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Santa Fe police shooting justified, DA says

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Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 11:28 pm | Updated: 9:11 pm, Thu Mar 28, 2013.

District Attorney Angela “Spence” Pacheco ruled Wednesday that the officer-involved shooting of a 77-year-old veteran earlier this month was justified.

Pacheco reviewed state police reports, audio from Santa Fe police Officer Charles Laramie’s recorder and other evidence in making her decision not to present the case to a grand jury for possible criminal action.

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Welcome to the discussion.

30 comments:

  • WPeterson posted at 1:19 pm on Wed, Apr 3, 2013.

    WPeterson Posts: 38

    Why in the world, when responding to a burglar alarm, would a cop ever put themselves in a position where they could be vulnerable to fire while approaching or entering the structure? Especially when alone?

    Are they not trained to use tactical movement, progressing between cover positions?

    This cop should have never "had" to shoot the caretaker, because he should have never been in a vulnerable position when he confronted him. He should have been behind cover when he identified himself and instructed the caretaker to identify himself and keep his hands visible. Had the cop done that, he would have bought precious seconds wherein any confusion could have been cleared up and he wouldn't have "had" to pop off 7 rounds because he placed himself in a situation where he had to make a split-seconed life or death decision.

    Just like in that Pecos road rage cop shooting. It is totally ridiculous that these cops are using such stupid tactics and placing both themselves and citizens at greater risk of being shot.

     
  • Pierce Knolls posted at 12:54 pm on Wed, Apr 3, 2013.

    Mister Pierce Posts: 1176

    "Also, folks have got to realize that when an officer enters a house at night with a burglary in progress, you're asking the man to risk his life for your television set."

    When someone breaks into one's home in the middle of the night, how do you know that they're only a threat to one's TV?


    "Are you willing to go in unarmed and sacrifice your own life for a few replaceable possessions?"

    If the burglars are really only after one's television, why would they be a mortal threat to an unarmed cop?

     
  • Pierce Knolls posted at 12:46 pm on Wed, Apr 3, 2013.

    Mister Pierce Posts: 1176

    "...and considering the potential risks involved"

    Yup, when antsy cops are running around pointing guns at law-abiding senior citizens the risk factor escalates quickly.

     
  • WPeterson posted at 10:32 am on Wed, Apr 3, 2013.

    WPeterson Posts: 38

    And the cops still might shoot you.

     
  • WPeterson posted at 10:32 am on Wed, Apr 3, 2013.

    WPeterson Posts: 38

    No, it appears that what put him at a disadvantage was a surprise attack by a trigger happy cop.

     
  • WPeterson posted at 10:30 am on Wed, Apr 3, 2013.

    WPeterson Posts: 38

    Exactly. If this is their standard protocol in these situations, then they need to seriously rethink their tactics. It not only puts citizens at risk, but it puts the cops themselves at greater risk of being shot.

     
  • WPeterson posted at 10:27 am on Wed, Apr 3, 2013.

    WPeterson Posts: 38

    And that's the problem with their tactics. I am within my rights, within my own home, to point a weapon at any person on my property, whether identified or not. The cops just can't go around shooting who are on their own property and not breaking any law.

     
  • Pat Shackleford posted at 10:46 pm on Tue, Apr 2, 2013.

    Pat Shackleford Posts: 402

    Why does a policeman enter a private residence not knowing if the person inside is authorized to be there? Does a deaf person deserve to be shot because they didn't hear or understand a verbal announcement? And a flashlight in the face could have prevented the caretaker from visual clues of it being a policeman; so not surprising that he pointed his gun, thinking it could have been the burglar. Maybe the cop should have waited for back-up and used bullhorn for the person inside to come out with their hands up. I don't see why an authorized person should have to go in unarmed, and not alone. Do you think the cop knows the alarm code? I doubt it. The police need to refine their techniques for handling these situations. They're supposed to "serve and protect". Apparently though, we have to expect dimbulb-hotshots to show-up, and hope not to be a victim of their hasty tactics.

