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Old 09-05-2003, 11:54 PM   #1
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Default every one should know this

Taken From "The Sun"
http://www.canoe.ca/EdmontonNews/es.es-09-05-0003.html



NEWS Friday, September 5, 2003


Quote:
Acquitted
Brander off hook for all charges resulting from deadly crash with cop car

By TONY BLAIS, COURT BUREAU


Const. Ken Brander was acquitted of all charges yesterday from a horrific police-chase crash on Yellowhead Trail which killed one boy and severely burned his brother.

But in the decision made before a packed courtroom, the judge found Brander was negligent for failing to activate the emergency equipment on his unmarked cruiser just before the deadly June 2, 2001, collision, which could be significant in the upcoming civil trial.

"Const. Brander made an error in judgment," said Court of Queen'* Bench Justice Scott Brooker.

"However, I am not convinced that such a departure, can be described as a marked departure such as is required by the law in order to elevate Const. Brander'* negligent driving to the level of the crime of dangerous driving."

Brander, 35, showed no emotion as Brooker pronounced him not guilty of one count of criminal negligence causing death and three counts of criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

He then glanced over at his wife, a fellow police officer, who was sitting nearby and slightly teary.

The 12-year veteran smiled as he shook his lawyer'* hand and then huddled with his wife in a corner of the courtroom while family and other cops congratulated him.

But the anguished family of the two boys quickly left court. Their mother, who was also injured in the collision, sobbed in the elevator to the ground floor.

Brooker called it a "tragic and devastating" accident and told the family "their loss is not forgotten" by the court.

"However, their losses and the determination of legal responsibility for them are properly the subject of the civil proceedings, which have been commenced," he said.

During the trial, court heard Brander'* speeding unmarked Crown Victoria slammed into a 1991 Ford Tempo at the intersection of Yellowhead Trail and 121 Street during a pursuit of two racing and stunting cars.

Faulty or non-existent welds on the frame of the Tempo caused it to split in two, which resulted in the gas tank rupturing and setting the car and the boys ablaze.

Seven-year-old Giovanni Aleman was thrown from the Tempo. He died four days later. His then-six-year-old brother Jonathan Aleman was severely burned and had his left arm and fingers on his right hand amputated.

Court has heard Brander'* eastbound cruiser did not have its siren or emergency lights on and hit the Tempo, driven by Carlos Ramirez, as it turned left on 121 Street.

Outside court, civil lawyer Melanie Watson, who represents Jonathan, his mother Gloria Ramirez and Giovanni'* estate, said the family is distraught and overwhelmed.

"They are disappointed, but they have their religion and they are hoping that that will get them through this," said Watson, adding Jonathan, now eight, is back in school.

"He'* doing remarkably well for a little boy with virtually no hands and a very badly burned face," she said.

"He needs somebody to be with him 24-7. He needs somebody to feed him and somebody to look after him. He doesn't have hands as we do and it'* hard for him to eat and look after himself. He misses his brother a lot."

Defence lawyer Alex Pringle said the decision is a "good result" and the case is now more properly in the civil arena.

"I know it'* a very unfortunate situation and everybody involved has lost a lot of sleep thinking about what happened that day," said Pringle. "In my view it was clearly not a criminal case and the proper verdict was rendered."

Brander left court without commenting, but Pringle said "he'* obviously very relieved" and planned to go to work.

"He just wants to get on with his life," he said. "He'* got two very young children himself and wants to get back to work and resume his family life. This matter, though, will never end for him either. It'* been very traumatic for him and his family. It'* been a very very difficult situation."

Brander was a tactical team member at the time of the crash and has currently been working in the economic crime section.

During the trial, collision reconstruction experts testified the police car was going between 130 kmh and 142 kmh. Brander pegged his speed between 110 kmh and 120 kmh.

But Brooker, who criticized the police investigation into the crash, said he was "uneasy" with the expert findings based on his doubts of the accuracy of the scene measurements and interpretation of the roadway evidence.

Brander blamed Ramirez, 54, for the crash, saying he turned when he should have seen the police car coming.

Court also heard Ramirez was looking at his daughter Gloria in the front passenger seat as he began turning left on 121 Street and told a paramedic he saw the cop car coming, but couldn't understand why it was going so fast.

City police spokesman Sgt. Chris Hayden said it is premature to comment on the decision because there is a 30-day appeal period, but he read out a prepared statement.

"On behalf of everyone at EPS, I would like to reiterate our condolences to the Aleman and Ramirez families," said Hayden. "The men and women of this police service value family above all else and we all have been deeply touched by this tragedy. The verdict in court today serves as another step toward bringing closure to a situation that none of us will ever forget."

