By Carl M. Cannon
One of the catalysts for the rage and rioting in Ferguson, Mo., was the sight of that poor teenager’s body lying face down in the street hour after hour.
At 12:02 p.m. August 9, one of their officers shot unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown six times. By 12:05 p.m., a responding paramedic pronounced him dead. Yet his body was still there in the summer sun at 4 p.m., the sheet not quite long enough to cover his 6-foot-3-inch frame. Among the outraged onlookers in the Canfield Green apartment complex was his mother, distraught, and barricaded from her son’s body by police.
At least they checked the pulse of the young man to make sure he was dead, which is more than Fairfax County, Va., police did a year earlier when they gunned down John B. Geer in the doorway of his own home. Gravely wounded by the bullet fired into his chest, Geer closed the door as he collapsed and lay there alone, bleeding to death as the cops assembled their ubiquitous SWAT gear and military-style toys.
By the time these faint-hearted officers battered down the door with an armored tank, Geer was dead. His loved ones were present at the scene, too, including his father and his daughters. One of them, 13-year-old Morgan, yelled at the officers, “Don’t you hurt my daddy!”
The Ferguson shooting was viewed through a racially tinged prism, which is understandable in a predominately black town with a nearly all-white police force and where a white district attorney refuses to prosecute police for even the most egregious cases.
It was also understandable, after many nights of civil unrest, that President Obama would dispatch U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to Ferguson, and that the Justice Department would launch an investigation into possible civil rights violations in Brown’s shooting.
But the nagging nightmare is that the Justice Department has a much bigger problem on its hands than the occasional trigger-happy racist cop. John Geer was not black. He was a 46-year-old employed white homeowner with no criminal record. Yet more than a year later, Virginia authorities won’t even tell his family the status of their investigation—or if there is one.
This is not an isolated case, but how many are out there no one knows. A federal database that can tell you how many auto thefts were committed two years ago in San Clemente, Calif. (61), how many unprovoked shark attacks took place in Florida last year (23), and how many law enforcement officers were killed on duty in 2012 (48) does not include the number of annual fatal police shootings in this country.
Attempts at ferreting out these numbers have been undertaken, usually by investigative journalists, and the numbers are bracing. In the wake of the Ferguson case, USA Today reported that 96 times each year—almost twice a week—white police officers have killed a black person. That estimate came from teasing out FBI data from 2005-2012. It is probably an undercount.
Three years ago, the Las Vegas Review-Journal determined that police officers in Clark County, Nev., shot 382 people over the previous 20-year period, 144 of them fatally. That’s one county. Former FBI agent Jim Fisher, now an author of crime books, searched the Internet every day in 2011 for police shootings, eventually documenting 1,146 of them, 607 resulting in death.
Nor are there figures showing how many times police officers have been charged criminally in these cases. All available evidence shows that they are rarely held to account. In St. Louis County, where a grand jury is looking into the Michael Brown shooting, District Attorney Robert McCulloch has never prosecuted any police officer for a shooting.
In one of them, two undercover narcotics officers on stakeout at a Jack in the Box fired 21 shots into a car they were watching, killing Earl Murray and Ronald Beasley. The cops said the two men tried to avoid arrest by driving their car toward them. A federal investigation revealed that the men were unarmed and their car was not moving when officers opened fire. That case also prompted demonstrations in St. Louis. The DA’s response: “These guys were bums.”
Another flash point in Ferguson was the refusal of police to name Michael Brown’s shooter for six days. This kind of high-handedness is not atypical, either, and Eric Holder’s Justice Department aids and abets it.
More than a year later, John Geer’s family still doesn’t know the name of the officer who killed him. The last day of Geer’s life was Aug. 29, 2013. His longtime partner Maura Harrington had moved out with their two girls and the breakup seemed amicable until that day. Geer became upset, started drinking, and tossed some of Harrington’s belongings into the front yard. She dialed 911, hoping Fairfax County police officers would calm him down. Instead, they killed him.
The Fairfax Police Department will not discuss the shooting. County officials refuse comment except to say that Fairfax Commonwealth’s Attorney Raymond F. Morrogh, who also has a track record of not prosecuting police officers, has an unspecified conflict of interest and sent the case to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Alexandria. That is a division of the Justice Department, but U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente won’t even acknowledge the existence of an investigation.
