Posts Tagged ‘guns’
On Thursday afternoon a robbery was attempted at the Canadian Tire store on Grandview Highway at Rupert in east Vancouver. The suspect, Daniel Peter Rintoul, 38, a large white male, 6’1”, 380 llbs., allegedly stabbed a clerk in his 50’s then broke into a long rifle cabinet. Whether he retrieved one or more rifles and ammunition depends on which reports you read.
What I do know is that on Friday I was contacted by Global TV reporter Rumina Daya to review five minutes of citizen journalism video and to comment on it. Snippets of the video were broadcast on Global’s six o’clock news hour broadcast that evening. You can watch those reports here.
On the video you can see two VPD plainclothes officers attempt to arrest the large man as he exits the store. In the ensuing ground fight, the sort of wrestling match police officers everywhere get in on a regular basis, one of the officers clearly gets stabbed multiple times. He jumps up holding his abdomen, points his weapon at the big man and fires. His partner is extricating himself and in the video it’s not clear if he fired his weapon as well.
The stabbed officer then falls backward. A uniformed officer carrying a long-barrelled weapon trains his weapon on the downed suspect outside the kill zone of 20 feet.
The stabbed officer’s partner moves quickly to check on his downed partner, sees the wounds, quickly gloves up and begins first aid. The suspect can be clearly heard screaming numerous times, “Finish me off.” The officer with the long-barrelled weapon, keeps trained on the suspect and keeps his distance.
As the suspect is yelling and starts getting to his feet he lets off a blast of bear spray. You can clearly see the spray being released as he is yelling at the police to kill him. When he gets to his feet with an arm extended, likely with the knife used to stab two people so far, more shots are fired. Judging by the sounds I heard, it sounds like a short volley of C8 and 9mm suggesting another officer is present and fired but is not apparent from the viewpoint of the video shooter.
As the second volley of shots is being fired, the partner who was applying first aid to the stabbed partner, grabs the downed officer by his collar and drags him from the fray. The second volley of shots killed Rintoul.
The following day, VPD Chief Constable Adam Palmer told the assembled media that an elderly male hostage was taken by the suspect prior to exiting the store. Fortunately, that man managed to get away and wasn’t harmed. How isn’t entirely clear at this point. Perhaps that’s where the VPD injected themselves into the fray. On the video I viewed, that wasn’t clear.
But Palmer also said the following, “The actions of our officers were absolutely heroic. I’m very proud of the way they performed yesterday.” Good for the Chief because that is exactly what I saw on the video.
Palmer continued, “We tried to use the least amount of force possible to take him into custody, and when that was not possible, lethal force was used.”
And good on the Chief I say. It happens far too rarely that a senior police executive takes a stand backing his people at the sharp end of things. So far, I have seen that several times from this Chief.
As is the norm, the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) was called in to investigate the actions of the police. While I harbour no illusions about the competence of the IIO, I was a little surprised to see a communication come from the IIO Monday, four days after the shooting, asking for anyone who had video of the events to please come forward.
Well, I saw five minutes of raw video on Friday, the day after the shooting provided to Global BC. Several days later the IIO is asking folks to voluntarily come forward with video?
They already know Global has video which has been broadcast. Gee, I don’t know, maybe their crack investigators should write an Information to Obtain a Search Warrant to get a judge or JP to issue a warrant they could produce to Global.
News organizations won’t simply provide evidence like that to police when asked, but they will when instructed by court order. The media expect that. They have to maintain a separation from authorities and they probably already have a DVD cut awaiting the IIO. That’s just a guess, but I bet I am not far from the truth.
The video was broadcast on the six o’clock news on Friday. A competent investigator should have been standing in their newsroom before the credits were rolling. Or at the very least within a couple of hours. But to issue that sort of vanilla plea for information and video from the public four days later, followed up by a press conference in the hopes citizen journalists who provided video to newsrooms might come forward just speaks to their level of competence.
