The police state.

The Police State of Utah.

In Utah, the state that Norman Haga lives in, and in Salt Lake City, the city Norman Lives in, the police state is off to a running start. The first two homicides of the year are police killing citizens. On January 8, 2015 at about 3:30 P.M. a Salt Lake City Police Officer shot and killed James Dudley Baker for the heinous crime of knocking on doors and asking to shovel snow. Mr. Baker lived one block away from where the officer shot and killed him. The Salt Lake City Police department refuses release the name of the officer that shot Mr. Baker.

Norman read that the officer that shot Mr. Baker was wearing a body camera at the time of the shooting and that most of the events were recorded. The video is posted on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ntv4fOdVaII

Unfortunately, the body camera malfunctioned when the officer was stuck with a shovel and we are left in a void about the shooting itself. The report from eyewitnesses are that the officer and the victim were wrestling on the ground when the officer shot the victim. There is also a report that the officer was sitting on top of the victim when the officer removed his sidearm from his holster, placed the barrel of the sidearm in the victims chest and pulled the trigger three times.

We do not really know the events of the shooting itself, and eyewitness reports are inherently unreliable, even when made to the police.

Prior to discussing the body camera recording, we need to look at the events surrounding why the police arrived to question Mr. Barker. The Salt Lake City Police received an anonymous telephone call that a man was walking around a neighborhood and knocking on doors asking to shovel snow. This is a perfectly legal activity.   We again emphasis that the victim lived one block away from where he was shot and killed.

Turning to the body camera recording. We see the events from the time that the officer got out of his car and up to the point that the officer was struck with a snow shovel. My viewing of the video revealed:

The officer was clearly informed that the victim did not wish to speak to the cop. The cop refused to accept a refusal by the victim to speak with the cop. The cop witnessed no criminal activity that would give him probable cause to continue to attempt to question the victim.

The cops positioning was such that there is a credible claim of detention or arrest. The cop reached for the person that he had provoked to anger. The victim backed off but raised the shovel. The cop did not back off, and did have time to reach for a baton or pepper spray. The officer also had the chance to reach for a tazer, but a tazer would have been useless against the coat. However, the pants that the victim was wearing were of a light cotton that a tazer would have been effective against. In addition, tazers should not be used in the chest area at all, but should be used against the legs.

Once the cop was struck with a shovel, a felony was committed and the cop would have reason to fear, and therefore defend himself.

However, a according to a witness, the victim and the cop were wrestling on the ground at the time the cop pulled the trigger and the broken shovel was laying some distance away. Therefore, the justification of the shovel as a weapon was no longer a consideration. Another witness reported that the officer sat directly on top of the victim before removing his sidearm from his holster, placing the sidearm in the victims chest, and pulling the trigger three times. If this second event is true, then we have a clear case of murder.

It is the opinion of Norman Haga that  the officer escalated the situation and illegally detained the victim. After escalating the situation and illegally detaining the victim, the officer shot and killed the victim when the victim reacted in frustration to the cop’s illegal conduct.

We, Norman Haga, the citizens of the state of Utah, and of the United States, need to regain control of our out of control police and stop the police state.

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