Thursday, June 28, 2007
Former Deputy Sheriff Ivory Webb Acquitted Today.
This case was the result of a regrettable event of January 29, 2006 in Chino California. After a high speed chase by Webb of a Chevrolet Corvette and subsequent crash the excited officer shot the car’s passenger, Elio Carrion three times wounding him.
Webb was charged with Attempted Voluntary Manslaughter and Assault With A Firearm. That inquiry is now over after a San Bernardino jury cleared him of both charges.
Webb’s shooting was caught on tape by someone that just happened to have a video camera. The tape was of poor quality and left unanswered questions. Speaking of questions Webb was interrogated far too soon after the event while the adrenalin was still pumping through his body. No criminal defense lawyer in the land would have let Webb talk about this event so soon afterwards.
Fear and survival are the rule for cops placed in these life and death events where decisions are made in split-seconds. No second chances are offered officers that don’t act to protect themselves quickly enough. We hope that training kicks in and the correct action is taken. There can be no doubt that Webb has attended the funerals of good cops murdered in the line of duty during his career. Webb was acutely aware of just what could happen to him while performing his duties.
Under the stress of the moment did Ivory Webb even say what he meant to Carrion when on the tape it appears he said, “Get up! Get Up!”? It’s no secret that our own minds can play tricks on us while we are under life threatening stress. What was absent here for Webb’s prosecutors was a motive by the officer to do harm to what we’ve since learned was an unarmed man.
Under the stress of the moment instincts and perceptions take over. It may well have been impossible for Webb to remember just what it was that caused him to fire on Carrion in the darkness. Prosecutors said Webb’s story changed. Perhaps it was because Webb remembered after he had sufficient time to calm down.
Is the punishment over for Ivory Webb you ask? Not by a long shot. In most cases like these the cleared officers are broke, unemployed, depressed and their marriages fail. The civil cases go forward against them and they must relive the event for the rest of their lives.
Perhaps Ivory Webb will somehow beat the odds and have a decent future. We will just have to see what’s in the cards.