Over this past weekend, to the outrage of many, rumors spread that Navy
Lt. Commander Timothy White would face weapons charges due to his role
in the Chattanooga shooting last month. White, who allegedly fired back
at the perpetrator in that attack, would have needed to carry a personal
firearm into the facility to do so—an action that is strictly prohibited
in stateside military facilities.
On July 16, Muhammad Abdulazeez opened fire on Navy Operational Support
Center in Chattanooga, killing four marines and one sailor. While the
incident is still under investigation, there were quickly reports that
some military personnel had returned fire on Abdulazeez (including from the
Washington Post). However, the Navy Operational Support Center, like countless military
facilities across the country, has a strict no firearm policy for service
men and women.
Last Saturday, retired Army Lt. Colonel and FOX New Contributor Allen West
wrote on his website that he had gotten word that Lt. Commander Timothy White, the support
center's commanding officer, would be facing weapons charges for returning
fire on Abdulazeez, an action that many consider a heroic act. The government's
no gun policy on domestic military outposts is already controversial among
military supporters and West's writing on the matter was quickly circulated
to other pundit websites, blogs, and social media.
Clarification from the Navy
By Sunday, August 2, the Navy began to
clarify their position on the story on social media. In a Facebook response to angry commenters,
they said that "stories of Navy personnel being charged with an offense
are not true. There is still a long way to go in reviewing the facts of
this tragic incident, but at this time we can confirm no service member
has been charged with an offense."
For some, the fact that charges for White have not been ruled out is still
unacceptable. However, the Chattanooga shooting was a recent, violent
incident that is still currently under investigation. No one—least
of all White and his family—can benefit from rampant speculation
following an event as tragic as this. It is still unclear how this case
will be resolved, but, as with any violent event, a proper investigation
and due process must be protected in order to best serve the survivors.
If you are a military service man or woman facing a criminal or disciplinary
charge, you have a choice in representation.
Joseph L. Jordan, Attorney at Law is a military defense lawyer with nearly a decade of experience with the
Army. He and his team have effectively defended members of almost every
branch of the military stationed all over the globe. He has built his
reputation on ensuring that his clients' voices are heard and, more
importantly, securing favorable case results on their behalf.
Do not hesitate to start mounting your defense. Contact us today for a
free case evaluation.