The Miami Herald reports that the Miami-Dade prosecutors didn't see it that way.
Not only do I suspect the police and the courts of failing to do their job, it seems like the Miami Herald is in on it too. The part above which says "he grabbed the officer's gun," doesn't jibe with the chilling video and the other descriptions which indicate Officer Fernandez handed it to him.
Prosecutors have cleared an off-duty Miami-Dade police officer whose high school pal, after a night of drinking and partying together on South Beach, grabbed the officer's gun and fatally shot himself in the head.
Officer Francisco Fernandez's conduct was ''reprehensible'' for allowing his drunk friend, Miguel Angel Martinez, to play around with his loaded Glock pistol on June 16, 2008, prosecutors said in a final memo released Tuesday.
But no crime -- such as manslaughter by culpable negligence -- could be proved because Martinez put the gun in his mouth himself and squeezed the trigger, prosecutors concluded.
Martinez shooting himself was ''an independent act that superseded Fernandez's own conduct, albeit reprehensible,'' Chief Assistant State Attorney Jose J. Arrojo wrote.
The part that really convinced me it's not kosher is this:
No blood alcohol tests were done on Fernandez, who declined to give a statement to investigators. Toxicology reports showed Martinez had been using marijuana and cocaine that night.
I wonder what toxicology reports on Fernandez' blood would have shown.
What I can't understand is the reluctance people have in accepting the theory of shared responsibility. What do they have to lose? I don't accept the argument that it would lend itself to excusing criminal behaviour. I never said it's the parents fault or it's the society's fault. In certain cases, parents and society might share in the responsibility, that's all.
In this case, for me there's no question. Fernandez, through stupidity and negligence contributed to Martinez' death.
The Martinez family attorney, Herman Russomanno, said Fernandez was ''dangerous and reckless'' in pulling his weapon from his holster and allowing a drunk civilian to play with the gun.
''He has exhibited the highest level of gross negligence,'' Russomanno said.
What's your opinion? Do you think Officer Fernandez was negligent? Do you believe in shared responsibility in certain cases?
What about the suicide of Martinez? Drugged and drunk, do you think he was in any condition to make a choice? Would his friend have been wrong to physically stop him, if he'd had the chance?
Please leave a comment.