10-02-2009, 07:43 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
The biggest story on reddit right now:
Gosh darn... how do you mess up that bad?
It seemed like Anthony Arambula did everything right. A man breaks into his Maricopa County home and runs into his son's bedroom. He sends his wife and kids outside, then gets his gun out of the closet and holds the burglar at bay. He calls 911. But what happened after that wasn't quite what he had in mind.
From Courthouse News:
Phoenix Police officers already in the neighborhood heard the crash of the Arambulas' window. When they approached the house, Lesley says, she told Sgt. Sean Coutts that her husband was inside holding the intruder at gunpoint. Lesley says Coutts failed to pass on that information to the two other officers.Darn it. Cops hate when that happens. No, not because they pumped 6 bullets into the wrong guy, but because they could get in big trouble. Cops hate getting into big trouble.
Inside the house, the Arambulas say, Officer Brian Lilly shot Anthony six times in the back while he was still on the phone with the 911 operator - twice when he was on the ground.
The officers ran into the bedroom after Anthony told them, "You just killed ... you just killed the homeowner. The bad guy is in there."
Tony Arambula didn't die, however. Instead, he sued. In a rather interesting complaint, more along the lines of melodramatic chatting than legal description, one detail makes the cops' efforts to cover up their mistake exceedingly difficult. It seems that the 911 call was still being recorded as Lilly was busy shooting. And still recording after he stopped and realized his mistake.
According to the complaint, Lilly can be heard on the 911 tape telling Coutts, "We fucked up." But we all look like Hispanic males from the rear.
Lilly says on the tape that he did not know where Anthony's gun was when he shot him and that he "opened fire because he heard loud noises and saw someone who looked like he might be the 'Hispanic' male they were pursuing" before getting to the Arambulas' house, according to the complaint.
If things were bad after Lilly put six bullets into Tony, they got worse as the cops were left to figure out what to do about it.
Sgt. Coutts was quick to commence the cover-up of their terrible mistake. Sgt. Coutts asked Office Lilly where Tony's gun was at the time Officer Lilly had opened fire on Tony. Officer Lilly admitted that he did not know where Tony's gun was: 'I don't know. I heard screaming and I fired.'"And it goes on and on, with the cops dragging Tony Arambula outside the house by his shot leg onto gravel in the backyard, where he was put on display for his wife and children. He was placed on the "hot hood" of the squad car and driven down the street writhing in pain.
Lilly later told a police internal affairs investigator that Anthony had pointed his gun in his direction, "in the 'ready' position," the complaint states. But Anthony Arambula says he was facing away from the officers, who could not have even seen his gun.
The complaint continues: "Still not knowing that he is being recorded n the 911 tape, Sgt. Coutts interrupted Officer Lilly's admission and apology with his assurance that the cover-up would commence: 'That's all right. Don't worry about it. I got your back. ... We clear?'"
Later, they tried to get the gun dealer who sold Tony the weapon to go along with their pretense that the gun may have been illegal, but the dealer refused to play ball. Then detectives tried to pin drug warrants on Tony from other states that he's never been to, but the details didn't match.
It's so much easier when you shoot the wrong guy and just put a throw-away in his hand to justify it. It's harder when you shoot the homeowner. And it's really hard when the 911 recording catches it all. And you thought it was easy to be a cop.
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