Police misbehavior thread

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Dauric » Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:31 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:... As long as they were well trained the risk was minimal...


Unfortunately the emphasized is often a problem. Good training costs money, and some jurisdictions (often in an attempt to create soundbites that appeal to voters) emphasize raw numbers of "cops on the beat" rather than have a well trained force, and spend accordingly.

Of course that results in battalions of Keystone Cops.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby cphite » Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:35 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
cphite wrote:Cops are human. They respond to fear and stress like anyone else.
Apparently "everyone else" does not include cops in any of the dozens of countries where people sometimes have knives but police murder fewer of them than in the US.


There are plenty of cases - you can Google them - where police in other countries have shot people armed with knives. This isn't exclusive to the US, and there is no solid evidence that people who wield knives are "murdered" by cops at any higher rate in the US.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:44 pm UTC

cphite wrote:
morriswalters wrote:
DSenette wrote:apparently the dash cam footage from the gilbert flores case is from a different angle and clearly shows the guy with his hands raised and motionless at the time of the shooting. they're not releasing the footage till the investigation is done of course.

If they haven't released it, how would anybody know. I mean it was a bad shoot obviously, two officers could have made the arrest if they had been smart, but what is your source?


People aren't going to want to hear it but the reality is this: If you're holding a deadly weapon and the police order you to put it down, and you don't put it down, getting shot automatically becomes an outcome that is highly possible. And the likelihood increases exponentially as time passes.


Oh sure, that's absolutely the case. But I don't believe that what is matches up well with what should be. Certainly, we do not allow private citizens to lower their standards of killing someone based on boredom with the situation.

Based purely on the video, it looks like a bad shoot. However, given the poor quality of the video and the distance, we don't know if the guy made a small, quick movement that might have been (rightly or wrongly) interpreted as a lunge, for example. Given the level of stress at that moment, even something small that wouldn't be clear on video could be perceived as a threat.


Possibly. But if it's too small to show up on video, it's difficult to envision how that could be a valid threat. So, it still comes down to 'bad shoot'. Stress is a possible contributor to it, sure, but that doesn't really change the basic status.

Cops are human. They respond to fear and stress like anyone else. Their training is supposed to make them respond better; but "better" is a relative term. Standing face to face with a large, agitated man who's holding a knife and who's already assaulted people - and who'd shrugged off a taser - for upwards of 20 minutes is a completely different than watching two minutes of it on video. My best guess is that one of these two officers interpreted something as a prelude to an attack, and responded. Wrongly. When one fired, the other did too.

The second video, which is supposedly much closer and more clear, might reveal what (if anything) prompted the decision to fire.

As for two officers being able to make an arrest; that only happens if they can eliminate the threat of the knife. They cannot safely make an arrest while he's actively wielding a deadly weapon. As long as he's holding that knife, the two options are wait him out or shoot him.

Of course, all of this assumes the knife actually being there.


Sure. Humans have all sorts of confrontations. In the US, a great many of us are armed. And yet, we manage to kill cops remarkably rarely. In fact, concealed carry permit holders apparently kill people at a rate far, far less than cops do. Granted, the lack of complete statistics makes precision difficult here, but mostly what I'm getting at is that cops seem to have a strong tendency to shoot.

Other options exist. You can keep trying to talk the guy down. That's...not really all that crazy. You can try the tazer again. Just because one shot failed* doesn't mean you have to just give up on it as an option. Neither of these options presents as much risk as opening fire with a firearm. So long as he isn't actually attacking, maybe don't start shooting just because eh, it's been a while, and this is getting old?

*Note that the probable cause of failure is "officer blew the shot".

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby The Great Hippo » Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:52 pm UTC

There are plenty of cases - you can Google them - where police in other countries have shot people armed with knives. This isn't exclusive to the US, and there is no solid evidence that people who wield knives are "murdered" by cops at any higher rate in the US.
I don't know if that's true, but I do know that there's overwhelming evidence that police kill more people in the U.S. than most western countries -- even if you account for things like population. It would be very odd to discover that situations involving knives were an exception; if our cops kill more people overall, we'd expect them to kill more knife-wielders, too.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby cphite » Thu Sep 03, 2015 9:59 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:
cphite wrote:
As for two officers being able to make an arrest; that only happens if they can eliminate the threat of the knife. They cannot safely make an arrest while he's actively wielding a deadly weapon. As long as he's holding that knife, the two options are wait him out or shoot him.

Of course, all of this assumes the knife actually being there.


or taze him, or send in the dogs, or have another officer approach from the rear...or pepper spray him, or tear gas him, or give him the bean bags, or lob a couple rubber bullets at the guy from a distance, or call in the fire department and spray him with a hose.....or like...a thousand other things that are not shoot the guy.


They tried the taser, and I didn't see any dogs. Pepper spray is a deterrent, but even assuming it works it really doesn't change the situation - someone swinging a knife half-blind isn't any less dangerous. They may not have had tear gas, bean bags, or rubber bullets available. It's easy to conjure up thousands of options after the fact; these guys had to deal with the situation in real time.

Again, I'm not saying it wasn't a bad shoot; but there really isn't enough evidence (that is public so far) to conclude that; much less to conclude that they acted maliciously. The second video could possibly make it more clear once it becomes available.

if the guy is by himself, and there isn't anyone else in immediate danger from the guy with the knife, and the cops were worried that he would lunge and they couldn't get a shot off in time, they could have made more distance between them and the guy. there's literally no need to stay within lunging distance of the guy unless he's got a chance of harming someone else that's closer to him than you are.


I think you underestimate the danger of a large knife and a person determined to use it. It takes literally seconds for someone to cross the distance he was from those officers; and once an attack starts, there is no guarantee that shooting him is going to stop him from seriously injuring or even killing someone. This guy was shot twice and went down; that doesn't always happen, and officers are trained not to assume it will happen.

