Criminal Justice LASD

The Death of Zac Champommier – Part 2: The Witness

A great deal of controversy, shock and confusion has surrounded the death
of 18-year-old Zac Champommier an honor student, self-described band geek who played the sax and the viola in the Granada Hills High School marching band, and graduated this past June and was to have entered college in the fall. After college graduation, he wanted to travel, meet new people, fall in love, and eventually own a book store, according to his MySpace musings. (Zac is shown above in a video collage made by one of his friends for his memorial.)

Instead, on the night of June 24th, Zac went to meet a friend in the parking lot behind the Chipotle Mexican Grill at the corner of Laurel Canyon and Ventura Blvd. in Studio City, but somehow unaccountably ended up hitting a Los Angeles sheriff’s deputy with his car. The deputy and a DEA agent reportedly fired at Zac in return. According to initial coroners reports, the bullet entered through his left arm and continued into his chest. Zac died on the parking lot pavement.

For weeks his mother and his friends have been puzzing in anguish over what could possibly have caused the terrible string of events.

Now there is a witness.

His name is Douglas Ryan Oeters and he tells a story that is different in several important ways from the one that the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department has previously reported.

It seems he is the friend whom Zac was meeting. I have been corresponding with Oeters via email about the night in question.

(I see that The LA Times’ Robert Faturechi has also been corresponding via email with Oeters.)

According to Oeters, who is 29, he had just spoken to Zac on the cell phone before the events were set in motion that were to end in tragedy.

“He called me a minute before this happened and said he was sitting in the Citibank parking lot in a white car.” Oeters said he saw a white car parked in the back of the lot, walked over, and peered into it to see if anyone was inside. No one was. Then he spotted a second white car—which turned out to be the right one—and was proceeding toward it when he said he was approached by a plain clothes officer and then several more, none of whom, he said, in the beginning showed him any kind of a badge.

The official press release from the LA County Sheriff’s Department describes the crucial events as follows:

It states that Sheriff’s narcotics officers together with DEA agents had just served a search warrant and were now debriefing in the Chipotle parking lot.

During their discussion they saw a man looking into parked cars who appeared to be casing the area to commit a crime. Task force members contacted the man. He immediately became uncooperative and a struggle ensued. 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.

Although not spelled out in the original statement, now the LASD confirms that the officers involved were in indeed in plain clothes and their cars were unmarked.

As a consequence, according to Oeters, he first mistook the officers who approached him for “rednecks” who intended to jump him.

“I was scared and tried to avoid this very large man in plain clothes with no badge. They rushed towards me as I was walking in the parking lot looking for Zac waiting in his car. …I was looking for Zac and nothing else.”

Oeters said that he was fearful and continued to ask the officers, “What is this about?” However, he insisted that he never physically resisted the officers as the LASD report states he did. “I continued asking what was I doing wrong while this large man cornered me by a fence.” He became further alarmed when an agent pulled his gun, he said, “when there was no physical contact at all. Just me having my hands put behind my back after a badge was finally shown.”

From where Zac was sitting in his car, Oeters theorized later, the scene must have looked very threatening.

“Because of this Zac panicked and decided to flee the parking lot. He pulled his car forward as if to leave. Somehow an agent got in the way between him and the exit. Did he have any intent to harm this agent in the way? NO it did not appear as if he was there to hurt anyone. He was not driving very fast.

Reportedly, the deputy whom Zac hit and a DEA officer both fired at Zac.

How he managed to hit a sheriff’s deputy on his way out of the parking lot is still not clear.

Friends who know Zac Champommier well said that their friend would not have played the hero in a situation of this nature. It was more likely, they said, echoing Oeters, that he was simply trying to escape a frightening scene he did not understand and would have probably called 911 once he was safely away from what looked like an attack.

As to the question of why the 18-year-old Zac was meeting a 29-year-old man to go to the movies, sources close to Zac’s family said that, after her son’s death, his mother, Linda, read the emails that Zac and Oeters had exchanged the night before their plan to meet, and that Oeters had written that he was new in town, and hoped to sell a screen play, but was trying to get to know people in the area.

Whatever the case, Zac had no reputation as a wild kid. Thus far anyway, there are no tales of drugs or anything else illegal in his past. Videos taken by friends show an bright, open-faced, handsome young man who seemed at ease with himself yet could be zany and silly with his band pals. Not someone who walked any kind of edge, his friends said.

According to his mom, when he went to a party, he would usually be home by 10:30 or a 11 p.m.

In fact, his mother worried a little that he was not going out enough. She thought that maybe, because she was a single mom, he might have felt he ought to keep her company. So she began encouraging him to get out a bit more.

Still he rarely stayed out past his self-imposed 11 p.m. deadline.

That is why when her son didn’t arrive home by 1 a.m. and then 2 a.m., then 4 a.m.…then 6…. Carol Champommier knew something was horribly wrong.

By around 8 a.m., friends say, she reported Zac as a missing person. Shortly after that, Carol Champommier learned her son was dead, shot by an LA County sheriff’s deputy.

As for Oeters, the LASD records show that he was arrested and booked that same night.. A couple of days later he was released on a $20,000 bail and has since retained an attorney.

In addition, the LA Times reports that Oeters, who is from Ohio, had at least one other “brush with the law. In Ohio, he was convicted of a charge related to soliciting sex from a minor, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.”


  • Kent State in our own backyard. The young and innocent being gunned down. The evidence cries for OVERSIGHT and SCRUTINY from above. This investigation cannot be reliably conducted by the very agencies that are involved. The public can have no confidence in the very people that are supposed to protect us.

    Demand accountability. Demand justice. Demand a criminal investigation into the conduct of the officers. To the decent law enforcement agents that remain, root out those who are unfit to wear the badge. If you don’t, there will be no way to distinguish those with badges from any gang of thugs.

  • A “decent” law enforcement officer would have no problem with oversight. So if you have to explain it to them and apologize for it, there’s nothing decent about them. They’re part of the rotten tree.

  • So Zac wasn’t going toward his friend to see what was going on but trying to flee and “somehow a DEA agent got in the way” as he headed toward the exit. Even stranger. Was the agent (plain clothes apparently) TRYING to stop him? How on earth could the agents have presumed the friend was guilty of something just because he was looking into a couple of cars? It is not very well unexplained why he was meeting a 29-year old man, who had been “soliciting sex from a minor,” whom he met on the internet. How was this guy dressed, did he somehow raise suspicions beyond peeing into cars?

    The fact Oeters was meeting a stranger helps explain HIS confusion, but still, not very comforting. Now it’s also a cautionary tale about socially shy young people meeting older, possibly predatory or at least more savvy, people on the internet. Zac was in the wrong place at the wrong time more ways than one, but still, such a large gathering of cops and agents should have been able to handle the situation much better – they created a dangerous situation.

  • “Rammed” implies ‘intent to ram’. Those subscribing to the pedestrian versus auto collision between Zac and the officer, including Sheriff Baca, are ignorant of the fact that Zac was incapable of “intentionally” harming another. The witness states that the officer placed himself in front of the vehicle, probably at the very moment Zac was trying to get away from what must have been a harrowing scene. Let’s also be clear that the inital group of “debriefing officers” were probably spread out and coming from all sides. Zac probably never saw the guy. It transpired in a parking lot that was filled with cars and he was seated in his. His vision must have been obstructed to a significant degree.

    Any way one slices this, the agents are deserving of a criminal investigation into their conduct.

  • Throw the book at them.. Chances are they went there looking to murder an innocent person. Most likely during their debriefing they were standing around trying to figure out how they could get involved in a shooting. They should have ignored the guy who was looking into parked cars, that’s NOT against the law.
    These cops need to be in prison.

  • Looks likes other blogs such as “Mayor Sam’s” blog share Rocky G’s opinion about the cops.


    “This blog has been supportive of law enforcement and realizes it’s a dirty job none of us would be willing to do. That being said any profession has it’s “cowboy” element and it appears that was in play here. One must question why the officers were meeting in a busy upscale shopping center where their mere presence amongst folks not use to such a scene could be risky. And were the officers so amped up into a pack mentality that their approach to investigating a man checking out cars was way over the top creating intense fear in a naive young boy nearby?”

  • Well since I have a second and can’t resist….”A brush with the law”….

    Convicted of soliciting sex from a minor is a “brush with the law”?

    This is the background of the star witness that everyone will rush to believe? Why don’t you have him explain that to you Celeste?

    That’s not a “brush” with the law, but leave it to liberals and the Times to call it that.

  • Regarding the witness’s checkered past, wasn’t President and Mrs. Carter photographed with John Wayne Gacy? Are we to blame Jimmy and Rosalyn for Gacy’s murder spree? If the eye witness saw what happened, that’s all that counts. He apparently had never even met Zac. He would have more to gain by adopting the law enforcement version. Frankly, I’m surprised he wasn’t found hanged in his cell. Besides, despite his past misgivings, he apparently never killed anyone. That puts him quite a few rungs up the ladder from the agents present that evening.

    It is clear that the agents/officers are playing the only hand they have to save their asses. It is completely without merit because the relevant question is ALWAYS GOING TO BE what immediate threat of serious bodily harm was presented by Zac’s car and behavior at the moment the officers chose to use deadly force? Common sense says that based on preliminary evidence, Zac’s car was beyond the shooter(s) and, thus, posed no danger. Therefore, the reasonable conclusion is that it was an unjustifiable shooting. They have no legs to stand on, let alone honor.

    They will be afforded much more due process than they ever gave one Zachary Nathan Champommier. Zac’s due process came in the form of a bullet fired by some steroid infused mall cops.

    The community, particularly residents of Studio City, must respond in unison to this reckless taking of a human life. Any one who parked their car in that lot, or who has ever parked in that lot could have been the victim. That said, we all are victimized by this killing.

  • Nobody was looking into car windows. The sheriffs made that up to justify their misconduct.

  • Obviously a Gay encounter – in a well-lighted, busy area.
    Nice, “band geek” kids may have to hide their homosexuality, and end up meeting strangers in strange places. (ok, less likely, drugs, but anyone have a third possibility?)
    Obviously, the law enforcement guys went ape, and arrested Oeters to make their own actions look better.
    I think the kid just plain panicked — he would have been a bundle of nerves, going to the meeting.

    Handsome straight 18 yr olds dont stay home with Mom, they dont meet strange men, etc.
    If the Mom and the friends are hiding something, they should come forward, so Zac’s death might serve to save some other kid who is hiding out.

  • Bob,

    I don’t see how it adds up as anything else. No one is confirming it. I understand from a conversation with a friend of the mom’s that, in the emails, Oeters gave the impression that he was closer to Zac’s age. But when the mom read the emails after the fact, she figured out he was probably older. Now we know he is. But this is all third hand. I didn’t actually have that conversation with Zac’s mom myself.

    There are a lot of other small things that don’t belong in a news story, but they too point to that conclusion.

    By the way, if this was a drug deal, then one of the two would have, well, drugs on him. Since none have turned up in the sheriff’s reports of the incident, I think we can safely assume that they ain’t there.

    Anyway, it’s such a heartbreaker.

    SureFire, I’m not characterizing Oeter’s criminal history one way or the other as I didn’t physically see his file, nor had I spoken to someone who had seen it when I wrote this late last night. That’s why I put the phrase in quotes. And that’s a side issue in any case.

  • Zac didn’t say he was going to a party. He told his mom he was going to his friend’s house to hang out and would be back by 11. A friend that Carol (Zac’s mom) knew well, who lives about 10 minutes away from him. And yes, I know who the friend is, but I don’t feel comfortable disclosing their name.
    This information may not be important now, but I just wanted to let you know.

  • SureFire —
    In Ohio (and in LA), “soliciting sex from a minor” might involve someone 16 or 17 who looks adult, or be from a police sting — or Oeters could just be scum, as he looks in his mug shot. Whether Oeters is a bad guy or not, looking into a couple of cars in a very busy parking lot is not cause for arrest.
    If you have never inappropriately been hassled by the LAPD or Sheriffs, you are likely a white, straight male.

  • It doesn’t matter if Zac was going there to meet Elton John, Liberace, or the Pope. Why Zac was in that place is irrelevant to the issue, the only issue: Why was deadly force employed when all evidence indicates that Zac’s car and conduct did not pose an immediate threat of imminent SERIOUS bodily injury or DEATH?

    For those of you who did not have the privilege of knowing Zac, it is hard to express how the official spin is entirely repugnant. Attempting to first smear Zac’s name, followed by the playing up of the eye witness’s checkered past is very unoriginal indeed. I call it GRASPING AT STRAWS.

    What most people don’t realize is that a reasonable person, licensed to carry a firearm, observing the events as they unfolded and seeing the plainclothes officers about to use deadly force on another who was NOT PRESENTING an immediate threat of imminent serious bodily injury/death WOULD HAVE BEEN JUSTIFIED in using deadly force on the officers to prevent the imminent threat of serious bodily injury/death that they presented to Zac.

  • “He rammed us with the car, “he was looking into car windows”, “it was a gay encounter”…cops will say anything to avoid accountability.

  • Mel —
    Is more productive than vindictiveness or conjecture.
    Zac had a secret, and being young, did not know how to handle it, thus got messed up with a creep, and in an unlucky place.
    Millions of kids have secrets that they do not feel comfortable sharing. I spoke tonight to a friend with 3 teen sons– “MY boys feel comfortable telling me anything, so this could never happen to them” — all about himself, Mr Big Father, not about his boys.

  • Bob, despite your good intentions, you are filling in way too many blanks. Zac’s goal in life was to “meet new people” and to “travel far”. In today’s world that can be done without leaving one’s home. Zac had friends everywhere. Some he had never met. It’s how today’s generation functions socially and to Zac’s generation it’s part of life. Some of my best friends are people I’ve only physically been around very little. I met them while traveling, we bonded, and have kept in touch via Skype or Facebook.

    While all preventable blunders appear to have been committed by law enforcement, if there is any lesson to be learned from Zac’s APPARENT conduct it involves SAFETY as it relates to using the Internet as a social communication tool.

    Now, back to something that could help all of us: SCRUTINY of the officer’s actions that evening from an INDEPENDENT oversight agency. The fox should not be allowed to investigate who killed the chicken.

  • “The nature of [Champommier’s] aggressive actions — actually hitting the deputy — that is not someone who is without some degree of fault,” Sheriff Lee Baca said.

    I would think a very little degree of fault, if any. If I thought I was seeing a bunch of thugs attacking someone near me in a parking lot, I would get out of there as fast as I could too. The cops knew they were cops, but it looks more and more like Zac, at least, was seeing a gang of dangerous-looking criminals who had cornered a victim. To use a phrase oft-used by police when they shoot someone, “Zac, in fear for his life, accidently hit a man when he fled a parking lot.” If the deputies were in uniform, you could get away with saying that Zac might have intended to “ram” a police officer. But the police themselves said that they did not identify themselves before they shot.

    As to whether or not Zac was gay, it really doesn’t matter to the issue. If he was, he was hiding it well. But I would characterize Granada as a gay-friendly school, where the kids are not afraid of being harassed for their sexuality. Many students there are sons and daughters of Porter Ranch-area parents with university degrees, and they are open-minded about such things. His friends would not have shunned him. His mother is a school teacher, so I would think she might understand.

  • A parent says-
    I agree, Baca’s statement is laughable. Everything in their book is knee-jerk. His is obviously willing to overlook the crimes committed by officers throughout history. There is “no fault” in an accidental pedestrian vs. auto collision if the circumstances did not allow for either party to avoid the unintentional act. Baca neglects to consider that possibility. Therefore, we may conclude that he is biased. That also suggests that he may be unwilling to seek the truth of the conduct of his deputies. If he fails to consider a “no fault” scenario, he may just be willing to overlook any damning evidence of fault subsequent to the “no fault” collision.

    Fortunately, for those who knew Zac, it’s a no brainer. His humanity indicates he was not at fault and the collision was unintentional. It is the conduct of officers that requires INTENSE scrutiny by an INDEPENDENT entity. They should not be allowed to investigate themselves and make a mockery of our loss.

  • …………………..exchanging glances
    Wond’ring in the night
    What were the chances we’d be sharing love
    Before the night was through.

    Something in your eyes was so inviting,
    Something in your smile was so exciting,
    Something in my heart,
    Told me I must have you.

    Strangers in the night, two lonely people
    We were strangers in the night
    Up to the moment
    When we said our first hello.
    Little did we know
    Love was just a glance away,
    A warm embracing dance away and …

  • What will “Part 3’s” headline be?

    Could be “multi-agency task force forms circular firing squad out of guilt for the taking of an innocent life”

    Better yet, “Criminal charges filed in the death of an innocent young man killed by overzealous armed plainclothes officers without the apparent requisite justification for the use of deadly force- A community in mourning rejoices”

    Far worse, “Citizenry ignore the unjustified killing of 18 year-old honors student at the hands of law enforcement as they have become desensitized- Law enforcement chalks another one up to crack supervision and training”

  • When confronted with more than one version of an occurance, I ask myself which story is most plausible…or is it something in between? Now, I know I lean to the left but in this case, I cannot help but conclude the most plausible explanation is that this kid was scared and trying to get out of there when the officer jumped infront of his car, meaning to block his exit, and was unintentionally struck by a young, scared driver who was unable to stop in time to avoid him. To me, the story just doesn’t make sense any other way. I certainly hope the community will not allow this to go unscrutinized and that the evidence will eventually reveal a plausible explanation that smells like truth and justice…and not like coverup stink.

  • I agree with Rocky, nee Rob.
    Nobody was looking into car windows. Nobody got run over. Those cops went there looking to murder somebody.

  • I don’t know if the cops went there to murder anyone, but that’s sure as hell what they wound up doing.

    CONJECTURE won’t bring the boy back. None of us was there to know for sure whether he accidentally hit the agent, and what anyone’s intent was. (and I believe he was good)
    BLAMING won’t bring him back either. It looks to me as if he walked into a very unlucky situation, with nervous cops, not him driving over cops, not cops planning to murder.

    If his friends and family want the beautiful boy to live on:
    Start a foundation to help other Gay kids have safe places to go. My friends’ under 21 son in Tarzana has no where to meet local boys as friends.

  • You know, good point, Bob. But I certainly never offered the solution of “bringing him back”. I’m analyzing the situation, which is going to include some blame by default. Can’t be avoided. OK?

  • That would be a good strategy for defense attorneys. “Putting my client in prison won’t bring the victim back”. Leave it up to the cops’ attorney to try it.

  • It will be interesting to see what the actual investigation(s) determine. This Oeters character (the witness/participant in the event in question) would appear to have some very serious credibility problems and his input certainly raises as many questions as it resolves, if not more, AND this is apparently the best he can do after 2-3 weeks of coaching and mentoring from his legal team/handlers.

    The key consideration in whether the shooting was justified seems to be whether Zac basically A) appeared and drove his car “into” the group of officers, per the initial reports or B) something else happened, something along the lines of the deputy attempted to block Zac’s exit and was accidentally hit. Hopefully, the investigations will yield some solid factual evidence one way or the other.

    I would be very surprised if there is any credible evidence of a police cover-up/conspiracy as seems to be taken for granted by so many commentators on these forums. If there was one, it was an ad hoc, hastily thrown-together one that will not stand up to much scrutiny. It’s important to bear in mind that this was a multi-agency team composed of officers who have no particular allegiance to each other and might not have even met each other before that evening.

  • ROCKY G — my point was to all, not a reply to you. I hope they re-direct their efforts to help the living, which will help the kid’s legacy.

  • I am so tired of hearing stories about trigger happy cops. I understand they protect us everyday, and I doubt it was the officers intention to kill an 18 year old that night. Bottom line is they did, and they cant bring him back. You cannot expect someone to obey the law, if the law doesn’t make it CLEAR they are the law. I also understand a car is a deadly weapon, and they have a right to protect themselves, but had the not started the ball rolling a horrible situation could have been avoided.

    After learning of the VICTIM. It shouldn’t even be debated whether or not Zac’s intention was to harm. Its not even a question.

    Also, I wish more people would take the time to really learn about the story before they make a conclusion. There are always more sides to a story. It is idiotic to make you decision on one set of information.

  • Facts suggests plausible conclusions: The officers involved were entirely disorganized.
    1. They deviated from their stated mission (i.e., debriefing) to accost someone who have not commited any crime by simply looking into car windows, apparently trying to locate Zac as the two were supposed to meet.
    2. There were at least three plainclothes officers dedicated to handling Oeters, for looking into the windows of unoccupied cars. One had his revolver drawn. Seems like excessive force was the rule, not the exception.
    3. Since their operation was nearly concluded, why didn’t they section off the area of the parking lot that they used for “debriefing”?
    4. Why weren’t officers wearing vests or ID that would make it readily apparent to innocent people, like Zac

    All those conclusions can be readily made

  • I guess we all should all treat law enforcement like they’re unexploded ordinance: They present an inherent risk of serious bodily injury or death if one doesn’t tread correctly in their presence.

    And these public are “public servants”?!? There’s an oxymoron that rivals “jumbo shrimp”.

  • I want to know that the killer has watched the video posted above. I also would like that killer to know that nearly every one of those young faces was at Zac’s memorial. You killed the innocence of a lot of young people with your actions. I hope you end up behind bars. Outside your cell, I hope they set up a TV that plays the above video for as long as you’re in there.

    Now let’s see if we are truly a nation of laws and not men.

  • Well, it’s crystal clear. The cops murdered young Zac. Don’t give me that crap about not rushing to judgement or waiting to see what the factual evidence leads to.

  • I’ll bet if there’s an investigation by an unbiased agency they find out that these cops from different agencies got together at that debriefing and were upset that they didn’t get to killer anyone during their search warrant. We all know how these “killers” are. They are a bunch of trigger happy rednecks.

  • The relevant info here is directly regarding whether excessive force was used. As someone stated above, just looking into car windows is not a reason to draw handguns. If the deputies felt a crime was about to occur, why didn’t they wait to see if this man actually committed it? Certainly, most smash and grabbers probably don’t even carry a weapon, right?

    And if some car was leaving, why would a deputy jump in front of it? Was an another assumption made that this driver (Zac) was trying to make a getaway during a crime? Again, no car was broken into.

    And it did seem unbelievable that the next of kin wasn’t immediately notified. This was a young man who was living with a parent. The mother should have been contacted right away. No excuse for that.

    Any other details…about how these two men met or what they were planning on doing that night…is irrelevant.

  • Pattie- Great points
    It was 2 officer/agents against 1 (Oeters) before the deputy brandishing his weapon even came to render “assistance”. Oeters described the first plainclothes officers, who allegedly did not initially identify themselves to him, as ‘big’ guys. The crucial point will be just how much of a threat was presented by Oeters if two officers plus one more with a gun were required to get him to cooperate? How well trained were these officers/agents if one unarmed “casing” suspect couldn’t be handled by two ‘big’ officers???

    This is precisely why an independent investigation is required. An internal investigation headed by the “fox” cannot be expected to tell us who ate the “chicken”.

    Independent scrutiny is ABSOLUTELY necessary.

  • I think Mel should make himself available to Zac’s family as an expert witness. He obviously knows what’s up regarding police tactics and deadly force situations.

  • Answer-
    All who knew Zac are family. I know Zac could never intentionally hurt another. Nor would he play “hero” for someone he’d never even met or could even identify as someone he’s met online under those circumstances present that evening.

    That doesn’t leave much else as to what might have happened. Zac had reason to get out of there. He felt threatened. Armed plainclothes officers apparently were in sight, on the move in his direction, and he only had one way out.

    But, this case will be the undoing of a lot of deserving people. The list is long. Again, there was negligence afoot before Zac even pulled into that parking lot. Everyone should care about this case because it literally could have been anyone faced with similar circumstances.

    In addition to Zac’s family, his many friends have had their young lives shattered by the actions of officers who appeared to have exercised either poor, or no judgment at all. The evidence continues to point towards unjustified use of deadly force in retaliation for Zac accidentally hitting the officer with his car. I believe it was a frightening landscape unfolding in front of Zac with multiple points of threat to attend to. It would be foreseeable under those circumstances, especially at 9:30 at night, for a pedestrian vs. auto collision to have occurred. Reasonable people would have known that. Reasonable people wearing hidden badges, in plainclothes and unmarked cars that night, were lacking.

    Absent an imminent threat of serious bodily injury/death presented to the officers from Zac’s conduct and car, there would be no justification for the use of deadly force.

    If Zac received a wound indicating the fatal shot came from the side, he was not in a position to create that threat. Even if people were in the path of his car, what good would disabling the driver be by turning that car into a runaway to those in the path of that car???

    I don’t think that the officer who killed Zac would have shot had it been my grandmother or any woman behind the wheel. Nor would that officer have shot if it were an elderly driver. That officer shot because it was a young man behind the wheel. That officer had time to see that young man as he drove by. In fact, there’s a possibility that officer ran alongside the car to get a better shot. He appears to have known precisely what he was doing because, in his mind, any young man was a threat.

    To the officers present, why go through life carrying the weight of the poor judgment of some rookie? Why make yourself an accomplice after the fact? A “wait and see” approach will be your undoing because scrutiny is upon you. Look up the requisite elements for the crime of “accomplice after the fact”. That appears to be a felony. Do you look forward to doing time in prison? A cop in prison? Good luck there. Remember, the truth will set you free in more ways than one.

  • All who knew Zac are family.

    Oh. You are a family member of Zac’s.

    I know Zac could never intentionally hurt another.
    Not on purpose anyway.

    That doesn’t leave much else as to what might have happened.

    I guess that depends on whether or not you are looking at it from a grieving family member’s pov or you were looking at it from the cops pov.

    Zac had reason to get out of there.

    Yes he did.

    He felt threatened.

    Were the cops supposed to that? Are they supposed to read minds?

    Armed plainclothes officers apparently were in sight, on the move in his direction,

    The key word here is “apparently”. Where is this documented? Do you have access to some forensics or crime reports that the rest of us are unaware of?

    and he only had one way out.

    This would lend credibility to the cops explanation that he ran over over one of them, no? Your “explanation” of what happened is nothing but conjecture and speculation. A terrible tragedy indeed. I’m quite sure those cops didn’t go there with the intention of “murdering” anyone. Perhaps someone under a little less stress from grief would ask themselves this question:
    If more than one cop fired their weapon, would it appear that the threat PERCIEVED by the officers was reasonable?
    It seems what we have here is an expectation by some people for the cops to have known that Zac didn’t WANT to hurt them. That’s an unreasonable expectation. From what I know about it, cops are trained to react to people’s actions. They are not trained to take into consideration WHY people are taking the actions they are.

    A tragic turn of events for all involved. I’ll keep you and the rest of Zac’s family in my prayers.

  • Answer-

    No retainer. That would be practicing law without a license. That’s sort of like thinking one has a license to kill when one really isn’t presented with an imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death at the moment one elects, from the many options available, to still use deadly force.

    Get Sheriff’s Log 160 and you tell me where the threat was at the moment officers chose to use deadly force if Zac’s car was moving past officers and the fatal shot came from a shooter facing the driver’s door.

    Can you think of one logical purpose for officers/agents to not be clearly identifiable to the public as law enforcement when their need for stealth was long over as they “debriefed” in a public parking area that they failed to cordon off from the general public?

    I don’t expect officers to “read minds”. I expect them to use their minds. For example, if you were in that debriefing group what would you think if two officers went to accost Oeters (the “casing” suspect), followed by a deputy who drew his service revolver screaming for him to stand down, and all in the poorly lit parking area??? If I was back with the original group I’d think the 165lb. Oeters had a gun. I would have reason to pull out my gun then. Was it reasonable for the original deputy to pull his gun??? Heck, it was three officers against the 165lb. Oeters, and one had a gun drawn.

    Now, if a layman like myself could tear a new one on these officers, just think what will happen when a REAL GOOD attorney gets a hold of them.

    Answer, are in some sort of middle school cadet program?

  • Answer, I’m sorry, in my haste to hit the send button I neglected the phrase my zinger correctly. It should read “Are you in some sort of middle school cadet program?”

    My bad. However, a computer “send” button is one thing an error can be understandably be made with. A firearm, particularly when all indications suggest that there was no imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death posed to the shooter, is quite another.

  • Mel, you seem to have a lot of anger and sarcasm toward anyone that may not agree with you.

    “Do you look forward to doing time in prison?”
    “Are you in some sort of middle school cadet program?”

    The answer to both questions is….not hardly.

  • Mel,
    If the law (not public opinion; driven by outrage)…the LAW…says that a person must pose a threat to the officer piulling the trigger, why are they allowed to have snipers on swat teams?

    Just asking.

  • I’m pretty sure that the LAW says that a cop can use deadly force against a person that poses a great bodily threat to another person.

    I’m also pretty sure that the LAW doesn’t require the cop to take into account WHY a person is causing a threat.

  • Imminent threat to self and others. Anyone can use “defense of others” to justify actions taken to defend another from unreasonable/unjustified attack. A SWAT team operates under the pretense that the “target” is an imminent threat to others (i.e., the public in the general area) and/or officers (self-defense).

    Under that same scheme, a police officer arriving in a patrol car at the moment the plainclothes officers pointed a gun at Zac, since the plainclothes officers were unable to be differentiated from thugs/gangsters, that uniformed police officer would have been justified in killing the plainclothes officer who presented an imminent threat to Zac, who clearly presented no imminent threat to anyone at that moment. The defense has to be escalating or de-escalating lockstep with the threat.

    That IS the law.

    The evidence continues to mount that the officers acted recklessly and without justification, placing not only the general public at risk by discharging their firearms UNNECESSARILY, but also INTENTIONALLY KILLING an innocent young man. Now, if you’ve ever used a parking lot, it very well could have been you. That is all Zac did. Pulled into a parking lot and through the stupidity, negligence, and intent to kill presented by the officers under unjustifiable circumstances, Zac is dead.

    Justice will be forthcoming so long as the public and evidence demand it.

  • Answer-

    You have to “stop the film” to see if there was a threat presented to officers.

    Officers shot from the side and rear. In other words, Zac’s 12:30 to 3:00 position (relative to his car) had no officers or bystanders (otherwise the cops would have been shooting at others). Zac’s entire 11:30 to 9:01 had nobody due to the structures in the area. What does that leave????

    12:00, straight ahead. Now, you tell me who creates the risk to others by killing the driver of a car who is, albeit slowly, traveling in his 12:00 direction? It wouldn’t be the driver creating a risk…It would be the person who just killed the driver and turned the car into a runaway.

    Officers retaliated for Zac accidentally colliding with the plainclothes officer. They were judge, jury, and executioner(s) within the span of a few moments…All preventable as they had a variety of options at their disposal.

  • Even community activists in Studio City were surprised to hear of what transpired right in their own neighborhood when they were met with. Seems “high drug traffic area” was also a bit of an eye-opener. But, when they heard of the circumstances surrounding Zac’s killing, they were very upset. Hopefully, as the net is cast far and wide, someone who might have seen what happened will come forward. The officers are hoping that won’t happen.

  • Mike,
    Aren’t community activists always pissed off with the actions of the cops?

  • The defense has to be escalating or de-escalating lockstep with the threat.


    So if a cop is foot chasing a guy and the guy stops, turns around and shoots at the cop AND THE COP DIVES FOR COVER, then the guy turns around and runs again, and the cop gives chase again. The cop sees that the guy still has the gun in hand. Does the cop have to wait until the guy turns around and shoots at him again before he returns fire?

    If that’s the case, how is it that cops get away with shooting at people in vehicles that have shot at them, yet the vehicle is going away from them in pursuit.

    I would like to see the case law that applies to your above statement.

  • Answer-

    Let’s stop the film in your scenario and analyze where the justified use of deadly force could have occurred:

    First, let’s assume he hasn’t already discharged his weapon or killed anyone, or committed any one or combination of the four statutorily determined felonies that carries an inherent risk of serious bodily injury of death-burglary, arson, robbery, or rape (that will make it more analogous to Zac’s situation)

    Justifiable Deadly Force Use #1: As the suspect is determined to have a lethal weapon, turns and points as if to shoot. There’s no need to wait for him to shoot. Justifiable use of deadly force is sanctioned because there is an immediate and imminent threat of of serious bodily injury/death to self/others based on the suspect’s actions.

    Justifiable Deadly Force Use #2: If there are others who are under an immediate threat of serious bodily injury based on the direction he’s running and the threat posed by the fact that he’s already discharged his weapon (say the suspect is running toward a preschool with kids on the playground), justifiable use of deadly force would be permitted.

    Justifiable Deadly Force Use #3: Let’s say he’s running off into the desert. If and when he turns in the direction of the officer, given that he’s already INTENTIONALLY shot at the officer once, justifiable use of deadly force is permitted. There’s no need to wait for the suspect to shoot. There is an imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death presented by the suspect’s actions.

    Now, let’s look at how your analogy fits with Zac’s case:
    (See next post)

  • 2. Zac’s case:

    He was apparently parked waiting for an acquaintence he met online (No felonious conduct on Zac’s part).

    Given the totality of the circumstances, Zac appears to have been frightened by the scene of plainclothes officers scurrying about with guns drawn. Zac may have witnessed their attack on the “casing” suspect, which by all accounts appears to have been excessive (3 officers, one with a gun drawn vs. the 165 lb. casing suspect). Remember, thus far no crimes by ordinary citizens has occurred, not even an inchoate crime like “attempted burglary”.

