I found this story of a trial in the wake of a bizarre shooting in Atlanta off the ARFCOM GD. Whoa, dude!
Long story short is that a man who was just ambushed in a gunfight ended up shooting a responding cop who thought he was a bad guy. The comments in the article are against the man who is being charged, though I note that they are all cops. The main argument is that the guy charged - the one who shot the cop, named Thomas - is a scumbag because the cop was in uniform and he should have known that he was a cop, not a badguy.
While I don't support people who shoot cops, based on the information in the article I have give the benefit of the doubt to Thomas because it does sound to me like this was a case of "fog of war" mixed with unusual circumstances. Think of these key items:
- Thomas has no criminal history, and was in the process of conducting a lawful business transaction while legally carrying his sidearm for defense.
- He considered that he was in danger of a coordinated attack, and very shortly afterwords was ambushed by several men, one of whom had a firearm and engaged him in a gunfight.
- He was fleeing from armed scumbags when, moments later and while he was in the process of summoning law enforcement for help, a man appearing in a police uniform jumps out of a personal vehicle -- not a police cruiser(s) with flashing lights -- and points a gun at him.
- The man in a police uniform had visible tattoos covering his arms.
The tattoos aren't indicting on their own, sure, but ask yourself this: Would a reasonable man -- who was actively fleeing from a coordinated armed attack where he exchanged gunfire, and that he believed was still in process -- think that a man suddenly appearing, in a police uniform, before the police are even called, be in fact police? The cop was a really real law enforcement officer who happened to still be in uniform after his shift was over, and he was almost right on top of where the shooting was and heard the gunfire, but instead of being in a police cruiser with a partner and/or backup he was in a shiny Tahoe with tinted windows. What would you think? Have you not heard of scumbags impersonating police officers in order to rob and kill their rivals and victims? I have; and that's why, if I were a juror on this trial, I would see reasonable doubt.
What do you think?