watch this cop's obvious and documented attempted murder of unarmed Elio Carrion. first he orders him to get up off of the ground and as Carrion does the officer opens fire, shooting him three times. he'll walk because in the ratcheting up of the police state which is america, big brother cannot afford to have his storm troopers bogged down in the courts over silly things such as civil liberties.
-video link on news page
Deputy's Gunfire Looks Like a Crime to Some
By Matt Lait and Lance Pugmire, L.A.Times Staff Writers
A San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy who shot a 21-year-old Air Force security officer in an incident captured by a video camera appears to have violated accepted police tactics and may have committed a criminal offense, experts in the use of force by police said Wednesday.
The experts cautioned that the low quality of the digital recording may obscure some important evidence. But what is visible — the image of the deputy firing multiple rounds at 21-year-old Elio Carrion as he appeared to follow the deputy's order to get off the ground — was shocking, they said.
"It's a criminal act," said Roger Clark, a former Los Angeles County sheriff's lieutenant who routinely testifies in court as an expert in police tactics. Clark has worked both for police officers and for citizens who have sued the police. "He shot an unarmed man who was complying with his orders," Clark said.
David Klinger, a use-of-force expert who teaches at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, and wrote a book titled "Into The Kill Zone: A Cop's Eye View of Deadly Force," said the recording was "the screwiest thing I've ever seen. It makes no sense."
"What I saw was totally incongruous with standard police doctrine," said Klinger, a professor of criminology and onetime LAPD officer.
San Bernardino County sheriff's officials have refused to release the name of the deputy, although state law makes the identity of law enforcement officers involved in shootings a matter of public record.
A source close to the investigation confirmed the identity of the deputy as Ivory J. Webb IV, 45.
Answering the front door of Webb's home, a woman said the deputy, currently on paid administrative leave, was not willing to discuss the shooting.
"We have nothing to say," the woman said. "Please leave our property."
Webb was named as one of seven co-defendants in a 2004 federal civil lawsuit against San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies that alleged excessive use of force by another deputy. Jurors in that case ruled for the officers and cleared Webb, who had been accused of failing to stop his colleague from misconduct.
Webb is believed to be the son of a former Compton chief of police, also named Ivory Webb. The elder Webb has a son whose birth date matches that of the San Bernardino deputy. That son played college football at Iowa, where he was a two-time letterman receiver and played in the 1982 Rose Bowl.
A woman who answered the telephone at the elder Webb's home said, "my son didn't do anything."
The shooting, which occurred on a residential street in Chino, was recorded by a bystander and shows Carrion crouching on the ground telling the deputy that he was "on your side" and meant him "no harm."
At one point, a voice on the recording appears to say "stay on the ground." Seconds later, however, the deputy appears to tell Carrion: "Get up, get up." As Carrion rises, the deputy, who is standing several feet away, shoots him three times.
Carrion remains hospitalized in good condition.
Carrion was the passenger in a blue Corvette that had led the deputy on a brief high-speed chase Sunday night. The chase ended when the driver crashed into a fence on a residential street. Neither Carrion nor the driver had any weapons, sheriff's officials said.
On Tuesday, the U.S. attorney's office said a federal civil rights probe of the shooting had been opened.
A separate investigation is being conducted by the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.
On Wednesday, county Dist. Atty. Michael Ramos said in a statement that "we fully expect the investigation to be both thorough and comprehensive." Once the sheriff's investigation is finished, Ramos said, his prosecutors will decide whether to bring charges against the deputy.
Law enforcement officials warned against making quick judgments about the shooting until the recording had been thoroughly analyzed and investigations completed.
The recording, which has received national media attention, is poor in quality and was shot at night and on a dark residential street. Conversations between the deputy and Carrion are at times difficult to hear, and some statements are too faint or garbled to be discerned.
Sheriff's spokeswoman Cindy Beavers said some dialogue appeared to be inaudible because of background noise.
"We're hoping the FBI's forensic exam of the tape will provide a complete description of the dialogue," Beavers said. "And then there will be no doubts."
Under state law, officers are allowed to use deadly force if they perceive that a person presents a deadly threat to themselves or others.
However, several law enforcement experts who reviewed the recording said they did not see any threat from Carrion that would justify the use of deadly force.
Carrion was not charged with any crime. The driver of the vehicle, Luis Fernando Escobedo, 21, was arrested on suspicion of felony evading but has not been charged. He was released from jail Tuesday night.
Escobedo held an impromptu news conference on the front lawn of his home in Montclair on Wednesday afternoon and said both he and Carrion were trying to cooperate with the deputy and that the deputy had no reason to open fire.
"We were both talking to the officer, saying, 'We're not armed,' " Escobedo said.
"Carrion opened his door to speak to the deputy, who told Carrion to move to the ground, Escobedo said. Later, the deputy ordered Carrion to get up, he said.
"When he pushed himself up, that's when the officer [started] shooting," said Escobedo, who remained in the vehicle throughout the incident. When asked if Carrion reached for anything, Escobedo said his friend had no weapon to reach for.
Some experts said the shooting could have been avoided had the deputy used better tactics. Specifically, they said, the deputy should never have placed himself so close to suspects. Instead, he should have used his own vehicle as cover, called for backup and issued commands from a safe distance.
Ideally, they said, a suspect should be lying prone on the ground and handcuffed before he is asked to stand up.
"It's a two-man operation," said Clark, "one to handcuff the suspect and the other to provide cover."
Good police tactics, he said, "prevent injuries and unnecessary uses of force." And, he added, "there is no room for anger in this profession, and this deputy looks really mad."
Geoffrey Alpert, another police expert on deadly force, said that even if Carrion were disobeying the deputy and standing up without permission, that would not seem to justify the shooting.
"I don't see where there is a threat to the officer," said Alpert, chairman of the University of South Carolina's department of criminology and criminal justice.
Alpert, like other experts, suggested that the deputy might have been pumped up with emotion after being involved in an adrenaline-charged pursuit.
"It's hard to say what was going through that deputy's mind," he said.
The incident was the second controversial shooting by a San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy that was recorded in the past seven months.
The county district attorney's office is investigating an August shooting.
In that incident, a store security camera showed an undercover deputy firing into an SUV at a Rialto shopping center, killing the unarmed driver, Antuan Conners.
Conners was a suspect in two jewelry store robberies, and deputies, traveling in unmarked cars, were attempting to take him into custody. They boxed in his car in the parking lot and got out of their cars. When Conners tried to accelerate around them, he was shot to death.
Sheriff's homicide investigators determined the deputy in that case was compelled to shoot because he feared for the safety of the deputies around him.
"We have the same diligence toward officer-involved shootings as we do with homicides," said Sgt. Frank Bell, the sheriff's lead homicide investigator in the Conners shooting.
"Our job is to present what happened as accurately as possible…. Mistakes are made. We have to understand [deputies] are human. If a guy panicked, we'll say it."
Bell, who is not involved with the investigation of Sunday's shooting, said videotape evidence can be extremely helpful, but added that it does not answer all the questions or reveal what's in the minds of the deputy or suspect.