"The court's view of his actions on that day cannot be viewed the same as a Saturday night killing or a typical murder case, but must be viewed through the eyes of a reasonable police officer at the time he determined to use lethal force"
This is correct. As a police officer, he is not limited to firing in self defense. The 'Fleeing Felon' law, as amended around 1985, says an officer can fire upon a fleeing suspect IF THE OFFICER HAS PROBABLE CAUSE to determine the suspect is a danger to the officer, other officers in the area, or the community at large. This is what many people do not realize in these cases. An officer can LEGALLY shoot you in the back if the above conditions are met.
When determining guilt, the jury must consider if probable cause existed to fire. The suspect did not have to be an ACTUAL danger, only that the officer had a reasonable belief that the suspect could possibly be a danger. Unarmed or not, the officer can legally shoot you if he believes you are a danger at the time he fired.
In this case, the jury will be asked to determine if such probable cause existed. Could the officer see that the suspect, Mr. Scott, was unarmed? We can see his hands from our angle, but can the officer? Was the fact that the officer could not search Mr. Scott, and the later struggle, enough to create a reasonable image that Mr. Scott was a danger to others?
For this to be murder, there must be malice, and forethought. I doubt the prosecution has proved this. Moving the taser, if done to contaminate the scene, is not enough to prove murder. The prosecution should have avoided the political pressure to try for a murder conviction, and instead tried for voluntary manslaughter, which, I believe, would have been a more accurate charge for this case. But, what do I know.....
The parking issue that WJH mentioned is nothing to scoff at. As a musician, I get to talk to the FOH and BOH staff after closing and the financial burden of parking costs, citations for expired meters, and the like cuts into wages very significantly. For workers that arrive at 4pm when the city is still full of day staff and leave at 10:30 all the way out to 3:00am, there isn't even a public option. The city absolutely must recognize that if it is going to balance the economy on server's trays, it needs to take some of the burden off their backs.
So many young ones heading off to NYC and larger cities (just had a few over for Thanksgiving in our NY place - great excuse for me to make cornbread and pork sausage stuffing), where they can make good money and have a chance to spread their wings and possibly advance. Restaurant owners here need to learn the old pay more - get more - stay longer - cheaper in the long run rule. A few of the better places know this and seem to have great success because their people stay. All those F & B kids in NYC like it here, many grew up here, but just can not afford to live here and have any kind of life. I really have to give props to One80 and Turning Leaf, both great programs and also to Mickey and Scott for stepping up. If they ran background checks when I started, 90 percent of the BOH would of been out of a job, myself included.
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