Monday, March 17, 2014

70-Year-Old Man Threatens To Shoot Cop With Cane — According To Cop

So of course the cop shot the 70-year-old man. Eric Lach of TPM:

What every cop understandably fears
(NOT the incident described here)
York County, S.C. deputy Terrance Knox fired at Bobby Canipe after mistaking Canipe's cane for a shotgun, according to the Associated Press. Knox had pulled Canipe over for an expired tag, and the dashcam video shows Canipe pulling over quickly after Knox put on his lights and siren. Canipe then gets out of his truck, and reaches for his cane in the truck bed. Knox can be heard yelling as Canipe swings the cane and points the end of it in his direction.

Knox ran up to Canipe after shooting him. According to the Associated Press, another officer arrived a few minutes after the shooting, and at that point Knox began to sob.

"I promise to God I thought it was a shotgun," Knox said.

Gawd, I hate incidents like this.

My ancient '94 Chevy is low-slung, presumably to give it a sporty look. Getting out of it is a real challenge for me. Typically I have to open the door as wide as possible, swing my legs out (assisting my prosthetic right leg with both hands), reach back and grab my cane, prop the cane between the inside door handle and the ground, grip the steering wheel and seat back with my hands behind me, push hard to propel myself out of the car into a standing position and grab the cane before I fall over. I came close to the "fall over" part a few times before I worked out this procedure. It's reliable, but ugly... it's much harder than getting out of even a low easy chair. My point is this: when a cripple exits a car, s/he has at most a couple of seconds to locate the cane and stabilize.

There's not a lot of margin for error, and social pleasantries from a cop are unlikely to get an instant response until the cripple is stable on his/her feet. I understand that the cop is "twitchy" at the possibility of being greeted with a gun, but that doesn't change the cripple's reality in managing to comply with the cop's directive to get out of the car with hands visible.

The York County sheriff offered this bit of wisdom:
"Watch the action of the walking cane," Bryant said during a news conference Wednesday. "The question is, at the time this officer pulled the trigger, did he feel like his life was in danger? I can say this. Any reasonable officer would have felt that way. … I would have had to take the same action he did."

Right. And any reasonable cripple expects to die the moment the cop orders him/her to exit the car. It's a horrible situation.

In this case, the man with disabilities survived and is "expected to recover," whatever the hell THAT means. Next time the outcome could be different.


  1. It's what we can expect when we have a bunch of heavily armed crackers and gang-bangers and a heavily armed police state that deals with them regularly. Every time I have an encounter with police officers I am scared shitless because these people are heavily armed, trigger happy, and unaccountable. I consider them to be a heavily armed street gang and give them the respect due to any heavily armed gangster who is demanding something of you.

    1. 'tux, every encounter I've had with a cop has scared the crap outta me. But the Cop Encounter of the Worst Kind happened one night about 1:00AM when I was driving my ancient '68 Ford Falcon (I've always driven old cars, and this was around 1982 or so) home from a rehearsal with my buddy Wayne in the passenger seat. Wayne played (still plays, I think) viola da gamba, or viol, as Henry Purcell would have called it. Viols were not found on every street in American cities in those days, and Wayne had had a case custom-built for his instrument. The case looked (I kid you not) like a coffin for a 10-year-old kid, and it was stretched out across the back seat.

      We were stopped at a light. There was one truck in front of us. The following happened:

      for (int i=1; i<=3; i++) {
        Truck shifts into gear();

      Finally, in exasperation, I backed up and pulled around the truck as the light turned green... not noticing that there was a cop behind both of us. Yes, he pulled us over. "Where ya going?" "Home after a rehearsal." "What's in the box?" Dog knows what he expected, but I could see him tense up. "Step outta the car." We did. Finally Wayne answered his question. "It's a musical instrument. May I open the case?" The cop gets really tense but does not draw his weapon. Wayne... v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y... lifted the lid on the "coffin." "All right, get outta here. You shouldn't rehearse so late at night."

      We didn't have to be told twice. We got outta there. The kid in the coffin... um, I mean, the viola da gamba... arrived safely home. Both of us got kinda drunk that night!

  2. OK. Is there any reason except harassment or a fishing expedition to haul someone out of their car when stopped for an expired tag? A lot of these sorts of incidents wouldn't happen if cops treated citizens with some respect rather than as enemies or prey.

    1. pj, I don't understand it either, and I certainly don't approve. I've often thought that someone who enjoys being a cop too much should be disqualified from applying for the position. Over the span of my 65-year life, I'd estimate my encounters with police have been about half positive, half negative... and I am damned surely not a troublemaker of any sort. Maybe it's the facial hair that sets them off.

      Whatever it is, there is absolutely no reason why a citizen who is not making trouble for anyone should face trouble from the cops. But that seems to be how it is these days. As I watched the videos of Occupy members being dispersed by cops in full riot gear in several cities, I have to wonder what we have done to deserve this.

    2. What we have done to deserve this? Well, we've been apathetic, we've gone and watched movies like DIrty Harry that exalt violent cops, we've by and large dismissed concerns about violent cops because they mostly afflict "those" people (you know, THOSE people, who "aren't like us", wink wink) and we gotta keep "those" people "in their place"... too many Americans are too concerned about making money and not concerned enough about how their local government works or doesn't work and how their local police forces work or don't work, and this is what you get when that happens. So it goes.



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