It definitely seems like a bad shoot with the information at hand. But it's not as simple as some of the armchair quarterbacks are making it out to be; the suggestion that these two cops just straight up decided to murder the guy for "having a knife" is a bit silly.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby cphite » Thu Sep 03, 2015 10:16 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
Based purely on the video, it looks like a bad shoot. However, given the poor quality of the video and the distance, we don't know if the guy made a small, quick movement that might have been (rightly or wrongly) interpreted as a lunge, for example. Given the level of stress at that moment, even something small that wouldn't be clear on video could be perceived as a threat.


Possibly. But if it's too small to show up on video, it's difficult to envision how that could be a valid threat. So, it still comes down to 'bad shoot'. Stress is a possible contributor to it, sure, but that doesn't really change the basic status.


It depends on what it is.

On the video it appears that he's just standing with his hands in the air, but he does seem to move slightly forward just before the first shot. If this was perceived as a threatening movement, that may have been why the shot was taken.

My guess is that he moved, and when he moved, one of the officers - already on edge - reacted by firing. His partner, upon hearing the first shot, fired as well.

And I know, the peanut gallery response is that the guy was too far away to do anything... but it's not an uncommon thing to have happen when tensions are high. People get stressed, nervous, and eventually they react to something in a way they ought not have. Training is supposed to mitigate that; but training only goes so far.

Years ago when I was doing private security I was in a couple tense situations where weapons were involved. Fortunately, nobody ever got hurt. But when you're actually there, it's night and day different from watching it on a video clip. Any sudden movement or change feels amplified, and it gets worse the longer it lasts. Based on that, I can understand how someone might make the wrong choice. That doesn't mean they shouldn't be held accountable; but it's a bit premature to be calling it "murder" based on just that clip.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby gmalivuk » Thu Sep 03, 2015 10:29 pm UTC

cphite wrote:There are plenty of cases - you can Google them - where police in other countries have shot people armed with knives.
There are plenty of smokers who never develop cancer. Glad you pointed that out or I might never have realized.

This isn't exclusive to the US, and there is no solid evidence that people who wield knives are "murdered" by cops at any higher rate in the US.
Sure there is: in the US police kill people with knives at a higher rate than police kill *anybody* in quite a few other countries, therefore people who wield knives are killed by cops at a higher rate in the US than in those countries.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby morriswalters » Thu Sep 03, 2015 11:05 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Sure. Humans have all sorts of confrontations. In the US, a great many of us are armed. And yet, we manage to kill cops remarkably rarely. In fact, concealed carry permit holders apparently kill people at a rate far, far less than cops do. Granted, the lack of complete statistics makes precision difficult here, but mostly what I'm getting at is that cops seem to have a strong tendency to shoot.
That's because they have been given guns. And if we don't kill cops we manage to kill each other. Most people will never encounter cops in situations where violence will become an issue. Particularly if you are middle class and white. If you are poor and white or worse yet poor and black the odds increase that you will interact with cops.
The Great Hippo wrote:I don't know if that's true, but I do know that there's overwhelming evidence that police kill more people in the U.S. than most western countries -- even if you account for things like population. It would be very odd to discover that situations involving knives were an exception; if our cops kill more people overall, we'd expect them to kill more knife-wielders, too.
This isn't directly related to your point, but I was amused to find out that Switzerland's largest prison has a smaller population than my local county jail, and according to the Wikipedia only 259(approx.) officers in the UK have been killed in the line of duty by violence since 1900, excluding terror attacks and the troubles. And some not small number apparently collapsed after the exertion of their duties.

More on point if you confine the list to the European Union I doubt that you will find Police shooting knife wielders in any great numbers.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Diadem » Fri Sep 04, 2015 8:06 am UTC

Because of this thread, I figured I'd look into the situation in my own country. I found a nice thesis about police violence in The Netherlands. Unfortunately it's in Dutch. It's also from 2005, so quite old. Nevertheless, very interesting. There's a lot of data in there about changes throughout the years and differences between regions and types of police and stuff like that. Also detailed breakdowns about different types of fire arm use (precautionary, as a threat, for firing warning shots, etc. This is apparently all tracked!).

One interesting thing the researcher remarked upon that in The Netherlands, a lot of data is available on violence by police, but very little on violence against police. He compared this with the US, where it is the other way around.

Somewhat off topic, but he also compares Dutch police with different countries. It's a shame it is all in Dutch, because this is where the really interesting insights come in I think, and where we can really learn from each other. For example Dutch and German police shoot at people in roughly the same number of cases per capita, and also kill people in roughly the same ratio. But Dutch police wound a lot more people. He gives two possible explanations for that. The first one is that Dutch police shoot at fleeing vehicles relatively often, something the German police describes as "senseless and dangerous". Also apparently the German police are just lousy shots (But remember this research is 10 years old, and Germany was apparently investing heavily in better firearms training at the time of writing).

Anyway, some extremely distilled facts:

- In the 88 years between 1916 and 2004, the total number of police officers murdered while on duty was 29.
- Between 1878 and 2002 police shot and and killed 69 people, and shot and wounded 357 more.
- 'involuntary' firearm use accounted for 11 of 69 deaths and 35 of 357 wounded. Three types of 'involuntary shots' are identified, each accounting for roughly 1/3rd of incidents: Accidental reflex actions, shots during physical struggles, and clumsiness (usually carelessness during cleaning or simply while showing off).
- Four of the 69 killings were most likely a 'suicide by cop'.
- The researcher talks about police killings by means other than firearms. Apparently data on this is harder to find, and he gives fewer hard numbers here. Apparently between 1954 and 1964 police killed 2 people with a truncheon and 1 with a sabre.
- The most common cause of death due to police violence after firearms seems to be 'positional asphyxia', which I think is basically choking, though death can be several hours later due to internal trauma. The thesis gives no hard numbers on this, but says there at "At least 6 cases between 1996 and 2000 where this was most likely the cause of death".

The bottom line seems to be that Dutch police are quite a bit more violent than for example English police, and perhaps slightly more violent than German police, but still amazingly less violent than American police.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby leady » Fri Sep 04, 2015 9:01 am UTC

The Great Hippo wrote:
There are plenty of cases - you can Google them - where police in other countries have shot people armed with knives. This isn't exclusive to the US, and there is no solid evidence that people who wield knives are "murdered" by cops at any higher rate in the US.
I don't know if that's true, but I do know that there's overwhelming evidence that police kill more people in the U.S. than most western countries -- even if you account for things like population. It would be very odd to discover that situations involving knives were an exception; if our cops kill more people overall, we'd expect them to kill more knife-wielders, too.


