" ... The black Jeep Commander Carnaby was driving is registered to the National Security Command Center. ... "
A cautionary tale for our times: The Houson press reports that Carnaby made two cell phone calls - one to the FBI and the other to the internal affairs division of the HPD - while hurtling along at 120 MILES AN HOUR. Imagine that: cars screeching and swerving around you, white-knuckle turns, heart-stopping obstacle course maneuvers with one split-second miscalculation ending in certain death ... and he pulls out his digital phone, makes a couple of calls. Some people will use a cell phone under any conditions. When he was forced to come to a stop, he again reached for his cell phone. Carnaby couldn't leave that thing alone. And It finally killed him. Amen. - AC
HPD Defends Officers Involved in Fatal Chase
09 May 2008
FOX 26 News
Other stories filed at the Fox 26 site:
Chase Suspect's Family Sues HPD
Former FBI Agent: I Knew Chase Suspect By Different Name
Chase Death of Possible CIA Agent Ruled Homicide
Investigators Sorting Fact from Fiction in Fatal Chase
Police Kill Possible CIA Agent After Bizarre Car Chase
Weapons Found in Car Chase Suspect's Vehicle
Houston Police Department officials said the officers who fatally shot a mystery man may have been overcome by what happened during the citywide car chase.
Houston Police Department Assistant Police Chief Michael said at a Friday press conference that the officers who fatally shot 52-year-old Roland Carnaby April 29 have been checked out by psychologists and are back on duty.
"The officers are traumatic also, so those officers at the scene may not have been in a position emotionally to address that issue," Dirden said.
Carnaby was pulled over April 29 for speeding and then led police on a chase when the officer discovered he possessed a concealed weapon license. Officials found two handguns and a shotgun in his vehicle, including one they say was within his reach.
Federal credentials also were found in his vehicle, although detectives said Friday that both the CIA and the FBI continue to vehemently deny his employment with the agencies.
The officers said they shot Carnaby because they thought he may have been reaching for a gun when he made a sudden movement. Detectives later determined Carnaby was reaching for his cell phone.
Detectives said Carnaby was shot in the torso and remained handcuffed until emergency personnel arrived at the scene to transport him to a hospital, but he died on the way.
After his death was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner's officials, his family filed a lawsuit against Houston Police Department, alleging officers escalated the matter and didn't provide him immediate medical attention.
"The concept that seven or eight officers who arrest people on a daily basis, carry guns and have 20 years of experience are so traumatized by shooting someone...that they can't give aid is, frankly, ridiculous," Carnaby's family attorney Randall Kallinen said.
It is the police department's policy to render medical aid for wounded persons, but officials said Friday officers are not trained to treat gunshot wounds.
"One of the reasons why they do this job is that they want to help...," Dirden said. "So it's not like they shoot somebody and say, 'OK, we're gonna let him lay there and die.'"
But Kallinen said he doesn't buy the department's story.
"If that is so, the Houston Police Department is lacking... because police officers often run into many individuals who are injured or shot and they should at least be knowledgeable in first aid training," he said.
Officials also said it is the officer's first priority is their safety.
"You instantly cuff the suspect and then search him to make sure there's no weapons on them...," Houston Police Department Assistant Chief Brian Lumpkin said. "And then at that point it's up to the officer's discretion if you're going to unhandcuff 'em."
Houston police also said the two handguns found in Carnaby's vehicle were traced to a local gun shop, where he purchased them. HPD still has not tracked down the origin of the shotgun found in his sport utility vehicle.