City Paper is not for tourists
The Washington Post does a follow-up story on the cop shooting that resulted in the death of a 14-year-old boy. As everyone knows by now, the circumstances of the shooting are sketchy. The Post lays it out in its first graph:
“The D.C. police officer who fatally shot a 14-year-old boy in Southeast Washington on Monday night was off duty, out of uniform and acting on his own to find a minibike that he believed was stolen from his home, authorities said yesterday.”
There are many questions that just sort of jump out you: why did the cop, and another off-duty cop—along for the ride—not report the stolen minibike? Why did they go out on their own without notifying authorities, without radioing the police district at least to let other cops in the area know they were cruising around?
If the cop, as the police are saying, engaged the kid in a running gun battle, why did his fellow off-duty cop not fire his weapon? And why after this so-called running gun battle, did the cop then end up back behind his own car calling for back up? What was the other cop doing? In this scenario, the cop would have had to shoot the boy then run back to his car, get behind his car and then call for backup on his cellphone. Why didn’t the other cop call for backup immediately has his friend was giving chase?
More important, why didn’t the cops immediately call for backup the minute the boy allegedly started shooting?
And perhaps just as sketchy is the fact that the police refuse to release the cop’s name. According to the Post, police spokesperson Traci Hughes said: “Considering the heated reaction of the community, we don’t want to put an officer in danger.”
This answer just doesn’t fly. The officers in question weren’t acting as cops that night. We should know their names and know their backgrounds. How many years did they have on the force? Where did they work?
Have they been involved in other shootings or been accused of excessive force in the past?
All the police are saying is that the officer is a member of the helicopter unit.
District residents have a right to know a lot more. Why? Because surely one day these same cops will end up back on the force, patrolling neighborhoods.