Discussion: Graphic Video Shows Police Killing Unarmed Man Searching For Stolen Bike

Discussion for article #238435

You officers know there’s a camera there, right? And you know what cameras do?


You have to consider the context here. It’s 2:30am. All these cops are jacked on bull testosterone. Now let’s not rush to judgment.


There have been far too many “caught on video” incidents lately – which no doubt represent merely the tip of the iceberg – involving police officers verbally or physically abusing a child or violating the civil rights of an adult … and then claiming that they thought that the suspect was reaching for a non-existent weapon … or that the “stress of the moment” was the sole reason for the officers’ outrageous conduct.

Someone needs to reevaluate the process used by law enforcement to determine whether someone is psychologically fit for this line of work.


The city of Gardena argued that releasing the footage would create a “rush to judgment” about the officers’ behavior…

Rush to judgment? How about your rush to shoot two innocent people?


So if the story above is correct, there was in fact no crime committed. These men did not commit the non-crime in question. but one of them is dead for… failure to comply? Fuck. Fuckity Fuck fuck.

What the hell is wrong with these people.


ah yes. once again they trot out the 'i feared he was going for the non-existent weapon" excuse. works every time.

1 Like

Really just makes you want to fly into a weeping rage.


In their minds, they did what they were supposed to do. Police training and doctrine over the last two or three decades has focused on instilling a warrior mentality and emphasizes the importance of the officer’s safety to the extreme point of justifying the use of force preemptively for “noncompliance” to forestall even the slightest possibility of escalation and the use of deadly force in any situation where there’s the remotest chance that the cop might get injured. And, on the street, this training translates into a culture that presumes every contact–particularly with a black or brown person–is with a potential cop killer and that treats disrespect for their authority as the first step on a steep slippery slope that ends with dead cops.

A lot of people want to vilify the individuals–claim that there’s something inherently wrong with everyone who wants to be a cop or claim they’re all jacked up on steroids or that they’re crazed killer PTSD veterans. That’s emotionally satisfying and lets people transfer their own experiences of being bullied by jocks onto the situations they see with the added benefit of framing the problem as irremediable by any means short of revolution, therefore justifying further stereotyping and vilification, because, why not?

But the problem is institutional. Cops are acting and reacting the way they were trained to react, socialized to react, acculturated to react from the academy to their training officer to their morning briefings. They are angry and defensive because how can we people who don’t know how it “really is out there” not see that this is how they have to behave to be safe and how can we blame them for doing what they were trained to do? Think about the incentive structure here: every day from induction to retirement, you’re told “if you don’t behave this way, you’ll orphan your kids and leave your spouse to raise them alone.” How are you going to react when people who don’t “understand how it is out there” tell you to stop doing that stuff?

But the thing is, institutional problems are reparable. It will take time and will. Changing an institution’s course is like steering a supertanker: it takes miles and miles to change course or slow down. The problems are now so deeply entrenched in the police culture–witness the borderline psychotic assolery that seems to flow from the pieholes of virtually every city’s elected union reps after every unjustifiable shooting–that it’s not going to change quickly. But it won’t change at all unless voters recognize that the problem is institutional and is capable of remediation by elected officials and then use their votes to impose that will upon to their local elected officials. And that won’t happen as long as people choose, instead, to wallow in the delusion that cops are subhuman thugs rather than people with dangerous jobs acting they way they’ve been trained to believe they have to act to come home alive every night.


Gardena was joined by police chiefs and officer groups around the state in arguing that making such videos public would dissuade cities from employing the technology.

Logic breaking bad.


This is exactly the source of the problem. Well said.


Police kid-gloves are for armed, mass-murdering white supremacists.
So, the cops murdered an unarmed Diaz-Zeferino where he stood,
as per racist police state dictum.


This stuff is out o control. I work with police officers, I support the PBA, I fully support the police as necessary for a safe, civilized society. They are under tremendous amounts of stress daily, tasked with managing a job that varies from extreme boredom to willingly entering life threatening situations. They face a sometimes armed and hostile populace, often enduring reams of abuse from drunken, antagonistic, or dangerously crazy people.

But the overuse of force is clearly out of control. In my work with cops I’ve seen an “us vs. them” mindset, a sense of being asked to do society’s dirty work without recognition or support. I think there needs to be a national conversation - one that rejects the dangerously childish and polarizing bulls**t of Fox, Rush, et. al - that includes the voices of regular cops, the ones on the street doing the work. These men and women need to be heard, along with experts like UCLA’s Mark Kleiman, as part of a deep, thoughtful, and informed reassessment of how we want to maintain a safe, ordered society. The militarization of the force must stop and be reversed. We need to pay cops more, provide more social/emotional and interpersonal training, and strongly incentivize post-graduate education. We need to recognize the drift to an embattled, reactionary mindset resulting from, and feeding into, an “us vs. them” mentality, and counter this with education, training, and fundamental changes in policing strategies and tactics. We need to hold media responsible (I’m looking at you, “Cops”) for fomenting a polarized situation, and we must defuse the knee jerk response of the police unions to a “with us or against us,” line in the sand positioning.

We need a two pronged approach: first, recognize, listen to, train, and pay cops what they’re worth. Second, institute effective “zero tolerance” policies for overuse of force. Easier said than done, sure. But if the cop in the street knows that we have his/her back, I think the rest falls into place fairly readily.


I’ve probably posted this more than a dozen times here in situations like this: Fine if they fear for their lives and believe the person is going for a gun, then shoot to disable. This instance is classic in that the officers already have the their weapons drawn and aimed. They had a clear advantage. Real life is not like the movies - shoot someone in the shoulder or thigh and they go down.

I agree with all of that. But I also hear in my head “it’s not policies it’s people” which implies that there will also need to be a significant turnover in the police force for meaningful change to take effect.

1 Like

Unfortunately cops aren’t crack shots. If they have their weapon out they are going to aim for the bulk. That’s understandable, given the need to avoid stray bullets. The emphasis should be on preventing them from firing at all.


Agreed. See NCSteve’s comment above.


That’s Cheney’s 1% doctrine, applied to civilian policing policy. If there is a 1% chance of a suspect being armed and dangerous, terminate suspect with extreme prejudice.


The two are not mutually exclusive, however…in fact in this case one could argue that they are symbiotic. The training you speak of is more quickly and deeply absorbed when it falls upon a group of individuals who already have a psychological mind set that sees the world as Us vs. Them, and they are warriors, or trying to work out their abandonment issues from HS. In fact, its the perfect audience for such training.

So while there definitely is an institutional problem, there is also a problem with the type of people we recruit and accept as police officers.


While it doesn’t necessarily play a role in this story, the other part of the problem is what laws we are asking cops to enforce. So, take the culture and mindset you portrayed, and then put it into a confrontation that oftentimes could have been avoided if our societal values were different.