Jury Convicted Ohio Officer in Videotaped Shooting of Unarmed Motorcyclist (Video)

A jury in Ottawa Hills, Ohio has convicted Officer Thomas White of felonious assault in a trial where jurors watched a video of his shooting of Michael McCloskey, Jr. — an unarmed motorcyclist. The video is below.

White, 27, was charged with felonious assault with a firearms specification and was convicted after a jury deliberated for six hours. He now faces 11 years in prison.

McCloskey is paralyzed for life.

Two expert witnesses testified that White was justified in shooting the unarmed McCloskey. White himself testified and called this a “high risk vehicle stop” and that he considered it odd that McCloskey began to turn around while sitting on the motorcycle. Defense expert Columbus police Officer James Scanlon was even more forgiving and generous in his testimony. “I come to the conclusion that it was reasonable and, by all the standards we live by, it was justified.” He insisted that by fleeing the two motorcyclists gave White a reason to believe his life was in “imminent risk.” Urey Patrick, a retired FBI agent turned consultant, noted “one appeared to be out of control, the other suddenly stopped. They already indicated a willingness to flee. That’s an indicator that this is not a routine stop.” Notably, it was not clear that the motorcyclists knew White was behind them, but the experts insisted that it only mattered what White knew — not the men. Yet, that would allow an officer to gun down any fleeing suspect with any movement of the driver — a clear violation of Garner v. Tennessee.

The jury obviously rejected the testimony of those witnesses. Form the videotape, I fail to see the reasonable basis for the use of force. If these experts were correct, there would be tens of thousands of such justified shootings each year by officers.

For the full story, click here.

19 thoughts on “Jury Convicted Ohio Officer in Videotaped Shooting of Unarmed Motorcyclist (Video)

  1. The first measure of justice has been dispensed.

    Now may Mr. McCloskey win a massive civil damage against White and the City (despite their massive effort to disassociate at the criminal trial). They took his legs. The least the man is owed in recompense is financial security.

  2. Let’s hope the judge feels safe enough to hand down the maximum sentence.

    I listened to the comments of the Prosecuting Attorney after the verdict. Concerned about his role in convicting an agent of the State, he appeared reluctant to have even brought the case:

    “Officer White is not a bad person in the sense that he did not get up to commit a crime. He put his uniform on. He went to work. What he did in that five minute span was a very bad judgement. That – UNFORTUNATELY – under Ohio law, becomes a crime.”

  3. Jeff Lingo, Esq. – reluctant advocate for justice:

    To be, or not to be–that is the question:
    Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
    The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
    And by opposing end them. To die, to sleep–
    No more–and by a sleep to say we end
    The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
    That flesh is heir to. ‘Tis a consummation
    Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep–
    To sleep–perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub,
    For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
    When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
    Must give us pause. There’s the respect
    That makes calamity of so long life.
    For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
    Th’ oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely
    The pangs of despised love, the law’s delay,
    The insolence of office, and the spurns
    That patient merit of th’ unworthy takes,
    When he himself might his quietus make
    With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,
    To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
    But that the dread of something after death,
    The undiscovered country, from whose bourn
    No traveller returns, puzzles the will,
    And makes us rather bear those ills we have
    Than fly to others that we know not of?
    Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
    And thus the native hue of resolution
    Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought,
    And enterprise of great pitch and moment
    With this regard their currents turn awry
    And lose the name of action.

    Who would fardels bear? Indeed, surely not you Mr. Prosecutor but the man paralyzed for life and in danger of losing a limb, at the hands of the good public servant whose “unfortunate” judgment went slightly awry.

  4. And he is not the first to go down that trodden road. He is the first that I am aware of convicted except for Nevers in the Malice Green case out of Detroit. More criminals wear uniforms than ever before. There used to be some respect for the people but since the Nixon years it has become more US against them mentality. There are some Police Officers that dislike Defense Attorney’s just because they are representing someone that they arrested. Hmmm….

