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Column: Az Sheriff’s Politicization of Shootings a Sad Day for Politics, Law Enforcement and Justice

Chris Battle

By Chris Battle
Security DeBrief

WASHINGTON — As a former reporter and, later, as a spokesperson for federal law agencies, I grew used to responses from criminal investigators anytime a reporter asked about who the culprit might be or what kind of motive the suspected culprit might have. The universal answer was: “We cannot comment at this time, as this is an ongoing investigation.” As more facts and evidence accumulated, some of it was shared with the public when appropriate.

What then accounts for the sheriff of Pima County, Arizona, and his outrageous and wholly unprofessional charge that the shootings that took place during an event hosted by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was the result of conservative ideology and Teaparty rhetoric?

What kind of law enforcement professional would blithely discuss possible motives about a heinous and shocking crime to the media, to national television, while the investigation was ongoing? What kind of law enforcement professional would do such things without a shred of evidence?

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