Deputy accidentally shoots man


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DoubleTapDrew
June 23, 2006, 12:06 PM
http://www.king5.com/localnews/stories/NW_062206WABtaserKC.b23c36c1.html

BREMERTON A Kitsap County deputy is under investigation after she accidentally shot a man. The deputy thought she had her taser in her hand.


KING

Several Kitsap County deputies gathered under a tree in a Bremerton lot where a man shouting and dressed only in underwear refused to come down.

"I heard him say very loudly: 'I'm unarmed!'" said witness Kathy Norton.

Kathy and Tom Norton heard a shot and saw a female deputy pointing something at the man who was less than 10 feet up the tree.

"She dropped and was hurt. You could see she was scared. It wasn't like it was on purpose," said Kathy.

"As soon as the shot was done she walked over there and got on one knee. She was distraught," said Tom.

Tasers are often worn on the same leg as an officer's handgun, and the Sheriff's Department says the 5-year veteran deputy mistakenly grabbed her gun instead of the taser.

"It doesn't seem that the deputy was under immediate pressure to draw and fire right away. That will come out in the investigation. The primary deputy called for a second taser application. The deputy pulled out what she thought was a taser and fired a shot," said Deputy Scott Wilson, Kitsap County Sheriff's Department.

The deputy carried an older model M-26 taser with a similar grip and feel of her handgun.

The sheriff's department is phasing in new X-26 models, which are smaller and have a noticeably different feel than a handgun.

The man who took the unintended bullet was airlifted to Seattle's Harborview Medical Center with what sheriff's deputies say is a non-life-threatening wound to his leg.

The man has not yet been identified.

The Washington State Patrol is handling the investigation.



Do officers really wear tasers THAT close to their primary weapon? Yikes.
I didn't realize it was SOP to tase someone in a tree, but I guess if they won't come down you can't handle it like you would a stranded cat :p

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torpid
June 23, 2006, 12:19 PM
"She dropped and was hurt. You could see she was scared. It wasn't like it was on purpose," said Kathy.

Huh?

Emotionally hurt?
The man was the one who was shot.

Does the witness mean, "She dropped [the gun] and was [filled with] hurt [feelings]" ?

:confused:

.

Erebus
June 23, 2006, 01:33 PM
Sounds like they need to review the practice of carrying a tazer near their duty weapon and get the new model phased in ASAP.

I hope a good cop's career and life aren't destroyed by an honest mistake, but I expect it will.

I hate it when bad guys get rich like this.

Zrex
June 23, 2006, 01:49 PM
I hope a good cop's career and life aren't destroyed by an honest mistake, but I expect it will.

I hate it when bad guys get rich like this


Well, its a damn good thing that a "good cop" didn't shoot the guy then, isn't it?

NineseveN
June 23, 2006, 02:02 PM
This is an instance of where poor procedure and training may have turned against an officer. It's not that I don't fault the nut behind the trigger, "similar feel" is very misleading, and I can say that the taser does not have a feel like a real gun, especially the trigger (yes, I have used both, not on anyone, no I am not a cop).

This could be another argument for a manual safety on the officers' guns (ala HK, 1911 etc...), but it really should be a call for the various agencies that use both tasers and handguns to review the stupid procedure of them both being carried in the same area.

This cop's life will probably be impacted greatly, lots of emotional stress and trauma I am sure, but if she's held responsible by the PD, so should the agency and the folks that made the utterly stupid decision to allow both items to be carried in the same area.

Erebus
June 23, 2006, 02:16 PM
Well, its a damn good thing that a "good cop" didn't shoot the guy then, isn't it?

Are you saying you think she did it on purpose and the witnesses are lying to cover it up for her? Or are you saying there is no such thing as a good cop?

Good people do make mistakes from time to time. A honest mistake is just that, an honest mistake. This one just has severe consequences.

rbernie
June 23, 2006, 02:27 PM
Good people do make mistakes from time to time. A honest mistake is just that, an honest mistake. This one just has severe consequences. Our legal system recognizes that negligence without malice is NOT a free pass for having caused serious injury or death to others. I suspect that's the basis of the pushback over the phrase 'I hope a good cop's career and life aren't destroyed by an honest mistake'.

It was NOT an honest mistake - it was a NEGLIGENT mistake. Understandable and preventable, but still negligent.

