Media Ignoring Facts They Reported To Make Cops Look Bad

Fox40

On February 25, 2017, three police officers from the small city of Rocklin, CA shot and killed a man in an absolutely justified shooting.  The district attorney just officially confirmed the same when they announced that no charges will be filed on the officers because the shooting was justified.  And that is where the story should end.

BUT the anti-cop media and Black Lies Matter will not let it go as they seem to be contending that the cops shot Lorenzo Cruz for no reason, and then are covering it up.  After all, look at the poor young man in the tuxedo, he would not do anything wrong… (seriously, I searched via google and the ONLY pictures I can find of Lorenzo Cruz are this one, in the tux)

Rocklin police officers who shot and killed a man after a February confrontation have been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing.

The Placer County District’s Attorney’s office announced their decision not to pursue any charges against the officers Thursday.

However, the matter is far from resolved, according to activists who showed up at the Rocklin Police Department with a list of demands.”  

Those are the first three lines from that story about the outcome of the shooting.  To those who have been following this shooting, this was the expected outcome because it was a textbook case of a justified shooting.  However, to the media and their favorite trouble makers, Black Lives Matter (henceforth referred to as Black Lies Matter), it is far from over.

”‘He’s a compassionate person, he’s never stolen anything, never been in trouble with the law, it doesn’t make since that he’d go from not doing anything wrong to breaking into someone’s house at 10 in the morning,’ said Faison.”

Let’s just take a quick look at that pile of horse shit being shoveled by Faison, the Black Lies Matter representative.  I will refute her statement with information that has long been available to the public, via the media, and none of it has been denied.

“Police first encountered Cruz when they attempted to stop his vehicle for expired registration, according to the District Attorney’s letter. Cruz drove off at high speed. (Expired Registration – I, Evading Police – M/F) Officers determined a pursuit would cause too much risk to motorists and other people in the area, but they obtained a description of the vehicle and the license plate number.” –Sacramento Bee

Having personal knowledge of Rocklin PD’s pursuit policy, it would have been a clear violation of their policy to pursue Cruz in this situation.  That said, it can very well be argued that had they pursued him and apprehended him, NONE of the things that occurred later in the day, culminating in Cruz being shot, may not have ever occurred.  I would argue that the very restrictive pursuit policies, like Rocklin’s, those very policies that are pushed by liberal, anti-cop politicians, are the very reason more people are victims of crime, like the people who were victimized by Cruz later that day.

Continuing on with Cruz’s crime spree that day…

“Police later received a 911 call from a resident reporting that the same man was behaving in a bizarre manner and had rammed his vehicle into a gate in a residential neighborhood. (Felony Vandalism – F, Hit & Run crash – M) Witnesses reported that they were confronted by the man, and described him as angry and aggressive.

One witness reported that Cruz first attempted to enter his home through a sliding glass door, then broke a glass laundry room door and entered the home. Cruz reportedly retreated when the homeowner confronted him with a weapon. (Burglary – F)

Cruz then got into a neighbor’s vehicle and attempted to flee (Attempted Vehicle Theft – F), but was confronted by the three Rocklin police officers.”

Thus far, at a minimum we have documented one infraction, two misdemeanors (one which could possibly have been a felony), and three felonies.  But yeah, I can see how if I was a Black Lies Matter person, that could totally be seen as “not doing anything wrong.”  But hey, we aren’t done yet.

“When officers located Cruz and ordered him to surrender, he failed to comply and officers saw he had what appeared to be a firearm. Cruz was shot when he pointed the weapon at one of the officers. (Brandishing a Weapon – M)

Police later determined that the gun was a replica firearm that had been painted silver to look like a real gun, according to police.”

So, we can add two more crimes, a misdemeanor for brandishing a weapon and one which resulted in his being shot, felony stupid (the act of doing something so stupid it gets you killed – not a real crime).

Now that the DA has made their announcement, Black Lies Matter stepped in and presented a list of utterly moronic demands.  Personally, I am sick and tired of these juvenile, petulant idiots who completely ignore the culpability a person has in their own demise in order to put ALL the fault on the cops.

“Thursday, Black Lives Matter presented a list of demands to the Rocklin Police Department including: release of the police report and all video of the incident, charges brought against the officers involved, a community investigation, monetary compensation for Cruz’s family, and an apology from city officials.”

