Updated: The deputy who shot a Camp Pendleton Marine in the San Clemente High School parking lot Feb. 7 has been identified by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department as Darren Sandberg, according to the O.C. Register.
The Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs has responded to mounting criticism in the wake of the execution of former Marine Sergeant Manuel Loggins by a deputy Sheriff in San Clemente.
Loggins was shot and killed after he crashed through the fence of a local school, with his two girls in his SUV. He got out of the car but then got back behind the wheel when the police asked him to stop. A deputy Sheriff shot and killed him as he tried to drive off.
Here are a few excerpts from the AOCDS’ press release:
“It is heartbreaking that Manuel Loggins created a situation that put his children in danger and ultimately cost him his life,” said Tom Dominguez, president of the Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs. “The Manuel Loggins described by his friends and loved ones in the media is not the Manuel Loggins encountered by our deputies the morning of February 7, nor as described by the children to the deputies at the scene before he returned to the Yukon. It is unfortunate that his actions put his own children into immediate danger and resulted in his death.”
“The actions of our deputy clearly prevented serious harm from coming to Loggins’ two children and anyone else on the road that morning,” Dominguez said.
Excuse me, but couldn’t they have just shot his tires? Or used those strips with the nails in them? Or blocked his SUV with their patrol car? Honestly – how was killing the guy – by FIRING INTO HIS VEHICLE WITH HIS KIDS IN THE CAR, the best solution? It is a miracle the deputy Sheriff didn’t kill the girls too!
I am not buying the AOCDS spin, which was crafted by their hired P.R. spinner, former O.C. Reporter Kimberly Edds. Is that the best you could come up with Kimberly? Really? Lame!
Oh wait, Kimberly wasn’t done. She added this statement to the end of her press release:
The deputy involved in the February 7, 2012 shooting served honorably for four years with the United States Marine Corps. He is a 15-year veteran of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department where he has twice been awarded the department’s Medal for Lifesaving and the Medal of Courage.
Well I hope the deputy can live with having senselessly killed a fellow Marine. I think they call that “Friendly Fire.” Or fragging?
When will police departments figure out that killing the folks they are supposed to be keeping safe is bad policy? And is the Orange County Sheriff going to do something to deal with the fact that so many U.S. military veterans are coming back from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars with mental problems? I don’t know that Loggins served in either campaign, but I do know that he served, he was a good guy and then something went dreadfully wrong. Unfortunately the only guyt who can tell us what went wrong got executed by an Orange County deputy Sheriff. Dead men tell no tales as the saying goes…
Update: Libertarian columnist Steven Greenhut excoriated the AOCDS in a column that asked many of the same questions I posed above. Here are a few excerpts:
So the OC deputies union, which in my experience covering Orange County, is a particularly thuggish organization, is busy trashing a man and wrecking his character in order to protect the deputy who killed him. The public is deprived of a chance to learn what really happened. Fortunately, the Marine’s family is being defended by Pendleton’s commanding officer, but in most police shootings, there are no high level officials to question the police action. The public always assumes that the person the deputy killed deserved his fate.
While former Orange County Sheriff Mike Carona spends time in jail after being convicted of federal corruption charges, the new sheriff, Sandra Hutchens, seems to be following in Carona’s secrecy footsteps. She has refused to release the name of the deputy who shot to death the Marine. In the past, she expressed shock and outrage after some of her deputies where accused by the DA of lying to protect one of their brethren accused of torturing a handcuffed man with a Taser. She wasn’t outraged at the behavior of her people, but at the audacity of the DA for referring to a well-known Code of Silence within the department. Forget about reform in these circumstances.
Forget also about what’s really needed — a review of use of force policies, a new more humane policing model, further open records so that the public gets to learn about how government employees operate, especially those with life-and-death power. Given that unions and police leadership always defend their own, it’s no surprise that instances of police abuse grow. There’s no accountability and the average deputy or union activists knows that sheriffs like Hutchens will defend them against real accountability.
As deputies and their defenders trash a dead man and his family, you can be sure they will complain loudly at anyone who jumps to any conclusions about whether the deputy acted appropriately. You can be sure that because of the power of the police unions in the Legislature, and a state Supreme Court case that locks down disciplinary records of misbehaving deputies and police officers, that we will never learn the truth about what happened and that more such events will happen in the future.