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Mehserle found guilty; Oakland (relatively) safe for now. [BART shooting]

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Posts

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Drez wrote: »
    Obama could grant him a presidential pardon.

    I guess you didn't think of THAT did you, Mr. Fancy-Pantsy Smarty Pants?

    Still wouldn't work. A Presidential pardon is an admission of guilt (Nixon opposed Ford's pardon initially for this reason.)

    Not that Drez was serious, but from my reading of a couple sites it appears that a Presidential pardon does reinstate civil rights...but it's not automatic. You still have to fight your state to get it taken care of.

    Reading the law alone suggests that a Presidential pardon wouldn't reinstate gun rights; it doesn't "erase" the conviction so theoretically you still count as having been convicted of a felony. However, I guess case law has established that it does.

  • DacDac Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Wait what.

    Mehserle is appealing?

    What the fuck? Dude, you got off with 2 years WITH TIME SERVED - you're practically walking away from this. It's like the minimum possible sentence you could get.

    What are you trying to accomplish? Do you really expect a higher court to go 'oh no this is okay you did nothing wrong'? I'd be extremely shocked if they did, and you're just opening yourself up to a harsher sentence. Right?

    Guhgh.


  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Dac wrote: »
    Wait what.

    Mehserle is appealing?

    What the fuck? Dude, you got off with 2 years WITH TIME SERVED - you're practically walking away from this. It's like the minimum possible sentence you could get.

    What are you trying to accomplish? Do you really expect a higher court to go 'oh no this is okay you did nothing wrong'? I'd be extremely shocked if they did, and you're just opening yourself up to a harsher sentence. Right?

    Guhgh.

    AFAIK no bad can come of appealing. If you can pay the lawyers, it's a no-brainer.

  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    mcdermott wrote: »
    So It Goes wrote: »
    What are you basing this on?

    Can you cite an instance where this has happened with a manslaughter charge and one that was committed while the cop was on duty? Or point to any of these "many" judges that have moved hell and high water for someone similarly situated?

    You also underestimate law enforcement agencies' concern with liability. What force in their right mind would hire this dude? He'd either create an avalanche of complaints instantly or be in pretty severe danger every time he went out on the streets. Not worth it.

    I know that there are people who are cops who should not be allowed to be cops because of their past history, that's obvious. But you are completely overstating the "ease" with which this guy could become a cop again (if he even wanted to).
    Yeah, the conviction here creates a nice paperwork trail that equals "easy payday" if he fucks up again...his old department is probably already going to have to pay out $texas, and another department that was dumb enough to hire him again after this? What's bigger than $texas?

    Departments (and police unions) will fight tooth and nail to defend current cops, but I don't see any department sticking their neck out to hire an ex-cop in his situation. Absent a successful appeal, I can't see how you can rationally suggest that he's likely to be a cop again.
    Except the people who are going to be responsible for paying out $Texas aren't the cops; they never take anything like that out of the police budget, they take it out of the general funds, which means it mostly comes out of schools and infrastructure.

    So, the people responsible for hiring him have no reason not to hire him; it's not like if he fucks up, they'll get fired. No, cops never get held responsible for stuff like that, because the settlements are universally sealed. Which is fucking retarded.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Dac wrote: »
    Wait what.

    Mehserle is appealing?

    What the fuck? Dude, you got off with 2 years WITH TIME SERVED - you're practically walking away from this. It's like the minimum possible sentence you could get.

    What are you trying to accomplish? Do you really expect a higher court to go 'oh no this is okay you did nothing wrong'? I'd be extremely shocked if they did, and you're just opening yourself up to a harsher sentence. Right?

    Guhgh.

    It's not the minimum possible sentence. Given the "unusual circumstances" the judge had the latitude to sentence him to probation instead.

    Additionally e cannot be convicted of any higher charges (double jeopardy). Which means the only thing he's opening himself up to is a stiffer sentence for the charges he was convicted of. It's unlikely the gun enhancement would stick; the judge's reasoning on that was sound (though yeah, I'd liked to have seen him do more time). Which means the only risk he runs is that another judge would sentence him to the "average" term (36 months)...a 48-month sentence (the max, IIRC...maybe it's 60 months) is unlikely, as there are no real aggravating factors (his negligence and the death of another individual are implied by the charge itself).

    So, realistically, the greatest risk involved is a one-year longer sentence...of which, with good behavior, he'd serve six months. So he's risking (realistically) a six-month extension for a shot at having the conviction thrown out entirely (and perhaps not being re-tried). So by risking (and it's a low risk) six more months in prison (given he's already serving 12 total) he has a shot to clear his record entirely and a much better shot at being a cop again.

