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The Death of Zac Champommier: A Need to Know How & Why?

July 2nd, 2010 by Celeste Fremon

Okay, first let me tell you what we know:

On Thursday night, June 24, a little after 9 p.m., a multi-agency task force made up of Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies, and DEA agents were meeting in the back parking lot of the Chipotle Mexican Grill, located on corner of Laurel Canyon and Ventura Blvds.

The officers had just served a search warrant as part of an operation targeting what they designated as a “High Intensity Drug Traffic Area.’ Now they were standing around debriefing behind Chipotle’s.

As the officers talked, they noticed a guy peering into some parked cars in another part of the lot, including some of their own unmarked cars. The officers said later, they thought the guy might be casing vehicles with the intention of committing a crime.

A couple of the officers confronted the guy whom, they said, declined to comply. A struggle reportedly ensued.

After that, events moved quickly, according to a report by Lt. Gallagher of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau.

An additional deputy approached to assist, drew his handgun, and ordered the suspect to the ground. A white sedan, driven by a second suspect, sped toward the group, hitting the deputy.

The deputy was thrown into the air, landed on the hood, hit the windshield, and was thrown back onto the ground. The deputy and a Drug Enforcement Administration agent, fearing for their lives, fired their duty weapons at the suspect vehicle. The car accelerated a short distance through the parking lot, crashing into several parked cars.

It is unknown, at this time, if the two suspects were connected.

The first suspect was being detained and questioned by detectives

The second “suspect” was 18-year-old Zac Champommier. The “white sedan” was his Toyota stick shift, reportedly registered to his mother.

Three weeks before to the night, Zac had graduated with honors from Granada Hills Charter High School. In the fall, he would be heading for college.

In high school, however, more than anything, Zac had been a band and orchestra kid—a music guy. He played the saxophone in Granada Hills’ Highlander marching band. In the school orchestra, he played strings, usually the viola. The band kids socialized together, did tour dates, entered contests. They were something like a big family, according to friends and teachers.

In terms of his own family, Zach was the only child of a single mom, Carol, who doted on her son. She and Zac’s dad, Rick Feldman, were divorced and badly estranged, but the dad still adored the kid too. Carol is an elementary school teacher. Most of her students’ parents had either heard a lot about or met Zac. She was that kind of over-the-moon proud.

It appears the pride was warranted. According to his friends’ anguished posts on the Facebook page put up in his honor, Zac was funny, talented, smart, handsome, lively, gentle, playful, idealistic—a kid who was going good places, who would expected to succeed, but likely not lose his soul doing it.

One of his friends noted that he always wore a chain with an angel wing charm, a symbol of his idealism.

In December of 2009, he wrote on his MySpace page that he wanted to get an education….see the world, meet new people, and then “I’ll find that special someone, I’ll learn everything I want to, I’ll do what I want with my life and live in that house in the mountains and own a bookstore!

“Ya, that’s actually what I want. No joke.”

Friends and teachers also posted in the comments section of the LA Times Homicide report. In the posts they were adamant that events on the night Zac died, as the sheriffs described them, were in no way consistent with the Zac Champommier that everyone had known.

“I knew Zachary,” wrote one of the teachers, “… he was one of my students and nothing in his character would ever convince his peers, family and friends that he did something deliberately destructive or hurtful to another person. He would not have knowingly attacked law enforcement officers. It simply wasn’t in his nature.”

Yet it is a fact that Zac slammed into a sheriff’s deputy with his car, and it is a fact that Zac Champommier was shot dead by two members of law enforcement. According to the coroner, the fatal bullet entered through his left arm into his armpit then traveled deeper.

So what in the world happened? How did this good kid with no priors, loads of friends, a bright future, doting family, no immediately evident dank emotional reservoirs, end up tossing a deputy with a car, then get himself shot dead by law enforcement in a Studio City parking lot on a Thursday night.?

Before we can answer those larger questions, a great many smaller ones need to be answered.

For example:

Were the deputies and DEA guys all in plain clothes, or were some in uniform? In other words, what did Zac believe he was seeing in those last, bad seconds of his life that night?

Did Zac and the other kid/man (his age is not yet available) know each other?

Zac was supposedly meeting someone at the restaurant. Who was he meeting and why? Did he ever meet them? Does it matter?

The list goes on from there, but thus far the sheriffs have not shared much of whatever information they have. Although the DA’s office is also investigating (as they always do with an officer involved shooting), they are saying even less.

There are other kinds of questions too. Although Zac died between 9 and 10 p.m. on Thursday night, his mother told friends she wasn’t notified until the following morning, after she called the police to file a missing persons report. If that’s true, why the pain-causing delay? The boy had with him plenty of identification.

No answers will bring this boy back. But his parents want to know and they deserve some answers. Right now they’ve gotten few.

“What am I going to do without him? What am I going to do?” his mother sobbed earlier this week, suddenly collapsing into the arms of another mother whose own son had been Zac’s close friend . The sobbing occurred at Zac’s cremation, when Carol, the mother, saw her boy for the last time—but saw him this time the way that every parent dreads the most—laid out in his casket.

When she regained control, Carol stared silently at Zac’s still form and her face softened as she held hard to the hand of the other mother.

“He’s perfect, isn’t he?” Absolutely perfect, replied the other mother, and she meant it.

“I believe she broke down with me,” the 2nd mother wrote afterward to another friend, “because she knows I know the kind of son she lost, because I have one of my own who in so many ways walked, walks still, the same path as Zac. And she knows I know exactly what she’s lost.”

So how and why did a sequence of events occur that ended with the “perfect” boy lying dead in a parking lot at Laurel Canyon and Ventura?

It feels important to know.

PS: It should be noted that Zac Champommier is not at all the only loved young man to have died violently this month, this year. And, except to those who cared about him, his death is not inherently more significant—his life more valuable—than those of those other young men (or young women).

However, sometimes, for whatever reason, the plight of a single person will catch our attention, and we feel the need to scream: Attention must be paid.

So it was (and still is) with Matrice Richardson, who even now is missing, and with Jamel Shaw…and with Lily Burk, and others.

And now, perhaps, Zac Champommier.

Attention must be paid.

Posted in LASD | 94 Comments »

94 Responses

  1. Studio City Resident Says:


    I’m a Studio City homeowner and I’ve been troubled by the official story. I didn’t know anybody involved, but I have walked through that parking lot hundreds of times at all hours of the night. I’ve never noticed any reason why cops would be on hair trigger there. This incident sounds like a sequel to the June 23, 2010 LA Times story:

    Alcohol-related incidents involving L.A. County Sheriff’s Department employees increase,0,7251572.story

  2. Rocky G Says:

    I wish I could say this surprises me but it doesn’t.

  3. Sure Fire Says:

    I wish I was surprised that nobody here actually cares enough to wonder about the condition of the officer hit by the speeding car, but i certainly do and am not surprised by the lack of caring showed here..

    Attempt murder or assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer, or for anyone else for that matter makes it legally justifiable to use whatever force necessary to stop the threat. What should the shooting officers have done in response, wait for the driver to turn around and pick off a few more of them?

    I realize that a troll cop hating coward like Rocky, at least that’s this low life’s name this incarnation, would love to see cops killed left and right but I certainly understand and am in agreement with the officer’s actions from what I’ve read to this point.

    Let me make something else real clear to you people about the “debriefs” that go on after special operations like what the task force was engaged in. They can take place anywhere but most often it’s somewhere close and convenient to those involved. It happens all the time. There is nothing unusual about where this took place. The officers see what appears to suspicious activity and investigate it and this guy plows into them. Zac made a fatal decision to plow into a cop instead of inquiring as to what was taking place, his death is on him not the cops.

