Virginia Officer Acquitted of Charges Prosecutors Should Never Have Brought

Virginia Officer Acquitted of Charges Prosecutors Should Never Have Brought

By Steve Pomper

In places where the radicals are running things, it’s distressing how often something that should never have become a thing have become a thing. This happens when people forget who they are, what their jobs are—oh, and what color the sky is in the real world. 

Every judge, prosecutor, defense attorney, and cop understands that to charge someone with a crime, there has to be credible evidence the person committed a crime. Well, it should, but in Virginia in 2020, prosecutors charged a man with a crime without any evidence he’d committed a crime. In fact, there was plenty of evidence he did not commit a crime.

Oh, by the way, the man they charged is a cop. 

The prosecutors didn’t like what the cop did—period. Not because it was a crime but just because they didn’t like it. And, for them, that’s apparently enough to conjure a pretend crime. 

In January 2020, Norfolk (VA) Police Department (NPD) Officer Edmund “Ryan” Hoyt received a phone call from his frantic wife, Jessica Hoyt, telling him a man was threatening her and their young daughters with a knife. 

The Virginia Pilot reported, “The officer was off duty when he received a call from his wife that afternoon, telling him that a man armed with a knife was threatening her and their two young daughters as they were walking to the store.”

Mrs. Hoyt told police the suspect had blocked her pushing her stroller on the sidewalk. She said when she asked the man to move, instead, he stepped toward them. She warned the man she was carrying mace and would use it. 

She also told investigators the suspect had a knife and, as reported by WVEC, “threatened to stab her in the face” (at this point, I’m thinking this guy has no business being upright, never mind being anywhere near decent people).

Then, showing how hesitant officers are to use force these days, WVEC reported Hoyt “holstered his weapon and attempted to subdue the armed man.” 

Understand that consistent with police training and the law, when confronting an armed suspect who’d threatened to stab a mother with two kids and then refused to comply with an armed police officer’s legal orders, the officer was justified in using lethal force. But he didn’t immediately do so, which showed his reserve and attempts to “de-escalate.” 

Police described, as reported by WVEC, the suspect was “over six feet tall and weighed 285 pounds and had ‘several sharp weapons on him…” during the incident.

Only after the man resisted Officer Hoyt’s attempts to arrest him and pulled a knife did Hoyt draw his gun and shoot the suspect, killing him. Jessica Hoyt testified to all of this during the trial. 

Why was there a trial? Has anyone heard any evidence pointing to a crime that prosecutors could try Officer Hoyt for? No. Me either.

It took prosecutors seven months to get stupid enough to charge Officer Hoyt with voluntary manslaughter—for shooting a man threatening him and his family with a knife. 

To understand the prosecutors’ gross stupidity, you must suspend any confidence you have in leftist-run criminal justice systems in the U.S. While Officer Hoyt’s department supported him throughout, keeping him on administrative duties, and with his lawyers describing his actions as

“defending himself and his family from a violent attacker at the time of the

incident,” the ideologue prosecutors elevated their stupidity to stratospheric heights. 

According to WVEC, the following quote is why the prosecutors charged the officer with a “crime.”

“[The suspect] had a history of schizophrenia and alleged Officer Hoyt escalated the situation to ‘another level’ when he pointed his gun at the knife-wielding suspect.”

The stupid-meter just broke.  

The prosecutors apparently manufactured a “crime.” They charged the cop with the “crime” of shooting a suspect because he has a history of mental illness as if that somehow reduced the suspect’s danger to the officer. Also, how was the officer supposed to know about the suspect’s mental health status? And even if he knew, holding that knife, how would it matter? 

When using force, cops react to physical threats—period. When a suspect is threatening them with lethal force, officers don’t care about the suspect’s personal history—of any kind. If they did, they’d be joining the prosecutors on their lofty perch atop Mount Stupid. 

Do I have this right? The prosecutors charged the officer with a crime for “pointing his gun at the knife-wielding suspect.” 

Here’s where I like to use a thought experiment. What other reasonable option did the officer have? The officer had firsthand witness information the suspect had threatened his wife and children with a knife. Was he supposed hypnotize the suspect and get him to suddenly surrender or make him fall asleep on the sidewalk? Or, should the cop have let the suspect go free, so he could threaten and maybe hurt or kill someone else’s family? 

No, really. What were the officer’s reasonable options? Even if this were not his family, he was still obligated to do exactly what he did.   

I usually give family members of even deceased scumbags some courtesy. However, back on Mount Stupid, the suspect’s brother reportedly felt “Officer Hoyt knew how to stop his brother without using deadly force because of his training as a law enforcement officer, but that he chose to shoot him anyway.” 

Sometimes lethal force is the only way to “de-escalate” a life-or-death situation. 

This should be obvious, but when Officer Hoyt shot the suspect, he did precisely as cops are trained. The suspect’s brother also asserted, “I believe that [Officer Hoyt] came out there with the intent to do what he done [kill his brother].” 

If that were true, then why did Officer Hoyt, instead of shooting his brother, initially attempt to subdue him, even knowing he was armed with a knife?  

Fortunately, this jury did not follow the prosecutors up Mount Stupid. They understood Officer Hoyt had committed no crime and acquitted him.

This rational jury restored what prosecutors had turned into a thing, something that should never have been a thing in the first place