I think the question that is danced around is are the US police more shooty in a given scenario rather than as a per capita measure, which whilst interesting may well be misleading.

In the UK, if you stand 15 foot from an armed police man waving a knife around, then you are getting shot. I find it difficult to think this is different on the continent.

Has anyone looked at normalising the numbers by attacks on the police or other measures?

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Lazar » Fri Sep 04, 2015 10:19 am UTC

@Diadem: The mention of warning shots is interesting, because those seem to be greatly discouraged here in the US, and as far as I'm aware our police don't use them. On the flip side, our police also tend to avoid shooting-to-wound – the idea is that if you're justified in shooting someone then you're justified in killing them, and if you aim at their legs, you're more likely to miss.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby icanus » Fri Sep 04, 2015 10:50 am UTC

leady wrote:In the UK, if you stand 15 foot from an armed police man waving a knife around, then you are getting shot.

That's very much the exception rather than the rule.
Armed police are deployed in upward of 12,000 operations a year in the UK, and not since 2002 has the number of operations in which a gun was fired reached double digits.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Chen » Fri Sep 04, 2015 11:51 am UTC

Diadem wrote:- The researcher talks about police killings by means other than firearms. Apparently data on this is harder to find, and he gives fewer hard numbers here. Apparently between 1954 and 1964 police killed 2 people with a truncheon and 1 with a sabre.


So....Dutch police used sabres? I know there was a lot of good info in that post, but I kinda got stuck on that...

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby DSenette » Fri Sep 04, 2015 12:18 pm UTC

cphite wrote:
DSenette wrote:
cphite wrote:
As for two officers being able to make an arrest; that only happens if they can eliminate the threat of the knife. They cannot safely make an arrest while he's actively wielding a deadly weapon. As long as he's holding that knife, the two options are wait him out or shoot him.

Of course, all of this assumes the knife actually being there.


or taze him, or send in the dogs, or have another officer approach from the rear...or pepper spray him, or tear gas him, or give him the bean bags, or lob a couple rubber bullets at the guy from a distance, or call in the fire department and spray him with a hose.....or like...a thousand other things that are not shoot the guy.


They tried the taser, and I didn't see any dogs. Pepper spray is a deterrent, but even assuming it works it really doesn't change the situation - someone swinging a knife half-blind isn't any less dangerous. They may not have had tear gas, bean bags, or rubber bullets available. It's easy to conjure up thousands of options after the fact; these guys had to deal with the situation in real time.

Again, I'm not saying it wasn't a bad shoot; but there really isn't enough evidence (that is public so far) to conclude that; much less to conclude that they acted maliciously. The second video could possibly make it more clear once it becomes available.

they tried the tazer once....at which point...you try again. you didn't see any dogs "yet"...again nothing about the video shows anyone in a rush....were they? maybe, but....the video doesn't suggest they should have been. so, wait for a dog? wait for some more cops to show up? did they not use their radios? pepper spray is a pretty good deterrent too...and sure, dude swinging a knife blindly is a bad idea....if the guy is right next to other people, but pepper to the eyes is going to reduce his reaction time and ability to close the distance effectively and increase the cops' chances of you know...moving out of the way. might not have had tear gas, bean bags or rubber bullets.....but someone in the force does....wait for that guy to show up.

I mean, think back to a lot of standoff situations....by being calm, talking to the guy, keeping some distance, etc... police forces have historically been able to end much higher stakes situations without the guy ending up dead. thinking of the time the guy was on a bridge with a gun, and they had enough time to get a sniper to shoot the gun out of his hand.

cphite wrote:
DSenette wrote:if the guy is by himself, and there isn't anyone else in immediate danger from the guy with the knife, and the cops were worried that he would lunge and they couldn't get a shot off in time, they could have made more distance between them and the guy. there's literally no need to stay within lunging distance of the guy unless he's got a chance of harming someone else that's closer to him than you are.


I think you underestimate the danger of a large knife and a person determined to use it. It takes literally seconds for someone to cross the distance he was from those officers; and once an attack starts, there is no guarantee that shooting him is going to stop him from seriously injuring or even killing someone. This guy was shot twice and went down; that doesn't always happen, and officers are trained not to assume it will happen.

It definitely seems like a bad shoot with the information at hand. But it's not as simple as some of the armchair quarterbacks are making it out to be; the suggestion that these two cops just straight up decided to murder the guy for "having a knife" is a bit silly.
[/quote]
if the guy is charging...and he actually has a knife (which your assertion of him having a large knife doesn't jive with the idea that ANYONE who has viewed ANY of the videos is saying that they aren't sure if he had a knife....and the fact that so far, no one has said shit about a knife large or otherwise being recovered from the scene), shoot him....fo reals....but not when his hands are above his head and he's been stationary and looking fairly calm for a while.

police do have a right to self preservation, but they also have a heightened responsibility to ensure that they're ACTUALLY in danger of being seriously/mortally wounded before using lethal force. it's not the same as a home owner's reasonable fear of bodily harm in a home invasion....it just isn't.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Quercus » Fri Sep 04, 2015 12:30 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:you didn't see any dogs "yet"

I wasn't going to mention this, as it's a bit peripheral to the point, but as we've come back to dogs, I feel I should point out that (at least in the UK) dogs aren't typically used to apprehend people wielding knives, because that's a good way to get an injured dog, an injured suspect and an injured handler (because injured dogs can instinctively lash out).

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Sep 04, 2015 12:35 pm UTC

Cradarc wrote:I think this video brings a new perspective into the police brutality issue. The victim does not belong to a demographic that is stereotyped by Hollywood as criminals.
Also, this is just silly, Cradarc.

