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Posted: 9/9/2002 9:09:34 PM EDT
Man shot during 911 call will get his day in court Aurora officers say he pointed handgun before they fired By Hector Gutierrez, Rocky Mountain News September 2, 2002 The bullet wounds may tell the story. They could be a key defense for Jerry Norris, whose trial starts this week in Arapahoe County District Court. Norris is accused of pointing a gun at two Aurora police officers who were mistakenly sent to his house on the night of July 26, 2001, because of a 911 computer glitch. Norris, 50, was shot twice and seriously wounded. Prosecutors charged him with felony menacing. But allegations that Norris threatened officers make no sense, said Robert A. Dill, one of Norris' lawyers. For one thing, there's Norris' background."It's not like they stumbled on a drug dealer here who's got a meth lab or something cooking away," said Dill, who has historically defended officers. "He has no criminal record. Zero. Nothing." The .38-caliber semiautomatic handgun that Norris had when the police arrived was empty, and he had no reason to point it at the officers, Dill said. Norris told his lawyers he was practicing sliding the magazine in and out of its grip in preparation for a firearms competition. Dill also pointed to the location of Norris' wounds. At an earlier hearing, the officers testified that Norris stood squarely in front of them in a crouching combat position and aimed his gun at one of them before he was shot. Physicians have told defense attorneys that one bullet entered Norris' rear left hip and exited just below his breastbone, Dill said. The second round also entered his left hip and lodged just above his navel. Michael Knight, spokesman for the Arapahoe County district attorney's office, said prosecutors could not comment on the case. Everyone agrees on one thing, though: The police were sent to the wrong house at 15444 E. Princeton Dr. because of a computer error. The actual 911 emergency was several miles away at another home. Norris was sitting in his armchair, watching television and handling his unloaded gun. His 76-year-old mother was resting in a bedroom after undergoing surgery. In testimony during a hearing earlier this year, officer Andrew Crowley said he went to the door of Norris' house and either knocked or rang the doorbell. Crowley then announced he was a police officer responding to a 911 call. Officer Adolpho Ramirez testified he was several feet behind Crowley and peeked in the living room window where he saw Norris sitting in an armchair. Ramirez said Norris got up and walked to the door, holding an object in his right hand. Both officers testified that as Norris reached the front door, Crowley announced again that he was an officer investigating a 911 call at the house. Norris responded that everything was OK, according to the officers' testimony. Ramirez said he could still see through the window that Norris was holding something black and that he thought it was a gun. Ramirez then removed his weapon. Ramirez said he saw a shadow of Norris on the open door, saying it appeared he was turning around and pointing a gun. The officers said Norris took a combat stance and aimed in Crowley's direction with his left hand gripping under the weapon. Crowley testified he then shouted: "Gun! He's got a gun!" Crowley said he didn't draw his weapon but was reaching for it when he yelled "Gun!" Ramirez said he quickly moved to his left to get a full view of Norris and fired. Defense attorneys hope the location of Norris' wounds, among other things, will support their client's version of what happened. Dill said that as Norris met the officers at the front door he announced he had an unloaded gun and displayed it to them. Norris said he planned to set the weapon down on a stereo speaker next to the open front door. Norris also told the officers he was removing the magazine from the grip of the gun, Dill said. Officers later did find the magazine on the ground dislodged from Norris' pistol, which lay nearby. Dill acknowledged that the officers may not have heard Norris tell them he had a gun because everything happened so fast. But that doesn't mean Norris positioned himself to fire at the officers as they claim, Dill said. Norris had no reason to risk his life by pointing his unloaded gun at armed officers, Dill insisted. Blood tests showed Norris had no alcohol or drugs in his system. He's a Vietnam veteran who served two tours as a U.S. Coast Guard seaman in search and rescue operations. He also is a lifelong member of the National Rifle Association and was certified as an armed security officer in 1983. "He didn't call the cops," Dill said. "Why would anybody point an unloaded gun at anyone unless you wanted to commit suicide? How does Jerry have a motive to do anything here?"
Link Posted: 9/9/2002 9:24:27 PM EDT
Do you guys remember the Tom Selleck movie an innnocent man,this was almost the same deal. Life imitates Art.
Link Posted: 9/9/2002 10:05:50 PM EDT
Cop bashers. The whole point is that officer safety was in peril and police are to do what is required to get home safely at night. [url]www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/wire/sns-ap-elderly-assault0829aug29.story[/url] Police Fire Beanbags at 81-Year-Old By Associated Press August 29, 2002, 12:54 PM EDT LAKELAND, Fla. -- Police said they shot an 81-year-old nursing home resident three times with bean bags and hit him with pepper spray when he became suicidal and brandished a small glass vase. Willie D. Foster, who was in wheelchair and has a pacemaker, was holding the vase over his head and threatening the nursing home staff and police officers, a report of the incident said. "It was the safest option for the patients and the man," said police spokesman Jack Gillen. "If this were my parent, I would be satisfied with the officers' actions." Foster was in good condition at Lakeland Regional Medical Center, The Ledger of Lakeland reported. Hospital officials said Thursday they could not make any comment on Foster, because he was admitted under the Baker Act, which allows a person considered a danger to self or others to be held for up to 72 hours for psychological evaluation. Foster's daughter, Felicia Kennedy, said police and nursing-home officials acted improperly in the incident Tuesday night at Grace Healthcare. "He's 81 with a pacemaker and has a little bit of dementia," said Kennedy. She said her father was bruised by the bean bags. "I don't know if they even needed to call police. I wish they had called me first." The department is reviewing the case to determine if the level of force used was justified, Gillen said. The nursing home administrator, Joyce Plourde, declined comment Thursday.
Link Posted: 9/9/2002 10:13:36 PM EDT
Even police officers make mistakes,the point i was trying to make was that they and the DA compound their mistakes by not admiting them and then charge the guy,he was home minding his own business and the cops had the wroung house to boot. Hair triggers plus DA covering their asses is what upsets people.
Link Posted: 9/9/2002 10:30:29 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Imbroglio: Cop bashers. The whole point is that officer safety was in peril and police are to do what is required to get home safely at night. [url]www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/wire/sns-ap-elderly-assault0829aug29.story[/url] Police Fire Beanbags at 81-Year-Old By Associated Press August 29, 2002, 12:54 PM EDT LAKELAND, Fla. -- Police said they shot an 81-year-old nursing home resident three times with bean bags and hit him with pepper spray when he became suicidal and brandished a small glass vase.
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Hey, he coulda put an eye out with that thing. This is such crap. I teach special ed working with very aggressive students. (Students with autism and/or moderate to severe mental retardation paired with severe maladaptive behaviors) We often have to do restraints to protect their and our safety. Damn, I've dealt with much worse than an 81 year old with a vase. Worse comes to worse you just clear everyone and wait him out. Hell, just rush him. What a bunch a wusses.
Link Posted: 9/9/2002 10:36:38 PM EDT
There is clearly a solution to prevent these kind of situations. SOP for 911 calls should be: (1) Select an address near the 911 address. Any address will do. (2) SWAT surrounds the domicile. (3) Percussion grenades and tear gas are fired into the domicile. (4) The domicile is set on fire. (5) The police announce in a loud and ominious voice "Come out, you're surrounded!" [rolleyes]
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