    Looking or peering into vehicles in parking lots is s.o.p. for car thieves and burglars. I’m sure more answers will be coming but having hooked up an 18 year old high school wiz kid for killing his own 6 month old child by bashing it’s head against a living room wall makes me real aware of what a person can do who all who know him would say wasn’t possible.

    A person’s actions sometimes can’t be explained but my gut feeling is this guys actions will be found out.

  4. Answering The Question Says:

    If we look at this from a factual/analytical standpoint things should be crystal clear.

    Fact: Zach drove his vehicle into a police officer at a speed high enough to propel the officer over the hood and into the windshield.

    Was deadly force justifiable under the circumstances? Was their fear for their safety reasonable?

    Why did Zach do it?
    It doesn’t matter with concern to the cops actions.

    What was Zach doing there?
    It doesn’t matter with concern to the cops actions.

    This was a terrible tragedy involving a good kid that had a very bright future ahead of him. That has no bearing with concern to the cops actions. Their action was justifiable or it wasn’t, regardless of whether or not Zach had been arrested 35 times in the past or he was a good kid.

    As hard as that is for us to come to terms with, that is the reality. A GOOD KID can end up losing his/her life as the result of making a single bad decision. Like say, maybe, drunk driving for the first time in their life after graduation.

    It’s an absolute tragedy. They happen every day. Let’s not compound this one by trying to place blame on the cops for Zach’s actions. Zach made a bad decision and he lost his life as a result.

  5. Answering The Question Says:

    Were the deputies and DEA guys all in plain clothes, or were some in uniform? In other words, what did Zac believe he was seeing in those last, bad seconds of his life that night?

    It doesn’t matter with concern to the cops actions. What if an off duty cop saw the same thing Zach did and intervened, drew his gun and fired at the cops, and they fired back killing the off-duty cop who intervened because he thought he was doing the right thing.

    The actions of the cops is still justified because their fear for their lives is reasonable.
    We can’t expect cops to know or even consider the mindset of a person who poses an immediate threat to their life.

  6. Answering The Question Says:

    Did Zac and the other kid/man (his age is not yet available) know each other?

    With regards to the cops actions, it doesn’t matter if the other guy was Zach’s best friend or somebody he had never met.

  7. Answering The Question Says:

    I apoligize for the serial posts. Such a tragedy. For everyone involved.

  8. Celeste Fremon Says:

    Sure Fire, the officer’s okay. He was taken to the hospital and treated for “his injuries which included severe bruising and abrasions,” but then released that same night. I thought I put that in, but I see I didn’t. Anyway, good you asked.

    ATQ, I agree, it is a situation where everybody loses, and it’s so, so tragic.

    I feel like we need to pull it apart, though—even though it is unlikely that knowing all the details will change anything at all about whether or not the sheriff’s actions were righteous. I mean, from their perspective a car had just slammed into a deputy at a high enough speed to toss him over the hood of a car. It’s just blind luck he wasn’t hurt a lot worse.

    I don’t think that’s the issue here, even though it’s human nature to want to blame someone when something terrible happens. In this instance, I think it’s likely just an awful, awful collision [bad choice of words} of events.

    All that said, I still want to know what happened. And if I were Zac’s parents I would need to know.

  9. Celeste Fremon Says:

    Sure Fire, please don’t make it personal with a commenter. Thank you.

    And while you’re here, I have a question: do you see any reason why the Sheriffs waited so long to notify the parents? Or was it just a screw up? It has nothing to do with the main story, but speaking personally, that really bothered me. Is there something procedural that I’m missing?

  10. The Truth Says:

    Zac was totally innocent that evening in Studio City. He was waiting in the parking lot to meet a friend to hang out and see a movie. Why did these power hungry DEA agents bully an innocent friend walking to meet Zac in his car. He was doing nothing wrong. He was not charged with any crime. He was negligently surrounded by undercover agents. There was no fight. No scuffle and he did not resist in any demeanor. He was asking them why they were stopping him and scared they were rednecks trying to attack him. He was looking for Zac’s car not breaking into cars. They did not question him or show a badge before they swarmed him. This unneccessary panic caused Zac to leave the parking lot. Somehow an agent was caught between him and the exit. Should undercover DEA agents swarm an innocent man and cause a deadly panic. NO. Should Zac be alive if they were to have followed proper procedure and not use execessive force stopping his friend while he was doing nothing illegal and there to meet and see a movie with Zac. YES please help us with a fund or means to show the world power hungry DEA do not have the right to pull a gun and stop innocent people when he was not resisting in any form. Only asking them why. This is not a crime. They did their job wrong stepped in front of an innocent encounter and now a young man is dead because of them. Zac and his friend have nothing to hide. The DEA has only lied about the situation. There are lawyers on our side helping the truth be realized. These agents negligently incited panic and swarmed an innocent man withouth showing a badge or questioning him first. Due to this Zac is gone forever. PLEASE HELP US WITH JUSTICE FOR THIS MAN AND ZACS FAMILY DO NOT DESERVE BEING TRAPPED INTO SUCH A MISERY BY THESE NEGLIGENT DEA AGENTS They are both truly innocent in this world

  11. no name collins Says:

    Zach drove his vehicle into a police officer. What do you expect Celeste? Perhaps the popo didn’t see the “My Son is an Honor Student” sticker on the car – I am sure they wouldn’t have fired then, right?

  12. reg Says:

    “I realize that a troll cop hating coward like Rocky, at least that’s this low life’s name this incarnation, would love to see cops killed left and right”

    Nice to see that SureFire’s cleaned up his act and sticks to coherent and substantive comments. Kudos…

  13. Studio City Resident Says:

    I’ve walked down to the corner of Ventura and Laurel Canyon a couple of nights per week for the last ten years, often cutting through the busy, well-lit, BMW-filled parking lot where this kid was shot. I’ve never once noticed drug-dealing or car break-ins going on in this parking lot, or anywhere in Studio City for that matter, which is one of the highest rent

    On the other hand, I have almost been hit by bad drivers in that parking lot several times, which each time made me mad. Maybe if I had been carrying a gun, a driver would have wound up dead.

  14. Answering The Question Says:

    Commenter #10 is the PERFECT example of why all these questions don’t matter. As you said Celeste, people need somebody to blame. Murder charges to follow? Is that justice? If Zach’s friend was looking into cars, is it unreasonable for the cops to believe he was casing them? Then would it be unreasonable for them to detain him?

    A tragedy happened and people with animus need someone to blame.

  15. Local Says:

    Many of Zac’s friends have assumed that he was “in the wrong place at the wrong time,” but the parking lot of an upscale Studio City shopping and dining area at 9:30 pm on a Thursday evening was only the wrong place at the wrong time because some undercover officers decided to hold a “debriefing” there after serving a warrant. Maybe I’ve read too many Joseph Wambaugh cop novels, but “debriefing” sounds like a euphemism for taking the edge off after a high-adrenaline situation banging on a bad guy’s door by having a few drinks in a nice place with lots of aspiring starlets around.

  16. Moviegoer Says:

    What was the shooting victim doing in that particular parking lot at that particular hour?

    Let me make a guess. This is pure speculation, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was on his to a movie at Universal Studios Citywalk. It costs about $5 per car (after rebate) to park at Universal. If you were an 18-year-old coming from the far northwest of the San Fernando Valley in your stick-shift Toyota to meet a friend from somewhere else who had his own car, you could save $5 by meeting up with him somewhere near Universal.

