Falsely Accused

A recurring theme of Internet discussions on the defensive use…


A recurring theme of Internet discussions on the defensive use of deadly force is, “All that matters is that it was a clean shot.” This adamantly held belief is an example of extreme bad judgment and generally comes from people who have never actually been involved in the legal proceedings and media roasting that follows even the most righteous application of defensive deadly force.

selfdefense2.gifPublic Opinion
A recent story in the Pittsburgh Courier newspaper offers us a case in point. Dated May 15, 2008, the article was headlined, “Controversy Surrounds Mt. Oliver Police Shooting.” It is reported that on May 6, 2008, in the Mt. Oliver neighborhood of Pittsburgh, a man was killed in an encounter with city police officers.

It seems that 19-year-old Justin Jackson, who his father said was “trying to turn his life around” was shot in the head and torso by the officers and died at the scene. The Courier reporter Christian Morrow wrote, “The officers were responding to a report of shots being fired when they encountered Jackson. But some are asking, if being a young black man with hands in pockets a block from where shots were reportedly fired constitutes probable cause for a search? Jackson’s father Donald said police overreacted to (a) dog’s killing, and his son’s death was an ‘execution.’ Others said they never knew Jackson to carry a gun, some suggesting the gun was planted and the police actually shot the dog.”

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