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A tale of two shootings: Albuquerque and Ferguson

Guest Commentary

Daniel Klein
Guest columnist Daniel Klein is a retired Albuquerque (NM) police sergeant. He worked for APD for twenty years.

by Daniel Klein

Ferguson and Albuquerque: two nice towns that have been all over the news for reasons that would make their Chambers of Commerce cry.


Albuquerque had the high-profile James Boyd police shooting. It was caught on video.

Boyd, a mentally ill homeless man, was killed by APD officers in March of 2014.

But the Boyd case is not the APD shooting that I think uniquely contrasts with Ferguson’s.

More on that in a moment.


Ferguson had the Michael Brown police shooting in August. It was not caught on video.

In the Brown case, a grand jury investigation considered statements from several witnesses.

Some of those statements support the officer’s account.

Some do not.

So many “experts” (i.e. politicians, attorneys and media members) were quick to question how witnesses in the Brown case could tell such different versions of the same event; many  whom hold  expert opinions seemed to push forward a growing sentiment that a conspiracy was unfolding.

I understand that politicians, attorneys and journalists don’t have to take courses in crime scene investigation, but this lack of comprehension is outrageous and often reckless.


Why do we have so many cameras watching every play in the NFL? Because each camera will tell a different story.

Why is it so hard for the media, attorneys, politicians and the public to understand this?


The Ferguson shooting case should have witnesses with differing points of view. If it didn’t, then I would begin to wonder if some sort of grand conspiracy had been unleashed.

This strikes me as common sense.

But, so often, it seems lost in the rush to blast-out inflammatory headlines; an emblazoned path with oft-scorched truths and buried facts, its twists and turns primarily aimed at shaking loose the most advertising dollars.

So let me make a definitive statement regarding all of the witnesses of the Ferguson shooting: they are all probably correct in what they witnessed (unless they intentionally lied to the grand jury).

No two people are going to view the same incident exactly the same way.  That is why we have the grand jury review all of the information from witnesses. Just like NFL replay.

Back to the original point of this column.


Albuquerque and Ferguson have far more in common concerning the Brown shooting than many likely realize.

Just five days before the Ferguson shooting—now famous for the “hands up, don’t shoot” slogan—the Albuquerque area had a police shooting that bears an eerie resemblance to the Ferguson’s.

This Albuquerque shooting began with a call to dispatch reporting road rage.

A man had rammed his ex-girlfriend’s car.

Once the car was disabled, the man tried to run the woman over, narrowly missing her.

As a Bernalillo County Deputy drove up to the scene, he was attacked while still inside his police vehicle.

Twice, the ex-boyfriend rammed his truck into the deputy’s police unit, pinning the deputy inside.

After the second ramming, the ex-boyfriend jumped out of this truck and was shot and killed by the deputy (who was injured and pinned inside his car).

At the moment he was shot, the ex-boyfriend had his hands up.

Does that mean he was surrendering?

Just because someone has their hands in the air, does that mean they are giving up?  That this violence they have brought to bear upon others has ended?

I don’t believe that’s always the case.


Just as in Ferguson, many witnesses will see the event from their own viewpoint, but this shooting in Albuquerque had one big difference.

It was recorded by a surveillance camera.

Everyone can see the incident from the viewpoint of the camera.

I would ask the reader to watch this video and then ask, Does hands up mean don’t shoot?

Do you think the ex-boyfriend was no longer a threat to the deputy who was injured and trapped inside his patrol car?

Watch this video and put yourself in the officer’s position.

See if you conclude that there was a lot more going on than just “hands up, don’t shoot.”




I think the entire nation should take a step back from making any decisions about Ferguson until we have thoroughly read the entire grand jury report.

I recognize that asking journalists, attorneys, politicians and citizens to take a step back and reasonably review the investigation won’t sell advertising and won’t stir the passions of civil discontent, but it might make all of us seem a bit more intelligent.

To those who do take pride in your reputation and don’t act hastily, I make one more request: demand that your friends, family and media do the same.

We will all be better off when we don’t blindly allow ourselves to be manipulated by the media, talking head politicians, our friends and family.

Research, review and think for yourself.

(Note: Additional video and information concerning last August’s shooting in Albuquerque can be found at KRQE-TV.)

Beyond 90 Seconds border crossers crimes against children documentary firearms Full Disclosure gangs guns Horner illegal immigrants illegal immigration Jamiel Shaw Jamiel Shaw II Jamiel Shaw Jr. LAPD law enforcement Leslie Dutton Los Angeles murder News Pedro Espinoza reporting street gangs true crime video Walter Moore

Jamiel Shaw II’s parents speak-out in new documentary

The Los Angeles murder story that continues to fuel heated political debate concerning illegal immigration is now the focus of a new documentary produced by the alternative news source Full Disclosure Network. The documentary provides an in-depth interview with the parents of the late Jamiel Shaw II.

Police say Jamiel Shaw II, 17, was walking home and speaking with his girlfriend on a cell phone March 2 when a gang member approached him, then shot and killed him.

It’s a case has closely followed from the beginning.

