Archive for the 'Police' Category



Police Officer Negligent Discharges

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks ago

LA Times:

One sheriff’s deputy shot himself in the leg while pulling out his gun to confront a suspect.

Another accidentally fired a bullet in a restroom stall. A third deputy stumbled over a stroller in a closet as he was searching for a suspect, squeezing off a round that went through a wall and lodged in a piece of furniture in the next room.

Accidental gunshots by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies have more than doubled in two years, endangering bystanders and occasionally injuring deputies. The jump coincides with the department’s move to a new handgun that lacks a safety lever and requires less pressure to pull the trigger.

Sheriff’s officials say that the increase in accidental discharges — from 12 in 2012 to 30 last year — occurred because deputies were adjusting to the new gun. They expect the numbers to fall in the years ahead. So far this year, the department has recorded seven accidental discharges, five of which involved the new weapon.

But the problems may not be over, as more deputies switch to the Smith & Wesson M&P9. In response, department officials have imposed extra training requirements.

The M&P has obvious benefits. It is easier to shoot accurately, can be fired more reliably under stress and is a better fit for people with small hands. The switch was prompted in part by the threat of a lawsuit by women who had failed the Sheriff’s Academy. More recruits — including more women — are now passing the firearms test, and veteran deputies are also logging better scores at the firing range.

But the sharp increase in accidental discharges has prompted an investigation by the Sheriff’s Department’s new inspector general. Critics say this type of semiautomatic, which is widespread in law enforcement and includes the Glock used by many agencies, is too easy to misfire.

Bob Owens, editor of BearingArms.com, says the design of the Glock and the M&P makes such tragedies more likely. “I don’t think, with the amount of training most agencies have, that a gun that has so few tolerances for mistakes is the best choice,” he said.

For two decades, L.A. County sheriff’s deputies carried the Beretta 92F, a heavy metal gun with a large grip.

People with small hands often have trouble flipping up the Beretta’s safety as they prepare to fire. The first shot requires 12 to 15 pounds of pressure on the trigger, forcing some to use two fingers and reducing shooting accuracy for many. Subsequent shots take about 4 pounds of pressure.

The M&P is made of lightweight polymer, with a hand grip that comes in three sizes. Firing a round is as simple as pulling the trigger with a consistent 6 to 8 pounds of pressure.

Sheriff’s deputies have the option of sticking with the Beretta, and some have, saying they are used to it. But many who have switched to the M&P say their shooting has improved.

“At first, I thought, ‘No way, I’m keeping my Beretta forever,'” said Sgt. Mike Rafter, a firearms instructor. “Then I started shooting, and it’s a lot nicer. I can shoot better, and I’m more confident.”

Academy trainees began receiving M&Ps in 2011 and the rest of the department began gradually switching to the new gun soon after. About half of sworn personnel are now using the M&P and more are changing over. As more deputies converted to the M&P, accidental discharges rose.

This is rich.  In spite of the silly article that Bob Owens wrote on the Glock and the silly accusations in this article, the truth does come out.

They are blaming it on a SA/DA pistol because of the heavy trigger pull for the first round (although I have to say that 6-8 pounds isn’t exactly a light trigger pull for the M&P).  Thus they have trained officers to keep their fingers on the trigger of their handguns when they deploy their firearms.  They say so.

Think about that and let it wash over you again.  When a cop pulls his handgun and points it your direction, according to the training he has received, he most likely has his finger on the trigger of the weapon.  And thus do we reach the root cause of the problems – not Glocks, or M&Ps, or any other ridiculous culprits.  It’s a shame that Bob couldn’t have pointed out the truth rather than blame the gun.  Blaming the gun is what gun controllers do, and why the collectivists wanted the so-called smart gun.

So other than reminding you that this violates two of the sacred rules of gun safety (muzzle discipline and trigger discipline), let’s rehearse sympathetic muscle reflexes again, and I’ll remind you of what I said about how the Marine Corps trained my son Daniel as a SAW gunner.  First concerning sympathetic muscle reflexes.

The term sympathetic contraction refers to the fact that an involuntary contraction may occur in the muscles of one limb when the same muscles in the other limb are performing an intended forceful action. In physiology literature this effect is known as a mirror movement, with the intensity of the sympathetic contraction depending on the amount of force exerted during the intended action. In policing, a common situation that may evoke such a sympathetic contraction would be, for example, a law enforcement officer attempting to restrain a struggling suspect with one hand while holding a handgun in the other.

