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by Peter Moskos

December 18, 2015

Perhaps the worst police-involved shooting ever

I don't say that lightly. There have been some bad ones.

Click on this link or you can jump to about 0:50 sec on this:

Andrew Thomas, the victim, a drunk driver, is paralyzed. He is white. So is Paradise, California.

1:35: "I got a male in the car refusing to get out."

Maybe, you think, just maybe, it's because you just shot the mother f*cker for no reason?!

And yet I hadn't even heard of this shooting until a Baltimore cop just brought it to my attention tonight. We were talking about Baltimore cops actually do their job pretty well, all things considered. A Baltimore cop would never do this; we can't imagine this happening in Baltimore. Apparently the officer in this shooting won't face charges.

And yet in Baltimore six cops are being tried for failure to seat belt and bring prompt medical care? Has the world gone mad?

It's not just that white people don't care about black lives. Honestly, most white people don't care about white lives, either.

[Update: he died]

[Further update: The officer was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to 6 months in jail.]


Kyle said...


No charges? Really?

Anonymous said...

I guess the cop claimed accidental discharge? Not clarity on the video but boy that isn't what it looks like to me.

Moskos said...

I don't buy it. And the reason I don't buy it that he didn't break stride *after* he fired his gun. You fire a gun by mistake and your first thought and movement will be "oh, fuck"! Not that cop.

And I don't think he even called in the discharge for 10 minutes. (Which might support the idea it was an accident, like he was hoping he missed and nobody would know. But I don't buy it because his immediate post-shooting reaction was entirely consistent with intentionally discharge.)

Concerned citizen said...

Around the 3 minute mark the officer walks around with his flashlight scrutinizing the pavement for about 45 seconds. I wonder if he was looking for the shell casing, crazily hoping that no one would realize the driver had been shot.

Moskos said...

Leaving aside the issue of whether or not it *was* an accident, notice the legal standard of "if it was an accident, then no criminal charges." Compare and contrast with, say, Baltimore City.

Moskos said...

My man Leon says, "He was playing whack-a-mole with his service weapon. And soon as he popped up, he shot him down."

Anonymous said...

He was playing whack-a-mole with his service weapon

Heh, one of my co workers texted me the same line.

Adam said...

Go here to see the DA's report on why no charges were filed.

I'm not sure what I make of the head-jerk, stutter-step, one-shot-instead-of-two explanation. It seems awfully slim to me, but as a prosecutor, I would not be confident that I could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that this was murder and not an accidental discharge. That would be a hard case to try.

Moskos said...

But here, even if it weren't premeditated murder, you have a reasonableness standard and potential gross negligence.

I guess it also gets my goat that this knucklehead isn't charged and six cops in Baltimore are on trial for... failure to seatbelt?!

Moskos said...

Thanks for the link.

I don't know if I buy the stutter stop and 2-tap explanation either. Clear the DA of Butte County is pro-cop.

But at least the legal concepts make sense. He did say the shooting is "not justified" and also "not criminal." I wish they understand such a distinction is Baltimore.

That Fuzzy Bastard said...

It really is outrageous how police killings of white people get ignored. This is how the media works: It can handle exactly one narrative, and anything that doesn't fit it doesn't get covered. It's like how Hollywood handles biopics.

hotrod said...

Former officer Feaster was just convicted of involuntary manslaughter and received a 180 day sentence.


Unknown said...

1. Serious flaw; why not stay behind concealment of lights until reasonably assured no one isgfoing to "pop out"?
2. If a firearm is discharged, by ANYONE, that needs to be radioed in immediately.