snopes.com  

Go Back   snopes.com > SLC Central > Soapbox Derby

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 30 October 2013, 02:40 AM
Roadie's Avatar
Roadie Roadie is offline
 
Join Date: 19 July 2005
Location: California
Posts: 8,544
Default Protesters Rally After Boy Killed By Calif. Deputy

Protesters Rally After Boy Killed By Calif. Deputy

Quote:
Hundreds of demonstrators marched Tuesday to protest the fatal shooting of a 13-year-old boy by a Northern California sheriff's deputy in an encounter that sparked community outrage and an FBI investigation.Officers stood on rooftops and others wearing helmets stood guard at barricades while protesters rallied outside the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office in Santa Rosa.
The protesters, including middle- and high-school-age students and members of the Occupy Oakland movement, assembled in downtown Santa Rosa before marching through streets with signs and hooded sweatshirts bearing photos of the boy.
"Andy Lopez did not have to die," they chanted during the nearly three-hour, peaceful demonstration. No arrests were made.
A funeral was also held Tuesday for Lopez, who was shot and killed Oct. 22 by Sonoma County Deputy Erick Gelhaus, a firearms instructor who authorities said mistook a pellet gun carried by Lopez for an assault rifle.
I have many friends who are Sonoma County government officials. This is so tragic for everyone involved. I've seen the pictures of the fake gun - looks pretty real to me

Last edited by Roadie; 30 October 2013 at 02:57 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 30 October 2013, 03:05 AM
RobDBlackwolf's Avatar
RobDBlackwolf RobDBlackwolf is offline
 
Join Date: 28 December 2005
Location: Lancaster, OH
Posts: 2,300
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadie View Post
Protesters Rally After Boy Killed By Calif. Deputy

I have many friends who are Sonoma County government officials. This is so tragic for everyone involved. I've seen the pictures of the fake gun - looks pretty real to me
I agree. I looked for pictures and it did look like a real AK-47 rifle. Usually airguns have bright orange muzzles, but sometimes they are painted over to look less like a toy. If all happened as the police reports, I cannot blame them a bit.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 30 October 2013, 03:00 PM
A Turtle Named Mack's Avatar
A Turtle Named Mack A Turtle Named Mack is offline
 
Join Date: 21 June 2007
Location: Marietta, GA
Posts: 21,451
No

Here is a link to a news article in which both the gun held by the deceased and an AK-47 are displayed side-by-side.

Here's the photo:

Particularly if the shoulder stock is obscured from view by a jacket or the holder's arm or body, I do not see how a person from even a moderate distance could determine on sight it was not a firearm.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 30 October 2013, 03:57 PM
Alarm's Avatar
Alarm Alarm is offline
 
Join Date: 26 May 2011
Location: Nepean, ON
Posts: 5,807
Default

As sad as the loss of life is, this is what always gets me in these cases:

Quote:
Investigators say the hoodie-wearing teen didn't comply with commands to drop the gun and was turning toward deputies while raising the barrel when he was shot multiple times
If you're not suffering from some mental problem, why not drop the gun? Especially if it's not a real one?

There are a lot of caveats to add, though: Did he hear them? Was he mentally sound? Did he have a reason to fear or resent the police that made him refsue to comply?
But so many of these cases come down to "He didn't drop his weapon".
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 30 October 2013, 04:08 PM
crocoduck_hunter's Avatar
crocoduck_hunter crocoduck_hunter is offline
 
Join Date: 27 May 2009
Location: Roseburg, OR
Posts: 13,135
Default

But is there anything besides the shooter's word that that was what happened?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 30 October 2013, 04:37 PM
GenYus234's Avatar
GenYus234 GenYus234 is offline
 
Join Date: 02 August 2005
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 26,687
Default

There were multiple witnesses to the shooting. The accounts differ (which I believe is not unusual) but all the ones I saw say that the police yelled at him to drop the gun at least once (some say they yelled twice).