The initial Chief Civilian Director may have been pushed out the door and a career bureaucrat meekly put in his stead. But, if I were one of the VPD officers designated ‘subject officers’ having been involved in this “heroic” incident, I’m not sure how much confidence I would have in those holding me in judgment.
On Thursday, the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) issued a media statement saying the Acting Chief Civilian Director has made a report to Crown Counsel in relation to an incident involving the Vancouver Police. Essentially they are saying one or more of the officers involved in a shooting on June 10, 2014 “may” have committed a criminal offence.
Yet again, we see the IIO overreach is what should be a cut and dried case. Let’s look at just how cut and dried.
At approximately 11:10 in the morning Gerald Mark Battersby, 61, pumped multiple shots with a .357 revolver into 52 yr. old Paul Dragan outside the Starbucks at Davie and Marinaside Cres. As it happened, a couple of VPD officers were just pulling up in front of Starbucks, drew their weapons and challenged Battersby who replied by shooting at the police then fleeing on a bike onto the Sea Wall towards Science Centre.
Police gave chase and called for cover units to try and block Battersby from the other side. During the chase more shots were fired. Once at Science World, Battersby was engaged by members of VPD. More shots were exchanged. A female VPD member was trapped in her police car as Battersby shot into it, wounding her with flying glass.
Another officer using the police car for cover got caught as Battersby chased him around the car firing as the officer tried to desperately find cover. Battersby was armed with a six shot .357 revolver. He’d already re-loaded at least once, perhaps more.
As he had the male officer within a couple of feet and down he was shot by at least one of the covering officers and by the wounded female officer in the car. Security video seized by the VPD in their investigation was shared with the IIO. The video clearly shows the exchange of gunfire, the pursuit of the male VPD member and Battersby being shot and going down.
How, in the name of all things holy, could anyone think this was anything but a justified use of force by the VPD?
It’s stunning really. Here’s a couple of screen grabs from the security video.
It shows Battersby pointing the .357, the barrel is protruding from a wrapping. You can see the male VPD member ducking down on the passenger side of the vehicle trying to avoid the shooter. One of the VPD members who shot Battersby can be seen in the lower right.
As we saw in the case of Delta PD Cst. Jordan MacWilliams, the IIO leap to conclusions they shouldn’t because they simply do not understand policing or the use of force parameters. They get a whopping 10 weeks training at the JIBC, but zero ‘use of force’ training, the very thing they are supposed to investigate.
Another part of the problem is the wording in the Police Act which essentially says if the CCD of the IIO believes an offence “may” have been committed he shall send a Report to Crown Counsel (RTCC). This is far lower than the standard the police must meet before they can submit an RTCC in a criminal case and far lower than the standard which Crown applies to approve a criminal charge. At the very least, that needs to change. The police are not the enemy here. They protect us from the likes of Battersby.
And, as demonstrated on that day in June last year, they do it with courage and professionalism. Which is much more than I can say about the IIO.
But as with everything else when we look at these cases, there’s more. During his interview with the IIO, the “Affected Person,” Battersby told investigators that his plan was to shoot Dragan, one more person and then shoot at police to get them to kill him. He intended to do everything he could to force the police to shoot him.
So, despite all of this and dozens of witnesses who corroborate the actions of the VPD, the IIO evidently still thinks at least one of the VPD officers did something criminal in this incident?
Words fail me.
A day after the inexplicable release by the IIO, which now casts a shadow over heroic police officers, Deputy Chief Doug Lepard, as Acting Chief in the absence of Chief Adam Palmer, sent an email to all VPD officers.
What is clear in the email is that this was an unexpected surprise from the IIO. But also that those officers have the complete support of the Chief Constable and his senior management team.
Said Lepard, “I have requested a copy of the RTCC that as we move forward we can better understand the information underlying the IIO’s decision this case.”
He finished off with this: “I want to take this opportunity to again express admiration for the bravery shown by the officers involved in this incident and the professionalism that VPD members demonstrate every day in the performance of their duties. I also want you all to know that the officers involved in this shooting will continue to have the VPD’s complete support through this process.”
These are not the words of someone who thinks any VPD member did anything wrong that day. Quite the contrary in fact.
