How is this police officer still on the force?
So now we know that Baltimore Police Officer Gahiji A. Tshamba, back in 2005, was intoxicated when he shot a man in the foot during a confrontation.
What we don't yet know -- and hopefully answers will come today -- is how Tshamba managed to retain his badge after the incident?
Tshamba, as we all know by now, is the off-duty officer who shot ex-Marine Tyrone Brown (left) six times in Mount Vernon early Saturday after Brown patted the officer's female companion on the buttocks. Brown was joking, his relatives say. Police say an argument grew into a physical altercation that led to the shooting. The victim's sister says there was no fight and that Brown apologized but was taunted by the officer.
Either way, police have been unusually blunt in calling this a troubling shooting and saying they are trying to determine whether Tshamba was intoxicated when he shot 13 tiimes. The officer has refused to make a statement and declined to submit to breath test. He has been put on administrative duties. A police spokesman said detectives have not found any reason to believe the officer's life was in danger.
So that brings us back to September 2005. Details remain sketchy but it appears that Tshamba had been confronted by a group of men who yelled racial slurs. Police said one threw a bottle at him, and another struck his car and then advanced toward him. Tshamba shot one of them in the foot.
Police and prosecutors ruled the shooting justified but disciplined him for being intoxicated on the job. I suppose you can be imparied by alcohol and still be justified in using your weapon -- escaping criminal liability -- but it's hard to imagine keeping a guy on the force under such circumstances.
I'm interested to see what new details surface once police can review his entire file later today.