    Apparently frightened into moving his car, Zac appears to have accidentally struck the officer. But, for your analogy’s sake, let’s PRETEND it was intentional.

    Justifiable use #1: Sorry Answer, I can’t make it work. I mean, let’s I see the headlights coming… Well, that should tell me the driver wants to be seen if his headlights are on. (His car’s lights come on when the ignition is started). Let me try again, I see the headlights coming and the driver and I have no time to think and I reflexively draw my weapon and shoot… Well, that’s probably more “accidental” than justifiable (but we can understand the empathize with the officers’ perdicament, particularly if he/she did not know what the commotion with the “casing suspect” was about but seeing a 3 on 1 situation with one deputy’s gun drawn, it would be reasonable that he would have thought the casing suspect was armed, which probably caused him to draw his weapon as a reasonable response to the perceived threat.

    Now, so far, nothing justifiable, just a possible window of time where an “accidental”/reflexive shot could have been rendered from the front at the oncoming vehicle if there was no time to jump out of the way.
    (see next post: 3)

  • 3. Now, let’s stop the film and PRETEND the pedestrian vs. auto collision was intentional. The officer does all the Jackie Chan flips and somehow gets to his feet to see Zac’s car still in a position where the officer or another can render a side shot. At the moment before the use of deadly force is used, Zac is driving off into the desert (As in Justifiable #3 above. One has to know the scene, its layout, trajectories, etc., to know that the only immediate threat of serious bodily injury posed by Zac’s car or conduct IF INTENTIONAL was straight ahead for about 20 yards). Given that, where is the logic in disabling the driver and turning an allegedly “speeding” car into a runaway for about 20 yards???.

    Even granting the “official” story of events, there was no immediate and imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death posed by Zac’s car or his conduct. They never gave him a chance to “turn, face, and shoot” as he drove into the “desert”.

    Now, in the hands of a very good attorney, these facts suggest unjustifiable use of deadly force. Now, given Zac drove his car into the path of escape and accidentally, for his part, struck an officer with his car it suggest that he in no way had any intention to harm. His lights were on. He did not “speed into” the officer. Nonetheless, the collision occurred for whatever reason. However, the officers’ action appear more and more with each day to have been overzealousness and retaliation for Zac’s accidental collision with the deputy.

    Given that there was no immediate threat after that collision, the deputies claim that they did not have time to identify themselves as officers is ludicrous. They were alongside his vehicle, within 2-3 yards. There also is a possibility that they may have been on the other side of a wall and entirely out of harm’s way.

  • Very interesting verbiage you use Mel.

    Zac may have witnessed their attack on the “casing” suspect,

    “Attack”? If the person was in fact looking into cars, is it unreasonable for the cops to attempt to detain him?

    Here is what the incident hinges on IMHO.
    #1. Did the cops have legal standing to “detain” (that’s how the cops attys. will phrase it…as that IS the legal term for what the cops were doing to the person…it was a forced detention). Is it reasonable for the cops to believe the person was casing vehicles to committ a crime?

    This is easy to answer. The guy was either looking into cars or he wasn’t. If he was, it doesn’t matter WHY. It was reasonable for the cops to believe he was casing vehicles. Isn’t that what somebody who’s going to steal a car (or steal something from it do?

    As far as them using deadly force against Zac:

    #2. Was it reasonable for the cops to PERCEIVE a threat of death/great bodily injury to themselves or others based on Zac’s hitting one of them with vehicle.

    ALL of the other stuff is fluff and duff. ALL of the other stuff is an attempt to spin. Whether or not they knew why Zac was doing what he was doing doesn’t matter one iota.

    I’ve checked it out. The standard is:
    Would a reasonable and prudent person percieve a serious threat to themselves or others based on the circumstances presented AT THE TIME.

    From what I know of the incident, it was a tragic accident. Again, I’ll keep you and Zac’s family in my thoughts and prayers.

  • It’s not “standing”. Standing gives one the right to be in court regarding a specific cause of action/harm suffered. You’re referring to Terry v. Ohio, or what are known as “Terry Stops”. They are comprised of two components: Stop and Frisk. As to Oeters, the “Stop” part appears to be OKAY. The officers had reasonable suspicion based on articulable facts (i.e., “Looked like he was casing”). The fact that they were unoccupied cars might have been a bit much, particularly since there was an audience of several plainclothes officers. It should have been almost entertaining as they waited for him to actually attempt a crime.

    The “Frisk” portion of the Terry stop will be problematic. It must be founded on the belief the the suspect was “armed and presently dangerous”.

    As to whether it was reasonable to believe that Oeters was “casing cars”, time was on their side. There was an audience of several agents. The prudent thing would have been to wait until he was actually in the act of committing a crime. As it is, they’ve got him for something like “interfering with police work” (That’s the new job description for killing innocent people it appears)

    As to #2: You would be correct if Zac had wheeled his car around for another pass. You know, pedestrian vs. auto collisions happen all the time. It doesn’t give the pedestrian the right to kill the driver, ESPECIALLY if that driver does not present an immediate and imminent threat of serious bodily harm/death. C’mon kid, you give me one car to hide behind, say a 1972 Coupe de Ville and I’ll give you any car you want and you’ll never even hurt me. It’ll be a bullfight all day long. The officers had plenty of options. They intended to kill.

    Now, if Zac’s car was beyond the shooters, why couldn’t they simply run the other way? Seal off the exits? Call in the chopper? Identify themselves as police? Lay down a spike strip? Disable the car vs. killing the driver?

    Obviously you are not familiar with the area in the lot where it happened. Zac’s ability to move his car was immediately limited on one side. In front he had another 20 yards. Another side may or may not have been available depending on whether cars were parked in the stalls. The path out was just one more turn away at the end of the lane.

    However, to characterize this affair as a “tragic accident” is, frankly, repugnant. The officers simply chose, among many options, to kill.

    The relevant question based on your definition is whether a reasonably prudent person would perceive Zac’s car, now moving away from the officer who was “just fine”, to be a threat AT THAT TIME? The physics simply don’t work for the officers, even if you subscribe to their version. How is it possible for a deputy to get “rammed”, thrown in the air, and still LAND ON THE HOOD? Had to be going less than 10 mph. Not a threatening speed.

    That makes it possible retaliation for having been struck by the car. If so, that would be murder, at a minimum, possibly, voluntary manslaughter, unless there was more than one shooter. Then they both go away.

    They’ll probably get one of the better cells. Maybe a couple of extra muffins on their breakfast tray. Who knows, maybe they’ll share cells. Look at it this way, you should be able to pull your white sedan into a parking lot and come out alive after this case is done.

  • The officers had reasonable suspicion based on articulable facts

    The fact that they were unoccupied cars might have been a bit much,
    Sorry Mel, thiefs don’t break into occupied cars. Won’t wash.

    particularly since there was an audience of several plainclothes officers
    Doesn’t matter if there was one or a hundred cops.

    The “Frisk” portion of the Terry stop will be problematic. It must be founded on the belief the the suspect was “armed and presently dangerous”.
    Sorry. You’re DEAD WRONG. Cops can frisk anyone that they have legally detained for weapons. They won’t know if he’s armed and dangerous until they frisk him.

    The prudent thing would have been to wait until he was actually in the act of committing a crime.
    Crime prevention. Emphasis on PREVENTION. Isn’t that why we hire cops? Isn’t that why they drive around? Besides, per the law, it doesn’t matter what the “prudent” thing to do would have been. They either have the right to detain a person or they don’t.

    As it is, they’ve got him for something like “interfering with police work” (That’s the new job description for killing innocent people it appears)
    We have a little animus toward cops do we?

    No need to go on breaking down your points. You’ve very obviously got a hostile disposition towards cops. That’s your right. It doesn’t make your arguments correct. You are Monday Morning Quarterbacking the incident and saying what would “have been prudent” for the cops to do. That’s easy to do after the fact in a safe, sterile environment.
    I would guess that is rarely an incident where the cops do everything right. Again, the bottom line is,
    Would a reasonable and prudent person perceive the threat they did?
    It doesn’t appear to me that the cops are heartless assassins. If you believe the cops went there to murder an innocent person, I can see why you have the opinion you do.

    One last point of yours to address.

    They’ll probably get one of the better cells.
    Sorry don’t think it’s going to happen. If it does, I’ll be man enough to post here that I was wrong. If they don’t go away, will you be man enough to post that you were wrong?

  • Answer-

    If the officers responsible for the intentional killing of Mr. Champommier don’t get sent to prison, how does that make my argument wrong? I suppose you were comfortable in that golf cart with O.J.? (While it lasted)

    Read the Terry v. Ohio decision and report back in a week after you’ve paid the tutor or found the Rosetta Stone. You do not understand basic concepts of the law criminal procedure and law. I cannot help you. PBS has a very good series on law that you might find informative.

    You are more interested in not facing the reality of the culture that exists in police/law enforcement agencies that permit the use of deadly force as a first option in marginal, very marginal instances. Don’t forget, to Zac the officer he accidentally struck was in plainclothes an unrecognizable from a plain old citizen. If it wasn’t a deputy that Zac struck on his way out, I don’t think the officer(s) would have fired weapons.

    Should the mayor have killed that taxi driver that caused him to break his elbow the other day while bike riding? The mayor has police protection. Why didn’t they shoot to kill? What if the plainclothes officer who intentionally killed Zac wasn’t on duty and was accidentally struck by a car, does he have the right to kill the driver? What if it was your grandmother who was behind the wheel? Do you think they would have blasted her?

    You go too far in your Disney-esque belief in the inherent goodness of law enforcement personnel. After all they invented the “good cop/good cop” tactic of extracting information, right? Oh, and waterboarding is simply learning to surf while at the Guantanamo Hilton, right?

    Zac Champommier was intentionally killed, perhaps murdered. It all hinges on that question of whether there was an immediate and imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death to the officers (or others they sought to protect) at the moment they elected, from several options, to first use deadly force.

    Zac Champommier did not present such a threat at the moment deadly force was selected from the many options available. I believe that WILL be proved in a criminal proceeding. Use of deadly force was incorrectly applied. These men should be off the streets and never allowed to wear a badge or own a weapon. They have soiled their uniforms with the blood of an innocent 18 year old kid. The only remaining question is what will Zac’s killers be charged with: Voluntary manslaughter or murder?

  • Anyone who similarly fantasizes about an across-the-board view that all law enforcement personnel are inherently “good”, search these terms: “LA Sheriff’s Executive Force Review Committee”

    This is the County agency responsible for review of killings involving officers. Quite a few “hits”.

  • This is the County agency responsible for review of killings involving officers. Quite a few “hits”.

    Let’s see now. In the last 10 years exactly how many Southern California cops have been prosecuted due to shooting incidents? How many found guilty and sent away?

    ALL of your smartass comments and suggestions that I don’t understand the law doesn’t change that.

    The numbers tell the tale.

    So, like much of the other hyperbole you espouse, the facts don’t back up your argument.

  • Anyone who fantasizes with an acroos the board view that all cops are inherently violent ignores the FACT that of the tens of thousands of contacts and arrests they make every day, less than 10% involve use of force and less than 1% result in shootings.

    Look it up Perry Mason.

    The numbers tell the tale. Opinions don’t mean shit.

  • Answer-

    My statement that there is not an inherent goodness to be found in every law enforcement representative simply because they wear a badge in no way implies that I think “all are bad”. It simply means that you cannot assume that because a person wears a badge, they are angelic.

    Get a grip, son.

    The relevant question is what part of that one-percent you cite as shooting victims at the hands of officers is comprised of unjustifiable use of deadly force or excessive force? Half of one-percent? A quarter of one-percent?

    You say “tens of thousands of ‘contacts’ every year” and only “one percent” end up in shootings. So let’s take 10,000. Let me get my official Perry Mason calculator out. That would be 100 shooting victims. Now, what part of that 100 are you willing to say is okay to use unjustifiable deadly force on? How many of those 100 are you going to say ‘that’s how the shell casings crumble’to?

    By the way, weren’t you the one who was going to keep me in your “thoughts and prayers” just a couple of posts back???

  • I’m not okay with one bad shooting. I hardly believe that because somebody wears a badge they are angelic. There are bad cops out there. They need to be weeded out and sent away. What I’m telling you is that I see nothing in this incident that makes this tragic incident appear as though it was a CRIMINAL act on the part of the cops.

    You criticize me and become condescending and then cry foul when it’s given back to you?

    Grow up and act your age. Put your big boy pants on. If you don’t want to play rough, don’t get rough with people.

    I WILL keep you and Zac’s family in my thoughts and prayers.
    That doesn’t mean I won’t play rough if you choose to.
    You got the ball rolling.

  • I suppose you were comfortable in that golf cart with O.J.?

    You do not understand basic concepts of the law

    And you obviously don’t understand basic people skills. I’ll help you out. When you’re a sarcastic prick to people, they tend to be the same toward you.

    If you then cry foul, it tends to make you look like an arrogant crybaby.

  • I don’t know if it’s your inability to convince me that this incident meets the standard of a criminal act or your emotional attachment that caused you to get sarcastic, condescending and insulting in post 59.
    Whatever the reason, I propose we both take a deep breath and get back on the road to civility. Adults can agree to disagree without becoming petty or personal.
    Want to play nice?
    I’m up for it.

    If you’re not willing to play nice, so be it. I’m up for that too. Your call.

  • Still waiting for an answer to Mel’s (and my) question about why the deputies detained the other man for looking into windows. A crime wouldn’t have been committed UNTIL he broke the window or otherwise tried to jar open the door of a car that he does not own or is otherwise not authorize to operate.

    If he did take an object and break open the window, then they would have cause to detain and arrest him, unless he can prove that it was his car.

    Until then, he’s considered innocent (and not about to commit a crime). On a lesser or simplier level, it would be like a store owner grabbing a teenager who’s hovering around some merchandise on the thought that he plans to shoplift.

  • Pattie,
    Perhaps Mel can explain to you why that’s a legal detention for a cop.

    Suffice it to say that when a cop sees someone acting suspiciously, i.e. doing something that is consistent with criminal activity they have the right to detain that person.
    Now, if you don’t agree that a person in a parking lot looking into unoccupied car windows is in fact suspicious, that’s your opinion.

    The question is this.
    Do thieves lloking to steal a car, or steal something from a car look in the windows?

    To me the the answer to that question is obvious.

    How do they know they want to steal some property from the vehicle unless they look inside first?

  • Perhaps this will make it clearer.

    If you saw somebody on your street looking into car windows and called the cops to report him as a suspicious person, and they asked you what he was doing, when you told them the cop on the phone would not say:

    “Sorry. That doesn’t meet our parameters of a suspicious person. Call us back if he breaks into a car. Then we’ll send somebody out”.

    Perhaps you’ve never heard the term “casing” before. Maybe if you became familiar with that term it would become a little more clear.

  • Pattie-

    Casing is old term but it’s use in criminal procedure relates to the Terry v. Ohio case that allows police to “stop and frisk”. They are two distinct acts that require different standards to employ. “Stop” is a detention, albeit a brief one. It can be done on “reasonable suspicion based on articulable facts”. In other words, you’d be able to say why the person should have been stopped and it would sound reasonable. “Frisk” is a different standard. As it relates to “casing”, it was developed from the previously mentioned case. That guy was casing a bank. So, when the cop approached him, it was logical that the cop should be able to ensure his own safety because most bank robbers use weapons. All pretty logical.

    Casing unoccupied cars? Who needs a gun for that?

    The relevant point, however, was the sheer over-the-top response these cowboys had to Oeters, who weighs 165 lbs. The fact that they already had more than one officer accosting him, followed by another who brandished a weapon that I am convinced set in play the events that resulted in Zac’s death by escalating the situation to an entirely unreasonable level given the threat, if any, presented by Oeters. That overzealousness most likely caused other officers to draw their guns because Oeters was already being handled by a number of highly trained officers and yet still another was required to draw his weapon??? They must have thought Oeters was armed.

    When guns are drawn, they are more easily employed and the person using the gun has that much less time to consider other options.

  • “Frisk” is a different standard.

    Mel, are you saying that a cop who has a legal detention can’t frisk a suspect for weapons?

    I think you may be mistaken.

  • In fact, in the interest of saving time and a possible long drawn out argument, I’ll just tell you now that you’re wrong.

    If the detention meets the Terry standard, then the cop CAN IN FACT frisk the suspect for weapons.

    The crime the cop believes the suspect has committed or is about to commit has nothing to do with it.

  • Casing unoccupied cars? Who needs a gun for that?

    Maybe a guy who is looking to steal a car to commit an armed robbery.
    Besides, as stated before, if the reasonable suspicion is there for the Terry detention it doesn’t matter. The cop can frisk for weapons.

  • From Terry: An officer is justified in conducting a carefully limited search of persons whom he reasonably suspects to be dangerous in order to discover any weapons which might be used to assault him or other nearby, even in the absence of probable cause for arrest.

    That’s a quote: “Reasonably suspects to be dangerous”

    Is a guy looking into unoccupied cars dangerous???

    To whom is the guy looking into unoccupied cars dangerous???

    Answer, you must be a big Transformers fan. FYI, unoccupied cars aren’t alive. Thus, a person looking into an unoccupied car is a danger to no one.

  • From Wiki.

    Reasonable suspicion is a legal standard in United States law that a person has been, is, or is about to be engaged in criminal activity based on specific and articulable facts and inferences. It is the basis for an investigatory or Terry stop by the police and requires less evidence than probable cause, the legal requirement for arrests and warrants. Reasonable suspicion is evaluated using the “reasonable person” or “reasonable officer” standard, in which said person in the same circumstances could reasonably believe a person has been, is, or is about to be engaged in criminal activity; such suspicion is not a mere hunch. Police may also, based solely on reasonable suspicion of a threat to safety, frisk a suspect for weapons, but not for contraband like drugs. A combination of particular facts, even if each is individually innocuous, can form the basis of reasonable suspicion.

    Well, there you have it.

  • Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968), was a decision by the United States Supreme Court which held that the Fourth Amendment prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures is not violated when a police officer stops a suspect on the street and searches him without probable cause to arrest, if the police officer has a reasonable suspicion that the person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime.

    For their own protection, police may perform a quick surface search of the person’s outer clothing for weapons if they have reasonable suspicion that the person stopped is armed. This reasonable suspicion must be based on “specific and articulable facts” and not merely upon an officer’s hunch. This permitted police action has subsequently been referred to in short as a “stop and frisk,” or simply a “Terry stop”. The Terry standard was later extended to temporary detentions of persons in vehicles, known as traffic stops.

    The rationale behind the Supreme Court decision revolves around the understanding that, as the opinion notes, “the exclusionary rule has its limitations.” The meaning of the rule is to protect persons from unreasonable searches and seizures aimed at gathering evidence, not searches and seizures for other purposes (like prevention of crime or personal protection of police officers).

    Another explanation that also says you’re dead wrong. The “Transformers” wisecrack was good though. I guess when you have to eat crow it embarrasses you and makes you resort to belittling people. It would show a lot more character and backbone if you just manned up and admitted you were wrong.
    BTW, thanks for referencing Terry so I could look it up and prove you wrong.

  • Watch “Cops”. They frisk every suspicous person they come in contact with. According to you, they’re violating the law right there with the cameras rolling for God and everybody to see.
    Of course, that’s just your opinion. As is ALL the fluff and duff you put forth.

    The LAW says different.

  • Answer-
    You’re not very good at ‘answering’ questions…

    To whom was Oeters a danger to if he was “casing” unoccupied cars?

    What “specific and articulable facts” could be generated by what you remember from your Sci-Fi Creative Writing class at the local JC to support that Oeters would have been armed with anything more than something to smash a window? Are you suggesting that he was a carjacker with the intent to kidnap and was actually looking for a car with occupants??? That doesn’t mesh with the sheriff’s story.

    “armed and presently dangerous”. The facts do not support the over-the-top response. But, I wisk it were an episode of Cops. Then we’d have the whole thing recorded.

    But, try and answer one more question, what immediate and imminent threat of serious bodily injury was presented by Zac’s car if no one occupied the 9:00 to 3:00 positions to his left, front, and right? Therein lies the problem. Therein lies the retaliation.

    Explain how it could be justifiable, and don’t forget who was there shooting guns in a parking lot.

  • Mel,
    You are very good at TRYING to re-direct and change the subject. Sorry. Won’t work with me.
    Go back to your cop watchdog group and pay more attn. to what the lawyers say while you’re fetching them their coffee.

    Or maybe it’s just that you’re a little slower than those I’m used to dealing with, and you really DON’T get it. In the interest of civility, I’ll suggest a fact finding mission for you.
    At your next cop watch meeting, ask the lawyers if the cops can frisk for weapons if they have a legal detention of a suspected car burglar.
    Better yet, suggest they make this THE issue with the incident. Go ahead and explain to them the cops had no right to even try to frisk Oeters because they only suspected him of casing cars. Tell them there are no articulable facts for them to detain Oeters and frisk him.

    When they tell you:
    “Just bring me my coffee pal. You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.”
    Maybe you’ll grasp it then.

    Or, you could walk into the local PD station and ask the shift commander. Be careful though, you might not make it out alive. You know how those trigger happy cowboys are.

    Either way, you DON’T know what the hell you’re talking about. Well, either that or your reading comprehension skills are severely lacking.

    Have you noticed how no ATTYS. are pursuing the avenue that the cops didn’t have the right to detain Oeters and frisk him? This doesn’t speak well for your basic observation skills. Ask yourself why that is. Common sense should tell you.

    Or, maybe you do get it. Maybe that’s why you try so hard to redirect and change the subject to where the cops were positioned, etc. Maybe you just won’t admit when you’re wrong.

    Whatever the case, this argument is over. You’re either too slow to grasp it or too arrogant to admit when you’re wrong about certain specific facts about the incident. What you’re after is the head of these “cowboy killers”.
    Unfortunately for you, and your sense of needing revenge, the LAW matters in a courtroom.

    I’ll keep you and Zac’s family in my prayers.

  • Unanswerable-

    Avoidance will get you no where.

    The offciers had a right to “stop” based on “reasonable suspicion/artculable facts” (e.g., “the guy looked fishy”). That’s fine.

    “Frisk” is another matter. Must be based on a “reasonable suspicion” (not police fantasy) that the suspect might be “armed and presently dangerous”.

    The cop in Terry was all by himself. Oeters had an audience of how many? Quite a few I suppose.

    Again, you’re wrong.

    Again, let’s have an answer as to Zac’s question: Explain in what way Zac presented an immideiate and imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death to those officers if his car was beyond them and there was no one in the fields representing 9:00 to 3:00???

    Answer, don’t get all Clinton-esque on me, sipping your Diet Coke and saying you don’t know any Monica. Just tell me how Zac presented the threat such that deadly force was the ONLY reasonable alternative.

    Just pretend your the shooter on the stand. What should he say?

  • For their own protection, police may perform a quick surface search of the person’s outer clothing for weapons

    Police may also, based solely on reasonable suspicion of a threat to safety, frisk a suspect for weapons, but not for contraband like drugs
    Take it easy Quincy.
    Pattie’s question got answered. And YOU were wrong about the frisk situation.

    Based on your extremely limited knowledge of case law and it’s applications, coupled with your obvious animus toward the cops, there’s no need to continue. As far as your statements of bullet paths, fields of fire, etc. etc., I’ve not seen that evidence so I can’t comment. This last little exchange had to do with your statement that the cops had no right to frisk Oeters. I told you that you were mistaken, you said you were not, and we’ve hashed that out. You’ve been proven wrong, yet you won’t admit it.
    Based on that, you’ve got no credibility with me. When you’re taken on Voir Dire and recognized by the court as an expert witness, then your opinion might be worth something to me.
    Until then, you’re nothing but an armchair wannabe Quincy who’s opinions are based on your obvious disdain for cops.
    I could care less what you think. Your OPINION doesn’t mean squat. To me or the court.

    Sell it to the Air Force Mayo. Or should I say, sell it to Copwatch Mel.

  • And in case you haven’t figured it out yet, you’re arguing (debating) with somebody who has more than a limited knowledge of the subject matter.

    Your observation/perception skills are sorely limited. I have no interest in debating any further with you. It’s not stimulating to me any more. I dropped hints that a knowledgeable person would have picked up on. You missed them completely.

    No Mel, I’m not a cop. lol.

  • The intentional killing of Zac Champommier is the relevant subject matter. Just answer the question:

    If Zac’s car and conduct could not have presented an immediate and imminent threat of serious bodily injury, based on its position relative to the officers, how would you explain that the use of deadly force was justifiable at the moment it was employed?

    Live up to your name.

  • Kent State in our own backyard.

    This investigation cannot be reliably conducted by the very agencies that are involved.

    Frankly, I’m surprised he wasn’t found hanged in his cell.

    Zac’s due process came in the form of a bullet fired by some steroid infused mall cops.

    That said, we all are victimized by this killing.

    The fox should not be allowed to investigate who killed the chicken.

    Baca’s statement is laughable.

    Everything in their book is knee-jerk.

    His is obviously willing to overlook the crimes committed by officers throughout history.
    And this guy wants to have an intelligent conversation about the tragic events that night? lol. Hardly. He’s had a purely emotional response from the beginning.

  • Can’t have an intelligent conversation with one who insists on looking the other way. Sure hope you’re not on the committee assigned to deliver an “impartial” investigation.

    Avoidance of the central issue is not what this is about.

  • Ironic that you should imply the law enforcement officials should be treated as innocent until proven guilty in this matter. That’s something they never considered affording Zac Champommier even though it appears they readily could have.

  • Douglas Ryan Oeters, who was being detained by police in the parking lot before the shooting, said Zac Champommier’s car struck the Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy, sending him over the hood and onto the ground.


  • Excerpts from same article, continued:

    He (Oeters) said the team of plainclothes officers gathered in the parking lot were slow to identify themselves as law enforcement.

    Sheriff’s homicide Capt. Dave Smith said the plainclothes officers quickly identified themselves to Oeters, but he continued to resist them.

    Is it possible that Mr. Oeters is not telling the truth?

    Is it possible that the cops Id’d themselves immediately?

    Is it possible that a cop who has been hit by a car (hard enough to throw him over the hood, as Mr. Oeters himself stated happened) perceived this as a life threatening incident?

    Is it possible that the other cops perceived it as a life threatening incident?

    Is it possible that the majority of people see the cops actions as explainable, albeit tragic?

    Is it possible that that these cops are still on the job because Michelle Leonhart, Lee Baca, Charlie Beck and Steve Cooley all see it differently than Mel?

    Is it possible that it’s not on the nightly news every night because the media outlets see it differently than Mel?
    (Remember, “If it bleeds it leads”).

    Naw. None of that’s possible. Mel’s opinion is the only thing that counts. And don’t you dare have the temerity to disagree with any of his less than expert opinions. If you do he will become personally insulting and condescending. And don’t you dare treat him as he treats you or he will cry foul.
    You must let Mel make his incendiary and inflammatory comments without retort or he classifies your opinions as fantasy. This is what is required for someone to have a conversation with Mel.
    Mel wants me to keep conversing with him. Too bad for Mel. I choose to have conversations with mature, intelligent considerate people. Mel meets none of those parameters.

  • You said it, “perceived as life threatening”. Now explain how? Stop the film. Where was the threat now?

    This basic and fundamantal aspect of the justifiable use of deadly force eludes you.

    Fortunately, the jury will be properly instructed.

  • Regarding Comment 88:

    Mayor gets hit by Taxi. Driver uninjured. Driver forgiven by mayor who suffered a broken elbow. Body guards do not kill driver. Everybody goes home to their families.

    Why not Zac?

    North Hollywood Bank of America shooter gets taken alive even though he’s wounded several people, robbed a bank, continued spraying the area with automatic weapons fire….

    Why not Zac?

    You will never be able to escape the need to address the fundamental question: How was Zac a threat to those officers at the moment they elected deadly force?

    Get creative.

  • North Hollywood Bank of America shooter gets taken alive even though he’s wounded several people, robbed a bank, continued spraying the area with automatic weapons fire….
    Again, Mel doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Emil Matasareanu died at the scene. He wasn’t “taken” anywhere while he was still alive. He had been shot over 20 times. Paramedics waited and did not come in and treat him for his injuries. They weren’t going to enter the scene until they knew it was safe. The family sued over it and lost.

    Another example of Mel’s hyperbole.

  • Concrete…I mean, Answer

    In other words, he wasn’t killed when he was apprehended. He bled to death from his wounds a couple of hours later. He wasn’t summarily executed.

  • So, describe the threat presented by Zac again….

    You keep wading around that issue for some reason:

    Describe the physics by which it is possible that a person’s car can present a threat of imminent serious bodily injury or death if that car is beyond the officers in question and moving away.

    He wasn’t driving Optimus Prime. It was a Toyota.

    Imagine you’re the officer. The car’s moving away from you. Why shoot to kill?

    Can you give me one scenario???

  • Answering The Question Says:
    July 21st, 2010 at 10:10 am

    I’m not okay with one bad shooting. I hardly believe that because somebody wears a badge they are angelic. There are bad cops out there. They need to be weeded out and sent away. What I’m telling you is that I see nothing in this incident that makes this tragic incident appear as though it was a CRIMINAL act on the part of the cops.

    You criticize me and become condescending and then cry foul when it’s given back to you?

    Grow up and act your age. Put your big boy pants on. If you don’t want to play rough, don’t get rough with people.

    I WILL keep you and Zac’s family in my thoughts and prayers.
    That doesn’t mean I won’t play rough if you choose to.
    You got the ball rolling.


    Listen to the tough guy. Did you ever get back to me on the origins of California’s gun laws?

    Remember that?

    Remember how you accused liberals of taking away Californians’ rights to carry a weapon?

    Remember how I had to school you on the fact that California’s concealed weapons laws were passed in response to the Black Panther Party exercising their 2nd amendment rights?

    Remember how you ducked out and ran after that?

    Remember when you tried to be mister know it all in there and got exposed for knowing absolutely nothing?

    Well, I do.

    Also, your knowledge of police procedure while not being a cop just has D O R K written all over it. Most cops probably don’t even know as much as you do about police procedure and slang. You’re probably one of those guys who hangs out with police all of the time. What’s it feel like being the one egghead, trying to hang with a bunch of alpha males? I’ll bet every time you talk, they just nod in agreement, out of courtesy, and change the subject on you. They’re cops. They’re probably flattered to have one citizen who looks up to them and turns a blind eye to their abusive nature and total disregard for the constitution. They’ll take you anywhere. But you’ll never be one of them. You’re not cut from the same cloth. You just don’t have the genes for it. The testosterone. Because of this, most tough guys in society won’t give you the time of day. But like I said, police are a little more tolerant. And they’ll let you tag along and be a groupie. Some price you pay to be a know it all on police procedure. Most people have more dignity. I think everyone appreciates police to a certain degree…people are just getting fed up with their abuse of peoples’ rights. But everyone appreciates the fact that there are police to protect us. But for christ’s sake, you don’t have to swing from their nuts. Get a life.

  • Mel craves de lege ferenda.

    Rocky craves an argument.

    Keep craving boys. Jones on it.

  • Answer-

    Keep ducking. All this avoidance may serve you well someday: You never know when the cops might have you in their sights as you reach in your pocket to get ID.

  • Rocky, nee Rob, would have us believe that conservatives support gun control.

    Rocky couldn’t school an ant on how to get to a picnic.

  • Next thing you know, he’ll be telling us how it’s conservatives that want to shut down FOX News.

  • WTF-

    You’d think they’d have better things to do than to retaliate for an accidental ped. v. auto collision. I hope the shooter never becomes mayor. A taxi swipes him causing him to break his elbow, that’s one dead taxi driver.

  • I’m still waiting for anyone to present a reasonable scenario under which Zac’s conduct and car presented a threat of immediate serious bodily injury/death to officers at the moment they elected to use deadly force if the officers were to the side and rear of Zac’s car?

  • It’s a reasonable person standard. Can any reasonable person explain the scenario? The question doesn’t involve Cooley since the standard is what is to be applied, not Cooley’s standard.

  • Answering The Question Says:
    July 24th, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Rocky, nee Rob, would have us believe that conservatives support gun control.


    The facts speak louder than Answering the Question, nee, Tony Rafael’s desperate attempts to salvage his credibility. Of course his resources are limited to ride alongs with the LAPD, so I wouldn’t expect him to know anyway.

    2:43am on Tuesday, July 6, 2010

    Fortunately, or unfortunately, I am older than most of California’s gun control laws and unlike Lori Saldana know something about how these laws came about.

    The 1923 concealed carry law was enacted for two reasons, according to its proponent and reported in the press at the time:

    “Two reasons were given by McKissick for supporting the legislation. 1) “It is frankly…an effort upon the part of those who know something about firearms to forestall the flood of fanatical legislation intended to deprive all citizens of the United States of the right to own and use for legitimate purposes, firearms concealed upon the person.” and 2) “…it will have a salutary effect in checking tong wars among the Chinese and vendettas among our people who are of Latin descent.” ”

    Ironically, a law which intended to protect the right of US Citizens to carry concealed weapons is now used to deny them the right to carry a concealed weapon. The second part is racist on its face and like the first part it would never survive a constitutional challenge.

