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“Authorities are investigating what caused a Bergen County sheriff officer’s gun to discharge Friday afternoon during a wake for fallen Police Officer Stephen Petruzzello, fatally injured when struck by an SUV while on duty last weekend,” northjersey.com reports. “John McCann, the Sheriff’s Office counsel, said the gun was discharged about 12:20 p.m. and that no one was injured. The officer, who was not identified, was sent home and the matter is being investigated by the Sheriff’s Office to determine whether . . .

it was ‘human error or a malfunction,’ McCann said.”

Of course. We have to rule out a “mechanical malfunction.” An incident wherein the unnamed officer’s finger was nowhere near the trigger. Either that or it was. At which point you have to wonder why the officer’s trigger finger was on the trigger of his gun if he (or other innocent life) wasn’t facing an imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm. Showing off? Bored? A comfort issue?

And if his trigger finger was on the go-pedal (what are the odds?) you have to wonder whether or not the Bergen po-po will take appropriate action against this why-the-heck-is-he-a police officer. If so, why not the exact same penalty the Garden State authorities would impose on a non-LEO who touched off a round negligently at a public event: the permanent loss of his gun rights. And then, because a cop needs a gun, summary dismissal.

We get an inkling of how this is going to go in the treatment afforded the officer who died in the automobile accident.

Petruzzello, who had been working as a part-time special police officer, was promoted posthumously this week to the position of regular police officer. He died at Hackensack University Medical center on Monday after being struck on Saturday evening as he and another special police officer, who was not seriously injured, crossed Walker Street in an area where authorities have said there are no crosswalks.

So the part-time not-quite-a cop becomes a full cop after he’s dead so his widow can get a police pension. While I’m as sympathetic as the next guy when it comes to the bereaved, it’s no wonder NJ’s pension system is underfunded by $40b. That’s billion with a “b.”

And it’s no coincidence, either, that the state that pisses on its residents’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms from a great height has one set of firearms-related rules for the police and another set of  firearms-related rules for non-LEO armed citizens. Speaking of curiosity, I wonder what form the eventual reckoning will take – and I mean that in a strictly non-violent sort of way.

23 Responses to Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day: Unnamed Bergen County Sheriff Officer

  1. Seems like a simple investigation, he pulled the trigger. But he was probably sad when he did it, so he’ll get some paid vacation and a stern talking to.

    • So all I need to do to get sent home with pay is be bored out of my mind at the wake of a guy I didn’t know and fiddle with my sidearm until I fire it. Seems kind of extreme. I would have just said I was sick and left.

    • I don’t have a problem with that. Surprisingly.

      It’s poor compensation for the families involved, but at least it’s something.

  2. “Authorities are investigating what caused a Bergen County sheriff officer’s gun to discharge”
    If only we could get to the bottom of this recurring phenomenon.

  3. What a waste of tax money this investigation will be. Here’s the straight skinny–the gun went off by itself. We all know that’s how it happens. They just jump right up and go bang with no human interaction. Now give the po-po a slap on the butt, and send me the money you would spend ‘investigating’ this incident.

  4. Whatever the reason for the ND, you’d be surprised how many NJ cops are not gun savvy. It’s just another piece of equipment that they’re kind of, sort of familiar with, but only because it’s a requirement. They don’t see guns the same way we do, and quite frankly I’m not surprised that they don’t know how to use them.

  5. “What?! You haven’t done a wake-pop yet? We’ve all done a wake-pop! Haven’t you, guys?”
    “Yeah, I have!”
    “Me, too!”
    BOOOOOOM!!

    • Or maybe he dropped his car keys in there?

      My wild ass guess about how his gun went off? He pulled the trigger…

  6. Another instance of an “only one” who is too stupid to keep his booger hook off the bang switch,.
    To be covered up by his criminal accomplices in the department. If a mere mundane like myself
    were to have this happened we’d be hooked, booked and cooked so fast we’d have vertigo.

  7. Here’s the sort of public statement I would like to see sometime in reaction to one of these events: “Accidents happen. They happen in all kinds of ways, from falling off chairs, to leaving the burner on in the kitchen, to tripping on sidewalks, to driving into a curb. Accidents happen with guns, too. We need to stop pretending that these accidents are different from any others. Neither policemen nor any other citizens should be prosecuted for mere accidents that not harm anyone.”

    • Except negligent discharges are not an accident.

      Negligence != Accident.

      So, no, we don’t need to change the narrative further into irrational territory.

  8. “…why the officer’s trigger finger was on the trigger of his gun…”

    Beyond odds, how do you know “the officer” was a ‘he’?

  9. Got to ask; Did nobody else notice that the wake was for a cop who was posthumously promoted after dying because he was JAYWALKING? And having done a great deal of that myself, I have to wonder how it was that he did not notice an approaching SUV. Can we get a reading on his blood alcohol content, please? Not that we don’t already know. And finally, this is the county where the absolute center of NJ’s rabidly anti-gun lunatics resides! Why did they not find a way to prevent this horrible scary discharge of a firearm in their own backyard, since they seem to think they can solve all my problems from a thousand miles away? Like, disarm the cops? Inquiring minds want to know.

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