But being charged is a long way from being convicted:
A white Pennsylvania police officer was charged with criminal homicide just eight days after fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager in the back in a case built quickly on the testimony of multiple witnesses, video and the officer's own conflicting statements.
"You do not shoot someone in the back if they are not a threat to you," Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala said. East Pittsburgh officer Michael Rosfeld was charged Wednesday in the June 19 shooting death of 17-year-old Antwon Rose Jr. after the teen fled from a traffic stop.
In this case, the officer in question was brand new, had just been sworn in less than two hours before this shooting took place. Meaning, he probably wasn't allowed to carry a sidearm until then. But he wasn't a "rookie" in the classic sense, he had been a cop for the University of Pittsburgh for six years prior to this, until he was terminated for cause (don't know the cause yet, so don't click it). So there was apparently something hinky about this guy that was known beforehand, just as there was in this Georgia case also being prosecuted:
A Georgia police officer was in jail on Thursday, charged with voluntary manslaughter and violating his oath of office, after state investigators said he fatally shot a black man who was running away from him last week. Kingsland Police Officer Zechariah Presley surrendered Wednesday to the Camden County Sheriff's Office after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation obtained warrants for his arrest.
A GBI statement says Presley, who is white, was following a vehicle that stopped at an intersection on June 21 when the driver and passenger ran. Presley pursued the driver, later identified as Anthony Marcel Green. Presley, 25, caught up with Green, 33, making physical contact, but Green again fled, "at which time Presley fired multiple shots resulting in the death of Green," the statement says.
The department also released Presley's personnel file, which shows he was hired last year despite admitting that he had physically fought with his wife, had bought or sold marijuana, repeatedly shouted at people, was involved in "2-3" accidents and had been arrested for "reckless, eluding, speeding," according to his handwritten text.
Presley also racked up nine incidents during in his year in the police department, at one point parking outside the house of a black man who had complained to the chief, prompting the man to say that Presley had him fearing for his life.
In both cases there appears to have been ample evidence these officers weren't fit to carry a badge and gun, and two citizens paid for that bad police force management with their lives. It seems we can have a "zero tolerance" of people who are trying to escape persecution, but at the same time tolerate the hell out of reckless and dangerous cops.
I am not against law enforcement. In fact, as a local community leader of sorts, I try to get some face time with our police chief every few months or so, to see how things are going. But if I found out he had been covering for one of his officers that was actually a danger to the community, I would fold his ears back. But that is one of the reasons I've developed a relationship with him, to gauge his integrity and ethics. I am confident a scenario like this would not occur here. That doesn't mean a newly-minted (or seasoned veteran) cop on his force would never make a mistake, but just that we wouldn't find out after the fact said officer should not have been in uniform.
What was the moral of that little story? Hell, I don't know. But maybe it is: We need to engage with our local LEOs, make them part of the community and not standing outside it. Because branding them all as a certain type, and building rhetorical walls that separate us, can only exacerbate many of the problems we're already facing.