August 21, 2013

Zac Champommier, RIP

As I pointed out here in "Trayvon Martin, RIP" back in March 2012, I had recently played amateur busybody detective in a not wholly dissimilar local case where cops killed a teen. Because the official story seemed fishy, I had gone to visit the scene of the killing and had run into the dead youth's bewildered mother. I encouraged her to not let the cops stonewall and to seriously consider a lawsuit. 

From the L.A. Times today:
Family of honors teen slain by DEA agents awarded $3 million

By Jill Cowan 
In a mixed verdict, a federal judge awarded $3 million to the parents of an 18-year-old honor student shot and killed by plainclothes drug enforcement agents, but also determined that the authorities were not negligent in their actions.  
U.S. District Judge Michael Fitzgerald said that DEA agents had reason to believe they were in danger, but determined that the agents should not have fired their weapons at Zachary Champommier's car because shooting at a moving vehicle would not have helped their predicament. 
The shooting of Champommier, who had recently graduated from Granada Hills Charter High at the time of the 2010 encounter, sparked outrage among the teen's family and friends, who described the teen as a "band geek," and not someone who would intentionally confront authorities. 
The teen's mother, Carol Champommier, alleged in a wrongful death lawsuit that federal and local drug enforcement officers recklessly shot at her son, who she claimed posed no reasonable threat. 

The mixed verdict seems reasonable. The whole thing was just a terrible screwup, with much misunderstanding and poor decision-making, but little in the way of malice. Also, there wasn't a lot of disinterested eyewitness testimony. As a taxpayer, the number $3 million had always seemed about right to me as a compensatory payout, rather than an 8-figure punitive damage payout.

The comments on the LA Times article, especially those from justice4zac, lay out the forensic evidence from the trial better than the article does. The best guess is that this started as a low speed traffic accident in a chaotic situation set off by five plainclothes cops, debriefing in a parking lot, deciding to subdue a pedestrian who they observed looking in cars. In the melee, the young motorist slammed on his brakes to avoid hurting a plainclothes DEA who had appeared in front of him. The agent hopped on the hood of the decelerating car and was unhurt. But then his partner turned, saw the tableau, and opened fired from the side, killing the kid. He kept on firing with less accuracy, fortunately not winging anybody coming out of the Banana Republic. The shooter testified he screamed at the dead kid, "Why did you make me do that?"

This is the top story on L.A. Times right now, but the shooting got little local coverage in the first few weeks after it happened three years ago. I became interested in the case back then because a police spokesman initially implied that the parking lot was notorious for drug dealing. I live well to the north, but this lot is across the street from the Barnes & Noble bookstore I drop in on 50 or 100 times per year, so I can attest that in the hundreds of times over the last half century that I've walked through this busy lot, which is well-lit and employs a security guard in a golf cart, the only illicit activity I can recall is bad driving.

The dead youth's friends in his high school orchestra and band and their parents kept the story alive however.

One black commenter on a website being flooded by long, expository comments from Zach's friends and neighbors said something like, "Wow, you white people just won't let it go when one of your own gets shot by the cops. If this had happened in the 'hood, it would have been forgotten by now." That seems pretty accurate. White people don't have anybody to stand up for them qua white people, but they are also pretty good at standing up for themselves.

Anyway, this local case helps explain why I took a realistically low-key approach to the Trayvon story back when most of the media was forming an electronic lynch mob to get George Zimmerman. In a country of 300 million, unfortunate events like the deaths of these two teens happen every day. Which ones become giant national stories has more to do with the needs of the Narrative than with the actual facts of the cases or even with general patterns.

53 comments:

RD said...

Steve,

Be sure to read this:

When a hate crime isn't a hate crime

Anonymous said...

"Wow, you white people just won't let it go when one of your own gets shot by the cops. If this had happened in the 'hood, it would have been forgotten by now."


Yeah, right, because an innocent unarmed black getting gunned down by cops is just completely ignored by the media, isn't it?

The capacity of blacks to live in an artificial world of their own imagining is quite remarkable. I suppose it's what makes them natural "liberals", since liberalism seems to consist of little else but elaborate evasions of reality. Erza Klein and this unknown black have quite a lot in common.

