The man who shot at a teenager who’d knocked on his door for directions is found guilty

Brennan Walker didn’t make the morning bus to school. He didn’t have his phone. And he wasn’t sure how to get to his high school.
Brennan needed help finding his way, and the home of Jeffrey Zeigler appeared to be just as good as any to seek neighborly guidance.
Zeigler answered with a shotgun blast.

Jurors on Tuesday watched video of the incident during Zeigler’s trial, which showed how close Brennan, then 14, may have come to a violent death on April 12 in Rochester Hills, Mich. On Friday, that jury found Zieger guilty of assault with intent to do great bodily harm, and possession of a firearm in commission of a felony, according to the Detroit Metro Times. Ziegler is due back in court Nov. 13 for sentencing, and could face up to 12 years of prison time.

Zeigler, a retired firefighter, had been charged with assault with intent to murder, which could have led to life in prison, Oakland County District Attorney Jessica R. Cooper told The Washington Post on Thursday.

A camera that appears to be on Zeigler’s porch captured the teenager, who is black, approaching the house wearing a backpack. Brennan testified Monday that Zeigler’s wife answered the door and immediately accused him of trying to break into the home, the Oakland Press News reported.

“I was scared. I was trying to tell them that I was trying to get to high school, but they weren’t listening,” Brennan testified.

Zeigler’s wife yelled, and Zeigler sprang out of bed, armed himself with a shotgun and ran out to the porch. Brennan, upon seeing the commotion, turned and ran from the house, the video shows.

Brennan was nearly out of the yard when Zeigler appeared, shirtless. He shouldered his shotgun and leveled the barrel in the teenager’s direction.

He fired a single shot, the video shows. Brennan was not injured.

Cooper declined further comment, citing the trial this week.

Zeigler’s attorney, Rob Morad, has said that race was not a factor in the shooting (Zeigler is white), and that his client and his wife were on “high alert” after five previous break-ins at their home. Zeigler “acted from passion instead of judgment,” Morad told jurors. He did not return a request for comment Thursday.

Zeigler has also claimed that he accidentally fired the shotgun after slipping. The video shows Zeigler pausing for a few beats before firing the gun. Oakland County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Marshall testified he could not say definitively where Zeigler was aiming after reviewing the video, the Press News reported.

Shawn Pace, a detective with the sheriff’s office, testified Tuesday that he had been investigating the claims of a break-in and then watched the video. “I was shocked,” Pace said, according to the Press News. He watched it again, then became “charged up, because I was offended by what I had seen.”

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said soon after the incident: “It is just absurd that this happened. I feel terrible for the young man; I feel terrible for the mom and the anxiety that they had to go through.”

Brennan’s mother, Lisa Wright, said in April that she believed the reaction in the Zeigler household was racially motivated. She watched the video soon after the incident. “You can hear the wife say, ‘Why did these people choose my house?’ Who are ‘these people?’ ” Wright said. “And that set me off. I didn’t want to believe it was what it appeared to look like. When I heard her say that, it was, like, but it is.”

Zeigler maintained that he believed Brennan was a threat. But Pace showed him the video and asked him to point out where the teenager had shown bad intentions.

Zeigler “took a big drink of water, he looked at me, and he said, ‘I’m tired of being a victim,’ ” Pace testified.

Chicago policeman defends shooting of black teen at trial

The white Chicago police officer who shot to death a black teenager in 2014 told jurors at his murder trial on Tuesday that he felt threatened when he opened fire, as he took the witness stand in his own defense.

Jason Van Dyke, 40, is accused of shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times and faces charges of first-degree murder, aggravated battery and official misconduct in a case that has focused attention on race relations and policing in the third-largest U.S. city.

He is the first Chicago police officer to face a murder charge for an on-duty incident in decades. His decision to testify was not revealed until he took the stand.

Wiping tears away at times, Van Dyke testified that McDonald “never stopped” advancing toward him, getting about 10 to 15 feet (3 to 4.5 meters) away.

“His face had no expression,” Van Dyke said under questioning from his lawyer. “His eyes were buggin’ out.”

