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911 Tape Caught Cops Planning Cover-Up After Shooting

Published:

(Aw, you mean people don't become decent, upstanding, and honest just because they put on a uniform on and get a weapon?)

http://www.courthousenews.com/2009/09/23/Family_Says_911_Tape_Caught_Cops_Planning_Cover-Up_After_Shooting.htm

PHOENIX (CN) - A homeowner says a Phoenix police officer shot him six times in the back during a 911 home-invasion call, and the 911 tape recorded the officer's partner saying, "That's all right. Don't worry about it. I got your back. ... We clear?" The family says the officers were not aware that the 911 call was still recording as they spoke about covering up the shooting.
     In their complaint in Maricopa County Court, Anthony and Lesley Arambula say an armed intruder "crashed through the front window" of their home on Sept. 17, 2008 and ran into one of their son's bedrooms.
     Anthony, worried about his son who was still in his bedroom, says he "held the intruder calmly at gunpoint" and called 911.
     Phoenix Police officers already in the neighborhood heard the crash of the Arambulas' window. When they approached the house, Lesley says, she told Sgt. Sean Coutts that her husband was inside holding the intruder at gunpoint. Lesley says Coutts failed to pass on that information to the two other officers.
     Inside the house, the Arambulas say, Officer Brian Lilly shot Anthony six times in the back while he was still on the phone with the 911 operator - twice when he was on the ground.
     The officers ran into the bedroom after Anthony told them, "You just killed ... you just killed the homeowner. The bad guy is in there."
     The complaint states that Officer Lilly "admitted that it was only after Tony was laying, bullet-ridden, on the ground that he assessed the situation. The 911 tape continued to record what happened even after Officer Lilly unloaded his weapon into Tony, including Officer Lilly's post-shooting, one-word 'assessment': 'F**k.'
     "Tony believed he was going to die; the 911 tape records his plaintive goodbye to his family: '... I love you ... I love you.' Then Tony made what he believed was a dying request to the officers; he did not want his young family to see him shot and bloodied. Officers callously ignored his request and painfully dragged Tony by his injured leg, through the home and out to his backyard patio, where they left him bloodied and shot right in front of Lesley, Matthew and Zachary."
     The Arambulas say the officers later dragged Anthony onto gravel, then put him on top of the hot hood of a squad car, and "drove the squad car down the street with Tony lying on top, writing in pain."
     According to the complaint, Lilly can be heard on the 911 tape telling Coutts, "We f**ked up."
     Lilly says on the tape that he did not know where Anthony's gun was when he shot him and that he "opened fire because he heard loud noises and saw someone who looked like he might be the 'Hispanic' male they were pursuing" before getting to the Arambulas' house, according to the complaint.
     The complaint states: "Sgt. Coutts knew that officers has just shot up and likely killed an innocent homeowner and the husband of Lesley, with whom he had spoken before entering the home, instead of the armed intruder. Sgt. Coutts was quick to commence the cover-up of their terrible mistake. Sgt. Coutts asked Office Lilly where Tony's gun was at the time Officer Lilly had opened fire on Tony. Officer Lilly admitted that he did not know where Tony's gun was: 'I don't know. I heard screaming and I fired.'"
     Lilly later told a police internal affairs investigator that Anthony had pointed his gun in his direction, "in the 'ready' position," the complaint states. But Anthony Arambula says he was facing away from the officers, who could not have even seen his gun.
     The complaint continues: "Still not knowing that he is being recorded n the 911 tape, Sgt. Coutts interrupted Officer Lilly's admission and apology with his assurance that the cover-up would commence: 'That's all right. Don't worry about it. I got your back. ... We clear?'"
     After the shooting, the Arambulas say, the Phoenix Police Department treated them "like suspects in a drug bust," denying Lesley, Michael and Zachary information about Anthony's condition and denying friends and family members access to him at the hospital.
     Anthony Arambula survived, but continues to suffer pain, which he expects will last for the rest of his life.
     The City of Phoenix and Officer Dzenan Ahmetovic also are named as defendants.
     The Arambulas seek punitive damages for gross negligence, civil rights violations, failure to supervise, excessive force, deliberate indifference to medical needs, false arrest, and emotional distress. They are represented by Michael Manning with son Morrison Hecker.

(A search of the victim's names gives plenty of other info about this matter. Defenders of all things au-thor-i-tah will argue that "it's such a dangerous job and mistakes will happen". -- A cover-up is not a mistake.)

Entry #291

Comments

1.
Comment by jim695 - October 3, 2009, 1:05 pm

     Unfortunately, this is typical of police behavior all over America. This incident just reinforces my belief that police officers in this country comprise the largest, best-organized and most dangerous criminal gang in the nation. When "one of their own" commits a crime, ANY crime up to and including murder, the rest are only too eager to ensure the perpetrator is not held accountable for what he's done.

     Yes, being a cop is a dangerous job, but are they so incredibly stupid that they don't know that before signing up? Using that same "logic," being a soldier or a Marine is even MORE dangerous, and we don't even blink when a veteran of the armed forces goes to prison when convicted of a crime. I think most officers join the police force instead of the military because they don't like the idea of bullets flying BOTH ways. It's time to STOP allowing these idiots to get away with murder. If we hold enough of them accountable for the crimes they commit, those that remain will eventually come to realize that we'll no longer consider them to be above the laws they're charged with enforcing.

     I'm sending emails AND making phone calls to Arizona congressmen, senators and their attorney general, and I urge anyone reading these comments to do the same, because WE could be their next victims. It probably won't do any good, but someone needs to stand up and demand that rogue cops are prosecuted and sent to prison like any other common criminal. Their status as officers of the law does NOT entitle them to exemption from criminal prosecution when identical behavior exhibited by a citizen under identical circumstances would result in immediate felony charges.

     What we need in this country is legislation authorizing citizens to use force to defend ourselves from police officers.

     Jim
2.
Rick GComment by Rick G - October 4, 2009, 8:50 am
Wow, what a story. What are they teaching these people in police academy? Seems like the only thing they are good for is generating revenue.

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