Wrongful Police Shooting of Tamik Kirkland
On April 30, 2011, right after the fatal shooting in the barbershop was called in there was a strong police presence in the area. Mr. Kirkland did not have anything to do with the shooting. But he was still "wanted" for walking away from the minimum-security facility and he knew that he had to leave the area. A female friend came to pick Mr. Kirkland up from the house he was at, which was a block, or so, away from the barbershop. Mr. Kirkland came out of the house and tried to hide in the trunk of her car, not knowing there were children in the car.
Undercover officers sitting in an unmarked car saw Mr. Kirkland jump into the trunk and the female friend slam the trunk closed. The officers then blocked the woman's car from exiting the driveway and jumped out of their car with their guns drawn. The officers said they "cleared the vehicle" (made sure no one else was in the car with the woman). But them never seeing a 12 year old child and a baby in a car seat tells you that they never even looked inside of the car, or they just didn't care about the children.
Springfield Police Officer Raul Gonzalez pulled the woman out of the driver's seat, and reached into the car and popped the trunk. He then walked to the back of the car, pushed the trunk open and shot Mr. Kirkland six times, from close range, with the children still in the car. After being shot, Mr. Kirkland started shooting back to protect his life.
Officer Gonzalez never tried to de-escalate the situation. Nor did he attempt to give Mr. Kirkland a chance to surrender, which was his protocol. But to justify shooting Mr. Kirkland, Officer Gonzalez lied and said Mr. Kirkland popped the trunk "from the inside" and then popped up from the trunk shooting at the police. SEE OFFICER GONZALEZ'S REPORT.
But the 12 year old child that was in the car went to the police station and gave a written statement to the police right after the incident occurred. The child stated, "The police officer reached into the car and popped the button to open the trunk." SEE 12 YEAR OLD CHILD'S STATEMENT. Also, Massachusetts State Police Officer Stephen Gregorcyzk, who said he was shot in this incident, stated in his report, "Officer Gonzalez reached near the driver's side seat and activated the trunk release." The trooper also stated, "Officer Gonzalez reached the rear of the vehicle and pushed the trunk open." SEE TROOPER GREGORCYZK'S REPORT. But at Mr. Kirkland's trial the trooper recanted, saying he didn't really see Officer Gonzalez do any of that. Obviously he chose to cover up for his fellow officer. So, of course, the trooper wouldn't say that Officer Gonzalez just walked up and started shooting Mr. Kirkland, without ever giving him any chances to surrender.
Even the "supervisor", Springfield Police Sergeant David Martin, who was at the scene, wrote a report to cover up for his fellow officer. Sgt. Martin stated that Officer Gonzalez had the trunk "partially open" and was giving Mr. Kirkland "commands to show his hands", because that's what Officer Gonzalez really was supposed to do. But you just read Officer Gonzalez's report (above). He didn't even say he did any of that. SEE Sgt. MARTIN'S REPORT. Now if this wasn't a "wrongful" police shooting, what was all of the lies and covering up about?
Officer Lied and was NEVER Shot
During this wrongful police shooting incident Mr. Kirkland allegedly shot Trooper Gregorcyzk in his bulletproof vest, and Officer Gonzalez actually LIED and said he was shot in his vest also. We have some of Officer Gonzalez's medical records from his hospital visit right after the shooting. At one point during this visit his records states that Officer Gonzalez had "GSW [Gunshot Wounds] to R [Right] upper chest + R [Right] axilla - both bullets caught in bullet proof vest." SEE OFFICER GONZALEZ'S MEDICAL RECORDS - RIGHT. Then, during that same visit, about half an hour later, his medical records says that he had "GSW [Gunshot Wound] to Left upper chest-bullet lodged in vest." SEE OFFICER GONZALEZ'S MEDICAL RECORDS - LEFT.
Now that's three bullets alleged to have been lodged in Officer Gonzalez's vest. But Massachusetts State Police Ballistic Expert, Sergeant John Crane, testified at Mr. Kirkland's trial that he "looked over this vest carefully, and it's his opinion that there are no obvious bullet strikes on this vest." Sgt. Crane testified that he also examined the shirt that Officer Gonzalez wore over his vest that day, and he "did not find any tears or punctures consistent with a bullet or projectile going into it." SEE TRIAL TRANSCRIPTS of Sgt. CRANE'S TESTIMONY.
Had Officer Gonzalez really been shot those marks would have been easy to find. That proves that the officer did not get shot. Aside from Officer Gonzalez saying Mr. Kirkland shot him, there was absolutely no evidence that said Mr. Kirkland shot him. In fact, aside from the lies he told the medical personnel, there was no evidence that that officer was shot at all, period.
Mr. Kirkland was very fortunate to have had a firearm in his possession and been able to shoot back to defend his life. Officer Gonzalez was set to murder Mr. Kirkland in the trunk of that car. Shooting back saved Mr. Kirkland's life. By forcing Officer Gonzalez to back up, he was ONLY able to shoot Mr. Kirkland six times out of the sixteen shots he tried to fire into Mr. Kirkland before he reloaded his weapon to shoot Mr. Kirkland some more.
Again, Mr. Kirkland is no angel. He had a warrant out for his arrest and he was in possession of a firearm. Those police officers had every right, and a duty, to arrest Mr. Kirkland and take him into custody. But having that badge does not give them officers the right to take anyone's life, unless their own lives were in jeopardy, which they weren't in this incident. So when Officer Gonzalez opened the trunk and started shooting Mr. Kirkland, never giving him any chances to surrender, Mr. Kirkland had a right and duty to protect his own life. There was nothing else he could've done at that moment.
Because Mr. Kirkland refused to let this officer murder him he was charged and convicted of shooting Trooper Gregorcyzk and Officer Gonzalez, and sentenced to twenty years in prison for each charge (to run concurrently). A police officer can murder someone on camera and not get charged with anything. In fact, they even get the incentive of a paid vacation ("Paid Administrative Leave"). Mr. Kirkland just defended himself from being murdered, and he was charged, tried, convicted and sentenced to spend decades in prison for shooting an officer (Gonzalez) that didn't even get shot. He just lied and said he did.
There were so many things wrong with this entire picture. Mr. Kirkland was definitely railroaded by this criminal justice system. We really need help and support from the public (you), in many ways, to help right the wrongs that was done to Mr. Kirkland. If you happen to be willing and able to support this movement, in any way, please feel free to contact us thru any of the forms of information listed below.
We thank you for your help and support in advance.
The Free Kirkland Movement