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Old 02-18-2015, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Montana
1,718 posts, read 1,537,222 times
Reputation: 5664

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChessieMom View Post
Why on earth ANYONE would point a gun at a policeman, and expect to live, is beyond me.
It's dark, there is a burglary in progrees or a burglar prowling. Cops come to the wrong address with flahlights blinding the homeowner. I am pointing a gun at anybody I don't recognize and can't identify at that point. I probably hold fire until a threat to my life, but being prepared to fire does not strike me as unreasonable in the situation.

Even if the cop doesn't give the commands in a perfectly timely manner, or shoots immediately after giving the command, it's probably a rightous shoot from a police procedure standpoint (different than I think the cop did the right thing here), hence the grand jury aquital. I think the homeowner was a victim of circumstance, and a recent trend toward police opting for lethal measures too quickly IMO.

No Knock 2AM search warrant executions (or "Police!" then all heck breaking loose busting in a door) is another trend in police tactics in urban centers that are bad policing procedure IMO, and dangerous for both the cops and the perps. If you know who you are looking for, show up in force and execute the warrant in daylight hours.

Last I checked, we still presumed people innocent until proven guilty, and IMO the no knock warrant execution is an unreasonable search for anything but a potential homicide/rape/kidnapping in progress. Obviously many judges disagree with my opinion, because they authorize the warrants frequently enough that it appears to be another bad trend in the making.
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Old 02-18-2015, 03:22 PM
 
28,411 posts, read 14,234,018 times
Reputation: 19546
Here's more information - Fort Worth officer not indicted in homeowner
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Old 02-18-2015, 04:55 PM
 
1,562 posts, read 1,067,090 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChessieMom View Post
I don't know. They were not give an exact address, just a street where the burglar alarm had gone off. So if they are standing there looking around, and a guy across the street is walking across the yard, with a handgun out, I guess I would sort of expect a cop to go check that out. That seems quite reasonable in fact.
They were given an address. The problem was that the responding officer was unaware of the fact that streets are divided by even and odd numbered addresses, so they went to the wrong side of the street. I don't remember exactly when I learned about that numbering system myself, but it was probably in about the 2nd grade.
The shooting took place well after contact was made and some discussion had with Mr. Waller. He's a homeowner, in his own garage, protecting his property after hearing his neighbor's alarm ringing. After talking with the officers, Waller agreed to relinquish his gun, placing it on the car. When the other officer reached for it, Waller scrambled to grab it first, and Hoeppner opened fire with a volley of 7 shots.
So let's consider the circumstances. You have an elderly gentleman who is defensive and standoffish, but is obviously not your burglary suspect. I totally understand that police officers have no idea what they're coming upon when they reach a scene and have to make split-second judgments and decisions. So, who/what is Jerry Waller? An adversary? He's an old man who just got out of bed, and he's not real pleased with a couple of 'kids', 50 years his junior, coming onto the property that he paid for, giving him orders.
Pay close attention to the language in the statements offered by Hoeppner:
"...his attitude towards us was very malicious.” “It…it was not, pro-police at all."
I'm curious whether the officers would agree that their attitude was 'pro-citizen'.

"...what person in their right man…mind would ask a peace officer…a, a law enforcement officer…’why’ …when he tells you and give you verbal commands that we’re being serious…, drop the gun, you know. Your law abiding citizen is not going to tell… going to ask you, why.”
In other words: "Are you out of your mind? Don't you ever question me. I gave you a COMMAND. I'm a peace officer, a LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, and you are just a mere citizen. How dare you question my authority".

"The way he talks to me is a very stand-off attitude.” “ You know…you know when he say, get…get the light outta my eyes, it wasn’t please sir; get the light outta my eyes.” “Hey, can you please get the light outta my eyes.” “It was, get the light outta my eyes!” “You know, it was real standoff, like…you know…”
So Officer Hoeppner expects a man, nearly 50 years older than he, who is in his own home, abruptly woken from his sleep, to address him as "sir". What does this tell you, you know?

"I firmly believe that he was trying to find a point and time where…when…when he could shoot me at when…when…when it was the most beneficial time for him to shoot me.”
Preposterous. Absolutely preposterous. Jerry Waller was an old man, woken from his sleep by a neighbor's burglar alarm, doing what any man would do; proactively protecting his wife and his home. These are the ramblings of a rookie cop who knows he overreacted and now has to justify it. No reason at all to believe that Mr. Waller was intent on shooting a police officer.
Maybe what Hoeppner or his partner should have said from the very beginning is: "Sir, we're officers with the Fort Worth Police Department and we're investigating a burglary, have you seen or heard anything"? Might that have changed everything?