    The 1967 law which requires guns to be unloaded in town and in certain prohibited areas of counties came about because 26 members of the now defunct Black Panther Party openly (and legally) carried loaded firearms into the California State Capitol to protest the law which was directed at them (the Mulford bill). The State legislature wet its collective pants and the bill was passed overwhelmingly.

  • Ha ha ha!

    A website that Ducking The Question is very familiar with, Front Page Magazine, once had an article about the Mulford Bill and how liberals couldn’t be blamed for California’s gun control, but they since removed it! (For score, they still do have Tony Rafael’s hissy fits about Tom Hayden).

    I searched Mulford bill on google, and this was one of the search results. Dead link.

    FrontPage Magazine – Don’t Blame Liberals for Gun Control
    It was Governor Ronald Reagan of California who signed the Mulford Act in 1967, … “I support the Brady Bill,” he said in a March 28, 1991 speech, … – Cached

    I then searched through Front Page Mag’s own search engine and the article doesn’t exist. Fucking weasels!

  • Question the Answer-

    Still waiting for a plausible scenario. Do you think it’s possible the officers watched Transformers that evening and were worried Zac’s car would raise up on its hind legs, do an about-face, and pounce on them?

    Keep praying. You have more of a chance getting a prayer answered than finding justifiable use of deadly force here.

  • Mel apparently doesn’t grasp that it’s not me he needs to convince. Steve Cooley is the one he needs to be addressing. He’s wasting his time trying to convince me that this was a “Kent State in our own backyard”.
    Maybe after enough “Transformers” references and armchair quarterbacking by Mel, Mr. Cooley will file charges. Hasn’t happened yet.
    Or, does Mel just need a place or person to vent his outrage to because things aren’t working out the way he thinks they ought to?
    Celeste’s is here for him.

  • For Pete’s sake, is this thread still going on?
    The one who pee’s last wins, I guess!

  • Answering The Question Says:
    July 26th, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    Rocky, nee Rob is still convinced I’m Tony Rafael. Comical.


    You might not be him, but you sound like him. Do you know him? Are you all too offended at me mistaking you for him? I guess I’m just thinking like a cop. Going with the “if it quacks like a duck” logic, and your quacking is IDENTICAL to Wally’s. Anyhow, whoever you are, let me know if you’re done embarrassing yourself trying to blame California’s gun laws on liberals. Because I’ve got plenty more sources to bury you with if you’re not.

  • B. Frawley,

    I guess you had to know Zac to know that he would never harm another person. Once you are secure in that knowledge, then the focus shifts to those who pulled the trigger. The evidence suggests they had many other options available to them in the moment.

  • Police today play for keeps. They’ll do everything they can to convince people that Zac went on a “rampage”, and “attacked” police by “ramming” them with his vehicle. They’ll stop at nothing, and enough idiots will believe them to eventually put this to pass. Just the way it works anymore, unfortunately.

  • May, 2000: Senate bill S. 2515, Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2000, is submitted by Senators Feinstein, Boxer, Lautenberg, and Schumer. It is a plan for a national firearms licensing system.

    January, 2001: Senate bill S.25, Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2001, is sponsored by Senators Feinstein, Schumer, and Boxer. It is a nation-wide gun registration plan [apparently there were two versions of that Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act bill].

    May, 2003: Senators Feinstein, Schumer, Boxer and others introduce legislation that would reauthorize the 1994 federal assault weapons ban, and, close a loophole in the law that allows large-capacity ammunition magazines to be imported into the U.S. The ban expired in September, 2004.

    October, 2003: Senators Feinstein, Lautenberg, Levin, and Schumer co-sponsor bill S.1774, designed to stop the sunset [ending] of the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988.

    March, 2005: Senator Feinstein introduces bill S.620, “to reinstate the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act,” in other words, to reinstate the 1994 assault-rifle ban [also known as the “Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994”] which expired in late 2004.

    March, 2005: Senator Feinstein introduces bill S.620, “to reinstate the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act,” in other words, to reinstate the 1994 assault-rifle ban [also known as the “Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994”] which expired in late 2004.

    July, 2005: Senator Feinstein introduces bill SA1621 – Fifty-Caliber Sniper Weapons. This amendment would convert all .50 BMG firearms to NFA weapons.

    July, 2005: Senator Feinstein introduces bill SA1622 – Fifty-Caliber Exclusion to S.397. This amendment would modify SB397 to allow suits when the firearm involved was a .50 caliber weapon.

    July, 2005: Senator Boxer introduces bill SA1633 – BATFE Safety Standards SA1633 – BATFE Safety Standards. This amendment allows law suits to continue/be brought if the product did not meet the safety standards as defined by the BATFE.

    July, 2005: Senator Boxer introduces bill SA1634 – ‘Sporting Use’ on Domestic Handguns. Applying ’sporting use’ clause requirements to domestic handguns could, almost completely, dry up the handgun availability in the United States.

    Now Rocky will come up with some conspiracy theory to tell us why I’m wrong. Too bad for him the bills introduced by the honorable senators tell the tale.
    Next thing you know, he’ll be telling us how the NRA supports Liberals.

  • Washington Whispers
    NRA Targets 4 Big Threats to Gun Ownership
    By Paul Bedard

    Posted: July 7, 2010
    Fresh from its victories to secure gun rights to residents of Chicago and Washington, D.C., the National Rifle Association is stepping up its campaign to shut down congressional and administration efforts to retaliate with even more anti-gun laws. In a new membership letter sent nationwide after the Supreme Court’s decision to let Chicago residents own guns, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre wasted no time warning that Congress and the administration have plans to attack gun owners. [See who in Congress gets the most from gun rights groups.]

    “We are drawing a line in the sand against more gun bans. And,” he added, “we will fight back against politicians who try to ban our guns and ammo.” LaPierre then named names. “As an NRA member, we’ll provide you with the information you need to fight back against politicians like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Sens. Charles Schumer and Dianne Feinstein, Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, media elites, and gun-ban organizations who have set their sights on your Second Amendment rights.”

    Pelosi and Feinstein. Everybody knows they are part of the CA Conservative right wing conspiracy.

  • “Banning guns addresses a fundamental right of all Americans to feel safe.”
    –U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein Associated Press 11/18/93

    “If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an out right ban,
    picking up every one of them… “Mr. and Mrs. America, turn ’em all in”, I would have done it. I could not do that. The votes weren’t here.”
    –U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), CBS-TV’s “60 Minutes,” 2/5/95

    Wow. I didn’t know just how conservative she was. Maybe now Woody and Sure Fire will be supporting her. lol.

  • Rocky,

    You might be right to be pessimistic about getting justice for Zac. However, at some point the gladiators stopped their bloody displays. Even today, Catalonia, Spain, banned bullfighting. We’ll have to push to get anything. But, at some point there might be a DA who says “Wait a minute. The kid’s car was beyond the officer, much like a bull that’s gone through the cape of the bullfighter, and then deadly force was used??? Where was the threat of harm??? Is that what we train people to do when there should have been any number of other options attempted???”

    The fatal shot came from an officer facing Zac’s driver’s side door. Other shots came from the rear. Zac was driving parallel to a wall and had another 20 yards before he would met by another wall and he would have had to turn right to get to safety. Zac could not have done anything with his car to make it a threat. There a very good chance that his car was at a complete stop when the fatal shot was fired.

    Whatever happened to “Put you hands up?”, “Don’t taze me, bro”, disabling the vehicle?

    Everything about what the officers did that night was over-the-top. The “casing suspect”, although only 165 lbs. needed a couple of “big” officers and an additional deputy with gun drawn to get him to comply??? That impulsive and unnecessary move by the deputy in drawing his gun probably sent every officer into a shooting frenzy.

  • However, at some point the gladiators stopped their bloody displays.

    A little over the top isn’t?

  • That’s recent legislation, ducking the question. I already posted a link about the history of California’s gun laws. It was conservatives who banned guns first, because of Latinos and blacks exercising their gun rights. Do you not understand that? Do you need illustrations? Do you need a comic strip basically detailing the timeline of the Mulford Act? Let me know if I can dumb it down for you, Tony.

  • Remember how I had to school you on the fact that California’s concealed weapons laws were passed in response to the Black Panther Party exercising their 2nd amendment rights?

    Emphasis on the tense “were”. As in the distant past. Not relevant to what is taking place today. Poor Rob, he has to come up with 40-50 year old legislation to try and place responsibilty for the current state of affairs? That’s the best he can do?
    Besides, I’d of thought Rob was in favor of sensible gun control laws. Is he trying to give Republicans credit for CA’s progressive and sensible gun laws? Is he trying to give the credit to the right wingers? Everyone knows that’s nonsense. The long list of bills I posted introduced in the last 20 years repudiates his claims and gives credit where credit is due for CA’s responsible, forward looking, sensible gun laws.
    For Rob to to try and debate this just shows his unwillingness to accept reality and his insatiable need to argue. It also shows his penchant for switching positions on an topic to try and justify his need to be argumentative or antagonistic. Rob doesn’t like Republicans, but is in favor of gun control. Then he tries to (falsely, I might add) give Republicans credit for CA’s current gun control laws?
    “All over the map” doesn’t begin to explain his inane argument.
    Besides, first and foremost, wasn’t this thread about the tragic death of Zac Chompommier? Why does Rob feel the incessant need to stray off topic? Easy. There’s that need to argue and antagonize again. Of course, it’s a very weak attempt that doesn’t succeed. All he succeeds in doing is making a fool of himself.

    Then he wants to know if needs to “dumb it down” for me. LOL. Rob should know all about things being dumbed down. That’s the only way he can interact with people.

  • And of course, there’s the Tony reference. Confronational. Antagonistic. Insulting. That’s the way Rob gets when he doesn’t agree with people.

    Dumbed down. To the point of an adolescent on the playground. Will he ever grow up?

  • Oh, so banning blacks and Latinos from having guns would be “sensible” gun laws. The 2nd amendment, the right to have a gun, to form militias, was a great idea by the founding fathers until blacks, Latinos, and Chinese started exercising those rights. Mulford act was “sensible”, because black people having guns, in your mind, didn’t make sense. You proved that your politics where gun rights are concerned are PURELY based on race. All of your politics are probably based on race.

    And, I’m calling you Tony Rafael because you’re just like him. If you’re not him, no big deal. And, I don’t blame you for running from the label. He’s not exactly an icon. His book was an abysmal failure. Even right wingers called it boring. Read the reviews at Amazon. Guy has an obsession with police procedure and lingo that is just bizarre. What did he spend, 10 pages describing the guns the bailiffs had at the Avenues trial? Riveting stuff. It’s as if the book was being written for 10 year old Davey Crockett fans. Most people stopped reading at that point, and just skimmed through the rest, seeing nothing but an overuse of police terms on every single page. Whole entire book called “the Mexican Mafia” about one small gang in Northeast LA. Misleading title. ZERO CREDIBILITY NOW. That’s why he no longer updates his blog.

    Speaking of Tony Rafael’s blog, what a joke that was, too.

    Who is this white guy?

    His gang slang was as funny as his cop slang. “Homies”. LOL. Where did he learn that word? Was there a Boyz N The Hood screening in Montecito? WHAT A DORK!

    And talk about dated info…who was this fossil Tijuana Jailer? I don’t think he had one story that took place past 1972. Yet he was one of the primary resources for Tony’s book! Every person he brought up is either dead or sitting in some with drool running down their cheek.

    And the weirdos who commented there. Bunch of corrections officers who couldn’t get into a gang getting off on using gang slang on a blog that they’ve learned from inmates. Sad.

    Dumb blog. Dumb people. Dumb author. And, HORRIBLE BOOK! Don’t take my word for it, read the reviews at amazon.

    So, yes, I don’t blame you for distancing yourself from this fraud Tony Rafael. I would too.

    So, Not Tony Rafael, I won’t call you Tony Rafael anymore if it will make you feel better.

  • Zac Champommier’s memory is alive and well. The officers removed him from our midst by their impulsive Wild West show. But, Zac’s memory lives on in the hearts and minds of those who knew him well. They gathered this evening in Studio City to remember him and to call for justice. The response from Studio City residents was great. The more the story gets told, the more those officers will have to look in their rear view mirrors and see that the truth is fast approaching and inescapable.

  • Ahh, the exuberance of youth. The fresh faced enthusiasm of innocence. Scot – i do not question your sincerity or your commitment.I actually believe that you and your idealistic cohorts have the potential ingredients to make a run at this thing. In my humble opinion, there is no way that your potential will result in an inch of progress unless you are prepared to take a giant leap up the learning curve of cold, hard reality.

    My purpose here is not to criticize or demoralize you, although reality is cruel and demoralizing. How do you expect to succeed when all that have gone before you carrying a similar banner have been broken and defeated on approach to the ramparts?

    Do you expect to follow the same trail,now marked by the dried and dusty bones of lost causes past? Will you sound the bugle and summon your fellows to launch the attack on a fortress which is more hardened and impenetrable than ever before?

    How can you expect not to be outflanked at every step and turn each corner into an ambush?

    Your enthusiasm and idealism and sincerity only serves to draw the sharks speeding toward you in open waters.

    The only chance for survival is to take the enthusiasm and idealism and sincerity and harness them to the sturdiest draft horses of intelligence and the fleetest thoroughbreds of creativity.

    Scot, it is not your obligation to take on this cause.
    However, if it is your calling then at least prepare yourself as well as possible.

    The truth is NOT fast approaching. The truth was encased in a block of cement and sent to the bottom of the ocean 5 weeks ago. The moment the call was made to Zac’s mother signaled the rope was cut.

    The script was stamped “Final Approved”. Each player was given their copy with lines highlighted for memorization and then sent home to await their reassignment. They were given a special number to call if they feel they need some extra coaching.

    The deputies involved that night have not worked together since. If they have followed instructions, they have not seen or spoken with one another. They have not discussed the incident with anyone. They have avoided reading or watching any media reports about it. They have the special number. Anything they need to know-they can call the number.

    Everything related to this incident is being handled directly from the top – from inside the fortress. that fact was made clear when sheriff baca issued his statement.

    Dear Scot, here is what is inescapable – your opponent is the most feared and powerful public figure in this entire metropolitan area. Nobody crosses him. Nobody questions him.

    Not any member of the county board of supervisors. Not any mayor or city councilperson or state legislator or member of congress. He recently visited the U.S. House of Representatives where he dressed down a congressman from the midwest in committee, that congressman is now GONE.

    No court judge will cross him. No other police chief will challenge him. He schedules joint media events where he parades LAPD Chief Beck around like a French poodle on a leash.

    The local newspapers and tv and radio reporters attend his media events like a field trip from a group home fully tranquilized. They sit like zombies taking their notes and then pack up their cameras and go back to file the report.

    Does it matter if there were unsubstantiated claims, incongruous statements, illogical rationalizations?
    No, it doesn’t. Just print it and forget about it.

    His hold on power is derived from absolute and total control of information. He has become, quite arguably – the best in the business.

    Don’t fool yourself, because he doesn’t stop there. As soon as someone seems like they may pose a problem, he can unleash counterintelligence operatives and psy-ops tactics.

    If you are starting to think you are reading the writings of some delusional person who has seen too many movies – then go right ahead and dismiss it all. Repeating this information to most people will probably have them questioning your mental stability.

    Most of us live in a neat, orderly little bubble. That’s fine. Now the killing of your friend has jolted you from that bubble.

    So why not say – “alright, hit me with everything, give me all the jolts you got”. If you don’t, then how will you become anything greater than what you are seen as right now by those monitoring you from inside the fortress.

    You are a blip on the screen, a yawn, perhaps a condescending chuckle.

    They haven’t lost a minute of beauty sleep over you, but they haven’t forgotten about you either.

    Almost guaranteed someone who attended your little rally or meeting is an operative who has already filed an intel report to the fortress.

    You can’t prevent that, but at least be aware of it. Deal with it. If possible, prepare to make a move that can use it to your advantage.

    If you imagine taking any ground in the battle for truth and justice in the name of Zac Champommier, then it will be taken from the cold, ruthless and impenetrable machine constructed by sheriff Baca over the last 12 years.

    You will need to build a machine. It does not have to be cold and ruthless. It may be filled with virtue and honor and camaraderie and principles, but it will need to be highly focused and motivated and courageous and disciplined.

    It must have an inner circle. That inner circle must be decided very soon. Then that circle must be closed.

    That inner circle shall only be drawn from individuals who have standing in this issue. That is either people who have a history to their connection with Zac – such as friends, family and classmates.

    Or it may be someone whose standing is derived from being a resident or business/property owner located near the killing site. That person should have a demonstrated interest in this incident which originated right when they became aware of it.

    You will want other people to help this cause. You may find some very dedicated and diligent volunteers who heard or read about this incident and feel that it has meaning to them also.

    Someone like that may make an invaluable contribution. But that person is not eligible for the inner circle. Because then you possibly have the infiltrator sitting next to you as you discuss and plan your strategy.

    There is no way that you can be sure to prevent it – no way to be certain who is and who isn’t.

    They are pro’s at this game. Whoever they send will have been selected and prepped based on an evaluation of your personality and weaknesses. Don’t start assuming you have a chance to beat them in that department. So remember, inner circle meeting – no Yoko Ono, not for anyone.

    If there is any further interest, my contribution is available.
    I would really like to see justice get a chance. But realize that whatever is written here is open to everyone.
    And a pillar of your strategy for success is to never let them know that you know what they know.

    Bon Chance.

  • All of your politics are probably based on race.

    He must be kidding. This coming from the guy who always brings up race and says things like: “nice try white boy”?
    This coming from the guy who brought race into the discussion of CA’s gun laws to begin with? The laws which all have come from legislation introduced by Democrats? African Americans support the party over 90%. Latinos over 70%. Then he’s going to blame Repubics for CA’s current gun laws?

    He’s not serious. He’s kidding around. Nobody can be that stupid. Can they?

  • papillon-

    Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. All of Zac’s friends and family know the formidable obstacles that obstruct the path to justice. However, we are determined. We have many models: Who would have ever thought the Berlin Wall would fall? Whoever would have thought that Nixon would go quietly? U.S.S.R.? Anything is possible. Baca’s statements reflect his bias by ruling out the fact that Zac accidentally struck the officer. Baca is simply a man. All men who live by deceit, fail by deceit. Of course Baca can’t be seen to be selling out his underlings by actually upholding the law. However, there are many fora in which to prosecute this particular campaign. We will select the most effective and use the others as well. Every once and a while, the top dog sees that life is getting complicated because the culture is breeding rogue officers. Moreover, this was an inter-agency task force with, apparently, a shooter from each. However, it appears there was only one killer. Maybe the one that didn’t hit Zac fired first without the intention of hitting Zac, but the other officer/deputy was thus prompted to get in real close, probably point blank, and kill Zac. Now, they claim they had no time to identify themselves as law enforcement. They certainly had time to pull the trigger as Zac’s car moved away from them. Zac presented entirely no threat at that moment. His car may have even been at a near standstill because he slammed on his brakes to avoid hitting the officer and would have wanted to make sure that person was okay. You see, Zac would not have hurt anyone. He was not that kind of person. In that moment of panic, his true self shone through: He did not want to injure anyone. As for the officer, there was only one thing on his mind. It was not consideration for what options were available at that moment. It was not consideration for saving human life. It was the exploitation of some bastardized pretext for extinguishing human life. The culture of law enforcement has bred that mentality. I don’t know if those officers had military training but if the recent leak of the Apache helicopter attack is any indication, human life has little value to some. Thus, the fact that one can pull his car into a parking lot only to unwittingly end up in the middle of a harrowing scene of officers using overwhelming force on a 165 lb. man who was guilty of looking into car window, we are all in Zac’s shoes.

  • Wow, Ive been following this argument and at first I had so much to say to “Mel”. Then I realized, it wasnt worth it. And no one could have put it better than “Answering”. I have watched this story from the day it happened as I am familiar with the Valley and I am a huge adovacate for the children and youth of our community. BUT..this is going a bit far to call this sad turn of events and misfortune a result of blood thirsty, gun slinging, testosterone filled cowboys. I watched the video of Zac and it is heartbreaking.
    I have read over and over again about how its not important why Zac was there or what the nature of the two meeting was. I beg to differ. Zac was meeting someone he didnt know. He was meeting an anonymous “on-line” aquantance. Being the smart boy that he was, perhaps he knew better. If it were one of his buddies from school, maybe he would have gotten out and helped explain what was going on. But he didnt know what he was getting into and it set the tone for the chain of events. I can only imagine what he was thinking when he saw this man in trouble. He panicked and ran and in the process he hit another person. From Oeters point, why didnt Oeters just tell them what he was doing instead of answering their questions with another question as if to say, “why should I tell you?” That, to me, makes him suspicious and more testosterone filled than the guy (lets give him the benefit of the doubt and not call him a cop yet) asking the original question. If Im stopped by whoever and asked what I was doing, Id answer. “Um, looking for my friend, who said he’s in a white car. I didnt know which white car he was in so I was looking” He acted suspicious, he didnt answer the question and then he resisted. Now, reading that he has a prior criminal record and lied about his age to Zac, makes it look even more suspicious that he may have been in a highly defensive mode which adds even more tension. All these things leading up to the actual shooting have everything to do with it. The cops saw suspicious activity and are allowed to question. Oeters went defensive, Zac panicked, an officer was hit by a car and two cops shot at the car. Mel, I would agree with you if they shot at Oeters as he was looking in windows, or as he was getting arrested or as he was mouthing off or whatever. But Oeters wasnt shot at. It was the running over of a police officer coinciding with the resistance of Oeters that made the situation seem to be something it wasnt. It was a reaction of defense just as Zacs pushing the gas was a reaction.
    Mel, do you really know who this cop was that shot Zac? Is he really laughing and proudly bragging of his “accomplishment” in the locker room? Or is he a family man, with kids? Does he look at his own son and wonder what if it were his? Does he regret that he was on-shift that night? Did this night change his life? Change his career? How do you know? How are you so sure of yourself? My guess is you have children, you know what its like being Joe Public and a parent, you can only imagine the pain of the Champommier family but you cant and wont even slightly imagine the other side. It is a sad, sad story. Mel, if I were you I would use your energy for a memorial or a scholarship fund.
    I dont know, but the more I think about it, the more I wonder what was God thinking? The what-ifs are endless BUT what if the Oeters guy had bad intensions? What if he really was a predator? Maybe Zac would have been his first victim. Maybe we would have heard of another missing teen on the 10:00 news. Maybe theres a bigger reason that we dont get.
    I too will keep all those who grieve in my prayers. And I hope that all this community energy will transform into a tribute to a beautiful life cut short.

  • Penny-

    The relevant question is and always will be as follows: Did Zac’s conduct or car present an imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death to the officers such that deadly force was necessitated? You know, a kind of “it was me or him” sort of thing. Any of Zac’s friends and family could live with the “it was him or me” scenario.

    Evidence indicates that it was not a “him or me” scenario. The killer was shooting facing the driver’s side door.

    Now, simply put, how was Zac’s conduct or car an imminent threat at the moment deadly force was elected if the shooter was facing the driver’s side door? How could it possibly be “it was me or him” if Zac’s car is moving away from me? Can you re-enact that scenario and show yourself? It was more likely retaliation for having accidentally struck the officer. That would make it murder or, at a minimum, voluntary manslaughter.

    Don’t succumb to the smoke and mirrors of the “official” version. When Zac perceived someone in his path, he slammed on his brakes. The officers said he “sped up” and “rammed” a deputy. Why the brake marks? In that moment of sheer terror, Zac revealed his humanity. He sought to avoid injury to, ironically, the very person who probably killed him.

    The sheer fact that the shooter was facing the driver’s side door precludes the “me or him” scenario. Therefore, “justifiable it wasn’t. There were options a plenty. So, why select deadly force? What if that were your loved one? Your grandma? Maybe you would swallow the official version hook, line, and sinker. Not me.

    Are you telling me these men were highly trained? All that shooter had to do was the ol’ “right face” and he and Zac would have been moving in opposite directions. So, what threat? I guess pedestrian versus auto collisions should give all pedestrians the right to come up shooting, right? The mayor should have killed that taxi driver who hit him, right?

    The officers saw an opportunity. With Zac’s car at a near standstill, the officer probably trotted alongside to get an even better shot than if he had stayed where he rolled off Zac’s hood. No “get your hands where I can see them!”; No, “Police!” No nothin’. Just an opportunity to rip a hole in our community.

    These men are not fit to wear badges. They have disgraced all who have honorably served. They belong behind bars with Zac’s tribute video playing in a 24-hour loop right outside their cells.

  • The officers saw an opportunity.

    That statement tells us all we need to know about about Mel’s mindset and where he’s coming from.

  • Question the Answer-

    I agree: Don’t put me on the jury.

    Say, how much longer will you make me wait before you explain the mechanics/physics of the threat of imminent serious bodily injury or death that Zac presented to the killer facing his driver’s side door as Zac drove away?

    You’ve got to change your handle boy. How about “The Dodger”? Suits you well.

  • Mel…
    You keep repeating the same question and I think the answer is, he did pose a threat. He had already hit an officer weather is was an accident or a reaction, it doesnt matter. What I was trying to explain was that it was the sequence of events that led up to this moment that play an important roll. Had Oeters not been resisting at the moment that Zac panicked, had Zac not been in an already unsavory situation, these split second decisions would have played out differently. And yes, it could have been my grandma or anyone else in the wrong place at the wrong time.
    It seems you have as much knowledge about the logistics of how this happened as I do. You are speculating a scenario just as I am, the only difference is that you have a passion for cop hating and a passion for Zac and his family…do you not think you might be a tad bit biased? I am speculating from an objective point of view. Have you gone down to that parking lot and recreated what happened? Can you? Do you know where everyone stood? Where Zac was? Where were the police standing or even how many were there? Go measure the skid marks and calculate the speed. Do you think maybe someone has done that? Or is that going to be tampered with as well? I will not let myself “succum to the smoke” if you, as well, will not take the word of the only witness as your bible. He, who by the way, in my opinion had a lot to do with how this all went down. Ofcourse Oeters is going to make it sound like the police were the thugs. You know why? Because if anyone could have avoided this happening it was him. What would have happened if all he did was was answer the rednecks question? And by the way, the rednecks must have identified themselves as police because Oeters answer to them was “what am I doing wrong?” It seems that would be an answer you would give to someone who has some kind of authority as opposed to some “redneck”. Also, I drove a stick shift for many years and Im trying to recreate the scenario in my head of stopping on a dime as if to avoid something. As I recall, it takes some pretty quick hand, eye and foot coordination to stop that quickly without stalling the car. If his car was only crawling along, a popped clutch would have stopped it in its tracks. Why then did the car continue on to “hit several parked cars”…I dont know, just a thought.
    So to answer your next reply, because I know thats all you’re gonna say….
    I believe a car that has already struck an officer has proven to be capable of being a deadly weapon. Yes, if the mayor were in the same situation, in the middle of a dark parking lot with an uncooperative suspect resisting whatever that was going on at the moment and a car running into him fast enough for him not to be able to get out of the way….he would have shot too. Its too much at one moment for us to fully understand what the right reaction would have been. Dont lable these police as murderes as Zac has not been labled a street thug looking for trouble.

  • Mel…
    You keep repeating the same question and I think the answer is, he did pose a threat. He had already hit an officer whether it was an accident or a reaction, it doesnt matter. What I was trying to explain was that it was the sequence of events that led up to this moment that play an important roll. Had Oeters not been resisting at the moment that Zac panicked, had Zac not been in an already unsavory situation, these split second decisions would have played out differently. And yes, it could have been my grandma or anyone else in the wrong place at the wrong time.
    It seems you have as much knowledge about the logistics of how this happened as I do. You are speculating a scenario just as I am, the only difference is that you have a passion for cop hating and a passion for Zac and his family…do you not think you might be a tad bit biased? I am speculating from an objective point of view. Have you gone down to that parking lot and recreated what happened? Can you? Do you know where everyone stood? Where Zac was? Where were the police standing or even how many were there? Go measure the skid marks and calculate the speed. Do you think maybe someone has done that? Or is that going to be tampered with as well? I will not let myself “succum to the smoke” if you, as well, will not take the word of the only witness as your bible. He, who by the way, in my opinion had a lot to do with how this all went down. Ofcourse Oeters is going to make it sound like the police were the thugs. You know why? Because if anyone could have avoided this happening it was him. What would have happened if all he did was answer the rednecks question? And by the way, the rednecks must have identified themselves as police because Oeters answer to them was “what am I doing wrong?” It seems that would be an answer you would give to someone who has some kind of authority as opposed to some “redneck”. Also, I drove a stick shift for many years and Im trying to recreate the scenario in my head of stopping on a dime as if to avoid something. As I recall, it takes some pretty quick hand, eye and foot coordination to stop that quickly without stalling the car. If his car was only crawling along, a popped clutch would have stopped it in its tracks. Why then did the car continue on to “hit several parked cars”…I dont know, just a thought.
    So to answer your next reply, because I know thats all you’re gonna say….
    I believe a car that has already struck an officer has proven to be capable of being a deadly weapon. Yes, if the mayor were in the same situation, in the middle of a dark parking lot with an uncooperative suspect resisting whatever that was going on at the moment and a car running into him fast enough for him not to be able to get out of the way….he would have shot too. Its too much at one moment for us to fully understand what the right reaction would have been. Dont lable these police as murderes as Zac has not been labled a street thug looking for trouble.

  • So far Mel has called me “son” and “boy”.

    Then he wonders why I ignore him? lol. I choose to ignore people who act like a complete ass and become condescending, sarcastic and antoagonistic simply because they don’t agree with your position.

  • Penny-

    Here’s how it works in criminal law: Stop the film! One has to have a concurrence of what is known as the actus reas and the mens rea. In English, that means “what was the person doing and what was he thinking while doing it?”

    If the officer reacted because he had been struck- stop the film- What was he doing and what was he thinking while doing it? Since the shooter was facing Zac’s driver’s side door, well out of harm’s way, that would be retaliation for having been struck. That would be murder. The moment to act in self-defense, if there was such a moment in this case, had long passed. Zac no longer presented a threat of immediate harm. Just like the bull going under the bullfighter’s cape, Zac’s car was moving past the shooter and there was no threat at the moment deadly force was selected.

    That is the crux of the argument. That is exactly what the DA will focus on in a criminal trial: Of all the options presented at that moment as Zac’s car moved away, why was deadly force selected?

    My challenge to any of you doubters is to “stop the film” at the moment the officer got to his feet and explain the physics/mechanics/scenario by which Zac presented an imminent threat?

    Question the Ass-er can’t do it. Let’s have you try Penny.

  • Penny,
    Mel is full of bunk. There is a reason the cops have not been charged. There is a reason they are still on the job.

    Mel would have you believe that there is only ONE conclusion that a reasonable person can come to regarding this tragedy. That it was murder.

    Other people, who matter, have come to different conclusions.

    The reason they have come to a different conclusion is because it is not only possible, but understandable that the cops were in fear for their safety or the safety of others when they fired.

    Mel has no idea what he’s talking about re: “stop the tape”.
    That it isn’t how it works in court. Again, Mel is either misinformed, or he’s lying because he has an agenda.

  • Penny,
    Google “video of cop in Montana getting shot at” and look at the very first video that comes up. You’ll see that if Mel was correct, the cop in the video would be in prison for attempted murder. He’s not. No charges were ever filed.

  • From:
    The Free Dictionary
    by Farlex

    In police jargon, deadly force is also referred to as shoot to kill. The Supreme Court has ruled that, depending on the circumstances, if an offender resists arrest, police officers may use as much force as is reasonably required to overcome the resistance. Whether the force is reasonable is determined by the judgment of a reasonable officer at the scene, rather than by hindsight. Because police officers can find themselves in dangerous or rapidly changing situations where split second decisions are necessary, the judgment of someone at the scene is vital when looking back at the actions of a police officer.

    Special attn: “rather than by hindsight”.

  • by John C. Hall, J.D.
    [Special Agent Hall is a legal instructor at the FBI Academy.]

    “The calculus of reasonableness must embody allowance for the fact that police officers are often forced to make split-second judgments in circumstances that are tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving – about the amount of force that is necessary in a particular situation.” — Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, 396-397 (1989)

    Federal constitutional standards permit law enforcement officers to use deadly force to apprehend criminal suspects when there is “probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a threat of serious physical harm…to the officer or to others…” and if deadly force “is necessary” to effect the apprehension.1 This formulation of the constitutional rule by the Supreme Court suggests two factors – dangerousness and necessity – as relevant to the question whether deadly force is constitutionally permissible.

    With respect to “dangerousness,” the Court has suggested that “…if the suspect threatens the officer with a weapon or there is probable cause to believe that he has committed a crime involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical harm…,”2 the officer reasonably could conclude that the suspect is dangerous. However, the absence of comparable guidance on the issue of “necessity” has invited serious legal challenges on this issue alone. These challenges generally may be described as follows:

    1) Deadly force was not necessary because less intrusive alternatives were available, or

    2) If deadly force was necessary, the officer’s prior actions created the necessity.

    Both arguments concede the reasonableness of an officer’s threat assessment, and both seek to deflect the attention–and the responsibility–from the suspect’s actions to the officer’s judgment. The first would impose a duty on an officer confronted with a lethal threat to consider other options before using deadly force; the second would impose a duty on an officer to anticipate and prevent actions of a suspect that might make the use of deadly force necessary.

