Shooting People : LUSENET : like sands : One Thread

Re: the shooting at the Metreon while you and Phil watched Moulin Rouge

Why do cops have to shoot 20 ROUNDS into a guy with a knife?!! I never understand this. So the guy was mentally ill. And he had a knife. And he slashed a cop's shirt. Why not shoot him in the leg? Pepper spray him in the face? Why not shoot him in both legs and both arms? But why kill him with 20 ROUNDS of bullets? Do cops just go crazy? Are they trained to do this, shoot people to shreds?

Of course the most egregious recent example of this is Amadou Dialou here in NYC. 41 bullets into one guy with his back to them. My question is: why not just a couple of

-- Anonymous, June 30, 2001


...a couple of bullets? Whatever happened to just getting the guy down, just disabling him? .......

-- Anonymous, June 30, 2001

I don't know--the whole thing sounds really weird, because a cop also got shot by another cop during the incident. It sounds like it was just really chaotic, but it's hard to know, because they haven't done an investigation or released many details about the shooting yet.

-- Anonymous, June 30, 2001

I heard on NPR the other day (I love NPR... I'm a sad, sick NPR addict who never even listens to music on the radio, but anyway...) on NPR they were interviewing some cop. The cop had been part of the shooting/probably killing of a man with a gun.

The cop said that cops, as a rule, don't shoot to "disable"... they usually shoot to kill, not disable, especially if someone's life is in jeopardy.

I'm not saying (not at all saying) that I agree with this situation (because I don't), but they also say that cops have milliseconds to make decisions, especially where bad people with guns are concerned.

Last night on Sixty Minutes (I'm a nerd, dammit) they were talking about the off-duty black cop in Providence, RI, who came out to back up other cops who mistook him for a bad guy and shot him three times.

But these all have to do with guys with guns. A guy with a knife is not the same thing at all. Unless they thought he might be armed with a gun as well as with the knife. But still... these guys are willing to kill people far too often, when it should be a last resort.

-- Anonymous, July 02, 2001

Grace Suh wrote:
Of course the most egregious recent example of this is Amadou Dialou here in NYC. 41 bullets into one guy with his back to them.

Actually, it was 19 bullets and he didn't have his back to them.

The Amadou Diallo case was a tragic mistake, and that's all it was. There is no cause for outrage. This man initially ran from the police and then stopped and pulled a dark object from his pocket. What are the officers supposed to do, wait for him to shoot one of them first? Also, the suspect didn't go down when one of the officers opened fire, but one of the officers did -- he tripped. This caused the other officers to assume the suspect was wearing a bullet proof vest, which explains the large number of shots. I would guess that at least some of the shots were at his legs.

As for the question of shooting a suspect in the legs to disable, this is not generally done because it's just too hard to disable a person this way. Even if you hit near the center of the leg (a target only a few inches wide), that won't necessarily take the subject down. When somebody is coming at you with a knife you want to make damn sure they are stopped before they have an opportunity to kill you.

That's just the way it is. If you're a cop you can't afford to be taking chances with your life. You only get one.

As a matter of fact, the officer who first opened fire on Diallo had a friend shot and killed while on duty three years earlier.

-- Anonymous, July 03, 2001

I'm no apologist for the police, and they sometimes get away with murder, literally. And, aside from cases where cops may purposely beat or shoot suspects with intent to hurt or kill, poorly-trained officers or persons who aren't suited temperamentally to the stresses of the job may react badly and with poor judgment, even when no malfeasance is intended. And, certainly, given the sometimes danger of the job, even good conscientious officers can make mistakes which result in harm to citizens, "guilty" or otherwise.

However, that being said, one cannot simply just shoot for the legs or shoulder, as movies would have us believe is so simple to do. It's difficult enough to hit a precise target, much less a moving one, much much less a moving one which may intend harm to you NOW. In that millisecond where a decision must be made, if the circumstances seem to warrant shooting, one must STOP the aggressor before he hurts or kills you or others. Shooting to kill is the only sure way to stop someone intent on committing violence. Even if one were a sure enough shot to shoot to disable, there's no certainty, as the previous person pointed out, that shooting someone in the legs will stop him. If he's alive and he's intent on committing violence, he's a danger.

Again, my answer is not meant to get into issues of bad cops, bad judgement, overreaction a la Diallo, etc. I merely mean to address the elementary and practical choices one must make when faced with a pe

-- Anonymous, July 05, 2001

I was faced with a pe once. None too happy about it either.

-- Anonymous, July 05, 2001

You're right, cops should follow a careful hierarchical pattern of modus operandi to properly contain mentally insane, psychotic, knife wielding murderers. First they should check to make sure the suspect really is going to commit a felony. They should then file a "feloneous intent" form at the local courthouse, and pending approval, present it to the suspect in question. After careful briefing with the suspect, the police should then read the suspect his/her "Miranda" rights and present the suspect with the consequences should he/she try to take action against that of the "feloneous intent" form. Then the police should make an announcement, something like, "I'm going to shoot you if you slash me with that knife again." Should the suspect persist, they should repeat the warning, with more emphasis this time. If the suspect continues to resist, the police should file a "refuse to comply" form with their local courthouse, and present that to the suspect. Upon proper presentment, the police should then proceed with mediation and have a qualified psychologist ask the suspect a series of questions like, "what does 'consequence' mean to you," and "how is your mother." Finally, after affirming the proper state of mind, the police should let the suspect go with a "attempt to threaten to kill" warning or file a "in proper mindset with intent to kill and refuse" form with their local courthouse and escort the suspect to the nearest hospital for a more thorough examination of his/her psychosis.

-- Anonymous, September 17, 2002

shooting poeple insane is heaps good you can load clips into them and you won't even fell sorry for them and that sniper in washington must be having lots of fun so for all who think 20 bullets are too much go get FUCKED

-- Anonymous, October 16, 2002

Moderation questions? read the FAQ