911 caller arrested for lying about a gun, maybe getting perp killed

  • #1
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/30/us/after-police-shooting-of-pasadena-student-911-caller-arrested.html?_r=1

    (1) Oscar Carrillo got robbed of his backpack and laptop, while buying tacos (for real), Kendrec McDade, a 19 year old college student, and his 17 year old gang banger pal (Mcdade was lookout I guess and the unidentified juvenile was the guy who went in the car - NOT an actual mugging. They broke into his car while Oscar was not at his car)

    (2) Oscar called 911 and lied, reporting with detailed descriptions of the teens, but emphatically saying they had stuck a gun in his face (because Oscar is an ******* i guess and wanted cops to respond quicker to get his laptop back).

    (3) Cops came quickly, found thieves in alley, and when cop car cut off one of the suspects (the 19 year old college student of course), he reached into waistband. Cops shot him 8 or 10 times, because they thought he was reaching for gun. Died shortly.

    (4) Later exhaustive police search turns up no gun. Under questioning, Oscar admits he lied about the gun so cops would take the crime seriously.

    (5) Oscar Carrillo now arrested and to be tried for manslaughter.

    Do you agree with Oscar Carrillo being charged with manslaughter?

    I'm torn. As much as I find Oscar Carillo loathsome and wish he could be tried for manslaughter, I'm not convinced the charge should stick. Ultimately the cop who shot the kid only knew the kid in his sights matched the description of the criminal. Had not seen this kid commit the crime so certainly couldn't be sure he was the criminal, and ultimately whether he decides to shoot becomes his responsibility. Cop didn't see a gun, but I don't blame the officer, who had to make a split second decision about shooting a felon coming right at him, and ultimately it was an accidental shooting. If there is anyone responsible, it's the two thieves. You could also blame the 17 year old for felony homicide since he was involved and there was a death.

    (And Why does the "college kid" always die, and the riffraff kid who encouraged him always survive? Like some bad gang movie)


    It's very tough call, legally speaking.

    Btw, the two perps were black, Oscar I assume, is Latino. Ironic since the Trayvon case ( also involving a dead black teen and a 20-something Latino man, who happens to be a serious *******, facing possible manslaughter charges ) will probably keep this off the front pages.

    Edit: apart from legal responsibility, just for argument sake, let's also rank the participants from bad to good, only based on what we know happened here starting with Oscar leaving his car to get tacos, and McDade lying in a pool of blood. In terms of responsibility for the death (just like the highwayman thread):

    A) Oscar, 26 year old 911 caller who lied about the gun
    B) McDade, the 19 year old college kid, lookout for crime who ended up dead
    C) 17 year old thief/gangbanger, whose name is not released
    D) Cop in car.
    E) Cop on foot.
    Last edited by dcartist: 4/1/2012 6:52:23 AM
  • #2
    I don't really think Oscar did anything wrong, except for overreacting when his labtop got stolen. But overreacting and acting unrationally shouldn't be enough to get you convicted for manslaughter. Besides, it might have just been a bad call from the cops who were to apprehend the suspects.

    So yeah, that leaves me with the thought that I find the society where you are shot dead just for making a suspicious move is a sad society. I guess these cops, trained as they are, could've also waited until they saw a gun.

    Perhaps this will rekindle the debate about whether or not guns under civilians are something to be desired. If 'normal' people weren't allowed to carry firearms, then perhaps a lie such as this one wouldn't have been told this easily, and the police officers wouldn't have been as suspicious of the suspects having firearms as they were.
  • #3
    The fact that Carillo is getting brought up on manslaughter is actually absurd. Police officers more than anyone else should understand that eyewitness testimony is fundamentally unreliable and is not to be taken seriously. Information given on 911 calls should be treated as highly suspect. Everyone knows the trope about the perpetrators calling the cops on themselves, the lying "battered" spouse, and so forth.

    There should have been absolutely no presumption that a gun was being drawn. There shouldn't even have been a presumption that McDade and the other perp were the thieves, or that Carillo was the victim. The only presumption should have been that all three of the people involved needed to be detained as nonviolently as possible until actual evidence could be obtained.

    Carillo should be charged with exactly the offense he committed, which is false reporting. The officer should be charged with manslaughter in light of his incompetence for allowing unreliable testimony to modify his behavior significantly enough to apply lethal force without commensurate provocation. The remaining perpetrator should be charged with the theft.
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  • #4
    Quote from dcartist
    Do you agree with Oscar Carrillo being charged with manslaughter?


    Absolutely.

