A Nurse with a Gun

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Rule Four

Noble Oklahoma: The first shot was so loud it made the hair stand straight up on Jack Tracy's arm. The bullet hit the water just a few feet in front of the boat dock where he was standing. Instinctively, he pulled his 5-year-old grandson, Austin Haley, close to his left side and began yelling that there were people down by the pond. Then came the second shot, and the unforgettable thump of a 9 mm bullet penetrating a young boy's skull.

"It went right through the back of his head and came out the front,” Tracy said. "He was just bleeding severely and I knew, right then, he was most likely dead, right there.” Tracy thought he and his grandson were under attack by someone trying to kill them both, so he threw the boy into the back of a 4-wheeler and drove to his daughter's house about 200 yards away.

"Then two officers came out of the brush over there,” he said. "They didn't tell us they were the ones who had been shooting or that they had shot him. They didn't admit a doggone thing.” Much later, Tracy said, he found out one of the officers had fired two shots in the Crest Lane neighborhood, trying to kill a snake that had become lodged in a birdhouse on the back porch of a house just up the hill from Tracy's pond.

Police had gotten a call of a snake complaint from a woman on Crest Lane, whose 16-year-old daughter saw the snake hanging about 3 feet of its body outside a neighbor's bird house. The woman, who would not identify herself, told The Oklahoman she called the police station to see if animal control could respond and take care of the snake, which she believed to be a diamondback rattlesnake. She was told that the city, which lost its only animal control officer recently, would send a police officer over to help.

"This was just a freak and tragic accident,” the woman said, "and I just feel really bad for everyone involved.” Other neighbors weren't as sympathetic.

Crest Lane resident Kara Johnson said there was no excuse for shooting a gun at a snake in a residential area. "It's a shame that someone had to lose their 5-year-old child over a snake,” Johnson said. "And that's their only child. They'll never get their kid back.”

Neighbor G.W. Henderson said his wife heard a woman screaming within minutes of the shots. "She was shouting ‘You shot my boy! You shot my boy!'” Henderson said.

City Manager Bob Wade said rumors of overeager Noble officers are inaccurate.
"I was told that they tried several ways to get the snake down, but it was still hissing at them and firmly lodged,” Wade said. "What I was told is that the owner of the home either suggested or agreed that they should go ahead and shoot the snake, and then everything happened from there.” Wade refused to identify the officer suspected of firing the shots but said the officer has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agents were told that officers decided to shoot the animal after being told there was a field behind them, said Jessica Brown, bureau spokeswoman. "The first shot grazed the snake, and the second killed it,” Brown said.

Wade said he is 90 percent sure that the same bullet that killed the snake also killed Austin, but due to the trajectory of the shot and the fact that Austin and his grandfather were downhill, investigators have to be 100 percent certain. "This is so bizarre it has to be fully investigated. ... We're pretty sure circumstantially that it is the bullet from the police officer's gun, but it might be a bullet from someone else,” Wade said.

Tracy has little doubt about what happened. "I was standing right beside him when they shot him in the head,” he said. "There just wasn't anything I could do for this baby. He was dead. And he was just the finest Christian boy. His mother just bought him a Bible not a week before this — he wanted one that was camouflage because he was in the Lord's army.'”

Tracy said that when he saw the news reports and heard the police chief saying it was an "unfortunate accident,” the remark seemed too trivial and dismissive. "I'm not saying the cop shot him on purpose,” Tracy said. "It was an accident. But let me tell you — if I had a kid and put him in this car and didn't put him in a car seat and he got killed on the way to town, they'd charge me with murder ... and what this cop did is a lot worse than that. ... There was no reason for him to kill my grandson.”

By Johnny Johnson
Staff Writer NewsOK.com


Rule Four God Dammit! Rule Four! This is not a damned accident! This is negligence, pure and simple. There is no rational reason for this tragedy. None. These officers should be prosecuted. The shooter for negligent homicide. His partner as an accessory.

And to think that these are likely the same nimrods who run around saying that firearms are too dangerous to be in the hands of civilians. Yep, they probably believe they are the only ones professino enuff.

Be certain of your target and what lies beyond it. Rule Four.

