Does. Not. Compute.

I *really* hope there's some information missing from this story because the reasoning not only makes me scratch my head, it chaps my ass as well.
A former Danville police officer on Tuesday was exonerated from criminal wrongdoing in a March 2008 incident, which resulted in his dismissal by the city a year later.


"We have felt all along this should never have been filed as a criminal case," Christoff [Piatt's defense attorney] said. He added that the Vermilion County sheriff's department launched an independent investigation of the incident and determined that Piatt had not committed a crime.

Christoff said he believes that filing criminal charges set a bad precedent. "Whoever thought of using the criminal justice system to affect personnel policy in the city police department needs to rethink that," he said. "The police department already has a system of employee discipline in place. This new state's attorney looked at all the evidence, the statements I took from the actual individuals involved, the videotape, and has determined there was no basis for a criminal case."


The charge – a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a $2,500 fine – was filed on April 8 under previous State's Attorney Frank Young. It alleged that on March 8, 2008, Piatt, while off duty, "without lawful authority" pulled a weapon on Benny Rhodes in a local restaurant, placing the man "in reasonable apprehension of receiving bodily harm." No one was injured.


"I went over and over everything numerous times. ... It was my strong feeling that not all of the elements could be established beyond a reasonable doubt," [State's Attorney Randy Brinegar] said, adding it would not be appropriate to comment on which element or elements weren't met.
So, he's not saying he *shouldn't* prosecute, he's saying he *can't* prosecute. I'm still scratching my head at the idea that pulling a gun on someone isn't a crime. I'm gonna assume there is more to this than the article contains.

Cuz it smells rotten to me.

I read this as if I pull out a gun at a restaurant and point it at...oh...let's say...you, then it's not a crime. How does that work? And why in the hell would someone think that just because you get into hot water at work, it negates criminal charges? If I steal shit at work and get fired, I can't be criminally charged with theft? Hardly.


1 comment:

Gnightgirl said...

That is odd; I'm hoping there's something missing to that story also. I'm not sure what the policies are here, now, but at one point, local officers were required to carry guns even when they were off-duty. In the event that they were somewhere that a crime was being committed, it wouldn't look good for them to be unarmed and unable to assist. You know someone would sue them for just standing there.

I heard that "vague" story earlier, and wondered what the circumstance were—benefit of the doubt? But, as you did, found it fishy that more details weren't brought to light.

April 15, 2009 8:33 AM