Immunity from Consequences has Consequences

What happens when you grant a monopoly on violence to an organization and then grant that organization a monopoly on determining whether or not it used too much violence? Incidents involving over 100 round fired into a car occupied by unarmed individuals with no consequences for the shooters:

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) – Cleveland Police Chief McGrath announced results of disciplinary hearings for patrol officers involved in the deadly November police pursuit on Tuesday morning.


According to Chief McGrath, 64 patrol officers were found guilty of breaking policy. No one will be fired, and the longest suspension will be 10 days. 19 Action News has learned some officers were cleared.


On November 29, 2012, police chased a car with two people from Cleveland to East Cleveland. Officers first saw the car speeding and heard what appeared to be a gunshot coming from it. The driver refused to stop, and officers reported seeing a weapon in the car, but no gun was ever found. The 28-minute chase ended with officers firing 137 shots into the car, killing the driver, Timothy Russell and the passenger, Malissa Williams.

Firing 137 rounds into a vehicle in a city is pretty irresponsible by itself. But unloading that wall of lead because you heard something that sounded like gunfire is totally irresponsible. To make matters worse, the officers involved in the incident received nothing more than a paid vacation. In other words, the officers who demonstrated total irresponsibility suffered no negative consequences, which will almost certainly encourage such behavior in the future.

As a side note, advocates of gun control often ask why us advocates of gun rights are opposed to allowing the police to decide who can and cannot own firearms (advocates of gun control generally hide this demand under the label of “background checks”). The answer is simple: police officers in this country frequently demonstrate a complete lack of responsibility when it comes to firearm usage. I, for one, cannot see the logic in putting people who are irresponsible with firearms in charge of deciding who gets to own a firearm.