No charges will be filed against an Aurora Police Department (APD) officer who shot and killed a Vietnam veteran who was defending his grandson from a violent attack, Colorado’s 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office announced this week.
On July 30, 2018, Officer Drew Limbaugh shot and killed Richard “Gary” Black at his home in northwest Aurora. The District Attorney determined in a 26-page report that the shooting was justified under Colorado law because the officer on scene could reasonably have believed his life was in danger.
“Officer Limbaugh stated that he felt like he had to shoot the man, because it was not an option to ‘wait and see what happens,'” the report stated. “He could not recall whether the man pointed the gun at him.”
The APD has also released body cam footage showing the shooting and its aftermath.
In the video, officers can be seen approaching the house while shots can be heard coming from inside. When officers see Black holding a handgun, they yell at him to drop it.
“Gun! Gun! Drop the gun!” one says. “Hey! Get your hands in the air! The guy in the robe’s got the gun.”
Black, who was hard of hearing, does not obey the officers’ commands or acknowledge their presence. He raises his flashlight, and Officer Limbaugh fires his weapon.
Shortly before Black died, he told the officers that “my son and my grandson are in the bathroom with the perpetrator,” the district attorney’s report said.
The incident began when 26-year-old Dajon Harper left a nearby party and, for reasons that remain unclear, broke down Black’s door and grabbed Black’s grandson, who had been sleeping on the couch, according to the Denver Post. Harper took Black’s grandson to the bathroom and tried to drown and rape him, while Black and the boy’s father attempted to wrestle the boy away.
“I won’t go into the graphic details other than to say the child was violently assaulted,” Aurora Police Department Chief Nick Metz said at the time.
Black was hit in the head with a vase during the course of the fight, and neither man was able to pull Harper off the boy. Black retrieved a 9mm handgun and shot Harper, but by that time other people from the party had arrived at the house.
Metz told reporters that his officers arrived to a “violent” and “chaotic” scene, and it isn’t clear from 911 and dispatch calls whether they had been given a clear description of the intruder or the other individuals at the house.
“The 911 telephone call by Mrs. Black was difficult to understand as large portions are unintelligible,” the Black family said in a statement. “The family acknowledges the APD’s position that the responding officers did not receive a description of the intruders.”
In the months since that statement, the Black family has hired an attorney, Qusair Mohamedbhai. Mohamedbhai told local media that the family is devastated no criminal charges are being filed against the Aurora Police Department, and they may consider a civil suit.
“Chief Metz has informed the community that no law enforcement identified themselves as police,” Mohamedbhai said. “Shots were fired within seconds of police arriving… police were in darkness when they shot. Mr. Black took no aggressive efforts toward any police officer. The gun was down the entire time – these facts are not stated in the report.”
Richard “Gary” Black was a Vietnam War veteran and Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient. He was laid to rest in August in a full military funeral.
This all goes back to 1970s when two perps killed 4 California Highway patrol officers, that’s when training started emphasizing officer survival over every thing else. Instead of placing a higher value on the citizens life now its all about the Officer going home at the end of the day. They are given military grade weapons and bullet proof vests, they are paramilitary forces no longer local police.
The man did not hear drop the gun and he was walking with a gun in his hand not pointing at the police, the police supposed to be charged with murder/ manslaughter.
The cop “couldn’t wait to see what would happen.” He was in the dark. Did not identify himself. The man had a gun which he didn’t point. He was in his own home. He was in his bathrobe!
The cop followed policy and will not be prosecuted. What policy? Is that the “I’m a scaredy cat” policy? Is he still on the force? Is it policy to shoot first and ask questions later?
Do his neighbors spit at this “cop’s” feet whenever they pass him on the sidewalk? Do they shout whenever they see him: “Don’t shoot! Don’t shoot!” The should. Do they advise him to get a new line of work and to leave town? They should. If they don’t they are themselves complicit. Because if the police won’t police their own, then the citizens need to do so! I mean, whose town is it? Do the police own it? Obviously they think they do. Change it or be complicit in it! That’s my view.