    Seems like a no-brainer to me.


    EDIT: I'll also say that his sentence wasn't a "sweetheart" deal. It sounds lenient, but it's pretty normal. Getting time served credited toward your sentence is pretty normal. Getting double credit for that time for good behavior is also, by my understanding, not unusual (because it's treated as normal time in prison would have been, and he did behave himself). And as I pointed out, his sentence was only one year (six months with good behavior) less than the average. Aside from throwing the gun enhancement out, the judge hardly did him any favors.

  • mythagomythago Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    mcdermott wrote: »
    this old department is probably already going to have to pay out $texas

    In the laugh-so-you-don't-hit-things department, the verdict will probably be helpful in the family's civil lawsuit against BART. Because if he only killed Grant because he mixed up his Taser and his gun, then clearly it's because BART didn't train him adequately before they handed him two weapons and sent him on his merry way. It's harder for BART to say "Mehserle was a rogue cop who just shot some guy!" with an involuntary manslaughter verdict.

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  • gtrmpgtrmp Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Taramoor wrote: »
    The more I think about this, the more I think you are right.

    Once he lost his job, he lost all the protections that being a cop provides.

    I won't be astonished if he somehow gets his job back, but I'm no longer just going to presume it will happen.

    Yeah, the only perks he's likely to see now are free beers down at O'Callahan's and getting the occasional speeding ticket fixed.

    If he's not acquitted on appeal, he's all but guaranteed to end up with a job in the private corrections industry. Like a police liaison for the Corrections Corporation of America.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    mythago wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    this old department is probably already going to have to pay out $texas

    In the laugh-so-you-don't-hit-things department, the verdict will probably be helpful in the family's civil lawsuit against BART. Because if he only killed Grant because he mixed up his Taser and his gun, then clearly it's because BART didn't train him adequately before they handed him two weapons and sent him on his merry way. It's harder for BART to say "Mehserle was a rogue cop who just shot some guy!" with an involuntary manslaughter verdict.

    Fine by me. Because I'm able to actually accept the possibility that this is actually the case (negligence over malice), and because even assuming malice the department should be held accountable for hiring terrible people.

    Especially since more often than not they are not caught the first time they are terrible. It's just hard to cover up a cellphone video of them killing somebody.



    But, while we've went around and around before on this, I can absolutely accept the possibility of mistaking one's gun for one's Taser. Mistakes that seem preposterous when sitting there coldly considering them after the fact can quite easily happen in stressful and dynamic situations. The only reason I accept the conviction for involuntary manslaughter to begin with is because even assuming the mix-up story is true the use of the Taser was inappropriate enough to constitute negligence/recklessness.

    If he's not acquitted on appeal, he's all but guaranteed to end up with a job in the private corrections industry. Like a police liaison for the Corrections Corporation of America.

    The idea of this makes me sad.

  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades Parental Unit RemulakRegistered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Don't ex-cops have a very high likelihood of entering security?

    ElJeffe wrote: »
    I get by on the knowledge that I'm not going to spend a whole lot of time mucking about inside of my asshole anyway
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Don't ex-cops have a very high likelihood of entering security?

    Pretty sure. Although a private entity is much more likely to consider potential liability than a police department (who, as Than pointed out, doesn't necessarily see their budget reduced if he fucks up and they lose a lawsuit).

    Thought the felony conviction would bar him from a lot of jobs, either because he can't be armed or because they just straight-up wouldn't want to hire a felon. There are plenty of ex-cops who aren't felons (even if they were terminated for wrongdoing) to choose from.

  • DacDac Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Huh, I thought the max he could go to was like 14 years or something.

    Then yeah, if 48 months is really the only max he could go to (or 60 whatever), which is unlikely, then yeah, I guess it makes sense for him to continue. I thought the danger of harsher sentence was way higher than that.


  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Dac wrote: »
    Huh, I thought the max he could go to was like 14 years or something.

    Then yeah, if 48 months is really the only max he could go to (or 60 whatever), which is unlikely, then yeah, I guess it makes sense for him to continue. I thought the danger of harsher sentence was way higher than that.

    That was with the gun enhancement (which took the max up by like ten years).

    However, the judge determined that the gun enhancement was inconsistent with the involuntary manslaughter verdict, as it required intent to use the gun...or some such.

    EDIT: It's possible that by appealing he opens himself up to having the gun enhancement added again, I'm not sure. But it's incredibly unlikely. From what I read, the judge's reasoning on that was sound, and I'm not even sure if it's possible to have that brought back.