    Whether the Constitution imposes these duties on police officers is a question that must be answered if officers and the courts are to understand and to apply properly the constitutional standards governing the use of deadly force. The logical starting point is the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the fourth amendment.

    In its 1989 landmark decision of Graham v. Connor,3 the Supreme Court established the fourth amendment standard of “objective reasonableness” as the appropriate one for assessing a police officer’s use of force in the context of making an arrest or other seizure of a person. Noting that the standard is “not capable of precise definition or mechanical application,” the Court emphasized that the issue is one of “reasonableness at the moment….”4 (emphasis added)

    Equally important, the Court held that the inquiry must be limited to “the facts and circumstances confronting them [the officers]…judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight….”5

    It is within this context and from this perspective that the reasonableness of an officer’s judgment of the “necessity” to use deadly force must be viewed.

    Special attn: “the facts and circumstances confronting them [the officers]…judged from the perspective of a reasonable officer on the scene, rather than with the 20/20 vision of hindsight..

  • ATQ,
    Are the other things that Im mentionig relevant? Mel doesnt seem to want to discuss these things. Does “stop the tape” mean something like freeze in that second? If so, how lovely it would be in life if we could “stop the tape” and have a minute to think about it…but we dont. And thats not how they are going to look at it in court. Also, Im not sure why Mel keeps repeating the same question. So what if we say this; what if we replace one deadly weapon with another in the same scenario. So, lets replace the car with a gun. Zac is in a parking lot holding a gun (lets imagine its perfectly legal to carry a gun, everyone does and its ok as long as you dont use it in a manner to harm anyone), an arrest is taking place where there is a struggle and in a panic Zac runs. As he runs he shoots his gun (whether or not it was intentional is irrelivant) in the direction of an officer and it hits him, not fatally but it hits him. Is Mel implying that because it didnt fatally injure the police and because Zac didnt go on a shooting rampage after the initial shot, the officers have no right to shoot back? Is an officer required to be a direct target in order to fire his weapon? If Zac would have been invovled in some kind of criminal activity the police would have had to wait for him to take a second shot in order to justify shooting at him? Im confused.

  • ATQ, thanks for explaining that. Your post came up after I posted mine so mine seems a little irrelivant now. I think all this energy and passion should be focused on a memorial for Zac. Provoking hatred to satisfy ones disdain for the police is, I feel, insulting to Zac’s memory. Let the real lawyers decide this in court. This could be used as a huge forum for the dangers in meeting anonymous, on-line people. I still think, Oeters has so much to do with this.

  • Ass-er the Question, couldn’t you come up with a better alter ego than “Penny”?

    Again, stop posting pretentious drivel and explain how Zac’s car or conduct would present an imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death to officers if his car was moving away from a shooter facing his driver’s side door.

    Let’s go Bojangles, stop dancing and give me the scenario. There were shooters at Zac’s 9:00 and 6:00 positions. Give me the harrowing account of how those killers were presented with a threat of receiving imminent bodily harm?

    You can’t do it because it is impossible for there to have been a threat. If it’s not impossible, explain how?

  • BTW, the “reasonable officer at the scene” standard is welcomed. That standard cannot be met by the officers who premeditated to take a life as they stood at the 9:00 and 6:00 positions firing away as Zac’s car was at a standstill from his having slammed on his brakes to avoid injury to the very officer who probably took Zac’s life.

    What greater indictment can there be of the officers? What greater testament to Zac’s humanity can there be?

  • And now, when all else fails and he is proved wrong on another front, Mel finally sinks so low as to accuse Penny and myself of being the same person.


  • to Scot: your choice of “the Berlin Wall” as an example for comparison is appropriate in order to estimate some measurement of the effort required to bring the truth to light. Let’s hope the effort needed won’t be equal to “the Berlin Wall”, but be prepared that it will. At least you are realistic about what lies ahead – that is elemental.

    The passion and persistence of those who care will provide the raw energy necessary to make a move on “the wall”.

    Harness that raw energy to intelligence so that it can become efficient and effective. Welcome creative thinking
    into your strategic talent pool. These are the “force multipliers” which give your efforts a chance to “break through the wall” where past efforts have fallen short.

    addendum: are you comfortable with the idea that Douglas Oeters is a completely independent player in this?

    His statements seem to be friendly to Zac’s cause.

    His statements moderate the speed of Zac’s vehicle to “slow”.

    However, Oeters statements also confirm the basic sequence of events claimed by the sheriff dept.

    His statements probably are worth more for bolstering the “official sequence of events” and “a justified shooting”
    than they are worth for “creating doubt about the justification.”

    Wouldn’t your cause of truth and justice for Zac Champommier
    need to become well informed about everything related to this incident?

    How did Doug Oeters travel to the location where Zac was killed that evening?

    Where did he leave from and when?

    What specific circles of persons and places can Doug Oeters be found on a daily business?

    How does Doug Oeters support himself?

    Isn’t anyone troubled slightly with the believability of Oeters being surrounded by men detaining him and also having a clear view of Zac’s moving vehicle?

  • Wow…Im flattered. I can assure you, Mel, that I have no connection with ATQ. Before you point fingers, make sure you are not caught doing what you are accusing ATQ of. Mel, Mike, Scot you guys all sound the same to me. I guess its just that there are two groups here. One group who personally knew and loved Zac and another who are trying to look at it objectively. But I am not ATQ.

  • Bojangles/Penny-

    C’mon, just one little scenario as to how Zac’s car or conduct presented an imminent threat of serious bodily injury/death at the moment deadly force was selected.

    Can’t do it, eh? The fact you avoid the very crux of the issue proves my point. The officers will be likewise stumped.

  • Mel,
    Zac drove himself into an already aggrivated situation.Zac was driving towards an officer, he ran into him, the officer hit the hood then the windshield, rolled off then shot at Zac. The entire situation was threatening. For some reason you are thinking that it comes down to that exact second of “him or me”. I think thats what ATQ was explaining in 141-143. The fear of ones life does not have to be defined by one instant of a second. What you’re saying is that if an officer is shot at and not hit, he has no right to shoot back. So, in other words, if an officer shoots first, in fear of his life one could say, “well, Johnny wasnt really going to shoot him”. If Johnny shoots and misses and the officer shoots back we could say, “well, Johnny didnt hit him. Why did the officer then shoot back? It must have been in retaliation for being shot at, now he’s a murderer”. It is sequence of events not a random shot at a innocent passerby. People are obviously not shot at for traffic violations or accidents but this was a sequence of events. He drove into a bad situation. Was it fair? Absolutely not. But its going to come down to the fact that Zac was invovled in an accident in the wrong place at the wrong time.

  • Penny-

    Again you are being asked to explain how is it that Zac could pose a threat of imminent serious bodily injury/death to the shooters if they stood facing his driver’s side door (Zac’s 9:00 o’clock position) and from the rear of the vehicle (Zac’s 6:00 position)?

    Simply explain the manner by which he created the threat such that deadly force was necessitated.

    Describe it, Penny. Don’t dance like Bojangles. Make it work for me, Penny. Tell me how those officers, using the reasonable officer standard, could have been put in fear given their positions.

    Give me the “word’s eye view” Penny.

  • Penny-

    It seems you’re struggling with it too.

    Just draw the picture Penny. What was the threat? How? From where?

    If you can’t paint the scene to include a viable scenario by which the officers “fearing for their lives” had to use deadly force, how can they defend their actions? The reasonable officer standard is at work here.

    Now explain it.

  • Mel, I just gave you a picture. The problem is, is that you are seeing it from a personal point of view. Not the laws, not the police’s, and my guess probably not a jury. Yes you have knowlege of the law and have obviously studied law at one point but your emotions are getting the better part of you. There is no way anyone, me, ATQ or anyone else that was not personal with Champommier family can come up with a scenario that will make this justifiable to you. You want a scenario that would have made sense for Mel to shoot Zac and its not going to happen. You need to practice your law skills on something that doesnt hit so close to home for you.

  • Penny,
    This has all been explained to Mel, yet he isn’t having any of it. He won’t listen to logic. He refutes what the law says and insists on telling us that the law says what he wants it to say.
    He is angry. There is no possibility of having an intelligent discussion with him.

  • Bojangles-

    You again evade instead of answer. All officers are justifiably allowed to do is to respond to the threat at hand, not retaliate.

    Again, give me the scenario by which Mr. Champommier’s conduct or car presented a threat of imminent serious bodily injury or death to officers who stood facing the driver’s door and from the rear of the vehicle such that deadly force would be the response of a reasonable officer in that shooter’s position.

    Explain. In other words, use your apparent ability to communicate using the written word to describe the scenario for everyone reading this thread. If you can’t come up with one reasonable scenario, after having been asked numerous times, how do you think those officers will be able to offer one on the stand?

    The fact that you avoid it over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over, simply suggests that you cannot offer a scenario that would be reasonable based on the facts.

    Redirect your “prayers” to those who apparently are in need of some creative storytelling: The killers.

  • Sybil-Penny,

    You need to let go of the weak analogies: Zac was not shooting a gun, he was driving his car. FYI, cars are to be found in parking lots. As to “debriefing” multi-jurisdictional task forces, not a familiar or common sight in a public parking lot.

    Zac apparently struck the officer, however, all indications are that it was unintentional. Why would there be skid marks at the spot just short of where Zac was shot? That officer heard and saw Zac lock his wheels in an attempt to avoid injuring him. The officer knew Zac tried to avoid a collision. Zac’s car was at a standstill. Yet the officer opted for deadly force.

    Again, Zac showed his humanity. The officers…..?

    But, you’re running out of time here, the officers are relying on you to generate some sort of plausible scenario for their actions.

    You won’t even try.

  • OMG. Mel, you remind me of a little kid with his fingers in his ears saying, “la la la la la I cant hear you”. A rational converstaion is pointless.

  • Mel, why do you think that the officers are relying on me or people like me. In actuality, Joe public will have little if anything to do with how this developes as will you and your opinion. This is a blog, it wont be used as evidence in court or maybe this is your way of pretending you did pass that bar and we are all on trial right now. Believe it or not, your Messiah-like attitude as if you are going to lead everyone to the promised land is a bit ego-centric if you ask me.
    Answer this then. If Zac stopped his car, why did the report say that the car continued on in the parking lot to hit several other cars. Wait, let me guess, one of the officers jumped in and drove it. Right?

  • Penny-

    That’s a rhetorical question, right? Why would the officers attempt to construct a scenario that would, somehow, make their actions appear rational?

    Again, you dance when you should think. Explain how Zac’s conduct and car would appear to the reasonable officer to have presented an imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death if those officers were shooting facing Zac’s door and also from the rear of the car?

    You are now obviously avoiding the task. Don’t worry, I know of at least two law enforcement officers that are working diligently on that very scenario. If subjected to criminal prosecution, their freedom depends it.

    As a cota to your pathetic effort, I can’t even say “nice try”.

  • so they’re fabricating some damaged cars? Okaaay. Good luck with your law-on-a-blog at least your cracking open the ‘ol law books since you wont be using them in any other arena.

  • Good dance steps,

    How was Zac a threat at the moment deadly force was employed?

    You avoid the question over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.

    I’d like to believe that you would be capable of generating at least one scenario based on the facts. I mean, if you can’t, what hope do the officers have of avoiding the electric chair?

  • Penny/Asser the Q/Sybil-

    The readers of this blog can decide for themselves who’s full of crap.

    You’ve made that job a lot easier by your failure to generate just one possible scenario by which Zac’s car or conduct presented an imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death to the killers that stood at Zac’s 9:00 o’clock and 6:00 o’clock positions.

    Dance Bojangles, Dance.

  • Um…Mel…I dont think anyones reading this. It got old about 40 entries ago. They probably got tired of you saying the same thing over and over. Ok, time to pull out Mike, Scott and the rest to show some support. Whew…speak of Sybil. I dont think multiple personalities does well in law school….maybe thats why.

  • Penny/Asser the Q/Sybil-

    Regarding comment 161- John Public will have everything to do with the push for criminal prosecutions.

    Would you feel good if officers who may have killed in cold blood walk?

  • “shots toward the rear of the vehicle”
    “struck on officer who landed on the windshield and rolled off the hood”
    “vehicle continued moving and hit several parked cars”

    These are each examples of statements that have repeatedly been associated with the shooting of Mr. Champommier.

    Such statements are merely hearsay that are attributed to “reports”. At this point, anyone who wishes to argue based on these statements is taking a big leap of faith to assume they contain some worthwhile level of accuracy.

    There is only one report which relates to this incident that appears to have been prepared according to appropriate standards and can be considered accurate: the Medical Examination of the Deceased prepared by the Office of the County Coroner.

    What we know for sure is that a bullet fired from fairly close range entered Mr. Champommier’s chest cavity causing death.
    If Mr. Champommiers vehicle collided with any other vehicles either before or after he was shot – we are still awaiting some confirming evidence besides unattributed hearsay.
    An examination taken at the site of Mr. Champommiers vehicle and the vehicles it supposedly struck would yield a fairly reliable report if accurately and appropriately prepared. The activation of airbag and anti-theft alarm devices in the vehicle driven by Mr. Champommier or in any of the struck vehicles would point toward confirmation of impact.
    Physical evidence consistent with such a collision would be described as part of the Coroners Medical Examination of Mr. Champommier.
    We can only hope that accurate measurements were taken and recorded at site before the scene was tampered and destroyed.
    Independent eyewitness testimony will be invaluable in determining an accurate and reliable sequence of events.
    Even if accurate measurements were not made at the site,
    independent confirmation by owners of the parked cars that were struck will help to pin down the truth.
    Has anyone heard of any independent eyewitness accounts of the events surrounding the shooting of Mr. Champommier?
    I certainly have not.
    And that is extremely troubling.
    It would be expecting an enormous effort against the grain for any organization to conduct an impartial and complete investigation of an incident such as this involving its own people. Thats before any statements have been made by the leader of the organization, i.e. the boss.
    Once the leader of the organization has made highly subjective statements to the public(i.e. an unwritten memo broadcast to every member of his organization and its friends and allies) which clearly spell out the nature of the conclusions to be reached in any report, then any expectation of impartiality is beyond hope.

  • Thats not even the troubling part.

    Refering to the hopelessness of the organization to report with any substantive level of impartiality regarding this incident.

    That should be fairly straightforward to comprehend. And to expect. Nothing new or unique in that.

    What is naggingly troublesome is the lack of independent eyewitness accounts of this incident.

    Given the location and the time, one would assume the existence of one or more well positioned independent eyewitnesses and certainly at least several whose attention was drawn by the sounds of gunfire or auto collision.

    Lets make an assumption about the existence of eyewitnesses.

    O.K. – where are they?

    Were any of them scared off or run off by people involved with the shooting and the on-site investigation?

    That would not be good. Not good for anyone hoping to see an appropriately prepared investigative report.

    Also not good would be to find out that eyewitnesses were receiving improper communications concerning this incident.

    Improper communications would be anything which serves no investigative purpose other than to pose as an obstacle or a contaminant to maintaining a clear and accurate memory by the eyewitness.

    As if the shooting and death of Mr. Champommier did not already qualify for an LAPD investigation, what has gone on since makes it even more crucial no more time be lost.

    Please follow procedure and open an investigation assigned to LAPD Robbery/Homicide.

    May be the best person to give it to would be somebody who has just made detective – that person is least likely to bring institutional bias into play; and most likely to complete their investigation line by line, word by word, letter by letter.

    That is what is most needed now, is there any reason why it can’t be done?

  • Papillon-

    Thanks. Nothing about this case sits well with those close to it. The case is like an onion: The more layers that are peeled away the more layers there are yet to be exposed. Your thoughts on the subject have struck a chord on a couple of important areas I hadn’t considered before.

    The part about bias is, unfortunately, obvious. There is a campaign being waged to get an impartial investigatory body/agency involved. Baca’s statements make that need a foregone conclusion.

    The jurisdictional questions as it relates to who investigates whom is a real maze. You had DEA, Sheriffs, and, apparently, LAPD. Why should the LASD be the lead?

    Very troubling indeed.

    Incidentally, you would have really liked Zac. He was a great kid.

  • Mel – thank you 4 recognizing. I am trying to make a positive contribution here, but much of what i write will be quite disheartening. Nonetheless, it is honesty. Although I never met Zac, I do want to help. And this incident allows discussion of ideas and information which have accumulated over a long period of time, research and experience. I am certainly not fond of giving advice that hasn’t been asked for,but because of the way this young man lived his life accumulating sincere friendships and goodwill – there exists a group of people who have a rare chance to possibly reclaim the history of that night from the pro cover-up team
    that snatched and monopolized it. It is difficult to ask people who are still reeling from trauma and grief to draw up and carry out a detailed action plan, but that is what its going to take.
    Arriving at the day when we see the justice of which some speak is going to be extremely difficult – chances are very slim there will be a criminal prosecution.
    But every step towards that day will be extremely beneficial – even if we never get to that day.
    Because we are at a point in time.
    A point in time when our local institutions and practices
    have allowed the shooting of Zac Champommier to occur on the evening and in the place it happened.
    It is almost impossible for us to quantify the degression.
    Hard for outsiders to note the milestones and landmarks.
    But we the public have allowed some kind of morphosis to continue specifically as concerns the law enforcement personnel involved that evening and more generally the organization which employs them.
    “allowed” meaning the public forfeited its responsibility to monitor, criticize and reform the past behaviors which brought us incrementaly to the evening in June when something went horribly wrong. or did it?
    By which I mean that someone with an insiders perspective probably could have predicted something like this was becoming increasingly likely.
    And it seams that the way its being handled from the inside will leave us with the same or greater probability for it to occur again.
    So every move that gains greater awareness of this incident and every effort that results in some pressure for procedural justice will be greatly worthwhile. It may not ever get us to the day you all seek, but each step
    will be sending notice. The institutional standards and practices that resulted in the loss of ZAC must be overhauled. The organization and personnel must reform themselves in order to greatly reduce the probability of a similar tragic incident. A significant move in that direction might be the greatest and most lasting tribute to the young Mr. Champommier

  • We are in absolute agreement. Zac’s killer(s) were born of a culture whose by-product is the spilling of innocent blood and ripping apart of the fabric of a community. I hope that you continue to offer your support and encouragement. Zac’s family and friends are united in their desire to see Zac’s killer(s) afforded the due process that Zac never received.

  • Here is a compilation of various items concerning this incident. Some will be phrased as factual statements – but everything is opinions, conjecture and prediction.
    However, I don’t spend time compiling these for my own frivilous amusement. Nor am i trying to persuade anyone to change their current thinking. What I am trying to do is to say WAKE UP! You can wake up now or in twenty years. Its just a matter of when you want to put up a REAL fight for ZAC.
    Everyday we wait to begin only makes it harder.

    You are up against an extremely well rehearsed, well prepared and resource rich organization.

    You are waving signs and honking horns at a FORTRESS.
    They are actually somewhat surprised at how easy it has been going for them.
    They are the powerhouse all-city cover-up team watching the bus carrying the junior varsity from Podunk as it circles the campus looking for the entrance to the football field.
    The coach is almost ready to send his starting team home and let the walk-ons and bench riders have this game – worry is the farthest thing from his mind. He is just checking with his assistants to verify that the hot water has been shut off to the visiting team showers and itching powder sprinkled on their towels.

    This is not about one of the guys involved in the shooting breaking ranks to bring you the real story.
    That is almost impossible. Even if one of them wanted to – he can’t. What should he do? Quit his job and call a local tv reporter with an exclusive? The local media DONT WANT this story. Should he post to facebook? The fortress would discredit and destroy him and things would be even more confused.
    In a sophisticated cover-up operation the first victim is the truth, the next victims are the officers involved.
    They don’t get to talk about this with anyone. They don’t get to work out it with the therapist. Because nothing wrong happened – just a bad set of coincidences that killed Mr. Champommier. They must repress all the turmoil and truth. Over time, it will exact a heavy toll on the men involved – possibly a greater toll than if the truth were told and dealt with now.
    Now the shooting was not justified, but does not yet appear premeditated. But the truth was killed with premeditation and fastidious thoroughness.
    By who?
    By the A-team from the fortress.
    They roll to the scene and kick-out everyone they don’t want to be there and TAKE OVER.
    They give orders and work their magic.
    They inventory the elements of the incident – keep what they want to use and thoroughly destroy anything else.
    They are like those highly paid ghostwriters who are called in for last-minute rewrites on the set as they are filming.
    The take the actors and elements and do an on the spot rewrite. Sure, some elements are kept and probably repositioned. But their goal is not to ascertain the truth. The goal is to create a new and plausible truth. Then all copies of the original script are confiscated and shredded.
    Once the rewrite has been tested and finalized – no one is to ever refer to anything else. Any element that doesn’t make the cut is steamcleaned away – no proof it ever existed. The A-Team destroys evidence – technically against the law.
    When the new truth is stamped and approved, then it is time to notify the next of kin. Total elapsed time in this case from shot fired to rewrite finalized – approx 12 hours.
    Next false hope – some independent investigation.
    That is a nice dream – don’t give it up, but lets be realistic. Examples of the independent investigation in such cases is extremely rare. Kennedy Commission?
    That was for a sitting president. Even Senator RFK didn’t get one when he was assasinated.
    That’s why say the place to make demands is LAPD.
    They can and should open this case. Can it be completely impartial? If it was opened and people kept watch over it – it could be very well done. What would happen is that it would expose the cover-up team and some measure of the evidence they destroyed, because they are not going to be available to cooperate with a real investigation.
    How do we get LAPD to open a case file?
    By finding out who is stopping it and outing them and shaming them. It is being stopped. And if you knock out the roadblockers then eventually you will have to deal with the chief – because he lives in Baca’s back pocket, hey why not at least make him admit it.
    Some LAPD are just wishing the people would get on this. I am pretty confident that captain Eisenberg is mad as hell about this whole thing. Others are very, very pissed off.
    Because this happened in their territory and they have been locked out like you and i. They have been nuetered on their own turf and they will also be unfairly tarnished by association.
    But even captains and commanders must follow protocol.
    If the higher-ups pulled the rug out – they can’t bleat about it. Just file the memos with their reccomendations that get denied.
    Ask Captain Eisenberg. He probably sent 20 of the same memo. He can probably tell you that if you ask him in a way that won’t get him in hot water. Look at the org chart and go ask that guy if he got the memo. Work your way up and lets find out who’s roadblocking and make ’em pay the fine.

    Initial reports were worded to make everyone assume that
    the group that killed ZAC were from a number of agencies.
    I haven’t heard anyone go on record except LASD.
    Until someone go’s on record, I say “No multijurisdictional” — all LA Sheriff.
    That means no LAPD were involved, thank goodness.
    What about DEA? One shooter described as “agent on assignment to DEA”.
    Translation: a sheriff deputy who’s wages are technically reimbursed by DEA to participate in particular activities.

    Let’s repeat: ALL LASD.
    Which means ” no debriefing after search warrant by multijurisdictional”

    Meaning this is not an official debriefing of the multijurisdictional task force.

    At best it is the official debriefing held by the sheriff only for their people, no relation to a debriefing for the entire task force.

    Less generous interpretation, a group of sheriff in plainclothes, days assignment completed, possibly off the clock and gathered in a public parking lot to hang out per their custom or ritual.

    Or gathered there for a purpose not revealed.
    I put 5 on that bet.

    Heres the part of the script that just is not winning me over in the test screening. The beginning.
    Oeters looking for ZAC’s car by mistake looks at wrong car – then see’s right car with ZAC but sheriff run’s over to block him as ZAC panics and bolts.

    How long did oeters look at sheriffs personal vehicle before they rush over. If he was looking for ZAC and the car he is looking at is unoccupied, then a few seconds-at most, right? They rush over to stop an auto burglary after a few seconds? My goodness, i have stood in a parking lot trying to unlock a car for a minute or two before realizing that it is the same make and color as mine, but my car is one row over.
    So this rapid sequence of events that opens the scene ain’t working for me – i think i am smelling b.s.

    Oeters might have been there to meet-up with Zac, but this is not his introduction to the deputies – they have history. I think he was there to meet the deputies. Maybe they ran a little late. Maybe Zac got there a little early.

    Oeters knows. If anyone can find him.

  • Papillon-

    Again, thanks for the description of the obstacles. Fortunately, there is a lot that can be sorted out without complexity. The bottom line is always going to be as follows: How did Zac’s car or conduct present an imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death to officers at the moment they elected, from the many options available, to use deadly force? Complicating matters for the officers involved is the fact that the killer faced the driver’s side door (i.e., Zac’s 9:00 o’clock) and another shooter faced the rear of Zac’s car (Zac’s 6:00). Zac’s car was moving, apparently at a slow rate of speed, northbound parallel to a fence about 2 to 3 yards to his left. These facts preclude the viable existence of a threat to anyone from Zac’s 9:00 to 12:00 to 3:00 positions. Additionally, evidence exists as to Zac’s previous attempts to avoid injury to the officer who came into the path of his car. This evidence suggests Zac’s car was at a near standstill, as the officer approached to shoot. Therein lies the premeditation, which can occur in a split second. Therein lies the truth you speak of.

    Now, if Baca could only demonstrate to all of us the physics behind the sequence and the nature of the threat, such that a reasonable officer on the ground would be placed in fear for his/her life by a car that is moving away from the shooters, we can all go home.

  • there is so much conjecture & no facts other than everyone coming up with their own opinions/scenarios. Why are some of you trying to sound so mysterious? None of us really have an insight to the ‘inner circles’ or the powers that be. We all just have to wait & see what the future answers(truthful or not) will bring. A long dialog will not bring back Zac, & that is all that everyone would wish for.

  • Mother Hen-

    The relevant question is whether there should institutional changes made to a culture that has clearly spawned a “shoot first/ask questions later” mentality.

    Now, if you want to be on the sidelines and “just wait” for the answers, so be it. Those who knew Zac understand the moral wrong that has been perpetrated. It is our duty to our friend to expose that moral wrong and place it on display so that the jury of public opinion can try the individuals responsible, and their commanders, for making catastrophic mistake after catastrophic mistake.

    Personally, I don’t think the Keystone Kops should be on the public payroll.

  • Mother hen-

    So, if this were your son, you’d just kick back and wait to see what pans out from the investigation that is being conducted by the very people who would have been responsible for your son’s death.

    A passive and complacent citizenry is not what built this country or formed the laws upon which it stands.

  • That Studio City parking lot northwest of the corner of Ventura Blvd. and Laurel Canyon ought to have been an excellent place to arrange to meet somebody one didn’t know: because it’s so safe. It’s busy, well-lit, and affluent. I’ve lived in Studio City for most of the last half century. I’ve walked through that parking lot hundreds of times. I’ve never seen anybody breaking into cars (although I have almost been hit by a car several times in that parking lot; fortunately, I wasn’t armed.).

    It’s bitterly ironic that that parking lot turned out to be deadly for this young fellow.

  • complacent is what i’m not, just cautious.
    i am more the tortoise than the hare; i just can’t jump in head first – that’s all

  • Everything about the actions of the officers appears to have been “over the top”:
    1. The “casing” suspect, listed at 165 lbs., not only had two officers accosting him, but then had an additional deputy draw a service revolver. That just sounds plain reckless! If the “casing” suspect was “struggling with officers”, that deputy would have been pointing his weapon at his fellow officers!
    2. Now, who would draw a weapon under those circumstances and what effect would drawing a weapon have on one’s fellow officers? If I was in the original “debriefing” group, I would have thought that the casing suspect was armed.
    3. It was pure negligence that the public was not prevented from coming into the area, particularly when the officers would not have been readily identifiable.

    Studio City Resident should be outraged. Zac could have been anybody from that area simply trying to escape what must have been a frightening landscape of plainclothes officers indistinguishable from mafiosi.

  • Mother Hen-

    Don’t be so ready to jump in “head first” in believing the story of the law enforcement personnel either. One thing that is very disturbing is that all these law enforcement agencies apparently have what is known as a MOU (memorandum of understanding) where if one agency’s officer in involved in a shooting, that agency takes responsibility for the investigation.

    That just reeks. How can the public have any confidence in the integrity of such an investigation?

    I hate the fact that I have to speak of Zac in the past tense. He should still be among us.

  • May i offer an observation.
    The justice for Zac bandwagon is officially out of steam.
    I am so sorry to issue this bleak assessment.
    There is no intention to cause discomfort to the family or friends of the deceased.
    Obviously they are still in shock and trying to process their grief.
    And no one is obligated to use their personal time and energy
    in taking the lead to plan and organize activities.
    But it seems that there may be quite a few people who are upset and indignant enough to take action if someone will just take the lead.
    Each day that goes by is more time to diminish the probability of gaining a commitment from people to participate in directed activities.
    If there was ever any intention to create a movement – it doesn’t seem to be happening.
    We can’t bring Zac back to life and it is very likely the people responsible for his death will not lose a day of pay.
    However, an organized movement will implicitly carry the message that what happened to Zac is unacceptable.
    No movement also carries a message – that what happened to Zac is acceptable.
    Sure, it is distasteful and blatantly unjust.
    Nevertheless, it is acceptable to us.
    As long as we continue to refrain from activities which demonstrate that we find it unacceptable, then the conclusion must be that we find it acceptable.
    How awfully sad.
    Because we really had a chance to make a difference.
    We had the basic ingredients needed to put up a good fight.
    Among the friends of Zac Champommier and the residents of the Sherman Oaks neighborhood where he was killed one finds
    people with skills.
    intelligence, creativity, literacy, energy, enthusiasm,discipline, dedication, courage. WOW!
    Could have made quite a team. Could have been in the game.
    Possibly could have started a movement which had the effect of lowering the probability of a similar incident occurring in the future.
    I am ready to hunker down and pitch in, but i don’t have the standing to lead this team.
    I believe that a credible leader would need to be drawn from the community of Zac’s friends, family, schoolmates or someone who lives or works in the immedeate neighborhood where he was killed.
    Of course, there is no paycheck attached to the job.
    Unless the self-satisfaction of knowing that you stood up and said NO! to apathy, isolation, disengagement and powerlessness would be something you found rewarding.
    As i said, no one is under any obligation.
    It would be a personal choice.
    I guess no one has made that choice – there really is nothing to be waiting for.
    A movement is not reactive, it is proactive.
    That means a movement would not be waiting for the Sheriffs
    final report, a movement would be preparing for the Sheriffs
    That report should be out soon.
    Previous news reporting on LASD has said that Baca has set a goal of 60 days to issue final reports on deputy-involved
    You can rest assured the report has been completed.
    Sheriff Baca is just waiting for the right time to release it. The right time will be when it is less likely to receive attention.
    Therefore, it may get released this coming Friday at 2 or 3pm – when most people are loading up their coolers and campers and heading out for their Memorial weekend activities.
    Don’t expect the report to add much to the basic details they have already told us.
    And we already know that it is acceptable to us.
    Because we haven’t compiled an inventory of specific questions that we believe the report should address.
    Actualy, i have a list of items that i want to see in the report – and I will go out on a limb right now to state that my items will not be properly addressed.
    Hopefully Sheriff Baca will make me eat my words, but I have already concluded that the report which has yet to be released is UNACCEPTABLE to my standard.
    Here are a few items that would need to be detailed if the report wanted to qualify as acceptable to my standard:

    1. exact number of people and specific agency of all law enforcement meeting at the site.

    2. accounting for each shot fired – where it came from and where it ended up.

    3. detail of all law enforcement vehicles on the scene(in the parking lot or adjacent to the lot) including personal vehicles of any deputies.

    4. detail on each vehicle which sustained impact or damage in the incident.

    5. basic information on prior shootings connected to any of the men meeting that evening. We know that Baca never lets us see this kind of information – but it may be crucial to understanding the dynamics of the incident.
    Of course, that is none of our business – right?

    As i stated, the killing of Zac Champommier and the official actions that followed are something that we find regrettable, yet completely acceptable.

    Unless we as individuals are ignorant, mentally incompetent or just busy working all the time trying support a family – then i can only reach one conclusion – acceptable.

    Because if we had a movement of people who came together to demonstrate that the killing of Zac is UNACCEPTABLE,
    then they would already be involved in directed activities.

    They would already be conducting their own investigation
    of Zac’s killing. Yep. Now I won’t go any further about that in this forum, but anyone with some common sense that gives it some thought can come up with the same things i am thinking about. Would you reveal anything new about the incident – possibly, but first you must begin to look.

    a movement would also probably demonstrate that Zac’s killing is Unacceptable by setting a goal of manning the intersection of Ventura Blvd. and Laurel Canyon Blvd.
    in memory and awareness of Zac Champommier. Until December 31st. 24 hours a day.

    I never met Zac Champommier.
    But i am angry about what happened.
    So I don’t sleep well.
    Give me some late night shifts.
    I will hold down that intersection for Zac til mourning comes. Proudly.

  • Papilon-

    The world could do with a few more like you. As for the “movement” you refer to, it’s there, and it’s growing steadily. A lot of things are happening behind the scenes and don’t get publicized. I heard that some of Zac’s team recently met with a congressman and that the Office of the Inspector General for the Dept. of Justice has also has complaints filed.