    This parking lot would be the ideal location for that: you get off the eastbound 101 freeway at Laurel Canyon, turn right onto Laurel, drive south a half mile, then turn right into this particular parking lot, which is free, well-lighted, well-guarded by private security, and safe (unless pistol-packing undercover agents are “debriefing” there). From there, you’d just drive straight down Ventura a couple of miles to Universal.

    The only problem with this plan would be meeting up once you got into this huge parking lot, which is hundreds of yards long and about half full of cars at that hour on a Thursday night. Maybe the kid who got there first was wandering around looking in cars to see if Zac had already arrived and was waiting in his car, when the plainclothesmen started to hassle him.

    And, if this chain of speculation happens to be right, then another question would be: What movie was Zac on his way to see when he got gunned down by undercover cops. If he was going to, say, “Toy Story 3″ in Imax 3D at Universal, well, no defense attorney defending the Sheriff’s department or the DEA would want to let a jury ever get their hands on this case. They might bring back a huge punitive damage award.

  17. sbl Says:

    Yes, it’s nice to see Sure Fire has turned a new leaf. Especially after a revealing comment like what he said to Rocky G/Robbie on 6/30/10 @10:08 a.m.: “My only regret is I wasn’t the cop who beat Robbie’s ass and turned him into the cop hating bigot jellyfish he is. Or maybe I was.”

    Not that I support Rocky G’s blanket statements either (the Mehserle thread), like saying that juries “make their decision the minute the judge describes the case,” and claiming that if even “one lib” questions the actions of a cop, the other jurors will do everything short of actually kick his butt. Tell that to those who worried about “downtown juries” when it comes to the largely minority make-up of juries. Or when it comes to things like the “May Day melee” for example, where much of public opinion in fact, was quick to blame cops first and was wary of allegations that “trouble makers” stormed the march, threw iced water bottles and instigated violence. Many saw the whole thing in terms of “poor Latino immigrants” vs. the cops, which is Rocky G/ Robbie’s tint.

    At best, there’s equal skepticism on both sides about which way justice is weighted, which way jurors will be biased.

  18. Joe Says:

    I think this was really just a terrible case of multiple people misinterpreting the situation. What were the cops supposed to do when a car runs into one of them? Stop the car and find out that the driver was an 18-year-old who was on his way to college? Do most college-bound kids drive their cars into people?

  19. sbl Says:

    As for Moviegoer’s specualations, he doesn’t seem familiar with that particular corner at all. The area’s a destination in itself, much less than a place to meet to drive to Universal (though that’s possible). Laurel Canyon/Ventura is a busy intersection on all 3 of the 4 corners (one has a bank closed at night), with everything from fast food restaurants, a major grocer, CVS and Starbucks and shops. It’s one of the most logical places for a teen to meet up with a friend, or for anyone to go shopping in the evening (it wasn’t even 10 pm yet), etc. It’s also a convenient meeting point for Valley kids who want to meet and park for free while sharing a ride down Laurel to the Sunset Strip.

    Ventura has everything from cheap family places to nice restaurants along both sides of the intersection, many popular especially on a summer evening. There is no reason to assume anyone parked there would have ulterior motives – and that time of night it’s pretty well-trafficked, so seems an unlikely place and time for someone to be casing cars. Sounds plausible he was looking for a friend on a planned rendezvous.

    BUT there’s no good explanation for why Zac would have run down anyone, plainclothes cop or not – if he saw someone roughing up a friend, he should’ve called 911, maybe honked the horn, but a nice kid who plays viola, gunning for someone with a car – just doesn’t figure. Is it possible these kids were meeting to do drugs or meth, have there been toxicology reports? Could the friend even have been dealing, looking for someone in that context? They and/or the sheriffs might have been pumped on drugs or adrenaline, but too bad people are prone to jump to conclusions one way or the other depending on their proclivities (SF’s the cops are always right and challenging their veracity makes you a cop-hating scumbag etc., or the other extreme, that most cops are bullies who look for excuses to beat up on people).

  20. Gava Joe Says:

    Is it possible that Zac may have been in that lot for all the above reasons mentioned, saw the commotion and decided to depart in his Mom’s TOYOTA? Is it possible the car was defective and accelerated unexpectedly causing the tragic scenario to unfold? Everyone’s so quick to blame law enforcement for another of so many clusterfucks when it would be easier to blame it on the Japs.

  21. sbl Says:

    Has it been proven by forensics that the deputy didn’t fire at Zac WHILE he was driving toward him & the suspect he had on the ground, guns drawn already (as the deputy admits) and THEN lost control of the vehicle, crashing into deputy? (Maybe Zac saw someone, could have been anyone if in plainclothes, look about to shoot his friend on the ground so he raced over to the scene to interfere somehow, not thinking?)

    Could this be one reason why it took the deputies til the next morning to get their story straight & notify the mother? When did they actually file the report?

    And yes, as you mention, the Matrice Richardson case is another where the Sheriff’s dept. might possibly have acted differently. Strange that she has totally disappeared. HOWEVER in that case, the mother admits she was mentally unbalanced already, while there’s no such report about Zac.

  22. Rocky G Says:

    To tack on to what Celeste said. The officers injuries simply do not back up the claims of some in here that the kid tried to assault him with a vehicle. If that were really the case, I’m guessing we’d have a dead officer on our hands, too. Or at least one that is seriously injured. All of the facts in this case point to an officer overreacting, and in my opinion this is happening way too often as of recent.

  23. Answering The Question Says:

    Zach either hit the deputy with his car or he didn’t.
    Opinions vary.

  24. Sure Fire Says:

    I don’t care what SBL or Reg has to say about my comments. I stand by every one of them. Rocky is Rob Thomas, sorry Celeste but if people want to call me out they should prepare for a response. Reg apparently doesn’t have what it takes to actually comment on what cop hater Robbie posts, no matter his name, but it’s obvious to anyone with half a brain that the more dead or injured cops the happier he is and Reg, his role model, doesn’t surprise me with his lame comments. It’s all the old man has had or ever had.

    SBL, not even once was I ever investigated for any brutality. The only use of force issues I were investigated for were shootings, just like everyone else and found to be in policy and shootings found to be lawful every time. You don’t like my comments about Robbie, too bad, if you don’t realize some people need an ass kicking in life you’re walking around with your eyes closed.

    Robbie, with his bigoted, hateful and disgusting comments made about cops fits the criteria in my book. If he went after blacks, Father G, gays, liberals, illegals or people who run social justice websites I’m sure others might find their backbones and speak up as well.

  25. WTF Says:

    I guess my many meeting with overzealous cowboy cops must be the exception. Because a bunch of cops hanging around together after a police chase or other police action would never lose their cool or composure and over-react.

    Zac must have been ready to brutally beat a baby’s head in, but found a bunch of cops to run over instead. Case closed !!!

  26. sbl Says:

    Re: the Rocky G/Robbie and Sure Fire dispute, Rocky G’s assertion that juries always find for the cops – guess the jury that just awarded $1/7 Mil to a Ch. 11 Camera Operator injured in the “May Day Melee” didn’t get the memo. That’s on top of $13 million in a class-action suit awarded 300 demonstrators and reporters (a cool bit of change to split, even with a cut for their lawyers, wasn’t that including Carol Sobel?), plus $450K for 5 more reporters, other damages outstanding.