A comment from Austin Haley's mother:
My name is Renee Haley....the proud mother of Austin Haley who was shot and killed by a Noble Police Officer. I want to mention two very important things that have been somewhat forgotten in the blogs. First, the THREE police officers who reported to the house of the snake, decided to literally pick up their feet, step over a hoe, rake, and hedge clippers placed directly inside the gate before the police officers arrived to shoot the snake. The second fact is this was not a poisonous snake, but a rat snake that is very similar to a king snake. It was five feet long, but it could not get out of the small opening in the bird house because it had eaten bird eggs or birds. It was stuck and harmless! I do forgive the police officer who shot my precious son, but I do believe there have to be consequences of his behavior. Please keep us in your prayers...God bless all of you.

Renee

More.

Video statements from the Haley family.

Jeff Cooper on shooting snakes.

And the news story.........

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40 Comments:

Blogger alpineman said...

"To Serve And Protect" eh?

I wonder how this story would have been framed had it been any other average Joe who had acted with such blatant negligence. I bet his name would have been published. I bet the story would have been chock full of thinly veiled suggestions that guns-in-the-hands-of-anyone-but-trained-law-enforcement-is-dangerous. Negligent behavior is negligent behaviour -- the badge doesn't change anything.

12:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agreed. There's no excuse for this boy's death. If all the rest of us can obey the four rules, knowing that they prevent negligent tragedies, then the people we trust to enforce our laws should be setting the example.

1:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live a few miles from where this happened and it's odd to think this happened in a town of about 5000 people, most of whom live in the country. This is sad.

4:00 AM  
Blogger Sterno said...

Sickening. Just sickening.

9:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there anything we can do to see these fools charged with murder, and furthermore have their superiors jailed for obstruction of justice?
I want every last one of those malfeasants to become convicted felons and barred from even working as parking lot security.

12:09 PM  
Blogger BobG said...

If it was just a snake, didn't it occur to anyone to just whack it with a stick? I've had plenty of snakes-on-a-stick lunches, and never shot one of them.

1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Use a damn shovel.

8:58 PM  
Blogger MauserMedic said...

Years ago I was a reserve officer in a town of 2500. As such, I often filled in for officers on vacation, ill, or out for training. My sidearm was a 1911A1. Although I dispatched a number of critters over the years (generally with a .22 rimfire or Hornet), I NEVER fired a shot when there was a populated area in the impact area if I missed or it went through the target. At that time, I was entrusted by the public to carry a weapon in their service, and it was expected that I not only be proficient with guns, but also be able to judge when use was appropriate.

These two exhibited a complete failure of professional judgement. The officer that fired the shot must be held to the highest standard of the law, as he is trained in weapons use, and fully knows (or should) the consequences of inappropriate use.

There should at least be a manslaughter charge out of this.

9:11 PM  
Blogger scalpel said...

I'm so glad you blogged about this, because I share your anger and disgust. This was no accident, it was pure stupidity and criminal negligence.

There are much easier and safer ways to kill a snake than firing a pistol at it, if it even needed to be killed at all.

WTH were those idiots thinking?

3:07 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

This doesn't seem like negligence to me. The officer's acts were reckless.

I'm sure the snake wasn't a dodgamn [sic] cobra or rattler. You don't take a knife to a fist fight, and you don't take a service pistol and fire it at an upward angle at a snake in a birdhouse in a residential area.

I hope the family sues the City of Noble, the Noble Police and the police officers involved for negligence and the Grandfather sues for negligent infliction of emotional distress. My dad would be a wreck, if he had to see my son die like that.

Cops have hard jobs, I know this, but these officers created a hazard that is unacceptably FUBAR. I'm sure they feel dumb and sorry for the whole thing, as they should.

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is just totally pathetic. The words of the Police Chief are just designed to keep the lawsuit dollars down. However, since they did not check the field and area around them, it is definitely criminal negligence.
Lets see if this county of 5000 residents are willing to settle for some big bucks civil suit and some jail time for the negligent act. Unfortunately, I think they will trivialize it.

1:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If no one brings a criminal prosecution, it definately needs a civil one.

I remember a negligent discharge from a cop at a range in England, it got a 9 year old girl in a school playground (800 yards away!!!)in her thigh. fortunately she survived.

