The most creepifying cop-shoots-civilian story of 2017


I know it’s only September, but I don’t see this one being topped.

The facts, as far as we know them, are ordinary enough.  A cop was on duty, saw a civilian, mistook the non-weaponthe civilian was holding for a weapon, and shot him in the abdomen.

The less-ordinary part is that the civilian was Andy Grimm, a local newspaper guy the cop apparently knew well.  This explains why the story made national news even though he lived, and it also says a lot about Deputy John Shaw’s finely-honed hair-trigger reflexes, well-suited to patrolling the war-torn streets of, um, New Carlishe, Ohio.

The creepifying part is in the Washington Post’s coverage:

There was a clear rapport between the police officer and the man he shot Monday night on a dark Ohio street.

In New Carlisle, they only gutshoot the ones they love.

Shaw realized his mistake as he ran toward Grimm, who was screaming on the ground.

(…)

“Andy, I thought it was a friggin’ gun, dude,” Shaw says. “Stay strong with me, I love you, brother,” he pleaded.

(…)

“We know the deputy. This is a small town of 5,000 people. … We know the deputies. We work with them on a daily basis. We have an excellent relationship with them,” [Grimm’s father] said.

Andy Grimm tells Shaw “I don’t want you to lose your job for this” in between streams of expletives in the video.

This selfless journalist is filled with the spirit of forgiveness.  Either that or he and his father don’t want to lose their previous access, or they’re too scared of the cops to say otherwise.

The heroic peace officer, meanwhile, is portrayed as full of grief, which might actually be true… but it’s irrelevant.

In the video, Shaw tells one first responder that he fired two shots at Grimm.

“Thank God you missed one,” Grimm replies.

Maybe next time he won’t.  The absence of malice on Shaw’s part will be small comfort to the next passerby he mistakes for John Dillinger.

 – – –

Based on the September 7 version of the Post story.  I’d spent a couple of days trying to comprehend the September 5 version’s baffling awfulness, and the Post came along and drizzled even more badge-flavored saliva over it.  You can go elsewhere, like CBS or the Cleveland Fox affiliate’s AP repost, for a more neutral account.

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