By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

DA rules fatal police fire justified

Stabbing murder 'a totally random act,' says District Attorney Brad Berry

Marcus Larson/News-RegisterDistrict Attorney Brad Berry holds the murder weapon Juventino Bermudez used to stab Linfield College student Parker Moore.
Marcus Larson/News-Register
District Attorney Brad Berry holds the murder weapon Juventino Bermudez used to stab Linfield College student Parker Moore.
Warning: The following squad car video, released Monday by Yamhill County District Attorney Brad Berry, contains graphic scenes of a man being fatally shot. Watch at your own risk.

[Updated 12/9/14 10 a.m.]  Three McMinnville police officers involved in the fatal Nov. 15 shooting of Juventino Bermudez-Arenas, who had just stabbed to death Linfield College student Parker Moore at the counter of a convenience mart, acted reasonably and lawfully, according to a report released late Monday afternoon by Yamhill County District Attorney Brad Berry.

The finding officially exonerates Sgt. Rhonda Sandoval, a 20-year veteran of the McMinnville Police Department, and two officers under her command — six-year veteran Justin James and five-year veteran Brian McMullen.

Following standard police procedure for officer-involved shootings, they were placed on paid administrative leave pending completion of an investigation by the Yamhill County Major Crime Team, which forwarded its findings to Berry. They have not yet returned to work, but have ben cleared to do so, officials said.

According to Berry:

About 11 the night of the attack, the 20-year-old Moore, a business management major who played football for the victorious Wildcats earlier in the day, drove to the store with fellow student Scott Skurdahl. Parker left the car running, and entered the store, leaving Skurdahl in the passenger seat.

While Parker was inside, Skurdahl noticed a heavy-set Latino man come into view at the north end of the store, near a Redbox kiosk. Later identified as Bermudez, he was acting oddly, inducing Skurdahl to lock the doors.

Shortly, the man entered the store. According to the clerk, a customer and store video, Bermudez entered the store, advanced on Moore at the counter, struck him in the chest twice, and rushed out without uttering a word.

The witnesses said they didn’t realize Moore had been stabbed until they saw blood begin coursing from his wounds.

The video shows Bermudez pulling a knife from his pants just as he entered the store, lifting his shirt with his left hand and pulling it from his waist or pocket. It shows him walking directly to Moore and stabbing him twice in the chest.

The store clerk called 911 and triggered the store’s silent alarm. The other customer began rendering first aid, and Skurdahl rushed in to assist.

The Yamhill Communications Agency dispatched McMinnville police on a reported stabbing and/or robbery.
James and McMullen arrived first, followed by Sandoval.

They joined in assisting the badly wounded victim, bleeding from what the medical examiner would later determine was a severed pulmonary artery. They noted he was bleeding profusely and beginning to turn cold.
A description of Bermudez was broadcast countywide.

The investigation showed that upon leaving the store, he went to his residence, just behind the store to the west.
Members of the Spanish-speaking family told investigators that he muttered something about having gotten into some trouble, maybe involving a stabbing, and needing to go back to turn himself in. He is seen on surveillance video slowly returning to the store and standing around as officers and medics arrive and begin their work.

After medics arrived and assumed command of Moore, James began interviewing the clerk. On video shot from a patrol car, Bermudez can be seen climbing the steps on the north side of the store and using the Redbox kiosk to conceal himself from view.
As Skurdahl came to the door to speak with James, the officer spotted Bermudez and Skurdahl and the clerk both identified him as the man who had stabbed Moore.

James drew his weapon and ordered Bermudez to get on the ground. McMullen and Sandoval came outside and ordered Bermudez both to drop the knife and get on the ground.

Witnesses and the audio clearly show that the orders were repeated multiple times, but to no effect. Bermudez kept both hands clenched in fists over his head, they show, with the knife pointed toward the officers.

Twice, he flexed his muscles and shook his fists at the officers. When he did that a third time, then began to advance on them.
Initially, Sandoval reached for her Taser. When James opened fire, loosing 11 rounds, Sandoval and McMullen each pulled their guns and fired twice. 

Bermudez dropped to the ground and went limp. The officers secured his weapon, a rusty wood-handled kitchen knife, and checked on his condition.

Moore was taken by McMinnville Fire Department ambulance to the Linfield football practice field, adjacent to Sue Buel Elementary School, and transported from there by Life Flight helicopter to the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. He died 30 minutes later.

