Friday 12 December 2008

The murder of Tyler Cassidy

You have to wonder how bloody stupid and totally incompetent the Victorian police are when they shoot to kill first, and ask questions after. Of all trained professionals in the community, you expect that the Police have under-gone hundreds of hours of specialist negotiation training.

Tyler Cassidy only had a kitchen knife in his possession, and he 'threatened to kill' the two female and another male constable. Police Commissioner Cartwright said the officers had been "trained to fire at the central body mass rather than shoot to wound." Local residents heard up to six shots being fired by the police.

The incident haunts of the trigger-happy UK police hunting for London bombers who killed a Brazilian man without asking any questions. In a report released today, the family said slammed an inquest into his death was a whitewash.

So an young upset and angry teenager shouts out threats? What's dramatic about that? If we fired at every teenager who flipped out, we may as well be downtown Bronx.

15 year old Tyler was shot dead by three police officers, within minutes of arriving at the skate park in Melbourne around 9.25pm on Thursday night. Tyler's MySpace profile has rants like lots of teenagers that express extremes in interests. It's too easy to draw conclusions from such postings, like the media were quick to jump on the Columbine High School killers for similar online raves. However, that's all too easy.

"Hmmmmm well my names Tyler," he writes. "im aussie i love Austrlia more then eneythink and 2nd to that i love bundy (good stuff) ehhh cbf doin this now. Who I'd like to meet:every one."

Here's a statement released by Tyler's family this afternoon...

  • The entire family and friends of Tyler Cassidy are appalled at the actions by the Victoria Police last night. Their heavy-handedness, and lack of negotiating skills at the scene of the shooting, contributed to the untimely death of our beautiful 15 year old. He was in the prime of his life, had just started a new school, and was coping really well. He was a popular student with high expectations and a good network of friends.

    The Northcote police were notified 30 minutes prior to the killing and briefed completely on what had happened including what he was wearing and to look out for Tyler.

    The four officers concerned acted unacceptably by killing Tyler last night. He had a very gentle side, striving to grow from a boy into a young man and would have been completely overwhelmed by the situation.

    The police according to our witnesses chased him, cornered him at the skate park in Northcote, he was surrounded and gunned down by four officers firing at least six or seven shots.

    Our eyewitness confirmed that Tyler patted her dog, was confronted by the police and sprayed with capsicum foam, then pursued to the skate park, surrounded and hunted down.

    We look forward to a serious and thorough investigation and inquest into why Tyler was killed and to the serious nature of the attending officers' actions.

    It should have been dealt with differently and more compassionately, but tragically resulted in Tyler's death that should have been avoided.

    "I promise you my darling, I will fight for you as you were taken from me under the most horrific circumstances.

    "Why was he slayed to death when it was so unnecessary. Four officers were not capable of managing the situation.

    "Now you have passed over I will speak for you and others like you," Shani, Tyler's mother

    This is a released statement on behalf of his loving family and friends. He died alone without his family at his side, gasping his last breath, he was only a scared little boy... Rest in Peace.


Anonymous said...

not one kitchen kinfe but two large meat cleavers!!!!!!
Anyways I'm sure Tyler would've grown to be a boon to society - Not.

Anonymous said...

We're used to your bleeding heart mentality, Mr. Moore. But you've really gotten all twisted up on this one, mate.

See them guns we give police? They're not props, their defense. Attack police with deadly force and I guarantee that in EVERY STATE , you'll get gunned down. And that's what the public demands!

The statement released by the family isn't a "report". It's their version of the facts, nothing more.

All his mama's crying and Myspace pages are irrelevant. The only thing that matters is what happened at the incident, and did the police feel endangered. Since more than one cop fired, clearly the line for a "legitimate shooting" was crossed by the kid.

15 and his favourite drink is alcoholic? Where were his "loving family and friends"? Laid out at home drunk, I'd bet. We'll like find that Tyler was either high/drunk/stoned and/or mentally ill. A financial burden on society.

Comparisons to Columbine are a strawman and ignored.

I for one wish the coppers would gun down more of these wackjobs. However the police who shot this kid are victims, too - despite you're ranting, most police are emotionally damaged from having to drop the hammer on anyone.

Anonymous said...

