2008 shooting at South Boston Sheetz leads to $5 million lawsuit
This story is reprinted with permission of The Gazette-Virginian. The estate of Randolph Neal Seamster Jr.
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#1 Feb 4, 2010
If anyone has viewed the video of this incident that was posted on the internet, it is very clear that EXCESSIVE force was used by Office Lewis who killed Mr. Seamster. WHY would Officer Lewis use deadly force to stop someone who only had a marjuana joint???? Why not just get the license number and arrest him later??? What if the bullet had hit the passenger in the car with Mr.Seamster, a pregnant woman, or one of the children on the bicycles, a customer, or the gasonine tanks? Officer Lewis clearly jumped in front of Mr. Seamster's car; Mr. Seamster did not try to run the officer down. After seeing the video and hearing the details, I have lost a great deal of respect for law enforcement. A badge is NOT a license to kill. WHY did Officer Lewis kill Mr. Seamster? Surely not for just a cigarette. I urge anyone to review the video with more discretion and judge for yourselves. I hope justice will be served in the upcoming lawsuit and the truth will come out.
#2 Feb 4, 2010
I respectfully disagree. Mr. Seamster knew that the individuals who had approached him were police officers. The witnesses nearby knew it because they heard them identify themselves as such. Seamster's girlfriend in the car told him to stop because the men were officers.
I also analyzed the video. When doing so, I have to say that I look at it with an eye that is slanted in favor of law enforcement. By and large, law enforcement officers do what they do because they want to help their community. I believe they deserve the benefit of the doubt because of this. Why else would someone receive so little pay for such demanding, emotional, stressful and dangerous work? Before anyone replies with the cliche, I will get it out of the way; no, I don't believe that most officers do what they do to satisfy their egoes.
I can fully see how Lewis, and the other officers would have an expectation that Seamster would stop. There was one officer in front of him after he finished backing up. Here are a few thoughts I would have when watching it....
Lewis may have drawn his weapon in anticipation of aiding the first officer to draw his weapon - the one in front of Seamster's car as it backed up. If I am an officer and I see my partner with his weapon drawn, my first instict would be to aid him and back him up -- thus drawing my weapon.
They likely may have had an expectation that Seamster would NOT pull a stupid move and drive forward/towards the officers. Most people don't do that. Let's face it, Seamster knew that he was driving directly towards officers. He knew who they were, and chose to drive towards them.
If Lewis believed that his life, or the lives of others were in danger, then the firing of his weapon was justified. When I watch the video, I believe that I would feel my life was in danger. If Seamster had not driven forward - towards police officers - then we wouldn't even be talking about this.
Tragic any way you look at it.
#3 Feb 5, 2010
Lewis above says the law was right in shooting Seamster.The law ia always right.If this cop was in front of the car,could he have not got out of the way without shooting?He gets killed for smoking a joint,while killers + child molesters are released daily.God made the plant he was smoking,not the gov,t.If every one started smoking pine tree sap,would it be illegal to plant a tree?Should i be shot for smoking freeze-dried skins from tree frogs?You know how they change coler,smoke one + watch a change in your head.johnny c
#4 Feb 5, 2010
That's Just The Way It Is.There are natural born killers born every day.Not long ago,i watched a mother say how proud she was of her son.She was getting the us flag handed to her + her son was there dead.She said he had wanted to be a soldier since 6 years old.At that age,they must know it's a soldiers job to kill.A born killer,did he kill any one before he was killed?Kids want to be cops.Kill if you want to,it's legal for you,you have a badge.You don't even have to show it.2 legal ways to kill,be a cop,join the military.1 more way,work for blackwater,now Xe. 1fastman
#5 Feb 5, 2010
The law is not always right, but they were in this case.
Carful 1fastman, your partisanship is showing.
#6 Mar 15, 2012
The Jury determined that the shooting was NOT justified to the tune of 1.4 million
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