crime

Lawyer's widow disputes police version of husband's murder

30 Comments

The widow of an Akita lawyer who was killed in November on Thursday condemned the conduct of police present at the scene of her husband's murder and said the official account of what happened does not match what she saw that day.

The lawyer, Hirotaka Tsuya, 55, was stabbed by Katsuo Sugawara, 66, who had broken into his home on Nov 25. Two police officers who arrived at the scene saw the men struggling and mistook Tsuya for the perpetrator because he was holding a gun. They restrained him, but in the confusion, Sugawara produced a knife and fatally stabbed Tsuya.

Prosecutors indicted Sugawara on Nov 25. After the incident, the chief of the Akita prefectural police apologized to Tsuya's family and said he was sorry that Tsuya had lost his life even though police officers were at the scene.

However, on Thursday, Tsuya's widow, Ryoko, told a news conference: "The events as the police have described them do not correlate with what I saw with my own eyes. I want to tell everyone what I saw. If I don't, my husband cannot rest in peace."

She was joined by a three-man group of lawyers led by Kazuhiro Yoshioka who are pushing for a follow-up investigation to get to the truth of the matter.

Police have claimed that they saw Tsuya waving the gun and assumed he was the assailant. Ryoko said that it was Sugawara who had the gun and that when the two men started to fight, her husband wrested the gun from Sugawara. The police officers first restrained Tsuya and pinned his arms behind him, at which point Sugawara stabbed him. Ryo pointed out that if her husband's movements had not been restricted by police, he might have been able to avoid Sugawara's knife.

© Compiled from news reports

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

30 Comments
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J cops are not only imcompedent they are also liars now too she says, nothing we all didnt already know anyway. I know the old story of the mechanics car always needing fixing and the barbers hair always being too long etc but taking it a bit far when the cops are always commting the crimes aint it?

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This case disgusted me. Bloody bungling j-cops.

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The problem with this case is that the police didn't restrain both men. However, if the victim had wrested the gun away from the intruder and was holding it when the police arrived, then it's only natural that they would have restrained him first.

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Tsuya had lost his life even though police officers

This should read, "Tsuya had lost his life due to negligence on the part of the police officers." PERIOD...

Best of luck to her...

I hope she prevails...

It's only through people like her that change will ever come about... Maybe some day, they will actually train J-Cops as real police are trained...

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I agree with smartacus. It's all about human instincts.

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In Canada, everybody would be down on the ground with an officer's knee on their neck and a gun/taser trained on them until the situation is in control. It always struck me as a little over-the-top, until you hear of situations like this happening.

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I think it's wrong that they're trying to gloss over the fact that they just assumed he was the perp, but for sure, it's just common sense to go after the person with the gun. Even when it's clear that the person is the victim, it makes more sense to restrain that person before something ugly occurs. However, as smatacus pointed out, they didn't do anything about the other guy! That's what doesn't make sense. You assume EVERYONE is guilty until you can get the facts straight and take all dangerous elements out of the situation. This was serious negligence. I hope this woman is able to be heard.

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I am glad to see the widow has three lawyers. Hopefully they will aggressively pursue compensation and call for criminal prosecution of the officers involved. Ideally, that will put pressure on other police departments to improve what appears to be a tragic lack of officer training.

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Why didn't they draw their weapons, point them and tell EVERYBODY to freeze?

This was a horrible case of incompetence. But that's par for the course for j-cops.

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They restrained him first because he had the gun, but it still amazes me that they didn't notice that the other guy had a knife. Also, it doesn't take 2 police to hold one man.

Another point.

Doesn't anyone find it interesting how the guy who broke into the house had a gun?? This is Japan, not Detroit. Where did he get the gun from?

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Disgusting case. I hope she prevails.

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Strange! They'll send two cops to a brawl involving guns and knives, yet they'll send 8 or 9 cops to a minor traffic accident. - However, I don't see much difference in the cop's story and the widow's story from this article. If the lawyer had already wrestled the gun from the perp by the time the J-cops got there they seem to have acted accordingly. But the question still remains, why did they only restrain one of them? It shows a lot of support for the cops to carry non-lethal weapons. If they had tazers or capsicum spray this guy might still be alive.

