Sunday, July 20, 2014

Police Tactics: Shoot indiscriminately and kill the victim

By Christopher Rice

It never should have went down like that. If the suspects wanted to kill police, the guard would not have been tied up. And at least one officer would have been killed with that much fire power. The police blew it big time and now they're trying to make it look like they did the right thing. But, where does it say you can fire at a vehicle full of hostages. I feel for the victims and their families, hopefully this will be an eye opener how law enforcement agencies operate....

Reuters: Heavily armed bank robbers took hostages and engaged police in a running gun battle during a high-speed chase across three Northern California communities were bent on killing officers, a police chief said on Thursday.

The incident that began with a robbery at a Bank of the West branch in Stockton on Wednesday afternoon ended with two of the suspects and one of their three female hostages dead, Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones said. 

Since when are police suppose to shoot into a van full of hostages? The police should be charged with voluntary homicide, the commander at the scene should be charged with murder.
During the chase, Jones said, the three gunmen fired almost continually at officers, striking 14 patrol cars as well as a number of nearby homes. He said the gunmen had a "massive" amount of ammunition with them, including magazines taped or strapped to their bodies, and that police recovered an AK-47-type assault weapon and three handguns from the scene.

Two of the hostages jumped or were thrown from the suspects' car during the pursuit. Jones said it was not yet clear when the third hostage died or whether she was killed by the suspects or struck by a round fired by officers.

They wanted to kill officers? I doubt that. they had enough fire power that if they really wanted to, they would have. They had automatic weapons.

Regardless, whether the hostage was hit by police bullets or not, the officers need to be held accountable. I don't care what the circumstances were, they are responsible for the rounds, that they fired. Chasing the suspects cowboy-style while trading bullets through populated areas created more hazards to both property and lives. There are other tactics, techniques, and procedures that would have been less dangerous to both officers and innocents.

"In my over two decades of law enforcement I have never seen or experienced this type of total disregard for human life, nor the intensity of the situation that our officers were faced with," Jones said at a Thursday morning news conference.
Jones said more than 20 officers had been placed on paid administrative leave during an investigation of the incident, a standard move following such incidents that would nonetheless strain the police department of Stockton, an agricultural hub some 70 miles east of San Francisco.

The lone surviving suspect, identified by authorities as Jaime Ramos, 19, of Stockton was arrested after police disabled the getaway car following an hour-long car chase through Stockton and the nearby communities of Lodi and Acampo.

"It is very rare for bank robbers to take hostages. It is very rare for them to be so heavily armed themselves and prepared to kill, and to actively and continually try to kill our police officers," he said.

Only one of the alleged robbers — Jaime Ramos, 19, of Stockton — survived. The two others, Gilbert Renteria Jr., 30, and Alex Gregory Martinez, 27, both of Stockton, were shot to death by police in a dramatic final standoff. Four guns, including an AK-47-style assault rifle, and many magazines were recovered from their car.

Los Angeles Times reports: An attorney speaking for the family of the lone hostage slain in a bank robbery and police chase in Stockton said Friday he would seek police records on the incident, including dispatch logs, video and department policy on the use of deadly force.

Michael Platt, a lawyer for the family, made no reference to potential litigation against Stockton police or the other agencies involved in Wednesday's dramatic chase across three cities in San Joaquin County, but said the way in which Misty Jean Holt-Singh was killed "raises questions."

Hundreds of shots were exchanged and 14 police cars and several civilian vehicles and homes were riddled with bullets. More than 20 officers discharged their weapons.

Officials said the three men walked into a Bank of the West branch after 2 p.m. wearing hooded sweat shirts and sunglasses, tied up a security guard and then robbed the vault at gunpoint. As they left, they encountered police and used the three women as human shields during their escape.

Witnesses told investigators one of the women — a bank manager — volunteered as a hostage. It was her car that was used in the police chase.

Police said the men did not have a car waiting, and investigators found evidence that they may have committed similar robberies before. Investigators were looking for the driver of a black sedan seen on video dropping the men off in the area.

Condolences to the family of the bank manager, who had little chance of survival once the cowboy cops ran rampant. The police had armour and bullet proof vests, that woman did not stand a chance.

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