The questionable shootings by police officers just keep rolling in.
Rachel Silva, driving with her eight year old son in the car, rolled out of a Shell station without stopping. Off-duty officer Frank White reportedly had to swerve into another lane to avoid hitting Silva’s car. Silva then apparently tailgated White’s car into a parking lot, at which point he asked his wife to dial 911.
Silva pulled her car in front of White’s, blocking it. She then maneuvered her car so that it was beside White’s, close enough so he couldn’t open his door, and he pointed a revolver at her, shouting “Police! You need to stop!”. White then backed away from Silva’s car, and she called 911 herself, telling the dispatcher “There’s a guy who’s pointing a gun at me.”
White started to open his door to get out of his car, and Silva drove in reverse, striking White’s rear-view mirror and the left rear side of his car. Considering the circumstances, and the fact she had no reason to believe a man pointing a gun at her out of uniform was actually a police officer, it seems likely to me that she was trying to keep him from getting out of his car because she feared for her life. That’s just a guess based on the circumstances, though — I have no way of knowing for sure.
Here’s where it gets really fun.
White fired into her car as it passed him, breaking the windows in both his door and the passenger side door of Silva’s car with the first shot, and hitting her son. He then fired four more times through the windshield of her car, hitting her twice.
Now, she’s being charged with felony child endangerment, misdemeanor DUI, and misdemeanor marijuana possession.
I guess I can see child endangerment, considering the tailgating, pulling into traffic without stopping, and DUI. The child endangerment charge was apparently predicated upon backing into the side of White’s car, though — which one might consider a (poorly thought out) attempt to protect herself and the child. I guess she’s to blame for the fact an off-duty cop shot her child, because that’s the only way I can see giving her child endangerment for the stated reasons they charged her.
Judging by what I’ve read, seen, and heard (I initially became aware of this incident because I saw mention of it on a television news program), the off-duty cop should definitely be charged with something. He pointed a gun when he didn’t need to, he fired when he didn’t need to, and an eight year old boy took a bullet in the leg because of it.
Apparently, the DA’s office couldn’t even justify charging her with assault — the only way I could see justifying letting the police officer get away with shooting a kid, because it would indicate he had a justifiable fear for his safety. So, legally, there’s no justification for his shooting, but it’s the woman’s fault he fired anyway. That’s just great.
Silva did a lot of things wrong, but this is ridiculous. That officer needs to face some charges too.