Houston police shoot a wheelchair-bound double amputee in a group home

Baramos

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I'm sure someone will feel sympathetic towards the police in this encounter. There's always somebody.

http://www.kwtx.com/home/headlines/...Kills-Wheelchair-Bound-Amputee-170892781.html

HOUSTON (September 24, 2012)—Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland asked the community to "reserve judgment" Monday a Houston police officer shot and killed a one-armed, one-legged man in a wheelchair who was waving what turned out to be a pen.


McClelland also announced Monday that he has asked the FBI to help investigate the weekend shooting inside a group home, which he called "tragic and unfortunate for everyone involved."


Officer Matthew Marin shot Brian Claunch early Saturday after responding to a report that the double-amputee was causing a disturbance inside the home.


Police said Claunch cornered Marin and threatened him.



Marin reportedly told investigators he didn't know the object in Claunch's hand was a pen.


Marin was placed on administrative leave.


The head of a local police violence group questioned whether Marin was justified in shooting Claunch.



Civilians Down co-founder Arlene Kelly told the Houston Chronicle that she wonders how dangerous a suspect is if he only has one arm and one good leg.
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_...-fatally-shoots-double-amputee-in-wheelchair/

(CBS/AP) HOUSTON - A Houston police officer shot and killed a wheelchair-bound double amputee on Saturday after the man allegedly threatened to stab the officer and his partner with what turned out to be a pen.


The Houston Chronicle reports that Matthew Marin shot Brian Claunch, a mentally ill one-armed, one-legged man. Police say Marin and his partner felt threatened by Claunch, who was waving an object that turned out to be a silver pen.


The Chronicle reports that Marin had shot someone else in the line of duty three years ago. Marin will work three days of desk duty.


Arlene Kelly, the co-founder of Civilians Down, a Houston group that monitors police misconduct, questions whether Marin was justified in shooting Claunch, telling the newspaper that she wonders how dangerous a suspect is if he only has one arm and one good leg.
I've read some other accounts that say he also had a partner with him who was NOT "cornered" by Claunch.

I mean seriously folks unless he has a gun how threatening is a man in a wheelchair with only one arm and one leg? I don't care if he has a sword, taser the man before shooting him. Or do ANYTHING ELSE before shooting him. That seems like a last resort in the case of wheelchair-bound amputees.

(Note: The fact that Marin shot someone else three years ago seems irrelevant, as it was a pretty clear cut case: some guy was stabbing his girlfriend to death and Marin shot him to stop him. THIS, though, is insane).

EDIT: I thought it was a bit unclear: Claunch had "cornered" Marin in a corner of the room they were in. So Marin was like, six inches away from his wheelchair.

I just didn't want anybody posting something like "WELL FROM A DISTANCE A SILVER PEN COULD CERTAINLY LOOK LIKE A GUN" or something. At best in this case it would look like a small knife.

http://articles.cnn.com/2012-09-23/...officer-houston-police-department-john-garcia

A Houston police officer fatally shot in the head a schizophrenic, wheelchair-bound double amputee threatening people with a pen at a group home for the mentally ill after authorities said the man advanced on the officer's partner, police said.
The shooting occurred early Saturday morning after police responded to a call that resident Brian Claunch was acting aggressively after his caretaker refused to give him a cigarette and a soda, the owner of the home and police said.
"The officers made verbal commands for the suspect to drop whatever he had in his hand, to stay still and to speak with the officers, but the suspect continued to make threats," Jodi Silva, a police spokeswoman, told CNN affiliate KTRK in Houston.


