Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Those Crazy Philadelphia Cops

CNN reports on an incident you don't hear about every day. Thanks to an anonymous commenter for the link.

A Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, police officer who told authorities he was shot while on patrol last month has admitted he shot himself intentionally, the city's police commissioner said Tuesday.

Sgt. Robert Ralston, 46, confessed to police early Tuesday morning that he made up the story, possibly to a get attention or a transfer, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said in a news conference.

Ralston reported that on April 5 he saw two African-American males arguing on a train track in West Philadelphia. He told investigators that when he stopped the two men for questioning one of them pulled out a gun and shot him in the left shoulder.

His claim sparked a search for a phantom suspect.

It seems like the Philadelphia Police are in the news too often. Why do you think that is?

The story we're looking at today, the very unusual case of an intentional self shooting, brings up the same question as any other misuse-of-the-gun story. What happens to the offender?

Ralston, a 21-year veteran of the police force, will be made to pay the cost of the investigation that followed his report, and has been suspended with the intent to dismiss, Ramsey said.

He will not, however, face criminal charges because police granted him immunity to obtain his confession.

So, there it is again. Losing his job certainly cannot be confused with a slap on the wrist, but should a guy like this maintain his right to own guns? Should a guy who's demonstrated such appalling lack of responsibility with his weapon continue to own guns as an ex-policeman? I say it's disgraceful that such a thing can happen.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.


  1. “quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

    but posted by Laci the Dog

  2. Thanks for that Latin, Laci. I've missed you around here.

  3. Um... Mike? Even in your gun-free utopia, this man would have been carrying a gun as part of his job.

    And in the place closest to being your gun-free utopia, this happened:

    As many deaths per attacker as the Columbine shootings. Good thing China got rid of the guns that cause these rampages!

  4. "It seems like the Philadelphia Police are in the news too often. Why do you think that is?"

    Because they've been allowed to believe they are the only ones qualified enough to carry a gun.

  5. MikeB., This guy falls squarely into the "10%". I do believe that any rational person would find this individual mentally ill.

  6. Anonymous, Thanks for that link to the Chinese hacker. I'm sure you're right, multiple hacking deaths in schools where guns are banned would exactly replace the school shootings that more enlightened countries enjoy. After all, the gun is just another tool, right?

  7. You said it, Mike.

    Actually, knives are "just another tool" the UK is trying to "regulate sensibly" (ban), now that knife violence is spiraling out of control.

    Where does it end? Removal of fingernails deemed to be too sharp?