Waiting for action
EDITOR: The days, weeks, months drag on. The investigative report on the killing of Andy Lopez appears to be as complicated as the original drafts of the U.S. Constitution. In the meantime, I wish to convey what the entire episode feels like.
To my knowledge, no police officer has even been found liable for the killing of a citizen in Santa Rosa, no matter what the circumstances. This killing will not change that. I do not claim the deputy should necessarily be found liable; only that he will not be.
The primary constituency to not offend remains the police. City management's task is to manage public reactions. This requires time. A possible plan: (1) Allow as much time to elapse as possible to flatten expectations; (2) Consult lawyers and accountants to come up with an appropriate payment to the Lopez family; (3) Postpone any announcement until the district attorney election is over; (4) On announcement day, profess everyone's sorrow regarding this “tragedy,” but admit no liability; (5) Build a park for Andy Lopez, but try to solicit public donations; (6) Resume business as usual.
Next shooting: repeat.