OC DA Clears Orange Police in Shooting of Unarmed Woman

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On June 22, 2012, Olivia Reil went to Danny K's Sports Bar in Orange with her boyfriend Robert to celebrate a friend's birthday. Everything went well enough that summer night until Reil and her man got into a lover's quarrel as they sat in his truck. The two had been going out for a year, but she hadn't yet heard those three magic words: "I love you."

Robert drove Reil to a friend's place after leaving Danny K's, but she didn't get down with him. When Robert came back out, he found that she took off with his truck.

Later on that night, according to an investigation by the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA), Reil essentially called the police on herself saying a woman was armed and seated inside a truck.

Orange PD officers Brian Chambers, Trent Hardeman and Charles Lange responded to the scene of West Sycamore and Spruce Avenue finding Reil in the truck. She suddenly exited and held a black object in a "pistol position." The police took cover behind their patrol cars and issued commands that were ignored.

In a statement given by Officer Lange, he observed a shine off the object and, thinking Reil wanted to commit suicide-by-cop, yelled "it's a cellphone!" But by that time it was too late as Officer Chambers and Hardeman both opened fire, shooting four times each. Hardeman told OCDA investigators that he saw Reil begin to raise her arms and, believing her to be armed, feared for Chamber's life. Officer Chamber's take on events? He didn't even bother providing a statement.

Reil was struck in the left thigh, leg and abdomen as she fell to the ground. A cell phone was retrieved near her. Amazingly, she survived her wounds. In a later interview at UCI Medical Center, where Reil underwent treatment for her injuries, she said she didn't recall dialing 911 that night and when officers arrived, Reil tried telling them she didn't have a gun.

Citing Reil's own cell phone call logs and prior criminal history, the OCDA, in an all too familiar refrain, ruled the shooting justified. "The evidence does not support a finding of criminal culpability on the part of Officers Chambers or Hardeman," the report concludes.

The investigation letter can be read in its entirety online.

Follow Gabriel San Román on Twitter @dpalabraz

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29 comments
Steve Ross
Steve Ross

A phone DOES NOT look like a gun... more injustice..

omar.s13
omar.s13

More and more stories like these abound in the U.S. daily. Like the other day an elder man was shot in the stomach as he was exiting his car and reaching for his cane. Luckily he survived, but it goes to show don't do any stupid ass shit like this in front of cops because your ass will get capped. Danny K's doesn't have a good rep. I don't think I'd ever go there. 

Whophantom
Whophantom

"Suicide by Cop" is another lying lame excuse as "suspect was reaching for his/her waistband".

This shooting is a result of unprofessional trigger happy cops and the D A working on their behalf to protect them.

CJ Toneygay
CJ Toneygay

Here we go again, cover-up,making the victim into the Criminal..smh

20ftjesus
20ftjesus topcommenter

Under no circumstances call the police (unless you want your GF/BF rubbed out).

Rick Hale
Rick Hale

Actually, Rich, the comments leave no doubt that they're from CA. This state is comprised mostly of idiots.

Rick Hale
Rick Hale

That's probably why it is reported matter-of-factly rather than with the usual, OC Weakly, value judgements.

Rich Hail
Rich Hail

imagine if the crazy bitch had a Spanish surname instead.. these comments would be full of chicanos talking trash.

Rich Hail
Rich Hail

hey chicanos and apologist for chicano gangbangers especially Gustavo arellano..See OC cops shoot White criminals too as you can see.. so knock off the ''I'm a poor Mexican'' crap!

Sarah Melton
Sarah Melton

1. Cell phones don't look like guns. 2. Cops are scared of women

Rich Hail
Rich Hail

first time for everything huh? oh and it's possible , very possible..people are crazy as hell these days, also they record 911 calls everytime..also she was coming from a bar where they serve alcohol..also this chick probably snapped because when a chick is fucking a guy for a year and he never says ''I Love you'' she feels like shit..go reread the story.. sometimes I wonder if the ocweekly readers besides Myself are even from California, because sometimes some of your peoples comments are backwoods like sarahs here...stay at home mommy??? you mean unemployed and stuck with kids.

Staci Williams
Staci Williams

duh! obviously they shoot first ask no questions later and their behavior is exonerated..

Rick Hale
Rick Hale

This is one where we're supposed to hate the cops despite the fact that the woman claimed to have a gun and refused to follow orders, right? Got it.

Daniel Dent
Daniel Dent

Seems like Laura is shoCked, Heather MacDonald

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

By the way, I lost count on T-Rack's angel police perfect record. Anyone remember?

18usc241
18usc241 topcommenter

I'll bet you lunch that the "suicide-by-cop" Bernie Madoff fraudulent phenomenon that doesn't exit was hatched in the mind of psychopaths looking for ways to murder people while hiding behind the color of authority?

Sarah Melton
Sarah Melton

Does anyone actually believe this BS?!? Last time I checked, girls don't randomly call 911 and lie about having a gun when they don't! Those cops were scared of a woman? This case is ridiculous!

Greyzie Bo
Greyzie Bo

No surprise. I saw on the news yesterday that cops shot at an elderly man who was reaching for his cane. Pretty sure the cop will be cleared also.

paullucas714
paullucas714 topcommenter

There are way too many of these shootings to justify ruling them all accidental or justified. If this is justified under policy then the policy must be changed. If this is justified by them doing what they were trained to do then the training and standards must be changed. If this is due to these officers having hidden records of misconduct and excessive force then we must do away with POBOR and POBRA.

diggybreiling
diggybreiling

No doubt about it, Orange County Cali is a Republican enclave.


fishwithoutbicycle
fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

Yeah, because anyone who doesn't IMMEDIATELY comply with police commands deserves to be shot...or beaten to death. And I don't hate cops...but I do have the utmost contempt for the BAD ones.

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