The second scenario described by Enoka involves loss of balance. When balance is disturbed the human body evokes rapid involuntary contractions to return itself to a position of equilibrium. Thereby the involuntary contractions used to prevent a fall depend on the options available to counteract the disturbance of balance. Usually, compensatory movements following gait perturbations primarily involve correcting movements of the lower limbs to keep the body in balance, whereas movements of the arms are restricted to their extension forwards as a safeguard to counter an eventual fall. When an individual is holding a handle for support, there is, however, a tendency to use the arm muscles to maintain balance rather than the leg muscles. Under such circumstances the focal point of automatic postural activity is any contact point an individual has with his or her surroundings. In other words, if an individual’s posture is disturbed while grasping an object, for instance a handgun, he or she is likely to grasp it more forcefully.

Startle reaction, the third scenario identified by Enoka, is a whole-body reflex-like response to an unexpected stimulus, possibly a loud noise. It evokes rapid involuntary contractions that begin with the blink of an eye and spread to all muscles throughout the body. The reaction of the hands occurs less than 200ms after the stimulus and leads to individuals clenching their fists. Enoka concludes: “Accordingly, an officer who is startled by a loud, unexpected noise while searching for a suspect with his weapon drawn would surely increase the grip force on the weapon, perhaps enough to cause an involuntary discharge.”

Next concerning training.

My son was a SAW gunner in the 2/6 infantry, Golf Company, 3rd Platoon, during the 2007 combat tour of Fallujah and the pre-deployment workup.  The senior Marines had experienced a tour of Iraq, and wanted their SAW gunners to have a round in the chamber, bolt open (the SAW is an open bolt weapon anyway), and finger on the trigger.  They had seen combat and they wanted their SAW gunners with zero steps to shooting.  Their lives depended on it.  They also did CQB drills with live rounds, along with squad rushes.

My son had an ID (if I’m not mistaken it was during training at Mohave Viper).  He tripped and had a sympathetic muscle reflex, squeezing the trigger of his SAW.  He spent an extended period of time in the “room of pain.”  They wanted him trained to overcome that sympathetic muscle reflex (which can be done, but it takes hundreds or thousands of hours of drills).  He spent the time learning to overcome that reflex, and performed well during his tour.  He also tried to teach his “boot” Marines the same way he was trained, but the Marines had begun to change and focus more on cultural sensitivity training and other COIN tools.  He got out of the Marine Corps.

Why am I discussing this?  Because no matter who you are, no matter how much time you spend, no matter how earnestly you wish it, no matter how many directives you write, if you are a SWAT team member, you will never be trained in such a manner.  Never.  You will never be trained like a U.S. Marine who has spent every day for a year and a half in pre-deployment workup to do a combat tour of Iraq.  Because you will never be trained in this manner, your tactics are dangerous, all of the time, and in all situations.  I don’t care how many times you have inexperienced Soldiers spend a week with you doing CQB drills.  With the standdown in Iraq and Afghanistan, they oftentimes know as little as you.  These tactics place people in danger when there are better alternatives.

In spite of all of this, officer safety is paramount, not your safety.  So things we would never do on a range, and never allow our mates to do, are done every day by cops around the country.  They keep their fingers on the triggers of their weapons when they deploy them.  They are trained to do it.  And Bob Owens, along with the LAPD, blame guns with light trigger pulls rather than the horrible safety protocols police use.  They would apparently rather continue the tradition of ignoring trigger discipline and use pistols with a heavy trigger pull to ameliorate sympathetic muscle reflexes rather than teach cops to follow the rules of gun safety.

Good grief.  Horrible.  Just horrible.

Prior: Gun-Mounted Flashlights Linked To Accidental Shootings

Totalitarian Judge On Michigan Open Carry

BY Herschel Smith
3 weeks ago

Detroit Free Press:

When a man armed with a loaded assault pistol strapped to his leg, dressed in camouflage, and singing to himself, began walking in front of a Grand Rapids church one snowy Sunday morning in March 2014, an alarmed churchgoer called 911. When police arrived, they took the man’s gun, and briefly handcuffed him while they questioned him. The man, Johann Deffert, an “open carry” gun advocate, then sued police saying they had violated his constitutional rights.

A federal judge disagreed.