Bermudez was transported by ground ambulance to the Willamette Valley Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. The fire department said it ordered a Life Flight helicopter for him as well, but a second craft was not immediately available.

 The state Medical Examiner’s Office determined Moore died of two stab wounds to the chest, one of which severed the main artery from the heart. It determined Bermudez died of multiple gunshot wounds to the chest.
Toxicology results were not yet available for either.

“The investigation into this has been exhaustive and complete,” Berry said.

He said, “It appears clear to me that there had been no prior contact between Parker and Bermudez. “There is nothing to indicate they had ever crossed paths prior to this incident.”

That being the case, he said, “There is no apparent motive for Bermudez’ attack and murder of Parker.”

Berry said it was clear the officers’ use of deadly force was in direct response to the dangerous threat posed by Bermudez. He said the officers were aware that he had, without provocation, attacked and severely wounded a man.

“The officers, on confronting Bermudez, gave clear orders that were ignored,” Berry said. “The officers gave directive after directive, and did not fire their weapons until such time as Bermudez stepped toward them while clenching his fists, one of which continued to hold the knife.”

He said, “This was a lethal threat. I don’t know if a language barrier played a role in what happened. In this instance, the officers didn’t have time to determine a language of choice.”

He went on to say, “Studies show someone within 25 feet can get to you in time to carry out a threat. He was within 10 to 12 feet of them.”

 Berry said the result of the investigation will not change, despite the fact that toxicology work remains unfinished. That may or may not shed light to explain Bermudez’ conduct, he said.

Asked about the possibility this was a case of suicide by cop, he indicated, “I can’t eliminate that, but there is no evidence to that fact.”

He termed it “a random murder.” He said of Bermudez, “This was someone who intended to kill someone.”

Berry said, “He walked in, walked up to Parker Moore and stabbed him, then hurried out. I’ve never seen anything like that in my experience.

Bermudez was born in Mexico, but had spent four years in California, then six in Oregon, his family told the News-Register.
He moved into the Southwest McMinnville residence by 7-Eleven about a year ago, making his home there with brother Horacio, sister Rosalinda, other relatives and a family friend.

Berry said he lacked official U.S. paperwork, and had provided several social security numbers on different occasions, leading investigators to conclude he was in the country illegally which the family didn’t dispute.

The 33-year-old Bermudez had little in the way of known prior law enforcement contact. Berry said his record includes only one arrest, 14 years ago on an offense he characterized as “minor.”

His siblings said he was in the process of having a house built for their parents in the city of Guanajuato in Central Mexico. They said he had been sending money regularly and was planning to eventually return himself.

A laborer, he was working at a Polk County tree farm at the time of his death. He had also worked in local vineyards.

Comments

acraftyone22

All I have to say is that if that was me or any of my family members lying on that floor in there, I'd hope that the police *and especially* the medics would be *running* to get to my aid. I can't believe how nonchalantly they all walked in. :(

BC

In a Red Cross first aid class, we were trained to walk into a scene if we were responding to an emergency. If you're running, your heart races and your adrenaline starts pumping - not a good combination for making the best decisions and being the most effective you can be.

Trafik

Recognizing that law enforcement is a difficult profession where its officers are often faced with choices that offer multiple bad outcomes and few (or no) good options, I nonetheless find this video disturbing. Of course, I wasn't present for the events pictured on the clip and I realize that a two-dimensional video hardly provides a comprehensive perspective.

But here's my problem: At about 6:08, Bermudez-Arenas appears in the video and stands nearly motionless near the center of the frame, evidently concealed from officers' view. He stands for nearly a minute before he is noticed and ordered repeatedly to raise his hands and to drop his knife.

Bermudez-Arenas clearly does not comply but neither does he seem to offer an immediate deadly threat to either officers or bystanders. With Tasers, beanbag rounds and powerful pepper sprays routinely deployed by police departments everywhere, why were these options off the table in this situation?

Bermudez-Arenas doesn't appear to move more than two or three feet after entering the frame and positioning himself behind the kiosk. The "flexing," "advancing" and "shaking" that are described in the narrative above look far more like simple reflexive actions in an intensely stressful situation. The officers' response, while apparently meeting legal requirements for the use of deadly force, looks like a straightforward execution on this video.

There is no question that Bermudez-Arenas committed a despicable act that cost an innocent young man his life. There is also no question that all of the parties appearing on this video were under unbelievable stress. But I'm disturbed that commonly available nonlethal options weren't deployed.

