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08-23-09, 06:35 PM #1
Oklahoma City police officers face charge in drive-by shooting
The "drive-by” statute is usually a charge reserved for "gangbangers,” Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said. On Friday, Prater filed the felony charge against two Oklahoma City police officers.
"If these off-duty officers want to conduct themselves that way, that’s exactly how we’ll treat them — just like any other gangbanger,” Prater said.
Sgt. Diron Carter, an eight-year veteran, and Sgt. Michael W. McKethan, a seven-year veteran, were charged Friday with "using a vehicle to facilitate the intentional discharge of a firearm,” in a drive-by shooting that occurred in mid-June outside Night Trips, a strip club near Meridian and Reno avenues.
Carter and McKethan were booked into the Oklahoma County jail on Friday afternoon and released on $25,000 bail each.
Prosecutors allege in the charge that McKethan, 34, was behind the wheel of a white Tahoe and was driving away from the club when Carter, 30, fired a pistol "in the direction of several bystanders.”
No one was hurt by the bullet that had to be cut out of a metal wall at a nearby laundry supply business, but prosecutors say someone could have been killed.
Shots fired outside bar
On June 16 as Night Trips was closing, police got a call that shots had been fired outside the bar.
Witnesses told police a man in a white sport utility vehicle was throwing beer bottles as he drove through the strip club parking lot, according to the police report.
When the witnesses confronted the men in the car and asked "what their problem was,” an argument began to escalate until the passenger in the car reportedly leaned out of the window with a black handgun and said ‘You want to see my baby Glock?” as he fired a single shot.
Police responding to the scene soon learned McKethan and Carter had been there that night and that McKethan, who drives a white Chevy Tahoe, had a conversation earlier with one of the strippers whose child may be McKethan’s, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Carter admitted being at the club that night, but he denied being involved in any incident in which a shot was fired, the affidavit states.
Later when Carter was questioned by a fellow officer, Carter allegedly replied "it was an accidental shooting,” the affidavit states.
Officers also recovered a .40-caliber shell casing in the street, which Prater said came from a "baby Glock” which is an off-duty weapon used by police officers.
‘We police our own’
An officer being charged in a case involving strippers, beer and firing a weapon at bystanders can be perceived as a "black eye” on the entire department, said Capt. Steve McCool, the police department’s spokesman.
"But we would hope the citizens would understand that once we gained this information, we immediately put them on leave,” McCool said. "We investigated it thoroughly. We did what was right, and we police our own.”
When a crime is committed, McCool said, it doesn’t matter whether the person responsible is a citizen or an officer, they will be subject to the law.
Prater said it’s disappointing to receive cases involving police officers. "Because that’s not the way the majority of these outstanding men and women in law enforcement conduct themselves,” he said. "But if you’re involved in criminal activity, I don’t care what you do for a living. You’re going to be held responsible and accountable in this office.”
08-23-09, 06:42 PM #2
...."When a crime is committed, McCool said, it doesn’t matter whether the person responsible is a citizen or an officer, they will be subject to the law."...
BINGO boys and girls. You play, you pay.I'm not ruining your life, you are, and I'm just going to write a short story about it.
08-23-09, 07:14 PM #3
They should congratulate these officers for experiencing cultural diversity
08-25-09, 12:43 AM #4
What is going on? Something bad is in the news with LEOs daily it seems. Its got to stop somehow.
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