In a decision released last week, U.S. District Judge Janet Neff tossed Deffert’s lawsuit, saying the police officer “was justified in following up on the 911 call and using swift action to determine whether plaintiff’s behavior gave rise to a need to protect or preserve life … in the neighborhood.”

[ … ]

“We’re seeing sporadic reports of it from around the state, those who are trying to draw attention to themselves and it’s needlessly alarming people,” said Robert Stevenson, executive director of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, which has 1,100 members. “People aren’t used to seeing someone brandish a gun in front of their kids’ schools.”

Stevenson said the increasingly confrontational nature of the clashes is dangerous.

“It puts the police in a position where, we don’t know what their intent is, so they’re going to approach this person, not realizing that the intent is to hurt somebody. It’s a terrible situation what these people are doing, somebody is going to get hurt.”

Sheriff’s officials say they are duty-bound to investigate what they perceive as threatening behavior, regardless of whether a person has a permit to carry a weapon or whether they are openly carrying a weapon in a place permitted by law.

Michigan is an open carry state without a stop and identify statute.  Thus has judge Neff fabricated law out of whole cloth, without even the input of the legislature.  A black robed tyrant, she is.  As for the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police (assuming Stevenson is the one quoted on the duty to investigate threatening behavior), he is of course lying.  He is wrong and knows it, which makes it a lie.  See Castle Rock versus Gonzalez.  Police are absolutely not “duty bound” to do any such thing.

Thus has Stevenson fabricated duties out of whole cloth in order to support the illegal stop and identify and detention.  Rights?  Laws?  Eh, who needs them?  The system has judges and cops.  That’s all they need.

The Murder Of Dillon Taylor

BY Herschel Smith
1 month ago

The Salt Lake Tribune:

Dillon Taylor was not armed when a Salt Lake City police officer shot him to death outside a convenience store.

But in that moment on Aug. 11, Officer Bron Cruz had good reason to think Taylor was pulling a gun out of his pants, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill ruled on Tuesday.

Taylor, 20, and the two men he was with matched the descriptions of a 911 caller who said three men had “flashed” a gun. And Cruz saw them “making a scene” on their way to the 7-Eleven near 2100 S. State Street.

Confronted by officers, the two men with Taylor held up their hands, while Taylor alone was “noncompliant.”

Body-cam video shows that Taylor turned toward officers with his hands in his pants before hoisting his shirt — a gesture officers are trained to recognize as a possible weapon-draw.

“Nothing that Mr. Taylor did assisted in de-escalating the situation,” Gill said. “If anything, it escalated things.”

Taylor’s shooting was justified, Gill said, not because he posed an actual threat, but because Cruz reasonably perceived a threat.

I said in comments here that “I don’t trust most LEOs when it comes to muzzle discipline … There are many reasons for my mistrust, one having to do with sympathetic muscle reflexes (see here and here).”  I would not have done anything with my hands (as did Taylor), but that doesn’t change the fact that the LEO was too quick to shoot.  You be the judge.

Another thing we learn is that even with body cameras, judges most often will side with LEOs.  A corrupt system will always be corrupt, regardless of whether people see it in motion pictures.

Cleveland Police Agree To Stop Hitting People On The Head With Guns

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 1 week ago

Cleveland.com:

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Cleveland police will stop hitting people on the head with their guns and document any time they unholster them, according to a consent decree between the U.S. Justice Department and Cleveland police released today.

The Justice Department found in a 21-month investigation that began in 2013 that Cleveland police routinely bash people on the head with their guns, sometimes accidentally firing them, according to a 58-page report released in December.

Yes, I know.  Bad muzzle discipline, bad trigger discipline, bad policing tactics, bad form all around.  If we did something like that we would be in prison.  But don’t be so surprised.  This is the same DoJ report that detailed wild shooting practices by the same police department.

Cleveland police pull their guns too fast, fire at fleeing cars and people who pose no immediate threat and ignore potential danger to bystanders, the U. S. Department of Justice found.

A biting 58-page report released Thursday concluded that police violated the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, including by shooting an underwear-clad hostage victim and an unarmed driver who made an illegal turn.

The report blames several reasons for the “unreasonable” shootings. Police often lack the training and confidence necessary to  control a situation without resorting to force. They are not required to tell their supervisors when they pull their weapons. And the prevailing police culture promotes an “us-against-them” mentality.

And police nationwide wonder why ordinary people have lost confidence in them.

