Bystander Shot by DART Cop During Arapaho Station Shootout is Suing the Transit Agency

RussellWeinsteinDART.jpg
WFAA
Russell Weinstein
Russell Weinstein was waiting on a train at Arapaho Center DART station one afternoon last February, en route to the first day of a new job, when he was caught in the middle of a shootout between police and and a gun-wielding bus passenger.

Weinstein was relatively lucky. Another bystander was killed by a stray bullet. Weinstein escaped with a bullet to the right shoulder. He was well enough on the following day to give an interview to WFAA.

Richardson police later determined the bullet that struck Weinstein was one of the five fired by DART police officer Nakesha Manderson. As a result, he thinks the transit agency is responsible for covering his medical bills and lost wages and paying other damages.

Weinstein sued DART in federal court yesterday, claiming the agency "makes no effort to ensure that its officers are capable of safely implementing deadly force in public and in a manner that prevents harm to innocent bystanders."

"For years, DART police officers have undergone no training or education pertaining to the safe use of firearms in public, either under 'stress' or other foreseeable life-like conditions, and have undergone no training or education on alternatives to use of deadly force in public," the suit says. This policy is so egregious, the suit argues, that it amounts to a violation of Weinstein's rights under the U.S. Constitution.

We have an email into DART, though they typically don't comment on pending litigation. In an answer to a petition filed by Weinstein last year in Dallas County district court, DART defended Manderson, saying her actions were justified.


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48 comments
OhISee
OhISee

Dart should pay all medical bills and damages including sufficient fees for pain and suffering...and the same goes for any law enforcement officials who shoot innocent bystanders...This is the fair response in a world where publicly financed law enforcement has to shoot guns to protect? themselves and the public.

Rumpunch1
Rumpunch1

DART police appear to be the least adept of our local police forces.  This is based on general lack of physical fitness in appearance, discussions with REAL police officers, and my personal experience with them.

They are classified as police solely due to a requirement to hire certified LEO.  The requirement is necessary to arrest fare jumpers.  They are basically security guards.  The purpose of a security guard is to protect the customers and assets of their employer.  If you are in an accident with a DART bus insist on DPD handling rather than DART police.  As I said before, their job is loss prevention on the part of their employer, thereby creating a conflict of interest in the investigation.

While we need more police in this town, we need LESS police departments.  Between DPD, DSO, DART and DISD police, we have created a decentralized local law enforcement infrastucture which is most inefficent and ineffective.  Have DPD ride the trains, have DPD in our schools.  Other than the Jail, the DSO does not fill much purpose in an almost completely incorporated county.  However, we can deal with the DSO later, enough low fruit with DART and DISD police.      

roo_ster
roo_ster

Cops who accidentally/negligently shoot innocent folk should get the same treatment, no more or less harsh, that non-cops who do the same thing.

For the slow kids, to include LEOs who shoot into crowds:

RULE 1
ALL GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED The only exception to this occurs when one has a weapon in his hands and he has personally unloaded it for checking. As soon as he puts it down, Rule 1 applies again.
RULE 2
NEVER LET THE MUZZLE COVER ANYTHING YOU ARE NOT PREPARED TO DESTROY You may not wish to destroy it, but you must be clear in your mind that you are quite ready to if you let that muzzle cover the target. To allow a firearm to point at another human being is a deadly threat, and should always be treated as such.
RULE 3
KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER TIL YOUR SIGHTS ARE ON THE TARGET This we call the Golden Rule because its violation is responsible for about 80 percent of the firearms disasters we read about.
RULE 4
BE SURE OF YOUR TARGET You never shoot at anything until you have positively identified it. You never fire at a shadow, or a sound, or a suspected presence. You shoot only when you know absolutely what you are shooting at and what is beyond it.
 

 I am thinking ol' Nakesha had problems with 2 & 4.


hillbillie:

RPD determined that Corey Jones, the guy who started all this mess and who I am sure was in the process of "turning his life around," killed the bystander.  (Note to self, never be an innocent bystander.  Have an agenda AT ALL TIMES.) http://www.kvue.com/news/state/170732046.html


Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Ah, DART Police. Who else can make college campus cops look like a SWAT force?

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

But wait, they are police, law enforcement you know, and they are magically mystically the only ones who are able to use firearms ...  everyone else with a firearm is just a disaster waiting to happen ....

