Po­lice: Sus­pect in killing of two officers is in cus­tody

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - WEATHER - By Scott Mcfetridge

DES MOINES, IOWA >> A white man with a his­tory of racial provo­ca­tions and con­fronta­tions with po­lice am­bushed and fa­tally shot two white Des Moines-area officers in sep­a­rate attacks Wed­nes­day as they sat in their pa­trol cars, author­i­ties said.

Po­lice took 46-year-old Scott Michael Greene into cus­tody hours af­ter the killings and less than three weeks af­ter he ar­gued with officers who re­moved him from a high school foot­ball game where he had un­furled a Con­fed­er­ate flag near black spec­ta­tors.

Greene flagged down a state Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources em­ployee in a ru­ral area west of Des Moines, iden­ti­fied him­self and asked that the em­ployee call 911. Sher­iff’s deputies and state pa­trol officers re­sponded and took him into cus­tody.

He’s sus­pected in the early morn­ing slay­ings of 24-year-old Justin Martin, who had been with the force in the sub­urb of Ur­ban­dale since 2015, and 39-year-old Sgt. An­thony Bem­i­nio, who joined the Des Moines depart­ment in 2005.

Greene was taken to a hospi­tal for treat­ment of un­known health is­sues and was to be ques­tioned later at Des Moines po­lice headquarters, Sgt. Paul Parizek said.

Po­lice re­sponded to a re­port of shots fired shortly af­ter 1 a.m. and found the Ur­ban­dale of­fi­cer. Author­i­ties from sev­eral agen­cies soon sat­u­rated the area. About 20 min­utes later, they dis­cov­ered the Des Moines of­fi­cer, who had re­sponded to the first shoot­ing, Parizek said.

The shoot­ings hap­pened less than 2 miles apart, and both took place along main streets that cut through res­i­den­tial ar­eas.

Ur­ban­dale Po­lice Chief Ross McCarty said that in the first shoot­ing, in­ves­ti­ga­tors be­lieve the shooter walked up to the of­fi­cer’s car and fired more than two dozen rounds.

“I wouldn’t call it a con­fronta­tion,” McCarty said. “I don’t think he may have even been aware that there was a gun­man next to him.”

The shoot­ings fol­low a spate of po­lice killings in re­cent months, in­clud­ing am­bushes of officers in Dal­las and Ba­ton Rouge, Louisiana. Five officers were killed July 7 in Dal­las. Three more were killed later that month in Ba­ton Rouge.

Race has been an is­sue in those cases and oth­ers in­volv­ing un­armed black men killed by officers. Greene is white, as were the officers.

Greene ap­peared to have is­sues with peo­ple of other races.

In the con­fronta­tion at the Ur­ban­dale High School foot­ball game, which Greene video­taped and posted on so­cial me­dia, he ap­peared to be try­ing to an­tag­o­nize African-Amer­i­can fans when he shook a Con­fed­er­ate flag in front of them dur­ing the na­tional an­them, McCarty said.

In the video, officers can be seen ask­ing Greene to leave, telling him that dis­play­ing a Con­fed­er­ate flag there was in­flam­ma­tory. Greene mean­while ar­gues that his con­sti­tu­tional rights are be­ing vi­o­lated.

In other in­ci­dents, court records show Greene was jailed and charged with in­ter­fer­ing with of­fi­cial acts af­ter re­sist­ing Ur­ban­dale po­lice officers who tried to pat him down for a weapon on April 10, 2014. An Ur­ban­dale of­fi­cer de­scribed him as hos­tile and com­bat­ive. He en­tered a guilty plea and was fined.

Two days later, Ur­ban­dale po­lice were called to an­swer a com­plaint of ha­rass­ment at the apart­ment com­plex where Greene lived. The com­plaint said he threat­ened to kill another man dur­ing a con­fronta­tion in the park­ing lot and yelled a racial slur used against blacks. Greene was charged with ha­rass­ment.

He pleaded guilty and re­ceived a sus­pended jail sen­tence and a year of pro­ba­tion. An of­fi­cer wrote that Greene had com­plied with the terms of his pro­ba­tion, not­ing that he had ob­tained a men­tal health eval­u­a­tion and “re­ports to have com­plied with the med­i­ca­tion rec­om­men­da­tions.” The of­fi­cer did not elab­o­rate.

Soon af­ter the foot­ball game in­ci­dent, on Oct. 17, a crim­i­nal com­plaint in­di­cates Greene was in­volved in an al­ter­ca­tion with his 66-yearold mother. Greene ac­cused her of scratch­ing and hit­ting his face. He cap­tured the fight on cell­phone video, which he used as ev­i­dence of the as­sault. A judge or­dered Greene’s mother to stay away from her son, and she was re­leased on $1,000 cash bond.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.