Kill Unarmed Man First, Ask Questions Later: Anaheim Cop Lawyer

manueldiazface.jpg
Manuel Diaz probably didn't know killer cop would claim his running away was an act of aggression
An unarmed, 25-year-old man not wanted for any crime was exercising his constitutional rights to move away from Anaheim Police Department (APD) officers when 20 seconds later one of the cops, armed with a semi-automatic Glock, decided without warning to kill him with shots to the buttock and back of the head.

That's the story Dale K. Galipo, an attorney for the estate of Manuel Diaz, told a jury of six men and two women in his Feb. 25 opening statement at the excessive force and wrongful death trial inside U.S. District Court Judge James V. Selna's Santa Ana courtroom.

"Mr. Diaz had nothing in his hands," Galipo said. "He was no threat when he was shot [in the buttock]. As he was going down to his knees, there was a second shot to his head . . . Diaz landed face down. The officers handcuffed him, patted him down and didn't find a weapon. They never found a weapon."

Steven Rothans, a Los Angeles-based lawyer that specializes in defending law enforcement agencies and cops in police brutality cases, told jurors that officer Nick Bennallack, had every right to kill Diaz because, even though he never saw the man holding a weapon, he "reasonably" assumed he had one in his waistband and might have been preparing to shoot.

"The officers did not see a firearm in the hands of Mr. Diaz, but then again the officers couldn't see his hands," said Rothans, who criticized the victim for failing to hold up his hands so a pursuing Bennellack and his partner, Brett Heitmann, could see they were empty. "The officers don't have x-ray vision . . . Officers are trained that concealed hands equal concealed weapons."

Rothans labeled Diaz a worthless, homeless, convicted felon, Eastside Anaheim gangster and methamphetamine/marijuana user who essentially asked to be executed by not following police commands to stop and get on the ground.

"In California, officers are not required to wait to see a gun [to use deadly force in alleged self-defense situations]," Rothans said. "If they wait to see a gun, it's too late."

He said Bennallack rightfully "feared" Diaz was luring the officers into a "gunfight" and he encouraged jurors--four Caucasians, three Latinos and one Asian--to place themselves in the white officers' shoes: Patrolling a dangerous, gang-infested, Latino area of Anaheim in the middle of the afternoon and knowing that hoodlums sometimes carrying guns in the waistbands of their pants.

"You have to evaluate [the killing] from the perspective of the officer [and] not 20-20 hindsight," Rothans told jurors.

To distract from the fact that Diaz was not seen with a weapon when he was killed, the defense lawyer got Judge Selna's permission to show the jury private cellphone photographs of the gangster holding a black handgun two days before the killing.


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75 comments
NoStereotypeZone
NoStereotypeZone

The shooting of unarmed Manuel Diaz was definitely a result of excessive and unreasonable force. According to US Legal definitions the term excessive force cannot be clearly defined. I choose to define excessive force as the point at which the use of force becomes unethical and the shooting of an unarmed man with his back turned is quite unethical. According to CBS news a taser is simple, effective, and generally safe. The officer should’ve tazed the victim instead of shooting him when it is proven that a taser is effective also. The taser would’ve done what the officer wanted without resulting in the death of the victim. Although officers could not see Diaz’s hands it was extremely excessive to shoot him twice, once which was in the head. This situation is unethical on the officer’s part because shooting the victim was not the only option. It would have been different if the officer had no other choice. The national institute of justice offers evidence that officers have more than one option when it comes to use of force. Shooting someone is not the onlyoption therefore it shouldn’t be the first option. If there were more effective options why did the officer choose to shoot then ask questions?It is understood that officer safety is most important when encountering citizens. It is also understood that when an officer takes a chance it can lead to their death which is why taking chances in the police force is very rare. The fact that officers didn’t know if the victim was armed for sure should’ve been more reason to use some other type of force than a deadly weapon. With the victim having his back turned, a taser would have been just as effective. The killing of Manuel Diaz is very unfortunate and is a result of excessive force and police brutality.

jimgilchrist
jimgilchrist

It is always unfortunate when someone is killed in a confrontation between police officers and a person being sought.  Sometimes, the person being sought is killed.  Sometimes, it is the police officer who is killed.


The simplest way to avoid these lethal encounters is, first of all, do not present yourself as a clear and present lethal danger to police officers, as Manuel Diaz appears to have done.


If the members of law enforcement were to foolishly assume that everyone they approach on police matters was the Pope, or Mary Poppins, they would all be dead in short order.


The proper outcome for the lawsuit at hand is that the Anaheim P.D. and the officers involved will be found NOT LIABLE for any wrongful death of Diaz.  Any other decision would put our police officers at risk of certain death if they do not react quickly and decisively when confronted with a threat against their lives.


Jim Gilchrist, Founder and President, The Minuteman Project



panhead20
panhead20

I fear for my life whenever I see a police officer. Do I have the right to shoot police on sight? If the police fear for their lives they shoot citizens!

Steve SanFilipo
Steve SanFilipo

I tried for a day to give a fuck but just concluded that I can't.

