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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 05:30 AM
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Police look at pitfalls of returning reservists
Police look at pitfalls of returning reservists
By Kevin Johnson - USA Today
Posted : Friday Nov 16, 2007 8:19:57 EST

Shortly after Wayne Williamson returned to Texas from an 11-month deployment to Iraq as an Army reservist, he began jumping at virtually every unexpected sound.

Although his attorney now says his reactions were perhaps classic symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, Williamson told no one, including his supervisors at the Austin Police Department, until March after he opened fire on an unarmed suspect during a brief foot chase.

The suspect was not hit, but one of the three rounds struck a parked van, narrowly missing two children inside. The shooting cost Williamson his job, and prosecutors are reviewing whether his reactions were criminal.

In hindsight, everyone believes he should not have fired, said Tom Stribling, Williamsons attorney. His assessment of the threat level was wrong. He was assessing as if he was back in the military, not from a police officers side of it.

Williamsons case represents an increasing concern about thousands of returning reservists. Unlike other part-time troops, they resume duties that sometimes require the use of lethal force under conditions very different from the combat zone.

At issue is the judgment of when to use lethal force.

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