Police shoot knife wielding wheelchaired man 9 times

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rightrevoIution
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#1
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#1
Seems like they could have at least tried to disarm the guy. Not like in his condition he is capable of going on a mass stabbing spree.
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SHallowvale
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#2
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#2
Good, officers like that don't belong in any police force.

You have to wonder how bad things have to been in order for police to ever act like this. It's unheard of for this sort of thing to happen in the UK, at least I only hope it is... O_o
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Starship Trooper
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#3
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#3
Overkill lol

But wheelchair user or not, if you pull a knife on an officer after shoplifting I don't have any sympathy for you .

Give the officer a warning and a two week paid suspension.
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SHallowvale
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#4
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#4
(Original post by Starship Trooper)
Overkill lol

But wheelchair user or not, if you pull a knife on an officer after shoplifting I don't have any sympathy for you .

Give the officer a warning and a two week paid suspension.
The police should never use such a high level of force in a situation like that, they simply do not need to. It's a good thing the officer was fired.
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tazarooni89
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#5
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#5
(Original post by rightrevoIution)
Seems like they could have at least tried to disarm the guy. Not like in his condition he is capable of going on a mass stabbing spree.
I think it's easy for us to judge from behind a screen and a keyboard, but difficult to know exactly what was going through the police officer's mind at the time. Obviously protecting themselves and other innocent people from death/injury has to be their number one priority. Given that they regularly face life-threatening risks in their job, I can see how it's possible that a police officer might perceive the threat to be bigger than it actually is, and shoot on the basis that it's better to be safe than sorry - or indeed, for fear to simply get the better of them, and prevent them from behaving entirely rationally in that moment.

Whilst it's true that the man was using a mobility scooter, if I were a police officer newly arriving on the scene, I don't think that would be enough to reassure me that he was not a threat. How do I know that he's genuinely disabled, and that he won't just get off the scooter and charge at me with the knife? Or that he won't throw the knife at my face? (Though I will say that even then I don't see why 9 shots would have been necessary.)

Of course, I'm not a trained police officer, so I'm not going to have a full understanding of how officers are trained to assess the risks and what alternative options he had available for how he could have responded. That's why ultimately, these situations need to be investigated by those with the proper expertise to judge whether the officer's actions were reasonable or not, and whether it warrants being fired or going through a full criminal trial etc.


In any case though, the death of a man wielding a knife, threatening to use it on others and disobeying police orders to drop it is no real loss to society. The best place for him is behind bars or locked away in a mental institution - however failing that, it's better that he's dead than allowed to "walk" free, in my opinion.
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caravaggio2
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#6
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#6
Could have been worse, he could have been black and there would be businesses burning everywhere. Hopefully the cop will do time.
That gap between bullet 8 and 9 got me. It was like he got to 8, stopped, then thought "and one more for good luck" or "meh, may well as empty the clip."
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SHallowvale
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#7
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#7
(Original post by tazarooni89)
Of course, I'm not a trained police officer, so I'm not going to have a full understanding of how officers are trained to assess the risks and what alternative options he had available for how he could have responded. That's why ultimately, these situations need to be investigated by those with the proper expertise to judge whether the officer's actions were reasonable or not, and whether it warrants being fired or going through a full criminal trial etc.


In any case though, the death of a man wielding a knife, threatening to use it on others and disobeying police orders to drop it is no real loss to society. The best place for him is behind bars or locked away in a mental institution - however failing that, it's better that he's dead than allowed to "walk" free, in my opinion.
If I recall correctly, police training in the US is much shorter than in other parts of the world. Descelation and using an appropriate level of force don't seem to part of that training... that is, based on the dozens of cases like this where police escalate the situation or use force excessively.

