Eminent Domain Stuff
New London Update (2/24/06)
Coverage of the Rally at New London's City Hall (w/ pics)
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Immensely Sad And Telling
A Trooper's RageFirst off, assuming that the facts made publicly available to date accurately represent the situation, the loss of Officer Ciara McDermott is a true tragedy.
WEST HARTFORD -- A state trooper shot and killed his ex-girlfriend, a Newington police officer, then turned the gun on himself in a murder-suicide Monday evening.
Ciara McDermott, 30, was found dead around 6:30 p.m. in her house at 348 Ridgewood Road. Sources said she was killed by state Trooper Victor Diaz, who was scheduled to turn himself in to West Hartford police earlier Monday on charges he harassed McDermott.
Second, consider the situation in a nutshell: A female officer and male officer end a relationship. Male officer is arrested for a DUI after leading police on a high-speed chance that ended in him physically resisting arrest. He's given a 60-day suspension and told to turn in his service pistol (which we don't know for sure he did at this point). Then he starts making threatening phone calls to his ex-girlfriend and using police resources to run the license plate of a car he saw in her driveway. As a result he is issued a warrant to turn himself in on Monday. He does not and instead on Tuesday goes to his ex-girlfriend's home and kills her.
So I ask, if the police refuse/are unable to protect one of their own from a predator (also one of their own), how likely is it that they are going to protect you?
Update (11/28/05 7am):
It was suggested in the comments that I got the facts of this story wrong. While the corrected details were not provided, it is possible that the commenter was referring to this:
Less than three weeks ago, Diaz sat outside McDermott's house and copied down the license plate numbers of a car parked in her driveway. He asked a friend with the state police to run the plate through their databases to see whose car it was, he would later admit to West Hartford police.This information was not available at the time I posted this story and it certainly sounds like no one would have expected that Officer Diaz would ever want to physically hurt Officer McDermott. However, there is still some question considering this from the same story:
He learned that the car belonged to West Hartford police Officer James DeLuca, McDermott's new boyfriend. Diaz began making harassing phone calls to McDermott until McDermott and DeLuca went to West Hartford police and filed a complaint.
But sources said McDermott decided not to follow through, withdrawing her harassment complaint because she said she could handle any problems with Diaz.
At that point Diaz must have known two things: that he was to turn himself in to West Hartford police on Monday; and that his once-promising career as a state trooper was probably over when that internal investigation - the second of his career - was completed.But his second thought must have been that Officer McDermott was in danger (unless the reporter got the facts wrong). The question is, Why?
Diaz was scheduled to turn himself in to West Hartford police at 6 p.m. on Monday. At 4:20 he left a voice mail message with Ment [Diaz's attorney], saying plans had changed. He thanked Ment for all of his help and for standing by him, sources said.
Ment, who spent the afternoon in court, retrieved the message at 5:40 p.m. and, sensing danger, immediately dialed West Hartford police and the Troop H state police barracks where Diaz worked and advised officers to go check on McDermott.
"My first thought was that he was going to go to the police station and try and take out a couple of cops along with himself," Ment said.
We'll probably never really know the whole story. Regardless, the fact is that a police officer with a history of alcohol abuse and violence was active on the street carrying a badge and a gun. Now both he and an innocent woman are dead. The entire thing is a terrible tragedy that, with 20/20 hindsight, might have been avoided.