Eloff is in no position to dictate officers’ fate
Robert Eloff, then a Buffalo police officer, sworn to uphold the law, fails to “act appropriately the night William C. Sager Jr. received fatal brain injuries at Molly’s Pub.” Eloff pleads “guilty in federal court to a misdemeanor civil rights violation in connection with Donald Hall, Sager’s friend,” and resigns, according to the July 14 News.
Now, he decides to accept full blame for his actions and urges the police commissioner to spare any other officers on the scene from administrative discipline for their failure to interfere and protect Sager’s life. Eloff advises the commissioner that only he, Eloff, was at fault and that no action should be taken against any other police officer on the scene.
How noble! One would expect that kind of loyalty from within a common, well-organized criminal gang, not from the disgraced former member of the Buffalo Police Department. The fact is that every police officer present at Molly’s that night had an individual duty to protect Sager, assuming he or she could observe the actions and understand what was happening.
The commissioner should reach an appropriate decision on whether discipline should be imposed on anyone other than Eloff. We can only hope that, in doing so, he will not be influenced by Eloff’s morally reprehensible interference in the commissioner’s own administrative determination process.
William H. Gardner