Depositions in Beavercreek Walmart shooting lawsuit

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Depositions in Beavercreek Walmart shooting lawsuit

Postby M-Quigley » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:38 am

http://www.whio.com/news/crime--law/off ... GGH1dyHbN/

Some quotes from the article.

Depositions from Ritchie and his wife, April — both former Walmart employees — also said they regret the loss of life, but that they didn’t feel responsible.

Ronald Ritchie testified he felt sad, but that he didn’t regret his actions.
“I have actually been asked this question before in grand jury,” Ritchie said in his Feb. 11, 2016, deposition taken in St. Petersburg, Fla. “And I said then that if something like this was to happen again, I’d probably do the same thing.”


Beavercreek police officer Sean Williams said he never saw John Crawford III point a gun at or threaten anyone at Walmart, according to depositions in a federal wrongful death civil lawsuit.

But Williams testified that he shot Crawford because the 22-year-old Fairfield resident “was about to” point a weapon at him while holding a rifle in a “low ready” position.


Williams testified that the fact dispatchers said Ritchie said the man was loading it and pointing it at people led him in a direction so that when Crawford appeared to Williams to turn toward the officers, the totality of the circumstances was “the reason why I pulled the trigger.”


The attorneys for Tressa Sherrod, Crawford’s mother, questioned the trustworthiness of Williams and Darkow.
“No one in the store was concerned or panicked, and only a single 911 caller even reported the situation,” the attorneys said in their statement, adding they believed the officers acted too quickly, “violated John’s constitutional rights, and violated many departmental procedures that tragic evening in Walmart. This tragedy never should have happened.”



Officer Williams (no relation to Angela Williams) and Darkow testified they didn’t realize that Crawford was on his cell phone and didn’t know if Crawford heard commands to drop the weapon.

Williams said he didn’t observe anyone running, screaming, in pain, panicking and didn’t hear or smell gunfire at Walmart. He also said that he waited more than a minute for a second officer (Darkow) to respond before entering Walmart and that he didn’t during that time talk to store staff or security.

Darkow testified that both officers would have been justified in shooting Crawford without giving any commands because of the threat perceived via the 911 caller.


In his deposition taken Sept. 14, 2017, Williams said he disagreed with Beavercreek police Chief Dennis Evers that Crawford was not violating any law.

“When I first observed John Crawford, he was, he had a rifle in hand about to raise it up,” Williams said. “He had it in a low ready position and he was turning toward us with the rifle, which, at the very least, is an imminent threat to me, which is why I fired the rounds.”


This is a still pic at the moment John Crawford is shot.

Image
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Re: Depositions in Beavercreek Walmart shooting lawsuit

Postby bignflnut » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:31 am

Cut and pasted to make a point.

Crawford was holding a replica-style BB/pellet rifle he had picked up from an opened box on a store shelf and was talking on his phone to the mother of his two children. His parents’ attorneys have said Crawford had from a third to a half of one second to hear, understand and react to any commands.
SNIP

“When I first observed John Crawford, he was, he had a rifle in hand about to raise it up,” Williams said. “He had it in a low ready position and he was turning toward us with the rifle, which, at the very least, is an imminent threat to me, which is why I fired the rounds.”
SNIP

“And I said then that if something like this was to happen again, I’d probably do the same thing.”



He turned toward you because you demanded his attention, and then you shot him and would do it again!
A Greene County special grand jury cleared Williams of any criminal wrongdoing in September 2014. A federal investigation finished last summer with U.S. Departmemt of Justice officials saying the probe “revealed that the evidence is insufficient to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Officer Williams violated federal civil rights laws.”

SNIP

A citizen-led effort to prosecute Ritchie ended when special prosecutor Mark Piepmeier — the same attorney who convened the special grand jury — decided against pursuing charges.