    You are right about the effort required. What happened to Zac IS and continues to be unacceptable. Fortunately, Zac still has the power to generate loyalty and determination. He touched so many during his life and his “family” goes beyond those who happen to share the same DNA. There have been vigils at the intersection.

    Zac’s team and “family” certainly welcome all your effort and time that you put into such productive comments.

  • Papilon-

    Right now, the two biggest worries for law enforcement are the laws of physics and Zac’s character. Their rush to paint Zac in a negative light has completely backfired. Their rush to cobble together some semblance of a justification was simply pathetic and ineffective given the forensics.

  • Papilon-

    Let’s be real specific as to the legal standards regarding justifiable use of deadly force:

    [[[[California law permits the use of deadly force in self-defense or in defense of others if it reasonably appears to the person claiming the right of self-defense or the defense of others that he actually and reasonably believed he or others were in imminent danger of great bodily injury or death. (People v Williams (1977) 75 Cal. App.3d 731.)

    In protecting himself or another, a person may use all force which he believes reasonably necessary and which would appear to a reasonable person, in the same or similar circumstances, to be necessary to prevent injury which appears to be imminent. (California Jury Instructions-Criminal 5.30 and 5.31.)

    When the peril is swift and imminent and the necessity for action immediate, the law does not weigh into nice scales the conduct of the assailed and say he shall not be justified in killing because he might have resorted to other means to secure his safety. People v Collins (1961) 189 Cal. App.2d 575.]]]]]

    So, the relevant question will always be as follows: What imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death was posed by Zac’s conduct or car to shooters who stood facing his driver’s side door and from the rear of Zac’s car????????

    Try as the LASD and DEA might to tweak the physics, it just doesn’t look like it’ll work. That’s exactly why it’s taking so long. It’s already been 9 weeks. Let’s hope Zac’s last name doesn’t evolve into Salazar.

  • Mel – i truly admire your ability to maintain your composure.
    I read over the comment string. They are throwing all the combination of punches at you. They want to demoralize you, deflate you, depress you. They want to taunt you, tease you and provoke you to lash out and let yourself appear irrational and imprudent.
    But you are not biting, are you?
    You aren’t going to take the bait.
    You are the kind of person that makes them worry.
    Because you’re demeanor is what is needed to make progress over the long haul. This will be a long, tough uphill battle.
    More so because it should have been done a long time ago
    before it ever was allowed to get this bad.
    Let me tell you, my friend, it has gotten real bad.
    Outrageously bad. Right under our noses. In front of our glazed over eyes.
    Have you ever heard of Sheriff Michael Carona in Orange County. He is currently serving time in federal prison.
    Baca was engaged in the same practices as Carona used to reward his friends and punish his opponents in order to build his power base. Getting Carona wasn’t easy even though the evidence and accusations were apparent.
    I think Carona finally fell due to his open arrogance and flippancy. Baca is smarter than that. Baca is much more determined and disciplined.
    He has been helped along tremendously by the willingness of the voters of L.A. County to completely abdicate their democratic duty to supervise the people who they pay to represent law and order.
    In the 12 years that Baca has been sheriff he has been allowed to build the North Korea of law enforcement.
    Complete and absolute control of information to a level unmatched by any other law agency. Total secrecy and loyalty expected in exchange for lifetime employment.
    And unwritten contract that a well-oiled apparatus is always waiting in their flight suits on the tarmac to fly out to the scene of any publicly questionable misdeed.
    To cover it up, twist it around, bury it, erase it and then shuffle and hide the bad apples out of sight within the vast LASD system. 25 substations, numerous jail facilities and various specialized divisions stretching from 20 miles out into the Pacific Ocean on Catalina Island
    eastward through to Pomona in the San Gabriel Valley and from the South Bay northward to Palmdale/Lancaster in the Antelope Valley.
    I guess that isn’t enough for Sheriff Baca, his operatives needed to encroach into LAPD turf and gun down an innocent teenager.
    It is totally outrageous. but it didn’t just happen.
    It has been on its way for a long time. Baca’s managerial style has been allowed to continue virtualy unchecked until he passed the point where he needs to worry about the citizens or the Board of Supervisors or the D.A. or the A.G. or the Feds.
    Baca makes public statements that are so egregiously unprofessional if he worked for a private security contractor we would have cancelled his contract.
    His regime is an embarrassment and a disgrace. His methods enpower and protect the bad apples while discouraging and punishing anyone trying to stand up for reform and accountability. And everyone knows what happens when you keep all the bad apples in the barrel.
    Every politician and mayor in the county fears this guy.
    He controls a department of over 15,000 people with over 10,000 of them armed and licensed to kill.
    Sheriff Baca won election in 1998 because the incumbent sheriff died of a heart attack 5 days before the election.
    Lucky timing for Mr. Baca or just “good timing”.
    Can you believe that Sheriff Baca is the head liason for the entire region to the dept. of homeland security?
    His hold on absolute power has had a landmark year.
    Last December his dept opened the Deputy Leadership Institute and implemented Baca’s innovation of Education Based Discipline(EBD) Deputies who are found in violation of procedure no longer need to serve a suspension by taking off work days without pay. Now they can sit in class and still receive pay.
    How do you like the results so far?
    IT doesn’t matter, the Board of Sup’s give Baca everything he asks for, they stopped asking questions long ago.

    The supervisors a few months ago authorized spending $950,000 of your money to settle a harassment lawsuit brought by a deputy who ran against Baca in the election 4 years ago. Does that mean the Supervisors felt the lawsuit had merit? Someone should ask.
    And Baca just won reelection to the next 4 years without any challenger. Nobody wants his job. Or dares to reach for it.
    But this cannot continue much longer without an increase in disastrous side effects.
    I think people are finally starting to wake up – late in the as it is.
    LAPD Chief Beck was ready to join Baca at his side like
    a poodle at the whistle call. It seems that Beck may have finally come to his senses and is starting to steer clear of Baca.
    What happened that night in Studio City may have been the last straw. That is a reason to keep pushing LAPD on this, because what needs to be done here is so much larger than just Zac. But is an endeavour on a magnitude of virtue
    that might be worthy to honor the magnitude of his loss.
    Darth Baca has literaly built an inpenetrable death star based upon sheltering the bad apples from the consequences of their transgressions in exchange for absolute obedience and loyalty. Like a cancer, it must grow and spread its toxicity to survive.
    But the harder they come, the harder they fall.
    They will fight this tooth and nail. They don’t follow the rules. The punk bully shoot’em up job they pulled in Studio City is the kind of behavior that should have been left in the sandbox back in elementary school.
    Allowing this to stand will be a message of “no positions available” to individuals who aspire to become law enforcement in order to safeguard and improve their community.
    And it will be the ideal recruiting tool for adults wishing to find a position that allows them to enjoy the sadistic pleasures of arbitrary domination they still miss from their young bully days.

  • Papilon-

    Loads of good points. We have redoubled our efforts and are much better organized. I agree with you regarding one advantage the LASD/law enforcement has, in addition to the perception being “the good guys” in all scenarios possible, is that there are many similarly situated people – like Zac’s friends and family- who are all fighting a common enemy (i.e., the “shoot first ask questions later cowboy club” and the culture that spawned them) but we are all in separate foxholes unaware of the others’ existence.

    Now, what do you suppose would happen if all of those similarly situated families and communities were to somehow bridge their divide, whether it’s cultural, ethnic, or geographic? I would think there would be more power in the hands of the people. After all, apparently, we are all in the same foxhole and have been for quite some time (as you have alluded to).

    You have been a good supporter to Zac and his family/friends. Your straight talk, more than anything, has been the most valuable. A movement aware of the obstacles it faces won’t allow itself to become disspirited.

  • “You go to work and you don’t know what to expect,” Mee said.
    “I’m constantly in fear”.

    quoted from Deputy Who Arrested Mel Gibson in 2006 Sues Sheriff’s Department in L.A. Times 9/08/2010

    Look’s like you may have an ally in the department – read the news item.

    Now we have an insider giving us a peek into the illegal tactics that are the hallmark of Sheriff Baca’s managerial

    This deputy only was punished for not following illegal orders on reporting a celebrity DUI arrest, imagine what would happen if it was Zac’s killing that one deputy wanted to come clean about.

    He would have to go into witness protection. His entire family would have to. Without a doubt.

    How do you like the part in the article about two versions of the arrest report being written. The real one goes into a locked safe with Gibson’s tequila.

    I don’t believe there are two different reports about the events in Studio City. There is only one report – the official report.

    Any evidence that would contradict the official report has been destroyed, if possible.

    That is why it is so important that justice4zac get their own witness contact list. I could tell you what to do – but we need to get off of this public site first.

    Mother Hen and Leghorn Foghorn and Chicken Little and Moneypenny are done posting here – now they are just watching.

    Because they used all the verbal comment tricks and none worked. They know if they challenge you here it only makes you more determined.

    But we can’t post up pages from our playbook here for the opposing team to practice against.

    Its bad enough that you will have to live with a certain amount of active surveillance of your activities, lets at least make it a challenge to them.

    Baca has off-the-books resources to pay to sub-out the job of keeping an eye on justice4zac. Don’t let it stop you. But don’t take it as a joke either.

    It is right there in the L.A. Times piece:

    “…Gibson was a friend of Sheriff Lee Baca’s, and had been a spokesman in a public service announcement for a department-administered nonprofit.”

    I would interpret that to mean ” an off-the-books slush fund for Baca’s friends to deposit in exchange for favors that can then be used for activities needed to punish opponents.”

    Don’t put anything past Baca at this point.

    Someone who has elevated a cadre of thugs to build his power base cannot just clean things up and get with the “lets do things right” program.

    It doesn’t work that way. The man at the top must go – for sure.

    It is just a matter of how big a struggle he will throw up.

    Megalomaniacs don’t usually relinquish control when the time to go has arrived. It is in their nature to hold tight past the point where significant damage is done to the organization which they claim to care about.

    Because what they really care about most is their own power and control. Baca didn’t know Zac and would rather he still be alive. But he is as responsible or even more responsible than the shooter himself for Zac’s death.

    Because his strategy for building power and control within the sheriff department in its essence allows for and fosters the type of incident that befell your friend.

    It is simply an expected side-effect that an innocent like Zac will be sacrificed at times to induct another gladiator into Baca’s cadre.

    Can you grasp how important for everyone that justice4zac become a valid movement?

    The forces of decency within the sheriff department go to work each day under greater fear and oppression than ever.

    It becomes clearer to more people each passing day that sheriff Baca’s reign must end. The risk to any and all of us
    of allowing it to remain is incalculable.

    I believe the risk extends to our national interest itself.

    Therefore, the entire nation is in need of someone to offer legitimate opposition – even if the entire nation is not yet actively aware.

    Hey – there is an idea. It is not directly related to Zac, but it is necessary and demonstrates unselfishness.

    We need to network awareness of this sheriff’s unsavory practices throughout the nation – so that a nation-wide request can be communicated to Secretary Napolitano and President Obama.

    The United States cannot continue to afford the risk of keeping sheriff Baca as the point man to Homeland Security
    for the greater L.A. region.

    My goodness, he is harboring
    quasi-terrorists within his ranks and selling access and look-the-other-way favors. That also leaves his department itself open to extortion by anyone who might take evidence of misdeeds to the press.

    Considering that L.A. contains many vital elements of our national infrastructure – it seems clear to me that he must be taken off the Homeland security portfolio. A.S.A.P.

    One more suggestion and i need to go.
    The politicians are almost uniformly of the same breed – regardless of office or political party.

    They are narcissists and prefer the job security offered by avoiding any actual risk or controversy.

    They will smile and offer you polite sincere-sounding concern. They will have a staffer look into it right away and get back to you. NEVER.

    The only way to make them take any significant, meaningful action is to make them feel the pain of not taking action.

    You don’t need to be profane, but in my version of reality the time for being polite has passed.

    HARDBALL is the only game they respect. Pain and shame is what they will need to feel.

    Luckily, Ca State Assemblymember Mike Feuer comes from a true social justice background. I would try to befriend him.
    Make it a confidential alliance. He is only one vote, but he could be invaluable as a confidential advisor to help navigate the political roadmap and the political minefield.

    There is also a unique opportunity at this moment to double-down your bet and put pressure at the federal level.

    If you have the energy and initiative and can organize a few people, then you might want to make a go for it.

    If anything, it will be good exposure to how the game is played in the real world.

    We have 7 weeks to the election in California.

    Senator Barbara Boxer is in a pretty tight race to keep her seat in the Senate.

    Thats tough for her, but great for us.

    Because President Obama absolutely needs Boxer to get re-elected.

    If you can put on your Zac Champommier shirts and rent a couple of mini-vans. Pack up your coolers and sleeping bags and brass drums. Follow her across the state of California.
    Zac’s lonely-hearts club band can meet her at every public appearance.

    Give her maybe two or three days to get the feds to send a team of investigators to Studio City. Then when it hasn’t happened – you can play a little harder.

    Deliver senator Boxer an invoice for Zac’s funeral – because she bears responsibility.

    Embarrass her, shame her
    in front of the public and the media.

    Not because you are mean kids – because you are sincere kids who are in grief due to a system that is supposed to protect the innocent.

    Instead it has killed the innocent and broken your hearts.

    And senator Boxer needs to call Obama and tell him to send the feds to Studio City or he will be down another Democrat in the Senate.

    Thats how to play this game. You have no money. No power.

    You have truth and justice and passion to do the right thing.

    And a rare opportunity to prove to yourselves that you really care.

    Because it really, really hurts to wake up one day and find a hole blown right through you where the love of a friendship used to be.

  • @ Papilon,

    We are on the very same wavelength on many of these points. We appear to be finding out some of the hard lessons of which you speak. Thanks to your input, we know to just plow ahead. You’re right, politicians are proving to be a new class of invertebrates. There has to be political consequences for inaction and, worse yet, fake sincerity.

  • After reading a few reports, I think the confusion of this story paints a pretty clear picture of what happened. Simply… CONFUSION. Both sides were confused. I see a young kid who is confused, thinks he is about to be attacked but some aggressive plain clothed officers who appear to be a threatening “gangsters.” He hits the gas because he’s too scared to stay in one spot and let the “officers” capture him, so he drives into the car. Then the confused officers find this kid to be a threat, and UNJUSTIFIABLY shoot the kid dead. Very very terrible judgement on the part of the agents. They should have flashed their badges, informed the kid they were cops, and I’m sure this bright kid would have realized that he needs to stop. But this kid didn’t have a gun… no reason to “jump the gun” and shoot him. Terrible call.
    This leads me to the key points, which is: Officers need better training. Too many officers on the street are ignorant kids who like to flash their pistols and act tough. I see more and more of these kids in uniform and it’s scary because they are obviously not smart enough to react properly. An 18 year old kids life is much to valuable to risk because of some testosterone junky cops.

  • @Michael,

    There is also the likelihood that Zac had simply turned the corner into that area and happened onto the unfolding scene. As for “hitting the gas”, both eyewitness and forensics indicate that Zac was not driving fast. Moreover, Zac’s last act was to slam on his brakes in an apparent attempt to avoid injury to the very officer who was most likely the person who killed him. I’ve said it before, there is no greater testament to who Zac was as a person than the existence of those skid marks.

    The problem for officers, in addition to their apparent earlier acts of negligence by 1. conducting their “debriefing” in a busy public parking lot, 2. failing to wear identifying clothing, 3. failure to have at least one marked car, and 4. failure to cordon off the area from the public, the officers now have to manufacture justification for their homicide of Zac. They have to show how Zac’s conduct and car constitued an imminent threat of serious bodily injury to them at the moment they elected to use deadly force.

    My challenge to Sheriff Baca is to get behind the wheel of any car of his choosing and to have me in that officer’s position and to have a go at trying to hit me with his car. Good luck Sheriff.

    As we head into the eleventh week, it is clear the brainstorming continues at LASD.

  • 3 questions:

    Has the LAPD confirmed that someone from their organization was present in the parking lot at the moment Zac was shot?

    Has the DEA confirmed that someone with their agency was in the parking lot at the moment Zac was shot?

    Has the L.A. Times reporter who did the story about Douglas Oeters been able to confirm that Doug Oeters is the sole and actual source of the online communications cited in the article?

  • Let me be more specific as to what is generally known:

    As to question 1, yes. The LAPD reported that one officer of theirs was part of the task force but did not discharge a weapon.

    As to question 2, yes. It is documented on Sheriff’s Log 160 from June 25 that the DEA agent discharged his service revolver at Zac’s vehicle (They were already trying to cloak actions by implying it was the ‘vehicle’ that was being shot vs. its driver)

    As to question 3, as far as we know, on the evening of July 12, he was contacted by both the host of this site, Celeste Fremon, and the LA Times reporter. That was the last significant reporting about this entire affair.

  • @ Sheriff Baca-

    Let’s go Sheriff, saddle up, get in your “white sedan” similar to that driven by the “second suspect” (you’ll recall the second suspect, he was the 18 year old saxophone playing honors student) and I’ll be facing the driver’s side door. I’ll sign any and all waivers necessary to insulate you from any criminal or civil action if you should be able to render bodily injury to me as I avoid your car. In other words, that’s how confident I am that you’ll be unable to render any injury at all.

    Hey Sheriff, you know that fence that Zac was driving parallel to on his left? You’re going to see me go over it. You’re going to see do a right-face and head in the opposite direction. You’re going to see me run alongside your driver’s door. You’re going to see me get behind another vehicle.

    Guess what, Sheriff? The whole time that you’re trying to run me down I’ll be shouting “I want to be a sheriff!” (See, I’d hate to give you cause to arrest me for impersonating a police officer).

    This will be evidence a plenty of the following:

    1. The killer(s) had time to identify themselves
    2. The killer(s) were in no position to receive serious bodily injury or death at the time they elected to use deadly force.

    If those are established, in addition to the other evidence readily available, are you going to perform as the law compels you?

  • Please forgive my insistence on specifics – but in order to eventualy arrive at a reliable approximation of the truth we must.

    Revision of the reply to Question #1,2 and 3:

    1.) No. The LAPD has not yet confirmed that one of their people was in the parking lot at the moment Zac was shot.
    We are told that one of their people was in the task force – but that is not the question and to assign any particular definition to what “being in the task force” actually means would be pure speculation. Maybe his name is on a list of people in the “task force”, but he has been on vacation in Hawwaii for the past 2 months. He will possibly actively rejoin task force activities when he returns. O.K. – in that scenario we have a task force member who was not in the parking lot. We will just allow him to enjoy his vacation, since he wasn’t there.

    2.) NO. The question was “has the DEA ccnfirmed one of their people”? We weren’t asking if the sheriff confirmed that a DEA was there – did the DEA confirm? Answer is NO, not yet.

    3.) NO. Question was whether reporter can confirm Oeters is the actual source of the communication. It seems that there was no face to face interview – rather online communication.
    Everyone knows never rely on online communication to be authentic. Everyone has heard about law enforcement entering chatrooms posing as younger boys or girls in order to possibly catch a predator.

    Maybe Oeters is being cautious because of the sensitivity of this case. Then he can type out his statement of events of June 24 and take it to a notary public. The notary public will provide him with a declaration of affidavit form
    to cover his typed statement. Notary checks I.D., Oeters signs the log, pays $15 and mails it to the reporter. Now we have an attempt at authenticity, which is much better than what we have now which are statements attributed to Oeters that won’t even qualify for a library card.

    Question #1 — NO
    Question #2 —-NO
    Question #3 —-NO

  • If we want justice – we need to know what we mean by “justice”. How can we know what we mean until we know what really happened? Yes, Zac was killed. But that only tells us a factual result of what happened. It doesn’t tell us what really happened. We are only filling in the blanks with what information is at hand, it is human nature to do this. WE experience anxiety with too much fuzziness in the script, so our minds are prompted to allow unverified information and assumption to stick like lint and fill all the holes.
    That does not give us an approximation of the truth with anywhere near the level of confidence needed to assign and ask for any particular justice.
    If we want to receive the truth, then we must be worthy of it. To establish our worthiness we must be able to offer the truth.
    The question “what was Zac doing there at that time and place” or “why did Zac go there” are valid questions.
    To say that those questions are irrelevant to what happened
    does not establish your worthiness to receive the truth.
    We are stuck running around in circles between the 5 and 10 yard line – we need to open up this game. We need to open up the whole field.
    If we demand an inquiry – then we must be willing to be inquired of. No questions are irrelevant. The answer may be irrelevant to the incident. But we don’t know until we get the answer. We want to play big league football, the full contact game. We ask no immunity. we are ready to take a hard tackle. Then pull ourselves off the ground without the least whimper or bellyaching and walk back to the line and run the next play.
    If we do that, then we will find out who has skills. Cause I think Zac’s team has some wicked receivers – if you let them get the jump off the line they will beat you down the field. Then the liars team can only watch as some skinny unknown scores a long yardage touchdown.
    Do you think they know that?
    I think they do.
    That explains why their coach wants to play this like old-style 1950’s NFL. Keep the ball on the ground. Keep everyone bunched up. Snap, a cloud of dust and one yard. Snap, a cloud of dust and three yards. Snap, a cloud of dust and one-half yard. Slow it down, down, down. Dont snap until the clock is almost zero. Use all of your time-outs.
    Fake an on field injury for a free double-time time out.
    Final score Green Bay 10, Pittsburgh 10. Thats perfect for them. You kids probably don’t even know that not that long ago there was no such thing as overtime.
    So that is going to be their strategy. Do you want to play into their strategy? Thats their best game – they have the skills in that game. You need to assess your team’s skills and make them defend your game.

    Of course, you are already doing that – correct?
    You are just playing into their game to set them up for the big play-action-fake. Zac’s quarterback is playing all slow and limping, but I heard the dude can run like a rabbit.
    It will be sweet to the liars defense slack off and Zac’s QB fakes the pass, pause like he is watching where his pass is going, then he’s sprinting down the sideline holding the ball low. The liars team will think the play is over and Zac’s QB still has ten yards on his way to the end zone.

    Alright, did you all come to play the real game?
    Or would you rather be up in Sonoma or Napa working at a winery. If you came to play, then leave the whine in the cellar – people paid money for these seats and they want a game.

    I think we are not sure.
    But we can do our best to contribute to finding out the truth – whatever it may be. If his mother has the online communications record for her son and the person he was assumed to be meeting – then put it out for the world to see. There is an important question that hasn’t been asked, alright maybe the answer isn’t important and maybe it is.
    Gotta ask. We are told they met online. How is that done?
    Does the record clearly show the initial meeting point online I.E. – the initial exchange of communication?
    If that cannot be determined, then maybe there is more to that story. We won’t know if the answer is relevant or not until we know the truth.
    We all know how uncomfortable this is when everyone is still in shock and grieving – but it is worth being done right. Because then you get to go on offense with the whole field open. We will see what kind of skills y’all got.
    Let’s open it up, Sheriff Baca.
    What were the sheriff deputies doing in that parking lot?
    Debriefing? Rebriefing? Unbriefing? Passing the brief around? Divvying up the brief?
    Got any notes or minutes from the debriefing? Cause if it wasn’t important enough for taking notes or completing a written checklist – then the taxpayers don’t feel right being charged to pay wages for that time. Sounds like the “multi” part of the multi-jurisdictional already gone home and you have a band of plainclothes deputies meeting for either no purpose or for no lawful purpose.
    The cover story has been sitting out in the sun for a couple months – didn’t you read the box “keep frozen until ready to use”?
    Its rotted out and smells nasty. Nobody will be able to feed off that putrifaction.
    Their actions are not only unlikely as explained – they are completely improbable. Not even your most gung-ho cowboy red-neck bully sheriffs act as these guys did under the circumstances given.
    “they confronted a suspect casing vehicles”.
    Casing? An ambiguous term with negative connotations used whenever the truth cannot be told.
    Even if the “casing suspect” had a stolen watch in his pocket no judge would allow it to pass a probable cause challenge. Sheriff – you can have the entire weekend to search your files and pull out one report from your entire reign at LASD where plainclothes deputies confront a person in a parking lot under comparable circumstances and it resulted in anything at all that could stick.
    Let me save you a little time in your search by reminding you that this was not a public roadway or parking lot.
    It is private property that your guys were supposedly playing Mall Security on, they were only missing the electric carts. Even mall security has a 1/2 day training to learn never to do what your guys did or the property owner will have his beehind sued off – even without the part where guns come out.
    Your guys know this. They know not to do nothing on private property until they are dispatched unless they are witnessing a major crime or imminent threat is seen or reported.
    What your deputies did is not explained by any stretch of spur of the moment proactive policing. It is more reflective of action taken for very, very personal motivations. The suspect looked at one of the deputies vehicles and the deputies interpreted that with immense personal urgency. WHY?
    The deputies actions reflect a cognitive state that matches being on the highest threat alert for self-protection. The official story is not a plausible explanation. Unless we allow for the deputies to be operating that evening under conditions of paranoid psychosis the cause not yet accounted for, but certainly not connected to reality. Did you have three deputies out there who all just came back from 3 years patrolling in Iraq with the National Guard. Oeters looking at a car snapped all three into a PTSD flashback?
    Because that would be a more plausible explanation for their behavior than what you are giving us now.
    Maybe there is another plausible explanation, just not a politically correct one.
    A little while back, the LAPD under Chief William Bratton announce implementation of a new requirement for all of their people serving with gang and narcotics units. They wanted the officers to submit to a previously unheard of level of financial reporting and documentation. The police union was aghast. The new policy represents an extreme intrusion into the personal privacy of individual officers finances. But the policy stands. A new balance was struck and if you are serving with LAPD narcotics, then thats the deal. You don’t like it – then you can put in for transfer.
    Why is it so important for the dept. to get all up in these officers personals?
    Simple. Those units by the nature of the work will eventualy present a highly profitable opportunity to participate in corruption. Cops are people, too. The chief just wanted to give them a little help to be able to resist temptation – and maintain a legitimate organization with a proven record of credibility in the community.
    You see where this is going, right?
    The groundskeepers gave us 100 beautiful yards of grass to get the game on. Lets use it.
    Yes, what was Zac doing there? Legit question.
    What were the non-uniformed deputies doing there?
    Why didn’t they do it at the station or mark off an area and be clearly identifiable?
    Because they were doing something that you don’t want your employer or anyone to know about, that’s why.
    That lot has some unique properties. Unlike most lots with a grocery store and a bank and restaurant that ring the rear of the property and the entire lot is visible from the boulevard. This lot has the businesses on the property line at the sidewalk blocking almost entirely the view of the lot from the street. I never knew such a large parking area was back there. Granted i had never patronized any of the businesses, but have driven past occassionaly for decades. On the back perimeter of the lot i assume are residential backyards on the other side of the wall?
    But I cant say for sure because of the dense vegetation.
    If those are residences, the view of the lot is blocked entirely. After 9pm the only businesses open beside the supermarket would be the Chipotle and the mexican cantina restaurant. Those are both oriented towards entering from the front on Ventura Blvd. The supermarket has a view of the entire lot from outside in front – if you choose to look down that way. Their customers will be entering and exiting from Laurel Canyon and will choose to park clustered in front of the supermarket. Over at the Chipotle side of the lot seems like a world away.
    One more thing – it doesn’t appear that the property owner is providing any active security at the lot at night.
    Summary: that is a great lot to rendezvous for a purpose which should remain private – I wish i had known it was there earlier.

  • Papilon-

    Watch that you don’t wind up with carpel tunnel.

    Again, concrete facts are definitely essential as you state. I find it interesting that the names of the officers have not been released. The recent killing by police of a man in Seattle, not to mention Manuel Jamines in Westlake, all saw the release of the names of the officers who killed. Why not Zac’s killers?

    Your analogies are appropriate. Don’t forget, however, John Elway graduated from Granada Hills High School, Zac’s alma mater. Zac’s team is marching down the field and all obstacles will succumb to “the drive”. It is clear that there was unjustifiable use of deadly force that night. The only relevant question is what should it be properly prosecuted as: manslaughter or murder?

  • @ Studio City Local (Posting on Part I of this story- talks about how police had surrounded him in his driveway one fine day. My response follows:)

    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??????????????????????????????

  • RE: When will identity of deputies involved in the shooting
    be made public?

    That is going to take some work. And a miracle or two.
    Baca doesn’t share identity of deputies involved in shootings.

    Even if its a hit, but not fatal. Actually, it seems that Baca would choose never to reveal identity of any field deputy at all for any incident at all.

    We cannot compare this case of Zac to the Westlake incident. LAPD has been trying to follow a much more open policy in order to establish accountability and rebuild credibility – lets try to give Chief Beck and LAPD some credit for that.

    AS mentioned in a prior posting the LAPD has also initiated strict personal financial disclosure requirements for officers serving with Narcotics units.

    That extra scrutiny specificly reduces the probability of an officer succumbing to temptations to engage in corruption which are always a component of looking at sacks of drugs and cash. The job is to turn the evidence in to the station and collect your regular monthly paycheck. Temptation is to — you know.

    As for disclosing the identity of his deputies – ain’t gonna happen with Baca. In addition, Baca will be able to argue that he would be breaking the law if he identified who killed Zac. Were talking about California state law controlling release of police identities. If they are classified as “undercover” they have 100% coverage.

    Obviously, the unintended side effect of this law is creating an opportunity for abuse. Why should they meet in the parking lot and try to be identifiable as law enforcement – if something questionable occurs they automatically receive the highest degree of immunity.

    A few questions for thought:

    1.) Is Sheriff Baca under any legal requirement to release
    any further communications, reports or conclusions to anyone about the killing of Zac?

    2.) Where is the the car Zac was driving?

    2a.) If the car is being held as part of an investigation does Zac’s mom have the right to have her own
    private investigator examine the vehicle without delay?

    3.) Did the coroner recover any ammunition (whole or fragmented) from the body?

    3a.) If so, where is it now?

    4.) We are told that Zac and Doug Oeters had met and communicated online. Using the data files existing, can an initial introductory communication be identified?

    That would mean the first Send and Reply?

    Can we identify that Oeters replied to the initial Send from Zac, or that Zac replied to the initial Send from Oeters?

    I think it is important to develop a clearer grasp of the communication which supposedly occurred over less than 48 hours and resulted in luring Zac to a parking lot mostly secluded from outside view and temporarily used as a target range.

    Especially since the crucial witness Oeters doesn’t seem to have a booking photo that any newspaper wants to print and maybe doesn’t even own a vehicle, but at least can post
    $20,000 bail pretty quick so he can go home and rest – or wherever he goes, or came from.

  • From the LA Times:

    [[[L.A. County Sheriff’s Department ordered to name deputies in three killings after The Times sued- March 20, 2010

    A Los Angeles County judge ordered the Sheriff’s Department on Friday to make public the names of deputies involved in three controversial shootings, concluding that state law generally requires law enforcement agencies to disclose the identities of officers who use deadly force.

    Superior Court Judge James C. Chalfant made the ruling in response to a court filing by The Times that sought the names, ranks, assignments and years of employment of the deputies in the three deadly confrontations last year. In at least two of the shootings, suspects were unarmed when they were fatally shot.]]]

    So, getting the names is not an impossibility. It just takes more work than should be necessary. The public has a right to know.

  • Mel – Yes. I am going off of that news item about Judge Chalfant. And one from 3/25 that says the identities of deputies involved in 3 separate incidents in southern L.A. will be forthcoming in about a week due to the ruling.

    I can find no news items about the ruling or release of identities after 3/25/2010.

    One item of note – Judge Chalfant is quoted as saying he will make his final ruling coming in May.

    And it is going on October and nothing.

    Maybe Judge Chalfant meant his final ruling coming in May 2025.

    I don’t what’s going on here, but something is going on.

    Does anyone know?

  • Mel – i don’t personaly need the answers to the questions listed in my comment.

    But justice4zac really needs to get more proactive with gathering their own body of facts.

    Because they are already 3 months behind in playing catch-up.

    They must do their own investigation while they still can.

    They need to open this up, because its all in a bottle.

    I told you their game. Green Bay 10 Pittsburgh 10.

    Thats all they need. Just a tie and you guys are out of the game – do you understand.

    One shot. Through the heart.

    If it can be made justifiable to draw on Zac, then they can
    call the one shot an accident. Unintended. A twitch.

    Better get ready for that. Stop standing around and waiting.

  • Ready for what?

    Because in this case, you and all those who knew and cherished this young man Zac Champommier will can stand there at the ready for 2000 years and nothing is coming.

    This is one of those cases which runs parallel to the plot of SpyKids or other movies where the kids finally realize that the adults have gone totally out to lunch and the kids step up to the plate and take control of their own destiny and take care of business.

    If you are going to get the establishment and the grown-up world to do what they taught you they are supposed to do will need two efforts on your part:

    What exactly is the duty and obligations of the entities which we call organs of justice?

    What do you and all justice4zac’ies need to give them, show them or lay before them/ and in what format in order to trigger them to carry out their jobs. And cover all the exits and hiding spaces.

    So they have no choice but to do their jobs or resign their position and allow someone else to step in and do the job under their title and position.

    A MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING eventualy has some limits to which it can be stretched until it no longer applies.

    Or else if it has no limits – then it needs to be called by the proper name – UNLIMITED IMMUNITY FOR ALL CRIMES COMMITTED WHILE THE STINKING BADGE IS WORN.

    You kids need a crash course in the REAL WORLD.

