LAS VEGAS, NEVADA — A recent welfare check took a bad turn after management raised concerns about a particular tenant. When officers entered the apartment, they spotted a man with something behind his back.
That man was Spurgeon Daniels. According to Las Vegas Review-Journal, officers responded to a call at Kensington Suites apartment complex, around 12:30 p.m., on W. Bonanza Road.
The source reports that Daniels made vague threats to harm himself and others — also he was allegedly running around the complex naked that day and had flooded his apartment, according to the apartment’s security guard. The flooding also affected tenants below Daniels’ unit.
However, as time went on, apartment authorities thought something bad possibly happened to Daniels because, after various attempts, the man wouldn’t answer the door. So, at 12:55 p.m., police entered his apartment, finding water everywhere.
Across the room, Daniels stood facing the door with his right hand behind his back. Officers issued several commands for the man to show his hands. But instead, he started walking toward the officers while arguing — hand still behind his back.
Twice, officers deployed their tasers. One stun gun malfunctioned, according to the Review-Journal. So, the sergeant on-scene handed Dave Stockton — the shooting officer — his taser. Stockton deployed it, but it had little effect.
According to the source, it’s possibly because officers were too close to Daniels at the time of deployment.
Nevertheless, Daniels then began swinging what was in his hand — a knife. Actually, he cut one of the officers as well.
That’s when officers backed out of the apartment unit and onto the landing. Again, they ordered the man to drop the knife. Stockton deployed the taser again. That’s when Daniels took charge toward him with the weapon.
Resultingly, the officer shot him twice.
WARNING: The following video contains graphic footage. Viewer discretion is advised.
The source says Daniels was taken to University Medical Center, where he later died.
According to Clark County Assistant Sheriff Tim Kelly, Daniels’ shooting was the third officer-involved shooting by the Metropolitan Police Department in a 48-hour span.
“In my 28-plus years here, I don’t recall us having this many (officer-involved shootings) in such a short period of time. It’s unfortunate, but when you have individuals out there that are trying to cause harm, as a police agency it’s our job to take action to mitigate that threat.”
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that, if Daniels had survived the encounter, he would’ve been charged with:
- battery with a deadly weapon
- and assault with a deadly weapon on a protected person.
In essence, people didn’t exactly know the story behind the man’s shooting. Although several officer-involved shootings have ended with a blatant show of excessive force and trigger-happiness, is that really the case here?
Many commentators say the officers should’ve simply left the man alone, because he was constantly telling them to get out of his place.
Anita Williams states:
“Listen I don’t care how many times he was told to drop the knife! How many times did he tell they a**es to leave his place during a wellness check? They had no right to just shoot him he could have easily been detained especially with 7-8 cops standing around🙄If this was any other race they would have found another way!! Who tf gone check me?”
However, after knowing why they were called to the location — seeing as how Daniels could’ve been a danger to others at the complex — they chose not to leave.
But did they have to shoot him? According to Sharon Remo, no; they didn’t have to shoot.
“How is it that mental health workers in mental health facilities can subdue mentally ill patients regularly without excessive force, tasers, or guns, but cops can’t?” Sharon asks. “They should be just as able to take down a distressed individual without the use of violence, especially when there are that many of them.”
What are your thoughts on the story? Do you think officers were right in their decisions, or could they have found a better way to handle the situation? If you have any comments, feel free to share them via our Facebook page.
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