Was the Police Involved Shooting Death of Rafael Pito Rivera Justified? [Watch Surveillance Video]
A CLOSER VIEW OF THE INCIDENT:
Before you read what written below, I want to share part of an article I found after googling the question: Is it justified for a Police Officer to shoot someone running away? Here's what the article said:
Only in very narrow circumstances. A seminal 1985 Supreme Court case, Tennessee vs. Garner, held that the police may not shoot at a fleeing person unless the officer reasonably believes that the individual poses a significant physical danger to the officer or others in the community. That means officers are expected to take other, less-deadly action during a foot or car pursuit unless the person being chased is seen as an immediate safety risk.
In other words, a police officer who fires at a fleeing man who a moment earlier murdered a convenience store clerk may have reasonable grounds to argue that the shooting was justified. But if that same robber never fired his own weapon, the officer would likely have a much harder argument.
“You don’t shoot fleeing felons. You apprehend them unless there are exigent circumstances — emergencies — that require urgent police action to safeguard the community as a whole,” said Greg Gilbertson, a police practices expert and criminal justice professor at Centralia College in Washington state.
I never thought I'd see a Police involved shooting, however, I did. A Co-Worker of mine & myself were invited to view a surveillance video of the Police involved shooting death of Rafael Pito Rivera and I have not been the same person inside since. When you watch a video of a man clearly running away from the Police, posing no threat to Officers, and then gunned down as if he were a deer in the wild during hunting season, it just does something to you...especially when it involves the very entity employed and commissioned to protect us as citizens.
Not a day has passed since seeing that video that I haven't felt like I have a muzzle over my mouth and chains around my hands preventing me from sharing an account of what I KNOW I saw. My Co-Worker can attest to seeing the same thing and went as far as commenting on his personal Facebook Page, regarding the incident, only for that post to be mysteriously deleted from his page...not of his doing. To this day, he has no idea why the post was deleted or who deleted it.
I know that I saw a man gunned down and killed by a Police Officer unnecessarily. I have so much respect for Police Officers, whom, in Buffalo, are, for the most part, an upstanding group of men and women who are not void of compassion for human life and are not unwilling to help, or at least be understanding, when it involves possible criminal activity. Thus, you don't hear of very many Police involved shootings, whereas a person is killed. This particular incident and the Officer involved, in my opinion, is the exception. I know what I saw.
The News Report, stating that Rafael Pito Rivera's Mom has filed a 'Notice of Claim' against the Buffalo Police Department, is unfortunate for the entire Buffalo Police Department, but at the same time, cause for celebration, within my Spirit, because what I witnessed will now be exposed.
I witnessed a young man's life taken away abruptly and it seemed, until now, that the entire incident would be brushed under a rug. Thank God that is NOT the case today. I cannot fathom, at the end of this investigation regarding Rafael Rivera's killing, that an Officer will go free. I cannot imagine a body of unbiased individuals, watching the surveillance video I saw, walk away with there being no justice served on behalf of a Buffalonian who's life was inappropriately ended for no good reason whatsoever. Now I don't have to be afraid to say what I saw, and I know I can look forward to my insides healing after justice is served in this case. I am so overjoyed that I do not have to go through my life, having seen a person murdered (in my opinion) and remain quiet about it.
I pray that justice is served in the case of your son Mrs. Rivera, who I saw gunned down as he ran away from Police Officers.
Here's today's WONDERFUL News (to my ears at least):
The Good News:
Justice Will Be Served.