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San Diego Harbor Police OIS

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  • San Diego Harbor Police OIS

    The short version:
    On Saturday July 19th, two officers from the San Diego Harbor Police were involved in a fight that became an officer involved shooting.

    A man had fallen (or jumped) from a chartered boat into the San Diego harbor. The Harbor Police pulled the man from the water onto their boat only to have him immediately begin fighting. The subject knocked one officer to the deck and was able to gain control of his taser. He hit the down officer in the face with the taser then tried to take the officer's firearm. At that point the second officer on the patrol boat fired at the subject hitting him in the upper body. The subject died from his wound and the injured officer was taken to the hospital. The officer was released from the hospital the next morning.

    Now the kicker (and probably not so surprisingly), the family of the subject is planning on filing a lawsuit against the department and the officer that shot the subject.
    "It is our belief based on a witness account and information learned through the autopsy performed by the San Diego County coroner that Mr. Hirschfield was not the aggressor and was not involved in a brawl with police officers prior to being executed by this police officer," the attorney said.

    ...

    In addition to the federal civil rights lawsuit, Hirschfield's parents plan to file state court claims against the department and Williams for battery, negligence and negligent training and supervision, he said.

    "In particular, his 4th Amendment right against unlawful search and seizure was violated by the police officer who shot and killed him," the attorney said.
    Obviously I/we don't know the whole story but to me (someone going through the hiring process) it seems pretty cut and dry, a good shoot. It's my understanding that if someone tries to (or does) gain control over one of my tools from my belt than the level of force used to stop them gets elevated quite quickly.

    Story of the shooting: http://www.portofsandiego.org/harbor...-shooting.html
    Story of the lawsuit: http://www.10news.com/news/16977925/detail.html

    Discuss...

  • #2
    Originally posted by mobtown View Post
    The short version:
    On Saturday July 19th, two officers from the San Diego Harbor Police were involved in a fight that became an officer involved shooting.

    A man had fallen (or jumped) from a chartered boat into the San Diego harbor. The Harbor Police pulled the man from the water onto their boat only to have him immediately begin fighting. The subject knocked one officer to the deck and was able to gain control of his taser. He hit the down officer in the face with the taser then tried to take the officer's firearm. At that point the second officer on the patrol boat fired at the subject hitting him in the upper body. The subject died from his wound and the injured officer was taken to the hospital. The officer was released from the hospital the next morning.

    Now the kicker (and probably not so surprisingly), the family of the subject is planning on filing a lawsuit against the department and the officer that shot the subject.


    Obviously I/we don't know the whole story but to me (someone going through the hiring process) it seems pretty cut and dry, a good shoot. It's my understanding that if someone tries to (or does) gain control over one of my tools from my belt than the level of force used to stop them gets elevated quite quickly.

    Story of the shooting: http://www.portofsandiego.org/harbor...-shooting.html
    Story of the lawsuit: http://www.10news.com/news/16977925/detail.html

    Discuss...
    Whether an incident is a 'good shoot' or not isnt a basis as far as someone filing a civil suit is concerned.

    If you shoot someone, you WILL be sued, at least here in CA......
    The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

    "Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reason"

    "We fight not for glory; nor for wealth; nor honor, but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life"

    Comment


    • #3
      One less Adam Henry in California. A few million to go.....
      Retired LASD

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by LA DEP View Post
        Whether an incident is a 'good shoot' or not isnt a basis as far as someone filing a civil suit is concerned.

        If you shoot someone, you WILL be sued, at least here in CA......
        I agree completely. I would hope though, that after the investigations (internally and with the DA) the judge reviewing the lawsuit would see that it is frivolous and dismiss it. Or is that not the case when it comes to things like this (shootings)? Just curious, thanks.

        Comment


        • #5
          I seriously doubt that any judge would dismiss a suit like this as frivolous. This is pretty standard in any officer involved shooting........ it doesnt matter that one of the officers went to the hospital after this guy beat them in the face...... the family is looking to make some money and place the blame anywhere but on their relative. That is what this world has come to.......... just look at the typical lawyer language....

          "prior to being executed by this police officer" yep...that officer put on their uniform that day, forced that guy to jump off the ship, forced the guy to get into a fight with officers so the officer could execute him...

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by mobtown View Post
            Mr. Hirschfield was not the aggressor and was not involved in a brawl with police officers prior to being executed by this police officer
            Oh, so he was involved in a brawl with the police after being executed?

            Lawyers...gotta love em.
            “We don't disagree, you are wrong. Until you have a clue what you are talking about we can't disagree.” - cgh6366

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for the info/input Fuzz. As I said, I am simply curious.

