Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

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Francis Di Domizio
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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:07 pm

So not to dump on Fuller, but if you are dropping off someone you think is too drunk to be served, wouldn't you at least wait till he made it into his house before driving off (or better yet, help get him to the door)?

Are there any 24 hour convenience stores in close proximity to Baldwin? I'm drawing a blank but it's been years since I lived in the area.

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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby bcs89 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:36 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:Alcohol's role in fatal shooting by police officer scrutinized

Before Paul Heenan was fatally shot by a Madison police officer he was struggling with, Heenan was at a Williamson Street restaurant and bar where staff saw he had consumed too much alcohol and took away his drink as closing time neared.

Around 2 a.m. Nov. 9, Bregan Fuller, an owner of the Weary Traveler and Heenan's friend of 10 years, said he drove Heenan to within doors of his South Baldwin Street residence in an effort to make sure he got home safely.
...
(D.A.) Ozanne has said Heenan's blood alcohol level was 0.208 percent, or more than twice the state's legal limit for drivers, when he was shot.
...
(Drector of the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing at UW-Madison) Scott said that given Heenan's slight build, "he was in all probability virtually incoherent" and "didn't know what he was doing" when he went after an armed officer who said he believed Heenan was going to disarm him and feared for his life.


From the article:

"I can't imagine Paul doing that," said Fuller, who questions Heimsness' account and actions but said he thinks highly of Madison police in general."

Says the guy who served him alcohol all night.


He also says this:

" Fuller said he could not speculate on the role Heenan's level of intoxication played in the encounter and said he did not appear to be incoherent or incapacitated either at the bar or when was dropped off."

Say what? Then why did you take his last drink away?

"Fuller said Heenan did not appear to be overly intoxicated when he returned to the Weary Traveler and had two mixed drinks and some of a third, which was taken from him after he started looking sleepy and his conversation became staggered."

And finally

"...he drove Heenan to within doors of his South Baldwin Street residence in an effort to make sure he got home safely.

Sounds like Fuller did not think Heenan was able to get home safely on his own - why? He had made the trip on foot twice already that night, what made this time different?


all emphasis mine

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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby Gerth » Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:56 pm

Is it incomprehensible to understand that this was all a huge mistake that happened in the span of about 15 seconds?

Paul was drunk, he had no idea his actions had initiated a 911 call, he didn't know his actions were totally out of line to a sober group of people (the homeowner, the police), and he didn't know he was suspected of breaking into someone's home. I would guess, at 140-ish pounds and that drunk, he had no idea of the gravity of the situation. I've been that drunk before and I'd guess other people here have also - you lose perspective when you're that drunk.

Steve was seeing it from the police perspective, in a neighborhood that has had recent break ins (where hasn't?), a recent armed assault in the same area, a guy struggling with the homeowner, dark night at 3:00 am. He didn't hear OMalley shouting otherwise he wouldn't have shot Paul. Say what you will, he wouldn't have.

No one has to go far to understand how the friends and family of Paul Heenan feel, honestly. But to heap all this on Steve is wrong.

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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby Coplay » Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:40 am

According to the apologists on this forum and the PR hacks running interference for the Police we should believe a few things: 1) It was the fault of the victim, after all he was drunk. 2) It was the fault of the Weary Traveler for serving him alcohol. 3) The cop feared for his life when confronted with a drunken 140 lb unarmed man. 4) The cop experienced "auditory" problems, resulting in him not hearing O'Malley. 5) The cop made the right decision. He killed a man. 6) The comical film made by the cops justifies no action being taken.

I suppose I should believe everything. That way this sordid mess will go away.

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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby Boyce Johnson » Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:33 pm

1) It was the fault of the victim, after all he was drunk.


No.

2) It was the fault of the Weary Traveler for serving him alcohol.


No. Nor was it the fault of any other establishment at which he drank that night, or the bartenders there.

3) The cop feared for his life when confronted with a drunken 140 lb unarmed man.


Yes. He did. I think Kevin O'Malley's re-enactment supports this.

4) The cop experienced "auditory" problems, resulting in him not hearing O'Malley.


It may have been a case of auditory exclusion, but it's more likely that he was shouting over O'Malley as he was being attacked by a man he thought was probably a burglar and he was trying desperately to get him to comply with orders to either "get down", "stop", or "get back."

5) The cop made the right decision. He killed a man.


He killed a man he believed to be a significant threat to his life and the lives of others. His actions were consistent with his training, department policy, and state statutes.

6) The comical film made by the cops justifies no action being taken.


I'm not sure why you find it comical. They weren't trying to make a film for your entertainment. They were documenting an investigation that looks to me like a legitimate attempt to discover the truth and to verify accounts by officers. I think O'malley's reenactment supports the accounts of both officers.

I suppose I should believe everything. That way this sordid mess will go away.


You can believe whatever you want to believe.

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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby Coplay » Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:41 pm

I believe the police version of this affair. Excuse me now, there are a group of elves making mischief on my front lawn. I must go chase them away.

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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby snoqueen » Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:36 pm

Not elves -- it's someone having sex with the sofa you threw out.

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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby oranger » Sat Jan 12, 2013 1:53 pm

I have heard conflicting reports. Did the officer identify himself as Madison Police? Did he have his service lights on?

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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby Boyce Johnson » Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:01 pm

He did not have the lights on, as he was responding to what was thought to be a burglary in progress. I don't think he identified himself as a police officer, but I'm not sure. I believe it's addressed in the News Conference.

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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby Coplay » Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:03 pm

Look, we can agree that was a tragic mistake by everyone involved. My problem and the point I am trying to make is that the Madison Police Department is trying to dominate public opinion. This is important for them to establish a mind set and defense for future law suits. They can accomplish this by creating fraudulent films, and denials by high ranking officials like Wray. Of course, at the same time,reminding everyone of their past stellar reputation. It is a sophisticated campaign, but, only if you fall for it.

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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby Boyce Johnson » Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:31 pm

Fraudulent films? What the hell are you talking about? As I said, they're merely recording the investigation. You do realize that the guy in the reenactment who plays the part of Paulie is the homeowner and only non-PD witness, right? It also looks to me like his attorney is present in the room at the time. How is this fraudulent?

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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby Coplay » Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:38 pm

The fact that they would even produce the film says it all.

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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby Boyce Johnson » Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:54 pm

Seriously? You'd rather they didn't record that portion of the investigation? You realize you'd then have to rely upon a verbal or written description of the event. Would that be more useful? Unbelievable. This is Crockett-level stupid.

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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby waylan » Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:04 pm

The officer didn't identify himself as a police officer. Apparently, that's acceptable for the MPD. That is very messed up. Paulie didn't know he was a potential burglar. As wasted as Paulie was, is there a chance Paulie thought the officer was someone else? How was he to know a cop would be showing up? Was he trying to save his neighbor at that point thinking the cop was a burglar?

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Re: Officer won't face criminal liability in shooting death

Postby Boyce Johnson » Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:26 pm

We'll never know. At close to .21 it's doubtful he had much of an idea what was going on. I know O'Malley said something to the effect of, "I could have called the police." I honestly don't think Paulie had the capacity to make anything of that, though.

This was a nearly unbelievable and incredibly unfortunate sequence of events and set of circumstances that led to a horrific outcome. I know you knew Paulie way better than I did, and I'm really sorry for your loss. I have the utmost sympathy for everyone who was involved in this situation or who was close to anyone involved in it. It's horrible. There's no two ways about it.


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