Thursday, August 07, 2008

Shooting: a sad moment for everyone

The following letter was published on August 7, 2008 by
The Register
Yarmouthport, Massachusetts

It's very hard for so many of us to rise above looking at another human being from another country here in America illegally as one of us. It is as difficult for many in Brazil to accept the unfortunate death of Andre Luiz de Castro Martins. Not only does my heart goes out to the family and friends of the deceased, I understand this moment of sorrow for the officer who was given a set of circumstances and dynamics that required a response. According to what was reported if valid, when Mr. Martins turned his car around in that yard on 41 Baxter Avenue striking Christopher Van Ness's cruiser, options were reduced and Van Ness' training kicked in on the use of deadly force.

I don't think any sane officer on Cape Cod would relish in the thought of being put in that moment when Van Ness pulled his weapon and used it. At that moment Mr. Martins may have been thinking about being deported and away from his family. It is sad to think that his mind may have been flooded only with the thoughts of staying with his family at a moment when clarity was needed to protect his life. His decision, as reported, to continue to run after striking the cruiser reduced officer Van Ness's window of timing on responding in a moment when his training dictated his response.

Estadao, a newspaper dated 7/30/08 in Sao Paulo, Brazil reported the many violations Mr. Martins committed in America, and revealed that Mr. Martins' father, Luiz Carlos de Castro Martins is a retired military police. It is a very sad thought that Martins' father may be more familiar with officer Van Ness' window of timing on responding in that moment his son was shot than any other member of his family.

In retrospect, I believe everyone involved wishes that moment and the speeding vehicle never happened.


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