With regard to this ongoing AP news item:
Ga. Suspect Could Appear in CourtMoments ago, I heard some "expert" on Fox News describe the problem that started the murder spree as involving "a small guard trying to protect a large suspect."
Monday DULUTH, GA. (AP) - A suspect in the deadly courthouse shootings of a judge and two other people surrendered without a struggle as law enforcement officials surrounded him, just hours after he led authorities on a massive manhunt in the Atlanta area.
Brian Nichols, 33, waved a white cloth and turned himself in Saturday, but not before police say he killed an immigration agent and held a woman hostage for hours in her own apartment.
Prosecutors said Nichols could appear in federal court as early as Monday to face a charge of possession of a firearm by a person under indictment, the charge authorities are using to keep him in custody while they investigate the slayings.
The search for Nichols ended Saturday when law enforcement officials surrounded the apartment where the suspect was hiding. He had held a woman hostage there. (link)
For God's sake. It was a WOMAN! A 51 year-old FEMALE deputy. A 6'0" 200 pound rape suspect in Atlanta was being escorted (without handcuffs) into a courtroom by a much smaller woman armed with a (holstered) handgun.
I'm surprised we don't read more stories like this one.
I'm reminded of a segment on COPS a few years ago that was filmed in Cleveland. A grandmotherly police officer arrived at a saloon/pool hall in response to a call relating to a fight. This woman - who was better suited to stamp your library card as you check out a book - proceeded to "arrest" a large drunken man who had no intention of being handcuffed. It was so pathetic to watch this guy throw the elderly woman around the room as she kept saying, "You're under arrest! You're under arrest!"
If he had wanted to, he could easily have pounded the officer into a bloody pulp. Fortunate for her, he simply resisted her attempts at subduing him. But you could tell he had no fear of her. Eventually backup was called and other (male) officers cuffed the drunk and dragged him off to jail.
There are times when this sort of thing needs to be addressed head-on. In Atlanta, a deputy was totally outmatched by a suspect who was accused of committing a violent act. She was heavily armed. Conditions created in this situation called for her to simply hand the (alleged) rapist her weapon, and to invite him to shoot her - and a judge - and a court stenographer - and a fellow deputy - and a federal customs agent. Outraged by the way I word this? You should be.
I've also heard experts suggest that the authorities in Atlanta erred in this case by allowing the female deputy to guard the prisoner by herself. The implication is that she should have had another deputy (meaning a male deputy) there with her.
But isn't that the real problem? In order to achieve some quota of male to female law enforcement officers, we find ourselves in a situation where the females have to be "accompanied," sucking up scarce resources. For no good reason.
We live in this dreamworld where we pretend that all women who wish to be police officers are somehow going to perform like Cagney and Lacey. The result is an invitation to mass murder.
You may not want to read this - you may even be appalled that I would bring the subject up - but I encourage you to confront the obvious:
There are bad people out there who, if given the opportunity, will kill. We gave Brian Nichols the opportunity.