Saturday, March 27, 2010

WA: Police officer charged with second-degree murder

SEVEN bullets from the cop??

An Everett police officer already charged with first-degree manslaughter has also been charged with second-degree murder in connection to the shooting death of a Stanwood man last June.

Officer Troy Meade shot 51-year-old Niles Leo Meservey while Meservey was in his car at the Chuckwagon Inn last June. Witnesses called police to report Meservey was too drunk to drive. Everett police, including Officer Meade, responded to the scene and boxed in Meservey’s white Corvette.

According to court documents, Meade tried tasering Meservey, who was described as belligerent. Another officer at the scene said Meservey appeared to try to drive away and his car became lodged against a fence and a parking curb. That officer said he heard Meade say, 'Time to end this, enough is enough' before he opened fire. Meservey was shot seven times in the back and died at the scene.

An autopsy determined that his blood alcohol level was .26 percent, more than three times the .08 legal threshold for intoxication. No other drugs or medications were found.

"The difference in second-degree murder is that the charge is someone has intentionally cause the death of another person," said prosecutor Joan Cavagnaro. Cavagnaro wants the jury to have greater flexibility in deciding what Meade's state of mind was during shooting and which charge is more appropriate.

Cavagnaro said she believes that Meservey was not an imminent threat to Meade, other police or civilians when Meade opened fire. Meade's lawyer strongly disagrees, and will argue against the additional charge of murder.

"He was placed in a very dangerous situation. He was defending himself, he was justified in defending himself and if he hadn't defended himself, he might be dead or disabled at this point,” said defense attorney David Allen.

Meade's criminal trial is scheduled to begin April 13.

Original report here

Court backs police goons

A US federal appeals court says three Seattle police officers were justified when they used a stun gun on a pregnant mother who refused to sign a traffic ticket.

Malaika Brooks was driving her son to school in 2004 when she was stopped for exceeding the speed limit.

The officers used a Taser three times when she refused to get out of her car.

A panel of judges ruled 2-1 that the officers were justified in using force because Brooks could have picked her keys up off the floor, started the car and driven away.

The dissenting judge called the ruling absurd and said the officers had no authority to arrest Brooks - let alone use a Taser on a nonthreatening woman who was seven months pregnant.

Original report here

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