02 August 2011

Tuesday Tidbits...
Another hot day today...and the weatherman keeps saying relief is in sight...(pssst...it's called OCTOBER, folks).
Granted, I'm getting a little annoyed at watching the grass alongside anything concrete SHRINK away from that concrete,
And TAN was never my favorite color (especially for a LAWN).
Got some stories to relate about criminal activity and maybe some "not" so criminal activity. I'll let you decide.
I'll naturally provide some pungent social commentary to "lighten" things up a bit...
I was originally going to post about a "survey" that was sent to our house (where a person named RESIDENT apparently USED to live) by none other than one of my LEAST favorite federal agencies...HUD.
But, I think I'll save that for HUMPDAY, and when you stop on by tomorrow, I think you'll know why, fair enough?
In the meantime, sit back...relax, top off that refreshing beverage of yours, and peer into the wonderful world that is Fort Wayne...
*** The first story is a followup to yesterdays post concerning a disturbed individual that preferred to walk the streets (up north) with a gun in his hand (threatening suicide). That's got MAJOR FAIL written all over it, and you'll see why.
(( Published: August 2, 2011 3:00 a.m.
Charges for gunman shot by police - In ICU; posed no threat, uncle says
Dominic Adams The Journal Gazette
Charges are pending against a Fort Wayne man shot by police Friday, while the man’s family claims police used excessive force.
Michael A. French, 30, remains in the intensive care unit at a Fort Wayne hospital after being shot by officer Benjamin Miller and Sgt. Daniel Ingram.
French’s uncle witnessed the shooting and said his nephew never pointed the gun at anyone but himself. Bob Gonzales said he was trying to persuade French to drop the weapon and that police were going to shoot him if he didn’t.
Chief Rusty York said French wasn’t just trying to commit suicide – he was walking down a road armed with a 9 mm pistol. York said French pointed his weapon at police.
"Whenever lethal force is used, officers are trained to fire at the center of mass," York said.
Gonzales said police eventually fired eight to 10 shots at French.
"I feel it was unjust," Gonzales said. "It could have been handled in a different way. A stomach wound is a bad wound."
The only reason French survived, his uncle said, is because he is a big guy and had extra mass in his midsection. Gonzales said his nephew was hit with three bullets, two of which are still inside him.
Officers were dispatched to French’s north-end home in the 5000 block of Ann Hackley Drive at 11:56 p.m. They were responding to a report of a suicidal man who had a handgun and was firing shots in the air, police said.
Officers found French in the 4900 block of Rothman Road, about two blocks south of his home.
Police said he was refusing to comply with commands to put down his gun.
Miller and Ingram fired their weapons, and French was then disarmed. In compliance with department policy, the two officers have been placed on paid administrative leave.
Gonzales said he told police that French would not hurt anyone and requested the use of non-lethal force such as a Taser or beanbag gun.
Charges of criminal recklessness and resisting law enforcement with a deadly weapon are pending against French, who works in the packaging and distribution department at Fort Wayne Newspapers.
Okay, now we hear the man was NOT trying to commit suicide...!?!
I'm kinda baffled by this claim.
The FWPD was responding to a CALL about a SUICIDAL MAN (albeit armed). And since the CP (person who called dispatch) had a good idea as to the state of mind OF the individual, I'd have to roll with that.