Zrex
June 23, 2006, 03:08 PM
Are you saying you think she did it on purpose and the witnesses are lying to cover it up for her? Or are you saying there is no such thing as a good cop?


I am saying neither.

I am saying SHE is not a good COP. She may be a wonderful sweet person, but that does not make her a good COP. Not every person who wants to be a cop should be a cop. This woman should not be a cop.

Pilgrim
June 23, 2006, 03:14 PM
The city of Madera, CA had a similar incident where the acting watch supervisor decided to tase a handcuffed prisoner in the back seat of a patrol car. She center punched the prisoner with a pistol round instead and he expired.

The city's response was to sue the manufacturer of the Taser for not adequately training its officers.

Pilgrim

ProficientRifleman
June 23, 2006, 04:32 PM
I hope a good cop's career and life aren't destroyed by an honest mistake, but I expect it will.

I wonder what part of the story was left out? Like the part where a man up a tree in his underwear posed a direct threat to the officers below. Maybe he was such a threat, while up the tree in his underwear he NEEDED to be tasered! Or, maybe he really needed to be shot!

Honest mistake, neglegent homicide or manslaughter? Put yourself in the officer's place and predict which charge you would face.

Whatcha wanna bet this officer will not face any criminal charges?

But what the heck, she meant well!

Mr. James
June 23, 2006, 04:45 PM
I hate it when bad guys get rich like this

What bad guy?

The treed, semi-naked EDP?

Whatcha wanna bet this officer will not face any criminal charges?

Not in a decade of Sundays . . .


That story of the Madera police department suing the taser manufacturer makes me ill.

yhtomit
June 23, 2006, 05:30 PM
ProficientRifleman asked "Honest mistake, neglegent homicide or manslaughter? Put yourself in the officer's place and predict which charge you would face."

Hopefully neither one, unless the "non-life threatening injuries" were gravely misinterpreted :)

Not to make light of the incident, but it's like the joke about a plane that crashes right on the border of Canada and the U.S. (or whatever arbitrary place), wrt the proper place of burial for the survivors.

timothy

silverlance
June 23, 2006, 06:03 PM
should be PDW sub-gun sized and be shaped SIGNIFICANTLY differenty, COLORED differently, and finally the sights should also be way different. something like crossbow sights comes to mind.

of all my rifle safeties, i like the mauser's the best. when it's applied, you KNOW before shooting that the safety is still on.

AmbulanceDriver
June 23, 2006, 09:23 PM
Well, here in Portland, officers carry their Tazer's on their weak side, in a thigh holster. Their Tazer's are BRIGHT yellow, and very easily differentiated from their duty weapons. Sounds like it's a training issue/equipment issue that just rose up to bite them in the butt (or leg, as the case may be).

otasan
June 23, 2006, 11:23 PM
THEY are the professionals. THEY are the only ones who can safely handle the Glock 40 * BANG!

:fire:

Arkie
June 23, 2006, 11:32 PM
When I first read that,, all I could think about was Tackleberry getting that cat out of the tree on Police Academy. :eek:

DoubleTapDrew
June 24, 2006, 01:16 AM
I think it's an issue of someone not being trained very well and not being a gun-savvy person. Just someone "professhinal enuf" to carry one. I haven't handled a Taser but I doubt they feel just like an issue gun (I can understand a glock grip angle if that's the issue weapon). Even if your taser is holstered just ahead or behind your sidearm, with the spacing of the grip, etc. I can't imagine mistaking one for the other ("Hmm my taser is at 3 o clock today instead of 5 o clock, oh well, i'll just pull the trigger").
Either very very bad training or one serious brain fart.

Lucky
June 24, 2006, 04:22 AM
"Are you saying you think she did it on purpose and the witnesses are lying to cover it up for her? Or are you saying there is no such thing as a good cop?

Good people do make mistakes from time to time. A honest mistake is just that, an honest mistake. This one just has severe consequences."

Dude, you have to admit you're a bit over-the-top. When you do something really wrong, really dangerous and really irrational with a firearm it's not an honest mistake, that applies across the board to all people in all walks of life.

mrmeval
June 24, 2006, 04:26 AM
and you want it set to STUN! :D

Troll: So you should have a wonder 9. :scrutiny:

71Commander
June 24, 2006, 05:22 AM
ErebusI hate it when bad guys get rich like this.