    How many centuries went by until we finally stopped believing the lies and cover-up of the catholic church and realized that the victims were telling the truth and the most esteemed elders were running a massive cover-up of crimes?

    Every institution which we learned to respect and idealize is fronting to a lesser or greater degree.

    In the case of ZAC, the institutions upon which we were taught to rely upon for maintaining the great principles of our society – have all completely and totaly abandoned you.

    You can stand on the corner til eternity – the bus that is supposed to come to pick up the band after the away game ain’t coming.
    Not on its way.
    Not left the bus yard.
    Driver at home sleeping.
    Dispatcher out to lunch.

    You and the band will need to walk over to the bus yard, hop the fence, hot-wire a bus, climb aboard and DRIVE!

    As far as the sheriff dept. is concerned – zac champommier never was killed, never lived, never was born and never existed.

    There are no reports coming and they can’t answer any questions because – THEY CAN”T HEAR YOU.

    And they wont hear you because they superglued ear plugs into their ear tubes.

    June 24, 2010 LOG 160 is disappearing before our eyes.

    Visit and you will find 2 links for Log 160.

    The original entry – officer involved shooting/ deputies on their way to investigate/no further information at this time.

    The 2nd entry is the UPDATE.

    Open the link.


    It has been gone for at least one week.

    Sheriff do not play fair. Sheriff play for keeps.

    If there is to be justice for Zac Champommier it will come when you leave your comfort zone.

    Leave your safe little fishbowl and start swimming among the sharks in the real ocean.

    You don’t need to become a shark – but you will need to grab them by the snout and start squeezing.

    You are playing the sheriff’s game.
    On his field.
    With his ball.
    wearing the cleats which he provided to you.
    He hired the referee and the scorekeeper.
    The sheriff himself is running the big time clock.
    No wonder you feel like you have fallen down a rabbit hole into the twilight zone.

    I have been patient and spent my time to offer valuable and concise guidance to anyone reading this comment string.

    I receive a bit of recognition for the incredible insight i am providing from my own sense of commitment.

    Mostly, however, i get the big brush-off.

    I seemed to have established some credibility here.

    But then reached the point where i was trying to point the way to water and nobody will drink.

    I am not blaming you, because what i am offering contradicts your education.

    Your socialization. Your domestication.

    And you find it hard to locate any references in the literature, so you are worried that I may be a charlatan or savant part brilliance part nutcase.

    That is why you can look to film and books to find your role models for this heroic journey.

    Because from among the millions of people in L.A. County this is an old forgotten trail which you must blaze anew.

    You have learned how to follow the bandleader and march according to form.

    Now you must all be the bandleaders and keep marching forward whether or not anyone follows.

    And you can do it.

    Because you have an angel who is watching you from above.

  • Mel – have you seen the news about California’s new death chamber ready to open for business?

    I have reached the point where i say that the question is not
    manslaughter or murder or some intermediate level of culpability.

    The question is do they offer a life term in exchange for a plea or does the defendant(s) roll the dice with a trial.

    Actually, this thing probably leads down the road of suicide – either compelled or voluntary, rather than getting to trial.

    The shooting and killing of Zac Champommier is starting to look like a straight-out capital murder case.

    Scrape away all the mumbo-jumbo and calculate the actual probabilities attached to the unfortunate series of events and i am left looking at something which is referred to on the streets as a “hit”.

  • Papillon-

    You would be impressed with the planning that has gone into the justice4zac movement. There are more than a few determined people whose mission it is to see prosecution of these wayward officers/agents.

    The stage is set for the next round. Just crossing the ol’ T’s and dotting the ol’ i’s at this point.

    Stayed tuned. You’ll be glad you did.

  • There is great concern that the pulling of Log 160 Update
    will presage an unforeseen and unwanted turn of events.

    Although it will be a demonstration of the force and effort of those engaged to have the truth told, it does not lead to the desired outcome.

    Log 160 Update is a revision of the truth of what really happened. It can be labeled Official Story Number One.

    Justice for Zac has forced a very rare occasion where Official Story Number One is being pulled from theaters and re-edited to be released again under the title Official Story Number Two.

    And it will not be a cause for celebration.

    It will probably be a checkmate leaving justice boxed in.

    The claim of self-defense will become a claim of accident.

    If there is only one bullet wound that will be easy.

    If there is only one bullet wound attributed to the close-in shooter and one or more wounds attributed to a more distant shooter then it will be almost as easy.

    The only material adjustment it requires is someone to assume the blame for releasing the erroneous Official Story Number One.

    That is most likely a member of the original rewrite team sent to the scene and whose name will be among those found on the official report.

    The internal workings will start like a voluntary retirement buyout. Whoever is already closest to retirement is the most likely choice.

    There may be other factors involved known only by the most inner circle of Sheriff Baca’s faithful. Nevertheless, a choice will be made and the chosen fall guy will be well provided for, without a doubt.

    He will have to admit to a serious violation of department policy for submitting a report knowingly false in its claims of fact.

    This may require even more than one fall guy, because more than one member of the rewrite team signed off on O.S. #1.

    That may be what is being decided now.

    In that case one person will admit to instituting the falsification and compelling the others to sign to it.

    He will receive the most serious official reprimand and most likely be submitting his resignation.

    The other(s) will admit to lesser, though still serious violations of department policy. They may also have to resign. If they do, they also will have an implicit guarantee to be well taken care of, without a doubt.

    This of course will leave each deputy actualy involved in the incident leading up to and including the shooting which killed a great and dear friend of many.

    It will leave them free of any official culpability or consequences for their actions.

    It will leave them free to continue careers and collect paychecks without any blemish to their employee conduct files.

    It will leave them to continue in anonymity, their identities shielded from everyone save a very few who are pledged as brethren to see the truth buried deep beneath the deepest ocean.

    I suggest you prepare yourselves for that.

    Because the resentment and disillusion triggered from this potential outcome can cause immense despair for those of you still carrying some measure of youthful idealism and optimism.

    That is what you will be led to suffer.
    However you can help each other to heal from it.

    Don’t forget this. If my prediction bears out then you need to still accept credit for a heroic effort which forced them into an extremely rare level of capitulation.

    You can be certain that the likelyhood of a similiar incident has been greatly reduced for the meanwhile, because you have made clear what the costs can be.

    Therefore, your diligent and sincere efforts will still have benefited so many, even though they never knew of Zac Champommier, your dear and beloved friend.

    But if we allow the greater effort to fade away then we should probably expect the sense of immunity carried within the sheriff department to grow itself back again.

    We still need everyone who can to continue in the greater effort as a long term investment in bringing our society back to the decency which was promised you in the class curriculum.

    But first give yourselves a break.

    You have to or the toxicity of the reality can cause debilitating emotional damage.

    I am certain that when you feel strong enough and balanced enough again that you will find the inspiration to stand among those leading the charge for true and sincere honesty and justice.

    If you need a little help, then you can turn to a quote provided us by Sheriff Leroy D. Baca.

    It comes from the LASD web page introducing Sheriff Baca’s innovative and revolutionary new program which he is promoting throughout the nation and even to other countries.

    He has named it Education Based Discipline (EBD).

    I would summarize the program as discipline which uses only “carrots” and has eliminated the use of “sticks”.

    You probably didn’t know the sheriff was such a humanist, such a “softie”.

    Well, maybe he is. At least when it comes to the brave and delicate deputies of his department.

    Because I don’t believe he has included the friends and family of Zac Champommier in the sensitive and thoughtful approach embraced in the philosophy behind EBD.

    You yourself are free to make your own evaluation of how much better things are becoming under the new program which we all are paying extra for.

    Here is the quote from Sheriff LDB:

    “Employees are led to the muddy waters of punitive discipline and made to drink, and then they get sick.
    Some are sick for the moment, and for some it takes a lifetime to cure.”

  • Papillon,

    I can still access those documents. As to their having been pulled, that bell has been rung.

    As to the creative writing consultants currently being given ample overtime wages, they’re earning it. They have to create another dimension to the science fiction genre to make it all work for them.

    The jury of public opinion will be convened on this matter and from their collective disdain for the putrid display will, we all hope, spur on a political response that will, again hopefully, include prosecution. It’s a given that hitting the Lotto might have better odds. But, at the same time, people win the Lotto, don’t they?

    From the looks of things, we are encouraged. There is quite a bit to be encouraged by. But, as you so rightly point out, a lot of what is being done is being done for the very reason of preventing a repeat to some unfortunate person and having a hole ripped in another community. We understand that that person will live on and never realize the debt owed to Zac and the movement his death began.

    For Many of Zac’s friends, this has been their Kent State moment.

    But, again, thank you for your continued vigilance and thoughts on the aftermath. We believe that Zac’s story will touch quite a number of people in a variety of ways.

  • Please correct me if this is an incorrect statement of what Zac’s mom has said about that evening of June 24.

    According to Zac’s mom:

    Zac told her that he was taking the car to go see a friend.
    He told her that he would return by 11:00 P.M.

    Zac was a good kid.
    A sweet and innocent kid.
    There was a relationship of implicit trust between Zac and his mother.

    According to Doug Oeters, he and Zac had arranged to meet at the parking lot in Studio City with the intention to go see a movie and hang out.

    The shortest feature length movie will run at least one hour twenty five minutes.

    The average feature length will run at least 1 hour 35 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes from opening title to the finish of closing credits.

    Most people are prepared to have to spend 2 hours minimum to go see a movie.

    That includes getting dropped off at the curb, buying the tickets, finding your seats, sitting through a few minutes of previews, making your way out of the theater to a curbside car pick-up.

    2 hours.


    Yet when Zac enters the parking lot where his life was abruptly cut short – it is already after 9:00 P.M.

    And there is no movie theater at that lot.

    It would require a few more minutes to get to the nearest theater.
    And park the car.
    And buy the tickets, etc.
    After the movie Zac will need 10-15 minutes to get back home.
    And he told his mom that he would return by 11:00 P.M.

    If Zac is meeting someone to go watch an entire feature film
    then he won’t be able to get back home by 11:00 P.M.

    Even if he only has green lights on the road and no line for tickets and the movie is in theater number 1 closest to the entrance and they walk in and sit down just as opening title is rolling.

    He could possibly get back home by 11:30 P.M.
    Maybe even 11:15 P.M.

    11:12 P.M. at the absolute earliest if he really pushes it
    and gets only green lights, etc.

    No big deal. Zac is an adult. He doesn’t have a curfew.

    Maybe Zac just underestimated how long it would take him to drive to Studio City to meet Doug Oeters, go see a movie and drive back home.



    I never met Zac Champommier.

    Never had the chance to.

    But I know one thing for certain about Zac Champommier.

    He was in marching band.

    Not only for Senior year.

    But for every year.

    And if Zac was a veteran member of marching band than one thing is for sure.

    Zac knows time.

    Zac knows time like the back of his hand.

    So why didn’t Zac just tell his mom that he would return by 11:30 P.M. or 12 midnight or 12:30 A.M. or 1:00 A.M.

    Why would Zac lie to his mom about what time he would get back?

    Zac wouldn’t lie to his mom. He wouldn’t need to.

    He could have told her any of those times as his scheduled return and that would have been fine.

    So Zac was absolutely truthful when he told his mom he was going to see a friend and would be back by 11:00 P.M.

    And that means only one thing.

    Someone else is lying.

  • “Going to the movies” was probably just a cover. I’m sure that he would have caught hell for going to meet someone he had met online. It was poor judgment on Zac’s part and it’s what put him in that lot at that time. So, let it be a lesson in internet safety.

    However, that would never exonerate law enforcement for killing him. It was not a restricted area (although law enforcement’s failure to cordon-off the area and making entry restricted was arguably a breach in the duty of care to the public)

    Additionally, failure by law enforcement to remain within the scope of their mission raises serious questions, particularly in light of the fact that Oeters had committed no crime and there was not a danger to anyone by his presence.

    Moreover, is it reasonable to conclude that had the law enforcement officers held their debriefing at the North Hollywood police station, Zac would not have died when and as he did? (The same cannot be said of Zac’s apparent exercise in poor judgment as being the actual cause of his death since driving in a parking lot does not normally carry a risk of receiving serious bodily injury or death)

    Lastly, law enforcement’s failure to identify themselves either verbally or by wearing identifying clothing arguably constitutes an additional breach in duty of care owed to the public. How else are we supposed to know who the “good guys” are in a scenario where plainclothes offciers ahave their guns drawn (Which raises the additional question of why would guns need to be drawn on a person suspected of “casing”, a non-crime? I mean, what becomes of jay-walkers? Lethal injection?)

    There was clearly something amiss in the conduct of law enforcement officers that evening, well before Zac entered the picture. Something was wrong in the psychological processes of these officers. There appears to have been a “frenzy” of some sort. There was something about the involvement of multiple agencies that augmented the testosterone levels and loosened their judgment. Something appears to have been “not right” in how they handled themselves.

  • you guys are idiots, the kid screwed up, the cops killed him. end of story, the “witness” has probably been coached as too what his story is.

  • Mel, your an idiot. One way or the other, since this kid hit a cop maliciously with his car, even if it had been an innocent civilian, he deserved to get shot, even if he no longer posed a threat.

  • Is everybody an Idiot Rafael? I have a concealed carry permit, and one thing was made clear during my training. If you shoot someone, regardless of your intent or your conscience and how that will effect you, it had sure better be because your life was in immediate danger. MEL has spent an inordinate amount of time above pointing out clearly that the officer/s were not in immediate danger because likely the kid’s car was already past them. If one of them got in my way, out of uniform, with a gun, i sure as hell would try to drive off fearing for my safety, wouldn’t you? Stop trying to oversimplify this extremely tragic murder. The officer was trained and knew better than to discharge his firearm when there was no imminent danger, but they had just served a warrant hadn’t they? Adrenaline still pumpin’ too? Your lack of education and intellect lead you to attempt to oversimplify a dramatic and difficult scenario. It wasn’t simple. It was tragic.

  • To 221
    I think there is a difference between having a concealed carry permit and being a police officer. Your job is not to protect the public or catch a criminal or anything remotely close. You have the permit to protect yourself so in order for you to discharge it, you better be in the situation of immediate danger. The police in this situation, I believe, are dealing with not knowing who this person is who just hit one of their police officers. They were already in a volitile situation dealing with Oeters, who in my opinion, had a lot to do with this.
    It is you and Mel who are trying to oversimplify this tragedy by chalking it up to “blood thirsty” police behavior. Mel has proved nothing other than his hatred for police and Lord help him when he’s going to need them.

  • Have you ever read something and then thought about it and thought about it. Eventually you just forgot about it until one day you are washing the dishes or folding your laundry and BOOM – something clicks in your head.
    You jump up in the air and shout – HOLY COW, BATMAN!

    I am happy to announce that I am in agreement with Rafael – We Are Idiots. I am an idiot.

    In the movement which is collected together as Justice For Zac – we now have our Gideon.

    Goes by the name Rafael.

    His compact comments – #218, #219 and #220 – are three bursts from his golden trumpet.

    Each single note heard alone sounds harsh to our ears, but they are meant to be heard in succession.

    One connected to the other.

    Played to be heard at this moment in time in the maelstrom
    of this life now struggling to give birth to a movement for truth and justice in the name of a dear and beloved friend.

    We know him as the angel Zachary Champommier.

    “the witness has probably been coached”
    “since he hit a cop with his car, he deserved to get shot”
    “you hate the cops until you need them, then go crying for them”

    Rafael is right.
    We are idiots.
    Living in yesterday.
    Yesterday is gone.
    It is now almost 4 months ago.

    June 24, 9:35 P.M.
    LOG 160
    Sheriff’s homicide detectives are en route to the 12100 block of Ventura Blvd., Studio City to investigate the circumstances surrounding a deputy involved shooting.

    No deputies were seriously injured during the incident.

    The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.

    We are now back in that unique moment in time.

    Zac is shot through the heart at close range and instantly killed.

    No doubt about that.

    Those who knew Zac also had no doubt that he would have done anything possible to avoid hitting someone with his car.

    Now we can confidently say that he did not.

    Zac did not hit anyone with his car.

    You ask: but what about the witness, Doug Oeters and the story we read about him that night which he told to Mr. Faturechi of the L.A. Times and Ms. Fremon of

    That was yesterday.
    Yesterday is gone.
    It is 4 months ago June 24 9:35pm.
    Oeters is gone there is no Oeters.
    The two journalists who brought Oeters story to fruition were challenged to meet a standard of verification for the online contact which they said was attributed to Oeters.
    There has been no response. They have no back-up to offer for claiming to give us the words of a witness.
    They have no more claim than any person has to know who for a fact they are engaged with in online chatting.
    No more claim than anyone.
    And that is no claim at all.
    Log 160 – Sheriff’s deputies are en route.
    Oeters the casing suspect and Zac driving at and striking a deputy with his car – that is from LOG 160 UpDate.
    LOG 160 UpDate was pulled off the LASD website weeks ago.
    Was it pulled because they know they can’t produce Oeters if he is called to the stand to testify?
    I don’t think so.
    Was it pulled because Sheriff Baca knows that he will lose Mel’s challenge to meet him at the Studio City lot and chase him in a car all day long and try to run him down while Mel is on foot?
    I don’t think so.

    What did Justice for Zac ask for?
    What did they plead for?
    What did they implore for?
    What did they pray for?
    What did they demand?

    What has Justice for Zac done and what are they doing to honor the promise and the obligation implied by their request?

    Because the retraction of LOG 160 Update is an extremely serious matter. It is an indication what Justice for Zac wanted more than anything is alive.
    And existing moment by moment in an excruciatingly difficult circumstance.
    Floating out in space alone. Drifting further away from everything.

    He would only need to mention it once to one person and thats it.
    He can never go back.
    He is outside.
    He is alone.

    We really need to devote ourselves at this moment to try and comprehend this man’s predicament.

    We need to stop talking about Oeters and how fast Zac was driving and all of that yesterday is gone stuff.

    We have an obligation.
    How will we reach out to the man floating in space.
    How can we protect him.
    Preserve him.
    Nourish him.
    Ease him.
    How can we prepare and enlarge and fortify a viable place that he may one day reenter the world and attempt a landing
    that is survivable.
    Because that was implied in our request.

    Rafael said: “you hate the cops until you need them, then you cry for them.”

    One sheriff deputy at the scene of Zac’s killing would only once have to offer the statement “that if I am ever called to the stand to testify then I am not certain I will be able to lie about this one.”

    Now he is a pariah. Where should he go?
    Which newspaper or news station should he contact first to tell the truth about what happened that evening?
    Thats easy. Who is doing stories about Zac?
    The Griffith Park Wayist blog with a readership of 12 1/2 people would be a start.
    Next he could go stand in the middle of a dry lake bed and shout to no one around for miles.
    If he just keeps quiet and stays home they will try to eliminate the threat he represents by slowly driving him to drink and eat tranquilizers. And eventualy overdose or commit suicide.

    Its one thing to appear under subpeona to testify.
    Quite another to actively speak out and share the truth with the world. That will move his name into pole position on an active hit list.

    You said you want justice for Zac.
    You asked for one deputy to have the courage to do the right thing and tell the truth.
    He will need some cover.
    Reliable, loud, visible, substantial, nimble, smart and 24/7
    365 cover.
    Baca plays this game for keeps.
    Don’t you ever forget it.

  • Papillon, I have to honestly say that of the 223 posts on here, and Ive read them all, yours are by far the wordiest, silliest, and most dramatic. I have learned to just skip over them because they resemble a confused movie script of someone who likes to hear themselves recite poetry. Maybe if you kept your point simple and used less analogies, it would be tolerable to discuss. I honestly have no idea what you’re talking about. But, alas there is nothing to discuss, you guys have made your conclusions and will not hear of anything else. You sound just as rediculous as Rafael, only you use 80 stanzas to get there.

  • I sincerely apologize for the extreme wordiness of the entries
    posted to this site under my name.

    I feel like you are owed for the time wasted reading my confusing, silly blather.

    Don’t know about the other guys, but I haven’t reached any conclusions yet _ I am ready to go any which way the evidence takes us.

    Before we can arrive at a conclusion that we can have confidence in, first step is to create a list of all the possible evidence that may exist.

    Then take up the issue of potential conclusions.
    Lay arrows out in every direction and see how far they go.

    The strongest possible case is made when you can present evidence supporting your conclusion and also present evidence which weakens all of the other possible conclusions.

    Why would the sheriff put out a report describing what happened in Studio City and weeks later pull it down?

    With no explanation or replacement?

    Let me see if i can discuss this without all the poetry and just keep it simple – like you asked for.

    How does pulling the report help them?

    I can’t see that it does.

    Then it was pulled because leaving it on could potentiaLY
    be harmful to someone.

    How would it harm the deputies at the scene where Zac was killed?

    Can’t really see how it would.

    If it doesn’t harm the subject of the report then the
    potential damage presents a risk to the authors of the report – Lt. Gallagher, Detective Walls, et al.

    That would involve being assessed penalties for criminal acts such as destruction of evidence, witness tampering,
    threatening a witness, obstruction of justice, etc.

    And if Gallagher brought that bag of magic tricks to Studio City, we could assume that an investigation of his previous
    work will likely find the same.

    That’s why you send Gallagher to these big jobs, right?
    Because when it comes to improv – he is one of the best.

    Even if someone else is ready to roll and Gallagher is already tucked in bed – you use the hotline to the bullpen for your best closer.

    He pulls on the boots, freshens up, and he can be marked down as en route at 11:23 pm to a 9:35 OIS.

    You call Gallagher because not only is he great at on the
    spot screenwriting, but effective at getting the team to buy in to the game plan.

    He probably takes each deputy aside with an arm around the shoulder for a serious talk.

    He knows how to walk each deputy around the lot starting out a doubter and ending up a disciple. 15 minutes tops.

    So why is this looking like a big mess now?

    Please help me out here, but all I can think of is that one of the guys is showing signs he is having trouble getting his lines down.

    That’s not memorization problems.

    That would be problems settling down the conscience.
    Trying to cope with the insomnia and the depression.

    Pulling LOG 160 UpDate presents a lot of problems.

    Having a deputy called to testify and gets asked:
    “if this is not what you saw, then who told you to say it was?”

    Also presents a lot of problems for anyone whose name is the answer – for example, Lt. Gallagher.

  • LOL…dont apologize, when it got too wordy, I just stopped reading.
    First off I would like to say that you have already made your decision on what happened. You and Mel and a few others havent he opinion that the police are up to no good. Isnt pulling a report or “blackout” common practice in any case where there will be an investigation and, more than likely, proceedings for trial? Are you certain it was just one side that pulled the report? Both prosecuting and defense attorneys are allowed to request a blackout and this doesnt mean an admittance to guilt. For anyone to change ones story at this point would be stupid so I dont think thats going to happen. Further more, what about Oeters? The one and only witness who has it in his best interest to make the cops look bad. He’s not going to change his story. Or did you impy earlier that he, in fact, does not exist? Thought I read that somewhere.

  • No. It is not common practice to have a news “blackout” when there will be an investigation and possible proceedings for trial.

    That would be saying we need to bring the horse out of the barn and harness it up, yet we haven’t yet felled the tree from which to mill the wood we will use to make the cart.

    If you are hinting at the possibility of a criminal prosecution in this case, that would imply either L.A. County District Attorney or the U.S. Attorney.

    The U.S. Attorney would only get involved in a very rare circumstance of extreme political pressure after the D.A.
    has been allowed ample time to pursue the matter.

    Are you suggesting that the D.A.’s office has already made a secret filing and the matter has been assigned?

    Unless we have a court assigned for the case, there is no one to submit a request for a news “blackout”.

    You stated that there “will be an investigation”.

    So we are allowing for the possibility of an investigation.

    In other words, the sheriff has not ruled out entirely the
    possibility, albeit microscopically tiny, that at some time in the future of mankind up to the conclusion of eternity, something which under the most generous definition of the term “investigation” might happen.

    The honorable sheriff has an abiding concern in fairness to all parties. Exampled by his statement following the incident which used euphemism to charge the deceased with responsibility for causing himself to get shot and killed.

    In light of this one in a billion possibility for an investigation which could perhaps result in criminal proceedings at which time the prosecutor might inexplicably request a news “blackout”.

    The magnanimous sheriff has anticipated this and wishes to demonstrate his goodwill through imposing a total information “blackout” on Champommier today.

    Actually, about 6 weeks ago.

    If there “will” be an investigation, then what has been going on the last 4 months?

    One could guess the answer would be the usual boring stuff that gets done before this type of investigation can begin:

    i.e., destruction of evidence,witness tampering, witness intimidation, destruction and/or forgery of documents and timecards, and just generic old-fashioned obstruction right-left-and center. Upside-down and inside-out.

  • I was only joking in the statement that implied “Oeters” was a person of dubious existence.

    Please accept my apology.

    The guy is probably still quite shaken up and that shouldn’t be treated lightly.

    In all sincerity, some evidence of his existence would be reassuring.

    Perhaps we could see the booking photo from West Hollywood station?

    Maybe the person who bailed him for $20,000 would like to give the introductions.

    Or anybody who knows him from work, school, church or around the block wherever he calls home any given night,
    might offer a few words about the man and his penchant for shyness.

    Either of the two journalists who presented his story to the public might do a follow-up, at least it would silence those who just won’t let go of the urban myth that you never know who you are actualy talking to online.

    Oeters does deserve recognition for coming forward.

    Without his independent witness statement, how else can we be certain Zac actualy hit the undercover sheriff with his car?

    Oeters has been maligned, but the guy hung tough in the clutch.

    Down on the pavement and surrounded by burly sheriffs with guns drawn, Oeters was able to keep his eyes locked onto Zac’s car as it moved slowly at the deputy, slowly striking him and throwing him slowly up into the air like rag doll.

  • How is it that you know how the events of that night happened? “Down on the pavement and surrounded by burly sheriffs…” You make it sound like it took minutes for all this to unfold. Zacs car taking off could have happened at the exact moment he saw a struggle with Oeters which would make sense since his fleeing was a reaction from fear (which everyone who knows him seems to agree on). Dont make Oeters out to be some kind hero because he witnessed Zacs death. He was not a friend or even an aquantance of Zac. He very well could have been there to harm him, you never know, he lied about his age and was an already convicted sex offender. At that moment, Im guessing, he couldnt have cared less what was happening to Zac. If he did, he would have come forward by now protesting, kicking and screaming about how it all happened. My guess is Oeters is staying high and dry out of it because he had a lot to do with it, and heck, he went unscathed. A boy lost his life because Oeters couldnt answer a simple question of “what are you doing?” (per his own admittance he answered back, “What am I doing wrong?”, which to me, sounds like a challenge to authority). You know, if it were me and I had an officer ask me what I was up to, I would explain real quick like. And if you want to use the story that they did not identify themselves as police, I hardly believe that I would ask a “redneck thug” “what am I doing wrong?” In fear I might give an explanation but i wouldnt ask them what I was doing wrong.
    Im not familiar with how a report gets put up and pulled down or what the circumstances are for causing that but I do wonder what would be the use of taking the report down and changing things, if everyone appearently has seen it already?

  • @ I read,

    There are hard copies galore of the sheriff’s update and log. That bell has been rung.

    However, Papillon is correct, law enforcement has a glitch that is proving to be a problem. I’m not sure if it’s one or more of the officers/agents (although I hope it would be). I think that the problem may be based in the their description of events and that there is solid evidence to the contrary.

    The bottom line, of course, will always be how could an officer justify the use of deadly force if he was standing facing the driver’s side door? Their own words paint the officers/agents as liars. For example, even log 160 gives details that Zac’s car was likely at a standstill: “Suddenly a sedan appeared and SPED INTO the group….fearing for their lives…..discharged weapons….THE CAR ACCELERATED….” Given this sequence, depicting Zac’s car at a reduced speed or standstill as detailed by the officers’ own words, they certainly would have had time to identify themselves as law enforcement.

    Now, that description specifically details a slowing on Zac’s part. Of course, eye witness accounts say that Zac was driving slowly. If there was an accidental pedestrian v. auto type collision, Zac most certainly would have stopped. That is, until they started shooting. Then he probably tried to get the hell out of there.

    Now, if you think that sounds unlikely, see Faturechi’s article from 10/5/2010 in the LA Times entitled “Eight reasons to be thankful deputy isn’t a crack shot”
    (Liquor store owner was pointing in the direction two robbers had fled. Then an officer started firing at him)

    Yep, go ask Likun Sahilu

    “When Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies pulled up to Likun Sahilu’s liquor store moments after it was robbed at gunpoint Sunday, the slight Ethiopian immigrant was relieved. That is, until a deputy started shooting at him. Eight bullets. Eight misses.”

    Ask Christian Portillo who was shot while sitting in his car in his own driveway….

    So, while I appreciate the service of our men and women in blue, there are some real f#@*&-ups among them.

    Zac appears to have been assassinated. All evidence points to retaliation on the part of officers for an alleged accidental striking. That would be, by necessity, murder or, at a minimum, murder with “adequate provocation” (i.e., voluntary manslaughter).

    Either way, the officer who killed Zac must be tried as a criminal.

    What few readers realize is that there would have been someone with the right to exercise justifiable homicide that night. A third person “in defense of others” observing the actions of officers, whether or not in uniform, would have had the right to use deadly force against the officer preparing to shoot Zac if it would have been clear that that officer was exercising improper judgment and had no justification of his own. The point being, how could that law enforcement officer been justified originally if he stood facing the driver’s side door, clearly out of harm’s way. It is, by necessity, retaliation. Retaliation = murder.

    The only other person with the right to exercise justifiable homicide would have been Zac, in self-defense, since he had no intent to render serious bodily injury (as evidenced by his slow driving)

  • Im sorry but Im confused. I have not read log 160 but from your quote of it, Im not understanding how you got to your point.
    “Suddenly a sedan appeared and SPED INTO the group….fearing for their lives…..discharged weapons….THE CAR ACCELERATED….”

    At what point in that sequence was the officer hit? And where do you get the idea that he was at a stand still or just crawling along when the officers first saw him, if the sentence starts off stating the sedan sped into the group? Obviously he was at a standstill while he was waiting for Oeters but it seems from this sentence that you quoted, the first they saw of the sedan was when it sped into the group. “SUDDENLY a sedan appeared and SPED into…”

    Is it because later in the statement the word accelerated was used? From my knowledge of driving, one can accelerate from any speed and go faster.

    I just dont understand how you got to your conclusion.

    The only eye witness was Oeters, and of course he would never say anything to make it look like the shooting was justifiable. He knows he should take much of the blame for how things developed that night.

  • @ I Read,

    First, I knew Zac. I don’t know any of these officers/agents. One has to lend just a bit more credibility to what one knows about a person. I’ve seen Zac drive. I know his demeanor and temperament. If there was a contact made between Zac’s car and the deputy, it was an accidental contact.

    Now, having seen this scenario involving cars-as-deadly-weapons used for some time now, allowing the officers the pretext for electing deadly force, I do not believe that there can be a logical case made for the use of deadly force under the “oncoming car” scenario. It is clear that if you’re in the car’s path, you’re made no safer by disabling the car’s driver. You’re simply getting him/her before he/she gets you. You would likely still get hit….or jump out of the way (which would, by necessity, be something you were capable of doing all along). If you’re not in the car’s path, then you would be out of harm’s way altogether. Therefore, how can a logical case be made for the use of deadly force under these facts?

    Now, to answer your question, what we do know from publicly available information is that Zac was shot by a killer facing his driver’s side door. Knowing the layout of that part of the lot, it is clear that one would do no “speeding”. Zac had about 20 more yards before he would have crashed into the boundary fence of the LA River. Moreover, for Zac’s car to have “sped into” the group, allegedly making contact with a deputy who was “rammed…flew into the air…landed on the hood…”, that deputy’s body’s movement would have had to have been similar to something from the Matrix. How does one get rammed by a speeding car and get thrown into the air yet is able to land “on the hood”????

    Additionally, how does one render a shot facing the driver’s side door if the car was speeding into the group??? That car would have been much further ahead and there would have been no way for any cop to run alongside to render such a shot.

    No, Zac would have stopped his car if he struck someone because that’s the kind of person he was. He was a very careful driver. Now, when armed men are running about, I guess an 18 year-old really doesn’t get that lesson in Valley Bob’s Driving School now, does he?

    The sheriff’s log details the car’s movement, albeit poorly with their apparent knee-jerk use of the tired alibi of ‘car-as-deadly-weapon’. But, one can’t have a car speeding into a group, allegedly striking a deputy who can be allegedly thrown into the air but is somehow able to land on the hood of that same speeding car and, based on the layout, have an officer or deputy able to render a side shot unless the car’s was stopped or at a near standstill. The log then states that the car accelerated after Zac was shot. Well, c’mon, that’s not rocket science, is it? Armed men, indistinguishable from mobsters, were shooting at him!!! Anyone in their right mind would have accelerated at that point.

    For law enforcement, of course, the car would have to present a threat of delivering imminent serious bodily injury for there to be justification under the law for justifiable homicide. However, one facing the driver’s door is simply out of harm’s way. Especially if Zac’s car was stopped, they would appear to be lying liars if, as they claim, they had “no time to identify themselves as law enforcement” before they shot. They were out of harm’s way. Thus, they had time to identify.

