Monday, January 21, 2013

Gunman apologizes for bouncer's death

It is really a year old shooting story happening on New Years Day in 2011. Once it was determined that there was no errant police involvement the story died. I had a recent post on the plea bargain thinking that it was wrong. When one person takes another's life it doesn't necessarily have to result in an eye for an eye result, but only 11 years given the known circumstances?

The best extant write up comes from KOIN: Kevin Moffett, 33, pleads no contest to deadly New Year's Day shooting. What is missing though is the reaction by the family of the bouncer. Nor are we informed as the circumstances surrounding the plea. Thus, it is difficult to justify the acceptance of the plea, i.e., how is justice served?

The news media totally failed to accurately and thoroughly report the facts of this case. Maybe it was because it happened at a bar? Maybe because it involved a black victim and shooter? Maybe because it was seen as gang-related? Maybe because shootings have become common place? Maybe, maybe, maybe . . . .

It is interesting to take notice that the comments found in the Oregonian stories reflected Portland's anti-police and racist attitudes. E.g., see comments to Police continue investigation into fatal shooting at Club 915. Not that they represent Portland - they don't. They represent the type of reader that the Oregonian panders to by rewarding them for their multiple submissions by posting that achievement.  Of course they speak out from behind their mask of anonymity.

You see in Portland murder is only an interest if all or part of the blame can be put on the police. The media thought they had something when it appeared that a police officer might have fired his weapon without justification.  It didn't matter that a person lost his life, what mattered was the possibly of a juicy story about the Portland police.

The media likes to report suppositions however unfounded. Granted part of the problem is that it takes the police a while to gather all of the facts - of course the media just can't wait for the facts.

The 'police' story melts away once it was determined that the police officer had been on the scene at the time of the shooting, witnessed it going down and shot at the perpetrator after he shot the bouncer. As it turns out the police did an excellent job in quickly apprehending the shooter. No police fault, no story.

The news media also reported that the shooter had gang ties, Crips no less.  At one point the shooter was a gang member, but then he became an associate. I am not sure if that is a distinction without a difference or not. But in the aftermath, the sentencing, we are merely told that he had no gang ties. This information apparently came from the prosecutors.

But the shooter had a concealed weapons permit and this essentially went by without a further look by the news media. It seemed to matter not that someone with a concealed weapons permit was in fact carrying and shot someone without justification.

If there was ever was a case against the carrying of firearms - this was it. Carrying a firearm into a club on New Years eve. A shooting was more likely than not. Especially given the location and hour of the shooting, it is likely the shooter was intoxicated. He was probably pissed too because he was 'wrongfully' evicted from the club.  What could go wrong?

Shootings are not uncommon in Portland. But rather than the media taking an opportunity to look into the possible germ of a story about concealed weapons - it mentioned only that the shooter had a concealed weapons permit without ever relating that to the facts of the case.

Why was he carrying a gun to a club? No mention.

Just how intoxicated might he had been? No mention.

Was he there with members of the Crips gang? No mention.

Two families are suffering merely because one somehow thought it appropriate to take his gun to a bar on New Years eve. What was he thinking? Why was he there? He had a girlfriend and daughter. Both men had children. Senseless.

The shooter's apology doesn't bring back to life the man he killed apparently for doing his job. The apology certainly doesn't justify the acceptance of the plea. A judge isn't required to accept the plea. And the news media does nothing to help us to make sense of this tragedy.

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