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The way I read it. The saw one guy with a gun and another with empty hands.

Any semi-trained knife-fighter WILL NOT show the knife, the 1st you know about it is when you been stabbed or cut.

The guy saw a chance to hurt the guy(being restrained) and pulled the knife and stabbed.

That is how I and a few others see the situation.

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MrDog:

" Also, it doesn't take 2 police to hold one man. "

Actually, yes it does. Police or not, it does take 2 men to securely hold down 1, unless you are talking about pro wrestler.

And I don´t really see the difference in the article between what she says and what we know already, or did something get lost in translation?

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For once, I don't think the J-cops are in the wrong here. As has already been said, the instinct is to first go for the guy with the gun, and both accounts say the man killed was the one holding the gun when the police intervened. And yes, it does take two men to restrain a man, and after that, they can confront the other man.

What really needs to be addressed is police procedures in these incidents. The whole "everyone on the ground now" approach sound so much better.

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Never let the police come anywhere near you if you're in danger! They just make matters worse!

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Any semi-trained knife-fighter WILL NOT show the knife,

I seriously doubt the 66 year old burglar was a "semi-trained knife-fighter". I also doubt that he wasn't waving it about in some manner since the other guy had a gun and they were fighting.

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Had someone called the police? Maybe police were told that the suspect had a gun? They walk in and head for guy with the gun and restrain him first. Seems logical to me. I think the biggest problem here was that they didn't send more cops in. Then 2 cops could have restrained one guy while 2 others held the second man.

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The explanation I saw on TV was easier to understand than this article. She said that her husband was struggling with the guy who had the gun when the police came in. He apparently wasn't standing there holding the gun. Whatever the case may be, the police made a mess of the whole thing. What should have been a breaking and entering arrest, turned into a murder. I also do not understand why they did not draw their weapons and identify themselves. If there is a drawn weapon, they should have, no matter who was holding it. BTW do police have tasers here?

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these kinds of accounts are going to happen with much more frequency and i for one am so glad. the police need to be held accountable.

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You guys just don't understand Japan culture. The police (and anyone else for that matter) are trained for specific situations. Their ability to think outside the box - even if it involves common sense, does not exist. The police were obviously untrained to handle these kinds of home invasions, hence the fatal and messy confusion.

I'm sure while the perp was stabbing the victim - the J-police were verbally scolding the perp with "Da Me! Da Me!", "Yamete! Yamete!", or some equally strong verbal commands, followed by some severe sucking of the air out of the crime scene.

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I agree with seaforte03.

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Let's face it, Japanese cops just don't know how to handle a situation. To take your eyes off of one of the parties means he could have also gotten hold of one of the cops pistols and shot the man as well even if he didn't have a knife. Total incompetence on the cops part.

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Why didn't they draw their weapons, point them and tell EVERYBODY to freeze?

This was a horrible case of incompetence. But that's par for the course for j-cops.

Easy to answer. Most of the police don't carry handguns.

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Most of the police don't carry handguns.

What?! In twenty years in Japan I've never seen a cop without a gun. Maybe I live in a rough neighbourhood... :(

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Cops carry guns, security forces(many of which have very similar Uniforms/near identical) don't.

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Aussie, you need to be more serious, Japanese police, except when on riot duty, carry guns as standard issue buddy.

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“The events as the police have described them do not correlate with what I saw with my own eyes. I want to tell everyone what I saw. If I don’t, my husband cannot rest in peace.”

What the victim's wife saw and the what the police saw are two different views. In other words, there is no reason for the police to restrain Tsuya if the police really saw and intepreted that Sugawara was the actual perpetrator.

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Why would somebody go to a place to attack someone else with the intention of murder (as this guy obviously did) with a knife AND a gun? If he is going with a gun, why even bother with a knife too? But she is saying that the gun was the perps, and it was also the perp who stabbed her husband. Somthing about this doesn't seem right to me, but in any case, her story and the police's are pretty much the same so I don't understand why the controversy. What difference does it make who the gun belonged to? The police grabbed the guy holding it, inadvertently facilitating the murder - that important point they all seem to agree on.

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If she was there why didn't she just nail the guy with a frying pan? Sheesh!

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