McDonald waved his knife and was still holding the knife when he fell to the ground, Van Dyke testified, adding that he shot at the knife. Van Dyke said he did not know how many shots he fired at the time and stopped shooting when McDonald fell and when his gun was empty.

“I’m yelling at him, ‘Drop that knife,’” Van Dyke said. “I just wanted him to get rid of that knife.”

Prosecutors have said Van Dyke was not justified in shooting McDonald. Jurors have repeatedly viewed a video of the incident, which prosecutors have argued shows that McDonald was not moving toward Van Dyke at the time he began firing.

The public release of the dashboard camera video, which came after a journalist filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, sparked days of protests in Chicago.

Under cross-examination by a prosecutor, Van Dyke said that video and an animated video of the shooting played for the jury do not show what occurred from his point of view.

“It’s not my perspective,” Van Dyke said.

The prosecution grilled Van Dyke on his actions in the moments before the shooting, and noted that the officer continued to shoot after McDonald fell to the ground.

“I shot at that knife,” Van Dyke said. “My focus was just on that knife and I just wanted him to get rid of that knife. That’s all I could think.”

“Cause to me it seemed like he was getting back up and he was in the fight,” Van Dyke said later.

Van Dyke’s lawyers have portrayed McDonald as an unruly, threatening criminal who was under the influence of a drug.

Van Dyke also told jurors he had drawn his gun several times in his career, but had never fired it in the line of duty before the Oct. 20, 2014 incident. “I’m very proud of that,” he said.

The trial, now in its third week, will continue on Wednesday. The 12-person jury includes one black member.

Family demands answers from Chicago police after teen’s death

A family is grieving Sunday over the loss of a loved one they say was at the hands of Chicago Police officers. The medical examiner’s report, however, provides an entirely different account. CBS Chicago reports the family of Steven Rosenthal, 15, says there is no way he would take his own life, but police say ballistics and camera evidence shows that officers did not fire their weapons.

Friday night, police tried questioning Rosenthal because they believed he was armed. He allegedly ran from officers and pulled the gun on himself on the back stairwell of his home in Chicago’s Lawndale neighborhood.

The Cook County Medical Examiner, who works independent from police, ruled Rosenthal’s death a suicide based on an autopsy and physical evidence.

Family and friends of Steven Rosenthal marched Sunday to Sinai Hospital demanding to see his body. They ended the march at Chicago Police Department’s 10th District, where there were calls for police body camera footage to be released.

Florida man threatened people 3 different times before shooting man in latest ‘stand your ground’ case

The man charged with manslaughter after shooting another man in a Clearwater, Florida, convenience store parking lot has a history of threatening drivers, according to documents from the Pinellas County Circuit Court.

Michael Drejka, 47, fatally shot Markeis McGlockton in July after McGlockton shoved him to the ground during a dispute over a handicapped-accessible spot. Drejka claimed he feared for his life and said he fired in self-defense. Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri previously said Florida’s “stand your ground” laws prevented him from arresting Drejka

Michael Drejka has been charged with manslaughter.

Michael Drejka has been charged with manslaughter.

Drejka was ultimately charged and will make his first appearance in court Tuesday afternoon. CNN has tried contacting Drejka multiple times, but has not heard back and it was not clear whether he has an attorney.

A truck driver parked in a handicapped-accessible spot

About three months ago, Richard Kelly told a Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office detective he was confronted by Drejka at Circle A Food Store, the same store where he shot McGlockton. Drejka, documents said, was upset because Kelly parked in a handicapped-accessible spot. The exchange between the two became very loud and Kelly said at some point during the argument Drejka told him he was going to shoot him, documents said

Prosecutor overrules sheriff, charges Florida man in 'stand your ground' case

Prosecutor overrules sheriff, charges Florida man in ‘stand your ground’ case

Drejka then went to his car and was rummaging around the center console, but documents said Kelly drove away. Drejka, Kelly said, also threw racial slurs at him. Kelly is black and Drejka is white

Court documents said Drejka wanted to voice his complaint to Kelly’s employer, AA Cut-Rate Septic Tank Service, so he spoke to the owner, John Tyler. Drejka told the business owner he was lucky he didn’t blow his employee’s head off, documents said.

