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#1
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_Grant

The verdict just came out a few minutes ago. I'm surprised there wasn't a thread on this already; it's all over Google, Twitter, etc.

What are your feelings on this, Pit? I'm only feeling frustration towards everyone involved at this point. I'll add my thoughts a bit later on.

EDIT: Video of the shooting itself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKKQ-gzc_Yw
Last edited by Samdroid at Jul 8, 2010,
#4
i never heard of it before,

i read through it and i dunno what to make on it tbh.

I mean im glad the cop didnt get execution, but manslaughter for shooting the guy for what seems like no reason is quite a weak verdict.
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#5
Quote by andrewjp123
really? He involuntarily pulled out a gun and shot him in the chest?

On Wikipedia it says he was shot in the back; that's illegal even in Texas!

Still, though, this seems like another Pit attempt to bash the police.
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#7
Oh man I think I saw that when one of the news videos was posted on youtube. It was the one where he was detained on the ground and one of the cops pulled out his gun and shot him yeah?

It's fucking sick. Even worse that he could be found for involuntary manslaughter on the defense that he "meant to fire his taser" incompetence shouldn't be an excuse.
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#8
How can it be involuntary manslaughter? He clearly knew that by shooting him he'd be inflicting serious harm upon him, I may be misremembering GCSE Law but surely it's voluntary manslaughter if not murder?
#9
not going to stay in this thread but I'd just like to say that involuntary doesn't necessarily mean acting against one's wishes. It can also mean that he did something without meaning to.

In this case he says he meant to use his taser. So he killed without meaning to. hence the involuntary.

Don't know whether the decision was right, but even if he only gets 5 years a former Police in prison is not going to serve an easy sentence.

Quote by BeastlyBassist
Oh man I think I saw that when one of the news videos was posted on youtube. It was the one where he was detained on the ground and one of the cops pulled out his gun and shot him yeah?

It's fucking sick. Even worse that he could be found for involuntary manslaughter on the defense that he "meant to fire his taser" incompetence shouldn't be an excuse.

incompetence isn't an excuse, that's why he's still held liable for a crime. But the way the legal system works, you take into account the mental culpability of a person.

If a post man delivers a bomb, should he be held responsible for murder?

should the person at the post office whose job it was to run the machine that scans packages be guilty of murder?

same thing here. A mistake shouldn't be held on the same level as someone who knowingly sets out to kill.
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Yeah. people, like Lemoninfluence, are hypocrites and should have all their opinions invalidated from here on out.
Last edited by Lemoninfluence at Jul 8, 2010,
#10
Quote by bulldozerbob
How can it be involuntary manslaughter? He clearly knew that by shooting him he'd be inflicting serious harm upon him, I may be misremembering GCSE Law but surely it's voluntary manslaughter if not murder?


He testified that he was trying to grab and fire his taser, but the way the holsters are designed make it quite easy to mix up the two. Six other officers testified they had had similar problems with grabbing the wrong weapon in the past, and two of the bystanders (including one of the victim's companions) testified that the officer had threatened to taser Oscar Grant. Were I on the jury, all of that testimony certainly would convince me that the shooting was not in cold blood; I would most likely have found him guilty of manslaughter.
#11
Just read about it for the first time here. Not sure about my thoughts yet but:

First off, the guy WAS resisting arrest, not that it justifies being shot, but it didn't help.

From what I read, it does seem like he was only reaching for a taser, in which case, it was an accident.


What I'm trying to figure out is, was involuntary manslaughter the ruling the cop was hoping for, (certainly better than second degree murder), or was he hoping to be acquitted?
#12
I don't see how "I meant to fire my taser" is a valid defense against that, though. He was on his stomach with another officer on top of him already. Even a taser would have been inappropriate.
Quote by Lemoninfluence
incompetence isn't an excuse, that's why he's still held liable for a crime. But the way the legal system works, you take into account the mental culpability of a person.

If a post man delivers a bomb, should he be held responsible for murder?

should the person at the post office whose job it was to run the machine that scans packages be guilty of murder?

same thing here. A mistake shouldn't be held on the same level as someone who knowingly sets out to kill.

That analogy isn't at all relevant. The postman doesn't know what's in any packages he delivers. A police officer should know full well how and when to use a gun and when to use a taser.