And sure, the police are TRAINED to go for center-mass when such a situation with an ARMED individual presents itself, and it WAS dark outside - makes precise shooting a LOT more "iffy", especially if you:
1- Don't train in low-light scenarios
2- Do not have some sort of night-sight on your sidearm (Trijicon or Tru-Glow)
3- Are not a pistol "marksman".
So, you go with the standard training, and attempt to defuse the situation in the manner you were taught.
Granted, a beanbag round, rubber ball round, or a specific TASER round (like an X-REP) would have been the BEST way to take down the suspect, and perhaps more training is needed across the rank & file to cover such a tactical situation.
The Sgt. should have had something available in the trunk of his cruiser, and time did not seem to be "of the essence", in that the suspect was ONLY firing into the air.
I know...he could just as easily targeted houses or other people, but it did not appear to be the case, according to the information presented.
The story says up to TEN rounds were fired by just TWO police officers...that's typical of such scenarios.
An officer might only "believe" he/she fired once..or twice, when in fact, he/she went through half a damn MAG (or more).
That's why the use of LESS-than-lethal force should be SOP in such cases, but that's only MY take, and I wasn't on scene to assess the problem.
You're dealing with ONE person, in an area easy to encapsulate (set up a perimeter), and perhaps talk this guy down...
And it's not as though he just killed five people at another house and is in remorse, either...
The guy just wants help, and suicide by cop is not the best option in this case.
*** The second story is another one of those "domestics" we hear about all too often, but as is the case THESE days, it escalates out-of-control.
(( Published: August 2, 2011 3:00 a.m.
Man shot; confinement, battery counts for wife
The Journal Gazette
Fort Wayne police said they believe a city woman shot her husband Monday morning while he was sleeping.
A police officer stopped a car about 6:30 a.m. carrying the wounded 44-year-old man to a hospital in serious condition.
He has been identified as James C. Woodfin of the 4300 block of McMillen Park Drive, and police said he remained in serious condition Monday afternoon.
Detectives learned that the shooting might have occurred in the family home, just south of McMillen Park and McKinnie Avenue.
His wife, Shalanda D. Woodfin, 38, has been charged with aggravated battery and criminal confinement.
Mr. Woodfin has a "past" as well, but nothing felonious:
02D04-9006-CM-017900 Woodfin, James C 06/25/1990
Allen Superior Court 4 CM - Criminal Misdemeanor
02D04-9211-IF-029810 Woodfin, James C 11/16/1992
Allen Superior Court 6 IF - Infraction
02D04-9308-CM-020734 Woodfin, James C 08/25/1993
Allen Superior Court 6 CM - Criminal Misdemeanor
02D04-9403-CM-001462 Woodfin, James C 03/07/1994
Allen Superior Court 6 CM - Criminal Misdemeanor
02D04-9507-CM-005061 Woodfin, James C 07/26/1995
Allen Superior Court 5 CM - Criminal Misdemeanor
02D04-9604-CM-002957 Woodfin, James 04/08/1996
Allen Superior Court 4 CM - Criminal Misdemeanor
02D04-9707-CM-004711 Woodfin, James C 07/08/1997
Allen Superior Court 5 CM - Criminal Misdemeanor
02D04-9803-CM-001830 Woodfin, James C 03/12/1998
Allen Superior Court 6 CM - Criminal Misdemeanor
His wife is clean (no record to speak of), and there doesn't appear to be any related calls for a "46,96" (domestic with battery), but James must have done something REALLY bad to warrant getting shot WHILE HE SLEPT.
(maybe, that's why I prefer to sleep with one under the pillow - it's a James Bond thing...LOL)
Lady with a gun...and a chip on the shoulder...a terrible combination, especially in THIS case.
Maybe he took her welfare check? Totalled her government-sponsored new car? Got some other trim on the side?
Whatever the case, maybe he should have thought TWICE...and maybe SHE should have taken a walk to cool off...
*** And speaking of taking walks...it's not even safe to do THAT on the SE side these days
(( Overnight shooting sends one victim to hospital
Updated: Monday, 01 Aug 2011, 12:23 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 01 Aug 2011, 5:40 AM EDT
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - A man was shot in the arm early Monday morning after a man tried to rob him as he walked with his nephew from a nearby gas station.
According to a Fort Wayne Police Department report, around 2 a.m. police were called to the McKinnie Avenue and Warsaw Street intersection and found a man lying down on the sidewalk with another holding a towel to the man’s arm.
Conscious and alert, John Thaxton, 37, was able to tell police he was shot by a man he did not know, dressed in all black and wore a black mask.
The victim’s nephew said the incident all started when he and his uncle walked to the Marathon station at Lafayette and McKinnie to get some money and snacks.
