A few weeks ago, a young man aged 17 came home from a night of partying still half crocked. OK, he was still fully crocked and in a bad way. He started causing a scene which lead to violent outbursts and physical aggression. His mother called 911 and asked for help. The Washington County Sheriff sent out three deputies who promptly killed him. Problem solved.
OK, maybe I’m exaggerating. The deputies were at the location for just over four (4) minutes before they fired the multiple shots into his body that actually killed him. Its not like they just showed up, hopped out of their cars and mano -a- mano killed him with their bare hands. The three well trained, educated, experienced, sober, well armed, young and healthy deputies, arrived at the scene of the disturbance, got out of their cars, made contact with the drunken, distressed, illogical, angry, confused, at times incoherent, threatening (with a knife, perhaps), kid – I mean youth, or young man – and after an exhaustive period of time that was in excess of 4 minutes, 240 seconds, 1/15 of an hour, they came to the collective conclusion that this boy – I mean punk, or terrorist – had to be executed – I mean killed, or neutralized – I mean stopped. Forever.
The night that it happened, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office said that the deputies had fired at this monster as he stood some twenty feet away because they feared for their lives. That is understandable because anyone who has ever seen a drunken 17 year old all hopped up on alcohol and carrying a knife of some kind, even a utility knife, knows that even though he may not be able to stand straight, and even though he can’t walk straight, and even though he is clumsy, doesn’t have a clue as to the gravity of the situation because he can’t think straight, and at the very least has lost his judgment, absolutely anyone who has ever seen this would be afraid for their life. Anyone.
Interestingly enough, when it was announced today that the Washington County District Attorney had determined that the deputies had acted exactly the way they were supposed to in a situation such as this, it was also announced that the deputies had fired because they feared for the lives of nearby family members. That makes sense, because his mom was standing inside the house at the time begging the 911 operator to not let the deputies kill her son. She wasn’t psychic or anything, her son had gone so far as to ask the deputies to kill him. So, again, it really did behoove the deputies to perform the public service they so graciously performed.
You know, it’s good to know that there are highly trained and effective law enforcement officials such as these three brave men of the Washington County Sheriff. I’ll tell you right now, if the matter had been left up to let’s say, me, why I would have bungled it for sure. I probably would have showed up and tried to talk to the kid for as long as it took until he calmed down. If he hadn’t calmed down I might have gotten everyone around him to back way off out of any possible reach he could have, heck, farther than he could even throw a knife, and then I probably would have let him burn himself out or something.
Hold on. Knowing me, if I had showed up on the scene with a couple of my buddies, and if we had pepper spray, or mace, and hand cuffs, and telescopic batons, and PR-24 night-sticks, and bean bag guns, and tasers, and nets, and bullet proof vests, and riot shields, and helmets, and protective goggles, and trained dogs, and cars, and other buddies with the same gear, or maybe even more that I don’t even know about, and other buddies who were girls, and hostage negotiators, and stuff – I probably would have taken half the night and tried to use all of what I had before I shot at him. If he had lunged at me I probably would have backed away, or even out ran him.
You know, if I had tried all of that and none of it had worked, I might have even offered him more alcohol and let him drink until he passed out before I would have killed him. I would have been thinking something like, “Wow! This kid is really fucked up! I’ll bet he and his family will thank me when this is all over and he’s had a chance to sober up and get over the mother of all hangovers that he is going to have. I’ll just bet that they will be glad that me and my buddies didn’t kill him when he didn’t respond the way we wanted him to after four minutes of trying. Won’t it be funny if he ends up doing something incredible when he grows up?” Yes, that is probably exactly what I would have done if I had been one of those brave Washington County Sheriff’s Deputies. I’m an idiot.