DASHCAM: Graphic Police Shooting of Murder Suspect

October 17, 2017

From mlive.com:

Dash-cam footage shows a shootout along I-94 between police and a murder suspect from Alabama.

Landon Harbin, 24, was arrested Friday, Sept. 8 after he exchanged gunfire with a Michigan State Police trooper and a Van Buren County Sheriff’s deputy on the side of the highway.

The officers had conducted a traffic stop on a car that had been reported stolen in Alabama when Harbin got out and fired at them. They returned fire, but no one was hit.

The incident happened on eastbound I-94 near the 50-mile marker in Van Buren County’s Lawrence Township.

In video from a dash-mounted camera in a State Police car obtained by MLive/Kalamazoo Gazette through the Michigan Freedom of Information Act, Harbin can be seen surrendering after firing all of the rounds from his handgun. He remains on the ground as four officers approach him.

“If he moves, you kill him,” an officer can be heard saying.

After he was arrested, police learned Harbin was wanted for allegedly killing his mother in Alabama. The Madison County Sheriff’s Department said Jana Harbin, 54, was found dead Sept. 6 inside her Meridianville, Ala. home. She owned the car Landon Harbin was driving when he was arrested in Michigan, according to police.

In Van Buren County, Harbin pleaded guilty Oct. 6 to two counts assault with intent to murder and one count of felony firearm, according to court records. He is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 9.

15 Comments

  1. Dmitri Kozlowsky

    “If he moves, you kill him,” a Van Buren County, Mich., officer can be heard saying.

    Ehhmmmm… That is evidence of attempted murder. On part of the cop. The intent is clear. Intent is to kill.
    “Cops, do not shoot to kill. THey shoot to stop the threat.” How many times have a police chief, sheriff, a deputy, or a street cop have said that. So trained in academies, and subsequent training. Yet here we have a cop, ordering his partner or subordinate , to kill the suspect. Not stop, not take into custody, not defend yourself. His instruction was clear “Kill him.” That they failed, and only wounded him, is irrelevant. Intent was to kill.

    Reply
    • Samuel Fivey

      “”If he moves, you kill him,” a Van Buren County, Mich., officer can be heard saying.”

      Yes, that is what the officer / deputy said. Does it comport with training & policy? No. Did the bad guy who just tried to kill the cop get killed? Nope. Is it a reasonable human response when some one just tried to kill you? Possibly. Won’t argue that it wasn’t the best choice of words but, again, the bad guy wasn’t killed or even shot again.

      While we are at it … Did you ever come clean on your military service?

      Reply
      • Dmitri Kozlowsky

        My record is clean. No disciplinaries. No violations.

        Reply
        • Samuel Fivey

          If you are going to make claims about military service that don’t mesh with reality, it adversely impacts your credibility.

          Reply
          • Dmitri Kozlowsky

            Would you like my name, rank, years of service, DD14, SSN, orders code, FPO, and name of my Commanding Officer also? How about my cell, Skype, and home address. Hint it is between Dothan , AL, and Dalevile, AL. Ft. Rucker is about 4 miles away. Ft. Benning (adjacent to Columbus GA) is about 150 miles away. Might as well give you my civilian address in Illinois.
            What could possibly goes wrong?
            My credibility with any member of municipal law enforcement, or any such organization is irrelevant to me.

          • LegalBeagle

            Fine. Remember that when no one will want use your testimony in any case because of the mandatory release of Brady/Giglio information. From the brief on which I worked recently, I am pretty sure that JAG officers don’t respect that obligation, but those of us who do will hammer them for it.

            Your claims would not matter except that they are not plausible, and even I could figure that out. You are actually would have two disclosures to be made … apparent dishonesty, and lack of competence.

          • Dmitri Kozlowsky

            You people are such douche-bags. Every soldier, active or reserve, Marine, sailor, airman, and coastie, who comes to Ft. Rucker gets a brief on local local enforcement, in their welcome packet. About how to interact with local law enforcement. It is not pretty, or favorable to the LEOs though Command makes it clear that Law Enforcement officers are to be given full cooperation and deference. In fact I was appalled at the some of the cases. It is obvious that LEO officers abuse their position of authority. LEO lie, make up evidence, invent testimony, file false reports, openly gaslight at traffic stops. Careers and lives of many servicemen ruined or damaged by LEOs. This situation cannot last and must stop, or be stopped. If necessary by force. I wonder how many people are looking for some payback. The sad and tragic is that this situation is not limited to Alabama or Georgia, in fact Southern LEOs are the better ones. The Northeast and Midwest departments are the worst in how they treat people. Having grown in Chicago area and dealing with CPD, Cook County, and even worse Lake County departments, gives me a perspective. That this site is run by former officer from this area, and seeing self-serving garbage on it, just reinforces my utter contempt for this ‘proffesion’ , which is more of a curse on American people.

