I was watching CNN this morning, like I always do, when a rather disturbing story was told. It seems that an off duty Baltimore officer shot and killed a Marine who has served two tours in Iraq. Of course that got my attention so I did a little digging further online to find out what went down, as we know it so far.
These are the statements coming out at this point. The officer claims the Marine made advances toward the woman he was with. He continues by saying there was a verbal altercation which became physical. That’s when he pulled out his service weapon and apparently discharged it 13 times hitting the Marine 6 of those. Yes, I said 13.
Now the Marine’s sister claims there was no physical contact at all between any of them. She says her brother’s arms were up to show he was not armed and he was trying to get the officer to calm down. His sister then said the officer started shooting and her brother died shortly after that.
I have to preface this with the fact that we don’t have all the facts. Only the statements of those involved and they can sometimes be tainted because of inherent bias for the people involved. Suffice it to say, there is still much to be learned about this incident.
We do know that an off duty officer decided to go to a nightclub where he presumably would be doing at least a minimal amount of drinking. WHAT WAS HE THINKING? He is a 15 year veteran of the force who should have a clue about the possible side effects of mixing alcohol with a gun. It isn’t like he was a regular citizen who has never been in a fight and might have no idea how that combination could cause such an altercation. We are talking about someone who is supposed to know and pay attention to these types of situations so we can depend on them to protect us. He has also been reprimanded for shooting another man in the foot while off duty at another establishment in 2005. He was under the influence at that time also.
How are we supposed to depend on our sworn officers when they cannot police themselves? I did not know we had to defend ourselves from the police department. And they are worried about gun laws? I think they should be concerned about off duty officers carrying their weapons and drinking. The last time I knew, alcohol affected police officers the same way it does you and me. It messes with our normal thought processes. I hope he doesn’t get away with it this time.