We need law enforcement, OF COURSE, but sometimes officers abuse their position of authority and the fact they have a loaded firearm. They are also (somewhat understandably) a bit paranoid, given the bravado bad guys are showing of late. This appears to be such a case.
A jury acquitted a man Tuesday on charges that he pulled a gun on a deputy and other allegations.
Sterling Charles Endsley was acquitted on charges of assault with a firearm on a peace officer, exhibiting a firearm in the presence of a peace officer, obstructing or resisting an officer, possession of a firearm by a felon and participating in a criminal street gang.
He was convicted on a misdemeanor charge of obstructing or resisting an officer, which could give him a year in custody. But he will likely spend little more time in jail because he has been in custody so long, his attorney, Richard Terry, said.
Kern County sheriff's Deputy Art Rummel testified that he shot at Endsley because he thought he was holding a gun when he got out of his car, the defense attorney said.
The Sheriff's Department Incident Review Board ruled Rummel was justified in shooting at Endsley Jan. 20 because he believed he was carrying a firearm.
Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said he still stands behind the decision Rummel made, the decision the board made and the decision to prosecute Endsley.
"If someone were pointing a gun at you and you thought he was going to shoot, what would you do?" Youngblood asked.
Only problem: He apparently WAS NOT holding a gun.
Terry said the jurors did not agree. They questioned why the case was brought to trial, Terry said.
The defense attorney said several witnesses saw the officer firing at Endsley as soon as the officer got out of his car.
Terry said there were several bystanders, one of whom had to duck to miss being hit by the flying bullets.
How pitiful is this?
Endsley is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday.
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