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Posted at 6:45 PM ET, 02/17/2011

Witnesses: Cop shot unresisting man

By Ruben Castaneda
Ruben Castaneda

A Prince George's County police officer pepper-sprayed an unresisting man, hit him with his fists and his metal police baton, threw him down a flight of stairs, then fatally shot him, according to witnesses who testified Thursday at a civil trial against the officer. Moments later, the officer swore at the victim's crying wife, according to testimony and a 911 recording.

The account of the fatal encounter was provided in Circuit Court in Prince George's County by witnesses for the family of Manuel de Jesus Espina, 43, who was shot to death by Cpl. Steven Jackson on Aug. 16, 2008. Espina's relatives have filed a wrongful death suit against Jackson and the county.

Espina was shot inside a basement apartment in Langley Park. Moments after the shooting, Espina's wife, Estela, entered the apartment and wailed over her dying husband as she cried out in Spanish, "Why did you kill my husband?"

Jackson screamed, "Shut the [expletive] up! [Expletive] you!" The exchange was captured on the recording of a 911 call made to police by a witness. The tape was played in court for the jury on Thursday.

Jackson, 27, has not been charged with a crime. Officials in the state's attorney's office said Jackson's actions remain under investigation.

Jackson was moonlighting as a security guard when he shot Espina on a hot Saturday afternoon.

Police at first provided different explanations for the shooting. Initially, police said Jackson fired because Espina reached for his gun. Later, police said Jackson feared for his life because Espina reached for his police baton.

Espina's son, Manuel de Jesus Espina Jacome, was arrested on charges of second-degree assault and resisting arrest. Police alleged that Espina Jacome pushed Jackson. But prosecutors eventually dropped the charges against Espina Jacome.

Espina was not suspected of any crime. According to court records, Jackson approached Espina and a group of men who were gathered outside a brick, three-story apartment building. The men were drinking beer. In his opening statement, Timothy F. Maloney, attorney for the Espina family, said laws prohibiting drinking in public do not apply to private property -- such as the apartment complex. An attorney for the apartment complex, which is also a defendant in the lawsuit, said in her opening statement that building management had no written policy against drinking in front of the complex, but residents were verbally discouraged from doing so.

In his opening statement, Daniel Karp, the lawyer for Jackson and the county, said the officer, in his dark blue utility uniform, stopped his police cruiser and approached a small group of people, including Espina, who were gathered in front of the building, drinking beer. One of the people walked away, others went into the building, Karp said. Jackson went inside to investigate what they were up to, Karp said.

On the second-floor landing, Jackson saw two people standing with their backs to him, on opposite sides of the landing. Jackson conducted an "investigatory stop" on Espina, asked if he had any weapons, and began to pat him down, Karp said.

Espina took a swing at Jackson, and the officer pepper-sprayed Espina in the face, Karp said. Jackson cuffed one of Espina's hands, but Espina continued to struggle, Karp said.

The two fell down the stairs, and Jackson fell on top of Espina, Karp said. Jackson took out his metal police baton and tried to flick it open to its full length, but was unable to, Karp said. Espina pushed Jackson against a wall, and Jackson called on his police radio for backup, Karp said.

Espina ran down a set of stairs that led into a basement, then into a basement apartment, Karp said. Jackson feared Espina was breaking into an apartment, and he followed Espina, Karp said. Jackson grabbed Espina's shirt, and when he let go, Espina fell to the ground, Karp said.

Espina turned on his back and "scissor-kicked" toward Jackson, Karp said. Jackson was suddenly pushed from behind by Espina's son, who had entered through a ground-level kitchen window, Karp said. Espina and his son pushed Jackson and grabbed at his baton, and the officer fell into a corner Karp said. As Jackson got to his feet, suddenly "four or five" more men were in the apartment, all of them angrily grabbing at Jackson's baton, Karp said. The men forced Jackson onto a couch, Karp said.

Jackson saw Espina's handcuffed hand reach for his hand, and, fearing his life was in danger, shot him once, Karp said.

Witnesses for the Espina family provided a dramatically different account.

