Why do police officers always shoot to kill?
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We hear a lot growing up in the US school system that it's the stupid people who do not ask the questions, but when I ask "Why do cops always shoot to kill" I'm met with a look of derision and dismissal for my simple minded approach to what is obviously an extremely complex question.
Lets forget the complexity for a moment and focus on a simple answer. One to compare to any other option, in the event another option appears, is Diallo's Law
Diallo's Law - no less than a new law limiting use of deadly force by restricting an officers right to aim above the waist until deadly intent is established beyond doubt. Fear can no longer be an excuse for deadly force.
If Amadou Diallo was shot 19 times in the legs it would have become obvious he was completely incapacitated and absolutely unarmed! Left living and contributing to Americas beauty as he had intended.
Diallo's Law would approach the question from the top down. The top being the citizen. The police officer being the servant in this scenario.
The citizen would automatically get the benefit of the doubt, thus having his body and constitutional rights more or less intact instead of what is the accepted reality in the US, the servant ALWAYS getting that benefit of the doubt and the innocent citizen always bullet riddled.
Fear needs to be understood as a motivating factor. Fear can make you run from the police and it can also make you shoot at a kid 41 times who is reaching for his wallet. Why? Incident after incident, it is obviously police training to shoot to kill with extreme prejudice. The fear the officer feels is understandable, it is human nature to fear for your life. As human nature it is impossible to control 100 percent of the time. And repeatedly since Diallo was gunned down the exact same senario has played out. Yes, we can change the fear but we can also change the right of the officer to mortally wound an innocent citizen out of fear.
Diallo's Law would make it easier to defend an officers right to fire at a suspect below the waist. Lawyers currently dictate were an officer aims. It should not be easier to defend an officer for murder. Also it should be made easier for the officer to hold their fire if other officers are firing. No longer is an officer obligated to rely on his partners judgement in such matters.
We know every officer is placed in a situation when they must decide to stay true to their oath or their partner. Legitimate faith should be placed upon the idividual officer's judgement and not the police dept.
Officers have been heard in private conversation saying that the reason they shoot to kill is in part because they have been told dead people dont argue the details. Cops, encouraged by lawyers, are forced into a situation where they have to murder to protect themselves from litigation. This 19th century policing technique has failed to keep pace with technology and the victims have begun telling their tales of state sanctioned murder. With the tacit and appathetic approval of the victims countrymen. Diallo's Law would help defend our lone innocent citizen against this form of policing that is just human nature run amock.
The current approach has failed the innocent citizen and the well intentioned officer from day one! Diallo's Law can change this by freeing and in fact encouraging an officer to use their own trusted judgment.
We know sports, military and police training all reinforce the natural tendancy for 'Herd mentality". Human nature is the constant from one group to the next. These are all good men. Whether its a police force or Stuebenville football team.
Diallo's Law would be able to address:
- human natures tendancies for the herd mentality
- also while checking the officer's natural fear impulse to fight for their life
- all while assisting the defense of the officer to use his own judgment.
Diallo's Law will defend both sides.
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