DURHAM, N.C — A federal judge ruled that Durham police officer Darrell Bartlett was justified in shooting his sidearm wildly in all directions because he was gripped with fear that death can come for him at any moment, sources report.
“This court has found that Officer Bartlett acted within the bound afforded to him as an officer of the law,” said US District Judge Jenna Davidson in a statement. “Any deaths or injuries caused by the actions of Officer Bartlett are an unfortunately necessary and acceptable part of the duties of law enforcement, as he was in that moment scared of everything that exists that could take his life. In the line of duty, police officers must make snap decisions, including the risk of deranged snipers, reckless motorists, chunks of ice falling from the wings of passing jet airlines, and the silent killer, colon cancer. This ruling shows that police are also justified in using deadly force when they are haunted by existential threats like climate change and an inevitable AI takeover.”
Officer Bartlett was relieved by Judge Davidson’s decision, but still shaken by the experience.
“I will never forget how in a split second as I was taking a break to get coffee,” said Bartlett. “I suddenly and truly realized the concept of human mortality and that it applied to me personally, just as it has applied to each and every human that has ever existed. My newfound understanding that my life was nothing more than a tiny grain of sand on an infinite beach and that it’s always in danger of being snuffed out by an uncaring and faceless death set in, and naturally, I fired my weapon to protect myself.”
“I mean, I really shot the fuck out of that coffee shop,” Bartlett added. “Like just clip after clip.”
Barista Francisca Reyes was at the scene when Officer Bartlett grasped the fragility of his existence.
“I thought this might actually be the time a cop was punished for being reckless,” said Reyes, flinching at a car backfire. “I didn’t realize that qualified immunity could be interpreted to mean a cop can basically become a mass shooter and never face any consequences. And I really don’t understand why he’s receiving the Medal of Valor. Our legal system is absolutely broken. I mean, just look up Tennessee v. Garner and tell me we don’t live in a society where a cop can blow your fucking brains out for no reason.”
As of press time, Officer Bartlett was poking through his station’s evidence locker after realizing life was too short to not ever try cocaine.