Having to shoot a snake... what absolute arseholes, if a long shank shovel wouldn't reach to kill it, what was the problem?

they need jail

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This whole story has totally sickened me. I can't even imagine the pain the family is going through right now; and for WHAT...because a police officer decides to discharge his 9mm in a residential area just to kill a snake. I'll tell you, I had a snake problem a couple of years ago and it darn sure didn't take a 9mm to solve the problem. The city sent someone out with a shovel and the problem was "solved" shortly thereafter. I believe the police officer who fired the shot should be held accountable to the full extent of the law. Anything less than a manslaughter charge would be an absolute tragedy.

8:08 PM  
Anonymous pintobeene said...

I grew up in Noble and am very close to the family of the young boy. The grandfather who was with Austin when he was shot is a very respected attourney. I have no doubt the family is planning on legal action. The officer that fired the shot was rookie who fired under the orders of the other officer. All I can say is there is no better family on the face of the planet, they didnt deserve this in any regard.

1:56 AM  
Anonymous pintobeene said...

I grew up in Noble and am very close to the family of the young boy. The grandfather who was with Austin when he was shot is a very respected attourney. I have no doubt the family is planning on legal action. The officer that fired the shot was rookie who fired under the orders of the other officer. All I can say is there is no better family on the face of the planet, they didnt deserve this in any regard.

1:58 AM  
Blogger Keith Walker said...

Alpineman makes a great point. Where are the gun haters calling for guns to be taken away from the police?

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if someone else has recalled this association, but there was an early episode of CSI Las Vegas where the team tracked down and arrested a person who shot into the air and killed a person without knowing it.

8:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A candidate for the Sgt. Eugene Tackleberry Award for Use of a Firearm Above, Beyond, and Way Outside the Line of Duty.

11:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in this town and know the officers first hand. Both officers involved have been fired from other agencies one for firing his gun while drunk in Norman Oklahoma. They are reckless cops who I now call babykiller!

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK - if I were ignorant enough to be this shooter, I would be charged with manslaughter at least.

The shooter should be charged with killing the child, definetely lose his peace officer's license & right to carry a weapon, any weapon. Any other police officer's present should all be demoted & sent back to basic firearm's training.

And for all of you opidiophobes out there, the best thing to do in such a situation is to just leave the snake alone! It was just doing what came naturally to it - looking for a meal in the birdhouse.

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not long ago I had a knock on my door. I opened the door to find several individual looking me in the eye, only to force their way in my house as I tried to close the door. I grabbed my shotgun from the closet in hopes to scare them out. They called 911 from a cell phone, the police arrived and I was arrested and taken to jail. Becuase one of these individual had lived at my home five month prior and have mail delivered to my address, according to OK law made them a resident. Occording to OK law, it is against the law to point a gun at a resident of the home. It seems very strange to me that a civilian such as myself would be taken to jail for pointing a firearm (not firing) at someone that had not lived in the house for five months and a police officer who shoots a five (5) year old child in the head and kills them gets placed on paid leave.

You have to take a hunters education course on gun safety to get a hunting license. I can only imagine what type of training is in place to become a police officer. The problem is, once a person becomes a police officer they feels they are above the law, and in many cases such as this they are. Both of these officers should have be in jail, not on administrative PAID leave. The reputation of the Noble police officers is not a secret. I've seen the 'old man' at many kids baseball games. I've said hello many times and each time he just looks at me like I'm crazy.

Tracy was right, if this would have happened to anyone else they would have been charged with murder. One can only hope the Haley family will see to it these two individuals are charges as well. Noble should be known from this point forward as Haleytown.

6:15 PM  
Anonymous AJV said...

