Discussion in 'Crimes in the News' started by Rocco, Jul 25, 2020.
Multiple victims reported in Downtown Austin shooting, public asked to avoid the area
Hard to tell what the truth is here. If the driver got out of his car and started firing indiscriminately he needs to go to jail for murder. If the victim approached the car with a weapon, then it becomes a case of self defense.
After seeing a video that was taken across the intersection, it sounds like five rounds from a large caliber weapon, which the victim was carrying, are fired and then three rounds from a smaller caliber weapon a few seconds later. The "eyewitness" accounts definitely aren't matching up
The interview is described in this detailed article about the incident:
Garrett Foster Brought His Gun to Austin Protests. Then He Was Shot Dead.
There was a protest march. Other cars were pulled up and waiting for the march to pass. They were not being attacked, harassed, or otherwise bothered. Per Austin police chief, the motivation for this car starting to honk, then turning right, and driving into the march is not something they are willing to talk about and part of the continuing investigation.
Car turned into the crowd, then was stopped by an orange barrier. At this point, nobody had struck the car or vice versa. Then, with the car stopped, the crowd starts to converge on the car... you can hear someone yell "everybody back up," followed almost instantly by the 5 shots from the driver. The entire time from the car stopping to the shots was maybe 5 seconds.
After the shots - the car looks to back away from the barrier quickly, then speed away. Another individual draws their weapon and fires 3 or 4 shots at the car, as it is leaving the scene.
The driver and the second shooter both turned contacted police and were interviewed. Police chief says both individuals were legally carrying.
TX - Garrett Foster, 28 - Fatally Shot - Austin - 25 July 2020
Community mourns Garrett Foster who was fatally shot during downtown Austin protest | KXAN Austin
Google™ Supplements & Updates:
Garrett Foster - Austin, TX - بحث Google
Me too. A wise person, as you noted, avoids confrontation when possible. Of course, that goes for the armed protestors as well. <modsnip: No MSM to support that was the intent of the protest>
Protest marches are permitted in streets with a permit. Protestor, however, of any political ideology are not permitted to block streets on their own accord.
<modsnip: No MSM to support information stated as fact>
The driver is not bound by the fact that other citizens either chose not to use the public street at that time, or complied with illegal orders not to use it.
At the end of they day, he decided to use a public street. At no point did he attempt to strike any of the people who chose, for what ever reason, to walk in a street. Rather, he used deadly force when a crowd rushed him and another individual pointed a weapon at him.
Some may resent people that believe their reason for blocking a road is more important than their reason to use it.
You have a driver in a car. The driver in the car has no idea if the protest marchers have a permit (?) or not. He wouldn't know if they have ticked all the legal boxes. Now - he may have an idea what the protesters are protesting... and he may not like the politics of the situation, but I'm pretty sure that under no circumstances (legal or not) does this permit him to drive into the crowd. If he could claim "surprise" - like he comes over a hill and suddenly 1000 people are in the road... or that people jumped in front of his car... I'd think that would be different - but not applicable given the videos.
Now - we've seen recent situations where cars were surrounded and smashed... drivers threatened. After driving into the crowd, people definitely rush towards the car. If the victim did, in fact, point his rifle at the driver - then I'd think there is a case for self-defense. On the other hand, the entire incident from the car stopping until the shots were fired is about 4... maybe 5 seconds and the car seemed to leave relatively undamaged (no smashed windows, etc.). If the situation is more like some guy was having a "road rage" incident because he didn't like the inconvenience or the politics... drives into the crowd... then gets scared when he sees someone approach his car, while carrying their rifle in a legal manner (as Texas allows) - we probably have something else.
I have no idea what to make of the bystander that fired at the car.
I can't see how the person who shot at the car as it drove not being charged. <modsnip>
I have participated in protest marches where we were permitted to walk in the streets for a brief period of time. Our marches always had police escort at the street blockages.
That aside, and in the end, the group did not have a permit to block streets. As you implied, there could be two very different spins on what happened:
Spin A: Peaceful protestors temporarily block a street and have every intention of say, returning to the side walks ASAP. Weapons are discretely carried only for self defense. An apparent road rager threatens the peaceful marchers. A marcher then tries to protect others...
Spin B: Armed militants ignore police orders not to block public streets and intimidate other citizens from using them. A peaceful citizen slowly and gently attempts to use a public street and is surrounded by armed, menacing "protestors". A militant points a rifle at him....
