Cheryl Pitchford, the mother of a Reno (NV) teen who pulled out a pair of butcher knives and attempted to hack his classmates into kibble is demanding that school police use less-lethal systems so that violent thugs like her child stand a fighting chance.
The family and friends of a 14-year-old Reno boy who was shot by a school district police officer marched to the district headquarters Wednesday afternoon to protest the use of lethal force at the high school campus.
Logan Clark’s mother, Cheryl Pitchford, was joined by about 100 people who jammed into the reception area at the Washoe County School District headquarters Wednesday afternoon to demand someone formally accept the petition that calls for campus officers to carry Tasers and pepper spray.
She was joined by Demick La Flamme, the father of a friend of the hospitalized boy, who led the 2-mile march and delivered the petition to school officials.
Police say Clark, who was publicly identified by his father Justin Clark, was threatening others with knives when he was shot in the chest December 7 while surrounded by dozens of students in a school courtyard at Procter R. Hug High School.
According to Logan Clark’s Facebook page, the stabby juvenile delinquent had numerous brushes with the law prior to attempting to filet his peers, and only returned to the school from a juvenile prison just two weeks before carrying out his attack.
Clark’s brother Devin Clark and other family members joined in a call for what they’ve dubbed “Logan’s Law,” so that violent, mentally-unstable teens stand a fighting chance against law enforcement.
Devin said his brother was wrong to bring two knives to school but didn’t deserve to be shot.
“I just don’t think a kid should be shot for their emotions or defending themselves,” he said.
The family’s attorney, David Houston, said Logan had reported to school officials he was being bullied and was defending himself from being hurt by older students. Houston said Logan was punched and was bleeding from the mouth.
“I don’t know why the first response is to try and shoot a kid without trying some other sort of intervention,” Houston said last week.
Curiously absent from the conversation are the several students that Clark stalked towards and lunged at with knives before he turned his attention to the school resource officer.
Logan’s father, Justin Clark, tried to downplay his son’s attack on his classmates by claiming that he was only armed with dull butter knives.
The knives weren’t even useful, he said — they were dull butter knives from Logan’s grandmother’s kitchen, said Clark.
That must be one heck of a tub of butter.
Presumably, this gaggle of semi-literate halfwits is convinced that if the school resource officer on campus was equipped with pepper spray or a taser that the outcome of this incident would have been different.
It wouldn’t have been, and based on photos of other school resource officers (including the one right beside Pitchford), SROs do have access to tasers and pepper spray and batons.
The fact remains that neither a baton nor a taser nor pepper spray is the correct option when a lone officer is face with a deadly force threat, such a crazed student armed with two very large butcher knives, not the “dull butter knives” Justin Clark so dishonestly described.
It doesn’t matter if the SRO was pulling a little red wagon full of the latest and greatest non-lethal toys behind him; when a law enforcement officer (or a homeowner, or a concealed carrier) encounters someone carrying lethal weapons, the correct response is to go to guns.
Do not grab a baton, or pepper spray, or a taser. When a violent suspect deploys a deadly weapon, you must as well. Whether or not you then use that weapon is a matter of circumstance and discretion, but it is clearly the only right tool for the job for an individual facing a deadly force threat.
Clark’s family is attempting to blame-shift this attack onto the school and the school resource officer.
They refuse to accept the reality that their serial criminal son and brother is solely responsible from the premeditated introduction of deadly force into his high school. Logan Clark, and Logan Clark alone, was responsible for deploying those weapons and attempting to use them against his fellow students. Logan Clark and Logan Clark alone stalked towards dimwitted gaggles of students and lunged at them with weapons. It was Logan Clark and Logan Clark alone who heard the SRO yell at him to drop the knives, and instead of surrendering, cocked back his knives and started stalking toward to the armed officer.
This was a horrible situation, but it was driven by the actions of Logan Clark, and he alone bears the blame for putting the school resource officer in a position where deciding to use his firearm was absolutely the right response to stop Logan Clark’s attack.