Well at least one more video of the fatal shooting by a policeman during a traffic stop in South Carolina has been released, this one a dash cam on the police cruiser.
There are still gaps in the incident, but so far nothing to make the cop look good or make it look as if the case was anything but basically murder or manslaughter.
We can see that the victim did run away while the officer had gone back to his car. Then there is a gap. I have not seen any evidence of a struggle, but there might have been at some point. What of course can be seen is the cop firing multiple shots at the back of the man as he was running away. After the man is down it appears the cop drops his Taser near the victim (not sure about this), as if to plant evidence? Don’t know.
Right now it just seems to officer panicked and made the wrong decisions, just as the victim did by running away.
Now this was another one of a string of white cop black suspect incidents. But now there is a video circulating of a group of San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies, all white (I believe), beating a white suspect while he is down on the ground with his hands behind his back.
Some thugs wear uniforms.
Certainly I would not want to or even be able to be a cop. But I think it’s time for all good police officers to unite and help weed out the thugs among them.
There will of course be law breakers who will try to use these incidents in their own defense and claim any time they are detained that they are suffering excessive force — trying to turn the tables on the law, so to speak.
But something needs to be done to remove the out-of-control officers, and there seem to be a large number of them all over the country.
Even though certainly most cops are not bullies, bullies are probably attracted to police work. But all they do is create a lawless atmosphere that poisons society.
My original post on the South Carolina incident follows:
Are Police ever justified in using deadly force against someone detained for a minor offense and not threatening anyone’s life if he or she were to get away?
I don’t know what the law says but on a moral and practical and humane basis I would say no.
I say this after watching a video (admittedly it might not tell the whole story, but its seems pretty plain) of a South Carolina policeman shooting a black man in the back several times after he ran away. The dead man had reportedly been stopped for a defective tail light on his car.
How can you justify shooting someone for that?
The officer reportedly said he shot in self defense. I did not see any portion of this video or any other (if they might exist) that demonstrates the officer was attacked. However I just now read another story that claims the video shows a tussle between the officer and the victim, with a Taser stun gun the officer originally used dropping to the ground. But it appears that, whatever, he shot the man with his service hand gun (and this is on the video I saw) in the back several times as he was running away. The officer clearly is not in danger at this point. I’ll try to clarify here: I think there were eight shots, at least one if not more or all apparently hit the man in the back.
When some of these recent reports of black people (all males so far) being shot by policemen, seemingly for no other reason than being black and maybe using some poor judgment in their confrontations with police, began I was dubious and gave the benefit of the doubt to the police.
Every case may be different, but there seems to be a clear pattern of policemen being out of control.
In many cases we must be hiring the wrong type of people to be policemen.
This is not an indictment of all policemen and police women. But there is a problem, a deadly problem.
( I realize it’s a jungle out there, but we need people capable of dealing with that in the correct way.)
This is not something that needs a lot of discussion and panels and studies. It just needs attention now.
We need better screening of new hires and better training. And bad cops need to be weeded out. Police unions might resist, I don’t know. But it would be their long-term interest not to. And the public is in charge here not the unions.
What if you were stopped for a defective tail light? Probably you would not run away. But what if you made a move that startled the policeman? He might just shoot you. Over a defective tail light.
A news story said the victim in this case may have run because he was in trouble with the law over back child support.
He did not deserve to die for being an irresponsible parent, if he was one, either.
It would be better in these incidents to let someone get away than use deadly force. Each case is different, of course.
The policeman in this incident has been fired.
He has also been charged with murder. Some have speculated had not a bystander taken a video whether the officer would now be in trouble.