News Release

Police can learn from Secret Service handling of White House gunman

Washington, DC (February 7, 2001) -- In response to the disabling and apprehension of Robert Pickett outside the White House today, Edward Mallett, president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, issued the following statement:

"Even the most dangerous suspect does not deserve execution in the street, except as a last resort. Recall that New York police fired 41 bullets at Amadou Diallo, an unarmed man, and killed him with 19 of them. And in Los Angeles this past Halloween, Anthony Dwain Lee died in a hail of 6 shots for pointing a toy gun at a police officer. Time and investigation will determine if shooting Robert Pickett was necessary. But if all law enforcement officers would make live apprehension of dangerous suspects a priority, and use only the force necessary to accomplish that, numerous lives would be saved every year."

Mallett is a criminal defense lawyer in Houston. He can be reached at (713) 228-1521 or (713) 444-8146.

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NACDL Communications Department

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal legal system.