The civil lawsuit is ongoing in Dayton’s U.S. District Court. The trial is currently scheduled for Feb. 5.
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Re: Depositions in Beavercreek Walmart shooting lawsuit

Postby Chuck » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:59 am

Wouldn’t low ready be holding the rifle with both hands?
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Re: Depositions in Beavercreek Walmart shooting lawsuit

Postby M-Quigley » Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:55 pm

Chuck wrote:Wouldn’t low ready be holding the rifle with both hands?


I've never heard of two hands being a part of low ready. What most people that I know generally define low ready as something less than horizontal, say for example a 45 degree angle, or a seven or 8 o clock position looking from the side. Not sure what the technical term would be for the 6 o clock muzzle position. Regardless of that however, according to a police Sgt., none of that really matters anyway, because the mere fact they got a 911 call from an unknown party (not a Walmart employee) was justification enough to just shoot on sight.

Darkow testified that both officers would have been justified in shooting Crawford without giving any commands because of the threat perceived via the 911 caller.
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Re: Depositions in Beavercreek Walmart shooting lawsuit

Postby catfish86 » Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:25 pm

This is like the Tamir Rice shooting...911 call and responding officers shoot on sight. They are going to lose this lawsuit in a big way and Ritchie will likely get lit up. The problem is Ritchie describing Crawford as loading the rifle, which 1) was not possible and 2) from reviewing the entire tape previously, DID NOT HAPPEN, and 3) nothing ever happened that could even be mistaken for him loading the rifle as Crawford at all times had the cell phone in his hand. Ritchie, for whatever reason, hyped up the situation to the dispatcher who in turn hyped the situation to the responding officers. Other important points made, the officer NEVER spoke with any Walmart employees, NEVER observed anyone in distress or panic (curious given the 911 caller's description). Cases like this continue to erode confidence that law enforcement will suffer consequences for bad actions.
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Re: Depositions in Beavercreek Walmart shooting lawsuit

Postby DontTreadOnMe » Sat Jan 06, 2018 10:25 pm

catfish86 wrote:They are going to lose this lawsuit in a big way and Ritchie will likely get lit up. The problem is Ritchie describing Crawford as loading the rifle, which 1) was not possible and 2) from reviewing the entire tape previously, DID NOT HAPPEN,

They may lose, they may not, but nothing's going to happen to Ritchie. The prosecutor has already refused to bring charges, and he's not even named as a defendant in the civil suit. In fact the family's lawsuit exonerates Ritchie from responsibility even if his statements were false, saying "All police officers are trained to understand that many 911 callers provide inaccurate or otherwise unsubstantiated information, and are notoriously unreliable eye-witnesses. As such, police officers have a duty that must be exercised reasonably, to assess any situation before interviewing with lethal force. In this case, the Officers Williams and Darkow acted unreasonably, in that they did not properly assess the situation, and simply killed an unarmed shopper who was not breaking any laws of the State of Ohio or the City of Beavercreek."

and 3) nothing ever happened that could even be mistaken for him loading the rifle as Crawford at all times had the cell phone in his hand.

(A) There are portions of time where Crawford doesn't appear on any security cameras, so you (and a prosecutor) can't say that he never did anything that could have been interpreted as loading the rifle.
(B) Watching the security video, between 8:22 and 8:23:30 he's manipulating it with both hands in a way that certainly could be interpreted as trying to load it.
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Re: Depositions in Beavercreek Walmart shooting lawsuit

Postby JediSkipdogg » Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:02 pm

catfish86 wrote:Other important points made, the officer NEVER spoke with any Walmart employees, NEVER observed anyone in distress or panic (curious given the 911 caller's description).