I had briefly forgotten the guy's name and hadn't yet seen a picture of him when I first responded to this stupidity, but if you don't think a guy named Gilbert Flores might have belonged to any demographic Hollywood stereotypes as criminals, you're either really bad with names or really unfamiliar with Hollywood.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Diadem » Fri Sep 04, 2015 12:37 pm UTC

Chen wrote:
Diadem wrote:- The researcher talks about police killings by means other than firearms. Apparently data on this is harder to find, and he gives fewer hard numbers here. Apparently between 1954 and 1964 police killed 2 people with a truncheon and 1 with a sabre.


So....Dutch police used sabres? I know there was a lot of good info in that post, but I kinda got stuck on that...

Yes. Sabres were apparently standard issue in the early 20th century. The only source I found says they were discontinued in the early 60s, but I don't know if that means that they were in general use until then, or if it was just a few departments holding out.

Lazar wrote:@Diadem: The mention of warning shots is interesting, because those seem to be greatly discouraged here in the US, and as far as I'm aware our police don't use them. On the flip side, our police also tend to avoid shooting-to-wound – the idea is that if you're justified in shooting someone then you're justified in killing them, and if you aim at their legs, you're more likely to miss.

The only data I have on that is from 1996 to 2000. The data is on firearm use, where any use counts, including just drawing the weapon:
In 1996 this was 443 uses: 30 times precautionary, 321 times as a threat, 39 times for warning shots, 50 times for aimed shots and 3 times for accidental shots.
In 1997 this was 444 uses: 37 times precautionary, 334 times as a threat, 30 times for warning shots, 37 times for aimed shots and 6 times for accidental shots.
In 1998 this was 411 uses: 71 times precautionary, 293 times as a threat, 24 times for warning shots, 22 times for aimed shots and 0 times for accidental shots.
In 1999 this was 502 uses: 37 times precautionary, 397 times as a threat, 37 times for warning shots, 26 times for aimed shots and 5 times for accidental shots.
In 2000 this was 340 uses: 17 times precautionary, 274 times as a threat, 27 times for warning shots, 18 times for aimed shots and 4 times for accidental shots.

So warning shots happen more often than real shots. Makes sense to me. "Draw weapon", "Fire warning shot" and "fire actual shot" is a pretty clear order of escalation, and it makes sense that each next step happens less often. Do you have any idea why US police wouldn't use warning shots?

But please note that the data is 15 to 20 years old. In particular that means it's from before 9/11, which had a pretty big impact on Dutch culture as well. This was a time when our prime minister drove around in a normal, unarmored car, and went through life without any security detail. Just like the US, the Dutch society has become more security-focussed, though luckily to a much lesser degree. It would not surprise me if firearm use has gone up as well.

And yes, US police being trained to always shoot to kill was one of the things that most shocked me when I first started reading up on this subject. If such blatant disregard for human life is official policy, it's no surprise at all that the result is a huge clusterfuck.

edit: Ah, more recent data: In 2014 Dutch police used guns 158 times. Here used actually means fired, but it's not clear to me if that's 158 incidents or 158 bullets. Of these 70 were warning shots, 61 were aimed shots (including shots at animals) and 4 accidental ones. That doesn't add up and I haven't been able to find an explanation for that (I hate that journalists never cite their sources). As far as I can tell no one was killed. Anyway that's a clear increase compared to 15 years ago, but it does seem to be very constant the last couple of years.
Last edited by Diadem on Fri Sep 04, 2015 12:49 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby DSenette » Fri Sep 04, 2015 12:42 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:
Chen wrote:
Diadem wrote:- The researcher talks about police killings by means other than firearms. Apparently data on this is harder to find, and he gives fewer hard numbers here. Apparently between 1954 and 1964 police killed 2 people with a truncheon and 1 with a sabre.


So....Dutch police used sabres? I know there was a lot of good info in that post, but I kinda got stuck on that...

Yes. Sabres were apparently standard issue in the early 20th century. The only source I found says they were discontinued in the early 60s, but I don't know if that means that they were in general use until then, or if it was just a few departments holding out.

Lazar wrote:@Diadem: The mention of warning shots is interesting, because those seem to be greatly discouraged here in the US, and as far as I'm aware our police don't use them. On the flip side, our police also tend to avoid shooting-to-wound – the idea is that if you're justified in shooting someone then you're justified in killing them, and if you aim at their legs, you're more likely to miss.

The only data I have on that is from 1996 to 2000. The data is on firearm use, where any use counts, including just drawing the weapon:
In 1996 this was 443 uses: 30 times precautionary, 321 times as a threat, 39 times for warning shots, 50 times for aimed shots and 3 times for accidental shots.
In 1997 this was 444 uses: 37 times precautionary, 334 times as a threat, 30 times for warning shots, 37 times for aimed shots and 6 times for accidental shots.
In 1998 this was 411 uses: 71 times precautionary, 293 times as a threat, 24 times for warning shots, 22 times for aimed shots and 0 times for accidental shots.
In 1999 this was 502 uses: 37 times precautionary, 397 times as a threat, 37 times for warning shots, 26 times for aimed shots and 5 times for accidental shots.
In 2000 this was 340 uses: 17 times precautionary, 274 times as a threat, 27 times for warning shots, 18 times for aimed shots and 4 times for accidental shots.

So warning shots happen more often than real shots. Makes sense to me. "Draw weapon", "Fire warning shot" and "fire actual shot" is a pretty clear order of escalation, and it makes sense that each next step happens less often. Do you have any idea why US police wouldn't use warning shots?

But please note that the data is 15 to 20 years old. In particular that means it's from before 9/11, which had a pretty big impact on Dutch culture as well. This was a time when our prime minister drove around in a normal, unarmored car, and went through life without any security detail. Just like the US, the Dutch society has become more security-focussed, though luckily to a much lesser degree. It would not surprise me if firearm use has gone up as well.

And yes, US police being trained to always shoot to kill was one of the things that most shocked me when I first started reading up on this subject. If such blatant disregard for human life is official policy, it's no surprise at all that the result is a huge clusterfuck.

because a warning shot means you're not aiming the gun at something you're wanting to shoot (and subsequently likely kill)....if the warning shot is say, shot into the air....no one has a clue where that bullet is going to land. could be in an open field, could be in a playground full of kids. bullets travel a long distance, and if you aren't aiming at something directly....you have no clue what you're going to hit.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby elasto » Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:20 pm UTC

You can fire the warning shot into the ground. Even if it ricochets - or even if you fire it in the air to begin with - a small chance of hitting someone is much better than the very large chance of hitting the suspect if you aim at them and fire.