          • LegalBeagle

            Remember that Junior Enlisted/NCOs are in the prime age group for jackassery (male, 18-25). The same group that does dumb stuff when they are in college. I am confident that from what I have seen, and from what others with service time (all branches) have told me, that the behavior of some (not all, by a long shot) of that group has used up the patience of local LE in whatever locale that is. Those are the same idiots, doing the same sorts of things, who are a boil on the butt of their NCOs and sometimes further up the chain of command. In both LE and prosecution, I have exercised my discretion to assist military personnel in avoiding reducing the damage to which they exposed themselves, as have many of my friends.

            LE is not perfect, and I have seen some stuff (and fought it) that makes me furious. The military isn’t perfect, either. How many of the senior Officers who left Captain Swenson and Sgt. Meyer hanging, and caused the death of many good men got court-martialed for dereliction and a BCD? Look at Lt. Col. Sinclair (formerly a B. Gen., reduced two grades for his conduct); M.Gen. Harrington, and plenty of others – hell, I bet if you weren’t so busy howling about LE, you could find plenty of examples you’ve seen yourself, if you are in fact serving (remember that you have not addressed the serious questions raised about your claims by someone who apparently knows a lot more than I do). The same is true of private industry (look at Hollyweird and the revelations of the last month); my brother has been in insurance most of his life, and has similar stories, and note that in the last presidential election we had two candidates who could not pass a background for a security clearance (or much of anything else).

          • Dmitri Kozlowsky

            Field investigations and suspect interrogation. Whenever possible establish rapport with suspect. Get him or her to talk about themselves, justify their actions. Of course I am paraphrasing. Regarding Brady, thats roughly, more then half of US municipal LEO, who would be disqualified from, if courts really took a look, or their agencies cared to investigate. Lying, gas-lighting, testi-lying, and outright perjury is SOP. I grew up in Chicago area, in Cook and Lake Counties. So in Round Lake Beach, IL (Lake Co.) , one of their female officers decided to follow me for at least three miles. After three miles, or so, she lit up, surprise. Right after I made a right turn. Her excuse was that I failed to signal a right turn. I did signal, the right signal on my truck was still blinking when she lit up. She stands there, and just gaslights, lies to my face. She gives me a citation. I tell her, she is lying, and advised to let her command know to expect a complain. She tells , to go ahead, they don’t care. Few weeks later, I had to come back to IL for court, per instructions from Il NG Legal Affairs, and my Cpt. From Alabama to Il, then back again. I tell the court officer, and Judge, my signal was activated, and the officer cited me despite her full knowledge that she was in the wrong, and I had nothing more to add. To my surprise, the court officer agreed, and Judge dismissed. The court attorney even told the Judge, that Round Lake was at it again. A known issue, allowed persist.
            So my run in with law enforcement in Lake Co. was minor. However consider this. Recall the Fox Lake Police Lt. , with over 20 years, and close to retirement, who tried to fake his own suicide, and have it pass as murder of LEO. His last act, before shooting himself, was to call in that he was in pursuit, and shot at by three suspects. Three males, two Hispanics, and one Caucasian. In the chaos of subsequent search, the officers did detain the trio, two Hispanics, one white guy. Totally innocent. So this Lt.’s last act was to put three innocent civilians in mortal danger, of being either shot by police during arrest, highly likely since a cop was killed, or wrongfully arrested and prosecuted. He was going down for embezzlement and corruption, and he could not just do the right thing which would be to turn himself in. Even in suicide, he could not just find a quiet place and off himself. No, he had openly lie, create a dangerous situation, and pull three innocent guys with him. The three were detained, and released. But neither Fox Lake PD, nor Lake Co. Sherrif’s, could ever bring themselves to apologize to the three. Instead they offered a tepid apology wrapped in an explanation to the community. In fact, Fox Lake PD made itself the victim.

