Glen Cockrum, Jr. was shot and killed by local law enforcement officers following the May 24 pursuit that ended in a hail of gunfire on Grand Avenue.
We know the suspect’s name, and we know he was a truck driver. But nearly everything else regarding the chain of events leading up to the shooting are blurry, and none of the law enforcement agencies involved in the chase, shooting, and investigation are doing anything to clear it up.
I get it. Departments have their policies and certain aspects of investigations like this require a certain level of confidentiality while investigators put the pieces together.
But even a little transparency can go a long way with critics and the communities affected by the tragedy.
Looking at this from the outside, it looks like the whole thing was just a major screw up with no clear picture of where it started, why it happened in the first place, and even more confusion as to why deadly force was considered necessary.
I’m not saying that deadly force didn’t need to be used. The truth is I have no clue because no one involved is willing to go public on anything.
The community and the deceased’s loved ones are forced to speculate based on videos and rumors being shared on social media, most of which have only added to the confusion. Add to that the fact that NPD officers involved in the shooting were allowed to immediately return to work, there are a lot of red flags being raised.
Distrust in law enforcement has grown dramatically over the last year due to an increase in documented cases of deadly force being used unnecessarily by officers across the country.
When an incident like that of May 24 happens and everyone involved is very hush-hush about the whole thing, the distrust only increases.
Local and state law enforcement agencies could help themselves a lot, from a public relations standpoint, by laying out a clear timeline and chain of events for the community to better understand what happened, when it happened, and why it happened.
If there was no cause for use of deadly force, then the officers involved should be held accountable, as any citizen would and should. However, those with power should always be held to a higher standard than those without power.
(The Wright Idea is a monthly column created by Nogales author Joe Wright in honor of his father’s long-time NI column, The Wright Stuff. Contact him at email@example.com.)