  • DacDac Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    What is the model for the BART PDs taser, anyway?

    And where is it carried?

    I mean, I know it's kind of pointless to grumble about now, but the idea of fucking up that hard, where you mix up your gun and your taser, even if you are inexperienced ...

    I mean, the model GUN they use has a safety, right? Pretty much all handguns do? So he would have had to disengage it at some point before firing, right? If not, he must have had his safety off in his holster when deadly force isn't close to being necessary, right? So either scenario raises an eyebrow from me.

    Does the taser have a safety in an identical spot? And a grip that can be easily confused as a gun grip? And was it placed on the same side as the officer's real gun? Because if so, I could understand the mix-up. Otherwise, though? I'm kind of scratching my head. Suspicion, however, is not proof.

    Thing is, I'm willing to accept that Mehserle might've panicked. He was outnumbered, inexperienced, probably too wound up. And had weapons. Bad combo. But when you make that monumental a fuck-up, when you open fire so fast that you apparently don't have time to register that the thing in your hand isn't your taser, I think that a harsher sentence should be in order. That's all.


  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    This incident is really the best argument for taking tasers away from cops that I have ever seen.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Dac wrote: »
    I mean, the model GUN they use has a safety, right? Pretty much all handguns do? So he would have had to disengage it at some point before firing, right? If not, he must have had his safety off in his holster when deadly force isn't close to being necessary, right? So either scenario raises an eyebrow from me.

    Does the taser have a safety in an identical spot? And a grip that can be easily confused as a gun grip? And was it placed on the same side as the officer's real gun? Because if so, I could understand the mix-up. Otherwise, though? I'm kind of scratching my head. Suspicion, however, is not proof.

    Thing is, I'm willing to accept that Mehserle might've panicked. He was outnumbered, inexperienced, probably too wound up. And had weapons. Bad combo. But when you make that monumental a fuck-up, when you open fire so fast that you apparently don't have time to register that the thing in your hand isn't your taser, I think that a harsher sentence should be in order. That's all.

    Okay, I'm going to be kind of a dick about this. Because it's just really annoying when people jump in and make a ton of assumptions about shit that, right out of the gate, they prove they know fuck all about.

    No, pretty much all handguns do not have safeties. Many do. Many handguns instead incorporate a heavier trigger pull, and internal components to prevent accidental discharge (where the trigger isn't even pulled). Some don't even do that.

    Many guns carried by police do not have safeties. Safety is not pulling the trigger. I don't know about cops, but in the military we train extensively to keep our finger off the trigger until the moment we get ready to pull it. I imagine it's the same for them. Anyway, I imagine the reason cops carry guns without safeties is the same reason I keep a handgun (that has no safety) chambered in my house; because if for some reason I'm actually using it, I want as few chances to fuck it up as possible. I don't want to have to work a slide, or work a safety, I want to be able to pull the trigger and have it go boom...no more, no less.

    Now that we've established that many handguns do not have safeties, and that police commonly carry handguns that do not have safeties, care to place a bet on whether Mehserle's gun had a safety?

    I actually had to do some googling, and I'm not positive on the accuracy, but I found only two accounts of what gun he carried and they agree: it was a Sig P226, in .40S&W, which (you guessed it) has no manual safety.

    So, now that we've established you know jack shit about guns, including the one in this incident, I'll mention that his Taser did indeed have a gun-style grip (though obviously it's ergonomically different, different weight, etc.). And he carried them on opposite sides, but had not been carrying the Taser for long at the time of the incident. You'll probably still try to jam these facts into your preconcieved notion of what happened, which is cool and all, but I'd consider backing up for a second and considering just how willing you've proven yourself to be to make a bunch of assumptions about things you know (demonstrably) jack shit about.
    This incident is really the best argument for taking tasers away from cops that I have ever seen.

    Indeed. Especially since, as we found out afterward, it's not the first time this has happened. It's happened a handful of times around the country, including (apparently) a couple miles from where I'm sitting right now.

    Regardless of whether these are legitimate fuckups or just convenient excuses, it's pretty obvious that this is just yet another way Tasers become a little less "less lethal" than some like to think.

  • DacDac Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    edit: ugh, you know what? Not even going to bother. I'm just going to apologize and sliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide on out.

    Peace.


  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Dac wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    rage

    There are probably a lot of more effective, calmer ways you could have put this. I'll chalk it up to you being tired, or something.

    Don't. I get pretty annoyed when somebody poses what definitely appear to be rhetorical questions, without actually knowing the answer to them (and instead assuming it). Like, you already knew the things you should maybe go look up or get answers on before forming an opinion/argument on the matter.

