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Old 11-13-2007, 01:42 PM   #16
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I can understand if they fire a shot over the kid's head to show 'em they're serious, he keeps coming at the police, and THEN the cops open fire.

But to fire 20 shots at someone with no warning other than "stop" because they are walking towards you is trigger-happy, yeah.
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Old 11-13-2007, 02:29 PM   #17
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for 4-5 persons to unload 20 shots would take about 2 seconds.

put yourself in the situation...

you're in a neighborhood with a high crime rate. it's night time, visability is low. you're told the person in question has a gun. he's acting very strangely. he approaches you either with something in his hand or something hidden and pointing at you under a shirt or jacket that appears in the dim light that it could be a gun, yelling and acting highly unusual. you tell the person to stop. they keep coming at you. you have a split second to decide wether or not this person is a threat to send you home to your wife and kids in a box. if you choose not to shoot and it is a gun, you or your partners die. if you choose to shoot and you're wrong, you're a "trigger happy pig."
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Old 11-13-2007, 02:33 PM   #18
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^ yup.

these things are a tragedy on many, many levels, and vastly more complex than anyone, on either "side," would ever want to give it credit.
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Old 11-13-2007, 02:35 PM   #19
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That's as may be, but like I said, fire a shot in the air or one shot into his leg to put him on the ground. Even better, because that way you stop him from coming, you'll know right away if he's got a gun or not, and you can arrest him, rather than kill him.

Any way you slice it:
20 shots at one 18 year-old kid = itchy fingers.
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Old 11-13-2007, 02:40 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by DaveC


That's as may be, but like I said, fire a shot in the air or one shot into his leg to put him on the ground. Even better, because that way you stop him from coming, you'll know right away if he's got a gun or not, and you can arrest him, rather than kill him.
you've seen one too many movies, my friend.

a) if you fire a shot into the air, eventually it has to come down, thus putting innocent bystanders at risk of being killed.

b) do you understand how difficult it is to hit a moving human being in the leg with a revolver? these are regular beat cops, not the swat team.


odds are more than just "stop" was said by the officers before opening fire. probably more along the line of "stop and put down your weapon or we'll open fire."
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Old 11-13-2007, 02:44 PM   #21
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Any way you slice it:
20 shots at one 18 year-old kid = itchy fingers.


i agree that that's how it looks, but keep in mind that you had 4-5 policemen, and their guns are capable of firing of several shots in the span of half a second.

having spent a good amount of time working with cops over the past year, i think it's the rare cop who goes out looking to shoot someone, but i think many cops are very much on edge in particular neighborhoods and with particular groups of people. they are likely to be more trigger happy investigating a domestic disturbance in the South Bronx than they would be on the Upper East Side.

is that "right"?

it kind of doesn't matter, even though it does. there are some unpleasant realities to life in cities, and some of those unpleasant realities aren't ones we necessarily want to admit that are true, because they play into destructive stereotypes.

take Washington DC.



if you were an officer in SE, don't you think you'd be just a little bit more on edge than if you were in Georgetown?

the problem is much, much deeper than just nervous cops who've only dealt with the most negative elements in any given communities.
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Old 11-13-2007, 03:05 PM   #22
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Originally posted by Headache in a Suitcase
odds are more than just "stop" was said by the officers before opening fire. probably more along the line of "stop and put down your weapon or we'll open fire."
Considering he didn't have a weapon on him, it's pretty tough for him to comply with an order like that.

Most likely he was thinking "weapon? what the hell are these cops talking about?", and reached into his coat to show them he didn't have a gun, and never got that far.

I'm not saying that the cops are criminals, or murders, or that they did the wrong thing (I have no idea about the situation beyond CNN's report). I'm just saying it sounds to me like the whole scene was handled very badly by the police and unfortunately someone had to die as a result.
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Old 11-13-2007, 03:06 PM   #23
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Originally posted by Irvine511



it kind of doesn't matter, even though it does. there are some unpleasant realities to life in cities, and some of those unpleasant realities aren't ones we necessarily want to admit that are true, because they play into destructive stereotypes.

take Washington DC.

