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Family Says DynCorp Lied About Killing

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Photo (The News-Herald)

Glynis Farrell – (Courthouse News)  – DETROIT – March 6, 2012 – A family claims in Federal Court that DynCorp International covered up the shooting of their son, who allegedly was shot to death by a drunken co-worker in Iraq.
The family of the late Justin Pope sued DynCorp and 12 of its employees, including the alleged shooter, Kyle Palmer.
The family claims Palmer was drunk when he shot and killed Justin Pope in front of at least 11 other DynCorp employees on March 4, 2009. They say in the complaint that “Defendant Palmer pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the case of United States v. Kyle Palmer … and on March 29, 2010, was sentenced to, among other things, three (3) years in prison for the crime.”
The men worked as security specialists for DynCorp in Kirkuk, Iraq, assigned to protect American diplomats and dignitaries. DynCorp is a private military contractor based in Falls Church, Va.
Pope, a Detroit native who served two tours of duty in Iraq, was 25 at the time of his death.

Pope’s family claims DynCorp and the alleged witnesses conjured up a story to cover up the facts of his death.
The complaint states: “Defendant Palmer in his drunkenness, pulled out a gun, pointed it at Justin’s mouth, pulled the trigger, and shot Justin to death.
“Within 24 hours, defendants commenced a series of events as part of a conspiracy amongst and between themselves as well as, at some point, agents of the United States government, to deceive and mislead the public – and Justin’s family, plaintiffs herein, in particular – with regard to the facts and circumstances of Justin’s death, withholding the truth from them.
Among the falsehoods that Defendants affirmatively told plaintiffs and/or communicated to the public, at various times from March 4, 2009 to the present and continuing, were the following:
     “a. That Justin was alone when he was killed;
     “b. That Justin shot himself;
     “c. That Justin was intoxicated, in violation of DynCorp policy;
     “d. That Justin was shot by his own firearm;
     “e. That Justin was shot because he and Palmer were pointing their guns at one another;
     “f. That Justin, while intoxicated, pointed his gun at Palmer’s head;
     “g. That Justin’s death was exclusively his fault; and
     “h. Other falsehoods.
“Among the facts that defendants deliberately concealed from plaintiffs were the following:
     “a. That defendant Palmer shot and killed Justin;
     “b. That Justin was shot from a distance of at least several feet;
     “c. That there was no evidence that Justin had ingested alcohol or any other intoxicants;
     “d. That there were at least eleven (11) people in the room at the time that Justin was shot;
     “e. That there was widespread ingestion of alcohol and intoxication amongst DynCorp employees, including but not limited to individual Defendants
Palmer, Fleming, Hillestad, Augustine, Igo, Tanner, Isaac [Doe 1] and Doe #’s 2-7, the night of Justin’s shooting death;

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  1. Comment by Marcie Hascall Clark:

    Plenty more lies told by DynCorp about plenty of other deaths. Good to see this one made public.

  2. Comment by Elsie:

    Dyncorps; one of the largest vultures of all. Literally preying on dead bodies. Yuck.

  3. Comment by treena:

    It is difficult losing a son; but to lie that he took his own life and violated his contract is just low down. I pray for the peace for this family and I pray that the truth be exposed!

  4. Comment by Forseti:

    Here is another article:
    The family’s attorney, William Goodman, tells ABC News, “the autopsy showed that Justin had not a drop of alcohol or any other intoxicant in him.”

    What motive would DynCorp or its employees have for a cover-up? According to Goodman, the episode was deeply embarrassing to the company — one of only three major U.S. contractors operating in Iraq at the time. “They didn’t want the American public to know its money was being spent on criminal and lethal behavior,” Goodman said.

    DynCorp International, based in Falls Church, Va., told ABC News in a statement: “This was an extremely tragic accident that occurred several years ago, after working hours, when certain personnel were drinking alcohol in violation of Company policy. Although our thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Pope’s family and loved ones, the allegations contained within the suit are without merit.”

