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Former Riverside, Ca Pd Officer Aquitted!!

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  • #16
    Veteran acquitted in landmark case wants Riverside police job back

    10:00 PM PDT on Tuesday, September 2, 2008

    By SONJA BJELLAND and GENE GHIOTTO
    The Press-Enterprise

    A former Riverside police officer acquitted of war crimes can apply to be an officer again, officials say.

    But the city is in a hiring freeze, so it is unclear when he could actually start, said Chris Lanzillo, president of the Riverside Police Officers Association.

    Jose Luis Nazario Jr., 28, was a probationary officer with the Riverside Police Department when a Naval Criminal Investigative Service special agent arrested him in August 2007.

    The department immediately fired Nazario, who was eight weeks from the end of his probationary period.

    Nazario was accused of fatally shooting two unarmed insurgents and ordering the killing of two others in 2004 in Fallujah, Iraq, while serving in the Marine Corps during Operation Phantom Fury.

    He was acquitted Thursday after the first-ever civilian court trial of a veteran for combat actions.

    After the verdict, Nazario walked over to Police Department headquarters in downtown Riverside, saying he was asking for his job back.

    Nazario has no rights to back pay or seniority because he was probationary, Lanzillo said.

    "In the state of California, you have no recourse if you don't make probation," Lanzillo said.

    Nazario must reapply for a job and the department can accept him or not, said lawyer John Barnett who represents officers in criminal cases.

    Barnett said officers sometimes are rehired after being acquitted of a crime, but at other times departments consider the liability risk as too great, Barnett said.

    "When someone's been acquitted you think they should be given their job back," Barnett said.

    "But sometimes the departments feel they have an insurance problem."

    The Police Department considers personnel matters confidential and won't discuss them publicly, spokesman Steven Frasher said.

    The city does not have specific rules for reinstating an officer in such circumstances, said spokesman Austin Carter.

    Normally, the application to hiring process could take up to four months, Lanzillo said. Nazario's application could move more quickly because some work has already been done.

    "As far as I'm concerned, under the circumstances he should be back in the position immediately," Lanzillo said. "We want to make sure this guy gets taken care of and pushed through the process."

    City Councilman Mike Gardner, a member of the council's Public Safety Committee, said that if the arrest was the only reason for the firing, "I would think they would look at reinstating him."

    As part of the war crimes investigation, a member of Nazario's squad in Iraq called him in a recorded phone call. Sgt. Jermaine Nelson was to chat with Nazario under the guise that Nelson also wanted to be a police officer and was concerned about talking about the shootings during the job interview.

    In it, Nazario said working as an officer was like the TV show "Cops," where they ride around in a car and respond to calls.

    In the recording, Nazario describes responding to a domestic violence call with several other officers, stating they "beat the (expletive) out of this (expletive) and find a reason to take him to jail."

    U.S. District Court Judge Stephen Larson did not allow that portion of the tape to be played for the jury because he ruled it was bravado, without any backing. Staff writer Doug Haberman contributed to this report. Reach Sonja Bjelland at 951-368-9642 or [email protected]

    Reach Gene Ghiotto at 951-893-2115 or [email protected]

    http://www.pe.com/localnews/inland/s...3.49fcf85.html

    Of course the Press Enterprise had to include information in this article a jury couldn't hear. A little jab to the ribs.
    Well...Bye

    Comment


    • #17
      I hope he gets his job back, Glad the judge found him not guilty.

      Comment


      • #18
        [QUOTE=SoCalSheriff;1387765]I am glad to see this verdict. Nazario was one of my academy classmates. About time we stopped punishing our men and women in uniform for doing their job. If you haven't been in combat, you have no business judging those who have./QUOTE]

        I don't understand this comment. Are you saying that no one has any reason to believe that Nazario actually killed these people? Or are you saying that in combat it is perfectly acceptable to kill unarmed people?

        Comment


        • #19
          Oh no...here we go...
          Well...Bye

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by jonesy515 View Post
            I don't understand this comment. Are you saying that no one has any reason to believe that Nazario actually killed these people? Or are you saying that in combat it is perfectly acceptable to kill unarmed people?
            I am saying that in war, sh*t happens. Sometimes, it is not perfect. In the heat of battle, you have to make immediate decisions or you WILL die.