Tired of waiting, Geer’s family recently filed a lawsuit. They asked for $12 million in damages, but what they really want is answers—and they are not alone.
Carl M. Cannon is the Washington Bureau Chief for RealClearPolitics. Reach him on Twitter @CarlCannon.
By DYLAN GOFORTH
Three times this summer, Oklahoma law enforcement officers were arrested on an allegation of committing a sexual assault while on duty.
And in all three cases, the initial report that brought the allegations to light was quickly followed by the revelation that more victims may yet be discovered.
Rape remains commonly known as an under-reported crime, experts say. But work is being done to combat that.
Rape victims are historically less likely to report what happened to them than are victims of other crimes, DVIS/Call Rape Sexual Assault Program Coordinator Elaine Thompson said.
The reasons for this are many, she said. They may feel that no one will believe them, or they may feel that what happened is, in part, their fault. They may feel they’d rather live with and bury the burden of what happened to them, rather than have their friends and family members know.
Thompson said that while the reasons for not reporting the crime are many, the benefits of doing so are just as plentiful.
“There’s power in filing that report or in talking to someone about what happened,” Thompson said. “It’s very empowering for them to come forward and discover that they aren’t alone.”
And it might keep other women from suffering the same fate, counselor Tiffany Shoemaker said.
Choosing the victims
Three law enforcement officers — Oklahoma City Police Officer Daniel Holtzclaw, Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Eric Roberts and Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Gerald Nuckolls — were arrested this summer and accused in separate cases of possible serial sexual assault behavior. They were identified when one of the alleged victims came forward to authorities.
In all three cases, authorities were only able to determine that multiple victims may be out there after the initial report was made.
The victims in all three cases may have been chosen because of their backgrounds. Holtzclaw, prosecutors have said, seems to have targeted older black women, many of whom had a past with drugs and/or prostitution.
One woman whom Roberts is accused of raping had outstanding warrants for her arrest, and he reportedly asked another woman “what she would do” for the amount of money her potential traffic violation would cost.
Nuckolls is accused of coercing a woman to touch his penis by saying it would help keep her boyfriend out of jail.
“There’s an element of ‘This person won’t report this’ to a lot of rape cases,” Thompson said. “It’s not unusual to have a perpetrator target a group or an individual that they think won’t be willing to report the rape in the first place.”
Fear of making a report
Undersheriff Tim Albin said Wednesday at a news conference detailing Nuckolls’ arrest that he understands the fear women have of reporting sexual assault, especially when the alleged perpetrator is a law enforcement officer.
Nuckolls, according to his arrest report, told investigators with the Sheriff’s Office that he had sexual activity with “about six women” whom he had either pulled over or spoken to while responding to 911 calls.
Albin said at the press conference that the Sheriff’s Office’s first priority was the victims, and he urged them to report what had happened to them, either to the authorities or to a victim advocacy group such as DVIS/Call Rape.
On Friday, Maj. Shannon Clark with the Sheriff’s Office said no other victims had come forward since the two women made allegations against Nuckolls on Tuesday.
In Roberts’ case, a 28-year-old woman made the first allegation against him July 23. A federal lawsuit naming Roberts as the perpetrator was filed in August; shortly after, another woman came forward to say she had been assaulted by the trooper July 8.
When Roberts was arrested Sept. 15, an affidavit states, another woman had come forward with a similar story, saying Roberts pulled her over June 15.
Holtzclaw, 27, was placed on suspension June 18, when an Oklahoma City woman reported that he had sexually assaulted her.
He was arrested Aug. 21 after an investigation uncovered a number of women who say they were assaulted by him.
According to the accusations, each case progressed in a relatively similar fashion — officers seemingly emboldened by their alleged victims’ inaction continued unchecked until someone came forward.
“Sometimes people don’t realize how much power there is in making your voice heard,” Thompson said. “It starts the healing process, but it can also stop something like this from going on. It might only take one person to uncover something.”
Through Sept. 1 of this year, the Tulsa Police Department has received 220 rape reports, Sex Crimes Sgt. Mark Mears said. In the same time period a year ago, the department had received 242 reports.
For years, reports of rape in the city held steady — from a 2008 low of 252 to a high of 266 in 2011. Part of the rise in reports, Mears said, is due to the way the FBI tracks rape. Prior to 2012, rape had a narrower definition: same-sex attacks didn’t count, nor did spousal attacks. Anal and oral attacks were not considered rape, either.
