Friday, September 28, 2012

Hey wait, isn't that the same...

I read an article in the local Metro newspaper today stating that police were "cleared of wrongdoing" in the shooting death of a mentally-ill man holding an axe. The article only contained "positive" quotes from police officials, and I thought to myself--wait, isn't this the same story I read about last year, in which the man's family called police for help to get the man under control, and were extremely upset that he ended up dead?

So I checked another newspaper and indeed this is the case. From the Sun:
“The family is pretty angry at how cops dealt with it,” Ryan Smith said last year following the shooting.

“They were yelling at cops to stop shooting while Peter was already on the ground.

“He wasn’t a maniac wielding an axe. He was no threat to anybody and made no intention to go towards the officer.

“He was surrounded by family, how threatening are you when you have your whole family standing beside you?”
Curiously, none of the papers give a new statement from the family about the result of the inquiry. Sometimes I am bothered by how cops use tasers--but in this case, it seems like a taser really would have been the right tool for the job.

Still, it all happened very fast, they say: no time to reflect on what you're doing. So perhaps if there's any blame here, maybe it's something wrong with police training.

When authorities do have time to reflect, though, you'd expect them to make better decisions. For example, a man meant to send a sexual text message to his girlfriend, but accidentally sent it to his entire address book. In my books this might warrant a smack upside the head for idiocy. But no, he was sentenced to 18 months in prison instead.

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