    I don't really think Oscar did anything wrong, except for overreacting when his labtop got stolen.


    By making a fraudulent 911 call? That is in every way something wrong.

    Quote from Crashing00
    The fact that Carillo is getting brought up on manslaughter is actually absurd. Police officers more than anyone else should understand that eyewitness testimony is fundamentally unreliable and is not to be taken seriously.


    Are you kidding me? We're not talking about estimating a criminal's age range here. If someone calls 911 and says that someone pointed a gun in his face, that's not a detail that people generally get confused on.

    Quote from Crashing00
    The officer should be charged with manslaughter in light of his incompetence


    Why? The officers were pursuing someone whom they had every reason to believe was an armed suspect. That suspect then reached for his waistband. The officers made the assumption that he was reaching for a gun and then reacted accordingly.

    The officers reacted within their rights as police officers when pursuing a suspect believed to be armed. To judge them as incompetent does not follow under the details we've been given.
    Last edited by Highroller: 3/31/2012 3:34:07 PM
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  • #5
    Quote from Highroller
    By making a fraudulent 911 call? That is in every way something wrong.


    It wasn't. He didn't lie about being mugged and having his laptop stolen. He added a detail, and did this probably under great stress. Is giving a false statement to the police wrong? Of course. Wrong like manslaughter wrong? Of course not.

    If anyone's to be persecuted, it should be the officer who shot the kid. Maybe he had a good reason to shoot, but I fear not.
    Last edited by AssassinNinja4827: 3/31/2012 3:27:03 PM
  • #6
    It wasn't. He didn't lie about being mugged and having his laptop stolen. He added a detail,


    Which was false.

    Is giving a false statement
    You even admit here it's a false statement. Do you not know what the word fraudulent means?
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  • #7
    If anyone's to be persecuted, it should be the officer who shot the kid. Maybe he had a good reason to shoot, but I fear not.

    I can draw, aim, and fire my pistol in under 2 seconds. If the cops had waited until they saw a gun, one of them could easily have been dead. So if they see someone they are pursuing reach for an unknown object, they shoot first out of self-preservation because the suspect could easily be reaching for a gun of their own.

    Oscar lied to the cops. He should definitely get some sort of charge for that. But manslaughter because of the college kid's stupidity for reaching into his pants when the cops had drawn guns? Hell no - that's entirely on the stupid kid that got shot.

    And as for your previous post about how "normal" citizens shouldn't be armed...no thanks. I don't want to live in a country where only the police and criminals have guns, and the citizens are defenseless against both. Especially considering law abiding gun owners such as myself commit so few crimes as to be statistically insignificant. If politicians wanted to help things, instead of going after people like me and my legally purchased and registered pistol and shotgun they would go after the smugglers bringing in fully automatics from Central America and all the other illegal guns on the street.

    And d...even if the Trayvon murder hadn't happened, this wouldn't have made national headlines. Oscar Carrillo sounds Hispanic - there is no way the media and black groups could have spun it into a white-on-black hate crime like they did with George Zimmerman the Hispanic who sounds White/Jewish. So if they can't use it for political gain, they ignore it - just like they ignore almost all of the black-on-black and black-on-white crime in this country.
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  • #8
    Clearly the guy needs to be charged with something, but.. manslaughter? Forget pulling the trigger himself - he wasn't even present when the shots were fired. It's a tricky one to argue Slant
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  • #9
    Should he be charged with manslaughter ?? Hell no it is complete idiocy to do so and would have very deep consequences.

    To be honest you here far too many cases of trigger happy cops who like to shoot 1st check for the right person later , no i don't think this is necessarilly case here as there isn't the whole story I'm sure.

    Should the kid that lied on 911 call be charged , yes but not with manslaughter.
    The cop has a responsibility to be sure that he has a reason to shoot someone and seeing some guy who matches a description (which a lot of people would) reach for belt is not grounds to murder him.
    I would probably charge him with perverting the course of justice or fraud but manslaughter is not his doing.
    You could indeed blame the thieves as they were asking for trouble
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  • #10
    Quote from Highroller
    Are you kidding me? We're not talking about estimating a criminal's age range here. If someone calls 911 and says that someone pointed a gun in his face, that's not a detail that people generally get confused on.

    Confusion is not the only possible reason why a piece of eyewitness testimony can be unreliable. For instance, it is possible for an eyewitness to lie.
    The officers were pursuing someone whom they had every reason to believe was an armed suspect.

