“A Reasonable Mistake”: California Police Ram the Car of Innocent Man And Shot Wildly Into His Car . . . Cleared Of All Charges

davidperdue175px-CA_-_Torrance_PoliceIf you recall, Torrence Police Department was responsible for a shootout with an unarmed innocent man during their search for ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner. Surfer David Perdue only survived due to the poor marksmanship of Torrence Brian McGee. The district attorney now cleared that officers and said that they were just in a state of “panic” with a cop-killer on the loose. Of course, I thought officers were trained not to panic, but more importantly, I fail to see any reference to the termination of the officers or even discipline for the attack on Dorner. The coverage does mention that the district attorney cleared the officers without even interviewing the victim or his passenger.

Dorner killed four people, including two law enforcement officers before committing suicide in a mountain cabin.

What is interesting is that Perdue and a friend had just been cleared by another set of officers and had only gone 300 feet when McGee and his partner, Erin Sooper, pursued him and rammed his car. McGee then unloaded on him with three shots into the car.

Perdue is white and Dorner was black. Perdue is slight and Dorner was large and muscular. According to reports, Perdue was was driving Honda Ridgeline while for Dorner was driving a Nissan Titan. However, that did not stop the use of lethal force any more than the fact that he was unarmed. The same lack of discipline was evident in the LAPD shooting at two women, which led to a $4.2 million settlement with the women in April.

The District Attorney insisted that the officers were “extremely anxious” and that McGee he was “justified in using force to stop the vehicle and in discharging his firearm” as a “split-second decision to take action based on a rapidly evolving situation.” The sole test appears to be subjective” “Although mistaken, McGee honestly and reasonably believed that Dorner was driving the truck.”

I can understand that reluctance to bring criminal charges, but shouldn’t an officer be fired for allowing panic to overcome judgment? Why is it justified without the appearance of weapon or even a remote match to the suspect.

We recently discussed a New Mexico case where officers were not fired or disciplined in the face of a horrific case of abuse. The message sent by such cases is unmistakable and chilling for citizens in dealing with police.

Perdue was given just $20,000 by Torrence and is now suing. Here is the conclusion of the district attorney:

McGee’s actions are analyzed based on the totality of circumstances, which include McGee’s knowledge of Dorner’s previous threats and actions in the days and hours preceding these events, which gave rise to an atmosphere of fear and extreme anticipation. Those circumstances created a situation in which a reasonable mistake of fact, namely that Dorner was driving the truck, nearly resulted in a horrific tragedy. Nonetheless, given the circumstances, as detailed above, we conclude that Officer McGee was justified in using force to stop the vehicle and in discharging his firearm. Therefore, prosecution in this matter is declined and this office will take no further action.

Notably, this was the same defense made recently by the officer fired for shooting into a van of children. We discussed that case with outrage but the officer is now seeking reinstatement. Notably, there is no word on any discipline for the other officers who smashed the windows of the van as children screamed in terror.

Source: NBC

Kudos: Michael Blott

34 thoughts on ““A Reasonable Mistake”: California Police Ram the Car of Innocent Man And Shot Wildly Into His Car . . . Cleared Of All Charges

  1. […] We recently discussed the decision by the Los Angeles district attorney not to charge officers who shot up a vehicle of an innocent man because they were acting in “an atmosphere of fear and extreme anticipation.”Officers were on edge in the search for cop-killer Christopher Dorner (right). We now have a decision in the shooting that proceeded the McGee case where eight Los Angeles police officers fired over 100 times. Margie Carranza, then 47, was cut by flying glass while her then 71-year-old mother, Emma Hernandez was shot in the back. You guessed it. No one will be fired or even suspended. […]

  2. “Dorner ALLEGEDLY killed four people, including two law enforcement officers before committing suicide in a mountain cabin.”

    There are reasons to believe that Dorner had nothing to do with the deaths of these people. He was the patsy because LAPD was looking for the rationale to kill him for trying to out the racism and brutality within the LAPD.

    Alain, right on.

  3. Not all is what it appears…. But cops generally are given deference until video proves otherwise….

  4. several have commented “Another poster stated they heard that today if you were in the military you dont get trained you automatically get a gun and badge and thats the truth.”
    Actually this is not the case. Any person that comes to a law enforcement agency as a new recruit must complete a state certified training courts either at a state operated police academy or in some states a public college, typically community colleges. The only thing that applies for military vets is some states have veteran’s preference where the applicant gets a few percentages on their final test scores (often 5%) Military experience is helpful but it does not supercede the police basic training requirements.

    There is less required for a police officer to transfer from one agency to another. This is known as a lateral transfer. It does not generally require a basic recertification training as long as it was say from a local agency or sheriff’s office to another one, though some state police agencies require laterals to go through their academy. This does not apply between local to federal or vice versa as their academies are not tranferrable. Local officers going to another state usually have to take only an equivalency but might be required to attend the new state’s academy.

  5. Alain you said it. the people DO NOT WANT to know the truth. Dorner was killed by a drone. not because he killed the cops or the daughter but because of the manifesto he posted online for all to see. at first the msm posted it but they quickly removed it and then went into damage control. the manifesto is still posted up on the non msm sites. Dorner was fired for turning in his partner who brutally beat a handcuffed suspect. nothing was done to the partner. yet Dorner was fired not only fired but being black listed and so he did what he felt was the next right thing to do and inform the world what is really going on in the police depts across the world today… Another poster stated they heard that today if you were in the military you dont get trained you automatically get a gun and badge and thats the truth. its also illegal according to the constitutions and laws. its also the reason cops are being given military weapons. the cops who shot at this man isnt the only one who wasnt disciplined neither were the ones who shot the elderly mother and daughter.

    and last but not least you left out the aurora shooting. that was also a false flag attack designed to scare the people into giving up their guns. They the cabalist bankers dont really want the people to give up their guns.. if the people did then they won’t be able to send us into ww3 and they need to have that war going by spring of this year.. alas don’t worry you may not get many replies about the situations here but more and more people are waking up to the truth everyday…..

  6. Unidentified target? No problem!
    As a cop I can say the magic words, “I feared for my safety” and suddenly my reckless and illegal actions are okay.

  7. randy, The windows were tinted, probably to an illegal limit. Assuming the cop got there too late to see the debacle. And, I expressed my outrage @ this mother’s actions and her culpability on that prior post. But, you don’t fire your service revolver w/o knowing the situation when a vehicle is not driving toward you or a fellow officer. This van was clearly fleeing, not assaulting. And, the fact that his fellow officers, who DID know the situation weren’t firing, should have told the uninformed officer something, don’t you think?

    randy, IMO the firing was righteous as was the no prosecution. Cops hate those illegally tinted windows and I am sympathetic on that.

    • Nick I agree with you mostly, but I think the punishment of firing was a bit much. I think a lot of time off without pay and some mandatory retraining and qualification would be a better solution given his long years of service and clean record.

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