Police Officers don’t shoot to wound.At approximately 3 p.m. Saturday, police fired a dozen rounds at knife wielding, 51-year-old Darrius Kennedy, shooting him in the centre of Times Square.
And each shot had behind it good reason, good cause, and good training.
The Daily News reports it wasn’t seconds after the shots rang out that bystanders started voicing protest at the NYPD’s use of force. In fact, Kennedy’s parents have since come out against the NYPD, saying the officers in question did not show enough restraint.
Those two officers had never once fired a shot in the field. Not to mention, the NYPD altogether killed only 8 people in all of 2011.
Kennedy had gone wild, and was blasted in the face no less than six times with pepper spray. He wiped it off, say police officers, and continued on his path, unperturbed by calls to cease and desist.
It’s at this point that officers fear for the lives and welfare of innocent bystanders. They also know they’re dealing with an EMD, or emotionally disturbed person, likely to act even more unpredictably when confronted.
So as police hemmed Walker in with two cruisers, Walker dipped between them, and as they dismounted their vehicles to stop him, he slashed at them with his blade.
Then the officers drew their weapons.
Everyone likes to armchair quarterback instances when police kill a suspect, including, I’m sure, the police themselves. What could have been done differently, how could the incident have been prevented?
But one detail remains clear: Police don’t shoot to wound.
Police, like military, are trained to shoot centre mass of the target. Most cops aren’t trickshots; they don’t aim for the kneecaps, and they won’t shoot a knife out of the hand of a delirious daytime psycho. They aim centre mass for one simple reason – with a pistol, it’s easy to miss.
Even then police fired 12 times Saturday and only seven rounds found their target, the rest went wild and fortunately didn’t ricochet or find an innocent bystander.
And instead of reading headlines about how brutal the NYPD was in Times Square, maybe we’d all be reading about how a stray bullet killed an innocent little old lady on vacation, or worse yet, a little kid.
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