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U. of C. shooting video is a model of proper police conduct

University of Chicago student Charles Thomas with friend Olivia De Keyser. | Olivia De Keyser photo

The body camera video of a University of Chicago police officer shooting a student Tuesday night in Hyde Park is horrifying, but not for the usual reasons. We’re used to seeing video of police shooting either unarmed or non-threatening persons — sometimes numerous times and sometimes after they are down.

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Not so with the body camera clip released within 12 hours of this shooting. The officer acts with restraint that almost defies explanation, backpedaling for 50 seconds as the crowbar-armed offender walks and then charges the officer who — after repeated warnings — fires one non-lethal shot, ending the potentially deadly attack on the officer.

One command stands out: “Sir, I’m going to need you to drop that weapon. Drop that weapon. Don’t come at me! Don’t come at me!” The offender will live to face serious charges including assault on a police officer.

The police officer responded in a way that almost appears to be a staged event, showing what professional police work requires. But this was real. Maybe that body camera video should be shown to all of America’s police officers — and all new trainees — to demonstrate that fear for one’s safety in a dark alley from a charging, out of control offender must be met with wisdom, courage and doing the right thing.

Walt Zlotow, Glen Ellyn

Government classification of marijuana is like saying corn is cancerous

The government lists marijuana as a Schedule I drug. But doing so is equivalent to listing corn as a carcinogen.

Marijuana does not even come close to qualifying for Schedule I status. To be Schedule I, a substance has no accepted medical use, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision and a high potential for abuse.

Many of our states have legalized medical marijuana, so it is definitely disqualified on the first count. And no one has died of marijuana overdose, something you can’t say for legal opioids.

So, why is marijuana classified schedule I? Just look at the effects: It has enabled mass incarceration of blacks; it has enabled a thriving black market of drugs to thrive; it has enabled the pharmaceutical industry to successfully peddle unsafe drugs for the relief of pain.

So, which are intended and which are unintended outcomes?

Lee Knohl, Evanston

Wall Street gets the hang of our ‘impetuous leader’

Leave it to Wall Street to solve the riddle of how to deal with Donald Trump.

The day after the Dow fell 600 points (largely due to the president’s threats to add more tariffs) it rebounded dramatically, even though there were no significant changes to the global economy.

A leading authority in stock trading was asked how and why this could be? He said that in his opinion Wall Street is finally getting the hang of ignoring the outlandish posturing of our impetuous leader.

Now if only the news media could learn from their example and lay off all those presidential tweets. Maybe even find some other ways to fill the inevitable entertainment void — like more human-interest stories, photos of space aliens or 200-pound two-headed babies.

Anything to take our minds off of the senseless chatter that originates in the vast emptiness of Trump’s subconscious where the truth is suppressed in favor of conspiracy theories.

I’ve learned the hard way that my mental health is more important than keeping up with the latest breaking news. And who knows, ignorance just might become the latest status symbol?

Bob Ory, Elgin