I am following a case in Spain that is both sad and a perfect example of what happens when idiots are in charge of prosecuting crimes.
On May of 2010, Santiago Manjón Bermúdez bought a kitchen knife from a Madrid hardware store and set to find a police officer to commit “Suicide by Cop.” He manages to find an empty police car and proceeds to vandalize it in order to call attention to himself. Passerby’s notify the beat cops that somebody is beating the crap out of their car so the cops approach the Mr. Manjon who suddenly pulls the knife and confronts the cops while screaming “Shoot me in the head!”
Officer Israel Sánchez Vieco draws his HK Compact in 9mm and tells Manjon to drop the knife. Manjon charges Officer Sanchez who is then forced to use his weapon three times to stop Mr. Manjon by shooting him in the arm, abdomen and hip area. Officer Sanchez states that he deliberately shot low to stop Manjon and not to kill him (and from what I caught on a Spanish TV talk show, this is procedure for the Madrid P.D. who are not issued Tasers or other less than lethal devices.) The shot that hits Manjon in the arm over penetrates, ricochets off the pavement and hits a passerby, Antonio Castro Pimentel in the eye. Mr. Pimentel eventually loses the eye as consequence of the wound.
Over a year later, the trial begins. The accused are: Santiago Manjón Bermúdez for Assault with A Knife upon a police officer and Officer Israel Sánchez Vieco for causing Grieving Injuries on one Antonio Castro. Manjon is facing 9 months in jail because he has been found to be mentally unstable and Officer Sanchez is facing two years in prison for shooting Manjon and accidentally wounding Mr. Castro in the eye causing its loss.
The prosecution is also demanding monetary compensation to Mr. Castro for the loss of the eye and to Manjon for being shot by Officer Sanchez. According to the prosecuting attorney, Officer Sanchez did not need to use his firearm to stop the attack because he could have used his night stick or talk the subject down or him and his fellow officers rush Manjon and subdue him.
I am not even going to try to explain Spain’s approach to Law here because not even the Spaniards can figure that crap out. I am not surprised that this case has gone the way it has: Spain has a tradition to eschew logic in favor of esoterically progressive thinking applied to the dispensation of “Justice.” It is not uncommon for judges to set a very low bail or release confessed murderers on their own recognizance because the person they happened to murder was the wife and/or significant other. The “reasoning” is that the accused does not constitute present and ongoing threat to society because they only intended to kill one specific person and therefore they can be released. That suspect take this “vote of confidence” on their behavior and decide to flee is of no consequence to the court.
Back to our case. That the prosecution moron dismisses the real threat of a suspect with a knife reveals the amazing ignorance that Spanish Officers of the Court have about real life, specially in a country where the preferred method of killing people for centuries has been a bladed weapon. A dedicated bastard with a knife can inflict untold damage to anybody standing around him as I posted here back in May of this year. I am assuming that Mr. Prosecutor might have seen one too many Jackie Chan movies and thought that Officer Sanchez could have delivered a nice round-kick and brought the suspect under custody without any further damage.
And this would be reason 5,942 of why I do not care to even visit Europe to visit my relatives.
UPDATE: I just found out from another blog that Officer Israel Sánchez Vieco was found not guilty as he was defending himself and was on the line of duty. The blog does not cite source so I can’t confirm the news. The nutjob also did not get a time behind bars other than a couple of days in observation but he has to pay for the damages given to the police car in the amount 301,76 Euros (aprox. $385) and 2/5 of the court costs.