Thank you, officer
It's as predictable as the sun rising every morning. Police shoot some low-life scumbag, and it's the officers, not the criminal, who catch all the flak. That was the case again recently when Pittsburgh police officers shot and killed 19-year-old Justin Jackson in a case that got even more media play because Jackson fatally shot a city police dog. Jackson was black, and the officer who fatally shot him, I believe, is white. Let the whining and wailing begin. As it did. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the source of my information for this posting, at Jackson's funeral, Bishop Otis L. Carswell said, "We don't feel like this was a justified shooting." Let's recap the situation for the good bishop's benefit. We have a 19-year-old guy who was housed in juvenile custody for the better part of his high school years and was convicted just last year for assaulting a neighbor. The juvenile charges included aggravated assault and weapons possession when he was only 14. Shortly after he got out of juvenile custody for those crimes, he committed a robbery and was sent back to detention. He was released in June 2006, and less than a year later, he's attacking a neighhbor. Then, a few days ago, he pulls a stolen .357 Magnum on police officers and opens fire, killing a police dog in the process. But in Bishop Carswell's opinion, that was no reason for officers to fire at Jackson. Bullcrap. He got what was coming to him. Does Bishop Carswell think the police officers should have waited until they were actually hit by Jackson's gunfire before they responded? I feel sorry for Jackson's family members, but they sound equally ridiculous in their comments about the shooting. First, they expressed doubt that Jackson was carrying a gun (Yeah, right) and suggested that perhaps police officers shot both Jackson and the police dog. Forensic tests proved that last claim wrong. And then, family members said that even if Jackson had been carrying a gun, it didn't give police the right to fatally shoot him. Sure. The police officers should have thought, "Let's just wing him and hope that he stops firing at us." I'm still waiting for the first person connected with Jackson to say, "You know what? When you open fire on a police officer, you get what you're asking for." Family members also trotted out the old chestnut that Jackson was "trying to turn his life around." Guess what? People who are trying to turn their lives around don't carry stolen .357 Magnums and try to shoot police officers. And I would be willing to guess, based on Jackson's track record and the fact that he was packing a weapon, that it was just a matter of time before he killed someone. The person I feel sorry for in this whole mess is the policeman who fired the fatal shots. He's the one who has to live with the knowledge that he took another human life. I hope he realizes that he did what he had to do, and I just want to thank the officer for making it safer for me to walk the streets the next time I'm in Pittsburgh.