I would feel differently if Bermudez-Arenas had been brandishing a firearm instead of a knife.


srfotog

In another story running in this paper, the son of a former McMinnville police chief, Steve Brixey, said that his father told him it is illegal to use more force than the suspect was using. That means four police officers shooting a man who is surrendering with a knife held in the air over his head is illegal. Steve Brixey is a former Marine and Vietnam veteran who says these police were guilty of murder.

treefarmer

Graphic evidence of what our law enforcement officers may face each and every day as they report for duty. Danger, trauma, tragedy. I agree that non-lethal force should be used when possible, and it seems likely that a language barrier may have been a factor here, but given these circumstances what were the options? On the video I could see hands up, I could hear commands, but I could not see fists, a knife, nor could I feel the threat communicated by body language. If I was confronted by a knife-wielding assailant a few feet away I believe I would have the right to do whatever was necessary to protect myself. These officers obviously had that same right along with the added burden of protecting everyone else on scene.

So many of us are profoundly saddened by this horrific incident and the effects it will continue to have on all concerned. May everyone be able to reclaim some degree of peace, and begin to heal.

listen*up

the police did their job.period!they didn't go to a party,they went to an active crime scene and the criminal did not comply with demands,bang! your dead!you have a problem with that then you are not dealing with reality.the police are heros and justice was swift.

Trafik

I saw nothing remotely heroic in that video.

I saw three police officers simultaneously screaming commands in English at an offender armed with a knife who very likely did not understand their words. I saw four adrenaline-pumped people faced with a situation that escalated almost instantaneously into an irretrievably fatal event when one of them did not immediately do what he was told. I saw an instant of chaos that made an already horrific situation worse.

I do not envy the officers their position. I feel awful for Moore's friends and family. I even sympathize with the bewilderment that Bermudez-Arenas' family is undoubtedly experiencing.

But I am concerned that the video demonstrates a hair-trigger willingness to kill a man when nonlethal options are readily deployed in other jurisdictions. (I reiterate that my feelings would be entirely different if the offender had been holding a firearm.) And I am deeply disturbed that so many Americans think that this mindset is perfectly acceptable.

kona

Trafik, I agree that there could have/should have been a less lethal approach. In the heat of the situation Juventino Bermudez-Arenas was responsible for his death.

The death of Juventino Bermudez-Arenas was directly influenced by one person and that was Juventino Bermudez-Arenas. He voluntarily chose to die that evening from all indications.

1) Juventino Bermudez-Arenas killed a person minutes earlier.

2) Juventino Bermudez-Arenas returned to the scene and slowly advanced toward police with knife in hand and would not obey police instructions. Either he was severely mentally ill (which doesn't seem the case) or he was wanting to die by police suicide. He had been in the U.S. for 14 years. It is inconceivable that he could not understand the instructions from the police to drop the knife. Anyone in their right mind (which he might not have been) would not advance toward police with knife in hand assuming his posture.

3) No one knew at that time if he had other weapons. It is easy weeks later to do the "should have, could have, would have" game, but the police response was not abnormal for the police or any person. Again, minutes earlier he killed a person for no apparent reason.

4) Juventino Bermudez-Arenas chose his fate. That simple. He would be alive this day if it weren't for his own fatal actions.

cosmo

Having spent 30 years in Law Enforcement this is a situation no Law Enforcement Officer wants to experience. I have watched the video several times . Although watching it on you tube is not the best way to view. At first it appears Bermudez-Arenas has his hands up. But it is obvious he is holding the knife and shaking his hands, and refusing to drop the knife or get on the ground. and starts advancing towards the officers. Some say there was a language barrier. Well, there is no language barrier when you see 4 officers pointing their weapons at you and shouting at you. You drop the weapon and get down. Something a lot of people don't know, the Kevlar vests most officers wear will not stop a knife, the knife will go through the vest. So from that standpoint , in my opinion the officers were justified in using deadly force. The suspect had just killed a person for no reason. He is gone. But the officers will have to live with thought that they took a life. Believe me , it is not an easy thing to live with.

Trafik

I don't disagree with you, kona. It is far easier to second-guess the actions of officers much later. We weren't there and I very much doubt any of us would have wanted to have been present, much less have been forced into a split-second decision with such monumental consequences.

I have little compassion for Bermudez-Arenas, whose acts that evening were violently bizarre and apparently unexplainable.

