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Saturday, August 18, 2012

Christopher Middleton's Street Rage, and Sudden Death

     On Saturday night, August 11, 2012, 26-year-old Christopher Middleton and his family--his pregnant fiancee Tanya, their 6-year-old son, and their 4-year-old daughter Taniyah--were gathered at a restaurant in Maywood, Illinois, a town of 27,000 ten miles west of downtown Chicago. At nine that evening, an eight year veteran of the Chicago Police Department was riding his motorcycle through Maywood on his way home after work. As the officer approached the restaurant, 4-year-old Taniyah darted out into the street. To avoid running over her, the 43-year-old officer laid the bike on the ground. It skidded, flipped, then brushed the girl and bumped her 18-year-cousin who had run into the street to fetch her. The 4-year-old, while receiving contusions and abrasions, was not seriously hurt. The officer fractured his ankle, dislocated his shoulder, and possibly broke a leg. The girl's cousin, John Passley, was not injured.

     The injured off-duty police officer was attending the girl when Christopher Middleton, her father, rushed out of the restaurant shouting and swearing. "You could have killed my daughter," he screamed.

     "Take it easy, I'm the police," the officer replied in an effort to calm Middleton down.

     "I don't care who the f---- you are!" shouted the father as he punched the officer in the face, knocking him to the street. Middleton continued to punch the officer who couldn't get up to protect himself. The girl's 18-year-old cousin, instead of pulling the out of control father off the fallen officer, decided to participate in the beating by kicking him. Before losing consciousness, the officer pulled his sidearm and shot Middleton. A hour later, at Loyola University Medical Center, a doctor pronounced Middleton dead.

     The Maywood police took John Passley into custody for questioning while Taniyah Middleton was kept in the hospital overnight for observation. Doctors treated the injuries the beaten police officer had received when he avoided running over the girl.

     The 4-year-old's mother, Tanya, told a reporter with the Chicago Tribune that Christopher Middleton "was a father trying to protect his daughter. He was never a violent person," she said. Who was this enraged father protecting his daughter from? The injured officer who was trying to help her? And if Christopher Middleton was not a violent person, what was he when he attacked an injured cop who had risked his own life to save the man's daughter? (In 2005, Middleton had been convicted of felony theft, and a year later, was charged in Elgin, Illinois with resisting arrest. I would argue that nonviolent men do not resist arrest.)

     On August 16, a Cook County prosecutor charged John Passley, a resident of Bellwood, Illinois, with aggravated assault. Investigation of this police involved shooting is being conducted by the Independent Police Review Authority.

     No doubt the family will be contacted by some ambulance chasing lawyer and a lawsuit will be filed against the officer, the Chicago Police Department, the city of Chicago, and who knows, the manufacturer of the motorcycle. But before all the legal BS hits the fan, someone should find out what the little girl was doing out in the street, and who was supposed to be watching her.  

24 comments:

  1. This little girl was not out in the street by herself; she was with her 18yr old cousin trying to cross the street and if she darted out into the street or not is still under investigation and not a fact. I like how you use a 7yr old record of Middleton and try to make it sound like he was still the same man when this event occurred 7 years later. Maybe we need to find out if this off duty officer was speeding and being reckless before we start blaming this little girl. Just because he's an officer does not mean he's a 100% lawful person.

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    1. From everything I've read so far from police and family members there is no accusation that the child was unsupervised. She was with an 18 year old. I don't blame the father for his outrage, but he should not have beat the man, someone should have pulled him off instead of joining in. I think in this case it is wrong to bring up the dead fathers past to justify what you believe, and incite a level of anger out of readers. Everything I read about this pretty much speaks for itself. A horrible tragedy. The fact the he was shot in the groin leads me to think that the officer may not have been trying to deliver a fatal wound, but then on the ground getting beat it could have just been where the gun was aimed when it went off. I sympathize with the officer because regardless of the accident at some point he must have believed that his life was in danger, and anyone would do what they need to do to save their own life.

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    2. Delivering a fatal wound is best accomplished by shooting at center of mass (torso). Maybe the man's aim was off due to the injuries sustained by laying down the bike. Or maybe the punch in the face and the kicks to the body.

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  2. Now that's what I call Good Old Fashioned Biased Reporting. I know that of that was my four daughter I cop or anyone ran over with a MOTER CYCLE, and ripped half her face off, according to the news reports. I t would take God himself to stop me from killing the person that did it. Christopher Middleton, being a black guy and the four year old girl also being black, makes it OK though I guess. No one has yet to mention what this so called cop was doing, how fast he was going or if he was found to just have lost control. They talk about the full story these journalist, but its always just there opinions. Lets hope someone never runs over some little girl you care about.