That is, assuming that you respect the suspect's right to life - even when they themselves do not.

Once again, here's is the UK's attitude summed up: 'In response, Det Supt Raffaele D'orsi said: "We have a moral duty and actually a mandate as police officers to protect the public, that includes offenders who are trying to escape from us."'

In this situation, the UK officers would feel under a moral duty to protect the guy with his hands up - even if he was holding a knife and appeared to flinch or whatever.

Once again, the US attitude seems to be: "If you don't obey us, we will only seek to protect ourselves and not you; Everything that occurs to you from the moment your refuse to obey us is your fault."

I mean, I kinda get it, but it's not exactly humane. And even criminals deserve to be treated humanely - especially if they are sick or mentally ill - which most people refusing to obey the orders of an officer pointing a gun at them will be...

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby DSenette » Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:26 pm UTC

elasto wrote:You can fire the warning shot into the ground. Even if it ricochets - or even if you fire it in the air to begin with - a small chance of hitting someone is much better than the very large chance of hitting the suspect if you aim at them and fire.


no...no no no no no....no....no

fire a shot into the ground? next to your leg? where the round you're firing is designed to expand and likely fragment? and then YOU get pieces of it in your leg? or your partners leg? or you're the least lucky son of a bitch on the planet and you fire it into the ground, and it ricochets directly into the suspect's face and kills him anyway? no...absolutely not.never.ever.no

"small chance of hitting someone random" is an ENTIRELY unreasonable amount of chance.

if you are not 100% sure of where the bullet is going, it should be staying in the gun...period
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Chen » Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:32 pm UTC

Warning shot into the air is possibly the most irresponsible and dangerous thing they could do with the gun besides just shooting into a crowd of civilians. I hope that isn't how they do "warning shots". Into the ground with frangible amunition could work though.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby elasto » Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:32 pm UTC

Why would you fire it into the ground next to your leg??

Sure, if you're in an concrete alleyway with the suspect at a dead end, you can't fire a warning shot. But in most circumstances there is some dirt far away from you and everyone else where it's relatively safe to fire.

I mean, you've just seen stats saying the police fired a hundred+ warning shots; Do you see any evidence anyone got injured from any of them?

And, besides, if warning shots are so frigging dangerous, how come we hear these stories of half a dozen cops all emptying their clips into a suspect's vehicle or whatever? Why the hell aren't they being severely reprimanded for that? That's a hell of a lot more likely to cause collateral damage than a single warning shot into some dirt a way off...
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Angua » Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:33 pm UTC

And yet, there are police forces that somehow do manage to fire warning shots at people, and don't kill as many people as the US cops, so it can't be a completely crazy idea.

http://www.quora.com/Do-police-fire-warning-shots

https://www.policeombudsman.org/Investigation-Reports/Police-justified-in-firing-warning-shots-during-at
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby DSenette » Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:36 pm UTC

it is ENTIRELY and 100% an irresponsible idea. it goes against EVERY SINGLE RULE of gun safety on the planet.

if you're firing DOWN RANGE in any direction you INCREASE the risk of the bullet ricocheting in a random direction. EVEN IF you're out in a field, there could be a rock that you didn't see. and you're not making a targeted shot.....it's not like you're going to actually use your sites to make this warning shot....do you know what a couple of degrees of angle means to a bullet when you fire it?

this is a REDICULOUS idea, irrespective of any one's use of it.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby DSenette » Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:39 pm UTC

you're in here saying that American cops do loads of stupid irresponsible shit, as a matter of course, and that they shouldn't be doing that stupid irresponsible shit......and justifying the position and your alternatives by saying that other police departments are known to do other stupid and irresponsible shit on a regular basis.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby PeteP » Fri Sep 04, 2015 2:07 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:you're in here saying that American cops do loads of stupid irresponsible shit, as a matter of course, and that they shouldn't be doing that stupid irresponsible shit......and justifying the position and your alternatives by saying that other police departments are known to do other stupid and irresponsible shit on a regular basis.

That is a misrepresentation of what they are saying and you know it. Their argument is other police department do it while still shooting less people and are using that as an argument that it is not stupid and irresponsible.
(Note: I'm not commenting on the validity of the argument in either way, I was simply annoyed by your willful misrepresentation and am pointing it out.)

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby DSenette » Fri Sep 04, 2015 2:18 pm UTC

PeteP wrote:
DSenette wrote:you're in here saying that American cops do loads of stupid irresponsible shit, as a matter of course, and that they shouldn't be doing that stupid irresponsible shit......and justifying the position and your alternatives by saying that other police departments are known to do other stupid and irresponsible shit on a regular basis.

That is a misrepresentation of what they are saying and you know it. Their argument is other police department do it while still shooting less people and are using that as an argument that it is not stupid and irresponsible.
(Note: I'm not commenting on the validity of the argument in either way, I was simply annoyed by your willful misrepresentation and am pointing it out.)

I don't see any statistics showing any record of how many warning shots resulted in some form of injury....likely because that's shit that's damned hard to actually track. especially if you're talking about firing a shot in the air...that could hit someone a mile away.

THAT they don't kill people with guns as often as in the US has fuck all to do with the reasonableness of firing warning shots. the fact that there are police forces that use warning shots as a tool, does not change the reasonableness of warning shots either.

it's like suggesting that a police department is being responsible by releasing live cobras in a high theft area as a theft deterrent.....I mean....they don't have a lot of reports of people getting bitten.....so...like...totally reasonable to have an uncontrollable deadly animal wandering around without being able to control where it goes right?

it's already established that MOST other police forces DO NOT shoot people as much as police in the US
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Angua » Fri Sep 04, 2015 2:27 pm UTC

I don't think it's actually that hard to track someone getting hit by a warning shot in most places in the world - a) as shootings are less common so when they do occur they are actually investigated (see Diadem's study about the reporting of violence by Dutch police) and b) if you're accidentally shot by a bullet a mile away, you are most likely going to be getting treated for that gunshot and it will be tracked down to where it's come from (again, it's not like these shots are happening very often in these countries, so any fallout from them will most likely be heavily looked into.

