Most people have no idea what it's like to face a life or death situation where decisions must be made in seconds if not less. Not to mention, most people would make the wrong decision under such pressure.
However, instead of trying to better understand the psychology of combat and the speed at which thing unfold, Police are thrown under the bus. No longer are they innocent until proven guilty of wrongdoing. They are often fired on the spot and charged for more harshly than is appropriate.
To be clear, a Law Enforcement Officer who abuses their power and kills an innocent person negligently or with murderous intent should be fired and charged according to the crime. But Officers making split second decisions when a suspect shows intent and ability to conduct serious bodily harm is a completely different scenario.
At the very least, Officers in this position should be treated as innocent until proven guilty and provided due process.
Today, this is not the case. The moment an Officer is involved in a shooting they are judged in the court of public opinion. These fires are stoked by the news media and leftist politicians with no regard for law and order. Two notable cases stand out as an example of this inexcusable behavior.
The first is a Connecticut State Police (CSP) trooper who fatally shot an armed carjacker. The suspect had attempted to steal a cellphone before carjacking a Lyft driver's car. The suspect then led Police on a dangerous high speed pursuit.
When Officers finally boxed in the stolen vehicle and swarmed in, the suspect refused to exit the vehicle. After a taser proved ineffective and the suspect drew a knife, one Officer opened fire. In CSP Trooper Brian North's own words:
“Based on these circumstances, I believed that (the other officers) were at imminent risk of serious physical injury or death, and could have been stabbed in the neck or face as they attempted to enter the vehicle and remove the suspect,... As a result, I discharged my duty firearm to eliminate the threat.”CSP Trooper Brian North
The second case of note involves Philadelphia Police Officer Edsaul Mendoza who shot and killed a 12-year-old boy after he opened fire on Police. According to the Police Sergeant on duty at the time, the bullet nearly killed one of the Officers involved:
“This kid fires a shot right into the rear passenger’s side window,... We’re really lucky we don’t have an officer seriously injured and killed right now because the bullet went right through that window and embedded itself into the driver’s side headrest.”PPD Sergeant Eric Gripp
After an investigation of the shooting, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner alleges that Officer Mendoza fired two of three rounds at the boy after the gun was discarded and the suspect was running away or attempting to surrender. The charges against Officer Mendoza allege that he knew the boy no longer had the gun or the ability to inflict serious bodily harm to anyone.
This is where it's important to remember that combat is a rapid unfolding of events where the actors are under a corrosive physiological state. This is no excuse to take an innocent life, but it's worth mentioning that details can be missed in the split seconds of a gun battle. The fact remains that Officer Mendoza is innocent until proven guilty.
It's important to note that in one or both of these cases, the Officers involved may not have used lethal force within the bounds of the law. However, in neither case is it the wanton slaying of an innocent civilian. The Officers involved had to make split second life or death decisions when suspects made the choice to enact violence upon them.
Unfortunately, people would rather jump to conclusions rather than get to the truth of what actually happened.
What do you think, are Police Officers out there hunting minorities? Do you think that details can be missed in the heat of combat? Should Officers be charged for making a mistake that takes the life of a criminal showing intent to commit violence?
Let us know in the comments below.