    No, instead, they saw an opportunity. Since there is very little chance of ever being prosecuted for such conduct (heck, the names of these killers are not even released to the public), why wouldn’t one shoot as the number one response. These guys live most of their lives training for such things.

    I don’t know what kind of training was executed that night. For example, there were at least two officers accosting Oeters before the deputy came over with his service revolver drawn. Wouldn’t that deputy have been pointing his weapon in the direction of not only Oeters but also the two officers that were accosting him? Besides, wouldn’t it seem to be just ‘a little over the top’ to pull a gun on a 165 pound guy who had been simply looking into car windows and already had his hands apparently full by being accosted by the first two officers? I mean, it sounds like Joe Pesci’s character from Good Fellas (Here Spider, you wanna know da time…I’ll tell you what time it is…time for you to dance…)

    I would like to believe that all law enforcement personnel are good and decent people. However, they’ve gone the way of the Tooth Fairy and Santa. The officers who shot Zac are not good and decent people. The ones present who would be brave enough to testify against them would be good and decent…and moral. I still hold out hope for that.

  • Mel,
    Wait a second. Just by reading your first line in this entry, I have to put my two cents in. Cant you see that your ideas and your conclusions might be a bit influenced by the fact that you were personal friends with Zac? For this to be fairly discussed (which there is no rule saying it has to be fair…especially when there has been a loss of a young life) but you are unable to see things from an unbiased point of view. That is why discussion up to this point, here on this blog, has been a waste of time for everyone who has disagreed with you. How can you say that just because you knew Zac and the kind of person he was, you can accurately come to the conclusions of what he was thinking or how he may have behaved in those last moments of his life. If he was a scared kid, fearing for his life, how do you know what he was thinking and how he would have reacted? You cant use the argument of “this is how it happened because I know he was a good kid”, well actually you can use whatever argument you want but you wont pursuade anyone else just as you could not be moved by anyone telling you, “look, I know the cop and there is no way he is capable of murdering someone in cold blood”. What if I told you he is a good man and has never killed anyone in his career? Instead, because he shot his gun and killed someone he thought was a threat, he has been labled a murderer who was simply waiting for an “opportunity” to kill.
    You are painting a picture that fits your idea of what you think is police mentality and you combine it with your adoration for this young life and there is nothing that will let you see it fairly.
    I simply can say that I do understand where the police thought there was a threat. It was when the car hit the officer. After reading your comment on how it is physically impossible to roll onto the hood of a car after being hit, I went to youtube and looked up car vs. pedestrian videos. Unless the car was going at a speed that looked much faster then 45mph or so, almost all of them hit the hood. Those going faster would go on to hit the windshield and those going highway speed would knock them clear forward or in the air. You can speed into a group of people at anything more than a crawl and it will cause the person to roll onto the hood.
    Why are you always skipping over the part about when the police officer was hit and you change the order of events. Because here, in your statement you are implying that he was shot before he sped into the group.
    “Additionally, how does one render a shot facing the driver’s side door if the car was speeding into the group??? That car would have been much further ahead and there would have been no way for any cop to run alongside to render such a shot”
    I believe it is entirely possible that the officer was hit, rolled on the hood then fell to the side of the car and discharged his weapon. Yes, its a tragedy that he wasnt a crappy shot but why do you think this is so impossible? Why do you keep saying his car was stopped when it was shot at. A moving car at some point will be at a 45 degree angle with someone who was knocked away from the front of it. There is no matrix move needed, its a law of physics that this can be possible. Where is a person supposed to roll to if they rolled onto the hood of a car? Unless you want to do the Hollywood stunt of hanging onto the hood, you’re going to roll to the side of the car. With the car still moving ahead, it will eventually, yes in a split second, depending on the speed, be at a 45 degree angle from someone that has fallen next to it. Why is this such in impossible scenario for you to consider?
    And, when were they supposed to identify themselves if the first they ever saw of the sedan was when it was headed right towards them (per your quote of the report)?
    Mel, if all this happened in split seconds how was it suppose to happen the way you say it did? “Looking dead on” “guns drawn” “thoughts of retaliation” “moments of opportunity”
    You are playing this nightmare out in your head and making it work the way you want it to.

    My last thought on this. I dont believe that police randomly shoot at innocent people. There is a reason, a scenario that makes sense to them (ok, minus the latest story of the rookie who shot 8 times at the poor store clerk…I admit there might be some Barney Fifes out there) In my eyes, they are no where near the murderes that some claim them to be. Look, I have been pulled over more than several times in my life for one reason or another. Never in my wildest dreams would I reach under a seat, make a harsh movement, mouth back or assume I know why they are tapping on my window. All I know is that they are approaching me because they think I am doing something wrong. Wheather I am breaking the law or not is not the issue at the moment. My reponsibility is to cooperate and it is in my best interest to explain to them very clearly what I am doing if they ask. I dont drive away, I dont reach for my glove box (until they ask me to), I dont become defensive.
    Again, too bad Oeters is out there running around free as a bird. Why do you keep avoiding this point? If anyone is to blame it is him.

  • I would like to tell you something about our sheriff.

    He is a very good golfer.

    He can drive the ball down the fairway with power and precision.

    He also has a nice touch with the putter to close out a hole.

    The sheriff is a good golfer and he knows it. You would be impressed.

    There is one more thing you should know.

    He also cheats.

    There is no doubt about it. It is kind of embarrassing if you are ever playing against him or find yourself partnered up with him.

    So what we do is look the other way.

    We have done it for quite a while.

    I am starting to become concerned.

    We have been allowing him to get away with it for so long that the sheriff has begun acting like he believes that he is also a good cheater.

    This may sound impolite. But in truth,
    he is not.

  • Papillon,
    Have you golfed with him? Or are you one of those all knowing couch spectators who knows everything there is to know about the game. Even better, are you a couch critic who hates the sport and all those who play it?

  • Thanks for taking the time to read over my comments.
    Thank you most of all for your questions and challenges.
    I don’t know everything. I know some things. And I am feeling my way through the shadows trying to get to the truth. I am ready to change course if there is a good reason. I don’t see anyone else on this road, but that doesn’t convince me that I should pull off yet. I think it leads somewhere. I feel fairly certain that we may almost be there.

    First, allow to me to back-up a bit and provide an answer that I still owe.

    “I Read Them Too” in his comment posted #229 posed the question: “How is it that you know how the events of that night happened?”

    He then quotes from my narrative of Oeters being confronted by the plainclothes deputies. He feels that the phrasing I have used does not convey the chaos of the situation.

    He implies that I have distorted the situation and made it appear that the deputies would have had more time to identify themselves than was actually the case.

    He is concerned that I have praised Oeters for his actions.

    He believes we should instead assign significant responsibility for Zac’s death to Oeters. He argues that the situation became deadly due to Oeter’s reckless defiance of a deputies instructions.


    I don’t know how the events of that night happened.
    I wasn’t there. I haven’t spoken to anyone who was there. I haven’t read anything attributed to anyone who was there that I believe is truthful.

    I have simply taken the statements attributed to Oeters describing what happened and repeated them with a slight variation in phrasing and vocabulary.

    My praise of Oeters is actually intended as tongue-in-cheek. I don’t picture him as a hero. Nor do I see him as some sort of accidental villain. In this situation, I see him serving as a device.

    I think the sheriff is trying to get double-duty from the device known as Douglas Oeters. I am opposed to that.

    Maybe a similar device was used in the past and seemed to work well.

    That is not my problem.

    Zac Champommier is dead. That is a problem.

    The sheriff wants to use Doug Oeters as the “instigator”.

    That by itself is asking quite a lot.

    It is asking a lot from rational and concerned people.

    For those who are also trying to deal with the sudden loss of their friend – it is stretching the limits.

    Now, we are asked to accept Oeters as “the instigator” and also as “the witness”?

    Nah. No way.

    Speaking for myself – THAT BOAT DON’T FLOAT.

    I have responded to questions challenging my statements.

    I would like to see a response to my questions.

    I have no reason to believe that “I read them too” doesn’t know exactly what he is talking about.

    I am quite open to learning from him.

    I just need “I read them too” to answer a couple of simple questions in order to clarify claims he has made.

    In comment #229:
    You claim that “Oeters lied about his age.”

    When and to whom did Oeters lie about his age?

    In comment #331:
    You claim “The only eye-witness was Oeters.”

    I am assuming that you mean that Oeters was the only eye-witness other than possibly some member(s) of the task force.

    That now stated, are you certain that Oeters was the only

    Remember, Log 160 was pulled down weeks ago.
    And this question is coming from somebody who was concerned enough to survey the site and begin an independent investigation. It doesn’t take a genius to spend the time and do it. The process is pretty straightforward.
    We pay taxes for the LAPD to investigate such incidents at that location. But they were strictly hands-off.
    That pleases me not in the least. That is a whole other issue. Let’s just say that it is not the type of slack to be left lying by the road uncollected.

    You say “the only eye-witness was Oeters.”

    How do you know?

    And why are you so sure?

  • Zacs death is such a tragedy and sometimes tragedies are just that. When I first started reading this blog, I read it with a heavy heart knowing that this fine young boy is dead. He is from a community that I know well. He went to the same school that my children went to. I have been face to face with his mother more than a few times. But, on the other side, I cannot agree with what is being assumed about what happened that night. Especially from people who obviously dislike the police. I feel they are using Zac’s death as a platform to trumpet their personal opinions of the police and how they do things. You have not offended me. Mel on the other hand, has. He has ranted and raved with his “murders who were looking for a chance to kill someone” attitude even stating more than a few times that they were perhaps disappointed that they didnt get a chance to shoot during their stake out earlier so they were pumped up to kill someone that night. It’s rediculous.
    The fact is, there is nothing that is going to make this easier for family and friends as they struggle to go on without Zac. To sit there and yell “foul play” till your blue in the face and invent scenarios of what makes sense to you is useless. This was a tragic, tragic turn of events. There is such a thing as the wrong place at the wrong time. And I have to agree that had Oeters cooperated, this would not have happened. As far as him being a witness, let me insert a 3rd character in Mel’s fox and chicken analogy. Lets put a badger with chicken feathers around his mouth pointing at the fox and saying yah it was him.
    So to answer your 2 questions…

    1. He lied about his age to Zac. Zacs mother, Carol, read through his e-mails/chats that led up to the events of that night and she stated that Oeters had told her son he was a teenager as well. Ms. Champommier said she believed her son thought he was speaking to another kid. (I will find the article and quote it when I have time to search again). In the same article it was stated that Zac had told his mom he was going to a friends house when, in fact, he was not. The only reason I think this should be mentioned is that these two lies made for an unsavory situation that could have been the reason why Zac panicked as he did. Something was already wrong before all this went down.

    2. I refer to Oeters as the only eyewitness because that is all we know him as. In every article he is dubbed “the only eye witness”. I suppose when I use the term, I mean that he is the only one that would give a point of view other than that of the police.

  • @ I Read,

    1. “But for” the fact that the multijursidictional task force did not hold their debriefing at the nearby North Hollywood police station, instead choosing a public parking lot, Zac would not have died and how he did.

    Do you disagree with that statement? Why?

    2. “But for” the fact that law enforcement officers failed to wear identifying clothing, Zac would not have died when and as he did.

    Do you disagree with that statement? Why?

    3. “But for” the fact that law enforcement failed to cordon off the area in use by an active operation, Zac would not have died when and how did.

    Do you disagree with that statement? Why?

    4. “But for” the fact that law enforcement failed to station marked cars in the public area used for their “debriefing”, Zac would not have died when and as he did

    Do you disagree with that statement? Why?

    5. Is an officer shooting while facing the driver’s side door in imminent danger of receiving serious bodily injury or death from the car?

    Yes or no. Please explain your answer (especially the physics).

    6. Is it foreseeable that a pedestrian versus automobile collision could occur in a parking lot?

    7. Is it foreseeable that officers dressed in plainclothes and brandishing weapons could be reasonably mistaken for criminals by an unsuspecting member of the public?

    8. Is it likely that a car alleged to have “sped into” a group and “ram” an officer would allow that officer to render a side shot from a perpindicular position if the car were still moving at the speed claimed by law enforcement? (Please explain the physics by which that is accomplished)

    9. Since the law enforcement personnel failed to cordon off the area in use, did Zac Champommier not have a right to be in the area where he was?

    10. Is an officer who was able to be allegedly struck by a moving vehicle, yet be uninjured enough to get to feet and stand facing the driver’s side door, in imminent danger at that moment that he elects to employ deadly force? (Please explain in detail the physics by which that officer would be in danger AT THAT MOMENT)

    I await your responses to each and every question.

  • @ I read,

    BTW, I have never said that Zac was murdered. I have questioned whether Zac was murdered. There is a difference. That difference is based on the fact that the killer should be afforded due process in a criminal proceeding and the determination as to whether that officer committed murder would be up to the trier-of-fact (i.e., a jury).

    It is interesting, however, that you deem the officer’s actions as justified when you neglect to consider that the officer “survived”. That raises the question, what is the most Zac would have been tried for if he had survived? Attempted murder of a plainclothes officer? Well, that is clearly laughable. First, to Zac the person allegedly struck by his car, if there was time to even perceive him entering the car’s path, would have appeared to be a civilian. Thus, no “attempted murder” charge of an officer.
    Moreover, “attempt” is a specific intent crime. Thus, it would have to be proved that Zac ‘specifically intended to kill’. Good luck there- eye witness statements saying he drove slowly, skid marks indicating Zac slammed on his brakes- all appear to fail to overcome a ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ standard.

    Well, let’s see, what’s left? Battery? It’s a general intent crime, but you’d still have the ‘reasonable doubt’ standard to overcome.

    There’s no much “criminal” conduct on Zac’s part left to find. Can you think of any?

    So, this is where your consideration of the event falters: What imminent danger did the officer face at the moment he elected to use deadly force from the safety of facing the driver’s side door? (Please take time to answer this question specifically- it is exactly the question that will, hopefully, be raised at trial)

    That why I say, the officer/officers appear to have seen an opportunity to make a kill. Could this action have been consistent with premeditation? Murder with adequate provocation (i.e., voluntary manslaughter in retaliation for having allegedly been struck by the car?)?

    These are all questions for the trier-of-fact. However, just a cursory balance of Zac’s conduct compared with the officers’ shows the following:

    1. Zac’s due process came at the end of a bullet. The officers will have the full advantage of a defense paid for by you and me.

    2. Given that the officer acted as judge, jury, and executioner in the time it took to apparently exploit the circumstances from the safety of facing Zac’s driver’s side door, together with the fact that the most Zac would have been tried for (had he survived) would have been battery, there again is the imbalance of actions that formed the theme of that evening with all aspects of the officers’ conduct whether it was drawing a weapon on Oeters for looking into car windows or killing a human being for an apparent accident involving a pedestrian running in a parking lot.

    Lastly, in discussing Oeters, one thing is again painfully clear: All charges were dropped. The creative storytelling machine began in earnest within moments after Zac’s killing and it couldn’t even get something that would stick on Oeters. Not resisting arrest. Nothing.

    So, Oeters is just the red herring in your discourse. I know it’s hard to believe that we have killers on the payroll. The real question, however, is do we have murderers on the payroll?

    Again, my invitation remains open to Lord Baca to get behind the wheel of any manual transmission Death Star of his choosing facing north parallel to the fence in that part of the parking lot about 20 yards shy of that recycling container, place me facing the driver’s side door, and try to injure me with his vehicle.

    I can readily and truthfully say that it would be impossible for that car to injure me given those positions. Understanding this helps one to understand that it was either retaliation or a premeditated act. Both would be variations on the same theme: Murder.

    Now, I Read, do you want murderers on the payroll?

  • I had answered this in detail about a week ago but it seems that it was not posted. I do not feel like responding in a long winded reply again so i will summereize what I had originally said.

    In response to questions 1-4, the “But for” questions. The only thing I disagree with is your use of the word “failed”. Failed would imply that they did not do something they were supposed to do. Officers can hold a debriefing anywhere they want. The only limitation they have is to not have it in the exact location of where the raid was, within earshot of those who were involved. They can and do have debriefings in parking lots, allys, parks, where ever they can gather themselves and discuss the events of the evening. They are not required to cordon off areas for debriefings. This was at the end of an undercover operation so there would be no need for a uniformed officer in a marked vehicle to be present. All you are pointing out is that if the debriefing didnt happen, then this tragedy wouldnt have unfolded. True. But the it would also be true that if Zac had chosen to meet in another location, this wouldnt have happened. If Zac would have met Oeters inside instead of outside this wouldnt have happened. If Oeters would have just answered the question with an answer and not another question, this wouldnt have happened. We can go on and on about all the little twists of fate that led Zac, Oeters and the police to the same point at the same time and all it would prove is that it was a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time all at the same time.

    5. I believe that being hit by a car is a threat to ones life. Just because the officer rolled to the side after he was hit doesnt mean he was out of danger. To him, there was an attempt to harm him. That moment is a split second in time. If the officer were stabbed with a knife and then shot the suspect after he had been injured, would you ask the same question? If the officer didnt get killed, and the suspect stabbed and ran, would you say, “well the officer wasnt fatally hurt so what right did he have to shoot him after the stabbing was over and the suspect was on the run”. Ah, it was retaliation for the stabbing. How, in that moment when he was hit, does he know what Zacs intentions are?

    6. Yes and I dont see how this is rellevant. I have seen more than once the situation where an officer is writing a citation for a traffic violation and out of nowhere a car plows into the scene sometimes hitting the officer, sometimes hitting just the car. It happens because they are out in moving traffic and accidents happen. The KEY difference here though is that there was an arrest going on that included a confrontation and a struggle in the exact same location as the ped.vs auto. What an unfortunate, unlucky time to have an accident. Running over the police while they are making an arrest is not your typical auto vs. ped situation.

    7. This is the only one I have to disagree with in a way. A group of men in a parking lot in a “higher end” neighborhood. All of them with gun holsters. Do gang bangers or thugs tell you to freeze when they are shooting? Do they give their victims a moment to think? Would I answer a thug with a question of, “what am i doing wrong?” AND once they were identified wouldnt it be in my best interest to explain CLEARLY and PRECISELY what I was doing? Instead of become defensive and resistent?

    8. If I could draw a diagram for you it would be easier to show you how this is very possible. If the officer is point A and Zac is poin B and B is headed straight for A, it doesnt matter how fast the vehicle is going. Unless A rolls over the top of the car and passes B from above, A has to roll to the side and pass B from the side. Now call it a shot in a million if you want but at some point in time A has to be perpendicular to B. Which brings me to a question I have for you. Are you privy to the autopsy and forensic reports of this case. How are you so sure it was a perfect 45 degrees, a perfect straight line from the entrance of the car to the entrance of his body? Just wondering.

    9. Same question as before. Both Zac and the police had a right to be there so this is irrelevant.

    10. Again, you are rewording the same question. See 5.

    Going back to the beginning of your post. The “But for” questions. There are two “But fors” that I would like to ask you.
    If we cant blame the natural course of events that night on anyone, what about the purposeful action of a lie. There were two lies made that could have 100% saved this evening from tragedy. The lie Oeters made to Zac and the lie Zac made to his mother. “But for” the fact that Oeters misled Zac into believing he was a “buddy”. A 29 year old man (convicted of a sex crime) lying to an 18 year old. Telling him that he his a teenager as well? “But for” the fact that Zac lied to his mom about where he was going, what he was doing and who he was doing it with? Would Zac have gone had he known who Oeters was? Would Zac’s mom have let him go if she knew her son was meeting with an online person he had just talked to for one night?

    Mel, you will never agree that this was a tragic, tragic case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    I wish you and all of Zac’s friends well. I wish you healing but more importantly my heart goes to Ms. Champommier who will have to be in this nightmare for the rest of her life. What you’re doing is not helping her and perhaps that was my original complaint about you in particular. You are using Zac for your biases, hatred for authority and flaunting what you think you are good at, arguing.

  • @ I Read,

    Regarding your paragraph 2: Your objection appears to be directed to my highlighting the duty owed by law enforcement to protect the public. Are you stating that law enforcement should not have alerted the general public to their presence even though their operation was in its “debriefing” stage? How would someone who needed help know to call out to those plainclothes officers? The point of my argument is that, if there is not a policy of clearly acted to protect the public by cordoning off the area in use, wearing identifying garb, etc., then THERE MUST NOW BE such a policy. Are you saying that a change in policy would be unreasonable given the circumstances surrounding Zac’s killing?

    RE: your #5: The “knife” analogy is questionable at best. Pedestrian vs. auto accidents happen, especially in parking lots. The relevant point is not whether or not the officers could have discerned Zac’s “intent”, it is twofold: 1. peds v. auto collisions are FORESEEABLE in a parking lot (i.e., they are predictable, as such, they should at least be ruled out first before killing someone), 2. if the officer was unscathed enough to get to his feet and discharge his weapon while facing the driver’s door, how is he in imminent danger AT THAT MOMENT SUCH THAT HE MUST USE DEADLY FORCE??? (In other words, he’s clearly unscathed, reactive, supposedly highly trained, facing Zac’s driver’s side door, and somehow does “not have time to identify himself as an officer”. How does that work when Zac’s car was either stopped or nearly stopped?)

    RE: YOur #6: Foresseability of a peds v. auto collision is relevant because it becomes encumbent on the officers to rule such an occurrence out prior to killing the car’s driver. These killers state that, from the safety of facing the driver’s side door, they had no time to identify themselves as officers. They only had time to kill. How does that work?

    Moreover, your suggestion that “running over a police officer…” is not typical peds v. auto etc…In what way would it have been clear to Zac that he had allegedly struck an officer/agent since they were all in plainclothes? How does that work?

    RE: Your #7: I do like your equating law enforcement’s actions with common thugs. You’re ‘spot on’ there. Of course, their gun holsters would not have been visible contrary to what you suggest. They were, in fact, indistinguishable from criminals to Zac.

    RE: Your #8: You’re right, drawing a diagram would be helpful. However, I’m sure it is nothing more than an 8 year-old’s cognition that is required to know that if the entry would was to Zac’s left armpit, and Zac was driving a car, and that was the only shot to have struck Zac, that killer was shooting facing the driver’s side door.

    Now, Zac was driving parallel to a chain link fence, about 2-3 yards to his left. He was about 20 yards short of and perpindicular to the LA River boundary fence. For Zac to have created a REASONABLE fear of rendering serious bodily injury he would have had to circle around for another pass. The killer didn’t wait. The killer saw an opportunity that would allow for a kill and face little, if any possibility of prosecution due to the circumstances and the policy of the use of deadly force in the deadly weapon/car episode.

    I READ, neither you nor anyone can explain the “reasonable fear” that is prerequisite to the use of deadly force. They didn’t wait for Zac to turn around. They seized the opportunity. That opportunity came about because of a defect in both policy, law enforcement culture, and in their moral character.

    Lastly, “wrong place/wrong time”…..”the natural course of events”, those are a very poor choice of words. Those are words you would never utter if it had been your child that was killed under the same circumstances. Those words do worse than cheapen the value of a life, they expressly condone the actions of officers who failed in every aspect of not only their professional capacity and duty, but as decent and moral human beings.

  • Quite a few entries ago someone made the remark “you guys are still discussing this?” “what is it…the one who pees last wins?”
    In my observation of dogs, it is always the angry little chihuahua that has to get the last pee on something.The tiny one with the biggest mouth. Napoleon complex perhaps? Who knows.
    Anyway, Im done arguing with you. There is a saying..”Dont cast your pearls among swine” Your opinion (and thats all it is) will never change nor will mine. I invite you to read some comments on the LA Times article about the recent shooting of a police officer (actually Im sure you chimed in on that one too). All I can say is…wow you must be proud of the company you keep.

  • @ I Read,

    No, I haven’t “chimed in” on anything other than my friend Zac’s case.

    However, I’m not sure if you’re referring to that Ethiopian immigrant who was shot at by a sheriff as he was pointing in the direction of robbers who had just robbed his store (8 shots, 8 misses- One lucky mofo, one glaring example of inadequate training)

    Or, maybe you’re referring to Chris Portillo who was shot and killed by sheriffs while he was sitting in his car in his own driveway…

    Yep, those pearls of yours are definitely farm-raised bud. Now, talk about dogs, you run along like a nice little troll and go back to doing your Baca lap-dog impression.

  • This first appeared Monday on the website for local radio station KPCC 90.3FM. I thought it was worth sharing here. Read the news item and comment that follows.—–papi

    California narcotics agent charged with theft from suspects
    1:22 p.m. | Susanne Whatley | KPCC

    Listen (MP3) Download

    Share: Facebook Twitter More… Mail Print Comment (2)

    A special agent with the California Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement has been accused of multiple criminal charges, and a bail hearing was set for Tuesday morning. A conviction could land the agent in prison.

    LA County prosecutors say Gabriel Baltodano is charged with two counts each of grand theft and embezzlement by an officer, and one count of filing a false police report.

    He’s alleged to have stolen $33,000 during an internal investigation last week. The state Attorney General’s office says fellow agents learned that the 35-year-old Baltodano may have been stealing proceeds from narcotic suspects, so they launched the internal investigation.

    Baltodano has has been with the Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement for nine years. The District Attorney’s office says if he’s convicted on all counts, he could end up with a prison sentence of more than four years.


    Buzz Lightyear

    0 minutes ago

    Link to this comment

    Maybe Agent Baltodano discovered that his fellow agents were stealing from narcotic’s suspects.

    Then the fellow agents were worried that Baltodano was not corrupt. So maybe the other agents called the investigators and framed Baltodano in the investigation.

    Maybe the other agents are Los Angeles County Sheriff Department undercover deputies who serve search warrants as part of a multi-jurisdictional narcotic’s task force.

    Maybe they are the deputies who shot and killed Zachary Champommier, age 18 as he drove his mom’s Toyota compact into the parking lot which serves the businesses on the Northwest corner of Ventura Blvd. and Laurel Canyon Blvd. at 9:30PM on June 24,2010 in Studio City.
    Leave a comment

  • @ Papi,

    In a nutshell, you’re absolutely right. Maybe those are the deputies. We are allowed to think the worst because of the department’s secrecy surrounding the release of the killer’s/killers’ name(s). It’s all one big, happy firing squad: No one is quite sure who was firing the live ammo and who had blanks. When spying the jelly donut-eating deputy lounging in his cruiser, one can now rightfully wonder whether he/she was responsible for killing an 18 year-old saxophone playing honors student who was loved by hundreds.

  • Mel – 0n September 25 you wrote of the impressive planning and the determined people in the movement called justice4zac.

    You wrote: “The stage is set for the next round. …Stay tuned.”

    I have been watching the justice4zac blogspot site.

    If that site is an accurate indicator – then is it fair to say that the publicly visible push for procedural justice in this case has sputtered into oblivion?

    The most effective and important effort made by the justice4zac people was their appearance at the Los Angeles Police Department Commission. They exercised their rights to personally address the commissioners in the public comment period.

    The most damage they did to their movement was failing to address the commission at their next meeting.

    Or at the meeting after that. Their presence at one meeting has highlighted their absence from all the subsequent meetings.

    They had commissioners worried for a moment that these kids were passionate about something and might actually start making things uncomfortable.
    Just a false alarm – everyone can go back to their daydreaming now.

    So Mel – do you know something about justice4zac that isn’t on the blogspot site?

    Because it seems they have been led into self-imposed marginalization.
    On winter break, perhaps. Waiting for the weather to warm up?

    Even worse, by declaring themselves to be a movement and generating a web presence they may have contributed to efforts by others aimed at thwarting this case from ever entering the justice system.

    And that could be unfortunate.
    It would be unfortunate if the case met the qualifications for a First Degree Murder charge and yet never entered the system.

    This killing of Zac looks more than ever like the best explanation may involve planning and orchestration.

    Not necessarily by each member of the group, but premeditation by at least one person involved with the sheriff deputies.

    If that were true – then it is unfortunate for all of us if procedural justice is blocked.
    Any society needs to have a line drawn somewhere that applies clearly and equally to anyone who dare to cross over it, without exception.
    That clear line functions as a crucial part of the foundation of our long term stability.
    Individuals involved in particular cases may feel that moving or fuzzing over the line might be the right thing at the time.
    But the long term damage will be inflicted upon our values and our identity as a society.
    We may not notice the effect right now.
    The measure of what we have truly lost will be taken when the society is forced to bear up under unforeseen and difficult challenges.
    That is when everyone will need to pull together.
    We won’t last long if more than just a few are pulling against.
    That absolute line can be harsh – we need it drawn and blatant. Fuzz it up now and the price must still be paid at some future date – plus interest compounded daily.

  • @Papillon,

    You are correct on many levels. A justice movement ebbs and flows. Doing anything less than what is required will most certainly result in catastrophe for not only some unlucky person who happens to accidentally strike an undercover officer with his/her vehicle but also for society at large if there is every likelihood that such killers are entitled to the proverbial “get out of jail free” treatment.

    Fortunately, we can still quote Yogi Berra at this point: “It ain’t over…..”

    As always, thanks for your ongoing correspondence. It is always welcome.

  • I strongly disagree.
    This movement is in a state of constant ebb and seems to be flowing to nowhere.
    There was a tremendous achievement in the beginning – when the shout went out from those who knew Zac to defend against the sheriff’s convenient demonization to justify his shooting.

    The defiant reply from Zac’s friends and teachers was so sincere and sustained that it turned back the sheriff’s neat little package of alibis.

    Without that initial victory there would have been no ground for justice to begin to gain a footing.

    But in the months since then progress has been dismal.

    Better than nothing, but not much better. Momentum and time and urgency have been lost.

    Awareness of the issues has been spread effectively only within the community Zac had been a member of.

    Awareness has not been established outside of home court save a little bit.

    The street vigils have not been sustained, have not been
    informative, have not been focused enough to create a depth of awareness among the citizenry.

    Of course, they did some good and definitely helped begin the grieving process. But the participants in the vigils should not mislead themselves to believe the word has been
    well spread. It has not.

    Does that come across as harsh criticism?

    Maybe so.

    What else can one conclude if the people who work at the businesses around the parking lot and who were there on the night of June 24 and who know that someone died that night
    – that those people have also noticed the sidewalk vigils and they generally have no idea that the person who died in the lot is the same person the vigils are held for.

    That is awful. You could predict that if someone who drove by the vigils one day and then read or heard a news report another day that they would not likely know enough to connect the two. If there even were any coverage in the general broadcast or print media – which there is none.

    Meanwhile, the sheriff is at turns ignoring the issues, waylaying the family and overall strategizing towards the identical objectives they began with – it is just conducted with more reserve and politeness than we saw at the start.

    Those objectives are clear – continue to mislead and delay and distract anyone who might move an inch towards demanding disclosure. Continue to hide and protect and deflect from anyone having to ever answer for anything as to the death of Zac. Continue to do whatever is needed to keep the public from discovering anything that is the truth about that night.

    They are doing a fine job of it too. They are finding it quite breezy going when the justice people are so darn polite, when the first victory was the last and the fire and steam was just plain lost.

    JusticeForZac is not located on the In Memory of Facebook page. The Facebook page serves a purpose but JusticeForZac is a blogspot page – and participation there has dropped to virtually nothing.

  • @Papillon,

    The latest is that Baca personally told Zac’s mother that Zac broke no laws. Of course, he also plied the “wrong place/wrong time” bull. That won’t sit. Some say they are forming their “circular firing squad” with Baca now claiming that it was the DEA agent who fired the fatal shot. Baca did not deny that the deputy sheriff also discharged his weapon. However, he did state that LASD also follows a policy of not firing into moving vehicles. That implies that Zac’s car was indeed stopped, which is what we have alleged all along.

    The LASD investigation report is allegedly finished. The DEA, apparently, are also conducting an investigation into their role. It is now being requested for people to register their displeasure with Congressman Brad Sherman, who personally promised Zac’s mother that he would gather facts and information on the DEA’s involvement. That was nearly four months ago. To date, there has been no word from Sherman.

    As for the movement being in a “constant ebb,” nothing could be further from the truth. Both at a recent vigil and at the tribute by the Granada Hills High School Marching Band, band members wore armbands and carried signs that read “DJ #12” in honor of Danroy Henry, a Pace University football player who was killed under very similar circumstances in New York. Many of Zac’s friends have been supporting DJ’s family and friends, and their search for justice by devoting time to writing letters and communicating their experiences with DJ’s family and friends. Unfortunately, with Zac’s killing having occurred first, Zac’s loved ones and supporters have a certain “expertise” in these matters and have realized that it is only through the collective efforts of the often disparate communities that have been affected by the use of deadly force policy in the what they are calling the car-as-deadly-weapon scenario that the changes will come that will save the lives of many would be victims of said policy.

    So, it is clear that instead of a “constant ebb”, very far from idly letting the time pass, the Justice for Zac movement has simply gone to a new level.

  • Did the sheriff offer any explanation for why has has waited over 5 months to disclose this information about the shooter?

    Has the sheriff explained the procedure for filing a claim for damages with Los Angeles County within 6 months of the date of loss?

    Filing the claim for damages will preserve the plaintiffs rights to initiate a lawsuit until the next deadline is reached.

    June 24 + 6 months = December 24

    The deadline to file a claim for damages resulting from the sheriffs actions is now upon us.

    Anyone who knew Zac and who is hurting because of his death may want to file a claim.

