This’ll be interesting: In July, Prince George’s County police stormed a mayor’s home, handcuffed his mother-in-law and shot his two black labs after police themselves had delivered a package of marijuana to him that they now concede was intended for someone else. They took mad heat for it nationally; the FBI is involved; editorial boards are outraged.
The story began, though, on page one of the Post’s Metro section (with apologies if a local paper reported it even earlier) and it grew from there. Today’s Metro section holds a story on the front that has the potential to be even worse. The victim this time, however, is Latino and he — rather than his pets — was shot and killed after being beaten, according to two witnesses.
Police have alternately said that the victim reached either for the officer’s baton or for his gun. The cop was off duty, moonlighting as a security guard when he shot Manuel de Jesus Espina.
A difference (beyond race and class) in the two cases is that, in the mayor’s case, all the facts were stipulated by both sides. Here, it starts out as the cop’s word against the witnesses. Given the PG County cops’ record over the last few months — they also apparently strangled a suspect while in jail in July — that’s a dispute that can be won by the witnesses. It’ll be worth watching this story to see if it sinks into the muck at the bottom of the pond.