The proper response to those requests is “pound sand,” but in the politically correct world in which we live, where elected officials more often than not bend to the will of those who scream the loudest, I suspect we will see some capitulation.

Look, I feel for the family and friends of Cruz.  Sometimes we really don’t know the people we think we know.  I’ve been in those shoes.  A man I spent months working with, in the same car, a man I’d known 20 years, a man I called a friend, was arrested on very serious charges.  I get being upset, I get being blindsided.  I get being confused and angry.  I really do.

BUT, don’t blame the cops; blame the person who did the acts, blame the person who deceived you.

In the case of Cruz, friends, family and Black Lies Matter would have you believe that not only are the rotten, evil police lying to cover up their shooting of “another innocent POC” (person of color), but the cops also successfully convinced numerous private citizens to aid them by manufacturing all the incidents that lead up to Cruz’s shooting.  Oh yeah, the cops also apparently mastered time travel and successfully went back in time to create the original failed contact / pursuit in an attempt to bolster their story.

Seriously, what version of this makes more sense?  That friends and family of Cruz either did not know about his criminal behavior, or that they are ignoring it OR  that the cops shot Cruz and are covering it up?

It is long past time for the public to start demanding honesty from our “news” sources.  They have all turned into tabloids, running whatever story will get the most traffic.  They push known lies for the sake of the story and they give a voice to people who are blatantly lying because doing so makes them money.  None of that is acceptable.

America’s Rosetta Stone


I read through the news today after a recent terrorist attack upon Police Officers in Dallas. Men and women serving their country and communities were attacked because of the clothes they wore and the color of their skin. Alternatively it is reported almost everywhere these attacks were in response to “two innocent black men being gunned down by police” yet the facts are not yet fully known. To respond violently based upon initial emotion is to discredit the American process and disregards civility entirely.

When historians look back upon the last several years what will our defining moments be? I often consider this point of view because as a student of history I realize the human condition is cyclical. Consider our greatest accomplishments and triumphs where Americans had a common goal, pulled together and achieved wondrous results. These American achievements need not be stated they are so powerful.

trosej

I use the Rosetta Stone as my example of ancient human achievement. The rock was found in 1799 by French soldiers and now resides in the British Museum. Written upon the enormous rock is a series of accomplishments and instructions for Egyptian priests. It is written in two languages and three scripts. It is amazing to me how multiple cultures collided in an era of little technology to create something this long lasting. (You can read more about this fascinating topic at: http://www.ancientegypt.co.uk/writing/rosetta.html)

What do the words of the Rosetta stone say? What do they mean? We live in a culture now where it doesn’t matter. Facts are considered  boring while violent emotions are considered exciting and relevant. Idols fuel emotionalism as a movement and as role models to America’s youth. A popular musician of our time, Jay Z has released a new song which he addresses the problem. Here is an example of one lyric: “Got my hands in the air in despair/don’t shoot/I just wanna do good.”Young-Thug-JAY-Z

Perhaps the music is moving, maybe the lyrics are meaningful but they are not responsible. The words themselves are perpetuated by lies and drive further emotion instead of logic. That emotion is endorsed by powerful leaders of the state and the message becomes misconstrued. Violence is the result and ignorance is the tool.

Music, Television and Movies are not seen as entertainment in our time, they are words and actions to live by. Fantasy is our hero and I still wonder what America’s common goal is. We are divided on all things in regards to morality and justice and I cannot fathom what stamp of human achievement our generation has left upon history. If our Rosetta Stone is chaos, lawlessness and anarchy I wish to distance myself from it as far as possible.

I have children though, so I cannot wallow in despair and would like to leave them something to cling to. We spend so much time trying to convince the emotionally misguided that our own children often become neglected from the truth. More and more I disconnect myself from popular media, social media and even news networks. I teach my children how to think for themselves and encourage them to try and leave the Sandcastle-2world a better place when they leave it. More than anything I tell them to suppress emotion and use logic to respond. This is how we build a lasting monument to our prosperity as a nation. A nation not divided but as one people and as unified Americans.

