I know, I'm potentially walking into a hornet's nest here. I've done that a time or two before. So, here goes. I brought myself to watch both videos: the routine traffic stop, and the aftermath. In the video where the officer walks up to the car and asks for essentials, I thought, okay, nice and respectful person. A misdemeanor taillight malfunction is usually met with a 24-hour warning ticket to get the problem corrected. After all, it could happen to anyone. Most people gratefully thank the officer for the head's up, the problem is corrected, life goes on. And then, there are the oddities of life; people who RUN.
I will admit, for days I didn't look into this incident; only heard in bitter sadness via online radio-news sources eight shots fired at a man on the run. I'm thinking a 20-something-year-old kid who panicked, took off on foot; being totally unjustifiable to be shot in cold-blood, in the back. Quite obviously, yesterday when I realized it was a 50-year-old "senior citizen," I could only shake my head and wonder, WHY DID HE RUN? Clearly, there is never a reason to run. You're just making it more difficult for everyone involved. If you have legal problems, know that the gig is up when 5-0 tags you. You're it. It's time to go to jail. You will not pass Go. Okay, I digress on such a serious matter.
I am sure if Scott was here to do that scene all over again, he would face the music and know that a few months, maybe even years, would not be the end of the world. Again, I ask, "WHY DID HE RUN?" That's it for part one of this discussion.
Now to the problem, as sad as it is. The video blocked crucial details. I saw an officer take off behind a fleeing suspect. Most officers want to go home at the end of the day, and running behind suspects whose i.d. they have possession of, is not worth the run. The car would have been impounded. The passenger (correction) would have been questioned, probably released, and suspect on the lam would be caught in a few hours or days. This officer would not be in jail charged with murder, away from his precious family; and the suspect would probably be alive and getting ready to face the music, or not.
Back to the video. I saw an officer obviously plow down an unarmed man. In his defense, he says the suspect tried to get his taser. I can't confer or dispute that, considering the instrument was on the ground. I saw him handcuff the suspect in order to 'secure' the scene in case the guy with eight gunshots might be on PCP and get up and go round two. Now the problem. Allegedly, the suspect attempted to grab the officer's taser which ended up on the ground at; let's say Point A. After the body is cuffed, a few feet away (Point B), the officer returned to pick up the taser from the initial point, and clearly walked over to drop it next to the body of the deceased, and cuffed, suspect. Oh no. Then in a manner that left one asking, 'Did you just see him just do that?', the officer leisurely picked up by the taser, returning it to his person. Oh dear. Thus, the murder charge.
My sorrow goes out to both mothers. I presumed the mother of the suspect was in her 40s or 50s; but no, her son was an old man who obviously had not learned the value of protocol in a traffic stop. Running is not an option. It just makes life harder for all. The mother of the officer is clearly in shock. My prayers go out to everyone involved. SOMETHING went terribly wrong in this routine traffic stop. I hope there's video of what happened in the alleged altercation.
Word to the wise: Officers want to go home at the end of the day just as everyone else. They have families. They mow lawns. They attend Little-League games. Yes, there are rogues in any profession; but, overall most police officers don't want drama. It's clear, the traffic stop showed a respectful person trying to do his job. What made him 'go rogue' and 'plant' evidence makes the hidden part of this story almost, well clearly, MOOT. What happened? WHY DID HE PUT THE TASER BY THE BODY? I'm sure the defense will come down to disorientation in the heat of the moment; but, don't let me play attorney here. One thing's for sure: Both mothers lose and, in life's irony, the mother of the suspect will never want for a dime the rest of her days. Sad, and true. Believers, let us not just talk about this. Let us lift up prayers for all involved. Amen.
Note: While editing this piece, heard a news update where other innocent African-American-male drivers, obeying protocol, without provocation, fell at the mercy of this officer's taser. Dear God. Have mercy.