He told police that was when a man came up to them in the gravel lot by a soul food restaurant and car lot and tried to sell his uncle cocaine and marijuana and started to walk with them to the gas station.
At the station, the two got their money and a few other items and started to walk back home.
The nephew told police the ‘drug dealer’ followed. This made the two men nervous so they crossed to a different sidewalk to get away from him, then the dealer turned and walked south on Avondale.
As the two approached Warsaw, they told police another man ran up to them from the west.
He pointed a large silver revolver about a foot long in length at his uncle and said, ‘give me your money.’
When his uncle would not give the man his money, he heard one shot which he said ‘blew apart’ his uncle’s left arm.
The man’s nephew told police the shooter ran away, but could not tell where exactly.
The man shot was taken to the hospital in serious condition. Police said the gunshot caused extensive damage to his arm and also entered his left abdomen area superficially.
The shooter is described as a black man wearing a black shirt, pants and mask. He is about 5’ 8" or 5’ 9" and skinny, but with a muscular build.
Yep...take an early-morning jaunt to the Marathon for some Crunch 'n Munch...get SHOT for your troubles...sounds about right.
---Now, I could go on about how THIS marathon is the "newest one" in the area...among SO many more (we have the greatest number of convenience stores/gas stations in the ENTIRE CITY...ripe for robberies like that BP station at Anthony & McKinnie), but I won't.
---Or, I could talk about how having such places OPEN 24 HOURS is a REALLY BAD IDEA, but I won't.
---Or how having SO many places open all the time proves the police cannot be EVERYWHERE ALL NIGHT, but I won't.
Let's just say that when you PERMIT crime to "have a place to play"...it doesn't really know WHEN to go the hell home.
And friends, do we have places to play...all the damn time (down here).
When you make it all but impossible to NOT have crime...well, things like shootings and robberies WILL occur.
Ask ANY officer in ANY city how this shakes...they'll tell you the exact same thing.
But at least those "open all night" stores up NORTH don't suffer the same issues as down HERE...do they?
In that, there is small consolation (and none for anyone living down here).
What we can take from this is that the current state of policing cannot work EFFECTIVELY, given the parameters in certain parts of cities across America.
Sure, police can RESPOND to a crime, after it's been committed...that's the EASY part.
What is difficult is to address the CAUSES before they become the ACTS of such activity.
Think of it as gardening...or better yet...WEEDING.
A WEED is one stubborn sumbitch in ANY garden of lawn.
And cutting it off doesn't get rid of it...neither does pulling it out.
If ANY part of the ROOT is left behind, it WILL come back.
So, you have to get all the root, and specific chemicals are used to do just that...kill the weed AT THE ROOT.
Same goes for crime...SPECIFIC tactics must be employed to rid an area of crime.
You spend time and resources dancing around the problem, and it will never go away.
It will remain to mock you...
But, if you strike at the HEART of the same problem, you WILL make an impact.
It might take time, but it will be worth it.
As goes your lawn, so goes life itself, and we can learn much from some of the simplest of situations...if we pay attention.

Therein lies the lesson for today.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay safe out there, America.


Slamdunk said...

Our grass is dead here too--which on the bright side means no mowing for me.

On the first story, that is typical with the media and officer involved shootings. "Why did they not shoot the gun out of his hand?" was about the only thing missing.

Bob G. said...

LOL...I hear 'ya about NOT mowing...what to do with ALL that "leisure time"?
At least our potted plants and ornamental grasses are hanging in there.

There needs to be a real RE-connect between the MEDIA and the POLICE...seriously.
Same goes for firefighters.

My take on it is that ANYONE who is covering crime stories or PUIBLIC SAFETY stories NEEDS to spend aome time with those behind the shield.

They need to know procedures and have a basic knowledge of HOW a situation is typically handled.

If that means some range time in a darkened indoor "alley" with a service pistol, then fine by me.

AT least THEN, these reporters would shy from the quasi-sensational and report in a manner that leaves a lot more of the conjecture out of the story.

Remember, only the LONE RANGER always shoots to WOUND...
(yeah, he was THAT good)

Hey, thanks a lot for taking time to stop by today.

Stay safe (and keep cool) out there.