            People die in war. By definition, it happens. I am saying that the killing took place within accepted rules of engagement. Apparently the jury saw it that way too.

            1. The residents of Fallujah were told to get out prior to the operation. Therefore, anyone left is a combatant.

            2. The idiot Hadjis shot at a fireteam of Marines. Bad Idea.

            3. The Hadjis then were killed. Marines lived. End of story.


            Do you have any idea what it is like to walk around, living every breath, every moment of your life, in fear of someone else trying to kill you? Not knowing where the next IED, sniper shot, etc is going to come from? I do. many of my fellow vets do too.

            It creates stress. When the body is stressed to that point, you do not rationalize. You survive. You survive by falling back on your training. Marines are trained to kill. Been that way for 233 years.

            You have obviosly never been in harm's way. You probably do not appreciate the daily sacrifices of men and women in uniform. You want to go over there, hold their hands and sing kumbya? Fine. Shut your hole, pack your s**t and get out of my country.
            Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.
            --Winston Churchill--

            "Si vis pacem, para bellum"

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by SoCalSheriff View Post
              I am saying that in war, sh*t happens. Sometimes, it is not perfect. In the heat of battle, you have to make immediate decisions or you WILL die.

              People die in war. By definition, it happens. I am saying that the killing took place within accepted rules of engagement. Apparently the jury saw it that way too.
              The jury acquitted the gentleman in question not because it was within accepted rules, but because of a "lack of evidence". Just to be clear. I am not asserting anything different than what the jury said. I was just asking a question.

              Originally posted by SoCalSheriff View Post
              1. The residents of Fallujah were told to get out prior to the operation. Therefore, anyone left is a combatant.
              I would dispute this. If an invading force came into your city and told you to get out or die, would you necessarily obey? And if you disobeyed, would that automatically mean you were an enemy combatant, or would it mean that you were tied to your home so strongly that you would rather die than leave? That doesn't mean fight--it means die.

              Originally posted by SoCalSheriff View Post
              2. The idiot Hadjis shot at a fireteam of Marines. Bad Idea.
              No argument there.

              Originally posted by SoCalSheriff View Post
              3. The Hadjis then were killed. Marines lived. End of story.
              Obviously can't argue with that either.

              Originally posted by SoCalSheriff View Post
              Do you have any idea what it is like to walk around, living every breath, every moment of your life, in fear of someone else trying to kill you? Not knowing where the next IED, sniper shot, etc is going to come from? I do. many of my fellow vets do too.

              It creates stress. When the body is stressed to that point, you do not rationalize. You survive. You survive by falling back on your training. Marines are trained to kill. Been that way for 233 years.
              There is nothing about the fear of survival in wartime that is unique to the United States Marine Corps. The reactions you describe to living under the stress of combat are the same reactions every human being in combat situations would experience. I am in no way denigrating the impact of what you went through. Again, I asked a simple question. You are clearly not handling this well.

              Originally posted by SoCalSheriff View Post
              You have obviosly never been in harm's way.
              This is an assertion for which you have no basis. I'm not going to gratify you by going into a laundry list of the fights I've been in or the times I've had guns or knives pulled on me, and not because I'm a cop (which I am not), but because I was in bad places at bad times. I will just say that yes, I have been in harm's way, numerous times, and it's not a place I care to be in again. I am not an internet tough guy, I'm just a guy who has been through some stuff. Not as much as a cop, not as much as a United States Marine. But for you to make this statement is wrong.

              Originally posted by SoCalSheriff View Post
              You probably do not appreciate the daily sacrifices of men and women in uniform. You want to go over there, hold their hands and sing kumbya? Fine. Shut your hole, pack your s**t and get out of my country.
              Where in the h*ll do you get that from my post? Don't associate me with liberals just because I dare to ask a question. My question was, do you assume that Nazario is innocent of the charges, or do you feel that there are circumstances in which it is acceptable to execute unarmed people? That was the question, but you have yet to give me a clear answer, and your knee-jerk reaction clearly indicates that we are not going to have an intelligent conversation about this. How do you get from that question that I do not appreciate the sacrifices our armed forced have to make? How do you know anything about me? You don't. You just assume that because I question you, I am against you. Wrong assumption. Get used to being questioned, let it roll off your back, and move on. You will become much less likely to die of a stress-related heart attack.