    Literally my entire thesis is that they did not have every reason to believe that. Do you think indignantly returning a bare assertion to the contrary is supposed to be a counterargument? Let me be clearer then: for example, one reason not to believe that (and note that the existence of this one reason not to believe makes your statement literally false) is that it was a distinct possibility that the person who called dispatch was lying.
    That suspect then reached for his waistband. The officers made the assumption that he was reaching for a gun and then reacted accordingly.

    And that is why the officer in question is incompetent. He did the absolute worst thing that a police officer can possibly do -- which is to misuse deadly force -- and he did it for a reason that is flimsy at best.
    The officers reacted within their rights as police officers when pursuing a suspect believed to be armed. To judge them as incompetent does not follow, and will never hold up in a court of law.

    Why did they believe him to be armed? Was it for a stupid reason or no reason at all? Does that factor into this judgment?
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  • #11
    This is not exactly the same but draws parallel to kids who prank call fire brigade, should they get charged with manslaughter too as by calling out the fire brigade to a non-existant fire there are times that they have wasted the fire brigades time which delayed them getting to real fires and as such people have died.

    On reading the article again I think the cops were definitely overzealous (they could quite easily have shot to incapacitate for instance) rather than a very excessive number of bullets . They even admit that they assume every black kid in that area is a gang banger .... nice!
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  • #12
    Charged with something yes, but not manslaughter. That just doesn't fit the crime.

  • #13
    Quote from Crashing00
    Why did they believe him to be armed? Was it for a stupid reason or no reason at all? Does that factor into this judgment?
    Oscar said he was certain the suspects were armed because they STUCK a GUN IN HIS FACE. Cops have to make a judgment of the information they have available, but when the victim says they put the gun right into his face, the cops have to operate under the assumption that the suspects have a gun to shoot with.

    It wasn't. He didn't lie about being mugged and having his laptop stolen. He added a detail, and did this probably under great stress. Is giving a false statement to the police wrong? Of course. Wrong like manslaughter wrong? Of course not.
    he wasn't mugged. He was eating tacos and spotted them taking his backpack from his car.

    He called 911 and made up the gun in hopes of having a quick response and getting his laptop back. Videotape taken near the taco truck showed the 17 year old taking the laptop and backpack from the car.

    Let there be no question, the mugging and the gun were both absolute fabrications.
    Last edited by dcartist: 3/31/2012 4:05:55 PM
  • #14
    Quote from Belgareth

    On reading the article again I think the cops were definitely overzealous (they could quite easily have shot to incapacitate for instance) rather than a very excessive number of bullets . They even admit that they assume every black kid in that area is a gang banger .... nice!

    No, they couldn't "quite easily have shot to incapacitate". That crap only flies in action movies.
    If a cop fires his gun, he intends to use deadly force. Cops are trained to aim for center mass and fire repeatedly. Not to aim for a leg and take only a single shot to incapacitate someone.


    I think the cop acted correctly. The information he had was "Armed suspect robs man at gunpoint."

    He sees the suspect, who has been cornered, reach to his belt. Believing the suspect is armed and desperate, he pulls out his gun and fires in defense of his own life. He did the right thing with the information he had. There was no way he could have known the "victim" was lying about the gun.



    As for the idiot who lied to the cops... I'm not terribly concerned that he was charged with manslaughter. He got a kid killed because he lied.

    If I were to lie and shout "fire" in a crowded theater and somone is trampled to death in the panic, I'm fairly sure I would be charged with something. This seems like a similar situation.
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  • #15
    Quote from Crashing00
    Literally my entire thesis is that they did not have every reason to believe that. Do you think indignantly returning a bare assertion to the contrary is supposed to be a counterargument? Let me be clearer then: for example, one reason not to believe that (and note that the existence of this one reason not to believe makes your statement literally false) is that it was a distinct possibility that the person who called dispatch was lying.


    How the hell do you conclude that a witness claiming to have seen him with a gun not good reason to think he might have a gun? Yes it's obviously possible that the witness is lying, but there is absolutely no logic whatsoever in assuming it to be a lie until proven true. In fact, as lying about something as serious as a firearm can quite reasonably be called unexpected or abnormal behaviour, it makes far more sense to assume it is more likely to be true than false.

    If you are seriously suggesting that police officers should deliberately disregard information provided by witnesses as they go about their duty, then there is something quite wrong with you.


    Quote from Caex Kothar
    As for the idiot who lied to the cops... I'm not terribly concerned that he was charged with manslaughter. He got a kid killed because he lied.

    If I were to lie and shout "fire" in a crowded theater and somone is trampled to death in the panic, I'm fairly sure I would be charged with something. This seems like a similar situation.