If you know there's an issue with the holster, you get a new holster or make sure that you've pulled the right weapon.
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#13
Quote by Lemoninfluence


incompetence isn't an excuse, that's why he's still held liable for a crime. But the way the legal system works, you take into account the mental culpability of a person.

If a post man delivers a bomb, should he be held responsible for murder?

should the person at the post office whose job it was to run the machine that scans packages be guilty of murder?

same thing here. A mistake shouldn't be held on the same level as someone who knowingly sets out to kill.


This is a good point, you guys have to remember. The man who was shot was thought to be armed at that time, AND he was resisting arrest. If he was armed, to NOT have tasered him would have been endangering both the cops and the bystanders. I think it was an honest and obviously unfortunate mistake.
#14
Quote by iro-bot31
He testified that he was trying to grab and fire his taser, but the way the holsters are designed make it quite easy to mix up the two. Six other officers testified they had had similar problems with grabbing the wrong weapon in the past, and two of the bystanders (including one of the victim's companions) testified that the officer had threatened to taser Oscar Grant. Were I on the jury, all of that testimony certainly would convince me that the shooting was not in cold blood; I would most likely have found him guilty of manslaughter.

This is an almost plausible reason. I understand the "oops, I grabbed the wrong thing" mentality, but there is no reason for him not realizing what he held in his hand, and was about to use on another person.
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#15
Quote by BeastlyBassist
I don't see how "I meant to fire my taser" is a valid defense against that, though. He was on his stomach with another officer on top of him already. Even a taser would have been inappropriate.

and he was still resisting, the taser is designed specifically for those circumstances.
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Quote by element4433
Yeah. people, like Lemoninfluence, are hypocrites and should have all their opinions invalidated from here on out.
#16
Quote by BeastlyBassist
I don't see how "I meant to fire my taser" is a valid defense against that, though. He was on his stomach with another officer on top of him already. Even a taser would have been inappropriate.


The article I read in the LA Times said that the officer saw movement and thought Grant was reaching for a weapon. It happened in a train station, so my guess is the officer fired what he thought was a Taser to prevent any bystanders from getting injured or killed. It's a tough case, but I personally think there was reasonable doubt it was unintentional and that's all you need.
#18
^ Exactly.
Quote by Lemoninfluence
and he was still resisting, the taser is designed specifically for those circumstances.

He was on his stomach with a 150+ pound police officer on his back. No amount of resisting is going to pose a threat to anybody in that position.

EDIT: There is video on youtube. See for yourself.
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#19
Quote by doomded
This is an almost plausible reason. I understand the "oops, I grabbed the wrong thing" mentality, but there is no reason for him not noticing what he held in his hand, and was about to use on another person.

he reaches for it, struggles a bit, pulls it out and fires it within a second of it coming free.

he's in a high stress situation with his attention divided between, getting a taser out of its holster, holding this resisting kid down and keeping an eye on the other suspects.

he made a mistake, he's being punished for it.

EDIT:

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Quote by element4433
Yeah. people, like Lemoninfluence, are hypocrites and should have all their opinions invalidated from here on out.
Last edited by Lemoninfluence at Jul 8, 2010,
#20
Quote by doomded
This is an almost plausible reason. I understand the "oops, I grabbed the wrong thing" mentality, but there is no reason for him not noticing what he held in his hand, and was about to use on another person.

In a situation like that, you don't think with a level head. It was with the mentality of "I gotta taze this guy quick, or he may overpower my partner and endanger his life!" Police aren't trained to look at their weapon before firing, they are trained to draw it as quickly as possible to contain the situation. Unfortunately, he drew the wrong weapon.
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#21
Wow. This is sickening. You would think with all the training police officers get they would be able to tell the difference between the feel of a taser in their hand and the feel of a gun. He should be found guilty for murder. Manslaughter at the very least.


amgedit

To the guy below me, how is the verdict correct?
Last edited by Sammythedruggie at Jul 8, 2010,
#22
That is the right legal decision. It is a terrible tragedy that happened, but the verdict is correct.

edit:^ mens rea bro.
Last edited by Thrashtastic15 at Jul 8, 2010,
#23
Lemoninfluence, that is not the taser that the officer used. I posted a picture of the taser on the first page of this thread.

