If you think police officers are treated like anyone else when they do wrong, it is difficult to understand why two current cases, appearing nearly identical on the facts so far revealed, are treated so differently.
In a Bremerton elementary school, an 8-year-old girl was seriously injured by a gun brought to school by another child. The Seattle Times headline on March 14 states “Prosecutor throws book at mother of armed boy.” This refers to a felony charge filed against her, and it took only several days for the prosecutor to reach this decision. Presumably, the theory of the charge is that the mother recklessly made the gun available to the boy.
It’s a different story in Stanwood, where a Marysville police officer allegedly left a loaded, unsecured gun in a car, where it was available to unsupervised children. Tragically, a child was killed. In articles appearing in The Herald March 13 and 14, it is explained Marysville police are asking for compassion and patience, and will need a long time to investigate. Again, the initial appearance of the case, as reported in The Herald, is that the officer recklessly made the gun available to the child.
All persons involved have my deepest sympathy for the tragic losses suffered. It may well be that in the long run justice will be properly served. However, the progress of these cases should be watched carefully. The wide disparity in initial reaction is alarming.