Police Get Facebook To Kill Livestream Of Standoff Which Ended With Suspect Being Shot To Death

from the controlling-even-the-cameras-they-don't-own dept

A 23-year-old woman, and mother of a 5-year-old child, is dead. She was killed by police officers who came to serve a warrant for failure to appear charges stemming from a March 11th traffic stop. That this ever escalated to the point where bullets started flying is incomprehensible. Then again, much of what the woman, Korryn Gaines, did was incomprehensible.

Gaines apparently considered herself a "sovereign citizen," which meant she chose not to recognize whatever laws she felt weren't worth following -- like registering her vehicle, insuring it, and equipping it with valid plates. Instead, she chose to make plates of her own out of cardboard that made some sort of statement about her sovereign citizen status. The traffic stop on March 11th escalated into an altercation with officers, resulting in more charges being added to the traffic violations.

When the SWAT team arrived August 2nd, Gaines warned the officers she would shoot them if they did not leave.

At about 9:20 a.m., officers knocked on the door repeatedly with no answer, despite hearing a man and woman inside, as well as a crying child, Johnson said. When officers were able to open the door using a key, they saw Gaines sitting on the floor pointing a 12-gauge shotgun at one of three officers and a 5-year-old near her.

Courtney was quickly arrested after running out of the apartment with a 1-year-old boy. Then around 3 p.m., Gaines pointed her weapon at a tactical officer and said, “If you don’t leave, I’m going to kill you,” according to authorities.

At that point, officers fired one round and Gaines fired two rounds in return, Johnson said. Authorities fired their weapons again, fatally striking her. The child was also struck by a round during the exchange but did not sustain life-threatening injuries.

The twist here is that Gaines was livestreaming the standoff, right up until law enforcement asked Facebook to kill the stream. Facebook complied, and possibly the only record of the incident not controlled by law enforcement disappeared with it. The police issued a statement explaining their actions.

“Gaines was posting video of the operation, and followers were encouraging her not to comply with negotiators’ requests that she surrender peacefully,” a spokesperson for the Baltimore County Police Department said. “This was a serious concern; successful negotiations often depend on the negotiators’ ability to converse directly with the subject, without interference or distraction during extremely volatile conditions.”

While the assertions made here may be true, the fact that law enforcement can make third-party recordings disappear is highly problematic. While the full statement shows the Baltimore County PD has asked Facebook to retain the video as evidence and will be seeking a search warrant to access the recording, the fact is that the recording will now be in the hands of law enforcement, rather than the public.

If any video of the standoff was captured with body cameras, it will be a long time before it's made public -- if it ever is. While very few recordings are truly objective, the one recording of the standoff whose existence can be confirmed is now (mostly) gone. And the unanswered question is whether or not the situation would have been handled differently if the officers knew the public was watching.

Facebook's compliance with the request is understandable. I'm sure it has no interest in becoming a live portal for police shootings. It similarly vanished away another live video of a killing by a police officer in Minnesota a few weeks ago, resulting in it harvesting some backlash before it reinstated the recording.

Facebook should be far more hesitant to comply in the future. And if law enforcement doesn't like the new status quo, it has nothing but itself to blame. When creating recordings of incidents like these is left to law enforcement, there's rarely anything to show for it. For one, the recordings remain in hands of law enforcement and are only handed over to the public after lengthy delays and with much reluctance.

For another -- despite the fact that nearly every vehicle and every officer is equipped with some sort of recording device -- when citizens are killed, there's often no recording of the incident to be found, no matter how many cameras were on the scene.

Community activists called on the city to release dashcam and body camera videos from a deadly police shooting last week, but police said a recording of the actual shooting is not available.

Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said the actual shooting was not recorded, although all officers on the scene were wearing body cameras.

[...]

Guglielmi said the body cameras of the two officers who fired into the vehicle were working, but the body camera of the officer who fired the fatal shot was not working.

[A] third officer opened fire, hitting and killing the unarmed 18-year-old. An autopsy revealed O’Neal died from a gunshot wound to the back.

Sure, that one could have been a fluke, but the PD is still refusing to release the video (which led to the three involved officers being stripped of their powers) for at least 60 days. At least there's some footage, even if the actual shooting wasn't caught on tape. In other incidents, there's nothing at all to see, despite there being plenty of potential "coverage."

The college student, John McKenna, was beaten and arrested for assaulting police officers. Cellphone video shot by numerous nearby students clearly showed that the officer attacked McKenna without provocation. When a security camera that should have captured the incident failed to produce any footage, police claimed it had been pointed in another direction. The officer in charge of the security cameras was married to one of the officers accused of beating McKenna.

[...]

Because of one of the agency’s consent decrees with the Justice Department, all of its police cruisers had been outfitted with cameras. Nine cruisers were at the scene of the incident. The county claimed in court filings that there was no video footage of the altercation because all nine dash cameras had coincidentally malfunctioned, or the tapes had been lost.

