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Report justified police shootings carefully

December 20, 2012 12:10 am

Report justified police shootings carefully

On Dec. 15, a front-page article reported a story titled "Shooting of teen is ruled justified." In the first paragraph, the writer states that the teenager in question was " gunned down by two Stafford deputies."

As a retired federal law-enforcement officer of nearly 28 years, this type of language more commonly appears when reporting on drive-by shootings or the recent tragedy in Connecticut. It should never appear in a shooting ruled justified by competent legal authority.

In all my years of service, I have never met nor heard of an officer at any level who enjoyed the use of justified deadly force. These two deputies will carry the tragedy of this shooting in their minds forever.

Your staff should choose its words more carefully in the future.

James Smith


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