Guest editorial: Exceptionally cleared
June 23, 2017
Police investigations can have four possible dispositions. The first is Open Pending meaning the case has not been solved. The second is Cleared by Arrest which speaks for itself. The third is Unfounded which means that the reported crime never occurred. The last is Exceptionally Cleared (EC).
A case is Exceptionally Cleared when there is enough probable cause to identify a perpetrator, but for some reason no arrest will be made. There are several circumstances that would cause this to happen. In the case of the shooting of Congressman Steve Scalise in Arlington, Virginia by an unhinged man from Illinois, the case is Exceptionally Cleared because the perpetrator is deceased.
There is no doubt who the subject was but since he was killed by the Capitol Police that day the case is Exceptionally Cleared. A great many incidents like these end up ECed because the bad guy entered into the fray fully intending to die. We don’t know if the shooter knew that Representative Scalise was the House Majority Whip and as such would have an armed security detail. We don’t know if this fact would have swayed his decision to attack. We do know that without that detail the carnage would have been much greater.
Those officers, Special Agents Crystal Griner, David Bailey, and Henry Cabrera engaged the gunman and eventually neutralized him. Responding Arlington City Police also engaged the gunman upon their arrival. Special Agents Griner and Bailey were both shot but are expected to make a full recovery. Witnesses said the Capitol Police moved toward the gunfire with little regard for their own safety.
My first reaction was pride in the officers, having spent my life in Law Enforcement. We’ve taken a lot of heat lately due to some isolated incidents that have gone viral. I have strong opinions about some of these but that’s a different article.
Props to Representative Roger Williams for referring to the “thin blue line” and praising those officers. Senator Rand Paul also gave high praise to the officers acknowledging how much worse this would have been without them.
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Investigators have managed to attribute the shooter with left wing ideologies showing him to be a Bernie Sanders supporter and very anti-Trump. We know now that he was specifically targeting Republicans. I now fear that there will reprisals from the “other side.” Alt Right folks; and your more aggressive Second Amendment advocates may feel that they have to take their revenge. Are Democrats at risk of similar incidents now?
Admirably there was unity of the parties right after the shooting. The planned baseball game went on. Nancy Pelosi and Paul Ryan embraced and gave very moving speeches about unity. Senators Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell stood together on the baseball field and pledged unity and cooperation.
On the other hand Newt Gingrich gave an interview blaming the radicalization of the left and how Trump supporters are being harassed and threatened on college campuses. Alex Jones of InfoWars is blaming the left wing media and the Russia investigation for the shooting. No stoking of the fire there.
I procrastinated in writing this to see how the winds would shift. And they did. It’s barely discussed any longer with the exception of occasional news updates about the ongoing FBI investigation into the shooter. Congress is arguing about Russia and Health Care and all is back to normal. The President called Senator Schumer “Crying Chuck” in a tweet.
So while this case is Exceptionally Cleared I suspect the fallout is far from over. I hope I’m wrong.
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