I'm reminded of Troot's peculiar belief that he risked being beaten up for sleeping with a white woman. Perhaps "belief" is not the right term - "enjoyable daydream" more accurately describes the though process here. There are an awful lot of people out there for whom their daydreams are more real than reality.

Anonymous said...

Good for you, Steve. It's at least some consolation that the family received something and that the authorities got their wrists slapped. Surely the mother was well-served by your advice to keep on prying and trying; there's almost always something going on that perseverance will expose to everyone's benefit.

bytor said...

The rest of the Times article states that Champommier drove his car into a deputy that was detaining a friend of his.

This seems like a pretty important detail that you left out. It certainly changes the tone of how events unfolded. Now, $3 million seems like a lot to me after reading that.

Keep in mind that the cops had no way of know this guy was a band nerd, or geek or whatever. Why did Champommier get help for his friend if he thought these plain clothes officers were actually crooks?

Placing yourself in the path of a moving vehicle, then shooting at it, is against most police department policies. When someone intentionally drives into you, that's a different matter entirely.

Handle said...

Well done Steve. God bless you, and get up the good work.

Anonymous said...

"Wow, you white people just won't let it go when one of your own gets shot by the cops. If this had happened in the 'hood, it would have been forgotten by now."


That's exactly what some should have said to the likes of Al Sharpton etc. "Wow, you black people just won't let it go when one of your own gets shot...by a white person."
Cause they dont particularly show as much interest when one of their own gets gunned down by other blacks, thus becoming another homicide statistic.



White people don't have anybody to stand up for them qua white people, but they are also pretty good at standing up for themselves.


Well, if they don't stand up for them, who will? If they dont stand up for retribution they'll fall down under the crushing weight of getting screwed by the system, which as some have pointed out, tend to favor the narrative of Who? Whom? etc.

FredR said...

OT but you should volunteer to be the TBD next Unz at this debate: http://intelligencesquaredus.org/debates/upcoming-debates/item/909-let-anyone-take-a-job-anywhere

Anonymous said...

The rest of the Times article states that Champommier drove his car into a deputy that was detaining a friend of his.


If there were true then both the officer and the friend would have been injured.

Were they?

Steve Sailer said...

"This seems like a pretty important detail that you left out."

If you'll read the LA Times story I linked to, you'll see its a non-detail that remains in contention after all these years. Was the kid trying to get away from this mini-riot that had suddenly broken out, when a plain-clothes cop stepped in front of him (I've almost been hit by cars several times in that parking lot over the years), or was he trying to scare off the five roughly dressed men who had aggressively accosted the pedestrian? How sober were the plainclothes cops after "debriefing" following serving a warrant on a drug dealer?

Civil suits have a lower burden of proof than criminal suits. If any of the cops were on trial on criminal charges, I almost certainly would have favored a not guilty verdict. But, in a civil case, this sounds reasonable.

A Working Class American said...

why does The Narrative exist, and what purposes does the Narrative and its components serve? Is this just a random thing?

Mr. Anon said...

"bytor said...

The rest of the Times article states that Champommier drove his car into a deputy that was detaining a friend of his."

Perhaps he didn't know that the guy detaining his friend was a deputy. Perhaps the deputy lied. Here is another case that could have gone bad - I guess these girls were lucky:

Girls arrested for buying water

I think Steve is being too lenient on the Sherrifs' Deputies who killed this kid. Cops in this country are clearly getting out of hand.



David Davenport said...

Steve, they're talkingabout in the comments section of the *Elysium* review at the UK Guardian:

Elysium

LabanTall
21 August 2013 11:38pm

Recommend
1
Steve Sailer has a couple of neat reviews of Elysium.

"Elysium, another science-fiction fable from young Boer refugee Neill Blomkamp about the horrors of mass immigration and nonwhite overpopulation, isn’t terribly amusing to watch. But at the meta level, the career of Blomkamp, whose mother dragged the family off from Johannesburg to Vancouver after a 17-year-old friend was shot dead by black carjackers, is one of the funnier pranks played on the American culturati’s hive mind in recent decades.