I am sure the boy's mother would be in deep denial as her son has paid the ultimate price for her parenting skills.

I wonder what the outcome would have been if he had cornered a minority group person (that he obviously hated judging by his white supremist my space rantings) instead of a policeman??

As much as I hate the idea it does push the case that police should be trained and issued with tasers.

Anonymous said...

Kid with Attitude commits suicide by cop in a sk8 park! The "grieving" family will get a big compo payout. A film will be made revealing the "true story". You can't make this stuff up.

Anonymous said...

This kind of "reporting" by Michael Moore is the exact reason blogging will not replace real news organisations.

Opinion, innuendo, and precious few real facts are easily contradicted by what actually happened.

No one wants to see a kid gunned down. But no one wants to see the police harmed by a mentally ill jerk, either.

Anonymous said...

So gunning down any out of control teenager is THE answer to correcting or stoppping their behaviour?

I think not.

justfedup said...

The police are supposedly trained to shoot accurately. Ask yourselves how three police officers could shoot to kill, rather to disable this young man. What else is there to understand? There are no other circumstances to consider. He was murdered by trigger happy, officers who should not be in this profession. Why? We can't trust them. The victim was 15 - and no matter what his background, these police officers murdered him. The last I knew, a democracy incorporated concepts about people being innocent until proven guilty; a decent society means giving people a chance to right themselves if they commit wrong. I am appalled at the murderous acts of these Victorian police officers. And more, the cover-up so apparent already. We should not tolerate this. And if we do, then we, too, are guilty of murder. Magie

Anonymous said...

Yo Justfedup---

These police DID shoot accurately. They dropped the moron in his tracks, protecting themselves from the advances of a dangerously armed known white supremacist.

If these cops were "trigger happy", they wouldn't have used pepper spray on him first. They wouldn't have fired a warning shot, in violation of policy policy. Sure it might have been nice if they had a dog, or some other non-lethal way to take this kid down. They didn't, and the kid was clearly dangerous.

Murder? Sure. Legal? Absolutely! I'm glad these cops were protecting the innocent public - THEIR JOB.

Anonymous said...

Oh, boo-hoo. My heart bleeds.

1. Idiot arms himself at home, but is disarmed by his mother.
2. Idiot goes to shops, steals two knives from K-Mart, and threatens shoppers and staff.
3. 4 police arrive (the police had already been notified).
4. Idiot is sprayed with capsicum spray, twice, and repeatedly told to drop the knives. He continues to advance. He says "Kill me, I'm going to kill you".
5. Idiot is shot.

All of the above is on the public record. Good on the police for doing a good job in difficult circumstances.

Here's a simple fact. If you go about with knives threatening to stab people, the police turn up, and you advance on them and won't drop the knife, guess what? You're going to get shot. This is a GOOD THING.

This scenario turned out well. The offender was shot dead; no-one else was hurt. That's one less violent dangerous idiot on the streets.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't sound like there is a "mother" amongst those commenting above. We are talking about a 15 year old adolescent here, on the anniversary of the death of his father. There, but for the Grace of God it could have been any of our sons.

Anonymous said...

good riddance to bad rubbish - why bring a knife to a gun fight?sooner he is 6 foot under the better.hope police execute more druggy fools like him in the future!This boy is NOT a saint or a superhero...

Unknown said...

I with pretty well every other poster.

I cant not see how 3 officers felt the need to open fire on this kid. I would like to know where the officers were aiming when they shot.

Surely a simple shot to the knee cap or something could have been a better choice

Anonymous said...

I think it's an insurance thing Mark. If they are still alive and permanently maimed they can sue you.
Quite honestly, if some person totally off their face was running at me with two nasty looking knives and murderous intent in their eyes I don't think I would be steadying myself for a trick TV cop show shot either.

Anonymous said...