....................Not worth the effort.:mad:

Reyn
June 24, 2006, 05:28 AM
I've never seen a Taser carried on the same side as the duty weapon. Ive always seen them on the opposite side in cross draw fashion.

online2mch
June 24, 2006, 09:17 AM
I live in the next county over, and the local news is very vague about the details. If someone is tasered in a tree won't they fall out and possibly injure themselves? I also didn't know it was illegal to climb trees. They haven't explained why it was so necessary to get him down so quickly. There are references to him acting strangely, but people act strangely every day. Was he trespassing? Just thinking out loud.

Mannlicher
June 24, 2006, 09:35 AM
another instance of gun mishandling by a female deputy. Oh my.

Its not a total loss though, at least she did not kill him, and he will recover. The taser would probably have done him in. :eek:

WT
June 24, 2006, 09:45 AM
torpid - one of our local cops accidently shot and killed a guy who was behind in his child support payments. He was shot in the back while unarmed and running away from the cop. The cop's pistol went off by itself.

This happened in public. The experienced cop immediately dropped to his knees and started to pray over the body of the dead guy. This act was brought up in criminal and civil court and was used as an example of how wonderful the police officer was compared to the low life who wouldn't/couldn't support his own children.

Anyway, the cop had a good act, the jury bought it and he got off. The PD lost about $2.5 million in a civil case.

priv8ter
June 24, 2006, 10:20 AM
I've never seen a Taser carried on the same side as the duty weapon. Ive always seen them on the opposite side in cross draw fashion.

I work for Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, in Bremerton, so I see a lot of Bremerton police officers over the course of time, and EVERY officer I've seen has carried their Taser this way...weak side in a Thigh Holster.

I'm not saying that some don't carry the same side as their firearm, just NONE that I have seen.

Living out here, I have read a lot of different articles about this incident already and...wihtout being a police officer, let me just say I don't think this thing was handled right at all.

Let's see...we have a crazy guy(whether it's drugs, or other mental illness isn't known yet) in his underwear, UP A TREE babbling and yelling at folks. When resuce personnel showed up to try to get him out of the tree, he apparently became 'hostile' towards his would-be-rescuers.

At this point, the police officers on scene felt the right way to respond to this 'hostility' was to Taser the indvidual to get him out of the tree.

It seems to me that the officers just got impatient, and tried to take the easy way out. I mean...what if they HAD hit him withthe Taser, and he fell from the tree and broke his neck?

It just seems poorly handled all around.

Cases like this are just one reason I'm glad I'm not a cop...I'm very impatient and what happened here sounds like a solution that I would ahve come up with.

greg

p35
June 25, 2006, 12:14 AM
Cops in general seem to use the Taser as a way to get the job done quicker and easier rather than a means of self defense. A while ago, just outside Kitsap County, I had a situation where some deputies were arresting some Guatemalans for illegal brush-picking. When one woman turned and looked like she was about to run, a deputy Tasered her in the back. It wasn't until the next day that her family who were present realized that she hadn't been shot dead. This gal was around four feet tall and about that wide across- not about to set any speed records. Unfortunately, she disappeared after I got her released for lack of evidence- I wanted to sue the county for her.

Anyway, I suspect this was a case of "If I taser this guy we can finish this and get on to the next call rather than spending all shift talking him down." Not how I think Tasers were meant to be used.

DoubleTapDrew
June 26, 2006, 01:10 AM
I don't think the taser should be used as a compliance tool if they can use it whenever they feel like it. It seems to be used in place of strong language a lot now. Why raise my voice and try to talk someone out of this when I can just pull the trigger and have them trembling on the ground!

Old Dog
June 26, 2006, 02:23 AM
It seems to be used in place of strong language a lot now.
No disrespect intended, but when was the last time you attempted to "talk someone out of" whatever dangerously stupid -- posing a threat to themselves or others -- or illegal activity they were engaged in at the time ... when the individual happened to be [choose one] a person with numerous felony convictions in his or her past with a hatred toward law enforcement and normal citizens/mentally ill with documented violent behavior history/extremely intoxicated demonstrating violent behavior/on the third day of a huge tweaking binge, having turned totally psychotic, with a wicked meth addiction?