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    1. speaking of "bias" reporting, the child DID NOT have "half her face ripped off". She ended up with scrapes on her face, she was attended to at the hospital and released the SAME night!!!

      WHY do people who posts as "Anonymous" always fucking get things so wrong??

      So Mr. Anonymous, You are telling everyone here that you are a vengful prick who cannot conrol his anger and is perfectly willing to leave your injured child at the side of the road in order to attack a seriously injured man who has just been in a serious accident and had several broken bones JUST for revenge. And you're ok with that? I'm sure your god would not approve, whould he\she?

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    2. Why wouldn't you tend to your daughter first rather than your "manly" duty of beating some guy up. I'm sorry anonymous, but you and Mr. Middleton are slaves to your egos. In Mr. Middleton's case, it led to his unfortunate but avoidable death.

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    3. I'm not 100% sure, but I do believe that roads are made for cars (and motorcycles too). The cop was driving along minding his own business and the kid runs out in the street. He dumped the bike to avoid hitting her and her dad comes and starts beating the guy who already has a broken leg. As for Middleton's past--that's all every single one of us has to determine our character--how can you overlook the past and paint Middleton as a saint? I'm sure the cop didn't have a criminal past or he wouldn't be a cop. Our society is getting so nutty--it's basically Do Whatever You Want Day every single day and everyone is a victim if something bad happens. In this case, the innocent victim was the cop driving along after work. If the kid didn't dart in the road this wouldn't have happened and if Middleton wasn't so hell-bent on "payback" he would still be able to play with his daughter. Now, his actions have ruined his own life and likely his daughter's.

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    4. Who's exaggerating now? Her face was scraped as a knee would be. If the man wasn't a cop this story would not be about the "innocent" father who beat the hell out of A MAN who ditched his bike to try to avoid hitting a little girl who darted away from her caretaker. But because the man is a cop he intentionally tried to hit the little girl. Or so all you fools would try to have us believe.

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  3. I now know the dead man's criminal history yet the off-duty policeman who hit his daughter with a motorcycle and then shot and killed him has never been identified. Does this seem odd to anyone else?

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    1. They don't normally identify victims in cases like this. No reason to endanger his life because he defended himself.

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  4. You are a terrible writer, with an inability to stay neutral. Labeling you as a base amateur would be considered a complement compared to your actual (lack of) aptitude.

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    1. Who said he's supposed to stay neutral? He's not a judge, not even a journalist. This isn't a newspaper, it's just a blog. But even newspapers have editorials. He can express whatever opinion he wants. Instead of an ad hominem based on a red herring, try arguing your opinion rationally. Irrationally lashing out is what turned this traffic accident into a true tragedy.

      By the way, the word you meant to use is "compliment." Maybe you shouldn't be criticizing others on their writing abilities.

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  5. The little girl suffered minor injuries while the officer was more seriously hurt. He didn't run, he didn't hide...he dove off his motorcycle in an effort to snood one or more persons who walked or ran into the roadway. There's no report that says three officer was speeding, went through a red light or drove up on the sidewalk. These people were in the roadway at night. The cop stops, is seriously injured, moves to help and gets stomped on by not one but two adults for what amounts to an accident caused by children and their less than responsible adults.

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    1. Is snooding legal in Illinois?

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  6. All of the articles on this tragic incident have 4 things in common:
    1. 4 yr old girl ran into street; who's fault??? Unfortunately these things happen.
    2. Motorcylist dumped his bike trying to avoid accident; maybe he saved her life, who knows, but unfortunately little girl was still injured.
    3. Even though he was injured motorcyclist tried to provide aid to injured child.
    4. Father & cousin started beating man on the ground; doesn't matter if he is a cop or if he did or didn't identify himself. Instead of trying to comfort injured child they decided it was better to get revenge on the rider. Bad choice.
    5. Man getting beaten by 2 assailants draws weapon & shoots; one man dies. Could have been prevented.
    It seems that a father's first concern would have been to secure the scene, stop traffic, call 911, comfort his daughter & render aid as necessary to all injured parties. People who say he was trying to protect his daughter...from what? The accident was over by that time. I think he realized his daughter's injuries were not that severe & decided it was time for payback. Sad.

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  7. Wow, the anonymous 2/19/14 comment summed up the reported events as logically as one can do.
    Superb.
    But no fun since there was no bias, no cursing, no political comments.
    Too bad our normal news media can't report as objectively.

