Opinion

Public should be concerned about next traffic stop

There are all kinds of nuances and implications tied to the David Pompeo sentencing that are worth mentioning. Many are worth in-depth debate and discussion.

But the one we keep coming back to is this:

We do not see how the community is served by allowing this officer to keep his badge and his gun.

This is not a slight on the man’s character as a person. The judge certainly accepted the regret Pompeo expressed about shooting Bill Gillespie was genuine. The support Pompeo received in court in person and in letters was considerable and demonstrated that his fellow officers hold him in some esteem.

The trouble is, the issue of Pompeo’s character is secondary to the issue of public safety.

And if one lesson can be learned in this lengthy court case, it is that David Pompeo with a gun in his hand is a risk.

Gillespie is no saint. But on the night in question, his transgressions were failing to pull over immediately when police sounded their sirens, and failing to fall to the ground quickly enough when Pompeo ordered him to do so.

Most of us have been pulled over in a routine traffic stop. Some of us haven’t been exactly happy about it and haven’t been very discreet about letting that displeasure show. Very few of us — and rightly so — expected to get shot.

Pompeo was convicted because he apparently panicked and fired his gun without good reason; he avoided jail time because his training was apparently faulty.

He’s since received further training, but neither of the above scenarios bode well for public safety

Do you want to be behind the wheel next time this officer— or any with similar training  — makes a “routine traffic stop?”

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