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Jury says Rochester police policy flawed

The Associated Press
3/13/2004, 10:22 a.m. ET

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) -- A policy Rochester police followed in a 2001 drug raid was flawed and resulted in the death of a 21-year-old man, a state Supreme Court jury has ruled.

However, the jury said Friday that the officer whose gun accidentally discharged was not negligent in the death of Vernard "Vandy" Davis because he was following department procedures.

Officer David Gebhardt fatally shot Davis in the chest during the raid. City officials argued Gebhardt's finger was not on his shotgun's trigger and that the gun discharged accidentally.

City police policy says officers should deactivate the safety catches on their shotguns when they go on raids.

Another jury is scheduled to convene April 19 to determine damages the Davis family could recover from the city.

"The city is now being held accountable for a flawed, dangerous and unsafe policy that has resulted in the death of Mr. Davis," said John Bernacki, a Davis family lawyer.

Edward Hourihan Jr., another lawyer representing Davis' family, said a flashlight mounted below the muzzle of Gebhardt's weapon forced the officer to aim the shotgun at Davis when he tried to illuminate him in a dimly lit room.

Gebhardt testified he did not feel threatened by Davis, who was unarmed.

City Municipal Attorney Michelle DiGaetano said in court that police need to have the safety off on the shotgun during a raid because of the dangerous possibilities that await them. Having to push off the shotgun safety could unnecessarily slow the police response, she said.

Rochester police have conducted 500 to 700 raids per year for the past 12 years and have had three accidental discharges, according to Linda Kingsley, the city's corporation counsel.
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Yet another example of moron lawyers trying to get Cops killed. :oops:
 

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Why not just have the police pass through a medical detector after gaining entrance and leave all firarms and loose jewlery in the basket held by none other the hector the drug pushin felon. I get a kick out of this....If you don't want your place raided by armed cops, than OBEY the law....it is that simple. Sometimes sh$$ hits the fan and people get killed, if you want to make sure you are not one of them, be a good boy or girl and obey the LAW.....it is not that difficult. As for attorneys trying to be big shots on TV....screw them. I lost respect for criminal defense attorneys a long time ago, nothing they do anymore suprises me. Unless of course THEY get robbed :shock: .
 

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screw you...
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*Knock knock knock*.. "Hello anyone home?! Hello Mr and or Mrs Occupant, are you there?!" *Knock knock knock* "HELLO??!!" "If you're home and not too busy we the police (make sure you identify yourself properly and provide sufficient time prior to entry) would like to come in and sit down with you. We think you're dealing narcotics so we would like an intervention!! We also think you might have weapons... Now this is Assachusetts and bad guys could not have guns but we've heard rumors that you do. So is it okay if we bring ours??? We promise the safeties will be on and they'll be holstered!" HELLO?!" "If this isn't a good time give us a call and we'll come back......"
 

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Zombie Hunter
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But the Remington, Mossburg and Winchester shotguns do have safeties....which should be OFF when raiding a drug house....this a typical response by a jury uninformed about firearms and lawyer Monday morning quarterbacking police tactics.
 

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Too right, killjoy! I read somewhere that the average educational level of an american jury is about seventh grade. :shock: It's difficult getting normal, everyday concepts like raids and guns and scumbags through to them. Imagine trying to explain linear momentum.

I used to work in a suburb of Rochester. Rochester makes Springfield and Worcester look like Wellsley! The murder rate is through the roof! Nobody, except criminal scumbags, goes downtown anymore. There is really no reason to, unless you are going to the Eastman School of Music for a concert. They flirted with banning the carrying of guns in the city...I don't know if it passed...if it did, we KNOW all those murders must have been committed by knives/bats/etc... :uc:
 
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How about guns that shoot big non-lethal boogers. I'll bet they can recreate snot in the lab. Probably make it in nice politically correct colors too!

Damn lawyers should be smacked!
:?
 
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