Police throughout the United States of America are supposed to protect and serve citizens. But when a controversial decision from the police takes effect we have to hold our police officers accountable so tragic unlawful actions will not continue to happen. Very dangerous situations happen especially in the current climate we live in today.
But in some scenarios police officers do not have to use their firearms in order to protect themselves or the surroundings they’re enforcing. The body cameras help for evidence on both ends. This way after the altercation ends there would be critical footage of what exactly happened from beginning to end.
Philadelphia’s Eddie Irizarry is the most unfortunate recent victim of a mistaken police fatal shooting.
People often question why the police make traumatizing mistakes on their job force. You would think that these mistakes would completely stop because of the worldwide backlash against the police. Protest, riots, rallies, all of these powerful gatherings still do not seem to put a decreasing amount on the police versus civilians shooting or arrests incidents.
Every time a police officer has to use a gun to shoot right after the shooting the process is that shooting a clean shooting on the scene and not a misdemeanor. In the moment of a police shooting some civilians can understand the severance on why police had to use their gun. But when police use their firearm just to use it without feeling any type of threat or fear for citizens surrounding them that is the problem that leads to the unnecessary deaths.
The suspect that the police are arresting should cause some type of threat before the police feel that their gun needs to be used against them. That is the whole point of police officers wearing a protective vest. But the person to be detained in most circumstances would not be wearing any type of protection from gunfire.
Now, if the police are in a situation where the person of interest is clearly attacking them then at that very moment they should have the proper reaction. If the suspect clearly has a weapon in hand, that is the time for defensiveness from police. In some instances, it should depend on the weapon. If the weapon is a knife, then the police officers should use their baton to swat the knife from the hand, then put the suspect to the ground. Pepper spray to the eyes is also an option that will help make the arrest easier.
Police in some cases get very carried away with how they are going about making an arrest. It is a very difficult job mentally because of the circumstances which police face everywhere and everyday but that is not an excuse to kill a person that does not draw attention to a visible weapon.
Police officers need to stop making assumptions with stereotypical thoughts on certain people they are arresting to take into custody, especially those who are of color. If the police officer making the arrest is a person of color too then they should know first hand that what their actions are could be unjustifiable.
The conclusion is that if there is absolutely nothing threatening during an arrest that police officers feel they should use their firearm then they should have the strength and ability to not draw their firearm. All police departments, districts, precincts, stations, and headquarters should get a grip on stopping their behavior.
Alim Howell is an activist and advocate.