Yakima Officer Casey Gillette is accused of murdering Rocendo Arias while he was sitting in his car assembling a replica airsoft gun on private property on Saturday, Jan. 4th, 2014. Police say that Officer Gillette was doing routine checks when he noticed a vehicle sitting in the parking lot of a car wash at the Classic Auto Wash in Yakima, WA on East Nob Hill Blvd. The car had reportedly been in the parking for over an hour when Officer Gillette approached the vehicle at 3 am on Saturday morning. Apparently Officer Gillette felt compelled to approach the vehicle on foot and open the door of the vehicle without any warrant or consent and when he saw a man practicing his open carry rights with an “orange-tipped” toy gun he felt it necessary to shoot the man in the head and 3 more times just in case.
Cpt. Rod Light, who is spokesman for the Yakima P.D. regarding this matter, stated that Officer Casey Gillette went to the driver’s side of the vehicle on foot and then moved to the passenger side, where he saw the victim, 23 year old Rocendo Arias, in the vehicle with his finger on the trigger of what appeared to be a handgun. Gillette stated that he felt “unsafe” and discharged 4 rounds into the young man, striking him in the head for a kill.
Had he approached the vehicle for suspicion according to standard law enforcement protocol, he would have announced his presence before opening any door of the vehicle, he would have established his authority by announcing he was the police, and he would have asked the victim to place his hands where they could be seen. Had the victim actually flashed the barrel of the gun toward the Officer, a fatal action may have been justified, but the facts already presented in this case paint Gillette as a poorly trained Officer of little experience causing the death of a 23 year old innocent man, who leaves behind a fiance and 4 month old child.
Officer Gillette had only been with the Yakima P.D. for 14 months, but Cpt. Light says the Officer previously worked with the Toppenish, WA Police Dept. It seems relevant to wonder which of these two Departments taught Mr. Gillette the laws on open carry in the State of Washington and what made Officer Gillette feel threatened of a “gun” being openly carried in a car in a private parking lot at a private business. A business that was open at the time, had no attendees, and no crime had been reported, was being committed, or was being conspired.
This happened only a day after Jesse Humphrey was fatally killed by Yakima SWAT Team on Jan. 3rd, 2014. Humphrey was murdered while on his stomach and allegedly was armed when he was killed. This video has since been removed from KIMA Tv’s website for some reason, but is being hosted under FAIR USE and protected by THP Media Archives.
It would seem more reasonable if the victim had shot the Officer with a real gun because he was covertly opening the passenger door of his vehicle at 3:00 am in an empty parking lot. In fact, that action would be well within State Law, but we all know that it would have ended up with a young man in prison for shooting a cop. We can only hope that justice will be served for this heinous act of homicide. Murder by hire is not excusable simply because The State is the employer. I encourage you to make your voice heard in Yakima, WA by contacting them with petitions to relieve Officer Gillette of his duties, prosecute him for his crimes, and compensate the victim’s family for their loss.
IT IS NOT LAWFUL FOR AN OFFICER TO OPEN THE DOOR OF YOUR CAR WITHOUT YOUR PERMISSION OR A SEARCH WARRANT OR PROBABLE CAUSE THAT THERE IS A CRIME BEING COMMITTED. * OPEN CARRY IS NOT A CRIME!
Homicide — When excusable.
Homicide is excusable when committed by accident or misfortune in doing any lawful act by lawful means, without criminal negligence, or without any unlawful intent.
[1979 ex.s. c 244 § 8; 1975 1st ex.s. c 260 § 9A.16.030.]
While NBC wanted to paint this Officer in good light for shooting a young man that he allegedly believed to have a handgun, although he was apparently not doing anything with it…we, at Homogeneous News, believe that accountability is not to be derailed by cop-friendly journalism. The reality is that it is perfectly legal to carry a real firearm in the open in every State and according to well-documented Federal and Constitutional Law. It is perfectly legal for this man to have an airsoft replica firearm in plain view in his vehicle, and it is grossly absurd that NBC fails to acknowledge that this Officer took the life of a young man because he performed his own duties improperly.
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