The first point is this is not Port Arthur, & not Martin Bryant.
From what I read, I think a very young, dissafected young man whose father had died year ago, & was badly needing mentoring from an older male, was killed by police who are not properly trained to deal with this sort of situation.
The kid - Tyler Cassidy - was in fact brandishing knives. He had started to get attracted to a white supremacist organisation, probably as a a result of feeling disempowered from the larger, broader, monied society. He was obviously a kid from a welfare background, which has it's own issues.
However, he was only 15 - & who hasn't done dumb stuff at that age?
From "The Australian" (Dec 13-14, page 3):
"The stock police answer is that they are trained to hit a person's body, not their arms and legs.... "Our training has always been that way and that's consistent with training across the world", said [Victorian] Assistant Commissioner Tim Cartwright."
I don't think it would be rocket science for any police force to train their officers to also shoot for the legs & arms, rather than simply go for the body, which will cause a lot more damage to vital organs. I think this is important for all of us, in whichever State.
Capsicum spray, which was used in this case, is incredibly disabling if sprayed in to the eyes. This apparently was used as a first port of call, but perhaps police were not able to get close enough to the boy.
Why then not have a big net to bring the boy down? Yes, literally, a net. There were four police officers on the scene. Bring him down, & then start talking, gently & calmly. Not just shoot to kill.
I am definitely not Bleeding Heart & in some ways I can understand some of the 'good riddance to bad rubbish' comments above - but hey, Albert Einstein was written off by his teachers as stupid when he was 14. Think....
But it is SO sad - a young life already engulfed in some weirdo white-supremacist organisation; then a likewise bunch of his mates, which the situation will probably reinforce; then the horror & guilt of the policepersons who shot him; then hopefully the guilt of the police training arm who train only to shoot in the trunk. Then we have society - money - no-money - loss of father - grief - no mentoring - welfare society - on it goes.
None of this is rocket science. It has existed for long-time. Akin to the aboriginal situation in communities.
I think it's time we all had a good cry at the fact that a young, impressionable 15-y-o is now dead. I for one, am incredibly sad.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on this Lillian

Anonymous said...

What's to be "with" Lillian about? Her lack of facts?

Father died SIX years ago, not last year
Mother had NEW partner, why wasn't he mentoring?
Police were perfectly trained -that shot to kill a wackjob
He wasn't from a "welfare background" but from a very wealthy neighbourhood
Obviously there is no 'training" to hit someone in the hand. If they are endangering a life, it is legal and moral to kill them. You can't kill 'em by hitting 'em in the hand.
People hopped up on drugs are immune to the effects of pepper spray

Then out of the blue, "Lillian" injects aboriginals into her diatribe.

Get some facts before shooting your mouth off, "Lillian". That goes double for you, Mr. Blogmaster.

Anonymous said...

Hey Just the Facts - a 15 year old kid is dead and I find that fact incredibly sad.

Anonymous said...

Some of the comments shock and sadden me. We are talking about a 15 year old boy, a child who was obviously disturbed and very mixed up. It happens even in the best of loving and supportive families. We are all, in different ways, influenced or affected by personal experiences or events. We don’t always know what goes on in young people’s minds as many, many grieving parents will attest to following the suicide of their child. The ‘why’ can sometimes never be answered.

You don’t have to be a bleeding heart to realise that there has to be a better way to deal with situations such as this terrible one. Death is forever.

Anonymous said...

I am a mother, a teacher. This boy probably didn't deserve the outcome that came his way but unfortunately he is typical of many young, cocky, over-stimulated, disillusioned and poorly parented children. Look at any young person with attitude and behaviour problems and in most cases you will find a history of problems stemming from problems at home with lack of parental guidance and discipline which is directly related the push in modern society to take away the rights of the older generations to enforce reasonable expectations. I do not advocate bringing back the cane in schools or turning a blind eye to over zealous parental 'punishment'. But, for heaven's sake, if a child is even slightly inclined to bend the rules or overstep the boundaries of what is acceptable behaviour there is little now that teachers, or even parents now can do. There are too many people out there who haven't stepped foot within a school ground for 20 or 30 years and do not appreciate how many out of control monsters there are in the education system, or walking our streets unsupervised at all hours of the day and night and a good proportion of them are from well-off, perfectly normal middle class backgrounds. Don't judge a story from a few facts edited by the media. Go spend a few days at a local school, you'll get the picture. The police were just doing their job, they did what they were trained to do. This unfortunate killing may be a good precautionary tale to a lot of young people out there.

Anonymous said...

