I thought I’d tell you guys about something that happened here in Italy a few weeks ago and hear your opinions.
We’re in Naples, city in southern Italy, among those with the highest crime rates and with the strongest mafia presence.
It’s 3am, and a 23 year old off-duty cop is sitting in his car with his girlfriend. Two guys, one 15yo and the other 17, approach the car on a motorcycle. The 15yo gets off the bike, points a gun to the officer’s head and tells him to get his Rolex watch off his writs and submit it to him.
The officer tells him to desist, and informs the 15yo kid he’s a cop and is armed. The mugger racks his gun and threatens to shoot him. It’s at that point that the officer takes out his gun and shoots the mugger in the chest.
Another shot is fired, and hits the kid in the back of his head. The dynamics about this second shot are still object of investigation.
The other criminal, who was still on the bike, flees. An ambulance is called for the guy that got shot and he’s transported to the emergency room. By the time he gets there, he’s dead. The gun the mugger was holding is also found to be a fake gun.
Shortly after informing the parents of the mugger about the events that took place, tens of relatives of his rush to the emergency room and start destroying everything. The reason? Nurses and doctors didn’t do a good job and weren’t able to save the teen’s life. They devastated the emergency room to the point it had to be closed to public for a whole day to be restored.
The next day, a few guys with their faces hidden showed up on their motorcycles outside of a police barrack, and started firing shots in the air, then left.
What’s interesting about these happenings is that the cop is now being looked into and he might be up to A LOT of jail time.
Initially, the crime of “excess of self-defense” was hypothesized. However, he is now being investigated for “voluntary murder”, which is the equivalent of what I’ve heard being called first-degree murder in the US.
The laws in Italy are mind-blowing. There are no “stand your ground” rules, and if someone breaks into your house you are allowed to shoot only if there is immediate danger for you or someone else in the house. In no instance are you allowed to shoot a fleeing target, even if they’re armed and are still endangering you.
“Self-defense” is an instance in which all charges are dropped if you kill someone in a similar context, but it’s seldom conceeded by judges: you have to prove beyond any doubts that the only option other than shooting was your own death.
Even then, “excess of self-defense” might be decided on: you acted to defend yourself but did it unproportionally so.
There have been lots of cases in which someone who was mugged or robbed denfeded himself and it resulted in the death of the aggressor, and the victim later had to indemnify the aggressor’s family.
Personally, I think it’s mind blowing that the cop is even been tried for a crime at all–After verifying his version of the events, I think all charges should have been dropped.
You cannot count on someone doing always and only the right thing to do as little harm as possible when you have a gun pointed at their head.
I think the Italian laws do way, way too much to safeguard criminials and leave victims short on justfice way too often.
Source (in ltalian):