White Lakeland Police Chief says Black Cops were Authorized to Kill Black Teen Driver by Opening Fire Into a Car as It Passed Them in a Crowded Parking Lot in Order to Protect the Public

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MORALLY AUTHORIZED BLACK ON BLACK CRIME. From [HERE] and [HERE] As dozens of bystanders milled about in a crowded restaurant parking lot, three Black Lakeland police officers drew their guns and opened fire on a vehicle they believed was a stolen Chevrolet Camaro as the Black teen driver ignored their commands and tried to pull away. On video the cops do not appear to be facing any imminent danger from the vehicle.

At least one round struck and killed the driver, 17-year-old Michael Jerome Taylor of Winter Haven, sparking protests by critics who say the officers used excessive force.

The incident early Wednesday highlights the wide of range of policies followed by law enforcement agencies nationwide on shooting at moving vehicles. [The white media has reported that in some jurisdictions the cops’ conduct just might be ok - because public policy says so. In a legal system based on coercion and violence what is right and wrong is determined by policy created by politicians/authorities not cops’ their individual conscience. Remember, we “the people” have morally authorized cops to commit unprovoked acts of violence. Although we don’t have such powers in the first place, somehow we magically delegated “authority” to cops and politicians for them to tell us what to do and enabled them to do things we aren’t authorized to do - like shoot at moving vehicles posing no threat to us. Such leaps in logic are usually found in religions, which is what all government is!]

Investigations of the Lakeland shooting are underway, but police Chief Larry Giddens praised his officers and said an early assessment indicates they followed department policy. Giddens, pictured below is white.

Officers were called to Salem's on Memorial Boulevard about 2:20 a.m. because a large crowd had congregated there after leaving a nearby club, according to a Lakeland police news release.

At about 2:48 a.m., officers spotted a Camaro they suspected was stolen, approached the car and ordered the driver to get out, according to the police account.

In a 42-second segment of video, captured by a surveillance camera, Officer Markais Neal approaches the Camaro from the front with his gun drawn and the driver rapidly accelerates. Neal, 28, quickly backs up to get out of the car’s path and successfully does so. Then, standing on the side of the car and out of its path of travel he begins firing as it passes. The Camaro strikes one car, then two more. Neal continues to fire from behind the Camaro as it pulls away.

At the same time, two other officers behind the Camaro, Joseph Novis and Raj Patel, fire a number of rounds toward the back of the fleeing car. Several cars that appear to be occupied are visible beyond the Camaro.

When the Camaro stops a short distance away, a woman gets out of the passenger seat. The Camaro rolls slowly forward then accelerates again, crashing into a parked car and pushing it into an adjacent wall.

Officers pulled Taylor from the car and rendered first aid until paramedics arrived. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

On the driver's-side floorboard, investigators found a loaded firearm that had been reported stolen.

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At the scene, Chief Giddens said the officers fired to protect themselves and the public.

"With over 200 people, there are a lot of people that were placed in jeopardy this morning, in harm's way," Giddens said. "This is a 3,500 pound deadly weapon that that gentleman unprovinkingly drove at our officer," Chief Giddens said his officers had no choice. "All he had to do was turn the car off and give up."

According to Lakeland Police Department Policy, 

Sworn members shall not discharge a firearm at a moving vehicle unless the member reasonably believes it is necessary to do so in order to protect themselves or others from imminent death or great bodily harm. [DS 4] [AMEN]

A department news release said the driver "attempted to run over an officer who had to jump in between two parked vehicles to avoid being hit" and put officers and the public in "immediate life-threatening danger," so officers "were forced to open fire."

Officers did not know who was in the car at the time of the shootings or that a gun was present, police spokesman Gary Gross said. The video shows the cops were not in any danger from the fleeing vehicle. [But the driver was Black so white media, white prosecutors and judges/jurors are mind blocked. Thus, executing a Black teen is probably reasonable to them.]

The three officers were placed on routine paid administrative leave. Novis, 25, and Patel, 23, have been with the department for 18 months, Neal for one year.

Once Neal was able to jump out of the way, any imminent threat to him had passed, Martinelli said. Investigators will have to determine if the threat to others justified firing as the vehicle moved away from the officers, Martinelli said.

The shooting also points up a cardinal gun-safety rule, he said: Know what's beyond your target.

"Research shows officers can only hit the target 12 to 14 percent of the time at distances of two to 10 feet," Martinelli said. "These guys are throwing rounds down range at this vehicle and the question you would ask yourself as an investigator is who's behind that vehicle."

For decades, law enforcement experts and reformers have said police should avoid shooting at moving vehicles.

"It's not like television. You're not going to stop the vehicle," said Ron Martinelli, a former police officer who now works as a forensic criminologist specializing in officer-involved shootings. "If you wound or kill the driver, you've got nobody in control of the vehicle."

In its Guiding Principles on the Use of Force, the Police Executive Research Forum, a research and policy organization known as PERF, says law enforcement agencies should prohibit shooting at moving vehicles "unless deadly physical force is being used against an officer or another person by means other than the moving vehicle itself."

The New York Police Department adopted that policy back in 1972, and departments in Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., have since done the same.

But many agencies continue to give officers "much wider discretion to shoot at moving vehicles," the PERF report notes.