Charges for Officers in Hurricane Florence Drownings


Em Carpenter

Em was one of those argumentative children who was sarcastically encouraged to become a lawyer, so she did. She is a proud life-long West Virginian, and, paradoxically, a liberal. In addition to writing about society, politics and culture, she enjoys cooking, podcasts, reading, and pretending to be a runner. She will correct your grammar. You can find her on Twitter.

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5 Responses

  1. I don’t know the specifics of the case, but as a physician who treats critically ill patients during emergency situations, I will say that we regularly circumvent “barricades”, and many people would die if we did not. I imagine bringing two mental health providers to a disaster scene is a very much analogous situation, and I am having trouble imagining a scenario where an exceptionable reason for driving around a barricade could not be produced, despite the very unfortunate outcome in this case.Report

    • Avatar Em Carpenter in reply to Christopher Carr says:

      Sure, there are good reasons. But this was not any sort of emergency situation. They were transporting mental health patients from one treatment center to another. Under orders, I’m sure. And then waived through by other officers.Report

  2. Avatar PD Shaw says:

    Presumably they took a few months to investigate whether a reason could be offered. Violating rules of the road is generally only going to be sufficient to establish negligence (involuntary manslaughter). The SC driver was charged with reckless homicide, meaning that it wasn’t merely a mistake, but a purposeful act made without regard to the safety of others. I suspect the passenger will enter a plea agreement and testify against the driver here.Report

  3. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    Absent some kind of obvious reckless behavior (she was drunk, or high, etc.) I’d be willing to excuse the young mother, simply because driving through a powerful storm can be scary as hell, and frightened people make mistakes.

    Even the officers could screw up out of fear, but given that they are officers, with training (one would hope), I would expect them to make better decisions.

    In short, if you are throwing the book a scared young woman, you should be dropping a hammer on the officers.Report

  4. It will never stop being an enormous issue that police officers are held to much, much, much lower standards than literally anybody else, all while wielding far more power than literally anybody else.

    It is bizarre that anybody goes to bat for this arrangement but such is the worship of authority.Report