Monday, May 6, 2013

California’s vigilante police justice: Trial by machine gun

Michael Nida machine gunned by
officer Steven Gilley
Ruth Hull
Activist Post

In California, there is a new kind of justice. Forget the Sixth Amendment's right to trial. It no longer applies. Instead of an attorney, get a bullet-proof vest, Today's cops are armed with machine guns and innocence no longer matters.

Downey, California: May 4, 2013. Family and friends of Michael Nida gathered at the Memorial site where he was machine gunned to death by Downey Police officer Steven Gilley. The purpose of the gathering was to remember the father of four who lost his life on the way to celebrate his birthday with his wife.

On October 22, 2011, Michael Lee Nida and his wife Naily were on their way to celebrate his upcoming birthday. They had stopped at an Arco station at the corner of Paramount and Imperial Highway in Downey. Michael’s father, after whom Michael was named, recounted the events of the night his son died. He recalled that his son already had been afraid of the police because of what he had seen in Los Angeles. That night, that fear proved justified. The following information is based on the father's account.

Arco gas station, corner of Paramount and Imperial Highway in Downey
While Michael's wife waited for him at the gas station, he walked across Imperial Highway to a strip mall to pick up cigarettes. However he was stopped for jaywalking by Officer Blanca Reyes and forced to sit down on a curb. Fear of the police caused him to get up from the curb and take off back across Imperial Highway. After crossing the street, Michael continued between the gas station and a Walgreens.

An ATM robbery had taken place down the street and the officers incorrectly assumed that, out of all the people between the busy intersection and the ATM, this particular man, who was out on a date with his wife, was a suspect. It may have had something to do with the fact that he looked somewhat Hispanic, being half Puerto Rican by descent. Downey officers Michael Powell and Steven Gilley stopped Michael at the back of the Walgreen’s parking lot. They forced him to lie face down on the ground with his arms and hands out. Officer Gilley, who was holding a machine gun, stepped on Michael with his foot. Officer Powell had been pointing a gun at Michael from about the time Powell saw him and continued to do so. While Michael was on the ground, spreading out and under the foot of Officer Gilley, these officers had sufficient control of his body to be able to determine he was unarmed. Michael managed to get up and move in the direction of Imperial Highway. According to the report, he was 20 feet away from the officers when Gilley shot him in the back with his machine gun.

Michael's father
murder scene
murder scene
According to Michael’s father, after being shot, Michael proceeded between the gas station and what was then a Kentucky Fried Chicken Restaurant towards Paramount. He got to the sidewalk and continued south, falling into the street near a tree, a little past the KFC.

Instead of being able to celebrate her husband’s birthday, wife Naily was present when her beloved Michael died. Her children had to learn that the father they loved had been machine gunned in the back by the police though he was innocent and unarmed.

This particular event was small compared with prior memorial events for Michael because the mother who raised him (Jean Thaxton) had recently been in the hospital after having been accidentally hit by a car. Though she was still recovering, she was driven to the event so she could be part of it. Also present were Jean’s husband Jerry, and Michael’s biological mother Maritza Odell.

Maritza had had to give Michael up as a baby to be raised by the Thaxtons. She had been in the U.S. Navy. She was assigned to go overseas and was not allowed to stay with her child. So she allowed the Thaxtons to raise her son as their own, giving the child two sets of parents.

Michael’s children and family maintain a regular vigil at the memorial site. His children showed extreme courage. They were very bright and were extremely courteous to people passing by during the event.

A point of interest is that these people wanted to help others. Nobody showed any animosity towards the police and there were no exhibitions of anger. Instead of expressing resentment, they held hands and prayed together. Their concern was educating and protecting the public. They were worried about the danger posed to other potential recipients of police bullets.. Michael’s supporters have taken the name Nida’s Rydas and have been handing out cards advising people of what to do if stopped . They hope the advice will help limit the number of future victims. A legal case was filed against the officers and the City of Downey and will be heard soon in downtown Los Angeles.

