Georgia Teen Answers Door With Wii Controller in Hand . . . Police Officer Shots And Kills Teen

wii20n-4-webChristopher Roupe, 17, was a ROTC student at at Woodland High School in Georgia who dreamed of serving his country in the Marines. That dream came to an end when he answered a knock on the door of his trailer home. He found himself face-to-face with Euharlee police officers who promptly shot him to death. An officer said that she saw a weapon in his hand. It turned out to be a Wii controller.

250px-Wii_Remote_ImageThe police were there to execute a probation violation warrant against his father. In defense of the officers, a probation violation can be one of the more dangerous assignments though it is not clear whether the father was wanted on a violent crime. However, a Wii remote is not only white but rectangular and thin. It is hardly strange that someone will come to the door with a drink or some other object in his or her hand. Moreover, this was a young boy and not the suspect.

The officer was seen afterward crying after she learned that she had shot an unarmed teenager.

The family says that he had asked who was at the door but received no response. They insist that the shot was virtually immediate after he opened the door.

There are many mistaken shootings including some which are terrible tragic but understandable as when officers chase an individual suspected of a violent crime only to have the suspect suddenly turn on them in the dark. However, this was not the suspect and there was clearly a failure to identify either the person or the object before lethal force was used. It reminds me of the recent case of police shooting a man holding a pair of underwear.

This small police department can expect a wrongful death lawsuit, but the question is what actions will be taken against the officer who is now on administrative leave.

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60 thoughts on “Georgia Teen Answers Door With Wii Controller in Hand . . . Police Officer Shots And Kills Teen

  1. As I have said over and over. There is no force more dangerous to the average law abiding citizen than the Police Force.

  2. I don’t hear anyone screaming, name calling, ect… If ur that damn paranoid, then take the uniform off, this is ridicules. Thanks for posting, peace,

  3. I don’t hear anyone screaming, name calling, ect… If ur that damn paranoid, then take the uniform off, this is ridicules. Thanks for posting, peace,

  4. I know some are not going to like this but I need more information: that is what will be in the final report before I make an opinion.

    There was some talk about a BB gun being used and a Wii controller. There are Wii controllers that resemble, albeit rather at a minimum, firearms. I don’t know if that matters at this stage or what.

    It’s not looking very good for the shooting officer I will grant you, and yes it was a child who was shot but I would like a little more certainty before before I make an absolute judgement either way.

  5. The us/them divide between civilians and cops seems to be growing

    Cops seems to be resorting to violence/weapons faster than ever.

    There appear to be few negative consequences to the cops. The consequences to the civilians is readily apparent.

  6. Cop tears make everything better… #NOT. This chump should be publicly executed as an example to all that believe the shield presents them a “get out of jail free” card.

  7. We have a Wii controller that looks exactly like the one in the picture but for the fact it is completely black. I suppose it could resemble and automatic pistol in certain circumstances. Sad.

  8. Only a psychotic disorder can distort one’s reality to the degree that any object in hand is a lethal weapon. This kid would have been shot if he had been holding a half-eaten banana answering the door. Was she crying for herself or for the kid? For herself wouid point to a prescription drug.

  9. Being it a trailer and all, the cops didn’t need to go knocking on the door. They could have used the loudspeaker and siren and communicated. Furthermore, people can easily shoot through a g-damn trailer door. I’m far from happy, that is, I’m pretty doggone judging right now.

  10. I’m willing to accept her tears as genuine. She will voluntarily find another line of work, maybe mentoring at-risk kids as atonement.

  11. The police in America have gone mad and they are shooting and killing innocent American citizens with impunity. When will the courts and the people finally control these power hungry mad dog animals

  12. Darren Smith,

    You are correct. We need more info. Noone mentioned the fact that she (the officer) was serving a parole violation (basically the police officers were coming to arrest the father for violating his parole? The article doesn’t mention if the father was home? If he was, the LOSER sent his son to answer, and open the door-basically asking his son to cover or be the lookout for him). This was probably a very tense moment? I used to work in probation and parole dept for the state of missouri, and I have admit this is a very dangerous situation, when an officer is sent out to arrest someone who has violated their probation or parole.

    Darren Smith,

    I know that it was part of your job, but please, if you could, inform the people how ‘tense’ this situation could be: serving a warrant for a probation or parole violation. Basically, as an officer, you could be placing yourself in harms way…..

  13. I can tell you what would happen to one of my clients-she would be charged with Murder or Manslaughter! The reason we are hearing of so many of these in recent years is because of social media, like this blog. It has been going on for the 42 years I have been practicing criminal law but usually made only the local news.

