No Longer State-Sanctioned
January 16, 2014 by Bob Livingston
Curtis Reeves is learning that there are two sets of rules. One is for the uniformed enforcers sanctioned by the state. The other is for everyone else.
Reeves, 71, is charged with shooting to death Chad Oulson in a Wesley Chapel, Fla., theater Monday. A former Tampa police captain, Reeves is described as “instrumental in establishing the department’s first Tactical Response Team.”
In the 1980s, reports The Tampa Bay Times, Reeves was the “go-to guy” in the police department who handled some of the department’s toughest calls. Hostage situations, suspect standoffs, civil disorder: The chiefs knew he could handle it.
According to reports, Oulson and his wife were texting during movie previews and refused to stop, despite repeated requests. The men got into an argument. Someone threw popcorn. For his part, Reeves claims Oulson hit him in the face with something; he feared for his life, so he shot him.
Had Reeves been wearing the uniform of an active duty officer, Oulson’s death would have been considered a regrettable but necessary incident. Oulson, Reeves could have claimed, had resisted arrest. There would have been an “internal review” and a brief paid vacation called a suspension. Eventually, the killing would have been ruled justified. As the “go-to guy” on the toughest calls, it’s likely Reeves had encountered arrest “resisters” before.
Unfortunately for Reeves, he no longer carries state sanction. State sanction gives you authority to beat, club and “taser” a man to death for “resisting” — even if that “resisting” meant while he was prone, cuffed and being sat upon by several officers. After all, the “peace officers” were only doing their jobs and had no malice in their hearts.
State sanction gives you authority to open fire on an unarmed mother — with a baby in her car — for making a wrong turn. After all, she was obviously deranged, the media say. The police officers who gunned her down “acted heroically” and were praised in both Houses of Congress.
State sanction gives you the authority to gun down a man for holding a knife, shoot a subdued kid, beat and pepper spray family members during a warrantless home invasion, or use a Taser on a high school student who’s a bystander to a fight.
State sanction gives the uniformed LEOs (legally entitled to oppress) the right to do a lot of things under the claim of “resisting arrest” or the even more dubious “obstructing justice.”
But Reeves is no longer part of the “brotherhood.” So, like the rest of us would be, he’s facing charges of second-degree murder.