‘Not guilty verdict for Courtney Crooks
The brief family argument that occurred last Aug. 18 apparently ended Courtney Crooks’ career as a Grand Junction police officer. But it did not leave him with a criminal record.
A six-person jury took just 15 minutes last week to acquit Crooks on a single count of misdemeanor harassment.
The Daily Sentinel devoted a significant amount of news and editorial coverage to Crooks’ arrest last year, Crooks’ resignation from the police department in September and the department’s internal investigation related to his arrest. We think it is appropriate to take note of his acquittal, not only in the news section but on these pages, as well.
As Crooks’ trial last week made clear, the police officer and his wife argued over money and Courtney’s decision to restore cable television service to the family home. There was a brief physical altercation when Crooks’ wife decided to leave the home with the couple’s two small children. Crooks grabbed his wife by the back of the collar and forced her back to the house.
His wife testified that she was never frightened by Crooks’ action, and didn’t feel herself physically endangered. She said he was mostly concerned about the welfare of their children and her decision to leave with them late at night.
We hold police officers to higher standards than most people because they must enforce the laws, as well as abide by them.
But like all others accused of crimes in the United States, they must be presumed innocent until proved guilty. Courtney Crooks was found not guilty by a jury of his peers, and that is the only judgment that should matter in this country.
We hope he and his young family will be able to put these events behind them and forge a new life for themselves.