1) No one was saying it was too windy to use a taser. The wind only became an issue after Scottsdale Police Internal Affairs started spoon feeding that answer to the officers.
2) See the following conversation between Det. Lockerby of internal affairs and Lt. Bayne, the shooting officer, and tell me if it sounds like Lt. Bayne was convinced he had to shoot:
Det Lockerby:...you know, what we got this and it's clear and consise. What do you think he would've done with- with- the oh- objects that he had, the sticks and whatever he had in his position, what do you think would've happened to the officers if you didin't take- the deadly force action?
Several officers called for him to come outside, but Loxas refused, Rodbell said.[James] Peters shot Loxas in the head with a scope-equipped rifle from about 15 yards away when he leaned over and reached inside the house. Loxas died instantly, and fell with the baby in his arms, police spokesman Sgt. Mark Clark said. The baby was unhurt.
According to witnesses, Scottsdale Police officers were celebrating and loudly cheering after the kill shot. When Ofc. Peters shot Mr. Loxas, Mr. Loxas had no weapon, was turning away from officers to walk back into the home, and probably was setting his grandson down as the reports say he was lowering the child from around his head to the lower right side of his body. In other words, when Ofc. Peters shot and killed Mr. Loxas, Mr. Loxas was not an imminent physical threat to anyone, not police, not his grandson, not anyone.
Police have no more right to use physical or deadly force than anyone else, and if this had been an ordinary citizen, I am almost certain he would be facing first degree murder charges. Anyone who encouraged him or assisted him, like other police officers at the scene or in command perhaps, should be charged as well with murder as accomplices, maybe even conspiracy to commit murder.
Intentionally killing without justification and with premeditation is first degree murder. Motive is irrelevant. The fact these officers will claim they were only killed Mr. Loxas to save the life of his grandson is irrelevant. In the eyes of more than a thousand years of common law, that motive is no different from killing to steal someone's car.
The officer who shot Mr. Loxas has quite a history; he has killed 6 people in his illustrious career. Of course, the Scottsdale Police department and County Attorney has justified all of them. But does anyone really believe that means all 6 of those victims should be dead and there might not have been a better, less lethal resolution?
At the very least, I would like Scottsdale Police answer the following questions:
1) Why no taser used? Was it too windy? Why no dog? And please Sgt. Mark Clark, no "holier than thou" how dare you even ask that question. Not a single officer said Mr. Loxas had a weapon when Ofc. Peters killed him. Why is Scottsdale PD throwing around the fact Ofc. Peters was a "veteran" like they did in the Sgt. Prostrollo shooting? Why should that matter?
2) Why did Scottsdale PD say at the first press conference at 11 am, some 12 hours after the shooting and after the search warrant had already been executed, that "no gun was recovered", but only a couple of hours later claim Mr. Loxas had a gun within "lunge distance" and his home was loaded like an armory?
3) Why is Scottsdale PD smearing Mr. Loxas with cheap shots like about how dirty his house was, that CPS had been called, that he has mental problems, and why are they telling the world that on the 911 call a neighbor advised Mr. Loxas might need to be shot? What does that have to do with anything other than slurs to defend Scottsdale PD's action by the lowest means available?
4) This one really stinks: why did they say at the first press conference only one officer out of 6 saw something in Mr. Loxas' hands, but now that number is 2, including Ofc. Peters standing 18 feet away while looking through a scope centered on Mr. Loxas' head? And what did they claim they saw? Does anyone actually think any officer really believes he saw something in Mr. Loxas' hands? That is rotten.
5) Finally, did Scottsdale PD command bring in Ofc. Peters to take a kill shot? Was that why he was on the scene? A reporter essentially asked Sgt. Mark Clark that question yesterday at the afternoon press conference, and Sgt. Clark refused to answer the question in front of cameras. If Mr. Loxas was an imminent threat, why did only Ofc. Peters, one among 6 officers, shoot and kill? Wouldn't all the officers have seen the same exact thing and reacted the same?
I am not optimistic. Scottsdale Police is acting as if they are untouchable, and so far they are right. Their behavior reminds of the helicopter gunner from Full Metal Jacket:
GET SOME..Yeah, Yeah, GET SOME, Baby. Anyone who runs is a VC; anyone who stands still is a well-disciplined VC.
Do you ever shoot women and children?
How can you shoot women and children?
Easy, you just don't lead them so much, Hah, ain't war hell!
One of those homes belonged to 26-year-old Jose Guerena and his wife, Vanessa Guerena. The couple's 4-year-old son was also in the house at the time...