I’ve read over a hundred reviews of Blomkamp’s two movies, and virtually no critic has noticed that he does not share their worldview.
Not at all.
... Much like Blomkamp's District 9, an allegory inspired by Zimbabwean illegal immigration to Johannesburg, Elysium is another Malthusian tale about open borders, set in a dystopian 2154. By then, Los Angeles has been completely overrun by Mexicans, who have turned it into an endless, dusty slum that looks remarkably like urban Mexico today. (Blomkamp filmed for four months in Mexico City.)"

I guess a man sees what he wants to see, and disregards the rest. [ says Laban Tall]

Anonymous said...

Sailer should have been a detective. In a way, he is a journalistic detective of other journalists who play judges.

rightsaidfred said...

Police misbehave, taxpayers foot the bill.

It seems to me that the officers who caused this grief should pay some of the tab, or get some kind of reprimand.

Discard said...

Steve, why are patronizing Barnes and Noble? Are there no independent bookstores in the Valley any more?

Steve Sailer said...

Dutton's, the independent book store in the Valley owned by the family of the late philosopher Dennis Dutton, shut down a few years ago.

Dave Pinsen said...

"Police misbehave, taxpayers foot the bill.

It seems to me that the officers who caused this grief should pay some of the tab, or get some kind of reprimand."


Agreed. A modest proposal: if your actions lead to a 7-figure
judgment against or settlement by your city/state/agency/nation, whatever pension you would have been on track to collect gets slashed in half. Happens again and your pension goes to zero.

On addition to punishing cops who recklessly kill the innocent, this may give juries some pause in awarding claims for marginal cases, since a real person may pay a significant financial price.

Antioco Dascalon said...

"Wow, you white people just won't let it go when one of your own gets shot by the cops. If this had happened in the 'hood, it would have been forgotten by now."

Yes, if this had happened in the 'hood, like, say Fruitvale Station in Oakland, it would have been forgotten, right? Oh, wait, it was made into a Major Motion Picture you say? Oh, nevermind.

I won't be holding my breath for this to be made into a movie.

Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to see what happens with the Sammy Yatim case in Toronto. The cop has been charged for 2nd degree murder in a weird 9-shot killing on a streetcar. Sammy Yatim evidently had a knife in one hand and his schlong in the other on an empty streetcar when he was shot nine times.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't justify the shooting, but a missing detail that is never fully explained in the press is that the guy who was "looking in car windows" was probably there to meet the dead kid for a gay assignation that they had set up on the internet. Once you understand that little detail, the whole scenario makes more sense. Zach was probably still closeted and panicked at the thought of being outed.

The Social Pathologist said...

So many guns.....


.....so little brains.

Svigor said...

The shooter testified he screamed at the dead kid, "Why did you make me do that?"

Lol, maybe you should've taken a second or so to better assess the situation, shithead.

I think Steve is being too lenient on the Sherrifs' Deputies who killed this kid. Cops in this country are clearly getting out of hand.

Yeah, I think cops are getting a bit out of control. Especially if LAPD is any guide. Those guys are thugs with badges.

Police misbehave, taxpayers foot the bill.

That's exactly what I was thinking. I was also thinking, maybe, any gov't employees found responsible for actions that lead to settlements more than their annual salary, it should be mandatory that they be fired and blacklisted for life from gov't employment.

These people should be fired when they eff up that badly. The taxpayer should not be the only one to suffer for the incompetence and mistakes of these bumblers.

Of course, this would lead to more whining from tax parasites with messiah/bully complexes; they all seem to suffer from the delusion that they have to take the job they're complaining about.

Anonymous said...

http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/22/us/bradley-manning/index.html

Only in America.

Won't be much of a Manning anymore.

Cail Corishev said...

"I think Steve is being too lenient on the Sherrifs' Deputies who killed this kid. Cops in this country are clearly getting out of hand."

Agreed. Vox Day has been posting on this lately. The police, even in small towns where the crime blotter each week consists of car stereo thefts and a couple of domestic disturbances, have been greatly militarized. So they're walking or driving around with SWAT training and body armor and a variety of different weapons from pepper spray to tazers in addition to their guns, basically waiting for a chance to use it all. (And that chance must be likely, or we wouldn't have bought them all that stuff, right?) Cases like this aren't that unusual anymore.

