Man behaving suspiciously shot and killed by police: Why has this story remained on back pages?

Man behaving suspiciously shot and killed by police: Why has this story remained on back pages?

The story line is all too familiar. Police are dispatched to investigate reports of suspicious behavior — in this case a rifle being pointed out the window of a hotel room.

When they arrive and knock on the door, they encounter two occupants, a man and a woman. The officers order both out of the room. The woman complies, but the man doesn’t. The officers repeat their command, but the man again inexplicably refuses.

Then the standoff turns deadly. The man reaches for something behind his back, and one of the officers, fearing for his life, fires off several rounds, striking and ultimately killing the suspect, Daniel Sweet of Mesa, Ariz.

The man’s wife, Laney, explained to police that her husband’s livelihood was servicing pest-removal stores and that he traveled with two company pellet guns. The barrel hotel guests claim they saw at the window, she believes, may have been that of one his pellet guns, although it remains unclear why he would be pointing it out the window.

The incident occurred last Sunday. So far, the story has received very little coverage apart from a perfunctoy 200-word report by The Arizona Republic. It is not likely to receive more. Barack Obama won’t be releasing a statement of commiseration with Sweet’s widow and two children. Al Sharpton won’t be jetting out to Mesa to organize protest marches or to hold a rally demanding justice for Daniel.

Why? Maybe a picture of Daniel Sweet and his two children will suffice to explain those enigmas:

Daniel Sweet

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles

Ben Bowles is a freelance writer.


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