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  8. Ya know, that charge of resisting arrest is like a joker card for cops. Without concrete evidence, and based on your own words "was charged with resisting arrest" (about six years before this event) and nothing more likely meant it was dropped because the prosecutors realized it was obviously not going to stand up under trial scrutiny (or baseless, legally and factually) or the magistrate presiding at the preliminary hearing threw it out because s/he saw that it was baseless. So, that statement is at best incomplete and at worst was sneakily included to support the writer's bias against the dead man and to feebly defend the policeman, which was a failure since the author couldn't show that the victim was a man prone to uncontrolled violence, or any violence, since conviction for felony theft is very different from robbery or assault where other PEOPLE are involved. Plus, even if he was convicted of a crime involving violence against another person, it could have been a one time act with exigent circumstances and not his general way of behaving. Even if he was violent prone six years before, he could have CHANGED after the conviction (contrition and reform), maturing, having children, religious experiences, etc. News reports also indicated that people who knew him didn't think he was normally a violent person and that the policeman identified himself much later than he claimed. It was a tragic event and loss for everyone touched by it. It's also a big loss for a writer's credibility when he chooses to twist and omit pertinent facts just so he can make his point, especially in the context of presenting this account as a news report normally would.

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  9. Honestly it doesn't matter what the fathers back round was prior to this horrible, but avoidable accident. He definitely reacted violently towards a man that was clearly hurt, and concerned for the well being of the little girl. The fathers priority should have been for his injured child, period. He should have never left her side for even a second. Unfortunately my husband and I were in a similar situation and at no time did either one of us decide to beat down the man who hit our child with his car. So with that being said, the father was completely out of control, and violence was his priority. Its just too bad that no one was able to rationalize with the father, instead he was joined by family in his attempt at vengeance. Who could blame anyone who is being beaten, and most likely scared for their life to pull a gun and shoot? I don't believe that color or the fact that the man was a cop would have, or could have changed the outcome of this tragedy.

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  10. Any person who is on the ground being attacked by two grown men has the right to defend themselves, period. All of the rest of what happened is irrelevant. If you are on the ground with injuries, and one guy is punching you while another is kicking you and you have a gun SHOOT THEM!!!! Anyone that has been in that situation will tell you that it can turn into a kill or be killed situation quickly. The dead mans family stated several times that he was not a violent man. Possibly true, but I doubt the guy getting a size eleven upside his head was able to consider what a nice guy the gentleman beating him usually is.

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  11. Who here can prove the cop wasn't drunk and that his cronies didn't cover up his crime?

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    1. And who here can prove the off duty officer was drunk and his "Cronies" didn't cover up this incident? Not everything is a conspiracy
      !

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  12. What does "justifiable" mean in this situation? Police officers are often given the benefit of the doubt in spite of the fact many lie to cover up and or justify criminal activity...like shooting to death an angry father whose daughter you'd just fun over? FOH

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  13. To try an understand what may have happened that tragic night we have to look at a few things first.

    1) How does people react to seeing their child in some accident
    2) How are police trained
    3) Even in the truest account of events some important details on both sides will always be missing

    Now what we know is this (shortened)
    A cop sees a girl in the street and tries to avoid her by laying his bike down, the bike then skids and hits the girl, enough to "scratch" her face and cause some bleeding. Then the father of the child and her cousin rushed to the scene and there was some incident, possibly a "fight" and the cop shot the father.

    Ok so let us use common sense and look to the 3 above elements we have to consider in this/any case

    The father was most likely in a "panic" state, usually this means protective and at times violent, natural and yes indeed possibly dangerous. BUT easily "cooled down" and rendered harmless.

    Now lets look to police training, and some police training is universal, the "need" to control every situation, even those where control is warranted.
    Training in firearms etc is actually not very relevant to this case, despite it being a shooting.

    Now lets look at the actions, we know and the actions we can reasonably assume under point 3.

    Cop rushes to tend to the girl, he may at this point not have seen her cousin.
    The Father rushes to the girl as well, screaming, being possibly extremely emotional.
    The cousin comes rushing too as well.

    The cop, now trying to, ot tending to the girl is trained to have control.
    The father rushes in and the cop most likely somehow "pushes him away", again due to the need to control the situation.
    The cop, may or may not identify him self as a cop and the father may or may not understand, and the cop may not even realise this is the child's father.
    The father again wants to get to his child, but the cop, trained to have control, even in the wrong situation, prevents the father from reaching his child.
    The father then attacks, he is now a real danger, but he a danger only because the police officer failed to allow the man cool down, because the police officer failed to determine the right amount of control he needed in the situation.

    The result is a man is dead, another charged with assaulting a cop.

    As to the injuries, it has been stated in numerous papers that the little girl had some facial injuries, very minor and was out from hospital the next day.

    The officer was treated for injuries related to him jumping off his bike, NOT any injuries form the dangerous maniac father, who only needed the cop to assess less control in a situation.
    Due to the lack of both common sense and training the cop failed at this simplest task and a man died, a girl lost her father.

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    1. 1) How does people react to seeing their child in some accident? They let their child lay there and bleed to death as they play tough guy and issue a beat down to the driver. Good reason to never stop and help if you should ever run over someone.

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