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Old 04-02-2018, 07:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Supreme Court sides with officer in Arizona police shooting

Supreme Court sides with officer in Arizona police shooting


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WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court took sides in a police shooting case Monday, ruling that an Arizona police officer who shot a knife-wielding woman four times was immune from being sued. But Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in a dissent that the court's decision "sends an alarming signal to law enforcement officers and the public."

"It tells officers that they can shoot first and think later, and it tells the public that palpably unreasonable conduct will go unpunished," wrote Sotomayor in a dissent joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
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Old 04-02-2018, 08:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Old 04-03-2018, 10:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I think it needs to be automatic restitution to the person or person's family for any police firearm discharging at a suspect. Make it a tiered system. $50G for being fired at, another $100G for every bullet that hits, and $200G for a fatality. Thats just the base pay. Other factors can add additional restitution, like the lack of a weapon on the suspect, getting shot in the back or while surrendering, failing to call for medial assistance immediately after the firearm discharging ends, no actual crimes committed prior to being shot at, etc. Maybe if there is actual proof that the suspect fired a weapon first or was in the process of physically attempting to kill another person or officer, then some of the restitution charges would get nullified. And maybe if there was physical proof that the suspect had already harmed or killed someone first (like if the officers encountered Ms. Hughes actually stabbing the knife in her roommate), then there would be no restitution.

There needs to be some kind of down-side to using deadly force, even if it is warranted. Some kind of check and balance to make sure cops aren't shooting first and asking questions later.
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Old 04-03-2018, 12:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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While this may be good law (in that it is consonant with other US laws and precedents) it seems to me completely the wrong way to decide things:
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In ruling for the officer Monday, the Supreme Court said excessive force is an area of the law where the result depends heavily on the specific facts of each case. Therefore, officers are entitled to immunity unless previous cases clearly tell them a specific use of force is unlawful.
Precisely because the result depends heavily on the specific facts, I far prefer Judge Sotomayor's minority opinion that the case should have gone to a jury to decide on the specific facts of the case.

That's what I'm used to here in the UK -- the law says in general terms what is permissible ("reasonable force having regard to the officer's understanding of the circumstances at the time" or something like that) and then the court asks a jury to apply that to what they find to be the facts of the case. English juries do that every day in self-defence cases.

That's pretty permissive -- it's similar to Florida's "stand your ground" rules, though guns are far less likely to be involved. But certainly I think an English court would have questioned whether shooting the poor woman 4 times was reasonable or not.

British police officers would have tried to a bit harder to get her to put the knife down, I think, and then they'd have used a taser on her if she still refused to comply. Anything more than that, though, seems, from the little that's in the news report, pretty excessive.
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Old 04-03-2018, 10:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tranquility too View Post
I think it needs to be automatic restitution to the person or person's family for any police firearm discharging at a suspect. Make it a tiered system. $50G for being fired at, another $100G for every bullet that hits, and $200G for a fatality. Thats just the base pay. Other factors can add additional restitution, like the lack of a weapon on the suspect, getting shot in the back or while surrendering, failing to call for medial assistance immediately after the firearm discharging ends, no actual crimes committed prior to being shot at, etc. Maybe if there is actual proof that the suspect fired a weapon first or was in the process of physically attempting to kill another person or officer, then some of the restitution charges would get nullified. And maybe if there was physical proof that the suspect had already harmed or killed someone first (like if the officers encountered Ms. Hughes actually stabbing the knife in her roommate), then there would be no restitution.

There needs to be some kind of down-side to using deadly force, even if it is warranted. Some kind of check and balance to make sure cops aren't shooting first and asking questions later.
While I certainly agree there needs to be a better system in place to prevent reckless "shoot first, ask questions later" scenarios, what you are proposing would make every cop in the country so afraid to unholster their guns that they would become completely ineffective at protecting the public.

