I was once a Police Officer. I went to a precinct in a bad section of town in my personal car which was a convertible. I was in full uniform including badge and gunbelt. But...I was a white chick in a black neighborhood. Next time I know I am being pulled over and treated like a criminal. With his gun drawn the black officer order me to reach outside the car to open the door and get out with my hands up. Once he realized I was a fellow officer he said awe shit..go on. Funny? Hell nah...I didn't appreciate having a gun pulled on me, I wasn't speeding or breaking any laws..I was just a white chick in a black neighborhood. Normal traffic stops don't start with an officer drawing a gun on you...there are some real mentally disturbed officers on the streets and we need to get them off.
For those that are considering sobriety/abstinence...
THIS MIGHT BE FOR YOU!
New LifeRing Meeting in Sonoma at the Sonoma Valley Hospital, Friday's at 5:45
For those that are considering sobriety/abstinence...
THIS MIGHT BE FOR YOU!
Brand New Meeting Just Started in Sonoma, and it's is free!
LifeRing Secular Recovery is an abstinence-based, worldwide network of people who are choosing to live in recovery from alcohol and other drugs. We encourage individuals to build their own personal recovery programs based on three principles: sobriety, secularity, and self-direction.
We believe our personal recoveries require communication and connection with others in addition to our individual practice of abstinence. In LifeRing, as we talk about recovery and share tools that have worked for us, we find our sober intellectual, analytical, and emotional selves engaged, nurtured, strengthened . . . and empowered. If you are interested just stop by and check it out!
Recovery requires hard work and perseverance. If you are self-directed and want to create a personal recovery program that is yours and yours alone, you owe it to yourself to check out LifeRing Secular Recovery.
5:45 pm - 6:45 pm LifeRing at Sonoma Valley Hospital. 347 Andrieux St. Sonoma, CA 95476 (map) First floor Solarium conference room, across the hall from the cafeteria. Follow hospital signs to the cafeteria. Format: How Was Your Week?
Convened by: Shira G. 707-596-8860
347 Andrieux St Sonoma Valley Hospital, if you park in from, come all the way to the back... Hope you find us!
From the newswire:
The same police officer who shot and killed a young teen after mistaking a toy gun for a real one pulled his weapon on a motorist during a routine traffic stop on the highway two months ago, the California driver in question now says.
Sonoma County Sheriff’s Deputy Erick Gelhaus is currently on paid administrative leave after fatally shooting 13-year-old Andy Lopez, who was walking to a friend’s house with a replica AK-47. The tragedy has made international headlines and frustrated the local community, with vigils and protests against the police taking place over the past ten days.
Jeff Westbrook, a program manager at an information technology company, now says that Gelhaus was the deputy who pulled him over on his August 21 commute for failing to signal a lane change. Westbrook told the San Francisco Chronicle that there was not much room to pull over on the side of the highway so he rolled down his window and asked Gelhaus if he should move his car to a safer spot.
It was at that point, Westbook said, that Gelhaus pulled a gun on him and began screaming an order for him to turn the car off. Westbrook responded that the car was already off.
“I felt like I was watching somebody I needed to help,” Westbrook said this week. “This was not right. He did not manage this correctly.”
Gelhaus then ordered Westbrook out of his vehicle and pulled a gun on him a second time when asking the commuter whether he had any weapons in the car. Westbrook asked why he had been pulled over and then felt compelled to ask, “Sir, is there something wrong with you?” The police officer did not answer.
Gelhaus’ attorney declined to comment on Westbrook’s accusations. The deputy is an Iraq War veteran who serves as a police field training officer and weapons instructor. A 24-year veteran of the force, he was training a new officer at the time of the shooting.
The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office said Gelahus had not fired his weapon at a suspect in over 20 years. He received the Medal of Valor in 2004 for rescuing passengers from a burning car and pulling them to safety.
Westbrook contacted a superior officer within the Sonoma police force and said he was considering filing an official complaint with the department. He said he informed Gelhaus’ sergeant that he felt the deputy had “emotional stability” problems and hoped to meet with Gelhaus to discuss the traffic stop.
CA PC 647 (i) Who, while loitering, prowling, or wandering upon the private property of another, at any time, peeks in the door or window of any inhabited building or structure, without visible or lawful business with the owner or occupant.
What is the actual code violation for Peeking? Is it PC 647(i) which was the prowling listed on the court calendar?
Why would officers wait 11 hours when dealing with a man shooting a real gun and only wait 10 seconds when dealing with a teenager carrying a replica gun? Could it be that the man was a middle-aged business developer living in Fountaingrove, instead of a teenager in a hoodie walking in a largely Latino neighborhood?
Now Erick Gelhaus will experiance the "Mean Gene"
Nice article, very informative, Gabe Meline.
To my knowledge it is not illegal to carry a gun (real or not) down the street. The individual was not acting in a threatening manner. The individual did not appear to be aware of the officer. It appears that the individual was shot multiple times before acknowledging the officer's presence.
It would appear that the officer acted too quickly and without correct judgement. The officer could have allowed sufficient time to assess the situation before acting (or awaited backup if he was unable to do so) as no immediate threat was reported.
Wow. Diane Swans story was terrific. And funny.
I was thinking Bennett Valley, but Fountaingrove is a much better example. Thanks Gabe.
A fantastic article! Steve is a tremendous ambassador for and Rancho Obi-Wan is amazing place to celebrate your passion for Star Wars and the personal friendships made because of the world that George Lucas created.
