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Proof you need to watch what you say online

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics and Training' started by Jeff White, Oct 1, 2019.

  1. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    Amber Guyger was convicted of murder today. The racial component has made this a national story and it’s even getting coverage alongside impeachment.

    I don’t know how much they affected the jury but the prosecutors thought it was necessary to bring her social media posts, including memes she shared into court.


    White cop Amber Guyger is found GUILTY of murder


    https://mol.im/a/7525717

    [
    quote]
    'Yah I got meh a gun a shovel an gloves if I were u back da f**k up and get out of meh f**king a**,' she commented on one social media post.

    She shared another meme that read: 'Stay low, go fast. Kill first, die last. One shot, one kill. No luck, all skill'.

    Guyger also shared another meme that said: 'People are so ungrateful. No one ever thanks me for having the patience not to kill them'.
    [/quote]

    These posts along with text messages that appeared racist (I say appeared because I don’t know her and I’m not about to make a judgement based on a news article) were used to convict her:

    There is a record of everything you say or do online and on your phone. They will go through it and if anything looks like it might help them make a case against you they will use it.

    Personally I think it was a tragic accident and manslaughter would have been a more appropriate charge and it could be that this social media and text history moved the prosecutors to charge murder instead.

    Perhaps the Miranda warning should include anything you’ve ever said online or in a text message can and will be used against you.
     
  2. milemaker13

    milemaker13 Member

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    I read about this today. As long as we're talking about it I'd like to ask a question...
    Are their doors keyed alike? How did she get inside??
    I did not see the answer in the article I read but maybe other articles covered it.
     
  3. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

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    I thought the same thing unless everyone leaves their doors open. One article said it is common for folks to go to the wrong floors there. Makes you wonder what the building design is like.

    ?u=https%3A%2F%2Ffineartebooks.files.wordpress.com%2F2012%2F04%2Fescher-stairs-thumb6306396.jpg
     
  4. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    Apparently, the door was unlocked.
     
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  5. ClickClickD'oh

    ClickClickD'oh Member

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    If this trial has taught me anything, it's that a huge number of people think that every states legal system is run exactly like what ever procedural legal drama is most popular at the time.

    Common mistakes I find a ton of people making when talking about this trial: Texas law doesn't have Murder 1 or Murder 2 and manslaughter isn't what most people assume it is.

    Quick and dirty Texas law on homicide:

    Capital murder: Homicide with special victim conditions. Ie, killed a cop, fireman, while escaping from jail, a kid, more than one person in a single act or a few others

    Murder: Homicide caused by an intentional act that is inherently dangerous to life.

    Manslaughter: Homicide by recklessness

    Criminally Negligent Homicide: Homicide by negligence

    That's homicide in Texas This case was always very open and shut in my opinion. She intentionally pointed a gun at another person and pulled the trigger. She acted with intent in a manner known to cause serious bodily injury or death. That's pretty much textbook murder (under the Texas Penal Code). Her only defense to that was to claim self defense, despite the mistake of fact that it was her apartment. That's why prosecution spent day one torpedoing any claim that mistake was one a reasonable person exercising due caution would make. Since self defense wasn't going to fly in this case, a murder conviction was a forgone conclusion.

    In Texas, Manslaughter is when a persons death is caused by reckless conduct. It is specifically for when a death is caused by an act in which the intent was not serious bodily injury. Examples: Idiot Bob is shooting into the air in celebration and a bullet comes down a mile away and kills a person. So, for manslaughter to have been the appropriate charge in this case, she would have had to have convinced the jury that she didn't mean to shoot the victim (when she pointed a gun at him and pulled the trigger). She pretty much sunk any chance of catching manslaughter when her defense team tried the self defense route. Self defense in Texas requires you to admit that you acted intentionally. You stand in court and say, "Yes, I murdered that man, but I had good reason" And it better be a good and lawfully defined reason. When you exert lethal force, you 100% need to be correct in your facts, or you go to jail for murder.

    Murder was the appropriate charge. It was easily proven.
     
  6. Charlie Horse

    Charlie Horse Member

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    Not only unlocked but was reported as ajar.
     
  7. Charlie Horse

    Charlie Horse Member

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    That's much closer to how it works here. I was at a crime scene years ago and had a reporter ask if we were going to charge the suspect with "murder 1." When I pointed out there was nothing close to that in the Alabama Code of 1975, she responded that "Yes there is! I saw it on Law and Order."

    That's when I learned to say "no comment."
     
  8. Carl N. Brown

    Carl N. Brown Member

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    I know an Army sniper trainer.
    He tells me that they weed out people who talk on interview like they want to kill people because those are too likely to shoot when they should hold fire and are likely to disobey an order to stand down.
     
  9. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Role playing on social media is a bad idea. Keep your stupid, nightmare walking, psychopath talking, fantasies to yourself!

