12.20.2007

ER - 4/19/06 Don't rush to judgment in police shooting

Don't rush to judgment in police shooting

Dear Editor,

(In response to the) letter to the editor on April 14 from Joseph Humble regarding the police shooting of Cheri Moore:

Let’s hope for the sake of his patients — two- or four-legged (I don’t know which), —Dr. Humble isn’t as rash with his medical diagnoses as he seems to be with the recent tragedy regarding the Eureka Police Department and Ms. Moore.

On the basis of a few news stories printed the day after the shooting, he condemns the actions of the EPD as cowardly and lacking in sound judgment. Perhaps like any good diagnostician, he should wait for all of the facts to come in before rendering a judgment.

Standard police practice calls for a thorough multi-agency investigation to be made of shootings. Surely, Dr. Humble realizes that police officers — at least in California — are highly trained these days, both before they are hired and after they pin on the badge.

These very officers, without hesitation, put their lives on the line, when necessary, for all of us, and we should appreciate that.

We, the public, require them to make life-or-death decisions, often in a split second. They don’t always have the luxury of taking their time dealing in “what ifs.”

Police officers, like anyone else, do make mistakes, some of them ultimately costing lives — whether their own or other citizens’.

For those decisions of theirs that rise to the level of criminal behavior, individually, the officers are held accountable for their actions.

If the full investigation in this case shows that the actions of one or more of the officers were criminal, it is fair to assume that the wrongdoers will be brought to justice.

Locally, statewide and nationally, this has been the case many times over.

Gary Sokolow
Eureka
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