Historically, provocation when taken to protect yourself, your family or belongings has always been an accepted defense in court. In Spokane, as in all communities, police have shot numerous people in the process of committing major crimes. It’s known as justice and consequences and was the karma a person brought upon themselves for preying on others.
On Nov. 3, 1898, an article appeared in the Spokane Daily Chronicle stating: “Shoot Down the Thugs. Every Able Bodied Man in Spokane Is Called to Take Arms in Defense of Life and Property. Reign of Terror Must Be Ended.” This headline was announced by Mayor E.D. Olmsted and supported by the police chief. As a consequence, crime did decrease.
Gail Gerlach was presented with a decision he had seconds to make. Brendon Kaluza-Graham was stealing his vehicle and the tools of his trade, a felony against Gerlach that was about to drastically impact his family and his livelihood. The selfish act Kaluza-Graham was in the process of committing was unfortunate, as his joyride was cut short. Mostly, he provoked a responsible, law-abiding citizen who made a split-second decision.
I don’t think Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker thought this one out.