Journal Sentinel preaches don’t judge, but judges

By now you’ve heard about the shooting that took place on Milwaukee’s lakefront Sunday night.

A 19-year-old Milwaukee man who was put on life support at Froedtert Hospital after being shot by a Milwaukee County sheriff’s deputy along Milwaukee’s lakefront has died. The deputy, Michael Truax, used “deadly force” after the teen, Terry Williams, fled in a vehicle after failing to stop for a traffic violation, Sheriff David Clarke said at a news conference Monday.

Milwaukee County sheriff's Deputy Inspector Tobie Weberg

Williams’ passenger, a woman named Paula, was shot in the left shoulder and right hand. Her injuries were said to be not life-threatening, the sheriff said.

Investigating officers found a loaded 9 mm handgun in Williams’ vehicle.

Cell phone video recorded at around 7:40 p.m. Sunday appears to show an SUV driving up onto a grassy median at Lincoln Memorial Drive and Water Tower Road. A deputy can be seen with a gun out near the vehicle. Then multiple gunshots are heard.

There were hundreds of people at the lakefront when the shooting took place.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has editorialized that the public deserves answers.

“No one should jump to any conclusions or rely on witness testimony that could be mistaken. Demand answers, but let the investigators do their jobs.”

The editorial then quickly refers to an article in their paper that’s based on a premise of second-guessing the deputy, searching the country for “experts” that will submit to their preconceived template that the deputy acted improperly.

In the article, quoted again by the editorial, is an opinion by Geoff Alpert, a criminology professor at the University of South Carolina. Alpert told a more-than-willing -to-print reporter,  that what the deputy did, shooting at vehicle coming directly towards him, is risky and dangerous.

“If you’re successful and you shoot the driver, you have an unguided missile,” said Alpert, one of a whole two “experts” the paper uncovered.

I’ll bet if they asked any number of law enforcement officer what they would have done and why they would have gotten views a helluva lot different that those of the TWO “experts.”

By the way, one of the “experts,” Geoff Alpert, according to his bio never was a law enforcement officer, and thus, was never in a position where he had to decide in an instant whether or not to use deadly force.

Just what was the deputy supposed to do in those split seconds?

And suppose the deputy would have refrained from shooting and allowed the driver to proceed towards a lakefront crowded with innocent people, including children? What if several would have been struck and seriously injured, or even killed?

The paper preaching patience and others would have been all over the deputy, criticizing him for not taking the proper action to stop the motorist.

Yes, let’s be patient and let the investigators investigate. But then let’s do what we say, Journal Sentinel folks. Knock off the prejudicial articles and editorials that do absolutely nothing to enhance police-community relations.

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