    It is essential that the ability to file a lawsuit is preserved.

    The lawsuit grants the plaintiffs with powers of subpeona.

    For those still seeking to unravel the whole truth about what happened on June 24, subpeona will be the only tool they will be able to use to compel anyone to answer their questions.

    Maybe your good friend the sheriff has already explained this and also made sure a claim was filed with the county on your behalf.

    That is if he truly has your best interest in mind as the principle guiding his conduct in this case.

    Don’t count on it.

  • Nutshell:

    LASD is systemicaly and endemicaly corrupt, corrupted, and corruption prone.

    There is no perfectly skilled or corrected method for managing an organization as large and contradictory as the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department.

    Leroy Baca has just sworn the oath of the Office of County Sheriff to begin his fourth term of 4 years.

    More than ever before, the man appears to be unable to resist succumbing to an intractable compulsion to involve himself deeper and deeper in playing out another repetition of a childhood redemption fantasy.

    Each episode drains away another layer of his credibilty and vitality and authority.

    Each episode postponing and stunting the healing and development of the individual deputy on whose behalf he has interjected himself.

    Each episode stalling and subverting the reformation that every law enforcement agency must periodicaly conduct to maintain ethical standards at a confident level.

    Now at or soon to arrive at the point where he has become an embarrassment and an increasing liability to the security of the region.

    For sure, Sheriff Leroy D. Baca has no easy job.

    Let’s be frank without being counterproductive. Let’s admit that Sheriff Baca has rode his tenure far down the road of diminishing returns and past the turnoff for sustainable damage contained and that he is accelarating down a steep grade towards severe damage ahead before finally arriving at the point of epic tragedy.

    I pray that he can somehow step outside his tightly self-controlled bubble to get a perspective on his leadership and his legacy.

    I wish that he could find some way to come clean and get clear on what is really going down around him.

    That he could somehow allow himself to release his confusions and abandon delusions.

    That he could experience an uplifting and a transformation
    to an essential and more natural state of being.

    That Sheriff Lee D. Baca could just let go of his and our collective past transgressions and obsessions and lead his department in its first steps down a new road of vision and purpose and committment.

  • I had a dream.

    A new year is upon us.

    Zac’s Mom receives a phone call from Sheriff Baca.

    This is not the same old Sheriff Baca calling her now.

    This is a Sheriff Baca who has emerged from the chrysalis of the past sheriff Baca. He has shed the encrusted weight of the past 150 years of LASD history.

    He is as lean and tone and fit as the old Sheriff Baca, but he is now at ease. Relaxed, yet focused.

    He is arrived not to pick bones, but to find peace and purpose.

    A Sheriff Baca for the new millennium.

    A Sheriff Baca for the new paradigm.


    “Hello, Carol?”


    “Carol, this is Lee. Lee Baca. Umm– Sheriff Baca.”


    “Carol — I need to tell you something.”

    “yes…I’m listening”

    “I am sorry. I am so terribly sorry for what happened to Zac. I am responsible. It is my fault. You need to seriously consider initiating a civil lawsuit against my estate in order to collect damages.

    Some D.A. or A.G. somewhere would be just doing their job
    if they filed criminal charges against me for what happened to Zac. I wouldn’t argue with a jury conviction for my NEGLIGENCE. My utterly GROSS NEGLIGENCE contributing directly to the death of your son has finally woken me up”

    “Sheriff Baca, are you sincere? Are you prepared to act
    with honor and own up?

    “Got to. The time has come to do the right thing.
    I only wish I could have allowed myself to admit it sooner,
    maybe you would still have your Zac.”

    “Sheriff Baca…..Lee, sounds like you have
    made a change. Have you?”

    “Got to. I can’t continue to supervise by abandoning some
    of the core personnel management principles that are accepted throughout the law enforcement profession.

    I can’t go on believing that I have come up with a new way to implement flawed practices which magically eliminates the defective results demonstrated in the textbook cases.

    I can’t go on playing a shell game of perpetuating bad apples by concealing their identities and shuffling them from one end of the county to the other.

    I can’t go on with a department which appears to be operating the largest active chapter of the Klan where skinheads of every stripe are requesting transfer to assignment in south county for a chance to coon hunt
    their initiation trophy.

    I can’t go on knowing that the contract for the pay phones used by custodies at my substations are rigged to charge collect calls at 15 dollars for the first three minutes.

    I can’t go on knowing that we got deputies making bad stops out in the Antelope Valley just to feed the lock-up with petty felony possession bookings.

    And then allowing those custodies to call a bail bondsman at the number we provided. And knowing that those select bail bondsman are violating their license by getting names and numbers of friends and family members from the custody.

    And then knowing that the bondsman is calling the contacts and using high-pressure sales tactics to force them to sign for a bond.

    Knowing the bail bond salesman can be relentless in calling and painting an awful picture of a couple days in lock-up to scare an elderly parent into signing a note on their home for thousands of dollars to bond their kid out of what eventually turns out as a dismissed case or Prop. 35 diversion plea.

    And knowing that if this is the practice then it probably means a corrupt system of kickbacks from the bondsman to the jailer at the courthouse. Maybe even some of the judges are supplementing their income.

    If it is the game we are allowing in the Antelope Valley then it may have infected my arrest and custody practices anywhere in the county.

    I don’t know if I can continue to stock the sheriff substations with custodies placed into the “trustee program” to perform basic labor when they are also being used to wash and detail private vehicles. What happens when they get someone highly competent “trustee” who can start doing their paperwork for them too? Isn’t it a wonder that some of these “trustees” placed at the substations are having to serve 100% of their sentence as a reward for their desirable work habits.

    Carol, there is just so much crap that i have left to fester that I am truly ashamed.

    There is just so much more I could tell you about…
    but I don’t want to blow your mind too much at one time so
    I will wrap it up with this final apology.

    I am sorry Carol. I am sure that you and most other people would guess that I have a clear and strictly enforced policy on the use of alcohol while carrying a county issued firearm.

    I wish we had that. Maybe you would still have Zac if we did.”

  • You know what? when I was the victim of a crime and the pigs blamed em for taking matters into my own hands via self defense by saying, “I should have gone in another direction,” while being furiously chased and sexually harassed (street harassed) my a gang tattoed thug (a world I have nothing to do with), maybe those cops, oops, I mean, killer pigs, should have gone in a different direction. Now it is their fault that the young man lost his life since they acted too aggressively by killing him just as they said I acted “too aggressively” when I gave the sick sonofabitch the finger in self defense.

  • My dear – nobody here – and i mean nobody – is willing to admit the complete and total truth. Not on the sheriffs side for sure. And not on the friends of Zac side either.

    Its all funky and murky and sick and sad.

    Here goes the big one – this guy Feldman is sheriff and/ or DEA and he was there on June 24 in Studio city when the shot was fired.

    Alright I said it. Zac’s mother did everything she could to shelter her son. In the end, it didn’t work.

    He should enjoy the admin leave with pay – not long til his lady finds out and takes the kids and goes into hiding.

  • Still waiting for any law enforcement official to demo just how the shooter/killer, DEA agent LoPresti, could have been in fear for his life at the moment he elected on deadly force, particularly in light of the fact that he stood facing the driver’s side door and is said to have approached that position from the rear of Zac’s car.

    LoPresti, how is that not murder? Get behind the wheel, in that spot, and demo how you could put anyone in the spot you occupied on June 24, 2010 in a reasonable fear for their life. Invertebrate scum.

  • WE have a cover-up here.
    This is a cover-up. Cover-up. Cover-up.
    Go to sleep and forget.
    The D.A.s findings are secret. The Sheriff’s findings are secret. The Assistant D.A. who worked on the findings got kicked upstairs to the bench.
    They were debriefing. Drugs and cash in the undercover car.
    When does the bounty of the warrant search get inventoried and
    entered into the official record?
    Well, we don’t want the guys to waste gas at 4 bucks a gallon driving to the station, so they just debrief in the parking lot, then go home for the night. They keep it over night in the car at home and then turn it in the next day or at the end of the week or month or whenever its convenient.
    Because this is a multijurisdictional and we can’t really tell what the chain of command is because we are not really sure. Who is the captain on a pirate ship? Depends whether you are fore or aft, above deck or below deck.
    One thing is for sure -multijurisdictional is a moneymaker.
    They may not always agree on how to slice the pie, but everyone gets a slice. Except for Zac.
    The show must go on, Folks.
    Who was standing on the podium one step behind Cooley and at his shoulder on election night? Sheriff B.
    Who is Doug Oeters. Not many details. How did he get to the parking lot that fateful night? Who bailed him out for 20g’s? Where did he come from and where has he gone?
    Is he a C.I.? Who is his handler? Lo Presti? Chavez? Mark whats his name?
    Hold on a second, Oeters -the witness- alledgedly told the L.A. Times in an online “interview” that he spoke with Zac only a minute before the whole thing went down and dirty.
    Zac had apparently gone to the wrong parking at the other corner of the intersection.
    That would mean that if we believe the innocent “meeting for a movie” alalie then it would be the case that the meeting place was not chosen by Zac, but was chosen by the person(s) he went to meet June 24, 2010 in Studio City Los Angeles North Hollywood Station LAPD territory.
    So then he wasn’t in the “wrong place at the wrong” time.
    He was in exactly the place he had been lured to and on schedule at the time which had been
    set for his execution.

  • Study this comment string.
    There is a commenter who claims to personally know Zac’s mother. Same commenter also states that Doug Oeters misrepresented his age to Zac.

    When asked to specify his source for that statement the commenter replies that he remembers reading it somewhere, not sure where, but he will check to find his source. The commenter who says he knows Zac’s mom doesn’t say that she provided the statement about “Oeters misrepresenting his age” nor has he yet to provide his specific source. I can find no public source for the information.

    That misrepresentation by Oeter’s would be found in the online communication.

    Only someone with direct access to the online record between Zac and Oeters would know about the information. Or someone with access to the online communication personally revealed it to the commenter.

    The record of the online communication must be kept confidential in order to preserve its critical usefulness as potential evidence in a conspiracy to commit murder.

  • For the record, I spoke to Zac’s mother’s attorney and the attorney told me that Oeters had presented himself online as a younger than he turned out to be.

    From all the information we have about him, which isn’t a lot, he seems to have been something of a creep looking for younger guys.

  • @Celeste and Papi,

    There are many bombshells yet to fall regarding this matter. The goal, however, is avoiding looking away from the plain and simple truth: If one is not justified in using deadly force because it would have been impossible to be put in a reasonable fear for one’s life due to the killer’s position in facing the driver’s side door, the killing must have been in retaliation for Zac’s allegedly having struck Brewster. It is clear that Zac could not have been driving fast at the point of alleged contact with Brewster since he was only 20 yards shy of the boundary with the LA River. Given the existence of a short series of skid marks matching Zac’s tire pattern and model of car, together with the presence of shattered glass at the same spot, he was neither speeding up and was either nearly stopped or at a complete standstill (This would be entirely consistent with Zac’s nature since if he had indeed perceived anyone in his car’s path, he not only would have slammed on the brakes, leaving said skid marks, but would have also stopped his car as required by law). We also know that LoPresti approached from the rear of Zac’s car. Therefore, in order for LoPresti to have had an opportunity to render a side shot, Zac’s car had to have been stopped.

    Additionally, since Zac’s car was also shot from the rear, we know that no one occupied a position in Zac’s 12:00 o’clock field (i.e., in the car’s path) the shooters cannot realistically claim to have been acting in “defense of others” from Zac. Forgetting the bad logic of thinking that one is making things better for another who occupies a position in a car’s path by killing the driver of the car, it is clear that all possible justification for LoPresti’s actions can, and will be, systematically destroyed.

    Now, the good part: Since there is no statute of limitations on murder, LoPresti must face the realization that a critical mass can still be attained where each and every alleged justification for his actions is uncovered as bogus and fraudulent. By default, then, his actions can only be deemed murderous. There will simply be nothing left to call it but retaliation, and retaliation equals murder. Moreover, decided cases have shown that premeditation and deliberation can occur in a split second. If that can be established, LoPresti gets the IV.

  • Zac’s lawsuit has been filed. There is no statute of limitations on murder. Agent Lopresti, I look forward to seeing you on the stand. Do you think others will vouch for your actions that night? Do you think that all who witnessed your conduct will support your actions in killing an unarmed honors student, particularly when you did so from the safety of facing Zac’s driver’s side door? Are you going to claim that you were in fear for your life from that position? Good luck. You’ll need all you can get.

  • Even the most well crafted dishonesty has a finite shelf life. It has been almost 11 months since the fatal night in the parking lot behind the Mexicali cantina bar and restaurant where Zac was killed.

    Here is my current list of personal opinions, observations and unanswered questions about this incident.

    1. Enormous gratitude and appreciation to the host of this website for allowing the comment section to remain open. My personal inquiry has been informed and stimulated by the comments and info provided by others.

    I try not to be constrained by politeness or fear of going against the grain
    with my postulations concerning the circumstances which resulted in Zac’s death or actions and intentions of the various players involved before and after.

    I have proposed some non-standard theories and thoughts. Also, I have questioned the basis of some items which are being taken for granted as fact. I am quite willing to be corrected on anything which i have proposed. i welcome the opportunity to be found wrong. To be called out by name for barking up the wrong tree.

    To correct or counter any hypotheseis which has been proposed requires more than simply stating that it is wrong. It requires more than ad hominem. It requires more than simply being ignored through silence. Yet that has been the reply to many of the ideas discussed in my comments.

    Just because nobody else has brought them up and i have not repeated them shouldn’t lull anyone into thinking they have gone away.

    For that – we need someone to present a rational argument against the viabilty of a hypotheseis which has been proposed. or present a competing hypotheseis along with a rational argument which supports assigning it to replace what has been offered from my box.

  • 2. Someone has previously asked why the authorities took so long until Zac’s mother was informed about his death. his identity and his mom’s whereabouts were readily available yet nearly 12 hours elapsed until she was told. One answer for the delay concerns the protocol and procedures of the agencies involved.

    Here is an alternative explanation:

    The actions of the LASD investigators sent to the scene and all reports resulting CAN NOT STAND UP TO THE LIGHT OF DAY. Lt. Gallagher and Det. Walls required an uninterrupted and unfettered and unsupervised and unrecorded block of time and space separated and protected from the outside world for 8-12 hours to conceive and bring to life a version of reality unencumbered by the meager garments of truth.

    And so it is with all the subsequent reports and reviews and summaries and recommendations – we can’t be allowed to see them. They won’t hold up to the light of day. Rational analysis and logical review will cause their implosion.

    We may have even been mislead about the conclusion of the D.A.s report. Is it truly a “Decision Not to Prosecute”?

    or is it “No decision to prosecute”?

    Quite a different animal and important not to be confused.

    Assistant D.A Torrealba can tell us. or maybe she can’t?

    She is now Judge Torrealba and may be contractually precluded from revealing details of her work at the D.A.’s office.

    So here is my question for D.A. Spokesperson Sandi Gibbons or whoever currently holds that position:

    Is the Champommier report a “FINAL”?

    Did Torrealba sign and Finalize the report?

    Or was it a No Recommendation at This Time/Request for Information/Request for Factual Clarification status when D.A. Torrealba left the office for sunnier shores on the bench.

    Because one would suspect that a person of intellect and principles cannot sign off on a YES Prosecute or a NO Prosecute until all the facts presented to them and the concepts of Logic and Reason and Rationality and Believability are able to make a happy home together under the same roof.

  • @ Papillon,

    Interesting. Very interesting. The DA certainly has yet to tell the world how it would be reasonable for AGENT LOPRESTI to have been in fear for his life, especially since Deputy Brewster came up shooting and was, by all appearances, uninjured by the collision with Champommier’s car.

    Your comments about the length of time it took to call Champommier’s mother also suggests that you’re probably on the right track. They knew it was a “bad shoot” and had to come up with a plausible explanation. However, it looks like they really performed poorly in that regard as well. It makes me wonder if the fact that there were so many different agencies involved caused the usual creative machinations to seize and become constricted in their ability to embellish. Who knows?

    However, neither the DA nor the OIR appears to have performed ethically. A bunch of cops involved in “bad shoot” by a multi-jurisdictional task trying to create a viable myth is one thing, those whose jobs are to monitor and counterbalance such activity is another. Somehow, somewhere, we can only hope that some part of the justice system has a pulse.

  • The D.A. cannot prosecute the killing of Zac without triggering automaticaly the compiling of detailed records and reports pertinent to the incident.

    Any information in pertinent reports which may indicate deviations from legality or procedural standards then triggers its own investigation and accountabilty process.

    And so on . Ad infinitum.

    The Killing of Zac Champommier reflects poorly on the conduct and ethics of the law enforcement personnel at the scene.

    It also reflects poorly on the conduct and ethics of each agency involved and specifically on the performance of the individual in charge of each respective agency.

    The ability and commitment to completely and correctly carry out their duty as chief manager should rightfully be suspect and called into question. The broken glass left on the asphalt in Studio City nearly one year past must be accounted for. A comprehensive analysis and report on the cause and source for that pile of shattered glass must include the leadership of the organization.

    Obviously, the head of DEA, Chief of LAPD and the Sheriff of Los Angeles County prefer to avoid and/or subvert any meaningful examination of their supervisory performance of their personnel involved in that pile of shattered glass.

    They each may have a record of admirable deeds, performance and accomplishments in heading their respective agencies.

    Yet in at least one incident which involved personnel for whom they bear responsibility to train, assign and supervise – the conduct of the department heads is a cause for doubt and concern. The head of DEA, LAPD and LASD have conducted themselves in a manner described by at least one or more of the following adjectives:


  • Lets get one thing clear between this commenter and the millions of sleepwalking denizens of Los Angeles County.

    Impact is still some time in the future but sanity calls upon us to read the instrument panel. We have a jumbo jet in free fall with costly destruction an unavoidable result.
    The letters on the side of the plane spell Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department, Capo Leroy D. Bacavelli – Navigator and Megalomaniac in situ.

    The collateral damage from allowing our Sheriff to conduct himself in the style of Carlos Leder will result in a delayed, yet massive bill come due.

    When the bloodhounds pick up the scent from the site where Zac was shot and killed on June 24, 2010 in Studio City it can be predicted with a fair level of confidence it tracks back to Lee Baca’s office.

    if there is some other plausible explanation for the Sheriff of La County to have so personally involved himself in this incident – then I am all ears, i am listening. all i hear is silence

  • From what I have read about the killing of Zac Champommier –
    we are to list LASD Deputy Brewster as being struck by the Toyota driven by Zac as having discharged his revolver towards Zac. In addition we are to list DEA Agent LoPresti
    as discharging his revolver towards Zac and as being source of the bullet which resulted in his death.

    This information comes to us from Zac’s mother after it was shared with her by Sheriff Lee D. Baca.

    Am I to accept without scrutiny that Sheriff Baca, who is the poster boy for absolute confidentiality and non-disclosure of deputy identity in cases of OIS, has had a complete change of approach for the benefit of Justice for Zac.

    Does not compute.

    There is a reason for why and how it was done.

    And if Baca has any basis for knowing the source of the fatal bullet – then if he told Zac’s mom that it came from LoPresti – then most likely it actually came from Brewster.

  • @ Papillon,

    It could be that the federal agent might have greater protection from prosecution in some form or another. He, thus, ‘took the bullet’ (i.e., ownership of) for Brewster.

  • comment #266 layed in heavy criticism for the top executive at each of the law enforcement agencies involved in Zac’s death. Unless there is something remarkable going on behind the scenes – not one of these men has exhibited a shred of decency in the matter of Zac C.

    Truly sad and depressing that the men who are entrusted with leading these crucial agencies seem not capable of defending any principle. Lets rephrase that – not capable of defending any principle which they will admit to us. Basically- their behavior has been shameful and they know it. That is why they are hiding from Zac’s mother and Zac’s friends.

    But the news is not 100% bad. There must be at least one person with LASD who knows where and what he stands for.
    A man with principles. A man who will draw a line that he will not cross in order to remain decent to himself.

    Someone is the cause for Log 160 to come down off the board. I believe that would have to be Lt. Gallagher.
    He came in for savage criticism in previous comments.
    Now the view is from a broader perspective.

    Whatever technical improprieties Lt. Gallagher may have been participant to do not define the purpose and worth of the man. He believed what he was doing was for the right reason. When he determined that he had been misled and manipulated – he pulled out.
    Lt. Gallagher is a decent man. A man of priciples. A man that I respect.

  • Mel.
    Let’s get one thing clear about who the friends of Zac and Zac’s mom have been up against.

    Every move from the cover-up team is the responsibilty of the director in charge of the team.
    Sheriff Lee Baca has been in charge of the effort since at least the day that his statement about Zac “not being without some degree of fault” was released to the media.

    The problems that Sheriff Baca is encountering have to do with the enormity of the task at hand.

    You can take a small elephant to the gym for 5 hours of hard cardio training every day. You can give him special diets and sauna wraps. You can even do a stomach bypass and administer potent wieght loss drugs and diuretics.

    How long do you think it will be until that elephant is ready to pass through the eye of a needle?

    Wow! Even the most reknowned circus trainers haven’t done that. Only one person could possibly have a chance to successfully get that elephant in through one side of the needle’s eye and out through the other side.

    Who would that be?
    Sheriff Lee Baca, perhaps?
    No. Not Baca. He’s good. Not that good.
    Only person that even has a snoballs chance with the elephant
    is David Copperfield.
    And maybe you have noticed that Copperfield stays at least 1000 miles away from Los Angeles County at all times.

    If Zac’s death had been caused by recklessness and failure to follow procedures then the elephant might get through.

    If unbridled agressiveness and imprudent over reaction were to blame then that elephant would need 2 days on laxatives and the ability to exhale his lungs and hold tight, but that might just be enough to go through.

    We are supposed to accept that Zac’s death resulted from such unfortunate instances of subpar technical performance.

    I can’t accept that explanation.
    I can’t accept because it doesn’t add up.
    Nothing adds up.
    I have tried.
    Take each segment or piece of action from every version that has been offered in explanation of Zac’s death.
    Put all of the pieces in a sack and use any of them to construct a sequence of events.
    I cannot construct a sequence that adds up using only the pieces from the sack.
    Any plausible sequence needs at least one more piece that doesn’t exist in order to make sense.
    So even Mel’s exercise with the car in the parking lot trying to run down a man on foot moving to evade him isn’t sufficient. Because Mel proves that the shooter(s) couldn’t reasonably be in fear to justify their actions.
    Fine. But then we are asked to accept that an unscheduled burst of over agressiveness as sufficient explanatioin for what happened. As I view the events through the prism of my own personal perspective I find “over reaction, over agressiveness and recklessness” insufficient to explain everything.

    That leaves one of two possible pieces needed which are not in the sack.
    Correction. Two pieces which have not been provided by anything written or stated on the record.
    However, the pieces have been covered in certain comments and i have them in my sack.
    I can’t be harsh to those who may avoid picking up and using those pieces.
    They are ugly pieces.
    One for sure is ugly.
    The other one is sickening.

  • Lets get right to the bad news because there is no time to waste.

    I lied when I spoke about getting the elephant through the eye of a needle. An elephant certainly can be passed through the needle’s eye without the expertise of David Copperfield on site.

    All that is needed is a two-dimensional elephant.
    Which is what has been provided going on almost one year.

    Why can’t we see any of the reports?
    Why can’t we get just a few more basic details about the circumstances of June 24, 2010 in the parking lot off Ventura in Studio City?

    Because a two-dimensional elephant can pass through the needle’s eye but he can’t survive in a three-dimensional world.

    Zac Champommier lived in a three-dimensional world.
    Zac Champommier was shot and killed in a three-dimensional world.

    The only way to arrange the pieces from the sack to achieve sufficient plausibility is in 3D.

    In the real, real world the guys who shot and killed Zac may have been in fear. Only an unreasonable and irrational fear fits with what we know. That would trigger their duty of care to others not to carry live weapons and not allow themselves to appear unsupervised in public spaces.

    We all have that duty, not only law enforcement.
    When a person’s cognitive function is impaired or wacked to a serious degree they are supposed to Stay off the road and stay home until it has been worked out.

    What if one ignores that basic self-restriction on movement and someone else ends up getting hurt? Then criminal liability needs to be determined. Possibly even a crime as serious as manslaughter or some degree of murder.

    In the case of June 24 and the shooting of Zac Champommier, the L.A. District Attorney is not doing the job described by the oath of his office.

    If there was a reasonable fear then they may claim right of self-defense.
    If there was unreasonable fear then the shooter(s) need to be charged and prosecuted.
    Unless the D.A. wants to argue about the shooter(s) state of temporary insanity. In which case they would already be in the custody of a licensed, registered mental health facility awaiting future determination of their fitness to be released without creating a danger to the public.

    That covers the ugly. Unfortunately, I don’t see any publicly available evidence pointing in the direction of ugly.

    Whereas, there is more than sufficient publicly available evidence to justify a substantial effort towards investigation of the sickening. Some literature leans toward using the term “most foul”.

  • What we have seen so far is not inconsistent with a plan to frighten or kill Zac Champommier.

    It would be a plan borne of conceit.
    The kind of conceit which can take hold and flourish in the milieu of the multijurisdictional task force.

    The multijurisdictional is a conducive environment for the practice of maximizing the number of people who can claim credit for successes.

    The multijurisdictional is also a fantastic invention for avoiding direct responsibilty for mistakes and failures.
    As such, people who live in the multijurisdictioinal world can over time be less cautious in undertaking risks which may result in injury to others and leave no stain upon the risktaker.

    It would be a plan that is unwelcome to Sheriff Baca, yet is exactly what should be expected to eventually arise from the delusional mindset of public impunity that Baca’s practice and style has established and reinforced among his deputies.

    It would be a plan borne of a conceit that creates a two-dimensional elephant to join in the circus parade.
    Believing that it will appear 3D to everyone.

    If Baca thought that you guys were qualified to engage in that type of planning then he would have already reassigned you to that department!

    Probably at least two, possibly three active participants.
    It would need only one master planner, the other participants could have partial knowledge only.
    Thats still pretty severe considering that a oerson died and the scheme involved a “lying in wait” factor.

    It deserves immedeate investigation due to the serious nature of potential criminality.

    And it needs to come out to forestall anyone else getting killed.

    Because a live capital murder case walking around unarrested
    and uncharged is a danger to participants or persons with direct knowledge from being harmed by others in the plot.

    This plan is likely to have involved some cooperation from a partial participant who was very close to Zac – part of his daily life.

  • I am here.

    I am sitting here. In the back of the parking lot.
    ————You are sitting in the parking lot?

    In a car. I am sitting in a car. I am sitting in a car in the parking lot.
    ————What kind of car?


    Yes. White. I am sitting in a white car.
    ————Zac, are you feeling alright?

    Yes. White. That’s what I told you. I am in a white car. I’m sitting in a white car in the parking lot.
    ————Zac, are you sure that you’re feeling al…..?

    WHITE!! WHITE CAR!! Just start looking for a white car. When you find a white car then see if someone is sitting inside it. If nobody is inside, then look for another white car. O.K.? Got it?
    ————O.K. I got it.

    Alright. Good Night, then.
    ————Good Night, Zac.

  • @ Papillon

    I don’t believe that there was a conspiracy to kill Zac. That shouldn’t be a consideration. A conspiracy to cover-up, on the other hand, is plausible. What other choice is there for those involved? It would be Herculean, indeed, for any one law enforcement person present, having personal knowledge as to what transpired, to admit that it was unjustifiable homicide. I believe that those in the position of understanding the truth of what happened that night, and those with the duty and ability to ascertain the truth as to what happened that night have collectively looked the other way.

    It simply means that any one of us commoners is entirely expendable.

  • On the eve of the one-year anniversary since Zac’s unjustified killing by DEA agent Lopresti, I’d like to reflect on the ordeal Agent Lopresti’s act has created for untold hundreds of people who knew and loved Zac. From the band mates, teachers, family members, friends, all live with a gaping hole in their lives due to your disregard for life.

    Lopresti, you saw Deputy Brewster get to his feet. You knew he wasn’t injured. It was obvious. Yet you approached Zac’s driver’s side door. Why? Because Zac stopped his car because his initial reaction was to make sure the person he accidentally struck, the person who ran into the path of his car on that night, was okay. That inner act of goodness by Zac allowed you to unleash your inner evil. If you and Brewster are able to sleep at night, that’s just added evidence to the evil you embody.

    It’s been a long year. The longest I can remember. But, we all look forward to seeing you wilt on the stand. We look forward to your “crew” throwing you under the bus. Somewhere in that pack that was present that night was at least one decent human being. We’ll hope upon hope that that person has the strength to do what is right because, Agent Lopresti, you should not be walking among the free.

  • @Mel
    I understand not being comfortable taking steps down a path of inquiry that explains Zac’s killer(s) as participants in a planned act. Even if there was an element of planning involved, all of Zac’s friends get to keep 100% of their memories that Zac would never try to harm anyone. That he was a 100% good guy. 100% good guys can become the object of wrath and malice. Sometimes it is difficult to avoid. If that is what happened with Zac, then it just says a lot about anyone whose malice grew so out of hand as to destroy an innocent life. It would not diminish Zac in the slightest of measure. You stste that there should be no consideration of plotting as we seek to explain what happened. But you give no reasons to support closing the balcony. An objective and exhaustive search for the truth does not arbitrarily close its eyes to any section of the universe in which the truth may be found.
    A young man leaves home one evening telling his mother that he is going to visit a friend. 12 hours later his mother is informed that her son was shot through the heart at close range as he sat in her Toyota in a retail complex parking lot approx ten miles from home. She searches her son’s email and find what appears to be an exchange of messages between her son and another person he has never met. Not one of her son’s friends will say that they knew anything of this other man or any plan to meet him. Yet it appears that her son was under the influence of this man’s directions when he drove to the spot where he was killed. Since then, neither the mother or any of her son’s friends have been unable to contact or communicate with this other person.
    In most places during most periods of human civilization for most people being killed under the circumstances listed above – a murder plot would be the primary consideration and focus of inquiry.

  • Maybe it’s my creative limitations, but I can’t imagine a motive for an 18 year-old, saxophone-playing honors student to be murdered via conspiracy. However, a cache of contraband seized during the task force’s service of warrant operation or some sort of hyper-protective response to Zac’s allegedly having struck Deputy Brewster when the deputy ran into the path of Zac’s car might have had some role in the formation of something on the spot. It’ll all come into light.

  • The most important thing to remember is this young man was killed. No matter who’s to blame. God rest Zac’s sweet soul; a soul that was lost too early.

  • When I was younger I used to believe that the police were upright, noble, and true.
    Then through a custody situation with my now ex-wife and her daughter’s father, I saw how things are really handled by the cops. They lie, they cheat, they abuse and the bully. And if you call them on it, they only lie, cheat, abuse and bully harder.
    I have absolutely no trouble believing that this young man was gunned down by “cowboy cops”. I would even be willing to venture that this is not the first time something like this has happened with the same officers.
    The more people lay back and take it like sheep, the more power they place in the hands of those who are supposed to enforce the law, not play judge and executioner.

  • 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

  • Mel,
    Guess you were wrong. Lopresti didn’t get the Iv. Judge felt sorry for family and threw them a bone with a little cash. Cops found not guilty. Explain thay

  • Lou,
    First, educate yourself to the nature of the trial: This was a civil trial. No one is ever found “guilty” in a civil trial. Rather, they are found “liable”. Here, the United States of America was found liable.

    As to Lopresti getting the IV, read the entire text, especially the “findings of fact”, of Judge Fitzgerald’s ruling as to Lopresti’s actions that night:

    From page 9 of Fitzgerald’s ruling:
    “Special Agent LoPresti’s testimony about Deputy Brewster (i.e., the alleged impact with the car) conflicts with that of all other officers and lay witnesses, including Deputy Brewster himself. Although the Court finds that Special Agent Lopresti testified truthfully according to his recollection, either his recollection is mistaken or he miserably failed to make an accurate assessment of the true situation at the time of the shot”

    In layman’s terms- It was what law enforcement calls a “bad shoot” (i.e., a screw up). The guy who killed Oscar Grant similarly screwed up…and did time.

  • […] Zachary Champommier 18, (White Male) Studio City Los Angeles California June 24, 2010 – According to Champommier’s friend “He called me a minute before this happened and said he was sitting in the Citibank parking lot in a white car.” Oeters said he saw a white car parked in the back of the lot, walked over, and peered into it to see if anyone was inside. No one was. Then he spotted a second white car—which turned out to be the right one—and was proceeding toward it when he said he was approached by a plain clothes officer and then several more, none of whom, he said, in the beginning showed him any kind of a badge. During their discussion they saw a man looking into parked cars who appeared to be casing the area to commit a crime. Plain Clothes Task Force Members claim they contacted the man and he immediately became uncooperative and a struggle ensued. An additional deputy approached to assist, drew his handgun, and ordered the suspect to the ground. A white sedan, driven by a second suspect, and the deputy jumped in the way and 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. Killed by Los Angeles Sheriff Dept… READ MORE […]

  • What exactly is this supposed to mean?
    “Let’s hope Zac’s last name doesn’t evolve into Salazar”.
    Can someone clarify! I am a SALAZAR!!!

Leave a Comment