Criminals Perpetrate A No-Knock Raid Claiming To Be Police

BY Herschel Smith
1 month, 3 weeks ago

Salt Lake City:

HOLLADAY, Utah – Unified Police are looking for four suspects in a home invasion robbery overnight.

Police said four Polynesian men dressed in all black kicked the door in at a basement apartment in Holladay.

According to the two victims who were home at the time, the men said they were police officers and began searching the home and taking electronics.

One of the victims was able to run down the street and call 911.

The suspects chased him a few blocks and then ran before police arrived.

Police set up roadblocks and began searching for the men but didn’t find them.

“It’s very disturbing that someone would go out there and announce themselves as police and commit a crime like this,” Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal said.

“Very disturbing,” huh?  This certainly isn’t the first time this type of thing has occurred.  So just how disturbed are you?  Enough to stop all no-knock raids by your department because you and the criminals are using the same tactics against powerless home-owners?

In another part of the country the police are worried about SWAT raids too.

Online video game players may be strangers who live across the country or around the world, but the Internet offers them a window into each other’s homes. Some have taken advantage of that window, calling police to report fake crimes for the amusement of seeing a video game foe faced with real law enforcement.

Triangle law enforcement officers say the prank called “swatting” – prompting a SWAT raid of the home of another gamer, either as revenge or for amusement – is dangerous and potentially deadly.

When Woody Woodworth’s wife told him someone was lurking in the dark outside their Apex home, he armed himself in self-defense.

“She’s like, ‘There’s people in the yard dressed in black, scurrying around,'” Woodworth said.

After spotting two men behind a tree, Woodworth grabbed his gun.

“I grab my shotgun and I head down the stairs,” he said. “I headed down the front stairs and they’re like, ‘Put the gun down. It’s the SWAT team.'”

So how was he supposed to know this was a police SWAT raid instead of a criminal home invasion (I know, that’s redundant, but bear with me for a moment)?  How was he supposed to know even after the police announced themselves?  The hoodlums do that too.

If you are a LEO and you’re reading this, do you see why we cannot allow home invasions of any kind, LEOs or not?  Do you see why home owners cannot trust announcements, orders or ultimatums to lay down our means of self defense?  Do you see how immoral that would be of us, to abdicate all means of protection of our families because we hear someone barking out orders?

Idaho Police Shoot Pregnant Woman In The Stomach With AR-15

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 2 weeks ago

MintPress News:

The dashboard and body camera footage has now been released in the fatal shooting of Jeanetta Riley. Riley, 35, was shot and killed by Sandpoint, Idaho police after they were called to a hospital where she had been treated for mental health problems.

The department has cleared its officers “of any criminal wrongdoing,” claiming that they followed all proper procedures when they chose to use an AR-15 assault rifle on the mentally ill, pregnant woman who was holding a knife outside of the hospital.

The officers could have used less-than-lethal weapons, like a taser, but instead they chose not only a firearm, but an AR-15 when they approached her outside of Bonner General Hospital.

The police can be heard on the video telling Riley to show her hands.

Riley, obviously mentally distressed, replied: “f*** you” and “bring it on!”

After shots ran out, the officer ran to Riley but instead of applying first aid, he cuffed her.
The policeman is then heard running to Ms Riley, lying injured in the road.

Bonner County prosecutor Barry McHugh said: “Officers were faced with a quickly evolving set of circumstances that left them convinced the Ms Riley had the intent to use the knife to do them great bodily harm and had the ability to do so.”

Ms Riley’s ex-husband, Dana Maddox, is suing the city for $1 million, as the officers ended his wife’s life as well as her pregnancy with Maddox’s daughter.

The autopsy report reveals that Riley was shot in the chest and hit in the liver as well as her shoulder, back and heart. The Magic Valley Times News explains that “Five shots were fired during the confrontation, three of which came from Valenzuela’s AR-15 rifle and two of which came from Ziegler’s .40-caliber Glock pistol.”

Hey, I have an idea for the cowards in this department.  How about using OC spray and letting her surrender peaceably (as she surely would have)?  Or better yet, how about talking to her?  What’s wrong with talking?

Cop Refused Treatment For Carrying Gun In Hospital

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

Mansfield News Journal:

Officer safety is a chief concern in the streets, but now some are questioning it at care facilities, too.

Two months ago, Plymouth officer Wayne Liggett Sr. said he was denied treatment at Walk In Urgent Care, 1341 S. Trimble Road, because he was carrying his duty weapon. Even after it was verified he was a police officer and legally within right to carry his firearm, he was asked to leave, he said.

