A 73 year old librarian was shot to death by a cop in what I suppose you could call friendly fire, but is a clear case of lethal incompetence. It is quite clear that cops cannot be trusted with guns, anymore than they can be trusted with cameras, or trusted to tell the truth.
Mary Knowlton arrived at the Punta Gorda, Fla., police station Tuesday night to learn how to be a community steward.
The 73-year-old was there as a student in the citizen police academy, a two-hour course intended to give an intimate look at what makes the department in the quaint Florida town work. On this night, the group of 35 would tour the station and talk with officers, an essential part of academy curriculum that has gained popularity across the country amid a heated national debate about police violence.
When it came time to get involved, Knowlton volunteered.
The hosting officers chose two students to role-play in a lethal force simulation, a scenario intended to demonstrate how and when officers decide to pull the trigger. Knowlton played the victim, Charlotte Sun photographer Sue Paquin told the newspaper, and a Punta Gorda police officer played a “bad guy.” These scenarios are usually safe, acted out with either fake or empty weapons.
But when the officer’s gun was fired, Knowlton — a mother, wife and career librarian — was hit with live ammunition.
She was rushed to a local hospital and pronounced dead.
The article goes on, much “deeply shocked, prayers”, along with a remarkable use of the passive voice, as if this just sort of happened, without any cop involved. It’s also noteworthy just how protective the statements are of the shooter. Cops and guns, a seriously bad combination.