New York City Police Officer Peter Liang drew his duty weapon, attempted to open a stairwell door, and “accidentally” fired a shot that ricocheted down the stairwell and hit Akai Gurley in the chest. Peter Liang’s negligent discharge killed Akai Gurley, and the incident resulted in charges of second-degree manslaughter,criminally negligent homicide, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, and two counts of official misconduct. His trial begins in weeks.
Paradise California Police Officer Patrick Feaster drew his duty weapon, took a two-handed grip, pointed it at a man emerging from an overturned vehicle, extended his weapon to arm’s length, acquired a flash sight picture, and then smoothly depressed the trigger, shooting him in the neck, “accidentally.” Feaster them calmly reholstered his weapon and neglected to tell the dispatcher or any of the other officers who arrived on the scene that he fired his gun for eleven long minutes.
You can watch Feaster’s dash camera footage of the incident here, and once your done, remember that he didn’t tell anyone that he fired a shot until nearly five minutes later, when he could no longer hide the fact that he’d discharged his weapon due to the .45-caliber bullet hole in Andrew Thomas’s spine.
Stunningly, Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey is refusing to file any criminal charges against Patrick Feaster for this negligent discharge or what appears to have been a half-hearted cover-up for the flimsiest of excuses.
After a weekend protest in Paradise and prior to another at his office Monday afternoon, Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey issued a statement defending his office’s decision not to file criminal charges against a Paradise police officer for a Thanksgiving Eve shooting of a drunken driving suspect.
Ramsey announced last week that Patrick Feaster would not face charges for shooting Andrew Thomas, 26, as he was trying to exit his vehicle after it rolled over on Pearson Road at Black Olive Drive. Thomas was paralyzed in the incident.
The crash claimed the life of Darien Ehorn, 23, who Ramsey said was Thomas’ estranged wife.
Ramsey said Thursday, “the evidence in this case tends strongly towards showing the shooting to be unintentional and possibly negligent, but not criminally so.”
Ramsey also addressed several other issues on Monday in an interview with this newspaper. He noted the decision was not based on whether he believed Feaster’s contention he accidentally fired his Glock 21C.
It was based on officials’ inability to prove otherwise beyond a reasonable doubt.
“When using circumstantial evidence to determine what was in his mind and you have two or more reasonable conclusions — one that finds that he intentionally fired and one that reasonably concludes that he didn’t have an intent to — then, by law, you have to use the innocent one,” Ramsey said.
Let me be crystal clear on what occurred here.
Patrick Feaster pulled up on a high speed crash just after it was occurred. A woman lay dead or dying immediately in front of his cruiser. A man inside the vehicle, clearly unarmed, attempts to extract himself from the wrecked vehicle.
Instead of attempting to help either person, Officer Feaster’s reaction to this scene upon exiting his vehicle was to draw his weapon and point it directly at the man climbing out of the wrecked SUV. He then placed his finger on the trigger of the Glock 21C pistol, and then exerted more that 5.5 lbs of pressure, pulling the trigger cleanly to the rear while “accidentally” holding his sights on target.
After going to the vehicle to check on the man he just shot, who was of course covered in blood pouring from the large hole in his spine, Feaster then begins sweeping the ground with his flashlight, apparently looking for his shell casing, still ignoring the wounded or dead woman at his feet.
There appears to be enough evidence on the video alone for charges of assault with a deadly weapon, assault with a firearm, criminal negligence, and official misconduct.
This was an “accidental,” shooting, with an “accidental” eleven-minute cover-up, Mr. Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey?
I don’t think so.