What is needed is better training on the use of deadly force, and better accountability of officers who abuse their authority, particularly those who automatically assume members of certain races are armed and dangerous.
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Old 04-05-2018, 09:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Tranquility too View Post
I think it needs to be automatic restitution to the person or person's family for any police firearm discharging at a suspect. Make it a tiered system. $50G for being fired at, another $100G for every bullet that hits, and $200G for a fatality. Thats just the base pay. Other factors can add additional restitution, like the lack of a weapon on the suspect, getting shot in the back or while surrendering, failing to call for medial assistance immediately after the firearm discharging ends, no actual crimes committed prior to being shot at, etc. Maybe if there is actual proof that the suspect fired a weapon first or was in the process of physically attempting to kill another person or officer, then some of the restitution charges would get nullified. And maybe if there was physical proof that the suspect had already harmed or killed someone first (like if the officers encountered Ms. Hughes actually stabbing the knife in her roommate), then there would be no restitution.

There needs to be some kind of down-side to using deadly force, even if it is warranted. Some kind of check and balance to make sure cops aren't shooting first and asking questions later.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding you, but it sounds like you are advocating restitution even when the use of force is easy to justify, then wanting additional restitution when it can't be justified.

Not too far from where I live, there was a drug dealer who opened fire on police and was shot and killed as a result. I don't think anyone deserves restitution for what he did.

There is a major problem with police not being held accountable when the force can't be justified, but I think many forget that it can be justified the vast majority of the time. I live in a violent city, and the harsh reality is that sometimes officer really do need to shoot a gang member who actually is armed and shooting first.
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Old 04-05-2018, 11:27 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Most of the people being shot to death by police these days are NOT gang members.



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Police officers killed 1,129 people in 2017.

More people died from police violence in 2017 than the total number of U.S. soldiers killed in action around the globe (21). More people died at the hands of police in 2017 than the number of black people who were lynched in the worst year of Jim Crow (161 in 1892). Cops killed more Americans in 2017 than terrorists did (four). They killed more citizens than airplanes (13 deaths worldwide), mass shooters (428 deaths) and Chicago’s “top gang thugs” (675 Chicago homicides).

Yet only 12 officers were charged with a crime related to a shooting death.

[...]


  • Of the 534 killer cops Mapping Police Violence was able to identify, 43 had shot or killed someone before. Twelve had previously shot or killed multiple people.
  • Most of the people killed (718) were suspects in nonviolent offenses, were stopped for traffic violations or had committed no crime at all.
  • 13 percent of people killed by cops were unarmed.
  • Most of the unarmed victims were people of color. Of the 147 unarmed people killed by police, 48 were black and 34 were Hispanic.
  • Black people accounted for 27 percent of the people killed by law enforcement officers. Of the unarmed victims of police violence, blacks made up 37 percent, almost three times their percentage of the U.S. population (13 percent).
  • Of the people who were unarmed and not attacking, but were still killed by cops, 35 percent were black.
  • 95 people were killed when police shot at a moving vehicle, a practice that many say should be banned.
  • 170 of the people killed were armed with a knife. in 117 of those incidents, police shot the person before trying any other method to disarm the person.
  • 20 percent of the people who had a gun when they were killed were not threatening anyone.
  • Law enforcement training spends seven times more hours training officers on the use of firearms than on how to de-escalate situations.
https://www.theroot.com/heres-how-ma...017-1821706614
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Old 04-05-2018, 06:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I didn't say most were gang members, I was using that as an example since my city has a lot. I just said most police killings were necessary. It's not mutually exclusive to say most were necessary but far too many were not.

I agree that the stats imply problems, but I wanted to point out one thing:

Quote:
170 of the people killed were armed with a knife. in 117 of those incidents, police shot the person before trying any other method to disarm the person.
Knife disarmament is largely a myth. Safe methods to disarm someone coming at you with a knife are mostly very dependent on them being a willing sparing partner, like a lot of martial arts. I'm not saying it's not possible, I'm saying it's not a fair expectation of the officer if the knife wielding attacker was not a small child.

