The thugs know the police hands are tied when it comes to the use of deadly force.
Tuesday’s police shooting in Casper was the third in six months, an unusual string of encounters for a city that can go years between incidents.
District Attorney Michael Blonigen said there have been more police shootings in Casper than he can remember during his tenure — and the veteran prosecutor doesn’t know why.
In an interview Wednesday with the Star-Tribune, Blonigen said his office does not track the number of police shootings because they have typically been rare. Casper police would sometimes not shoot anyone for years at a time, Blonigen said. That has changed.
“Obviously, something is very, very wrong,” the prosecutor said.
Blonigen, who will not seek re-election when his term ends this year, said he reviews each of the shootings independently of one another. He does, however look for “common threads.” What the threads are isn’t entirely clear, he said.
Blonigen attributed the rise to a “blaze of glory mentality” among crime suspects. He said that he does not know why resistance to police would be on the rise.
According to a database maintained by the Washington Post, Wyoming law enforcement shot and killed one person last year. Scott Addison fired at officers in Cheyenne before he was killed.
In 2016, U.S. Marshals shot and killed Jasen Ramirez, 44, in Douglas and a Mills police officer shot and killed Jeff Hyde, 50, in Casper.
At the start of this year, on-duty Casper police officers had not shot and killed anyone since 2015. That quickly changed.
In late February, officers Jonathan Schlager and Cody Meyers shot and killed Douglas Oneyear in east Casper after encountering him in the street with a sword. Blonigen cleared the two officers and concluded Oneyear provoked the confrontation in an attempt to end his life.
Oneyear’s family maintains the officers could have resolved the situation without killing him.