This article says he was shot in the right buttocks, left bicep, and (fatally) in the right side of his chest (among other wounds). Shooting someone from behind in the right chest, right buttock, and left bicep would be pretty odd, so it isn't a leap to assume that he was turning or at least semi-facing the officer who did the shooting.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 30 October 2013, 04:55 PM
Richard W's Avatar
Richard W Richard W is offline
 
Join Date: 19 February 2000
Location: High Wycombe, UK
Posts: 26,437
Default

If they only shouted "drop the weapon" once, from behind, and then shot him when he started to turn around, then I can quite understand why he didn't immediately drop the weapon. When somebody shouts at you and you can't see who it is, the first thing you do is to turn around to see who's shouting. If turning round is the action that led to his being shot, then essentially they shot him for carrying it.

Do people who advocate carrying guns also advocate dropping them immediately as soon as somebody shouts something at you? Presumably not - I can see even more flaws in that idea than in most of the logic involved.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 30 October 2013, 05:05 PM
Lainie's Avatar
Lainie Lainie is offline
 
Join Date: 29 August 2005
Location: Suburban Columbus, OH
Posts: 74,585
Default

If someone is turning toward you with the gun pointed outward (rather than down), it's likely to look as if s/he is turning in order to shoot you.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 30 October 2013, 05:10 PM
GenYus234's Avatar
GenYus234 GenYus234 is offline
 
Join Date: 02 August 2005
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 26,687
Default

People who advocate responsible carrying of guns probably don't advocate carrying firearms (or things that look very much like firearms) in your hands in public. Which was the real issue here, the cops saw someone carrying what appeared to be a firearm in his hands. If he had had it slung over his shoulder or had it in a case, the officer probably wouldn't have been so quick to fire as they wouldn't have been in as much danger. You may recall the idiot who carried an AR-15 on his shoulder during a rally in Phoenix. IMS, there were cops around, but they did not draw on him, nor make him drop the weapon, possibly because it was slung on his shoulder. If he'd been carrying it in his hands, presumably ready to fire, things might have been quite different.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 31 October 2013, 02:44 AM
Roadie's Avatar
Roadie Roadie is offline
 
Join Date: 19 July 2005
Location: California
Posts: 8,544
Default

I have heard, but haven't been able to verify, that the young man was supposedly wearing earphones and therefore may have been unable to hear the command.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 31 October 2013, 03:17 AM
Roadie's Avatar
Roadie Roadie is offline
 
Join Date: 19 July 2005
Location: California
Posts: 8,544
Default

...and now I've read that he did NOT have headphones on, according to the police.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 31 October 2013, 04:09 AM
crocoduck_hunter's Avatar
crocoduck_hunter crocoduck_hunter is offline
 
Join Date: 27 May 2009
Location: Roseburg, OR
Posts: 13,135
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
When somebody shouts at you and you can't see who it is, the first thing you do is to turn around to see who's shouting.
He might not have even realized that they were shouting at him: he may simply have heard the shout and started turning around to see what the fuss was about. If he had something on his mind at the time, he might not have even been thinking about what he was carrying or realized that it could have been mistaken for an actual firearm.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 31 October 2013, 10:42 AM
gopher's Avatar
gopher gopher is offline
 
Join Date: 06 January 2005
Location: Sunderland, Northumbria, UK
Posts: 2,155
Default

If you are going to walk around with what looks like a real machine gun it is usually going to end badly. Imagine the hell that would be raised if the cops hadn't shot him and it was a real gun and he opened fire.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 31 October 2013, 11:03 AM
ganzfeld's Avatar
ganzfeld ganzfeld is offline
 
Join Date: 05 September 2005
Location: Kyoto, Japan
Posts: 23,786
No

Although it does make me a bit choked up considering that it was one of our favorite things to do as kids: making our toy guns look and even sound more real. We probably didn't think twice about how dangerous that could have been. But it didn't seem to be at the time.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 31 October 2013, 12:28 PM
firefighter_raven's Avatar
firefighter_raven firefighter_raven is offline
 