A woman drove too slow through a school zone
On December 12, 2012, a woman told a Largo Police Department officer that a man driving a black Toyota truck, later identified as Drejka, pointed a gun at her and the passengers in the vehicle.The woman pointed out the truck to the officer. The officer spoke with Drejka, documents said, and he told the officer the woman was driving too slow through a school zone.Drejka denied pointing a gun at the occupants of the car, documents said, but he did have a gun in his vehicle. Drejka told the officer, according to police reports, that he honked at the people in the other car, and the people in that car made rude hand gestures at him.

A teen didn’t drive through a yellow light

On January 10, 2012, Tyler Smith, 18, was driving with a friend when a traffic light turned yellow. Smith decided not to drive through the light and stopped his vehicle.
A truck, driven by Drejka, was behind Smith. Drejka honked his horn, documents said, and yelled at Smith. Drejka held a black handgun out the driver’s side window of his vehicle and motioned for Smith to walk back to his truck, documents said. Drejka then followed the teen’s vehicle, passed it and slammed on his brakes, according to police reports
The teen did not press charges, documents said.
When officers confronted Drejka about the incident, he said the teen’s car cut him off, the police report said. He said he neither followed the teen’s car nor did he show his gun, but did admit to having one in his vehicle.

Update: Florida’s ‘stand your ground’ shooter makes first court appearance
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Gunman in ‘stand your ground’ Florida shooting charged: officials

A Florida man was charged with manslaughter on Monday for fatally shooting another man during an argument over a parking spot, after police initially declined to arrest him due to the state’s “stand your ground” self-defense law, officials said.

Alleged shooter Michael Drejka, 47, was taken into custody on Monday, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

Police had initially not charged Drejka over the July 19 shooting due to the 2005 law, which grants residents the right to use deadly force if they reasonably believe they are at risk of great harm or death.

Stand your ground

Harrowing video shows routine traffic stop turn into a near-fatal shootout for two Pennsylvania state troopers

A wild dashcam video released by Pennsylvania State Police shows a run-of-the-mill highway stop devolve into a roadside brawl that turns into a near-fatal shooting.

The video starts with a mundane field sobriety test given to driver, Daniel Clary, 22, after he was stopped for speeding, but by the end of the recording one of the officers, Cpl. Seth Kelly, lay bleeding in a ditch with severed femoral artery, according to the Allentown Morning Call.

Clary was shot in the head and hand during the gunplay. He was arrested after driving himself to the hospital for treatment. A second officer, trooper Ryan Seiple, who tried to help with the arrest, was not hit in the shooting.

The two troopers struggled to cuff 22-year-old Daniel Clary on a Pennsylvania highway.
The two troopers struggled to cuff 22-year-old Daniel Clary on a Pennsylvania highway.

Kelly arrived at the hospital clinically dead, but was revived. Doctors gave the officer 66 pints of blood and was eventually able to revive him. After nearly a month in the hospital, he was well enough to leave, but he doesn’t remember anything about the traffic stop.

Clary, who has a history of mental issues, was charged with the attempted murder of two state troopers and convicted on June 29.

The video shows the officer tell Clary that he’s under arrest after he fails the sobriety test along Route 33 in Plainfield, Penn on Nov. 7, 2017. As the officers go to handcuff him, Clary begins to resist. He breaks free momentarily and Kelly hits him with a stun gun, causing the suspect to go stiff and fall into the roadway.

The two troopers drag him back to the shouldering and continue to struggle with him, punching him and continuing to shock him with the stun gun.

They are unable to cuff him as he struggles and he breaks free again, running around the car to the driverside window where he reaches in and pulls out a handgun. He fires at the officers, striking Kelly four times. The trooper went down as he returns fire.

The wounded trooper manages to hurl himself over the guardrail, out of the line of fire. Trooper Seiple continues to fire as Clary gets into the car and drives away.

Clary later tested positive for marijuana.

Northhampton County First Deputy District Attorney Terence Houck released the video after asking Kelly and Seiple for their permission.

“We think the community should see it,” Houck he told the news service.