Dyanna Avila
Dyanna Avila

Haha! Fool??!! That's the way to win an argument!

949girl
949girl topcommenter

I definitely don't believe he should have been shot and killed.  But I also am not sad to hear about anyone in a gang getting killed. 

sweetliberty17761776
sweetliberty17761776 topcommenter

why does the left ALLOW CRIMINALS TO ROAM THE STREETS 



when there are tents and land to house them?


what kind of "judge" would let this person live next to them?


zero





imgrammadee
imgrammadee

That's EXACTLY the mentality of ALL cops -- KILL FIRST and ask questions afterwards.  99.99% of ALL cops are trigger happy vigilantes in uniform on the city's payroll.

Eon RosVive
Eon RosVive

where in the 'laws' does it say cops can murder?.....your just plain stupid, I blame your retarded parents........PLEASE, don't have any children.........

Kyle Murphy
Kyle Murphy

"concealed hands equal concealed weapons." Even if you are dead from a gunshot to the head.

elenoreflores
elenoreflores

Next time I see a cop I'm just going to lay down on the ground in a fetal position and start sucking my thumb, so I won't be shot to death.  I won't even wait to be asked.

elenoreflores
elenoreflores

I'm getting really sick and tired of reading about cops murdering civilians for stupid reasons.  No scratch that.  Not reasons, excuses. 

jilllee
jilllee

Anaheim has a huge crime problem. Cops are trying to clean up the street. I do not want to sound like a horrid person, but Diaz was known to terrorize the street, he was a gang member, and like so many gang members in Anaheim, they are responsible for a huge crime rate. He didnt deserve to die. 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Cops are Gutless Homicidal Neanderthal Cowards.



mbunach
mbunach

This is fundamentally just WRONG.. As a business owner I have the right to protect myself and my customers from harm...If someone walked into my store and I THOUGHT there was a gun in his waistband and I shot him (even without killing him) I would be in jail forever for shooting someone where my it could easily be proven that a normal reasonable person would NOT be in fear of their life which would justify shooting someone. I am pro cop anti gang but shooting a guy in the butt and back of the head while he was walking away does not tell me the officer was in REASONABLE fear of his life... More California Cops do what I say or die crap...

I don't care what color any of the guys were or who is with which gang (cops or robbers) NORMAL REASONABLE people do not kill people unless there is IMMINENT PROVABLE danger.... Let the verbal abuse begin... this is what I think Sorry..


FFO1939
FFO1939

Oh please, Family members suing APD. The DA said it and the court will find the officer innocent. One roach gone, more to go...

paullucas714
paullucas714 topcommenter

How many times do we have to hear "They were trained to do this" until we demand the changes in policy and training?

whomp_whomp
whomp_whomp

Diaz was probably a pretty good dude, smelling the roses as he strolled through the streets. Out of nowhere, he gets ambushed by Police questioning him which, in turn, he does not listen (or understand) what he's being asked. I don't know if he did or did not throw any sort of object... which does sound fishy.. but I do agree that cops are generally on the scared, nervous, fearful side of the barrel. Act first, ask questions later. There are too many variables which can be dissected into: prick cop/ strung out gang banger. Which do you choose? I'm not saying the cops made the wrong choice... under certain circumstances, I would probably make the same decision. Before the backlash sets in about why I'm and idiot, wrong, or racist, tell me what you would do when a gang banger lookin, possibly threatening person is not complying to your requests as you are trying to enforce them... after all... it is your JOB. Stand there with your hands in your pockets or have your sights set down range on target? The answer is clear to me... if I were a scared person, who has seen first hand what guys who resemble Diaz are capable of, the answer is clear. possible gun? Possible knife? Could have had a grenade for all I know... I would absolutely shoot him for not conforming to simple requests to lay down and hands on your head. This, to me, is his own suicide by cop... and nothing less. Now his precious looking family is trying to cash in. I get it... I really do. Moral of the story: Follow the rules, do as you're told, and if someone knowingly has more weapons than you do... listen.

Vir Ti Go
Vir Ti Go

This sounds about right and it sux hope there is justice

jeffdg1
jeffdg1

let me understand this ... on the basis of an assumption this guy was killed (and shot in the back, no less).  banger or not, he didn't deserve to die like that. Rothans said. "If they wait to see a gun, it's too late."  right, that's the mentality of rogue cops!!!

Greg Chavez
Greg Chavez

There's a bunch of guys who hang around my house doing dumb shit who look exactly like this guy. It's basically ruining the neighborhood for anyone who's a decent person. I wish the cops would come and take care of the problem here too.

SickSnail
SickSnail

I don't really care about this guy. Useless.

Chingazo
Chingazo

The bangers know there's only two ways out of the life, jail or death.  Stomper got what he deserved.

tongue_twister_for_t
tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

"he "reasonably" assumed he had one in his waistband and might have been preparing to shoot".

The cop (criminal cop) 'reasonably 'assumed' that Diaz had a weapon (yet one was not displayed) and murdered Diaz.  

