Officer Involved in ‘Pito’ Rivera’s Shooting Death Gets Award [Commentary]
Part of my job at this radio station is to keep the Community informed as to what's happening in Buffalo and surrounding areas as best 'we' can. However, before I begin this post, I must tell you that this post is not in any way an attempt to cause any public turmoil. The purpose of this post is to make the public aware of what it may not be aware of and to personally try to gain some understanding with regard to something which is making no sense to me whatsoever.
Recently, I wrote a post regarding a Police-Involved Shooting that resulted in the death of Rafael Pito Rivera (surveillance video of shooting link here) where its apparent Mr. Rivera is shot in the back while running away from the Police. The situation has been surprisingly quiet, in terms of any news coverage other than updates here and there. I expected to see Community outrage on the television news, but there has been none...at least none shown on TV. Within the Community, I believe there is concern and outrage, but as stated, I haven't seen anything covered by the local news media ... not saying the local media hasn't done so, I'm just saying I haven't caught it on the television news...I may have missed it.
My concern, regarding this Post, is relative, again, to the Police Involved Shooting Death of Rafael Pito Rivera, but not about the shooting itself. Rather, within this Post, I want to share information with you which is completely baffling to me. Before I continue, let me impress upon you that I have reached out to a friend who is involved in Law Enforcement, and has been for several years, and is someone well trusted and very knowledgeable. I reached out to him in an attempt to get answers regarding a situation which is baffling to me and bothersome as well. I also reached out to the Buffalo Police Department, as well as the District Attorney's Office, to get my questions possibly answered. Lastly, I reached out to the entity responsible for my dismay to get answers; that organization is and an entity called ASIS International,
According to their website. this is who ASIS International is:
ASIS International is a global community of more than 38,000 security practitioners, each of whom has a role in the protection of assets - people, property, and/or information.
Our members represent virtually every industry in the public and private sectors, and organizations of all sizes. From entry-level managers to CSOs to CEOs, from security veterans to consultants and those transitioning from law enforcement or the military, the ASIS community is global and diverse.
No other organization possesses the vast array of knowledge, expertise, and experience.
ASIS International Vision: Be the recognized leader advancing security worldwide.
ASIS International Mission: Promote excellence and leadership in the security management profession.
Now here's what's troubling me and is well beyond my understanding. I always imagined Police Officers being remorseful and shaken if ever in a situation where they had to take someone's life...and even more so if the shooting was not necessarily warranted but happened anyway and the result of that Police-Involved Shooting is death. However, when a group of your peers presents you with an award, following you legitimately, or even mistakingly, shooting and killing a human being, my eyebrows raise in disbelief, disgust, sorrow, and ultimately...more than anything...CONFUSION.
Last week, Friday, December 14, ASIS International held a luncheon, in Buffalo, to, among other things, recognize local law enforcement Officers and Security Officers for their great work. One of the recipients of an award is an Officer whose name is Officer Elnur Karadshaev.
District Attorney John Flynn established that no charges would be filed against the Officer according to News Stories:
- Karadshaev didn’t draw his weapon until he saw the gun in Rivera’s hand.
- Rivera knew Karadshaev was a police officer because at one point during the chase he turned his head around to look behind him.
- Karadshaev yelled numerous times for Rivera to get down, drop the gun and stop running.
- The officer discharged only six of the 16 rounds in his gun.
“It’s not like the officer was reckless here,” Flynn said.
I disagree, but my analysis of the situation is solely based on the surveillance video seen. I could not hear any audio and do not know what transpired prior to Rafael Rivera running into plain sight in the video, as there was also obviously some type of confrontation Officers had with Rivera prior to seeing him on the surveillance video. However, with that said, I am baffled to no end as to how and why an organization would bring an award to a luncheon for the expressed purpose of rewarding an Officer who just killed someone. This is what an Officer gets for killing a man running away...a Celebration? Wow...what a message that must send to all Officers.
Can anyone explain to me what the basis is for giving an award to an Officer who killed a person, while the validity of that shooting is questionable within the Community? My question is not rhetorical; it's a real question.
Although the Buffalo Police Department is NOT responsible for rewarding Officer Elnur Karadshaev, nor are they responsible for the Police Involved Shooting Death of Rafael 'Pito' Rivera, I think they should at least explain to the Community why the Officer is NOT being charged. Equally as helpful, would be an explanation from ASIS as to the basis of their award to Officer Karadshaev.