Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Police Militarization / Use of Force

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

The suspect was a large criminal, the behavior of which is hardly unique or unmanageable.  Who trained him to steal, or trained the rioters to riot?  Who cares??  The task being trained for is to apprehend and deliver suspects to a court of law, preferably alive in order to avoid rioting and associated damages to communities and businesses who pay for the service.  Commiserating that criminals don't fight fair doesn't accomplish that goal.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 216
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Grand jury decision is in. No indictment, obviously. As the overwhelming evidence confirming the cop's innocence was being released (including testimony from the people who originally talked to the

So the biggest tragedy, as far as you're concerned, is that some of the rioters got bruises from rubber bullets? Not the dozens of looted and burnt stores or injured cops? You're grateful that the pe

Sorry, you're probably getting a biased version where you live. Lots of Americans support most of what the police did here. It is possible that the cop was unreasonable when he shot the kid, but it is

His training led to 12 shots being fired, 1 superficial and a 2nd lethal, with the remaining 10 apparently fired just for effect.  Measure off 8ft (the short guess), extend your arm (-3' ?), and tell me that a well trained officer can only get off a head shot at an unarmed linebacker heading in his direction at 5ft.  That after the suspect punched him twice, fled, then turned, "stutter stepped" before charging the officer from a greater distance; the officer by then "backpeddling" away to gain some distance.  No taser?  No knee shot?? No keeping his distance until backup arrived???

You should look up what actually happened. Because everything you just wrote is so far from reality it's not even worth addressing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

You should look up what actually happened. Because everything you just wrote is so far from reality it's not even worth addressing.

 

Thanks for catching me on this - just read the earlier autopsy reports which clearly indicate about half the shots fired hit the suspect.  The officer's statement about wondering why his efforts to subdue the suspect weren't working still points to some inefficacy of training though.  At the very least he might have withdrew to a safe distance until backup arrived or the suspect became a danger to someone else.  Unarmed and with six shots in him he wasn't going far.

Link to post
Share on other sites

A witness to the event caught unknowingly on someone's video tape described Brown charging Wilson as he fired off the multiple shots. The unknown witness thought the officer was missing Brown because Brown kept charging at Wilson until the fatal shot was fired. For a partial transcription follow this link.

 

The actual video is still up if you want to try to parse the audio portion for the witness' voice in the background which starts just before the description at 6:28.

 

Here is a excerpt from the original with the transcription superimposed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=prrydnTAly0

Edited by dream_weaver
Newer video made available.
Link to post
Share on other sites

The following addresses some of my concerns regarding training and appears fairly balanced:

 

... “The only option I thought I had was my gun,” he (Wilson) said, according to a transcript of his testimony.

 

That conclusion was confounding to Edward Davis, who retired last year as Boston police commissioner after 35 years as an officer there and in Lowell, Mass.

“There has been a significant change in the use of force by police in the 35 years I’ve been in the business — new tools like Tasers and really effective pepper sprays,” Mr. Davis said. “When you look at the whole way this situation transpired, it’s disappointing to see someone not use those intermediate tools available.”

 

In his testimony, Officer Wilson said that he did not have a Taser weapon with him at the time, and that he preferred not to carry one because it is large and not “very comfortable.” He said he did not use mace because it was difficult to reach and the spray could have blown back at him. His baton and flashlight, he said, were also inaccessible...

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/27/us/ferguson-experts-weigh-darren-wilsons-decisions-leading-to-fatal-shooting-of-michael-brown.html?_r=0

Link to post
Share on other sites

To wait for backup while a violent criminal who had just assaulted a police officer and others at a nearby mart and who was at hand would have been dereliction of duty. Reliance on mace would have been suicide. There was no taser so the point is moot. These are just misdirection from the real issues which are how a young man can become so antisocial, and how so many can refuse to believe the evidence and so easily be swayed by bald faced lies.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for catching me on this - just read the earlier autopsy reports which clearly indicate about half the shots fired hit the suspect.  The officer's statement about wondering why his efforts to subdue the suspect weren't working still points to some inefficacy of training though.  At the very least he might have withdrew to a safe distance until backup arrived or the suspect became a danger to someone else.  Unarmed and with six shots in him he wasn't going far.

If cops started running away from confrontational criminals, that would be just about the end of civilization.

 

And it would encourage more criminals to attack cops instead of complying with their orders.

 

No, what he did was exactly what he should've done. He drew his weapon, and instructed the violent criminal to stop. 999 out of 1000 violent criminals would at that point have done exactly that, or at least tried to run away instead of continuing their assault.

 

This one didn't. So he died. I'm perfectly comfortable with that, as should everyone expecting police protection be. His death is the only thing that will allow the next 999 officers to stop a violent attacker by drawing their gun, rather than firing it.

 

If that threat was rendered meaningless by your unreasonable expectation that cops should never rely on their weapon to stop violent attackers, 1000 out of 1000 incidents like this one would end in violence, instead of 1 out of 1000. And no one in their right mind would volunteer to ever wear a Police uniform again, because they'd be in a fight for their lives every other day.

