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Sometimes You Just Have to Stop and Ask "What Were You Thinking?" | U.S. PATRIOT NEWS & REVIEWS

Sometimes You Just Have to Stop and Ask “What Were You Thinking?”

Given the current attitude towards law enforcement and the use of force by police, it should come as no surprise when a jury awards a large dollar settlement to the family of someone hurt or killed by police. However, when a jury awards $37 Million to the family of someone who held their child hostage and pointed a shotgun at police before being shot you have to ask “What were you thinking?”

Baltimore County MD 2016 – police respond to an apartment were attempting to serve an arrest warrant on Korryn Gaines and her fiancé. After occupants of the apartment refused to answer the door, officers forced entry and were greeted by Gaines holding a shotgun. The fiancé and the couple’s infant daughter fled the apartment while Gaines and her 5-year-old son remained barricaded for 6 hours.

Eventually, police Cpl Royce Ruby saw what he believed to be Gaines raising the weapon as if to shoot either her son or nearby officers and took what would be a fatal shot, which also wounded the 5-year-old boy. A review of the shooting by the State Attorney and department cleared Ruby of any wrongdoing, but the family filed a lawsuit anyway. No big deal, it has come to be expected in such situations.

What was not expected was that the jury, after three weeks of testimony and deliberating for several hours, found the action violated Gaines’ civil rights, then awarded $32 million to the injured boy, $4.5 million to his sister and $300,000 each to Gaines’ mother, father, and estate. While I agree that the infant boy should not have been shot, I would also point out that everything could have been avoided if his mother had not held him hostage, or used him as a shield if you like, during a 6-hour standoff to avoid taking responsibility for her past actions.

Police did not show up at her door after picking an address from a hat. They had valid arrest warrants for past criminal activity. Police did not surround the house and indiscriminately fire on a mother and her child. They reacted to that mother not only pointing a weapon at them but then holding her child for six hours during an armed standoff.

The Gaines family said this was about holding police accountable. I say it was not holding those truly responsible for the needless loss of life accountable for their actions.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Tom Burrell

Tom enlisted in the US Marine Corps Reserves in 1987. Following service in Desert Storm, he transitioned to active duty with the US Coast Guard. In 1997 he left the USCG to pursue a position in conservation & maritime law enforcement. Tom is currently a Captain and he oversees several programs, including his agency investigation unit. He is also a training instructor in several areas including firearms, defensive tactics and first aid/CPR. In 2006 Tom received his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Harrisburg Area Community College and in 2010 a Bachelor’s Degree from Penn State University.
Tom Burrell
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