A Reasonable Place to Address Some Unnecessary Police Shootings

 

women-on-computer-860x560With Monday’s ruling from a Cleveland grand jury not to indict the officer who shot and killed 12-year-old Tamir Rice, the nation’s rift over police use-of-force was again torn open. While I absolutely believe the grand jury made the right decision in the case of the officer who fired – you can’t ask police officers to investigate armed people and not protect themselves when someone reaches for a gun (or a replica) – the Rice case provides an opportunity for cool heads to find a solution to some preventable deaths.

Of the many shootings of police officers in recent years that have generated controversy, four stand out because of a unique commonality – grossly inaccurate information being relayed to police officers.

There are likely many others. Solving this problem may save the lives of innocent civilians and minor offenders without putting police in more jeopardy.

In the Rice case, officers responded to a report of a person brandishing a gun in a public park. They did not know that the suspect, Tamir Rice, was 12-years-old and carrying a replica, not a real gun. Video of the shooting shows that as Rice approached the officer’s car, he reached into his waistband toward the toy, causing a rookie officer to leap out and shoot. What the officers did not know, was that the 911 caller had told police dispatchers that Rice looked like a child and that he thought the gun was a toy.

We can only ponder what tragedy might have been averted had the officers approached with that information in mind.

Closer to my home in Southern California, the killing of 19-year-old Kendrec McDade presents another kind of information challenge. Late on the night of March 26, 2012, Pasadena Police responded to a report of an armed robbery with shots fired. Officers spotted McDade and pursued him when he fled on foot. When McDade made a sudden move toward an officer, he was shot.

Only after the 19-year-old was killed, was it learned that the 911 caller had lied. McDade had never had a gun, but the caller had embellished a simple theft report to generate a quicker police response. Though McDade certainly contributed to his own death by participating in a theft and resisting arrest, the false information provided to the dispatcher vastly increased the risk the officers perceived.

Stunningly, the 911 caller was not prosecuted.

The McDade case mirrors aspects of the death of John Crawford, which, like the Rice incident, also happened in Ohio last year. On August 5, 2014, Crawford was in a Wal-Mart store in Beavercreek, Ohio, when he picked up an unpackaged BB gun. A 911 caller, Ronald Ritchie, reported Crawford was pointing a rifle at shoppers, including children, and repeatedly indicates a shooting is imminent. Police responded en masse to the call, treating it as a potential “active shooter” situation, as Ritchie rapidly relayed details. Crawford was shot within seconds of officers encountering him.

A review of the video from store surveillance synced with audio of Ritchie’s 911 call shows that Crawford did essentially nothing Ritchie claimed. Mainly, he wandered the pet food aisle of the store, chatting on his cell phone. At one point, two children and a mother are shopping near Crawford who has the toy casually resting on his shoulder. Ritchie reports “he just threatened two kids.” Yet Crawford, 15 feet away, never faced them. The kids (and their mother) continue shopping as though nothing happened. Because it obviously didn’t.

Ritchie plainly lied. Yet, he, too, escaped prosecution.

A similar case occurred in June of 2013 when Gardena police responded to the theft of a bicycle from a pharmacy. For unknown reasons, the police dispatcher broadcast the crime was a “robbery” – a crime involving force. Officers came across friends of the victim and mistook them for the suspects. The victim’s brother, Ricardo Diaz Zeferino forcefully intervened and repeatedly defied police orders to keep his hands up. A video shows the third time he reached for his waistband he was shot and killed.

In all four of these cases, wrong or incomplete information was relayed to officers about seemingly potentially lethal incidents that actually bore little risk.

This may be the best opportunity to quickly and effectively address some preventable shootings.

One step would be more aggressively prosecuting those who make false reports to 911, especially those contributing to the death or injury of an innocent person. Such legal changes should include a public education campaign.

But police dispatch centers may be the easiest place to have an impact that works for cops and citizens alike. Having been trained in, covered and observed police work for two decades, including inside a 911 call-and-dispatch center, I know the critical role dispatchers play in law enforcement. It is an extremely stressful job, where seconds count and information is extremely imperfect, compounded by the emotions of scared, distraught and injured callers. They are the first hope of desperate people. Most who start in the field quit relatively quickly, some after a bit of compounded stress, some after a single heart-wrenching incident.

