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11-17-2012, 02:52 PM #1
Shoot to kill
Hello officers. I just have a quick question.......
The other day I was watching the news and there was a story regarding an officer who'd killed a young man in error. It's kind of a long story but it got me thinking.... Why don't more officers use alternatives to bullets so that in cases like this one, if the person was wrongfully accused or shot at least he or she still has their life? The young man in the story is now dead but it was a mistake as police quikly came to realize. I wonder how that officer is coping with his mistake. Anyway, I just never understood how if there are bean bags and other things that you guys can shoot people with just to subdue them, why alot of you continue to use straight bullets and end up killing people, sometimes unneccessarily.
I am not attacking officers, I'm just curious. Thanks in advance for your answers.
11-17-2012, 05:53 PM #2
I wrote a lenghty response and the system locked me out. Maybe later ... too irritated to rewrite
11-17-2012, 09:36 PM #3
One more try:
First, as a long-time firearms and less-than-lethal instructor, as well as having worked officer-involved shootings and homicides, I can state that virtually no defense system is 100% reliable to stop an attacker.
More importantly, these systems do not work instantaneously. Unless an attack can be stopped quickly, the attacker poses a continual threat. Beanbags have limited range and limited stopping power, tear gas, Tasers and batons are limited. Even shots can miss [the accepted stats on police 'miss rate' is about 80+%] and those that hit may not stop an attack nor prove fatal.
Police aren't trained to 'shoot to kill' but to stop the attack and then only if they believe they or another person is in imminent danger. That said, when one adds in all the varibles (light, distance, perception, etc) and the decision to shoot-don't shoot has to be made in milliseconds, the outcomes leave a lot to speculation. Like others here, I know that few - if any - cops can shoot the gun from and oponet's hand or shoot to wound. It's difficult to shoot as movies and video games would have you believe.
As I write this, I'm unaware of any system or device that can instantaneously subdue an armed and/or violent subject at a distance, barricaded or otherwise shielded. More importantly, how can we expect the officer to process all the visual input in a micro-second and respond by selecting from a variety of devices? We don't have Startrek Phasers ...
Yes, officers may shoot innocent people but it's actually rare in the big picture. I'm not minimizing the tragedy - the cop will live with that action forever - but trying to point out that accidents will happen in a Real World. Far more cops are killed each year, often because they did hesitate too long to act.
We don't live in a Nerf World; in a land of many people, where violence is perpetrated almost every minute somewhere, and where we hire humans subject to judgement errors, failures of perception and high stress, mistakes will be made.
11-18-2012, 11:43 AM #4
Risen1, tell us more about the news story you heard of the officer who "killed a young man in error".
The circumstances will determine more specific responses to your question.
Did the officer fire his weapon unintentionally?
Did the officer fire because he believed the man had a weapon and was a deadly threat, but it turned out it was not a weapon?
Did the officer fire and miss a deadly threat and hit an innocent person?
etc." If you would know a man, observe how he treats a cat." - Robert A. Heinlein
11-19-2012, 01:51 PM #5
I agree with El Jefe on this also. We do not "shoot to kill," we shoot to stop the threat presented to us. As LE we are very regulated as to the circumstances we use lethal force. We would much rather use less-lethal options, but sadly, the opportunity to use those does not always present itself. It is our jobs to protect the public and our right to protect ourselves from lethal threats. We are after all human, and do not take any joy in ending someones life, even when it is due to their own lack of judgement. As far as the specific case is concerned, like Ranger mentioned, without more details, we can't really comment on it.
11-19-2012, 03:23 PM #6
11-20-2012, 01:06 AM #7
So ... we don't get any more details?" If you would know a man, observe how he treats a cat." - Robert A. Heinlein
11-20-2012, 05:47 AM #8
My guess is, nope.
11-21-2012, 12:36 AM #9
11-21-2012, 01:33 PM #10
point taken eljefe....
11-21-2012, 03:44 PM #11
No need for your comments about the lack of information. I have been busy at work and have had the time,only,to check the replies but not to get you the rest of the story. when I get a chance, I will provide you with that.....geez.
11-23-2012, 11:37 AM #12
I was trained to shoot to stop.....every motor and autonomous function. That seems to stop the threat well enough.
11-23-2012, 09:48 PM #13
Perhaps in the future with a similar situation, you could add that you are too busy to post complete details at that time, you will return when you are able and elaborate.
.... Or ... don't start your thread until you have time to fully explain the details. You will get more relevent responses." If you would know a man, observe how he treats a cat." - Robert A. Heinlein
11-23-2012, 11:11 PM #14No need for your comments about the lack of information. I have been busy at work and have had the time,only,to check the replies but not to get you the rest of the story. when I get a chance, I will provide you with that.....geez.
Don't worry about taking time out of your busy schedule to try and find details about something that is probably not important.
At this time of year, due to the holidays, our law enforcement members are extremely busy enforcing laws involving theft, burglary, car jacking, shop lifting, assaults, rapes, murder and many other unnamed crimes. In addition they are also very busy with their personal lives, which, for most, is like having another full time job.
For most law enforcement members, all of this leaves very little time for posting answers to questions that don't provide details or the poster is usable to explain exactly what it is he is looking for. I guess the bottom line is that I really don't expect our members to bust their butts to provide further responses, even with details.
Last edited by TopSite; 01-04-2013 at 12:38 AM.
11-24-2012, 03:20 PM #15
I'm okay with offering a broad-based commentary on topics like "why do police shoot to kill" because it (hopefully) helps inform the general populace about the reality of LE work.
What I'm not okay about is use of phrases like "I have a quick question" because, while the question is 'quick' for the poster, the answers are more complex. If the poster has adequate time to formulate a query, it seems reasonable they also have adequate time to offer more details about the specific event they're trying to use as an example.