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Old 04-05-2018, 06:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I don't know why they would not shoot to main instead of kill. If you shot someone in the knee, chances are they are not going to get away and they will drop the knife.
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Old 04-05-2018, 06:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TrollCampFollower View Post

Knife disarmament is largely a myth. Safe methods to disarm someone coming at you with a knife are mostly very dependent on them being a willing sparing partner, like a lot of martial arts. I'm not saying it's not possible, I'm saying it's not a fair expectation of the officer if the knife wielding attacker was not a small child.
Police in the UK are usually armed with batons and tasers, not guns. They regularly confront knife-wielding suspects. They don't call in an armed response unit (specially-trained to use firearms) to deal with such situations. They use their tasers to immobilise and subdue the suspect so he drops his weapon and they can restrain him.
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Old 04-05-2018, 07:06 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I didn't say most were gang members, I was using that as an example since my city has a lot. I just said most police killings were necessary. It's not mutually exclusive to say most were necessary but far too many were not.

I agree that the stats imply problems, but I wanted to point out one thing:



Knife disarmament is largely a myth. Safe methods to disarm someone coming at you with a knife are mostly very dependent on them being a willing sparing partner, like a lot of martial arts. I'm not saying it's not possible, I'm saying it's not a fair expectation of the officer if the knife wielding attacker was not a small child.
Might I point out the very last thing on the list I posted.

Quote:
Law enforcement training spends seven times more hours training officers on the use of firearms than on how to de-escalate situations.
They certainly won't be prepared to disarm anyone if they have little to no training in de-escalating situations.

Seems to me a little less firearms training and a little more de-escalation training is in order.
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Old 04-05-2018, 07:59 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Might I point out the very last thing on the list I posted.

They certainly won't be prepared to disarm anyone if they have little to no training in de-escalating situations.

Seems to me a little less firearms training and a little more de-escalation training is in order.
I don't disagree. De-escalation should always be the first thing they try.

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I don't know why they would not shoot to main instead of kill. If you shot someone in the knee, chances are they are not going to get away and they will drop the knife.
They will overwhelmingly shoot to kill to protect themselves from lawsuits. I agree that, that's fucked up.

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Police in the UK are usually armed with batons and tasers, not guns. They regularly confront knife-wielding suspects. They don't call in an armed response unit (specially-trained to use firearms) to deal with such situations. They use their tasers to immobilise and subdue the suspect so he drops his weapon and they can restrain him.
This is still really dangerous if you don't outnumber the suspect. That said, I'm sure there are many instances where police did have the numbers, but shot them anyway.
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Old 04-05-2018, 08:39 PM   #13 (permalink)
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They will overwhelmingly shoot to kill to protect themselves from lawsuits. I agree that, that's fucked up.
That is the only reason I could come up with. If there is a "witness" or a crippled for lofe victim, it's more expensive.

Makes me think of something my driving instructor joked years ago. "If you hit a person, throw it in reverse and make sure they are dead, there are limits to lawsuit payouts on dead people."
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Old 04-05-2018, 08:57 PM   #14 (permalink)
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That is the only reason I could come up with. If there is a "witness" or a crippled for lofe victim, it's more expensive.

Makes me think of something my driving instructor joked years ago. "If you hit a person, throw it in reverse and make sure they are dead, there are limits to lawsuit payouts on dead people."
I've read about that being a big thing in China, because their legal system practically encourages it.
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Old 04-06-2018, 06:34 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I don't know why they would not shoot to main instead of kill. If you shot someone in the knee, chances are they are not going to get away and they will drop the knife.
Shoot to maim is largely a myth. Police are trained to shoot for center mass, and even then hitting their target 40% of the time is considered good.

It terrifies me every time I ponder how quick police are to use deadly force.
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Old 04-06-2018, 07:55 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Training, training and more training. Which they don't seem to get. On top of that, they are inundated with racist and "them vs us" hyperbole.

I ran across the article today and thought it made a bit of sense: https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/05/opini...yus/index.html

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Before the incident, Shelby received a "mental anchor" (a common bias that all humans rely on when processing initial information) in the form of a radio description. A police helicopter pilot had described Crutcher as a "bad dude."
and with regard to training, this:

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Humans posture, too, when specific factors, such as culture, social class, religion or nationality, are shared. Though still in its early stages, my own research suggests that minority officers are more likely to posture, rather than to simply kill, minority subjects.

