Oklahoma City must be bedlam, because people there don’t believe a police officer should be allowed to protect himself or others.
Blackwell Police Lt. John Mitchell shot and killed an active shooter who had opened fire on a relative, strangers and law enforcement officers. But, instead of getting a commendation for doing his job, he is being charged with second-degree murder.
"This would be the first time in American history that a police officer or anybody was charged with the crime of murder for shooting at an active shooter," said Jason Smith, president of the Oklahoma Fraternal Order of Police.https://t.co/7Ja7lQhHjR
— KOKH FOX 25 (@OKCFOX) November 26, 2019
Mitchell had just completed active shooter training, so he was prepared when Micheal Ann Godsey opened fire while driving. He maneuvered his vehicle behind hers during the pursuit and shot through his front windshield.
He stopped the danger to his community, his fellow officers involved in the pursuit and himself.
But an Oklahoma City grand jury found Mitchell’s actions – mainly, the fact that more than 60 bullets were used in stopping Godsey – excessive. In fact, they called it “imminently dangerous conduct.”
What was he supposed to use to eliminate the threat? Pepper spray or bean bag rounds or some other nonlethal force? Should he have just asked her nicely to stop driving through town, shooting at people? The woman shot twice at her own mother, so I somehow doubt that appealing to her politely would have done much good.
I don’t know about you, but if someone is shooting up my town, I want the police to do whatever it takes to get them to stop. All the officers on duty. Stop sticks. Lethal force? Absolutely. As many bullets as they require.
Sean Ingram, one of Mitchell’s many supporters, agrees.
“To me, you return fire until the threat is neutralized, and you don’t know if it’s going to be one or one hundred.”
An internal investigation of the incident cleared Mitchell of any wrongdoing. Residents in Blackwell are rallying in his support.
If he is convicted, he faces at least 10 years in prison.
This is part of the Blackwell Police Department’s mission statement:
“The mission of the Blackwell Police Department is to protect and serve and preserve the peace for all who live or work in, as well as those who travel though, our City, and in so doing, to make a meaningful contribution to the quality of life in our community.”