A 32-year-old Oklahoma City policeman allegedly wasn’t justified to use deadly force when he shot and killed a suicidal person in November.
Earlier this month, the officer was arrested for second-degree, and alternatively, first-degree murder for the November 15 killing of a 29-year-old man with mental health issues.
On December 5, he surrendered to police custody, based partially on the investigating officer’s affidavit stating the suicidal man didn’t pose any threat to the police at the time that he was killed.
This was the latest in an unfortunate series of fatal shootings of suicidal and/or mentally disturbed persons in Oklahoma.
Any time the charge involves homicide, it must be taken very seriously by the defendant. Additionally, a strategic defense must be meticulously built, brick by brick.
The above advice applies to everyone who might find themselves in that most unfortunate set of circumstances. However, any time that a law enforcement officer stands accused of homicide in any degree, it ups the ante considerably. Police officers typically do not do well in prison because of their former occupations. They could conceivably have to spend years or decades in solitary confinement for their own protection if they are convicted of a homicide charge.
Law enforcement officers who fire their service revolvers at suspects from whom they feel threatened are probably in the most dire circumstances of all. Not just their liberty, but their very lives could be at risk if they have to do hard time in prison.
There are many ways to approach a defense of this sort. Depending upon the particular circumstances involved, a plea bargain might be the best available option.
Source: FOX News, “Oklahoma cop charged with murder in shooting of suicidal man,” Samuel Chamberlain, Dec. 05, 2017