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.

11 comments:

We Love Ivory Webb said...

Paul Ive always said that video supported his shooting. But MARK MY WORDS. Just like the Rodney King trial. Depending on which way the winds blow on the VERY political flag of the U.S. Attorneys office and the FBI. Webb may face a Federal criminal trial. That's why you need to sound out, and support this verdict.

Photos, videos and article below.

http://www.sbsun.com/ci_6253858

Anonymous said...

very insightful analysis. we all know that each and every one of us could be in webb's shoes on any given day. at least thank god webb's case did'nt have the spectre of racial overtones, a kiss of death for many of us if we find ourselves in webb's position in the cities some of work in. a hearty good luck to deputy webb

CHICAGO PD(ret) said...

Best of luck to Officer Webb. Thanks for reporting the results of his trial; saw nothing on the Chicago news!
The kid that ran was at fault.If Officer Webb felt his life was in danger,he had every right to shoot!

Anonymous said...

Paul , you disappoint me. If it weren't for your work with Ronnie Barlow....

Webb shot the vet. Three times. He did it purposefully, whatever that purpose was. Was he afraid? Maybe. Is that a defense you offer to others?

So he was questioned Too soon, when his adrenaline was still pumping? Did you typically give those you arrested a chance to comnpose themselves, and their stories?

Webb tried to kill the vet. He should go to jail. Period.

Anonymous said...

we love ivory: also added this The jurors saw this on the enhanced video that was enhanced by a PI firm.

Photos Time Stamp:
Frame 1. 0:00:39:22, the subject starts to get up.
Frame 2. 0:01:10:23, the subject appears to have a shiny object on his right hand, as he brings it out from under him towards the
deputy (this is the crucial part you don't hear about from the
media.)
Frame 3. 3. 0:01:13:20, the deputy begins to fire his weapon.

Crimefile said...

It’s far too often in a policeman’s career that he’s got the ability to kill suspects where there would be little question about the justification. Webb had 11 years working tough areas and had not shot anyone.

Here some are second-guessing a jury that gave an accused person the benefit of the doubt. That’s exactly what juries should be doing. We should honor the jury for their refusal to give what the government asked for, a conviction where an evil motive did not exist.

I say we need to walk a mile in Ivory Webb’s shoes. I am not suggesting that the shooting was a good idea or even warranted. I’m saying that Ivory Webb’s mistake here did not rise to the level of criminal intent.

The verdict here does not embolden any other cops to shoot under similar circumstances. No cop ever wants to have to face being fired and prosecuted because he fell victim to his fears on the dark streets of a troubled neighborhood.

Do you want to see an end to the benefit of the doubt in American justice should you or a member or your own family is accused of a crime?

Anonymous said...

Would I want to "see an end to the benefit of the doubt in American justice should you or a member or your own family is accused of a crime?" Nope. Unless I were recorded on camera shooting a man on the ground for obeying my orders.

While I have not and will never walk in Webb's shoes, I have been shot at by SKSs, AK-47s, RPGs, mortars, and 122s. And never once did I use that as an excuse to shoot a man lying on the ground, doing what I told him to do.

Getting the benefit of a doubt is a good thing. Getting a free pass from the criminal "justice" system is something else all together.

Paul, I do appreciate the work that you do. I especially appreiated the assessment of the change in homicide conviction rates. But we all need to watch out for excusing family for things we'd condemn in others.

Anonymous said...

I’m one of those who, earlier on this post, condemned Webb for his actions that night. My opinion has not changed in any way following the jury’s not guilty verdict in this criminal trial. This jury did not offer Webb, the benefit of the doubt, as you say, but instead, they actually nullified evidence presented by the prosecution. That is not the job of any jury in any case, and the jury that does so certainly doesn’t earn honor for their verdict. The same thing happened in the OJ trial, and look at the damage it’s caused for the families of the victims. Remember, that in Webb’s case, this jury was also given the option to convict on the lesser charge of Infliction of Great Bodily Harm with a Firearm. The DA included this charge specifically because it DOESN’T require proof of criminal intent or motive to find guilt, which are the very factors you’re using to defend this verdict. The only thing required for a finding of guilt on this charge is, did Webb inflict great bodily harm by shooting the Airman, and was he justified in using the level of force he chose on that night? The photographic evidence clearly shows that he did inflict great harm, and that he was not justified in doing so. This jury also had a motive for its decision, and it was purely financial. A guilty verdict would assign wrong doing on Webb’s part, and that would greatly change the entire outlook of the pending civil suit for all parties involved. Civil attorney’s for both Webb and the County stated in the LA Times, less than 24 hours after this verdict was announced, that the not guilty verdict would greatly bolster their case in the upcoming civil suit. The jury was fully aware of this fact also, and as residents of the County, they too have a stake in this civil case, as taxpayers. A motivating factor, if ever there was one, and it’s certainly a valid reason, for anyone to second guess this jury’s verdict.

