Thursday, July 7, 2016

Bang, Bang He Shot Me Down... Police Officer Fear Factor

Bang, Bang He Shot Me Down...
Police Officer Fear Factor

Another night, another town, someone is shot by a police officer and the crowd goes wild without knowing all the facts regarding the incident.

The posted social media video does not show the whole incident and only the aftermath.  This video has gone viral and is the basis of the protests in Minnesota.

Social media, especially 'live streaming' or a posted video can be an excellent communicator and also fall short of telling the whole story.  It is those that fill in the gaps without the whole facts that build a frenzy of misinformation which becomes global in seconds.  it is as if they will latch onto anything that seems to be controversial and 'spin' their take on the situation, which gets media attention and the storm brews.

The BBC report states an partial overview.

Minnesota black man shot by US police in a car

"A black man has been shot dead by police in the US state of Minnesota as protests continued over the police killing of a black man in Louisiana.

Philando Castile's girlfriend live-streamed the aftermath, showing him covered in blood with a police officer pointing his gun at him.

He was shot as he reached for his driving license, she said.

It follows the death of Alton Sterling, who was shot dead by police during an incident in Baton Rouge on Tuesday.

Hundreds of people have protested for two nights over Mr. Sterling's killing.

The deaths follow a long line of high-profile incidents involving African-Americans at the hands of the police, igniting a national debate about the lethal use of force.

Mr Castile had been stopped in Falcon Heights, a suburb of St Paul because the car had a broken rear light, the woman, identified in local media reports as Lavish Reynolds, said.
Before he was shot, he told the officer that he was licensed to carry a concealed gun and had one in his possession, she said.
"You shot four bullets into him, sir. He was just getting his license and registration, sir," Ms. Reynolds says in the video."

The questions must be asked, why are we seeing an increase in shootings by US police officers?  Asking questions and establishing the situation is good practice. Is the training of officers in this situation not sufficient or are officers making on edge judgment calls?

Only the investigation and final report will answer those questions, to which we should try not to second guess.

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