Sunday, August 11, 2013

"He does not believe that it is the office of a policeman to be a public executioner"

   Chief of Police Corner of Cleveland, took the occasion of the unwarranted shooting of an escaping prisoner by a policeman in that city yesterday to read the members of his force a little lecture upon the handling of firearms. "Revolvers are only to be used as a last resort," he said. "Because a man is appointed to the police force, wears a uniform and carries a gun, it does not give him the right to make offending persons a target. When a shot is fired it may mean a life, you must remember that. Firearms are for desperate men, who prefer to kill rather than be captured and then only the greatest provocation is an excuse for their use." The Cleveland chief takes the humane view of it. He does not believe that it is the office of a policeman to be a public executioner. It is a terrible thing to take the life of a human being under any circumstances and where the justification is not ample it becomes a crime. Near Canton a few days ago there was an example of just this sort of shooting. The man who committed it is heartily sorry and morally may be guilty of no offense. But the authorities take another view of it and so he has been summoned to appear before the grand jury. It is unlikely that any serious charge will be sustained against this man but it is probable that some sort of indictment will be returned, as it should be. He may as he declares have not intended to bring down his victim, but the state's prisons are crowded with men whose intentions were good and the highways of the nether regions are paved with the same sort of material.

[The Stark County Democrat, Canton, Ohio, Friday, April 24, 1903. Vol. 69 No. 88. Pg. 4]

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