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Topic: King County police

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July 24, 2013 at 6:15 AM

Shootings by King County deputies viewed through the prism of Fruitvale Station

King County Sheriff John Urquhart really must see the movie “Fruitvale Station” which opens in Seattle on Friday.

Fruitvale is based on the real-life slaying of 22-year-old Oscar Grant by an Oakland transit officer in 2009. The cop, Johannes Mehserle, was captured on bystanders’ cellphones standing over Grant, who was pinned to the ground by other cops,  and shooting him point-blank in the back. Mehserle said he mistook his gun for a Taser. He was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and served less than a year.  The movie moves backwards from that fateful night to show the life Oscar Grant lived.

Urquhart needs to see ‘Fruitvale.” It would help with the sheriff’s mission to restore public confidence, following a recent independent report to the King County Council critical of the Sheriff’s Office’s handling of an incident where deputy and a corrections officer shot a man 16 times last year while were searching for another man. Urquhart was on KUOW radio this week calling the 2012 shooting of Dustin Theoharis justified despite the high bullet count. His view is backed by two review panels. Urquhart must cross the blue line and see carnage left by cops and wanna-be cops with itchy trigger fingers.

He must understand what film critic Steven Boone, reviewing Fruitvale for RogerEbert.com, meant when, paraphrasing The Elephant Man, wrote about Oscar Grant: “(He) was not an animal. He was a human being. He had dreams and feelings. He cared for many people, and many people cared for him.”

Oscar and the lucky to be alive Dustin Theoharis are human beings who did not deserve what they got from the people paid to keep us safe.

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Comments | Topics: children, crime, King County police