          • LegalBeagle

            I remember that turd from Round Lake. I also remember how many good cops wasted time because of him, and how many of my friends and peers were furious. I do not, and never did like, northern Illinois. There is no part of Illinois north of I80 that would be a loss to the world if it fell into the Great Lakes, as far as I care, with the minor exception of the ethnic delis I experienced in the area. My ex-wife was amazed at my observations of the driving up there – staggering numbers of people who drove so badly I thought they were impaired, and she just called them “North Shore drivers”, or something to that effect (she was from Skokie and still lives in the western ‘burbs somewhere). I spent 14 years in the central part of the state, and most of the people I met in and after college and law school who came from that part of the state annoyed me. I was glad to leave and be away from them.

            As for your experience, maybe you are right. Maybe you just did not signal soon enough – I see that a lot. When I sat as a judge, I would give people the benefit of the doubt on tickets for lots of good reasons, but based on my experience, most people have the SAOAFR about everything, including their driving. As for the ASA or city attorney not addressing the behavior, that’s unethical as hell, but I can assure you that there are ample turds in the law. Look at the fabricated prosecutions of cops in Baltimore, Tulsa, and other places. DOJ is considered an open joke in terms of ethics, and I recently helped a friend with an appellate brief in the case of a wrongfully convicted soldier – clear misconduct by JAGs from O3 to at least O5, including bad advice to the convening authority, dishonesty at trial, using “experts” at trial who were not even arguably qualified, etc. In the civil arena, I have had to work with JAGs on matters of common interest, and not been impressed. I also recall a matter that should have involved at least an O5 JAG being foisted off on a pair of E6s who were way out of their field – whoever did that to them should have been hammered for abusing their subordinate.

            I suspect, given that we recruit all of these people from society, that the flaws you think are part of the core of policing are reflective of society, just as the turds in other positions of responsibility are. I will say that your belief of 50% Bradied is way off – having been involved in initiating the reviews and conducting them, the real numbers are very low. And, FWIW, I can tell you that the higher the rank, the worse the conduct. I deal regularly with Troopers and Sergeants from our state agency that are damned good, and they overwhelmingly hate their bosses for such reasons. I think that agency, like Nevada and MA, has a civil Rico in its future.

          • LegalBeagle

            Since he seems to have no connection with reality anyway, maybe it does not matter.

      • Dmitri Kozlowsky

        Yes they failed to kill him. Hence it is attempted murder, not murder. Choice of words is critical in profession where firearms are central to the task. It goes to intent. The intent was to kill, not to stop. So please don’t tell me that police officers shoot to stop. These ones shot to kill.

        Reply
        • Samuel Fivey

          Was the suspect, who just tried to actually murder the officer, shot after the cop made that comment? Was he killed after the officer made that comment? The answer to both is no.

          Here is what the US Supreme Court has to say about evaluating the lawfulness of any given use of force. It comes from their ruling in Graham v. Connor. “(c) The Fourth Amendment “reasonableness” inquiry is whether the officers’ actions are “objectively reasonable” in light of the facts and circumstances confronting them, without regard to their underlying intent or motivation.”

          While the statement wasn’t great, the suspect was not shot after it was made. Again, if you paid attention to the video, the statement was made after the suspect repeatedly shot at the officer. Had the suspect reached for the gun at that point the use of deadly force would have been reasonable.

          Reply
        • LegalBeagle

          No, it is not. The shooting itself is justified and completely lawful. The effectiveness is sub optimal, but so be it.

          “Attempt” would require a substantial step toward committing the crime; no step at all was taken. Imprecise/imperfect wording is not even close to a crime.

          Reply
  2. Samuel Fivey

    So, if the mayor of a pretty sized city said something like that, the officers should go arrest the mayor?

    “Tampa’s mayor told police officers this week to hunt the suspect down and “bring his head to me.”

    “News outlets report that Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn addressed the officers Wednesday afternoon during a roll call in the Seminole Heights neighborhood where two men and one woman have been gunned down while walking since Oct. 9.

    “Bring his head to me, all right?” Buckhorn said. “Let’s go get it done.”

    From Chicago Tribune story … http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-bc-us–tampa-homicides-20171026-story.html

    Reply

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