TeeJaw Blog

Officer Down — Blue on Blue

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Saturday, August 13, 2011, 10: 40 AM

Baltimore Cop Killed by Fellow Officer Outside Night Club

Baltimore police say that fellow officers fired the gun shots that killed a plainclothes officer during a melee outside a nightclub.

A 22-year-old civilian was also killed in the early Sunday morning shooting.

Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefield III said on Monday that no civilians fired any shots.

So how is it that a civilian and a police officer are killed, all by cop bullets where no one else fired a shot? Or ever pointed a weapon at police? It was not deliberate. They didn’t know the officer fatality was a cop because he was in plain clothes. No details on the citizen killed are given so we can’t know at this point whether it was justified.  That’s not to say it wasn’t.  The dead officer had responded to a report of trouble at the nightclub and found a melee outside the bar.  He tried to break up the fight and was attacked by one of the participants. He pulled his gun to defend himself, and that got him shot by the uninformed officers who must have thought he was part of the brawl. He was wearing his badge but it may have come off during the scuffle.

These sorts of tragedies are more common that most people realize, and are a warning to lawfully armed citizens to be careful about getting involved when violence breaks out. A cop in plain clothes makes a fatal mistake thinking that he will be recognized by fellow officers and lawfully armed citizens may make a fatal mistake by not realizing that no one else can see their halo.

The level of training given to Baltimore police may also have had something to do with this incident. The plain clothes officer was responding to a report of trouble, presumably that he heard over the police radio. We don’t know whether he alerted the dispatcher that he was in plain clothes and would be responding. If he had, the uniformed officers might have known a plain-clothes officer was on the scene and might have exercised greater caution, which might have prevented the tragedy.

I know, I know, “might have” and “if” are for children. But still.

The end of the story referenced above relates as how an off-duty Baltimore officer shot and killed a citizen in an argument on June 5th. That officer has been charged with murder. It’s not clear why that tidbit is included in this story.   It appears unrelated. That is, unless the reporter is making a statement about the training and hiring practices of the Baltimore police.

There is a video at the end of the story at the link which is worthwhile to watch if you’ve read the whole story first.

Appended to the news story is a link to:

The ultimate tragedy: what’s the truth about police-on-police shootings?

The conclusion of this “study” is that a factor in these tragedies is “unconscious racial bias.” The study was done by an outfit that calls itself “The Force Science Research Center.” It claims to be pursuing a goal of “Destroying Myths & Discovering Cold Facts.”

The conclusion of racial bias they reach shows that it is the perpetuation of myth rather the discovery of facts that is their true goal. They give no evidence of racial bias; their conclusions are ridiculous and an insult to honest cops working in a dangerous world.

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