This is the latest news article I just read.
Noble, Okla. -- Last week's tragic situation has put the Noble Police Department in a tight spot. Five-year-old Austin Haley died when a police officer fired shots at a snake in a tree. One bullet hit and killed Haley. The three officers involved have been placed on administrative leave causing even more of an officer shortage. KSBI-TV's Kealey McIntire has details.
"We were on our way, building up, we had some vacancies and were getting those filled, we were getting officers trained," says Ben Daves, Noble Police Chief.
Things were looking up for the Noble Police Department until Friday.
"We were about to get to the point where we could even allow some guys some time off to take vacation," says Daves.
The officers involved in Haley's death are now on administrative leave, leaving just seven officers to patrol the streets of Noble. Daves says they were already down two officers and now his staff is compensating even more.
"These guys are working 12 hour shifts. They're scheduled four days off in a two week period, but they're not necessarily together," explains Daves.
Daves says crime is minimal in the town of just over 5,200. The department handles between 30 and 40 routine calls a day.
Resident Jim Wolf says the shortage doesn't concern him.
"We've got the Cleveland County law that drives through everyday all day long and then we've got the Oklahoma Highway Patrol that frequents Highway 77 here on the main street, so I think we're pretty well covered," says Wolf.
The department is advertising to fill the vacant positions. Daves says no matter what happens, two officers will be on the streets at all times.
"We're working, we're here to keep you safe. Call us if you need us," says Daves.
The three officers involved in Haley's death will be on leave until the department wraps up its investigation, which is expected to take up to two weeks.
For information on becoming a police officer in Noble, you can call 405-875-9231, or click on the website below.
After I read the above I immediately had two questions. First, can anyone tell me why it is going to take two weeks to investigate what happened. It shouldn't have taken more than two hours! The officer who discharged the weapon and any officer that knew he was going to, or authorizeds him to,should have been stripped of his weapon and badge and job before the end of that day. I get the feeling the Noble police chief and the city manager feel two weeks will allow things to settle down in the news and this will just all go away. Second, the statement made by the chief of police Quote "We're working, we're here to keep you safe. Call us if you need us" should never have been made. It's like a slap in the face.
In conclusion, Do you really want to have an impact in this case? E-mail or snail mail the city manager and the Chief of police and the Oklahoma State Police and let them know that all of us are watching and waiting to see the outcome of this. Let's keep looking over their shoulders to make sure this young mans death isn't written off as an unfortunate accident and these officers are not reinstated.

10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jesus Christ!!! What is wrong with Oklahoma? You get taken to jail for pointing a firearm at a person that hasn't lived in your house in five months? And all becuase the person had mail delivered to your house. That is stupid. Anyone could become a resident of anyone's home by simply filling out a credit card application and having it delivered to someone's home. CRAZY is all I can say about that, just about as crazy as the remarks by Ben Daves, Noble Police Chief. His statements "We're working, we're here to keep you safe. Call us if you need us" was an insult to the Haley family. Instead of making a news statement he should have been placing the officers under arrest and in jail where they belong. We only have four dangerous snakes around here; rattle, coral, cotton mouth and copper head. Though I'm sure these snakes have been known to climb trees and maybe even bird houses it's not likely. The changes of this snake being deadly was little to none. Besides, if the snake had eaten a bird or egg and could not get out of the birdhouse....what harm was it creating? The snake probably would have been gone by the next morning. If not, did anyone consider using a shovel, hoe, broom, stick, rake.....any of the logical things one might use to kill a snake? I assure you, a 9mm is not a logical weapon to use to kill a snake and most certainly logic was not used in this situation. These officers need to be prosecuted and I hope the Haley family sues all involved.

11:03 PM  
Blogger Renee said...

My name is Renee Haley....the proud mother of Austin Haley who was shot and killed by a Noble Police Officer. I want to mention two very important things that have been somewhat forgotten in the blogs. First, the THREE police officers who reported to the house of the snake, decided to literally pick up their feet, step over a hoe, rake, and hedge clippers placed directly inside the gate before the police officers arrived to shoot the snake. The second fact is this was not a poisonous snake, but a rat snake that is very similar to a king snake. It was five feet long, but it could not get out of the small opening in the bird house because it had eaten bird eggs or birds. It was stuck and harmless! I do forgive the police officer who shot my precious son, but I do believe there have to be consequences of his behavior. Please keep us in your prayers...God bless all of you.

Renee

3:33 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

Renee,
If you could contact me at bayouroversATcomcastDOTnet, I would like to ask you several pertinent questions to clarify assumptions being made about your tragedy.

Thank you, and may God keep you close.
Xavier

7:07 PM  
Blogger phlegmfatale said...

heart-breaking and unconscionable.

If the damned snake was stuck, a machete would have dispatched it forthwith. Me-- a mere female -- _I_ could have killed it with the machete I keep in my house. I wouldn't have wasted the time of the police with the problem.

