- Police Shootings, Militarization and the Absence of the NRA in Ferguson MO
- 1984: Dutch Police Training Adjusts to Society’s Anti-Authoritarianism
- How to Get Independent Quality Police Training and Police Accountability
- Better Firearms Training, Less Lethal Force, Fewer Lethal Police Shootings
During police firearms training, why not teach officers to aim for the shoulder or leg? There would be decidedly fewer lethal police shootings if cops didn’t have the license to use lethal force every time they felt threatened.
(12-10-2014, updated 07-14-2018) In my opinion the police license to use lethal force any time they feel threatened needs to be reevaluated. The notion that any time someone reaches in their pocket, officers can empty their clips into that person is just ridiculous. In cases when they feel that using their gun is the only way to prevent further danger, why can’t they aim for the shoulders or legs?
I would suggest that an officer can use lethal force only if a person is actually aiming a gun straight at them, or at least in the process of aiming it at them. Otherwise it should be possible to stop someone by shooting their arm or leg, at least long enough to then overpower them by other means and put them in handcuffs.
After all lethal police shootings, there should be investigations later to see if that was the officer’s only option in the situation. The notion that we shouldn’t question an officer afterward because it will make them think twice before using lethal force next time is absurd. We should do exactly that.
Police racism is hard to combat, as is their general attitude of being in attack mode in any and all interactions with the public instead of treating people with common decency, but if the police don’t have this rather open license to kill, at least it would save some lives. That would be a beginning. Lethal police shootings are occurring too often. Something has to change. And considering how much time is spent on police firearms training already, training to aim at shoulders or legs instead of emptying one’s entire clip into the target would be a relatively easy measure.
This post is Part 4 in the series Police Shooting Black Men and Boys. Here is the next one.
(This post was first published on the blog Resident Alien: Being Dutch in America, under the title: “Revoke the License to Kill and Reduce Lethal Police Shootings”, 12-10-2014)
Header image: mine