  14. Trainees in some departments are taught that they are in a war, and are becoming more militarized:

    Since the 1960s, in response to a range of perceived threats, law-enforcement agencies across the U.S., at every level of government, have been blurring the line between police officer and soldier. Driven by martial rhetoric and the availability of military-style equipment—from bayonets and M-16 rifles to armored personnel carriers—American police forces have often adopted a mind-set previously reserved for the battlefield. The war on drugs and, more recently, post-9/11 antiterrorism efforts have created a new figure on the U.S. scene: the warrior cop—armed to the teeth, ready to deal harshly with targeted wrongdoers, and a growing threat to familiar American liberties.

    (Will The Military Become The Police? – 4). It will get much worse, because the official policy is borne of madness.

  15. “The reason we are hearing of so many of these in recent
    years is because of social media, like this blog. It has
    been going on for the 42 years I have been practicing
    criminal law but usually made only the local news.”

    Without social media and short of reading every local newspaper in the country, how have you been able to know this has been going on for 42 years? I have a tendency to agree with you, but simply can’t without some source of statistics or a study.

  16. Bruce, are you kidding me? It happened to be a woman, sadly there is no reason to believe that a male officer might have acted differently. We have seen too many stories of male officers shooting people who should not have been shot.
    My question is, understanding how dangerous this could be, why don’t they have a stun gun available in cases of perceived danger? It seems too frequently deadly weapons are the first line of defense for police.

  17. Based on the number of shooting of Citizens by police officers around the country, close to epidemic, perhaps it is time to take the guns away from the idiots running the asylum. I bet we would see a very server attitude adjustment from both our Politicians and Judges if that happened and a reestablishment of individual rights. Both England and Australia once prohibited their police/boobies from carrying guns and low and behold their was less gun violence. Perhaps we are focusing gun control on the wrong people. Of course this is written with tongue and check, as the politicians and Judges would never allow themselves to go unprotected without armed gunman.

  18. This seems like a clear case of cognitive priming gone awry. Officers need to train themselves for the possibility that they may be met with armed resistance. But they must also be explicitly reminded that they may be met by an unarmed person holding a non-lethal object. If they are cognitively primed only to deal with worst-case scenarios, they will be closed to consider actions that pertain to anomalous non-threatening cases.

  19. There have been far too many shooting by the police. They are suppose to be well trained to handle these high stress situation, but clearly they aren’t. This was a young man with a highly promising future, whoes live was taken from him way too soon. It is goes to prove these officers are not fit for duty if they can’t tell a wii controler from a gun. They should fired ASAP!!!

  20. ” In defense of the officers, a probation violation can be one of the more dangerous assignments though it is not clear whether the father was wanted on a violent crime.”

    No, there is no defense for this. The police were, or should have been, prepared for a proper response to anyone answering the door.
    Another life snuffed out, because our populace is tolerating the inanity and criminal incompetence of the police in this country.

    What about the the refrain that police have used for people holding a cellphone.
    They have claimed that cellphone are weapons. Now if they starting acting on those claims by shooting people, might it then be considered indefensible?

  21. You can’t un-ring a bell. There is absolutely no excuse for this level of incompetence. She should be summarily fired and immediately arrested for manslaughter. The parents should sue the police department for everything it is worth.

    She can save her tears for the next 20 years in prison. Just another idiot with a gun.

  22. This seems to happen or at least posted about twice a week. How many times does it happen where it doesn’t get posted? How many lesser than death incidents, posted or not?

    This speaks to the calibre of the officer. In far too many places people who should not be in the police or are not getting enough training are in the wrong place. This female officer was obviously poorly trained or did not have the constitution or IQ necessary for the job.

    If this is a result of limited funding, then we are getting what we pay for.

    The other issue is what happens to these people when they fail so completely. From what I hear, they are reinstated. Again, something is deficient here.

    Accidents happen but they can be reduced with proper training and screening of candidates.

    When an officer does something like this, they should stop being a police officer.

    Where is the common sense?

  23. A very sad story. When you militarize the police, this is the kind of unfortunate response you get from an officer. There are and were other ways to handle that situation. I realize this officer wasn’t looking to kill a teenager, but if all he had was the wii controller, she and her department should pay a price.
    Bruce,
    It doesn’t matter what sex the officer was. That was a very sexist and degrading statement. If you have been awake the last ten years, as stated earlier by leejcaroll, there have been scores of these kind of shootings done by men as well as women officers.

  24. Officer should be fired, if not held criminally liable for negligent homicide. If she doesn’t have the presence of mind to distinguish a wii controller from a gun, she has no business being armed and dangerous. She seems much too skittish to trust with a gun.

