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?
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.