When it comes to recordings, law enforcement has proven repeatedly it's not up to the job. So, when officers approach third parties to shut down livestreams of volatile situations, these platforms should weigh law enforcement's track record of opacity against its supposed public safety concerns.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Aug 2016 @ 12:05pm

    When it comes to recordings, law enforcement has proven repeatedly it's not up to the job.

    The number of failures show that they are up to the job.. of ensuring that they are not recorded by their own cameras.

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    • icon
      Padpaw (profile), 4 Aug 2016 @ 9:03pm

      Re:

      serial killers try their best not to have evidence showing who they kill otherwise they wouldn't get to continue their killing sprees

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Wendy Cockcroft, 5 Aug 2016 @ 7:37am

        Re: Re: Come the revolution

        Except that this was an exception to the usual run of cases reported here: Gaines was asserting herself as a sovereign citizen, only to discover that to "stand up to" the police is to invite a hail of bullets into your home — and your person.

        Had she complied and taken the charges on the chin, she wouldn't have ended up being an example of what happens when you opt for revolution. That she was being all revolutionary and stuff all by herself is beside the point.

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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 4 Aug 2016 @ 12:13pm

    "Trust us. No really, or else."

    The county claimed in court filings that there was no video footage of the altercation because all nine dash cameras had coincidentally malfunctioned, or the tapes had been lost.

    One camera not working could be a 'poorly timed' coincidence.

    Two cameras not working is suspicious, and/or an indicator that those in charge of them don't particularly care to keep them in working order.

    Three cameras not working stretches the bounds of belief as 'just a coincidence'.

    Nine cameras 'not working'? That's a statement that they know full well no-one with the power to hold them accountable has any interest in doing so. If they're willing to claim that nine cameras 'coincidentally' failed, or had the footage lost it's because they feel safe in lying so blatantly.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Aug 2016 @ 12:28pm

      Re: "Trust us. No really, or else."

      Just picture those 9 camera's as ringers for Mr Burns softball team.

      Wait, Strawberry still showed up to the game.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 4 Aug 2016 @ 2:23pm

      Nine cameras not working.

      And Al Capone has twelve witnesses who will testify he was taking dance lessons that night.

      I've seen this movie.

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    • icon
      Padpaw (profile), 4 Aug 2016 @ 9:04pm

      Re: "Trust us. No really, or else."

      9 sets of dirty cops essentially that need to be put down or life imprisonment.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 5 Aug 2016 @ 6:31am

      Re: "Trust us. No really, or else."

      In another news, 3 pistols, 4 rifles and 3 flashbang grenades accidentally shot themselves against unarmed citizens. Authorities report that those pesky flashbang grenades have this bad habit of hitting toddlers.

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  • icon
    PRMan (profile), 4 Aug 2016 @ 12:21pm

    Jury nullification

    Remember, folks. If 9 cameras fail simultaneously (or even 2), they clearly have something to hide.

    Just declare the person not guilty. It's that simple.

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    • icon
      James Burkhardt (profile), 4 Aug 2016 @ 12:30pm

      Re: Jury nullification

      How does declaring the victim not guilty of assaulting police officers, assuming the judge and public defender let this go to trial, do anything significant? Your obsession with Jury Nullification as the end all be all of justice is wearing thin.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Aug 2016 @ 1:24pm

        Re: Re: Jury nullification

        Jury Nullification is there as a tool to allow Citizens to tell the government it fucked up. And as long as it keeps fucking up we render verdicts of innocence until they start obeying the fucking constitution and stop abusing their powers!

        Now regarding this situation... I am more interested in the backstory of why the police were issuing an arrest warrant. I have no reason to just believe anything a police officer says! They could be lying just for giggles!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          James Burkhardt (profile), 4 Aug 2016 @ 3:34pm

          Re: Re: Re: Jury nullification

          No, jury nullification is a by product of our justice system, not an intentionally designed part of it.

          my point was that even if he sticks to his guns instead of accepting a plea deal (unlikely) and the DA takes the case (unlikely) and the judge doesn't throw it out (unlikely), Jury nullification still wont save him from the thousands in medical bills he earned from that beating, and wont bring the cops to justice. so how is jury nullification a solid answer to this case?

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          • identicon
            AJ, 5 Aug 2016 @ 6:00am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Jury nullification

            I think the operative word was "if". I think he was saying that If the 9 cameras failed, and the legal system still presses to go to trial, then jury nullification would be an alternative for the jury.

            In furtherance of that; I had a related discussion regarding this issue the other day... Apparently, If there is even the slightest hint of impropriety by the legal system, then the legal system loses all credibility and people start questioning it's authority. When this impropriety does occur, then the only solution is for the legal system to let the accused go regardless of innocence or guilt, and leave the victims without justice. Unfortunately over time, this is will cause the people to not use the legal system when seeking justice. Ultimately, the corruption of our legal system will be it's own end.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2016 @ 6:54am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Jury nullification

            No, jury nullification is a by product of our justice system, not an intentionally designed part of it.

