WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) --     In the past couple of days there have been two police shootings and deaths of two people of color.

    This is a terrible tragedy for all of those involved. Both the victims, their families, and the officers involved.    

    Video of both shootings tend to make one think they were very much unnecessary.  In the case of the man in Louisiana, had the victim followed the police orders he probably would be alive today. Since he was a felon he probably would be on his way back to prison, but he would likely still be alive.



    In the case of the man from St. Paul, the water is much muddier as he did have a weapon and a permit to carry,  which he allegedly told the officer while he was trying to retrieve his license and registration.

    Several people I have listened to have said in permit to carry training most were told if they were ever stopped by police, they should let them know that they have a gun on their person or in the car, and that they have a permit to carry.

    According to reports this man did tell the officer he had a gun and a permit to carry. However it seems like he told the officer while he was trying to get his license out, but the gun was preventing him from removing it. At that time the officer allegedly determined that the man was going for his gun, and shot him four times killing  the man. In my opinion the officer probably felt his life was in danger when he made the decision to use deadly force. Wrong call? Maybe, maybe not — put yourself in the same situation — what would you do? Remember, hindsight is always 20-20. I feel that the officer should have ordered the man to put his hands on the steering wheel, and had his partner remove the gun from the victims holster or where ever it was at, then go from there.

    Now this is a no win situation where several lives will never be the same.

    I know that the officers adrenaline at that time was probably in high gear, but you wouldn’t think a man with his girl friend and a four year old child in the back seat would  announce he had a gun, and a permit to carry, if he intended to use it!

    Some  people say police officers should have mental and psychological evaluation before being hired. I believe that all certified officers are evaluated before licensing. I also believe that like most professionals they are required to take a certain amount of continuing education, and I would assume in the case of police officers mental and psychological evaluations.

    I hope and pray my two bi-racial grandsons grow up in a world that respects all lives. I also pray that they never have to face a situation like these men did.

    At some point we as a country have to learn to respect all people regardless of their skin color, religion or sexual orientation. And we must reject anyone who does not believe in these inalienable rights granted all Americans under the United States Constitution. Crime of any kind is not of a persons color, or religion or sexual orientation.

Have a great week and do good!