Apr 17, 2012 - Chester Davies, RivertonEditor:
I guess we can all add "mind reader" to the list of skills of the Fremont County Coroner's office and the Fremont County Sheriff. They have decided that Michael Huff "wanted" to be killed by a deputy sheriff, so his death has been ruled to be a suicide. I wonder what mind-reading talent they must have to know what this man was thinking, and what type of ending he "wanted" this to have.
From reading the news article in The Ranger, he was under the influence, wasn't he? Doesn't that impair your judgment? That's what they said when a guy I worked with was busted for DUI, that his judgment was impaired so he wasn't safe to drive a car. But that doesn't mean my friend was trying to commit suicide. I know I would not want to be held accountable for everything i thought or said when I have had a few.
So if Michael Huff's judgment is impaired how can they say they know what he wanted to happen?
Here is how I look at it. Ask yourself this, if this had been two ordinary people, with neither one of them a deputy or police officer or sheriff deputy, would they still be calling this suicide? If I had been a guy with a knife and another guy with a gun, would they say the guy with a knife wanted to be a "suicide by stranger" or whatever? I don't think so.
Please do not get me wrong. I am not saying the deputy was not in danger or should not have shot Mr. Huff. The officers have their training and do what they are trained to do if they are threatened by another person with a weapon. That is not the point I am trying to make. I just felt pretty stunned when I read the county officials who weren't even there and did not know Michael Huff (I did not know him, either) felt they could read the mind of a dead man who was under the influence and decide that he was trying to kill himself. I don't think he knew what he was doing.
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