off-duty officer savor

by sherifs on February 7, 2014 - 12:32am

In an article I’ve read recently written by three Chicago tribune journalist, called “Police: off-duty officer fatally shoots robbery suspect at Walgreens”, the authors describe how an off-duty police killed a 56 years old robbery suspect in a store. The officer first went into Walgreens to withdraw money at the ATM machine while his wife and child were in the car, he sees a suspect scene where the cashier is emptying the money putting it into a bag for a man standing in front of her. Afterwards the officer immediately went to the thief identified himself as a police officer and told him to get on the ground, as he laid down the officer saw him turning to reach for something in his pocket. He shot at him nervously, after the investigators arrived they found a semi-automatic riffle in his pocket; he had been shot to the upper body and died quickly at the hospital. The same criminal, who weighed 300 pounds, had already robbed the shop earlier that year and did approximately five in the neighborhood recently.

On another hand a few concerns remain, the officer was off-duty, what if the thief did not even have a weapon, he killed him, are there other ways to stabilize the criminal. All these rhetorical questions clearly shows that yes there are a lot of improvement such as better equipment, a different protocol on how to deal with each situation, bullets that hurt severally rather than those who kill for example. This case is very similar to my recent post concerning the little judgment shown by the authorities.

Comments

Interesting article and incident! I found this fantastic paper written for the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner. The paper was written to create a better understanding of what “off-duty and on-duty” actually means. You mentioned that the thief had previously robbed the store before and others as well so I do think the offices action can be justified. It is known that when an offender is asked to stand down but instead exploits suspicious actions, the officer must react in the way they were trained. I agree with you that other equipment or a different protocol could or should have been used but if that did happen perhaps the officer along with many other people would have died instead. The article that I linked mentions that “Police officers who are off-duty may ‘put themselves on duty’ at any time by exercising the powers of the office of constable.” So that validates that whether or not he was working that day still reflects a heroic and overall good thing to have done. Personally, if I were to see someone reaching into their pockets as I ask them to turn around for I am an office of the law, I would assume that he/she was pulling out a weapon to resist arrest. But then again, maybe no one had to die that day if officers were also trained to use different weapons that cause less harm.

Off-Duty Police Conduct Link: http://www.cacole.ca/resources/publications/OffDutyConduct00-eng.pdf

This is an interesting article you have a great point that other equipment should be used such as a stun gun instead of a semi-automatic rifle, but that person robbing the store reached for something in his pocket. For an officer on-duty or off-duty your first instinct is that he is going to pull out some type of weapon whether it is a gun, knife, etc. if an officer has reasonable suspicion that a crime id happening or about to happen they can act accordingly on the situation. That officer in my opinion did the right thing by protecting himself and the people around him, it all depends on the officers judgment. I am curious to know if there will be any consequences for that officer because he was off-duty. I agree that there should be weapons that are less harmful but can still stop someone without killing them.

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