Friday, December 28, 2007
CAROL ROBINSON and ROBERT K. GORDON
News staff writers
An off-duty Lipscomb police officer who shot a man Christmas Eve was fired from the Birmingham Police Department after being involved in two shootings there in less than three years on the job.
Officer Michael Thomas, 29, was cleared of criminal wrongdoing in the Birmingham shootings by the Jefferson County district attorney's office, but then-Chief Annetta Nunn fired him in June 2005 after the second incident.
At the time, Nunn cited violations of the department's policy on using deadly force. Thomas appealed his firing, which is still under review.
So, if he was fired for violations of the departments deadly force policy then why the hell was he allowed to go elsewhere in Alabama and get hired as a police officer? I know damn well that the police can do a background check...they've damn sure done one on me. But they can't run one on someone applying for a job that involves carrying a firearm?
But wait....it gets better...
Thomas is also scheduled to go on trial in January on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge.
Lipscomb Mayor Debbie Miller said Thursday that Thomas is still an active member of the Lipscomb force and has not been placed on administrative leave. Miller said she received a preliminary report from the Jefferson County sheriff's department - the agency investigating Monday's shooting - that the shooting appeared justified.
So, they have a trigger-happy-wife-beater on the force....that they have not placed on leave? Oh, and the shooting appears justified.
Thomas was hired by Birmingham in October 2002. About a year later, as an East Precinct officer, Thomas shot at but did not hit a man running from him in a wooded area in eastern Birmingham. His conduct in the incident was investigated but efforts to obtain details on that internal probe were unsuccessful Thursday.
In October 2004, Thomas shot a 25-year-old man after a reported scuffle on an isolated dead end street near Zion City.
Thomas was in the area guarding a stolen car while waiting for a wrecker to retrieve it when Adam Hall drove down the street, police said at the time. Thomas checked the man's car tag and found he had an outstanding misdemeanor warrant. The officer blocked the man's car and then they got into a foot chase. The officer reportedly sprayed Hall with Mace during a struggle before he fired at least one shot at Hall.
I always thought you weren't supposed to shoot at someone running away from you...isn't that how things are supposed to work? If they are running towards you and they have a gun then OK I can see shooting. But running away from you means they were not threatening your personal safety and obviously didn't have a gun pointed at you....so what is the justification for shooting? Because you can?
And then the stolen car bit...So, this officer was guarding a stolen car and just decides (apparently for shits & giggles) to run the tags of anyone passing by? Comes across a piss-ant misdemeanor warrant for someone he shouldn't have been checking up on, blocks the car, sprays the guy with mace and then shoots at him. Now, correct me if I am wrong, but there are no misdemeanors that are punishable by the death penalty.
And somehow this is all par for the course, it was all justified, according to those now in cover-your-ass mode, this dangerous, unstable goon with a government sanctioned gun is still roaming around in uniform and no one in the Lipscomb area is safe.
Your tax dollars at work! This thug really should be gotten off the street before he kills someone for running a red light or not using a turn signal.