            Are you seriously claiming that the Founding Fathers put this in place without considering this very fact? It's like a sleeping T-Rex in the room. If a juror cannot be punished for their decision, unless it can be connected to jury tampering then I think it if very fucking obvious that Jury Nullification is a direct intent of the Founders. In fact Judges, Lawyers, and Prosecutors are DAMN wary of Juror's that even mention the fact that they are fully aware of the responsibilities as a Juror. The mere mention of this during a selection will get you removed first and likely every other member in earshot! Not to mention a declared mistrial.

            Do you even read history? Jury Nullification is a damn dangerous word to be aware of inside of a court room!

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Aug 2016 @ 12:39pm

    “If you don’t leave, I’m going to kill you,”

    Sounds to me like the police had the option of saying "Fine, we'll leave, but eventually you will need food, and we'll be waiting outside." Opening fire sounds like a needless escalation to deadly force yet again, and for no acceptable reason at all, needlessly risking lives of officers, sacrificing the life of the suspect Judge Dredd-style, and injuring a young innocent child whose well being clearly wasn't very important: just collateral damage.

    Fair enough, I don't have the full story, but this seems to be the norm in the US. Don't get full 100% compliance? Execute them. Accept no non-violent alternative.

    I'll never understand what the hell is going on over in the US, and I'm glad I don't live there.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Aug 2016 @ 12:45pm

      Re:

      "Fine, we'll leave, but eventually you will need food, and we'll be waiting outside."

      Even her father was unable to persuade her to put the gun down, and the situation dragged on for a few hours. Given her history they must have been increasingly concerned that if they left her with the child then she would decide to end it all (and gain big notoriety) and would take her little boy with her. After all, she didn't let him leave which she could have done at any time. Her actions towards her own son were not showing any concern for his safety. Leaving them in there could have ratcheted her up even more. If people on FB were telling her not to give up, then somebody should be looking at charging them with child endangerment.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        James Burkhardt (profile), 4 Aug 2016 @ 12:59pm

        Re: Re:

        And yet Mr. Bundy got to keep committing crimes rather then actually enforce the law.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Wendy Cockcroft, 5 Aug 2016 @ 7:40am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I'm inclined to suspect a large contingent of supporters exists within the local law enforcement community as well as the community at large. Result: good luck with enforcing the law where anti-government actions are concerned.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Aug 2016 @ 2:45pm

        Re: Re:

        Well, oh my goodness, the police and father couldn't convince her in "a few hours". Break out the guns!

        I'll admit it's the actions of a shitty mother, but suggesting she'll commit infanticide is a pretty long stretch, and "a few hours" isn't much time to talk down a disturbed suspect hopped up on adrenaline and anger - especially when cheered on by people.

        Even assuming that is the case and the child was in immediate danger of being murdered by its own mother - the police failed abysmally, as the child ended up shot regardless, and by the police no less!

        This is why you keep trying for a non-violent solution: when you break out the guns and start blasting, people end up dead and injured - and often the people shot aren't even the intended target.

        This may sound perfectly normal and reasonable to you, but I'm assuming you are American. In most of the western world (that is pretty much everywhere but int he US), if the police opened fire on a suspect like that, they would be in trouble. With a five year old in the same room, they would be in even more trouble. With the five year old ending up shot by the police, and the suspect shot dead, there would be fucking hell to pay. Heads would roll, as they should.

        And what's it all for? Serving a warrant for a fucking traffic violation. This is not an situation that needs to reach the point of a Mexican standoff. They know who she is. They know where she is. They know who her family is. She's not going anywhere. They can tow her car. What's she gonna do? Make a break for the border on foot to Canada or Mexico? Unlikely, and even if she did, there's extradition treaties with the closest neighboring countries I assume. She's not getting away. Once that realization sinks in with the suspect, she'll be easier to deal with as well.

        There's a million ways to de-escalate a situation like this, and in many countries the police will back off, observe from out of sight and try another time. US police just seems to refuse alternatives. Failure to comply is met with deadly force as a matter of routine. This is not a normal and healthy mentality for a police force in a civilized country.

        It's the same with car chases. In the US, the police are like terriers. They will not stop chasing until someone is dead - often an innocent bystander. In most western countries, the police break persuit very quickly - not because they want to let them go, but because they don't want innocent people, or even the suspects, ending up dead. Protect and serve, right? In most cases you can find them again, and catch them without violent car crashes.

        These constant firefights and police shootings are a very american thing.

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        • identicon
          AJ, 5 Aug 2016 @ 6:45am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The police were screwed either way. If they waited, then the "why didn't they do something" crowd would be up in arms should she have decided to turn the gun on herself and/or child. If they acted immediately like they did the "they should have waited" crowd would have been up in arms because they put a bullet in her.

