Letter of the Day: Split-second decisions

  • In this Monday, Oct. 21, 2013 photo, a Syrian refugee girl plays with a toy gun at her family's house in Zarqa, Jordan's industrial center where thousands of Syrian refugees are living, northeast of the capital Amman. More than 420,000 Syrian refugees have settled in Jordan's cities, struggling for survival on U.N. foods stamps and straining the meager resources of a country that absorbed millions of exiles from the region's hotspots in the past. (AP Photo/Manu Brabo)

<b>Split-second decisions</b>

EDITOR: For the past week, I've been reading the numerous letters in The Press Democrat commenting on the tragic shooting of Andy Lopez. Although the investigation has not been completed, many people have judged the deputies involved as being guilty of a crime.

Having been on the other side of the fence, retiring after 30 years in law enforcement, I've learned the public criticizes by emotion rather than fact. There was a photo this week, by photojournalist Manu Brabo, of a young Syrian girl holding up a toy gun against her face. At first glance, this looks like the real firearm, and if she had been walking down the street, at a distance, I wonder how many critics would have mistaken this toy for a real gun.

Although I was not present at this shoot, I find it hard to believe the deputies did not identify themselves and tell young Lopez to "freeze" before taking any further action. View this photo by Brabo and ask yourself that if you were in the deputies' position, and in that split second, what would you do in similar circumstances?


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