Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Lethal Force

We go over to Tam's site and read about a police officer in New York who had to use lethal force against a woman wielding a baseball bat.
A sergeant entered the seventh-floor apartment and encountered the woman, who was armed with scissors, but he persuaded her to put them down, Nikunen said.
 So far, so good.  She put down the scissors.  Then things go south.
The woman grabbed a baseball bat and attempted to strike the sergeant, Nikunen said. The officer fired two shots, striking the woman in the torso, he said. She died of her injuries after being taken to Jacobi Medical Center.
Aw, hell.  Using a baseball bat is lethal force.  The officer responded with lethal force, and from the facts presented so far in the story, it appears to be reasonable.  Based on everything I've learned from 35 years as an officer, under existing case law, the officer did what he had to do.  It is regrettable,  as are all fatalities, but not improper.

The usual suspects are upset that the woman died.  But back to Tam's analysis, I can't disagree with her reasoning.
Look, y'all, if you see someone swinging a baseball bat at me and I'm not already shooting them, I'd be much obliged if you'd get to shooting them for me. I don't care if they're 16 or 66 or what bathroom they use or if they're white or black or a sort of tie-dyed color.
That's pretty much the way I feel.  A baseball bat is lethal force.


Old NFO said...

That it is. Period...

Anonymous said...

According to the radio this morning, the Mayor and Police Commissioner have already decided it was improper procedure and that the cop was wrong.

Mark D

Dave said...

Sounds somewhat similar to a case in a nearby town (Hearne, TX). Officer responded to a call that an old lady was trying to kill her son. When he arrived, the old (70+) lady, armed with pistol, was chasing the son around, yelling, "I'm gonna kill you!" and firing shots into the ground in his direction. As soon as she raised the gun again, the officer shot her dead.

Texas Rangers said it was a clean shoot, but he was still fired.