I’m certain you believe that and perhaps she did. Perhaps. Many if not most people believe officers’ accounts of incidents until proven to be untrue. Based on my experience of reading police reports daily and seeing that they’re often works of fiction, I tend to disbelieve officers’ accounts until proven true, especially when they’re self-serving as in this case. We’re both probably biased.

In this case, maybe the officer was merely inept or negligent rather than malicious. That to me is the most generous account of the events whereby this forty something year old woman either took his taser or he dropped it as he hovered over her. Surely you’d agree that his actions were at least suboptimal. In my state as in most states, killings resulting from malignancy or ineptitude are both crimes, be it murder, voluntary manslaughter or involuntary manslaughter.

But since most people believe officers’ accounts, especially the investigating officers and prosecutors who make charging decisions, this case will end as most do: she was a threat; he feared for his life; he rightly killed her. Case closed, to the extent it was ever opened.

Somehow, it’s okay to be distrustful of government when it highly assesses our property value. It’s okay to question the ability, integrity or attitude of the municipal worker who doesn’t give us the answer we want. Yet somehow when a police officer kills an unarmed black man, woman or child, we must trust the officer’s account. We cannot question his ability, integrity or attitude. To the contrary, I say we must.

Questioning government in these cases is not only our right as Americans, it is our duty.

A husband. A father. A former member of the Georgia House of Representatives. A former judge. Now, an indigent defense attorney winning unwinnable trials.

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