Changing the definition “changed how many reports we got, to an extent,” Mears said. “We’re hoping it also rose because women are reporting more.
“Rape is so under-reported; that’s something we know is a fact.”
‘Unlike any other crime’
Places like DVIS/Call Rape work around the clock to change the stigma associated with sexual assault, Thompson said.
“Rape is unlike any other crime,” she said. “It’s so personal. Something is taken from you that can’t be replaced.”
Agencies like DVIS are required to report the rape of a minor to authorities, but Thompson said adults can seek help without having to report their attacks.
“When you tell someone you’ve been raped, there’s a level of revictimization that takes place, where you’re forced to go back through what happened to you. We try to have a safe, secure place where (victims are) loved and not judged,” she said.
“We can discuss their options with them. They may want to make a report after they feel more comfortable,” she said.
“One thing we also do is help with medical examinations, which, even if you don’t end up wanting to make a police report, you should get checked out medically, regardless.
“Just speaking to someone about what happened can start the healing process. It can be a very powerful thing,” Thompson said.
Cop was using cell phone going 80 MPH
Illinois is known as the Land of Lincoln, so you’d expect the state police would reflect Honest Abe’s righteous ways. A safety-minded trucker blows his horn at a cop to call him out for his speeding and cell phone use. Officer Selfie decides to pull over the driver and threatens to give him a ticket but his tune quickly changes when he finds out he’s being recorded…
A former Phoenix police detective was sentenced to nearly four years in prison after pleading guilty to stealing drugs from the police department's evidence storage room.
William B. McCartney, 37, pleaded guilty in June to one count each of fraudulent schemes and theft.
He was originally charged with 40 counts, including those crimes and other offenses.
McCartney was also sentenced to four years of probation.
McCartney was arrested June 27, 2012, in Pittsburgh and extradited to Phoenix on July 18. He was indicted in August 2012 on multiple counts of tampering with evidence, possession of narcotics and dangerous drugs, computer tampering, felony theft and fraudulent schemes.
Phoenix police conducted a quarterly audit of drug items cleared for destruction from its property room in January 2011. They discovered some Oxycodone tablets were replaced with over-the-counter medication.
McCartney was arrested in March 2011, but quit the police force
Former Fairborn police Officer Mark Miller accepted a plea agreement Monday in Fairborn Municipal Court in a criminal case prompted by a complaint from a woman.
Miller, 52, was facing two misdemeanor counts of attempted unauthorized use of a computer or telecommunications property. Monday, he was scheduled to be arraigned on those charges in city Municipal Court.
In May, he was given a civil anti-stalking protection order and placed on administrative leave. He resigned in June.
The woman, who asked not to be identified for her safety, wrote in the order that Miller "shows up to my home to leave letters, gifts, etc. while he is on duty and off."
Miller received two 180 day jail sentences, with 160 of them suspended on the condition of good behavior for two years as well as two years of supervised community control.
He also is to undergo a mental health assessment and follow-up treatment, according to the court.
Mitch de Leon
A U.S. District Judge sentenced the former chief of police of a New York federal veterans hospital to 10 years of imprisonment due to his involvement in the conspiracy to torture, rape, and murder women. The alleged intentions of the convicted officer was identified to have stemmed from Internet fetish forums he reportedly frequently visited.
Richard Meltz, who worked as a police chief at a Massachusetts veteran affairs medical center, pleaded guilty to the charges connecting him with two conspiracies to abduct, torture, and kill women. He was charged with two other men who he allegedly established contact via online message boards. These websites reportedly encourage the sharing of brutal sexual fetishes.
"I conclude that Mr. Meltz presents a danger to the community," U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe said. "There could have been no question in his mind that these kidnapping plots were real."
The situation of the sentenced 66-year-old ex-cop is considered as one of the numerous cases in New York in which no person was actually abducted or hurt, but the possibility of the fantasy plots to turn into reality gradually becomes a tangible ploy.
Prior to reading the sentence, Peter Brill, the lawyer of the accused, tried to convince the judge to grant his client a lenient punishment. In addition, the attorney pointed out that Meltz needed mental counseling to treat his condition. Brill claimed that a prison sentence will not provide his client the help he badly needed.
"I don't mean to make this sound silly but this was a hobby of Mr. Meltz's for many, many, many years," Brill said in an attempt to explain his client's tendency to indulge in violent fantasizes. "And then, of course, the Internet gets invented," he added.
