Saturday, March 05, 2016
OFFICER ARRESTED FOR MURDER OF SUSPECT
"ATLANTA — A white police officer in Montgomery, Alabama, has been charged with murder in the shooting death last week of Gregory Gunn, a 58-year-old black man, officials said Wednesday.
Investigators would not discuss what led them to file the murder charge against the officer, Aaron Smith. But city officials Wednesday afternoon appeared to back away from their initial assertions that Gunn, whose father was among the city’s first black police officers, had been carrying a stick or another object that could have been perceived as a weapon."
A lawyer for Smith, Mickey McDermott, criticized the arrest as “political” and said he believed the authorities charged the officer in an effort to prevent civil unrest.
“They have a duty to protect the public from itself sometimes,” McDermott said. “They, I believe, thought this would be the mechanism to show the public that they are trying to be honest and fair to both sides.”
The announcement of Smith’s arrest came only six days after his fatal encounter with Gunn, who worked in a grocery. Montgomery officials initially said that Smith had stopped Gunn, who was walking home after a late night of work and playing cards, believing him to be suspicious. It was after 3 a.m., and the two became involved in a struggle. At some point, officials said, Smith opened fire."
In prior years, it is unthinkable that an officer would be arrested in only 6 days. In many states, the D.A. would have sent it to the grand jury and some would have made sure it died there. As Bob Dylan sang "The times they are a-changing."
However, the defense attorney makes a point that is at least worth considering and we must not forget about the presumption of innocence. Let a jury of his peers judge this officer is fair trial