I mean, sure absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but when in a circumstance with a high likelihood of reporting (gun crimes are definitely reported in the UK by medical staff and I would imagine in most of Europe as well) then actually, not having evidence is nudging you heavily and going 'look over here'.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Diadem » Fri Sep 04, 2015 2:33 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:it is ENTIRELY and 100% an irresponsible idea. it goes against EVERY SINGLE RULE of gun safety on the planet.

We have already established that police forces in at least 2 countries use warning shots regularly. So your statement that it goes against 'EVERY SINGLE RULE of gun safety on the planet' is clearly a lie.

DSenette wrote:this is a REDICULOUS idea, irrespective of any one's use of it.

So firing warning shots is a ridiculous idea because of an extremely small chance that you might injure someone, but shooting to kill is completely fine.

There's something seriously, horribly wrong with your priorities.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby DSenette » Fri Sep 04, 2015 2:41 pm UTC

Angua wrote:I don't think it's actually that hard to track someone getting hit by a warning shot in most places in the world - a) as shootings are less common so when they do occur they are actually investigated (see Diadem's study about the reporting of violence by Dutch police) and b) if you're accidentally shot by a bullet a mile away, you are most likely going to be getting treated for that gunshot and it will be tracked down to where it's come from (again, it's not like these shots are happening very often in these countries, so any fallout from them will most likely be heavily looked into.

I mean, sure absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but when in a circumstance with a high likelihood of reporting (gun crimes are definitely reported in the UK by medical staff and I would imagine in most of Europe as well) then actually, not having evidence is nudging you heavily and going 'look over here'.

a bullet randomly falling out of the sky and finding itself inside of one is fairly hard to track to an actual incident.....if they even bother to look. yes, sure, if there are only ever guns fired by the police...and you find a bullet in you all of a sudden.....then...yeah maybe it likely came from that cop. but the existence of other people having and shooting guns somewhere in the reasonable geographic area (a .22 can travel over a mile and still be harmful) confounds that trackability...yeah, you MIGHT be able to say "well you got a bullet in you at 9:30 and at about 9:28 a cop also shot a gun" but how many other people that aren't cops actually shot a gun? maybe someone reported shots fired somewhere....maybe they didn't, but someone totally shot a gun.

I don't think it's reasonable to assume that they would, in every instance, actually do that tracking...maybe they do, but.....is there any record of the police who fire warning shots in those areas accounting for all the rounds they fired as warning shots? that's the kind of thing you'd have to see to say that they're doing it at least halfway reasonably.

Diadem wrote:
DSenette wrote:it is ENTIRELY and 100% an irresponsible idea. it goes against EVERY SINGLE RULE of gun safety on the planet.

We have already established that police forces in at least 2 countries use warning shots regularly. So your statement that it goes against 'EVERY SINGLE RULE of gun safety on the planet' is clearly a lie.

no, no it isn't. the basic rules of gun safety, is you never point a gun at anything you're not willing to kill/destroy. and you never fire a gun in a way that you aren't sure of where the round is going to end up.

even firing a round at a brick wall or a dirt embankment doesn't meet the criteria of knowing were the round will end up.

"But what about dirt mound firing range back stops?" yeah...those are engineered for the purpose and maintained by the gun range...they know there aren't large rocks in them, they know the angle of the mound, they know the density of the dirt and calibrate the mound in such a way that it's going to absorb the round when it gets there.

so, no, just because SOMEONE DOES IT, doesn't mean that it's following a gun safety rule.

Diadem wrote:
DSenette wrote:this is a REDICULOUS idea, irrespective of any one's use of it.

So firing warning shots is a ridiculous idea because of an extremely small chance that you might injure someone, but shooting to kill is completely fine.

There's something seriously, horribly wrong with your priorities.

firing warning shots, and shooting someone that isn't posing a direct threat to you or others, are BOTH VERY BAD THINGS.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Sep 04, 2015 2:43 pm UTC

Firing warning shots may be more irresponsible than not firing any shots, but it's far less irresponsible than emptying your clip in the direction of a person when you're not actually a particularly good shot and most of those rounds miss. And the amount of training to become a cop is less than the amount of training to become a beautician, so...
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby DSenette » Fri Sep 04, 2015 2:49 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:Firing warning shots may be more irresponsible than not firing any shots, but it's far less irresponsible than emptying your clip in the direction of a person when you're not actually a particularly good shot and most of those rounds miss. And the amount of training to become a cop is less than the amount of training to become a beautician, so...

which means untrained cops shouldn't be discharging their firearm at all maybe?

if the topic it hand is the fact that we'd like cops to eliminate irresponsible actions....like emptying a magazine for a traffic stop, or teargasing crowds of civilians, or choking the shit out of people who are selling cigarettes...I think avoiding warning shots should be on the list.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Dauric » Fri Sep 04, 2015 2:51 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:
DSenette wrote:it is ENTIRELY and 100% an irresponsible idea. it goes against EVERY SINGLE RULE of gun safety on the planet.

We have already established that police forces in at least 2 countries use warning shots regularly. So your statement that it goes against 'EVERY SINGLE RULE of gun safety on the planet' is clearly a lie.


Dial it back a bit.

It does violate standard gun safety procedures. If you've ever had firearms training one area of emphasis is "Know your backstop." In other words, if you miss, or if the bullet goes through your target know where that bullet will end up. Not looking where you are shooting, or worse, shooting in a ballistic trajectory in a direction where you can't see where the bullet will end up means you don't know your backstop.

That police in some departments, including ones in the U.S., fire warning shots in the air doesn't mean that the practice doesn't violate gun safety rules. It just means police aren't being safe with their firearms.

Sure it can be done as a practice with relatively few fatalities, a bullet is a small thing and people generally take up less potential surface area than we socially afford one-another ('personal space'), so odds favor a randomly fired round striking the ground or a structure rather than a human being.