Chicago said...

The cops should have been fired. In any other job an employee who miscalculates and destroys company property, causes a financial loss to the employer, or gets their employer sued, usually gets discharged. Why not in this case? They just may not be suited for that line of work.

Anonymous said...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/fareed-zakaria-social-immobility-erodes-american-dream/2013/08/14/c2fc6092-04fa-11e3-88d6-d5795fab4637_story.html

Anonymous said...

A deadly intersection of causes: the militarization of federal agencies and affirmative action putting dumb agents on the street with powerful weapons. And why do we need such ultraviolent law enfircement? Because of ultraviolent third world criminals.

Truth said...

". White people don't have anybody to stand up for them qua white people, but they are also pretty good at standing up for themselves."

That makes no sense whatsoever, Steve.

"I'm reminded of Troot's peculiar belief that he risked being beaten up for sleeping with a white woman."

When have I ever written that in 7 years on this blog?

No, a black man risks getting beaten up by whites if he is with an attractive ASIAN woman, I've written the story about me and my Japanese fiancé here before, but you don't seem to really give a shit about white women.

Truth said...


"Cause they dont particularly show as much interest when one of their own gets gunned down by other blacks, thus becoming another homicide statistic..."

Do Steve, or Stormfront, or Amren, or Caste Football, or any of your other bookmarked sites routinely cover white-on-white murder?

Truth said...

"I won't be holding my breath for this to be made into a movie."

Video equipment ain't expensive nowadays, Horatio Alger.

Power Child said...

"Wow, you white people just won't let it go when one of your own gets shot by the cops. If this had happened in the 'hood, it would have been forgotten by now."

Pretty sure he meant "forgotten by black people," in which case it's an accurate and astute, though troubling, observation.

What the Zimmerman trial made me realize is that black racial tribalism is certainly encouraged and pervasive, but it is pointed only in one direction: outwards. The primary purpose of black racial tribalism is to protect blacks from non-blacks (especially whites). This is unfortunate, since it has no bearing on how blacks treat each other, despite the efforts of various people/groups over the decades to change this. Even relatively successful efforts to turn black racial tribalism inwards, like the Million Man March, don't last, and immediately get reverted a short while later. (Most people today associate the MMM with blacks standing together against white oppression, when its intended purpose was for black men to stand up and take responsibility for their lives, families, and communities.)

I think it was John Derbyshire who recently pointed out that every group has their own mystical narrative of history. I can't remember if he also said--but it's observably the case--that each group also has its own Big Historical Grievance that they obsess over, and they structure much of their thought patterns around ritually and symbolically preventing the BHG's repetition.

Black people's BHG is American slavery and the de jure segregation that followed. Since black-on-black murder can't be (or at least, isn't) neatly tied to either of those, it mostly just gets ignored.

Paul Mendez said...

A modest proposal: if your actions lead to a 7-figure
judgment against or settlement by your city/state/agency/nation, whatever pension you would have been on track to collect gets slashed in half. Happens again and your pension goes to zero.


If you read any of the magazines aimed at cops, you quickly notice that losing one's pension is the Number One concern of police. Typical articles...

"How to Train with your Sidearm SO YOU DON'T FUCK UP AND LOSE YOUR PENSION."

"How to Reprimand Someone SO YOU DON'T FUCK UP AND LOSE YOUR PENSION"

"How to Pick a Backup Gun SO YOU DON'T FUCK UP AND LOSE YOUR PENSION"

"How to run a Confidential Information SO YOU DON'T FUCK UP AND LOSE YOUR PENSION"

"How to Fill out Timesheets SO YOU DON'T FUCK UP AND LOSE YOUR PENSION"

"Ten Ways NOT TO FUCK UP AND LOSE YOUR PENSION"

"Don't Make these Easy Mistakes AND FUCK UP AND LOSE YOUR PENSION"

Anonymous said...

http://theblemish.com/2012/05/jon-travolta-7-accusers/#utm_source=scribol.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=scribol.com

Hahaha.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, right, because an innocent unarmed black getting gunned down by cops is just completely ignored by the media, isn't it?

