by John Grooms
It would be great to be able to say that the suspended sentence given to former police officer Martray Proctor is unbelievable, but its sadly all too believable. Police who kill are never given jail time in this city whether you slam into somebody while driving way too fast, get trigger-happy and kill a cellphone tower worker for no reason, shoot the passenger in a car that rolled through a license check, its all good, according to the DAs office. And the family of whomever was killed? Historically, theyve been lucky to get an apology, much less any monetary compensation.
In March 2009, Proctor responded recklessly to a routine call for backup at a traffic stop, roaring at 111 mph through a 45 mph zone, without turning on his lights or siren. He crashed into and killed 20-year-old Shatona Robinson, who was pulling onto Old Statesville Road in her Ford Escort. Proctor had previously been charged three times for speeding, including driving 86 mph in a 60 mph zone, and once, after he was hired by CMPD, for driving 63 mph in a 35 mph zone. Many observers assumed Proctors record of speeding would be held against him.
At first, it looked as if this particular killer cop case would be different. Proctor was actually charged with involuntary manslaughter, and the city settled a lawsuit brought by Robinsons mother for $700,000. It seemed as if justice might be served after all. But yesterday, after Proctor pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and told Judge Timothy Patti that he wanted to study to become a minister, the judge gave the former officer a suspended sentence, 75 hours of community service, a whopping $250 fine, and three years of probation. Oh, and he wished Proctor success with his studies. The word is that Proctor was devastated by Robinsons death and is trying to turn things around and be an asset to blahblahblah. Which will do Shatona Robinson exactly zero good. Who knew that all you had to do to get away with recklessly causing someone elses death is to say youre sorry?