Investigators have charged a 19-year-old Pedro Espinoza with the murder. Espinoza, who is an illegal immigrant, had been released from jail just 28-hours prior to Shaw II’s murder.

Police do not believe the victim knew his killer. The victim’s parents believe their son was killed because he was black. In the new documentary, Shaw’s parents claim that some city leaders refuse to acknowledge this alleged motive because doing so would be politically unpopular.

The Jamiel Shaw II case has prompted one mayoral candidate to propose Jamiel’s Law, an effort to amend the Los Angeles Police Department’s Special Order 40.

Proponents of Jamiel’s Law argue that police should be allowed to make inquiries concerning an arrested person’s immigration status if that person is believed to be a gang member.

Presently, Special Order 40 dictates that “officers shall not initiate police action with the objective of discovering the alien status of a person.”

Shaw’s parents have also blasted people who’ve claimed that their son had gang ties, suggesting that the claim is part of a smear campaign aimed at dissuading voters from supporting Jamiel’s Law.

According to the Web site, the person who produced its new documentary is Leslie Dutton. The Web site provides the following information concerning Dutton’s background:

For more than a decade, Emmy Award winning producer-host Leslie Dutton has provided an alternative news source with Full Disclosure Network®. More than mere investigative journalism, Leslie has exposed political corruption, voter fraud, malfunctioning state courts, and errant police policy where it compromised the Rule of Law.

From the judicial system to the Presidency, she has interviewed prosecutors, police chiefs, & attorneys general, pursuing government accountability in issues including Iran Contra, Watergate, Whitewater, immigration policy (See Special Order 40), border security, and its effect on the War on Terrorism.

A nearly 10-minute long excerpt of the Full Disclosure documentary recently appeared on youtube. The excerpt also appears on the Full Disclosture Web site beneath the headline, “Is LA soft on criminal alien gangs?”

You can also watch the video here:

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Remembering Officer Erik Hite

Update (June 13, 7:47am PST): Unedited aerial video of funeral procession from Phoenix TV helicopter (

Update (June 12, 9:25am PST): This is a link to The Officer Down Memorial Page, Inc. entry for TPD Officer Erik David Hite. In addition to the main page, the “Reflections” page is a worthy read.

Update (June 10, 4:53pm PST): On the hottest day so far this year, many Tucsonans lined the streets to say farewell to fallen Tucson Police Officer Erik Hite.

As the mercury climbed to 106 degrees, a massive funeral procession made its way through the city’s eastside. At least one local media outlet reported that the procession was “11 miles long.”

The following video of the procession was shot along Speedway Boulevard near Prudence Road.

Slain Tucson Police Officer Erik Hite will be laid to rest today. The video that appears in this post features scenes from a roadside memorial this morning. It concludes with information about viewing today’s memorial service on the Internet.

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Live Web coverage planned for slain officer’s memorial service

Slain Tucson Police Officer Erik Hite

update (June 10): Remembering Officer Erik Hite (*video*)

update: KVOA reports its live coverage will begin at 9:30am Tuesday.

A memorial service honoring the life of Tucson Police Officer Erik Hite will be streamed live on the Internet. KVOA-TV (NBC) and KOLD-TV (CBS) both report that they will provide live coverage on their respective Web sites Tuesday morning. The memorial service is scheduled to begin at 10am.

Investigators say Officer Hite, 43, was ambushed and fatally wounded Sunday, June 1. He is survived by his wife and two children (including a daughter who turned one-year-old June 7.).

Officer Hite had served in the military for 21-years prior to serving the Tucson Police Department for four years.

Two deputies from the Pima County Sheriff’s Office were also shot in the June 1 rampage. Their injuries are not life threatening.

The shooting spree started on Tucson’s northwest side. A pursuit of the suspect’s vehicle stretched across the city, and finally ended when 25-year-old David Nickolas Delich surrendered to authorities on the Mt. Lemmon Highway.

Investigators say Delich was heavily-armed.

The suspect has two myspace accounts. On one myspace site, Delich is pictured with two rifles. Another picture provides a look at the rifles and numerous rounds of ammunition. Investigators say the pictures appear to have been posted on myspace June 1 (the same day as the shooting rampage).

Tucson television station KGUN (ABC) reports that it plans to provide live TV coverage of Officer Hite’s memorial service (as will KVOA & KOLD). It does not appear KGUN will be providing live coverage on its Web site.

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ambushed Bulgarian Bulgarian rifles cop cop killer cops David Nickolas Delich Erik Hite fallen officers firearms guns law enforcement murder News Nick Delich Officer Erik Hite Officer involved shootings police shootings Polish Polish rifles reporting rifles Sabino true crime Tucson weapons

What are those weapons featured on Delich’s myspace page?

Update (June 12): Alleged shooter’s father writes to victims (Arizona Daily Star)

Update (June 12): Delich documents say searches turned up guns, ammo, pot (Arizona Daily Star)

Update (June 10): Remembering Officer Erik Hite (*videos*)

Update (June 6): Witnesses say killer laughed as he fired (Arizona Daily Star)

A man accused of killing an officer and wounding two sheriff’s deputies Sunday was laughing and making snide remarks during and after the shooting spree that spanned 20 miles, reports released Thursday state. -Arizona Daily Star

Picture from Delich's myspace page

The short answer to the question in the headline is, “deadly.” And while I’m not yet aware of any evidence that any of the pictured weapons were used in the shooting spree that killed a Tucson police officer, I wanted to learn the names of the weapons in the picture above.