          It's not like she was just sitting there in protest, she had a shotgun that was capable of tearing someone in half if she pulled the trigger, and advised the police that she was going to shoot. If i'm a cop, and I'm supporting my wife and children, I would probably feel that not only do I have a responsibility to serve and protect the public, but I have a responsibility to my family to come home and care/support them at the end of the day. I would have probably pulled the trigger too..... This one's a tough one, and could probably only be decided by the people engaged in the situation. These guys had to make a snap decision based on their training and the situation in front of them. It's really a sad thing all around.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2016 @ 7:00am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            These guys had to make a snap decision based on their training and the situation in front of them.

            Looks like they have very poor training with a default shoot first chance you get snap decision making process.

            Sorry, there was ZERO indication that she intended to harm anyone other than officers and it is "mentally corrupt" to assume that she would harm family members over an altercation with law enforcement issues! You just literally said... OMG she might blow her son away because they are trying to arrest her! Get a DAMN GRIP! I hope we never have to see you around a tense situation, you have fucking terrible evaluation skills!

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2016 @ 7:43am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "there was ZERO indication that she intended to harm anyone other than officers"

              She kept the boy with her, he was effectively a hostage. She could at any time have let him leave and she could have told him to go to her father, who was trying to talk her out. Note that her partner when he tried to run from the cops, took the 1 yr old with him, leaving her with the 5yr old boy who she was keeping with her by keeping him talking to her.

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              • icon
                Padpaw (profile), 5 Aug 2016 @ 11:39am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I bet she thought the police might just shoot him the moment he was clear of her, the police do not exactly inspire confidence these days.

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            • identicon
              AJ, 5 Aug 2016 @ 9:06am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I see the emotion in your response and I understand, but your wrong.

              "“If you don’t leave, I’m going to kill you,” according to authorities.
              At that point, officers fired one round and Gaines fired two rounds in return, Johnson said. Authorities fired their weapons again, fatally striking her."

              She said "If you don't leave, I'm going to kill you". She had a shotgun capable of cutting a person in half, they had no choice in my mind. They shot once, she returned fire, then they killed her. They shot once first.. probably in an attempt to wound or disable her, she returned fire.... she was following up on her threat. Look, I don't like it either, but bad things happen. She had multiple opportunities to surrender. They could of just killed her when she pointed the shotgun at the officer and threatened to kill him, but they did not. When she returned fire.. rational went out the window. They have to assume the worst.

              Before you insult me, and imply that I don't make rational decisions or know what I'm talking about. I spent three tours in a combat zone. I've seen what happens when the bullets start flying. You try to do the right thing, you try to rely on your training, but when someone is trying to kill you.... basic, instinctual, primitive survival instinct kicks in. Not just for you, but for the soldiers/officers that are relying on you to do your job.. you can limit it with proper training, but people inherently don't want to die... so they did what they had to do. I'm sad, but I understand.

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              • icon
                nasch (profile), 5 Aug 2016 @ 9:26am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                They shot once first.. probably in an attempt to wound or disable her

                Doubtful, I'm pretty sure police are trained to aim for "center mass" or the middle of the torso. When they're firing their guns, it's with intent to kill. That's not to say they wouldn't be happier if the person survives, but it's not an attempt specifically to inflict a non-fatal injury. There aren't a lot of places you can shoot a person and be fairly confident it won't kill them, and those places are very difficult to hit, so they just don't do that. There may be exceptions with snipers (I've seen video of them actually shooting a gun out of someone's hand) but this was not one of those situations.

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                • identicon
                  AJ, 5 Aug 2016 @ 10:16am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "Doubtful, I'm pretty sure police are trained to aim for "center mass" or the middle of the torso.

                  You could be right, and to be fair, I was a soldier not a cop. The bulk of Soldiers are trained to shoot center mass, but not all. Either way I wasn't sure, that's why I said "probably". They only shot once.. If they were "trying to kill her", I would think they would continue to fire until the threat was neutralized, and not give her the chance to return fire like she did... She had enough time to let go of 2 shots with a shotgun before they re-engaged her. But only the people that were there really know I guess.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2016 @ 7:23am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            These guys had to make a snap decision based on their training and the situation in front of them. It's really a sad thing all around.

            If the police cannot contain someone in their own home without exposing themselves to fire from the home, they are badly trained. In this case it looks like they forced the confrontation by entering the house, rather than surrounding it, and waiting her out.

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            • identicon
              Wendy Cockcroft, 5 Aug 2016 @ 7:42am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I'm going to side with AJ on this. You don't know what was going on at the time and it's damn hard to shoot at a woman and her child even if you are a bit of a psycho. If she moved the gun in a threatening manner or failed to comply with repeated requests to drop the thing, I can understand why they opened fire. As he said, it's a sad thing all around.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Padpaw (profile), 5 Aug 2016 @ 11:37am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            the police got themselves into this pr nightmare by their constant unlawful actions. Maybe if they started to act like what they are supposed to represent people would not be assuming the worst.

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        • icon
          nasch (profile), 5 Aug 2016 @ 8:25am

          Re: Re: Re:

          It's the same with car chases. In the US, the police are like terriers. They will not stop chasing until someone is dead - often an innocent bystander.