One of the targeted "victims" of the three conspiring men was an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation agent. Investigators have verified that the FBI agent was the topic of the many email exchanges and phone calls among the men.
Court records show that Meltz was in the police and law enforcement industry for roughly 30 years prior to his arrest in 2013. He was taken into police custody after FBI agents began arresting suspected individuals who might be connected with Gilberto Valle, an ex-police officer charged with killing women then eating their body parts to satisfy his cannibalism fetish.
The two men who conspired with Meltz were identified as Michael Van Hise and Christopher Asch. Both were convicted by a federal jury in March.
By Michael Gordon
A few weeks after her son was shot to death by a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer, Georgia Ferrell said he visited her in a dream.
“Jonathan, I’m OK. Are you OK?” she said she asked him.
He told her he was.
Asked whether she carried away a message from the dream, Georgia Ferrell said this: “I know his spirit wants justice, and his spirit wants peace.”
A year ago Sunday, Jonathan Ferrell wrecked his car on an unfamiliar road. A toxicology report showed no signs drugs, and while he had been drinking he was not drunk. He escaped the car barefoot and without his cellphone. He sought help at a nearby house, but his late-night and urgent knocking frightened the woman inside.
He then ran up to three Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers who had responded to the woman’s 911 call. Moments later, he was dead, and for the first time in at least 30 years, a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officer was charged with a crime in connection with an on-duty shooting.
On Saturday in Tallahassee, Fla., Ferrell’s family laid flowers at his grave. On Sunday, they will host a public celebration of his life, while offering young African-Americans instruction on how to act around police.
“To be humble, how to protect themselves,” Georgia Ferrell says, “These children are our future, and too many of them are being taken out before their time.”
Ferrell says she hasn’t followed the coverage of the shooting death of Michael Brown Jr., a black teen, by Darren Wilson, a white policeman, in Ferguson, Mo., or the anger that has simmered in the St. Louis suburb for more than a month.
She says she understands the comparison between Brown’s death and her son’s and has sent word through intermediaries that she is praying for Brown’s family.
“Things happen for a reason. Things have to happen for the public to see what’s really going on,” she says.
“Jonathan would not be happy with all the killing of black men. He’d like to see that they’re all being treated equal. Treat him like he was a young white man. What’s so different about the pigment of his skin?
“Find out what’s going on before you pull a gun. We love our children, too.”
Law enforcement ties
Since middle school, Jonathan Ferrell lovedthe same girl.
For most of his adult life, Wes Kerrick dreamed of being a cop.
A year ago, those paths brought the two men – both in their 20s, one black, the other white – face-to-face in a suburban neighborhood outside Charlotte in northeast Mecklenburg.
Within seconds, Ferrell lay dying from 10 bullets that came from Kerrick’s service weapon.
Later that same day, Kerrick, who comes from a law-enforcement family, including a sister who also serves on CMPD, was charged with voluntary manslaughter. He had less than three years experience on the force at the time.
Ferrell, 24, was a former Florida A&M football player who had moved to Charlotte to be with fiancee Caché Heidel, his girlfriend since they were teenagers in Tallahassee, Fla., and now a Charlotte accountant. He had been working two jobs to pay for classes at Johnson C. Smith University, where he hoped to major in chemistry.
Kerrick remains suspended without pay. His criminal trial, which is being prosecuted by the attorney general’s office, is expected to take place next year. For now, a wrongful-death lawsuit filed by Ferrell’s mother against Kerrick, the police and local government remains on hold in federal court.
George Laughrun and Michael Greene, Kerrick’s defense team, said neither they nor their client were available for interviews.
In a prepared statement, the lawyers said the past year has been “an extremely emotional and trying time.”
“Officer Kerrick and his family have the utmost confidence in the criminal justice system as evidenced by the many years of service that both he and his family have given to this and other communities in the law enforcement field,” the statement says.
“Officer Kerrick acted in conformity with the rules and procedures of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department and with state law. The shooting of Jonathan Ferrell was tragic but justified.”
Government officials have said little about the case from the start.
City Manager Ron Carlee declined to comment last week, though his office did release a statement reiterating the city’s intent to be “as respectful as possible to those impacted by the tragedy.”
CMPD Chief Rodney Monroe and his department also declined interview requests.
