Have the police overused deadly force?




 
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Boots
 
March 13th, 2006  
Chief Bones
 
 

Topic: Have the police overused deadly force?


Have the police overused deadly force?

This is a question which is being asked more and more every day by citizens in every part of the United States.

This year approximately 15,000,000 arrests will be carried out by police organizations throughout America. Of the 15 million arrests, approximately 2-3 percent will involve the use of deadly force. That means that 300,000 - 450, 000 times this year a policeman (or) policewoman will have to draw their sidearm or use a shotgun or rifle to effect an arrest.

Less than 10 years ago, the number of average rounds that were fired during deadly force confrontations was 2.5 rounds per deadly force arrest. Today that number has almost doubled ... accounting for the increase is the fact that you are talking about sidearms that carry up to 17 round magazines instead of the normal 6-7 rounds that were carried in pistols and 45 cal semi autos.

What makes the application of deadly force so disturbing is the fact that more and more unarmed Americans are being killed by errant rounds (collateral damage). When multiple officers start throwing rounds as fast as the trigger can be pulled on their weapons, the 'splatter' effect comes into play ... high rounds - rounds to the left and right of the target - rounds punching through thin walls or material ... all of this increases the odds that an innocent will be hit.

Before someone starts hollering about the split second decisions which must be made by police, I will hereby grant you the argument that I would NOT to like find myself on the firing line on today's dangerous crime ridden streets. The decisions that these officers must make are made in the blink of an eye and under conditions where these officers are under a tremendous pressure to just survive another day and return home safely.

Whether your community is similar to the streets of a New York City or another Detroit (or) the quiet streets and lanes of a Midland, MI or Hell IN ... the crimes have become more violent and more pervasive.

From drive-by-shootings to gang fights or drug wars between different factions, the officers of today are being hard pressed to hold violent crime in check.

One of the saddest commentaries concerns the breakdown of the deaths caused by shootouts with police ... Blacks and Chicanos make up less than half of the incidents but over %85 of the deaths. Amidst charges of profiling, many 'large' police departments have tried to take steps to discourage this objectionable practice. How much this profiling causes fear on the part of street cops is unknown ... but ... it MUST have some affect.

WITHOUT USING ANECDOTAL INFORMATION ... IS THERE ANYTHING THAT COULD BE DONE TO DECREASE THESE SHOOTINGS?

IF YOU WERE THE CHIEF OF POLICE ... WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

DOES THE NRA (OR ) GUN MANUFACTURERS BEAR ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE BURGEONING AVAILABLITY OF GUNS?

WOULD MORE GUN LAWS HELP?
March 13th, 2006  
phoenix80
 
 
How many of those detainees/gangs are illegal aliens and real criminals?
March 13th, 2006  
major liability
 
 
Must develop new less-lethal weapons that are GUARANTEED to takedown!
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Boots
March 13th, 2006  
Ted
 
 
In my European opinion I reckon that you could say that the cops overused deadly force. The bad news is that I don't think you could decrease this by any means. The present day American society has a long tradition of gun ownership and violence. How you'd try to dam it in..... I don't have a clue.
I reckon that the "need" to get the bad guy is part of the equation. We have these cops and robbers tv-shows in out television and we see cops chasing the bad guys at high speed through inner cities. Our cops have to call off the chase when the public is in danger. The US is so very cowboy like that pulling your gun in an arrest is the most normal thing in the world. Overhere it rarely happens.....
March 13th, 2006  
PJ24
 
 
Great topic Bones, I need to think on this for a little bit.


Quote:
WOULD MORE GUN LAWS HELP?


I will go ahead and say that I doubt more gun laws will make a difference. Criminals don't abide by gun laws or any laws (hence criminals), nor do most buy their guns legally.

March 13th, 2006  
sven hassell
 
 
Over here in the U.K. the police have only just been issued with tasers.
Until then any threat meant the suspect would be shot(and as you well know not wounding shots) as baton rounds and c.s. are not guaranteed to take someone down.

