Officer Noor’s lawyer is apparently running with the defense that Officer Noor was startled and that is why he murdered Justine Ruszczyk. While that is one of the more feeble excuses given by a cop who needlessly shot somebody, it’s only one on a long list of feeble excuses. For example, and Eden Prairie police officer needlessly shot somebody in June. His excuse? Muscle memory:
Matthew Hovland-Knase, 22, of Bloomington, led police on a chase at 3 a.m. on June 20 that reached speeds of almost 100 miles per hour before stopping at Eden Prairie Road near North and South Lund roads. Sgt. Lonnie Soppeland got out of his squad car with his gun drawn — protocol for high-risk stops, he told investigators — but the gun went off, shooting the motorcyclist’s arm.
According to documents released to the Star Tribune on Friday by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, Soppeland told investigators that firearm training earlier that month contributed to the unintentional discharge due to the muscle memory of squeezing the trigger.
“My plan was to hold the suspect where he was until back up arrived,” he told investigators three days later. “ … It was not my conscious choice to discharge my firearm. This all happened very fast, maybe within a matter of a second. I could feel the effect of the adrenaline.”
Funny, if I shot somebody accidentally all would not be forgiven regardless of the training I had received. But rules are different when you’re wearing a badge. Suddenly a negligent discharge becomes a valid excuse.
It’s true, most police departments offer lackluster firearm training. However, lackluster training is not an acceptable excuse for putting a bullet in somebody. Just as it was my responsibility to obtain adequate training when I acquired my carry permit, it should be an officer’s responsibility to obtain adequate training when carrying a firearm.