Here's how the whole thing appears to me: Did Sturdivant display poor judgement? Yes, he probably did as warning shots are generally a bad idea outside of limited circumstances such as an animal attack. However, given that the DA decided to drop all charges, it does not seem that Sturdivant actually did anything illegal, just something unwise. Sturdivant never denied firing shots, so if he had done so illegally the DA would have a pretty strong case an no reason to drop charges. Alexander's previous and current legal troubles and the way he behaved when confronted tells me that Sturdivant's suscpicions were most likely spot on in that Alexander had every intention of robbing him. I suspect that the only reason Alexander was not charged in this particular incident was that he was confronted by Sturdivant before he had the opportunity to act on his intentions.
I do, however, think that the police acted negligently, recklessly and displayed just as poor if not poorer judgment than that of Sturdivant. I also think that Sturdivant has good grounds and should pursue a lawsuit against the department in order to help recoup some of the damages he's suffered. Not only did the police shoot a man who'd apparently broken no law, but the comments from the video suggest that they shot a man that they weren't even sure was armed. Now, before I get accused of cop-bashing, I realize that a police officer has a stressful job, that mistakes are easy to make in the heat of the moment, that hindsight is 20/20, and that to err is human. None of that, however, absolves the police of their responsibility, and also liability, for the hardships they've caused in the life of a man who has broken no law.
Hopefully, Mr. Sturdivant has insurance that will help him get back on his feet. Tragically, however, much if not most of what Sturdivant has lost is irreplacable regardless of how much money he might get from an insurance policy or legal settlement.
As for the people that stole and vandalized Sturdivant's property while he was unable to defend it, my thoughts about them are not fit for polite conversation. I also find it odd, to say the least, that given Sturdivant's prior issues with theft from his property that the police couldn't be bothered keep a closer eye on his property to prevent the humanoid vultures from doing what they did.
Smith, and Wesson, and Me. -H. Callahan
Well waddaya know, one buwwet weft! -E. Fudd
All bad precedents begin as justifiable measures. -J. Caesar