It would seem that the “thin blue line” has grown to gross proportions and is now made of steel and concrete. Do they now have holes cut in the wall so the police can shoot citizens from the protection of and behind that steel and concrete. They will soon. Count on it.
And who hires these neurotic morons who act more like timid little girls than men?
And lastly: Do they know how much contempt we feel for these cops and their bosses who hire them and then defend them–which means themselves? And are they so stupid that they can’t see that some day, especially if things fall apart,* that this will all come back to haunt them and that then no one will defend them?
I have read a number of stories where the cops arrest and yes shoot people before they have done any investigation whatsoever! Is this too not in their policy manuals? Are they told to shoot and arrest before they investigate? Really, it would be so easy to write a parody of this crime. And I hope somebody does it; I don’t have time!
*And for those who don’t see the writing on the wall, we are near economic collapse, and they keep the momentum going just by printing fiat money! Don’t you see this? Haven’t any of you been to the grocery store lately? Don’t you listen to your wives? The prices of everything are up dramatically. And have you been awake enough to notice that when the prices are the same the package has become half the size! Do you realize that is a doubling of the price of things and a stupid corporate trick?
Nor are we the American Republic at this point–though we are an empire with more than 800 military bases around the world and a military who invade whatever sovereign nation at will and whenever they want because of so-called “American Interests!” But notice that these acts of war are never given any foothold in any genuine American Principle either from the Constitution or from those elucidation of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty that we call the Declaration of Independence–but which we never condescend to follow! And yet they are “American Interests.” Really? But isn’t it the Declaration that defines what we are by elucidating the principles that we consent as a People to follow? Jesus people! We still call America great but we do it at the same time that our “leaders” violate true American Principles on a daily basis, drag the flag through the mud–mud with a strange tint of blood! And then, along with our so-called President, we attack athletes who kneel and refuse to honor the flag which they know with a certainty, as I know it, that our own leaders tarnish every single day with official sanction and in our name! And we do this attacking of men of conscience at the same time that we claim to support the First Amendment which we know, or should know, protects political speech–which these token acts most certainly are. For isn’t the language of the Bill of Rights (and the Declaration) categorical language which does not admit of our petty little “well, yes he has freedom of speech, but…not here and not him because I don’t like it!” Do I attack my neighbors and fellow citizens because I am so stupid I haven’t ever read our Founding documents with any understanding and imagine, stupidly, that in all points it matches perfectly with my own personal opinions, opinions that I have never adequately defended and which, insofar, are mere prejudices. For isn’t that what a prejudice is, an undefended (and usually indefensible) opinion?
Wake up people! Are you so sure that we are not ourselves our worst enemy? I mean really, who allows these cops free reign to arrest, assault, and murder the citizens who they work for and who pay their salaries if not us? Think about this. Are the People One? Is the Law One? Do we have all this utterly unprecedented freedom given to us first by God and then by the Founders but in the end are too timed to honor it by enforcing it? There are two sets of laws which offends all to high Heaven, and yet though we are millions we grumble, go dutifully to work, and do nothing about rogue cops whose petty numbers are in the mere thousands! Whose fault is that? Those arrests, beatings, and murders are a direct attack upon the Republic! Do you not see that? Also do you not understand what in the end the Founders knew very very well, namely that power only understands power–and cares nothing for grumpy people who rest comfortably in their recliners and every four years make the same stupid claim: “Well next election cycle my guy will get in and then he will fix all this.” Don’t you see what self delusion this is and how it insures that the cycle will go on endlessly and until people get up out of their chairs and get to the streets by the millions? I mean Jesus! The poles put millions in the streets! But in my town, the third largest metropolitan area in Arizona, we can’t ever put a dozen people down at 4th and 16th, the town’s main intersection! And these are Cowboys! Well at least they have the hats. Most of them are busi-ness men who are afraid they will offend someone and lose a buck. Draw your own conclusions, but I don’t think what goes on in my town is any different than others. You tell me. Is there any sign of gumption in your city, town, or village?