You also stated that Webb was working in tough areas for 11 years, and had not shot anybody. What you fail to mention is that for 8 of those 11 years, he was serving as an intake officer at the County Jail. The suspects he dealt with in those 8 years, arrived to him already handcuffed, and searched for weapons, thanks to the actions of other Deputies who were working out in the field. Webb himself had actually been in the field for about 3 years. Considering his total time on the force, he should have known better than to allow his emotions to control his actions at this scene, as well as to recklessly violate Departmental Procedures in so many ways, but that’s exactly what he did. As I stated in my earlier post, people need to stop defending incompetence. Webb’s actions may or may not have risen to criminal INTENT in this case, we’ll never really know, because we’ll never know what was in his mind, however, under the lesser charge he was facing; his actions did constitute a criminal act, since proof of intent wasn’t required. And this jury chose to ignore that fact, thus condoning the criminal act.

I will agree with you that most officers don’t ever want to have to shoot somebody at any time in their careers. That’s most, but not all; I wouldn’t want to walk anywhere in Webb’s shoes, because unlike him, I don’t commit criminal acts. This trial, and it’s verdict, have been equally damaging for others, in certain ways too. For example, it has victimized the victim, for a second time. Webb’s defense attorney said in his 5 hour closing statement that, unlike Webb, neither Carrion, nor the cars driver, cared about the lives of others. That’s fine for evaluating the driver actions; he’s responsible for the movement of the car, and even spent time in jail for his part in this event. But for Elio Carrion, the defense attorney’s statement is a slap in the face to this young mans service to his country. Considering the situation in the world today, his service proves to me that he cares about the lives of others, more than most. Furthermore, as the cars passenger in this case, he’s NOT responsible for the actions of the cars driver. Carrion stated on the stand, that he repeatedly told the driver to stop and pull over, and that’s actually more than he was even required to do. Grabbing the steering wheel, or pulling the keys from the ignition, thus locking the steering wheel, would have been reckless acts on Carrions part, considering the speed the driver was charged with reaching that night. And yet, why he didn’t do these two things, were the very questions asked of this young Airman by Webb’s defense attorney, while he was being crossed examined.

Throughout this trial, Webb’s attorney continually blamed Airman Carrion for Webb’s actions, as well as his own, implying that Carrion was responcible for his own shooting. Because of this fact, it bears reemphasizing, that Elio Carrion remains the only person in this event who was never charged with committing a crime of any sort, I don’t think he was even arrested, since he was in the hospital for so long. He also remains the only person who WAS shot in this incident, and criminally so. I don’t sympathize with anyone who refuses to take responsibility for their own actions.

As far as juries and there verdicts are concerned, I want them to properly review ALL the evidence presented to them, and to not pick and choose what they will give weight or what they will choose to ignore. I want them to render an appropriate verdict, no matter how difficult it may be, and no matter what the financial impact, for all concerned, regardless of who’s on trial. If there is reasonable doubt, then by all means acquit, but when a juror is given a front row seat to a crime that can be repeatedly played for them on video, reasonable doubt is removed, and they should then follow the law and convict. Both Elio Carrion, and justice itself, were cheated with this verdict, and in my book, that’s an injustice for us all.

Anonymous said...

I love Ivory and have known him for over 16 years. Although I love him as my friend I too was shocked to see him as the media displayed the event. I am so thankful that the truth was revealed in the trial that I personally attended.

To all of you who still believe that Ivory is guilty of a crime and Carrion is so innocent please read this information below.

Carrion was not only a passenger he was an active participant.

Back on January 29, 2006, Deputy Webb was on patrol near the end of
his shift, anticipating the start of a two week vacation. He was patrolling the Chino Hills area, when he heard a broadcast from fellow Deputy Charles Carter, who announced he was in pursuit of a Corvette at speeds in excess of 100 mph in a residential area. A nine year veteran of the Department, Deputy Webb continued to monitor the pursuit, and staged his vehicle so as to assist if necessary. The Corvette at one point spun out and stopped a few feet from the front of Carter's unit, before again jetting away in a manner that would threaten
the lives of motorists, pedestrians and deputies, not to mention the two occupants of the Corvette. Deputy Carter's Crown Victoria could not safely keep
pace with the Corvette, which proceeded to zip past Deputy Webb.