That no one died that day is about the only good thing. To put a cloud over the actions of the courageous VPD officers involved is shameful.
*To view the video go to theprovince.com
The shootings at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, CT, were shocking. Everyone feels that viscerally. But the rush to blame guns and the gun culture in the US is, at the very least, only a part of the issue.
In the first place, none of the guns used in this incident were illegal and nothing that President Obama has done with his nearly two dozen Executive Orders would have changed that.
Secondly, there has been precious little discussion about the impact that mental health had in this case. Relatives have said the shooter was on some form of medication for “depression.” So, we can assume some sort of psychotropic prescription pills.
The more we look at other similar events it would seem a pattern emerges. A law enforcement friend sent me the following chart. While I haven’t personally verified all of the information, I did have a look at a sampling and it seems accurate. Regardless, a pattern emerges that bears discussion.
The Sandy Hook shootings have ignited a gun debate that is polarizing America and is causing politicians to do something for no better reason than to be seen as doing something in the midst of the debate. But new legislation or Executive Orders, no matter how well thought out, will only guide the behaviour of the law abiding.
And no matter where you stand in the gun debate, this chart indicates what the real debate should be about. The prolific use of psychotropic meds is a relatively recent phenomena. It goes along with diagnoses of things like ADD and FAS.
I’m no physician, but in my school days ADD was dealt with by a cuff behind the ear not psychotropic meds. If we are going to have a gun debate, that’s fine as long as we talk about all contributing factors. And this chart shows an incredible common denominator that is being ignored.
What Drug Date Where Additional School Shooting Prozac WITHDRAWAL 2008-02-15 Illinois ** 6 Dead: 15 Wounded: Perpetrator Was in Withdrawal from Med & Acting Erratically School Shooting Prozac Antidepressant 2005-03-24 Minnesota **10 Dead: 7 Wounded: Dosage Increased One Week before Rampage School Shooting Paxil [Seroxat] Antidepressant 2001-03-10 Pennsylvania **14 Year Old GIRL Shoots & Wounds Classmate at Catholic School School Shooting Zoloft Antidepressant & ADHD Med 2011-07-11 Alabama **14 Year Old Kills Fellow Middle School Student School Shooting Zoloft Antidepressant 1995-10-12 South Carolina **15 Year Old Shoots Two Teachers, Killing One: Then Kills Himself School Shooting Med For Depression 2009-03-13 Germany **16 Dead Including Shooter: Antidepressant Use: Shooter in Treatment For Depression School Hostage Situation Med For Depression 2010-12-15 France **17 Year Old with Sword Holds 20 Children & Teacher Hostage School Shooting Plot Med For Depression WITHDRAWAL 2008-08-28 Texas **18 Year Old Plots a Columbine School Attack School Shooting Anafranil Antidepressant 1988-05-20 Illinois **29 Year Old WOMAN Kills One Child: Wounds Five: Kills Self School Shooting Luvox/Zoloft Antidepressants 1999-04-20 Colorado **COLUMBINE: 15 Dead: 24 Wounded School Stabbings Antidepressants 2001-06-09 Japan **Eight Dead: 15 Wounded: Assailant Had Taken 10 Times his Normal Dose of Depression Med School Shooting Prozac Antidepressant WITHDRAWAL 1998-05-21 Oregon **Four Dead: Twenty Injured School Stabbing Med For Depression 2011-10-25 Washington **Girl, 15, Stabs Two Girls in School Restroom: 1 Is In Critical Condition School Shooting Antidepressant 2006-09-30 Colorado **Man Assaults Girls: Kills One & Self School Machete Attack Med for Depression 2001-09-26 Pennsylvania **Man Attacks 11 Children & 3 Teachers at Elementary School School