Two years ago State Department Diplomatic Security Special Agent Christopher Deedy was briefly in Hawaii protecting Hillary Clinton. Deedy, off duty, shot and killed a local man. Two years later the case has finally come to trial, with new revelations made public, including an airing of the surveillance camera video of the shooting. For more background on the case, see here. Now, let’s dive in and have a look ourselves.
Deedy is on trial for Murder in the Second Degree and Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Separate Felony, punishable by a term of life in prison. After various abandoned defense pleadings, including that Deedy acted in his legal capacity as a federal law enforcement official, Deedy’s current defense strategy is to claim he acted in self defense. That argument will require Deedy’s lawyer to convince a local jury that as a trained law enforcement officer from the State Department temporarily in Hawaii for wholly unrelated reasons, after a night on the town with friends, Deedy was required to fire multiple shots at near point-blank range into an unarmed inebriated local man inside a crowded McDonalds at 2:30 am because he was in fear of serious bodily injury or death.
Now, let’s look at the video of the whole incident. I cannot embed the video here, so promise that after you hit the link and watch it, you’ll come back! FYI, the linked page has two video clips. I recommend you watch the second clip first, a summary, and then look at the whole unedited piece at the top of the page. There is no sound. OK, here’s the link. I’ll be waiting here.
Thanks for coming back. Here are some observations.
– A lot more people than we previously knew were directly involved in the incident. It should be easy to establish what was said, and, with the video, what happened. One newspaper suggested over 100 witnesses will be called.
— The people involved, both those with Deedy and those with the victim, appear to be trying to break up the scuffle. Deedy will need to explain why he continued to fight with the victim instead of allowing his friends to back him away early on.
— One of Deedy’s friends, the woman with the long black hair, appears to actively try and break up the scuffle. Speculation: if either of the people with Deedy were fellow security personnel, and neither felt the need to draw his/her weapon, that will raise questions about Deedy’s own action.
— Deedy appears to reach for his weapon fairly early on, but does appear to draw it until later.
— Deedy’s reason for getting involved in the first place, that the shooting victim allegedly “bullied” another man, seems to have been entirely verbal in nature. The bullied man does not appear to be reacting to whatever was being said to him. There was no physical contact shown. Deedy will be asked to show why as a law enforcement official he was compelled to get involved. Deedy’s own lawyer stated “These [slurs] are now fighting words. This is a threat of violence. This is what Deedy is trained to perhaps respond to, although he wasn’t here to respond to the laws of harassment or bullying. He’s a federal agent and his job is to serve the community.”
— On Deedy’s supporters’ page, the acts are described as “Chris saw two men harassing a patron of a Honolulu McDonald’s. Chris responded and tried to diffuse the situation. He identified himself to the men as a federal agent and he and his friend were subsequently attacked by the men… Chris observed these men injure his friend, and felt he himself was going to be more seriously injured or killed, so he drew his firearm.” It is unclear from the video at what point if any Deedy’s friend was injured.
— Deedy appears to throw the first blow, a kick at the victim. Prosecutors have claimed that Deedy instigated the incident.
— Deedy’s mug shot is shown above. One of the Honolulu police officers involved stated to the court that “there was a ‘strong odor’ of alcohol on the federal agent and that his eyes were ‘red and glassy’ and that Deedy’s footing was ‘uneasy’ as they walked to the police cruiser. That same cop oddly went on to repeat these statements on his personal Facebook page. Deedy’s lawyer’s attempt to block the testimony based on bias was denied by the judge after she determined none of the jurors had seen the Facebook page. Deedy refused a sobriety test on the night of his arrest and the Honolulu police inexplicably did not compel him to take it. Another officer who testified during the case admitted to losing a camera that he used to take photos of the crime scene.
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