Wait for the facts before deciding right and wrong

Published 8:47pm Friday, December 6, 2013

We use the phrase “we can only imagine” far too often when it comes to tragedy, disaster and loss.

Unless we have experienced the same thing those we are talking to or talking about, that phrase is only aimed at making conversation.

Such is the case with Wednesday’s tragic police shooting in Selma, where an officer discharged his weapon and fatally shot a suspect some early reports said was threatening the lives of the officer and others.

The suspect was reported to have a hatchet and made a threatening move toward the officer, leading to the officer’s decision to use deadly force. It is a decision the officer will have to live with and the suspect’s family will always question.

Law enforcement officials throughout the country are trained how to handle their firearms and are given strict guidelines which dictate when the use of deadly force in warranted.

And we must remember that there is a stark difference between the training this officer underwent and the reality, and the gravity of being put in a situation where the their finger was placed on the trigger.

In this case, we must be careful to not jump to conclusions. It is dangerous to guess what might have happened without knowing, or having seen, everything that led to the shooting.

Regarding Wednesday’s tragic events, we as a community must let the investigation run its course and trust the facts of the situation when they are revealed in the near future.

It is easy for us to say “we can only imagine,” but we were not there, we were not faced with the life or death decision.

We mourn the loss of life and pray for the comfort of the victim’s family and the peace of mind for the officer and their family.

In the end, we can never imagine what it must have felt like; the adrenaline and the split-second decision that resulted in the loss of life.

To say “we can only imagine” could not be further from the truth.

Leave a comment

You must be a registered user and signed in to comment on this article and view existing comments.

Editor's Picks