Or Detroit, for that matter.

We had a case similar to this earlier in the year. And I can tell you right off the bat, the dude wasn't from West Bloomfield (or any other wealthy suburb of Detroit). Actually, if I recall, he was a homeless black man. Which of course threw even more fuel into the media fire.

Anyway, none of these cases can be judged all in the same breath. I'd be interested to see how this one plays out.
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Old 11-13-2007, 06:08 PM   #24
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Originally posted by DaveC
But to fire 20 shots at someone with no warning other than "stop" because they are walking towards you is trigger-happy, yeah.
Yeah, exactly. I just can't fathom why on earth five cops fired twenty shots. Why five? One cop with a gun will still do the job. I can only understand multiple policemen opening fire when they've been fired upon first.

That said, I come from a culture where the police don't even carry guns (and it's not a problem).
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Old 11-13-2007, 06:10 PM   #25
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Yeah, exactly. I just can't fathom why on earth five cops fired twenty shots. Why five? One cop with a gun will still do the job. I can only understand multiple policemen opening fire when they've been fired upon first.

That said, I come from a culture where the police don't even carry guns (and it's not a problem).
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Old 11-13-2007, 06:12 PM   #26
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Whether or not the cops were trigger happy (there should certainly be a full investigation), it clearly sounds like they are not properly trained to deal with certain types of situations. This is particularly true if the victim was mentally ill. You can't make sure every police officer is also a board certified psychiatrist, but there are training programs that can familiarize them with the way people react in those situations. Sad story.
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Old 11-13-2007, 06:15 PM   #27
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This is starting to sound like a definite suicide-by-cop incident.

http://us.cnn.com/2007/US/11/13/ny.shooting/index.html

Very bizarre.
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Old 11-13-2007, 06:26 PM   #28
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Suicide by cop...why drag other people into your personal issues like that?

This is just another example of why I could never be a cop. I can't imagine how they manage to deal with situations like this day in and day out. I agree with anitram's post, keep investigating the situation and work at dealing with this sort of stuff better, but there's blame to go around on many sides here.

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Old 11-13-2007, 07:01 PM   #29
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Most likely he was thinking "weapon? what the hell are these cops talking about?", and reached into his coat to show them he didn't have a gun, and never got that far.

Mmmmm, I disagree a bit. I think it's pretty common knowledge when you are in the middle of a domestic dispute and a cop says "stop, get down!" you DONT keep walking forward and reach for something in your pocket.

Once my dad got pulled over (long story, but the car behind him thought my dad had hit them and run, called the cops on a cell, and they came to pull over my dad) on his way home from a painting job and had to come out with his hands up and get patted b/c there was a paint scraper on his front seat and I guess that counts as a concealed weapon. When the cop came over, my dad reached for the glove compartment to get his insurance and registration for the car and the cop thought he was reaching for the object on the seat. But, instead of continuing to reach for said object when the cop told him to stop, my dad stopped, and then realized that he thought there was a knife.

I'm not defending those cops or even cops in general, but enough cops have been killed when someone flipped out, reached for their weapon, and open fired, that it is a very REAL possibility. Even normal folk like you and I can get a little psycho when they realize they are cornered and likely going to be arrested. I can name a few cops who have been shot dead this way and I don't even live in a big city or area known for crime.
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Old 11-13-2007, 07:14 PM   #30
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He went back into the house, up to the first floor, came out and walked toward the officers with something easily disguised as a weapon and not listening to warnings.
It's not unreasonable to see that as an immediate threat.

Well, and here his comments and his having a knive definitely eliminated the last doubt.

Twenty bullets nevertheless seems a bit much, and as the last article indicates it seemed to be one officer who continued firing after the others stopped.
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