Sensing that the safety of the public was in jeopardy, Deputy Webb
initiated his own pursuit to stop the suspects' vehicle, also reaching speeds over 100 mph in an effort to at least obtain a license plate number. As he did so,he could not help but wonder what other crimes the suspects might be running from, or how soon it might be before their antics killed someone.

His opportunity for reflection was brief, as the suspects' vehicle
pulled away from him. In Deputy Webb's mind, it appeared that the suspects would stop at nothing to avoid arrest. The Corvette then raced near Deputy Webb
and swerved out of control. He braced himself for a collision that never came, as the suspect vehicle crashed against a cinder block wall, now facing in the
same westbound direction as the Sheriff's unit.

Deputy Webb's first instinct was to call out his location and obtain backup, something he had been unable to do as the pursuit unfolded. Just as hereached for his radio to try again, the passenger, Elio Carrion, got out of the car, while the driver, Luis Escobedo, sought feverishly but unsuccessfully toexit the vehicle from his side. Unbeknownst to Deputy Webb at the time, the
two suspects had been drinking all day at Carrion's home at a party Carrion threw for himself to celebrate his recent return from Iraq.

Although Carrion could easily have turned to run westbound, he instead
moved eastbound in the direction of Deputy Webb, who had drawn his firearm and ordered him to the ground. Carrion stepped back slightly towards the Corvette, but did not comply with the directive. At the same time, both Carrion and Escobedo began a non-stop barrage of verbal istractions for Deputy Webb, who was now in close proximity to suspects he could only presume were armed,
without any sense when or if backup would arrive. It was at this point that the video footage showed the chain of events leading to and including the weapon discharge.

Undoubtedly due to the profanity used by all parties at the scene, the mainstream media has never played the video and audio for the general public, nor has the media even had access to the multiple versions of expertly enhanced versions that gave improved perspectives on the behavior of the suspects.
Contrary to the claims of the prosecution, the videos showed that Deputy Webb's actions were not "out of control," but instead remarkably restrained.

As the video began, Deputy Webb told Carrion, who was partially
standing inside the door of the Corvette, to cross his ankles. Carrion failed to do so,
while at the same time Escobedo profanely stated that the suspects did nothing wrong. The tape showed that the 6'1, 240 pound former University of Iowa football
star told the ranting suspects at gunpoint at least seven times to "shut up" so that he could begin to control the situation. Sometimes he yelled,sometimes he used profanity, but still neither of the suspects obeyed the
commands, prompting fear in any reasonable officer that the suspects may be parolees or gang members working in tandem to formulate a plan of attack
against him. Deputy Webb told Carrion numerous times to get to the ground, but Carrion did not do so on his own, as he continued to try to divert Webb's attention. Deputy Webb was forced to use his foot to move Carrion to the
ground.

Incredibly, Carrion, whose military and police training should have given him every reason to know the importance of following orders and being
sensitive to officer safety concerns, next quickly thrust his left hand within inches of Deputy Webb's gun. Showing amazing restraint, Deputy Webb refrained from firing as he yelled at Carrion to put his hand back on the ground, while still trying to monitor the movements of Escobedo in the darkened car. Carrion
did so, but only briefly, when again his left hand reached towards the Deputy's gun. A second time Deputy Webb showed restraint and withheld fire, again
emphatically telling Carrion to put his hand on the ground. In between Escobedo's protestations of innocence from behind the wheel and Carrion's babbling about the incident all being "a misunderstanding", Deputy Webb
told the non-compliant Carrion four more times to put his hand on the ground, to no avail. Next, in a situation that had escalated to make Deputy Webb "the most scared I had ever been in my life", Carrion audaciously lectured
to Deputy Webb in a threatening tone, "I spent more time than you in the f'ing police, in the f'ing military, you f'ing believe me alright", as he thrust his right hand in the middle of his jacket.