    But instead...
    I'm willing to admit I know jack shit about guns. That ... is pretty clear. I was hoping to have a discussion - you've brought up some points I didn't know - not, you know, be vaguely insulted.

    So the gun didn't have a finger-safety. That's one point. He still fired it before realizing what he was holding.

    And, given that it handles in a very similar fashion to a gun, this is entirely possible to do. Especially under stress. Something that, while "appeals to authority" piss some folks here off, generally only people who have actually had to carry guns "for realsies" tend to understand.

    Being somebody who has had to do so, I get annoyed when others (who haven't), act like they know about this.
    He fired it when realistically he shouldn't have needed a taser anyway.

    And here we are in absolute agreement.
    I still think it's gross negligence and deserves more than the sentence he got.

    Indeed it is gross negligence. It's that very gross negligence that turns this into the crime of Involuntary Manslaughter (you can go back through the thread if you're unsure about the different levels of Homicide in California; I'm pretty sure I covered them). Absent that negligence, he'd be guilty of.......

    ....... *crickets*

    ....nothing. It would be what we like to call "an accident," and he'd probably still be a cop.

    The average sentence in California (and probably similar in most states) for killing somebody through gross negligence is 36 months. Which is 12 months more than he got, 6 with good behavior. Now, the average Californian is not required to carry a weapon as part of their job, let alone two (to get them mixed up), so the average Californian has the luxury of not being placed in a situation where such negligence is at all likely to be an issue. A judge decided that this constituted a mitigating factor, which gee it kinda sorta is, so he knocked a year off the sentence.

    I've yet to see anybody put forward an argument that it's an aggravating factor, thus justifying a harsher punishment, at least nothing more substantial than "cops are bad!" or the less biased but more vague "cops should be held to a higher standard!"

    Now, perhaps you just think that gross negligence leading to a death in general needs a stiffer sentence. Perhaps. But make sure you really think that one through first, and think of all the forms of negligence that might happen, daily, across a state of over fifty million people (and a nation of three hundred million, while you're at it).

  • DacDac Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Before I go, I pretty much ... agree with you on most of that. I did form an opinion without knowing everything, and that is probably remiss of me because I brought it to a debate thread. So my bad on that.

    And I would probably say that yes, I do think gross negligence leading to death deserves harsher punishment than it has, but that's also probably an emotional reaction to the circumstances of the particular case, too. If I killed someone on accident, I sure as Hell wouldn't want to serve 10 years.

    So... Yeah. Sorry for making assumptions. Hope to be better in chats in the future.


  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Dac wrote: »
    Before I go, I pretty much ... agree with you on most of that. I did form an opinion without knowing everything, and that is probably remiss of me because I brought it to a debate thread. So my bad on that.

    And I would probably say that yes, I do think gross negligence leading to death deserves harsher punishment than it has, but that's also probably an emotional reaction to the circumstances of the particular case, too. If I killed someone on accident, I sure as Hell wouldn't want to serve 10 years.

    So... Yeah. Sorry for making assumptions. Hope to be better in chats in the future.

    Oh, man, don't sweat it. Like I said up front, I was being kind of a dick about it.

    The bolded is the key takeaway, I think. Any criminal justice system you want to apply to Mehserle applies to you as well. Same thing for people trying to push for a conviction on murder (or torture, as was mentioned in this thread's last run); which is only possible if you assume intent that there was very little evidence of.

    Whatever presumption of innocence you'd like for yourself needs to be given to Mehserle. And any punishment for fatal negligence you'd give to him would, more than likely, apply to you as well.



    Which is why despite the fact that I'm pretty sure that Mehserle is a miserable fuck, and what happened to Grant is unforgivable, this is probably about the right outcome. A full year in jail/prison, a felony conviction, and (likely) not being a cop ever again is the punishment Mehserle deserves in any criminal justice system that I'd subject myself to as well.

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Dac wrote: »
    Before I go, I pretty much ... agree with you on most of that. I did form an opinion without knowing everything, and that is probably remiss of me because I brought it to a debate thread. So my bad on that.

    And I would probably say that yes, I do think gross negligence leading to death deserves harsher punishment than it has, but that's also probably an emotional reaction to the circumstances of the particular case, too. If I killed someone on accident, I sure as Hell wouldn't want to serve 10 years.

    So... Yeah. Sorry for making assumptions. Hope to be better in chats in the future.

    Oh, man, don't sweat it. Like I said up front, I was being kind of a dick about it.