Hawkmoon
June 26, 2006, 02:59 AM
Well, here in Portland, officers carry their Tazer's on their weak side, in a thigh holster. Their Tazer's are BRIGHT yellow, and very easily differentiated from their duty weapons. Sounds like it's a training issue/equipment issue that just rose up to bite them in the butt (or leg, as the case may be).
I thought that was S.O.P. for any officer carrying a Taser. I can't even imagine a department having their officers wear the taser on the same side as the duty weapon.

Mortech
June 26, 2006, 03:19 AM
I live in Mason county which is just south of Kitsap . The local sheriff dept answered a stolen car call at my next door neighbors place , I happened to noticed that the deputy wore his sidearm and taser on the same side , his service pistol on his belt and the taser in a thigh holster .. definitely NOT safe .

haole_boySS
June 26, 2006, 03:48 AM
Hawkmoon and many others have posted about the Taser on the same side as the duty weapon....What the crap does that matter???
I have never used a taser, but I have handled one. The feel of it is nothing like a pistol. I would bet my left arm that if you blindfolded me and gave me 25 different tasers and 25 different "duty" weapons that I would be able to tell the difference every time.
Furthermore, this was not an honest mistake.
My example being that this is 2006, it is not the wild west. How often on average do you think that PO's are drawing, aiming, and firing their sidearm or taser sooooooooo quickly that they do not realize which is in their hand.??? Give me a break, this officer should lose her job and never be able to handle a firearm again. What would happen if this was a citizen like me your anyone else here? We would lose our right to own a firearm correct?
She went to her knee and was distraught, felt sorry, etc blah blah blah. Cry me a river, you are an idiot.
I dont care what her excuse may be. I will NEVER believe that she was....
1) on the ground first trying to talk him out of the tree
2) drew her sidearm, aimed it at him
3) advised him that he was going to be Tased if he did not come down (they are required to advise that they will tase you right??)
4) looking at him down the sights of her sidearm which she has probably fired 1000 times or more in practice
5) didnt notice that the sight line was extremely similar to that of her sidearm (she thought it was the taser right? :rolleyes: )
6) didnt notice the grip and trigger feel were extremely similar to her sidearm
7) probably warned him again that he was going to be tased
8) none of the witnesses said "hey cop, thats your gun not your taser"

Through all of this she still pulled the trigger and was completely surprised at the outcome?
Again, 100% negligence. She should never have been allowed to carry a firearm.
Someone said before that just because you want to be a cop doesn't mean you should be. I couldnt agree more. I hate to bring up another female but I remember seeing a video a while back where a female and male officer were standing over a handcuffed or ziptied goblin either sitting or laying on the pavement...
Her sidearm was still drawn but aimed at the street. It discharged, as so many pistols do on their own. :rolleyes: Was that an accident too?
Then somewhat recently there was that big black cop that shot himself in the leg in a CLASSROOM FULL OF CHILDREN. That wasnt an accident either. If you are not prepared to fire, get your damn finger out of the trigger guard. Furthermore in that incident, cop or not, why did he bring a loaded "chambered" weapon into a classroom??

Anyway, i am 32 yrs old and have been shooting as long as I can remember. Not once, EVER has a gun in my hands discharged without me pulling the trigger. Either I'm very lucky, or it just doesnt happen accidently.

Sorry for the rant. I know not all cops are bad but it just doesnt give me a warm fuzzy feeling that people like her are out protecting the public as a whole.

Andy

haole_boySS
June 26, 2006, 03:58 AM
One more thing. I didnt want to edit my last post.....

Why exactly is the sidearm and taser on the same side unsafe? A good friend of mine is a cop and he has the sidearm in a hip holster and the taser in a thigh holster. Correct me if i'm wrong but, my thigh is well below my hip. Far enough past my hip, that a reach for a weapon in a thigh holster would have to be deliberate.

Look at it this way...I've been carrying my wallet in my right rear pants pocket for 20+ years. Suit, jeans, khakis, shorts, etc...all in my right rear pocket. If i reached in any of the 3 other large pockets and pulled something out, I would know for sure it wasnt my wallet.
To be more specific....If i'm wearing some cargo khakis, and reached in the cargo pocket on the thigh......i know what I pull out will not be my wallet!

Does that make sense or should I not be posting at 3:52 am est.

Andy

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