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Ser Scot A Ellison

Law Enforcement and its abuse of power

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Just now, Rippounet said:

I don't see why the sentence requires that "more" in it, would you care to explain?

Because he brushed over the point that choosing to aim at extremities rather than center mass puts more people at risk because misses and ricochets are more likely when a smaller part of the body that is more likely to be in motion is targeted.

Yes, “people” are at risk when someone is shot.  But, “more people” are at risk when the sharpshooter goes for “trick shots” rather than aiming at the largest target possible.

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7 minutes ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

“more people” are at risk when the sharpshooter goes for “trick shots” rather than aiming at the largest target possible.

The entire point of the story reported by Alarich is, I would say, that this was definitely not the case here. What you call a "trick shot" saved a life. Or are you arguing that this guy with a broom and knife actually deserved to die?

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

The entire point of the story reported by Alarich is, I would say, that this was definitely not the case here. What you call a "trick shot" saved a life. Or are you arguing that this guy with a broom and knife actually deserved to die?

The issue is not only whether they deserve to be die, but whether officers have a responsibility to increase the risk to their own life to reduce the risk to the subject slightly (people can die from getting shot in the leg, especially the thigh which is where I assume people are saying police should aim, nobody is advocating for a shin shot are they?). 

Also a very close to miss to a thigh shot is the groin, stomach etc, hardly much better. 

Edited by BigFatCoward

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15 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

The entire point of the story reported by Alarich is, I would say, that this was definitely not the case here. What you call a "trick shot" saved a life. Or are you arguing that this guy with a broom and knife actually deserved to die?

Of course I’m not arguing he deserved to die.  

1. We don’t know if the shapshooter aimed at the targets leg.

2. That story in no way changes the fact that attempting trick shots, as explained in my prior post, puts more people at risk.

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1 minute ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

2. That story in no way changes the fact that attempting trick shots, as explained in my prior post, puts more people at risk.

It does, as BigFatCoward explains:

2 minutes ago, BigFatCoward said:

The issue is not only whether they deserve to be die, but whether officers have a responsibility to increase the risk to their own life to reduce the risk to the subject slightly (people can die from getting shot in the leg, especially the thigh which is where I assume people are saying police should aim, nobody is advocating for a shin shot are they?). 

Thanks.
And in my opinion, they do, because in a civilised society, police officers are not judge, jury, and executioner upon arriving on a scene.

The case presented by Alarich is the polar opposite of Bryant's. In this case, it seems [it doesn't exactly matter if this isn't exactly what happened, as such cases happen all the time] that the police officers had incorrect information and on top of that didn't correctly assess the situation. But because they were not trained to use lethal force as their primary means of action, they wounded the suspect instead of killing him.

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12 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

It does, as BigFatCoward explains:

Thanks.
And in my opinion, they do, because in a civilised society, police officers are not judge, jury, and executioner upon arriving on a scene.

The case presented by Alarich is the polar opposite of Bryant's. In this case, it seems [it doesn't exactly matter if this isn't exactly what happened, as such cases happen all the time] that the police officers had incorrect information and on top of that didn't correctly assess the situation. But because they were not trained to use lethal force as their primary means of action, they wounded the suspect instead of killing him.

And I absolutely agree the frequency with which American Law Enforcement goes to lethal force is wrong.  That needs to change and I’ve been arguing it needs to change for decades.

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Posted (edited)

The fact is that shooting center mass as the only means of dealing with a situation which escalates to that point appears to be a bit of an Anglo-centric thing. To quote this paper:

Quote

The Swedish police can use firearms against humans in two different situations; (1) to arrest suspects of grave felonies and (2) to protect themselves or others from ongoing or imminent threat of aggravated assault with risk for life or severe bodily harm. This is similar to the legislation developed in many western countries including Australia (Sarre, 1993). Swedish police rarely shoot to arrest and, if so, it is then predominately in the form of warning shots. If the firearm is used for arrest, fire-for-effect (FFE) shots aimed at the legs or warning shots are legal. For comparison, in USA warning shots are not an accepted practice and practically not allowed due to the risk of ricochets or stray bullets (Bratton, 2014). In Sweden, firing warning shots are legal and regularly trained. However, warning shots are only allowed if the situation also allows FFE shots.