My issue with this remains the immediate escalation to lethal force when nonlethal options could have been deployed first. In other jurisdictions, a single officer attempts to disable the offender with pepper spray or a Taser while the remaining officers stand by with sidearms drawn, ready to immediately escalate the level of force should the nonlethal attempt fail. At the very least, these events illustrate the need for a dialogue about further/other/different training for our officers.

This discussion could be framed in the much larger contexts of gun control and the moral bankruptcy of society. My generation and those before were raised to respect the police. If an officer issued a command, we were to follow it without question. Unfortunately the current generation prefers to ask questions first and many of its members aren't exactly known for exercising discretion when asking. Couple that mindset with this country's unbridled enthusiasm for firearms and we find ourselves in the midst of a real -- and lethal -- national crisis.

If we are unwilling to address the underlying issues in a meaningful manner, we'd better get used to carnage. And therein lies my biggest concern: far too many Americans are perfectly happy with the status quo.

kona

Sorry about the tangent ......

Trafik, I completely agree with your statement, "If we are unwilling to address the underlying issues in a meaningful manner, we'd better get used to carnage. And therein lies my biggest concern: far too many Americans are perfectly happy with the status quo."

One only has to watch the entertainment that Americans choose. It is the acceptance of killing for the entertainment value. It is the acceptance of mind altering drugs for the entertainment value. And you are correct, only a small minority of people really care about the end result.

The "much larger contexts of gun control and the moral bankruptcy of society" is pervasive and won't be changed soon. The gun control issue mirrors the illegal immigration issue in that "the cat is already out of the bag". We can't control guns in society and we can't control the illegal immigrants in America. We can't take away guns and we can't send the illegal immigrants back to their country of origin. Democracy allows situations to reach the "no turning back" phase and we will pay a future price for lack of leadership and an indifferent citizenry.

Trafik

...which begs a remark addressing the "my way or the highway" mindset that currently defines American discourse. I'll make that remark in moment.

My father, who has a police certification in firearms and is an expert marksman, believes his right to own an automatic weapon is sacrosanct. I, on the other hand, who received my first firearm when I was eleven years old, believe that my daughters' rights to attend school or visit a mall in safety trump his right to own such devices. If we required firearms owners to demonstrate a minimum level of competence, much like we do with automobiles before we grant a driving license, and required firearms owners to carry some sort of insurance which would increase accountability, my feelings might be different.

But we don't require much of anything and pretty much anyone can enter a Walmart or a Big 5 and get him or herself a gun. And when one considers that a stolen firearm can be readily acquired on the streets of most major American cities for $100 or less (I could get one in Portland tonight if I wanted), background checks are a joke.

So here is the dilemma: guns aren't going away any time soon, certainly not in my lifetime. Neither are we, as a society, willing or able to ensure that only responsible level-headed individuals possess them. On one side, we have a group of angry people who espouse total eradication of firearms and on the other side we have a group of equally-angry people who believe they have a God-given right to bear arms. Both sides are utterly convinced of their moral righteousness and unwilling to yield because that might compromise their integrity.

If we can't even talk to each other, there is no hope. Get used to the new reality, folks. You asked for it.

srfotog

Again, I am really not siding with the suspect in any way, but there is a police rule about use of excessive force. If someone has a knife you are supposed to use your stick, mace, pepper spray or something of equal force, not fifteen bullets. In the DA's report he said the female officer reached for her taser, then shot her pistol after another officer shot first. Why couldn't three or four officers take down someone who did not have a firearm? Is it lack of training? Can someone tell me why they had to shoot him instead of just take him down? I saw the entire video and did not see any "lungeing" going on at all, just a step from a man with his hands up in surrender. Police officers whom I know socially have taken down someone with a knife one on one, not four to one.

kona

1) Where is this rule? You said, "Again, I am really not siding with the suspect in any way, but there is a police rule about use of excessive force. If someone has a knife you are supposed to use your stick, mace, pepper spray or something of equal force, not fifteen bullets."

2) You asked, "Why couldn't three or four officers take down someone who did not have a firearm?"

How would you know he didn't have a firearm? He had just killed (or so he probably thought) someone. A person in that mind frame could have easily had a firearm.

3) You asked, "Can someone tell me why they had to shoot him instead of just take him down?"

He had a deadly weapon in his clenched hands and his posture was not of surrender. I agree that there were other possibilities. It looks to me like he was wanting suicide by police. He got it if that was his wish.

4) You said, "a step from a man with his hands up in surrender".