    Also today, 2 white firefighter Captains claiming retaliation re: the Tennie Pierce case, were just awarded $2.5 million by another jury. Together, that could’ve saved the jobs of a whole lot of modestly paid library assistants and childcare workers – the first ones laid off to save some $5 million.

    Thing is, if this LASD is found guilty of shooting Zac who was rushing over under the belief his pal was about to be shot by thugs unidentified as cops, it’s us who’ll pay.

    At least after the May Day fiasco, LAPD retrained its cops and instituted new policies re: crowd control – while the LASD has come under a whole lot of scrutiny lately, for a whole series of mishaps. (INCLUDING their tasering to death a homeless junkie last August in NoHo on an MTA route – going back to the broader issues raised by the Mesehrle case: how well-trained ARE transit cops in general?)

  27. Answering The Question Says:

    LOL. That’s funny. But it doesn’t change the facts.

  28. Answering The Question Says:

    Maybe the cop jumped in front of Zach’s car so they could murder him. Yeah, that’s it. It was murder. Hang em.

  29. Boulevardier Says:

    If anybody knows any basic information, such as where the shooting victim was going that night or who the “other suspect” was, please contact the attorney engaged by Zac’s family:

    Edward C. Stark
    Attorney at Law
    Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
    Professor of Law
    1541 Ocean Avenue, Suite 200
    Santa Monica, CA 90401
    (310) 393-7300
    Fax: (310) 393-2029

    Please save text messages, Facebook postings, voicemails — anything from Zac that might be relevant to establishing in a court of law the complete story of what happened the night of June 24.

  30. Sure Fire Says:

    Why was my post deleted last night Celeste, should I have tossed in a few Reg type descriptive terms to make it past the delete button? You know, as long as those filthy terms aren’t directed at someone in a personal way? I was attacked in two posts prior to my response and I see them here. I think you expect way more of me than your rabid left leaning posters.

    SBL, you’re a book reader I take it so I’m sure you’ve read The Godfather. If you can’t remember the description of why we need people like Luca Brazi (sp), read it and you’ll see why I believe my post on Rocky is fine. If you don’t think there are people walking around begging for someone to kick their ass you’re not living in SoCal or rarely leave your home.

    Reg and Rocky’s love fest is noted, as well as Reg’s fear of commenting.

    There could be many reasons for the family not having been notified as quickly as some would like. My guess is it was up to the Coroner’s Office because when a cop kills someone people will at times go very ballistic if they are notified by law enforcement. That’s understandable in my opinion regardless of the circumstances.

  31. Celeste Fremon Says:

    I didn’t delete any posts, SF. I’ll look to see if the spam catcher got it.

    And thanks for the explanation about the notification. That makes sense that it would have needed to be an agency other than LASD.

  32. Celeste Fremon Says:

    Okay, found your comment. My spam assassin snatched it. One of SBL’s was grabbed too, which has been resurrected.

    Here’s the deal, it seems that if you use the name in your post of a commenter who has been blocked, then my spam assassin thinks it ought to spike your post too.

    If a blocked commenter appears under another name, there are signifiers that make that apparent. However, if a formerly blocked commenter reinvents him or herself within the rules of the blog, they are welcome to stay unless or until they break those rules.

    Let’s leave it at that.

    Also, SF and Reg, you both make things personal when they don’t need to be. Please dial that part of it back.


    sbl, good points. Those recent (and correct, in my book) high ticket May Day findings would have paid for a bunch of much needed librarians and child care workers.

  33. Sure Fire Says:

    Now it just popped up, weird. As of this date last year 20 officers nationwide were killed by gunfire, the whole years total was 46. As of today that number is 31, very sad.

  34. Celeste Fremon Says:

    SF, It popped up because I rescued it.

  35. reg Says:

    I have no interest in any useless, tiresome back and forth here with Surefire or his ilk and haven’t used any “descriptive terms” in these last two threads other than “nice” “cleaned up” “good work” etc. – just thought it was amusing that he was still in the throes of whatever it is he’s in the throes of in responding to this fellow Rocky (with “pure scum.”) Same old same old. I believe irony is the polite way of telling someone they’re obviously full of shit – beats spewing venom, which was what I saw in those SF comments. But if even ironic comment on venomous or wildly paranoid ravings is verboten, I’ll treat SureFire with the respect he truly deserves – i.e. as if he didn’t exist.

  36. Gava Joe Says:

    Celeste mentions:

    “it seems that if you use the name in your post of a commenter who has been blocked, then my spam assassin thinks it ought to spike your post too.”

    FOUL! What we have here is a case of profiling pure and simple. “Please be prepared to show your papers when you comment”……….

  37. Gava Joe Says:

    Please feel no need to clarify or rationalize the digital criteriae of your software, Celeste. My blurb is tongue-in-cheek. The dynamics of these comment threads are entertaining, much unlike the tragic subject of your post. A young life cut short for whatever reason is a travesty be it in jam-packed LA or some lonely road elsewhere. Thanks for reporting.

  38. Rocky G Says:

    I don’t know if bringing up the death toll of police officers killed in the line of duty in a discussion about a cop killing a citizen is a very healthy interjection. It almost reeks of, “hey, they kill us, we kill them”. Sort of a gang banger’s mentality. The fact that cops have been killed in the line of duty doesn’t even remotely excuse a cop overreacting and killing a citizen. You know what you’re getting into when you become a police officer. A citizen however should not have to walk around fearing they might catch a hot one from a cop having a bad day. Public servant means just that. It’s a lot of risk with little reward, at least where long term results are concerned (police however are rewarded quite handsomely where salaries and benefits are concerned). Anyone who signs up should know the deal going in. Perhaps a nice read of the first law ever written in this country, and the supreme law, for that matter, the Constitution of the United States of America, might be in order for those who feel police should be given a mulligan when taking a precious life of a citizen just because police have been killed by citizens before.

  39. Rocky G Says:

    BTW, I’d like to also wish everyone here a happy Fourth of July. I’m truly grateful to live in a country with free speech and free press. We wouldn’t have blogs like this if not for it. Enjoy celebrating America’s birthday, everyone. And be safe.

  40. Sure Fire Says:

    Line by line response to post #38.

    1) You don’t know anything, no cop hater I know does.
    2) No it doesn’t.
    3) In the world of a cop hater only.
    4) Who said it did?
    5) You don’t, I and others “better” than you do.
    6) In my opinion a guy like you should prepare for that from even the common citizen.
    7) I have never been anyones servant, not ever.
    8) How would you know anything about the rewards?
    9) Too stupid to answer.
    10) Nobody thinks that but a complete and total ass. Your thought right?

  41. Sure Fire Says:

    same for Reg’s last post.

    1) Like you don’t know who Rocky really is. Shows what Reg is all about with that line. Like I said before when he’s supposedly gone, he can’t leave anymore than a long time hype can leave his needle.
    2) Never speak of others venom Reg, you might get hit by lightening.
    3) Never happen hype.

    Oh yeah and your “thug” president sucks.

  42. Rocky G Says:

    Sure Fire Says:

    “I have never been anyones servant, not ever.”

    I hope you’re joking. Because if that’s true, you were never truly a cop. Anyhow, have a great 4th tomorrow, guy.

  43. Sure Fire Says:

    Never, and told every officer I ever trained the same thing. To preserve the peace and protect the average person from the scum that prey upon them isn’t what a servant does. It’s a warrior’s job, not a servants.

    The term servant is demeaning based on the job a cop is required to accomplish, that’s how it will always be.

    Have a nice 4th.

