You’re working patrol and you’re called to the scene of a domestic complaint, a mother is having trouble with her 29-year-old son. They’ve been arguing and he breaks some things during his fit of rage. You and your partner arrive on the scene where the mother is waiting for you at the curb. She tells you to get him (her son) out of the house. How many times have you answered this call during your career? A thousand times? At least.
You and your partner knock on the front door and yell for Junior to come outside. He doesn’t respond so the woman tells you to go inside. As usual, Junior orders you out of his house and becomes angry when you won’t leave. He argues, refuses to leave (he says he lives there, too), and you and your partner attempt to restrain the man. But he’s too strong for a hands-on approach. You both deploy Tasers. No good. The man simply pulls the probes from his chest and continues to rant and rave. You spray the guy with pepperspray. Nope. The man then climbs onto his bicycle and tries to leave (which is what you wanteed him to do in the first place). What should happen next? Let him go? Arrest him? If so, for what?
Well, here’s what happened in Phoenix this week.
Officers Richard Chrisman and Sergio Virgillo were called to the above scene and when they confronted Elvira Fernandez’s son, Daniel Rodriguiz, he refused to leave his own house. Ms. Fernandez said she was afraid of her son, so the two officers attempted to physically remove the man from the residence. He resisted. He did pull the Taser probes from his chest. No, the OC spray didn’t work. And he did attempt to leave the residence on his bicycle. But…
While the officers were attempting to restrain Daniel, his dog began barking. So, according to a statement by Officer Virgillo, Officer Chrisman shot the animal, killing it. Daniel ordered the officers to leave his house saying they had no right to be there. Chrisman then drew his weapon and held it to Daniel’s temple saying, “I don’t need no warrant, mother*$%@.” Then, after the Tasering and pepperspraying, the suspect attempted to leave on his bicycle (remember, officers wanted Daniel to leave). That’s when Officer Chrisman drew his weapon and shot Daniel Rodriguez, several times. Rodriguez died.
Officer Virgillo said he never once thought their lives were in jeopardy and saw no reason to use deadly force. He also said that was the worst day of his life.
Officer Chrisman has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He is, however, out on a $150,000 bond. Additional charges may be issued pending the current investigation.
My question for you is:
Was the shooting justified? How about it WPA recruits? Test your FATS training knowledge.
* * *
Writers’ Police Academy photo of the day