Also, the SIG P226 (the gun that the policeman was armed with) has no safety. If he thought it was the taser he would have known to have removed the safety.

I'm not necessarily saying that the event wasn't 'involuntary manslaughter,' but this officer drew a handgun which he had used and trained with for years, which is a completely different look and shape to that of a taser, as well as nearly a fifth of the weight, then did not notice when there was no safety to remove.
Last edited by SgtSquiggles at Jul 8, 2010,
#24
Eh. I don't really want to get in a huge silly argument about something that's already been decided. I'm sure the guy didn't mean to shoot him, but it was an easily avoidable accident.

Condolences to the family and hope the officer is alright too. I can only imagine what he's going through.
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#25
Quote by Sammythedruggie
Wow. This is sickening. You would think with all the training police officers get they would be able to tell the difference between the feel of a taser in their hand and the feel of a gun. He should be found guilty for murder. Manslaughter at the very least.


amgedit

To the guy below me, how is the verdict correct?


You are so wrong it makes me sick. You even said, they should know the difference of the feel of the guns. In that case it was an accident, murder is out of the question. He wasn't TRYING to kill anyone, he was trying to protect the other civilians.
#26
Quote by Epicbizzjizz
You are so wrong it makes me sick. You even said, they should know the difference of the feel of the guns. In that case it was an accident, murder is out of the question. He wasn't TRYING to kill anyone, he was trying to protect the other civilians.



you must be trollin
#27
Quote by SgtSquiggles
Lemoninfluence, that is not the taser that the officer used. I posted a picture of the taser on the first page of this thread.

Also, the SIG P226 (the gun that the policeman was armed with) has no safety. If he thought it was the taser he would have known to have removed the safety.

I'm not necessarily saying that the event wasn't 'involuntary manslaughter,' but this officer drew a handgun which he had used and trained with for years, which is a completely different look and shape to that of a taser, as well as half the weight, then did not notice when there was no safety to remove.

I googled "BART Police taser" and that came up.

and I think we've already established that he made a mistake. How bad that mistake is or how difficult it is to make isn't really important. You can see from the video the way he reacts with shock when he realises it's a gun and not the taser.

Quote by Sammythedruggie
you must be trollin

NO U!

either that or you have no idea what Murder is.
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Quote by element4433
Yeah. people, like Lemoninfluence, are hypocrites and should have all their opinions invalidated from here on out.
#28
Quote by Sammythedruggie
you must be trollin

Other way around hunny. What you said in regards to what he should be charged with is completely wrong, obvious ignorance in law is obvious.
#29
i remember this.

involuntary manslaughter? please. that's straight-up cold execution.
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#30
Quote by Sammythedruggie
you must be trollin


That's it, you've earned this:






Clearly you have no understanding of the law at all. And obviously the people above me agree.
#31
Like another poster said, even a taser would have been inappropriate. He already did a patdown on him. So if the officer believed Oscar Grant had a weapon on his person after the patdown, then that again shows the officer's incompetence. Whether he still had a weapon after the patdown is irrelevant because there was already an officer on top of him. I'm sorry, but even the dumbest criminals know when a cop is on top of them with a knee against their head with two other officers flanking him, it's over.
#32
It sounds here like lots of people feel like he got off scot-free. The cop clearly made a fatal mistake, and he was still found guilty; he is being punished.
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#33
Quote by primusfan
i remember this.

involuntary manslaughter? please. that's straight-up cold execution.

mistakenly pulling out a gun and shooting someone with the intent to only taser them is cold execution?

or are you privy to something the juror's aren't?
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Quote by element4433
Yeah. people, like Lemoninfluence, are hypocrites and should have all their opinions invalidated from here on out.
#34
Quote by Lemoninfluence
I googled "BART Police taser" and that came up.

and I think we've already established that he made a mistake. How bad that mistake is or how difficult it is to make isn't really important. You can see from the video the way he reacts with shock when he realises it's a gun and not the taser.


In my opinion, I believe the severity of the mistake is important.

If in a medical profession, I am about to administer a certain drug, a bag of which I have on a metal trolley to one side of me. In both of the following scenarios I make a mistake.

In the first, I check the drug and put it back on the trolley. I turn back to the patient and the nurse takes the bag and leaves another drug there for future use, thinking that the other bag is spare. I turn around and none the wiser put up the wrong drug, at the wrong dose rate, and the patient dies.

