Off-Ramp | Off-Ramp host John Rabe and contributors share thoughts on arts, culture, and life in L.A.
Crime & Justice

Where's the outrage over Miami police shooting of face-eating Rudy Eugene?

Undated mugshot of Rudy Eugene
Undated mugshot of Rudy Eugene

Look, I know the late Rudy Eugene does not present as sympathetic. In fact, he's probably the least sympathetic person in the news right now.

Eugene is the reportedly homeless shot to death by Miami police when he wouldn't stop eating another man's face. Police say they arrived at the scene, saw him eating the man's face, and ordered him to stop. Euegene supposedly turned and growled at them, then resumed eating, so they shot him. Six times.

According to a local tv station, '"When the officer approached him, told him to stop, pointed a gun at him, he turned around and growled like a wild animal and kept eating at the man's face," Fraternal Order of Police President Armando Aguilar said Sunday.'

Another outlet said Eugene "had to be shot" six times before he stopped. He had to be shot? I know it's horrific, but is anyone out there questioning whether the officer should have used less lethal force, like a taser? 

One outlet dubbed him a "Real Life Hannibal Lecter." Another a "zombie." A better description might be a man who is obviously on drugs, mentally ill, or a combination of the two.

-- Maybe the officer felt he had to shoot his gun to save the victim ... in which case, is it police procedure to shoot at someone who is so close to another person?

-- Maybe the officer felt personally threatened ... although I haven't seen anything to indicate Eugene advanced at the officer.

-- What is Miami police standard operating procedure when they encounter someone attacking another person?

-- There's speculation by the FOP's Aguilar that Eugene was on a potent form on LSD dubbed "bath salts." Maybe he was, but aren't the various police unions the ones who are always asking us to "wait until all the facts are in" in officer-involved shootings? There's no toxicology report available yet, so we don't know whether Eugene was on drugs at all.

If it's SOP to shoot in those instances, okay, and let's see that included in the coverage, and lay off on the zombie, Lecter, and bath salts comments. My only point here is to ask some questions nobody seems to be asking because this is such a gruesome, sensational case.

If you have answers, please leave them below in the comments section.

Correction: This story initially misidentified Rudy Eugene as "Randy Eugene."