The Homewood shooting is justified under state and federal review of self defense law. Mr. Zappala is correct. Research is consistent and unanimous when it comes to action v. reaction time. This is why I cannot understand why they are pushing so hard on my client, who was robbed in the high crime area of Homewood. People are shot in the back often due to the reaction of trained officers and security guards. It takes our brains approximately 2 seconds to disengage once we feel that our life is in jeopardy.
Take a look at Mr. Carter’s case. Click HERE
By Steven C. Townsend
DA says officer was justified in fatal shooting in Homewood
By Liz Navratil / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A Pittsburgh police officer was justified under state law to open fire when he killed a man fleeing from police in April, the Allegheny County district attorney said today.
Stephen A. Zappala Jr. said he has turned the file of materials compiled during the investigation into the April 21 death of Adrian Williams, 29, over to the US Attorney’s Office for a review at the federal level.
Mr. Zappala said two officers from the city’s Zone 5 station were patrolling on Hamilton Avenue in Homewood when they spotted a gun inside a Chevy Malibu belonging to a woman who had some sort of relationship with Williams.
District attorney: Police officer justified in shooting
A Pittsburgh police officer was justified in killing a man who was fleeing from police in April, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. said today in a news conference. (Video by Nate Guidry; 6/4/2014)
About 3 a.m., officers spotted Williams get into the car and activated their lights and sirens, signaling him to stop, Mr. Zappala said,
He said Williams sped away and the attempt to stop Williams became a “priority call” because a gun was involved. He said that meant all available officers joined the chase, and that some hit speeds in excess of 80 mph while trying to arrest Williams.
The car Williams was driving crashed in Wilkinsburg. Williams got out of the car, took the gun and ran behind some houses while two officers chased him, Mr. Zappala said. He said Zone 5 Officer Christopher Kertis ran in front of the houses, parallel to Williams, and the pair encountered each other when Williams got ready to turn the corner.
“I think he was surprised that the officer was there right away,” Mr. Zappala said of Williams.
He said Williams fell when he ran past some debris and Officer Kertis yelled twice for him to drop his weapon, according to audio and video of the shooting and interviews with officers who responded.
“The gun came up at the car, at the police,” Mr. Zappala said. Less than two seconds elapsed before Officer Kertis fired twice, hitting Williams, he said.
He said Williams threw the weapon and Officer Kertis fired four more times.
About five seconds elapsed between the time that Williams emerged from behind the houses and the time that Officer Kertis stopped firing, Mr. Zappala said. He said that research studies indicated the average reaction time for a human is 1.8 seconds and he thought that might factor into why Officer Kertis shot Williams after he dropped the gun.
“I think it’s reaction time,” Mr. Zappala said when asked why the officer might have fired shots after Williams threw the gun.
Mr. Zappala said Section 508 of Pennsylvania state law allows officers to use force when someone is committing a felony — such as fleeing and eluding — and possesses a weapon. He emphasized that state law on self-defense for officers hinges more on whether someone they are seeking possesses a weapon than on how the suspect used it.
“I have to look at what the officer saw,” Mr. Zappala said.