When FBI agent Chase Bishop went to a Denver bar, he probably didn’t expect to be part of an incident that might well ruin his career. The dancing agent has now been charged following the negligent discharge of his firearm on a crowded dance floor.
From a press release from Denver District Attorney Beth McCann:
FEDERAL AGENT CHARGED IN FIREARM DISCHARGE INCIDENT
Denver District Attorney Beth McCann has formally charged an off-duty FBI agent in connection with the discharge of his weapon at a Denver nightclub.
Chase Bishop (dob: 06-19-1988) is charged with one count of assault in the second degree-(F4). Bishop turned himself in to Denver Police on Tuesday June 12th. The charge was filed today.
Additional charge(s) may be filed based on the results of a pending blood alcohol content (BAC) analysis of the defendant, which has not yet been received.
“We are filing this charge now rather than waiting until the BAC report is received, which we understand could take another week, because sufficient evidence has been presented to file it,” DA McCann said. “If an additional charge needs to be filed after further evidence is received, we can file those charges then.”
The charge alleges that in the early morning of Saturday, June 2, 2018, Bishop was dancing in a nightclub at 2201 Lawrence Street when his firearm dislodged from the holster and fell onto the floor. When he retrieved his handgun, it discharged, hitting another patron. The victim suffered a serious, but non-life threatening, gunshot injury in the lower leg.
Bishop is scheduled to appear on June 13th at 8:30 a.m. in courtroom 5B for 1st & 2nd advisement.
Of course, that initial court appearance would have taken place yesterday, but as it’s just an initial court appearance, there doesn’t seem to be much news around it.
Bishop’s negligent shot struck another bar patron, making this a potential class 4 felony. He’s looking at a fine of up to $500,000 and six years behind bars.
I don’t expect him to get the harshest sentence possible, however. This was clearly not intentional. There was no malice, and I suspect that will lessen the sentence to some degree. However, Bishop being charged is important if for no other reason than to make it clear that FBI agents don’t get special permission to be stupid.
Alright, there are plenty of FBI jokes to the contrary, I’m sure, but you know what I mean.
What Bishop did was stupid. On every level, it was stupid. Had any of us done that same thing, we’d have been charged. Now, Bishop has been charged too.
Personally, I think we’d have been charged a whole lot sooner, but that ship set sail long, long ago. At least he’s being charged now. FBI agents don’t have a special status that makes them immune from prosecution for things like this, and that’s what’s great about the American system. Everyone is supposed to be treated the same. While it doesn’t always work out that way, it sure is here.
In the meantime, though, remember this the next time you’re tempted to bust a move at a bar with your gun in a crappy holster with no retention.