De-escalating On American Streets

From The Daily Banter

Police protocol in America allows police officers to apply lethal force when there is “probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a threat of serious physical harm … to the officer or to others.” So a police officer can basically say, “I thought the guy was a threat, so I killed him”. It’s incredibly subjective, and the broad definition and has lead to the death of around 400 people a year in America, a massively disproportionate number being black. That is compared to zero deaths from police shootings in the England and Wales for 2013/14, and zero police officers killed by attackers.

Sometimes the police just move out of the way, and keep talking.  And a sharp baton whack on the shins will bring most people to the ground, if it comes to that.  Not only does the military hardware have to be pulled of the streets but the fire-fight mentality changed in training, policies and minds.  In work places all over American are safety exhortations: 103 days since the last injury accident!  How many do we see in police stations: 1, 229 days since the last officer involved shooting!  I wonder if at police trainings, stories about innovative ways of calming people down are swapped with anything like the fervor of death-on-death encounter?

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Daily Banter also has some nice pix of people, happy in the streets of Ferguson, here.

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