     
  • Michael Grimler posted at 6:17 pm on Tue, Apr 2, 2013.

    shooter Posts: 153

    Who shot whom over a property crime?

     
  • Michael Grimler posted at 6:17 pm on Tue, Apr 2, 2013.

    shooter Posts: 153

    Pie in the sky...pie in the sky.

     
  • Michael Grimler posted at 6:16 pm on Tue, Apr 2, 2013.

    shooter Posts: 153

    So, now the problem is too much training?

    Yeah...that makes lots of sense. [wink]

     
  • Michael Grimler posted at 6:15 pm on Tue, Apr 2, 2013.

    shooter Posts: 153

    "...What if the cop saw me 'sneaking' through my house with a shotgun, might I have been shot?"

    You may have...if you'd pointed the shotgun at the cop.

     
  • Pierce Knolls posted at 7:57 am on Mon, Apr 1, 2013.

    Mister Pierce Posts: 1176

    Yes, everyone should just cower quietly in the dark and wait for the police to arrive and impose order.

     
  • Peter Neal posted at 7:15 pm on Sun, Mar 31, 2013.

    PeterNeal Posts: 99

    Oh dear, Henry....don"t get on the computer too often? May I suggest you simply google "Police Officer convicted" and you will be rewarded with literally hundreds of pages of articles where Officers were not ALWAYS let off by the DA. Just sayin'.

     
  • Peter Neal posted at 6:42 pm on Sun, Mar 31, 2013.

    PeterNeal Posts: 99

    And may I suggest that the next "old man authorized to be there caretaker" NOT attempt to clear a residential burglar alarm at 330am, while armed with a gun, and alone. I recommend that sort of thing be left to the police. I realize he was a cop many eons ago, but his age and lack of training in the past 30 or so years probably puts him at a disadvantage.

     
  • Peter Neal posted at 9:31 am on Sun, Mar 31, 2013.

    PeterNeal Posts: 99

    Dominguez told State Police that he had placed his gun on the floor while checking the house. The recording from Laramie's belt mic has Dominguez saying he did not mean to point his gun (at Laramie) . Dominguez may have trouble recalling what happened, or may not be telling the truth. Either way, his version of what happened is suspect.
    I'm certain he meant well when he went to check the alarm, but at his age, and considering the potential risks involved, he should have left that job to the police. I hope he fully recovers.

     
  • Peter Neal posted at 9:11 am on Sun, Mar 31, 2013.

    PeterNeal Posts: 99

    "Back in the day when cops walked a beat, a shooting like this would not happen". Really? Well, if that's true, let's get our cops back on neighborhood beat patrols. That will probably require a fivefold increase in SFPD manpower, with a commensurate inrease in payroll and training budgets.Are the citizens of Santa Fe ready to pay for that? Doubt it. Expecting the eight or so Officers on a given graveyard shift to be able to "get to know" the neighborhood is an impractical proposition, in a city of 70, 000 people. In a hamlet of 500, with one or two local cops......maybe.

     
  • DeanWest posted at 6:47 pm on Sat, Mar 30, 2013.

    DeanWest Posts: 8

    “Donatelli added that Laramie should have secured the perimeter and asked anyone inside to come out before going onto the property.”

    This was my first thought but now I'm asking myself, how does a single officer secure the perimeter by himself? Did the house have only one door with no other means of escape? Sure, the officer could have waited for backup but by then, the burglar would have been sitting in a bar counting his loot. Then, the same people who are now condemning the officer would be criticizing him for letting a burglar escape. It seems like a no win to me either way. Also, folks have got to realize that when an officer enters a house at night with a burglary in progress, you're asking the man to risk his life for your television set. Are you willing to go in unarmed and sacrifice your own life for a few replaceable possessions?

    This was a horrible accident and I hope Mr. Dominguez recovers.

     
  • WPeterson posted at 4:44 pm on Sat, Mar 30, 2013.

