Friday, January 14, 2011

Innocent on all counts!

So the jury spanked the "Special Prosecutor," recently retired B-I-G city District Attorney William M Bennet, by coming back ever-so-quickly with a slam dunk verdict of not guilty on all four counts in the God awful manslaughter trial of former Pelham police chief Ed Fleury accused (by Mr. Bennet) of negligence in the horrific death of an innocent 8-year-old child.

Not only the most serious charge of "manslaughter" but even the three lesser ones of furnishing a machine gun to minors. The DA got greedy: in trying to make a major statement and a legacy case he ended up looking like a heartless buffoon.

Mr. Fleury was indeed guilty of something--but certainly no more so than the innocent child's father who signed a waiver acknowledging the activity could lead to "death," ignored a repeated suggestion that his youngest son handling the micro-Uzi was not a good idea and then cheered while filming the disaster, until his son disappeared from the viewfinder.

Or the laconic DA himself, who ignored these highly publicized "machine gun shoots" for seven years, or the numerous cops who were at the shoot that day and said nothing, or the Westfield Sportsman’s Club that probably operates with a skeleton part-time staff made up mostly of volunteers. Or calling an "expert witness" who points the machine gun at the jury, while the judge denies Bennet's attempt at a repeat showing of the snuff video.

Indeed it's a cliche to say that someone like Ed has already "suffered enough". But in this "case" it most certainly applies. To all of us as well.

The Springfield Republican reports (and yes, the AP picked it up)

Story goes International


Anonymous said...

Has anyone considered if the father - who clearly exercised terrible judgment here - is still competent to be an ER doctor and make life or death judgments? Not that he should be criminally liable, but is he (like Flourey) able to meet the much higher standard of "good judgment"?

I received an advertisement for this gun show - I am on enough right-wing mailing lists and can't remember which one it came from -- and the big thing printed all over it was "COPS" -- it was very clear that this was a police-related if not approved thing and it raises the question of why do we treat police officers differently than civilians?

Why is it that some weapons, including some kinds of knives, are legal for them to have but no one else? Not issued to them when they go on duty and accounted for when they go off, but allowed for them to buy on their own time and do with as they please...

I think it is fairly clear that this event would have been held to a different standard were it being run by a company not owned by a police officer.

Miranda, Escobedo and a whole lot of other stuff came because an earlier generation got fed up with police abuses -- law enforcement needs to stop lording its status over the holi poloi, and soon, or it is going to find another round of a fed up society stomping on it.

Why does an off-duty policeman need a dangerous knife when he already has a gun?

Anonymous said...

How's the job search coming, Larry?

LarryK4 said...

I'm thinking about asking Mr. Korpita for a bouncer job when he moves ABC from downtown to the larger Newmarket Center location.

Going back to my roots. (Worked at The Pub when I was at Umass.)

TCC said...

Lar, good post.

Ed was humble enough to give the good Lord credit for the outcome of his trial by fire. I'm glad to hear there are to be no more machine gun shows in his future.

LarryK4 said...

Thanks Izzy (let's hope the guy who dubbed you "Icky" is not one of my Anons.)

That's one of the attributes I liked about Ed right from the beginning (going back 15 years or so.) He was always pretty humble.

And yes, the Lord does work in mysterious ways...

Ed said...

The more I think about this, I think he was exploited. He was a small town police chief who liked guns. Hey -- guns keep us free!

I wasn't there at the firearms safety class when he put the round through the wall of the Town Hall, but I will bet that none of the students will EVER point an "empty" gun at ANYONE, EVER because of the true shock value of that incident. And he is entitled to his side of the story, which we never heard.

And we shouldn't treat off-duty police officers differently than anyone else, it is one thing to argue that they should be able to break the law to enforce it while on duty, but when off-duty, they should be considered the civilians they are.

My gut feeling: someone noticed the loophole in the gun laws for things sponsored by a cop and they went to him and waved dollar bills in his face. My gut feeling -- the rich/important ER Doc waved virtual dollars in the face of the 15-year-old kid who probably was a more competent range safety officer than we are giving him credit for -- he said "no" and was bullied and ignored.

The father is responsible for this, just like the Amherst cop whose kid drowned in the pool that lacked the legally-required fence around it was responsible for that tragedy. The father made a mistake and his kid died -- we can temper justice with mercy (and should) but that doesn't mean that we then go accuse someone else of being responsible.

I don't have a son. Thanks to UMass, I likely never will have a son. But if I did, I am damn sure that I would not have let him fire that weapon, and beyond that, when the 15-year-old range safety officer told me that he "didn't think it was a good idea" for my son to be firing that weapon, I would ask him "why" and if he gave me a rational answer, I would have thanked him -- and not told him how much older I am nor how much more money I have.

The father is responsible....

Anonymous said...

Thanks to UMass, I likely never will have a son. <-- You know that the radiation from the tower is a myth, right?