              My great-uncle was a soldier in the U.S. Army during WWII and survived Bastogne. Afterward, when they had a bunch of German prisoners, the order came down from the top brass to kill them all as they sat there, unarmed. My uncle and all of his fellow soldiers refused to execute this order, largely because the Germans realized what was going on and held up the crucifixes around their necks, hoping to appeal to the Catholics among the U.S. soldiers. My great-uncle was a Catholic and could not stomach killing a fellow Catholic in cold blood. Do you think that my uncle and his fellow soldiers did the wrong thing by not mowing down a huge group of men? Do you think that makes him less an American? Do you think killing unarmed Muslims is different than killing unarmed Catholics?

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by jonesy515 View Post

                My question was, do you assume that Nazario is innocent of the charges, or do you feel that there are circumstances in which it is acceptable to execute unarmed people? That was the question, but you have yet to give me a clear answer, and your knee-jerk reaction clearly indicates that we are not going to have an intelligent conversation about this.

                Ok, I'll answer the questions.

                Innocent? Yes.

                Are there times it is acceptable? Yes.

                I too, have had guns and knives in my face, both at work and when I was younger due to poor choices I made. It is not the same as being engaged in sustained combat. Find someone who has experienced both, and I will listen to their opinion on the matter. Bottom line is, if you have not been there, you do not know what you are talking about.
                Never give in--never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.
                --Winston Churchill--

                "Si vis pacem, para bellum"

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by SoCalSheriff View Post
                  Bottom line is, if you have not been there, you do not know what you are talking about.
                  In most circumstances I would not dispute this. In the case of shooting unarmed men in cold blood... I will leave it up to you to argue this point with St. Peter when your time comes. It is not for me to pass judgment. "Let ye who be without sin, cast the first stone." In the meantime, I hope that the rest of your life is spent in peace and quiet, in the company of your family and other people who love you, and that you know no more war in your life.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by jonesy515 View Post
                    The jury acquitted the gentleman in question not because it was within accepted rules, but because of a "lack of evidence". Just to be clear. I am not asserting anything different than what the jury said.

                    The jury heard all the admissible evidence, not you. The gentleman was acquitted, he is still presumed to be innocent and your claim of "lack of evidence" makes your whole argument moot. The Marine/officer can't be convicted on what someone "feels", only on the evidence presented. The same thing should apply to his being hired or fired.


                    If an invading force came into your city and told you to get out or die, would you necessarily obey? And if you disobeyed, would that automatically mean you were an enemy combatant, or would it mean that you were tied to your home so strongly that you would rather die than leave?
                    1) If they're told to, "get out or die" and refuse to get out, they know what the result could be.
                    2) If I disobeyed, that would mean that either I was an enemy combatant or had chosen to die like one. If someone is stupid enough to choose dying with their home vs living without that home, they decided what their priorities were and their death is their own fault. The Marines provided them with a choice and they chose.

                    If you were told you could leave or die, don't you think you could make the "right" decision? People have regularly been killed because they've refused to leave their homes when ordered to because of threats of hurricane, flooding or volcanoes. When they die because they were too stubborn to move, do you blame the forces of nature? If not, don't blame the Marines. After all, they are a force of nature.
                    "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      I did not follow the case and have no opinion on the facts, but it seems to me that this discussion is wy off base. We all know that acquittal of a criminal charge does not mean that the defendant in fact did not commit the crime. The standard for disqualification is far lower than proof beyond a reasonable doubt. If he had been discharged from the military with a dishonorable discharge, he would not have been hired.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        I'm glad they let him go, its over, its in the past, and it was thousands of miles away...quit trying to trouble our armed forces...heaven knows they've got enough on their plates as-is!
                        Detention Deputy (In Process)

                        Deputy Sheriff/KS State Trooper (After Detention)

                        "Police arrested two kids yesterday, one was drinking battery acid, the other was eating fireworks. They charged one and let the other off." -Tommy Cooper

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