The Metroplex has seen two nationally-significant shootings by police this month.
On Sept. 1, an Arlington police officer shot and killed 24-year-old Oshae Terry at a routine stop for an expired registration sticker. The video footage, which was disturbing to say the least, shows the officer shooting Terry several times through the window as he attempts to drive away.
Last Thursday, 26-year-old Botham Jean was shot and killed by an off-duty officer in his own apartment in Dallas after the officer mistook it for her own.
Both men were black, but the issue here is less about race and more about holding the officers involved accountable for their actions.
Justice was served in the case of Botham Jean — the officer who shot and killed him was arrested on manslaughter charges not long after the incident.
It’s an example of a police shooting handled correctly. An off-duty officer is regarded as a civilian in the eyes of the law, and it’s refreshing to see that respected.
In the case of Oshae Terry however, justice has not been so swift.
The Arlington Police Department did release body camera footage within a reasonable amount of time, and we commend them for taking these steps toward transparency.
But this does not excuse the fact that a young man was killed. A young man, who did not cooperate but acted nonviolently, lost his life at the hands of police.
After the fact, police placed a lot of emphasis on what they recovered in the vehicle after the shooting: 1.09 pounds of marijuana, 7 grams of ecstasy pills, one .40 caliber Glock handgun and an accompanying extended 29-round magazine.
These items are alarming, for sure, but they played no role in Terry’s murder. The offending officer was not aware of the presence of these items until after he fired his weapon, and therein lies the smoking gun.
This is a young man who should have been arrested and subjected to the due process of the law. Instead he was murdered.
It’s been said over and over: it’s high time we hold police officers to the very same standard they enforce.
This message is not anti-police. It is not revolutionary, nor should it be politicized in any way. It’s a message of common sense.
And we deliver it not to ruffle feathers, but for the sake of justice and the sake of lives lost too soon.
The Shorthorn Editorial Board is made up of Opinion Editor Shay Cohen, Editor-in-Chief Narda Perez, News Editor Samantha Douty, Life and Entertainment Editor Maxwell Hilliard, Copy Desk Chief Caitlin Sherrill, Sports Reporter Dallas Johnson and News Reporter Awa Sy.