  25. Darren:

    Could you give us a thumbnail sketch of the procedure your department used in reviewing a shooting like this one? I think the process would be interesting to learn about. I’d like to know who is typically on the review panel and how the process is conducted. How is evidence gathered and by whom? Who convenes the inquiry? Are mitigating factors considered like officer’s experience and training, etc. in deciding what to do?

    Thanks.

  26. Lesson to be learned when interacting at any level with trigger happy; shoot to kill, ask questions later, and poorly trained police: Have nothing n your hand besides money. Do not move your eyes, your legs, or your mouth besides to say ‘I surrender’ whether you are innocent or not.

  27. Folks

    With some of the requests that have been made as to police shootings in general and what the outcomes are I think it might be best if rather than just a comment here that a full article be written. I will try to get one out this weekend.

  28. Some of the comments at Policeone.com are sociopathic:

    No one will ever have the right words to say, to make you or this situation better. I can only pray for you and your loved ones, hoping you are able to return. You are our sister and no matter what anyone else says, you are a “AGENT OF WRATH”, you bare the sword for a reason. Thank you for your selfless service so far, I hope your recovery is quick, we will be here fighting until you return.

    Christ in heaven…what the hell do you say to a cop with that attitude?? The officer is the victim for killing the innocent kid?

    More where that came from…
    http://www.policeone.com/investigations/articles/6882818-Ga-officer-mistakes-Wii-controller-for-gun-shoots-teen/

    Until people quit carrying around items that look like guns, this will continue, officer had no choice. Move on.

    So having anything in your hands or on your person at any time when a police officer enters or approaches your property is cause to kill you. Because as we all know, officer safety is the most important thing. /venomous sarcasm/

  29. Bruce wrote:
    “Police work isn’t a womans job”
    ~+~
    Bruce you are wrong there. There is only one “woman’s job” left in our country and that is a surrogate because last I checked men cannot become pregnant.

    I have worked with men women in the law enforcement world and there is nothing in the profession that would preclude women from making good officers.

    The only time I saw this as being an issue was back in the 1980’s when there were a lot of, shall we say, “old school” types of cops still around in my area who believed such as you do and they made life for the few women in the field then very difficult and insulting. One of the cities’ department in my county had a lot of old boys and they treated the first woman officer like dirt but she stuck with it and is still working for them today.

    Fortunately this bad attitude retired out a decade or more ago. New guys out of the academy don’t think the way you do at all. They treat women the same because in their minds they don’t conceive the notion that women are not qualified. There migh be some dinosaurs left in some backwood hick department somewhere but I ain’t seen any in a real department today.

  30. Sagon Penn was indicted for killing a San Diego policeman, then aquitted on self-defense grounds because he believed, as a black man, that the police were trying to kill him. Given the trigger-happy police today, I’m inclined to enroll in quick-draw training. Then, when a police officer draws his or her gun to shoot me, I’ll shoot first. At least I’ll have a better chance to live by pleading self defense than by doing nothing at all.

  31. The large majority of officers are well trained professionals.

    Who will not under any circumstances clean their ranks of the officers who shoot our pets, break down over 100 doors every day in SWAT raids for generally non violent warrants across the country and terrorize people with brown skin on a daily basis in “stop and frisk” lawlessness.

  32. Note to the police of Georgia,
    Do not send an officer who is unprepared to handle someone opening the door… BANG! oh… how’d that happen?

    Again, who protects the people from the police?

  33. AnneMarie Dickey,
    They are well trained… at covering up malfeasance by other officers on the job.
    They are professionally trained… at killing civilians.

    So yea, well trained professionals.
    (tongue in cheek)

  34. “The police were there to execute a probation violation warrant against his father.

    Me thinks the officer took the term, ‘execute’ a bit too literally.

  35. “The officer was seen afterward crying after she learned that she had shot an unarmed teenager.”

    Prof. Turley, this line, although true should not have been included in the story. It creates a false picture of the character of the female officer. It makes her appear sympathetic and compassionate. What you omitted was after the officer shot the boy, the boy’s sister comes running into the room to try to comfort her brother as he lay there crying and moaning in pain….then this “compassionate” officer tells the sister to “SHUT UP” as she is holding her brother, watching him bleed to death.

    The cop should be given the death penalty. This bulls–t HAS TO END. Make an example of this female officer and put her to death.

  36. There is hope, but what variety of hope is for each individual to decide:

    Jesus is coming– and he’ll be carrying a really big gun when he does.