Edited by Nicky
Link to post
Share on other sites

If cops started running away from confrontational criminals, that would be just about the end of civilization.

Yeah, totally, 6 shots in the head is logical...

 

Am I missing something to think incapacitating him is plenty? You made it sound like the only other option besides letting him go is to kill him. Shoot the legs. Threat of eliminated.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If I'm not mistaken, it was only one shot to the head that incapacitated Micheal Brown. Given a pistol or a revolver, the additional stress under such a situation can affect one's accuracy tremendously. Given my range results at 15' to 25', I can respect this consideration. In a stress situation, the aim should be at what you can be more assured to strike, not at a limb (which had already be struck, according to the autopsy) which may yield no result (stopping power), but at the torso.

Link to post
Share on other sites

To wait for backup while a violent criminal who had just assaulted a police officer and others at a nearby mart and who was at hand would have been dereliction of duty. Reliance on mace would have been suicide. There was no taser so the point is moot. These are just misdirection from the real issues which are how a young man can become so antisocial, and how so many can refuse to believe the evidence and so easily be swayed by bald faced lies.

 

An officer sanctioned to use deadly force is required to use his head to assess the situation prior to responding to it.  To do otherwise is a dereliction of duty.  He was pursuing a cigarette thief, not an armed bank robber.  There's no evidence that reliance on mace would have been suicide, or that the officer's discomfort wearing a taser made the point moot.  These non-lethal devices are available precisely for the purpose of not killing someone suspected of committing a crime so they can be disabled when they don't follow orders. 

 

The evidence suggests to me that the officer's training was insufficient to the task he was assigned to.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If cops started running away from confrontational criminals, that would be just about the end of civilization.

 

And it would encourage more criminals to attack cops instead of complying with their orders.

 

No, what he did was exactly what he should've done. He drew his weapon, and instructed the violent criminal to stop. 999 out of 1000 violent criminals would at that point have done exactly that, or at least tried to run away instead of continuing their assault.

 

This one didn't. So he died. I'm perfectly comfortable with that, as should everyone expecting police protection be. His death is the only thing that will allow the next 999 officers to stop a violent attacker by drawing their gun, rather than firing it.

 

If that threat was rendered meaningless by your unreasonable expectation that cops should never rely on their weapon to stop violent attackers, 1000 out of 1000 incidents like this one would end in violence, instead of 1 out of 1000. And no one in their right mind would volunteer to ever wear a Police uniform again, because they'd be in a fight for their lives every other day.

 

This cop didn't need to run away to maintain a safe distance from a suspect he was apparently outmatched to physically apprehend.  It's called surveillance and is an appropriate choice to make while waiting for backup to arrive.  While I agree with your assessment that this officer's initial tactics would have been sufficient to apprehend most suspects (and jeeze, how many would be expected to charge someone holding a gun after taking 6 shots?), the moment this officer realized his training wasn't working he should have backed off.  To be fair, that seems to be what he was trying to do, so I won't press that point.

 

But the fact remains he chose to apprehend a cigarette thief prior to having backup, knowing he wasn't physically capable of taking him down without shooting him.  We don't know what threat the suspect posed to others if the officer simply followed him until his backup arrived, or if his shots better placed, e.g., in the knees, would have brought him down without killing him.  But I know sanctioning officers to kill suspects they can't physically apprehend doesn't serve justice, so I think better tactics and training are necessary. 

 

Edit: I have to review the autopsy report again to see if any shots to the knees were taken.  Also, police/military personnel are in a fight for their (and your) lives every day, which is exactly why tactics, training and having the proper tools to do the job are sooooooooooo essential.

Edited by Devil's Advocate
Link to post
Share on other sites

DA

Just don't forget to factor in the time it takes for a target that is advancing toward the shooter. And the characteristics of firing a pistol multiple times in a specific time period.

 

My understanding of the event was that the officer was reacting to a person who had assualted him and tried to gain control of his weapon , who just happened to be someone who also recently committed a strong arm robbery. Are you trying to characterize the officer's reaction to cigarello thievery, seriously ?

Link to post
Share on other sites

If I'm not mistaken, it was only one shot to the head that incapacitated Micheal Brown. Given a pistol or a revolver, the additional stress under such a situation can affect one's accuracy tremendously. Given my range results at 15' to 25', I can respect this consideration. In a stress situation, the aim should be at what you can be more assured to strike, not at a limb (which had already be struck, according to the autopsy) which may yield no result (stopping power), but at the torso.

 

The autoposy report I see (provided by the victim's family chosen doctor) shows strikes to the head and right arm.  Have you seen something more definitive?

Link to post
Share on other sites

DA

Just don't forget to factor in the time it takes for a target that is advancing toward the shooter. And the characteristics of firing a pistol multiple times in a specific time period.

 

My understanding of the event was that the officer was reacting to a person who had assualted him and tried to gain control of his weapon , who just happened to be someone who also recently committed a strong arm robbery. Are you trying to characterize the officer's reaction to cigarello thievery, seriously ?