Their death may not be much of a loss to society, but I don't think the police should be allowed to kill people who do not pose or have not been a significant danger to others.
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caravaggio2
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#8
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#8
I suppose in theory the guy going back into the store could have stabbed the lady just inside the door watching (always assuming she didnt step back as he went past) I imagine if it was here the two cops would pepper spray him or taze him or even grab an arm each and pull him out of the chair to cuff him. I cant see the cop walking away with just a dismissal.
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04MR17
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#9
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#9
(Original post by rightrevoIution)

Seems like they could have at least tried to disarm the guy. Not like in his condition he is capable of going on a mass stabbing spree.
Hiya, please could you provide us with a link to the news story as the video posted is age restricted and therefore can't be shared on our site.

Cheers
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imlikeahermit
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#10
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#10
(Original post by caravaggio2)
Could have been worse, he could have been black and there would be businesses burning everywhere. Hopefully the cop will do time.
That gap between bullet 8 and 9 got me. It was like he got to 8, stopped, then thought "and one more for good luck" or "meh, may well as empty the clip."
It’s ‘peaceful protesting.’
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Starship Trooper
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#11
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#11
They should turn this into a Hollywood blockbuster.

This winter....Evil is Mobile. Only one cop can bring him down.

Blades on wheels
Directed by Clint Eastwood
Based on a true story
Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as the cop
Nicholas cage as the criminal

"Put the knife down naaaoowwww!!!"
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tazarooni89
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#12
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#12
(Original post by SHallowvale)
Their death may not be much of a loss to society, but I don't think the police should be allowed to kill people who do not pose or have not been a significant danger to others.
I agree with you - I’m not saying police officers should be allowed to kill any criminal whenever they feel like it.

My main point is that when police officers are having to make split-second decisions on whether someone is posing a danger to others or not, with innocent people’s lives and safety (including their own) potentially resting on those decisions, I think it is justified for them to err heavily on the side of judging that the person probably is a danger.

It’s extremely difficult to make the correct decision 100% of the time, so I’d prefer any incorrect decisions to be overly cautious than overly lax. If someone has to lose their life over it, better it’s the criminal with the knife and disobeying clear instructions to drop it, rather than a police officer or an innocent bystander.

It’s easy to say in hindsight that the man was not posing a danger to others. But I don’t think it would have been wise to assume this in the moment, just because he happened to be riding a mobility scooter. He could still be faking his disability, he could still throw the knife etc.
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SHallowvale
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#13
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#13
(Original post by tazarooni89)
I agree with you - I’m not saying police officers should be allowed to kill any criminal whenever they feel like it.

My main point is that when police officers are having to make split-second decisions on whether someone is posing a danger to others or not, with innocent people’s lives and safety (including their own) potentially resting on those decisions, I think it is justified for them to err heavily on the side of judging that the person probably is a danger.

It’s extremely difficult to make the correct decision 100% of the time, so I’d prefer any incorrect decisions to be overly cautious than overly lax. If someone has to lose their life over it, better it’s the criminal with the knife and disobeying clear instructions to drop it, rather than a police officer or an innocent bystander.

It’s easy to say in hindsight that the man was not posing a danger to others. But I don’t think it would have been wise to assume this in the moment, just because he happened to be riding a mobility scooter. He could still be faking his disability, he could still throw the knife etc.
The police officers had no split-decisions to make in this case. They had ample opportunity to assess the situation and try alternative means of restraint, but they didn't. The officer's first action was to literally just shoot the guy to death.

I don't think the idea that they might not have needed a wheelchair and might have thrown a knife at someone are a good enough justificaitons for shooting someone. Their only crime thus far had been to steal a toolbox from Walmart. As far as I can tell, their only display of violence was to simply show the police officer a knife they were carrying. Hardly cause for applying a death sentence, certainly if they did not even try anything else.

Do you think the officer should have been fired from their job?
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tazarooni89
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#14
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#14
(Original post by SHallowvale)
The police officers had no split-decisions to make in this case. They had ample opportunity to assess the situation and try alternative means of restraint, but they didn't. The officer's first action was to literally just shoot the guy to death.

