A Tale of Two Police Shootings

In 2009, when a Fairfax, Virginia police officer shot and killed an unarmed man, the police department refused to identify the officer who pulled the trigger. When reporter Michael Pope asked a few questions, Fairfax County Police Public Information Officer Mary Ann Jennings became obstinate:

When asked why her department won’t even release the name of the officer who shot Masters, Jennings got more obtuse. “What does the name of an officer give the public in terms of information and disclosure?” Jennings asked in reply, presumably rhetorically. “I’d be curious to know why they want the name of an officer.”

Contrast Officer Jennings’ response with the more recent shooting of Tri Truong Le by a San Jose SWAT team, as reported in the Mercury News the day after it happened:

The terrifying abduction of an 11-year-old girl began with a kidnapper’s gunshots in the early-morning hours Friday as she was grabbed from her San Jose home. It ended almost five miles away and 12 hours later with a single shot, when a SWAT officer killed 42-year-old Tri Truong Le, the alleged kidnapper, during a gunbattle in a narrow staircase.

The girl, who was in the kidnapper’s arms when the gunbattle started, was miraculously almost unharmed and recovering from the trauma at a hospital, police said.

The officer who fired the fatal head shot was identified by police Friday night as Mauricio Jimenez.

This is what it looks like like when the police have nothing to hide. A violent criminal kidnapped a little girl, and a daring and skilled police officer killed him to rescue her. It was a good day for the San Jose police, and officer Jimenez did something that his department is rightly proud of. This is what it looks like when the police are not afraid of the truth.

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