And in possible active shooter type situations there is no time to deal with that. You don't have time to find a security employee and ask if they know what is going on. As for observing anyone in distress or panic, that's hard to say since I really only ever saw him get near less than a handful of people in the few seconds before police arrived. We aren't talking a Keith Urban concert here where people will be running in drones. Beavercreek WILL settle. I can guarantee you that one. How much, that's up to the insurance company.
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Re: Depositions in Beavercreek Walmart shooting lawsuit

Postby M-Quigley » Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:25 pm

JediSkipdogg wrote:
catfish86 wrote:Other important points made, the officer NEVER spoke with any Walmart employees, NEVER observed anyone in distress or panic (curious given the 911 caller's description).


And in possible active shooter type situations there is no time to deal with that.


This is definitely the police procedure now for most agencies following active shooter situations like Columbine, where a lot of time passed before law enforcement went in. So instead of waiting many minutes or a few hours to assess the situation, the solution now is just to charge right in, not really knowing what is going on. It might be a good procedure if you actually have an active shooting situation, but this was not. Like djthomas said, I don't believe the 911 call fits the legal definition of swatting, but but it still wasn't an accurate description of what was happening either.

JediSkipdogg wrote:You don't have time to find a security employee and ask if they know what is going on.


I have a relative that works at a Walmart. Unless the beavercreek location is different, any one of the employees at the front of the building can immediently contact security if requested. (assuming there even is security on duty :( ) Regardless, even if there is no security on duty, if another regular employee has knowledge of a situation, they can rely that. The only thing I can recall from the news stories at the time (if I recall correctly, it's been a while) was that Walmart knew he was holding the rifle, and a Walmart employee was supposedly on the way over to him to deal with it, because they knew or suspected it was a pellet rifle and not a real one. If the employee had gotten there before the cops the situation would've turned out differently. I guess this will be clarified in the lawsuit.

JediSkipdogg wrote: Beavercreek WILL settle. I can guarantee you that one. How much, that's up to the insurance company.


I believe that also, but that shouldn't be the issue. There will be more situations in the future, either swatting or something similar, and what will happen then? More of the same, based on

Darkow testified that both officers would have been justified in shooting Crawford without giving any commands because of the threat perceived via the 911 caller.
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Re: Depositions in Beavercreek Walmart shooting lawsuit

Postby JediSkipdogg » Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:43 pm

M-Quigley wrote:
JediSkipdogg wrote:
catfish86 wrote:Other important points made, the officer NEVER spoke with any Walmart employees, NEVER observed anyone in distress or panic (curious given the 911 caller's description).


And in possible active shooter type situations there is no time to deal with that.


This is definitely the police procedure now for most agencies following active shooter situations like Columbine, where a lot of time passed before law enforcement went in. So instead of waiting many minutes or a few hours to assess the situation, the solution now is just to charge right in, not really knowing what is going on. It might be a good procedure if you actually have an active shooting situation, but this was not. Like djthomas said, I don't believe the 911 call fits the legal definition of swatting, but but it still wasn't an accurate description of what was happening either.


Let's throw a situation at you and I don't know if you are married and have kids or not. Your wife calls, says someone is in the house while you are on your way home from work. When you get there, do you rush in and shoot the assailant? Or do you wait the additional time for police to assess all available information, arrive, enter the house not knowing the layout of it, and go from there? In law enforcement, if you have the threat of an active shooter situation or one that can lead up to it, you handle as if it is an active shooter and roll on in. You assess the situation as you tactically move looking for the target. You find the target, assess, and act.

M-Quigley wrote:
JediSkipdogg wrote:You don't have time to find a security employee and ask if they know what is going on.


I have a relative that works at a Walmart. Unless the beavercreek location is different, any one of the employees at the front of the building can immediently contact security if requested. (assuming there even is security on duty :( ) Regardless, even if there is no security on duty, if another regular employee has knowledge of a situation, they can rely that. The only thing I can recall from the news stories at the time (if I recall correctly, it's been a while) was that Walmart knew he was holding the rifle, and a Walmart employee was supposedly on the way over to him to deal with it, because they knew or suspected it was a pellet rifle and not a real one. If the employee had gotten there before the cops the situation would've turned out differently. I guess this will be clarified in the lawsuit.