  44. Rocky G Says:

    Sure Fire Says:
    July 4th, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Never, and told every officer I ever trained the same thing. To preserve the peace and protect the average person from the scum that prey upon them isn’t what a servant does. It’s a warrior’s job, not a servants.


    Street thugs tell their younger wannabes the same thing. Sadly, Police like Johannes Mehserle and the officers discussed in the article above took your advice. And they’re all likely to pay the same price a thug would pay. You live as a thug, the system treats you like a thug. And I say it’s a good thing. The founding fathers feared the police becoming their own government, becoming too powerful to the point to where the people they are sworn to serve have no recourse of action when abused by them. It’s good to see there’s still a few good people in our justice system who see things the same way. Let these poor excuses for police face justice.

  45. A Parent Says:

    For those who think that the police were justified in shooting Zac just on the basis that he “rammed” an officer with his car, just remember that “suspect” and “rammed” are the words used by the Sheriff’s Department. They infer guilt, where no guilt has been proven. If the wording were “teen” and “accidently hit” would you feel so strongly? How about “inexperienced young driver accidently bumps into police officer and is gunned down?” I only use this as an example to show you just how a few words can slant public opinion. The police have a great loyalty towards each other. It is not a bad thing in most cases, but it can be when taken too far. Think of the movie “A Few Good Men,” and you begin to understand.

  46. A Parent Says:

    Answering the question says:

    Fact: Zach drove his vehicle into a police officer at a speed high enough to propel the officer over the hood and into the windshield.

    Was deadly force justifiable under the circumstances? Was their fear for their safety reasonable?

    To which I say this: the cop suffered bruises and abrasions. No serious injuries. I know someone who was hit by a car on a side street and ended up on the windshield also. She was in the hospital for a month with a fractured skull and internal injuries. Part of that time she was in a coma. It does not sound like Zac was going at a high rate of speed. We do not know if the officer might have intentionally or accidently stepped in front of his car. There is way too little information in the report that was released to the press. If Zac were leaving the parking lot at the same time as they were taking down a suspect, they may have tried to stop him if they thought he was also involved. He may have tried to stop, hit the officer instead, and the other officers may have assumed it was intentional. Officers do not have the right to kill someone who runs into them just on the ASSUMPTION that it is intentional. Accidents happen in parking lots all the time. The question is this: what made the police assume it wasn’t an accident? The report doesn’t say. The report says so little, that it’s hard to know just exactly what happened.

  47. gunnlino Says:

    I’ve not read all of the comments because it’s difficult to wade through the muck and mire of the haters. But as with Matrice Ricardson, Zac is of age, as in he’s an adult, being responsible for his own actions.The law and procedures of most law enforcement agencies do no require the notifying of next of kin immediately but only as time and circumstances allow.
    With a juvenile it’s another story, notification is to be done ASAP.
    It’s unfortunate to say the least but many feel the need to rush to judgement without knowing any of the circumstances let alone all of the circumstances.
    Change may be required but if those who hate and are such severe critics want real change there are many vacancies in most law enforcement agencies, sign up, join up make the change from within, do something, hating is not the answer.

  48. sbl Says:

    I’m still awaiting proof that Zac didn’t lose control of the car and ram the (undercover, uniformed) cop AFTER he was shot; the deputy admits he already had his suspect facedown on the ground, with his gun drawn on him. If he saw a car racing over toward him (maybe just to see what some armed “thug” was doing to his friend), would he really have NOT used his gun?

    I’m sure if the officer DID shoot Zac under such tragic circumstances, of mutual mistaken identity, he feels horrible about it. This isn’t about good vs. evil either way. But given that it occurred on one of the most upscale and popular, downright iconic (and you’d think innocuous) intersections in the whole Valley, this could have happened to ANYONE, anyone’s son – if the cops could have done anything differently, from not hanging out there in the first place to “debrief,” lessons must be learned.

  49. sbl Says:

    I meant, undercover, UNuniformed i.e., unidentified as such, at least from Zac’s perspective, cop/ deputy…

  50. Answering The Question Says:

    Officers do not have the right to kill someone who runs into them just on the ASSUMPTION that it is intentional.

    Right. Got it. They must assume it’s unintentional. It’s not like a car is a deadly weapon. Fuckin cops. Always overreacting. Hang em.

  51. sbl Says:

    So you’re saying an undercover deputy/ cop can just pull a gun on anyone anywhere for mere “suspicion,” then shoot to kill anyone who approaches to see what’s going on. Which is more likely to be an innocent and clueless kid like Zac, by the way, than a REAL perp who would run if his friend were already apprehended.

    If an undercover, i.e., plainclothes cop is going to pull a gun on someone he’s got lying prostrate on the ground, in a busy and upscale mall at a prime hour, because he thinks the guy just might be casing his car, he should be aware at all times of how it looks and the possible consequences on bystanders especially the suspect’s friend, who sees HIM as a thug. Anyone seeing a “thug” with guns drawn at his friend might instinctively rush over, foolishly or not – he does NOT deserve to be shot. (Sounds more and more like Zac lost control of the car AFTER being shot.)

    The whole context of what the swarm of deputies were doing there in the first place, why they “debriefed” there of all places, is suspicious. Doesn’t show a lot of forethought ab out the public’s safety. The whole situation would’ve been different if they’d have been uniformed and ID’d as cops.

  52. Huong Low Says:

    An Asian Honor Student would never attempt to pull something as stupid and provocative as this Celeste. Asian American students on average scored the highest in the SAT last year and earned admiration from New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. Nonetheless we are repeatedly taunted by the LAPD as having “accents,” and being “submissive,” “sneaky,” “stingy,” “greedy,” etc.

    A Parent, if you think the Confucian culture emphasizes and facilitates educational achievement, it may also promote silence on the expression of social and psychological needs.

  53. reg Says:

    “Like you don’t know who Rocky really is. Shows what Reg is all about with that line. Like I said before when he’s supposedly gone, he can’t leave anymore than a long time hype can leave his needle”

    Absolutely have no idea who “Rocky” is – you delusional, weak, self-pitying little sonofabitch.

  54. Are You Stupid Says:

    Watch-out Reg is about to blow a gasket!

  55. Dennis the menace Says:

    I bet Reg looks a lot like Good-Old Mr. Wilson.

  56. Dennis the menace Says:


    Yo mama’s lips so big, Chapstick invented a spray!

  57. Talk is cheap Reg Says:

    Sonofabitch, to god-damned hell with sonofabitch! We have no sonofabitch. In fact, we don’t need sonofabitch, Reg. We don’t have to show you any sonofabitch, you god-damned cabrón y chinga tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours.

  58. Celeste Fremon Says:

    Chill, everyone.

    (FYI: Dennis/AYS, et al, I just deleted a couple of your comments. Pick and ID or two and say something that isn’t parody, please.)

    SBL, As I find out more about all this, it appears that the circumstances may be very similar to what you just described.

  59. AYS Says:

    Fine Celeste….. I’m taking my ball – and I’m never coming back!!!

  60. Celeste Fremon Says:

    AYS, I enjoy having you here, you know that. I’m just trying to keep some level of civility here, which is challenging. I understood your comments were meant humorously, but sometimes they end up just being fuel.

  61. reg Says:

    Wow – the crazies are out in full force. Weak.

