Saturday, July 9, 2016

Recent Events Are Troubling

Both the police shootings of suspects and of course the assassinations of 5 Dallas Police Department officers are quite disturbing. They are disturbing to me but not necessarily for the reasons you may think them disturbing. Most of all though, I am disturbed by the apparent fact that the Dallas Police Department has appointed itself as executioner. In my 32 plus year career of federal law enforcement, I was taught and taught others, that when you use deadly force against an assailant, you do so until the threat has stopped. You did not use deadly force to kill but to stop; however if the death of the suspect resulted as a use of that force - tough shit for the suspect. Even though it could result in death, the use of deadly force by law enforcement always held the implication that the amount of force used was not overkill and allowed for some possibility that the bad guy might survive except in situations where you might be forced to use overwhelming force to stop him/her.

What the Dallas Police Department did though, as it seems to me right now, was prepared to use absolute deadly force on a suspect once they determined (without any oversight at all by a court or other agency) that executing the suspect was the thing to do. It is apparent that, in all likelihood, they had planned to use C4 (an extremely powerful explosive) and a robotic delivery and detonation system before the shootout in Dallas took place. How can I know this? Let's face it folks, the shootout did not commence and then suddenly, on their doorstep appeared, by mere chance, a supply of C4 along with a robot capable of delivering the C4 and already set up to detonate it. No, I think they must have planned for that well in advance of this incident and they were ready to use it, to become judge, jury and executioner at their whim.

Now you may think, wait a minute you just said there are exceptions and if the police were forced to resort to overwhelming force then so be it. Yes that is what I said but the difference in Dallas was that the police were not forced to do so, they chose to do so and made a decision that they would do so before this incident ever took place and that is why they had the robot with the C4 ready beforehand. You don't really believe they brought all that together at the last minute during a shootout do you? I sure don't.

I am no lily-livered pansy when it comes to using deadly force against bad guys. I have done it myself more than once. I just cannot fathom how anyone could condone the police taking it upon themselves to use an amount of force that not was probably guaranteed to kill a bad guy but that also had the potential to kill other innocents in the area by way of reckless abandon. That is exactly what I believe they did right now and I leave it to them to prove to me that I am wrong (which they my well do - who knows). At this moment though, I am fearful, very much so, that this will become a new trend among law enforcement - using bombs and other methods of overkill to execute bad guys while at the same time unnecessarily jeopardizing innocents.

All the best,
Glenn B