          That's getting better. In some jurisdictions they've determined that it's often not worth it to give chase, at least at high speeds.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Aug 2016 @ 1:19pm

      Re:

      I'm very glad I don't live there anymore. 8+ years, never been back.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Padpaw (profile), 4 Aug 2016 @ 9:05pm

      Re:

      I think their ranks are filled with sociopaths that get a thrill from killing people

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Aug 2016 @ 12:40pm

    "the recording will now be in the hands of law enforcement, rather than the public"

    Her son is 5 years old ! Do you really propose that letting him grow up running and re-running and re-running his mother's death on YouTube is in his or the public interest? Would you like it set to music? Maybe it'll top the charts. Don't you think that making videos of killings public will only lead to further grief for family and friends, not to mention the deceased's children. All the kids at school pointing at him and telling him his mother was a wannabe cop killer? Future teachers and employers? He has a life to live, he's going to miss her quite enough, let him live it in peace.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      James Burkhardt (profile), 4 Aug 2016 @ 12:57pm

      Re:

      So we let law enforcement supress the recording and drive the narrative about how they had no choice but to kill his mother? he doesn't need to watch you tube videos of this standoff. But that video could provide real information to the public about the actions of the police, Real Evidence.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Aug 2016 @ 1:00pm

      Re:

      "the recording will now be in the hands of law enforcement, rather than the public"

      While that may make you feel all warm and fuzzy, it seems that things that are in the hands of law enforcement that don't flatter law enforcement tend to go missing.

      So yeah, in the interest of showing what actually happened versus what's on the police report, it's in the public interest.

      It's not like the rest of us, when arrested, have a chance to thoroughly review any/all the footage captured before a statement is taken.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2016 @ 12:58am

      Re:

      I think we found the LEO..

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    James Burkhardt (profile), 4 Aug 2016 @ 12:56pm

    So, when Mr. Bundy had an armed standoff he was a guy backed up by other guys with guns, who all said they would shoot and kill federal agents if provoked. so they negotiated a settlement by which Bundy could continue to break the law, and the roundup of cattle to prevent the breaking of the law was suspended.

    But when a single mother decides to take a stand, a single verbal warning for officers to leave was considered sufficient grounds to open fire.

    Does her less then Caucasian appearance have anything to do with this decision? Studies have shown that Police will perceive a threat more readily when you appear non-Caucasian.

    But, basically, if you want to bully the government make sure you have friends with you. and make sure you're a respectable white man.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    anonymous Dutch coward, 4 Aug 2016 @ 1:07pm

    insanity is the norm?

    Is insanity the norm in the US? The woman, the police, the followers on Facebook. Pointing a 12 gauge towards a policeman will have you killed even over here in The Netherlands. Seriously, a crowd encouraging here to go on? Not that I trust US police to be anything but trigger happpy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Aug 2016 @ 1:27pm

      Re: insanity is the norm?

      no, it is not the norm... Like everything else in this day and age with camera everywhere you really do get to see the full insanity of each story instead of through the filter of law enforcement "releasing" certain details.

      It is why people are getting pissed at the Police, we are quickly seeing that the abuse has always been there and now that the police cannot as easily lie their way out of it... its making their jobs harder!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Merga, 4 Aug 2016 @ 6:43pm

        Re: Re: insanity is the norm?

        now that the police cannot as easily lie their way out of it...

        Which is something that the courts traditionally helped out with as well. Now, with more cameras and more ways for that footage out to get to the public, not only is the historical corruption of the police getting exposed but that of the courts as well.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anon, 4 Aug 2016 @ 1:21pm

    Agree

    >Is insanity the norm in the US? The woman, the police, the followers on Facebook. Pointing a 12 gauge towards a policeman will have you killed even over here in The Netherlands. Seriously, a crowd encouraging here to go on? Not that I trust US police to be anything but trigger happy.

    I agree. Same in Canada - pointing a potentially lethal weapon, a firearm, at police is the very definition of suicide. Saying "I will shoot" compounds the problem. She had from 9:20AM to 3PM to come to an understanding and refused, in fact continued to point the weapon. Of all the police killings that made the news in the USA, this seems the most justified. The police are not obliged to create a long-term standoff with every nutbar with a weapon. They are obliged to give someone an opportunity to back down unless timing is urgent, but over 5 hours? The person was not backing down. And actually fired at police. Second point, once a shot is fired, end ASAP - don't give the person time to calculate how to do maximum damage.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      bob, 4 Aug 2016 @ 2:40pm

      Re: Agree

      For her own survival it was a bad choice to point the gun at officers and then declare she would defend herself. However the officers shot first, her shooting back could easily be seen as a self defense action because in her state of mind cops equal thugs attempting to attack you.

      specifically I don't know if those cops acted like thugs. They seemed to be doing things by the book until a shot was fired.
      Cops in general (you know a few bad apples can spoil the barrel) could be looked at as thugs if you identify as a minority.

