MONTEREY, Calif.—A former Salinas police officer will stand trial for shooting at an unarmed couple during a routine traffic stop.He thought he'd heard something and saw something. It can happen to anybody. I mean, let's say a gun owner, any gun owner, hears something and sees something suspicious. If he waits to be sure what it is, it might be too late. Naturally he wants to let his instincts take over, to react instantaneously. It's the survival instinct, after all.
Monterey Superior Court Judge Russell D. Scott says Christopher Swanson grossly overreacted when he and another officer fired 14 shots into a car.
Defense attorney Mike Lawrence says he is confident Swanson will be cleared at trail. He says his 37-year-old client fired after hearing a "pop" and thought he saw a muzzle flash inside the car.
Swanson was relieved of duty after the 2009 incident in East Salinas. He has pleaded not guilty and a jury trial is scheduled to begin March 24.
The city of Salinas last year paid the couple $260,000 as part of a settlement. Neither was injured in the shooting.
Now let's multiply that by millions. Let's double and triple the number of gun owners and concealed carry guys. What do you think will happen? Certainly there'll be more of this, but I suppose all the thwarting of crime will more than make up for the increase.
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