Glad your Walmart has useful people up front. I must only shop at the stores that don't have any employees working there. All the ones around here have generally nobody at the customer service desk and like 2-3 registers open with long lines in the evening hours. I recently spent 20 minutes wanting to return something while they found a manager to do the return. Again, we are back to it's wasted time when you have a possible to be active shooter situation and you are standing around waiting for someone up front to help you. Secondary arriving officers can handle that, but first on scene training is to move in and locate the target.

If you think that is a bad method, then I assume the next active shooter at a school you want police to wait for police to review security footage at the scene unless they hear gunfire upon arrival.
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Re: Depositions in Beavercreek Walmart shooting lawsuit

Postby bignflnut » Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:23 pm

JediSkipdogg wrote:Let's throw a situation at you and I don't know if you are married and have kids or not. Your wife calls, says someone is in the house while you are on your way home from work. When you get there, do you rush in and shoot the assailant? Or do you wait the additional time for police to assess all available information, arrive, enter the house not knowing the layout of it, and go from there? In law enforcement, if you have the threat of an active shooter situation or one that can lead up to it, you handle as if it is an active shooter and roll on in. You assess the situation as you tactically move looking for the target. You find the target, assess, and act.


I know this person. I know how they communicate. I can comprehend the intelligence of the information being given. Not so with 9-1-1. Any random person can call, even though they're high, drunk, anxious, nervous, mistaken, etc...

Certainly there are scenarios and times where you arrive on scene and immediately hunt the dog to be put down. A moment of target identification with the people who are already on scene and presumably monitoring the situation is helpful, if available.

JediSkipdogg wrote:If you think that is a bad method, then I assume the next active shooter at a school you want police to wait for police to review security footage at the scene unless they hear gunfire upon arrival.

Is that so offensive? Perhaps citizens on scene should be able to shoot back if caution and thinking is offensive to the highly trained dog hunters.

No hesitation, go in guns a-blazin is your policy? When is zero caution advisable in war or anything else? Turn off the mind and go! Sounds like giving a tactical advantage to the opposition.
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Re: Depositions in Beavercreek Walmart shooting lawsuit

Postby JediSkipdogg » Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:31 pm

bignflnut wrote:
JediSkipdogg wrote:Let's throw a situation at you and I don't know if you are married and have kids or not. Your wife calls, says someone is in the house while you are on your way home from work. When you get there, do you rush in and shoot the assailant? Or do you wait the additional time for police to assess all available information, arrive, enter the house not knowing the layout of it, and go from there? In law enforcement, if you have the threat of an active shooter situation or one that can lead up to it, you handle as if it is an active shooter and roll on in. You assess the situation as you tactically move looking for the target. You find the target, assess, and act.


I know this person. I know how they communicate. I can comprehend the intelligence of the information being given. Not so with 9-1-1. Any random person can call, even though they're high, drunk, anxious, nervous, mistaken, etc...

Certainly there are scenarios and times where you arrive on scene and immediately hunt the dog to be put down. A moment of target identification with the people who are already on scene and presumably monitoring the situation is helpful, if available.

JediSkipdogg wrote:If you think that is a bad method, then I assume the next active shooter at a school you want police to wait for police to review security footage at the scene unless they hear gunfire upon arrival.

Is that so offensive? Perhaps citizens on scene should be able to shoot back if caution and thinking is offensive to the highly trained dog hunters.

No hesitation, go in guns a-blazin is your policy? When is zero caution advisable in war or anything else? Turn off the mind and go! Sounds like giving a tactical advantage to the opposition.


When most mass shootings have ended before police arrive, I said MOST, but NOT ALL, you don't have seconds to waste and get the drone, get the bomb robot out, fully assess the situation, etc. You have to go in, acquire the target, assess what the target is doing at that exact moment, and act.

