Escondido, CA

This will make you angry

The Curmudgeon’s Corner
David’s Crazy Opinion

If you go onto the internet and find the video of the murder of Daniel Shaver I guarantee it will infuriate you, and make you wish that his murderer could be brought to justice.

Unfortunately, the person who shot Shaver to death in full view of a body camera is a former police officer who was found not guilty of second degree murder this week. So, I guess that means it was actually not murder, right?

Well, if there ever was a murder under the color of authority, it was Shaver’s death—as anyone who cares to go and view the video will plainly see. And if you do watch it, be prepared for an emotionally wrenching experience.

Shaver, who was a 27-year old pest control worker, was staying at a hotel on January 18, 2016. Officers were called because Shaver had been showing some visitors to his La Quinta Inn hotel room the pellet gun that he used in his work and a neighboring tenant saw the gun pointing out the window and called the police.

The police arrived in full SWAT mode. So far, no problem. They ordered Shaver and his two guests out of the room and into the hallway. All three, including a young woman, were a little drunk apparently, and a little unsteady on their feet. You can see the entire drama (or rather execution) that unfolded, and it is not for the faint of heart.

Police ordered Shaver first onto his knees and then onto his face, with his hands folded behind him. Then the officer issued a series of confusing commands that would have actually been impossible for Shaver to have physically followed to the letter that the officer demanded. He ordered Shaver to crawl towards him, and then, at some point, panicked because Shaver may have tried to hike up his pants because they were falling down.

He opened fire on a man who was crawling towards him and begging for his life. He pumped several bullets into the man with his rifle. Shaver died from the bullets.

I love our local police and sheriff’s deputies. I love the police in general. But sometimes people who happen to be wearing a uniform act very, very badly. And they shouldn’t get away with it.

Now those who apologize for anything anyone in authority does, no matter  how egregious, will argue quite vehemently that no one who was wasn’t actually the officer in question is in a position to judge that man, even if though the killing was done right there in full sight, with everything that was said also plain and unambiguous.

I disagree. As citizens we have a right to demand that our protectors err in the side of protection.

I get that sometimes the police are in situations where they have to make life and death decisions in a split second. Because we want to err on the side of caution in holding our police accountable, many times police are able to claim that they reasonably feared for their lives, and that’s why they took a life.

Anyone who watches this video with an open mind will, I believe, come to the conclusion that this was not one of those times.

The man who killed Daniel Shaver not only deserves never to wear the uniform of a law enforcement officer again, he deserves to wear NO uniform that carries with it more responsibility than that of a burger slinger at a fast food restaurant.

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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