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Brian Reed Told to "Drop the F-ing Knife" and Then Shot

by Modesto Anarcho
More info on the latest police shooting.

In the Modesto Bee today, more details emerged around the police shooting of Brian Reed. Reed, a truck driver, was distraught over finances and threatened to kill himself with a small knife. His girlfriend fearing for his saftey, called the police. Police then entered the home and told Reed to "Drop the F-ing knife!" several times, while Reed kept the knife aimed at his chest. Police then shot Reed several times, he is now in critical condition.

According to the Modesto Bee:
The officer who shot him, Ronny Ziya, has returned to work after four days of administrative leave, which is standard. Ziya, 30, has been with the department 3½ years, according to officer Scott Nelson, a police spokesman. The other officer at the scene was Caeli Koehler, who has worked two years for the department.When she [Brian's girlfriend] went inside, Reed had a 7-inch Dale Earnhardt Jr. memorabilia pocket knife pointed at his chest, she said. The blade appears to be 3 to 4 inches in length, according to photos on Web sites selling the knife.
She said she begged him to put the knife down and not hurt himself and tried to pull the weapon out of his hand. When the officers arrived at the home about 5:25 p.m., Koehler and Ziya heard the struggle inside and demanded they open the door, the woman said.
She said Reed opened the door and that she positioned herself between Reed and the officers and said, "Don't hurt him, don't hurt him, he's trying to hurt himself." The woman said the officers did not once try to negotiate with Reed, but instead told him repeatedly to, "Drop the f------ knife."
She said Reed responded by saying, "I don't care if I live, just shoot me." Nelson said he could not discuss the conversation between Reed and the officers, only that they asked multiple times that he drop the knife.
The woman said the officers were standing in her home's entryway while Reed eventually was about 15 feet away in the living room. She said he never threatened the officers and kept the knife pointed at himself.
Ziya shot Reed three or four times, the woman said. She said she was never in danger of being hit.
One of the bullet holes is visible in the blinds in the home's living room. The woman said she expected Ziya might use non-deadly force to get the knife out of Reed's hand and said at one point Koehler pulled out her Taser.
Nelson could not confirm that Koehler handled or intended to use a Taser.
On the day of the shooting, the woman said Reed was exhausted, depressed and stressed about finances. He had been working 14-hour graveyard shifts as a trucker, hauling cargo to Reno and back. She said he hadn't slept the night before because he was sick. The woman said she plans to hire an attorney, but for now is focused on Reed, who hasn't regained consciousness since Thursday. She described Reed as a good, hardworking man. She said he liked to be outdoors with his kids riding dirt bikes, going fishing and driving Go-Karts.

This shooting mirrors a wave or other recent shootings in which police come into contact with distraught individuals who are suicidal or are having mental episodes. In these situations, rather than using 'non-lethal force' that taxpayers have shelled out millions for such as tasers (which surprise surprise, have also resulted in thousands of deaths), police instead reach straight for their guns. Remember the shooting death of Oscar Grant on New Years Day near Oakland? Grant's killer, a BART Police, grabbed his taser, only to put it back and shoot Grant right in the back. Police interact with us in this way because they know that they can get away with it and furthermore, they know that they will face no reprimand from their higher ups. Calls for better training and 'more sensitive cops' miss the point that the police are carrying out their jobs to a 't.' The police are not designed to be compassionate or defuse arguments, the police are there to get people to follow orders and if they refuse or are unable, they can argue with a barrel of a gun.

In the coming months and years, how many more people are going to be distraught just like Reed was over finances? How many of us are on the edge, just hanging on as we deal with bills, being laid off, tickets, court, jail time, fee increases, budget cuts, finding a new job, police shootings, and foreclosure? All this stress and pain is brought on by our position within this system of capitalism. The police aren't there to see us out of it, they're there to make sure we stay in it.

This is why we need to create ways of coming together to attack the crisis brought on by capitalism, of which police violence is only a symptom of. We need to start forming groups to organize from at school and at the workplace, and especially in our neighborhoods. Here we can talk, act, and support each other, and hopefully rely on one another more so than we could ever a cop.
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Thu, Jan 6, 2011 8:47AM
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