But it is also where the seeds for a successful or unsuccessful response are planted. If we, as a society, are going to address unnecessary police killings without demanding cops take on more danger, then reviewing and adjusting the information management protocols that shape the situational awareness of officers in the field is a smart place to begin.

It is where police responses start. It is where tragedies start. It can be a place where solutions start.

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  1. Wile E Inactive
    Wile E
    @WileE

    Good points, and improvements are always needed. However, I perceive the larger cause as societal/cultural decay. Personally, I do not live in fear of being killed by the police. Not because of my skin color, but because first, I try to comply with the law, and I generally try to treat others as I hope to be treated. I avoid high risk areas and I am usually at home, enjoying time with my family between 10 pm and 6 am. More significantly, I respect the police and I will comply with their instructions, should they ever perceive me as a perp. Things I will not do when speaking to a police officer, whether a traffic stop for speeding, or when answering my doorbell: I will not make any sudden moves, I will not run, I will not charge the police officer, I will not reach for my waistband, I will not swing a baseball bat. Things I will do: Remain motionless unless instructed to move, keep both of my hands clearly visible to the police officer, make it clear that I respect the police officer’s authority by total compliance and respectful language. Why do I do these things? Because I grew up with law enforcement officers in my family. This is not a fear response, it is my societal/cultural norm — it’s what you do. In the many tragic police shootings over-publicized in the past year, nearly all violated EVERY do and don’t that are, to me, common sense and common courtesy. Parents of all colors need to teach their children to respect the police and comply when addressed by an officer. I support holding our police accountable, but most of the many publicized shootings over the past year would not have occurred if the person shot had been compliant. Even the ridiculous chase and shooting in the back, in Charleston, which looks totally unjustified – would not have happened if the man had not run. That doesn’t justify the shooting, but it simply would not have happened if the man had not fled. The police have an impossibly difficult job. They do their best to use deadly force only when required, but this sometimes requires a decision and action in less than one second, as in the latest Chicago incident where an innocent woman was killed. In this latest incident, the father called 911 because his mentally impaired son was attacking him with a baseball bat at 4:00 in the morning. When the door was opened, the college student (mentally impaired) was rushing down the stairs swinging the baseball bat. Tonight, in my warm living room, in my favorite chair, I can wonder if they could have effectively used a taser instead. Alternatively, I can wonder if one of the police officers had been hit in the head with a baseball bat, maybe impaired for life, maybe mortally wounded, maybe out of work permanently. Regardless, it would not have been national news. I do not blame our president for this societal/cultural decay. I do, however hold him accountable for having the greatest position of influence possible in our nation, and doing absolutely nothing to change the direction of this culture. He promised great racial reconciation and political party reconciliation. He instead chose to widen both divides. This was a tragic choice. The next president, unless by a miracle it is Ben Carson, will not have the same influence. This is an American tragedy, and a lost opportunity for the ages.

    • #1
  2. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    I’ve said before that what is needed is a “boot camp” of sorts for young people (I know a few older folks who could also benefit).

    How to respond to a policeman, where to keep your hands, don’t run away, how not to do anything that can be construed as “resisting arrest”, many of the things that Wile E lists.

    I would add: “I don’t consent to a search” being said calmly over and over.

    Not all of us have cops in our family.

    My kids all know all these things, but only because I taught them after a couple of bad experiences.

    • #2
  3. Herbert Inactive
    Herbert
    @Herbert

    While I think the Rice non indictment is probably correct. There is a problem with corrupt out of control police. Some of these shootings of suspects running away and gun dropping that have gotten video taped are evidence of that. This problem has existed for way to long. I’ve had a couple of encounters with police on much more minor issues. In these cases the police made up some facts. A recent case involved my nephew, he was driving through Georgia on his way home to fla. He encounters a roadblock, checking for dui. The outcome… He was ticketed for having a six pack locked in the trunk of his car and spent a night in jail. He passed all sobriety tests, blood test came back o.oo. I know most cops are good, but more needs to be done to remove the bad ones….

    • #3
  4. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Robert C. J. Parry: In the Rice case, officers responded to a report of a person brandishing a gun in a public park. They did not know that the suspect, Tamir Rice, was 12-years-old and carrying a replica, not a real gun. … What the officers did not know, was that the 911 caller had told police dispatchers that Rice looked like a child and that he thought the gun was a toy.