Has it ever happened?

Anonymous said...

http://dailycaller.com/2013/08/22/meet-the-privileged-obama-supporting-white-kids-who-perpetrated-cruel-oberlin-race-hoax/

The corruption of power, privilege, and moral narcissism.

Anonymous said...

http://dailycaller.com/2013/08/22/meet-the-privileged-obama-supporting-white-kids-who-perpetrated-cruel-oberlin-race-hoax/

To enjoy the privilege of fighting 'racism', it must exist, and if it doesn't exist on a Liberal PC campus, it must be invented. I mean we cannot deny these kids the RIGHT to fight 'racism'.

It's like if there are no more game to hunt, set up fake animal targets to maintain the charade.

Bleier Jewish?

Anonymous said...

http://dailycaller.com/2013/08/22/meet-the-privileged-obama-supporting-white-kids-who-perpetrated-cruel-oberlin-race-hoax/

The recent BUTLER movie invents entire incidents and events that never took place just to push the agenda, yet it pretends to be 'based on a true story'.

It seems a similarly 'creative' mentality hovers over American Liberalism.
Even if what the Oberlin kid pulled was a hoax, it could be construed to be 'based on a true story' since there just might be some 'racists' around Oberlin campus and Ohio. So, even if this particular case was fake, gee, maybe it's 'based on reality'.
And since lies were used to push the Rosa Parks story(the white man who asked for her seat was in on the game) but they led to real reforms, the idea among Liberals is that ends justify the means. The 'higher' truth or consciousness is more important than facts of the case, which explains the crazy narrative about Zimmerman, the 'white hispanic' killing the Emmitt Till clone.

But then conservatives were hardly better under Bush. The whole WMD scare was a giant hate hoax perpetrated by Bush II, Cheney, Powell, Neocons, the liberal Zionist media, and etc. to accuse and invade Iraq.
The elites in the US created the fiction that Hussein had giant stockpiles of WMD and had plans to share them with terrorists.

And similar hate hoaxes are now being perpetrated against Iran, a nation with no nukes, and even if it were to get nukes, it would purely for defensive purposes since US invaded two neighboring nations and since Israel has 300 nukes and the most powerful military in the region(and has attacked other nations). Also, the Iranian president never said he plans to wipe Israel off the map, but so many people in the media--especially vile mainstream conservatives sucking up to neocons--perpetrated this hate hoax to call for yet another war in the Middle East.

Anonymous said...

From hat tricks to hate tricks.

Anonymous said...

hatrix

Anonymous said...

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57599302/3-okla-teens-charged-in-thrill-kill-of-aussie-baseball-player/

This story is getting some national attention. Is it because one of the accused is a white kid? (To be sure, the white kid was just an accessory and snitched on the other two.)

Is it because even the Liberal media is alarmed by Sharpton and Oprah and others going too far with the Trayvon thing, even for their own tastes?
Is it because of end of stop-and-frisk and the complacent notion that the crime problem is under wraps? Is the media pulling a Willie Horton trick?

Is it useful as an anti-gun thing since the victim was shot for the hell of it?

Anonymous said...

I won't even give the DEA or BATF the dignity of being called police or even cops. Gestapo is more like it.

Anonymous said...

http://dailycaller.com/2013/08/22/meet-the-privileged-obama-supporting-white-kids-who-perpetrated-cruel-oberlin-race-hoax/

Jewish white kids by the looks of it.

JeremiahJohnbalaya said...

And since lies were used to push the Rosa Parks story(the white man who asked for her seat was in on the game)

I can not find any evidence that this is true. The poster may be thinking of Homer Plessy who was recruited to the task.

Anonymous said...

"..teen slain by DEA agents.."