The photo is featured on David Nickolas Delich’s myspace page. Investigators say Delich shot three law enforcement officers Sunday, fatally wounding TPD Officer Erik Hite.

While I know very little about guns and rifles, I do know someone who is both very familiar with firearms and highly-trained in the proper use of them. Because he’s also somewhat well-known to factions of the Tucson community, he has asked that I not identify him here.

Here is what my source told me about the weapons featured in the picture:

Rifle on the floor, in the back ground:
Polish Tantal, caliber 5.45x39mm

Rifle on the floor, in the foreground:
Bulgarian RPK, caliber 5.45x39mm

Assorted magazines for both on the floor also appear to be Bulgarian manufacture.
Round capacities are both 30 rounds and some that are 45 round capacities.

About these rifles, do not think that Polish or Bulgarian made military rifles are available here on the firearms market. These weapons are imported into the United States in the form of parts kits with the receiver (the metal box holding the trigger mechanism) cut and removed. There is a whole industry in the US to then build these rifles into federally compliant firearms, meaning semi-auto firing, not fully automatic firing weapons. There is a company called K-Var:
and they sell, and sold weapon parts kits, magazines, etc in the past. One of the other companies that made receivers, the box that holds the guts of the weapons is NoDak Spud:

All of these are of course legal weapons from that I can see and from what I have heard there never was any report of Delich using fully automatic weapons on the day of his rampage.

So, based on what my source is telling me, these are all legal weapons. Perhaps they were all legally obtained, too.

Maybe not.

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Beyond 90 Seconds border crossers California crimes against children firearms gangs illegal immigrants illegal immigration Jamiel Shaw Jr. LAPD Los Angeles murder News Pedro Espinoza true crime Walter Moore

Arrest in Jamiel Shaw murder case

New Developments:

Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton said Wednesday that the department’s controversial policy on dealing with illegal immigrants was widely misunderstood by the public and some of his own officers, and he would clarify the rule in the next couple of weeks. -Los Angeles Times

  • KNBC, 19-year-old pleads not guilty in Jamiel Shaw, Jr. homicide case, April 9
  •, Shaw’s family proposes law to help curb violence (VIDEO), April 8
  • FOX News, “Jamiel’s Law” targets illegal immigrant gang members, April 8
  •, Jamiel Shaw’s parents meet with city leaders, April 8
  • The Daily Collegian (Penn State University) Cities bleed with ‘death by percentages, April 8
  •, Fear of a Black-Brown race war in Los Angeles, April 3
  • Independent Weekly (North Carolina), For Eve and Jamiel, and everyone else (commentary), April 2
  •, Family of Jamiel Shaw to voice support for “Jamiel’s Law” on Doug McIntyre tomorrow morning (posted April 1) *note: Doug McIntyre is a radio host on KABC (Los Angeles). You can listen to his program here.
  • Daily News (Los Angeles), Barbarians are within the gate, March 30:

    The latest atrocity was the slaughter of 17-year-old Jamiel Shaw Jr., a star footballer who caught the eye of top college recruiters. Tragically, he also caught the eye of an illegal-alien gangbanger who gunned him down while Jamiel’s mother served in Iraq.

    You can’t make this up. The irony of fighting a war against terrorism half a world away while a generation of Angelenos is shot to pieces by local terrorists, while your own son is cut down at home…. Wow.

  • CNN, Dad faces son’s alleged killer; sees ‘normal’ youngster, March 26
    Murder suspect Pedro Espinoza
  • Times Record News (Wichita Falls, Texas), “A horrible waste,” March 25

    Jamiel Shaw Jr., a teenager on the verge of living out an American dream, was gunned down by someone who authorities believe had no business still living in America. -Times Record News

  • MyFoxLA, Arraigment postponed in Jamiel Shaw case, March 25
  • KABC-TV, Man accused of killing teen heads to court, March 25


Mayor: Suspect “is a member of one of our most notorious gangs.”
Police chief: Espinoza is “a documented 18th Street” gang member released from jail “one day” before the shooting.

KNBC reports arraignment for suspect Pedro Espinoza postponed to March 25.


Just as friends and family of Jamiel Shaw Jr. are gathering for the teenager’s funeral, reports out of Los Angeles state that an arrest has been made in the case.

Reports out of Los Angles state that suspect Pedro Espinoza, 19, is believed to be a gang member. KABC quotes a source that claims Espinoza was “an active participant in a criminal street gang and the murder was carried out to further the activities of the criminal street gang.”

The state of California must still determine if this is a death penalty case.

Your thoughts about the Jamiel Shaw Jr. murder investigation are welcome here. Please feel free to comment.

-Los Angeles Times photo gallery of Jamiel Shaw Jr. funeral