A monument to our civilization needs not be represented by division and destruction. Through our common children we must build something greater than we have now. Utilizing morality and logic we must build a culture which welcomes all as Americans and respects the tenements of our rich history. A foundation which shrugs off its mistakes and moves swiftly and accurately to correct them. A foundation which withstands the decaying sands of time and utilizes a profound goal as opposed to destruction with no purpose.

The Helicopter FTO?

Helicopter-Parent1

Some of the reader comments, both here and on our Facebook page, regarding the recent officer involved shooting in Arlington, TX have tried to place an undue amount of blame on the Field Training Officer (FTO), Cpl. Wiggins, who was training Officer Miller.  I don’t know how long the training program is for Arlington PD, or when Officer Miller started it, but all accounts say that Officer Miller had been hired in September 2014 and was nearing the end of his field training.

I was an FTO for a number of years, and I still fill in that role from time to time when FTO’s take time off and their trainees need someone to ride with, so I do have a little personal knowledge on the subject matter.

Here are a few things to consider when we are talking about this subject.  By the time a trainee reaches field training, they have met certain requirements.

  1. They are over the age of 18 (21 in some states) and are legally an adult
  2. They have completed a full police academy and are, legally speaking, a full peace officer
  3. They have passed the background check and are presumably not a convicted criminal
  4. They have passed a psychological exam and are presumably not a psychotic nut job
  5. They found the station, their locker, the briefing room and their FTO, so they can apparently follow simple instructions

Considering all of the above, it is reasonable to assume that a person in training, even a fresh trainee right out of the academy, can follow simple directions.  As trainees continue through the program, and especially as they near the end of their training, it becomes reasonable to assume that they can handle more complex tasks without immediate supervision.  To remotely suggest that an FTO has to keep their trainee under constant supervision, and is responsible for their every action, is insane.

Here are some examples of common tasks given to trainees on a daily basis, which are often times completed without any supervision whatsoever.

  • “Go over there and take that person’s statement.”
  • “Go stuff this bad guy in the back seat.”
  • “Book this evidence.”
  • “Snatch that guy up and cuff him.”
  • “Fill out the booking paperwork for the arrest.”
  • “Go over to that side of the building and establish a perimeter spot.”

Some of the comments, some even made my people purporting to be field training officers (FTO) themselves, saying that the FTO was at fault because he allowed his trainee to leave his side, or that he screwed up because he was not constantly monitoring his trainee, made me remember a term about parents that don’t give their kids any room to make mistakes, to learn on their own:  Helicopter Parents

Their comments make me want to coin a new term: the Helicopter FTO

I thank God that I did not have any Helicopter FTOs as I went through the training program, although to be honest, I can think of a few I have known over the years.  Not surprisingly, they were the FTO the trainees did not want to get.  Trainees cannot learn when they are under constant, microscopic supervision.  No one can.  That is not how adults learn, and a patrol trainee is an adult.

So, unless the FTO gave the trainee bad instructions, such as “go over to that open door, enter by yourself and go snatch dude up,” or unless he sat there watching his trainee going into the building solo, and decided to watch and see how it would play out (which we know by the account of the incident, that is not remotely what happened since he ran to catch up and was there with his Taser out when the shooting occurred), then the FTO is not responsible for the actions of the trainee.

Please don’t take this as me bashing Officer Miller.  That is not my intent, not remotely.  Trainees make mistakes, hell, FTO’s make mistakes.  We all do.  That is part of being human.  But, to try and assign blame to the FTO for a series of mistakes his trainee made in a matter of a minutes, if not seconds, is the same thing as say, blaming a cop for shooting a bad guy who is beating him to near unconsciousness and trying to take his gun.  It is blame shifting, and it has absolutely no place in society, let alone in law enforcement.


On a related side note, during my time as an FTO, I had a number of trainees who seemed to have the ability to magically disappear at a moments notice.  I know many other FTOs have encountered the same thing, because a number of us have jokingly discussed putting a cow bell on our trainees so that we could keep track of them.  So, in addition the the Helicopter FTO, we can have the Cowbell Trainee.  

My Educated Guess Was Wrong – Officer Miller Terminated

A couple days ago, I wrote an article in which I discussed the current state of the investigation taking place in Arlington, TX where a burglary suspect had been shot by the cops.  At the end of that article, I laid out what I clearly stated was my guess as to what might have occurred inside the dealership, out of the view of the surveillance video.

