“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.