More on the Scott Case

The picture Confederate Yankee is painting in his latest update is one of poor training. It sounds to me like nearly everyone involved made a mistake, and that this shooting was a result of poor training, and poor execution on that training.

As I said before, I think this shooting looks to be legally justified based on all the information so far, but that doesn’t mean it had to happen this way.

UPDATE: I should point out that “doesn’t mean it had to happen this way,” means the inevitable civil suit that will come out of this is going to be a doozie.

5 Responses to “More on the Scott Case”

  1. Jake says:

    I think this shooting looks to be legally justified based on all the information so far

    I don’t think I’d go that far, yet. Considering the conflicting commands he was given (especially the one telling him to disarm – i.e., reach for his gun), and the short period between being confronted and being shot, I’d really lean towards calling it negligent homicide at an absolute minimum.

    Most of what we know right now is either from the family (biased in his favor), the MSM (who I wouldn’t trust to report on what color the sky is and actually get it right), and mainly from the inquest. Keep in mind that the inquest is designed to present the evidence in the way that is most favorable to the police, and that only the local Prosecutor was able to call and examine witnesses. That process is thoroughly biased in favor of the police. Evidence that might have shown that the cops screwed up may have simply not been presented – like the mysteriously “unusable” video of the incident.

    Also, if the police order someone to disarm, like they did in this incident (as confirmed by the 911 tapes), they should not get away with shooting him when he moves his hand towards his gun, unless he has actually drawn it in an aggressive manner.

    I don’t think that “poor training” should give these guys a pass on killing someone – not in this case.

  2. Sebastian says:

    I’m not a fan of the inquest process. To me this case should have gone to a grand jury.

  3. BC says:

    For my money the biggest travesty of this whole affair is the jury instruction in the inquest: basically, the jurors were compelled to acquit unless they concluded that the officers arrived on the scene intending to murder Scott. There was apparently no room for them to conclude that whatever Scott’s transgressions, the officers were nonetheless culpably reckless and/or incompetent in how they handled the incident.

  4. Jake says:

    Even a Grand Jury isn’t good for these kinds of cases. It’s still the prosecutor presenting the evidence – only the evidence he chooses, there is no cross-examination of witnesses unless the prosecutor allows it, and, in fact, no requirement to allow the defense or other legitimately interested parties to even be present (or even that the investigation and presentation to the grand jury exist at all). On top of that, (unless it’s different in that state) Grand Jury proceedings are completely secret.

    There’s a reason for the common saying that a prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich if he wanted. The reverse is just as true: a prosecutor can prevent an indictment on the worst criminal in the world, if he wants to.

    The inquest process would be okay, I think, but there also needs to be someone included to represent the deceased who can actually cross-examine the witnesses and present other witnesses and evidence against the police. There needs to be some counterbalance against the prosecutor’s interest in not alienating the police that he depends on and works with on a daily basis (and any bias he may have in their favor as a result of that regular working relationship – a bias which can develop in even the most scrupulously honest people).