The shooting of John T. Williams will no doubt go down as 2010's most infamous police controversy in Washington state. But what about the rest of the country? Where does the unjustified shooting of a homeless man on the street rank among the U.S.'s worst cop fuck-ups? Well, if one listens to libertarian think tank the Reason Foundation, the Williams case is still right up near the top.
Reason's Nick Gillespie and the awesomely named Radley Balko speak in a video posted today that explores the "3 Worst Cases of Police Abuse in 2011."
The cases include the Weber County, Utah, SWAT team that a raided the house of a supposed meth dealer, and when a guy came out with a golf club, they shot him dead. The officer involved was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing.
There's also the case of the Michigan cops who were caught on tape during a botched marijuana raid at a musician's basement studio, in which the officers were recorded talking about stealing the man's equipment. Those officers were eventually charged with a laundry list of crimes.
And, of course, there was the Williams shooting, which saw no charges against the officer involved, but led to his resignation and a federal investigation into the Seattle Police Department's use of force.