In these police-involved shootings where the victims are African-Americans, facts really don’t matter to the activists, protesters, race-hustlers, and all too often, the news media. Tragically, all has unfolded as the Ethics Alarms post foresaw when I wrote it last night, but then an idiot could have see this coming from the moment the police were called. I’ve said that I am 75% serious when I suggest that the policy should be that the police will refuse to interact with any African American lawbreaker or suspect, because it is a no-win situation. If black communities want to be protected from non-white criminals, then let them agree on reasonable terms or handle it themselves.
The more I read, hear and watch, the more that percentage ticks up.
Here is the Comment of the Day, by James Hodgson (who actually knows something, though facts don’t matter during the George Floyd Freakout), on the post, “Another Unarmed Black Man Is Shot And Killed By Police In Atlanta, And Facts Don’t Matter”:
I was previously a TASER instructor and have experienced the effects of the weapon many times in training scenarios. (My experience ended with the X-26 Model which my agency was using at the time of my retirement in 2014.) Powered by compressed nitrogen in the weapon’s cartridge, the TASER fires two small barbed darts (they look like straightened fish hooks) intended to puncture the skin and remain attached to the target individual. The darts are connected to the TASER by thin copper wires and carry an electric current which disrupts muscle control, causing “neuromuscular incapacitation”.
The TASER is marketed as “less-lethal” since the possibility of serious injury or even death exists any time the weapon is deployed, especially if it is deployed incorrectly or by untrained persons. Officers are trained to scrupulously avoid any TASER shots above the shoulders due to the possibility of serious eye injury from the darts and/or delivery of the electrical current to the head/brain.
If someone had violently taken my TASER from me and was trying to use it against me, I would likely have shot them. My presumption would be that the subject intended to incapacitate me, take my firearm and use it to kill me. I never shot or shot at and would never shoot or shoot at a subject who was merely fleeing an arrest for a non-violent crime.
If it turns out to be the case in the Atlanta shooting that the subject fired or was attempting or preparing to fire the TASER at the officer, I suspect the shooting will be ruled as justified. I withhold judgement pending the investigation. Officers are required to use an amount of force that is reasonably necessary, not the “minimum necessary” as is often said. How would I know in advance what that minimum force is? If I try too low a level of force and it doesn’t work, I might not have time or opportunity to select a bit higher level of force and give that a whirl. Based on training and experience, officers choose and employ reasonable force options.
For anyone who thinks EMS should have been called to Wendy’s instead of police, I can assure you that EMS would almost certainly have called the police themselves and not dealt with the subject until the police told them it was safe to do so. I have been called to “clear” countless EMS calls (render the scene safe) while the medics waited down the street. Not being critical here; that is a normal division of duties.
As far as allowing or even asking the intoxicated subject to just drive the car across the lot, I would caution that the officer would be assuming liability for whatever harm was committed by the subject if he drove away and injured anyone in any manner. Not happening.