Friday, March 03, 2006

More on the dead pancake thief in Alexandria

Today's Washington Post raises some of the questions I was asking earlier.

I am still not at all convinced that the officer's story makes sense, FWIW. As the CSO noted in my comments, firing a gun doesn't work in real life the way it works on TV.

Though he uses the point to argue against me, I think it makes my argument. Firing a gun to stop a car because the car is coming right at you is exactly the sort of thing that only works on TV. (After all, even if you kill the driver and shoot out the tires, the car itself will keep coming for you.)

The whole "guy with clean criminal record suddenly decides to murder a security gaurd as to avoid getting busted for simple possession*" story doesn't work for me at all.

If it works for you, fine, but ask yourself this:

If you were in the cop's shoes and truly afraid for your life, would you stand still long enough to aim at a moving target and fire, taking the chance that even if you hit what you were aiming at, the SUV might still keep coming your way (and indeed, even if it didn't hit you, with no driver alive to put on the brake might roll out in to traffic and kill everyone else in the car and goodness knows who else?)

Or would you use that time to run, into the restaurant, behind some other cars or anyplace else out of the way?


Ps. The driver's BAC was WELL under the legal limit .02. He's only getting busted for a DUI because ANY blood alcohol level is a DUI in Virginia if you're under 21. The car would NOT have been swerving because the guy was drunk. His BAC suggests he'd drunk approximately one beer an hour or two before. If you've ever had a glass of wine with dinner and then driven home, you were probably drunker than this kid.

1 comment:

LaReinaCobre said...

The poor fellow who died was named Aaron. And he used to be the friend of a UU young woman I know, who posts on FUUSE. She was really upset about this, as one would expect, and it really brought home to me that all of these people we read about in news articles and such are real people. And, perhaps only separated from us by a few degrees.

What concerns me is the tendency we have as individuals to be willing to invoke violence over the perceived loss of property. Is it so ingrained in us that we don't even realize it? My thoughts about the shooting were similar to yours: why would anyone shoot at a vehicle moving their way if their main intention is to get out of the way? That doesn't make any sense. Even if one did manage to hit one of the tires, the car isn't going to come to a full stop. Unless one is simply uninformed or disoriented by the situation, it makes no sense. Getting out of the way from the vehicle makes the most sense to me.

I don't know what happened, but it is so sad. Aaron was just sitting in the back seat of a car after having pancakes. He was not the driver. He was shot in the back of the head. And the money was on the table!

I'm sure the officer and the officer's family are going through hell right now. This is one of those: does a stupid act (resorting to weaponry) make one a bad person? I'm definitely praying for all involved.