Shelby was later acquitted of manslaughter. But to a certain extent, her decision to kill Crutcher was made before the incident. Shelby was influenced by factors hidden within her subconscious. Crutcher's bulky size, dark complexion and ethnicity -- along with the "bad dude" mental anchor -- likely all played critical, if subliminal, roles in his untimely death.
Ultimately:
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But learning to identify and deconstruct the brain's negative feedback loops can help combat use of force mistakes.
We can't have police on the street who have a "them vs us", "bad dude" mental picture of the public. That has to stop; both through better screening prior to hiring and better training and WE - the public who pay them, must insist that it changes.
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Old 04-06-2018, 08:29 AM   #17 (permalink)
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This is still really dangerous if you don't outnumber the suspect. That said, I'm sure there are many instances where police did have the numbers, but shot them anyway.
I'm sure it is dangerous, and I would imagine that the British police do try to ensure they outnumber any suspects they know to be armed with knives.

All I am saying is that the British police would not routinely send out an armed response unit (i.e. officers with guns) to deal with a suspect armed with a knife. Generally such incidents are dealt with by regular patrol officers wearing anti-stabbing vests and armed with tasers and batons.
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Old 04-06-2018, 10:42 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I think it needs to be ...

There needs to be some kind of down-side to using deadly force, even if it is warranted. Some kind of check and balance to make sure cops aren't shooting first and asking questions later.
This is pretty well unworkable.

What we do need is an independent review of all police involved shootings by a panel at least partially made up of community members, ideally at the state level to minimize local bias, with the ability to recommend charges instead of relying on local prosecutors with personal connections to the police departments to make charging decisions. Charges should always result in a change of venue as well.
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Old 04-06-2018, 06:59 PM   #19 (permalink)
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When I was growing up, it didn't feel like this. Cops were well, part of the community, and that seems to be where the problems come from. That and giving them military grade toys to play with. Because you know, omg, must try this out.

And the Blue Lives Matter thing does not help, but makes it even worse - because it reinforces this idea that cops are in danger from the people they are supposed to protect. And I guess, while it got lost at the time, the older gentleman murdered by cops in his own home after, pushing his life alert button, while lying on the floor needing help... yeah, but that was at the same time as Trayvon Martin's murder, so it got over looked.

I just don't believe that cops need to shoot to protect themselves even most of the time, I just don't.
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Old 04-11-2018, 06:39 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Maybe I'm misunderstanding you, but it sounds like you are advocating restitution even when the use of force is easy to justify, then wanting additional restitution when it can't be justified.
Basically, yes. I know it would never pass in the US, but since there is almost always going to be a form of "reasonable doubt" simply as a function of the job of a police officer, I do think we need another system to make cops think about a dozen times before deciding to shoot. Unfortunately, in this world, money talks. I am fine with every officer having to think: "Is this shot worth $50k or more to my department?"

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Not too far from where I live, there was a drug dealer who opened fire on police and was shot and killed as a result. I don't think anyone deserves restitution for what he did.
Thats a fine story, but that is basically just convenient context (or more appropriately, lack of context) to justify killing the drug dealer. What led up to the drug dealer firing at the police? Were any steps taken to avoid a firearm conflict? Was the drug dealer black and therefore had hundreds, if not thousands, of reasons to believe that the cops were going to kill him regardless of what he did?

Maybe if cops weren't so trigger happy, the drug dealer wouldn't have been so anxious to commit suicide by cop.

Even if you don't think he deserves any restitution, I am guessing his wife, kid, or mother likely could use the financial assistance (given that he is deceased) and that it is a fairly small price to pay to make cops think about the ramifications before shooting anyone.