I don't think the idea that they might not have needed a wheelchair and might have thrown a knife at someone are a good enough justificaitons for shooting someone. Their only crime thus far had been to steal a toolbox from Walmart. As far as I can tell, their only display of violence was to simply show the police officer a knife they were carrying. Hardly cause for applying a death sentence, certainly if they did not even try anything else.
I don’t think it is necessary to wait for the person to actually be violent before deeming them to be a danger to others. In my opinion, the police officer needs to act before the the knife wielder injures or kills someone, not wait for them to do it first and then act afterwards. It’s an issue of prevention, not punishment - so I wouldn’t call it “applying a death sentence”.

That means they need to assess whether there is a material risk of them hurting others and to try and predict what could/would happen if they didn’t shoot. That’s why it’s difficult to make the right decision every time. But if someone has a knife in their hands, are refusing to drop it and are making a pretty clear threat of violence, in my view that is sufficient to infer that there is an elevated risk of them using it on someone.

Some people seem to be assuming that “he was on a mobility scooter so he clearly couldn’t have done anything to anyone”. I don’t agree with such an assumption.

Do you think the officer should have been fired from their job?
I think they should be suspended from their job pending an investigation by the relevant authorities. They can then decide, based on their expertise, whether the officer’s actions were reasonable or not (or indeed worthy of criminal prosecution or not).

But if you’re asking me to decide, I would say that firing 9 shots was excessive force. Ideally he would use a taser, but if that wasn’t possible then one or two shots aimed at the limbs would have been reasonable.

His decision feels to me like it was based on fear/inexperience rather than malice, but that still means he’s not suitable to be doing this job. So I would opt to have him fired (or retrained at the very least), but I would not consider him guilty of murder.
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SHallowvale
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#15
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#15
(Original post by tazarooni89)
I don’t think it is necessary to wait for the person to actually be violent before deeming them to be a danger to others. In my opinion, the police officer needs to act before the the knife wielder injures or kills someone, not wait for them to do it first and then act afterwards. It’s an issue of prevention, not punishment - so I wouldn’t call it “applying a death sentence”.

That means they need to assess whether there is a material risk of them hurting others and to try and predict what could/would happen if they didn’t shoot. That’s why it’s difficult to make the right decision every time. But if someone has a knife in their hands, are refusing to drop it and are making a pretty clear threat of violence, in my view that is sufficient to infer that there is an elevated risk of them using it on someone.

Some people seem to be assuming that “he was on a mobility scooter so he clearly couldn’t have done anything to anyone”. I don’t agree with such an assumption.



I think they should be suspended from their job pending an investigation by the relevant authorities. They can then decide, based on their expertise, whether the officer’s actions were reasonable or not (or indeed worthy of criminal prosecution or not).

But if you’re asking me to decide, I would say that firing 9 shots was excessive force. Ideally he would use a taser, but if that wasn’t possible then one or two shots aimed at the limbs would have been reasonable.

His decision feels to me like it was based on fear/inexperience rather than malice, but that still means he’s not suitable to be doing this job. So I would opt to have him fired (or retrained at the very least), but I would not consider him guilty of murder.
It was applying the death sentence because the guy died. You don't exactly shoot someone 9 times and expect them to survive.

There is no way for us to know whether he would have actually attacked anyone, all that happened till that point is that they stole something from a shop and had a knife on them. If we were talking about someone who has been assaulting people already (or at least trying to) then I could perhaps see your point, but this didn't happen.

As far as I can tell there was no indication that they would actually be violent to anyone, so it seems like your argument is just based on the idea that they could have become violent...? That's not a good excuse for what is essentially murdering someone. I don't think the police should be excused from murder on the basis that the person they killed might have become violent.
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tazarooni89
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#16
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#16
(Original post by SHallowvale)
There is no way for us to know whether he would have actually attacked anyone, all that happened till that point is that they stole something from a shop and had a knife on them. If we were talking about someone who has been assaulting people already (or at least trying to) then I could perhaps see your point, but this didn't happen.

