Police shooting

Dear Editor:When the news headlines announced the death of Michael Nida, and described him as unarmed, it became instantly a volatile subject. Furthering the controversy was the allegations made by family and news organizations that Mr. Nida was shot in the back, even before the Coroner's report was released. Since then many have wondered out loud, with great self righteous indignation, when the relevant politicians were going to throw the responsible officer to the wolves. Many an impatient question has arisen; why has the investigation taken so long? Perhaps if the Sheriff could speak, they would say: "if this was John Q. Public's possible trial, surely he would want every detail examined, do to the serious nature of the case?" Many have also suggested that police retrain itself to deal with the public. However, perhaps the public should consider training itself on exactly what kind of behavior they should and should not exhibit when "detained" by a police officer. What if any responsibility does the public bare when they encounter law enforcement? What behavior should the public exhibit? Should the public cooperate? Answer the officer's questions in a forth right manner? Control emotions? Consider not running or making any aggressive physical gestures, keeping ones hands in plain sight at all times during the investigation? Refrain from personal insults to the officer? Refrain from accusations of being singled out do to "profiling"? Some would argue that officers do not have the legal right to employ deadly force in regards to a fleeing or uncooperative suspect. However, is it realistic to think that an unarmed suspect who may be aggressive couldn't become armed with the officers weapon? The top ways law enforcement people are killed in the line of duty: domestic violence calls, traffic stops, and weapon disarmament (killed by their own weapon). The question becomes, what if any responsibility does Mr. Nida bare in what happened to him? The coroners report does not fully answer the questions. Nor do the incredulous opinions of the critics of the police. Nor can I. The question can only be answered with crime science, the laws on the books that dictate what an officer can and cannot do and how much of that is subjective and left to "common sense" judgment left up to the officer and to what degree that might leave open the question if any of negligence. Greta Campbell Downey

********** Published: May 03, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 03