Barbara Padilla spoke of how her innocent son Marcel Ceja was gunned down by Anaheim police officer David Garcia. She pointed out that it had been raining and he was stopped because he was wearing a hood. She asked this writer if this writer would wear a hood in the rain. Marcel had slipped, fallen and gotten up and was cooperating with the police when he was shot multiple times in the chest by Officer Garcia. No charges have been filed against Officer Garcia and the Orange County District Attorney has made no effort to seek justice in this matter. The Orange County District Attorney's office has been accused of corruption repeatedly and was connected to the Public Guardian rip-off scandal that resulted in two public officials (including the district attorney's girlfriend) losing their jobs. This writer was was involved in exposing that corruption to the press in 2010.

Adriana Avila recounted how her son Andres had been beaten by Pomona police officer O’Malley. Andres filed a complaint and was later shot dead by two Pomona police officers who came upon him when he was resting in a car with his girlfriend. He was unarmed. As in the case of Michael Nida, the Los Angeles District Attorney has declined to prosecute the officers who shot Andres.

Across Paramount at the location his son Sergeant Steven M. Bours was shot, Ronald Bours held a related memorial. A former Downey police officer had provided a video of the shooting that showed the boy was standing with his arms out, cooperating and unarmed when he was shot ten times by Downey police officers. They shot all the fingers off one of his hands in addition to killing him. Steven had received a medal of commendation in the Iraq War. He was a quiet boy and well liked by people throughout the community. His father said he cried every day. During his interview, Mr. Bours kept repeating, “I miss him so much.”

Michael and other police victims represented at the rally were all innocent and unarmed. They were not gang members. They had gone to school, worked to provide for their families and were loved. What happened to them could happen to your child, your brother or sister or your father or mother.

This writer’s uncle was on the LAPD for 18 years, and told about how officers are trained to shoot to kill. America, while disarming a citizenry that is not trained to kill, is arming police forces with bigger and deadlier weapons, weapons that could be turned on anyone you love.

Why is gun control solely aimed at disarming those who have never killed and do not plan to kill? If there is gun control, shouldn't it also apply to those who have killed and are willing to kill again and again?
Ruth Hull is an activist and writer whose career has included work as a criminal defense attorney, a licensed private investigator, and an educator.


This article may be re-posted in full with attribution.


If you enjoy our work, please donate to keep our website going.


Anonymous said...

So, first he ran away from the cop who stopped him for jaywalking... then, laying on the ground under the boot and under the gun, he "managed to get up and move in the direction of Imperial Highway", i.e. he ran again, but this time was shot in the back.

I'm certainly no supporter of the police, but the man truly played Russian roulette with his life. If you have machine gun pointed at you, and you run, well, you have to assume that the said gun will actually fire. You can take the risk and still run, but it's your own risk.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 2:52 pm:

Many things went wrong. True, he should not have ran. However, isn't against police rules to point guns at unarmed individuals that are not threatening violence in any way?
The difference in this case is that police are specifically trained to properly deal with situations like this, and should have known better.

Brendan R

Anonymous said...

So shooting a man in the back who poses no threat for jaywalking sounds like justice to you? FUCK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!EAT SHIT AND DIE MOTHERFUCKER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Christine Erikson (aka Justina) said...

given an ATM robbery had occurred nearby and this guy was acting nutty enough to run twice, like he had something to hide, well, what do you expect? shooting for running used to be normal 50 or more years ago because the guy might be a public danger. This has scaled back a lot. But this guy's behavior was really stupid. Especially if he thought the police might be up to something, he just handed himself to them on a silver platter.

Anonymous said...

“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?... The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin's thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If...if...We didn't love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation.... We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”

― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Bullies do not respond to niceness or passivity in a positive way. It is not their nature to do so.

Anonymous said...

The police have machine guns. The protesters have cardboard signs.

Which group do you think will win?

Which group do you think is more afraid of the other?

Mark McCandlish said...

