Atlantic Cities

Police Officers Who Shot at Two Innocent Women 103 Times Won't Be Fired

Police Officers Who Shot at Two Innocent Women 103 Times Won't Be Fired
Reuters

The eight Los Angeles police officers who shot at two women over 100 times will not lose their jobs. They won't even be suspended. They'll just get some additional training.

They'll need it, since the shooting happened at the height of the manhunt for cop-killer Christopher Dorner, when police mistook two women delivering newspapers in a blue Toyota Tacoma pickup truck for one man hellbent on revenge in a charcoal Nissan Titan pickup truck and shot at them 103 times. One of the women, who was 71 at the time, was hit twice in the back. The second woman was hit by broken glass. I would say those cops should get some training in target practice, but then it's probably best for innocent newspaper carriers that they don't.

Yesterday, a commission found that the officers violated department policy when they thought the sound of a newspaper hitting the pavement was a gunshot and opened fire on two women who were, again, doing absolutely nothing wrong except driving a truck that didn't even look like the one they believed their suspect to be in.

The officers faced suspension or even firing, but police chief Charlie Beck elected instead to let them all return to duty once they undergo some additional training, according to a memo obtained by the AP. The officers have not been named, so you'll probably never know if the guy writing your speeding ticket once shot at an innocent senior citizen. 

Shortly after the women were mistaken for Dorner, another police officer shot at another pickup truck. This one was black Honda Ridgeline. Brian McGee drove his cruiser into the truck and opened fire three times. The man inside the truck was not hit, but he sustained back and head injuries. The city of Torrance, where the incident took place, gave him $20,000 to replace his truck which was, again, a black Honda Ridgeline and not a gray Toyota Tacoma.

Last month, prosecutors found that the officer was "justified in using force to stop the vehicle and in discharging his firearm" and declined to press charges.

"Although mistaken," the district attorney's report said, "McGee honestly and reasonably believed that Dorner was driving the truck."

This post originally appeared on The Wire, an Atlantic partner site.

Sara Morrison writes for The Wire. All posts »

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