GUN Ga. Cop charged with murder

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by TL1000RSquid, Jun 2, 2007.

  1. TL1000RSquid

    TL1000RSquid ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    Savannah police officer charged with murder

    The Associated Press
    Published on: 06/01/07

    SAVANNAH — A police officer has been arrested on accusations he unjustly shot and killed an unarmed man during a foot chase.

    Officer Antonio Taharka, 33, was arrested Thursday and charged with murder in the death of Anthony Smashum, who died Wednesday after being shot twice.

    "A member of the community is dead, and a member of the police family has been charged with a crime," Police Chief Michael Berkow said. "There are no winners here."

    It began around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday when Taharka spotted Smashum, who was wanted for violating probation, and tried to arrest him.

    But Smashum, 41, fled. Taharka caught up with him and a struggle began. During the struggle, Smashum lost his shirt and shoes.

    But Smashum was able to get away and ran again, cutting through a house and hopping a fence, police said.

    Taharka ordered Smashum to stop, but he didn't, police said. That is when Taharka drew his weapon and fired a shot, hitting the man in the leg. But the bullet did not stop Smashum and he continued to climb over a fence.

    Taharka fired again, police said. The second shot hit Smashum in the back and he collapsed behind a house.

    Paramedics brought Smashum to Memorial Health University Medical Center, where he later died.

    Initial findings showed Smashum was not armed and there was no threat to the officer, Chief Berkow said.

    Berkow said Taharka's actions violated police policy and state law.

    "We reached the conclusion that in fact our officer had committed a crime," Berkow said. "We had probable cause that our officer through the use of deadly physical force constituted an unlawful act."

    State law allows deadly force only when a life is in danger, Berkow said.

    Taharka has been booked into the Chatham County jail, where he is being kept in protective custody with only about half a dozen other inmates, said Sgt. Tommy Tillman, spokesman for the Chatham County Sheriff's Department.

    "This is not an officer who got up (Wednesday) morning and came to work and said, 'I'm going to shoot and kill someone.' This in an officer ... who got in his police car and went out to do his job," Berkow said. "Something happened. I don't know what."

    Smashum had been arrested 18 times in the past 20 years, according to jail records. He had served time for rape, sodomy and aggravated assault convictions.

    Records also show Wednesday was not the first time officer Taharka used deadly force.

    In 2003, he fired two shots at Ashford Cuffy during a traffic stop after seeing a dark object in Cuffy's hands. Neither of the shots hit Cuffy, who hopped a fence and tried to flee. At the time, Taharka said he was in fear of his life.

    An internal affairs investigation found Taharka was justified in that shooting.
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    Not the cleanest shoot but I dont think the cop deserves a murder charge. The "victim" is an obvious scumbag who shouldn't of been out on the streets to begin with.
     
  2. Gimik

    Gimik New Member

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    tough call. cop was obviously wrong to use deadly force to slow down an unarmed man, but that guy was a true scumbag, so :dunno:
     
  3. Aequitas

    Aequitas If it keeps on raining, levee's going to break.

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    He would have gotten a medal had this been thirty years ago.
     
  4. Soybomb

    Soybomb New Member

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    This is a tough one for me, but I think I like the idea of asking if imprisioning someone does society any good or not. At least in the grander sense thats the general purpose of it right? In this case I don't see how locking this man up will do the general public any good, it will in fact probably just waste money. He is not a danger to the public, although clearly he should lose his job. Its a real bad situation.
     
  5. t1h

    t1h Guest

    he shouldn't be charged with anything. one more sack of shit criminals off the streets
     
  6. Fire Sauce

    Fire Sauce New Member

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    I've been reading about this in the paper. Say what you want about the criminal: yes, he's a scumbag, yes, he's a rapist.

    But in this country you don't deny someone their due process rights and shoot them in the back. This is Savannah, it's not hard to set up a containment in this town and just catch him on the other side of the block.
     
  7. Fire Sauce

    Fire Sauce New Member

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    What's come out in the press here is that apparently Officer Taharka and Smashum got into a scuffle during the attempt to take him into custody, Smashum got away, Taharka catches up with him at a major intersection, orders him to stop, Smashum keeps running, Taharka shoots him in the leg, Smashum keeps running, Taharka shoots him in the back, Smashum dies.

    Officer = guilty. Smashum wasn't presenting a lethal threat.
     

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