Folks, ya gotta luv ol’ EVT columnist Bill Richardson for being an ever-loyal, ex-Mesa Police Department officer. No criticism of the Mesa PD ever appears in one of his columns. Nope, he saves the criticism for the Chandler, Gilbert, Phoenix police departments, the Arizona Department of Public Safety and his two favorite targets, the Maricopa County and Pinal County sheriff’s offices.
What’s that old verse from the Good Book about “looking for a cinder in thy brother’s eye while disregarding the beam in thine own?”....lol. Yup, Bill’s latest vitriol is about “Officer Involved Shootings.” Now, Bill, there is another “truism” about “people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones,” and it certainly fits the bill in regard to the Mesa Police Department. Wasn’t there a weekend, just one weekend last year where 10 of Mesa’s finest were involved in officer-involved shootings? Now, no one is saying these OIS’s weren’t justified, but the Mesa PD sure has its fair share. Every week there seems to be one on the local morning TV news programs. Since there are no official FBI or Arizona DPS yearly statistics on the number of officer-involved shootings (funny, there seems to be a zillion other statistics gathered all across Arizona, and America, for that matter, but no one seems to feel that OIC’s statistics are important). As the (“Saturday Night Live”) “Church Lady” would say with a raised eyebrow ... “Now isn’t that precious.”
Doesn’t the Mesa PD provide “non-lethal” means of taking down a perp? Laser guns and mace are two that come to mind.
What was really below-the-belt, though, in Bill Richardson’s column was the mention of “rush judgments.” Does that mean the Mesa PD’s officer-involved shootings may also have been “rush judgments?” Just because a law enforcement officer wears a different badge doesn’t automatically mean they aren’t as professional as a Mesa Police Officer and shouldn’t be accorded equal respect.