Police use Taser for first time

Tasers deliver a 50,000 volt charge through two barbs

Police in Scotland have used a Taser gun for the first time when they were called to deal with reports of an attempted robbery in North Lanarkshire.
The suspect was overpowered by the weapon, which fires 50,000 volts, at about 2120 GMT on Wednesday.
The incident happened at a petrol station in Newmains, near Wishaw.
Police said a 39-year-old man had been released from hospital. He was arrested and was being held in police custody in connection with the incident.
A report was due to be sent to the procurator fiscal and the man was expected to appear at Hamilton Sheriff Court at a future date.
Police in Strathclyde have been carrying Tasers since September and became the first in Scotland to use the weapons. Only trained firearms officers with the Strathclyde force have been permitted to use the Tasers, which were seen as a less lethal option than conventional firearms. But opponents point to deaths in the US which they claim were caused by the gun, although none of the several lawsuits filed there for wrongful death have yet succeeded.
March 13th, 2006  
Missileer
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PJ24
Great topic Bones, I need to think on this for a little bit.




I will go ahead and say that I doubt more gun laws will make a difference. Criminals don't abide by gun laws or any laws (hence criminals), nor do most buy their guns legally.

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Plus, there are many gun laws already on the books, it would be hard to pass one that wouldn't be redundant. And there's the second amendment that would have to be changed for tougher laws.
March 13th, 2006  
Marinerhodes
 
 
It is my opinion that they do not overuse deadly force. But since you are asking for non-anecdotal material that statement does not apply.

Unfortunately after much searching around the internet I was unable to come up with any statistics to support or oppose my opinion.

According to the link below US crime has actually decreased with minor fluctuaions over the past 10 years, but has been on the rise again.
http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm

This could be in part to the training methods and practices. It could also be due to the view that police are more willing to use deadly force than not and that in itself acts as a deterrent to suspects becoming violent.

A taser is a nice idea. But it has it's limitations if I am not mistaken. Range, accuracy, and number of times it can be used without "reloading". Many factors to be thought about, these are just a few.


Here are some links for your perusal:
http://www.violenceprediction.com/pdf/chap13.pdf
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines01/0429-02.htm


I try to never second guess the man (or woman) on the ground. I can sit back and play the armchair coach and say he should have done this or that. Many of us know that when it comes down to feeling, or actually being, threatened that your instincts make the unconscious decision rather than your head making the conscious.
March 13th, 2006  
5.56X45mm
 
 
Quote:
WOULD MORE GUN LAWS HELP?
Well, here's the thing. Guns laws don't help. Mostly, there are higher crime rates in areas that have harsh gun laws

Also, most of the scumbags in America are becoming more violent. Hence the rise of lethal force.

Quote:
WITHOUT USING ANECDOTAL INFORMATION ... IS THERE ANYTHING THAT COULD BE DONE TO DECREASE THESE SHOOTINGS?
Yeah, have the court systems and correctional system truly setence ccriminals to their prison terms and enforce it. None of this get out of eraly jail free crap and a cable tv in every prison cell. Make these bastards work in the sun. Bring back prison labor and chain gangs. Prison is about serving time for a crime. Not getting a paid vaction from working.

I've spoken to some of the folks that live on the street. They tell me that they try to get arrested so they can get a clean shower, clean clothing, warm food, and a dry bed.Don't forget that prisoners get free medical and dental.

Quote:
IF YOU WERE THE CHIEF OF POLICE ... WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
What would I do, reward my officers for enforcing the law. And I wouldn't take shit from the media. Police are there as the as agents of the government. Their purpose is to enforce law, protect citizens (collectively), and protect government property and private property.

Quote:
DOES THE NRA (OR ) GUN MANUFACTURERS BEAR ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE BURGEONING AVAILABLITY OF GUNS?
Nope.

U.S. Constitution: Second Amendment:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

The people have a legal right to keep and bear arms.

I believe that an armed society is a polite society. Look at places that have little to know gun laws. Their crime rate is far lower. Why, because criminals are cowards. They don't want to rob someone that could possibly be armed. Hence why places with gun laws that restrict civilians from owning and carrying firearms have far higher crime.
March 13th, 2006  
Chief Bones
 
 
Some very good posts so far ...

Here is another thought ...

DO YOU THINK CRIME WOULD DROP IF WE HAD AN ARMED AMERICA ? (shades of the old west)