Thursday, August 14, 2014

timing is everything...,


pitch |  What happened next has been widely reported and, thanks to a bystander's cellphone footage, seen. Two bullets from off-duty police officer Donald Hubbard's .40-caliber Glock ended Anthony Bruno's life a little after 2 a.m. December 1.

Hubbard had been working an overnight security shift at the Marriott Downtown Hotel, at 12th Street and Wyandotte (which shares an owner with the Muehlebach, on the opposite corner), when he was alerted to the taxi scuffle outside. He was on the hotel's 18th floor with another hotel security guard when the radio went off, he later told Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department investigators. He said someone asked him to check on the disturbance.

Following the department's inquiry, a grand jury in February cleared Hubbard of criminal wrongdoing. But scrutiny of his actions leading up to the shooting shows that the policeman broke with procedure in several key ways — ways that might have prevented the firefighter's death.

Experts who have testified in high-profile police-shooting cases nationwide have told The Pitch that videos and documents obtained by this newspaper show that Hubbard should not have found himself one-on-one with Bruno on the street — and that the confrontation did not require lethal force.
The video footage also shows that Bruno, who had been drinking and had struck both Hubbard and the driver in separate encounters, had several opportunities to avoid being shot.

By the time Hubbard arrived outside at the scene of the fare disagreement, Bruno had walked away and turned down that alley. The cab driver told Hubbard that Bruno had punched him. Witnesses indicated to the officer which direction Bruno had gone. Hubbard, against protocol, decided to pursue Bruno.

According to newly enhanced video footage not yet seen by the public, Hubbard caught up with Bruno a block east of the Muehlebach. When Bruno tried to run away, Hubbard grabbed him and forced him down to the ground. Three minutes later, Bruno was dead on the sidewalk, shot twice in the chest.