Police officers shooting people is always a subject that people debate about in certain situations, and either way, a shooting is an unfortunate part of an officer’s job. A shooting occurred occurred in Madison, Wisconsin, which ended up killing a 19 year year old in the process. The story, although the mother of the man claims that the story could be further investigated, essentially boils down to the officer being assaulted first by the 19 year old via punching to the head and the policeman reacting with gun fire.
Keep in mind, my opinion on this case is based off of the information provided. If this story is true, a lot of people will be quick to point fingers at the policeman and wonder why he acted so erratically, but there is so much to this story, and a lot that we do not think about when things like these are initially heard. Some may ask why the officer did not reach for something less lethal, such as a taser or a night stick. My answer to this first statement is that the officer claimed that he feared for his life after being punched in the head. Anyone who watches UFC or knows anything about the human body knows that punches to the head can be deadly, especially if delivered with enough force to the temples or the back of the head. This could have knocked the officer unconscious, leaving the 19 year old with access to all of his weapons, and who knows what would have happened there. Next, there is the size of both people engaged in this activity. The differences in size are not explained in this story, and this can very well go both ways. One can argue that if the officer compared to the man was of adequate size, he should have been able to restrain him, but the story claims that the officer was being punched in the head, so there is a good chance that the man was able to overpower the officer, implying that the man may have been stronger. Also, when one is fearing for their life, I could only imagine how difficult it could be to keep a clear head through it all, this is the same reasoning I provide when people are shot to death by officers and people reply with comments such as “well why not shoot them in the leg and restrain them that way?” that and something like an arm or a leg can move very quickly, too quickly for an officer to lock in on, so they need to pick something they have a high chance of making contact with in order to be effective, and unfortunately that is a human’s torso, where most of the vital organs are.
It is unfortunate that people die in processes like these, but it unfortunately is part of life when people choose to assault an officer. People need to realize that the police only have so much time before they feel the need to pull the trigger, and when someone is punching them in the head, running at them with a knife or pose any kind of threat to them, that time is shortened significantly. At the end of the day, officers know they have a dangerous job, and most of them have some kind of family that they wish to return home to. Frankly, I do not blame them one bit for using such force if they deem it necessary to keep themselves alive. Am I saying the officer should get off Scott free without any charges? No. He most certainly should be given some kind of penalty, as a shooting is a shooting no matter how someone looks at it, and it is a rather gray area in law enforcement. However, as the story stands now, I do not blame the officer at all for using his gun. Hopefully stories like these make people think twice before assaulting an officer.