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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

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

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.

CAMERAS

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?

POINTS OF VIEW

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.

MORE IN COMMON THAN MOST REALIZE

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.

SURVEILLANCE VIDEO

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.”

WHAT DO YOU SEE?

 

 

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.)

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Double shooting suspect shot after high-speed chase / Raw video, photos

Update:  Man shot by police last month in Mukilteo dies / The Herald (Everett), March 18, 2014

INVESTIGATORS

Pursuit stretched from Camano Island to Mukilteo
Speed topped 100mph

(Mukilteo, WA)  On a Sunday mid-afternoon in western Washington, a high-speed chase that covered parts of two counties was but one episode in a dramatic string of violent, dangerous acts that reportedly started—then ended—with gunfire.

First came the call around 3:15pm reporting that a man and woman had been shot on Camano Island.

In very short order, police were in pursuit of the suspect; a 34-year-old man driving a Toyota Camry.

The suspect reportedly put the pedal to the metal, reaching speeds above 100mph as he drove southbound on Interstate-5, and then on SR 526 as he  drove west toward the Mukilteo ferry dock.

The chase finally ended at 53rd Avenue West and 88th Street  Southwest in Mukilteo.

The (Everett) Herald reports that police bumped the suspect’s vehicle (PIT maneuver), causing it to spin out of control.

At least one neighbor has told local media that the suspect was shot after he pulled a gun on officers.

According to news reports, the wanted man was breathing when transported to a local hospital.

*note:  A medic vehicle was leaving the scene just as I arrived.  I rushed to get my camera and shot video of that vehicle leaving the scene (first 2 shots in video below).  While I have no confirmation, I think it’s probable that the wounded suspect was in that vehicle, en route to the hospital.

Raw Video


Scanner Audio (courtesy Daron Johnson)

*Special thanks to:

– Bill Gillam for his excellent tweeting about this pursuit (it’s what tipped me off to it).

– Daron Johnson (@SnoCo_Scanner) and Andrew Kim (@andrewkim101) for their support.

 

 

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Evelyn Romero reacts to “man’s claim” that he’s her long-missing son

AUDIO: Evelyn Romero phone interview conducted September 15, 2011

Sorry, the text from the original post is not available at this time.

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Breaking News: Trial date set for Wayne Bent case

TRIAL SCHEDULED FOR MONDAY, OCTOBER 20

(Beyond90Seconds.com broke this story at approximately 12:25pm PST on July 24. This page was last updated at 1:47pm PST.)

(July 24) Beyond90Seconds.com has learned that a trial date for the State of New Mexico’s criminal case against controversial church leader Wayne Bent has been scheduled to begin Monday, October 20, 2008 at 9am at the Union County Courthouse in Clayton, New Mexico.

The jury trial is scheduled to last five days.

This new information is found in a Criminal Scheduling Order filed in Union County District Court at 10:04am today.

On May 20, a grand jury indicted Bent on four counts: two counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor in the second degree, unclothed. And two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

The next court event in the Bent case is a pre-trial hearing scheduled for August 19 at 2:30pm at the Union County Courthouse.  Beyond90Seconds.com has learned that this hearing had been scheduled for August 12, but was rescheduled this morning due to a scheduling conflict.

According to the Criminal Scheduling Order, the State has until September 1 to present Bent’s attorney with a proposed plea agreement.

Union County Court Deputy Clerk Karen Vieites confirms the jury trial will begin October 20 unless a plea agreement is reached prior to that time.

Criminal Scheduling Order, signed by Judge Gerald E. Baca and delivered this morning to Deputy District Attorney Tomas Benavidez and Wayne Bent’s attorney, Sarah Montoya:


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(See all Beyond90Seconds.com Wayne Bent stories)

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Breaking News: Possible match in mystery feet case


Update: July 19, 6:57pm PST
Feet mystery unrelated to downed plane, CTV (link includes VIDEO)

DNA testing has eliminated the possibility that the feet found washing ashore in B.C. are linked to two brothers whose bodies were never found after a plane crash in 2005. –CTV

(July 18 ) Exclusive CTV video below

INVESTIGATORS NOW LOOKING AT CASE OF FOOTLESS BODY FOUND ON BEACH IN WASHINGTON STATE’S SAN JUAN ISLANDS

Updated: July 18, 6:40pm PST

News reports are just now popping-up on the Web that one of five “mystery feet” that have surfaced in the waters near Vancouver, British Columbia has been matched to a man who was known to be depressed.