The Ramirez family has sued Brander, his partner Const. Jean Guy Lavoie, police Chief Bob Wasylyshen, the City of Edmonton and the Ford Motor Company for $6.4 million.

And you wonder why I don't trust or even like cops!!!!
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Old 09-06-2003, 12:03 AM   #2
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The police have a place and role in society. Not all cops are bad, Prejudiced , or power-tripping. I do wish however, that they would spend more time on drugs, guns, and thefts then on minor road infractions such as racing

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Old 09-06-2003, 01:33 AM   #3
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Default Re: every one should know this

i would just like to quote this

Quote:
Originally Posted by chad meyers
Quote:
Faulty or non-existent welds on the frame of the Tempo caused it to split in two, which resulted in the gas tank rupturing and setting the car and the boys ablaze...

...The Ramirez family has sued...the Ford Motor Company for $6.4 million.
 
Old 09-06-2003, 03:11 AM   #4
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ive heard alot on that.. I dont think there should be such a thing as a ghost car...
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Old 09-06-2003, 09:35 PM   #5
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The cop had reason to be speeding, Ill give him that. I hope you guys dont race thru busy streets...BUT, I cant see why he didnt have his lights on, and CV'* look alot like Grand Marquis, which are usually only bought by seniors. How fast is 130KPH in MPH? I cant believe that the cop got off of that. I hope the civil suit wins, I mean c'mon! An 8 year old kid with no hands and a burned face? I feel horrible.
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Old 09-06-2003, 10:11 PM   #6
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only 87mph?
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Old 09-07-2003, 02:27 AM   #7
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I don't like any of the cops I've come across except one. All the ones that have pulled me over have been ******. But not all are like that.

However, this cop should have been found guilty. Hitting another car at over 80mph! That'* f'n insane! I wish the cop was injured. And he had the nerve to blame the driver of the car he hit...after he killed one and disfigured another.

It pissed me of when it said "...other cops congratulated him.." These cops stick together, even when they are wrong...pisses me off

I agree that cops should have their priorities straightened out. Chasing two cars at over 85mph that are racing seems careless and ridiculous IMO...especially without lights or sirens. He took a life and almost another because two teens were racing their rice burners probably. And I get pulled over for having red lights over my license plate...there'* MUCH more important things for them to be doing.

I hope that cop loses everything he has when the family sues.
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Old 09-07-2003, 02:44 AM   #8
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I dought the cop would loose anything.. his job might get 'reavaluated'
they turned left? so by all means it 'should' be there fault.. but the cop should get more then a slap on the wrist for that... suing fo mo co.. thats funny... and you wonder why gm builds a gps and a black box in ever car... He should have used his motorolla.. hmm did edmonton have the police chopper back then?
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Old 09-07-2003, 10:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bonnie94sse
I agree that cops should have their priorities straightened out. Chasing two cars at over 85mph that are racing seems careless and ridiculous IMO...especially without lights or sirens. He took a life and almost another because two teens were racing their rice burners probably. And I get pulled over for having red lights over my license plate...there'* MUCH more important things for them to be doing.

I hope that cop loses everything he has when the family sues.
I agree completely. Anyone who knows me knows I am the first to stand up for police officers when others are tearing them down for doing their job, and I have almost never had anything but good experiences with cops, but this guy was way out of line. I think that too many cops just react without thinking (chase instinct kicks in) when confronted with someone running (or driving as the case may be). They have a very natural, but dangerous need to catch that supercedes their logical reasoning.

There was a case of this where I am from (right in my town actually) a few years ago where a state trooper had been chasing a motorcycle at speeds of over 100 mph on the highway, and then the person turned into the city and continued at that speed. The cop should have stopped right there and used his head (you can't outrun radio), but he continued to chase until this guy drove right through the side of a Mazda and severed it in half. Needless to say, the fleeing subject was killed instantly, but luckily the family driving the sedan was safe as he had severed the car right behind the front seats.

That should never happen...never, and some departments are getting the message (many have to get permission before giving chase and updates as the persuit continues, and some have "no-chase" policies entirely), but not all have. My uncle was a police officer in the 70'* and was in a similar situation...he chased until the car ran off the road and into a river and he had to wade in up to his waist in swift current in total darkness to save the guy. Fortunately he did, but they were both very nearly swept away; that day he vowed not to chase again unless the fleeing subject was honestly more of a danger to the public than the chase was (I guess a serial killer or something). That is a decision more cops have to make, because this can't continue to happen lest the public decide that police officers are more of a threat than a help.
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Old 09-08-2003, 01:35 AM   #10
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Let'* be very careful here. We have members that have strong links to law enforcement. There will be no more comments like '**** cops' on this forum. I am deleting a post in this thread for this content.
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