Washington, DC - Two police officers - one from South Carolina and one from Oklahoma should never have pulled their handguns. Their decisions took lives and forever destroyed families and their own personal lives. One cop was just 33 and the other 72.
A lot has been said about Michael T. Slager, a young man with a new baby due any day. His life is forever ruined by the decision to pull his gun and shoot Walter Scott in the back as he ran away. Much is also now being said about Bob Bates, a 72 year- old reserve cop from Tulsa, Oklahoma. He too made a very bad judgment that took the life of Eric Courtney and also forever changed lives.
Police officers have gotten more than their share of bad publicity in recent months. They've earned it. No one feels happy about cops if they've ever been harassed or talked down to by a police officer. What person has not felt somewhat threatened when pulled over by a police officer? The police have the authority and guns.
I am a supporter of the police. What kind of society would we have without them? If I need them I want them to show up.
People should not resist arrest or run from police officers. There is no future in such actions. While I believe that most of our police officers are good, hard working and ethical people there is the occasional lone idiot who has a badge and a gun and that combination of lunacy, authority and weaponry is very dangerous. They will surely hurt somebody, destroy a family and make the news. They also make it really difficult for the good police officers.
Putting a North Charleston, South Carolina officer Michael T. Slager, age 33, in jail recently for shooting a man eight times in the back was the right thing to do. He has zero business being a policeman. Bob Bates a 73 year-old reserve officer in Tulsa, Oklahoma, said he was reaching for his stun gun but instead pulled his real gun and killed a man already on the ground. He has been charged with second-degree manslaughter.
Two men are dead. Their families are in pain. Two police officers are going to jail. Multiple families are ruined forever. Bad decisions were made by people young and old and on both sides of the law.
This column is the opinion of Glenn Mollette and does not necessarily reflect the view of any organization, institution or this paper or media source.
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