Off-duty cop fires ten shots at an unarmed intellectually disabled man and his family from twenty feet away, killing him and critically wounding his parents, because he pushed him in a Costco food line 3.8 seconds earlier.

No charges filed, because he had “no choice.”

  • 10 shots at 3 unarmed people.
  • 20 feet away.
  • In a crowd.
  • 3.8 seconds after being knocked to the ground by a man who was already 20 feet away by the time he fired.

And yet he had “no choice but to use deadly force.”

You’re seriously telling me there were no other choices?

It’s still not clear what started it. But the dead man had schizophrenia and was adjusting to a change in his medication, and his parents were trying to de-escalate the situation when they were shot.

Which the cop could’ve tried if he hadn’t started shooting immediately.

Update June 2020: His parents both survived, minus a few organs. The LAPD determined that the shooting “violated department policy.”

Update October 2021: A jury awarded the family $17 million in damages from the city of Los Angeles, finding that the officer was acting within the scope of his employment in the LAPD. And while Riverside County (where the shooting occurred) declined to press charges, the state of California charged him with manslaughter and assault.

Update August 2022: A preliminary hearing determined there was enough evidence for the former officer to stand trial.

I didn’t even see a Halloween aisle this time, but Christmas was on full display.

You know, I’ve been posting examples of holiday creep for over a decade now, and what’s changed the most is the quality of the camera I have with me when shopping. I mean, what the heck was I even carrying in 2005:

Christmas aisle

It was probably my first cameraphone (back when we actually called them that). I know I had a better digital camera at the time, but this definitely wasn’t it!

Christmas Aisle in Costco - in early OctoberChristmas strikes deeper into Halloween’s territory, continuing a relentless campaign that began decades ago in response to a 1993 incursion from Halloween Town.

In recent years, Halloween has shored up its position by moving into previously unclaimed parts of the calendar in early October and September, itself running roughshod over tentative efforts by Oktoberfest to establish a foothold. Growth of adult Halloween parties with free-flowing alcohol have ensured that Oktoberfest can only offer one advantage over Halloween: Lederhosen. And you can wear those on Halloween too.

Android Community reports that ShopSavvy will soon be getting real-time inventory data from local stores. This will be very nice, as I’ve run into the occasional issue where things didn’t quite line up.

ShopSavvy is an app for Android phones that uses the camera to scan product barcodes, then looks up pricing from local and online stores. You can also do a text search if you don’t have a package handy.

Two failures I can think of were:

Outdated Sale Price. I wanted to pick up the Pushing Daisies DVD set. ShopSavvy told me that Circuit City (this was before the liquidation) had it for something like $18. I got there and they wanted something closer to $30. I forget whether it was a sale price that had just ended or whether it was only some locations that had the cheaper price.

Web/In-Store Discrepancies. After dithering for a year, I finally decided to get a new printer this weekend. (Okay, the old one stopped working.) I found a decent price/feature combo on TigerDirect, then found a much better price for the same printer on Amazon, but I didn’t want to wait two weeks for delivery or spend an extra $20+ for faster shipping. So I looked it up on ShopSavvy, which told me that MicroCenter and Costco both had it for just eight dollars more than Amazon.

I looked up the printer on MicroCenter’s website, which claimed it was in stock at the local store. But it also claimed it was refurbished. I went to the store, found the display model on the shelf, saw the price I expected (with an “As advertised!” note), and no mention of it being a price for a refurbished model. Then it turned out that they didn’t have any in stock.

So I hit Costco. As near as I can tell, they only sell the printer through their website, but ShopSavvy listed it under local. As long as I was there I looked at the printers they did have, but nothing matched the specs I was looking for. (Small mono laserjet with built-in network, preferably wifi, for less than $150.) Finally I just ordered it through Amazon, who in a fit of amazingness shipped it immediately, and say it should arrive tomorrow.

In this case it would probably still have failed with MicroCenter, since their website had the wrong info (or else someone bought the last one in the time it took me to drive there), but I would at least have known there was no point in looking at Costco.

G1 photo by spdorsey, used under terms of CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.