Five before Midnight

This site is dedicated to the continuous oversight of the Riverside(CA)Police Department, which was formerly overseen by the state attorney general. This blog will hopefully play that role being free of City Hall's micromanagement.
"The horror of that moment," the King went on, "I shall never, never forget." "You will though," the Queen said, "if you don't make a memorandum of it." --Lewis Carroll


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Location: RiverCity, Inland Empire

Monday, October 23, 2006

Links and things

The Press Enterprise did a brief update on the shooting of Douglas Steven Cloud shooting.

Police shot man because he grabbed stun gun

This is the second fatal officer-involved shooting where it is alleged that a Black man grabbed an officer's department issued taser, with the first being the Lee Deante Brown shooting in April.

Lee Deante Brown shooting narrative

CPRC briefing on Brown shooting(pdf)

Is the taser truly a "less lethal" option? Amnesty International tried to determine that in its lengthy report, which ultimately stated, no it is not. Taser International, Inc. did its own analysis(mostly in response to an ACLU critique of its product) and said that there have been no deaths directly, attributed to its products. But what about tasers when they fall out of the hands of the officers who carry them? Are they then considered a lethal weapon?

Here are some recent cases:

Suspect shocks officer with own taser

Orange County deputy stunned by own taser gun

Officer stunned by own taser

Manitoba Mounties tased by own weapon

What were the actions taken? What were the outcomes?

Then there are incidents where officers tase other officers. Officers like John Scavotto in Connecticut who pointed his taser at another officer during roll call and shot its taser probes into that officer's face and mouth. What was his alleged excuse? I didn't think it was loaded and the safety was switched on. That sounds familiar.

Officer shocks officer in roll call mishap

In the Riverside Police Department, the X26 and M26 tasers carried by approximately 57.7% of the officers in the field operations division are found in the department's use of force policy, at Level 4, which also includes the multiple officer takedown and the carotid restraint. The training involving tasers offered by the police department through Taser International, Inc.'s training manual, apparently doesn't address the issue of officers losing their tasers. It apparently does not cover what to do or how to prevent officers from shocking each other with their tasers, either.

During its briefing on the Brown shooting, the department representative admitted that Officer Michael Stucker had looked down at some point and saw a taser probe stuck in his hand, just after he felt an intensive shock moving up his arm. However, that representative did not say where that probe came from or even mention how and when it traveled from the probe cartridge to the web of Stucker's hand.

(excerpt from CPRC briefing)

Immediately, Officer Stucker felt an
electrical shock run through both of his arms. Officer Stucker also saw that he had a Taser probe stuck in his left

Weeks later, the department still claimed it didn't know.

Taser International, Inc. which has a fairly generous warranty of immediately replacing defective tasers purchased by police departments in order to "save lives" and "improve officer safety" has a strange philosophy when it comes to looking out for officers who may have been harmed by their product. Recently, the company celebrated its victory in a law suit filed against it by a law enforcement officer for damages and lost wages.

When law enforcement officers receive taser training, they are often purposely shocked by the tasers. In the following case, the officer was hit by a blast from an M26 model sold by Taser International, Inc, which apparently caused severe injuries that ended his career. He sued the manufacturer but lost in court. His was the first law suit against Taser International, Inc. to make it to trial.

"I'm disappointed with the verdict, obviously," he said. "But maybe some good came out of this and other police officers will understand the risks of Tasers before they take a hit."

Taser, Inc. not liable for officer's injuries during training exercise

OfOfficer files law suit against Taser International, Inc.

An interesting article published in the Oct. 23 edition of the Los Angeles Times discussed the impact of the 3-12 schedule(three days, twelve-hour shifts) on the 70% of the officers in the Los Angeles Police Department which work under this schedule. Like most law enforcement agencies in Southern California, the LAPD had utilized the 4-10 schedule until five years ago.

Pros and cons weighed in the LAPD's 3-12 schedule

Now, there is mixed feelings about whether or not this work schedule is producing better rested, more effective officers or whether it is causing the opposite to happen. Many different sides weigh in on this issue in the article.

The City Strikes Back, kind of

The city of Riverside filed its case management statement in the case of Ryan Wilson v the City of Riverside (RIC456429) and again insisted that the Riverside Community Police Commission had been erroneously sued as a separate legal entity when in actuality, it was an "agency" of the city. It recognized that other civil litigation had been filed in this case against itself and Wilson, by relatives of Summer Marie Lane last year.

In its five page document, the city asked for a trial by judge in the next 12 months and stated that it expected the trial to last 2-3 days. Many people wondered if this controversial incident in Riverside's history would ultimately be decided upon inside a courtroom. The only surprising aspect of all this, is which parties have decided to shine a spotlight on this case.

Some questions that could be asked and answered at trial.

Will the CPRC's finding against Wilson go up against the city's risk management philosophy and be found wanting?

Will Wilson get his administrative hearing or will the city ultimately sell out the CPRC to avoid the "burdensomeness" and "cost" of that process, as happened in Berkeley?

Has Wilson's career suffered from the CPRC's essentially nullified finding?

These and other questions may be asked, but will they be answered?

More likely, the city, Wilson and all "real" parties will settle their differences behind closed doors. The Lady and the Tiger, remember.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You really need to get your facts straight lady, it is sickening to see people who do not support the men and women who protect our city!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006 6:28:00 AM  

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