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Re: “Denzel Curnell shooting: Read the officer’s full account

It's not about having it both ways. What I am trying to say is that there is no clear "way." It's a sad tragedy that's easy to second guess from any number of angles.

I absolutely agree that he was a potential threat to himself or others, which we know as a fact now because he shot himself in a violent confrontation instigated by the police and now he's dead. Problem solved?

That's why it's worth examining why this situation happened the way it did. Obviously, a major factor was that the kid had issues and was carrying a gun. But in my opinion the officer was also over aggressive in his approach, according to his report, and that pretty clearly escalated the situation unnecessarily. As much as we want to say "the cop was right!!! he had a gun!!!" we also have to say "the cop was wrong!!! he wasn't going to shoot at him!!!"

But I don't see the value in trying to assign blame of win some kind of contest. "Why this happened" is not important to establish, at this point, for punishment reasons. I don't want to destroy the officer's career or send him to jail as much as I don't want to trample over this kid's grave.

I would like to see police not feel like it's OK to point guns at citizens not observed to be in violation of any laws. I would also like to see it more difficult for mentally unwell people to get firearms and easier for them to get the help they need. I don't think I'm being unreasonable wanting all of those things.

0 of 1 people like this.
Posted by HappyPessimist on July 17, 2014 at 10:25 AM

Re: “How one officer's aggression led to the death of 19-year-old Denzel Curnell

At the time of this incident the officer was working an off-duty assignment. That means the officer was an employee of Bridgeview Village Apartments (formerly Bayside Manor) and as such was obligated by their policies to weed out those who don’t belong in that neighborhood. That is what he was doing when he noticed Curnell behaving suspiciously. He is not violating anybody's rights by asking to speak with them. Then when Curnell continued to not speak with him and keep his hand hidden, the officer had every right to feel uncomfortable and ask to see his hands. Wouldn't you?
Here’s something to think about – it could be possible Curnell was carrying that firearm to take out someone he perceived as a problem. Maybe the officer saved someone else’s life, or lives, by trying to have a chat with Curnell.

Chief Mullen pointed out that the officer was doing his job – the job Dot Scott demanded be done – and checking out suspicious folks in one of Charleston’s high crime, high violence, drug infested housing projects. If the officer had just sat and waited for Curnell to actually have used that gun - whether on someone else or even on himself, and sat back in his vehicle and done nothing there would have been outrage! So law enforcement is damned if you do, damned if you don't. They are asked to step up and protect these neighborhoods but condemned when they try to do their job and stop violence before it escalates.

You know, with all this media attention being given to this case the media has managed to skirt the issue of violence in the black community yet again. It seems there was a home invasion this past weekend in which, a young black female, mother and soon to be bride was killed when she was shot multiple times. A male in the home was also wounded by gunfire. Has the NAACP spoken out about that? Nope. Have they or the media spoken out about the murder of black convict Samuel Coardes by black drug dealer Tyrone Penn? Nope. Just two of way too many examples of the black on black violence in this city.

11 of 12 people like this.
Posted by HOBYCAT on July 17, 2014 at 10:09 AM

Re: “McConnell must do a lot to earn the respect of CofC students

Let's all weep for the underrepresented abusive privileged. Cry for those of us who weren't born with an ethical compass. If we at the top had to play by the same rules as everybody else, how would we stay at the top?

You're in the wrong thread freefirezone. This article is about someone who skirted the rules and made a joke of a selection process being expected to prove he deserves the job now that he has it, since he didn't prove it before he got it.

The "help, help, my bigotry is being repressed" thread is through another door.

8 of 10 people like this.
Posted by HappyPessimist on July 17, 2014 at 10:05 AM

Re: “How one officer's aggression led to the death of 19-year-old Denzel Curnell

Appreciate your response, Chris. There was a good segment on NPR this week on the merits of the stop and frisk laws that were abandoned in NY. I wonder if there is a way to protect 4th and 5th amendments while allowing reasonable interactions between police and civilians? It really depends on the end game and what the intentions are of the individual officer. Is it ok for an officer to detain someone for loitering or not walking in a straight line? At what point does someone's behavior rise to the level of reasonable suspicion of being a danger to themselves or someone else? What if someone is wearing a trench coat in the July in Charleston on their way into movie theatre, and he had been pacing back and forth up and down the street? Would it then be ok to approach them and request they keep their hands out of their pockets if they are appear extremely alarmed? Shouldn't the police be able to use some judgement and common sense? I like to think about this, keep an open mind, and appreciate other perspectives. I think the fact he had a gun, the officers suspicions were correct, he didn't use deadly force, support a reasonable approach.