  62. Prof mp Says:

    The only commenst that make a lot of sense to me are 46 and 48. If the public knew how many suspects “accidentally trip on sidewalks” according to the police reports, or “hit their hits getting in the car,” when what they really did was somehow fail the cops’ attitude test and get the crap beaten out of them, and then get charged with PC 148–resisting arrest, or interference with a cop, peoplw would be amazed. Cops overreact ALL the time, and while they As we saw with Rodney King, and with the Rampart blowup, cops can and do write ANYTHING that will justify the results afterwards. Problem is, too often it’s happening on Budlong or Vermont and not on Ventura Blvd, and the people being hurt and falsely accused don’t have the voices of support.

  63. Nonny Amos Says:

    The truth will come out in time. Patience, all.

  64. A Parent Says:

    Answering the Question says:

    “Officers do not have the right to kill someone who runs into them just on the ASSUMPTION that it is intentional.
    Right. Got it. They must assume it’s unintentional. It’s not like a car is a deadly weapon. Fuckin cops. Always overreacting. Hang em.”

    The sarcasm wasn’t necessary. I am not a cop-hater, only a parent who knows that my daughter, a good friend of Zac’s, could have easily been in that car with him that night. And I would be going to her memorial service as well as Zac’s. I am looking for justice, not a hanging. Every article I have seen so far says that the police were in plain clothes. It is difficult to believe that Zac was targeting a cop, if he didn’t even know it WAS a cop. So why would the police think it was intentional? Would you be allowed to kill someone involved in a traffic accident, if they had hit your friend? I am not saying that the police were trying to kill a good kid, but it happened all the same. Even if this results in a suspension and a review of tactics, at least it might save the life of the next person that comes along.

  65. Darren Says:

    “Every article I have seen so far says that the police were in plain clothes.” –Which articles would those be, Parent? I haven’t been able to find any actual journalistic articles yet, other than the piece in the L.A. Times Homicide Report. And no, that doesn’t say anything about the police being in plainclothes.

    The hypothesizing about plainclothes officers, mistaken identity, and so forth is coming from Zachary’s friends and supporters. There has been a lot of wild theorizing, here and elsewhere, alleging a police conspiracy and a cover-up. All of this will soon prove to be completely untenable as more facts emerge from the investigation.

    The lack of coverage (so far) is interesting. However, I think a lot of people are soon going to be dismayed to find out that Zachary was not exactly the person they thought he was.

  66. A Parent Says:

    Darren, there were some other articles, one of which was done by cbs2 and another msnbc. But after reviewing those articles, they do not state that the police were in plain clothes either. I am certain at least one report I read stated this, but I will no longer say so unless I can locate it.

  67. Darren Says:

    Parent– Thank you for the clarification. I don’t mean to be offensive with my comments, and I realize that I was doing a little bit of what too many others have been doing here and at the L.A. Times Homicide Report site (i.e., declaring what the investigation is going to determine).

    I too am a (comparatively recent) parent. In fact, my son’s name is also Zachary, which is one reason why this story originally caught my attention. And I too would be shocked and devastated beyond comprehension if anything like this were to ever happen to him, to such an extent that I doubt I would want to go on living. So the shock and disbelief from Zac’s friends here is truly understandable.

  68. Mike Says:

    Fact: There have been many episodes of police cover up. (It’s not unheard of). The testimonials on Zac’s behalf are entirely warranted. He was a great kid with a huge extended family. Now, the relevant questions are as follows:
    1. Even if Zac “rammed” a deputy with his car (a story that seems very untenable to anyone who knew Zac), where was the immediate threat of bodily harm to officers if the officer who was allegedly rammed was able to defy the laws of time and space and render a side shot after allegedly being bounced around like a ragdoll? (That would place the officer facing Zac’s driver’s side door and, thus, out of harm’s way for the moment).

    2. According to the Sheriff’s log (#160), there is absolutely NO CORROBORATING EVIDENCE that Zac knew the “casing suspect”. To suggest a connection is reckless and only fuels the fantasy that Zac was being a good Samaritan or a deviant. All testimonials defy Zac as having the capacity to do this act. Therefore, it was not an intentional act. It is, apparently, just as likely that the officer ran into Zac’s car by stepping in front of it. The question is whether that occurred before or after Zac’s being shot. If Zac had already been shot, he cannot be held responsible for losing control of his car. In fact, the officer who shot him placed anyone in the forward location to Zac’s car in danger.

    Any and all residents of Studio City should be in an uproar over this occurrence. It literally could have been anybody pulling into that lot looking for a parking space.

  69. Mike Says:

    Fact: There have been many episodes of police cover up. (It’s not unheard of). The testimonials on Zac’s behalf are entirely warranted. He was a great kid with a huge extended family. Now, the relevant questions are as follows:
    1. Even if Zac “rammed” a deputy with his car (a story that seems very untenable to anyone who knew Zac), where was the immediate threat of bodily harm to officers if the officer who was allegedly rammed was able to defy the laws of time and space and render a side shot after allegedly being bounced around like a ragdoll? (That would place the officer facing Zac’s driver’s side door and, thus, out of harm’s way for the moment).

    2. According to the Sheriff’s log (#160), there is absolutely NO CORROBORATING EVIDENCE that Zac knew the “casing suspect”. To suggest a connection is reckless and only fuels the fantasy that Zac was being a good Samaritan or a deviant. All testimonials defy Zac as having the capacity to do this act. Therefore, it was not an intentional act. It is, apparently, just as likely that the officer ran into Zac’s car by stepping in front of it. The question is whether that occurred before or after Zac’s being shot. If Zac had already been shot, he cannot be held responsible for losing control of his car. In fact, the officer who shot him placed anyone in the forward location to Zac’s car in danger.

    Any and all residents of Studio City should be in an uproar over this occurrence. It literally could have been anybody pulling into that lot looking for a parking space.

  70. A Parent Says:

    Darren, thank you for the kind words. Zac’s memorial was on Friday, and many of his friends shared their stories about him. The memorial itself was largely organized by his closest friends. Zac was in the Granada Hills Highlander band and orchestra where he played sax and viola, respectively. He served on the band council. He graduated Granada with honors. He loved to collect quotes of famous people, and just have a lot of fun with his many friends.

    A memorial video, which was played at his service, is on Youtube for anyone who would like to see it. Go to or seach for Zachary Champommier. Please remember him.

  71. Mike Says:

    I find it pathetic that law enforcement took one of the 1996 Bank of America North Hollywood shootout suspects alive, even though he was armed with an AK-47 with armor piercing bullets, had shot several people, and presented a clear threat of immediate future serious bodily injury to officers and the public. Of course, that suspect later bled to death and the other suspect took his own life.

    How is it that an innocent, well-regarded young man would not be afforded the same treatment of being taken alive given that his Toyota sedan, far from an AK-47, posed no immediate threat of serious bodily injury to anyone?

  72. A Parent Says:

    Darren, I found a recent article from the L.A. Times that does say that all of the detectives were in plainclothes:,0,1476311.story .

  73. Celeste Fremon Says:

    Dear Parent, Thanks for the heads up on the LA Times article. I’m talking to the same witness. I’ll put something up late tonight.

  74. Mike Says:

    Well, well. We have a witness for the innocent. Of course his checkered history is being brought to the fore and there will be even more attempts by law enforcement to somehow blame the forever-silenced Zac. The disinformation machine of the LA Sheriffs dept. is working overtime, all at public expense.

    But, the relevant question remains: How would the use of deadly force be justified if Zac’s car no longer presented an immediate future threat of serious bodily harm?

    If a burglar entered your home and seriously beat you before running out the door and you manage to run after him, tackle him, immobilize him outside your residence and, once on the ground and no longer a threat, you see a brick and smash his head in…You’ve just murdered him. If you had done the same thing earlier (i.e., smash his head in) when he was beating you up in the home he was attempting to burglarize, it would have been justifiable homicide under a theory of self-defense.