Shooting Related Luvox 1993-07-23 Florida **Man Commits Murder During Clinical Trial for Luvox: Same Drug as in COLUMBINE: Never Reported School Hostage Situation Cymbalta Antidepressant WITHDRAWAL 2009-11-09 New York **Man With Gun Inside School Holds Principal Hostage School Shooting Antidepressants 1992-09-20 Texas **Man, Angry Over Daughter’s Report Card, Shoots 14 Rounds inside Elementary School School Shooting SSRI 2010-02-19 Finland **On Sept. 23, 2008 a Finnish Student Shot & Killed 9 Students Before Killing Himself School Shooting Threat Med for Depression* 2004-10-19 New Jersey **Over-Medicated Teen Brings Loaded Handguns to School School Shooting Antidepressant? 2007-04-18 Virginia **Possible SSRI Use: 33 Dead at Virginia Tech School Shooting Antidepressant? 2002-01-17 Virginia **Possible SSRI Withdrawal Mania: 3 Dead at Law School School Incident/Bizarre Zoloft* 2010-08-22 Australia **School Counselor Exhibits Bizarre Behavior: Became Manic On Zoloft School/Assault Antidepressant 2009-11-04 California **School Custodian Assaults Student & Principal: Had Manic Reaction From Depression Med School Shooting Prozac Antidepressant 1992-01-30 Michigan **School Teacher Shoots & Kills His Superintendent at School School Shooting Threats Celexa Antidepressant 2010-01-25 Virginia **Senior in High School Theatens to Kill 4 Classmates: Facebook Involved: Bail Denied School Violence/Murder Antidepressants* 1998-05-04 New York **Sheriff’s Deputy Shoots his Wife in an Elementary School School Knifing/Murder Meds For Depression & ADHD 2010-04-28 Massachusetts **Sixteen Year Old Kills 15 Year Old in High School Bathroom in Sept. 2009 School Stabbing Wellbutrin 2006-12-04 Indiana **Stabbing by 17 Year Old At High School: Charged with Attempted Murder School Threat Antidepressants 2007-04-23 Mississippi **Student Arrested for Making School Threat Over Internet School Suspension Lexapro Antidepressant 2007-07-28 Arkansas **Student Has 11 Incidents with Police During his 16 Months on Lexapro School Shooting Antidepressant WITHDRAWAL 2007-11-07 Finland **Student Kills 8: Wounds 10: Kills Self: High School in Finland School Shooting Paxil [Seroxat] Antidepressant 2004-02-09 New York **Student Shoots Teacher in Leg at School School Threat Prozac Antidepressant 2008-01-25 Washington **Student Takes Loaded Shotgun & 3 Rifles to School Parking Lot: Plans Suicide School Shooting Plot Med For Depression 1998-12-01 Wisconsin **Teen Accused of Plotting to Gun Down Students at School School/Assault Zoloft Antidepressant 2006-02-15 Tennessee **Teen Attacks Teacher at School School Shooting Threat Antidepressant 1999-04-16 Idaho **Teen Fires Gun in School School Hostage Situation Paxil & Effexor Antidepressants 2001-04-15 Washington **Teen Holds Classmates Hostage with a Gun School Hostage Situation Antidepressant WITHDRAWAL 2006-11-28 North Carolina **Teen Holds Teacher & Student Hostage with Gun School Knife Attack Med for Depression 2006-12-06 Indiana **Teen Knife Attacks Fellow Student School Massacre Plot Prozac Withdrawal 2011-02-23 Virginia **Teen Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison For Columbine Style Plot School Shooting Celexa & Effexor Antidepressants 2001-04-19 California **Teen Shoots at Classmates in School School Shooting Celexa Antidepressant 2006-08-30 North Carolina **Teen Shoots at Two Students: Kills his Father: Celexa Found Among his Personal Effects School Shooting Meds For Depression & ADHD 2011-03-18 South Carolina **Teen Shoots School Official: Pipe Bombs Found in Backpack School Shooting Threat Antidepressant 2003-05-31 Michigan **Teen Threatens School Shooting: Charge is Terrorism School Stand-Off Zoloft Antidepressant 1998-04-13 Idaho **Teen [14 Years Old] in School Holds Police At Bay: Fires Shots School Shooting Antidepressant WITHDRAWAL 2007-10-12