A very tragic story comes from out of a small town the the Keystone state, Pennsylvania. Freemansburg police officer Robert Lasso, who was only 31 years old, was shot and killed by a man after pointing a taser at the man’s dogs. Lasso was responding to a domestic violence call, and his killer, 46-year-old George Hitcho Jr., told him to get off of his property and not to come back unless he had a warrant.
Lasso ended up in the back yard of the house, and at that time, two of Hitcho’s dogs became aggressive. Lasso called for backup and was told to shoot the dogs. He pointed a taser at the dogs, deciding on less than lethal force, and that is when Hitcho shot and killed Lasso.
Just this week, a jury of nine women and three men took only 4 hours to find Hitcho guilty of first degree murder. Evidence in court showed that Hitcho shot the officer in the back of the head from only five feet away. He then went into the house, and came back and stood in the door with a fully loaded .12 gauge shotgun, waiting for more cops.
Lasso had two children who will now grow up without their father. This is just one more sad story from the U.S. where it almost seems that there is a war between police officers and private citizens. A spree of citizens killed by police has plagued the state of California recently, and there have been several instances where police have shot and killed people’s dogs. Perhaps the best thing to do is quit watching the news and reading the media (and I saw this at the sake of risking my own livelihood as I work in media), but our anger seems to be boiling over. Perhaps it’s time to turn off the heat.