Police should be held to same standards as everyone else
To the Editor:
There seems to be a prevalent attitude that police should be immune from disparaging remarks or criticism. The police are no different from you or I when it comes to the first amendment. Police are citizens given extraordinary authority in order to protect the rest of us. When this authority is misused they are subject to the same laws as we are.
There are those who feel that the president’s and attorney general’s remarks on the subject of recent alleged unjustified police killing of citizens were an incitement to violence. I doubt that either of these men would do that. The media reaction to this would have been greater than the reaction to the killings if that were the case.
Whether Michael Brown was a criminal or not has no bearing on the shooting and the statement the officer fired in self defense is specious. The four shots hitting Mr. Brown in the right arm were disabling. The two shots to his head were intended to kill him, just as when a private citizen shoots an intruder in the head, most juries would find there was intent to kill that intruder. It’s an unfortunate truth that police officers are trained to shoot until the target is brought down. Hopefully if the officer could hit Brown’s arm four times he could have hit his leg(s) more easily and with less chance of killing him and better chance of stopping his “charge”.
The quoted statistic that 27 police officers were killed and almost 50,000 assaulted sounds damning. Between 2003 and 2009 there were an average of 420 deaths per year due to police intervention. This is fifteen times the rate of police deaths. Unfortunately, no statistics are kept on bad police shootings by the FBI.