OMG. This is an unimaginable horror. My heart goes out to the family of that boy. I can't imagine the impotent rage they must be experiencing. This kind of thing should never happen.

12:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In this blog a subject mentions that two of the noble officers were fired from other agencies. This is true and both were fired from the Cleveland County Sheriffs office. The noble SGT. was fired during his FTO period and the other was fired for discharging his firearm in the city limits of Norman while highly intoxicated. I am a police officer and have been for the past 9 years, I am very sad that a situation like this has happened but do not judge all police officers by a few officers actions. The noble officers that we speak of should not be police officers now or ever and if Noble would have done some research (back ground investigation) we would not even be discussing this. This is a very bad crime and these officers should be punished just like any other person. My heart goes out to the Haley Family, and friends.
signed Lawton 189

12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My family recently relocated out of state from Noble, Oklahoma. Nearly 1000 miles away, this is still the talk of the town. People here are laughing about how "hick" this town must be that they send three officers to shoot a snake and killed an innocent sweet child instead. I must say that I am so embarrassed by this, I haven't told anyone about being from there. My heart goes out to the family, and I know that money will not replace your child, but hopefully you will sue the s--t out of Noble and the state of Oklahoma, so something like this will never happen again! God Bless your family.

4:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have followed this story from Grand Rapids, MI. - this website/blog has been the best. The mother pointed out in her statment that they stepped over a hoe and sheers. Why did they not break the birdhouse and let the snake slither away. I assume the birdhouse to be made out of weed.

9:57 PM  
Anonymous AJV said...

Well, it's been 14 days. Has anyone heard what their "investigation" turned up? Does anyone know who the involved officers were. Will this all be swept under the rug or are there enough of us that care to make a difference? The people of Noble need to demand answers now.

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I talked to a friend of mine that lives in Noble. A friend that works for the Norman hospital said the police officer that shot the snake and child has committed suicide. Not sure if this is true, it's the rumor going around.

7:52 PM  
Anonymous AJV said...

Just read this minutes ago.
NOBLE, Okla. -- Prosecutors are finalizing their decision whether to charge Noble police officers in the death of a 5-year-old boy.

A Noble officer fired his gun at a snake more than a month ago, and the bullet ricocheted and hit 5-year-old Austin Haley in the head.

The Noble Police Department and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation looked into the case.


The Cleveland County District Attorney will explain on Friday afternoon if any of the officers involved in the shooting will face charges.
I hope I am wrong but I think nothing will happen. Notice the word "ricocheted". You and I know that there was no "ricochet". There were two shots that both hit within 2 feet of eachother. That does not happen with ricochets. It sounds like all the time that has passed has been used to make excuses for what happened. Who gave this news organization the word ricochet? If it was the authorities, they are setting up everyone to hear that it was just an accident. It's been over a month and you don't even know who the officers were! Think you would be given the same treatment? Is there no honor, is there no shame, is there no justice? I am beginning to believe there is not!

10:45 AM  
Anonymous AJV said...

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - A district attorney filed second-degree manslaughter charges today against two Noble police officers involved in the accidental fatal shooting of a 5-year-old boy.

District Attorney Greg Mashburn says 34-year-old Paul Bradley Rogers fired the shot that struck and killed Austin Gabriel Haley on Aug. 3. Rogers had been on the police force only about a month at the time of the shooting.

Also charged is 29-year-old Robert Shawn Richardson, who had been on the force more than five years and was the supervising officer at the scene of the shooting.

Mashburn says the boy's death was caused by the "culpable negligence" of the officers.

The boy's father, Jack Haley, says he thinks Rogers and Richardson should be removed from the police force permanently and possibly face jail time.

The officers would face up to four years in prison if convicted of the felony charge.
Just read the above. My faith in the system is restored!

7:19 PM  
Anonymous AJV said...

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - A district attorney filed second-degree manslaughter charges today against two Noble police officers involved in the accidental fatal shooting of a 5-year-old boy.

District Attorney Greg Mashburn says 34-year-old Paul Bradley Rogers fired the shot that struck and killed Austin Gabriel Haley on Aug. 3. Rogers had been on the police force only about a month at the time of the shooting.