      Still I think she was responding to the situation as self defense from a tyrannical government she was not beholden to.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Aug 2016 @ 3:21pm

      Re: Agree

      Yes, pointing a gun at the police is a bad fucking idea in any country, but this is the US - the land of household firepower.

      In most western countries, guns in the household is not a common thing. If you try to serve a warrant in Sweden, Germany, France, Japan or where ever - and find yourself staring down a barrel of a shotgun it's a very different situation. It's either an illegal firearm or you have stumbled onto one of the few people who have a license to hunt and is clearly completely off the rocker.

      In the US, the police should expect people to have weapons in their homes and wave them around in response to what they feel is a home invasion. They should have more patience and training than any other police force in the western world on how to negotiate, deescalate, and so on. Instead they seem to have less training in all these fields and choose to go full Dirty Harry at the first sign of non-compliance.

      This is also a suspect who is known to have been claiming to be a sovereign citizen and not subject to the law. Of course she has a gun, it fits the damn profile. This is the textbook example of someone who has a gun and will see the police, especially the police, as home invaders. Approaching her at home, with a child in the home is the worst time, and the worst place to deal with this. The sight of a shotgun could hardly have been a big fucking shock. The police must have suspected this could happen they are criminally incompetent!

      The police had no foresight, no backup plans and no interest in de-escalating the situation. They just expected compliance, or else. After only a few hours they chose else. A misguided and disturbed woman ended up dead, her son shot and orphaned, and the police put themselves in mortal danger in a two-way firefight.

      Protect and serve. OOH RAH! This makes no sense at all.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    I.T. Guy, 4 Aug 2016 @ 1:34pm

    You can tell they are lying by:
    "they saw Gaines sitting on the floor pointing a 12-gauge shotgun at one of three officers and a 5-year-old near her."

    Which was it? She couldn't have been pointing the gun at both. Unless the kid was between them and her. Which makes the actions of the Police even worse that they would risk the child's life by shooting past the kid to get to the girl.

    Cops lie. It's what they do. It's what they have always done.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 4 Aug 2016 @ 2:28pm

      Um...that looks more like a missparsed sentence.

      Though I can see how you interpreted it Gaines was sitting on the floor pointing the gun at an officer and a five-year-old. I suspect a more realistic interpretation is
      Gaines was sitting on the floor near the five-year-old and pointing the gun at an officer.

      Though this does show how language often does a poor job of explaining the specific details of a situation.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Aug 2016 @ 2:38pm

      Re:

      "..they saw Gaines sitting on the floor pointing a 12-gauge shotgun at one of three officers and a 5-year-old near her"

      That is a quote from the linked Buzzfeed article, not an official statement.

      It's badly written, but as it is could be improved by adding two commas.

      "..they saw Gaines sitting on the floor, pointing a 12-gauge shotgun at one of three officers, and a 5-year-old near her"

      in other words:

      "they saw:
      - Gaines, sitting on the floor pointing a 12-gauge shotgun at one of three officers, and
      - a 5-year-old near her"

      Blame buzzfeed.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      SpaceLifeForm, 4 Aug 2016 @ 4:27pm

      the child in the middle

      If the child was not there,
      the police would have probably
      flashbanged the woman before noon.

      She probably had the child by the front door, in between.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2016 @ 12:49am

        Re: the child in the middle

        The whole point of a flash-bang is that it can be used when innocents are present, just avoid tossing onto someone, or into a babies crib. The police in his case could see all they needed to safely use a flash bang, just time it for when the shotgun was pointed in a reasonably safe direction.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2016 @ 6:36am

      Re:

      Which was it? She couldn't have been pointing the gun at both.

      It is a shotgun. AS in, a gun with multiple pieces of metal inside that fly out in a cone-like shape when fired. It is theoretically possible that she could aim at more than one person, even at close range.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Aug 2016 @ 1:37pm

    Facebook could have killed live commentary of the standoff without killing the live stream. There was absolutely no reason to kill the stream other than the fact that police don't want to be held accountable if they did something wrong. They should be held accountable for their attempts to avoid being held accountable for any possible misdeeds that the camera may have caught and the punishment should be as though they are guilty of murder if anyone dies and they did anything to prevent the instant livestream of footage before it can be taken and/or doctored.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Aug 2016 @ 2:05pm

      Re:

      You don't say....

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2016 @ 12:50am

        Re: Re:

        "And the unanswered question is whether or not the situation would have been handled differently if the officers knew the public was watching."

        It should be noted that if they had handled it differently had they known the public was watching than how they did handle it then the way they did handle it counts as part of the misdeeds they are trying to cover up.

        There was absolutely no good reason for them to request the live stream be suppressed. That is a misdeed and the public should be outraged at that alone.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 4 Aug 2016 @ 2:33pm

    What this does illustrate is that Facebook cannot be trusted...

    ...to reliably live-stream your situation. Which means we need another source for live-streaming incidents that is more interested in people's rights than the protection of law-enforcement agents.

    Or, if devices have the power / bandwidth, send the stream to an auxilliary service that continues to record so it can be delivered to next of kin and the news.