    So why’d the person call 911 in the first place if they thought the gun was a toy?

    • #4
  5. Robert C. J. Parry Contributor
    Robert C. J. Parry
    @RobertCJParry

    If you listen to the call, with benefit of hindsight, it sounds like an elderly man annoyed by a kid who was scaring people with a fake gun.

    • #5
  6. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I hope police chiefs across the country are reviewing all of their procedures in light of the high number of misunderstandings that have occurred in the last few years. It seems as though both the police and the citizenry are nervous with each other.

    Parents learn quickly not to scare their kids when problems arise. Parents have to force themselves to be very calm. If they aren’t, the kids won’t be able to articulate the details of the situation at hand, and the kids’ emotions will make matters worse.

    It starts with tiny children. As a parent, you know something has happened, so you become super calm so that you can find out exactly what has happened and if anything is broken. Most importantly, you don’t want to scare or startle the child: “Hi, Little Suzie. How did you get to the top of that swing set? Just stay there, and I’ll come up and help you down.”

    Police officers need to understand that any situation that involves them will be highly charged. They need to use some situation-calming techniques to enable them to make an accurate assessment of the threat. The bottom line is that I, citizen, respect the police and am glad that they didn’t get shot. But I don’t want to see any twelve-year-olds get shot, and I’m sure the officers don’t want to shoot twelve-year-olds either.

    [continued]

    • #6
  7. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    [continued from comment 6]

    In the videotapes of controversial police encounters in the last couple of years, the one thing that has jumped out at me is the poor communication skills of the officers. Their tone of voice and choice of words would tend escalate a tense situation.

    The most pressing reason that the police chiefs across America went to such great lengths to hire women and minorities was to have people on the force that the citizenry could relate to. They took that step so as to calm down the communication between the police and the community. It is big steps like that one, and revisiting our 9-1-1 procedures as pointed out in the original post, that we need to be taking now.

    • #7
  8. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    All police shootings are necessary.  The fear of the populace is part of what is required for an effective police force.  When the populace stops fearing the police then they will no longer have to listen to them.

    • #8
  9. kylez Member
    kylez
    @kylez

    The case of John Berry, Lakewood, California, this past July, is the most egregious I have ever heard. You probably didn’t hear about it because he was white. I know his mom.

    • #9
  10. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    kylez:The case of John Berry, Lakewood, California, this past July, is the most egregious I have ever heard. You probably didn’t hear about it because he was white. I know his mom.

    I only live 20 miles away and I had to google to learn the story. Appalling.

    Mistakes happen in the confusion of an incident – I get it. But it’s stories like this, lying in the cold light of day, that make me doubt every cop’s side of a story.

    I hope your friend has a good lawyer.

    • #10
  11. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    Herbert:While I think the Rice non indictment is probably correct. There is a problem with corrupt out of control police. Some of these shootings of suspects running away and gun dropping that have gotten video taped are evidence of that. This problem has existed for way to long. I’ve had a couple of encounters with police on much more minor issues. In these cases the police made up some facts. A recent case involved my nephew, he was driving through Georgia on his way home to fla. He encounters a roadblock, checking for dui. The outcome… He was ticketed for having a six pack locked in the trunk of his car and spent a night in jail. He passed all sobriety tests, blood test came back o.oo. I know most cops are good, but more needs to be done to remove the bad ones….

    Son #2 was once questioned about a neighbor’s house being possibly broken into. He’d gone over to feed her cat; all the windows were open so he called the owner. She called the cops to go to her house.

    Their behavior was unbelievably unprofessional when questioning my son. The last thing I said to them was: good luck when these kids are the adults that are paying your salary. And I understand now why you have so much trouble getting witnesses to come forward – you’ve turned me into someone who doesn’t want to get involved.

    • #11
  12. Cat III Member
    Cat III
    @CatIII

    Thanks for the great post, Robert. We could use more practical solutions with realistic goals. Your measured tone is appreciated in regards to a subject that elicits emotional tirades from both sides.

    • #12
  13. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    These things will continue to happen as long as our ghettos are dystopian jungles run on crime and drug money by single young men.  The disease is leaking out and we can’t tell the gang members from regular folks because we celebrate the look and culture .   As long as we feed this beast with welfare and the war on drugs then celebrate the result, it will get worse.   We need to radically change both, then get to work over a few generations undoing what we have done.  It’s a tragedy it was predictable and we did it and are still doing it.