I also came across this post from a police officer/trainer who had interactions with Czech police regarding their firearms training, and also a response at a different blog from a Swedish police officer underscoring that the training is similar in Sweden to what they do in the Czech Republic. The latter post has some back and forth with others, where the blog author David S. Couper (formerly chief of police in Madison, Wisconsin) expands on ideas he thinks should be pursued.

Interestingly, warning shots are still something Couper is against, wheras they are standard in Sweden.

Also, here is discussion of firearms use by police in German states, with it being pretty clear that they, too, attempt to shoot to disable rather than kill if at all possible.

Edited by Ran
Corrected links.

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16 minutes ago, Ran said:

The fact is that shooting center mass as the only means of dealing with a situation which escalates to that appoints appears to be a bit of an Anglo-centric thing. To quote this paper:

I also came across this post from a police officer/trainer who had interactions with Czech police regarding their firearms training, and also a response at a different blog from a Swedish police officer underscoring that the training is similar in Sweden to what they do in the Czech Republic. The latter post has some back and forth with others, where the blog author David S. Couper (formerly chief of police in Madison, Wisconsin) expands on ideas he thinks should be pursued.

Interestingly, warning shots are still something Couper is against, wheras they are standard in Sweden.

Also, here is discussion of firearms use by police in German states, with it being pretty clear that they, too, attempt to shoot to disable rather than kill if at all possible.

Interesting.  And I was unaware of that.  

I stand corrected.

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Of course the only way to at the very least reduce the number of cops as murderers in the US is years of real gun control and reduction of weapons in the hands of everyone/anyone.  Because the ultimate justification of armed violence, is, "I thought it was a gun," even when 'it' literally was nothing.  Just ... nothing.  Not even a wallet.  Thus we justify killing people upon whom we broke in who were asleep in their beds.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, Zorral said:

Of course the only way to at the very least reduce the number of cops as murderers in the US is years of real gun control and reduction of weapons in the hands of everyone/anyone.  Because the ultimate justification of armed violence, is, "I thought it was a gun," even when 'it' literally was nothing.  Just ... nothing.  Not even a wallet.  Thus we justify killing people upon whom we broke in who were asleep in their beds.

 

 

Careful, this was something of a third rail on one of these threads recently.  For what it's worth, I agree that the 2nd amendment is a major contributor to police violence, particularly to the paranoid, trigger-happy, mindset of your average cop.  

  I also think this country is so far beyond the point where we would have any realistic path to reducing the number of firearms out there. 

Edit: and bring on the warning shots

Edited by larrytheimp

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Another weapon needed to be removed from circulation among police - more justification as to why tear gas is banned for war (...but not domestically???)

 

 

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1 hour ago, Luzifer's right hand said:

Warning shots are standard in Austria too. 

On this topic, an article from a few years ago discussing hundreds of law enforcement officers being opposed the International Association of Chiefs of Police's proposed National Consensus on Use of Force, which included the suggestion of loosening bans on warning shots and leaving it to police discretion based on circumstances.

 

 

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Unfortunately American legs are so mighty and strong that shooting them cannot be done; it is only the weak scandinavian legs that can be shot to disable or deter people. 

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3 hours ago, larrytheimp said:

Careful, this was something of a third rail on one of these threads recently.  For what it's worth, I agree that the 2nd amendment is a major contributor to police violence, particularly to the paranoid, trigger-happy, mindset of your average cop.  

  I also think this country is so far beyond the point where we would have any realistic path to reducing the number of firearms out there.

Since we all know all this, what's the point of the admonishment, rather than, o, just having it stand?

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Just saw a clip of an interview with the head of NYPD saying that he considers anyone who has been protesting police brutality in NY to be criminals, not protesters. He should be fired immediately.

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Scot - calling a shot where you aim for the leg, ie a smaller target, a trick shot is deliberately misleading and you know it. A trick shot would be using the ricochet to shoot someone, not just aiming for a different part of the body.

