A homeowner says a Phoenix police officer shot him six times in the back during a 911 home-invasion call, and the 911 tape recorded the officer's partner saying, "That's all right. Don't worry about it. I got your back. ... We clear?" The family says the officers were not aware that the 911 call was still recording as they spoke about covering up the shooting.
Incredibly, the homeowner survived. Even more incredible is that the trigger happy cop survived, career-wise.
A Phoenix police officer who mistakenly shot an armed homeowner during a search for an intruder was cleared of wrongdoing this week by a committee that reviews such shootings.
The ruling by the Phoenix Use of Force Board determined Officer Brian Lilly acted within police policy in the incident, in which he fired six shots at the homeowner amid the confusion of a home invasion last September.
Actually I don't find that so incredible. The police have a tough job and they protect each other as much as possible. In cases like this I suppose they tend to give the benefit of the doubt to their own. Even civilian review boards are often inclined towards this.
What the story points out is how someone acts after a questionable shooting. Whether policeman or civilian, the first natural response to a bad shooting is be to cover it up. If circumstances permit, it get recorded as a legitimate act instead of what it really is. This works for cops who are nervous and show bad judgment, shooting too quickly like in this case, as well as the more sinister vigilante or vendetta type shootings. In those, if the victim of the shooting is doing something wrong it's that much easier to cover it up.
What's your opinion? How many of the reported DGUs do you think might be wrongful shootings covered up? Take the Kleck estimate based on his survey, or even the daily reports on the famous site of Clayton Cramer, how many of them might be wrongly reported in your opinion?
Please feel free to leave a comment.