Thursday, May 22, 2008

Let police investigate themselves?

Another Charlotte man is dead at the hands of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police, and once again the department will investigate its own actions in that shooting. Aaron Quentin Winchester was shot twice in the back Tuesday and died on a residential street north of uptown.

Most police departments in North Carolina ask the State Bureau of Investigation to do an inquiry when that happens. But not Charlotte. Here, CMPD conducts the inquiry into a police shooting.
Winchester's family has asked for an outside investigation, and state law requires one be done if that request is made.
Yet CMPD's inside-only policy raises an obvious question: Can a police department investigate itself objectively? Why would it even want to?
What do you think?

20 comments:

N8 Dogg said...

Why not, sounds pretty cut and dried. Resisting arrest, pulling a gun on pursuing officers, forceful response. Open, shut, done. One less criminal we ALL have to worry about. How about we start independent investigations when the cops start shooting people that AREN'T brazenly breaking the law.

Anonymous said...

When criminals stop pulling guns on police officers, the police officers won't have to defend themselves by shooting them.

Anonymous said...

The department is not investigating "itself", but is investigating the officer's actions given the circumstances. It's in their best interest to do so, just as your employer would likely "investigate" you if you published something irresponsibly, something that was based on conjecture, not fact.



I feel terribly for both the victim's family and the officer. None of them are sleeping well this week.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Let's see....thug has a gun!
Thug Resists arrest, pulls gun on pursuing officers forcing officer to defend himself from being shot.

I hate somebody lost their life, but I'm happy it wasn't one of our city police officers.

Investigate the parents of these thugs who runs around town guns!

Anonymous said...

Don't like criticism, editors?

I said, read your own d*mn newspaper! Your own article this morning said that state law requires the SBI to investigate shootings by officers if the family of the deceased requests it, and they have indeed requested it, according to your own article. Therefore, the SBI will investigate.

So what is the point of your little rant? And explain why you deleted the original comment calling you out for not reading your own paper!

The Observer Editorial Board said...

Daily Views debated whether to mention the family calling for an investigation in the original post, and decided not to because it was beside the point. The post dealt with the CMPD's overall policy, not the individual Winchester case.
When we saw your post, we thought we we not being clear, so we revised the post. Your post was deleted because we did not want a revised post to one-up a contributor or comment - Mary Schulken

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but the media coverage has been nothing but biased thus far. Being a "thug" and carrying a weapon does not give the police dept. the right to shoot you in the back. The police stated that he turned to point a gun at the officer. Then please tell me why he got shot in the back then. And handcuffed after that. You have not heard the full Witnesses accounts and but they will be heard in court. Multiple witnesses have said that all the young man did was run. Why run you ask? Well if he did have a gun on him and he didn't want to do time, then it would make sense. Not one witness said that they saw him pull out anything. And it took the police all day to put a statement together. I don't think that the officer had some kind of vendetta out for this man, but I think it was a case of bad judgement and now many people are hurting over it. So please before you spew your hateful comments, realize that he had a mother, father, family, friends and a newborn son.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, previous poster. Do you think this is the old West or something where being shot in the back is taboo? The kid drew a gun while running away from a cop that was trying to arrest him. That is more than enough to warrant a shooting, as the cop can reasonably assume the kid was going to use the gun. If people like you'd bother to teach your kids right from wrong, they might live longer.

Anonymous said...

if you view his record, this kid was no angel. 2 counts or armed robbery. The fact that he was carrying a concealed weapon,felony, the fact that he was a felon that had a gun, felony. When you pull out your gun toward a cop,what do you expect. Do you really expect any person to have that much sympathy for this kid. You never want to wish anyone dead, but what do you expect the officer to do ?

Anonymous said...

Clearly this perpetrator could have stopped this situation at any time just by following simple commands. We are all entitled to protect ourselves. When we remove a police officer's ability to protect himself or herself, we are surely all in trouble. I am thankful for our law enforcement professionals and respect them. I am sure this officer did everything he could to avoid what happened besides taking a bullet.

Anonymous said...

It appears the only way this community would be happy is if the office was killed. You would not be able to get anyone to be a witness then. Nobody would have seen anything.

Anonymous said...

"So please before you spew your hateful comments, realize that he had a mother, father, family, friends and a newborn son."

I bet the officer has a family and friends too. Would you have as much sympathy if he had shot the officer, or would you be wailing because this young man was in jail for murdering a cop?

Anonymous said...