Monroe, who ordered Kerrick’s arrest, said early on that his officer used bad judgment and excessive force – even if Ferrell ran into him, as video from a police car at the scene apparently shows. It was clear that Ferrell was unarmed, Monroe said, and Kerrick’s decision to shoot was unlawful.
“Sometimes we have to put up our hands and use our nightstick,” Monroe said. “... It can’t automatically result in use of deadly force.”
Some law enforcement groups and Kerrick supporters throughout the country accused Monroe of a rush to judgment that could put other officers in jeopardy. They say Kerrick’s subsequent indictment, which came after one grand jury declined to bring charges, was politically motivated.
Ferrell’s family and some community leaders around Charlotte, however, say Monroe headed off a worse situation by acting with speed and openness.
While no two cities and situations are the same, they compare police handling of the Ferrell shooting with the details of Brown’s death in Missouri. There, no charges have been filed, and angry and sometimes violent demonstrations raged.
Here, police quickly identified Kerrick, charged him, and took responsibility for Ferrell’s death. After a public outcry, the City Council also toughened citizen oversight of police shootings. Monroe later said he used the incident to schedule training for his officers on recognizing their biases.
The officers, in turn, asked him for more instruction on hand-to-hand confrontations to avoid deadly force.
In the end, the first police response to Ferrell’s death was key, says Charlotte minister Dr. Dwayne Walker. That it followed ongoing CMPD efforts to establish what Walker describes as “a culture of understanding” with the community made it doubly so.
“Chief Monroe put a human face to a human life,” says Walker, pastor of the Little Rock AME Zion Church in Charlotte, who describes Ferrell’s killing as a “murder.”
“Here, the city acknowledged that a life was taken, a wrong was done. There is still rage, outrage that an officer can unload his weapon at an unarmed man. But his police department arrested him. A man’s life had meaning.”
Still no answers
Occurring between the deaths of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla., and Brown in Ferguson, Ferrell’s shooting drew national headlines. It made the cover of Sports Illustrated, and next month is scheduled to be the subject of a special report on ESPN.
Yet, many vital details of the night remain closed to the public – from eyewitness statements to the video shot with a patrol car camera.
Sometime after 2 a.m., Ferrell wrecked his Toyota Camry in the Bradfield Farms community of northwest Mecklenburg after giving a co-worker a ride home.
He kicked his way free of the car, then walked to the nearest home.
Inside, a woman was alone with her young child, her husband at work. The 911 recording captures the frantic mother saying an unknown man had tried to break into her home. Monroe later described Ferrell as “viciously” pounding on the front door.
A police call went out for an attempted home invasion. Three officers, including Kerrick, responded.
According to police reports, Ferrell ran up to the officers and ignored repeated calls to stop and get on the ground. One of the officers fired his Taser but missed. Ferrell then veered directly into Kerrick.
At some point Kerrick started firing – 12 shots in all.
The other officers, both African-American and with more experience than Kerrick, did not pull their guns. Their accounts of the shooting remain sealed.
So does the 20-second dash-cam video, which reportedly captured the moments leading up to the shooting. City officials say Monroe ordered Kerrick’s arrest after he and his top staff watched the footage. A judge has given the attorney general’s office control on when an
d whether it is released.
A spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office said Friday that showing the video prematurely could compromise Kerrick’s right to a fair trial.
Citing the role a video played in the domestic-abuse case against NFL player Ray Rice last week, Ferrell family attorney Chris Chestnut again called for the release of the footage.
“Video speaks truth. What’s there to hide?” said Chestnut, who saw the video shortly after the shooting. “The truth is that it’s murder. On camera.”
Chestnut says Kerrick’s behavior, not Ferrell’s, is on trial.
While the events marking Ferrell’s death are 500 miles away, Walker says African-Americans in Charlotte will grieve, too.
“I didn’t know Trayvon Martin, but it hurts, and we felt the pain because if it could happen there, it could happen here,” Walker says.
“Mr. Ferrell may not have been a native son. But he was one of our sons.”
The story was updated on Monday, Sept. 15, to correct an error about the toxicology report following Jonathan Ferrell’s death. Ferrell had been drinking the night before his death, but his blood-alcohol level was at .06, below the limit of being legally drunk.
Staff writer Cleve Wootson Jr. contributed.
Family outraged after their pet dog was shot by police
By Manolo Morales Published: September 12, 2014, 6:40 pm
A family is outraged and demanding answers after their dog was shot by police and left to bleed for an hour.