He was not doing anything to suggest that he was "surrendering". He had a knife in his hand that he had just killed someone with. He did not obey anything that he was being told by the police. He had lived in the U.S. for 14 years, there was not a language problem.

5) You said, "Police officers whom I know socially have taken down someone with a knife one on one, not four to one."

That is great, but it doesn't always happen that way. Had the person just killed someone with those knives? Were they moving toward the police in a threatening motion?

kona

What is the standard for deadly use of force in the State of Oregon?
161.239 Use of deadly physical force in making an arrest or in preventing an escape. (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of ORS 161.235, a peace officer may use deadly physical force only when the peace officer reasonably believes that:
(a) The crime committed by the person was a felony or an attempt to commit a felony involving the use or threatened imminent use of physical force against a person; or
(b) The crime committed by the person was kidnapping, arson, escape in the first degree, burglary in the first degree or any attempt to commit such a crime; or
(c) Regardless of the particular offense which is the subject of the arrest or attempted escape, the use of deadly physical force is necessary to defend the peace officer or another person from the use or threatened imminent use of deadly physical force; or
(d) The crime committed by the person was a felony or an attempt to commit a felony and under the totality of the circumstances existing at the time and place, the use of such force is necessary; or
(e) The officer’s life or personal safety is endangered in the particular circumstances involved.
(2) Nothing in subsection (1) of this section constitutes justification for reckless or criminally negligent conduct by a peace officer amounting to an offense against or with respect to innocent persons whom the peace officer is not seeking to arrest or retain in custody.

Trafik

I think, kona, that srfotog was simply stating one of the points that worry many people. Namely, that a force somewhat less than a lethal hail of bullets might have been used to disable the offender.

As for Bermudez-Arenas possessing a firearm, when the officers confronted him, he raised both of his hands, a universal sign of surrender. One hand was empty, the other clutched a knife. The video makes it plain that he did not hold a firearm. Of course he could have had a sidearm concealed in his pants but he clearly did not have one in either raised hand.

Regarding a language barrier, I have at least one friend, a Mexican national, who has lived in the United States in excess of 20 years and does not speak English, not for lack of effort. (Whether or not she should have mastered English by now is an entirely different debate which has no place here, in my opinion.)

Furthermore, I understand that at least several slugs fired by the officers missed the suspect entirely and hit the house behind him. To me, the entire incident speaks to a need to reexamine the training given to local law enforcement officers.

As I stated earlier, I don't have a great deal of sympathy for Bermudez-Arenas. In addition, I feel very badly for the three officers who were placed in a truly horrific situation -- they reacted as they were trained. But in a world where law enforcement is increasingly militarized and routinely disrespected by an often-armed populace, we must ensure that our officers are given the tools and training to do their jobs superbly, not just adequately. In circumstances where human life is at stake, my sense of morality demands nothing less.

kona

Trafik, I don't think there is anything in your comment that I disagree. This incident could easily (not a good word considering the circumstances) have been handled in a variety of non-lethal methods.

"srftog" stated, "Steve Brixey is a former Marine and Vietnam veteran who says these police were guilty of murder."

I think that language is uncalled for by Steve Brixey (I like Steve and was friends with his father) and it shouldn't have been repeated. It is an opinion that deserves more thought. Because I am an infantry combat veteran from Vietnam, it doesn't matter. It certainly doesn't give me leverage for me to place the murder label (or not) on someone using "rules" that are not valid.

kona

Trafik, I do question your interpretation, "As for Bermudez-Arenas possessing a firearm, when the officers confronted him, he raised both of his hands, a universal sign of surrender. One hand was empty, the other clutched a knife. The video makes it plain that he did not hold a firearm.

The phrase "the other clutched a knife". That is difficult because we don't know what was in his troubled mind. It could easily be reasoned that he brought the knife back to the crime scene to inflict more carnage. Why would he go home and then turn around with the weapon in hand and return to the location where he had just mortally assaulted someone. A reasonable person would/could think that he would put the weapon down before returning and surrender in a totally different fashion.

The language problem (and I seriously doubt that he didn't understand the situation) is a guess. I was involved with too many similar incidences in Vietnam to buy that one. A total language barrier does not prevent a person from knowing what is happening when weapons are pointed and they are screaming. No one takes a step toward that situation, especially with weapon in hand.

My conclusion is this was suicide by police. He accommodated in every way and he was the sole determinant of his fate. He was entirely responsible for his own death.

