their dislike for the decision to terminate Officer Jesus Arevalos.
Granted, the overall rank and file opinion is that Officer Jesus
Arevalos reacted properly and legally under the circumstances and was
unfairly made a scapegoat and blamed for that tragic fatal shooting;
that Arevalos was just a soldier, obeying orders and trying to do the
right thing to resolve a police situation — yet he was also the only
Latino among the crew of many officers.
The real culprit — or rather, the person responsible for this tragic
incident, which ultimately took the life of Stanley Gibson, a
medically discharged war veteran — was Lt. David Duckendorg, who
arrived at the scene and declared that he was in charge and that
everyone was to disregard all previous orders and/or plans.
According to the newspaper’s inside sources, the Lieutenant’s new
plans were now formulated to extract Stanley Gibson from his
immobilized vehicle, and an unusual technique would be used to break
out the vehicle’s rear window with the use of a Bean Bag Low lethal
Shotgun round, along with the use of some type of tear gas, to cause
and force Stanley Gibson to exit his vehicle unharmed.
This plan did not go well; allegedly the $42 million radio
communications failed and the Lieutenant’s new plan was not adequately
explained and understood by all involved.
The confusing order over the radio by the Lieutenant-in-charge to
“Fire” or “Shoot,” was not heard by all involved and was misunderstood
to possibly mean to use deadly force against Stanley Gibson, who was
still barricaded inside his immobilized vehicle.
The next occurrences were similar to the perfect storm in that the
viewpoint and possible perception of Officer Arevalos contained a
definite gunshot, a shattered rear vehicle window, the sitting up of
Stanley Gibson from a previously prone position, and Arevalos’ belief
that someone had fired a gunshot from within the Gibson vehicle and
that the bullet had exited out the vehicle’s window towards other
officers and bystanders.
Arevalos, perceiving a deadly threat now, neutralized that deadly
threat and shot and killed Stanley Gibson while he was still seated
inside his immobilized vehicle, only later to find out that Gibson did
not have a weapon accessible to him.
The disturbing question still remaining is, whose fault was it that
really caused this “Perfect Storm” and tragic incident to occur?
Since the original incident started, 25 to 30 minutes had passed and
Stanley Gibson’s vehicle was tactically immobilized and the situation
was classified as a “Barricaded Suspect” in a vehicle.
According to our sources, when a situation is stabilized and is no
longer dynamic, there is time to formulate a viable plan, or time to
call the Special Weapons and Tactics Unit (SWAT), which specializes in
these types of situations and is quite used to dealing with this type
of police situation rather easily.
This particular police situation evolved from a patrol situation to a
specific tactical situation and should have been turned over to the
SWAT Unit. It should be noted that the goal of the SWAT Unit is not to
fatally shoot the suspect, which is very easy to do, but its goal is
to safely and tactically apprehend the suspect without anyone getting
hurt; that is the ultimate successful mission goal of any SWAT Unit of
any police department.
So at this point, we have the fatal shooting of PTSD War Veteran
Stanley Gibson, which from all viewpoints from veteran police
officers, appears to have happened because of mismanagement, poor
communications to all personnel, poor command and control, policy
failure, and poor radio communications.
The police spin doctors are now called in, and have demonstrated
numerous times in the past that they can “fix” any bad police shooting
and minimize the political damage to the police department, leadership
and administration, along with minimizing the financial cash output in
the obvious civil settlement that is usually forthcoming.
At the spin doctor’s disposal are always expendable patrol officers.
The offering up of these patrol officers even to the point of criminal
charges after being terminated, usually tend to satisfy the “haters”
in the community so nobody looks any further into the real problem
area that contributed substantially to this tragic incident.
The bottom line is that this was a supervisory screwup. Prior to the
Lieutenant’s arrival, the situation was defused and stabilized. Plans
were being developed and implemented; assignments were made and the
plan was ready for execution. All of a sudden a superior officer
arrives, takes charge, orders a complete disregard of all previous
orders, and then becomes tactically involved (mistake) in the
execution of his new plan, of which not all officers were completely
aware. The officers were then given erroneous direct orders to “Shoot”
or “Fire,” over a previously known defective and unreliable police
Murphy lives and breathes in the police work environment. The
aftermath of this incident continues to breed even more problems.
Blaming Arevalos and making him a scapegoat, and terminating his
employment for following orders, sends a confusing and disruptive
message to all other police officers that eventually over time will be
placed in this same type of situation.
One opinion most of the sources agree upon is that the only person who
should be disciplined is the Lieutenant, the person in charge.
The sergeant and patrol officer should be cleared of all charges and
policy violations, and immediately returned to full duty.
“The discipline that was dealt out is wrong, unjust and misguided
pertaining to any police para-military organization,” explained a
retired Metro Police Lieutenant now living in Utah but who follows
what happens inside Metro. “Unfortunately Officer Arevalos was the
only Latino at the crime scene and it is easier to pin the charges on
him,” the source explained.