Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Investigate BPD shooting of gas worker and dog

I am sending this to members of local media, and to Mayor Matt Ryan:

There are a lot of facts which don't add up
in what's being reported on this story.

Two major points:

A: INVESTIGATE POLICE USE OF DEADLY FORCE (man and dog)
  • Was deadly force used on man and dog LAST RESORT?
  • Was forced used the minimum necessary for restraint?
  • Do the facts give to us by the police make sense?
B: Press should investigate correlation of high-incidents
of violent and anti-social behavior in gas workers to
job-related chemical exposures.


First a couple of complaints about how this was reported:

1) newspaper used passive voice "the dog was shot"
rather than identifying the human subject, the doer,
i.e., the officer who did it. It softens the cruel act of killing a dog.
"Officer XXXX shot the man's dog". 

I don't use guns and I can subdue nearly any dog with my hands and voice.

The initial killing of the dog was likely a provakative act to the man.
This FIRST BLOOD (killing the dog) should be very much looked into.

The duty of the Press is to be a CHECK on people of power,
not be their PR agents. Please do not cut the police any slack
and ask tough questions here.

A man was killed. A dog was killed here.
This is a serious matter.

2) PSB article says the BPD tried to "deescalate" the situation,
which makes me think of negotiations. NOPE: they use a TASER!
I would not use the word "TASER" (deadly force) to mean de-escalate.

3) While the man is being TASERed, he manages to fire off a shot?
NOT LIKELY.

4) Was this necessary force?

Did the cops respond by shooting the man dead with one skillful shot?
No, response is a spray of 100 shots!
Are they just really bad shots?

Or are trigger-happy men prone to extreme violence
who are in fact a menace to public safety
who should maybe be stripped of their badge and a gun?

We need the names of every police officer
who fired a round of ammo that day.

6: Blood alcohol level of 0.26? This is associated with stupor and unconsciousness.
This is a TOXIC amount of BAC. Could he have managed to fire a shot with this elevated BAC?

From Cris McConkey: ``This is a tragedy for all involved, but when you write "that surely could have been avoided" getting to the root of the behavior that led to this tragedy is not an easy task, as evidence by the police chief's comment "What was going through his mind, we don't know".  The article states "When tested, Spohn was found to have a blood-alcohol content of 0.26 percent".  The article does not say exactly when or how he was tested.  From a blood alcohol chart on Wikipedia, for a B.A.C. of 0.20–0.29, the associated behaviors are: Stupor; Loss of understanding; Impaired sensations; and Possibility of falling unconscious.  Given this, I think is is a legitimate question to ask why over 100 shots?  Clearly on the law enforcement side this is not an acceptable outcome.  ``

7: The need for Civilian Review Boards

Three branches of Government,
TWO have civilian bodies to oversee them.

Judicial Branch has Juries.
Legislative has Elected People's Representatives. 
Yet, Executive's Police remains UNCHECKED.

This is why there should exist empowered Civilian Review Boards
for executive police power, because there is such a potential for abuse.

The CRB should be able to have input into the hiring, firing,
and review the Chief and all officers, and also have
subpoena powers to review all cases of deadly force.

These cops do have a dangerous job, and they should constantly
undergo psychological counseling and testing to make sure
they are not likely to be abusive towards suspects or innocent bystanders,
and receive yearly mandatory training to only use necessary force.

That does not seem to have happened here.

Lastly, we need to know about the man's history,
and connect this to exposure to toxic chemicals used by the Gas Industry.



Cris McConkey: ``But returning to the behavior that led to this.  I left a comment on the earlier article regarding occupational exposure to manganese which I have included below.  In addition, my rather cursory internet search also brought up that exposure to iron in mining, welding or cutting fumes mitigates to some degree the effects of manganese, and I recall, though I cannot cite right now, a reference to alcohol leading to iron deficiency, leading to a higher susceptibility to manganism.  Maybe I am baking up a wrong tree, red herring, or whatever, but I think it is a legitimate question to ask.

Pay particular attention to the very last citation.   

"Standard steels have a manganese content of between 0.15-0.8% ...High strength low alloy (HSLA) steels contain 1.0-1.8% manganese and are used in oil and gas pipelines and shipbuilding..." http://metals.about.com/od/properties/a/Metal-Profile-Manganese.htm

"In initial stages of manganism, neurological symptoms consist of reduced response speed,irritability, mood changes, and compulsive behaviors. Upon protracted exposure symptoms are more prominent and resemble those of idiopathic Parkinson's disease..."

"Even low exposure to manganese, if under stress, is related to loss of impulse control and outburst of violent behavior..."
Biological Influences on Criminal Behavior By Gail S. Anderson
http://books.google.com/books?id=rxd2305M2gQC&pg=PA271 ``

I hope Binghamton Credentialed Press follow up on this story.

I am available for press interviews
on the need for civilian review boards.

BH

--
--
May you, and all beings
be happy and free from suffering :)
-- ancient Buddhist Prayer (Metta)

1 comment:

city said...

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