There are literally millions of 15 year old boys who do not go stealing knives from KMart and brandishing them about. Why, because they are not mentally ill. Clearly this kid had problems, its sad that no one seemed to be able to get this kid help. His friends say they knew but didn't do anything, his mum was worried about him, no comment as to what his teachers had observed, nor the neighbourhood etc. Society let this kid die, police could have dealt with it alot better but simply don’t know how to deal with the mentally ill, particularly teenagers that are mentally ill.

Anonymous said...

Jude Johnston said...

"Doesn't sound like there is a "mother" amongst those commenting above. We are talking about a 15 year old adolescent here, on the anniversary of the death of his father. There, but for the Grace of God it could have been any of our sons."

Rubbish. I have 2 children. This uppity 'only someone who has a child can understand, and everyone who has a child would agree with me' attitude is self-righteous and wrong. Ever stopped to think that it's most likely that at least one of the police who shot the kid had children? I thought not.

As for "there, but for the Grace of God, it could have been any of our sons"... so what? If this happened to one of my kids, I'd be shattered, but the first question I'd be asking was "why was he threatening people with knives"? If the answer was mental illness, I'd be looking at why the illness wasn't identified and treated. It's quite possible that he was just a 'bad egg'; some people seem to be just wired wrongly, in which case he'd probably have come to a bad end anyway, possibly taking others with him. The main other likely cause is BAD PARENTING.

Just because it's sad and tragic, it doesn't mean that the police did the wrong thing. It would have been MORE sad and tragic if the police had hung back and the deranged fool (yes, 15 year-olds can be deranged fools, even if it ends up getting them shot) had stabbed someone else who actually was innocent.

Remember, no matter how sad it is that this happened, he was brandishing knives and threatening people. At that time, his past is irrelevant, his age is irrelevant, and his family is irrelevant; he'd become a clear and present danger, and he forced the police into shooting him through his own actions.

The cops shot a knife wielding maniac. The fact that said maniac was a child loved by others makes no difference. This kid was NOT, I repeat, NOT a victim. He was the bad guy, pure and simple. If this twirp was directly threatening you or your family, and the police were nearby and didn't shoot given the opportunity, you'd be the first to scream.

Anonymous said...

I do not want to see Police with Tazers. Some of the police are great for our community unfortunately some of those police officers are arrogant, rough and mean once stepped into that uniform. Sure youth are difficult sometimes in very scary adult ways. Do the police have humility ? Check out some of the female officers - on a day off talking to their family about some of their lowly clients. Smart, commanding gave me orders huh ! his embarrassed colleague and I looked at each other - blank for words. I was approached by an officer on a bicycle meanceful because I left my car on with aircon for my dog when I ducked into a shop. Relook at your Code of Ego and Code of Conduct, learn to shoot to maime on occasion honestly if I were out there like some soldiers in war I would be one of the percentage shooting to maime. I would not like to see a child emotional and out of control dead after a family dispute I would like to see him at least alive referred to assistance.

Anonymous said...

"The first point is this is not Port Arthur, & not Martin Bryant" wrote Lillian at Yorkeys.

Very true Lilian. In this case, there will be a coronial inquiry or inquest.

Anonymous said...

It seems the police acted appropriately, attempting non-lethal means (capsicum spray and warning shot) before shooting the kid when he became too much of a threat. The reason police shoot at the body and not the legs is that it's an easier shot (larger and more still area), and hence safer for the police that are under direct threat, as they were in this situation. If you shoot for a harder target and miss, the attacker will be on you.

The incident should have been headed off much earlier, with the kid getting suitable professional mental health treatment. Faced with anyone, even a 15-year-old, bearing down on them with meat cleavers while shouting that he was going to kill them, it doesn't sound like the cops had much choice.

Anonymous said...

Captain Reality - methinks you were standing behind the door when compassion was handed out.
You would be more than "shattered" if it had been one of your children. I have not had to face the nightmare of losing a child, but I have been close to some who have. Trust me Captain Reality you would never recover from it. Uppity and Self Righteous hmmm don't think thats me.Good Parenting - well that is subjective isn't it. What makes a good parent. I am thankful that our 3 kids grew into successful adults, but I give the credit for that to Grandparents who loved them, their friends, their teachers who all had a positive input. In the end Captain Reality, I guess it is those of us who have seen those we love die young, through illness, car crashes and other horrific accidents, maybe, just maybe it gives us a different outlook on life. I hope you hug your kids and tell them how proud you are of them. Have a Merry Chrismas and Happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

Disappointing that the kid is dead, but when police are confronted with someone wielding knives and refuses to drop them when ordered to by said officers; there is only going to be one outcome and it isn't good...