    WPeterson Posts: 38

    This reminds me of a couple summers ago. I was awoken at about 3am by the sound of my front gate opening. I retrieved a 12 gauge, and as I walked downstairs I could hear someone walking toward the side of the house. Sure enough, as I moved through my house I saw a dark figure walking past my dining room windows toward my back yard. I opened the back door a crack and demanded they identify themselves. It was a cop. Apparently the neighbors had just been robbed.

    I never let the cop see my shotgun, kept it behind the door, but that situation could have ended badly. What if the cop saw me 'sneaking' through my house with a shotgun, might I have been shot? I think law enforcement needs to rethink their tactics.

     
  • Henry Bowman posted at 11:50 am on Sat, Mar 30, 2013.

    Henry Bowman Posts: 17

    Perhaps the cop was simply recalling that "dead men tell no tales".

    The DA always lets the cops off, a fact which the cops know quite well.

     
  • Paul White posted at 10:55 am on Fri, Mar 29, 2013.

    Pabloblanco Posts: 43

    I'm wondering if there's a drug testing program for the Police and Sheriff's in the State. I wouldn't doubt that some of the over zealous police in ABQ are on steroids.
    Not alluding to that in this case though.

     
  • Rita Serrano posted at 10:27 am on Fri, Mar 29, 2013.

    señorita Posts: 25

    I agree that the police should become familiar with people in the neighborhoods. Back in the day when cops walked a beat, a shooting like this would not happen. Also, like the guy from NYC says, there are too many shootings in Albq. Hopefully, the investigation underway will address this.

     
  • Rita Serrano posted at 10:24 am on Fri, Mar 29, 2013.

    señorita Posts: 25

    Unbelievable that he shot so many times.

     
  • Pat Shackleford posted at 12:33 am on Fri, Mar 29, 2013.

    Pat Shackleford Posts: 402

    How many people has this cop shot before? He sure sounds matter-of-factly calm, like it's no big deal really. He should be proud of how fast he got his shots off though. If he does a little more time at the shooting range, the next old-man authorized-to-be-there caretaker might not be so lucky.

     
  • Pierce Knolls posted at 7:49 am on Thu, Mar 28, 2013.

    Mister Pierce Posts: 1176

    Seven.

     
  • mark mocha posted at 7:42 am on Thu, Mar 28, 2013.

    brnfre47 Posts: 207

    I'm from NYC and it seems to me that there are more officer involved shootings in a state of less than 2 million than a city of over 8 million. Something is wrong here. Maybe better screening at the interview level for over zealous applicants. Maybe better traing at the training level.

    And yeah, just like Abq. it seems that there is a rubber stamp for absolving cops who shoot non threatening possible suspects..... the key word being possible. How about some accountability here.

     
  • karl hardy posted at 3:47 am on Thu, Mar 28, 2013.

    karl hardy Posts: 42

    Dominguez is a long time fixture in the neighborhood - whether you had hired him or not he looked after all of the houses in that area - and if you needed help he was there

    EVERYONE knew him - everyone knew what he did - but it seems not the policeman - and it was not unavoidable - police know all the robbers in the area - it is equally important to know the neighbors and the customs of the neighborhood.

    There should be a civil action against the police - this was a crime of ignorance and over kill by the police. This is one of the best - caring - honest person I know in Santa Fe - everyone know this - the Police should know the neighborhood and not just the criminals.

     
  • gouditis posted at 1:55 am on Thu, Mar 28, 2013.

    gouditis Posts: 2

    Don't shoot someone over a property crime.
    You may be held accountable.
    Doubt it though.

     
  • Peter Neal posted at 12:50 am on Thu, Mar 28, 2013.

    PeterNeal Posts: 99

    I wasn't aware that they teach Police procedures and tactics at Law school. Is Donatelli aware that Officers have been killed responding to mere "property crimes"?

     
  • Rita Serrano posted at 6:23 pm on Wed, Mar 27, 2013.

    señorita Posts: 25

    How many shots did the young officer fire?

     
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