  5. A small measure of justice for the victim.

    It is now time for the citizens of wealthy Ottawa Hills, Ohio to admit that their agent, the cop, needlessly took the victim’s legs and that they, the citizens, owe said victim far more than an 11 year prison term.

    I trust Mr. McCloskey will retain the services of an extremely skilled attorney and take the citizens of Ottawa Hills for everything they’ve got. Of course their City’s insurance coverage should kick in (resulting in extremely high premiums for the next ten years) … but a skilled attorney can go beyond the limits set by their coverage.

  6. Oh man …that was some video…what ever happened to the days when the cops would just kick your ass for being an idiot?…I am almost feel nostalgic for them…man that is some disturbing footage…I almost feel sorry the cop and his family…what the hell was he really thinking?.. was it poor training?..or he did he shoot the guy by mistake?…and instead of owning up to it…he had to hide behind some bogus dept. policy….Also hope that the guy who got shot gets a very nice settlement from the local Government….not that it is going to help with his paralysis…

  7. It is about time that at least one rogue police officer was held accountable for his/her illegal, and immoral actions against the citizens that they are duty bound to protect.

  8. If you watched the trial, the prosecutor tore up their experts and did a great job. Poor choice of words but not reluctant at all.

  9. QUOTE “Officer White is not a bad person in the sense that he did not get up to commit a crime.”

    Wow, so he’s a mind reader now!??!? After scanning the net & looking into some police abuse, I get the feeling that that is EXACTLY what SOME (a small percentage) do…go out to do a ‘crime’. To abuse someone under the “color of law”.

    Of course then you have the NY cops that have a ‘quota’ from their bosses to go out & abuse people under the “color of law”, and these run up to a half a million people a year!!!

    And so across our country we have millions of people a year that are the victims of exactly what the Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Lingo says is not happening.
    Its time people realized just how bad this is getting.

  10. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/12/us/12houston.html

    Texas Officer Is Acquitted in Shooting
    Published: May 11, 2010

    HOUSTON — A jury on Tuesday acquitted a white police officer accused of shooting a young black man in a case that attracted widespread attention in Texas because the victim’s family accused the police of racial profiling.

    I happen to live in Bellaire, (we call it The Speed Trap Of Bellaire) and the police here are indeed a street gang unto themselves.

  11. We just saw a couple of days ago that an innocant man was murdered by the police because he did not react to a police order, now we have a man who is a paralized for life because he was trying to discern what the police wanted.

    Make perfect sense to me, give the police guns and let them shot at will.

  12. I disagree with the prosecutor. I believe the officer did get up with intent to do wrong, surely not with Mr. White specifically, but in whatever situation came along. I believe he is a person with a criminal mindset.

    Our culture is saturated with criminally-minded people and they seem especially prone to work for the government and “law enforcement”.

    I think anyone belonging to the Department of Homeland Security has the same mindset as Thomas White. The same goes with the DEA and the BATF. These people are abnormal in my opinion and so just showing up for work is intent to do harm.

    Cops are trigger happy and tend to be cowards (lumberjacks have the most dangerous job in America). Since cops are such big cowards it helps explain why so many people get shot or tasered by them. If they were not so afraid or so outrageously angry with the people they are chasing, there wouldn’t be so many “unfortunate” “accidents”. Which, as I’m trying to say, are not really accidents but the logical consequence of the type of people or personality which goes into law enforcement in the first place.

    It’s not Andy of Mayberry anymore and I think the American people are finally waking up.

    Good for the jury!

  13. Well they got one bad cop off the streets, but what about the rest?

    Kristin Fenstemaker, Laura Rodgers, Tony Gayles, Richard T. Gurlea Jr., Andrea Mays and Brian Michaels, all of these should be serving time too!

  14. Thank you for getting this officer of the streets . My son was unarmed ,shot in the back and killed by and officer in Norwood Ohio on 11-16-2007
    All officer need to be held accountable for poor judgement.
    Thank you to had the balls to stand up for what is right .

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