Noe Cordova Garcia testified that as soon as Jackson reached Espina on the second-floor landing, the officer began hitting Espina with his fists.

Jackson slugged Espina in the face several times, then pepper-sprayed Espina, Cordova Garcia said. Jackson slammed Espina, whose face was bleeding, against a door, he testified.

Jackson threw Espina down the stairs, Cordova Garcia said. The officer pulled out his police baton and began striking Espina's knees, Cordova Garcia said. Jackson grabbed Espina's right foot and began pulling it, as if trying to break Espina's knee, he said.

Luis Augustin testified that he saw Jackson beating Espina on the ground floor. Espina tried to get out the door, but Jackson grabbed him and threw him down the stairs to the basement level, Augustin said.

Elvia Rivera testified she looked through the peep hole of the basement apartment she shared with her mother and her mother's boyfriend and saw Jackson beating Espina, who is a friend of her family.

Rivera said Espina tumbled down the stairs as Jackson beat him. Rivera said she unlocked and opened the door because she was afraid for Espina.

The officer and Espina entered the apartment, with a bloody Espina in a crouch, while Jackson continued to hit him, she said. Rivera said she grabbed her mother and put her in a bedroom so she wouldn't have to see the beating. When she returned to the living room, "I saw the officer shoot Manuel. He pointed at his stomach and shot him."

Espina never kicked or struck Jackson, Rivera said. Espina's son did come into the apartment, but did not strike or push Jackson, she said. Rivera testified that she never saw four or five men enter her apartment, as Karp said.

Espina suffered numerous injuries to his face, torso, legs and arms before he died, an autopsy showed. Jackson was not injured, except for knuckle scrapes, authorities said.

The trial is expected to last three weeks.


By Ruben Castaneda  | February 17, 2011; 6:45 PM ET
Categories:  Police Shootings, Pr. George's, Ruben Castaneda  | Tags:  Prince George's County police, police misconduct  
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Comments

Rogue cop. Terrible. Love this "lie" his lawyer told: "Jackson saw Espina's handcuffed hand reach for his hand, and, fearing his life was in danger, shot him once...."

Yeah -- reaching for your hand while handcuffed is a life endangering scene.

Posted by: darrren12000 | February 17, 2011 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Yea and I'm sure the officer saw a group drinking and said "I'm going to shoot that guy for no reason". How stupid!! Fight the police and this is what happens. Ask yourself: How come no one else was shot, or beaten? Answer: Because this guy chose to resist. End of story.

Posted by: curiousGeorge4 | February 17, 2011 10:24 PM | Report abuse

And private property that is open to the public is covered under the law. He was not inside his apartment, he was outside.

Posted by: curiousGeorge4 | February 17, 2011 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Obviously Espina kept hitting Jackson's knuckles with his face.

Posted by: vmax02rider | February 17, 2011 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Ask yourself, if we allow cops to shoot people for no reason, why should anyone care when you get shot.

Posted by: vmax02rider | February 17, 2011 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Jackson shot this man in cold blood.

Posted by: skinfreak | February 18, 2011 2:21 AM | Report abuse

Policia Asesino!!

Posted by: noone7 | February 18, 2011 6:31 AM | Report abuse

Is there a single "witness" who is even legally in our country? Are the Espinas legally here? If the answer is no, then they've got nothing at all coming and they need to be grabbed right out of that courthouse, prosecuted for being here illegally, and deported. Maybe if our police shoot a few more of these chronic drunken trespassers, they'll stop coming here and flouting all of our laws. Heck, if Espina was here illegally, just fine the officer $50, give him a few days off, and call it over.

Posted by: nola_exile | February 18, 2011 7:15 AM | Report abuse

Nola Exile, you sicken me. All this internet courage while you are living in the basement of your parent's house. The article did not mention that they were here illegally. They could have all been citizens, green card holders, permanent residents. However, just because the police shoot a couple of latinos or hispanics, you are all up for a parade. Meet me outside of the Christmas Store in Old Town tonight around 6 PM. I'll be wearing the blue shirt with yellow vertical thin stripes. Let's see how much courage you have then.

