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.
Boxing is an unnatural act. Cos everything in it is backwards. You wanna move to the left, you don’t step left, you push on the right toe. To move right, you use your left toe. Instead of running from the pain – like a sane person would do, you step into it.
– Eddie Scrap-Iron Dupris in Million Dollar Baby
I love the movie Million Dollar Baby for many reasons, but one of them is the portrayal of the training itself. Boxing, like many disciplines, requires one to actively abandon many natural inclinations and replace them with behavior that works. As humans, we have an impressive set of instincts, instincts that have served us well as a species for thousands of years; however, those same instincts can sometimes hinder us, sometimes fatally.
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