A YouTube video has surfaced which puts a new spin on police reports and their use of “self defense”.
Monterey Park, California police shot and killed a man who shattered the windows of a Carls Jr. restaurant with a three-foot-long metal pipe before allegedly swinging it at police officers.
According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, police responded to a report of a man breaking Carl’s Jr. windows on January 23, 2012 around 9:30 a.m. in the 1200 block of Cesar Chavez Avenue. CBS News reports that police saw the man exiting the restaurant with a long metal pipe, ordered him to release his weapon, and tazed the man before shooting him down.
This news story sounds very procedural and nothing seems out of the ordinary, so why all the hype?
The difference between this news story and all the others is that a graphic amateur video which shows the entire shooting was posted on Youtube. The video has jumped from 300 views on January 23 to over 1 million. A few points which are clear in the video is that police did not try to physically apprehend the man before shooting him down, police had a k-9 that they did not release, and it does not appear that he “swung twice” as some news sites reported.
There is no question that the man posed a threat to police but after the man was shot down, the officer continued shooting him while on the floor. It appears that the officer became “gun-happy” as he continued firing shots. Shouldn’t police have used other training tactics to restrain the man before shooting him over and over again? Even war criminals, terrorists, and murders are give due process of law and the right to a fair trial.
Maybe this is a more efficient way for police to eliminate long and costly court processes and jail housing.
The video also raises the question of whether police would have acted differently if the man wasn’t a “name-less guy wearing a hood” and instead a politician or a famous celebrity. Is one man’s life more worthy than another’s?
The question as to whether the man’s actions were worthy of death sets the precedent for future cases like this one.
But don’t take my word for it, or that of news reports, the video is posted below for you to see with your own eyes and determine for yourself whether his killing was justified.
Caution: The Video is extremely graphic and should not be viewed by anyone under 18.
By guest contributor, Cynthia Pleitez.