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Hold Officer Accountable

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Thadeus Greenson's incredibly speculative article "Unanswered" (Oct. 9) focuses on what the victim of the shooting could or should have done differently, rather than how the trained Eureka Police Department officers could have prevented the killing of a 22 year-old person in our community.

Additionally, what troubles me is not the lack of answers from the police department, but the nature of those answers. In their initial reports, the EPD made conveniently juxtaposed statements: that they were looking for "felony warrant suspects" in the area, that "the man with the gun" was given orders, etc. I find it difficult to believe that trained investigators failed to realize, hours after the shooting, that the "gun" found at the scene was a toy. Why did the police want us to believe that Tommy was a felon with a real gun? The police also claim that there were no witnesses to the shooting, other than the officers. However, Tommy's cousin has come forward as a witness to the incident. And, if EPD's story contains any facts, what about the other person with whom Tommy was supposedly arguing before officers felt they needed to intervene?

The real unanswered question is why has no officer been arrested or charged with a crime in this case? If a person who is not a cop kills another, even accidentally or unintentionally, there is an arrest, then an investigation. Why the special treatment for police? And why this unconditional acceptance of Chief Mills' power grab in single-handedly deciding the fate of the officer who made the fatal shot? The killing of Tommy McClain is not the only extrajudicial thing going on here. The unanswered questions in this case need to be answered in court and the guilt or innocence of Stephen Linfoot decided by a jury and not by his boss.

Elise Gerhart, Eureka


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