I’m all for the Police to protect themselves, but to me you can clearly see the old guys weapon is down at his right thigh. The only thing he raised was the flashlight. The police were still outside, plenty of cover. That punk murdered that guy in his own house.
Looks like another “trigger happy” rookie cop doing a “Dirty Harry” on a totally innocent + distraught victim in his own home.
Tho Harry Calahan was always depicted shooting the right people for good reason.
It isn’t just police training that is at fault. It is the mental attitude of the type of people
that they hire to be police officers. An overwhelming number of them show the same
type of mental set as Nazi gestapo officers. Supposedly they all undergo psychological
testing before being hired, but it clearly isn’t intended to weed out would be bullies
and macho men.
I’m very sorry, but this could have been so much worse. Police who fail to announce who they are are criminally negligent in this situation. Almost any jury would call negligence for several factors. Worse, extreme poor training is putting officers in massive danger. In this situation, a second armed (or multiple) homeowner(s) thinking they were under attack by another group of drugged gang members yelling at them to drop their weapons (but not announcing intention) could have been neutralized by the overwhelming and “home court” advantage of the homeowners. This could have resulted in multiple deaths of officers. Officers need to have far more training in basics like de-escalation, identification tactics, non-aggression approaches and a cultural realization that “the thin blue line” is first and foremost THIN! When you fail to declare “blue on blue” (in word AND dee) you become an enemy to the population. That turns out poorly when you are severely out-numbered and out-gunned.
Seems they act more like soldiers in a combat zone with expected “collateral damage” on innocents.
Go in to shoot 1st- figure out the truth in the situation later.
Really, would the death of more of these trigger happy cops have been “much worse?” Doesn’t Natural Law place the People above the cops who have the job to protect those same People?
Why not say, “more could have been killed or hurt,” instead of “this could have been so much worse?” This makes you sound not like “one of the People,” but an apologist. And we already have too many apologizing for rogue cops, eh? JWC
once again….gun gun gun gun gun gun his gun the cop’s gun….. that shoot shoot shoot attitude is the real killer…PROTECT in not part of Police training….gun em down is the training…over and over the talk practice visualize and shoot scenarios about KILL THE BAD GUY ….be the WARRIOR KILLL THEM …just us cops and the rest of that scummy world out there…COPS AGAINST THE WORLD…SOUNDS LIKE THE MUSLIMS AND WE SEE THE HORRORS THAT BRINGS …..no restraint…not any sound no gun visible but hje shot him to death ……
cleared ? not in my book….kick him out of law enforcement….Soldiers in combat are required to have more control of their shooting situations than that pistol packing quick shot killer….he never listened to any one except GUN GUN GUN GUN GUN ….COPS FIRED 14 SLUGS INTO A DEAF MAN BECASUE HE DID NOT RESPOND TO THEIR COMMANDS…when will you learn …when will you come to help.???…killed a man because his Mom said he was threatening to kill himself..POLICE have become BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM oh sorry sorry I killed your child….bam bam bam bam bam bam bam bam bam now listen to me
Yes sadly a really good LEO is a Godsend + likely less than 50% qualify….
Takes a specially gifted intelligent person to be a really good cop.
Likely not enough candidates to fill needed positions.
Kinda reminds me of the Brazilian death squads from the 50’s, they started out assassinating known criminals and after a few years they were shooting j-walkers, a government plan that went all wrong, are we headed in the same direction????
The fact that those cops wern’t at prosequted for such an obviously unjustified homicide reeks of corruption. The people in that community need to pursure this matter until some form of justice is served.
It isn\’t just that community.
