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September 04, 2009

No charges for cop who shot fire chief in back, in court

A police officer in Jericho, AR shot the town's fire chief in court. The fire chief was complaining to the judge about the ticket-happy ways of the Jericho PD. A scuffle ensued and one of the seven police officers at the hearing shot the fire chief from behind. Amazingly, the prosecutor says the shooter won't be charged, but the victim might be:

Martin declined to name the officer who shot Payne. It's unclear if the officer has been disciplined.

Prosecutor Lindsey Fairley said Thursday that he didn't plan to file any felony charges against the officer or Payne. Fairley, reached at his home, said Payne could face a misdemeanor charge stemming from the scuffle, but that would be up to the city's judge. He said he didn't remember the name of the officer who fired the shot.

Payne remains in good condition at the Regional Medical Center at Memphis. He referred questions to his lawyer.

"I know that he was unarmed and I know he was shot," Fishman said. "None of that sounds too good for the city to me."

After the shooting, Martin said police chief Willie Frazier told the sheriff's department he was disbanding the police force "until things calm down." The sheriff's department has been patrolling the town in the meantime. [AP]

Via boing boing.


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We need a federal sunlight law to:

a) Require an FBI investigation whenever a cop (on-duty or off-duty) shoots someone

b) Require the name of the cop to be disclosed to the public within 24 hours

They'll probably commend him for his good aim and quick thinking.
This country is going crazy.

That's not a police force. That's a gang.

Feds...are you reading this? Get thee to Jericho

Well, it is Arkansas after all.

DrDick, it's not just a Southern thing. Police brutality is common in New York and California, and does not lead to departments being disbanded until things calm down. When I first read this post I saw Jericho and immediately thought the town in Long Island.

"DrDick, it's not just a Southern thing."

Ya got that right Alon.

I think a lot of people in America fail to grasp just how separate from the law, law enforcement officers are.

It was sadly not all that surprising when that whole Harvard Prof./cop deal was treated by many, especially those in the media, and a black vs white thing, when it really was a cop vs non-cop thing.

This anti-police thing you have going is appalling.

Without even knowing the facts, you make your decision from New York City.

Robert Zimmerman -

We don't know more of the facts because:

- The cop who shot the fireman hasn't come forward to take responsibility and explain his side.

- The police department isn't telling us who he is.

- The prosecutor isn't telling us who he is.

- There is no law requiring police departments to provide the public with information on shootings by the police.

To Robert Zimmerman: I'm in Georgia - I've seen enough of this crap.

makes u prefer criminals than the "crime fighters" any day !

Eric Jaffa's first post is a very succinct list of what would help a lot with the current shoot to kill ethos of U.S. police. Hiding the identities of police who shoot to kill makes court action that much harder to achieve. Or court settlements that don't disclose the terms of settlement. This is not just a police brutality issue. Killing people at will establishes the terms of life and death for people that re-enforces what ever convenient marginalization strategies that shape the national economy. It's too easy to focus on violence when the underlying unfairness is the root of such actions. I prioritize ending violence but the unfairness has to change or the right will come back with 'law and order'.

I would require every officer that has shot anyone to death on duty or off to tell every person they encounter on the job so that the public knows who they deal with. I'm officer Joe, I shot to death citizen and x and y for your information and as part of my duty to disclose who I really am.

"Feds...are you reading this? Get thee to Jericho"

Oh, great advice -- that'll help tremendously. Maybe they'll send Lon Horiuchi as a negotiator.

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