GuitarPlayer
GuitarPlayer

These DART police receive no training on how to handle firing a weapon with innocents around? And you get one killed and another injured?

A good example why an untrained teacher with a gun is a bad idea. 

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

DART "police" are a bunch of lazy fat slobs that know nothing if you ask them a question and look the other way when people smoke on the platforms.  What fool allowed them to carry guns?

hilllbillle
hilllbillle

what justifies shooting 5 rounds in a crowd? who's gun xxwho fired the round that killed the bystander?

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@OhISee the law protects gov'ts and civil servants from the judgments you describe.  And, it has for decades and decades, if not centuries.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@BradDelpsBBQ It's a jacket, his arm is in a sling, he can't wear it normally.  Are you visually impaired or just an asshole?

epicmale
epicmale

@BradDelpsBBQ  Get a larger screen.  He has had surgery on his right shoulder, and that arm is in a sling.  Perhaps that arm is also in a cast, if the bullet struck bone.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@Rumpunch1 Your insurance company is your advocate, the cop or DART Cop won't matter.

halldecker
halldecker

@Rumpunch1 a friend,  now retired,  was in senior management at a large local PD.


Every year he took anonymous votes,  in December announced the officer(s) voted most likely to take a human life without good reason.  Said there was usually about 3% who got votes.

Chief finally told him to cut it out,  would look bad if folks wanting to cause trouble found out about it.

If you think DART is bad,  you should have been here when the Parks Department had their own private police.  All of whom were pissed 'cause they knew they weren't good enough to get on with DPD.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@roo_ster your list failed to note to look beyond your intended target.  That's seems to be the problem here, and is a very common one I imagine. 

epicmale
epicmale

@roo_ster Let's keep in mind that Officer Manderson had been seriously wounded BEFORE she ever drew her weapon.  If not for her bullet proof vest, she would have had a round in her heart.  It is impossible to train someone for shooting while wounded, and fighting for one's life.  Pay the guy's medical bills, and nothing more.  This is a risk that we all take when we walk out into public.  If not for the officer's brave resistance to this thug, the thug might well have gone on to eliminate all witnesses.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@roo_ster I think that Nakesha had problems with Rule 2 as well.  Excellent post!


I always go by the rules:

If you keep the boogerhook off of the bangswitch the gun will not discharge.

A gun is always loaded until you personally clear the weapon, then handle it as if it were loaded.

Be sure of your aim and your aim will be sure.

Gun control means using both hands and hitting your target.

When in doubt, don't fire.

If you have an exit, then use it.

Once the bullet exits the muzzle, you no longer have control over it.

The purpose of firing a weapon at a target is to stop the threat, nothing more, nothing less.

clifford.carpenter
clifford.carpenter

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul I'm just guessing here, but I think that is sarcasm meant to imply that gun control is bad.  The reason I'm just guessing is that your comment would better illustrate why no one (including police) should have guns.

GuitarPlayer
GuitarPlayer

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul 

You haven't been around a lot of folks with guns have you? Most of them have no clue on how to handle one or how to act in a bad situation.

baker24
baker24

@GuitarPlayer One problem with your view is that in high-stress situations, the body goes into a critical defense, "fight ot flight" mode, and as part of that, the brain retreats to its most basic survival instincts, centered in the brain stem, the so-called "rat brain." In this mode, time seems to be slowed down, hearing and vision are affected (tunnel vision and diminished hearing), and most fine motor skills are lost. It takes years of training to overcome this and most people do not. The diminished hearing at times keeps police from hearing their own weapons, which is why sometimes they will empty their guns without realizing it. Also, this sort of thing happens in a very short time, typically just a few seconds. It's slo-mo only in the movies. Even the best trained police, except for the SWAT types, have these problems. SWAT typically is set up to initiate a necessary assault, but reacting to a sudden burst of gunfire is more what a normal police officer would have to deal with. That is just the way life is sometimes.....

Dub919
Dub919

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz I'm typically not one for picking on people for their weight but, the other day, saw a DART cop at West End station that had to weigh in at 400+.  It was a mystery to me how he kept his pants up, let alone reach his gun with his T-Rex arms.  I counted five people smoking on the platform, but he and his other DART police buddies were too busy talking amongst themselves to notice.

epicmale
epicmale

@hilllbillle If some thug shot you, I'm betting you would shoot back.  Or would you be content to just lay down and die quietly?

