Emmitsburg, PA — One of the most oft-repeated phrases by the police apologist crowd goes like this, “if you don’t want to get shot by police, don’t do anything wrong.” Time and again, the Free Thought Project blows this myth out of the water by reporting extreme cases of completely innocent people being beaten, arrested, and even killed — and they had “done nothing wrong.”
In the following example, an innocent child in Pennsylvania was nearly turned into Swiss cheese by a Frederick County sheriff’s deputy and Pennsylvania trooper who mistook him for a murder suspect and opened fire on him. The cowardly, trigger happy duo fired 8 rounds at the innocent bystander, whose only “crime” was crossing paths with these two cops.
The incident unfolded on October 19, 2020 when the trooper and the deputy were pursuing an actual murder suspect and tried to kill the innocent 15-year-old boy instead.
Officials said nothing of the incident for 7 months and only released a statement this week. Naturally, the release of the information only comes after the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office investigated the use of deadly force against the innocent child and found that it was not “objectively unreasonable.”
As a result of their “investigation” the state’s attorney will not be pursuing charges against the two officers whose gross incompetence led to them attempting to murder an innocent child.
The gross act of attempted child murder unfolded in October of last year as police from multiple jurisdictions pursued David Leatherman, 43, who was wanted in Pennsylvania for attempted murder, and Bryan Selmer, as they fled in a vehicle and later on foot. Selmer, 38, was killed by police during the pursuit. Despite the fact that he was unarmed when he was killed, police claimed Selmer, “arranged his body position in a manner that would lead a reasonable person to believe he was about to discharge a firearm,” and his death was ruled justified.
When releasing the findings of Selmer’s shooting investigation in January, police conveniently left out the fact that they tried to kill an innocent child in the process.
According to police, when the pair of suspects exited the vehicle, Leatherman ran in the direction of two children, the 15-year-old and a 13-year-old. The Frederick News-Post reports:
The 15-year-old and a 13-year-old were standing on the side of the onramp to U.S. 15 southbound adjacent to 47 Park Drive when Leatherman and Selmer ran from their disabled vehicle, the state’s attorney’s office report reads. Leatherman ran directly toward the minors and the elder teen tried to push the 13-year-old out of the way, causing the 15-year-old to “stumble and fall to the bottom of a hill in the backyard of 47 Park Drive,” according to the report.
A deputy saw Leatherman flee in that direction before he disappeared from view behind the foliage, the report reads, and a few seconds later the deputy saw the minor emerge from the foliage, holding a black cell phone. The deputy “apparently mistook” the 15-year-old for Leatherman and fired at the minor five times. The teen took cover behind a tree and was not hit, the report states. One round was found lodged in the tree.
Despite the state’s attorney clearing the two officers, Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins told the News-Post the department is conducting its own internal investigation. According to police, the deputy claimed he saw “splashes” in the dirt and assumed it was Leatherman firing a gun at him. He used this as an excuse for firing 5 rounds at an innocent child and also claimed they looked alike since they were both white males.
“In the chaos of the situation, he believed that teenager was in fact one of the defendants,” Jenkins said in an interview, backing up his trigger happy deputy.
The trooper would later go on to tell investigators that he fired three rounds at the child because he mistook the deputy’s gunfire for rounds from Leatherman’s gun.
Luckily for the innocent child, both of these cops were terrible shots. Leatherman — who was unarmed, and couldn’t fire on anyone — was taken into custody shortly after.