Bystanders rarely want to be involved in a crisis, but sometimes they are dragged into conflict against their will. On this episode of The Axiom Amnesia Theory, Heit & Cheri share a few examples of bystanders who become sucked into dramatic events, whether they would have voluntarily participated or not.
Topics discussed include police shooting a Black man running toward them for help, NYPD shooting bystanders in the process of trying to apprehend a man, the latest on Syria, a NewsOne story saying the medical examiner claims that Trayvon was shot in the back, people trying to use the Trayvon case to make themselves famous, convicted teen killer of Sherry West’s baby receiving life in prison–tried as an adult, charging under-aged children as adults in crimes, Sherry West’s story sounding like Susan Smith, and more!
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- Discussion about the police shooting a Black man running toward them for help.
Police in North Carolina shot and killed a man running toward them Saturday morning — but he may have just been looking for help after a car wreck.
Officers responded to a “breaking and entering” 911 call at a home in Charlotte.
The homeowner told dispatchers that a man had been knocking on her door repeatedly.
Police say that when they got to the scene, a man matching the caller’s description ran toward them.
One of the officers fired his stun gun, but it was “unsuccessful.” Another officer then opened fire, police said.
Jonathan Ferrell died at the scene. He was shot several times.
He was unarmed.
Police now believe Ferrell was seeking assistance after crashing his car.
- Discussion about the NYPD shooting bystanders in the process of trying to apprehend a man supposedly disturbing the peace.
It began as just another bizarre scene in the Times Square area, a disoriented man lurching amid traffic, seemingly throwing himself into the path of oncoming cars.
The police arrived and the crowd grew. The hulking man continued on, ignoring the officers’ commands while eluding capture. Then the man reached into his pants pocket, withdrawing his hand as if it were a gun, the police said, and pretended to shoot at some of the officers.
Two officers opened fire, discharging a total of three bullets. They missed the man, but struck two women nearby, including one who had been leaning against her walker; the bullet wound to her leg sent her tumbling to the ground. Other officers rushed toward the suspect; a sergeant used a Taser on the man, and he was quickly subdued.
The shooting on Saturday night immediately raised questions about the police’s use of deadly force, especially in a crowded area where bystanders were in the line of fire. On Sunday, police officials, including the commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, refused to say if the shooting appeared justified, saying that the circumstances were being investigated.
Department guidelines say officers may not fire their weapons unless they believe they or other people are in imminent danger of death or serious injury, or if doing so will “unnecessarily endanger innocent persons.” Nonetheless, the courts and the Police Department generally give officers great leeway in deciding when to fire their weapons.
- Discussion about the NYPD shooting nine bystanders a while back at the Empire State Building shooting.
- Discussion about the latest on Syria. Al the headlines said things like “The U.S. and Russia Reach a Deal.” Well, what about Syria.
- Discussion about a story that NewsOne ran, saying that Dr. Shiping Bao (the medical examiner who did Trayvon’s autopsy) says that Trayvon was shot in the back. Heit & Cheri doubt the truth of this claim. Remember the mortician who prepared Trayvon’s body was in the news testifying about the condition of Trayvon’s body when he received it.
UPDATE 1:38 PM EST, 9/14/13: In response to our inquiry, Alternet reporter Rod Bastanmehr apologized for the “potential inaccuracy” in his report which alleged that Dr. Shiping Bao claimed George Zimmerman shot Trayvon in the back.
Dr. Shiping Bao, the recently fired Florida medical examiner who performed Trayvon Martin‘s autopsy, is allegedly claiming that George Zimmerman shot Martin through the back, reports Alternet’s Rod Bastanmehr.
“According to the former assistant coroner, the results of Martin’s autopsy clearly showed that, despite Zimmerman’s statements regarding their altercation, there was no feasible way for Martin to have been on top of Zimmerman when the gun was fired, because the bullet entered Martin’s back,” Alternet reports.
This allegation is shocking (and dubious) for several reasons, including the fact that Martin having been shot through the heart at close range was a pivotal point during the trial as both the defense and prosecution teams attempted to paint a picture of the fatal encounter — specifically, whom was the aggressor during the altercation.
More importantly, Bao himself signed off on Trayvon Martin’s autopsy report stating that the entrance wound was through the chest at “intermediate range.”
- Discussion about people trying to use the Trayvon case to make themselves famous.
- Discussion about people who never reviewed all of the evidence in the Trayvon Martin case, yet have made a living talking about it.
- Discussion about Sherry West’s case in which her baby son was shiot in the face a. She claims that two Black youths tried to rob her and shot her son. One of the teens was sentenced to life in prison.
- Discussion about charging under-aged children as adults in crimes.
- Discussion about Sherry West’s story sounding like Susan Smith. Why did West and her husband have gunshot residue on their hands?
- Discussion about another teen (or 12 yo) being tried as an adult for the murder of her young brother.
- Should under-aged children be charged and tried as an adult?
- Discussion about corporations and others saying that they are doing things for kids, but they are often just making profits using kids as an excuse.
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