Outrage over shooting of police
I knew publishing an article on the family of the man accused of shooting two Baltimore police officers would generate anger. It's never easy to write about somebody involved in such a tragic crime, and readers intrepret any space given to unsympathetic characters a waste and an indication that we at the paper endorse their stance.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
We simply try to explore every angle possible (we also published a story today looking at the troubled McElderry Park neighborhood). Today's story notes that the mother, grandmother and cousin of Thomas Tavon Miller -- who police said shot two officers early Sunday on McElderry Street during a traffic stop and then was killed by the officers -- were angry at the way their son was portrayed and that the city's top cop called him an "idiot." (the 80-year-old grandmother challenged the police commissioner to fight!)
The story notes Miller's long record that includes just one alleged violent act and convictions for marijuana in Maryland and Texas. I'm very careful here to not let the family accuse police of executing their son or to say anything about the actual shooting that they did not witness. I tried to track down one of the other people in the car but I couldn't. But if it's the person I think it is, he has a far more violent record for guns than does Miller. Police didn't charge the two others in the vehicle.
This story was but one small piece of a larger story published over the past several days. These sorts of stories tend to dribble out. Read it and be angry -- at the family for what they say, at Miller for what police say he did. We try to explore every aspect of the shooting, and that includes trying to learn why Miller might've opened fire on police Sunday morning. And that means talking to his family to learn all we can. I'd love to talk to the two police officers who were wounded as well.
Here are some of the comments posted on the story:
Peter Hermann is a hack of the lowest order. Only he could write a piece trying to make someone who would be a cop killer but for a bad aim and the grace of God out to be some sort of hero, and would write something that would question the actions of officers who took a bullet to the face and nearly had one's finger severed. I hope if Hermann ever needs the assistance of the BCPD they tell him to [expletive] off. But since they bravely do their duty, they would probably save even his pathetic butt.
Settle down. Herman isn't saying a thing about the police, and certainly isn't trying to make this guy into a hero. He is merely and rather objectively reporting what the family has to say. Christ, for everyone whining about the fact that the press isn't objective enough, you wouldn't know a straight piece of objective reportage unless it bites you in the butt....
Objective reporting is reporting the facts, not the hysterical and inaccurate ramblings of a family that fails to acknowledge that their relative is a gun-toting thug. These people don't need a forum to air their grievances about an event they know nothing about. Or even a person they know nothing about, since they refuse to acknowledge that their kid/grandkid/etc is the type of person who shoots copsThe word idiot was a poor choice... your son was a low life who felt he was entitled to fire a weapon at police officers with the intent to kill them. Idiot does not come close to a true description of the result of your extremely poor parenting skills. To the officers of the Baltimore Police force... you are not paid enough.
Call it what it is...the guy wasn't an idiot....he was a THUG !..He shot at Police officers...He tryed to kill those officers...an idiot is someone who jumps off a bridge with a bed sheet thinking its a parachute....I don't understand Bealfield....is he afraid to call it what it is ?..its a THUG !!
Anthony Guglielmi. "I think there are many people who feel that 'idiot' and 'moron' doesn't go far enough." Mr. Guglielmi, THANK YOU!!!!!
Anyone that loses a loved one grieves and sometimes say things they do not mean. However I would hope in the next few days the whole family needs to come foward and wish the officers a quick recovery and recognize that they have no idea what would cause their grandson, son or father, what made him commit such a hienous crime and hope the Lord will forgive him.