This country has a big problem, unfortunately people are to stupid to see it.Look at the California bar shooting a couple months ago, we now know that a cop is who killed the other cop in the bar. I\’ll bet nothing happens.
The mall shooting in AL where a cop shot a person in the back as he was running away, again I bet nothing happens.
In Schertz TX last Dec, 4 or 5 cops shot at an unarmed criminal, one missed and killed a child inside of a building nearby. No charges yet.
Dearborn Heights MI May this year. Cop shoots open carrier, all videos \”will not be released\” no charges yet.Anybody see a pattern?
the guys wife was trying to tell them what was going on and the cop said shut up and get out of the way. if they would have just taken 20 seconds to listen to her all of this could have been prevented.in my opinion the guy wasn’t a threat,he was just hit over the head with a vase and fired off two shots inside a closed room,no wonder he couldn’t hear!! i hope they sue their asses off!
I wonder how that police officer is feeling right about now. I wouldn’t want to be the one to have shot and killed an innocent, and even admirable, man. The take home is, when are police going to start being trained that a homeowner, or anyone else for that matter, is not automatically breaking the law for merely holding a gun? Not in this country anyway. Until police training changes, DA’s will continue exonerating them for shooting first and checking for “threats” second.
So it was ok for the cop to shoot the guy because the cop saw a gun and didn’t have the time to figure out if his life was in danger. So now it is okay to shoot a cop that comes in your house if they have a gun? This surely proves your life is in danger. So…
this cowardly scum that refers to itself as “men” is being trained by some phony blowhard that calls himself the Killologist. He brainwashes cops at private seminars into a us vs them mentality and uses phony statistics to preach that there is a war on against cops which is absolute bullshit. THAT is why these cops are so quick to execute innocent people because they are told that no matter what they wont be prosecuted. And they all think that they are some super duper secret agent type OPERATORS” with all therir militarized weapons and little black ninja outfits It would be considered pretty comical along the lines of Barney Fifes but they are all given permission to become murderers
“Officer Limbaugh stated that he felt like he had to shoot the man, because it was not an option to ‘wait and see what happens,’” the report stated. “He could not recall whether the man pointed the gun at him.”
If this statement is true we have a winner! Saying that you have to shoot someone because it is not an option to wait is completely WRONG. The officer is admitting that Black has not reached the point where he is considered to be a threat of serious bodily injury or death to the officer or anyone else. That is the standard for the use of deadly force period. The Officer further indicts himself because he can not say that Black pointed the gun. These statements are self incrimination by who? The Officer himself. I would say at this point to advise him of his rights and stop any further questioning.
I do not know Mr. Black but he sounds like a true American hero trying to protect his family even with his last dying breath. Godspeed.
Police arrived to a chaoric scene and made it worse by killing the innocent. As our police have become more like the military the Constitution has been cast aside in favor of badass tv like murder. If the victin were black the ourcone would nor be the same
Pussy ass cops! You have a bullet proof vest and a gun but you are so afraid. Its obviously an old man who is probably already hard of hearing and you know for a fact that there were just two loud ass gunshots in the house and he probably can’t hear you at all! Murder by pussy ass cop! Nobody will care because its ok to kill white people!
Not sure if my comment above will make it past ‘moderation’, but this below is one of HUNDREDS of examples that confirms what the US has become;
Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’?
In the People’s Republik of the USSA? Amazing.
In case you didn’t notice, the USSA became a Police State not long after the US/Israel perpetration of 9/11.
Which was the goal.
It’s a damn shame this whole thing had to happen.
Trigger happy officer not trained worth a crap, didn’t hear POLICE called out once! Hope the family gets a large settlement, I mean millions, to compensate for a loss of their poor departed veteran grandfather, shot down like a dog in the street.
