybe we need to create a new office at the state level, something like special prosecutor for police misconduct.

Prosecutors need to have a working relationship with police departments to do their job, so it seems inevitable that when a police officer would be the object of a grand jury investigation that conflict of interest should be immediately on the mind of anyone interested in actual justice.


#4

How is this incident prosecutable?

The physical evidence would be purely this:

  • The car struck Garza.
  • Garza shot Santellana.

Everything else would be he says/she says. What's the realistic likelihood of a jury believing in this friend of the victim's, and not having a reasonable doubt in her word vs that of Garza's? I don't think the jury can come to any other conclusion. There just isn't enough evidence.

Innocent until proven guilty applies to off duty police officers also.


#5

Grand juries don't determine guilt or innocence, they operate under a lower standard of evidence.

There is no cross examination of witnesses, the prosecutor alone gets to decide what evidence to offer to the grand jury. That's why indictments are generally pretty easy to get.

But in the special case of police misconduct, the usual logic is very nearly stood on its head.


#6

If a civilian brandished a firearm at a parked car before murdering the driver that civilian would almost certainly be prosecuted, no matter what the driver did.

Conversely, if the driver of a parked car survived an armed robbery attempt by striking the assailant with his/her vehicle, the driver would almost certainly not be charged.

In this instance, the undisputable facts are that a teenager was sitting in a parked car, and was shot to death by someone wearing civilian clothes. Everything else is a question of fact, which is what jury trials are supposed to resolve.

In such a trial, the burden of proof would certainly be on the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the shooter was also the aggressor. However, not bringing the case to trial at all means the district attorney is basically taking the shooter's word for what happened and letting the whole thing slide.


#7

Damnit, Fang I think you are correct.
Add in the presecutor mostly being on the side of the police and special super-citizen status and we all know where this goes.
Promote this guy to the evidence room if the union wont let him be terminated, maybe pension the dangerous ones off at pay minus the badge and gun super-privelages as cheaper than the lives they take.


#8

Each year, the Spartans would declare war on the Helots, so it would be legal to arbitrarily kill the Helots.

America only has undeclared wars these days.

But if, each year, the police had to declare war on us civilians, or it wouldn't be legal to arbitrarily kill anyone, it would get this out into the open.

As it is, they don't even keep records of how often they kill civilians.


#9

They don't want us (mere citizens) to know.


#10

Assume it's thousands. Whaddya gonna do about it?


#11

Google "grand jury"


#12

Vote?

Donate to ACLU?

Try to keep stories like this one in the awareness of those people I know who don't already think the police are out of control?

Cry?


#13

It's okay, I heard the kid was no angel.


#14

If you think that'll do it.

I left the country.


#15

I think he smoked pot at some point.


#16

Reading and rereading the excerpt posted on Boing Boing and asking myself, "Where did this happen? I don't see a mention of a state."

Go to the original article... "Texas. Come on Florida, you're droppng the ball!"


#17

Perhaps there will be a civil action complete with a jury.


#18

Why aren't the Anti-Abortion/Right-to-Life crowd raising hell and forming picket lines in front of cop shops They sure have their sanctimonious asses in front of abortion clinics. Surely these teenaged kids had viable lives before they encountered the cops. Where is righteous cry for the murder of these children.


#19

Well, they do not actually care about people or anything at all for that matter. They just do what they are told to by the book they did not read.


#20

If they ever see a court of law, your assertion is correct, there.