Stories like this are becoming more and more common. Police departments are going to lose the support of the people individually and the community as a whole. It's already happening. The wrongful death suits that result are going to bankrupt smaller cities, which will force a reduction in the number of police they can pay in each department. Hopefully, the officers posing the greatest liability as loose cannons will be discharged first. But the reduction will lead to higher criminal activity, compelling citizens to arm themselves in greater numbers. What rogue cops need to know and remember is, there are more of us than there are of you. Show us no mercy and you can expect similar consideration when the s#!t hits the fan.

Dr. Paul Blake, N.D. said...

Could have been alive had he accepted the ticket for the jaywalking, instead leaving the scene of his arrest, breaking the law twice. Then stopped again and flees this arrest also, very poor judgement. But an officer shooting a fleeing unarmed man who is only a suspect has a lot to answer for. Doc Blake

Anonymous said...

Yep, we need to just shoot all those who jaywalk and ask questions later.
This is what you'd expect from the USSofA.
So sad how this country has fallen.

Anonymous said...

This is nothing new even if the guy is white. Ask the blacks and they'll tell you they've been living with this type of vigilante justice from the cops, the criminal 'justice' system and the rest of the government since they were kidnapped from their homes in Africa and brought to the 'new world' as slaves.

Anonymous said...

It's time. Time for fighting back against the out of control, mad dog, insane, and militarized police state in which we are now being repressed by. Time to fight back and kill those who murder we subjects of the USSA.
There are NO excuses for shooting a person in the back, no matter how stupid they are. There are no legitimate reasons to shoot someone in the back. And this is because there's no threat to an officer when a person is going the opposite direction. It is immoral, unethical, cowardly, evil, and should be illegal. But just think if you or I did this! We would be executed.

It is bad enough that these cowards in costumes kill our pets every chance they get.
They need to face their own medicine, it is time to fight back!

Adam Evenson said...

Believe it or not, I'm glad the police are flying their true colors, which is skull and crossbones, same as pirates on the high seas did it in days of old. So long as it is only a few being hijacked, such as the case was with me back in '62, nothing will ever be done to curb police excesses. I woke up one day to find myself fighting California tooth and claw for twenty years, literally, from behind the walls of San Quentin, a mediaeval dungeon right out of the dark ages, for crimes I did not commit and in which a "confession" was rubber hosed out of me in the "rubber hose room" at the jail (all I did was sign what the policeman wrote out of his imagination just to moderate my nightmare, but I later wished I had let him kill me. When the skull and crossbones, which typical police departments in America fly, breaks into Mainstream America and eventually even rips MSM asunder, THEN and only then, will the excesses stink so thoroughly that the citizens will begin to curb it. All the recent police excesses had to happen to wake enough people up just to pull heads out of asses and look in the direction of the stink. Eventually, even many of the police will be unable to stomach it and everybody will yearn for the return of sanity. Even many of the cops don't like what is happening at this point, but they are too weak-willed to stand against it. But when enough innocent people are suffering the fate of the damned, THEN may it be curbed. But I predict that that magic number will not be reached for a long while yet. I could point out the very crux of all the recent destruction of America, but the level of suffering is still much too low, and who has the empathy to understand when it is too early in the day?

Anonymous said...

THE LEVEL OF INTELLEGENCE in california is around 50 IQ,so if you government slaves want to remain safe,learn to live on your knees and when told to ,JUST GIVE THEM YOUR 6 YEAR OLD daughter and be glad they didn't blow out your brains,YOU had guns to protect your self and you didn't want to do that ,so stop crying about your luck with the commies who run your state................

David A. Laibow said...

My suggestion to all Americans who care about American values is to leave America as soon as you can, with your family and as much of your money as you can take with you. My own suspicion is that the gradual economic decline will continue for the next 40 years in America -- this isn't going to be a case of a depression for 5 or 6 years and then a "turnaround". California, I strongly suspect, is in a state of collapse, and the best solution is to leave. You may contact me, David Laibow, at "davidlaibow1215[at]" for FREE advice at any time. Thank you.

Post a Comment