Eye Witness in Shooting of Michael Giles Contradicts Police Version of Events

If events unfolded as the witness has described, the killing of Michael Giles was murder.

Michael Giles

In November, Michael Giles was shot to death by Lompoc California Police Cpl. Charles Scott, who later claimed that Giles was wielding a knife. The police narrative is that Giles pulled a knife when he was first confronted by police at a shopping center nearby the location of his death. He fled across a street. He hid from police but when he was located, he was shot and killed. A witness has come forward, whose description of events leading up to Giles’ death contradicts the official story.

Michael Giles

According to police, Giles was actively confronting Cpl. Scott in the moments before he was shot. A witness has come forward, who was standing close to the incident, claiming the police account of the event is wrong. She attested that Giles was laying on the ground when the officer opened fire. She saw Cpl. Scott shoot Giles while he was sprawled out on his back, defenseless, from around ten feet away. She also stated that she never saw Giles with a knife, indicating he most likely ditched it before he was killed.

Michael Giles
Cpl. Charles Scott, pictured on the right, being sworn in as a new corporal.

“He just ran and threw himself to the ground,” the unnamed witness told reporters. Two shots were then fired as Giles laid on the ground. She recalls seeing Giles lift his arms, covered in blood, after he was shot. The witness does not wish to be identified as she is afraid of retaliation. While she didn’t say who she is afraid of, the implications are obvious. “I don’t think it’s right,” stated Lorenzo Garcia. Garcia is a relative of the witness who encouraged her to tell people what she saw. “Giles’ poor family is crying and what the police are saying is not true. There’s a lot of abuse by police around the country, and it’s not right. We have to stop this.”

Michael Giles

The police have released little information on the shooting, including how many shots were fired and how exactly Giles died. This shooting again brings up the question as to why police resort to shooting suspects without attempting to use non-lethal force. If Giles was on the ground as the witness stated, why was there no attempt to physically secure him and why were other options like the Taser not employed? Police are restricted to the type of force they can use in any given situation, however, time and time again we see police violate their own rules without any oversight or repercussions. If events unfolded as the witness has described, the killing of Michael Giles was murder.

Michael Giles

The witness has refused to remain silent, and has made a point of reaching out to the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department and the family of Michael Giles, as well. The Giles family has made it clear that they believe the incident was another unlawful killing. “My brother was a good person. He had a few mental issues that he was working through, but it just didn’t happen in time. It’s unfortunate that police decide to take lethal action, to take care of him. It was just a knife. My brother was maybe 120 pounds – he was very, very small so he could’ve easily been apprehended.”

The Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office is the outside agency handling the investigation and have remained quiet on their findings thus far. It doesn’t seem as though anyone has jumped to Cpl. Scott’s defense, which may be a sign that the investigation will not go his way.

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