Saturday, August 30, 2014
Cops & Guns
Recently I read a remark that said police in the US should not carry guns. I live for the day that unarmed police would be a reasonable alternative in American law enforcement. The levels of violence in that nation are so great that disarming the police would be a terrible idea.
Police use of force is reactive. Police respond to the stimulus generated by others. An officer encounters a man. The officer tells the man to put his hands up. Rather than comply, the man reaches into his pocket or into his waistband. The officer can pull his gun or not pull his gun. If the man IS reaching for a gun and IF the man intends to shooter the officer, then the officer is already at a distinct disadvantage.
The vast majority of people will put their hands up. The man did not put his hands up. Maybe he misunderstood the command. Maybe he does not speak English. Maybe he is going for a cell phone, wallet, garage door opener, or maybe he is going for a gun. If the officer makes a mistake an innocent person could end up dead; that man or the officer; that what the SGT Says.