From the movie Righteous Kill the tag line is “There’s Nothing Wrong With A Little Shooting As Long As the Right People Get Shot“…sure that’s Hollywood, but it seems this could be applied to the law enforcement investigation of Seattle Detective Ron Smith whose felony assault charges for shooting a member of the Hells Angels motorcycle club in Sturgis were dismissed yesterday.
Dropped because as Jesse Sondreal (Meade County State Attorney) states:
“the investigation that I have reviewed indicates he (Smith) was assaulted and it was premeditated.” The investigation established that Detective Smith was defending himself from a violent pre-meditated attack and he responded in a manner which was neither excessive nor unreasonable under the circumstances.
While the case illustrates reserving final judgment until all facts are examined it leaves some unanswered questions about how much, if any, the Sturgis incident was influenced by Smith’s testimony in a Hell’s Angel federal racketeering and murder trial in Seattle last year which sent several former and current members of the motorcycle “club” to prison ranging from seven years to life without parole. Or how much the decision to dismiss the assault charges were based on the lack of cooperation of the HAMC who wouldn’t testify before the grand jury?
The Seattle Times (Jennifer Sullivan) reports HERE that Court records and police testimony indicate Smith has clashed with another Hells Angel back in 2005. Authorities filed charges alleging that Anthony James Magnesi, a member of the Washington Nomads chapter of the Hells Angels, had threatened Smith over the phone. The end result from an internal investigation dismissed misdemeanor charges filed against Magnesi and Smith was referred to his supervisor for a training issue. Much more on the Magnesi clashes HERE.
Detective Smith will return to full active duty (he was on administrative leave pending results) and obviously the Seattle Police Officers Guild is happy with the outcome and issued a press release HERE.
For more background information look at:
- Northwest Harley Blog Archive | Iron Pigs Ride The Northwest
- Northwest Harley Blog Archive | When Iron Pigs Fly
- Northwest Harley Blog Archive | Sturgis Ends With First Shooting In 20 Years
- NEW – Northwest Harley Blog Archive | Behind The Scenes Of The Sturgis Shooting
- NEW – Northwest Harley Blog Archive | Cash Is The Icing On Iron Pigs HR218 Cupcake
I don’t know about you, but I’m a bit conflicted and feeling this outcome is anti-climatic. Does this mean the Iron Pigs won’t return to Sturgis next year? Can the motorcycle events industry afford yet another motorcycle “club” clash?
Operator, I need Mr. Happy. Now!
Update: November 18, 2008 – Weapons charges dropped. See HERE for more info.
Update: May 7, 2010 – Detective Ronald Smith has filed a lawsuit against the city of Seattle and the Seattle Police Department. Even though all charges were dropped the suit alleges the department disparaged him and negligently provided false information that led to his indictment on a perjury charge. This was an embarrassment and the lawsuit contends his reputation was harmed.
Photo courtesy of the movie Righteous Kill web site.