    • #13
  14. ctlaw Coolidge
    ctlaw
    @ctlaw

    MarciN:[continued from comment 6]

    In the videotapes of controversial police encounters in the last couple of years, the one thing that has jumped out at me is the poor communication skills of the officers. Their tone of voice and choice of words would tend escalate a tense situation.

    The most pressing reason that the police chiefs across America went to such great lengths to hire women and minorities was to have people on the force that the citizenry could relate to. They took that step so as to calm down the communication between the police and the community. It is big steps like that one, and revisiting our 9-1-1 procedures as pointed out in the original post, that we need to be taking now.

    Two other dynamics may be involved:

    1. Cops often appear to intentionally use their voice(s) to distract and confuse suspects. You often see it when there are multiple cops simultaneously yelling inconsistent things. That makes sense when directed at an actual dangerous criminal. It causes problems when applied to innocents.
    2. Cops may be trying to set up alibis for themselves or their brethren: a) Several videos I’ve seen have cops yelling something like “Drop the knife!” where is seems there was no apparent knife being held. If someone near unarmed me yells that, I will swing around to see who’s got the knife and get shot. b) When a cop shoots at someone, even someone unarmed, his radio report is almost universally in the passive voice “Shots fired”. This gives an excuse for every further responding cop to come in guns ablaze that they would not have if the first cop had reported “I just shot at an unarmed suspect.”
    • #14
  15. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    I support more measures to keep police from being overly trigger-happy.  Yeah, cops are at risk, and when they see a gun they have reason to fear.  But people can own guns legally, and the mere sight of one should not justify the use of deadly force by the police.

    On the other hand, the person who should be prosecuted here is whoever gave this kid a realistic looking toy gun, helped him remove the orange “not a real gun” cap from the muzzle, and let him go out alone waiving this thing around.  Talk about your child neglect…

    • #15
  16. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    Really useful post. I agree with all your points.

    Better information might have made a difference in the Ferguson shooting, at least from Darren Wilson’s side—that is, if he had had more accurate information about the nature of the crime Michael Brown had committed. He thought he was dealing with a “shoplifting” not a “robbery-with-menaces” and his initial tactics reflect that. So, (ironically?)  if he had regarded Brown as more of a threat from the beginning,  Brown might have survived the encounter.(This is not to criticize Wilson, who performed remarkably well under the circumstances).

    Wile E: He promised great racial reconciation and political party reconciliation. He instead chose to widen both divides. This was a tragic choice. The next president, unless by a miracle it is Ben Carson, will not have the same influence. This is an American tragedy, and a lost opportunity for the ages.

    I agree with this very much, Wile E. I, too, think it’s a tragedy and lost opportunity. Imagine how much good could have been done had Obama  refused to support the “it’s all about racism” narrative, and instead seized the opportunity to name and address all the elements that led to tragedies no one intended or desired. These could certainly include changes in police procedures, but also the unhealthy subculture of the inner-city, the treatment (or lack of it) for mental illness, the way we prosecute the war on drugs, the way welfare rewards misbehavior: “Let’s be clear; you-name-it, we can talk about it, but we’re not going to lazily default to “it’s racism!”

    The tedious, profoundly unhelpful and too often dangerous “conversation”  could have been transformed overnight into something positive and life-giving. (It’s so sad!)

    • #16
  17. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Kate Braestrup: Imagine how much good could have been done had Obama refused to support the “it’s all about racism” narrative, and instead seized the opportunity to name and address all the elements that led to tragedies no one intended or desired.

    And why do you suppose he did that?

    • #17
  18. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    Incidentally, what is clear from what Annefy, Kylez and Herbert have said  is that crappy policing is not a problem only black Americans can understand. My family includes both cops and mentally-ill loved ones.  It isn’t hard at all for any of us to imagine being in the situation faced by that family in Chicago.

    This is the reason the default narrative is so toxic;  it divides those who otherwise would easily and completely empathize.

    • #18
  19. Kate Braestrup Member
    Kate Braestrup
    @GrannyDude

    Miffed White Male:

    Kate Braestrup: Imagine how much good could have been done had Obama refused to support the “it’s all about racism” narrative, and instead seized the opportunity to name and address all the elements that led to tragedies no one intended or desired.

