Cop Shooting Thread


This is infuriating.

This is the girlfriend’s video, who had the presence of mind to electronically document her boyfriend bleeding to death while still obeying officers’ spoken commands. (NSFW language and graphic injury)

Can we disarm law enforcement officers? Except in cases of civil emergency and I suppose certain rapid response teams? Just, through legislation, take sidearms out of the hands of rank-and-file police so maybe we can cut down on cases like this?


Not to be the terrible liberal guy in the crowd, but do you suppose if he had been white he would be alive today?

Civil disobedience should not be a death sentence, especially in an open carry state, unless he threatened the officers with the weapon. If the video and eyewitness reports are to be believed, then what they did was execute him without the benefit of a trial.


We’re getting close to a natiowide race riot. The anger I’m seeing is growing by leaps and bounds, to the point I’m hearing some of my darker-skinned friends say they’d cheer a cop’s death now, and these are successful minorities saying this.


Both of these situations were absolutely ridiculous over-reactions by police officers. They remind me a great deal of the Sam DuBose case here at the University of Cincinnati (traffic stop of black citizen by white officers, white officer reacts violently and kills suspect unjustifiably). In that case the officer is facing murder charges.

How do we stop this? There are so many instances of this now that it can’t be explained away as “cops are all racists”, that’s ridiculous. You would have thought that the national media exposure cases like this had received (see Sam DuBose above) would have put the thought in the back of every officers mind that “I need to tread carefully and be more aware when placed in situations where I feel the need to use force or draw my weapon”, but that doesn’t seem to be the case in either of these instances. These two men should not have died at the hands of police. We need to figure out how we can prevent this from continuing to happen. If that means retraining every single officer in every single city, town and village, then that’s what it means. Black lives matter, blue lives matter, ALL lives matter, and this shit has got to stop.


I will say that, going through this Washington Post article recording cops-shooting-not-cops, most of the people killed by officers this year appeared to be threatening officers or other people. Or so it is reported.


Here is an example of how proper police response might be taught. Officer Josh Hilling saw a Hispanic man walking alongside I75 in Cincinnati and pulled over to ask the man some questions and offer to drive him to his destination. The man becomes agitated and pulls a knife on the officer, then starts screaming at officer Hilling “Kill Me! Kill Me!” (over 40 times). Officer Hilling draws his weapon and begins backing away, instructing the man to drop the weapon. He eventually does fire a single non-fatal shot, all the while still backing away and trying to draw the man away from traffic and other people on the scene. Eventually police are able to subdue the man and take him into custody (turns out he was wanted in a murder investigation in Maryland).

Officer Hilling and the other officers on scene could have ended this in 10 seconds by filling the guy full of bullets (and probably would have been completely justified in doing so, unlike the stories above). Instead the reaction of Officer Hilling and the other officers on scene show incredible restraint, bravery and a heroic devotion to “protect and serve”, not just the public and themselves, but even the suspect. Shoot First and Figure It Out Later has no place in today’s law enforcement environment.


(not calling you Cartman, just that I believe a little levity is needed most when times are rough)

Yep, and I’m sure both of these will be reported the same way. Frankly, it’s a disgusting mess. I know that cops have an incredibly tough job that I doubt I could ever do. I’m also sure that the vast majority of cops are great people, but the failures of a few at these toughest moments really paints law enforcement in the worst light.


It’s not just the failures of the few, but failure of the many to hold the few accountable.

Rosenbeg nailed it, JonRowe posted a long segment upthread but here’s the relevant bit


Yeah, very true.

edit - just a random edit to pass along my appreciation for the new forum software. This is SO much better than vBulletin.


Not to be another white guy, but can we realistically expect police to be taught and trained to take down people reported or observed to have a gun, without using their gun?


Your argument may have been better served in one of the other threads. Nobody here seems to be asking for movie hero powers.


Don’t know if I like this about the new forum… it gives the impression I said something rude or mean and then retracted it… I just posted in the wrong thread (possibly again, with reference to Dan above, but I wasn’t replying to that).


Don’t stress, we know you are a stand up guy. Mostly…


Yes, yes we can. In fact that is exactly what we should be doing. The sidearm as a true last resort.