In the second, I fail to check the drug, because it looks similiar to a drug that I am familiar with. I put up the drug, and administer something completely wrong. The patient dies.

Should there be any differentiation here?

The second is grossly negligent, but it is still an accident. The first is a cruel twist of fate which only happens in 1 in a gazillion times, and I'm sure that most would agree the doctor isn't at fault.

So in drawing summaries to the BART events;

The first scenario could correspond if the taser looked nearly the same, had the same weight and the same firing mechanism as his handgun.

The second scenario, he never even performs the most basic check of ensuring that he's drawn the right weapon, which is especially significant due to the fact that it is completely different in ever way.
#35
Quote by rgrockr
It sounds here like lots of people feel like he got off scot-free. The cop clearly made a fatal mistake, and he was still found guilty; he is being punished.

IMO, involuntary manslaughter dosent do the situation justice. The action he took directly resulted in another humans death, mistake or not. He should have been charged with normal manslaughter.
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Last edited by doomded at Jul 8, 2010,
#36
I don't know how to feel about this. Part of me says the shooting could easily have been an accident, but the other part of me thinks it wasn't. Then again, there is also the chance that the cop really wasn't well-trained enough, and couldn't tell the difference between two very different weapons.
#37
So I live near where this happened and its been discussed through and through. The police (in this area at least) keep their tasers OJ the opposite side of their gun so this kind of thing doesn't happen. The whole makes me sick to my stomach. An incompetent police officer should be fired at the very least. I personally think he should be in jail for years and years. But I don't think that it was necessarily police brutality
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#38
Quote by SgtSquiggles
In my opinion, I believe the severity of the mistake is important.

If in a medical profession, I am about to administer a certain drug, a bag of which I have on a metal trolley to one side of me. In both of the following scenarios I make a mistake.

In the first, I check the drug and put it back on the trolley. I turn back to the patient and the nurse takes the bag and leaves another drug there for future use, thinking that the other bag is spare. I turn around and none the wiser put up the wrong drug, at the wrong dose rate, and the patient dies.

In the second, I fail to check the drug, because it looks similiar to a drug that I am familiar with. I put up the drug, and administer something completely wrong. The patient dies.

Should there be any differentiation here?

The second is grossly negligent, but it is still an accident. The first is a cruel twist of fate which only happens in 1 in a gazillion times, and I'm sure that most would agree the doctor isn't at fault.

So in drawing summaries to the BART events;

The first scenario could correspond if the taser looked nearly the same, had the same weight and the same firing mechanism as his handgun.

The second scenario, he never even performs the most basic check of ensuring that he's drawn the right weapon, which is especially significant due to the fact that it is completely different in ever way.

You know what is also completely different? These two situations you are comparing. Everybody here agrees that he made a fatal mistake by not doing the check, but both the people defending the verdict and the jurors felt that the circumstances surrounding the mistake (and also his reaction to the shooting, things all pointed out by Lemon) show that he had no intent to kill. That makes involuntary manslaughter the right verdict for this case. He made a mistake and he is being punished for it. The severity of the mistake is important, so lucky you. If it wasn't as severe he wouldn't be being charged and convicted for involuntary manslaughter, would he?
#39
Quote by doomded
IMO, involuntary manslaughter dosent do the situation justice. The action he took directly resulted in another humans death, mistake or not. He should have been charged with normal manslaughter.

Do you understand murder charges at all? Mens rea bro, there was no intent therefore it is involuntary. If here was intent to kill then it would be normal manslaughter. He made a mistake that resulted in another humans death without intent, and involuntary manslaughter is there for when this situation occurs.
#40
Quote by Thrashtastic15
You know what is also completely different? These two situations you are comparing. Everybody here agrees that he made a fatal mistake by not doing the check, but both the people defending the verdict and the jurors felt that the circumstances surrounding the mistake (and also his reaction to the shooting, things all pointed out by Lemon) show that he had no intent to kill. That makes involuntary manslaughter the right verdict for this case. He made a mistake and he is being punished for it. The severity of the mistake is important, so lucky you. If it wasn't as severe he wouldn't be being charged and convicted for involuntary manslaughter, would he?


Well haven't you missed the point completely.