Posted by: paliceag | February 18, 2011 7:53 AM | Report abuse

@nola_exile,

You should be ashamed of yourself. Espina and his family had been in the United States LEGALLY for 16 years. He had a job, and over 200 people came to the vigil, days after his death.

This "cop" clearly has issues. Here's a video of him punching and tackling some dude for no reason. He was investigated for that one too: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/video/2009/06/26/VI2009062603911.html?sid=ST2009062702384

You must not generalize nola. Just because you're hispanic doesn't mean you're a "drunken tresspasser." You can read right? There were no laws/rules against drinking outside of the private apartment building.

I'm as against illegal immigration as anyone, but you can't assume every hispanic is here illegally, and you can't just decide that everyone should be deported or killed.

Is every American the same? Do we all like NASCAR and listen to Country music and hate Muslims? Al Qaeda thinks we're all Bible thumpers. They think we all drive trucks and have sex with our sisters. Do you like being painted with a broad brush?

The thing is, even IF they were here illegally, murder is still murder. Being in a country illegally (and again, they were legal)doesn't merit the death penalty.

Guess what dude, you're ancestors immigrated to this country just a few hundred years ago. Hypocritical bastard.

It's easy to point your finger and blame everyone else for your problems.

You're the problem.

Posted by: Kelso4 | February 18, 2011 8:05 AM | Report abuse

@nola_exile,

I suppose you want the author of this article deported and/or shot, right? I mean he's hispanic. Aren't they all drunks who ignore laws? They're all drug dealers right?

It's not like they fled their countries because those countries are HELL to them, run by drug cartels.

Is it possible for you to look at things case by case? Or does it always come down to one thing? All people from one race are all alike. Blacks like basketball and white women. Hispanics like alcohol and are lazy. Right? Asians are good at math and can't drive.

Do you realize how racist you are or do you think you're just being a "good American?"

Posted by: Kelso4 | February 18, 2011 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like an objective group of observers to me. Right..

Posted by: wewintheylose1 | February 18, 2011 8:29 AM | Report abuse

wow

Posted by: hockeypunk | February 18, 2011 8:29 AM | Report abuse

I just don't understand why people have to always assume the worst. Always look for clues. You're not investigators. Be objective. Look at things case by case. Don't generalize. Don't stereotype.

Take a moment to consider everything, not just one fraction of a particular story.

You would want to be considered in the same manner if the roles were reversed.

Think. Don't just "react."

Posted by: Kelso4 | February 18, 2011 8:33 AM | Report abuse

It's crap like this that got 2 good guys killed in the County Service Building. Prosecute thug cops.

Posted by: mikeinburtonsville1 | February 18, 2011 8:56 AM | Report abuse

paliceag: You sound like a real tough guy. You even scare me across an internet line. Go back to flippin burgers.

Posted by: curiousGeorge4 | February 18, 2011 8:57 AM | Report abuse

There are quite a few police officers who are not outstanding upholders of the law. Some are just as prejudiced as the Grand Wizard of the Klan. From the info provided in the article, the only bruises the officer suffered is on his knuckles while the victim suffered extensive injuries. Reminds of the crazy cop that shot two furniture delivery guys a shile back. Rogue cops are criminals with badges.

Posted by: SPUD2 | February 18, 2011 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Rogue cop. Terrible. Love this "lie" his lawyer told: "Jackson saw Espina's handcuffed hand reach for his hand, and, fearing his life was in danger, shot him once...."

Yeah -- reaching for your hand while handcuffed is a life endangering scene.

Posted by: darrren12000
______________________________________

Idiot, read the article, he only had time to cuff one hand, not both hands.

Posted by: damnit79 | February 18, 2011 9:37 AM | Report abuse

nola: When you are before God you will have to explain your hate.

Posted by: RogerRamjet2 | February 18, 2011 9:55 AM | Report abuse

If it's a black officer they'll get paid, but if it is a white officer, well thank you coming but you won't be getting paid.

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | February 18, 2011 9:59 AM | Report abuse

@darrren12000
"Jackson cuffed ONE of Espina's hands, but Espina continued to struggle," Karp said

The cuffs were only on one hand which is like not being on at all. They're both free.

