Hatch was justified in his actions

Posted: Wednesday, August 22, 2007

My hat's off to a job well done regarding the shooting of Randall Clevenger by Sgt. Hatch. In light of the situation, Hatch remained professional and did his job. For a person such as Fred Oleson to state he could have done something different, I say try being in the sergeant's shoes.

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Taser guns malfunction. Pepper sprays malfunction. Hatch didn't have time to risk any malfunctions. He needed to stop his attacker, regardless of means. Hatch is a person with a family just as anyone else.

Based on the amount of time that lapsed trying to get the accused to throw down his weapon, Hatch did not have time. Thank God he did what he did or the accused might have been able to pull a stunt such as this again, but succeeding in killing someone. It could have been Oleson or his family that the accused could have threatened with a sword.

Hatch's actions were justified in this situation. Dissecting his actions is not what the police department should have to do, nor is it up to any of us since we were not in his situation. The Juneau Police Department and the Alaska State Troopers put their lives on the line every day, every second to keep the community safe. It's up to us to support them, praise them and thank them.

It is obvious Clevenger had many behavioral health issues that required medical attention. Unfortunately, he chose a different path after his incident with his ex-wife. Our legal system has loopholes, and it's up to all of us to determine what those are and talk to our legislators to create laws to protect all of us. The officers did their job, and that's the way it should be.

I no longer live in Juneau, but I still care for the community, my friends and family who still reside there. I am thankful for the Juneau Police Department and the state troopers for continuing to improve and protect the community.

Joey J. Tillson


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