From the Salt Lake Tribune:
The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office will not prosecute a police officer who shot and wounded an alleged car thief, even though the shooting was ruled “unjustified.”
Salt Lake City Police Officer Matthew Giles may have violated criminal statutes when he fired his rifle eight times, striking the teen driver in the arm and torso, but District Attorney Sim Gill said the case did not “present a reasonable likelihood of conviction at trial.”
“We didn’t think we had either the quality or quantity of evidence that we could meet that burden,” Gill said Tuesday. “I refuse to waste the taxpayers’ dollars or waste the integrity of the office by filing charges that we know we may not be able to prove.”
After a lengthy review, the district attorney determined the car was probably at least 60 feet — and possibly as many as 100 feet — away from Giles when he started shooting or the driver was going much slower than witnesses said.
But while the shooting was deemed unjustified, Gill said his office had to apply a higher standard in deciding whether to file criminal charges against the officer.
“There were certain obstacles, evidentiary and factual obstacles, that created a burden we could not meet,” he said. “We had other officers who were there. We had [radio] traffic that was going on. It was a dynamic situation. When you go into a criminal trial, all those other components become part of it. The circle widens more.”
Translation: the State is above the law.
Reverse the roles in this situation. Suppose a civilian had shot a rifle 8 times at a police officer and claimed he “feared for his life” when his life was clearly not in danger (or even if it WAS in danger). Would he receive the same treatment as this “peace officer”? No criminal charges filed? No. He would most certainly be prosecuted by the State to the fullest extent of the law. But let’s be realistic: in all probability he would be dead now, deprived of the chance to even claim that he feared for his life.
Meanwhile, Officer Giles remains on paid leave – wasting the taxpayer dollars that Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill claims he is not wasting by declining to file criminal charges against a man who committed an obviously criminal act.
Recent anonymous accusations of security breaches and corruption at the FBI’s office in Salt Lake highlight the importance of sites like Utahleaks.org. Less importantly, it provides us with a little comic relief when we read statements such as this from “Special Agent in Charge” James McTighe:
“[T]he government has clear and effective protections for whistleblowers who come forward publicly to report violations of procedure.”
Try telling that to Bradley Manning, Agent McTighe.
KSL reported Saturday that the Cloud Foundation released video of wild horses being kept in disgusting conditions by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) at a facility in Herriman, Utah. The article did not link to the Cloud Foundation’s website or the video, so I am doing both here in order to raise awareness of this issue and help get some reform going. Why tax dollars are being used to round up wild horses and pen them up is beyond me.
“The Utah Legislature and Governor Gary Herbert made it even harder for Utah voters during the 2011 session in Salt Lake City. They enacted SB165, a law that makes electronic signatures on petitions, qualifying petitions for candidates running for office, and registering a political party invalid…”
[Read the rest of this article at Examiner.com]
“Not all the political news this year involves the rise of partisan extremism and government by rage. There has been lots of that. But maybe there is a limit, a point when people of good sense and good will band together to say no. As they have just done in Utah.”
When it comes right down to it, libertarianism is about peace. Mr. Nolan promulgated peace by helping to create the third largest political party in the United States, a party dedicated to ending aggression, violence and coercion.
May his soul so rest.
Utah Liberty Alliance seeks to bring about a free society through journalism and activism, starting right here at home.
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