There was an incident the other night. We live next to a grocery store on the "other side of the railroad tracks". A guy shoplifted and the store security detained him and fought with him in the office which is located near the front of the store. When police arrived, they tried to detain him. They used a taser, which was not effective. The guy pulls out a loaded handgun. They asked him several times to drop his gun to which he then pointed it at them. Both responding officers shot him several times. They tried CPR, but he did not make it.
First, I felt relief that HF wasn't working, and that I wasn't shopping during the incident. Second, it's hard for me to understand how something as "insignificant" as stealing beer can turn into a fatal shooting because of a poor choice. I feel for the loved ones of the guy that made the mistake of pulling out his gun, but I also feel for the officers that had to take a life, justified as it was. It's never a good thing.
The next day at church everyone was talking about it and extremely interested in talking to HF about the incident since he is, you know, the Fuzz. Among some of the comments he got, a lot of people were saying, "You guys shot him too many times!" Things of that nature.
I try to put myself in civilian shoes. It's not that hard to do. I'm only a year into LEO life. I probably wondered about these things. I didn't understand the protocol or the mind of an officer. I had no idea what their training entailed. But now, I see the other side. And now I think I have it figured out. I am generalizing here, but I think that the general public thinks of Law Enforcement as though they were in an old spaghetti western. Instead of shooting the bad guy dead when he points a gun at them, they are supposed to shoot their knee so they have to hop around on their other leg proclaiming "mah knee! mah knee!" At this point they can easily detain them without a gunfight. Or, they are supposed to shoot their hat off of their heads and send them scrambling after it to pick it up. Every time they reach to pick up their hat, the cop will shoot the hat again and again until the horse rustler has been run clear out of town!
Another one you hear often is, "But they didn't need to shoot him that many times!" or "They could've shot the weapon out of his hand!". Can you imagine if cops were getting that fancy during one of these life/death situations? It's not tv. They can't shoot a gun out of someone's hand in the middle of a life/death situation with the greatest of ease. And besides, there is all that unknown and potential risk involved when a person isn't completely relieved of the weapon they are holding. What if they started shooting at innocent people? It's been done before. And then there's the classic, "They knew what they were signing up for when they became a cop. . . " As if they are supposed to just let someone kill them because they "knew the risk involved"? I don't think I will ever understand the glorification of the person who points his loaded gun at someone there to help when they are the ones making bad decisions. I feel sympathy and sorrow for what led them to that point and I understand that they are someone's son/daughter, cousin, brother, dad, mom, etc. but it bothers me that the cops are ridiculed for difusing a deadly situation and the criminal that tried to shoot them are put up on some kind of pedestal.
Here's a clip that I found of what the public thinks cops should do. Remember, this is just my opinion of the GENERAL public. Obviously not everyone thinks this way. If that many at all. I think I am just a little frustrated with the questions and opinions of a few people. That's all. A little humor in a very frustrating situation.