It's ridiculous to retry Michael Rogers
I am writing to comment on the Attorney General’s Office decision to retry Michael Rogers after a mistrial on charges of assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest (“After mistrial, state to retry man shot in home,” Cape Gazette 8-1-14).
To quickly recap the story from various Cape Gazette reports, Mr. Rogers was celebrating his birthday at a restaurant Aug. 1, 2013, at about 8 p.m. When he left he accidentally bumped another car, damaging the license plate frame. Rogers said he offered his insurance card but “The owner said not to worry about it.” He returned home and went to bed.
At about 10 p.m., Delaware State Trooper Matthew Morgan went to the house to issue Rogers an $89 inattentive driving ticket.
Mr. Rogers was awakened, and according to Trooper Morgan, appeared drunk and disoriented. Rogers said, “I told him I talked to the guy, and we worked it out. It was a done deal” and went back to his room.
The trooper followed, a scuffle ensued leading to a Taser shot hitting Rogers, and later in the living room, Morgan fired his weapon seven times through a coffee table, hitting Rogers six times. (One bullet is still in him.) Morgan said he “feared for his life” when Rogers picked up a coffee table as a possible weapon, even though he positioned himself at the front door.
(Couldn’t he have left and called for backup instead of shooting?) After a weeklong trial and even with the assault charge reduced from 2nd degree to a 3rd degree misdemeanor by the judge, the jury was deadlocked and the trial ended in a hung jury.
I recently called the Attorney General’s Office about the results of the year-long investigation of this police officer-involved shooting of an unarmed citizen and endangerment of his 87-year-old mother. Spokesman Jason Miller told me that the investigation was not complete yet! I was referred to the state police about their separate investigation, but have not received a return call from Sgt. Shavack.
In the interim though, Trooper Morgan has been promoted to corporal before the AG’s investigation is even complete.
I think Michael Rogers has suffered enough in surviving an unnecessary, mishandled police home intrusion and near killing for an $89 ticket. The state has had its day in court. The police got their pound of flesh (with blood) and the jury has spoken. In retrying the case, it seems that the prosecution has turned to persecution.
Drop the charges, Mr. Biden. You luckily escaped a wrongful death suit. Call it a day.