But it's not a 'lie' that the practice violates standard rules of gun safety.

gmalivuk wrote:Firing warning shots may be more irresponsible than not firing any shots, but it's far less irresponsible than emptying your clip in the direction of a person when you're not actually a particularly good shot and most of those rounds miss. And the amount of training to become a cop is less than the amount of training to become a beautician, so...


This depends heavily on your jurisdiction. Where I live there's a fairly significant Police Academy and stringent hiring and training requirements. One city over where I work, yeah this is probably true.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Angua » Fri Sep 04, 2015 2:53 pm UTC

I think you are greatly overestimating the number of random bullets that people are firing in these other countries. And yes 'random person shot out of sky - no explanation found' is something that would be heavily reported. The police don't discharge their firearms that often, and when they do it should be reported and audited.

People don't tend to get shot out of nowhere - when it does it's a newsworthy event. Even if it's not a cop that has done it, the fact that someone got accidentally shot by a civilian would still be investigation worthy.

Also, while I get that ballistics are probably not the most reliable thing in the world, you'd think you'd be able to at least track the type of gun it came from and narrow it down from there.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby DSenette » Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:04 pm UTC

Angua wrote:I think you are greatly overestimating the number of random bullets that people are firing in these other countries. And yes 'random person shot out of sky - no explanation found' is something that would be heavily reported. The police don't discharge their firearms that often, and when they do it should be reported and audited.

People don't tend to get shot out of nowhere - when it does it's a newsworthy event. Even if it's not a cop that has done it, the fact that someone got accidentally shot by a civilian would still be investigation worthy.

Also, while I get that ballistics are probably not the most reliable thing in the world, you'd think you'd be able to at least track the type of gun it came from and narrow it down from there.

sure, if the groups involved decide to do the leg work on that....again, documentation that shows these jurisdictions are doing this would go a long way.

but... people being lucky, and not having a lot of people getting injured by random bullets fired as warning shots does not equal firing warning shots being a reasonable or safe practice.

UNLESS your cops also carry starter pistols that fire blanks for when they want to fire a warning shot.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Quercus » Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:13 pm UTC

Angua wrote:I think you are greatly overestimating the number of random bullets that people are firing in these other countries. And yes 'random person shot out of sky - no explanation found' is something that would be heavily reported. The police don't discharge their firearms that often, and when they do it should be reported and audited.

People don't tend to get shot out of nowhere - when it does it's a newsworthy event. Even if it's not a cop that has done it, the fact that someone got accidentally shot by a civilian would still be investigation worthy.

Also, while I get that ballistics are probably not the most reliable thing in the world, you'd think you'd be able to at least track the type of gun it came from and narrow it down from there.


Indeed. I concur that a random person getting shot with no evidence of a shooter would most likely make the national news in the UK. And, yes, armed police in the UK have to individually account for every shot that they fire (outside of training, obviously) - so much so that I've heard the amount of paperwork involved in doing so described (half jokingly) as a significant deterrent to UK police discharging their weapons unless they really, really have to. More seriously, the investigation that such reporting allows is a significant deterrent, because a single "bad shot" would stand a high chance of at least ending a police officer's career.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Diadem » Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:32 pm UTC

DSenette wrote:
Diadem wrote:
DSenette wrote:it is ENTIRELY and 100% an irresponsible idea. it goes against EVERY SINGLE RULE of gun safety on the planet.

We have already established that police forces in at least 2 countries use warning shots regularly. So your statement that it goes against 'EVERY SINGLE RULE of gun safety on the planet' is clearly a lie.

no, no it isn't. the basic rules of gun safety, is you never point a gun at anything you're not willing to kill/destroy. and you never fire a gun in a way that you aren't sure of where the round is going to end up.

Ok, I hate to be snide, but at this point I really have to check. You do know that the world is bigger than just the USA right? And you do realize that other countries also have firearm safety rules? Those aren't unique to the USA.

You continue to claim, despite being corrected, that firing warning shots goes against 'EVERY SINGLE RULE of gun safety on the planet'. But it clearly does not go against gun safety rules in both The Netherlands and the United Kingdom, and also at least Germany and Sweden, and probably most or all other European countries. All of those countries are located on this planet.

DSenette wrote:
Diadem wrote:
DSenette wrote:this is a REDICULOUS idea, irrespective of any one's use of it.

So firing warning shots is a ridiculous idea because of an extremely small chance that you might injure someone, but shooting to kill is completely fine.

There's something seriously, horribly wrong with your priorities.

firing warning shots, and shooting someone that isn't posing a direct threat to you or others, are BOTH VERY BAD THINGS.

You're moving the goal posts here.

No one is claiming that firing warning shots is not a serious thing. We're claiming that firing warning shots is preferable to taking targeted shots at people. Either should obviously only done against people who are posing a direct threat to you or others.

The claim you are making is that firing a warning shot is more dangerous that firing a direct, aimed, meant to kill, shot at someone. That claim is patently absurd.
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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:40 pm UTC

cphite wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:
Based purely on the video, it looks like a bad shoot. However, given the poor quality of the video and the distance, we don't know if the guy made a small, quick movement that might have been (rightly or wrongly) interpreted as a lunge, for example. Given the level of stress at that moment, even something small that wouldn't be clear on video could be perceived as a threat.


Possibly. But if it's too small to show up on video, it's difficult to envision how that could be a valid threat. So, it still comes down to 'bad shoot'. Stress is a possible contributor to it, sure, but that doesn't really change the basic status.


It depends on what it is.

On the video it appears that he's just standing with his hands in the air, but he does seem to move slightly forward just before the first shot. If this was perceived as a threatening movement, that may have been why the shot was taken.

My guess is that he moved, and when he moved, one of the officers - already on edge - reacted by firing. His partner, upon hearing the first shot, fired as well.


That is probable. However, this is not really okay. Contagious fire is a known thing, sure...but it's almost wholly a police thing. And it's not really a justification. Shooting at someone just because you got nervous or just because someone else did isn't really a sound reason.