              Comment


              • #8
                Anyone can file a civil action in CA, winning any civil action is a whole new story. If the officers did what they had to do, they and the agency they work for (IMO) will be alright. I've gone to civil court before and the case was short, to the point and dismissed quickly. While I sympathize with the grieving family, the fact is that lawyers that regularly chase ambulances (or in this case coroner's vans) with potential clients inside rarely go to trial. They convince the plaintiff(s) that there's a case and usually settle for a small amount to save the defendant (governmental agency) the cost of a trial.

                If the case for the defense (like this one) appears to be very good and they don't settle, the slimbag lawyer will usually throw out the "not enough training/send a message" card during final arguments in an attempt to recoup just enough (only $1.00 is needed) of an award to get the court to order full payment of plaintiff's legal expenses. It's a total scam, but usually the jury or court won't buy it.

                There's a lot of things we go to court for in this profession and civil suits are just one of them. Treat it like any other aspect of the job and you'll come through the experience relatively unscathed. It's an extremely rare (less than officer fatalities) case that results in defendants (officers) paying anything out of pocket. Survival is far more important than worrying about court time.
                "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by mobtown View Post
                  I agree completely. I would hope though, that after the investigations (internally and with the DA) the judge reviewing the lawsuit would see that it is frivolous and dismiss it. Or is that not the case when it comes to things like this (shootings)? Just curious, thanks.
                  Thats not the case at all, unfortunately......

                  As Pullicords said, anyone can file a civil claim in CA....

                  Since the allegation is 'violation of civil rights' ect, I am curious if the civil action will be in federal or state court......
                  The posts on this forum by this poster are of his personal opinion, and his personal opinion alone

                  "Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed often and for the same reason"

                  "We fight not for glory; nor for wealth; nor honor, but only and alone we fight for freedom, which no good man surrenders but with his life"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    According to witnesses, he jumped into the water.

                    He then refused to be rescued by the crew of the boat he was performing on.

                    Then, he assaulted one of the officers who pulled him out of the water, and tried taking his gun.

                    Meh

                    Maybe all the party-goers on the cruise should sue his family for spoiling their fun?

                    Oh wait!

                    They kept the party going at the dock.
                    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

                    sigpic

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      They always having the family saying this crap. They will quiet down once the tox screen comes back. he was probably coke'd out of his mind.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Here's a zip file of the autopsy: http://www.sendspace.com/file/o10f11

                        It says the cause of death was gunshot wound of chest, which is what the Harbor Police told the parents. However, the report says that the bullet entered the back and exited the chest. It doesn't make sense that the police department would inform the next of kin that he was shot in the chest when he was actually shot in the back.

                        He had a lot of methamphetamine in his system, and a trace amount of ketamine. I've seen the guy's pictures, and he is definitely not what you would expect a meth head to look like, he was a 200 lb+ bodybuilder. The witnesses on the boat said he looked pensive before he jumped into the water, and he even asked one if he wanted to jump in with him. He was hired to be a dancer on the boat, but he jumped off five minutes after the boat left the dock. He refused rescue from the boat's crew, then the Harbor Police was called. I've read many different articles about this, and most of them say he was pulled from the water after refusing to come out voluntarily. Do the police have equipment to pull a live person out of the water, or did the officer try to pull him out by hand? Pulling him out by hand would have been dangerous because the officer risks being pulled into the water. The officer who pulled him out was injured seriously enough to require hospitalization.

                        I guess we won't get the complete story unless it goes to trial. But the contradiction of the shot in the chest/shot in the back may mean the Port will settle without a trial.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by hughb View Post
                          It says the cause of death was gunshot wound of chest, which is what the Harbor Police told the parents. However, the report says that the bullet entered the back and exited the chest. It doesn't make sense that the police department would inform the next of kin that he was shot in the chest when he was actually shot in the back.

                          I guess we won't get the complete story unless it goes to trial. But the contradiction of the shot in the chest/shot in the back may mean the Port will settle without a trial.
                          I don't see there being that big of a conflict. At the time you notify the next of kin, you only give brief, preliminary information. This is because it may take weeks to piece together every fact, dot every i and cross every t. In addition, it's not considered good taste to go into grizzly detail with the next of kin right after their loved one has died.

                          Whether the bullet entered the chest and exited the back, or vice versa is irrelevant. What does matter is this excerpt from the coroner's report:

                          Hirschfield started to wrestle with Officer Schmidt and reportedly grabbed Schmidt’s firearm. Schmidt yelled a warning to his partner that Hirschfield had his firearm. Officer William drew his firearm and shot Hirschfield.

                          Assuming this is correct, then it is a good shoot, no matter where the bullet entered the body.
                          Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

                          Comment

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