Young white woman with straight brown hair smiling and holding a blonde girl baby

Donna Dalton and daughter

Cop’s hand injured – civilian executed with eight shots in return: Once again a Columbus Police Department (CPD) officer dubiously reveals what a pathetic abject coward he really is (though the Free Press is cautiously suspicious of every version of an officer-involved killing that involves the phrase “I feared for my life.”)

In Franklinton on August 23, Officer Andrew Mitchell shot 23-year-old Donna Dalton (Castleberry) eight times in his cruiser after she allegedly stabbed his hand with a knife.

Think about it. You are a 30-year grizzled veteran on the CPD vice squad. You’ve got 80 prostitution arrests under your belt just this calendar year, because your beat is the west side of the city where young women gather.

You are undercover. You are in an unmarked car. The rest of the story is unclear.

Of course, we don’t have a “he said, she said” situation since “she” is dead. And there are no witnesses.

Maybe no one saw what happened because somehow your car is parked in a secluded area with a young alleged sex worker inside, allegedly in the front seat. The passenger side door is allegedly against a wall, presumably preventing her from being able to open it and get out.

For some reason, she stabs you with a knife – a big one, albeit one that the CPD has yet to reveal to the public.

You feel your life is threatened and are distraught over your bleeding hand, brought on by a barely-100-pound young woman in your car. Yet you manage to get out your gun and shoot her eight times “in self defense.”

Eight times. Dead.

Hmm. Does your narrative add up? Why did she stab you?

The imagination soars with questions. Was she a crazed maniac on a violent stabbing spree? Did she lure you there in hopes of injuring your hand? What was your relationship with her? Why was she in the car with you, parked? Were you threatening her? Were you shaking her down for money or sex? Did she know you were a cop? Did she really stab you at all?

Also, you are the subject of a CPD Internal Affairs investigation, according to the Appeal website, and there have been “multiple previous complaints” about your behavior. Interestingly, the Appeal also reported that there is an audio recording of the incident, yet to be revealed by the CPD. 

More questions surface. Were you trained on how to deal with young sex workers who may have knives? Are the CPD officers trained to deal with anyone with a knife? Because recently there seems to be several instances that a Columbus Police officer is confronted with a person with a knife and that person is shot dead. Seems like overkill to me, pardon the pun.

Why are Columbus Police so wimpy? Why do they perpetually fear for their lives and subsequently shoot people they think will hurt them? This is a disturbing issue. We should be proud of our strong, brave police officers who are keeping us safe – not worrying that a cop will look at us funny and possibly shoot us because they are a gutless, chicken-livered, scaredy-cat.

Or, do we have a different problem? Possibly, these cops aren’t scared. That may just be the storyline they are taught to spout after they’ve done something terribly wrong. Perhaps, just perhaps, they are infused with so much macho masculinity that their testosterone bubbles up when they get mad at being stabbed, let’s say, and causes them to discharge their weapons in a deadly fashion as if playing a video game.

Or there could be an uglier, darker situation going on. Again, TV show plots about dirty cops and prostitutes inspire more imaginative scenarios.

We don’t know the real story. No one is talking so far. Not Chief Jacobs, not a city official, not Zach Klein, not Andy Ginther. Will there be accountability? If the results are anything like the outcome of suspicious CPD killings of Henry Green, Tyre King and countless others in Columbus, sadly we don’t think so.

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