 

"The video often played following its release in August by the Ferguson police department shows Michael Brown grabbing a handful of Cigarillos and heading toward the exit without paying. As Michael Brown and his companion left the store, somebody inside called the police." ~ (from linked post #71)

 

Seriously

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm astounded by some of the reactions here. The whole 'shoot him in the legs' idea is completely insane. Life isn't a video game. There's no justification for Wilson to risk his own life trying to get a knee shot.

 

This officer got off 12 shots (my view sees most hit the right arm and none the legs).  It's not reasonable to ask why he wasn't trained to strike at the appendages propelling his target?

 

CRUMP-AUTOPSY-NEWS-CONF.jpg

Edited by Devil's Advocate
Link to post
Share on other sites

"The video often played following its release in August by the Ferguson police department shows Michael Brown grabbing a handful of Cigarillos and heading toward the exit without paying. As Michael Brown and his companion left the store, somebody inside called the police." ~ (from linked post #71)

 

Seriously

So your contention is that had Brown sat down on the curb and admitted that he in fact had just committed a robbery, Wilson would have shot him dead?

Edited by tadmjones
Link to post
Share on other sites

Then please explain how he in fact would risk his life to do so.

 

Wilson was being charged by a man who had just tried to wrestle his gun from him, firing several shots in the process. The logical expectation is that Brown would attempt to take his life, should he have been allowed to reach Wilson. Even if it turns out that Brown would have only beaten the hell out of Wilson, there is still no reason for Wilson to take the risk. Why should he have? Sacrifice himself to protect the man trying to harm him? Insanity.

 

Yeah, totally, 6 shots in the head is logical...

 

Everything I have seen contradicts this statement. He was not shot in the head six times. Why are the facts being twisted to make Wilson appear worse? There must be something driving the distortions, because from where I stand, no reasonable person who believes that self preservation is the first moral principle could conclude that Wilson did something wrong by protecting himself from a charging criminal. I do expect this sort of thing from places like Reason Magazine, which has the anarcho-libertarian disgust for cops, but not from Objectivists.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This officer got off 12 shots (my view sees most hit the right arm and none the legs).  It's not reasonable to ask why he wasn't trained to strike at the appendages propelling his target?

 

 

Anyone who knows anything about firearms knows that trying to disable by shooting an appendage is a prescription for suicide. It is hillarious reading opinions of those who know nothing about a subject wax moral while asserting nonsense. Talk to a professional for more information as to why aiming at an appendage is a nonstarter.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Everything I have seen contradicts this statement. He was not shot in the head six times. Why are the facts being twisted to make Wilson appear worse? There must be something driving the distortions, because from where I stand, no reasonable person who believes that self preservation is the first moral principle could conclude that Wilson did something wrong by protecting himself from a charging criminal. I do expect this sort of thing from places like Reason Magazine, which has the anarcho-libertarian disgust for cops, but not from Objectivists.

Bad info then. My mistake.

 

But I am not arguing against self-defense. I'm arguing that I know of no reason that killing Brown was required. Did Brown have a gun or a knife? As a police officer, was Wilson being responsible, or was he abusing his authority to go beyond what he's trained to do?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Bad info then. My mistake.

 

But I am not arguing against self-defense. I'm arguing that I know of no reason that killing Brown was required. Did Brown have a gun or a knife? As a police officer, was Wilson being responsible, or was he abusing his authority to go beyond what he's trained to do?

 

That's OK. It's just a pattern that I've noticed (not necessarily from you) reminiscent of environmentalists who only see the problems with fossil fuels. Like the constant references to Brown as a cigarette thief. Yes, he was a cigarette thief, but by the time he was charging Wilson he had also punched a cop in the face and tried to turn a police officers gun on an officer. He should be called a cop-assaulting, gun wrestling, cigarette thief. We know why environmentalists lose the big picture, they hold a non-human standard of value. But why are details ignored and distorted in this instance? I really can't figure it out.

 

No, Brown did not have a deadly weapon on him. The reason killing him was required was that he was charging Wilson. His intent likely wasn't to give Wilson a kiss on the cheek (the same one that he had just punched). What other way should Wilson have stopped him? There was no other reasonable course of action but to open fire. One could get upset that officers aren't required to carry tasers, which I think is a valid concern. But that doesn't explain the vitriol toward Wilson, or the idea that he somehow abused his authority. As far as I can tell, he did what was necessary to preserve himself.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone who knows anything about firearms knows that trying to disable by shooting an appendage is a prescription for suicide. It is hillarious reading opinions of those who know nothing about a subject wax moral while asserting nonsense. Talk to a professional for more information as to why aiming at an appendage is a nonstarter.

 

There's a lot of material supporting your argument, and personally knowing several police officers, I concede the position that once a gun comes into play the threat is mortal and the rational response favors killing the assailant.

 

That being said, it doesn't change the fact that this assailant wasn't armed and wasn't in the act of attacking anyone other than the officer.  That the officer knew the suspect wasn't involved in an armed robbery, and after the initial confrontation, the officer knew he was physically outmatched and further engagement threatened his life.  To assert that his only option was to pursue with the intent to kill is doubtful, given that backup was on the way and retreating to a safe distance until it arrived, or until the suspect moved to threaten someone else, remained a valid option.

Edited by Devil's Advocate
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...