Monday, May 17, 2010

Ottawa Hills Police Shooting

It was official last week.  Ex-officer Thomas White no longer allegedly shot Michael McCloskey in the back and paralyzed him from the waist down; he actually did it.  The jury deliberated about six hours and returned with a guilty verdict.  Here's the link to the story in the Toledo Blade.

Lucas County Assistant Prosecutor Jeff Lingo described the case as very difficult for him to handle as a former police officer and firearms instructor.

I would say there are no winners. I believe the jury made the right decision," he said. "As I stated during the trial, this was not an indictment of police officers or a department. The officer is not a bad person in that he set out to commit a crime. He used force well in excess of what needed to be used in a situation."
If you believe White's testimony, his gun didn't go off by accident.  White shot Mr. McCloskey in the back on purpose because White felt threatened.  Prosecutor Jeff Lingo characterizes White as "not a bad person", which I consider absolutely, blatantly wrong. White likely thought he was the law incarnate and so above it; he could do as he pleased to whomever he pleased.  Certainly he could shoot a motorcyclist that he'd taken a dislike to.  This is not the hallmark of a good man.

First of all, White's feelings are not a priority for me, nor should they be for anyone.  If White, or any police officer feels threatened they should just have to learn to live with it.  That isn't what happened here, and it isn't happening in other places and other instances either.  It is, however, what should happen.  Secondly, the men and women on a police force are being given a gun and a badge and told to enforce the law.  That order does not have the caveat 'without abusing your authority', and it should have.  We are seeing far too much abuse of authority by police.  Finally, those police who do abuse their authority should end up in prison.  I hope that's what happens in this case, but I have doubts.

If you'd like to see White do time behind bars, I encourage you to write to the judge and express your opinion.  In this case the judge is:

Judge Gary G. Cook
Lucas County Common Pleas Court
4th Floor - Courtroom #9
700 Adams
Toledo, OH  43604-5678

I believe that letters received by a judge really do make a difference, and I encourage everyone to write.  White is facing up to 11 years, but that's not saying he'll be sentenced to anything close to that.  For my part, I'd like to see him sentenced to 25 years to life in a maximum security prison.  I'll have to settle for 11.


Unknown said...

You are right Mad Jack when you said that we are seeing far too much abuse of authority by police. I also heard news like that here in Ottawa. For victims of personal injury, they just consult a competent personal injury lawyer Ottawa legal counsel and ask help in filing an injury case against a police officer. It's good that there are many injury lawyers Ottawa -based legal practice providers who are highly qualified to handle cases like that of Michael McCloskey.

Unknown said...

I think that consulting a personal injury lawyer in Ottawa would be helpful. Otherwise your out of luck with the cops.