Carlsbad Caverns Park Ranger Shoots, Kills, Speeder

From KOB.com, an Albuquerque TV station:

Recently released videos from a body-camera worn by a National Park Ranger at Carlsbad Caverns National Park reveals the park visitor who he tased, then shot and killed did not provoke the use of force and was unarmed.

. . .

The video abruptly ends when the Taser is deployed.  Twenty-six seconds of the video is missing, but when the video resumes, the video shows Ranger Mitchell on top of  Lorentz.  That’s when the ranger shot him twice with his service gun.

. . .

Police reports state Lorentz was unarmed when he was killed.  A toxicology report showed he had no alcohol or drugs in his system.  An autopsy report by the New Mexico Office of the Medical Examiner revealed the first bullet went into his thigh, missing all major arteritis.  It could have been survivable.  But the second shot, according to the report, went through his heart.  It was the fatal blow.

Shannon Kennedy, a civil rights attorney in Albuquerque, represents Gage Lorentz’s family and plans on filing a lawsuit against the United States Interior Department, National Park Service.

“Let’s start with the fact that this man takes a Taser and shoots Gage with no provocation from Gage whatsoever,” Kennedy said.  “There is no communication, there is no de-escalation.  That park ranger is insane.  He’s out of his mind.  What is he arresting him for? Driving too fast down a country road?  And he takes his life over that? It’s a citation.  It’s a warning.  It’s not a death sentence.”

One comment

  1. On what can be seen on the video, the subject appeared to be acting somewhat childish and uncooperative, but not combative. Warning of the possible use of the taser gun during the exchange of words, and definitively prior to deployment should have been clearly stated by the officer to possibly deescalate the situation. It should be noted that the subject by putting his hands in his pockets could have also raised the level of officer awareness and use of force scale. Given the remote location, and possible other suspects in near proximity, to the subject and himself, the officer could have also used those additional elements to justify the use of the taser gun. Apparently the taser gun failed to work, because of the probes getting stuck on the subject’s jacket, so the officer second option was to perform a dry stun on the subject. Which at that point according to the officer, the subject became combative and deadly force (service weapon) was activated. But, overall the initial stop for speeding on a dirt road, should have only merited a warning and or citation (if the officer even knows how to issue one). The release of the video in such a short period of time, could be an indicator that the government is considering this particular use of force incident as justifiable.

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