I lived in Fort Worth when this incident took place and I've followed it. I realize that this article is one-sided, and I've tried to see it from an opposing viewpoint, but I can not find any justification for shooting this man 7 times in his own garage. At the very least, Hoeppner needs to be terminated. He simply does not possess the skills necessary to be a police officer.
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Old 02-18-2015, 05:18 PM
 
8,257 posts, read 6,081,396 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChessieMom View Post
I don't know. They were not give an exact address, just a street where the burglar alarm had gone off. So if they are standing there looking around, and a guy across the street is walking across the yard, with a handgun out, I guess I would sort of expect a cop to go check that out. That seems quite reasonable in fact.
I read the article again, it did say that he exited the home and entered the garage.. So, I would assume that means coming out the front door and entering an attached garage. Not that there's anything wrong with that.. If I want to walk from my front door into my garage with an AR-15 pointed to the sky.. Totally legal. Though, I agree, if a cop came up and told me to drop the weapon.. I would.

Here's another.. oddity with the story, which is likely due to the craptastic journalism standards of today..

Quote:
In their report, investigators stated that the police officers who responded to a security alarm that night went to the wrong address on Havenwood Lane for three reasons. First, the police mobile data computer did not provide the exact address of the burglar alarm that had sounded. Second, it was extremely dark outside and the officers were unable to see the address numbers on homes or curbs.

I've got three words for you.. One, Two

Maybe.. MAYBE they are saying that extremely dark and unable to see the numbers are separate items.. But, that seems more cause and effect to me.
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Old 02-18-2015, 06:15 PM
 
Location: EPWV
9,950 posts, read 5,809,974 times
Reputation: 11385
Supposedly, If the neighbor's burglar alarm was loud enough for a neighbor across the street to hear from inside the house and get up to see what's going on, you would think that anyone within distance including the responding police would have heard it as well? Unless the alarm was reset or shut off either by time elapse and/or the homeowner?
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Old 02-18-2015, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Staten Island
1,653 posts, read 1,703,753 times
Reputation: 2353
Very disturbing set of circumstances. At the very least this rookie cop should be fired. One of the articles I read stated that both cops responding to the scene had roughly a year each on the force. Why were they paired together? Another question I have is why they did not have their emergency lights flashing? Did they identify themselves as Police officers when they encountered the victim? It seems to me that the reason the victim was reluancant to drop his weapon is because he felt he was encountering a burglar. If the cops had responded with lights and siren perhaps the victim would have been more at ease in the situation.

But that doesn't excuse the cops for responding to the wrong address and than killing this guy. From what I can see these cops are horribly untrained and trigger happy, and not well spoken at all judging by the transcripts of their testimony. How they are not being held accountable is ridiculous.
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Old 02-18-2015, 07:01 PM
 
Location: Subconscious Syncope, USA (Northeastern US)
2,367 posts, read 1,531,527 times
Reputation: 3814
The old man said, "get the light out of my eyes."

According to the officer that opened fire on him, the old man said, "get the light out of my eyes." repeatedly. It didnt cross the officer's mind that the request might be so he could see that it actually was a police officer and not a criminal making the request??

The officer must not realize that no one can SEE they are indeed dealing with police officers while someone is shining flashlights in their eyes, never mind someone with a little age on them, and like most people with age on them, they cannot see as well as they used too even in perfect lighting.

No doubt the community this officer is in will face this again someday. I'm not one of those folks that is generally anti-police nor am I pro-anarchy. Hopefully, the officer becomes a dispatcher, private detective or anything else instead.

Very sad. My sympathies and condolences to the family for their loss.
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Old 02-18-2015, 07:04 PM
 
Location: SC
8,387 posts, read 5,072,008 times
Reputation: 12056
Of course he was, you had doubt anything serious would happen? People need to stay on politicians and continue to vioce opposition to bad cops and bad policing.
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Old 02-18-2015, 07:23 PM
 
Location: Montana
1,718 posts, read 1,537,222 times
Reputation: 5664
Quote:
Originally Posted by PedroMartinez View Post
After reading this, I expect a wrongful death suit filed against the department, the city, and the officer, and a huge out of court settlement to keep it from going to trial.
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Old 02-18-2015, 07:58 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, not Paris. #MAGA.
9,693 posts, read 5,325,555 times
Reputation: 9676
Quote:
Originally Posted by Labonte18 View Post
The rest of the story..

New Details Emerge In Jerry Waller Shooting « CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

There still should have been some form of charges filed here.. My opinion.. Because at the end of the day, the police had no right to be where they were. While we can say that the police have broad immunity in guarding the public safety.. A homeowner in his own home trumps that in most every case.

Obviously, the homeowner isn't without fault in the incident. But neither are the police.
That certainly complicates matters further. Also, I disagree with you that the officers had no right to be where they were. In responding to a burglary alarm on a particular block, the police see what is suspicious, armed activity coming from a garage. Under that circumstance alone, the police had reasonable suspicion to approach and stop (and seek to disarm) the homeowner. Indeed, as far as the officers were (reasonably) concerned under the circumstances, the armed man lurking a garage could have been the suspect. According to the officers, the homeowner was given multiple commands to drop his weapon (I find it hard to believe that the homeowner didn't know that he was facing police uniformed police officers who had flashlights out and were commanding him to drop his weapon . . . indeed, if he truly thought he was under attack by armed men, I suspect he would've shot to save his life as soon as they rolled up instead of, according to the officers, questioning their commands) before he was shot. Ultimately, this was a tragic event, but the officers certainly had a right to be where they were, regardless of whether or not some agree with this or not.
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