I have a few problems with this article. The witnesses Garcia and Rivera contradict each other. Garcia says Jackson began hitting Espina immediately and THREW him down the stairs. How did the cuff get on Espina? Did Garcia say anything about this in his testimony? And Rivera says she saw Jackson and Espina BOTH tumble down the stairs. Then she says Espina never hit the officer but she also says she took her mother into the back of the apartment. How does she know Espian NEVER hit Jackson if she missed the start of the fight and what happened in the apartment?

Obviously this isnt the entire testimony in the little article. But Ruben Casteneda always writes anti-police articles so I have to wonder of he's choosing to leave things out.

Posted by: blank08 | February 18, 2011 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Yeah this cop picked this guy random and decided to shoot him, then does it all in front of all these witnesses. Sounds like someone is trying to cash in.

Posted by: gwp131 | February 18, 2011 10:10 AM | Report abuse

@damnit79,

Ummm, I don't think Darren was questioning why only one hand was cuffed. I think he was questioning why the fact that the man was reaching for his uncuffed HAND warranted shooting him.

Posted by: Kelso4 | February 18, 2011 10:30 AM | Report abuse

so the officer only suffered "knuckle scrapes"?

I think i believe the other witnesses story over his.

Posted by: MarilynManson | February 18, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I'm apt to believe the witnesses and not the officer in this case. If the guy was resisting and fighting, the cop would have had more injuries.

Posted by: HappyArmyWife | February 18, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Wouldn't you say in most cases a cop would have less injuries since he is trained in self defense and the fact this guy was drinking and more than likely impaired. The way this article is written yeah it sounds like he is at fault, but there really seems to be more to this than we see. Still having a hard time buying this guy just decided to shoot this other person for no reason.

Posted by: gwp131 | February 18, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

I always find it amusing to see people accuse the cops of wrong-doing in the performance of their duties.

As if this cop picked one man out of the crowd and decided "I feel like shooting him tonight!" "I want to be a rogue cop and screw up the rest of my evening."

He must enjoy being interviewed by IA, having his police powers suspended, having people push for charges to be placed on him, getting his name smeared in the news, hiring his own attorney, and looking forward to being sued civilly.

Yup.... that is what every cop wants when they go to work!!!

So what did this cop really do that night?

He was investigating some drunks and I guess he was trying to arrest one who decided he did not want to go to jail.

The officer went hands on, used mace, tried to use his baton, and then pulled his gun.

People.... he did not just walk up and shoot him. He increased his level of force dung the fight and ended up ending with his gun. He cannot go any farther then that. And he shot the guy one time.

But I am sure many of you think he should have taken the beating from the bad guy and the two should walk away calling it a draw.

Somehow.... it is OK to resist a lawful arrest and fight the police in full uniform. If the police do anything more than put some cuffs on you.... it MUST be excessive force and they should be fired!

I think not!!

Posted by: AceVentura | February 18, 2011 12:34 PM | Report abuse

curiousGeorge4 wrote: "And private property that is open to the public is covered under the law. He was not inside his apartment, he was outside."
=======================================
By your "interpretation" of the law, the following are also illegal:

-Drinking at a sidewalk cafe
-Drinking on your front porch
-Drinking at any public event where alcohol is sold if it is visible from the street
-Drinking inside near a window (if you can be seen from the sidewalk)
-Drinking at a park or block party, even if you have obtained the proper permits

Sorry, but you don't get to reinterpret the law to suit you just because you don't like the ethnicity of the people involved.

Posted by: carlaclaws | February 18, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

"Officer Jackson stood helplessly as Espina repeatedly bashed him on the knuckles with his head, face, and abdomen."

Posted by: carlaclaws | February 18, 2011 12:58 PM | Report abuse

"I always find it amusing to see people accuse the cops of wrong-doing in the performance of their duties.

As if this cop picked one man out of the crowd and decided "I feel like shooting him tonight!" "I want to be a rogue cop and screw up the rest of my evening."

He must enjoy being interviewed by IA, having his police powers suspended, having people push for charges to be placed on him, getting his name smeared in the news, hiring his own attorney, and looking forward to being sued civilly.

