Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Shoot first-Tase later?

Is it really necessary to shoot people who commit minor crimes? No one condones the behavior of people who commit non-violent crimes but is it really necessary for the police to kill them? When did the police stop using tasers to gain physical control over someone who is resisting arrest? The killing of the teen age boy in Missouri comes to mind. The young man appears to have broken several crimes by the time he was apprehended and he appears to have physically attacked the cop, but he was not armed. Surely he could have been tased if the policeman was out manned, or the policeman could have stayed in his car and radioed  for back up.  Was it really necessary to fire six shots and kill him? Deadly force should only be used against deadly force, or the cleat threat of deadly force. Too many cops are starting to act as if using their gun is the first option. There are two sides to every story and no one disputes that being a policeman can be a very dangerous and stressful job. That stress can be reduced by training law enforcement individuals to remember that taking a life is seldom the best solution. Far better to avoid the confrontation in the first place- even if it means losing face or letting someone act out- or even temporarily escape. Cooler heads should prevail. The loss of the young man's life and all the rioting that followed could have been prevented had the policeman restrained himself from over re-acting.

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