A plainclothes Aurora police officer fatally shot a man Saturday night in a parking lot off East Colfax Avenue.No doubt, I'll hear the same "Don't mess with the police" chorus I heard the last time a plainclothes cop gunned someone down.
Detective Robert Friel, police spokesman, said the officer was meeting with an extortion suspect in the 12100 block of East Colfax Avenue, near Peoria Street, when the incident occurred about 7:40 p.m.
Friel said there was a physical confrontation between the two, and the officer fired multiple times.
I'm just not that willing to make excuses for incompetent and unprofessional police conduct. Consider:
The suspect was under investigation for extortion. The police presumably knew his identity, his address, had access to his motor vehicles records, etc. They found him once, successfully used to a ruse to lure him to a meeting, and even if the ruse was discovered, there's a reasonable expectation that they would be able to find this guy again. Go to his house. Look for his car. Talk to his family and friends. You know, police work.
Also consider that there were other cops in the area actively involved in the extortion sting. I'm guessing they were monitoring the situation either by radio, video, or direct observation, maybe even a combination of all three.
In that case, if there's an altercation that's NOT immediate guns blazing, you withdraw, call for backup, and arrest the guy. Hold the guy on an "assaulting an officer" beef as you continue to pursue the extortion investigation.
Of course, that's not what happened. We're expected to believe this situation got so out of hand that the cop had no choice but to fire because of the "physical confrontation."
And yet witnesses reported hearing the shots and then, moments later, seeing the suspect slumped over in the drivers seat of his Jeep Cherokee, bleeding from the left side. Now it's possible that the suspect could have got into a "physical confrontation" with the officer outside the vehicle, then after being shot with three fatal bullets, hopped into his Jeep to die, but that's unlikely.
I think it's more likely that the suspect was in the Jeep the whole time, and that the "physical confrontation," if there was one, wasn't severe enough to warrant deadly force. Seriously, how can you have a physical confrontation with someone in a car?
Indeed, I think it's likely the plainclothes officer, approached the suspect in his Jeep and something happened which caused the cop to panic. Maybe the suspect brandished his knife. Maybe they wrestled over it through the window, but maybe not. Maybe the cop just shouted into his shoulder mic, "He's got a weapon!" and started firing. Maybe there was no announcement at all.
However it went down, if the cop has been on the force long enough to make it to plainclothes, he's been on the force long enough to know that A) real police work isn't really expected of him and B) he'll be cleared even if he fucked up. So why not just shoot?
After all, to rid our streets of scumbags, we don't need rights and procedures and adjudication. We just need a bunch of pussy cops with itchy trigger fingers.