As far as I can tell there was no indication that they would actually be violent to anyone, so it seems like your argument is just based on the idea that they could have become violent...? That's not a good excuse for what is essentially murdering someone. I don't think the police should be excused from murder on the basis that the person they killed might have become violent.
Of course there's no way to prove that he would have attacked anyone - nobody can predict the future with perfect accuracy. It's a case of assessing the level of risk. And in my opinion, the risk in this situation was higher than merely "he might become violent" (which theoretically could be said about anybody). The fact that he was carrying a knife, refusing to drop it despite several commands to do so, and making verbal threats with it to me indicates that he was probably intending to use it if he felt the need to - i.e. there was a materially elevated risk of him doing so, relative to that of a normal person.

If police always waited for people carrying potentially deadly weapons to attack first, we would have a lot more innocent deaths and injuries. The belief that there is a significantly higher-than-usual likelihood of them attacking should suffice.

It was applying the death sentence because the guy died.
It is not a "death sentence" just because a person died. He was not killed as a punishment for something he did. He was shot in order to prevent the possibility of hurting others. Of these two, only the former is called a "death sentence".
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Starship Trooper
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#17
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#17
He should have booted him off the vehicle like in Halo
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SHallowvale
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#18
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#18
(Original post by tazarooni89)
Of course there's no way to prove that he would have attacked anyone - nobody can predict the future with perfect accuracy. It's a case of assessing the level of risk. And in my opinion, the risk in this situation was higher than merely "he might become violent" (which theoretically could be said about anybody). The fact that he was carrying a knife, refusing to drop it despite several commands to do so, and making verbal threats with it to me indicates that he was probably intending to use it if he felt the need to - i.e. there was a materially elevated risk of him doing so, relative to that of a normal person.

If police always waited for people carrying potentially deadly weapons to attack first, we would have a lot more innocent deaths and injuries. The belief that there is a significantly higher-than-usual likelihood of them attacking should suffice.

It is not a "death sentence" just because a person died. He was not killed as a punishment for something he did. He was shot in order to prevent the possibility of hurting others. Of these two, only the former is called a "death sentence".
No police officer should be cleared from murder purely on the basis that their suspect might have attacked someone, even if there were a higher-than-usual likelihood of it happening (which in this case I doubt anyway, given both the suspect's mobility, the weapon they held and their previous actions).

Higher-than-usual likelihood of them attacking would justify the police acting and restraining the person involved, not straight up killing them. That's an excessive use of force which in this case was the first thing the police attempted.
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tazarooni89
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#19
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#19
(Original post by SHallowvale)
No police officer should be cleared from murder purely on the basis that their suspect might have attacked someone, even if there were a higher-than-usual likelihood of it happening (which in this case I doubt anyway, given both the suspect's mobility, the weapon they held and their previous actions).
That just comes down to a difference of opinion. In my view, there was a higher-than-usual likelihood of it happening given their previous actions (refusing to drop the weapon and making verbal threats), and the weapon they held (a knife is very capable of causing fatal wounds), and crucially, ignoring the fact that they were on a mobility scooter, as this is no definite indication of actual capacitation.

Whether the officer should be convicted of murder or not comes down to their intentions. In the US, killing is only "murder" if there is "malice aforethought". That doesn't seem to be the case to me (I'd put it down to fear, inexperience and intent to prevent injury/death to others rather than malice). But of course only a proper court trial can conclude on that.

Higher-than-usual likelihood of them attacking would justify the police acting and restraining the person involved, not straight up killing them. That's an excessive use of force which in this case was the first thing the police attempted.
Only if they were almost certain that they could restrain the person before they managed to attack anyone (which I don't think they had cause to be). However as I've said, I agree that 9 shots were not justified. I think a taser (or if that wasn't possible, one or two shots aimed at the limbs rather than aimed to kill) would have been sufficient.
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caravaggio2
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#20
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#20
They should have shot his tyres out. 😬
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