Clevenger squarely to blame for shooting

Posted: Sunday, August 19, 2007

I doubt the Juneau Empire in all its journalistic liberalism will print my opinion regarding the officer-involved shooting of Randall Clevenger, but I have to respond to the Empire's Aug. 13 article and interview with Fred Oleson, who questioned the validity of the shooting.

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First, I want to address these four words to the officer involved: "Center mass - excellent shooting!" The citizens of Juneau should be thankful that we have officers who are such great marksmen and who are even better at exercising restraint against the use of force.

The last thing the officer wanted to do was shoot. Let's put the responsibility for the situation exactly where it belongs - squarely on Clevenger, who was probably drunk or high on drugs, holding a woman hostage with a sword to her throat, and who refused to do what officers told him to do.

I bet the citizens of Juneau would be screaming for a different outcome if the female hostage had her throat slit by Clevenger. I bet the question then would have been, "Why didn't they shoot him?" and not, "Why didn't they pepper spray him?"

Joanne Thompson


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