Ed. Note: Greg Prickett is former police officer and supervisor who went to law school, hung out a shingle, and now practices criminal defense and family law in Fort Worth, Texas. While he was a police officer, he was a police firearms instructor, and routinely taught armed tactics to other officers.
On September 15, 2019, St. Paul Police Officer Steven Mattson shot and killed Ronald Davis at the intersection of Griggs and Thomas. The usual groups immediately started protesting, calling for justice for Davis. There’s only one problem. This isn’t the horse that they want to be riding, because justice was administered to Ronald Davis at the scene.
You see, the St. Paul police released the body cam footage of the incident, where Davis’ car rammed the back of the squad car, and where Davis viciously attacked Martin with a knife before Martin even got completely out of the car. Martin fought back, for his life, and Davis continued to attack. So Martin did the only thing that he could do to survive: he shot Davis repeatedly.
I taught police use of force and was a police firearms instructor for years. I’ve conducted dozens of criminal and internal affairs investigations. I’ve also called repeatedly for more thorough investigations of officer-involved shootings, by outside law enforcement agencies; for the use of outside special prosecutors; for more transparency by departments in releasing dash- and body-cam videos as soon as possible. I’ve also pointed out that the activist community has valid points.
The problem here is that the activists do not have any better grasp on reality than the police do when the shooting is questionable, but the police take the officer’s side unquestioningly and the activists take the opposite side. This shooting could not be any more clear cut. It was completely justifiable, and anyone who says otherwise is just wrong.