Thursday, July 14, 2005

Street Justice

Hot on the heals of Matty's near collision with a criminal, a girl is killed by a fleeing suspect in Cleveland:
A 9-year-old girl was killed and two people injured late Wednesday night on Cleveland's East Side when a car driven by a juvenile fleeing police slammed into several cars and a group of pedestrians, police said.
Of course the angry people the news crews find on the street are quick to take their anger out...on the police. How is the public safer by letting these people speed through neighborhoods like that, why can't the police shoot them, or at least shoot up their car? If this slime were speeding towards police they'd be permitted to shoot them, but since they're just threatening the public, they're restrained, what gives?


Matty D said...

The government largesse and out-of-hand spending leads to $3500 toilet seats, but nothing for bullets.

That's my guess.

RT said...

You're kidding, right? Do you think the police should shoot at moving cars?

What if they miss?

Matty D said...

Actually, that is kinda true. Police are notoriously poor with their marksmanship.

Case in point: A few weeks ago a perpetrator and a police officer exchanged 103 bullets...yeah, ONE HUNDRED AND THREE, and nobody was even scratched.

A comedian I like, Ron White, was making fun of this; he also noted a situation where some kid fired a gun 8 times and killed 9 people, whereas two police officers opened fire (on him, I think) from point blank range, emptied their clips, and missed completely.

Granted, these are only two instances, but I'm also going from some claims made by a member of the local NRA that police generally are pretty poor marksmen/women.

Evil Sandmich said...

I won't post a bunch of excuses for police officers, I'm sure different departments have different standards for the officers. However, it must be realized that a criminal is going to go after different people in different situations with different motivations than the police. The number of rounds fired does not take into account cover fire and what-not that would inflate the number. The criminal knows where he is, but the police don't and I'm sure they feel safer just laying fire into any would-be firing position rather than waiting for him to pop some shots off at them to find out where he is at.

As for the 'correctness' of shooting at criminals running from the police, I figured we could take a trip to a hypothetic mall for some situation handling.

First, let’s say a criminal goes into a mall with a gun and starts shooting the place up. No debate (hopefully), it's a good deal that they shoot the guy in order to end the threat that he poses to others.

Secondly, let’s say a criminal goes into a mall with a ball bat and is bludgeoning people. Again, given no other good choices, the best option may be to have him shot. One might say "...but he probably won't kill anyone with a bat", but I doubt you'd find a ready bevy of volunteers to get a plate in their head so that they can be the one that gets hit while he is peaceably subdued. (There was a case many years ago in Cincinnati where a suspect was shot when he aimed a brick at the police. The outcry from the different corners was pretty much what you'd expect, but I didn’t see anyone actively demonstrate how little supposed damage could be done you if you get beamed by a brick).

Okay okay okay. Thirdly, a criminal is driving around the mall parking lot intentionally trying to run people over. Okay, we've gone over the other two and we can extrapolate that it is within reason that someone who poses this kind of threat can be shot.

So why would it make any difference? We basically only have three choices, NONE OF THEM GOOD. The fact that these are bad choices does not mean that there is a good one to be had that we're missing...

1) Let fleeing criminals escape. Of course, how many criminals aren't going to flee in this circumstance?

2) Pursue them and let them pose a threat to the community. Any volunteers to put there kids in the place of the kids who died from this speeding a$$hole? Do you think the mother of those kids wishes the police used deadly force in trying to stop him?

3) Shoot suspects fleeing in vehicles in high speed pursuits. Now, the opposite of #1, how many common thugs are going to flee if they know there is a police sharpshooter somewhere down the road who is going to bring his flight from the law to a rather quick end?

Matty D said...

Wasn't trying to argue against, just noting this observation I and others have made. I actually find it as more of a humor piece (the fact that two officers each fired roughly 15 rounds from point blank range and missed).

Evil Sandmich said...

That is disappointing, and I wish that was the worst police firearms handling story I'd heard. I noticed even in grade school how uneven standards are between departments when Cincinnati cops were normal sized people and the Harrison cops took up half the front seat of the cruiser. It was good for the criminals, they could always get away on foot. :)

RT said...

Ah! I see where you're going with this... You're playing the "what if" game. This is how shit gets solved! If only in our own minds, lol.

OK. Option three. I would have to say that criminals would, 99.9% of the time, not be deterred in a car chase because of the threat of a sharp-shooter. One, because they're running for a reason in the first place. The possiblity of being shot is probably more attractive than spending years in jail. Or two, because they think they can out smart the cops. Which, in most cases they are able to do so for a length of time, hence the car chase.

It's the in the time between the start and the apprehension that the innocent bystanders become victims.

OK! I have to stop, I just got my movie in the mail and I have to go watch it... We'll get back to this, lol. In the meantime, get your butt over to my blog and take a look at what you started! :p

Evil Sandmich said...

I guess I should clarify. I don't think every fleeing suspect should be shot at as a matter of principle; there's a big difference between someone going 80MPH down the highway and someone going 60MPH in a residential neighborhood.

I merely seek to counteract the voices who are glorified apologists for criminals, people who would be perfectly happy letting every criminal get away. I just think that shooting the suspect or his vehicle should be on the table.

Of course there are always Carpoons!

RT said...

Oh man, before I click on the "Carpoon" link, I had visions of Rhea Perlman harpooning that van in Carpool, lol. Funny how the brain associate things, ain't it?

Unfortunately, I have to agree with you on that point -it irritates the crap out of me when people try to make excuses for the criminal- so I can't say much more about it.

But back to the other post...

I was glad that you brought up the mall scenario. I thought about the same type of thing after my first post (I'm hoping you read that) and I realized that there is a time for deadly force, even at the cost of some innocent lives.

I can't believe I made such a blunder by generalizing my response. But in my defense, I make a LOT of stupid comments. I'm just glad that I can learn from them... Most of the time.

Gotta love me for who I am, lol.