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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I listen to NPR-Cops Kill People In Portland

Yesterday it rained. I had only 8 acres left in one field. I finished it but the mud has getting thick. I need to get some planting done.
I was listening to NPR on my new radio I installed in my tractor.
I suppose my memory goes back too many years. When ever I hear of a police shooting in Portland I think a decade or so when Portland police officers averaged something like 30 shots per shooting incident and hardly every hit their target. They often hit buildings, cars, other people, but not the fellow they were shooting at.
Once time there was a hostage incident. This nutcase had a little boy and was holding him with a knife to the throat. I think they were at the top of a staircase or something like that. There were two cops with guns. The coppers opened up on the guy. I couldn't find the details online but the bad guy was killed with a shot to the head and the little kid died from the resulting 14-30 rounds fired.
So, they issued AR-15's to the officers for better accuracy. From my knowledge of firearms I would say the guy died from the first shot from the officers side arm, which was the only accurate shot, cause you can't shoot straight when you are pulling the trigger as fast as you can, and training should have been reviewed back then.
People in Portland are upset because this fellow who was threatening to kill himself  was shot by the cops. There was a stand-off, the guy comes out of this apartment. He reaches down and scratches himself and the cops open up on him. Thought he was reaching for his gun. Yes, a large penis shaped gun. They sell those in all the gun stores. Many black dudes keep those in their sweat pants. The "gun of love" they are called. I don't know why they could not hear the Al Green playing in the background.
Since the guy was black and thus subject to the undeniable virtue of the oppressed, this is big news in Portland.
It is not big news when cops knock down the door of a lower class white junk dealer sort of guy and shoot his dogs and then don't find any drugs or anything illegal but a bunch of old cars violating Portland zoning laws.
But it is all the same issue.
Portland Police chief Rosie Sizer was on Oregon Public Broadcasting's "Think Out Loud" radio broadcast Tuesday. One of the callers asked her about shooting unarmed people, and whether police should be trained to wait until they see a glimmer of metal or a weapon. "If you wait for a gun to be presented, you can be shot before you're able to return fire," Sizer said.
She added that some officer's would not shoot unless they saw a gun but that was up to the officer. Rosie's comment was, "I'm not going to go there."
Another caller called and said he was on the police force in the 1970's and they did not shoot anyone who didn't show a gun.
Chief Rosie kind of evaded this statement by saying she did not have the info and of course the info was not available as it is so long ago, blah, blah, blah.
Another caller wondered why they had a, "shoot to kill" policy. She said they did not have a shoot to kill it was a shoot tell the threat is gone policy and they aimed at the biggest target.
I was wondering why they didn't have a black police chief. A black female police chief would have been much better. I guess the white gay males who run Portland don't like black people. Oh, gay people can't be racist...
I was driving around in circles, planting in the rain, and I was thinking about this whole discussion.
Of course you can't have people shooting each other.
1. If someone you know is threatening to shoot themselves you need to think before you call 911. If he has a gun there is a very good chance the cops will shoot him because if the cops feel threatened I guess they can open up with what ever they have. Taser, M-16, AK-47, M-1 Tank, rockets, perhaps in the near future, tactical nuclear weapons.
2. If someone you know is acting strange and you need to call 911. First think twice about it. Then remove anything that could be considered threatening by nervous cops. Tie up the family dog!
3. Just try and avoid calling the cops on anything. Tell them only what you have to. Forget lots of stuff. "I'm sorry I was not really paying attention, no I don't think I could recognize/remember/whatever.
This whole BS about officer's feeling threatened is a clever use of semantics to avoid putting responsibility on cops for killing or tasing people. For some reason they do not want spend money on training on how to diffuse a tense situation. Or how to deal with suicidal folks. Is there a way to tell if someone is on drugs or if they have mental problems? Should cops be shooting first and thinking later? If you are in the Army in a war zone it is shoot first. If you a police officer shouldn't you be expected to take some risks?
I don't know and now I have run out of steam 3/4 of the way through my rant. I just have a problem with authority and your typical rent-a-cop mentality.
I don't like Portland.
The rain makes me depressed.
The end.

8 comments:

  1. Cops have been taught to shoot to "stop the threat" for a long time now. That does not mean that the suspect just fell down as he can still be armed and considered dangerous.

    The 1970's was not a time that you would want to return to as far as police tactics. Nightstick strangle holds, lead saps upside the head, pig piles all over the place... and an inordinate number of in custody deaths related to what we today call "positional asphyxia" (pinned prone to the ground in such a way and for such a duration that a suspect stops breathing).

    Police have come a long way in regards to their levels of training, skill and competence in dealing with physical resistance, it only stands to reason that they would also take steps to make sure that they were safer as well. Working smarter as opposed to harder. Waiting to "see a gun" in many circumstances is not a reasonable option... especially when under stress, even trained and experienced officers cannot articulate minute details in their minds that would justify deadly force under those "tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving circumstances" that unfold when someone who has been told to "freeze" elects to reach in his pants... even if it is only to scratch his privates.

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  2. Naples,
    Now I make no claims to being an expert this blog is for entertainment only and for me to shout out into the great unknown.
    It is my opinion that a lot of police training is designed with psychology in mind.
    For example the suspect determines the level of force used by the officer to reduce or eliminate the threat. So, the responsibility is placed on the suspect. There is a much more of an emphasis placed on following procedures to prevent lawsuits and to deal with some utter idiots who become police officers.
    I think there is also an us vs. them attitude that comes from dealing with utterly moronic drug addled criminals every day.
    There will always be the odd exception to the rule. I don't want to be the exception.
    The problem is that when cops have to deal with people who are not part of the criminal element and who know the right people then it all becomes a big deal.
    No one talks about the little sideline issues like whole ethical issue of how assigning blame to the suspect to lower the costs of counseling police officers may not be the best way to deal with officer involved shootings.
    And a situation like the one in Portland becomes an issue of race instead of a useful discussion of training and procedure which is probably a useful and good discussion to have...

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  3. Up here theres a term "suicide by police officer" in which the suspect will pull a weapon on the police in hopes of putting an end to it all. Many times it works.

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  4. These "accidents" are just another example of the "superior" attitudes many police hold. Let's face it, cops have ALWAYS gotten away with murder (literally) and always will. I was told by someone who may very well know, that there are real-life hit-men in little ol' West Virginia, and every one of them carries a badge.

    Budd, I think you missed a point on that black, female police chief; add "lesbian" to the mix.

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  5. Ralph, Police have to deal with a lot of different situations. If someone pulls a gun on a cop then they ought to expect to get shot. Even if the gun has a huge orange plug in the end.
    But, I think there is room for a lot of discussion after one of those events, especially if the guy was merely scratching his what ever and/or had mental problems or....
    Police train has to over come a lot of incompetence, I've met a few police officers in my life...

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  6. Gorges, Are you just a tad cynical? You think that a person's sexual preference would even be an issue in a open-minded city like Portland? (ever heard about the mayor and his love with his intern and then the coverup and the fact that he is still in office?)
    How could you think that Virginia's finest would have a touch of corruption?

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  7. Wouldn't know about Virginia; don't live there.

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