Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Badged, drunk and armed is no way to go through life, son

Baltimore, Maryland police officer Gahiji Tshamba was leaving a local bar after a night of drinking while armed as per department policy on June 5 of this year when he became involved in a dispute with an Iraqi war veteran named Tyrone Brown.  The off-duty cop ended up shooting Brown 12 times with his duty sidearm, killing the unarmed man.  Tshamba is now being held without bail on a first-degree murder charge. 

Incredibly, this isn't the first time "Officer" Tshamba has shot someone while off-duty and apparently intoxicated (he refused a breath test after the Brown incident).  In 2005 he shot and wounded a 17-year-old boy while having a blood alcohol level of .12%, half again the level that would result in a drunken driving charge had he been behind the wheel of a car.  Tshamba wasn't charged with a crime on that occasion but was disciplined by the department (he really seemed to learn his lesson, didn't he?).  

Even more incredibly, despite Tshamba's history of poor judgment as well as several other incidents involving off-duty cops and alcohol, the head of the force is stubbornly refusing to change the requirement that officers be armed at all times while within the city limits, regardless of how much they may be intent on whooping it up: 

"Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III is considering changes, such as a restriction on drinking while armed. But he's reluctant to toss out a decades-old policy that he says helps protect the public." 

Yessir, sure sounds like the public is sure being well-"protected" by that particular rule, Mr. Bealefeld.  Go ahead and take your time pondering whether or not to change it. 

"An Associated Press review of investigative records shows that since 2005, off-duty Baltimore officers have shot people 15 times. In a dozen cases, the officers intervened to stop crimes or defend themselves. But the three shootings that led to officers being disciplined — and another instance when an off-duty officer was killed by a fellow cop — involved alcohol or took place around bars." 

So a local Bawlmer peasant out late at night apparently runs only a 20% chance of being wrongly shot by a drunken off-duty "special person".  Somehow those just don't seem like very good odds to us. 

We remind everyone that Maryland is a "may-issue" handgun carry permit state pretty much in name only as the State Police, which processes permit applications from citizens, pretty much requires a signed, notarized death threat to get off their butts and issue one to someone who isn't a celebrity, a politician or otherwise connected in some way to a person in charge.  That's most likely a good thing, you see, as the unwashed masses would only do something incredibly stupid like go get liquored up while strapped and shoot themselves into trouble... Oh.  Right. 

To sum up, law-abiding state residents are denied their fundamental right of self-defense while off-duty police are allowed to defend themselves from being crime victims even though they may be bombed out of their skulls.  That hardly seems fair, now does it? 

We're so glad we no longer are forced to comply with the freedom-denying policies of the martinets who run the state of our birth.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow. That's even worse than the cops in Southern Illinois, where the people are similarly disarmed. However, down there the people mostly ignore the law, and the cops seem to use a buddy system to avoid irritating the armed citizens when one of the cops is drunk. The cops down there are often the better drug dealers (there was a cocaine ring in the police department of my home town after I left there), and they are often the bigger drunks. However, they do know that the law has little meaning to many of the citizens, and a cop going off on someone has a good chance of not surviving.

By the way, I'm the guy that calls you on your ludicrous anti-Obama articles, just to let you know that there are "libruls" who are not anti-gun and who care about lousy cops. The cops in my town were often chosen from the bottom of the barrel to see if they would improve. Some did, some didn't, and some weren't fascists in the first place. All of them knew that confronting an innocent citizen was a really stupid move and had a significant chance of not going in their direction.