a reply to: seasonal
This is a tricky one.
I must state, before I get to the thrust of my post, that my position on police shootings of civilians, is that there have been far too many
incidents of fleeing, unarmed, and even cuffed suspects being shot dead, while representing zero threat. There have been too many cases where illegal
searches turned into homicides. There have been too many incidents where the wrongdoing was clearly that of the police, and those need to be prevented
with absolute fastidiousness.
However, there have also been a great many cases where armed suspects were shot, and certain movements decided to protest the issue, despite the fact
that the deceased party was posing an ACTUAL threat to the life and limb of officers, if not the public as well. While I have EXTREME suspicions about
the motivations of the constabulary in many things that they do, including going to war with pipeline protestors of First Nations extraction
currently, I also believe that there ARE times when a suspect needs to be taken out to protect innocent lives.
Furthermore, I believe that it is highly damaging to the cause of ensuring that all police involved shootings are legitimate, to protest even those
shootings that are clearly legitimate, as if they are part of a systemic issue with policing. They are not, and yet they are held up by certain
factions, as part of the wider picture.
There was a case of a pest control man, who, while drunk, was seen "brandishing" his varmint gun, a little .22 thing. Sure, could do someone some
damage, but its not an "assault rifle" or a "sniper rifle". The police rocked up to the motel he was in, they removed the weapon from him, cuffed him,
placed him on the ground with his hands cuffed behing him, and by some means his shorts rode down over his bare bottom. He only sought dignity, in
reaching for his waistband, his clearly empty waistband. He made it clear to the officers what he was going to do. That did not stop one of the
officers from putting a few 5.56 rounds into his body, while he lay there, shorts half dropped. The man died trying to pull up his shorts.
As far as I am aware the policeman did receive some sort of discipline, may even have had charges bought up against him. In cases like that, the
accused party does not deserve, nor should they receive ANY special protection, more than would a regular citizen.
BUT, in cases where a justified shooting took place, the police and the forensics services should be given time to work out the exact circumstances
of the case, in order that it be presented correctly and unambiguously to the people, and to prevent officers being targeted by unwarranted responses
from a hair trigger public. Perhaps if there was not just as much outrage expressed after "good shootings" as bad ones, this entire thing would never
have come up. But the fact is there HAVE been lots of examples of "good" shootings, causing public outcry equal to, and in some cases greater than in
the initial stages, those shootings we have all heard about where there was no reasonable justification for discharging a weapon.
The subject of officer involved shootings only becomes harder to opine or commentate upon, when there are not clear lines established in the public
consciousness, between a man of any colour being shot while he is in commission of an armed offence, and a person of any colour being shot in the back
while running away from a psychopath with a badge. I have established clear lines for myself and my opinion on the matter, but if we are not all
signing from the same hymn sheet, then discussing the very real problem of unjustifiable shootings, becomes a messy nonsense absent reason, fact, or
anything properly identifiable as thought.