    And why do you suppose he did that?

    I was mystified by it for a while, MWM. I now—glumly—conclude that it may be because the overall economic situation of African Americans has deteriorated under Obama. The downturn is significant enough that, had Obama been a Republican, everybody would be going nuts. Obama gets a pass…but re-directing African American/white liberal attention to “racism” may be a strategic decision to avoid having to explain (or, on the receiving end, to contemplate) the painful reality that America’s first black president hasn’t made things better for black people.

    Does that make sense?

    • #19
  20. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    There has always been a problem with 9-1-1 callers that embellish a situation. Many times especially on Friday and Saturday nights a caller fed up with a noisy party will tell a dispatcher that there is a fight in progress so their call moves up the priority list for a police response. There never was a fight but by G-d the caller pays your salary and he wants you there now. There have been cases that 9-1-1 calls have been used as an opportunity to get a police response from disaffected parties to a domestic dispute. I call those revenge calls.

    This was not the case in Cleveland where it appears the dispatcher did not give officers all the information that the dispatcher received.

    Normally a dispatcher will try and keep a caller on the line to gather more information to update the responding officers that are on the way to the call. I have heard dispatchers tell officers “to slow it down” after a call has been dispatched. I have also heard dispatchers tell officers to “speed it up” after a call has been dispatched. Those are good dispatchers that have kept the caller on the line and have asked the pertinent questions to get the info officers need.

    • #20
  21. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Kate Braestrup: I was mystified by it for a while, MWM. I now—glumly—conclude that it may be because the overall economic situation of African Americans has deteriorated under Obama. The downturn is significant enough that, had Obama been a Republican, everybody would be going nuts. Obama gets a pass…but re-directing African American/white liberal attention to “racism” may be a strategic decision to avoid having to explain (or, on the receiving end, to contemplate) the painful reality that America’s first black president hasn’t made things better for black people.

    Does that make sense?

    That might make sense if he had done anything in the early part of his time in office to oppose the “it’s all about racism” narrative you describe.

    Personally, I think his whole “There’s not a Red America and a Blue America, there’s a United States of America” stuff was a crock from day one, and just used to get the suckers to vote for him.

    • #21
  22. PHenry Member
    PHenry
    @PHenry

    If the grand jury decision is right (and I think it was) that the police actions were justified according to their training and department policies, then the indictment belongs with the department policies.

    1.  We have the right to carry a weapon  in this country without being shot by the police for simple possession.  That includes any claims by officers that you are ‘reaching for’ your waistband.
    2. 12 year old kids should not be getting shot for carrying a pellet gun, no matter how ‘real’ it looks, or how big the kid appears.  If you can’t see something went terribly wrong here, you are blinded by your support of police.
    3. It isn’t hard to see that police are far too quick to shoot at any perception of a threat.  I understand the need to protect police in dangerous situations, but never at the cost of innocent lives.

    Short of shots fired by the suspect, it should be entirely unjustified to shoot down someone because they have, or it appears they have a gun, in hand or in waistband.  Until shots are fired, the threat is not concrete, it is perceived,  and the perception of threat does not justify deadly force, in my opinion ( I understand that is not current policy… )

    If you can’t agree that it is inappropriate to shoot someone for having a pistol, real or just looks real, then you really do not support the second amendment- Keep AND BEAR arms, right?

    • #22
  23. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    These two photos, one of an Airsoft Glock, and one of a 9mm Glock illustrate the problem for police officers when confronting someone that is holding an Airsoft pistol that has had the red tip removed.

    The red tip had been removed from the pistol the 12 year-old in Cleveland had in his possession, although it wasn’t a Glock type model.

    airsoft glockG19

    • #23
  24. PHenry Member
    PHenry
    @PHenry

    Doug Watt: illustrate the problem for police officers when confronting someone that is holding an Airsoft pistol that has had the red tip removed.

    I certainly understand the problem, it looks like a real gun.  SO the question is, should police policy be ‘if it looks like a real gun, its ok to shoot at the holder of said looks real gun’?

    • #24
  25. Ontheleftcoast Member
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    PHenry:Short of shots fired by the suspect, it should be entirely unjustified to shoot down someone because they have, or it appears they have a gun, in hand or in waistband. Until shots are fired, the threat is not concrete, it is perceived, and the perception of threat does not justify deadly force, in my opinion ( I understand that is not current policy… )

    If you can’t agree that it is inappropriate to shoot someone for having a pistol, real or just looks real, then you really do not support the second amendment- Keep AND BEAR arms, right?

