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Officer who shot boy pleads not guilty


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  • Officer who shot boy pleads not guilty

    Any thoughts?


    A San Diego police officer claims caution prompted him to unload five bullet rounds at an 8-year-old boy and his mother during an off-duty traffic dispute, but prosecutors Tuesday called it a case of "apparent road rage."

    Frank White pleaded not guilty to one felony count of discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner and one misdemeanor count of drawing a concealed weapon in public. He faces up to nine years in prison if convicted.

    Prosecutors accuse White of firing at Rachel Silva's Honda Accord from the driver's seat of his own car after a screaming match triggered by a near-collision at a busy intersection.

    One bullet struck Silva's son Johnny in the knee; the boy was hospitalized and required surgery. Two others struck Silva in the upper arm.

    White, 28, answered a single procedural question at his arraignment before Superior Court Judge Marshall Hockett and was released on his own recognizance. He declined to speak with reporters as he left the courthouse with his wife, Jacquellyn.

    White's attorney, Richard Pinckard, entered the plea on his client's behalf.

    "We don't believe that there's anything to support that our client's conduct was unreasonable under the circumstances," Pinckard said after the hearing.

    White was also stripped of his police powers and placed on unpaid leave from the San Diego Police Department while his case is under internal review, Chief William Lansdowne told The Associated Press. White was assigned to administrative duty after the March 15 shooting.

    White is the second law enforcement officer that Dumanis charged since taking office in 2003; the first was a sheriff's deputy accused of killing his wife. She has faced criticism in some quarters for declining to pursue charges in other high-profile cases, including the 2006 shooting of former Chargers linebacker Steve Foley by an off-duty officer.

    "Based on the evidence and the law, these charges are appropriate," Dumanis said in a brief statement. She refused to take questions from reporters.

    White was driving his personal car when he and Rachel Silva nearly collided on a busy thoroughfare in Oceanside, about 40 miles north of San Diego. Witnesses said Silva responded aggressively, tailing White and his wife to a parking lot.

    According to an arrest warrant filed Tuesday, White was wearing his .38 Smith and Wesson revolver on his waistband and aimed it at Silva as she pulled parallel to him. Silva called 911 and said, "There's a man who's pulling a gun on me," then sideswiped White's car as she reversed past it after he began to open the driver's side door.

    White told investigators that he fired because he thought Silva was trying to hit him with her car, according to search warrants filed earlier in the case. He claimed he did not see her son through the windshield.

    White's wife, a police dispatcher, was in their car.

    Tests showed Silva had a blood alcohol level nearly twice the legal limit. The 27-year-old pleaded not guilty this month to felony child endangerment and misdemeanor drunken-driving and marijuana-possession charges filed by the state attorney general's office.

    Her attorney, Michael Pancer, said he was pleased by Dumanis' decision.

    "She did the right thing," Pancer said.

    Silva and her son have each filed lawsuits seeking damages from the city of San Diego. Lawyers for the boy also filed a complaint in federal court in May claiming police were inadequately screened, trained and disciplined.

  • #2
    8 year olds can file lawsuits now?

    I wanna know what happened that changed the focus to the officer...
    "...and the taking of a life is murder. And the punishment for murder is.... well it varies from state to state and by race, but...." - Homer J Simpson.

    Police: "Stop and we'll shoot!"
    Dilbert: "Stop AND we'll shoot? If you're gonna shoot, why should we stop?"
    Police: "Well, it would be alot easier for us. The targets at the shooting range don't run."

    R.I.P. Momma Coleman. You may have left our world, but you have NOT left our hearts.


    • #3

      Little different spin on the same story
      The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Monkeybomb View Post

        Little different spin on the same story

        Thanks for the link. Of course the SF Chronicle would omit the part indicating that she knew he was a cop..... Most people would react very differently to a cop drawing a gun vs. some random citizen.

        Poor kid, both for getting shot and having her as a mother. At least he doesn't live with her anymore.


        • #5
          i feel really bad for the kid, but it sounds like it was his mother's actions that led to him being injured


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