Join Date: 27 September 2008
Location: Bend, OR
Posts: 2,994
Default

I mentioned this on another board I frequent but there has been two disturbing trends that are just going to lead to more problems in the future. Along with toy guns being made to resemble real firearms, there has been an increasing trend to use non-traditional paint schemes on firearms that can make them (unintentionally) resemble toys.
http://www.crosman.com/airsoft/undead (toy) vs https://www.lauerweaponry.com/index....tegory_id=1028

http://762precision.wordpress.com/no...men-shoot-too/

It can make it even harder to determine if a weapon is real or fake in those split second decisions.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 01 November 2013, 07:40 PM
Richard W's Avatar
Richard W Richard W is offline
 
Join Date: 19 February 2000
Location: High Wycombe, UK
Posts: 26,437
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lainie View Post
If someone is turning toward you with the gun pointed outward (rather than down), it's likely to look as if s/he is turning in order to shoot you.
Yes, I know, I understand why they shot him. I don't understand how or why so many people apparently think that they should also carry guns and that this makes it less likely that somebody (them?) will be shot.

(eta) We had fairly realistic toy guns when I was little too - the average cap gun was smaller than a real revolver but styled to look like one, and so were the cheap plastic machine guns and so on. The difference was that in the UK, nobody was likely to assume a child was carrying a real gun.

Last edited by Richard W; 01 November 2013 at 07:54 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 01 November 2013, 07:53 PM
GenYus234's Avatar
GenYus234 GenYus234 is offline
 
Join Date: 02 August 2005
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 26,687
Default

The problem was not that he was (or appeared to be) carrying a firearm, but the problem was that he was carrying what appeared to be a firearm the same way that someone who is planning immediate violence would carry a firearm.

IMO, relating this event to a person responsibly carrying a firearm (in a holster or gun case) would be like saying that someone who drives should expect the cops to ram their car and drive it off the road because some people driving cars get rammed and driven off the road. There are critical differences between the situations that make a tremendous difference.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 02 November 2013, 12:34 AM
Lainie's Avatar
Lainie Lainie is offline
 
Join Date: 29 August 2005
Location: Suburban Columbus, OH
Posts: 74,585
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
Yes, I know, I understand why they shot him. I don't understand how or why so many people apparently think that they should also carry guns and that this makes it less likely that somebody (them?) will be shot.
I don't understand that either.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 02 November 2013, 01:04 AM
Hero_Mike's Avatar
Hero_Mike Hero_Mike is offline
 
 
Join Date: 06 April 2005
Location: Phoenix, AZ & Hamilton, ON
Posts: 7,267
Default

Is it safe to say that police err on the side of their own safety, and assume that anything that looks like a real gun, is a real gun? This looked a lot like a real gun - it did not look like the traditional yellow and lime-green super-soaker that revolutionized water fights 20 years ago.

I'm not so sure I disagree with the police response - because there's probably a danger to having criminals disguise their real weapons as toys, and that would be perfectly valid for young or young-looking criminals. These are probably not the criminals most likely to plan a well co-ordinated daytime bank robbery, but that possibility exists, that a real weapon is made to look fake, for deliberate deception. Perhaps such things have already happened?
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 02 November 2013, 02:25 AM
Richard W's Avatar
Richard W Richard W is offline
 
Join Date: 19 February 2000
Location: High Wycombe, UK
Posts: 26,437
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
IMO, relating this event to a person responsibly carrying a firearm (in a holster or gun case) would be like saying that someone who drives should expect the cops to ram their car and drive it off the road because some people driving cars get rammed and driven off the road. There are critical differences between the situations that make a tremendous difference.
Like, in one case, deliberately and continuously driving in an obviously dangerous and highly unusual manner and making an effort not to stop even when that would be the easiest course of action, and in the other case, carrying something differently...
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Sand needed in Calif. city due to eroding beaches snopes Social Studies 1 25 October 2013 02:28 PM
Mom threw baby at deputy snopes Police Blotter 1 22 July 2013 02:36 PM
Nigel Farage blasts 'fascist' protesters Embra Soapbox Derby 1 17 May 2013 10:49 PM
Boy, 4, accidentally kills deputy's wife Ryda Wong, EBfCo. Crash and Burn 41 17 April 2013 03:21 PM
Calif. teacher with past in porn loses appeal snopes NFBSK Gone Wild! 15 18 January 2013 09:59 AM


All times are GMT. The time now is 10:36 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.