    Zac’s wound indicates a side shot. The officer, even if intentionally hit (a scenario looking weaker by the moment), got up and fired his weapon and was in no immediate danger by the position of Zac’s car. Therefore, the facts are increasingly indicating overzealousness, recklessness, and possible retaliation by the officers.

    The sheriff’s smear machine will not succeed in their attempt to continue to harm Zac. There are simply too many people who knew him intimately and know that he would never intentionally hurt another.

  75. Mike Says:

    As the sheriff’s hypnosis wheel continues to spin to try to lull everyone into believing the “official” (i.e., fantasy) version of events, let’s focus on the RELEVANT QUESTION as to the justifiable use of deadly force:

    Since all evidence indicates that there was no longer an immediate threat posed by Zac’s car and behavior, why was deadly force employed?

  76. Ahmed Says:

    More info came out:
    Zac was meeting a friend he met online and never met before. They planned on seeing a movie together.

    It turned out that that man was a registered tier II sex offender from Ohio, and illegally in California. He was known for targeting 18 year old male victims.

    updated story:,0,1476311.story

  77. Mel Says:

    Any and all information regarding the eye witnesses past is irrelevant. After all, wasn’t President and Mrs. Carter photographed with John Wayne Gacy???

    It is immaterial to whether the use of deadly force was justifiable when Zac’s car and conduct no longer posed an immediate threat of serioud bodily injury or death to the agents/officers.

    We are all witnesses to the collapse of law enforcement’s tried and true, but in this case unsuccessful attempt to blame the innocent victim.

    The public must demand an INDEPENDENT CRIMINAL investigation of the officers and agents involved.

  78. Darren Says:

    Parent– yes, I saw that too and am not surprised. This whole incident is more than a little off-kilter, especially the facts regarding Zac meeting up with this deviant from Ohio, in the parking lot. I was a top honors student and a marching bad geek in HS too. And I was up to some previous devious crap on the side, probably quite a bit worse than most kids but certainly nothing along the lines of meeting up with older guys in a parking lot and then ramming into a police officer OR ANYONE ELSE for WHATEVER reason which has not yet been determined in this case and may never really be known. I doubt I ever would have done something like that, but those were different times in a more innocent locale and hell, who knows, given a perfect confluence of bad circumstances, who knows what I or anyone in a similar scenario might have done at that age.

  79. Mel Says:

    This case raises serious issues of officer/agent training, supervision, and judgment, including:
    1. Why would officers not don clothing or other identifying garb since their operation had not only pretty much concluded but also so that the public could readily identify them as law enforcement?
    2. Why would a debriefing regarding a warrant serving operation take such a bizarre deviation from their stated mission (i.e., debriefing) to accost a person who did nothing more than look theough the windows of unoccupied cars?
    3. Why wouldn’t the area of the public parking lot have been cordoned off so the the public would not be able to interface with that apparent zone of the officers’ operation?
    4. Why would it take at least 3 officers to accost the person who was simply looking into windows of vacant cars, apparently searching for a friend whom he would be meeting for the first time that evening, with one of the officers drawing his service revolver given there was an audience of many, many more officers???

    This case requires SCRUTINY FROM ABOVE.

  80. highlanderbandgeek Says:

    Hey. Do any of you really know zac. I know him from band and school. Hebwas an amazing kid and I know for a fact that he would never intentionally hit a police officer. I don’t believe he was the second “suspect” in anything. Let the police believe what they want…zac champommier was and will always be an amazing friend, person, son, and that’s all that needs to be said about him.

  81. Mike Says:

    What if it was a “pedestrian vs. auto” type of accident that happened as Zac was simply trying to get out of there? Friends and family know Zac and whatever caused that collision could only have been accidental. Those plainclothes officers must have appeared to be a gang of thugs or who knows what. One already had his weapon drawn. What kind of effect would that have had on the other officers? They would have thought that there was an imminent threat of serious bodily injury posed by this Oeters guy and they all would have drawn their guns too. So, the deputy who rendered “assistance” to those officers that were “struggling” with Oeters by drawing his weapon SCREWED UP because there should have been no reason to pull his gun just to get Oeters to cooperate. Heck, it was already 2 against 1 before the gun-drawing deputy came over.

  82. BandGeek Says:

    Why are there so many arguements when no one was there? We can only assume but I doubt any of it is correct, in time we’ll find out the truth. Until then stop being biased, stop judging and stop critisizing. Only those who knew Zac can truly some what understand what might of happened.

  83. Scot Says:

    Band Geek-

    There were people there. As far as we can tell, there were several law enforcement personnel that who had no boundaries. They are the product of a law enforcement culture that believes one should “shoot first and ask questions later”.

  84. JP Says:

    Wow such a tragedy
    But it is less of a tragedy if he actually really tried to ram or revenge towars a cop, in this case it is well deserved. Stop criticizing cops one day they will help you.

  85. YeahItSux Says:

    JP, Zac didn’t try to ram anyone at all. A witness has already said a deputy was running towards him (the witness) and ran into Zac’s path. It’s more than likely Zac never even saw him coming. So no, this is not a case of someone ramming into a cop in some weird act of revenge. No one was wearing uniforms. Zac only saw a bunch of dudes in a parking lot wearing regular street clothes. There were no “cops” around that anyone could see…. just (by all outward appearances) civilians.

  86. Mel Says:

    Moreover, Zac’s last act in this world was to slam on his brakes in an apparent attempt,ironically, to try and avoid hitting the very officer who probably killed him. There is no greater testament to the person Zac was than those skid marks. They speak to the core of who Zac was: A young, kind, and decent person who would never even think of harming another person.

    Studio City residents should, deservedly, be outraged that these “undercover” operations are conducted in public parking lots, exposing their loved ones to obvious and foreseeable danger to life and limb.

    Had the agencies authorizing such “multijurisdictional task forces” implemented measures to ensure public safety, such as cordoning off the area, using identifying garb, or having at least one marked car, Zac would likely be alive today. Why would these officers be “debriefing” in a public parking lot anyway? Why not just head over to the North Hollywood LAPD division? They could have met in that parking lot. Was there a viable reason for them not to meet at a police station?

    It sickens me that Zac’s family and hundreds of Zac’s young friends have had to deal with this absolutely senseless and needless tragedy. However, if Baca thinks these kids don’t understand physics, he needs to think twice. An elementary school student would be able to reason that Zac’s car and conduct could not have presented a threat of imminent serious bodily injury or death to those officers at the moment they elected to employ deadly force.

    I would also hope that at least one of the officers on the scene that night would do the decent thing to do by stepping forward and telling the absolute truth, instead of making a mockery of Zac’s death by sticking with the cover-your-ass-make-a-square-peg-fit-the-round-hole story.

  87. Studio City Local Says:

    As a homeowner in Studio City, I appreciate the work of our law enforcement officers in keeping us safe. However, they’re not above overreaction. A few years ago, I was dropping my brother off at his car on Ventura Blvd and we chatted a bit before he drove off. Someone thought we looked suspicious and called the police. The police followed me home and surrounded me with five or six cars and a helicopter. After some tense minutes spent face down in the middle of the street they finally got close enough to speak with and I was able to convince them that they had nabbed a chubby, middle-aged banker in his driveway. All this because someone called them and said we “looked suspicious.” On the other hand, they didn’t shoot me.

    It does seem to me that we should fact seeking rather than speculating. I wasn’t there that night. I don’t know the officers or Zac. Speculating about what happened doesn’t seem very useful.