    Tell the world how much you love butterflies, unicorns, and rainbows!


    happy-unicorn-rainbow.jpg

    I need a hug!
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2019
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  10. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    It was a bad shoot. Open and shut case. The social media postings were just more nails in the coffin.
     
  11. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    The point of this thread is the prosecutions use of social media. I apologize for not being up on Texas law. Here in Illinois we have 1st and 2d degree murder, manslaughter and involuntary homicide. I should have looked up Texas law.

    Obviously the prosecution found the social media history relevant.
     
  12. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    Including online posts, it looks like everything was against her.
    Didn't make sure it was her own apartment
    Didn't have enough awareness to realize all the things around her weren't hers
    Pointed a handgun at someone who was no threat to her
    Shot a man who was not posing a threat to her
    Not a lot of room here. A series of stupid, if unfortunate, events.
     
  13. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    Again, this thread is to prove to the skeptics who frequent this forum that online activity does get used in court. I would think the case could have easily been made without it. But it was used.
     
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  14. unclenunzie

    unclenunzie Member

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    I think your point is well proven. A secondary observation - given the strong arguments for conviction without the social media posts, maybe this case was not the most illustrative.
     
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  15. alsaqr

    alsaqr Member

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    And it will be used again at sentencing.
     
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  16. JERRY

    JERRY Member

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    she went to the wrong apartment and crapped her pants when faced with a real life "perceived" threat; that's what got her in trouble. everyone wants to do cop #$%@ until its time to do cop #$%@.
     
  17. TikkaShooter

    TikkaShooter Member

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    It is called discipline or no loose cannons needed or required.
     
  18. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    Seems asinine on multiple levels, but I agree with the intent of this post. Keep your public nose clean and you will never have to reap the rewards of what you said, did, liked, poked, posted, tweeted, retweeted....

    What is asinine is that people are stupid enough to publicly make comment and then are surprised when their public statements circle back around to bite them. Here is a simple piece of advice from a fat boy redneck... shut your yapper and stop your tapper.

    Now, the flip side of this... it’s is absolutely asinine for most of this crap to ever be brought to a jury for any reason whatsoever. Facts of the case SHOULD matter much more than unrelated drivel. It does not matter one bit of a person is a self proclaimed bigot in whatever way or ways that they can imagine, or what has been said, done, etc for eons. What SHOULD matter is A. Defendant walked into wrong apartment, mistook deceased for an intruder, fired a weapon killing deceased. That is the storyline. Nowhere in that does a week/month/year old Facebook post have even the slightest bit of relevance. Judge should have refused to allow unrelated “exhibits”.
     
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  19. Good Ol' Boy

    Good Ol' Boy member

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    Lots of things were against her.

    Bad shoot.

    Social media/texts.

    Shes white and the victim was black.


    The cards were stacked against her from the start but once folks started digging and the media got involved this was over before it started.
     
  20. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Member

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    Jeff is right. Everybody knows the Miranda warning, "Anything you say can be used against you".
    The internet is forever. I'm old enough that my stupid teenage years (and a lot of my adulthood, too) was prior to the internet and my use of it. Stupid stuff you say on the net is there forever. So don't say stupid stuff.
    In the S&T forum, it is quite properly stressed over and over that the standard should be "Am I forced to shoot at this point, am I out of other options?" Posting all the keyboard commando stuff about looking for a reason to smoke somebody is both legally and tactically unsound, but will also turn around and bite you squarely in the can if you are ever in a courtroom.
     
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  21. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    It might be worth updating to "Anything you say or typed can be used against you." Sharing on social media, that you didn't write, would make one hell of a SCOTUS case some time down the road.
     
  22. 40-82

    40-82 Member

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    I publish a fair amount of fiction, much of it done from the point of view of characters you might not want to invite to tea. Some of them use weapons. I have no doubt that if I ever find myself in court as a criminal defendant a prosecutor will do his best to work over a gullible jury and convince them that there is no such thing as imagination, that the attributes of these characters reflect my personal failings: hazard of the trade, I suppose.

    Under absolute law, it doesn't matter if you're a bad person with a checkered history. It only matters what you did in the incident under examination. The most unsavory among us have identical rights under the law. Practical reality is something else again. Courts generally allow wide latitude in working over the character of the defendant.

    There's something deeply human in the concept of "We have a criminal. We have a crime. Let's put them together. Close the circle." It's so satisfying.
     
  23. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    True.

    Certainly, and particularly in a use of force case, anything that goes to mens rea can be probative.

    We have a sticky on this.
     
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  24. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    I hope I'm not the only one that did not need a reminder not to talk about killing people, whether on social media or anywhere else.
     
  25. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    No!

    Assessing state of mind is an essential part of judging why someone used deadly force, and whether it was justified.

    That "unrelated drivel" was factual and relevant.
     
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