Luvlee Dee
Luvlee Dee

There was no reason to shoot him. To make it worse they shot him not once but twice. Why? They could've tazered his ass. They didn't even know the guy was a felon until after the fact. Lets say they didn't have any dirt on him, what would be the excuse for this murder? Too many ppl being killed even their pets all b/c of some wack officers. So now we not only gotta fear the crazy ppl in this world but also our officers? Sad. I can respect the good officers that really do care about ur safety & aren't racial profiling u but those corrupted officers I have no respect for. They belong in the same prison as the criminals cuz obviously they ain't no different! There just as low if they committing the same crimes. What makes it worse is they have a badge. Which is suppose to be to protect & serve not beat & kill. FTP!

Maria Serpa
Maria Serpa

Thats exactly what this reminds me off!

Jail Out Bail Bonds
Jail Out Bail Bonds

what city is next? dont be a stupid cop, its a badge, . do what you swore to do, which is to protect and serve. it shouldnt be BaDGE first, give the familyvictims a million to go away thing

Jail Out Bail Bonds
Jail Out Bail Bonds

Too many innocent gettin dealt with. Who cares what u look like, look at ur picture, how would you like for people saying, hes mexican he looks like Speedy gonzales.# Kelly Thomas should be living

Daryl Slack
Daryl Slack

He threw what looked black and heavy? The cop tried to make it seem like he saw him throw a gun. Why is it this cop shot him in the head after he says the gangster got rid of his "weapon"? I hate GANGSTERS, COPS are the biggest gangsters! Just think, if people used our 2nd amendment rights we would not have THUG GANGSTERS and we would have a lot less COPS.....

FreeTheWeed
FreeTheWeed

They'll still execute you for failing to comply and carrying a concealed thumb.

jilllee
jilllee

Anaheim received a 21 out of 100 in the crime index, 100 being the safest. I live in Anaheim, and yes, in many areas of Anaheim, gangs are a huuuuge problem. houses are always being constantly broken into. There are drug dealers that come out after 6 and you will hardly see any kids play on the streets when it starts getting dark, graffiti, kids with no direction being little terrorists.  


I am an affluent traveler and trust me, Anaheim gangs are pretty bad as it is. It is not Compton or Detroit bad, but it is bad. 


I know there are gangs everywhere else, but I am making my opinion on Anaheim gangs specifically. 


I do not agree what the cops did to Manuel Diaz, but I am glad there is an effort to clean up the streets. 

gtnoriega554
gtnoriega554

@DonkeyHotay We do have good cops, but we also have bullies and cowards hiding behind the badge as you know.

949girl
949girl topcommenter

@whomp_whomp While I don't agree the guy deserved to be shot and killed  I get what you are trying to say in a weird, warped way.   

bakerajatha
bakerajatha

@whomp_whomp' I would absolutely shoot him for not conforming to simple requests to lay down and hands on your head.'

Cops in America?  Says it all

jilllee
jilllee

I live in anaheim, bunch of guys like this standing around, and its the reason why my kids are not allowed to play outside after 4 pm. The cops are making an effort to clean up the street and I support them.

I feel bad that he was killed the way he did though, maybe he could have turned his life around, who knows. 

jimgilchrist
jimgilchrist

@msmith6791 @jimgilchrist  


Not really out of my mind.  


I just don't see law enforcement officers as a danger to me or anyone else.  But, I do consider gang-bangers and the many criminals that populate our society as a very clear and present danger to all of us.


Thanks to the visible presence of law enforcement in our communities, the rest of us do not have to venture out in public armed to the teeth like a paranoid Yosemite Sam.


You certainly have an irrevocable and unalienable right to voice your ugly opinions about cops and the persons who support them.  And you can applaud the criminal side of our society, if you like.  But, that is generally not a socially acceptable behavior in a civilized society.  Actually, that line of thinking may put you into the category of a vile nut case.


Jim Gilchrist, Founder and President, The Minuteman Project




jimgilchrist
jimgilchrist

@msmith6791 @jimgilchrist

Thank you for calling.  Your comments are important to us.  Please stay on the line and someone will be with you shortly.


Meanwhile, please take some Prozac, get plenty of sleep, and call your psychiatrist in the morning.


:)


Jim Gilchrist, Founder and President, The Minuteman Project

msmith6791
msmith6791

@jimgilchrist @msmith6791  

Yes you ARE out of your mind Jim and your whole mindset is totally antichrist -your way of dealing with people is to dominate them, it's clear you are not in the kingdom of heaven On top of that you evidence a huge arrogant attitude...presuming to call my opinions ugly. In one voice you say I have a right to them and in the next tell me they are ugly.  Your thought process is very VERY flawed.  You presume that I applaud the criminal side of society and you call OUR society "civilized"  The entire government structure (statute law over enfranchised slaves) is criminal.  Our entire government is a RACKET.  Your support for a criminal government belies the accusation that "I am a vile nut case" and the finger you are pointing at me has THREE  pointing back at you.  Now - there's no room to argue this here and I would be wasting my breath with you, but when the website is complete everything anyone needs to know will be there:  www.the-last-amendment.org.

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