Mathieu Cadeau: Ignore Him and Get Shot
March 6, 2017– (Fault Lines) Anyone who has ever been to a sporting event in a coliseum or other large venue is aware of the pandemonium that ensues when thousands of people are all trying to leave at the same time. Many fear the possibility of being trapped for an hour or more, while security guards with varying levels of competence attempt to clear the parking lots without incident.
Often the gestures, commands and behavior of these security guards is completely baffling and eventgoers can be tempted to roll down the window and ask them what the heck they are doing, or possibly ignore the uninterpreted gestures and go around them.
This may be what happened to Noel Hall as he and his family were leaving the Georgia Dome after a motocross event last week.
According to Hall:
First thing we want to make very clear is, that at no point did we realize this man was a police officer, he never presented hisself in any such way. Yes, he had a vest on, however, from our point of view there was nothing on it to indicate or state who he was, he never identified himself, we did not see a badge and most certainly did not see his weapon.
We were already in the turn lane and in the process of turning when he approached us by walking in front of our van, we did not drive toward him as been stated. We came to a complete stop and at the point when we did start moving, we made a turn to the right, around and away from the officer.
It is unclear to us as of why he chose to shoot, as we had already moved past him, when he fired at us, but it was absolutely unjustified.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has already taken over the case, releasing a statement to a local news outlet that Officer Mathieu Cadeau was conducting traffic and had ordered Hall to go in one direction, but Hall “wanted to go another direction.” The GBI states that Hall drove towards the officer. This is contradicted by a statement from Sgt. Warren Pickard of the Atlanta police:
We’re not at the point where we’re going to say that the officer was threatened or the officer was not threatened.
One thing not in dispute is that the bullet went through the driver’s side window, in and out of Hall’s shoulder, inches past his wife’s head, and out the passenger window. This is not the window you shoot at when you think a vehicle is going to run you down.
Despite the amazing mind-reading skills of the GBI with which they determined that Hall “wanted to go another direction,” it’s more likely that Hall, being from North Carolina simply wasn’t sure which direction he wanted to go and that Cadeau wasn’t effective in communicating his directive.
It’s also possible that Cadeau is not a very good traffic director, or cop for that matter. In 2016, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals denied his assertion of qualified immunity after he was sued for falsely arresting a couple walking on the street in front of their home.
Carolyn Carr and her husband Charles Gibson were in front of their home on a street closed to vehicle traffic due to a festival nearby. Suddenly, Officer Cadeau yelled at them to get off the street. Like in Hall’s case, Cadeau was off-duty and working as a security guard, and in this case Carr and Gibson also had no idea he was a police officer.
Carr responded with:
What, what the fuck? I live here, this is my home.
This lack of respect for his authority was too much for Cadeau. He rushed Carr, grabbed her and slammed her head into a car in her garage. Carr and Gibson went to jail that night. All charges against them were dismissed, and eventually they sued.
The court didn’t buy his story, and in the shooting of Hall everyone should keep that in mind. It doesn’t seem that Cadeau handles disregard for his ‘authoritah’ well.
The intersection at the scene was well covered with cameras, which are now under the control of the police. It’s very possible that Cadeau will be allowed to see them prior to making a statement. This is a case to watch. Is Cadeau a bad cop, or has he just had a couple of bad incidents?