Remember the FBI agent who had a negligent discharge after his weapon fell out of his pants while dancing at a club? The round hit someone in the crowd, and a lot of us were pretty upset.
The agent was charged, as he should have been. After all, he shot someone who didn’t need shooting. That’s how the system is supposed to work.
The agent in question, however, has now entered a plea deal which will allow him to avoid jail time.
Chase Bishop was already guilty of poor judgment on the dance floor, but on Friday the FBI agent pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge in order to avoid jail time.
Bishop was off-duty at a Denver bar in early June when he attempted a back flip while dancing and his service gun fell out of his waistband and landed on the ground. As Bishop went to pick up the gun, he accidentally fired a shot. The bullet hit an onlooker, Thomas Reddington, 24, in his left leg. He was not seriously injured.
The defendant pleaded guilty to third-degree assault, which is a Class 1 misdemeanor, and he was immediately sentenced to two years probation. Under the plea agreement, the more serious charge of second-degree assault was dismissed.
The question is, would anyone else have gotten a deal like this?
Honestly, I don’t know. I can speculate, and I know a lot of other people are. Many can’t help but believe that they wouldn’t have been offered the same deal, that they’d be on the hook for the second-degree assault or, at the very least, get some jail time for doing the same thing.
Then there’s the question as to whether Bishop will continue as an FBI agent.
According to Fox News, an FBI spokesperson declined to comment on whether or not Bishop will still have a job or not. Some are speculating–a favorite pastime of the internet–that the refusal to comment on the matter is somehow evidence that Bishop will continue working for the bureau. To be fair, though, if he were fired, one would expect to at least be told Bishop was no longer employed by the FBI.
The victim in the incident, Tom Reddington, however, has no ambiguity about his employment status.
From Fox News:
Tom Reddington, 24, the man who was shot, spoke in court saying he lost his job at an Amazon warehouse following the shooting and may never be able to run again.
“I have done months of physical therapy,” Reddington said. “I have sought counseling. However, being in public, especially seeing law enforcement with guns, makes me very uncomfortable.”
However, he added that he does not hold a personal grudge against Bishop and didn’t think he deserved to spend years in jail.
“I’ve done stupid things at bars to impress girls, too,” Reddington said.
He said he hoped Bishop didn’t “carry a gun for a long time.”
It remains to be seen whether Reddington will get his hope or not.