8 of 10 people like this.
Posted by John Cecil on July 17, 2014 at 8:55 AM

Re: “Children from same-sex couples are doing better than OK

I'm the black-Jewish son of an LGBT couple and I came out fine, along with three siblings, including an Army officer. It was never the lack of love from my family but the hate in the community that I struggled with. I have always said that I had an equal or better upbringing than kids in traditional households, because I learned that it's love, not biology, that makes a family. Now I have the science to back it up in my campaign for US Congress.

6 of 7 people like this.
Posted by Gabriel Rothblatt on July 17, 2014 at 8:53 AM

Re: “How one officer's aggression led to the death of 19-year-old Denzel Curnell

John,

The point here is that the officer didn't witness a crime, a crime wasn't reported that he was responding to, and he didn't suspect Denzel Curnell of having committed. The 4th and 5th amendments must take precedence here in these matters. The officer had no legal right to detain Curnell — regardless of whether or not his suspicions were confirmed, which is certainly up for debate — and Curnell had ever legal right not to respond, not to pull his hand out of his pocket, and to turn around and walk away. These laws here is designed to protect us; however, it seems that the public is far to willing to give up their 4th and 5th amendment rights in the name of public safety. The most important parts of the Bill of Rights are slowly being chipped away by fear.

3 of 12 people like this.
Posted by chrishaire on July 17, 2014 at 8:35 AM

Re: “How one officer's aggression led to the death of 19-year-old Denzel Curnell

I think the facts in this case better support proactive policies of approaching individuals who are acting strange, and also support the necessity of offers taking reasonable precautions to protect themselves. The gun was reported missing by his uncle. Is this not a crime? Can a family member who has recently been suicidal have legal access to a firearm without asking permission, and carry it around at a place that he doesn't live? There is no point in charging him with a crime, I'm just wondering what the laws are. I think its illegal for someone to have a gun with a psychological disorder, and to take one that didn't belong to him and go to a place he didn't live is problematic and indicates intent to hurt himself or someone else. In the end, its very sad someone that young would take their own life.

6 of 7 people like this.
Posted by John Cecil on July 17, 2014 at 7:43 AM

Re: “How one officer's aggression led to the death of 19-year-old Denzel Curnell

So well said Chris Haire.

Until we love young black men as much as we love Ordinary oysters--this city is fucked.

2 of 13 people like this.
Posted by Mario Delgado on July 17, 2014 at 7:42 AM

Re: “McConnell must do a lot to earn the respect of CofC students

Here we have another literary gem from an education system that's been teaching diversity as the ultimate good for decades.

What matters most is how Little Johnny feels about the world around him. We must pamper him and manage his surroundings so that he never feels threatened. Because we've trained Little Johnny in such a manner, when he becomes an adult, he will still be Little Johnny in mind, wrapped up in his feelings. When he acts or speaks in an asinine manner, he will expect to be affirmed or at least go unchallenged. He will have expectations that one of his constitutional rights is that his feelings never be hurt - all the while being largely ignorant of the Bill of Rights.

If the recent guest opinions by Ms. Peipmeier and Ms. Sprouse are representative of the CofC campus as a whole, then Glenn McConnell is exactly what the doctor ordered. The campus could use some genuine diversity - a diversity that's not confined to race and sexual orientation of a mind-numbingly dense human resources seminar, but one that includes variation of thought.

Good luck Mr. McConnell with the politically correct CofC choir bequeathed to you.

7 of 14 people like this.
Posted by freefirezone on July 17, 2014 at 7:24 AM

Re: “Denzel Curnell shooting: Read the officer’s full account

"On the other hand, the fact that in this case the police's hunch turned out to be correct makes it much more complicated than a black and white Empire v. Rebels situation.

From most accounts the kid was pretty disturbed so it's a good thing that he's not running around with a pistol…"

I agree with this that you wrote earlier. I don't think you can have it both ways. So far the city and state have exonerated the officer. I don't have a problem with a federal investigation. Tragic outcome, but the fact Carnell was already carrying a gun that was reported missing, indicates that he was either a threat to himself or others.

Posted by John Cecil on July 17, 2014 at 7:15 AM

Re: “How one officer's aggression led to the death of 19-year-old Denzel Curnell

Denzel was of legal age to posses a handgun in SC, to carry concealed he would have needed to be 21 and have taken the cwp course and passed. If he was on the property he was a residence he would not need a cwp walking from a car to his apartment for instance. The worst thing the police would be able to charge him with would be illegally carrying a firearm, the charges would likely be dropped if he showed up to court and had no priors. The cop was spot on that something was not right about the guy wearing the hoodie(that did contain a handgun). If denzel just took his hand out of his pocket and cooperate he would be alive today. If I was a cop I would be nervous if someones hand was in their pocket during a stop too.