Two white cops were killed a year ago; This young man had a gun on him . They were in a neighborhood filled with problem People; If your a cop in a bad neighborhood your tension level goes up. The Police should have had Black officers going into that area because who would trust the White man with civil rigts violations and slavery not long ago. We need more Black officers in those areas that are all African American. The new cheif will correct this problem. You never send white officers into pre dominant Black neighborhoods. Rule (1)

Anonymous said...

White People should empathize with the Black neighborhoods; If your People was given a lack of resources in your area the last thing you want to see is white officers ( as nice as the officers are) Face it Charlotte has a lingering undertone of race problems ; Face it and the problem will start to solve. The new Polce Chief will solve some of this problem in Charlotte. A mistrust of the White race in Charlotte.

crystalsbass said...

Nice idea, but there aren't nearly enough black officers to cover the mostly black neighborhoods. If more black citizens enrolled in the police academy, they would be welcomed. A new police chief can't wave a magic wand and make more black officers appear.

crystalsbass said...

Besides... if black officers were only assigned to black neighborhoods, don't you think people would be crying racism?

ESmith2011 said...

First and foremost: are all of you bloggers with these negative responses to the situation retarded? Illiterate? Blind?! I personally knew Aaron, very well, and while many of you are online, choosing to leave ignorant, hateful comments describing him as nothing more than a thug on the loose, a family is mourning the lost of a 21 year old son, a father to a 4month old baby, a friend, a nephew, a brother--everything! The witnesses, who by the way did not know Aaron, at all-- all stated that they did not see him draw the gun on the officer. I'm not stating that the officer was wrong for attempting to defend himself, but honestly, think to yourself how you would feel at this moment, had the victim been one of your relatives or something of the sort? Two gunshots to the back, with no shots fired back at the officer? Intense and unreasonable is and understatement. A 21 year old with a full life ahead of him is lying dead in a grave somewhere, while the officer resides here, unscathed. His family will never get to hug him again. His son will never know him. Make sure you hug your family tonight because obviously, any innocent person can become a victim. Aaron was one of them. Let's hope justice is served.

NEESHAY said...

AND AS FOR YOUR "NICE" "WHITE" OFFICERS IN THE NEIGHBORHOODS... GET REAL!!! OFFICERS SHOOT EVERYDAY FOR REASONS WE WOULDN'T BELIEVE. SO IT'S NOT JUST ALWAYS, "CUT AND DRIED" AND IT'S NOT ALWAYS A CRIMINAL PUULING GUNS ON POLICE OFFICERS EITHER. FOR INSTANCE, I WITNESSED AN OFFICER (WITH MY OWN 2 EYES) DRAW HIS WEAPON ON MY BROTHER FOR TALKING LOUD. MY BROTHER AND A FEW MEXICANS WERE HAVING SOME DRAMA AND THE OFFICER APPROACHED MY BORHTER TALKING ABOUT HATE CRIMES>>>> SERUIOUSLY. MY BROTHER BASICALLY GOT AN ATTITUDE WITH THE IGNORANT OFFICER AND RECEIVED A GUN POINTED AT HIS HEAD. HE WASN'T RESISISTING ARESST, PULLING A GUN, THREATNING THE OFFICER, OR PURSING THE OFFICER, JUST TALKING LOUDLY 10 FEET AWAY FROM THIS STUPID COP. SO WAS THAT JUSTICE OR WHAT??? OR SHOULD COPS PULL GUNS ON PEOPLE WHO DON'T SAY WHAT THEY LIKE. SITUATIONS LIKE THIS IS THE SITUATIONS THAT GET OUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY KILLED AND GUNNED DOWN IN SITUATIONS LIKE THIS. AND IF YOU WERE THE COP WHO SHOT AND KILLED SOMEONE, WOULD YOU LIE AND SAY THEY HAD A GUN AND RESISTED ARREST, OR WOULD YOU TELL YOUR SUPERVISOR YOU SHOT HIS ASS FOR NO DAMN REASON? MY BROTHER COULD'VE BEEN ANOTHER ONE OF THESE "SO-CALLED THUGS" BEING GUNNED DOWNED BECAUSE A DUMB ASS POLICE FELT HE NEEDED POWER.

duncans0325 said...

For those of you who still have negative comments this is what you should do. Go to charlotte.com, pull up the autospy report and ask yourself this question, how does someone who is turning around and pulling a gun from his right back pocket get shot in the back on the left side twice. It's really that simple, the police lied to cover his tail and in the process we lost another child.