Police give no explanation for shooting and killing Robert Shirar

photo by Denise Goolsby of MyDesert.com

On May 22nd a California Highway Patrol officer shot and killed Robert Shirar on the side of the I-10 freeway. What has been gathered so far is that it was the day of his 1 year wedding anniversary and he was on his way to pick up a present for his wife very early in the morning, when he was involved in a single car accident in the center median of the freeway. For reasons unknown, he had left his vehicle and was standing underneath an overpass when police arrived on the scene. What happened next is a complete mystery to everyone except the police, but the end result was that this man was shot and killed on the side of the freeway. It has been over 3 weeks since the shooting and police have still not released even the most basic explanation for why this man is dead. He is survived by his wife and daughter, both of which have no understanding why their husband and father is no longer with them. They were forced to bury him without even knowing why he was killed by police.

Some more details that have been gathered, Robert was not known to own a firearm, so he was likely unarmed at the time of the shooting. He was sometimes known to use a wheelchair or a cane because of an accident several years ago so it was unlikely that he initiated any sort of confrontation.

Police have stated that they are investigating the shooting and will not release any details until the investigation is complete. They have not released the names of the officers involved, nor even any basic details, such as whether the victim was armed or the officers thought he was, or if there was a physical confrontation prior to the shooting. The media has done what they can to deflect attention from the police by bringing up the victims prior legal issues such as a DUI conviction years back which has its own shady set of circumstances. (Allegedly, after a night out with his wife, they were driving home, his wife behind the wheel and him intoxicated, when the car ran out of gas. His wife left him in the vehicle and went to go get some gas when police pulled up behind him. Since he was the only one in the vehicle and had been drinking, he was charged with DUI. Typical over-exertion of authority.)

One could argue that waiting to release details until a full investigation is complete is prudent, and if this were standard practice in every homicide then this may be no issue at all, however compare this to any other homicide in the news… As soon as the story breaks we usually have a plethora of information about what happened, when it happened, and a likely version of why it happened, yet mysteriously when police are the shooters we get a total wall of silence, no names, no facts, no statements. A comparison to the recent George Zimmerman case is a prime example. George Zimmerman’s life has been destroyed since he was involved in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin because of the release of information by police and the media. Florida law states that it is perfectly legal to defend yourself with lethal force if you feel your life is in imminent danger, and yet somehow he is currently on trial for 2nd degree murder, charges that were only brought because of massive public outcry, which was only possible because of the release of information by the police and the media. Within hours of the shooting we had many of the details, including 911 calls, police statements, names and photos of him and the victim, statements from witnesses, etc. George Zimmerman’s life as he knew it was over the moment he pulled that trigger because police did not wait until the investigation was complete before releasing details. The astonishing difference between when a cop “protects himself from imminent danger” and when anyone else does is incredible. The double standard is rarely so pronounced.

How can police kill a man and not explain themselves to the public that they purport to serve? How are we supposed to feel safe around police when they can kill us and then not even explain themselves to anyone? How can police turn a car accident into a homicide and not have a damn good reason for it? Somehow they are allowed the luxury of time in releasing details and getting their story straight, and consequently the time to find out if there were any witnesses or evidence that may contradict whatever version of events they choose to release. They know that the public is forgetful and a few weeks is a long time in the court of public opinion. They are able to avoid accountability by selectively choosing to release details when those details may cast them in a negative light.

In the end you can be certain that after a complete and thorough investigation of themselves, they will find that these officers acted appropriately and within department guidelines and the shooting will be ruled justified. They will face no repercussions for the killing of another human being.

Here is a link to an article with more details:
Family, friends: Man shot dead on I-10 was amiable, not violent

For more:
Remembering Robert Shirar


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