Ok, so the cop in me immediately got very defensive when I read an article posted here on May 30 titled “Veteran Has His AR-15 Confiscated By Police For Fending Off Burglar”. I had read related stories in several other places, and for various reasons, not the least of which include “don’t piss off the boss” followed closely by “don’t bite the hand that feeds you”, I publicly kept my lips zipped. My initial reaction when reading that story, and watching the related news clips, was that there is either:
1) much more to the story than the media was saying, or
2) the cops in Medford are not friends of the gun owner.
Well, here we are a few days later and come to find out, thankfully, that my #1 conclusion was correct. This may come as a shock to some of you, but it appears that the mainstream media that covered this story did not really present all the facts, but rather sensationalized the story to get more play. I know, shocking right? Does “Trayvon Martin / edited 911 tapes” ring any bells?
It appears that the Medford Police Department was getting hammered by public outcry, so much so that they felt the need to issue a public statement about the incident. What follows is the pertinent info excerpted from their full media release as sent out by Lt. Mike Budreau. Just for clarification, Mr. Thompson is the vet/gun owner and Kinsella is the bad guy.
Based on feedback from the community, there seems to be some misinformation on this case. This press release is intended to provide further details on the circumstances of the shooting.
The location in question is an apartment complex. The backyard area of the apartments are not private and are open. There is a fence that runs the perimeter of the apartment complex property.
Mr. Thompson heard noises and believed someone was trying to kick in his back door. Mr. Thompson went to investigate, unarmed, and verbal contact with Kinsella in the common area behind his apartment.
Kinsella ran away.
Mr. Thompson then obtained his AR-15 rifle and went out the front door of his apartment. He confronted Kinsella in the parking lot area of the apartment complex. He pointed the firearm at Kinsella and challenged him. Kinsella asked if Mr. Thompson was an officer in which he said he was not. Kinsella then turned and walked away. Mr. Thompson told police that he fired a “warning shot” near Kinsella’s feet. This caused Kinsella to run away, contacting officers moments later.
Officers could find no evidence to suggest Kinsella was attempting to enter Mr. Thompson’s apartment. However, Kinsella did break Mr. Thompson’s chair while attempting to get over the back fence. This is
what Mr. Thompson could have heard.
There is no evidence to suggest that Mr. Thompson, or anyone else was in imminent danger.
In this case, I am very happy to be able to say “I told you so”. From the full description of the incident, as provided in that press release, I would have done the same thing as the cops did there (based on their state laws).
Mr. Thompson had every right to arm himself when he thought his apartment was being broken into. He had every right to warn a possible intruder that he was armed and would use lethal force if the intruder entered the home. He had every right to investigate the situation and confront the potential intruder. But when he started following the guy into the parking lot, he started losing his standing. He really had no business chasing this guy down in the parking lot of the apartment complex, especially one with open yards as described, while packing his AR-15. He absolutely had no business firing a round, warning shot or otherwise, in the direction of the subjects feet.
As a cop, stories like what was originally portrayed, which in this case spread like wildfire, especially amongst the “cops are all jack booted thugs” crowd, really does some serious damage to society. These one sided, incomplete stories undermine the faith that people should have in their local cops, and the folks who already dislike the cops feel even more justified in their dislike, causing people to make statements such as “Never let the police take your weapons unless your dead”.
Please, when reading news stories or watching TV news, please remember that ratings sell, and sometimes the MSM is apt to release only partial stories, one sided stories, or as in the case of the Trayvon Martin incident, completely fabricated falsehoods. Don’t be so quick to Monday morning quarterback the cops based on what you see on TV. We really aren’t all as bad as the lefty liberal media makes us out to be.