Only Killing Without State Permission is "Murder" (Will Grigg)
Monday March 3rd, 2014
Alfred Whitehead heard screams outside his home in Alamogordo, New Mexico at 11 PM on February 23. He also heard the voice of a small boy yelling, “Don’t hurt my mommy.”
When Whitehead looked out the window he saw a woman being beaten by a much larger man. Whitehead grabbed a gun and went to confront the assailant. According to investigators, Whitehead ordered the aggressor to stop. The enraged man then charged at Whitehead, who fired a single shot that killed him.
If Whitehead had been a police officer, he would have been able to invoke “qualified immunity” and been granted a “cooling-off period” before the investigation proceeded. If evidence emerged impeaching his judgment, investigators would insist that his actions were sound as long as they fit within established policy guidelines.
That approach was followed in a recent case in Santa Fe in which a police officer shot and killed a 78-year old private security officer when both responded to a burglar alarm.
If Whitehead had been a cop, he would most likely have been given a commendation. But he is a common citizen, which is why he was arrested and charged with murder by government officials who are selectively exempt from the laws they enforce.