Eyesight problems brought him to the clinic Feb. 8.

The officer, who has been in law enforcement for 33 years, said he was seeing floaters and flashes of light in his vision and knew something wasn’t right. He called ahead to the urgent care to ensure they had equipment to view the eye.

In a private room, an employee asked him to remove his jacket to take his vitals. As a courtesy, Liggett said he told the person he was carrying his duty weapon under his shirt, in case they would see it. He also had written down on the sign-in form he was employed as a Plymouth police officer, he said.

The employee took his vitals, said the doctor would be in soon and left.

The next knock at the door Liggett didn’t expect.

Several Mansfield Police Department officers told him to come out slowly with his hands up. More than one of them were pointing their firearm at him, he said.

Liggett said he was placed in handcuffs while police verified his identity as an auxiliary officer, which took only minutes. He was carrying his badge and ID in his wallet.

Mansfield police did not file an official report on the incident. The only documentation on the matter is an event report showing dispatch logs.

But after releasing him and returning his .45 Smith and Wesson, Liggett was told the staff still refused to treat him, and he was escorted from the building. There was no sign at the facility denying concealed carry, Liggett said.

He called his eye doctor and had an appointment the next day, where he found out he had a tear in his right retina. He was in surgery by the end of the week.

On Monday, he undergoes a second surgery on the same eye for cataracts.

“They were very unprofessional with how they treated me,” Liggett said. “Something could have been seriously wrong.”

Urgent care owner Muzhar Hussain declined to comment.

The incident was cause for concern for Plymouth Police Chief Charles Doan. He questioned how other law enforcement officers will be treated in an emergency and whether the urgent care mishap was an isolated incident.

“Officers carry to be prepared, and citizens do too,” Doan said. “If you have a concealed carry and get hurt, are they going to say, ‘Get him out of here?’

According to the Ohio Revised Code, officers are exempt from any concealed carry prohibitions. The federal Law Enforcement Officers’ Safety Act supports the same.

Paul Johnson, director of security at OhioHealth MedCentral Mansfield Hospital, said that facility have rules and signs prohibiting people from carrying in the hospital.

If a patient comes in and happens to be carrying their firearm, staff members will ask him or her to take the gun to a vehicle, if possible. If it’s an emergency situation, staff will store the firearm in a locked safe until the patient is recovered and outside of the hospital walls, he said.

But those rules don’t apply to law enforcement.

“Most law enforcement are required to carry whether on or off duty,” Johnson said. “They’re never really off.”

This is an interesting case.  They have a policy but don’t post, in which case their policy is irrelevant.  Yet they called the police on the police, and so the police drew weapons on the police like they were criminals.

How does it feel, sir, to have guns brandished in your direction for no good reason?  Unsafe?  Now, your argument that goes like this: “Officers carry to be prepared, and citizens do too,” Doan said. “If you have a concealed carry and get hurt, are they going to say, ‘Get him out of here?’ , is a little head scratching.  I want to believe that you care about concealed carriers, but it’s hard given what most of your colleagues think about us.

I’ll tell you what.  I want you to lobby for the repeal of laws that give LEOs special dispensation for carrying in court, parades, schools and everywhere else, and lobby for the codification of that right for everyone.  Then I’ll believe that your having invoked our good name in order to argue for your officer was in good faith.  Otherwise, you’re just a liar.  And maybe you said more than you wanted to.  Yes, concealed carriers do have to be “prepared,” which is why we care about this issue as much as you do for your officers.

New York Detective Steals During Police Raid

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

The New York Times:

A New York police detective has been suspended after a surveillance video appeared to show him taking money from a Brooklyn deli during a sweep of the store for loose cigarettes.

The detective, Ian Cyrus, 49, who was assigned to the Brooklyn North narcotics unit, was suspended “based on the nature of the allegations in this incident, in addition to the video provided to us,” Stephen Davis, the top spokesman for the Police Department, said in a statement on Thursday.

Detective Cyrus’s supervisor in the narcotics unit, Sgt. Fritz Glemaud, 44, has been placed on modified duty, Mr. Davis added.

The police said the Internal Affairs Bureau and the Brooklyn district attorney’s office were conducting a joint investigation of the episode.

WABC-TV obtained surveillance footage taken of the counter area last Friday night at Yemen Deli & Grocery, in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Gosh, I hate it when that happens to me.  I remember the last time I was caught stealing when I ran into a store with a gun pointing it at people.  The pictures they took weren’t very flattering.  One of them made me look fat.

