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BY JIM FLINK
You're watching multisource U.S. news analysis from Newsy
A 35-year-old father of one -- gunned down by Long Beach, California police. Drunk, he was thought to be wielding -- a weapon.
It turned out to be a water nozzle. Now -- family members are outraged -- alleging police were too quick to fire. Police defend their actions -- as part of protocol.
We’re analyzing coverage from KTLA, ABC7, The Press-Telegram, and The Long Beach Post.
First, to the suspicious activity, which was called in by a neighbor. A report of a drunk man, sitting on a porch, with some kind of weapon. KTLA has the 9-1-1 call.
911 Operator: “Can you give me any description of the gun at all.”
Caller: “Basically what I can see is he’s just moving back and forth. It looks like a little tiny six-shooter or something like that.”
“As the subject was in a seated position, he used a two handed pistol grip hold on the object, as like this as the officers responded, which is consistent with the behavior of someone who is about to discharge a firearm.”
KABC reports, police admit, they never told the man -- Douglas Zerby -- to drop the perceived weapon. They just reacted.
Father: “How can you expect somebody to abide by what you say if you don’t say anything to them, if you just open up on them and shoot them.
Sister: “This is a drunk guy sitting with his head in his hands, and holding a water spiggot. And the Long Beach Police Department but eight bullets inside of him.”
The Press Telegram has more from father Mark Zerby, who says, he plans legal action.
"We pay these a------- $70,000 to $80,000 a year and train them to use pepper spray, or bear spray or Tasers and this is what they do...There's a lot of questions that have to be asked and you can rest assured that I'm going to find the right people to ask them...I'm going to have a good attorney and my own investigators on this ASAP and ... maybe we can get (the officer responsible) off the streets."
But in the Long Beach Post, Greggory Moore says, while he’s no police apologist, the fact that two officers fired simultaneously in rapid succession means, they felt the threat was real.
“...it's either that, or these two officers who arrived at a ‘man with a gun’ call chose needlessly to kill someone just because a convenient opportunity arose. And while not beyond the realm of possibility, it does strain credulity here. We ... will never know what we would have done in the officers' position...”"
So what do you think? Trigger happy cops? Or, is the drunk man to blame?
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In 2004, kenosha police shoot a 21 year old man in the head. They claim the young man tried to take an officers service weapon, but that has yet to be proven/(If even possible.) Regardless, there were 4 officers on the scene in which one put his service gun to the young mans head and pulled the trigger.