The defense called its first witnesses today in the trial of Thomas White, the part-time cop in Ottawa Hills, Ohio who gunned down a man named Michael McCloskey (in the photo above) after a routine traffic stop. It was all recorded on a dash-mounted video camera.
White is charged with felonious assault with a gun enhancement. The maximum penalty for this crime is eleven years which means that White might be released after as little as a year and will probably be out in four years
McCloskey was left paralyzed from the waist down and he lives in almost constant pain. Until last May he was a seemingly normal 25-year-old who liked to call himself “Biker Mike” and who listed his hobbies as “Rollin My Harley Davey, Dirt Bike’n, Snowboarding, Mountain Biking, MMA, Boxing, Lifting Weights, Hunting, Fishing, Etc.” He worked as a mason and he really liked to exercise. A couple of years ago he had his picture taken flexing next to former Mr. Olympia Ronnie Colman. Now all that is gone. Now he gets to roll his wheelchair.
If you believe only your base senses, like your eyes and ears, rather than your higher sense of reason, White is a trigger happy monster who should spend the rest of his days starving in a cage, suspended over a crowded street, just out of reach of a jeering, spitting mob. So today McCloskey’s lawyer Jerry Phillips asked the jurors, in the interest of fairness, to set their senses aside, to stop their ears and hear, to shut their eyes and see, to close their minds and pay attention to the defense’s impressive lineup of “experts.”
The first and most impressive of those today was a former FBI Agent named Urey Patrick.
Please Allow Me To Introduce Myself
If you are ever shot by a cop, without provocation, and you complain about it you can expect to meet Urey Patrick.
Patrick graduated from Princeton and he has taught courses in “crisis management,” “judgmental shooting,” and “arrest procedures” at the FBI Academy. Patrick is also the author, along with another former FBI Agent named John C. Hall, of In Defense Of Self And Others: Issues, Facts and Fallacies – The Realities Of Law Enforcement’s Use Of Deadly Force.
Armchair war hero and greatest writer ever Tom Clancy wrote the preface. Clancy believes that reading this absolutely essential contribution to American arts and letters “will make for better cops, and for cops who will be more likely to return home alive….” A quick glance through the book reveals that the essence of its wisdom is that the safest way to make sure you stay alive is to kill everyone you meet and then lie about it afterward.
Whatta Book, Whatta Book
The press release that accompanies review copies of this book explains:
“In Defense of Self and Others comprehensively addresses the issue of the use of deadly force by law enforcement officers. Beginning with a survey and analysis of the legal standards that define the authority of law enforcement officers to use deadly force, the book provides a detailed discussion of the practical elements that affect an officer’s capacity to perceive a threat and to respond in an appropriate and timely fashion. For example, observing that law enforcement officers are always in a reactive mode and responding to the actions of others, the book explains the limitations imposed by the principle that ‘action beats reaction’ and that officers are generally compelled to make quick decisions under severe time constraints.”
In other words, remember the magic incantation “feeling in great for my life” and if that doesn’t work just say, “a bug got in my eye.”
Swearing To Tell The Truth
On the witness stand today, without laughing once, Urey asserted that McCloskey practically shot himself. “If McCloskey had turned off the bike and raised his hands on the handle bars this wouldn’t have happened,” he told the jury.
Also singing a little song and doing a little dance on behalf of the rights of policemen everywhere to get away with attempted murder and maiming under color of authority was James Scanlon. Scanlon is a Columbus Swat Team member who has shot at least three suspects on the job. He killed a suspect in 1991.
Three years ago Scanlon told John Futty of the Columbus Dispatch that the police side of the story in officer involved shootings is often left unsaid. And that, “information void is filled by misinformation and criticism from friends and relatives of those shot by police. Officers, often traumatized by the experience, face additional stress when they are second guessed by the public without response from police officials.”