When Will the Madness Stop?
A 3-year old little girl was shot in the back by Midland police officers when they raided a house this past Wednesday at about 9:30 pm. The child was home with her 16-year old brother when Midland police officers threw something through the window then kicked open the front door without announcing themselves. The young man heard the commotion and thought someone was breaking in. According to Luis Gomez, the father of the two children, “He heard the front door kicked in, so he thought someone was robbing us or something. So, he runs over there. I guess he had an object in his hand, I don’t know what he had or what. And when he ran that way, they just opened fire on him.”
The CBS7 article states, “Gomez said his son was struck in the arm when he took cover. He said the teenager kept yelling that his sister was in the other room and when the gunfire stopped, she walked out with blood on her.” The officers did have a search warrant but failed to identify themselves prior to entry. One of the articles I’ve read on this story said that the boy had a gun and fired at the officers but none of the articles state that a gun was recovered or say why the boy was taken to juvenile.
Our Children Keep Paying the Price for Police Incompetence
I’m glad the family decided to release a photo of the little girl in the hospital. I’m so sick of stories like this being just words on your screen. People need to see the reality of excessive force by police officers. Mr. Gomez, in speaking about his daughter, said, “She’s in a lot of pain. She just won’t stop crying, she’s shaking. She just keeps screaming every five minutes. Doctors said it’s going to be some kind of trauma. Like she’s going to be traumatized over it.” I have no doubt that she will be traumatized. Her safe world has been violated by people that are supposed to protect her from bad guys. Instead, they became the bad guys. She should be laughing and playing with her father as she is in the picture shown, not fighting to recover from having her internal organs torn apart by a bullet.
Police Try to Shift the Blame
Once the Midland police realized what they had done they began blaming the teenager telling him, “This is your fault. It’s your fault she got shot. This is all your fault.” No, it’s not his fault. I don’t care if he did have a gun, though no proof has been given on that yet, and I don’t care that they did find “evidence of narcotics trafficking,” whatever the heck that means. If the officers had enough information to know that a crime was going on why didn’t they bother to research who might be in the house? A simple thing like finding out if a person has a spouse and children is easy for police. They have access to all kinds of information. Why didn’t they use that access to find out what the situation might be then plan accordingly?
Why didn’t they find out if Mr. Gomez had a job and when he would be at work (which is where he was when the officers broke in)? Why didn’t they know that a 3-year old child could possibly be in the residence before turning the raid into a firefight? And why didn’t they identify themselves before kicking in the door?
Texas Rangers are Investigating
The Texas Rangers are investigating the shooting but I don’t need to hear what they have to say. I know this 3-year old child should not have been shot by police. I know that the officers could have done a better job of being prepared especially since they had been to the house before. I know officers could have handled this in a more professional manner that wouldn’t have endangered these two children.
The investigation will come down to, ‘did the officers fear for their safety,’ and the answer will probably be yes but that doesn’t make it justified. All that does is turn the cops into victims who were just trying to protect themselves when the reality is they were the aggressors. What the investigation should determine is did the officers set up a situation that could lead to shots being fired and if so, was there a better way to achieve the same result, serving the warrant, without the situation becoming violent? That’s the real question.
Kameron Prescott, we still grieve for you. You have not been forgotten.