The police did not I.D. themselves. First, and biggest, mistake. Not giving the victim the right info to properly react to the officers commands. Evidently the victim didn’t see them or, being a veteran and probably disciplined in the reaction to authority would have dropped the gun. Now, that being said, once the perp was neutralized, the victim should have holstered, or put down, the gun unless the party goers, that arrived prior to the police arriving, posed an additional threat. In the later case i wouldn’t have put the gun down either and I was a combat small arms instructor in the army but. I would have held it, muzzle to the floor, in the ready position. That way the officers would have known that I was not a threat. However, I suggest that his survivors sue the crap out of the officer who shot him, the Sharif’s department for not giving the proper training, and the city. I’ve see this type of thing happen a couple times, especially if the officer was a rooky or lacked proper self discipline in an unnerving situation. I am really suspicious of the statement that none of the officers could verify if the victim actually pointed the gun at them. Sounds like a knee jerk nervous reaction that the chief is covering the departments ass on to avoid a law suit. I can hear the lawyers lining up now.
Unless you have been a policeman and day and night confronted very vile, dangerous and violent people, you should not rush to judgment. This was a tragic incident and death. However, when a person holds a weapon that can kill you in a nana second, you respond. You can’t wait. People today don’t have the self respect of my generation sixty years ago. The attire they wear, the disdand for God and country, the hatred toward authority and the drawn down education system has played havoc in this Country. So suck it up, meet and support those who are licensed to protect you and encourage them! This was a bad deal, but understandable error.
An understandable error? Look, I’m from the same generation as you. This was a wrongful death from untrained if not rogue cops. While most are good and try to do the right thing, the fact they didn’t id themselves and the victim was obviously on adrenaline and did not point his weapon at them, this was a bad shoot. An innocent man, husband, father and grandfather died unnecessarily. The cops had cover outside the doorway of the house that could have been taken advantage of until they could better assess the situation or at least identify themselves.
I am retired Police. Confronted many armed individuals/criminals/Americans with a multitude of different weapons. If I shot everyone that held a firearm, ran from me with a firearm then discarded it……..there would be a long trail of bodies. If you are a properly trained Law Enforcement Officer then you DO WAIT. The time that each person reaches the point to use deadly force is certainly different BUT has got to be reasonable and within the guidelines. When someone says “hey I shot them because I did not know what would happen” that is absolutely wrong. No one knows what will happen but at that juncture they have not reached the point that they are an immediate threat. Why? Because you just said “you do not know”.
There is a war going on in this country as we speak. Cops killing people with AR15s marked with “your fucked”. Shooting a man on his knees begging for his life, crying in a hallway and a jury does not convict him?
So many others executed by Police. I have no respect for Police. Yes times have changed. What a disgrace how can anyone even defend the cowardice?
So you’re saying if you see a cop with a gun in your home you should shoot them? After all, we now know they can shoot you in an instant. Being an innocent civilian around police is dangerous. So when you see a cop holding a weapon that can kill you in a nanosecond you respond, right?
MURDER pure and simple…Just like James Bond, a license to kill without repercussions.
Double OK if you are black.
Moral…Keep shooting everyone until your safety is assured. Better a time in jail than letting some jerk kill you and going scott free. Also, DON’T call the cops.
I Never heard \’\’POLICE\’\’ once. NOT at All . How was the homeowner victim to know?
You can’t tell me if they had waited a few minutes and watched first he would seen the cops and done what was asked. He was still in protection. Mode not attacking anyone , bad cops and bad for covering it up. Now we got to be mind readers if anything happens . These cops are assholes
So… lemme see, anytime a cop ‘fears for his own safety’ he can kill you?
Imagine now a country in which only the Government is armed; it would be true ‘peace on Earth’ because there will be no more unlawful killings.
How do you weed out the pension seekers when they apply for the position? When we figure that out, we will get pros and not the cowardly can’t-do-anything-else cop-for-the-shift jerks that make up 90 percent of law ebforcement……..like that Broward County guy that was afraid to go in to the school.
