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by January 3, 2014
On December 29, 2012 police were called to a residence in Biddeford, Maine and decided not to arrest a man who had threatened to shoot his tenants. Only three minutes after leaving the scene, police were called back to find that two of the tenants had been killed and another was wounded. The following excerpt details the police department's reasoning for their failure to protect the victims:
Quoted from http://wgme.com/news/top-stories/stories/wgme_vid_14917.shtml
Police also say the officer’s hands were legally tied and they had no legal reason to arrest [James Earl] Pak for criminal threatening, even though he threatened his tenants.
19-year-old Derrick Thompson did what you're supposed to do when you feel threatened. He called police. Biddeford police officers responded, but tell me they had no legal cause to arrest James Earl Pak, even though, according to the court paperwork, "Thompson told Officer Dexter that Pak claimed he was going to shoot them and made a hand motion in front of them." But, officers did not arrest Pak for criminal threatening because "Thompson told Officer Dexter he was not fearful and did not believe that Pak would do anything that he claimed."
Under Maine law, a person is only guilty of criminal threatening if he intentionally or knowingly places another person in fear of imminent bodily injury. So because Thompson said he wasn't afraid, police could not arrest Pak. The officers left and within three minutes, Pak had shot and killed Derrick Thompson and his girlfriend Alivia Welch, and shot and wounded Thompson's mother.
We, the people who sign this petition, want our Legislators to pass a law requiring police officers in Maine to detain, arrest or order a psychiatric evaluation of any person who threatens another with a weapon regardless of whether or not the intended victim feels threatened.
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