    That’s what former U.S. Lieutenant General William G. “Jerry” Boykin thinks, according to a speech he gave on behalf of the conservative Family Research Council at the WallBuilders’ Pro-Family Legislators Conference, in which he describes his vision of the Second Coming of Christ, that he believes will be led by a blood-stained, gun-toting Jesus armed to the teeth with an AR-15 assault rifle.

    Right Wing Watch obtained audio of the event, in which Boykin claims that Jesus literally wants everyone to buy assault weapons, because “it’s biblical.” He also cited Jesus as the inspiration behind the Second Amendment.

    (General ‘Jerry’ Boykin … Gun-Toting Jesus). The shoot out will take place just after the Secret Rapture, which will move all the gun-totin disciples to a safe place in gun-heaven (NRA HQ?).

  37. A little more on General “Jerry”:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_G._Boykin

    “In April 1993, he helped advise Attorney General Janet Reno regarding the stand-off at Waco, Texas, between the Federal Government and the Branch Davidians.r

    Some time afterwards, Boykin served at the Central Intelligence Agency as Deputy Director of Special Activities, and was promoted to brigadier general.”

  38. This was a 100% preventable tragedy.

    When police departments nation wide train and operate under rules of engagement that create an us verse them mentality where police officers are fed a steady diet of balderdash about how dangerous their jobs are and how every encounter may be their last and that the citizens they encounter on patrol are considered civilians on a a battlefield.

    The US government and it’s lickspittle functionaries are directly responsible for reenforcing this delusional neo-policing abomination by authoring then rubber stamping the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 into law and by speciously claiming therein that the entire world is now a battlefield where anything goes in the name of national security.

  39. (I don’t think her “shut-up” is an automatic dismissal of her. (What she did was wrong, irresponsible, unprofessional and any other words you want to add) but “shut -up could be an emotional outburst while she is trying to figure out what to do for the boy, needing time to think – just sayin’)

  40. I believe that Dredd put his finger on the fundamental problem, the increasing militarization of the police. When this is coupled with the attitude of fear that has been promoted in this country since 9/11, the result is a society in which the police tend to view themselves as occupying forces in a hostile country. The effect of this sort of social dissociation is a resort to lethal force with little restraint, an effect mirrored in the daily stories of mayhem perpetrated by the “stand your ground” mindset among ordinary citizens.

  41. mespo727272 Darren Smith When you write about procedure on these investigations, be sure to cover both types…the ones where officers are held responsible & the ones where wrong doing is covered up…even by the people that are supposed to investigate it.

  42. First time I have heard of her crying, or even distraught. Are we even talking of the same case here?

    The officer’s name is Beth Daniel-Gatny, aka Nancy B. Gatny. She is one of two women on the police force and her photo was taken down. Her (now deleted) facebook page made strong references that would suggest she is mentally unhinged and taking psycho-tropic drugs. Of course she will be cleared and back on the job in no time.

    She should have to go through a complete psychological exam, medical exam, disciplinary hearing, physical fitness exam, eye and hearing tests. Firearms identification tests. re-attend initial training at the academy. Spend two-years on probation with a FTO and then reevaluated as mentioned before allowed to return to full time duty. This is the very minimum all police departments should require before returning someone to duty after they discharge their weapon and take another life and are subsequently cleared.

    You say you are not hiring bullies with a badge? Evidence shows everything to the opposite of that old tired argument.

  43. “I don’t think her “shut-up” is an automatic dismissal of her. (What she did was wrong, irresponsible, unprofessional and any other words you want to add) but “shut -up could be an emotional outburst while she is trying to figure out what to do for the boy, needing time to think – just sayin”

    This just might be the stupidest thing I’ve ever read. “an emotional outburst while she is trying to figure out what to do for the boy”?? Oh you mean, after she killed him??? What else is there to do? Kick him in the head a few times? Urinate on his corpse?

    I would hardly think this would still be your stance if this was YOUR boy. Am I correct??

  44. Larry

    Unless someone is a complete and total sociopath or psycopath they are going to go through an onslaught of emotions at some point after killing another person. It might be immediate or delayed. It manifests itself in many ways some appearing unusual in the eyes of others. The degree of amplitude of this varies as does the response with each person, some quite different for the same event. There are some commonalities between each each incident.

    It is not reasonable in the case of the shooting mentioned in this article to draw an absolute conclusion as to whether this use of force was excusable or not based solely upon the emotions dispalyed by the officer at the time this happened.

  45. Will you update your story now that the Grand Jury has decided she not face charges and evidence has been released from the GBI showing the BB guns he had pointed at the officer as he opened the door? The Grand Jury also heard the audio recording of the siblings saying he had these BB guns.

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