Canada’s Globe & Mail goes as far to deliver the headline, Investigators match severed foot to missing man.

CTV’s more conservative headline reads, A possible breakthrough in missing feet mystery.

Be sure to visit the (above) CTV link as a *VIDEO* of tonight’s 6 o’clock CTV news story has just been added, to include exclusive coverage of the footless body that washed-up in nearby Washington State (more on that below).

CTV reports that investigators have made a DNA match between one of the feet and a missing man.  No word on the man’s name yet.  CTV says the name might not be released until next week.

It’s a paragraph near the end of the CTV story (near the bottom of the ol’ inverted pyramid) that, in my opinion, is worth of its own headline:

Meanwhile, CTV news has uncovered what may be another piece of the puzzle of the mystery feet. Today we spoke to a coroner who is dealing with a body with no feet.

That will get your attention.  True to nice television “tease”, CTV advises readers to tune it 6pm.

CTV (Canada) has also posted this updated article this evening.

The Beyond90Seconds archives on this case make for a fascinating collective read.  Follow the link to the archives, then scroll down to go back in time…

More on today’s development as it comes in…

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Breaking News: Police to hold news conference about human feet mystery (VIDEO)

Update (July 10, 11:01am PST)News conference underway: 2-feet came from same person

Update (July 10: 9:48am PST): As we wait for today’s news conference, I thought I’d feature two new videos about the “Mystery Feet” story.

(Please allow a few seconds for video to load.)

Seattle’s KOMO-TV aired a nicely-produced story (above) last night. KOMO’s story does a good job of capturing the intrigue of this case.  The KOMO story also includes interviews with two researchers featured in a June 28 Beyond90Seconds.com report (Pig video lends insight into B.C.’s human feet mystery): forensic scientist Gail Anderson and University of Victoria researcher Richard Dewey.  Dewey is the chief scientist behind the Victoria Experimental Network Under the Sea (VENUS) project.

The second video comes from Canada’s CTV television network and does a terrific job of delivering exclusive information.  Specifically, we learn that the shoes the feet were found in will be displayed at today’s news conference.  The CTV story also states that DNA testing has been completed on all five feet. This is especially significant for relatives of a 2005 plane crash.  Five people died in that watery crash.  But four of the victims have never been located. Investigators do have DNA profiles for those missing plane crash victims.  Based on the CTV report, a headline coming out that new conference later today might be, Mystery feet not connected to plane crash, police seeking public’s help.

But let’s wait and see…

You can watch the CTV story here.

(July 9) Despite a determined effort to stay tight-lipped about the mystery of five human feet that have emerged from the watery depths off of British Columbia, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police now appear ready to give-in to increased pressure from world media outlets.

Today, investigators said that they will hold a “media briefing” Thursday.

According to a Vancouver Sun (Canwest News Service) report :

Authorities in British Columbia have been so inundated with calls from around the world concerning the mysterious human feet that have been washing up on the province’s shores that investigators have promised to hold a media briefing to update the public on the case.

The RCMP and the B.C. Coroners Service have scheduled a joint news conference for Thursday morning in Vancouver. Officials from each agency will answer questions that are relevant to the public interest, the RCMP said Wednesday.

One question left unanswered:  Will investigators show any of the five mystery sneakers at the news conference?  It would appear to be a logical move aimed at generating tips.

According to today’s Vancouver Sun, organizers of Thursday’s news conference are not planning to address yesterday’s discovery of a human foot on a beach in Sweden.

For more insights into this investigation, check out this blog’s earlier story, Pig Video lends insight into B.C.’s  human feet mystery.

You can also read my initial post on this investigation, Truth yet to surface in human feet mystery.  At the time of that initial story, police had announced plans to hold a news conference.

It never happened.

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