I have two cases I’ve become involved in which the media has an interest. One is a tragic explosion and fire which injured and killed workers at a refinery near Anacortes, Washington state. The other is case of a drunk man who was sitting in his car in parking lot outside a bar when the cops arrived after being called by patrons inside with whom he had had an argument. Officer Troy Meade of the Everett police department was on the driver’s side, the driver’s window down and officer Steve Klocker on the passenger side. Meade and the driver got into an increasingly loud argument when the driver, Niles Meservey refused to get out. Meade then tasered him twice. The car lurched forward into a fence at which point Meade shouted "enough is enough. Time is up" and opened fire through the back window hitting Meservey seven times killing him. Klocker told investigators no one was in danger and the shooting wasn’t justified. After a three month investigation by a team of law enforcement officers the report was submitted to the prosecutor, who, for the first time in the history of county, filled murder charges against Meade. I’ve filed a lawsuit against the city and the criminal trial is going on now. It’s being reported in the papers and on TV resulting in a lot of letters to the editor and public comment.
In both cases, I’ve seen a comment to the effect that "the lawyer will say it’s not about the money, but everyone knows it is about the money." My response, every time I’ve heard this, is "Of course it’s about the money. What else could it be about if you want truth, accountability and change of conduct?" Money is the only means our system offers for justice. We aren’t allowed to shoot the person who killed our loved one or kill the refinery executives in an explosion for justice. We have only one means of obtaining justice and that’s the language all corporations speak, listen to and understand: money. So, yes, it is about the money because money represents accountability, reimbursement for harm done and a reason to adopt safe practices.