Lulu

I don't think anyone has mentioned this point: Watch the part of the video when Bermudez-Arenas is inside the store approaching Moore. He was no shrinking violet at that moment. Notice how he's holding the knife. It makes my blood run cold.

Trafik

My point, kona, was simply that Bermudez-Arenas did not possess a firearm in his raised hands. (You asked srfotog "How would you know he didn't have a firearm?" My answer was that anyone who was at the scene or who views the video can plainly see that the offender did not have a firearm in his hands at the time of his death.)

A knife is a lethal weapon but could be considered somewhat less of an immediate threat than a firearm because it requires an action considerably greater than squeezing a trigger to engage it.

You're probably right about the language issue. I said that "...he raised both of his hands, a universal sign of surrender..." which most would consider a true statement. But one could argue that three police officers shouting and pointing weapons were also speaking a universal language. If I found myself in Asia or the Middle East and was confronted by several shouting police officers who had their guns pointed at me, I'm pretty sure I'd know what they wanted whether or not I understood their words.

As to srfotog's earlier characterization that the officers are guilty of murder, they've already been exonerated by D.A. Berry's office so it's legally irrelevant. (But I agree, srfotog used strong language.) A legal exoneration simply establishes that officers' use of force met the minimum lawful requirement to take a person's life. It does not make a statement that they acted precisely as they should have, merely that they acted legally. While Bermudez-Arenas certainly did have a hand in his fate, I think the outcome could have been different. Even if an offender is attempting to commit "suicide by police," the police should not be expected to oblige him unless there are no other options.

That said, a legal exoneration is not the same as a moral exoneration.

kona

I agree. You said, " While Bermudez-Arenas certainly did have a hand in his fate, I think the outcome could have been different."

You are correct and that is controversial depending on a person's perspective. I would guess that there are many (perhaps most) who firmly believe he got exactly what he asked for and deserved. That opinion would further ask if it would be beneficial to spend $millions on him to keep him alive for many years. Did he deserve to be kept alive?

Obviously he orchestrated his fate. I can't put blame anywhere except on him.

Would a "different outcome" been any better? Would it be better just because it was "different"?

Trafik

Now we get to the meat of the matter.

Is it our place to determine whether Bermudez-Arenas got what he deserved? I say no.

I am tremendously disturbed by the alarming national trend we're seeing where angry throngs condemn a person who has not been convicted of a crime. Worse, the current generation of young adults seems to see nothing wrong with giving the court of public opinion greater weight than a court of law. When massive riots routinely occur because a court of law did not rule the way a horde demanded, I am troubled.

For this reason I reluctantly accept D.A. Berry's determination that the officers who shot Bermudez-Arenas acted lawfully. But for the same reason I cannot accept that Bermudez-Arenas "got what he deserved" when the "different outcome" that we both reference might have resulted in Bermudez-Arenas being remanded to a court of law. There, his fate would have been determined by our legal system and not by a hail of bullets.

I stand by my original assertions.

kona

I appreciate your views.

You asked, "Is it our place to determine whether Bermudez-Arenas got what he deserved?" I agree with "No".

Having said that, in this case Bermudez-Arenas determined his fate. I feel that each individual should have the option (ahead of the judicial system) to determine their death. What were the options? 1) get killed, or 2) spend the rest (or almost) of his life in prison? His actions certainly produced one of the above results. I believe he knew what the outcome would be and chose the suicide route. Any person would know that if he wanted to live there would be a better and different way to surrender.

I believe that the whole scenario was pre-planned by Bermudez-Arenas, including his death.

I also believe that this situation is somewhat unique. I understand and appreciate the generalities that you presented.

Lulu

Here's how I predict this case would evolve had Bermudez-Arenas dropped his weapon and been taken into custody: years in the judicial system; court-appointed attorneys; translators; maybe a plea agreement but probably not; perhaps an insanity defense to justify a lesser manslaughter charge; reduced sentence or mental health incarceration.
Our system is a gigantic, lumbering, constipated behemoth. I endorse the shouted slogan about justice delayed is justice denied.
In my opinion, the way this unspeakable situation ended is satisfactory. It's over. Nobody won.

Trafik

Yes, kona, he did. I just wish our officers hadn't been so eager to "help" him if suicide was his goal (and I am not convinced it was). Regardless, any way we examine these events gives little satisfaction.

Lulu, I am inclined to agree with your characterization of our system except for the term "constipated," which would imply that there isn't an incredible amount of (crap) involved.

Web Design & Web Development by LVSYS