A pat on the back for Officer McCluskey

Posted: May 23, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

I didn’t realize this was coming out until I read it in the paper, but there was a nice pat on the back editorial on Sunday for Santa Fe Police Department Officer Mike McCluskey.

A week prior, McCluskey was in a domestic violence situation that gave him every justifiable reason to shoot a suspect who, by police accounts, was practically begging for it.

But McCluskey didn’t shoot when the suspect, Darvin Romero, was approaching him, reaching around his back for something and yelling “Shoot me!”

From the editorial:

Somehow, McCluskey managed to hold his fire — and in that instant he saw that what the guy was aiming at him like a gun was … a wallet. Seconds later, he dropped it. McCluskey had him in cuffs.

At a time when our state’s newspapers are brimming with stories of cops killing resistant subjects, McCluskey’s poise is especially impressive. In Albuquerque, during the past year and a half, police have been involved in 17 shootings, most of them fatal.

Some people’s response to McCluskey’s action, or non-action, falls in line with Chris Rock’s bit on some people always wanted credit for things they’re supposed to do. Cops are supposed to serve and protect. They aren’t supposed to shoot suspects.

But the reality is there may not be many more dangerous situations than responding to a domestic disturbance alone as McCluskey did. Obviously we don’t want cops who shoot first and ask questions later, but we also don’t want cops who end up dead themselves or failed to act in a manner to stop the death of another.

McCluskey did what he was supposed to do. But he also would have been 100 percent justified had he shot, probably not unlike most of the recent Albuquerque Police Department shootings (maybe not all… I don’t pretend to know all the fact of those cases).

That’s a split-second decision that most of us don’t have to make on a day-to-day basis and that’s why those cops get paid the big bucks! (By the way, an entry level cadet at SFPD gets paid $15.28/hour according to the department’s latest job brochure).

Here is a link to Sunday’s editorial:

And here is a link to the original article I wrote on the situation last week:

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