Spin A verse Spin B maybe impossible to fully determine. Then factor in that criminal charges against the shooter must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Thus, it might be best to fall back on what is known:
- The marchers had apparently been told not to told not to block the streets. The deceased apparently believed that carrying a weapon would empower him to block streets.
A plea bargain might be the best option for the proscecutor. If the investigation reveals that the shooter had legitimate business in the area, the plea bargain can be generous. If the shooter appears to have been bored and trawling for a confrontation, the plea bargain can be not so generous.
And that right there is why I have an issue with the media. Video of the interview is all over social media and they only quote one sentence out if it. Quote the whole thing or none of it all
Look at what happened in Colorado yesterday. A driver trying to make his was through a protest on the freeway was shot at and two protestors where injured by the fire and a third broke her leg jumping off the freeway. Citizens are getting tired of having their vehicles damaged by protestors and it's starting to show.
As far as this shooting goes, it's hard to tell whether the victim had his rifle in a threatening position or not but approaching a vehicle thats being surrounded by people with a rifle in a state where people are allowed to concealed carry is not the best of ideas
In the current environment I can't trust an elected prosecutor to make an unbiased decision to charge or not charge either of the two shooters.
Neither can I. But.... the "free market" might be a counter weight to any potential bias one way or the other.
In the end, prosecutors know that tolerance for armed chaos only leads to more armed chaos. Likewise, they know that a good number of their constituents expect prosecutions. These factors could prevent tilted reviews in favor of the shooters.
But....DAs also know that they need to convince a jury of 12 people that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt- very challenging in "he said, she said" cases. This should prevent tilted reviews in favor of the defendants.
In the end, I think a lot of these "he said, she said" political violence cases will be handled by DAs threatening to go for murder convictions, but..... willing to consider plea bargains to lesser charges to get a conviction.
In either case, the escalating and armed political chaos needs to stop. I would support charges (plea bargain based) against:
- The shooter in this case to deter others from trawling for confrontations.
- The protestors who fired at a fleeing car.
- The deceased to deter others from trawling for confrontations. But..... he is, well, deceased and is beyond charges.
The most recent video shows the victim did point his assault rifle at the car, as protesters were surrounding it.
Wheelchair-bound fiancée of slain BLM protester leads vigil in Austin | Daily Mail Online
But the article did state:
The barrel of his AK-47 appears to be pointing towards the floor, however he is leaning towards the car with right arm raised and his hand seemingly placed around the weapon's grip.
This could also be easily interpreted by the occupants of the car that the deceased was in the act of pointing the weapon towards the occupants of the car (one does not need to wait until they become a victim before they have reasonable fear).
In short, I dont think the most recent revelation is going to make the prosecutor's job any easier in finding 12 people willing to convict.
The defense will also have access to the interview in which the deceased acknowledged that he had been told not to block the streets. Likewise, in the same interview the deceased garbled statements could be interpreted that he carried a weapon in response to being told not to block the streets.
His garbled explanation (a certain number militants on the right or the left don't seem to be given to clear explanations) as to why he carried the weapon could also be interpreted to be that the deceased concluded that carrying the weapon empowered him to block streets.
In the end, the deceased's press interview does not really help the prosecution anymore than the most recent photo does.
I just watched the video & unless there is another one out there I don't see the driver endangering anyone.
Army sergeant says he's the one who shot a protester dead in Austin
At that point, according to Broden, someone carrying an assault rifle "quickly approached the car and then motioned with the assault rifle for Mr. Perry to lower his window. Sgt. Perry initially believed the person was associated with law enforcement and complied with the command. After rolling down the window, it became apparent to Sgt. Perry that the individual with the assault rifle was not with law enforcement.
"It has now been confirmed by several witnesses that this individual with the assault rifle then began to raise the assault rifle toward Sgt. Perry. It was only then that Sgt. Perry, who carried a handgun in his car for his own protection while driving strangers in the ride share program, fired on the person to protect his own life.
Unless there's something else the Police aren't telling us about, I don't see the guy being charged with a crime. The moment Foster began to raise the rifle he became a threat to Perry and he had every right to defend himself and did. If by some chance he is charged, all his attorney is going to have to do is show the jury Fosters interview and it's game over.