Tuesday, November 3, 2015


    There have been 962 persons killed by police officers in the United States so far this year, according to an extensive project being conducted by the British newspaper The Guardian. The project, known as The Counted, has been tracking such killings in the US for several years. 
    As of the end of August police had killed 776 people, of whom 161 were completely unarmed at the time of their death. By far the majority of deaths (680) were the result of shootings, with another 39 deaths resulting from Tasers, and 26 after individuals were struck by police vehicles. Click here for further information.
    The interactive, continuously updated database maintained by The Counted is the most reliable source of information available. Photographs and information about every individual killed by the police is available on their web site (click here).
    With regard to the growing number of police shootings that have been taking place each year, am I being naive to wonder why law enforcement officers always shoot to kill (or so it seems), instead of seeking just to disable the person they are arresting, or who as often as not is running away from them?
    I’m not talking about situations involving a shoot-out, where there is an exchange of gunfire, or where officers’ and/or other people’s lives are in obvious and immediate danger. I’m thinking of the many cases where individuals have been needlessly shot and killed by police officers.
    So many times the victims of police shootings are unarmed and not dangerous. Even if investigating officers are fearful for their  own lives, why can’t their first shot be aimed at the suspect’s legs? 
    Does the police training manual say they have to shoot to kill?

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