Yup.... that is what every cop wants when they go to work!!!

So what did this cop really do that night?

He was investigating some drunks and I guess he was trying to arrest one who decided he did not want to go to jail.

The officer went hands on, used mace, tried to use his baton, and then pulled his gun.

People.... he did not just walk up and shoot him. He increased his level of force dung the fight and ended up ending with his gun. He cannot go any farther then that. And he shot the guy one time.

But I am sure many of you think he should have taken the beating from the bad guy and the two should walk away calling it a draw.

Somehow.... it is OK to resist a lawful arrest and fight the police in full uniform. If the police do anything more than put some cuffs on you.... it MUST be excessive force and they should be fired!

I think not!!

Posted by: AceVentura | February 18, 2011 12:34 PM | Report abuse"

Best response yet. And, to the person that posted the video of him pulling the driver from the vehicle, I counted FOUR (4) times he asked the driver to exit the vehicle before he pulled him out. FYI for all the "street" lawyers out there, as long as there's a lawful reason for a traffic stop, the driver CAN be stepped out of a vehicle. So all that "You have to give me a reason." is BS. I can guarantee that all the anti-police people that criticize what this officer has done have NO idea what it takes to do the job. It's not like TV where the suspects always just say "Dang officer, ya got me!" and just get handcuffed and booked willingly.

Posted by: DWash30851 | February 18, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

why isnt this fool charged with murder?

Posted by: slick3 | February 18, 2011 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Murderer pig.... I also want to know why this P. O. S. hasn't been charged with murder??????

Posted by: jeffc6578 | February 18, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Hey, AceVenture....

The guy (a legal citizen)was minding his own business, not breaking any laws, having a beer with his buds in front of his house.... what that means is that this P. O. S. violated this guys rights, and when the guy (rightfully) resisted, he was killed in cold blood. This was never a "lawful" arrest, it was harrassment.
I can only hope that someday, when you're having a bakyard barbeque, that some rogue P. O. S. cop waltzes into your backyard, beats the crap out of you, and blows your head off.
It would be poetic justice!

Posted by: jeffc6578 | February 18, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

This is straight from the authorities: "Espina suffered numerous injuries to his face, torso, legs and arms before he died, an autopsy showed. Jackson was not injured, except for knuckle scrapes, authorities said."


Now if officer Jackson was attacked by Espina and his son and others as Jackson said why are his only injuries to his knuckles??? You would think in a knock down brawl Jackson would have more injuries than superficial scrapes to his knuckles. Oh right Espina attack Jackson by using his face to repeatedly hit Jackson's knuckles. Are you guys defending Jackson really that clueless?

Posted by: 6thsense79 | February 18, 2011 1:59 PM | Report abuse

@ curiousGeorge4 - since you were not there you don't know what happened so shut it up.

@nola_exile - since you don't know if they are here legally or not, shut it up.

@ paliceag - well said, but don't waste any time on that moron.

@ curiousGeorge4 - again, shut it up. You don't sound like a tough anything, on the net or in person.

@ AceVentura - again, someone not there making dumb comments, none of you were there to know what happened so SHUT IT UP!

No one seems to have read the article, this was an OFF DUTY COP working as a SECURITY GUARD!! I hope this idiot gets charged with killing this man IF the FACTS are what are being presented. The cops story does not fit the evidence from what I have READ here.

Posted by: jay143619 | February 18, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

It's fascinating some of the negative comments here about a man, (who by the way was MURDERED), by a Police officer. I guess it's easy to make comments about Hispanics and Blacks in situations such as this. If this had been a White man, given the same identical circumstances, almost every post here would be calling for the police officers head.
You folks are such HYPOCRITES.

Posted by: Hlynchmaster | February 18, 2011 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I wasn't there so I don't know what exactly happened..but It seems pretty easy to come to several conclusions.

One, if the guy hadn't gotten into with the Cop, he'd probably be alive today.

Two, that If the Cop hadn't decided to bother people, whom are minding there own business, the guy would probably be alive today.


The Conclusion..Cops are lying pigs, but do what they say or else...........