It happened a week ago in Kalihi after officers responded to a domestic call in the area. As police officers were about to leave, Bruce, a two-year-old Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix, got loose from his cage and lunged at the officers, and then got shot.
When the family asked police if they could take the dog to the veterinarian, they were told to stay put until an investigation was completed.
The first thing KHON2 News asked HPD was why the family was forced to wait. We were told it’s standard policy to do a thorough investigation after an officer fires a weapon, so the scene had to be preserved.
So we then asked that if this were instead a person, would there be a delay in getting help?
Late Friday afternoon, a HPD spokeswoman called back and said the officers made a mistake and should have allowed the family to get medical help for the dog.
One week after being shot in the chest, Bruce looks almost as good as new, although there are some stitches that still need to help him heal.
His owners still can’t believe what they had just gone through.
“It was terrifying for all of us,” said the dog’s owner Kristen Butac. “We never would have thought this would happen to us. He’s our family, so of course we’re going react the way we did. We’re upset.”
Butac said three officers were walking outside the house when Bruce lunged at them. The first two managed to sidestep and avoid the dog, but the third officer fired a shot.
An HPD spokeswoman said the officer described the dog as aggressive and vicious.
When asked how much was the dog bleeding, Butac said “well, to us, it seemed like a lot. I mean, seeing something like that, of course, you’re panicking. You don’t know what else could have happened.”
She said the officers would not let anyone leave the house, even as they pleaded to let someone take Bruce to the vet. But they were told nobody leaves until the investigation is finished, which took about an hour.
Investigators found the shell casing, but they couldn’t find the bullet, which made the family even more nervous, thinking that it could still be inside the dog’s chest.
“We didn’t know what other injuries he had, so we were just trying our best to just put pressure on his wound,” Butac said.
After the family rushed Bruce to an emergency care veterinarian, they did get some good news.
“The vet said he was a very lucky dog. What happened was the bullet had entered and exited his chest. The only damage was to his soft tissues.”
The family plans to file a lawsuit against HPD. Investigators are reviewing the case to initiate some type of policy.
Off-duty narcotics officer charged after Upper West Side shooting
By N.J. Burkett
An off-duty New York State narcotics agent has been charged after an accidental shooting on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
Police confirm a man and a woman were shot on Amsterdam Avenue between 82nd and 83rd Street around 9 p.m. Friday. Both were taken to the hospital. The extent of their injuries is not clear, but they are expected to survive.
According to the New York City Police Department, the state officer involved, Victor Zambrano, 49, of New York City, is assigned to the state Bureau of Narcotics. He being charged with criminal possession of a weapon, resisting arrest, and two counts of assault.
The shooting took place outside a tavern where patrons huddled until it was safe.
"We heard a loud pop and everyone rushed to the back of the bar," said customer Vanessa Arriola.
Drunk off-duty cop ‘shoots 2’ after struggle over gun
By Aaron Feis, Ben Feuerherd and Kate Briquelet
A drunk off-duty state narc turned the Upper West Side into a shooting gallery Friday night, blasting a woman and her boyfriend in a struggle over his gun after the three spent a boozy night together in a bar, police sources said.
Victor Zambrano Jr., 49, handed his firearm to the 31-year-old woman when she asked to hold it as they all stood on West 82nd Street and Amsterdam Avenue — then tried to grab it back at about 9 p.m., cops say.
The gun went off as the state Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement agent and the woman fought over it, sources said.
The bullet ricocheted off the street. First it struck her foot, then slammed into her 42-year-old boyfriend’s shin.
The boyfriend limped after the fleeing cop up Amsterdam until the narc spun around at 83rd Street and tried to shoot him — but his gun misfired, according to the sources.
Zambrano — who lives near the incident — is being charged with assault, criminal possession of a weapon, resisting arrest and reckless endangerment, police say.
“We heard like a pop first, and then we saw cops outside with their guns drawn,” said Carolyn Frankel, who was in a local pub when the shots rang out.
“Everybody just started running towards the middle of the bar and getting down on the ground. You’re just thinking of a stray bullet, and you don’t want that anywhere near you.”
A manager at Organic Avenue on 82nd Street told The Post he gave the female victim water and wrapped paper towels around her foot.
