But For Video: Execution

Not that there is any shortage of videos showing violence perpetrated by police against a person for no good reason, but few show an actual, honest-to-God execution.*  This one does.

Via the Free Thought Project, the backstory is that the dead man (whose name isn’t given) wielded hedge trimmers and was “alleged to have attempted to burglarize a Salinas, CA home and then expose himself to the person inside.”

The justification, published in the Monterey Herald, came before the police knew there was a video:

The Herald quoted Salinas police Cmdr. Vince Maiorana as saying that the man was initially unresponsive when police tried to approach him about the alleged attempted break-in, then began to act strangely.

“Officers end up talking to this individual, trying to find out what he’s doing and what the situation was based upon the original 911 call,” Maiorana said. “This individual started to wave the gardening shears at the officers. We tried to deploy a Taser; the Taser did not work and as the officers tried to detain this individual, this individual pulled the gardening shears and actually attacked the officers with the gardening shears.

“In response, the officers, fearing for their personal safety, shot this individual and he is now deceased.”

Cool story, and no doubt one that would have served well to soothe the nerves of those who had any doubt about the righteousness of the police shooting. But there was cellphone video.

“There’s some split-second decisions that have to be made by the officer,” Maiorana told the Herald. “When the officer commanded this individual to drop the shears and to get down on the ground, this individual actually attacked the officer with the gardening shears.”

There are indeed split-second decisions to be made. Jelly or Boston crème.  But when it comes to taking a man’s life, the decision is not only more serious, but less subject to the usual excuses for police violence.

But this time, there was video.  And the video shows an execution.

* No, this is not the only one. No, this is not an invitation for you to point out others. This post is about this video. Restrain the urge.

H/T Rick Horowitz

14 thoughts on “But For Video: Execution

  1. David Woycechowsky

    Some police are saying that the woman bringing the child along with the police pursuit, which ended up in the shooting, should be charged with child endangerment. Do you think that charge would be legally appropriate?

    1. SHG Post author

      So it’s off-topic right out of the gate? Beat the rush? Since I’m glad to see you use your real name, I’ll respond. Without looking up the California child endangerment statute or caselaw, I say no. While it may not have been the wisest or safest thing to do, I fail to see how the exercise of a right can be the root of a crime.

      1. David Woycechowsky

        BTW, the other video (an overhead view) has now been released. It shows a clearer view of the alleged lunging-with-the-shears.

  2. Mike Paar

    Seems like it’s becoming very rare for a video to surface that actually supports the version of events related by police, unless it’s their own video of course, and even then many times the video contradicts what was written in the reports or information that was released before they had time to study the video. One can only guess at the number of videos which are confiscated and destroyed and will never be made public. I applaud those who have the courage to video these encounters. Knowing what I know, and after seeing what can happen to those who record these types of videos, I’m not sure I’d put my life and freedom on the line to do the same. Thank you once again for sharing these. As disturbing as they are these types of videos need to be publicized far and wide.

    1. SHG Post author

      Bear in mind that there is little interest in mundane videos the show what the police say happened. Dog bites man.

  3. Brett Middleton

    There’s a “pop” about 10 seconds into the video. Was that the taser that supposedly failed, a first attempt at execution, or an attempted puppycide on the dog barking in the background?

  4. Fubar

    Manuscript found in a bindle stick near a jungle on U.S. 101.

    East of Eden and Monterey Bay,
    Where Bobbye McGee slipped away:
    Cops are men there, not mice,
    And their scheme ain’t so nice.
    Only this time it gang aft agley.

  5. John Barleycorn

    So are you going to follow this one to its legal conclusion esteemed host?

    Execution is worthy of some follow up IMHO.

    Unfortunately, as you mentioned, this particular incident has plenty of company.

    It would be nice to have an informed host take one of these situations and walk their readers through the “process” from the preliminary quandaries of the DA, to any charges filed, if not “offers” to settle from the city etc, etc.

    Hedge trimming flasher executed, so now what?

    I think it would be an interesting trip down the yellow brick road of accountability, if you are so inclined.

    1. SHG Post author

      No, I don’t plan to, but that doesn’t mean you can’t. Whether or not the process turns out to be interesting, mundane or something else has yet to be seen, but I’m generally not inclined to dedicate too much focus on a particular case when there are so many other things happening in the world.

  6. John Barleycorn

    ~~According to the Herald, cops were alerted of an attempted break-in on Tuesday afternoon after a female caller told 911 that a man was not just trying to enter her home, but was trying to kill her dog and had exposed himself.~~

    From the original post plus a click less our esteemed host mentioning the canine.

    But for the transcript of the 911 call perhaps. Dog seems to be unharmed.

    Anyway, it is never good mojo to talk about the dead with out a name.

    Carlos Mejia was his name. He is dead.

    He is amongst three in three months in Salinas, CA.


    1. SHG Post author

      I tried to find his name at the time of the post, but it wasn’t available. You are absolutely right, we should not speak of the dead without a name: Carlos Mejia.

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