12 hours ago, BigFatCoward said:

 nobody is advocating for a shin shot are they?). 

Achilles tendon or bust! If I were seriously demanding they aim for the Achilles tendon then Scot's suggestion of it being a trick shot might actually have merit when you're face to face.

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8 hours ago, larrytheimp said:

Just saw a clip of an interview with the head of NYPD saying that he considers anyone who has been protesting police brutality in NY to be criminals, not protesters. He should be fired immediately.

Was there any other context or was it just blatant arseholery. 

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Posted (edited)

Another article in the Washington Post from last year discussing differences in policing around the world. Looks like a lot of continental police forces have similar approaches to Sweden, the Czech Republic, and Austria. Here's a short quote:

Quote

European Union countries set their own regulations within the commission’s framework. Some countries have stricter rules than others. In Finland, for example, a cop is expected if possible to seek a superior’s approval before using deadly force. In Spain, if possible the police officer must first fire a warning shot and shoot at a non-vital part of the body before they can shoot to kill, said Hirschfield, citing his research.

None of this is really applicable to the Bryant case, IMO, as I believe any armed police officer in any of these countries would have opted to take the surest shot at stopping the attack, but this kind of scenario -- someone a split-second from stabbing someone else right in front of a police officer -- strikes me as pretty rare. 

ETA: Trying to see what, if any, news there has been on the Bryant case led me to this Vox piece which I was sort of in agreement with until it was made clear that the author, Merushka Bisetty, specifically put the onus on the police officer for not de-escalating the situation, when it literally unfolded in front of his eyes within moments of arriving and he had the choice only of holding fire and letting the girl in pink take her chances with being stabbed in the face or neck until he could close or get Bryant to lay down the weapon, or fire and try to prevent the attempted murder.

Yes, de-escalation could and should have worked -- but the moment of that had passed. Instead, the failure to de-escalate belongs with the people in the foster household at the time. As evidence, consider the grown man in gray who was present and apparently part of the household who, rather than trying to de-escalate, actually tried to kick the first girl Bryant knocked down in the back of her head as she got up and get away. He and the other adults who were apparently present for all this should have been the ones trying to de-escalate it. The fact that there have been a number of 911 calls from the house in recent months, including one from Bryant's sister after a fight with her and their foster-mother, tell me that the system did fail Ma'khia Bryant. Not the police system, but rather the foster system.

I've read that the mayor of Columbus has asked for a federal investigation of the police due to the shooting, but I hope he'll also consider making noise about an investigation into the foster system in Ohio, run by the Office of Families and Children (part of the Department of Jobs and Family Services), to explain why Ma'khia Bryant ended up in what seems to have been a troubled and inappropriately-managed foster home, and indeed why such foster homes exist in the system. Are they given too little monetary support? Too little access to mental health services? Etc.

Edited by Ran

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18 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

Because he brushed over the point that choosing to aim at extremities rather than center mass puts more people at risk because misses and ricochets are more likely when a smaller part of the body that is more likely to be in motion is targeted.

Yes, “people” are at risk when someone is shot.  But, “more people” are at risk when the sharpshooter goes for “trick shots” rather than aiming at the largest target possible.

Scot, I don't think that aiming for a leg is a "trick shot", and your two legs present quite a bit of surface. The danger of deadly ricochets is always there, but it is mainly technical issue of the ammunition used. 

 

18 hours ago, BigFatCoward said:

The issue is not only whether they deserve to be die, but whether officers have a responsibility to increase the risk to their own life to reduce the risk to the subject slightly (people can die from getting shot in the leg, especially the thigh which is where I assume people are saying police should aim, nobody is advocating for a shin shot are they?). 

I would say, yes of course they have - within reason. The interpretation of how far this goes varies obviously. Of course, it is very difficult to draw a clear line between what can and what can't be reasonably expected for every possible situation. But I don't think that as a general rule - especially in a situation where you still have time to communicate a request to the subject (like: put down your knife, raise your hands etc.) - it is unreasonable to train and instruct police officers to fire warning shots or aim for the legs instead of torso.

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