Clary is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 29.

Kelly hopes to return to the job next month.

Link: Harrowing video shows routine traffic stop turn into a near-fatal shootout for two Pennsylvania state troopers

Surveillance video shows suspect fatally shot as he ran from police

Newly released video of the deadly shooting of a black man by a white police officer in Tennessee is spurring calls for the officer to be charged with murder. Prosecutors released surveillance footage Wednesday that appears to show Nashville police officer Andrew Delke chasing 25-year-old Daniel Hambrick last month before opening fire. Hambrick was hit three times.

The mayor has called for a comprehensive review of the police department while union officials argue the grainy images do not tell the whole story. Daniel’s family wants more answers.

Victoria Hambrick, supported by her family and attorney, believes video showing the shooting of her son Daniel Hambrick on July 26 is proof that deadly force was not justified, reports CBS News’ Mark Strassmann.

“The police officer chases him with his gun drawn…and at some point he slows down and executes him,” attorney Joy Kimbrough said.

Police say officer Delke was searching for a stolen car when he encountered Hambrick. The video appears to show Hambrick running from the officer before he was shot in the back and head. Police later tweeted a picture of a gun they say Hambrick was carrying and refused to drop. The Nashville Fraternal Order of Police argues Hambrick could have shot the officer at any moment.

“It is our firm belief that Officer Delke acted reasonably under the totality of the circumstances,” James Smallwood, the president of the Nashville Fraternal Order of Police said.

Nashville Mayor David Briley called for calm while the investigation continues but the Hambrick family believes this is an open-and-shut case.

“You can see my cousin running for his life. There’s no way that he is a threat. No way and we do want justice served for him. He did not deserve it. At all,” Daniel Hambrick’s cousin said.

Officer Delke was placed on administrative leave after the shooting. Neither the officer nor his vehicle were equipped with cameras. Hambrick’s family, along with the Nashville NAACP is demanding the  FBI to conduct a civil rights investigation into the department. CBS News reached out to the police department for comment from the officer, but has not heard back.

Black Lives Matter protesters crash wedding of cop who shot Stephon Clark

SACRAMENTO — One of the two officers who shot and killed Stephon Clark in March was confronted by Black Lives Matter protesters on his wedding day Saturday, reports CBS Sacramento. Police haven’t released the names of the two officers who opened fire on Clark in his grandmother’s backyard, due to safety concerns.

The small group of protesters had gotten word about the wedding and made sure they were there just hours before the officer was to say, “I do.”

“I think they need to be approached in spaces where they’re a little more vulnerable,” Sacramento BLM founder Tanya Faison told the station.

According to the video released by Black Lives Matter, the officer was gathered in a room with his groomsmen Saturday when protesters barged in.

“I just wonder if you started planning your wedding before you killed Stephon Clark or after? How have you been sleeping since March 18?” said one protester in the video.

Protesters confronted a Sacramento, California, police officer and his groomsmen on the officer's wedding day.

Protesters confronted a Sacramento, California, police officer and his groomsmen on the officer’s wedding day in this image capture from video provided by Black Lives Matter.

 BLACK LIVES MATTER

BLM says its members helped plan the confrontation ever since they found the officer’s wedding website online, with information about the venue, a vineyard about an hour outside of Sacramento.

“We’re not violent, we’re not gonna give to them what they brought to our community, we’re not gonna hurt anyone, but we are gonna make them uncomfortable, and they should — because someone is dead,” said Faison.

But community member Michel Keeley told CBS Sacramento, “As a black man … I’m concerned whenever there’s injustice on any black person. Certainly there’s a right to protest, but I think there are limits when to protest in a public place and the right of privacy for your wedding.”

Sacramento police say since the tragic shooting back in March, the two officers involved have needed additional security. They’ve received a number of death threats and are not working in a patrol capacity.

“People may think that these officers are just going about their lives, but this is a very traumatic event for everyone,” said Sgt. Vance Chandler with Sacramento Police.

0326-en-sacramento-blackstone-1531237-640x360.jpg

Stephon Clark

The case, which drew national attention and sparked protests across the country, is still under investigation, with no word from the DA’s office on whether the officers will be indicted.