As the SWAT team forced its way into his home, Guerena, a former Marine who served two tours of duty in Iraq, armed himself with his AR-15 rifle and told his wife and son to hide in a closet. As the officers entered, Guerena confronted them from the far end of a long, dark hallway. The police opened fire, releasing more than 70 rounds in about 7 seconds, at least 60 of which struck Guerena.
Note that Mr. Guerena was completely innocent of any criminal activity and did not fire his weapon:
The Pima County Sheriff's Department initially claimed Guerena fired his weapon at the SWAT team. They now acknowledge that not only did he not fire, the safety on his gun was still activated when he was killed. Guerena had no prior criminal record, and the police found nothing illegal in his home.
A veteran Orange County sheriff’s deputy (claims/lied that) he feared for the safety of two young girls sitting in a parked car when he shot and killed a Marine sergeant in a dark parking lot near San Clemente High School, authorities said Friday.
Sgt. Manuel Loggins Jr. was shot early Tuesday as he started to get into the SUV where his two daughters -- 9 and 14 -- were sitting, authorities said. Jim Amormino, a spokesman for the department, said the deputy was fearful that Loggins -- who he said (supposedly) appeared to be acting irrationally -- was about to drive off with the girls.
The cop, who was "doing paperwork", was probably really sleeping on the job. He woke up at the sound of an accident at his "safe hide", and sleepy and confused, shot this Marine. His confusion still apparent, he made up a story about "feeling Threatened". Later, when told his story wouldn't wash, he made up a new one, when someone told him, "For Christs sake, his kids were in the back seat!"
Police officers are acting like a badge is a license to kill. But the law for police officers is exactly the same as any other person: you can only shoot to kill to protect yourself or others from an imminentphysical threat. Period.
A friend of mine who used to be a federal agent in Southern California told me that police departments in California are much better at weeding out trigger happy police officers than Arizona police departments. Let's hope that's true, and let's hope the Orange County Sheriff's Department provides a model to local law enforcement, i.e. Scottsdale PD, of what a true and complete investigation is all about.
One note of comparison is immediately noteworthy. Southern California media is not terrified of doing its job and is not falling over backwards to congratulate and exonerate the deputy who killed Sgt. Loggins. I hope our local media (for example, E.J. Montini) heeds that lesson as well.
Arizona's Republican Legislature could virtually wipe out public employee unions in a sweeping new package of legislation far broader than the collective-bargaining bills that shut down Wisconsin's Capitol last spring. The bills would:
-Make it illegal for government bodies to collectively bargain with employee groups. Public safety unions (police officer unions) would be included in the ban.
-End the practice of automatic payroll deductions for union dues.
-Ban compensation of public employees for union work.
In the middle of this anti-labor firestorm, the president of the Scottsdale Fraternal Order of Police, Jim Nolan, thought it wise to provoke and embarrass one of the most powerful men on Earth, and certainly the most powerful Arizona politician in the past 50 years: Sen. John McCain.
While I have not seen the entire letter, I can only imagine, from the paragraph I did see, that it was hardly diplomatic or refined. And while Mr. Nolan may have won the battle by having Mrs. McCain delete her tweet, how costly was the victory for the bargaining rights of Arizona's workers?
I agree with almost none of Sen. McCain's politics, but I have no doubt that he loves his wife and his children, and I certainly have no doubt that he is a proud man. Undoubtedly, no one who has accomplished what Sen. McCain has is soft or timid. I was at Sgt. Prostrollo's funeral and Mrs. McCain's eulogy was loving, genuine, and tender. It was as if she lost her own son. Her tears were real. She is now a wounded lioness, and that wrath will almost certainly be redeemed by Sen. McCain one way or the other.
The best advice I ever received was never yell at a waiter for the simple reason you don't know he will do to your food when you are not looking. Sen. McCain doesn't have to stump in support of Gov. Brewer's anti-labor plan. He can do all the damage he needs to behind the scenes, with a couple of phone calls here and there. He can sway on-the-fence legislatures and none of us will ever know.
But he's a outspoken Republican so wouldn't he do that anyway? Maybe, but maybe not. The point is not that he was fervent supporter of Solidarity before Sgt. Prostrollo was shot and killed, just that he was silent and seemingly uninterested. Now that could very well change, not because he is more interested in the raw policy implications, but because his wife has been humiliated. He could still stay silent, but behind the scenes be very dangerous to Arizona public collective bargaining rights.
What Mr. Nolan thought he could gain, other than to blast "March of Valkyries" and repeat to himself endlessly "smells like victory", by embarrassing Sen. McCain and his wife, I can't even begin to imagine. If I didn't know any better, I would have thought Mr. Nolan was an agent provocateur planted by the Goldwater Institute.