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Claunch, who lost an arm and a leg in a train accident, trapped one officer with his wheelchair in the corner of a room "where he couldn't get out," said a Houston police department spokesperson who declined to be identified. The double amputee was "advancing towards" the officers and "refusing to show his hands."
According to police accounts reported in the media, including by KTRK, Claunch attempted to stab the officer with an object that turned out to be a pen.
Officer Matt Marin, "in fear of the safety of his partner and the safety of himself, discharges his duty weapon, striking the suspect," Silva said.
The unnamed Houston police spokesperson said later Sunday that Marin himself was not cornered, unlike his partner, when he shot the wheelchair-bound man in the head.
According to investigators, Claunch was shot once and he died at the scene.
It was the second time Marin was involved in a shooting. In October 2009, he shot and killed a knife-wielding man who stabbed his girlfriend and a neighbor, according to published reports at the time. Marin joined the Houston Police Department in 2007.
In the wake of the weekend shooting, the officer was placed on administrative leave per department policy, according to police.
Claunch, who was in his 40s, had been at the Healing Hands home for 18 months, John Garcia, the owner of the group home, told KRTK.
Houston police have not released the identity of the man, though Garcia identified him as Claunch.
Garcia told the Houston Chronicle that Claunch liked to "doodle."
Two days earlier, Garcia gave Claunch a black felt pen to draw. Garcia told the newspaper he did not know if it was that pen or another one that Clauch had in his hand when he was shot.
Garcia said Claunch suffered from schizophrenia and a bipolar disorder.
"He had a temper. He could fly off once in awhile," he told CNN affiliate KHOU.
Claunch was capable of making people in the house feel threatened during an outrage, even though he was confined to a wheelchair, Garcia said.
"Emotionally disturbed individuals, when threatened, are going to react in most instances, excessively," Dr. Ed Reitman, a clinical psychologist, told KRTK.
"This was an incident that didn't have to take place if the individual -- a police officer -- had been trained in dealing with emotionally disturbed individuals."
The Houston Police Department has officers trained to deal with the mentally ill, though the department would not say whether Marin received training, according to KRTK.
 
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The police officer should hand in his gun and sit behind a desk, just for allowing himself to be cornered by an amputee in a wheelchair.
 
I'm sure someone will feel sympathetic towards the police in this encounter. There's always somebody.

There's also always somebody who jumps the gun with their quick judgments without having the whole story. Or...who already has judgments towards a side without even reading the story.

Time will tell. Other than that, I don't care. So far it seems like both individuals are/were idiots and did the wrong thing at the time.
 
"Officer Matt Marin, "in fear of the safety of his partner and the safety of himself, discharges his duty weapon, striking the suspect".

He must have been really scared to headshot the guy.
 
My question is why didn't Officer Marin attempt to use a secondary use of force, i.e. Taser, baton or spray? It doesn't mention anything in the article about it or state either of the officers attempted other methods of dealing with the guy.

I've been through hundreds of training scenario's, responded to more real-world assaults, fights and violent encounters than I can count and I can't come up with any reason this guy felt it necessary to use deadly force.

Perhaps we're not getting all the info, but on the face of it, this doesn't appear to be a justifiable shooting.

On the flip side, that Arlene Kelly person is an idiot to assume that just because someone only has one arm and one good leg that they can't be a physical threat. Of course, I don't expect much objectivity from the co-founder of a group whose sole function is to "monitor police misconduct".
 
There's also always somebody who jumps the gun with their quick judgments without having the whole story. Or...who already has judgments towards a side without even reading the story.

Time will tell. Other than that, I don't care. So far it seems like both individuals are/were idiots and did the wrong thing at the time.

This is not Officer Marin's first time doing something like this.....I have a feeling this will be his last. :dry:
 
There's also always somebody who jumps the gun with their quick judgments without having the whole story. Or...who already has judgments towards a side without even reading the story.

Time will tell. Other than that, I don't care. So far it seems like both individuals are/were idiots and did the wrong thing at the time.

I totally agree with this statement.. Something tells me there is more to the story... I doubt this officer woke up that morning and thought to himself I wonder if I will have to shoot an amputee in a whelchair.. I believe there is more to this story..
 
This is not Officer Marin's first time doing something like this.....I have a feeling this will be his last. :dry:

His first shooting was investigated and determined to be justified. It involved an "in process" assault with a deadly weapon and he was justified in his actions.

This case....not so much.
 
The double amputee was "advancing towards" the officers and "refusing to show his hands."
Shouldn't that be refusing to show hand?

If you can't stop a one armed, one legged man in a wheelchair with a pen without killing him you might want to rethink your career choice.
 
So...not only was he cornered by a one legged, one armed man in a wheelchair, but he mistook a PEN for a GUN.

Seriously...Worst Cop. Ever.
 
So...not only was he cornered by a one legged, one armed man in a wheelchair, but he mistook a PEN for a GUN.

Seriously...Worst Cop. Ever.

Cmon man,, "one armed man in a wheelchair" How does that mean he cannot still shoot you? Something had to go down for this to have taken place, its too strange a story.

How do we know the guy was not threatning to pull out a gun and shoot the officer?? Maybe he was saying he had a gun and it was a pen in the pocket gig.. Just pretend that is the case, who in here would wait to see? who knows until all info is out.
 
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His first shooting was investigated and determined to be justified. It involved an "in process" assault with a deadly weapon and he was justified in his actions.

This case....not so much.

The problem is......there is a possibility that the first was a cover up and at the least, made to look, more within protocal than it was, and its hard to cover up a second....
 
