. . . by cop who says he saw a gun. We should put ourselves in cop’s place.
According to the police records released Friday, the incident unfolded shortly after 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 7, 2013, when Chatman and two friends — Akeem Clarke and Martel Odom — beat and robbed a man inside his Dodge Charger while negotiating a deal to buy cellphone service from him. After the beating, Chatman took off alone in the victim’s car.
Fry and Toth, meanwhile, had been on routine patrol when they said they spotted the Charger rolling through a stop sign at 75th and Essex Avenue. They ran the car’s Wisconsin license plates, but the car came back clean, so they didn’t stop it at the time. When the call came over the radio minutes later about the carjacking, they doubled back and caught up with Chatman at the intersection of 75th and Jeffery Avenue.
The surveillance videos show Chatman bailing out of the car almost as soon as Toth and Fry get out of their unmarked Ford Crown Victoria.
Toth told detectives he was running to keep up with Chatman and didn’t notice an object in his hands, according to the reports released Friday. As they neared the corner, Toth said, he saw Chatman “make a move to his right” just before the shots rang out, according to the case incident report.
Like the shooter, he saw the victim turn to his right. Unlike him, he says he did not see an object, as shooter-cop says he did.
But in shooter-cop’s place, what would our split-second decision have been, with our partner at risk?
We should ask ourselves.
As for “punk,” it’s justified. He’d just joined two others in a beating-up of a man. We know that, shooter cop didn’t. In fact, he and his partner, spotting a stop-sign violation and probably seeing the driver, a young black man, maybe not, had let it go until, minutes later, they realized the car was stolen.
Chase, shooting followed abandoning by thief and running and turning toward cop very close to him — and you have split-second time for shooter cop. Let him or her cast the first guilty vote who has never made a bad split-second decision.