Well, when I’m saying “disarm police officers”, maybe I just mean their sidearms. Many officers have shotguns in their patrol vehicles, and perhaps they can keep those as weapons of last resort. There are so many cases when, accurately or not, a police officer perceives a perp/citizen as “going for my pistol.” If the sidearm wasn’t there, there wouldn’t be that immediate escalation to deadly force.


Or you know in this case “Officer, I have a permit, and am carrying a concealed weapon” I am going to reach into my pocket for the license.

Shot to death.


Seems entirely possible to arrest armed felons without killing them.


Yeah, I think the problem isn’t that police are out to kill a black man or are completely reckless with their use of force. The problem is that police are primed to believe that black men are likely to shoot them, and that any indication of a weapon in a black man’s possession is a reason to fear mortal danger. All the recent press about these shootings does is reinforce the view that they should be worried by the threat posed by black men, because there is so much backlash against the suggestion that they are doing it wrong. I don’t know what the solution is other than to try to remove those fears and retrain those assumptions, or disarm everyone in the country.


Someone having a gun doesn’t automatically mean you have to kill that person. In both of the cases in this thread, the police justification seems to be “he had a gun”. Not “he was threatening us with a gun” or “he was reaching for his gun”, just “he had a gun, so I killed him”. Shoot first, ask questions later is the norm now, and it’s not acceptable.

We’re in this vicious circle of violence, all centered on guns. If you don’t have a gun, the NRA blames you for not stopping someone who DOES have a gun. If you DO have a gun, and you aren’t white, then you are an easily justified target for the police.

I think the only real solution is to start cracking down on police violence. The burden of proof is so easy for a cop; it’s almost impossible to be prosecuted for excessive violence or for shooting someone. All there has to be is any demonstration that you thought you or someone else was in danger. Even if there was NO danger, you just have to prove that you could have thought there was danger. That makes it “justified”. The level of justification required for a shooting needs to be raised several levels, and new laws need to be written to deal with officer involved shootings that don’t meet that level of justification.


We sure can, and we should be doing this ASAP for officers everywhere. Situational awareness is already taught, but the training should be augmented and expanded.

Officers can be trained in ways to assess situations and escalate accordingly, and they can be equipped with protection for themselves (vests, cameras, etc.) and non-lethal means to subdue unarmed suspects. Community policing and awareness programs are also a way to cut down on the mistakes. Build more trust between a community and it’s police force and you’re less likely to end up with dead citizens in a traffic stop for broken tail lights. This way if the police arrive on a scene like the one in Baton Rouge, where someone was reported to have a gun and be threatening someone, yet on arrival there is no such activity happening, the response more measured and escalates only if required, rather than them rolling up in full takedown mode and ending up with predictable results. On the other hand, if they arrive to see a suspect firing shots, then by all means…

Another problem we’re going to face very soon (and it sounds like the Minnesota case may be a prime example) is that there is a seemingly ever-increasing threat of violence on the streets (terrorist threats, Orlando nightclub style attacks, gang violence, etc.) putting officers more and more on edge combined with a now ever-increasing armed population (fearful of those same threats listed above). Groups like the NRA want pretty much unrestricted gun rights and paint this picture of there being an inherent safety in packing your own legal heat. The more people out there carrying, the more mistakes are going to be made by police officers who fear anyone with a gun is a threat.

Imagine a big Venn diagram with the left circle as “jittery unprepared police force” and the right circle as “legal gun owners” with the overlapping piece labeled “citizen mistakenly shot/killed”. That overlapping piece is going to get larger and larger as we move forward. You may as well draw a smaller circle completely inside the overlap space and label it “Minority” too.

I’m not against gun rights (provided they are reasonable), and I am certainly not against law enforcement officials whom I respect and admire, but it’s obvious to anyone at this point that there is a problem in this country and we need to address it. It’s gone beyond the rare racist cop or cop with a bad-ass hero complex acting out in the line of duty and getting someone killed, it’s now a full-on issue happening in multiple cities on a regular basis. Awareness is the first step to solving the problem, followed by training and community outreach designed to alleviate the issue for both the community and the officers. There are no “bad guys” here, just two sides that need to come together to solve this problem before anyone else is needlessly killed.