We now know that John Deming wasn't under the influence of drugs that evening. It doesn't really matter if he was on drugs or not. It was his actions the created the end result of the evening. We now know that whatever made him act the way he did was due to some internal dysfunction.
So, going backward in time, I've been thinking of what signs John Deming may have exhibited in the days and weeks before his death. I've also been thinking of who may have seen those signs, and what corrective actions could have been taken.
And I'm thinking about John Deming's father, the reserve police officer, and why he's so adamant that the Pleasanton police acted incorrectly. Surely as a police officer he'd understand the situation his son put the Pleasanton police in. And before the night he was killed, surely the father would have noticed if his son was exhibiting symptoms of an upcoming mental breakdown.
So, who was in a position to see John, and what could they have done?
Friends: We don't know who John's friends were or what they may have noticed about him. Either they didn't act, or whatever actions they took weren't enough to make a change. I'm confident that the attorney prosecuting his death has instructed all of his known friends to keep mum. So we'll probably never know.
Clergy, teachers: Again we don't know.
John Deming himself: I wonder what he knew. Did he feel something was going on, did he reach out for help? I wonder if medication might have helped. Perhaps he had a prescription, and like so many, decided not to take it.
Cops: The Pleasanton cops couldn't and didn't see anything prior to that night. Unfortunately they were there only at the very end.
The most reasonable answer I can come up with - who was in a position to see, and who could have made a change - are the parents. They were the people in the best position to see that something was awry with their son. The kid was only 19. They would have been the people to start a course correction. We know that they were in very recent contact with their son; he was traveling from one parent's house to the other's that evening when, for unknown reasons, he stopped in Pleasanton and broke into the dealership.
It's possible that their son didn't exhibit any signs or symptoms of unbalance. It's more likely that he did show some signs, and the parents didn't notice, or noticed but didn't act.
Perhaps the parents feel tremendous guilt, and that is what has led them to file suit against the police, as a tactic to deflect blame away from themselves. Using a celebrity attorney, in fact.
Whatever John Deming knew is gone and buried with him. Whatever his parents know, they'll never tell, because of their lawsuit. That's unfortunate, because if they did see something, bringing it to light would help others in their son's predicament. I believe in time we'll get a full and accurate report from the police and DA about the events of that evening, but that will only center on those few minutes spent in the dealership. It still won't answer the question of why, who knew, and what could have been done earlier.