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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Randle shooting: Fundraiser, investigation and an elephant in the room

The media coverage of the accidental shooting of Plainfield police officer Khisha Bethea's son Marquise Randle coninues today in both the Ledger and the Courier with a conflation of several angles to the investigation.

While Randle, whose left leg is paralyzed -- whether permanently is not known -- from bullet fragments lodged near his spine, continues to make progress at University Hospital in Newark, the Plainfield PBA is organizing a fundraiser this evening in support of the family's needs (see more below).

There appear to be several strands calling for investigation, which is currently being undertaken by Union County Prosecutor Ted Romankow's office --

  • The circumstances under which Randle was in the building where police were called because of drug activity;
  • The circumstances surrounding his shooting and subsequent treatment; and
  • The circumstances surrounding how Randle's family learned of the shooting and the interaction between the Roselle PD and Randle's family once they became aware he was shot.
The New York Times ran the story on Sunday, identifying Plainfield police officer Ken Reid as the boy's uncle, something not noted in other media reports.

The handcuffing of the wounded teen cited in today's Ledger is apparently standard police practice -- however inflammatory it may appear. Coincidentally, a story on handcuffing wounded suspects also ran in Sunday's New York Times -- and is explained as a way of keeping the cuffed person from further harm. (It's an interesting story -- check it out here.)

The elephant in the room?

It is well-known and widely reported that Roselle's mayor Garrett Smith is on the outs with the Union County Democratic machine, in which many of those involved in the incident one way or another are also interested parties.

It is to be hoped that Romankow's office resists any pressure to use the incident to embarrass Roselle's mayor and sticks to the straight and narrow in the investigation.

"Just the facts, m'am," as Sgt. Joe Friday used to say.

How you can help --
Fundraiser Tonight at 8:00 PM
Los Faraones
111 E. Front Street, Plainfield
Tickets: $10 at the door


Send checks payable to Plainfield PBA Local 19/Officer Khisha Bethea
Plainfield PBA Local 19
PO Box 6208
Plainfield, NJ 07062

In the media --
-- Dan Damon

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Michael Townley said...

I'm no scrooge, but why the fundraiser? The police officer's 16 year old son is surely covered by her health insurance.