Jersey Cops: “Hey, Let’s Kill A Man – It Will Be Fun!”

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 3 weeks ago

Daily Beast:

A video filmed a week ago Tuesday appears to show local police allowing a K9 dog to tear into the face of what looks to be an unarmed black man while he is curled up on the ground. The man, identified as 32-year-old Phillip White, later died while in police custody.

[ … ]

The person who shot the footage, which is from a phone, is shown being approached by police, saying, “I need your information and I’m going to need to take your phone.”

It is legal to film police interactions in New Jersey.

Murder.  Attempted coverup.  But there is that sticky issue of the video.

Sic him!  Get him!  A chance to be a stud, see blood, see action, see some carnage.  The concept of “peace officer” a long ago lost relic of American history.  How sad for our country.

North Charleston Police Officer Faces Murder Charge After Video Surfaces Showing Him Shooting Man In Back

BY Herschel Smith
2 months, 4 weeks ago

He discharged eight shots from his sidearm, with time to aim, with a pause between the seventh and eighth shots, all eight shots taken in the direction of the victim’s back while the victim was running away.

A white North Charleston police officer was arrested on a murder charge and the FBI opened a civil rights investigation Tuesday after video surfaced of the lawman shooting eight times at a 50-year-old black man as he ran away.

Walter L. Scott, a Coast Guard veteran and father of four, died Saturday after Patrolman 1st Class Michael T. Slager, 33, shot him several times in the back.

The video footage, which The Post and Courier obtained Tuesday from a source who asked to remain anonymous, shows the end of the confrontation between the two on Saturday after Scott ran from a traffic stop. It was the first piece of evidence contradicting an account Slager gave earlier this week through his attorney.

[ … ]

The three-minute clip of Saturday’s shooting starts shaky, but it steadies as Slager and Scott appear to be grabbing at each other’s hands.

Slager has said through his attorney that Scott had wrested his Taser from him during a struggle.

The video appears to show Scott slapping at the officer’s hands as several objects fall to the ground. It’s not clear what the objects are.

Scott starts running away. Wires from Slager’s Taser stretch from Scott’s clothing to the officer’s hands.

With Scott more than 10 feet from Slager, the officer draws his pistol and fires seven times in rapid succession. After a brief pause, the officer fires one last time. Scott’s back bows, and he falls face first to the ground near a tree.

After the gunfire, Slager glances at the person taking the video, then talks into his radio.

The cameraman curses, and Slager yells at Scott as sirens wail.

“Put your hands behind your back,” the officer shouts before he handcuffs Scott.

As another lawman runs to Scott’s side.

Scott died there.

[ … ]

Slager said earlier this week in the statement from his attorney at the time that his encounter with Scott had started Saturday morning as a routine traffic stop.

His department said he pulled over Scott’s Mercedes-Benz sedan near Remount and Craig roads because it had a broken brake light. But at some point, Scott ran away with Slager in pursuit on foot. Scott’s passenger stayed with the Mercedes.

During the foot chase, Scott confronted Slager, according to the lawyer’s statement. Slager got out his Taser to subdue the man, but Scott took the device during a struggle, the statement said. That’s when the officer fired at Scott several times because he “felt threatened,” it added.

Now listen very carefully.  We all know how abused and overused the idea is that an officer can “feel threatened” and thus discharge his weapon at anything and everything.  But this doesn’t even rise to the level of abusive policy.  The officer had the temerity calmly to walk back to the scene of the struggle, pick up the taser, and casually drop it next to the now-deceased body.

What’s the lesson?  The officer didn’t know a video of his actions would be produced.  It was going to be his word against a dead man’s word, and we all know how that would have gone down.  He reflexively turned to the best, surest, most trusted and well-worn defense cops use: “I felt threatened.”  There is the first tier of concern with this incident, that is, a shooting in the back that violates the constitution.  But the second tier of concern pertains to coverup of the shooting.

And as long as that defense exists and is reflexively accepted by a gullible public and a willing judicial system, “I felt threatened” will keep being used and cops will continue to perpetrate this sort of thing.  But the fifth amendment clearly doesn’t allow this officer to kill the unarmed man running away, who is no threat to the officer, by the way, and who hadn’t shown himself to be a threat to anyone else (he was stopped because of a minor traffic violation).


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