The bigger picture
It can’t be an easy thing for a police officer to shoot someone, even when they do so to protect themselves or others.
So our heart went out not only to the three Fruita Police Department officers who were forced to shoot and kill Lewis Pollard last month, but also to the family of the 61-year-old Fruita resident.
So, we certainly don’t question the version of events that led to the shooting by the officers.
We also don’t question the determination Mesa County District Attorney Pete Hautzinger made Wednesday that the officers “had no choice” but to shoot Pollard.
That’s not our beef.
Almost one year ago, we asked Grand Junction Police Chief John Camper to reverse his decision to remove video cameras from his patrol cars. At the time, Camper said the cost of having and maintaining them didn’t justify the benefit.
While we don’t take issue with Hautzinger’s ruling, not everyone will agree. Given the fact that the only witnesses to the shooting are five officers, it would be nice to have an impartial witness account that the video cameras could provide.
We’re sure similar questions will arise when the reports are issued about last week’s police shooting on Interstate 70 of a Lakewood man wanted in connection with a possible sexual assault.
We understand that the Grand Valley isn’t Denver, where police shootings are more commonplace. But in an age when police powers are increasingly being called into question, it makes sense to give the public greater assurances that their law enforcers are doing the right thing.