Deputy Terminated For Firing At Vehicle


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Old 11-13-2013, 10:36 AM   #1
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Default Deputy Terminated For Firing At Vehicle

First off let me start this thread with a warning. This is not the controversy laden part of the forum. Keep it clean, keep it smart, and keep the rhetoric to a minimum. I am posting this here because we can all learn something from this incident. More on that later. Just keep in mind this is to give us a scenario that we can learn from. Keep the cop bashing to yourself.

Out of respect for copyrights I will not post the entire story. I will provide links to the stories at the end of each quote.

Finally, as you read the release from the LE agency and the impressions from the investigation assess the level of threat to the deputy. Was deadly force indicated?

Quote:
On Sept. 30, Deputy Brandon Culbreth intercepted a pickup truck during an 11 p.m. call to a possible Interlachen burglary. The truck didn’t stop when Culbreth tried to pull it over and instead started to flee, losing control and hitting a fence before turning in the deputy’s direction.

Culbreth opened fire, striking the truck three times in the rear window, twice in the tires and three times in the tailgate. The truck was disabled and the driver, who fled on foot, has not been located.
http://jacksonville.com/breaking-news/2013-11-12/story/putnam-deputy-fired-shooting-vehicle

Quote:
2013-11-12 by: Major Johnny Greenwood
A Putnam County deputy with two (2) years service with the agency has been terminated following an administrative investigation into his shooting at a fleeing vehicle.
http://www.pcso.us/default.aspx?ArticleId=629

So what do you think? Was the deputy right or wrong? What do you think you would do? What do you think would happen to a civilian that responded as the deputy did? Picture yourself coming home from work and seeing someone fleeing from your home with your TV set and your wife's jewelry box in their arms.


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Old 11-13-2013, 11:31 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc3402 View Post
First off let me start this thread with a warning. This is not the controversy laden part of the forum. Keep it clean, keep it smart, and keep the rhetoric to a minimum. I am posting this here because we can all learn something from this incident. More on that later. Just keep in mind this is to give us a scenario that we can learn from. Keep the cop bashing to yourself.

Out of respect for copyrights I will not post the entire story. I will provide links to the stories at the end of each quote.

Finally, as you read the release from the LE agency and the impressions from the investigation assess the level of threat to the deputy. Was deadly force indicated?



http://jacksonville.com/breaking-news/2013-11-12/story/putnam-deputy-fired-shooting-vehicle



http://www.pcso.us/default.aspx?ArticleId=629



So what do you think? Was the deputy right or wrong? What do you think you would do? What do you think would happen to a civilian that responded as the deputy did? Picture yourself coming home from work and seeing someone fleeing from your home with your TV set and your wife's jewelry box in their arms.
The Ruratain in me says shoot and shoot again, the armed citizen that knows he's not in any imminent danger in me says if hes running away from a non violent crime scene, probably better try to get a good description and let the forces track him down.

Should the cop have been booted? Only if that wasnt part of his bosses ROE's.


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Old 11-13-2013, 12:13 PM   #3
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According to what you posted all the shots hit the rear of the vehicle. Hard to tell from that poorly written news story.

Personally i have no problem with police shooting cars to end high speed pursuits. I see that as the same thing as an active shooter trying to kill people.

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Old 11-13-2013, 12:15 PM   #4
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I could better justify the shooting if the shots had been in the windshield and the vehicle was trying to run him down.

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Old 11-13-2013, 12:23 PM   #5
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I don't see how, in this situation, the officer was justified in shooting. There is no suggestion (at least not in the excerpts posted here) that their was a danger to the officer or anyone else that justified the use of deadly force. There is no information listed on how strong the information was that led the officer to believe the truck was connected to the robbery; even if it was connected to the robbery, des the potential involvement in a property crime justify deadly force absent any other threat? Was it on a rural road, where the threat of stray bullets was low, or in a residential area?

Don't get me wrong -- I think it's a stupid idea to try to run from the police, but I don't think that the use of deadly force was warranted.

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Old 11-13-2013, 12:25 PM   #6
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I do not see the big deal. In LA people shoot at other people's cars all the time while on the freeway. After all, honking is just plain rude!

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Old 11-13-2013, 12:30 PM   #7
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I do not think he should have fired at the car. But I believe he was correct to try to chase him. The police chasing someone is not what makes them drive crazy. It is the fact that they are a criminal and don't care about other people's safety. In my opinion, if someone is running from the cops, that is reason enough to be chasing them.

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Old 11-13-2013, 01:12 PM   #8
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It looks like we're all pretty much seeing this in a similar way. The shooting apparently was against department policy, which is why he was terminated. For what it's worth, I don't know if it was against the law. I can't find anything about any pending prosecution, but around here it's normal procedure to handle things on a departmental level after the state attorney makes a decision on legality.

Admittedly the news story left much to be desired. Other media sources in this area are just as vague. Even so, we know from these sources that it was a residential area, but we don't know how densely populated it was. We know this because the truck ran up in someone's yard during the pursuit. We know the truck was moving away from the deputy because all the shots hit from the rear of the fleeing vehicle. As far as how strong the truck's tie was to the crime scene, we just don't know anything for a fact. We will probably never know what information was available to the responding deputies in regards to that truck at or before the time the shots were fired.

So, was the guy in the truck a fleeing felon? Since he ran from the deputy it might be reasonable to think so, but he also could have hit the gas because he didn't have insurance. People do some crazy stuff when they see blue lights in the mirror. I think they were right to terminate the deputy based on the fact that he did fire his sidearm in the absence of the threat of death or great bodily harm. If it had just been the pursuit without shots fired a day or two off might have been more appropriate.

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Old 11-13-2013, 01:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonM View Post
According to what you posted all the shots hit the rear of the vehicle. Hard to tell from that poorly written news story.

Personally i have no problem with police shooting cars to end high speed pursuits. I see that as the same thing as an active shooter trying to kill people.
I can see shooting at the vehicle if there is a high chance of success with a very low degree of risk, but not for a possible fleeing felon on what they believed at the time was a property crime.

While you're around, please keep an eye on this thread. If it gets out of hand don't hesitate to shut it down. Thanks.
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Old 11-13-2013, 04:28 PM   #10
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The article claims that the truck was moving toward the deputy. If that was when he shot it, it would imply that the driver was backing toward the deputy. I've never seen a vehicle back so fast that a person couldn't sidestep it. So, I think he shot the vehicle out of anger because the guy wouldn't stop. And probably the truck crashed because the driver was panicky, and maybe even ducked down while the vehicle was moving. So the deputy should be disciplined in some way. The specific nature of the discipline, I can't address.



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