  88. Mel Says:

    @ Studio City Local

    Wow! What a story. Thank goodness you had some “profile” advantages. That was not the case for Christian Portillo who was also sitting in his driveway when two sheriff’s deputies approached him and killed him. They thought he was a drug dealer and claimed that he was startled by the sight of the officers and reached under his seat. So, (altogether now) ‘fearing for their lives’ the deputies shot Portillo in his torso, shredding his vital organs.

    There was nothing found under Portillo’s seat. No drugs. No weapons. They say a man’s home is his castle. If you’ve got sheriffs around, however, you better have a moat.

    As to “speculation”, the question is at what point is one able to take the known facts and draw reasonable inferences? Here, Zac’s entry wound was to the left arm/armpit. Since he was driving a car, it’s reasonable to conclude that the shooter stood at Zac’s 9:00 o’clock. Since that appears to be a reasonable inference, one has to ask the following: How could Zac’s conduct or car have presented an imminent threat of delivering serious bodily injury or death to the officer standing at his 9:00 o’clock position?

    I challenge Sheriff Baca to demo that for Zac’s family and friends. I’ll assume the position of the officer and I’ll let Baca have any car short of a Transformer. Demonstrating how Zac’s car and conduct presented a threat for Zac’s mother might take a little more courage than the Sheriff has in the tank, if you will.

    Moreover, Zac’s last act on this earth was to slam on his brakes. That tells a story not only of who Zac was as a person, but it also rendered notice both auditorily and visually to the officers that he did not want to injure anyone (Why else does one slam on one’s brakes?). Since Zac slammed on his brakes prior to being shot, one may reasonably ask the following: Why was this auditory and visual information ignored by officers?

    One might also, then, question the version presented by the officers for its veracity if forensic evidence suggests that Zac’s car was either stopped or nearly stopped.

    One might also question, how is it that an officer who was allegedly rammed, thrown in the air, landing on the hood, hitting the windshield, and thrown on the ground able to get up and, apparently, fire the fatal shot? A reasonable conclusion might be that if the car wasn’t moving, the officer had time to collect himself and deliberate about his intended actions. Does that sound like justifiable homicide to you??????????????????????????????

  89. Inspector Closeau Says:

    Celeste Fremon – you had posed the query regarding the delay in getting notification to Zac’s mother about his death.

    Apparently 12 hours or more elapsed from the time Zac was killed until his mother found out.

    I had read here somewhere an explanation for the delay
    having to do with which agency is appropriate for handling notification of such a deeply sensitive matter.

    I believe that you commented as finding the explanation
    sufficient to reasonably account for the delay in notifying Zac’s mother of her tragic loss.

    There is another explanation. A quite different explanation. One that should sufficiently and directly account for the delay in notification that is now forever part of this incident.

    It will never be the “official” explanation.

    Of course, official accounts of this incident are becoming scarcer and scarcer, so “unofficial” explanations may be getting closer to the truth than was previously thought.

    Are you interested?

    Is anyone still paying attention to this commentary – for that matter?

    Does anyone really want to know?

  90. Mel Says:


    This thread is alive and well. It has moved to the “Part 2″ portion, however. Whatever you have to add to the discussion, it would be seen by many more on the “Witness-Part 2″ portion of the discussion of the killing of Zachary Champommier.

    But, I visit both so you can post whatever info you have in either spot. The Part 2, however, is a little more active.

  91. closeau Says:

    Does anyone want to hear the simple unvarnished explanation for the 12 hour delay in calling the boy’s mother to inform her of what happened?

    I don’t see a need to add information about which nobody has any interest.

    If anyone is interested in understanding why there was such a long delay, just raise a hand.

    If nobody is listening – then so be it.

  92. Mel Says:


    The “official” explanation is that Zac was an adult and, thus, law enforcement was not compelled by law to contact his mother.

    They certainly saw Zac’s phone light up repeatedly, incessantly, with its glowing screen reading “Mom”. It kind of makes one wonder whether they can be classified as members of the human race.

  93. Raven Says:

    To the a**hole who brought up the condition of the deputy, nobody cares about the condition of the deputy since, too often, thy are quick to blame domestic violence victims for what happens to them along with using their power to extract ie rape/ force sexual favors from them in order to prosecute the perp. Don’t believe me? Just check out statistics on police officers and the crimes they commit using the badge, on and off duty, with domestic violence being high on their list! Peace officer? LOL! More like trouble makers. More and more every day I see why people hate them. They NEVER go after the real dangerous criminals; instead, they run from them. Check out my youtube videos to see what I am talking about at happyhookertv. Instead, they harass innocent, innocuous citizens and pick/ bully on more vulnerable people like drug users and sex workers, some of whom are the victims of human trafficking. But, they never do anything about that nor do they do anything to abate real crime that poses a serious threat to society. Instead, the justify and validate the actions of dangerous perps while blaming the victims, as I have seen first hand. Oh, yeah, if you want to argue that they are not all alike, then please argue the same about the military. Just as when you sign up for the military, your individuality goes out the window through drills, training, CONFORMITY and the belief that ALL people are suspects, especially those who are womyn and of color, same thing with the pd, especially the larger ones since they are PARAMILITARY ORGANIZATION and what is th designation of paramilitary orgs: to shoot and kill. And, if you google “abu Gharib” or “rapes in Iraq” you will see that, just like the military, they tend to pick on the most defenseless and vulnerable, those who won’t fight back, just like the dangerous criminals whose actions they validate and emulate. The problem lies in the type of personality PD’s attract. They don’t attract Officer Wally or Jane Goodall who really want to make a difference in the neighborhood they SERVE by actually talking to the people, understanding their concerns, peacefully coming to a conclusion to ending the violence in neighborhoods. No, instead, as I learned from my father who was a cop in another big city, it is not about resolving crime. It is about sweeping serious, more MONEY CONSUMING crimes like rape or murder under the rug while racheting the numbers by going after what are for the most part truly victimless crimes like drug users, drug dealers and prostitutes, “crimes” that people turn to survive and perhaps thrive. And they target the poorest in the poorest microcosm, in people of color neighborhood where LIVING WAGE, viable jobs are scarce. They don’t target lily white Nancy who’s an escort, is perhaps flagrant about her activities, has a small crew of clients and lives up in the foothills of Malibu with a Mercedes and a huge mansion, all because she can call them “sugardaddies” and not tricks as the darker women who work the ghetto streets call their clients, along with cops who extort them for rape. They don’t target Mr. Duran who flies the coke (cocaine that is) by the shiploads into this country. They don’t target Dan, an investment broker living in Orange County who does and maybe addicted to coke and crack on the slick. No, they never go after them since the prison industrial complex has become an industry, a second slavery since most of the people going in look like me, people of color. As for the police, their role is to arrest as many warm, BLACK/ BROWN bodies as possible to turn in enable this “economy”, this “industry” to persist. The pigs like to paint people who “hate” them as people who are for the criminals. No, I am not for DANGEROUS criminals. I hate murderers, rapists, people who assault innocent womyn, children or thieves (if they are homeless, I can understand). As a VICTIM of crime, I find that they hate us, hence why I return the favor.

    I hope that Zac’s family gets justice. As for the pig(s), I hope they all die doing their jobs just as they said I deserve whatever horrible things happen to me for doing mine.

  94. Mel Says:

    One would hope that Witness LA would be following this story to its conclusion. The decision of the federal judge was rendered today in the case of Champommier v. United States of America

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