    As it is, we've seen enough that the police are eager to escalate and shoot people they don't like, even without any cause (e.g. Castile) so I'm disinclined to give them any benefit of doubt. If they're not being completely forthright with all data, then they're hiding an atrocity.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Aug 2016 @ 2:46pm

      Re: What this does illustrate is that Facebook cannot be trusted...

      "Which means we need another source for live-streaming incidents that is more interested in people's rights than the protection of law-enforcement agents."

      You mean somewhere else to livestream too? Inertia will dictate that most people will continue to post to what they know (eg FB). In any event that is just moving the problem.

      When robots have taken our jobs we can follow each other around filming each other filming each other. Minimum 2 people to be filming each person 24 hrs.

      Alternatively we could build homes requiring continually recording equipment embedded in all wall structures. Embedded in all streets, lawns, vehicles, with drones hovering just out of reach at all times. IC and LEO will be happy then, not so sure about the rest of us.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), 4 Aug 2016 @ 2:43pm

    Conspiracy or Incompetency?

    "When it comes to recordings, law enforcement has proven repeatedly it's not up to the job"

    Whether the police are deliberately deleting video and covering up evidence, or if they are simply incapable of recording, handling, and backing up video data is irrelevant. It is clear the responsibility for doing so should not be in their hands.

    Is there some way for a neutral third party to record this data, providing it freely like in a good FOIA process?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Personanongrata, 4 Aug 2016 @ 3:32pm

    Violence is the Last Refuge of the Incompetent*

    At that point, officers fired one round and Gaines fired two rounds in return, Johnson said. Authorities fired their weapons again, fatally striking her. The child was also struck by a round during the exchange but did not sustain life-threatening injuries.

    Why were such confrontational tactics used by the police (keystone koppers) to serve a warrant for failure to appear in response to a traffic summons?

    What type of highly trained (not) officers force a violent confrontation when there are children present?

    Since when has failure to appear in response to a traffic summons been elevated to execution by SWAT?

    Why do American citizens continue to allow the government to levy taxes in order to fund tyranny under guise of the law?

    The only way theses murders stop is when citizens revoke their consent to be "governed" in this manner.

    Perhaps we can conduct an experiment in direct democracy?

    Let all of the police departments across the land hold bake sales to attain their operating funds. Those people who would like to fund the governments tyranny can by the governments baked goods those that do not wish to provide funds can simply abstain.

    If the police departments fail to bring in the funding needed to operate at their current levels downsize or close the departments.


    There you have it democracy in action.

    * Quote attributed Isaac Asimov

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Padpaw (profile), 4 Aug 2016 @ 9:11pm

      Re: Violence is the Last Refuge of the Incompetent*

      some citizens have reached their breaking point and are taking the war to the police, only a matter of time before more and more start shooting back.

      I just cannot see the police realizing their attitude of murder and brutalize anyone we ant to with no accountability is only making things worse for them in the long term.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      AJ, 5 Aug 2016 @ 10:29am

      Re: Violence is the Last Refuge of the Incompetent*

      "The police had no foresight, no backup plans and no interest in de-escalating the situation. They just expected compliance, or else. After only a few hours they chose else. A misguided and disturbed woman ended up dead, her son shot and orphaned, and the police put themselves in mortal danger in a two-way firefight."

      I just don't see where your getting this.

      1. The standoff lasted from 9 to 3.. 6 hours. They tried for 6 hours to "de-escalate" the situation.
      2. She threatened to kill them while pointing a gun at them.
      3. She fired 2 shots from a 12 gauge shotgun at them. You ever fired a 12 gauge without earplugs and seen what the bullets can do? It sounds like a cannon going off in a small room and can cut a man in half at close range.

      Help me understand where she was some kind of innocent victim and the police acted like murdering thugs. I just don't see it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Padpaw (profile), 5 Aug 2016 @ 11:43am

        Re: Re: Violence is the Last Refuge of the Incompetent*

        the problem comes from them shutting down the only third party evidence to what happened. If they were not doing anything wrong in apprehending this deranged woman why would they force a livestream to be shut down?

        That is probably why people are concerned about how the police handled this considering their constant past actions when it comes to shutting down video that might contradict their official statements about what happened.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          AJ, 5 Aug 2016 @ 12:53pm

          Re: Re: Re: Violence is the Last Refuge of the Incompetent*

          "the problem comes from them shutting down the only third party evidence to what happened. If they were not doing anything wrong in apprehending this deranged woman why would they force a livestream to be shut down?
          "

          Look, I don't like it either. But I can think of several reasons why the police would shut down a live feed of a crime. As far as making it flat out disappear... I believe that is actually a crime and the police should be charged just like everyone else...