At what point do officers get the right to defend themselves? After one, maybe two of them are lying on the ground bleeding to death?

These people put their life on the line daily; I for one support them, it's about time that society started to teach kids the basics again about doing as they are told like the majority of us learned years ago, and we didn't turn out too bad.

bourkie said...

bourkie- good job to the police officers. The police officers who approached Tyler Cassidy did everything they reasonably could to disarm him without using lethal force. The police officers repeatedly asked Tyler to put down his weapons. After he failed to listen the officers twice sprayed him with capsicum spray hoping they would then be able to safely disarm them. Tyler was not however affected by the spray. One of the officers even went to the extent of firing a shot into the ground to warn Tyler Cassidy that if he did not surrender his weapons he would be shot. Tyler Cassidy failed to respond to this warning and did not put down his weapons. One of the Police Officers continued to back away as he backed into a stair way trying to calm the situation. Tyler continued to move at the officer carrying the two knives saying “kill me or I’m going to kill you”. The officer hit a stairway where they could not back off any further and as Tyler became closer 3 of the 4 police officers opened fire killing Tyler Cassidy still with the two knives in his hands. This confirms that the 4 Police Officers did everything they could with the resources they had at their disposal to avoid having to shoot Tyler Cassidy. They ultimately had no choice. Assistant Commissioner Tim Cartwright told reporters “This happens in a matter of seconds. You've got police who are backing off. You've got a young man extremely agitated with two knives. Three of them obviously saw the need to fire on him”.
What other reasonable action possible in the time slot of seconds is there that the Police Officers could have done?

Just imagine the vision of a teenage adolescent screaming kill me or I’m going to kill you, walking towards the police with two large kitchen cleavers in both his hands after ignoring repeated warnings to put down your weapons or else they will fire. He keeps getting closer and closer until one of you police officers is in close range distance with the adolescent still advancing screaming “kill me or I’m going to kill you” with the two large kitchen knives in his hands. Anyone in this situation at the time would feel that it is a life threatening situation. If that isn’t a life threatening situation, then I don’t know what is.

well done to the cops! and its dissapointed that so many of the public are accusing the police of not acting appropriately yet if it was them in danger they would have done the same thing! DISGRACEFUL!

jude johnson= clueless

Unknown said...

Tyler Cassidy, was either a very mentally disturbed person, or was just a bad person in general.
For all of these people out there who say it isnt his fault, its to do with enviroment or the parents, you are wrong. It is only a slim percentage of that person that is controlled by those variables that i mentioned. It was his own fault! he choose to steal kitchen Knives for K-mart, he choose to aproach police with the weapons, he choose to ignore warnings. It was his fault.

The police in this instance only had 75 seconds to react, this is not a great deal of time to be able to say. they should have waited for backup, they should have employed a net, the should have aimed for his arms. Sure mate these things would be great... if you had the time. The police did what ever was nessesary to stop the boy from harming them or anyone else, then or in the future.

i think the family are stupid for not being able to see this in there own child, they are supposed to be the ones who no him best, and if they cant see that something like that was coming, they are ignorant and have no right to have a child.

all of the "bleeding hearts" out there, there is absouloutly no reason to feel sorry for this kid, he got what he deserved. You need to stop placing your self in the parents shoes and place yourself in the polices shoes, what would you have changed in 75 seconds of reaction time, it was kill or be killed nothing else.

Good on you Police you are serving your country and you serving the community. Keep it up and Dont change.

Thanks, by a future police officer

Cav said...

What a joke the Victorian Police department is! I thought the stupid L.A. Cops beating the shit out of Rodney King was bad enough but this has got to take the cake!
To the public who actually think the cops have done their job in killing this boy, well karma will sort you out. Makes me wonder if these people are actually human beings or programmed robots that conform whatever a man in a blue uniform controls! I think you robots need a re-wire of your resistor panels, you have a glitch in your system.