Officers do not need to wait until they are shot, stabbed or hit by a car, Amos said, a Norfolk, Va Police Department Officer. “All you’re thinking about in a fraction of a second is staying alive,” said Amos, who killed a man who shot him in 1996. Rutledge responded by stating “Its plenty of people serving life for that very same reason, so isn’t it time to make sure the law is updated and corrected so they can go back home where they should have been after they used self-defense for their own life.
The only difference is a gun and a badge from every other human being. 2pac said it best “We all bleed through similar veins.”
I understand that when your life is in danger than the actions that you may take in order to preserve your own life can become extreme. It is the interpretation of one’s own judgment at a split second, as simply as hoping someone is going to let go of your neck after choking you for a few seconds, the question is what will you do to save your own life? How about if that person doesn’t let go of your neck, but plans on finishing the job which will result in your death? Do you let the person just squeeze your neck until you collapse and pass away from the pressure, or do you use anything whether gun, knife, or other utensil in order to free yourself from impending doom. Now, this may result in death, but you have to deal with a prosecutor that tells you the human, and not the cop that you will have to face trial because you could have done something other than kill the person. The cop will always say they was in fear of their life and walk away with no prison time, and definitely non eed for trial. It may have or may have not been your intent to kill from a prosecutor, but lets make the human face a jury, and let them decide, as if juries in this present day are getting it right. For example: Casey Anthony. However on the point of a human intent, death resulted because of a human actions without any consideration for the other whom put your life in danger lead to their death by your self defense. Your actions was consider drastic because you protected yourself and now must suffer your fate through your peers, and it seems like the cops peers do not exist in most instances. .
How about an abused woman that has been told by her hubby that he is going to kill her and the same about abused men being stalked by a NASA astronaut psycho. Should someone wait to be shot first, or begin to do the shooting when they invade their safety and personal space? There has to be more accountability for the aggressor as well as the victim to make sure laws that may result in conviction isn’t applied in such a way to allow such conduct to continue.
Some may already go into a criminal rage because they know if death results by their own action than the victim of their pursuit will deal with the consequences either way. It puts people in fear of saving their own life in order not to spend a life in a cage. If this is a justifiable reason for a City of Norfolk, VA Police officer or all other law enforcement personnel, than state legislatures need to review their policy so that it not only protects officers but protects human beings as well. It is almost coming to the point that America doesn’t recognize who is human anymore.
When someone robs you at gun point and this is common in drug deals, peaceful strolls, and other activities that give you a piece of mind. Do you feel that your life isn’t in danger or do you immediately recognize that your life is in danger and would use deadly force to stop a crime from escalating if you have the choice? Now depending on who you are may play a big role in if you shoot someone that has put not only you but put themselves in a deadly situation. Is it the criminal or the victim fault if death occurs under these conditions? Juries all across America have convicted and recommended people that were only protecting themselves to astronomical sentences to jail/prison.
How about a shootout has occurred between you and someone else? You shoot back because someone is shooting with at you. If you shoot and kill that person than it is seen by the justice system as murder, even though you did not shoot first, nor did you pull a gun with the intention of committing a crime, in order to commence the situation. How many of you heard the story that I only shot back after the other person began shooting. A jury has to decide whether your shooting was justified, and most of the time a jury doesn’t get to make that determination, because prosecutors and their henchmen public defenders convince you that your chances are slim for beating the case.
Take the case of Ryan Frederick vs. the State of Virginia (Chesapeake, VA police Department). Ryan Frederick reasonably feared that intruders coming through the door was not the police, but robbers that was putting his life at risk. In response, Ryan Frederick shot one of the officers as they were already breaking their way through the door at a late hour in the night. So should Ryan Frederick had allowed himself to be robbed and give the would be robbers the opportunity to take him and put his life in their hands. It is a roll of the dice if a robber lets you live or gives you the ultimate sentence of death once they have gained control of the household, and that roll is double the bonus for them if family is their when it happens. Should you have to watch your families get raped because you felt by pulling the trigger would give you life in jail, because the jury would have to determine if the shooting was to maintain property or maintain life. The similar situation in North Carolina happen as well when a cop, not a human being, fired through the door killing a woman behind the door. How can the D.A call this shooting justified because she was standing in front of where the bullet went, as reasonable conditions for a cop to not face penalty or justice? Trust North Carolina found a way to justify an unarmed shooting as well, as long as a cop says I felt my life was in danger.
Another case that happen in Suffolk, VA which dealt with a retired cop who tried to prevent a carjacking from taking place on his property. The cop was in his house and went outside on to his porch and saw a man going through his truck. I remind everyone that the man never entered the house or put anyone life in danger. It was a matter of just stealing what was inside the car or just taking the car. The law on the books says you can not use deadly force in Virginia to protect property, and it is clearly establish law and policy. The cop shot the intruder in the head that was trying to rob or take his car. The cop tells the prosecutor that he was in reasonable fear of his life, but how could this be if the man was trying to steal the car, and not break into his house. The key reason for the dropping of charges is simple, a former cop vs. a criminal. If you were an ordinary human being than that shooting would have not been justified but the degree of murder would have been left at the prosecutor’s discretion.
What I’m talking about is only chips from a huge iceberg that has made America worse and not safer. People scorned for the justice system lack of equal protection. The law works in the benefit of a persuasive few which means there are those that are above the law, whether we want to acknowledge it or not, but our equality stands even through of unwillingness to never stop learning law. The shocking thing in this article is that I have yet to mention race, because this blog on this topic focuses on us all not just the few.
Merle T. Rutledge Jr
Aspiring Future Attorney and Civil Rights Activist