Pubdate: Wed, 08 May 2002
Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
Copyright: 2002 St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Authors: D.W. Wilber, John and Susie Chasnoff


Here are the facts in the Jack in the Box police shooting: Earl Murray and 
Ronald Beasley were not innocent victims of a police shooting.

Murray was a known drug dealer poisoning his neighborhood with his vile 
product. Beasley had heroin in his system at the time of the shooting, and 
obviously had knowledge of and condoned the type of illegal activity Murray 
was involved in.

Police officers are daily placed in highly stressful, intense and rapidly 
unfolding situations where they have to make split-second decisions. They 
are human beings not computers or robots. Perhaps additional training or 
planning is merited as a result of the Jack in the Box incident. But no 
prosecution is warranted.

This would only serve as an attempt on the part of weak-kneed hand-wringers 
on the left who seek scapegoats to punish for the sins committed by Murray 
and Beasley that brought them to the Jack on the Box that day.

D.W. Wilber

St. Charles

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The May 5 article on the Jack in the Box shooting was an excellent example 
of investigative journalism. The Post-Dispatch is to be commended for its 
dogged determination to cover this and other incidents of alleged police 

Of note, no mention was made of the panel appointed by the County Council 
to investigate this and other police shootings. This omission highlights 
the point that the county panel has made itself irrelevant by its lack of 
determination to root out the facts.

For example, panel members declined an offer to read transcripts of the 
grand jury tapes. Nor did they interview a single witness, civilian or 
police, to the events in question.

County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch continues to condemn himself with his 
own words. He is quoted as saying that "what the witnesses saw or didn't 
see isn't the issue anyway. What is import ... is that the two shooters 
believed that their lives were in danger."

No impartial prosecutor would ignore the facts of a case in determining the 
accuracy of a potential defendant's self-justifying statements. McCulloch 
should recuse himself and allow the attorney general to pursue the matter.

The city of St. Louis will soon pass legislation to establish a civilian 
oversight board that will impartially investigate controversial police 
actions. St. Louis County should take a hard look at this legislation and 
pass the same measures for its constituents.

John and Susie Chasnoff

University City
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