The problem is......there is a possibility that the first was a cover up and at the least, made to look, more within protocal than it was, and its hard to cover up a second....
Do you have evidence to support that possibility? Unless you do, it's useless to start tossing around cover up theories.
 
They really should have a "one of these is not like the others" question on the police academy test with pictures of a wallet, a pen and a gun.
 
The problem is......there is a possibility that the first was a cover up and at the least, made to look, more within protocal than it was, and its hard to cover up a second....

Umm, no. Marin fatally shot a man who was in the process of stabbing his neighbor to death after having already stabbed his girlfriend to death.

That was pretty cut and dry shoot/no-shoot scenario after the subject refused to drop the knife and advanced on him.

In this case, I believe Marin just screwed up. The Houston PD asked the FBI to assist, if this was some gigantic conspiracy by the Houston Police Department, I doubt that would have been something they would do.
 
I think Marin made the wrong call, but I also believe this is a situation where he followed his training. The cops were called to the scene, which certainly leads me to believe that its something the home didn't feel could be handled without their involvement.

It sounds like this guy had what could have been a weapon. There's a gray area to stuff like that when it comes to police response. It shouldn't have happened, but if you're attacking police, have what could be a weapon, and do not obey their orders to drop it, you can very well get shot. I've talked to several cops over the years who have had to deal with people brandishing things that aren't weapons. Its a tense situation, and not a choice I'd want to have to make.
 
Do you have evidence to support that possibility? Unless you do, it's useless to start tossing around cover up theories.

No its not....its a discussion thread where people put out possibilities, opinions, speculation etc.....

Don't be ridiculous, or so sensitive....

And, no I don't have FACTS, to back that up....only the news station here in Houston doing the same thing I am, talking to people involved and talking about possible directions this could take.
 
Umm, no. Marin fatally shot a man who was in the process of stabbing his neighbor to death after having already stabbed his girlfriend to death.

That was pretty cut and dry shoot/no-shoot scenario after the subject refused to drop the knife and advanced on him.

In this case, I believe Marin just screwed up. The Houston PD asked the FBI to assist, if this was some gigantic conspiracy by the Houston Police Department, I doubt that would have been something they would do.

No, but I think HPD realizes how big of a case this is, considering the officer involved.....and therefore bring in the FBI to make sure that they are seen as on the "up and up"...because they know the questions I brought up, may come up again...

I didn't say anything about whether or not it was a conspiracy the first time OR that they were wrong in their findings, only that those questions could quite possibly come up with this one and cast a bad light on the last time once again.

So rather than trying to turn words to fit your opinion.....read the post.
 
The guy is in a wheelchair. How hard is he to subdue? Just dump his ass out of the chair. It will sure as hell slow him down. Unless this guy had a gun, I see no need to shoot him. Especially if he had a partner with him to knock the guy out of the chair or grab his arm.
 
The guy is in a wheelchair. How hard is he to subdue? Just dump his ass out of the chair. It will sure as hell slow him down. Unless this guy had a gun, I see no need to shoot him. Especially if he had a partner with him to knock the guy out of the chair or grab his arm.

That would have been my thought process..... :dry:
 
There's also always somebody who jumps the gun with their quick judgments without having the whole story. Or...who already has judgments towards a side without even reading the story.

Time will tell. Other than that, I don't care. So far it seems like both individuals are/were idiots and did the wrong thing at the time.

Agreed :up:

Isn't this where a taser normally comes into play? Maybe this is one of those few departments that can't afford them.
 
I have had police training from my time in the Navy (I was a base sentry). It seemed to me that based on the officer's actions he thought the guy in the wheelchair had a weapon. Using a taser on someone causes them to clench their hands and fingers. Instead of having a guy with a gun you'd have a guy on the ground firing a gun uncontrollably.
 
The guy is in a wheelchair. How hard is he to subdue? Just dump his ass out of the chair. It will sure as hell slow him down. Unless this guy had a gun, I see no need to shoot him. Especially if he had a partner with him to knock the guy out of the chair or grab his arm.

But then this thread would've been about abuse and use of excessive force against a handicap.

See, it always comes back to bite them in the ass :p
 
I have had police training from my time in the Navy (I was a base sentry). It seemed to me that based on the officer's actions he thought the guy in the wheelchair had a weapon. Using a taser on someone causes them to clench their hands and fingers. Instead of having a guy with a gun you'd have a guy on the ground firing a gun uncontrollably.
I think the article was clear that the Officer said he thought it was a knife, not a gun.
 

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