It's such a sad and tragic story, but no doubt this police officer will be haunted by this the rest of his life. That gun looked exactly like a very dangerous AK-47 so there was no way for anyone to determine it wasn't real. People state that the police shouldn't have shot a "child", but they didn't know his age. Yes he was young but fresh in their minds was the 12 year old who just shot teachers and students in his school in Nevada. With the proliferation of so many guns in our society, we have created this police state where facing citizens with guns is becoming common place. Could the police have waited 10 more seconds to shoot? perhaps. How many people could have been injured in that time if the gun WAS real and the boy started shooting? No one wants to speculate on that option, but in the mind of the police, that was the real and present danger. There have been many cases of police shooting unarmed persons, but this case simply does not fit that description. The outrage expressed is really out of line with the reality of this particular case. He was not Travon, walking down the street unarmed and attacked for no reason!
I want to thank Gabe for a very informative article. The problem with this shooting is that the officer fired 8 times. After the first shot, he was no longer threatened by what he perceived to be a gunman. The other seven bullets were meant to kill! The suspect was shot in the back...how much of a threat was that? I am so sorry that Andy Lopez is dead. He made a very foolish mistake, one that I hope other kids won't make: DON'T MAKE A TOY WEAPON LOOK REAL.
We need to PROHIBIT ANY ex-military soldier from becoming a police officer!!! PERIOD!!! They come back to the states with a military mind set. They have seen and done things in war that no one should have to deal with. Yet, they do. I feel for the men and women of the armed forces that come back to states messed up. I respect the men and women of the military. I have a close friend that is dealing with both disability and PTSD from the Army. If they want to continue a "military" style life, there are plenty of private security forces out there they could join. But the police and sheriff departments should NOT be one of them.
Jethro: The gun was not even his, it was a friends. You are ignorant to blame him for removing the orange tip. The cop wasn't even out of the car when he said to drop the gun, and "can't remember" if he identified himself as a police officer. The boy had no time to even turn around to see who was yelling at him.
Why is there such a public outcry? Because it is an injustice that a boy has lost his life due to a police officers trigger-happy response. The cop was also fearful for the neighbors, yet his bullets went through a home and into a kitchen cabinet with a 10 month old baby inside. We are lucky there weren't more lives snuffed out by this officers actions. Cops need to be better trained to deal in communities…this is not Iraq. These are every day people, kids playing in an empty lot with paint guns, etc. every day. We/they are not the enemy! We pay their salaries and they should respect the public, even if they live on the "wrong side of town." For you to say it was a "good shoot"? WHF? It's total bullshit that this innocent kid won't live to graduate from 8th grade, high school, get married…all because a cop rushed to judgement. I hope justice is served and the cop goes to jail.
Keith: Your criticism is sadly misplaced. You state that "they (the progressives) are incapable of making a decision. Why have you not criticized the prosecutor as well as the California attorney general's office? As far as the Hobbs vineyard development, Efren remained silent for a long time - in the opinion of many west county residents, TOO long. It was only when there was both an online and an in-person outcry by too many of his constituents to ignore that he FINALLY expressed an opinion on Hobbs' nefarious misdeeds. I notice you did not mention ONE thing in your comment about Efren's reprehensible conduct - conduct that I do not believe is in any way becoming of any elected official at any level of government. Nor did you mention anything about the one person who has been most grievously affected by Efren's nocturnal escapade - the woman who, on the morning of July 13, 2013, was so frightened that she called 9-1-1 not once, but twice. And I highly doubt that she shares your minority opinion that Efren "strikes the right balance." I submit to you that he does not.
While I initially supported the calls for Carrillo's resignation, I have decided to leave this young man alone with his demons. We ALL have them, in various degrees. Watching the Progressives wring their hands over this issue has been an education in itself, and not to their benefit - they seem incapable of making a decision, and certainly we need decisive leaders, like Carrillo, who adamantly spoke out against Paul Hobbs' vineyard development on behalf of his Constituents. Short of a felony conviction, Efren will prevail. I believe he strikes the right balance between our County's needs for jobs, education and reasonable environmental protections. Furthermore, I disagree with our County's favorite political analyst, David McCuan of SSU - Efren WILL take a higher office within the next five years. I Iook forward to working with him in the future.
They put orange tipos on toy guns and airsoft guns for a reason: to prevent others from thinking that it is a real gun. A thirteen year old boy like Andy Lopez knows why the tip is there. He also knows that taking the tip off makes it look more like a real gun. It was his decision. Given that he knew the gun looked like a real one with the tip removed, he should have immediately laid the gun on the ground, before turning around. The cop responded the way they are trained to respond to a threat of death - completely eliminate the threat. That is what he did. It is a shame, but it was a good shoot, and it does not represent a wrongful death.
Why don't you try and do the job? Wait to be fired at first! You are absolutely insane! Do you think cops go to work wanting to discharge their weapons at someone? Absolutely not! Why don't you look at the real problem and that is these companies are allowed to make BB guns, pellet guns, and toy guys look anything similar to a real gun! That's the issue! Get off your soap box and away from the rest of the herd of sheep and look at the fact! Cops don't have to nor should they have to wait to be fired at or attacked before they use the amount of force that is reasonable to maintain control. Yes it is unfortunate that a 13 year old lost his life. If the company that manufactured the BB gun made it look completely different so that anyone even the oblivious could tell it was fake then this wouldn't have happened!
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