ONE MORE VICTIM of America's tragic and senseless "war on drugs". The DEA and the drug cartels are the last people on earth to want to see America adopt a sensible and realistic policy on drugs, like allowing citizens to decide for themselves to use drugs or not.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

It doesn't justify the shooting, but a missing detail that is never fully explained in the press is that the guy who was "looking in car windows" was probably there to meet the dead kid for a gay assignation that they had set up on the internet. Once you understand that little detail, the whole scenario makes more sense. Zach was probably still closeted and panicked at the thought of being outed.


What does that have to do with Zac being shot? This was a public parking lot and any one of us could have been parking there, noticed some guy being attacked by men who were dressed as thugs, and decide to skedaddle. These officers should have shown some restraint and realize that perhaps the driver didn't know they were cops (again, no marked car cops parked there, no jackets identifying these officers as "DEA" or "LA County Sheriffs." They showed utter poor judgement and a young man is dead. And it's amazing that the judge wouldn't question the fact that the mother wasn't notified immediately about her son (smacks of cover up as they undoubtedly ran his name through all the crime databases and realized they killed a squeaky clean teenager).
In addition, Baca's office wouldn't realize the reports to the mother, even though she had ever right to see them. Moreover, the information realized to the media right away was that they had killed a drug suspect.
I would consider all this obstruction of justice, malice, as well as murder.

Anonymous said...

What does that have to do with Zac being shot?

Zac skedaddled out of there so fast that he ended up with a cop on the hood of his car. I've been in situations where I've wandered upon some funky stuff going down and yet I haven't run anyone over. Chances are the scene you have come upon is a "private dispute" and your best bet is to lay low and not attract attention to yourself by peeling out like a bat out of hell.

Although the other guy had a criminal record involving soliciting underage boys, Zac was of (barely) full age and what he did in parking lots with strange men is apparently nobody's business in modern America. But it does explain his extraordinary rush to leave. Which is not to say that it justified the police shooting him.

Anonymous said...

"If you read any of the magazines aimed at cops, you quickly notice that losing one's pension is the Number One concern of police."

This is largely true but partly because it's more or less impossible to actually do any good in the PC gulag.

NOTA said...

Working Class American

I don't have a complete answer, but there's part of it that is easy to understand. There is some pattern that stories on some topic tend to follow--established by previous stories, related stories, etc. Writing that story again, fitting new facts into the right slots (sometimes with great effort) is commonplace. Nobody will yell at you, shun you, fire you, etc., for saying the same stuff everone else always says about topic X. whether that's black urban crime or global warming or John McCain.

Straying from that narrative is harder work--you have to think harder. You may get pushback from the editor, who expects to see the usual pattern of story here. You may get yelled at or shunned if your story offends people and it's not in The Narrative. In The Narrative, everyone is used to seeing stories like this, so there will be little pushback even if they're every bit as offensive.

My guess is that this explains a fair bit of the way journalism works, and that as jobs have gotten less stable and media companies have gotten poorer and shakier, the pressure to conform to the narrative has increased.

department11 said...

Do Steve, or Stormfront, or Amren, or Caste Football, or any of your other bookmarked sites routinely cover white-on-white murder?

They would if it were routine, but it isn't. Of the 100 or so episodes of The First 48 I've seen, I can remember only three white killers.

Anonymous said...

Even if what the Oberlin kid pulled was a hoax

One outcome is they will decide it was not hoax, that he really meant all that stuff and campaigning for Obama was the fake element - merely his cover for his evil racism.

He might cry and complain but it suits the narrative better - he will be cast out by the People Who Matter, sacrificed to maintain the narrative.

Truth said...

"They would if it were routine,"

It is routine. 81% of whites murdered are murdered by whites.

Svigor said...

"White people don't have anybody to stand up for them qua white people, but they are also pretty good at standing up for themselves."

That makes no sense whatsoever, Steve.


Time to break out the crayons, Steve.

Video equipment ain't expensive nowadays, Horatio Alger.

Your posts just get more and more useful by the day.

Power Child, black tribalism is a sham. Blacks are, if anything, less tribalistic by nature than whites or yellows. Less collectivist, more individualistic. They're only tribalistic when it's in their personal interests.

as jobs have gotten less stable and media companies have gotten poorer and shakier, the pressure to conform to the narrative has increased.

Interesting. That had never occurred to me, but it's entirely plausible.

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