From Deputy Webb's perspective, the hand appeared to go into the
waistband area, which would have justified an immediate deadly force response by any officer. But as the hand entered the jacket, Deputy Webb gestured with
his firearm seemingly for Carrion to get his hand up, while the audio suggests that the words "get up" may be among other inaudible words. Immediately thereafter, Carrion came up off the ground in his own words, "as quickly
as I could", even though he testified that the command that he heard to get up was one that he would never have given to a suspect himself, and which otherwise gave him "pause." The rapid manner in which Carrion came up off the ground, in combination with Carrion's hand movement and verbal challenges, in the context of everything that had happened previously, caused Deputy Webb
to view Carrion's movements as a threatening lunge towards him, and he fired his weapon three times in self-defense, consistent with his training.

As noted, the prosecution's theory of the case was that Deputy Webb
was somehow "out of control", and that he had shot Carrion out of a heat of passion or unreasonable fear. The prosecution based its position on criticisms of Deputy Webb's tactics, claiming that Deputy Webb:

1. Never should have gone in pursuit of the Corvette;

2. Should have known that the suspects were merely speeding and were
not dangerous;

3. Should have known that Carrion's hand movements towards the gun were
those of a harmless drunk who was just talking with his hands; and

4. Should have known that Carrion could not realistically have had a
firearm in his jacket.

In a brilliant and passionate closing argument, Michael Schwartz
meticulously dissected every aspect of the prosecution's case, leaving no doubt in the
minds of the jurors as to Deputy Webb's innocence. The prosecution's
"bad tactics" and "out of control" theories were ridiculous he said, as
the evidence showed that Deputy Webb had shown amazing restraint and
utilized all reasonable means to control suspects who showed disdain for the
Deputy's commands. It was similarly preposterous, he argued, for the prosecution
to try to rewrite the law to claim that the case should be viewed through the
bloodshot eyes of a resisting drunken suspect, rather than from the perspective of a
reasonable officer trying to protect the community from two dangerous
suspects while without backup.

Most of all, Michael Schwartz encouraged each juror to attempt to walk
in Ivory Webb's shoes before rendering any judgment, and to never forget that law
enforcement officers are human beings who must have the authority to
reasonably respond to the appearance of danger, so that they, like the rest of us,
might go home to their families at the end of the day. In closing, he emotionally
appealed to each and every juror to unlock the cage that had surrounded
Ivory Webb since the D.A.'s office had rushed to file the charges against him
last year, and to set Ivory Webb free at last.

A jury of eight men and four women agreed that under the perilous
circumstances thrust on Deputy Webb by two drunk, defiant and non-compliant suspects, he
had acted reasonably to defend himself. Shortly thereafter Judge Michael
Smith announced the words Ivory Webb had longed to hear: "Mr. Webb, you are free
to go."

As jurors later said, the dubious testimony of Mr. Carrion, and his
even more suspect actions, were what caused the shooting. It was the suspects,
they said, not the Deputy, that were out of control.
Having lived with this case with Ivory Webb for the last one and one-half years, I feel uniquely qualified to make these
final observations of indisputable truth:

1. Ivory Webb is absolutely innocent of the charges that were filed against him;

2. No law enforcement officer should be prosecuted for just trying to do his job; and

3. Michael Schwartz is one absolutely phenomenal trial
lawyer.

Anonymous said...

May GOD bless you Deputy Webb and may HIS ultimate abundance be showered on you and your family.
"Blessed are the peacekeepers they shall be called sons of GOD". Satain is the ruler of this world but may you always stand in the armor of GOD to protect the innocent. - Officer E. Flathmann Duluth, GA

Anonymous said...

I don't know either of the parties involved, I come here out of curiosity towards the rights police have over US citizens. Having read a lot of commentary on this subject, I have my own opinions but won't try to be the light in the dark and question a decision of the jury. That being said, I think it's incredibly obvious that this police officer is not, and perhaps for quite a while was not, fit for police duty. A jury says he is not guilty of criminal intent, but the very obvious fact that a man was shot for not doing what the police officer said is frightening. The Police can talk about their fear and suspicions, but situations like this do not give me confidence that the police have my best interests at heart. As a law abiding, tax paying citizen, I am afraid of our police officers and can't help but get the feeling that they would be happy to know so. This should not be the case. Admittedly if a police officer was pointing his weapon at me I would be listening and not talking, let alone yelling. However, I would question anyone who thought the officer felt his life was threatened and thus had a "right" to shoot. I'm sure the victim was very convinced his life was threatened after being unarmed and shot by a police officer. But as a citizen of the US he is not afforded the same rights a police officer is.