Unarmed man goes on shooting rampage

You can’t make this stuff up.

I suppose the reasoning would go as follows;
Since cops are the Only Ones trained and competent enough, and with good enough judgment, to carry guns, anything they do that causes harm to innocents must therefore be someone else’s fault. QED. Move along. Nothing to see here. Relax and enjoy your shoes.

I’m all for wiping the personnel roster completely clean, right down to the janitor, in some departments, and starting over. It’s the only way to clean out a bad culture. Otherwise the culture perpetuates itself even as the personnel come and go.

In New York City even that may not be near enough, since the whole town is corrupt and its corruption radiates out for miles and miles like a volcano’s ash cloud.


8 thoughts on “Unarmed man goes on shooting rampage

  1. Word.
    The comments over there don’t seem to be asking whether the action of the mentally disturbed man amounted to a felony — if not, the felony murder rule that the District Attorney seems to be bootstrapping does not apply, or if the man was resisting arrest. There’s a US Supreme Court case from the 60’s that said that police could not use deadly force to stop a fleeing suspect if the crime he was fleeing from was NOT a felony. I can’t take the 15-30 minutes right now to get that citation.

    • The Fleeing Felon rule doesn;t apply to just FELONIES — the case in question involved someone who was shot _under_ the old Fleeing Felon Rule, which said that you COULD shoot fleeing felons. They shot a guy in the back for fleeing a non-violent burglary, which _was_ a felony. . . and SCOTUS ruled that you can’t do that.

      The problem is (as SCOTUS noted), when the Fleeing Felon rule was first promulgated, “felony” = “capital offense”, so you weren’t giving the felon any more than he would have gotten if he surrendedered and was convicted. However, most felonies aren;t capital offences anymore, so the use of lethal force solely to prevent the escape of a felony suspect is no longer valid.

      • I should clarify the _new_ Fleeing Felon rule that SCOTUS established is that shooting a fleeing felon (or misdemeanant) in the back, just to prevent their escape, is excessive and unlawful force.

        Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1 (1985) Holding — “The Tennessee statute is unconstitutional insofar as it authorizes the use of deadly force against, as in this case, an apparently unarmed, nondangerous fleeing suspect; such force may not be used unless necessary to prevent the escape and the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others.”

        Note the second half of the requirement — whereas the old common law Fleeing Felon rule was that killing a felon to prevent mere escape was a societal net good, the current rule only permits it when the officers have probable cause to think the felon poses a “significant threat” to others. Otherwise, it’s just a nonjudicial execution for a crime that isn’t even subject to the death penalty.

  2. “Otherwise the culture perpetuates itself even as the personnel come and go.”
    It’s a pernicious version of “This axe has had two heads and three handles but it’s still George Washington’s axe.”

    • Exactly. That’s funny, but it is perfectly applicable when it comes to an institutional culture. I often use the example of Northwest region public schools. When my kids started school, they came back with the same jokes, sayings and whatnot, decades after I was exposed to them in elementary school 150 miles away and I which hadn’t heard since.

      Same with a badly infected fish tank or a beer vat. You have to dump it out, flush it, sterilized every component and start over from scratch, watching very carefully what you put into it afterward, and how you manage it.

      • Hmm. Why did the Republican Party come to mind immediately after I wrote that?

        • Scratch the word “republican” and insert “longstanding political,” and you have a truism.

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