It may be wise for all union members in Arizona to ask themselves whether Mr. Nolan has the right temperament and judgment for leadership. Is his "bull in a china shop" attitude really such a good idea? Does brow-beating Cindy McCain, whose only sin was to show love for a friend, make even the least bit of sense?
If you are a Scottsdale Fraternal Order of Police member, ask yourself this question: 20 years from now when you about to retire, what will be more important to you, that Mr. Nolan selfishly stared down Cindy McCain and won, or that you will have a decent pension and health care benefits? If your pension is more important to you than Mr. Nolan's pride, then maybe its time someone took his place and immediately, while it's not too late, apologized to Mrs. McCain. Maybe that way, the political behemoth that is Sen. McCain will stay on the sidelines.
Something is rotten in Scottsdale. Despite a state law that requires Scottsdale Police to release reports from the Jason Prostrollo shooting, Scottsdale PD refuses to release them:
Our intention is to release what we can publicly per ARS 39-121. We are currently reviewing the documents with our detectives and the County Atty's Office to make sure that we are releasing all of the available documents as soon as possible. As soon as they are available we will let you know.
Officer David Pubins Scottsdale Police Department
While it may sound as if Scottsdale Police is merely trying to be responsible, I believe differently: they are stonewalling and circling the wagons; in other words, the thin blue line is forming.
ARS 39-121 does not give Scottsdale Police the option to hold off on releasing the police parts or only parts of it. It must be released to the public. Second, it is very disturbing that Sgt. Mark Clark, the very same Mark Clark who released a press statement that it was "too windy to use taser or pepper spray", has authority in determining the release of the police reports. That to me is a clear conflict of interest as it would very much be to his benefit to deflect blame.
The bottom line is I have no faith in Scottsdale Police properly investigating Sgt. Prostrollo's shooting.
I would like to see the following done:
1) An outside agency should investigate Scottsdale Police. The best agency for this would be the Arizona Department of Public Safety. I have no doubt they would conduct a full and truthful investigation, and there is a facebook page called "Justice for Jason Prostrollo" dedicated to this point. At the very least, Sgt. Mark Clark should have absolutely no role in determing the when and how of the police report release.
2) A truthful investigation into criminal charges- at least manslaughter- not only against the officer who shot Sgt. Prostrollo, but also obstruction of justice charges against any Scottsdale officer who may participated in concealing evidence regarding the shooting. Also, if it turns out Sgt. Mark Clark should have known better than to issue a false press statement, he should be severely sanctioned as well.
3) I really hope the Prostrollo family sues the city of Scottsdale. This is not just about uncovering the facts regarding the shooting and punishing anyone who may have been responsible, this is about preventing this sort of thing from happening again. This about changing the Scottsdale police culture from "shoot first" and "cover up afterwards". The only way that will happen is by hitting Scottsdale where it hurts: in the pocketbook.
If this case ends without a civil complaint and criminal charges only (any criminal charges is big assumption in any event), that will not motivate the Scottsdale administration to weed out trigger-happy cowboys. Without a civil complaint, Scottsdale will only say this shooting was sui generis and all the bad apples have been caught and punished. But if the Scottsdale budget takes a hit, that will motivate them to make sure this never happens again.
Below is the contact information for the Scottsdale Police administration. Ask them why are they refusing to release Sgt. Prostrollo's police reports?
Sergeant Mark Clark
Public Information Supervisor
Officer Dave Pubins
Public Information Officer
You can also contact these assistant chiefs and demand answers.
John Cocca, Assistant Chief, Uniformed Services Bureau
Phone: (480) 312-1904
Sean Duggan, Assistant Chief, Personnel Development/
Staci Lynn Barbosa and Jonathan Edward Vandergriff are accused of raping and murdering their one month old son in 2010. While the Mohave County Attorney's Office planned on seeking the death penalty against Mr. Vandergriff, they have now backed off that tactic.
In the morning of June 15, 2010, police were called to Western Arizona Regional Medical Center's Emergency Room where the one-month-old baby was "fighting for his life."
Police say they saw bruises and sores all over the baby's body and his eyes were red and swollen shut. Doctors then told police the baby had several broken ribs, a broken femur, was malnourished, dehydrated, and showed signs of sexual abuse and shaken baby syndrome.
At the time of the baby's death, Bullhead City Police Department spokeswoman Emily Montague told New Times it appeared the couple "raped" their own baby.
The story does not explicitly state why prosecutors are no longer seeking the death penalty against Mr. Vandergriff or why they never sought the death penalty against Ms. Barbosa in the first place.