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There is a major problem with police not being held accountable when the force can't be justified, but I think many forget that it can be justified the vast majority of the time. I live in a violent city, and the harsh reality is that sometimes officer really do need to shoot a gang member who actually is armed and shooting first.
I dunno, if Wolf's link is even close to accurate, your assumption that police shootings are justified a vast majority of the time is way off base. I'm also borrowing heavily on the fact that a majority of cops in the UK don't even carry guns.

Even the shootings that are "justified" in an USA mentality, probably could have been easily handled any number of non-violent or non-lethal ways. I am betting that a vast majority of police shootings were not necessary (i.e. not 'justified')...just that they were the lazy way of fixing a problem without thinking, and at the cost of someone else's life.

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Old 04-11-2018, 07:22 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I dunno, if Wolf's link is even close to accurate, your assumption that police shootings are justified a vast majority of the time is way off base.
Her stats said 13% of the people killed were unarmed. That might be too many, but that's pretty far from a majority. None of her stats come close to proving a majority were not justified. At most, those stats suggest some killings are suspect.

I fully believe too many are killed unjustifiably, but I don't think anybody has proven this is a huge number.

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I'm also borrowing heavily on the fact that a majority of cops in the UK don't even carry guns.
They are also vastly less likely to encounter a criminal with their own gun. If we take Wolfeye's stats, remove 13% of unarmed people and 170 with a knife, we come up with 63% with a gun. This is still a majority with a gun. This is arguably not a high percentage given the context, but it is a majority, which is what I was saying.

I absolutely believe that we should move to copy the UK kill count, but this will require a large number of policy changes outside the police, such as gun control. If UK cops had to deal with American criminals with their level of arms, they'd be in a whole world of trouble.
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Old 04-11-2018, 07:36 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Reasonable doubt is for a judge/jury to decide, not law enforcement. That is how the system is supposed to work.


Just one person, innocent until proven guilty, gunned down by police is one too many.
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Old 04-11-2018, 08:04 PM   #23 (permalink)
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UK police don't routinely face the level of gun danger US ones do, so it's apples & oranges to some extent and I'm not surprised US cops are often scared into shooting.
That being said, enough US police in leadership positions have been trained by these guys https://theintercept.com/2017/09/15/...dc-washington/ so its hardly surprising if they view the US citizens they encounter as the enemy in many circumstances after they are trained at home & abroad by a force that regularly infringes upon human rights.
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Old 04-11-2018, 08:13 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Basically, yes. I know it would never pass in the US, but since there is almost always going to be a form of "reasonable doubt" simply as a function of the job of a police officer, I do think we need another system to make cops think about a dozen times before deciding to shoot. Unfortunately, in this world, money talks. I am fine with every officer having to think: "Is this shot worth $50k or more to my department?"
Well, shit! Let's just take it a bit further and just take guns away from cops completely. No more decision to make, and no more officer-involved shootings.

I, however, would not want to live in that reality.

Sure, perhaps in the UK, most of the cops don't carry guns. Thankfully neither do most of the residents. Unfortunately, that's not so in the US, and it's far too late to stuff that genie back in the bottle. As long as we have criminals eagerly willing to use deadly force to avoid arrest, we need a police force that can counter that.
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Old 04-12-2018, 06:59 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tranquility too View Post
I think it needs to be automatic restitution to the person or person's family for any police firearm discharging at a suspect. Make it a tiered system. $50G for being fired at, another $100G for every bullet that hits, and $200G for a fatality. Thats just the base pay. Other factors can add additional restitution, like the lack of a weapon on the suspect, getting shot in the back or while surrendering, failing to call for medial assistance immediately after the firearm discharging ends, no actual crimes committed prior to being shot at, etc. Maybe if there is actual proof that the suspect fired a weapon first or was in the process of physically attempting to kill another person or officer, then some of the restitution charges would get nullified. And maybe if there was physical proof that the suspect had already harmed or killed someone first (like if the officers encountered Ms. Hughes actually stabbing the knife in her roommate), then there would be no restitution.

There needs to be some kind of down-side to using deadly force, even if it is warranted. Some kind of check and balance to make sure cops aren't shooting first and asking questions later.
While I can see where you are going you are equating two things that should never be on the same scale, money and life.
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