Also charged is 29-year-old Robert Shawn Richardson, who had been on the force more than five years and was the supervising officer at the scene of the shooting.

Mashburn says the boy's death was caused by the "culpable negligence" of the officers.

The boy's father, Jack Haley, says he thinks Rogers and Richardson should be removed from the police force permanently and possibly face jail time.

The officers would face up to four years in prison if convicted of the felony charge.
Just read the above. My faith in the system is restored!

7:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ivkwuguess what one of chief davis cops got caught D. U. I.

6:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have read the comments on here and I have to add my .02. I'm sure I will get slammed for this but I don't care.

First of all, it is a very sad story and I feel terrible for the family that lost their child. However, I also feel very much for the officers. I happen to know one of the officers personally and I know what kind of person he is. He would NEVER want to intentionally hurt someone, much less a child. Yes, they made a stupid decision and it is something they will have to live with for the rest of their lives. But I don't believe they should be sent to jail or charged with murder. I believe they should lose their jobs but I just cannot bring myself to want to see them sent to jail. It was a mistake, a STUPID mistake.

Also, the officer who fired the shot was following orders. He was told to shoot the snake. So what could he have done? Disobeyed his supervising officer? They should have checked the perimeter before they shot but unfortunately they didn't.

I just feel like everyone should remember these guys are humans too. They have families and its not like they don't feel horrible about what happened. I just wish people wouldn't judge them so harshly but I know my opinion is probably going to get flamed on here.

But I wish people could have big enough hearts to forgive the officers.

12:05 AM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Nobody is saying they are not human Anonymous, just responsible for their actions.

thank you for clarifying why both officers were charged. Yes, he should have disobeyed the order. It was unsafe. He decided not to disobey, and killed an innocent child. He needs to serve time as well as the officer who gave the order. Saying you were just following orders is not a defense.

We hold them responsible for their actions. They need to serve time and be made an example of. This should not happen again.

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to thank the seven cops and who are patroling our streets and working extended hours. They are forced to pick up the slack left by the three negligent police officers. These men and women need to be supported.

1:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is truly a horrible tragedy but an accident nonetheless. Should there be some type of repercussions...you bet, but prison time isn't one of them. We have become a nation full of overzealous prosecutors and our jails and prisons are already overflowing of which many cases should never have gone that far. This case is one of those. I realize that this family has lost a very precious gift but why make another family suffer. Is vengenance going to make the situation better? Is it going to bring this little boy back? For God's sake...it was an accident!!! I imagine these men are racked with guilt beyond measure. Just think how you'd feel if you accidentally killed someone rather it be by a car accident, a fire getting out of control, your dog attacking a child, a child falling into your unfenced in pond or pool or creek, a child getting a hold of your medicine and taking it, a hunting accident, whatever...would you deserve to go to prison? Think about it...put away your prejudice and let your empathy shine through...just put yourself in these men's shoes and countless others who already sit in prison for AN ACCIDENT!!! It could just as easily be you facing jail time for something that was totally unforeseen.

6:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People need to accept the fact that this shooting was not an accident. If it were an accident, it would have been ruled as such, and nobody would have been charged with a felony crime. What's been leaving me confused in this case, is why isn't there also a charge of Reckless Endangerment for these 2 officers?

In addition to Austin, there were two other people standing on the dock fishing ay the same time. Austins brother Dalton, and their Grandfather also had their lives placed in imminate danger by the officers reckless actions. By the officer's own admmission, we know they fired 2 shots, both of which came over the hill, and landed less than two feet apart. They could have easily killed all three of these people.

I know DA's don't like to overcharge in cases that involve Police Officers, but I think the facts mentioned above should not be ignored. At present, the two officers are facing a maximum of 4 years in jail for 2nd Degree Manslaughter. I think that's a very small price to pay for killing a 5 year old child in front of his family. In fact, this maximum sentence is 1 year less than little Austins entire lifetime. I think the additinal charge of Reckless Endangement is fully warranted, and accurately reflects what occured there. If a failure to follow the most basic rules of weapons safty can have such a life changing outcome, then the consequences of that failure should, from a legal standpoint, be equally life changing for the perpetraitors as well. Having to live with their actions is not enough. Maybe their prosocution will encourage others to think before making such rash, and reckless decisions.

12:28 AM  

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