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South Dakota Judge Clears Seattle Officers of Gun Charges Stemming from Off-Duty Shooting

November 19, 2008  | 

Seattle Police Officers' Guild President Rich O'Neill said he and others were "puzzled" by the South Dakota prosecutor's decision to file gun charges against Smith and McCoy, who, he said, were lawfully armed when a Hells Angels member attacked Smith at a Sturgis bar.

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Comments (4)

Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

ringrose4 @ 11/20/2008 5:04 PM

That's what you get when some POS D.A. wants to make a name for himself. It's the same type of D.A. who will make a plea deal with a real criminal because he's affraid to meet him out on the street. A COWARD!!!

jom189 @ 11/21/2008 9:11 AM

My experience with Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs, especially the HA's is that we all know they have some people in their payroll. HA's are notorious for having attorneys, doctors, etc within their ranks. They love to take cops to court, file lawsuits, and take things to trial arguing technicalities. I bet this DA is an HA sympathizer. Either that or he had his law degree from an online college course. Get real, he should be reprimanded!!!

pierreLET @ 11/21/2008 11:39 AM

I was not there but I personally know two ON-Duty LE who were at the door when the shots went off so I am not writing this based on what I read in the blogs. A big part of the problem with DAs and LE Admins is they don't want to accept the language found in HR218---Notwithstanding any other provision of the law of any State or any political subdivision thereof---so they approach it with the attitude of "surely they don't mean our statute/ordinance/etc. The language of HR218 is clear in defining what specific state/local ordinances do apply---government buildings, parks, etc. and places where the private property owner forbids carry. If other issues were of concern, they could have addressed them. Otherwise, if you meet the requirements imposed by HR218, you can carry. All officers need to continue to working to see that HR218 is not abused and taken away because of acts that may be viewed as irresponsible.
On the other hand, if you are going to carry in an environment where you are going to consume alcohol, I feel you are using bad judgement. I know what Sturgis is all about as I live 30 minutes away and I have dealt with all these parties in the past. I suggest you designate a sober CCW, stay near him/her and keep you mouth under control. A couple of brews won't make you bullet proof and no one ever accused the HA of fighting fair.
Lastly, I would bet the SA involved here is not on the payroll of the HA or a sympathizer. He is probably as pro law enforcement as you will find most places. There are plenty of LE who come to Sturgis every year and not all of them act professionally. Nothing I have written here is to be taken to mean the Seattle officers did anything illegal and I agree with the judge's decision. I am glad they had the means to win the encounter.

mazon303 @ 12/1/2008 12:02 AM

Well isn't that crappy. HR 218 should have cleared that up, but with incidents like this, it goes to show we have to still look over our shoulder. Only this time its not for someone attempting to assualt or kill us simple because we are in law enforcement, but for DAs that dont like cops.

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