EDITOR: While it’s far too early to question the shooting of 13-year-old Andy Lopez (“Deputies kill SR boy, 13,” Wednesday), there are some key questions that come to mind as well as concerns about the case being investigated by an agency that the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office works with every day.
This is a subtle case, and the devil will be in the details. Why would the boy not drop the toy if proper voice commands were given, and he could see and hear the deputies? Did the deputies allow time to drop the weapon prior to firing? At any point did he begin to raise the weapon?
My other concern is that the case is being investigated by an agency that has a close relationship with the shooting agency. A case such as this should be investigated by an impartial entity that does not have a conflict of interest. Subtle details can be twisted to show whatever outcome is desired by an investigator.
I don’t know if Sonoma County deputies wear video cameras on their uniforms. If not, they should. Many agencies do so, and cameras can be used to clear the air in situations such as this. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.