A day after the March 18 shooting, police distributed a press release that said the officers who shot Clark “saw the suspect facing them, advance forward with his arms extended, and holding an object in his hands.”

Police video of the shooting doesn’t clearly capture all that happened after Clark ran into the backyard. He initially moved toward the officers, who are peeking out from behind a corner of the house, but it’s not clear he’s facing them or that he knows they are there when they open fire after shouting “gun, gun, gun.”

After 20 shots, officers call to him, apparently believing he might still be alive and armed. They eventually approach and find no gun, just a cellphone.

“I feel that our department has handled demonstrations and protests very well and we have taken great effort’s to allow people to exercise their First Amendment rights but on this one what is the purpose of this?” he said.

That purpose, said Faison, is to remind folks that people are still hurting.

“Stephon Clark’s family is still mourning and suffering. He doesn’t get to be with his kids, or get married,” she said.

Sacramento Police Officers Association President Timothy Davis responded to the wedding protest Monday night.

“The SPOA supports transparency within our Police Department. Transparency brings trust,” he said. “Trust between our officers and the citizens they protect is an important aspect of a safe community. Our police officers are members of this community. They raise their families here. The send their children to schools here. They live their lives as a part of this community.

“Transparency comes with responsibility. Officers deserve to be free from harassment by individuals seeking their own forms of justice. True accountability can only come from our impartial judicial system and from our elected government.

“The SPOA will continue to advocate for transparency and thoughtful improvements in police policies, but we request the respect of our community. Give our officers the ability to safely raise their families alongside you.”

DA: Officer told authorities he ‘f—– up’ after fatal shooting

South Whitehall Township Police Officer Jonathan Roselle was charged Tuesday with one count of voluntary manslaughter, unreasonable belief, in the shooting death of Joseph Santos on July 28, said Jim Martin, district attorney for the central Pennsylvania county.

That evening, Santos was reportedly interfering with traffic along Route 222 near Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom. Witnesses said the man damaged cars and, at one point, ripped the window out of a vehicle.

Roselle responded to the scene and confronted Santos. Authorities said the officer told Santos several times to stand down before he opened fire.

Santos, 44, of Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, was struck at least once. He was taken to Lehigh Valley Cedar Crest Hospital where he died from his injuries.

Joseph Santos

Roselle, a new officer who graduated from the police academy in December 2017, was placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation, Martin said. The 33-year-old officer served with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan and is a major in the National Guard.

After the shooting, Roselle told other officers who responded to the scene that he “f—ed up” and thought Santos was coming at him, according to Martin.

Defense attorneys said in a statement that Roselle, who is on paid leave, believes his actions were justified and appropriate given the circumstances.

Several Facebook users posted a witness’ video of the police-involved shooting. The video showed Santos walking toward a police vehicle and an officer is heard repeatedly telling him to get on the ground.

Santos continued walking toward the vehicle as the sound of gunfire erupted. The man then fell to the ground.

An investigation found that Santos was walking toward and not rushing toward the officer, Martin said.

Santos wasn’t complying with the officer’s demands and could be heard saying “don’t do it” before the officer opened fire, Martin said.

South Whitehall Police Officer Jonathan Roselle
Photo credit: South Whitehall Police Department

Martin said evidence shows the unarmed man posed no danger to the officer. The DA also said prosecutors do not believe race was a factor. Santos is Hispanic and of Puerto Rican descent while Roselle is white.

Later, a second set of videos surfaced showing a man later identified by police as Santos, hanging off of moving cars and jumping onto the hood of a police SUV.

In a Facebook post alongside those videos, Nadia Elizabeth said Santos jumped a fence around Dorney Park and interfered with three cars as they rolled down the busy highway.

“He didn’t exit the park like a rational member of society but more of that of a criminal that was up to no good,” she wrote. “I witnessed Joseph Santos act like a complete maniac and scare the lives of those behind the wheel.”

Officials continue to investigate the incident and urge witnesses to come forward.

Roselle surrendered and was arraigned Tuesday. He is being held without bail. It’s unclear if he has an attorney who could comment on his behalf.