It's a really sad state of affairs, but that is where we are today in the USA. Big Government is tyranical for forcing you to have healthcare, but when local cops kill people for basically nothing it's ok.

And if the people are here illegally, well then they have no rights and the cops are justified in just gunning them down as they see fit.

Yeah, Big Government tyranny is here, sponsored by the freedom-loving,law-and-order, don't tread on me crowd.

Posted by: JoeMck | February 18, 2011 2:23 PM | Report abuse

There's so much here that doesn't add up, from both sides of the argument. I'm not versed in police procedure, but why would this guy, acting in the capacity of a private security guard and proceeding alone, pursue someone into a confined area and attempt a close-quarter shakedown?

Only in PG County........

Posted by: nonsensical2001 | February 18, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Somehow.... it is OK to resist a lawful arrest and fight the police in full uniform. If the police do anything more than put some cuffs on you.... it MUST be excessive force and they should be fired!

Posted by: AceVentura | February 18, 2011 12:34 PM

Following this rationale, when some kids dine and dash from denny's, An off-duty police officer can step infront of their vehilce demand they stop and then fire away when the vehicle doesn't slow down, under the pretense that the kid's vehicle was threatening the cops life. (This actually happened 2 years ago in alexandria).

I'm not saying it's ok for people to resist arrest, but to claim that the police get to shoot unarmed people, who by the way aren't suspected of a violent crime, because these people are resisting arrest is ridiculous.

Additionally, If it is determined that the poeple were committing no crime whatsoever, what responsibility should they have to obey instructions from a cop? If I'm in my house, doing nothing wrong, and the police bust in and say stick'em up? I should do so? or I get shot? really?

Aren't the police under any burden to prove the necessity of their behavior?

These guys were apparently not breaking any laws...and one of them is dead. Yeah, he resisted and shouldn't have. But isn't the cop just as responsible....If the cop didn't try to intervene (in there's people's legal activities) the guy wouldn't be dead.

There was no illegal activity going on, so why was the cop bothering these people?

Is it really ok for the Cops just to harass people? Would you have the same tune if the cops were questioning you and ruining your fun? Your completely legal fun?

Posted by: JoeMck | February 18, 2011 3:00 PM | Report abuse

the physical evidence does not support the witness for the cop's account of what happened. The dead guy was bloody and beat up. The cop only had swollen knuckles. Korp has no witnesses supporting his account. The victim has several. Result, an acquittal of any criminal charges against the cop and the family will be paid by the state out of the public eye. Thats how PG usually handles its wrongful or excessive force cases. They never convict any officers, they just pay off the victims or their families.

Posted by: ged0386 | February 18, 2011 3:23 PM | Report abuse

The police officer hasn't been charged with murder because he did not murder anyone.

And "witnesses" who can only testify in spanish and who are likely not in this country legally are not credible to me. We need to have an ICE agent at that courthouse checking the citizenship status of each one of them, and an ICE jail van to take every illegal away for deportation.

Posted by: nola_exile | February 18, 2011 3:53 PM | Report abuse

I find this story very disturbing because it is yet another in a line of stories regarding police behavior in this county. The swat team which stormed Mayor Calvo's house when they knew shipping packages to unsuspecting residents was a current drug trafficking tactic. The county official who had an argument with furniture delivery men and shot them. The officer who beat up University of Maryland students. In each of these cases, the officers lied about procedures and behavior of the suspects. In one case a video showed the officer (and other officers present) to be lying. In the other cases evidence came out later. I think in all three cases the FBI ended up investigating. If this article was the first incident of it's type, I would view it very differently. Unfortunately, it's not.

I think commenters are disingenuous with their claim that "of course the officer was innocent because he didn't make a conscience decision to single out a person and later shoot him". The truth is probably closer to the situation careening out of control and the officer not backing down.

I wonder if the people defending the police officers live in PG county. I do and I worry that any of my teenage children will ever have an encounter with the police here. Actually, I worry that I will ever have an encounter with them. It's too bad, too. I know officers who end up in situations like this are a small fraction of the hard working officers on the force.

