Skip to main content

Officer Cleared After Shooting Unarmed Mother and Her Baby

Submitted by smorgan on
It’s becoming increasingly difficult to imagine a situation in which police could be held accountable for recklessly killing someone in a drug raid:

LIMA, Ohio (AP) - An outside review has concluded that a Lima police officer didn't violate any department rules in the fatal shooting of unarmed woman during a drug raid.

The findings are in a report issued by the Montgomery County sheriff's office.

A jury had previously acquitted the officer of misdemeanor negligence charges, so this is basically the second time his actions have been upheld. For the record, this is what a justifiable police shooting apparently looks like:

Chavalia, an officer of 32-years, had testified that he thought his life was in danger when he fired the shots. He said he saw a shadow coming from behind a partially open bedroom door and heard gunshots that he thought were aimed at him. It turned out the gunfire he heard was coming from downstairs, where officers shot two charging pit bulls. [ABCNews]

They’re shooting at shadows now? I could have sworn that’s not how it’s supposed to work. Maybe the liberal arts college where I earned my criminal justice degree was a little too liberal, but then again I’ve also tried out the "shoot/don't shoot" simulator at a police training facility, and the sergeant’s instructions on when we could legally discharge our weapon bore no remote resemblance to the fact pattern in the Wilson case. The finding here seems to be that as long as one officer shoots a dog, other officers may then panic and shoot anything that moves throughout the house.

Can there be any doubt about the message we send to our public servants when we forgive anything and everything they do in the name of the war on drugs? There’s no point in complaining that policies like this will result in babies being shot, because that’s already happened.

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.