May 14, 2008

Police shootings 1 & 2

1. An unidentified man in his mid-20s was shot five times by a Riverdale police officer, while allegedly crashing a station wagon full of stolen shoes into the officer's car.

"The officer opened the door to get out of his vehicle," Police Chief Samuel F. Patterson said, "and the man revved up, or gunned the motor, and approached in a direct line of assault. If the door had not been halfway open and the door hadn't taken the hit, the vehicle would have hit the officer."

The policeman fell back into his Ford Crown Victoria and shot at the Ford Escort seven times. Five bullets hit the driver.

According to Patterson, the officer then put away his gun, pulled the wounded man from the car, and tried to "put pressure on the wounds to try to keep him from bleeding out," until an ambulance arrived.

2. Police said the officers shot Turman four times in the chest with .40-caliber bullets as the Jonesboro man attempted to flee the scene of a prostitution sting, running his tan Nissan pick-up truck into one officer's left leg.

After the fatal shooting, investigators found a clear plastic bag inside his truck, containing 31 bags of crack cocaine, seven bags of powdered cocaine, six bags of marijuana, one "cookie" of crack cocaine, and 16 ecstasy pills, all packaged to sell, according to a deputy chief....

"Nobody wants an abusive or unnecessarily violent police force," attorney Keith Martin said, "but nobody wants police officers who are timid, because they crawl into their police cruiser at the beginning of a shift worried they might face a situation that will make them have to face a murder indictment."