Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Suicide By Second Amendment?

Today's Spokesman Review has an article containing more details about the death of Scott Creach at the hands Deputy Hirzel. I feel bad for Creach's family members. The more details being released, the more questions I have.

“While Mr. Creach was backing up, he put his gun in the waistband of his trousers” behind his back, McGovern said. “The deputy was ordering Mr. Creach down to the ground. Mr. Creach said, ‘I don’t have to go down on the ground. I’m not going down on the ground.’ ”

At that point, Hirzel took his police baton and “struck Mr. Creach once in the knee area. The deputy said that caused Mr. Creach to buckle and at the same point, he reached back with his right hand and started to draw out his gun.”

Hirzel holstered his baton, grabbed his pistol with both hands and fired once, killing Creach.

Hirzel said as Creach “brought the gun up and he could see the butt of the gun when he fired the shot,” McGovern said. Creach “was drawing the gun out his back waistband.”

Let's assume Deputy Hirzel is right handed. Did he hold his weapon in his left hand so he could strike hard with his dominant hand? Or did he settle for a possibly less effective baton strike with his other hand and hold his weapon in his dominant hand?

Since Scott Creach didn't have his hand on his gun, why couldn't Deputy Hirzel have waited for other units to arrive?

If Mr Creach is drawing his weapon from his waistband, the deputy has time to reholster his baton? Why didn't he just drop it and then hold his weapon with both hands to shoot? Why did he need both hands to shoot when he was so close?

Here's the big question. If Mr Creach was to drop the weapon, how could he do so without reaching around and pulling it out of his waistband?

Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich was asked how residents who arm themselves to investigate situations on their own property should react when they encounter a police officer or deputy.

“With great rights come great responsibilities,” he said. “We have to ensure that if a law enforcement officer is there for a lawful purpose and they are confronted with an armed subject, just make sure that we don’t escalate that situation. If that means putting the gun down until the officer knows who you are, that is a reasonable expectation.”

That certainly makes it sound like the fault lies with Scott Creach. Like I said, I feel bad for his family.

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