Tag Archives: police shooting

Huck is right about POTUS’s response to shooting


Hell hasn’t frozen over, but it’s a bit chillier down there this morning.

Why? Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee — a man with whom I rarely agree — offered a fascinating critique of President Obama’s immediate response to the Dallas shootings overnight.

The president, said Huckabee — himself a former Republican candidate for the highest office — politicized the event by introducing the topic of gun control during his statement on the killing of five Dallas law enforcement officers.


The president, Huck said, needed to be more Reaganesque in his response. Huckabee recalled how President Reagan sought to bring the nation together after the Challenger shuttle tragedy. That, he said, ought to be the model for presidents to follow in this time of national grief.

As Politico reported: “During his statement earlier Friday morning in which he condemned the attack as ‘vicious, calculated and despicable,’ Obama remarked that ‘we also know that when people are armed with powerful weapons, unfortunately it makes it more deadly and more tragic, and in the days ahead we are going to have to consider those realities as well.”‘

Huckabee, of course, focused more on the latter part of that statement rather than the first part. But he does make a valid point about how presidents ought to react publicly to events such as this.

“He doesn’t need to inject the divisive arguments like gun control at a time of great grief for the nation,” Huckabee said. “And he ought to do for us what Ronald Reagan did after the Challenger disaster. And that’s remind us of what we have in common, not what separates us. And that’s why I’m always so frustrated. Barack Obama has such great potential to be a leader.”

The president has labeled the acts in Dallas correctly. They were “despicable,” “vicious” and “calculated.”

My hope now is that the president goes to Dallas and embraces the police department and the families of those who were struck down and offers words of healing to a nation that is stunned.

That, too, is how Ronald Reagan would react — and it’s also what Barack Obama has done many times during his presidency.

What took so long to charge this cop?


Laquan McDonald was walking down the middle of a Chicago street in 2014. He was carrying a knife with a 3-inch blade.

Some police officers pulled up. One of them got out of his cruiser and then shot McDonald to death. That’s not all he did. He emptied his service pistol into McDonald.

Sixteen rounds, man!

That was more than a year ago.

This week, Chicago authorities have charged former Officer Jason Van Dyke with murder in McDonald’s death.

I’ve seen the dash-cam video of the incident. It’s about 6 minutes long. Having seen it, I am compelled to join many others in asking: What on Earth took ’em so long to charge the officer with a crime?

The video is graphic. It shows McDonald, who was 17 years of age, simply walking past Van Dyke’s SUV cruiser. Remember, he wasn’t packing any firepower; he was holding a small knife.

The officer opened fire.

I must point out here — as if you need reminding — that McDonald was black and Van Slyke is white.

McDonald’s family didn’t want the video released. To its credit, the network on which I saw the video, NBC, had the decency to blur the image of McDonald lying on the ground as he was being hit by the bullets.

According to the Chicago Tribune: “Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said she had decided weeks ago to charge Van Dyke weeks ago but was holding off until federal authorities completed their part of the joint investigation. She said she ‘moved up’ her decision to charge Van Dyke after a Cook County judge ruled last week that the video should be released to the public.”

Van Dyke had been taken off of patrol duty and was working behind a desk for the past year — while drawing his salary. He’s no longer drawing it now that he’s been charged with murder.

Well, OK. But based on what millions of Americans have now witnessed on that hideous video, it seems — to me, at least — that the “joint investigation” could have been wrapped up months ago.

What took ’em  so long?


‘Routine’ traffic stop? No such thing

Anyone who’s ever worn a badge and a uniform while serving in law enforcement says the same thing.

There’s no such thing as a “routine traffic stop.”

Gregg “Nigel” Benner is just the latest symbol of that fundamental truth.


Benner pulled someone over during a traffic stop in Rio Rancho, N.M., just outside Albuquerque. The driver of the car then shot Benner to death.

He is the first officer in the history of the Rio Ranch Police Department to die in the line of duty.

Police later arrested Andrew Romero and charged him with the officer’s murder.

I’ve made this point before, but I believe one cannot make if often enough. Police officers risk their lives with every call they answer, every time they go to work, every time they approach someone — anyone — they don’t know while carrying out their duties to protect the community they serve.

And yet … I keep hearing local media — whether it’s here or wherever I happen to be at the time — refer to these traffic stops as “routine.”

“State police pulled hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of drugs out of a car during a ‘routine traffic stop,'” the news report might state, either on the air or in print.

Gregg Benner didn’t expect to die when he pulled that car over in Rio Rancho, but he did.

He wasn’t performing a routine act in the line of duty — because there’s nothing routine about police field work.

Another cop dies in line of duty

Police officers’ image has taken a hit in recent days with the controversy swirling around the shooting death of a young man in Ferguson, Mo., by a police officer. The young man was black, the officer is white. Questions are surrounding the community and the aftershock of the shooting has rippled into police departments all across the nation.

Then something like this happens in a small South Texas town that makes you take pause and ponder the risk that our law enforcement officers face every single day they’re on duty.

Elmendorf Police Chief Michael Pimentel was shot to death while trying to arrest a man. Pimentel had been waiting outside Joshua Lopez’s home to issue an arrest warrant. A man came out and shot Pimentel twice. The chief was taken to a local hospital, but died from his wounds.


I’ve long supported the work of good police officers and understood instinctively that every single call they make is fraught with potential danger.

There’s no word yet on the nature of the arrest warrant Chief Pimentel was seeking to serve. I haven’t yet read whether the suspect had a record of violent crime. Perhaps he did. Thus, the chief knew he was putting himself in danger by waiting for the suspect to come out of his house. The chief also might not have expected the suspect to agree quietly to being arrested.

It still brings to light the hazards that police officers face every time they put on the uniform, strap on their weapon, pin on their badge and go to work.

Nothing is “routine” in police work. Nothing at all.