We are asking our Police Officers to do too much. Society demands that Police Officers be Social Workers, Mental Health Expert, teacher, role model, and parents to someone else's children.
I still remember being fresh out of Journalism graduate school at Syracuse University, and being assigned the Eleanor Bumpers Trial. A highly controversial Police Shooting case of an elderly African American Grandmother where a state judge dismissed a manslaughter indictment against the police officer who killed her with two shotgun blasts after being called to her apartment in the Bronx in an eviction dispute.
I still remember how reality slapped me in the case when I looked at the crime scene photos from the Bumpers case and had to run to the bathroom and vomit. I had never seen someone's hand blown off by a shotgun blast. District Attorney Merola said the grand jury had given great weight to testimony by two physicians that the first blast tore off Mrs. Bumpurs's right hand and shattered a 10-inch knife she was holding. ''The ruling ducks the $64 question,'' Mr. Merola said. ''It was anatomically impossible for her to hold the knife after the first shot.'