“He ankle was bleeding,” he said. “She was calm and in shock. She was not crying. She said she was just going out to dinner with her boyfriend and heard a pop and realized she was bleeding.”
Police disarmed and collared Zambrano at the scene.
The victims, who were being treated at St. Luke’s Hospital, did not suffer life-threatening injuries.
Police found the gun on the ground near 83rd Street, a source said.
A 2008 report on misconduct within the narcotics bureau said Zambrano was issued 11 summonses worth $1,015 for improper parking of his vehicle with state-issued placards.
According to the state Inspector General probe, Zambrano’s tickets were unpaid when the report was issued even though the IG informed him of the outstanding summonses.
By Darcy Spears.
North Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Police killing pets has once again landed North Las Vegas in court. This as dog owners seek justice on a federal level over losing their two pit bulls.
"I never had any kids and he was the closest thing I ever had to a son," said Tom Walker, through tears.
He's talking about a Pit Bull named Blue and his daughter, Pinky. Both dead at the hands of North Las Vegas Police.
We talked to Walker and his girlfriend, Cathy Cataldo, in February.
"I think they should be held responsible for murdering my babies. Because that's what they did," Cataldo said.
In a federal lawsuit filed this week, the couple is suing the North Las Vegas Police Department and two officers for killing their dogs when SWAT served a narcotics search warrant at their home on Sept. 14, 2012.
"The Ninth Circuit has made clear that people have a constitutional right not to have their pets unnecessarily killed by police officers when they're executing search warrants," explained their attorney, Maggie McLetchie.
Police spoke to us in February, explaining it was a high-risk situation.
"They're hoping for the best but they're planning for the fact that these dogs could very well be trained to be weapons against us," said NLVPD Sgt. Chrissie Coon.
The lawsuit said North Las Vegas Police "engaged in a policy and practice of deliberate indifference" in regard to the dogs.
"Rather than try to diffuse the situation or come up with a plan to address these canines," said McLetchie, "it looks to me like they just shot and killed these dogs without asking questions."
Before serving the warrant, officers had set up surveillance of the home where they could see the front door and the "Beware of Dog" sign in front of the gate.
The lawsuit says "Pinky and Blue were inside the fence walking to the backyard to go to the bathroom when officers approached the house," but "officers did not yell hold your dogs before entering the gate."
"I couldn't even speak before they started shooting," Walker told Contact 13 in February. "As soon as the gate opened they were firing. My dogs didn't have a chance."
The lawsuit says the "dogs had their backs toward the officers at all times, did not threaten or harm the officers and did not even look at or bark at the officers."
The Walker's home video posted on You Tube shows a trail of blood all around the property from Blue, who was shot six times.
"They shot him in the butt, the hip, the shoulder," said Cataldo. "They chased him all the way around the back until he was hiding under a wheelbarrow. And that's when they started shooting at him again."
They say Pinky, a 10-month-old puppy; didn't make it past the front steps.
"Pinky was laying right there in a pool of blood and her legs were shaking," Walker said.
In the lawsuit, Walker also alleges that an officer ordered him to crawl on his stomach, then kicked him in the head and told him not to look at Pinky.
When Darcy Spears contacted North Las Vegas Police, they told her their City Attorney's office hadn't been served or been able to review the complaint.
In February, their account of what went down was very different from what the lawsuit says.
"Members of the SWAT team did tell them to put their hands in the air and also gave them orders to "grab your dogs, grab your dogs," Sgt. Coon said in February. "The male suspect stepped to the side so that the dogs could get between the male and the female suspect and run towards the SWAT team."
North Las Vegas says officers serving a search warrant are faced with the challenge of providing safety for the neighborhood, the officers, the dwelling's occupants and any animals involved during a dynamic, high risk situation.
The lawsuit calls North Las Vegas' policies and practices "unlawful... permitting its officers to shoot pet dogs" without reasonable justification. It also alleges "negligent training and supervision."
"I don't think they're shooting dogs because they want to kill anybody's pet," said McLetchie. "But I do think that they're wrongfully assuming that when they go to the door, if a dog comes to the door--approaches them--that the dog is vicious and needs to be shot."
In 2012 and 2013, North Las Vegas Police shot 19 dogs. Fifteen of them died.
Better training for officers in dealing with dogs will come up in the 2015 legislative session.
In serving the warrant, North Las Vegas Police recovered some meth, a stolen handgun and one person was arrested for three felony counts.