    I definitely agree that he needs to be prosecuted, I just can't figure out what for. It's more serious than falsifying a statement, but "manslaughter" still feels over the top to me. The time frame involved and the chain of events leading up to the shooting is just that bit too long and has too many variables for anybody to say he caused a death. The first thing the defence will argue (and I'm not saying I agree with this) is that the deceased brought it on himself by failing to respond appropriately to the police officer, who presumably announced his presence appropriately and instructed the "mugger" to keep his hands where he could see them. The "victim" certainly can't be blamed for the "mugger" appearing to reach for a weapon and - let's be realistic about this - even if the officer hadn't been told the guy had a gun, he might well have assumed it and fired anyway.
    Last edited by ARoebuck: 3/31/2012 4:49:29 PM
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  • #16
    Quote from Caex Kothar
    No, they couldn't "quite easily have shot to incapacitate". That crap only flies in action movies.
    If a cop fires his gun, he intends to use deadly force. Cops are trained to aim for center mass and fire repeatedly. Not to aim for a leg and take only a single shot to incapacitate someone.


    I'd say maybe they should train people carrying deadly weapons a bit more seriously but since they let any idiot have a gun in USA that would be pointless.
    Personally I don't think the cops should even have guns but since they are allowed they should at least know how to use them appropriately.
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  • #17
    Quote from Belgareth
    I'd say maybe they should train people carrying deadly weapons a bit more seriously but since they let any idiot have a gun in USA that would be pointless.
    Personally I don't think the cops should even have guns but since they are allowed they should at least know how to use them appropriately.


    Shooting to incapacitate doesn't work, especially if you believe a firefight is about to break out. There isn't enough light, enough time to carefully aim for a target, you might not have 20/20 vision or better, even with glasses (astigmatism). Targets also don't keep still so you can get a bead on them. If you shoot a target to incapacitate, and they do have a weapon, they can just blow you away since they aren't down. Moreover, there are enough arteries on the human body that even a shot intended to be non fatal can easily cause someone to bleed out quickly.

    The police were overzealous and responded with too much force. The kid who was shot made a stupid decision. And the caller of 911 deserves to be arrested for making a false 911 call that led to a death - but he didn't pull the trigger on the kid in question.
  • #18
    Quote from Crashing00
    Confusion is not the only possible reason why a piece of eyewitness testimony can be unreliable. For instance, it is possible for an eyewitness to lie.


    Why did they believe him to be armed? Was it for a stupid reason or no reason at all? Does that factor into this judgment?
    So, Crashing00, what you're saying is if the police receive a 911 call saying that someone had an armed man stick a gun in his face and robbed him, then the police:

    1. Have reason to assume the person calling is lying, but
    2. Have NO reason to believe that the person who robbed him has a gun.

    Which is completely absurd.
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  • #19
    Nobody wants to rank the people in order of responsibility for death, highest to lowest:

    (1) 17 year old ******* gangster
    (2) McDade
    (3) cop in car
    (4) cop on foot
    (5) Oscar Carrillo

    I'm not clear on why the 17 year old isnt being charged with felony murder.

    -

    And despite lack of direct responsibility, oscar is the one I loathe. What a ****er.

    I guess it's confusing... Partly because the shooting was ultimately was an accident... And the victim was ultimately the cause of the initiating incident.
  • #20
    This is tough. The one thing I can say is that I feel the cop made a tough decision given the circumstances. If a cop has a gun on you, put your hands up. DO NOT reach for your waist. That should be common sense imo.


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  • #21
    Quote from dcartist
    Oscar said he was certain the suspects were armed because they STUCK a GUN IN HIS FACE.

    Except they didn't stick a gun in his face? I mean, if you're saying that Oscar averred to the dispatcher that his assailant was armed, then I've certainly never disputed that, but then it would make no sense for you to say it. So I don't get it.
    Cops have to make a judgment of the information they have available, but when the victim says they put the gun right into his face, the cops have to operate under the assumption that the suspects have a gun to shoot with.

    No, they certainly don't have to operate under that assumption. Given the number of fake, misleading, exaggerated, and hysterical 911 calls that are dealt with on a regular basis, it would be very dangerous if police regularly operated under these auspices. Dispatchers are actually trained to treat these matters skeptically until they have uniformed boots on the ground.

    And since the one thing we can all agree on (I hope) is that the uniformed boots on the ground did not ever see a gun -- since there wasn't one to see -- then I think I am vindicated in saying that this was a clear misuse of deadly force.
    Quote from Marquoth »
    How the hell do you conclude that a witness claiming to have seen him with a gun not good reason to think he might have a gun?

