It’s about cumulative damage.
It took the Fairfax County Police four days to report to the public, the people who pay them and provide them a $300 million a year budget, that the man they shot in killed in a homeless shelter assaulted a cop with a baton. The baton was taken from the cop. We pay for the cops training on how and when to use the baton. There were two cops at the scene. How and why he got the cops baton is a question for another day.
Another question would be why didn’t one of the two cops use a taser on the man? It takes the same amount of time to reach for, unholster, unlock, point and shoot a taser as it takes to let off the three bullets the cop fired that night.
It’s a worthy question because we have a police force that shoots both the rich and poor alike and they could damn well kill you or someone you love, so the cops should be questioned about their all too frequent use of force.
Being the cops doesn’t mean having permission deadly force doesn’t mean you have to do it, a point seemingly lost on the Fairfax County Police.
If the cops don’t have tasers, why don’t they have them? At $300 million a year, they should be able to buy a taser factory. If they can afford a PR department, they can afford tasers.
This is what will happen. The Internal Affairs office, AKA Pinocchio Central, will look at the case to determine where the department is exposed, cover that hole, and then announce the cops have investigated the cops and that the cops are innocent of any wrong doing, cowardly behavior, overreacting and/or just generally bad decision making.
If, in secrecy, they determine that the cops in question over reacted, will they secretly fire those cops and you’ll never hear about it? If they do, that isn’t right. It’s our government not theirs. Hell, 8 out of 10 Fairfax County cops don’t even live here. We have a right to know.
While we’re on the subject, what happened to the cop who gunned down Sal Culosi? How about the cop who shot David master to death over a house plant? Are they still on the force? Have they been fired? The department never released the information.
Departmental critics, which are nation wide at this point (Google the killing of Sal Culosi) have cited the County cop’s love of secrecy but secrecy doesn’t have a damn thing to do with it. It’s all about arrogance and contempt. And the price for secrecy, arrogance and contempt of the public, by government operatives, is suspicion, doubt and distrust by the public of government.
Well that’s the part the rank and file cops don’t get. It’s about cumulative damage. In a century of cameras everywhere and the internet, it’s just a matter of time before a Fairfax County cop is recorded shooting someone and goes trial for it. It won’t matter if the cop was right in using deadly force.
As more and more information about the shoot first think later mentality of the police is made public, it all adds up, the more juriors will have to consider about the cops motive.