A biased expert?
EDITOR: One aspect of the Andy Lopez case that I did not read about in your newspaper was that the district attorney was aided in reaching her decision by hiring William Lewinski of the Force Science Institute. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Lewinski was known to side with the police. Lewinski issued a 14-page report that said he reviewed statements by other witnesses but only interviewed Deputy Erick Gelhaus.
Perhaps more than one expert consultant should have been hired for this difficult case?
EDITOR: Bill Stone’s letter (“Failing the test,” Friday) and Donna Brasset-Shearer’s thoughtful Close to Home column (“Andy Lopez and behavior of the law,” Friday) collapse under the weight of the logic they try to reach.
The fact that an officer made Stone’s “deadly mistake” in a split-second to a perceived life-threatening situation is exactly the risk Stone recognizes the officer’s difficult and dangerous job requires of him. He saw a boy with an exact clone of a lethal weapon; a weapon seen all too often in the tragedies of school and public mass killings. He told the boy to drop the weapon. The boy turned, raising the weapon. The officer fired. Case closed. A justified shooting conclusion was mandated, irrespective of the law’s “behavior.”
The real issue, which has seemed too insensitive to address, is why and how this boy was permitted to publicly brandish this clone weapon, which inevitably led to this moment of confrontation. Of what practical, joyful use as a toy is an exact replica of a weapon that sadly is now iconic in our culture as a hand-held weapon of mass destruction?