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2016 @ 1:15pm

        Re: Re: Violence is the Last Refuge of the Incompetent*

        If they had kept her contained for 6 hours, they could have kept her contained for as long as it took for her to exit her house. It looks like they approached her, exposing themselves to danger, and giving themselves a reason to shoot if she did not do exactly as they demanded immiedietly, rather than waiting until she decided to come out, where there was an increased chance that she would have surrendered.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Aug 2016 @ 3:43pm

    There needs to be serious consequences if there is no footage available for crappy reasons. Automatic multi week suspension if it is requested and it is not available at all. Any reported defective equipment should be replaced with a functional unit within 24 hrs


    It is events like that which cause a general mistrust and contempt for police. 9 vehicles and there is zero footage? Not even indirect footage? Nothing?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 4 Aug 2016 @ 4:35pm

    Isn’t That An Excuse Regularly Offered By Supporters Of The Second Amendment?

    That it gives you something you can use to defend against Government oppression?

    Only it turns out that the Government has way more, and bigger, guns than you. And if you threaten them with yours, nobody is going to raise a murmur of protest against their right to use them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    scotts13 (profile), 4 Aug 2016 @ 5:14pm

    IMHO, we don't know anything at all about the events and circumstances in this case - because we have only the police's word for them. It's gotten that bad.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Padpaw (profile), 4 Aug 2016 @ 9:12pm

      Re:

      the simple fact is their word cannot be trusted.

      When they go out of their way to remove anything they do not control that might validate or contradict their word then they automatically suspect of lying.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Padpaw (profile), 4 Aug 2016 @ 8:49pm

    funny how the moment any evidence of their actions differing from a video livestream that might prove otherwise was removed she was killed.

    anything contrary to the "official narrative" is removed

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Aug 2016 @ 6:42am

    While the assertions made here may be true, the fact that law enforcement can make third-party recordings disappear is highly problematic.

    It doesn't seem like there was any third party recording here. There was the police, which may or may not have recorded anything, and there was Gaines, who was streaming it live to Facebook. Facebook is the only third party mentioned, and it did not make any recordings, only had a first party recording uploaded to it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anon, 5 Aug 2016 @ 10:07am

    Jury Nullification

    No founding fathers involved. Jurry nullification is a part of English common law. In fact, the prime case establishing it's valididty was that of William Penn (who later took possession of some woods.) When accused of distributing pamphlets critical of the Church of England, the jury refused to convict him. The judge had the jurors locked up until they gave him the verdict he wanted, and the continued to refuse. The jurors' lawyers went further up the ladder, and eventually the result was that the highest court of England declared that judges could not force jurors to return a specific verdict. the idea that not just the government, but twelve "honest men" dragged in from the street, also had to agree you were breaking the law, goes back before the days of the Magna Carta. it was there because the King (King John especially, surprise?) would drag his political opponents into court and decide they had violated the law, seize their assets and toss them into prison.

    Jury nullification has a bad rap since "peer review" by juries was used to ensure that white men in the South USA were not punished for abusing or killing darkies, no matter how progressive or pressured the local DA was.

    But - it's an integral part of our system, British, American, Canadian, Australian, etc. - a jury can decide, and its decision is final, barring any instance of tampering or such. The government has to persuade a panel of ordinary citizens that the actions of a person constitute a crime.

    The danger is, of course, these are ordinary citizens. Certain classes of defendants may not get much sympathy from them. As the OJ trial demonstrated, juror psychology is a large and complex field of study.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      LAquaker, 27 Aug 2016 @ 3:27am

      Re: Jury Nullification

      Yea, the woods were the State of Pennsylvania.

      Actualy, People magazine ran a group of photographs in Feb 1995 of the people involved; two middle aged white P.I.s 'watched' the two murders happen.
      ~~~
      They pulled samples of OJ's blood from police evidence lockers and carried it back to Rockingham.
      Go Figure; Bill Cosby, Michael Jackson, OJ, M.L.king, Fred Hampton, Gene McKinney, EVERY black man is the Boogie Man

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2016 @ 1:14am

    Deserved what she got you don't fire a gun at police and think nothing is gonna happen that's just fucking stupid.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2016 @ 1:19am

    She deserved what she got you don't fire a gun at police and think nothing is gonna happen that's just fucking stupid no matter if your using your kid as a human shield or not. Lol exactly what a great mom. Mother of the year dumb bitch

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2016 @ 3:17am

    As an individual she had every right, so long as she continued to respect the rights of others

    The government by association employ murderers

    The illusionary "good" fucking guys

    And there are stupid folk willing to give them even more authority witout even a HINT of wanting to fix the corruption........histories biggest fucking elephant in the room

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Aug 2016 @ 8:13am

    Someone needs to start a livestream website designed for this sort of thing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Stoatwblr (profile), 17 Aug 2016 @ 2:11pm

    federal involvement

    It's about time the feds stepped in.

    In cases where the video is disappeared (or malfunctioned) the cops involved should be held on suspicion of murder under colour of authority - WITHOUT BAIL, whilst federal investigators step in.

    Making it a federal crime for any law enforcement official to have a malfunctioning camera whilst on duty would go a long way towards ensuring that they're working when issued and _stay_ working.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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