These are not considered valid reasons for anyone else to shoot. Why should cops be given a pass for them?

morriswalters wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Sure. Humans have all sorts of confrontations. In the US, a great many of us are armed. And yet, we manage to kill cops remarkably rarely. In fact, concealed carry permit holders apparently kill people at a rate far, far less than cops do. Granted, the lack of complete statistics makes precision difficult here, but mostly what I'm getting at is that cops seem to have a strong tendency to shoot.
That's because they have been given guns. And if we don't kill cops we manage to kill each other. Most people will never encounter cops in situations where violence will become an issue. Particularly if you are middle class and white. If you are poor and white or worse yet poor and black the odds increase that you will interact with cops.


We've got about 765k cops in the US. Actual cops, with arrest powers, etc. Some of them may have desk jobs but hell, let's count 'em all. So, they shoot what, a thousand people a year? Maybe more, but still. That's at least a 765:1 ratio.

The US general population manages a murder rate of only about 16,129:1.

So...ya. It's a cop problem.

Lazar wrote:@Diadem: The mention of warning shots is interesting, because those seem to be greatly discouraged here in the US, and as far as I'm aware our police don't use them. On the flip side, our police also tend to avoid shooting-to-wound – the idea is that if you're justified in shooting someone then you're justified in killing them, and if you aim at their legs, you're more likely to miss.


That's correct. I do agree with that as policy, in most cases. Exceptions exist, where a wounding shot can be taken safely, but...definitely not in all cases.

And I do not feel very confident that telling US police to shoot MORE is the answer. Then they claim shooting to wound, or warning shot, and oops, looks like he died. It doesn't fix the underlying issue, which happens even when guns are uninvolved. Right now, I don't think giving police MORE latitude and power with deadly force is a good idea.

The idea of tracking drawn weapon incidents has some appeal, though. I imagine the numbers in the US would be staggering. Better numbers all round would be a great start.

Chen wrote:Warning shot into the air is possibly the most irresponsible and dangerous thing they could do with the gun besides just shooting into a crowd of civilians. I hope that isn't how they do "warning shots". Into the ground with frangible amunition could work though.


Frangible can still splatter to some degree. It's a lot less, but still, if you're fairly close, it can be an issue. And if you have to load special ammo into the gun for a warning shot, there are practicality concerns.

Angua wrote:And yet, there are police forces that somehow do manage to fire warning shots at people, and don't kill as many people as the US cops, so it can't be a completely crazy idea.


Sure, but a whole lot of people manage to kill less folks than US cops, so that's really not that informative. I suspect that differences are more fundamental here. In short, the whole "you WILL obey me" attitude.

DSenette wrote:this is a REDICULOUS idea, irrespective of any one's use of it.


Ridiculous. Sorry, pet peeve.

I agree that warning shots carry a degree of danger. I'm not an overly big fan of them, myself. Me, I'd like to minimize collateral damage from police actions. Less no knock raids, less shoot-em-up attitude, less willingness to escalate altogether. I do not think that encouraging warning shots would help with this.

As for data, while it is not centrally tracked, firing guns in the air does result in a significant number of deaths or injuries. No shortage of articles on the topic. Now, these are particularly common where it's culturally acceptable to fire guns into the air in celebration, but...bullets in the air are bullets in the air.

gmalivuk wrote:Firing warning shots may be more irresponsible than not firing any shots, but it's far less irresponsible than emptying your clip in the direction of a person when you're not actually a particularly good shot and most of those rounds miss. And the amount of training to become a cop is less than the amount of training to become a beautician, so...


Sure. These other countries are, generally, more responsible than US police. No argument there.

The training point is particularly horrifying. Military and competitive shooters do a pretty fair amount of training. It's mind boggling that casual classes for target shooting provides more education on firearms than police training usually do. Police departments routinely do things that the actual firearm community regards as utterly unsafe or unwise, often for decades(as a specific example, the ludicrously high trigger pull on the NYC police guns. That kills accuracy, resulting in bullets being sprayed inaccurately downrange). Sure, there's a lot of variance, so not all cops are extremely bad at this, but...if it's someone who just does the bare minimum, and lives in a jurisdiction with no training requirements, they can absolutely be incompetent.

Angua wrote:Also, while I get that ballistics are probably not the most reliable thing in the world, you'd think you'd be able to at least track the type of gun it came from and narrow it down from there.


Caliber, generally, sure. Not usually more specific than that. Yeah, you can do some comparison to confirm if you have the gun and bullet, sort of. But even that's not accurate enough to compare against a large population of firearms without getting stupid amounts of false positives. Plus, fired into the air, bullets can travel miles before impacting, depending on the variables involved. So, tracking it back to a specific gun is usually fairly difficult.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Quercus » Fri Sep 04, 2015 3:57 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Caliber, generally, sure. Not usually more specific than that. Yeah, you can do some comparison to confirm if you have the gun and bullet, sort of. But even that's not accurate enough to compare against a large population of firearms without getting stupid amounts of false positives. Plus, fired into the air, bullets can travel miles before impacting, depending on the variables involved. So, tracking it back to a specific gun is usually fairly difficult.

I think Angua's point was that it's fairly easy to track in the UK (possibly excepting Northern Ireland - which has quite different gun laws). All police weapons in the UK are chambered in either 9mm, 5.56mm NATO or 7.62mm NATO (I've just looked this up). None of these is a common calibre for hunting or competition rifles, which are the only firearms (apart from shotguns) that are allowed to be used in the UK. Even these are reasonably unusual and not permitted except on private land.

This means that it is likely that if someone is shot by a ricochet/indirect shot in one of those calibres it is overwhelmingly likely that there is only one such firearm being fired that day, even within a radius of many miles, and that it will be a police firearm, and the shot will be on record.

I agree that this is much harder to track in countries with higher rates of gun ownership and use.

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Re: Police misbehavior thread

Postby Angua » Fri Sep 04, 2015 4:32 pm UTC

Yeah, exactly. In these other countries that mythically exist, you have a lot less guns going off in your mile radius, so the chance that you're going to know that a bullet was fired from a police gun is pretty high, especially if it's the right calibre.

Again, we are not talking about the US at this moment in time for talking about police warning shots causing deaths and whether or not it would be easy to track in the US.
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