If the cop didn't shoot him he is not liable in any way, It is sad that the guy ended his life and at such a young age too, but some people are just suicidal.

8 of 9 people like this.
Posted by Mikey Mcdoogle on July 17, 2014 at 3:43 AM

Re: “Denzel Curnell shooting: Read the officer’s full account

I don't disagree that the cop was right about his suspicions. I don't disagree that it wasn't unreasonable to stop to try to speak to him. I don't disagree that it wasn't unreasonable to ask him to take his hands out of his pockets.

However, being a free citizen not in the act of committing a crime, Carnell should have been allowed to decline these requests without having a gun pulled on him.

1 of 1 people like this.
Posted by HappyPessimist on July 16, 2014 at 11:28 PM

Re: “How one officer's aggression led to the death of 19-year-old Denzel Curnell

If Officer Medlin had stopped a troubled teenager wearing a trench coat two blocks from a school and it turned out that kid had a gun and events unfolded the exact same way, Officer Medlin would be a national hero.

22 of 23 people like this.
Posted by Paulius on July 16, 2014 at 11:07 PM

Re: “McConnell must do a lot to earn the respect of CofC students

"I wish the student body and everyone else would get over it. You lost, McConnell is president. Either support him, ignore him or leave. But, like most liberals, you will continue to whine like petulant children."

Do I need to even go to the archives to point out the five solid years of whining that conservatives have been doing about President Obama, who was not installed following a sham selection process but won two elections?

11 of 15 people like this.
Posted by mat catastrophe on July 16, 2014 at 10:48 PM

Re: “The more mags that proclaim Charleston is the best, the more tourists that flock to our streets

LOL. Once a tourist magazine touts your city's "authenticity," your days of actually being authentic are numbered. I've visited beautiful places that were labeled that way. They were great at the time, but they were almost unrecognizable when I next visited them because of overdevelopment, commercialization, etc.

So I agree that these "honors" are more bad news for the locals than good.

13 of 13 people like this.
Posted by Native Ink on July 16, 2014 at 10:12 PM

Re: “McConnell must do a lot to earn the respect of CofC students

This would never have happened if Marie Land were still at the helm. She was a true champion.

0 of 2 people like this.
Posted by khofuswiftclaw on July 16, 2014 at 10:02 PM

Re: “Denzel Curnell shooting: Read the officer’s full account

That should be "I don't think the police here were unreasonable."

1 of 1 people like this.
Posted by John Cecil on July 16, 2014 at 9:34 PM

Re: “Denzel Curnell shooting: Read the officer’s full account

Police are free to speak to people. "Officer Safety" is an area open to abuse (since safety can never be guaranteed, it can be used to justify almost anything), but not having your hand concealed in a big pocket in a high crime area is a reasonable request from a cop that is speaking to you.

The policeman was correct, the deceased was illegally carrying a stolen gun.

2 of 2 people like this.
Posted by Cid95 on July 16, 2014 at 9:30 PM

Re: “Denzel Curnell shooting: Read the officer’s full account

Some one wandering the streets concealing a stolen gun isn't good either. From his behavior and appearance the officer asked to talk with him, then became fearful when Carnell wouldn't take his hands out of his pockets. I respect concerns about unreasonable search or profiling, but this could have also been the only chance to intervene, take the gun away from him, and get him help. The officer probably wishes he had seen the gun and grabbed it. I don't think it was right for all the media to cry racism, then accuse the officer of murder, as others were quoted as being sure the police shot him, and now profiling. I've been pushed up against a wall by a cop in my own house, who followed me through my gate and through my back door. I showed him my drivers license and he said he had been chasing someone. I didn't like it but I din't resist him either. It has happened more than once, and I think the police here are unreasonable; they are just trying to do there job, and want to get home safe. Now I'm not so sure they will feel inclined to get out of their car and approach someone they suspect is carrying a gun that doesn't belong to them at some place they should't be. Part of their job is to intervene and arrest people who are carrying guns that don't belong to them.

2 of 2 people like this.
Posted by John Cecil on July 16, 2014 at 9:28 PM

Re: “Children from same-sex couples are doing better than OK

I don't understand why there are some that still stick to the notion that we need to worry about who marries who. The amount of LGBT people in the country is so miniscule that if you don't make a big stink about it you would hardly know or care how many there are. And as many kids are stuck with one parent I would think that having two loving parents, no matter what gender they are, will be better for them.

9 of 11 people like this.
Posted by nofaith on July 16, 2014 at 5:12 PM
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