    • Comment by AFEBRules:

      The attorney didn’t mention the fact that if the contractor would have reported what really happened it would have an impact on DynCorp’s award fees and negative performance might weigh on future contract awards. Better to cover it up and blame the victim. DynCorp was holding 1/3 of LOGCAP IV they had 5 billion reasons to not to self report. It’s all about profit and playing the game.

  5. Comment by Connie:

    Why does DynCorp keep getting awards? I’ve worked for a few of these defense contractors, including DynCorp. They are the slimiest of them all.

    • Comment by Ms Sparky:

      Connie that is a question many of us keep asking and no one seems to be able to answer it.

    • Comment by Ms Sparky:

      After Dyncorp’s proven human trafficking offenses in the Balkans they should have been banned from EVER being awarded another government contract.

      • Comment by msjustice67:

        They keep getting contracts because they are connected to the government through a huge web of corruption. Look at all the Retired Generals/ Government Officials on the board of Directors & working as Executives with DynCorp:
        1. General Barry McCaffrey who was also at one time a NBC Military Analyst – http://www.alternet.org/story/145677/the_talking_heads_of_cable_news_are_leading_double_lives_as_paid_lobbyists_for_corporations/
        2. Retired General Anthony Zinni
        3. Gregory Nixon is now the Vice-President and General Counsel of DynCorp’s business division responsible for federal, state, and local public sector services and contracts. He also held government positions with the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

        Remember when DynCorp was upset about other companies getting contracts and protested the contracts only to have them decided in DynCorps favor. The Government Accountability office overturned this decision. Hmmmm – nice that their Vice President just happened to work for the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

        They get contracts because they hire the right people in upper management positions and the board of directors know the right people.

  6. Comment by Marcie Hascall Clark:

    DynCorp sends injured contractors home on their own dime with the promise of medical care in the US and their job back when they recover.
    Sometimes they are sequestered until they agree to go.
    The people then have to fight for their DBA benefits without help from DynCorp, they are terminated, and have to fight for reimbursement of their flights home.
    No one will listen to this.
    They have our government in their pocket.

  7. Comment by Intrepid:

    With Retired Generals on various Boards and positions, these companies are well insulated from the direction of prosecution of crimes in the industry. It is like a well greased Mafia family machine all the way up the chain in the pentagon,tacom and rock island. If you take one out another retires and steps in to continue the family business.

  8. Comment by john:

    this story is about a great young man whho married my sister and tried his best. Now my sister and her son are left without husband/dad while scumbag companies like this go on with business as usual. They called my sister up that night giving her bits and pieces of info(lies). Kyle gets 3 years,wheres the justice? One day.

  9. Comment by Hunter Deleich:

    Dyncorp’s “Dirty Dozen”

    Justin Pope Investigation – Tragedy and Failure paid for by our own Government (State Department)

    In April 2009, 1 month after Justin Pope was shot, a spokesperson for Dyncorp at the time named Douglas Ebner stated in a different issue, “We go to extraordinary efforts to instill upon all management, as well as all employees, our absolute priority of zero-tolerance for all misconduct,” he said. “If they violate these standards, we will terminate. We take seriously any allegations. We fully investigate any such cases brought to our attention.”That statement has been tested numerous times since and seems to have fallen on many deaf ears at Dyncorp. I doubt I need to include all the investigations past and present.

    Dyncorp re-invents their own black-ops practices daily, sickening practice. It has been reported numerous times they expel their employees from a country to drop the heat on a particular issue. They run a high level of corruption and complicity in their own high level managers, security directors etc. Their internal investigations are only driven by cover up, and greed, the old practice keeps all information inside, deny any leaks or misconduct. I am not even sure they are even capable of a competent investigation. They make the mob look like saints!

    In regards to Justin Pope, old practices seemed to have been followed in that investigation. Stories were made, corroborated and set in motion even before the family ever knew Justin had passed.

    Dyncorp’s “Dirty Dozen” are left to tell the tale of that horrible day. Aggressiveness with prevail in front of a jury! My thoughts and prayers are with the family!

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