    A young male has been pointing one of these at passers by. He’s 5’7, weighs 195 lbs. Obviously a child who couldn’t hurt anybody. Right?

    Quick, which one is the toy? If you’re wrong, you might not go home tonight, or a stray bullet from your or the “child’s” gun might kill someone:

    HT_guns_tamir_rice_01_jef_151228_12x5_1600

    Tamir Rice was carrying one of these when he was shot.

    • #25
  26. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    PHenry: If the grand jury decision is right (and I think it was) that the police actions were justified according to their training and department policies, then the indictment belongs with the department policies.

    My thoughts exactly.

    The young person waving the gun at people on the playground was clearly disturbed. I can’t tell from the reports what he was doing, but even knowing the little bit that has been said publicly it seems he was intentionally scaring people. That is not play.

    I wish there were more nonlethal means of subduing people like tranquilizer guns.

    • #26
  27. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    PHenry:

    Doug Watt: illustrate the problem for police officers when confronting someone that is holding an Airsoft pistol that has had the red tip removed.

    I certainly understand the problem, it looks like a real gun. SO the question is, should police policy be ‘if it looks like a real gun, its ok to shoot at the holder of said looks real gun’?

    You can run through hundred of hypotheticals, or shoot don’t shoot scenarios. There are no correct or incorrect answers concerning hypotheticals because a hypothetical is not a real situation. A shooting incident has a specific set of facts concerning an actual incident.

    That is not say that the Cleveland incident was not a tragedy it was. The length of time that the Grand Jury and the investigation into this shooting took tells me that the DA was correct in his judgement that he would not be able to win this case if he prosecuted the officer(s) that were involved in this incident.

    This is not to say that a settlement is out of the question for this child’s death. A lawsuit might be problematic for the parents because a jury could decide that the parents bear some responsibility for allowing the child access to a pistol that had the red tip removed, and allowing the child unsupervised access to the pistol. This might reduce the amount of damages. I suspect the City of Cleveland will offer the parents a settlement.

    • #27
  28. PHenry Member
    PHenry
    @PHenry

    Ontheleftcoast: Obviously a child who couldn’t hurt anybody. Right?

    This child DOES NOT have a real gun. So, while it might not be obvious he isn’t a threat, he isn’t.     My point is, if you assume this 5’7, weighs 195 lbs person is a threat, and you shoot him, and he has a freaking BB gun, is that really on him, or is there an issue with the policy that says ‘if you think he might be able to hurt you, kill him’.

    I get it, it might mean greater risk if we require our police officers to actually KNOW there is a risk before killing.  I’m just saying that the alternative, dead kids with BB guns, is unacceptable.  More unacceptable than the increased risk to officers, in my opinion.

    • #28
  29. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    PHenry:

    Doug Watt: illustrate the problem for police officers when confronting someone that is holding an Airsoft pistol that has had the red tip removed.

    I certainly understand the problem, it looks like a real gun. SO the question is, should police policy be ‘if it looks like a real gun, its ok to shoot at the holder of said looks real gun’?

    The best advice I can give anyone holding a pistol when confronted by a police officer is to follow the instructions given by the officer. The refusal to follow instructions sets off alarm bells. All the officer knows is that you are not complying with instructions. Only you know why the officer has no idea who you are and why there is a refusal to comply.

    There was no rule that states that a subject has to fire the first shot. If I had a reasonable belief that my life was in danger from someone holding a deadly weapon based upon the specific facts of that incident I don’t have to wait to shoot. Refusal to comply during a lawful detention and to give up control of a deadly weapon qualifies as reasonable belief.

    • #29
  30. PHenry Member
    PHenry
    @PHenry

    Doug Watt: You can run through hundred of hypotheticals, or shoot don’t shoot scenarios

    We are not discussing hypotheticals.  This actually happened.  A 12 year old kid with a pellet gun was shot and killed as if he was shooting at people.  Since he didn’t actually have a gun, we know for a fact that he was not shooting at people.   But, the officer ‘perceived’ a threat, so dead kid.

    You are OK with that? Or can you admit that some review of policy is called for?

    • #30

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