The controversy regarding the shooting in Missouri doesn’t discount the fact that, reminiscent of what happened in Florida, a man with a gun got involved in a situation that escalated to a point where he felt threatened and believed he had no recourse but to shoot and kill a young, unarmed teenager. This time, the shooter was a peace officer.
Whether this case results in a murder charge or a finding of self-defense, the reality is that a young man is dead. Worse, initial police response to public outrage only exacerbated an already bad situation.
It would be unfortunate if these types of incidents create or perpetuate a long-term level of distrust between police and the citizens they are charged to protect and to serve.
Though I support the brave men and women who wear the uniform, a comment by former Los Angeles Police Chief William H. Parker regarding alleged police brutality is appropriate here: "We’ll always have problems like this because we have one big problem in selecting police officers. We have to recruit from the human race."
Gary D. Ruiz
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