I'm not sure how you think any other method is more effective. Other methods simply waste precious seconds where lives can be taken.
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Re: Depositions in Beavercreek Walmart shooting lawsuit

Postby deanimator » Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:51 pm

JediSkipdogg wrote:No hesitation, go in guns a-blazin is your policy? When is zero caution advisable in war or anything else? Turn off the mind and go! Sounds like giving a tactical advantage to the opposition.


When most mass shootings have ended before police arrive, I said MOST, but NOT ALL, you don't have seconds to waste and get the drone, get the bomb robot out, fully assess the situation, etc. You have to go in, acquire the target, assess what the target is doing at that exact moment, and act.

I'm not sure how you think any other method is more effective. Other methods simply waste precious seconds where lives can be taken.[/quote]
In the Walmart shooting, how many people were shot?

1.

Who shot the sole victim?

Police.
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Re: Depositions in Beavercreek Walmart shooting lawsuit

Postby JediSkipdogg » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:14 pm

deanimator wrote:In the Walmart shooting, how many people were shot?

1.

Who shot the sole victim?

Police.


So you should wait till a shot is fired before assuming active shooter style situation.

Let me quote myself...

You find the target, assess, and act.


but first on scene training is to move in and locate the target.


You have to go in, acquire the target, assess what the target is doing at that exact moment, and act.


I never said you move in and shoot the target. I said twice you assess and one time you locate. It doesn't matter what the caller says, what the dispatcher says. Once you have enough info that you have a person acting out of the ordinary with a possible weapon, you treat it that they are going to use said weapon. You locate them, assess what they are doing, and then take action. That can be shooting them if they pose an immediate threat, talking them down, or even blindsiding them like a defensive lineman. What choice you make is what you have to live with for the rest of your life.

The big key is that assessing phase. I can't say it enough, but many seem to be missing that.
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Re: Depositions in Beavercreek Walmart shooting lawsuit

Postby bignflnut » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:54 pm

One exchange of questionsfrom plaintiff’s attorney Dennis Mulvihill and answers from Darkow illustrate the Beavercreek sergeant’s mindset:

Q. So if someone is holding a gun and you give them a command that they don’t have time to respond to, it’s OK to shoot them before they have time to respond?

A. Yes.


Q. Do you have any remorse at all that John Crawford is dead?

(Defense attorney objected to the question)

A. I think it’s a tragedy. Absolutely.

Q. Well, that’s different than having remorse. Do you have any remorse?

A. Yeah, you’re right. It is different. I don’t really — I don’t feel remorseful. I think it’s a tragedy that should not have occurred. Absolutely.

Q. Why did you give John a command if you were justified in shooting without?

A. Because that was my instinct. I can’t explain that. I think we were justified to do what we did. We were justified to shoot him without commands, based on our training. Based on our training, we believed that we were headed into an active threat, a potential active shooter situation. We believed that this person was loading an assault rifle, pointing it at people, and had every intention of shooting up Walmart, and we believed that it was our job to go and eliminate that threat.


The entire justification presupposes true information coming from a single caller who claims to be on site. As the Witchita case proves, a single caller who claims to be on site and no more information (not hearing shots fired upon arrival, no visual evidence of a crime, no general panic/commotion, etc) is simply not enough to bring forth what is being justified. Cameras didn't need deployed, they were already on the suspect. Let's not confuse what happened.

Any yahoo can breathlessly call in, claim that you're a threat (MWAG) and it will be justified that you were put down (while you're on the phone with counsel/family). Because, training.
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Re: Depositions in Beavercreek Walmart shooting lawsuit

Postby catfish86 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:48 am

Jedi, as you clarified the police officer is supposed to locate the target and assess the situation. Very little assessment here, he acquired the target and shot him. My point exactly is the "assessment", which in this case was a failure. If I ask you what 2 + 2 is and you say five, your answer was wrong. In this case, the officer's answer was wrong and an innocent man is dead.
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