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@epicmale @roo_ster  

Reference please?  Your information does not appear in the story.  If this is true then Eric left out some incredibly important facts in reporting this story which put an incredible amount of bias in the story by omission of  relevant facts.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@epicmale @roo_ster it's VERY difficult to sue a gov't for pain and suffering.  So, that's not even an issue.  He can get remuneration for his medical bills, lost wages and other provable, tangible losses. 

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

DART Police are that worthless, plus mall security is actually helpful. Paul Blart could be DART Police Chief and not sweat profusely.

ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul
ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul topcommenter

@clifford.carpenter @ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul  

SARCASM! WILL ROBINSON SARCASM!

I won't get into the debate on gun control with you.

As far as I am concerned, gun control means using both hands and hitting your target.


If civilians were in the background of the officer's target, she had no business firing her weapon.

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@GuitarPlayer you haven't been around many gun owners.  The gun owners I know are very careful when armed, even when they're not careful people. 

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@baker24 @GuitarPlayer my father had to "defend" the city from lawsuits when an armed robber held up a grocery store.  The SWAT team decided to level the store with their rifles.  They were in the parking lot, shooting at a grocery (at Forest and Inwood, now an upscale flea market)  Some SWAT "expert" missed the building and shot some dude in his living room a mile and a half away.  The robber never posed a threat to the police, and even after leveling the store, he emerged unscathed.  He came out with a gun pointed to his head.  He was a better shot than the SWAT team, and after shooting himself in the head was walking around, complaining of an Excedrin Headache.  The robber was DOA, by the time they made it to the hospital. 

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

@Dub919  Thank you for that.  Maybe I was too harsh, but I'm so pissed off at DART for letting this crap go on.

cantkeepthetruthdown
cantkeepthetruthdown

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul @epicmale @roo_ster And you are surprised by this? Eric can't even get the officer's name right. He's probably racist.

Granted, I question the wisdom of hiring anyone named Nikisha for any job, let alone cop. 

scottindallas
scottindallas topcommenter

@epicmale @ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul I'm not saying this to shut you up or anything; but, do you know what happened that day?  (this is the first I heard of this incident)  Even if hit, there are other actions that may be available.  I would think getting down and behind something solid might be wise, if possible.  I really don't know, I didn't see a schematic of the scene and would think there were more options that the simple dichotomy you described--but, you could be dead on. 

epicmale
epicmale

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul She had already been shot in the chest and arm by a murderous thug.  Her duty was to resist his further attempts to take her life.  If she had not resisted, more innocent people might have been killed.  And yes, when the gunfight starts, everyone is at risk.  She did a good job in not killing an innocent person and putting the thug down.

roo_ster
roo_ster

@ThePosterFormerlyKnownasPaul "If civilians were in the background of the officer's target, she had no business firing her weapon."

Amen.

 One quibble:  LEOs, unless enlisted in the armed forces or commissioned as an officer by Congres, are also civilians.  

baker24
baker24

@scottindallas @baker24 @GuitarPlayer  However, what I meant by my earlier comment is that the SWAT people more often take the initiative, and thus are more prepared for the violent confrontations than the patrol officer who is attacked and fired upon without warning. SWAT teams are also generally better trained on their weapons than regular officers. But excess is still excess - maybe the better training is not an advantage when it's used irresponsibly.....

baker24
baker24

 However, what I meant by my earlier comment is that the SWAT people more often take the initiative, and thus are more prepared for the violent confrontations than the patrol officer who is attacked and fired upon without warning. SWAT teams are also generally better trained on their weapons than regular officers. But excess is still excess - maybe the better training is not an advantage when it's used irresponsibly.....

baker24
baker24

@scottindallas @baker24 @GuitarPlayerThe problem with a lot of "elite" units is that some of them can develop a "cowboy' or "crusader" mentality in which they are the saviors of the situation and that calls for any measures they deem necessary. The best (and worst) example of that was the ghastly raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, in which the BATF rode up in full military regalia and attempted a large-scale military assault on the compound, which was driven off by a bunch of Christian fundamentalists defending their home.

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