    The bolded is the key takeaway, I think. Any criminal justice system you want to apply to Mehserle applies to you as well. Same thing for people trying to push for a conviction on murder (or torture, as was mentioned in this thread's last run); which is only possible if you assume intent that there was very little evidence of.

    Whatever presumption of innocence you'd like for yourself needs to be given to Mehserle. And any punishment for fatal negligence you'd give to him would, more than likely, apply to you as well.



    Which is why despite the fact that I'm pretty sure that Mehserle is a miserable fuck, and what happened to Grant is unforgivable, this is probably about the right outcome. A full year in jail/prison, a felony conviction, and (likely) not being a cop ever again is the punishment Mehserle deserves in any criminal justice system that I'd subject myself to as well.

    See, and this is where myself and a few others here disagree - he should be held to a higher standard, by virtue of being a cop.

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  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Dac wrote: »
    Before I go, I pretty much ... agree with you on most of that. I did form an opinion without knowing everything, and that is probably remiss of me because I brought it to a debate thread. So my bad on that.

    And I would probably say that yes, I do think gross negligence leading to death deserves harsher punishment than it has, but that's also probably an emotional reaction to the circumstances of the particular case, too. If I killed someone on accident, I sure as Hell wouldn't want to serve 10 years.

    So... Yeah. Sorry for making assumptions. Hope to be better in chats in the future.

    Oh, man, don't sweat it. Like I said up front, I was being kind of a dick about it.

    The bolded is the key takeaway, I think. Any criminal justice system you want to apply to Mehserle applies to you as well. Same thing for people trying to push for a conviction on murder (or torture, as was mentioned in this thread's last run); which is only possible if you assume intent that there was very little evidence of.

    Whatever presumption of innocence you'd like for yourself needs to be given to Mehserle. And any punishment for fatal negligence you'd give to him would, more than likely, apply to you as well.



    Which is why despite the fact that I'm pretty sure that Mehserle is a miserable fuck, and what happened to Grant is unforgivable, this is probably about the right outcome. A full year in jail/prison, a felony conviction, and (likely) not being a cop ever again is the punishment Mehserle deserves in any criminal justice system that I'd subject myself to as well.

    See, and this is where myself and a few others here disagree - he should be held to a higher standard, by virtue of being a cop.
    Also, the fact that he had absolutely no business drawing a taser on the guy means that this should really be treated as first-degree murder, regardless of the fact that it was accidental.

  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited November 2010
    mcdermott wrote: »
    Don't ex-cops have a very high likelihood of entering security?

    Pretty sure. Although a private entity is much more likely to consider potential liability than a police department (who, as Than pointed out, doesn't necessarily see their budget reduced if he fucks up and they lose a lawsuit).

    Thought the felony conviction would bar him from a lot of jobs, either because he can't be armed or because they just straight-up wouldn't want to hire a felon. There are plenty of ex-cops who aren't felons (even if they were terminated for wrongdoing) to choose from.

    What kind of security?

    The mall where I work pays pretty well (especially with a little overtime) but I don't think we've ever had a former police officer apply for anything but upper management (pure admin, not security). We have had a significant number of former staff move on up to police constable, but in the decade I've been here in various capacities I don't recall a single instance of the reverse occurring.

    Then again, our staff are not permitted to carry much more than radios and handcuffs, so the appeal to people who absolutely must have a [strike]penis replacement[/strike] weapon on hand during their shift might be minimal.

    Far as I know, Brinks is among the few larger security firms in the area that has armed staff, and I believe that's strictly for armoured car cash deliveries to ATMs, banks, etc.

    Even with abuses and mistakes in place, I'm not quite ready to give up on the taser as a potential tool on the Use of Force Continuum. It'd just be nice if people stopped fucking said continuum up so dramatically.

    And while I'm not trying to pick a fight, there were a number of people here who were under the impression that this guy would get presidentially ordered blow jobs and pudding. What he may have gotten may or may not have been a comparative slap on the wrist, but I find it amusing that now it's a case of expecting him to be packing heat on a force somewhere in short order. Feels like the goalposts are moving.

    sigtwo.png
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited November 2010
    Thanatos wrote: »
    Also, the fact that he had absolutely no business drawing a taser on the guy means that this should really be treated as first-degree murder, regardless of the fact that it was accidental.

    If you have no understanding whatsoever what first-degree murder means, I guess.

    The only way you're going to get there is to get the use of the Taser in and of itself, even absent the death that ensued, to be a "freestanding" felony, to get it as a felony murder. Which it wasn't.

    Like, I really bought your Torture (an actual California law, to those who weren't here) argument from before. Logically it makes sense, and I agree that's probably what went down. It just wasn't proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

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