As much as I hate being wrong, I have to admit my educated guess was Entirely Incorrect.  What I surmised might have happened, was far from what actually occurred.

With that said, please take the time to watch this press conference given by Chief Will Johnson of the Arlington Police.  It is long, but it is absolutely worth the 28 minutes.  He discusses all the details that they can release at this point, and surprisingly they released quite a bit of information.  But he goes beyond that and describes how the case is examined on a number of levels, and he describes how both the reasonableness and legality of an officer involved shooting is measured.

For those of you reading this whom are not on the job; for those who enjoy analyzing and scrutinizing the actions of cops from the safety of your couch or desk, please pay special attention to Chief Johnson’s explanation of Graham v Connor (begins at 1:55 mark), which is the supreme court case that establishes the standard by which all deadly force uses by law enforcement are measured.  His explanation is outstanding!

The Facts That Were Revealed
During the press conference, Chief Johnson ran through the series of events.  I am going to summarize them here in bullet points, and am not including everything. Please watch the video for more details.

  • Officers were dispatched to a burglary in progress
  • A total of 6 officers in 5 cars were sent
  • Officers saw a single suspect inside the building
  • One officer verbally engaged suspect through a closed, locked glass door
  • Same officer noted a large bulge in the suspect’s pants pocket (others also saw it as noted later)
  • The suspect showed the initial contact officer keys to a car and said he was going to steal it
  • The officer ordered the suspect to get on the ground, but the suspect refused to comply
  • Corporal Wiggins (training officer) and Officer Miller (trainee) began to pass the officer who was speaking to the suspect
  • Wiggins stopped to talk to officer who was engaging the suspect, but Miller continued to the open/broken doors
  • Miller entered the building by himself, with his gun drawn
  • Miller verbally engaged the suspect who fled to the rear of business and tried to break through a glass door
  • Miller, still solo, chased the suspect to the back and verbally engaged him again
  • Suspect again refused to comply and began to charge Miller
  • Wiggins entered the building attempted to catch up to his trainee
  • Wiggins got to within approximately 4′ of Miller and Wiggins drew his Taser
  • As the suspect charged Miller, Miller fired one shot but the suspect continued advancing
  • Wiggins fired his Taser but the suspect continued advancing
  • Miller firesd three more shots
  • Shots fired broadcast on radio, emergency medical requested
  • At no point did the suspect physically engage any of the officers

Investigation Results Thus Far
Chief Johnson was clear to point out at the onset of his press conference that there are two investigations that are going on simultaneously in any officer involved shooting.  There is an administrative investigation and a criminal investigation.  This is true no matter the jurisdiction, and the results of the two investigations are independent of one another.

  • Administrative Investigation – Officer Miller screwed up, badly, a number of times.  His screw ups ultimately lead to the confrontation that occurred.  His mistakes were both officer safety in nature as well as tactical errors.  Not only did his mistakes put both he and the suspect in danger, but they put all the other officers in danger too.  Officer Miller has been fired (released from his probationary employment) as a result of those grievous errors.
  • Criminal Investigation – Still proceeding.  Results will be given to the District Attorney and will then be presented to the Grand Jury to determine if charges will be filed.  If I were a betting man, based on the facts that were revealed in this press conference, I would put money that this case will be going to trial.

Stupid Media Questions, and Outright Bias
As is the case at nearly every law enforcement press conference for a high profile incident, especially those involving officers using deadly force, there were a number of stupid questions.  However, beyond that, there was a couple that really display a bias by the media.  I’m going to summarize a few of those below (not verbatim, unless in quotes).