    Err... for the same reason that you presumably conclude (ah, who am I kidding, probably not based on what I'm seeing here) that a witness claiming to have seen the Loch Ness Monster is not actually a good reason to believe in the Loch Ness Monster.

    I mean, I would have thought that on an informed debate forum, the basic facts concerning unreliability of eyewitness testimony would simply be agreed upon by all. I consider the matter to be so obvious that I won't even google bot it for you. But if you do it yourself, a couple minutes should be enough to convince you that the reply you've made here is vacuous.
    In fact, as lying about something as serious as a firearm can quite reasonably be called unexpected or abnormal behaviour, it makes far more sense to assume it is more likely to be true than false.

    I'm not sure how you reach this conclusion. Lying is distressingly common; in fact on some accounts it is more common than truth-telling. Factor in all the other reasons people on a 911 call might be wrong (hysteria, confusion, trauma, misapprehension, ...) and I think it is hard to say (statistically speaking) that it ever makes sense to assume that a particular piece of testimony considered in vacuo is likely to be true. But it gets worse when someone's life is on the line. Basing a decision to use deadly force on something that has a nonvanishing chance of being a lie strikes me as particularly egregious.

    Even if we agree that the statement that the assailant was armed should be treated as more likely to be true than average, which of course we don't, the fact that a grave decision to use deadly force was made -- in the affirmative -- based only on this one piece of testimony is not acceptable.
    If you are seriously suggesting that police officers should deliberately disregard information provided by witnesses as they go about their duty, then there is something quite wrong with you.

    First, how is this an argument? Second, I'm not saying that it should be disregarded, I'm saying that it should be treated skeptically like any other testimony. It should not be presumed -- and for well-trained dispatchers and officers, it isn't presumed -- that everything said to the dispatcher is true.
    Last edited by Crashing00: 3/31/2012 6:52:20 PM
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  • #22
    Some kind of fraud count. Obstruction of justice.
    Oh, and the officer with sanctioned murder on his hands should sue Oscar.

    "Manslaughter" are dots I can't connect.
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  • #23
    @crashing00: the video on site shows that the perps burglarized Oscar's car while he was eating tacos.

    Oscar told the 911 that the perps mugged humans put guns in his face. This was no misunderstanding. These facts are undisputed. This was Oscar being a scumbag weasel, and deliberately lying to the cops in hopes of getting his laptop back. Putting cops and perps at extra risk.

    It boggles my mind that anybody could have such a slipshod moral system that they would find Oscar's behavior excusable.

    I agree that legal redress for his evil action is limited, but he's a ****ing dirtbag. If I knew him, I'd tell everybody he knows, what he did, and would do nothing to hide my contempt for him.
  • #24
    Quote from dcartist
    @crashing00: the video on site shows that the perps burglarized Oscar's car while he was eating tacos.

    Oscar told the 911 that the perps mugged humans put guns in his face. This was no misunderstanding. These facts are undisputed.

    And I am not disputing them either...?
    This was Oscar being a scumbag weasel, and deliberately lying to the cops in hopes of getting his laptop back. Putting cops and perps at extra risk.

    Indignation is not argumentation. This is the second argument I've seen you involved in where you allow your personal opinion that someone is a d-bag to bootstrap your conclusions about how they should be treated. I mean, you're certainly entitled to your opinion, but you have to understand this kind of thing isn't rational.
    It boggles my mind that anybody could have such a slipshod moral system that they would find Oscar's behavior excusable.

    I don't know if this is directed at me, but it should be fairly clear that I don't find lying to the police to be excusable. We have laws covering it, it's called false reporting, and as I said in my first post, Oscar should certainly be charged with it, and given the greatest possible punishment to boot, since his false report ended up creating a deadly situation.

    What should not be done is to ignore the incompetence of the officers on the scene in blatantly misusing deadly force in the absence of a credible threat. To bring Oscar up on manslaughter is to accuse him of something he could not possibly have done, and to put far too much of the blame on him.
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  • #25
    Quote from Belgareth
    Personally I don't think the cops should even have guns but since they are allowed they should at least know how to use them appropriately.

    Please learn some things about gun use yourself before making these sorts of comments. What you're suggesting is about as ridiculous as suggesting that people learn to jump opening drawbridges in their cars to save time. It is difficult for people to take seriously a position that shows every indication of being motivated by fear and ignorance.
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