A Colorado armed government worker named Zachary Helbig who shot an unarmed man in cold blood has been acquitted of all charges.
Helbig had been called to the scene of an argument between a man named Shawn Billinger and his ex-girlfriend. When the girlfriend saw Billinger driving past the gas station where the AGW was conducting his “investigation,” she pointed him out to the AGW, who took off in pursuit. He shortly caught up with the man, who tried to run away – but then began walking toward the AGW.
The man can be seen on the AGW’s body cam with both arms flailing and no weapons in either of his hands. The tatted and armed AGW shot him dead from about 20 yards away without even attempting less-lethal alternatives first.
Because he “feared for his safety.”
The corpse is then cuffed – also for the “safety” of the AGW.
It’s worth mentioning that- in most states – an ordinary citizen has an obligation to retreat and may only lawfully resort to deadly force when he is unable to retreat and can substantiate that his life was in imminent danger.
Saying he “feared for his safety” isn’t sufficient. Unless, of course, you’re an armed government worker.
Why are armed government workers – who are supposedly “trained” to be better-able to deal with “threats” to their “safety” held to a lesser standard than ordinary citizens when it comes to the use of deadly force?
This case is so egregious it actually resulted in a criminal charge – of manslaughter.
Helbig “…acted recklessly with respect to his conduct described above and was not justified in the actions he took pursuant to the affirmative defenses of deadly force in the defense of a person and peace officer’s use of deadly physical force,” the indictment said.
Italics added to accentuate the absurdity.
The AGW’s attorney claimed – honestly, if despicably – that Helbig “… did what he was trained to do.” That is to say, he was trained to kill unarmed people who walk toward an AGW.
This – all by itself – is sufficient justification.
The jury agreed – and acquitted Helbig.
“What do you expect from law enforcement before they take a life?” Weld County District Attorney Michael Rourke asked – noting that Helbig had “every opportunity to create time and distance” and that his life – or even his “safety” – wasn’t in imminent danger.
“That can’t be the standard in this community,” Rourke went on – by which he meant the “officer safety” standard as the basis for summary execution.
Of course, he’s wrong. Because it is.
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Not so simple in this case. The victim was flailing his arms while approaching quickly, and it sounded like he was shouting “kill me!” in an agitated way. Also, the officer had been told that the victim had knives.
I also find it interesting that the cop’s gun had a stuck shell casing after the shot.
I disagree . This AGW – not “officer” – could have backed up, put space between himself and the man. Instead, he “stads is ground” – and blows the guy away.
Not very heroic.
Unfortunately, it would be illegal for me to express my opinion on what SHOULD happen to this menace to society- Zachary Helbig.
We’re urged to regard AGWs as “heroes” of the Omaha Beach variety and worthy of North Korean-style Dear Leader funerals when they “fall” in “the line of duty.”
And they might be entitled to such deference and awe – if in fact they conducted themselves heroically. But what’s “heroic” about hiding behind “officer safety”? A hero is by definition someone who puts his safety at risk. We seem to have a problem, Houston.
These AGWs are (or pretend to be) neurotically fearful; that every day might be their last – doing work that is far less dangerous than roofing. But unlike roofers, AGWs are trained to hair-trigger belligerence and lethality at the first hint of what they perceive to be a “threat” to their “safety.” It need not be an actual threat – as is required of you or I with regard to pointing a gun at someone. Only that they “feared” for their “safety.” Something unintelligible because undefinable, “fear” being a matter of perception and “safety” something much more vague than he was trying to kill me (backed up with physical evidence such as the assailant having been armed).
There is, in addition, the psychological element of kitting out a man (the term used loosely) like a Terror Trooper from a dystopian sci-fi novel. Body armor, multiple pistols and a Batman belt with three spare mags, web gear, etc. Anyone who dresses like this is going to act like this.
OF COURSE they have to shoot people on sight if they “fear for their safety.” How else are they going to finish their 20 years and retire to Florida with a $75,000-a-year government pension at age 50???
C’mon, Eric… you don’t really think that the life of an unarmed citizen is worth more than a cop’s government pension, do ya???
Whaddya think you live in a free country or something??? Sheesh…
You have to ask yourself, what would happen to me if I shot and killed somebody who just walked up to me?
You’d get 25-life or death, depending on the state. But you’re just a lowly prole, not a high and mighty lord with a shiny government badge… right?
The cop is just pissed that he had a jam on the first shot and couldn’t unload the magazine.
I hope someone checked to see if Officer Hut was porking the ex-GF.
Notice the conflicting commands that were barked.
Tatt-Thug yells, “Come here!” several times and when victim does he yells, “Stop!” a couple times and the murders him.
This country will not end peacefully.
Well,,, what goes around comes around. Maybe those on that ‘jury’, the defense lawyer and police union will end up in a similar situation. Could happen.
Each time they let a murder slide by increases the arrogance of police a thousand fold. It is their fault if they ever end up on the business end of a cops gun.
Can anyone imagine the next poor soul having to deal with this tattooed psycho?
This is a further demonstration that we should endeavor to become jurors, rather that try to avoid it. A juror has more power than the POTUS. Though instructed not to, a juror can legally base there vote on whatever criteria they choose, whether the validity of the law, or the color of the shirt the accused is wearing. One guilty vote would have at least caused a new trial.
Naaa. Last time on a jury I could see the charged young man was being set up. I mean it was plain as hell. There were 7 jurors. I was pissing the others off because I would not find ‘Guilty’. They wanted to get back to work and other important things. Then I was summoned and told I was removed as an extra juror,,, at the request of the DEFENSE attorney no less! That convinced me they were monitoring us as we deliberated. They convicted the poor young man and put him away for ten years if memory serves.
I have never ‘served’ on another jury and I do not want to. They are as screwed up if not more than the elections.
And the Just-us system…. well lets just say my opinion of it isn’t very high.
Not manslaughter, blatant premeditated murder. He obviously planned to shoot him long before the unarmed victim got close enough to present any threat to the costumed thug whatsoever. Far more likely, the victim was attempting to get close enough to communicate successfully. The audio quality of the video does not provide clarity exactly what the costumed thug was screaming at the victim, but it does provide clarity that the costumed thug was terrified, or enraged, that the victim was moving towards him. Since the costumed thug made a near perfect shot to center upper chest at 20 yards, I suspect he may have spent a LOT more time at the range than the typical costumed thug, and thus may have been itching to shoot somebody. He apparently thumbed up his slide lock though, which indicates maybe he didn’t spend so much time at the range, and just got lucky, for him, not for the victim.