Four years too long a wait for sentencing in Pompeo case

Four-year gap between the shooting of Bill Gillespie by RCMP officer David Pompeo and Pompeo's sentencing "beyond ridiculous."

We get why some observers wonder whether Bill Gillespie may be settling into his new life’s role of police shooting victim with just a bit too much relish. And we understand why some are prone to be giving police officers the benefit of the doubt and wanting the system to do the same simply because of the nature of their jobs.

But this David Pompeo case has gone way beyond ridiculous.

Assuming sentencing actually happens on its rescheduled Aug. 26 to 27 dates, almost four years exactly will have passed between the time Pompeo shot Gillespie and the time both will learn the consequences of the act.

Think about it. Four. Years.

That’s enough time for people to go from diapers to grade school, to get married and divorced, move to other countries and return, to battle and defeat cancer, or to lose that same fight. Yet it is not enough time for our justice system to determine what to do with a police officer who shot an unarmed man.

Remember, this is not a complex whodunit where investigators had to sift through a dense web of clues and testimony.

Two cops pulled over two men. One cop shot one man.

Take the testimony from each. Fact check it. Hear the experts. Weigh the case law. Listen to the arguments. Make a ruling.

Instead, we got a 20-month police investigation, followed by another 20 months floating through the court system, followed by another six months of waiting for sentencing. All the while, Pompeo remains on the public payroll and we are left to wonder who is paying all the legal fees. Is it any wonder Gillespie cries “preferential treatment?”

Something needs to change.

—Cowichan News Leader Pictorial