Posted by: MichelleH4 | February 18, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse

@ all of you defenders of a guy minding his business. None of you know all the facts in this case or about the officer. Espina was an illegal immigrant with and expired green card and was probably worried about deportation. He resisted and hit the cop. Where is it legal to hit a cop? Like friends of espina and his son wouldnt lie for a $20 million dollar payday? the witnesses statements clash the son is a P.O.S and the cop has nothing to gain but to go back to work protecting ppl like you. Casteneda i'm sure wrote an "objective" article. Best part is he doesnt care about the victim or his family he distorts facts just get interest in his lousy blog. The officer is trained to defend himself. If espina wasnt a drunk idiot who tried to fight cops in a country where he is not legal maybe he would still be here today draining our country's resources.

Posted by: cjstamps | February 18, 2011 9:11 PM | Report abuse

carlaclaws: you are an 1diot. Can you understand english you switt? And who mentioned race? That would be you. So that would make you the racist. He wasn't at an outdoor cafe, he was outside an apartment. BUILDING!!! I'm sure his neighbors don't miss him one bit.
You can't fix stupid.

Posted by: curiousGeorge4 | February 20, 2011 4:00 PM | Report abuse

carlaclaws: you are an 1diot. Can you understand english you twitt? And who mentioned race? That would be you. So that would make you the racist. He wasn't at an outdoor cafe, he was outside an apartment. BUILDING!!! I'm sure his neighbors don't miss him one bit.
You can't fix stupid.

Posted by: curiousGeorge4 | February 20, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

If espina wasnt a drunk idiot who tried to fight cops in a country where he is not legal maybe he would still be here today draining our country's resources.

Posted by: cjstamps | February 18, 2011 9:11 PM

It is comments like this and people whom espouse comments like this who are really whats wrong with this country.

"@ all of you defenders of a guy minding his business. None of you know all the facts in this case or about the officer. Espina was an illegal immigrant with and expired green card and was probably worried about deportation. He resisted and hit the cop. Where is it legal to hit a cop?"

Where is it legal for police to shoot an unarmed person for resisting arrest?

"Like friends of espina and his son wouldnt lie for a $20 million dollar payday?"

Like Pigs don't lie everyday to coverup mistakes and avoid murder charges?

"the witnesses statements clash the son is a P.O.S and the cop has nothing to gain but to go back to work protecting ppl like you."

The Cop has plenty to gain from lying. If truth comes out and it's determined to be an unjustifiable shooting, he goes to jail.

"The officer is trained to defend himself. If espina wasnt a drunk idiot who tried to fight cops in a country where he is not legal maybe he would still be here today draining our country's resources."

Ah, yeah...because the guy is illegal (according to you and WTF are you anyway?) he doesn't deserve the full protection of due process of law. Genius logic.

"The officer is trained to defend himself." You mean trained to shoot unarmed people resisting arrest?

"All of us defending a guy minding his own business"..Isn't that what all you law-and-order republicans scream for at election time..for the government to get out of your business? To stop spending your money and stop forcing liberal values on your tight-nit, small, traditional, conservative communities? Unconditional, examined, monolithic support of police departments is about as far as you can be from being conservative, but here you are with your anti-immigrant, support the police at all costs mindset.

Eff the police and everybody who supports them. If innocent people have to die, in order for the police to "protect me", I'd rather be on my own. Until the police can figure out a way to effectively do their job without violating people's rights and occasionally killing somebody as collateral damage, they will be vilified and opposed by a growing and growing segment of society.

Posted by: JoeMck | February 20, 2011 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Cops do make mistakes and sometimes the pressure of the job gets to them. I've seen this with my own eyes, no need to wonder about 'who to believe'...

It's also true that while there are MANY excellent cops with the right attitude about the job, the job of cop also attracts a lot of looney tunes, many of whom make it onto the force. It attracts people with anger issues and control issues as well as though fully balanced folk who just want to make life better/safer for the rest of us. So one should never automatically assume that a cop is doing the right thing - they should look at EACH INDIVIDUAL CASE without bias - you know, like you would if you were a sitting judge. Otherwise, you're bound to screw up and judge the wrong people.

Posted by: gfink21 | February 21, 2011 11:02 AM | Report abuse

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