  •  21:38 mark –  Did the first shot fired strike the suspect?
    • How on earth would we know that?  Bullets aren’t numbered.  We have no way of identifying which slug was from which casing and in what order they were fired.
  • 24:28 mark – Did Officer Miller explain why he continued to shoot after the Taser was deployed?
    • Chief Johnson handled this much better than I would have.  Does this guy think that this was some long, drawn out thing?  From the first shot until the last shot was only seconds.
  • 23:52 mark – Did Corporal Wiggins ever try to question Officer Miller, or intervene and ask him what he was doing?
    • OMG, seriously?  Is this person for realsies?
    • Let me see, my trainee has disappeared on me, where did he go?  Holy crap!  There he is, he went inside by himself and is engaging the suspect.  (runs to catch up) Trainee has suspect, who is now charging him, at gunpoint and suspect if failing to follow all verbal commands.  This is where we call “TIME OUT” – okay trainee, why are you doing what you are doing?
    • The utter lack of a grasp on reality displayed by some reporters is sometimes quite amazing
  • 24:21 mark – BIAS ALERT – Do you think the outcome of this investigation would have have been different two years ago?
    • In other words, did this outcome only happen because of all the scrutiny law enforcement is under right now?
    • Chief:  “No sir, I do not”
    • Let us just say even if he did, which none of us who know what really happens in these investigations would ever think, but even if he did think that, does this reporter think he would say it would have been different?  This is a BS, gotcha question asked so that they can say the “Chief denies investigation would have had different outcome without public outcry.”
  • 25:30 mark – BIAS ALERT – Does Corporal Wiggins face and punishment for “allowing” his trainee to be separated from him?
    • Chief: “Absolutely not”
    • Follow up question: “Why did he allow him to go in there by himself?”
    • When I heard this question, I actually yelled at my computer screen.  What an arrogant ass. The Chief explains it politely, I won’t.

Because, mister “reporter,” here on planet earth, grown adults have not only free will, but we also have limited abilities.  As a training officer at an in progress crime scene, like this was, he is not only trying to do his job as a training officer, but he is also doing his job as a cop, which involves not only trying to keep track of the suspect and his trainee, but also all the other officers at the scene.  Additionally, as a mere mortal human being, I highly suspect he was unable to freaking read the mind of his trainee and know what the trainee was planning on doing…

He and his trainee were supposed to be moving to the open area to establish a perimeter position, in order to contain the suspect.  When he stopped to talk  with the other officer (I can only presume to discuss their plan of action) , the trainee continued.  The trainee upon reaching their perimeter position, screwed up and took it upon himself to enter the building, solo, which goes against all officer safety and tactical training he would have received to that point.  Apparently, the training officer’s superpowers were not working, and his assuming the trainee, who was nearing the end of his field training, would have followed basic protocols is the same thing as “allowing” him to do something.

Training officers and trainees are all only human.  Sometimes humans make mistakes.  This question, in the way it is worded, blatantly tries to assign blame on the training officer, and thus the department.  This “reporter” should be forced to attend force on force and shoot/no-shoot training before being allowed to attend another law enforcement press conference.

  • 27:11 mark – Have you spoke to the former officer in person, and how was that interaction?
    • Chief Johnson: “Difficult”
    • Followed by a long pause, after which he goes into a little more depth after politely shushing a reporter who was trying to interrupt.

Summary
Based on all the facts known at this point, this appears to be a bad shoot.  The officer involved has had his probationary employment terminated.  The criminal investigation is still ongoing.  Once that criminal investigation is complete, the case will be given to the District Attorney who will present it to the Grand Jury.  They will determine whether or not the case goes to criminal trial.  As I said already, I suspect it will.

Thus far, everything about this investigation is functioning Exactly As It Should, and just like it does in every case, with or without the media breathing down law enforcement’s neck.

It really sucks that this young man was killed, just as it would have sucked even if it were a justifiable shooting.  I wish the death of a child upon no parent.  No parent should have to outlive their child.

But, while the shooting is horribly regrettable, one must not dismiss the suspect’s role in his own demise.

Two people made very bad mistakes that early morning.  One of those people who made mistakes instigated the entire event, and made it worse by making yet more mistakes along the way.  The other person was a man working a very tough job, trying to make his community a safer place, who was put on the spot and forced to make a split second decision, and he made several mistakes as well.

The question that now remains is, did that second man’s mistakes rise to the level of a criminal offense?  I suspect we will have to wait to see what a jury says about that.

As for how the Arlington, TX Police Department is handling this investigation, I have nothing but respect for them.  They are quickly handling a very difficult investigation under the public microscope.  Additionally, the sincerity and emotion in both Chief Johnson’s words and body language in this press conference tell it all.  This is a man who not only cares about his department and the employees, but also cares about his community.  He appears to me to be a man of honor and integrity.  Chief Johnson appears to be a man I would be proud to work for.