Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Profiles in Crime: Local Police in the US

Yet another cop gone bad. This one is from the Jesusland state of Utah who, when not terrorizing people behind the cover of a badge, takes to murdering motorists. Here is a mug only the FOP could love.

Former cop suspected in roadway shootings dies

(CNN) -- The former Utah state trooper suspected in a series of roadway shootings earlier this week died Wednesday, the Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office said.

Police said Tuesday that Brian Smith attempted suicide after Monday's shootings. Smith was brought to a local hospital in serious condition, officials said

At 7 p.m. Wednesday Smith died at Parkland Hospital, the medical examiner's office said. An autopsy is slated for Thursday.

Two people were killed in the shootings along a three-mile stretch on and near the LBJ Freeway, about 10 miles northeast of downtown Dallas.

Police used ballistic tests to link Smith, a 12-year veteran of the Utah state police, to three of the four shootings, Dallas Police Lt. Craig Miller said Tuesday.

Miller said Smith was a suspect in both nonfatal shootings and one of the fatal shootings. He said it was unclear if Smith was a suspect in the fatal shooting that occurred first.

The first attack occurred in the city of Garland at about 5:41 p.m. Victim Jorge Lopez, 20, was sitting in his Nissan at a traffic light in Garland when a man in a pickup pulled alongside him and fired shots into his car, killing him, Officer Joe Harn of the Garland police said.

A few minutes later and two miles away on the LBJ Freeway, a gunman fired at two tractor-trailers.

While one driver escaped injuries, William Scott Miller, 42, of Frankfort, Kentucky, was shot to death behind the wheel of a United Van Lines truck, police said.

"He was going to be traveling home," Lt. Miller said. "He was about to park his rig. He was going to get on a plane to fly to be with his wife and children for the Christmas season and then come back to this location."

Miller called the truck driver a hero because he was able to control his rig before he died -- preventing other motorists from being hurt.

The fourth attack came a mile west on LBJ Freeway, where gunfire shattered the windshield of another tractor-trailer. The bullets missed the driver, but flying glass caused minor cuts, police said.

Smith, 37, left his trooper job in Utah after he was caught abusing alcohol and drugs, CNN affiliate WFAA reported, citing an official report. The sergeant began using drugs and alcohol after his patrol car was rear-ended while he was writing a ticket, according to the report by Utah Peace Officers Standards and Training.

He moved to Texas shortly afterward, the station said.

Harn told WFAA that Smith's wife had phoned police Monday to say her husband was suicidal and driving around with a gun. Police were able to locate him using cell phone transmission towers. A three-hour stand-off followed, ending when Smith shot himself in the head, Harn said.

This is nothing new, sadly. Local police fill the ranks of the wanted, from DUIs, domestic abuse (nearly epidemic in many police departments [a dirty little secret the folks at Fox 'News' and the average law enforcement-shills who write the scripts for CSI will never portray]), and numerous other violent offenses. When we in popular culture talk about crazed co-workers who "go postal," it does a disservice to postal workers. Cops are three times more likely to rape and/or murder people.

On the positive side, the police chief of my hometown is finally retiring. After 18 years as chief, a term filled with unprecedented corruption, refusing to punish a police commander (who so happens to be his best friend) that skimmed money off a prostitution ring run by the police, and who turned the other way when the deviants that populate his department's vice squad were using taxpayer's dollars to subsidize their sexual desires with hookers they were supposed to be arresting, Chief Jackson is leaving and going off to the blue yonder. May you and your prostitute money-thieving friend, Commander Burns, meet the same destiny that so many of my city's poorer citizens suffered and to whom you spent the last five decades ignoring (to the point that my hometown has become one of the unsafest large-size cities in the US). Good riddance.

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