Opinion

March 11, 2014

Charles Oliver: Officer possessed poor performance record

• Those who read this column a few weeks ago might remember the story about a Euharlee police officer who shot a teenager in the teen’s home after he answered her knock on the door. Police officials say the officer thought the boy was holding a gun when he answered the door. But neighbors who came to the scene of the shooting say the teen was holding a Wii game controller. It turns out that officer, Beth Gatny, had been previously fired by the Acworth police department. She reportedly had a history of poor performance in Acworth, including being in four car wrecks and being reprimanded for not following orders.

• School officials in Montgomery County, Tenn., suspended David Duren-Sanner for 10 days and ordered him to attend 90 days of alternative school after they found a knife in his car. His father took the blame. He said it was a fishing knife that got wedged between the seats after he went fishing. After media picked up on the story, school officials reduced the son’s time in alternative school to 30 days.

• Annapolis, Md. police chief Michael Pristoop is convinced that marijuana is dangerous. In fact, he told a state legislative panel considering legalizing the drug that 37 people died from marijuana overdoses on just the first day after Colorado legalized the drug. One of the lawmakers told Pristoop that number came from a satirical website. But Pristoop said he was “holding on to information I was provided.” But after the meeting, and presumably after doing some research, he admitted the number came from the satirical website. But he said the rest of his testimony on the dangers of the drug was accurate.

• European Union rules have forced Kenneth and Deidre Hicks off the land they have farmed on the Isle of Wight for 30 years so it can be flooded to boost the population of birds. The land was placed within an EU special protection area in 1998, and the family sold most of its property to the Royal Society for Protection of Birds then. But the RSPB insists that the protection area is still under-performing and petitioned the Environment Agency that more land needed to be flooded to provide habitat for birds.

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