Barbers require 14 months training, hair dressers 17 months. Plumbers require two year on the job training and electricians 5-7 years. You can train to be a cop in 5 months and be given a gun and let loose. Anybody see the problem? We make it possible for the wrong people to become officers. Society values what they pay for. Our society does not value trained police – yet.
well it’s very obvious why, the guy was white, if he’d a been black, they’d of burnt the city by now !!
I support Police officers and admire the professionalism and sacrifice of the vast majority of law enforcement. This being said there are police departments that are corrupt from top to bottom. Many of these officers should not even be carrying a gun and have no/minimal training in confrontational tactics.
That’s about it Bill! No or Minimal Training in Confrontational Tactics!! They shouldn’t even be receiving any Firearms Training. Not until they can pass the Confrontational Tactics Training, with a minimum grade of 95%. And, Absolutely No grading on a curve! Also, there should be testing for “Common Sense”, what the Military calls “Technical Abilities”. And if not, they can train to work at a desk. Don’t need a Firearm for that.
I have more thoughts on all that stuff, but I type 3-4 words per minute. And that includes trying to keep it understandable.
Of course there won’t be any charges he’s a policeman The police can get away with murder and never go to jail !
Yet somehow when NFL players or others bring such issues to the public’s attention, they are called traitors.
No. They’re called hypocrites. They protest police violence while over 500 of them have been charged with assault in their lifetimes. B
Oh yeah, multi millionaires crying about injustice. There’s a valid comparison. Why aren’t they kneeling in Chicago genius?
You’re a moron Todd B. This was a bad shoot yes, but would you like to live in a society without any law enforcement?
Cop NEVER once identified himself as a police officer…no gun was ever raised towards him….BAD SHOOT
Im 99.9% pro police but not in this situation. This was a senseless killing. And a vet too.
I Never heard ”POLICE” once. NOT at All . How was the homeowner victim to know?
Anyone with 2 brain cells to rub together knew this was going to happen.
They aren’t just cowards. In all their training and coming up through the ranks they’re told to just say you were in fear for your safety and you can do anything you want. We’ll give you a belt full of goodies that are non-lethal, but go to guns first. We’ll investigate ourselves, find nothing wrong, and it will be all ok after your paid vacation. After a couple of weeks nobody will even remember.
987 people shot and killed by police in 2017. 44 police shot and killed in the same year. I’d say people who have contact with a cop have more reason to be in fear for their safety than the other way around.
BAD Shoot! These cops arrived in a little information situation and failed to recognize a guy in a robe as the victim is just plain stupidity. Situation assessment is no where in this shooting! Who wouldn’t be hard of hearing for about thirty minutes or more after shooting a handgun in the house!?!? This Vet was already hard of hearing so basically he was deaf at the time! The cop was not even in a danger zone being outside of the house, then fires multiple shots from quite a distance from out side the door!! Bad Cops, Bad Shooting!
I’m always amazed at just how gosh dang helpful the police are. They do like shouting and shooting, don’t they?
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? THOSE COPS COULDN’T DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN WHO MAY HAVE BEEN THE VICTIM AND THE PERPETRATOR????? GOOGLE Dajon Harper, then tell me what you see. ARE YOU KIDDING ME???
This is the result of hiring cowards to be law enforcement officers, who are so fearful of the everyday hazards of the job as to be incompetent.
Hmmm. A robe and a flashlight ? I am thinking ,even with little time to react, > he’s the homeowner investigating something bad or potentially so in the night , IN HIS OWN HOUSE…….. I would not shoot first as law enforcement , in that situation …….
This is pitiful. A veteran shot and killed in his own home while defending his family from a violent assault.
And no charges filed ? No outrage, No protests, No looting or burning, Just “Oh Well ”
THIS is what gives Law Enforcement a black eye, And leaves our justice system with zero credibility.
Who is worse here, The criminal or law enforcement ? Hard to tell the difference……………….
What a clusterf###c, that cop who fired his pistol, sounded like an assh##e.