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Author Topic: article about police shootings  (Read 5438 times)

vitality

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article about police shootings
« on: October 15, 2006, 12:07:04 AM »

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Bri Thai

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Re: article about police shootings
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2006, 02:40:16 PM »

When Cops Kill

New research into how armed police react in the highly charged seconds before pulling a trigger has exonerated many of blame in the US. Now it's being investigated by British police.

In the last 12 months the Crown Prosecution Service announced none of the officers involved in these shootings would stand trial. In fact, no officer has been convicted over any of the 24 fatal police shootings in the past 10 years. For many it smacks of a cover-up.

Conviction escaped

The day after the CPS announced its decision not to charge the two officers in the Stanley case The Independent splashed on its front page the headline: Shot dead by police: 30. Officers convicted: 0.

When armed police make mistakes, the consequences can be fatal and public confidence seriously damaged.

"As a firearms officers you're either a hero or a murderer," says former Metropolitan Police commissioner Lord Stevens.

"We know that people can't think and shoot simultaneously in this kind of high stress situation"

Dr Bill Lewinski

Many people are left with the impression that the police are getting away with murder. But new research, instrumental in the CPS decision not to prosecute the officers in the Stanley case, paints a very different picture. It has helped many officers in the US avert conviction when they have killed an innocent civilian.

At the forefront of the research is Dr Bill Lewinski, who argues that the problem with public perception arises because the our "knowledge" comes from fiction.

"Everybody in our nation, including law enforcement, gets their training about police shootings from Hollywood," says Dr Lewinski, professor of sociology at Minnesota State University.

That ignorance extends to police, judges and juries. It wasn't until Dr Lewinski started conducting experiments in the early 1990s that anyone had looked at how quickly suspects could move and how long it took police officers to react to that movement.

Turns to run

He discovered that in the two seconds it takes an officer to draw and pull the trigger, a suspect can fire nine rounds. A person can turn and move as much as 13ft (4m) in one second.

So an officer facing an attacker may decide to shoot - and later swear they were facing them - when in reality their victim has turned to run and been shot in the back.
 
Mr Menezes was shot on the Tube the day after failed bombings
In the US, an astonishing 70% of victims of police shootings are shot in the back or the side.

Something like that is said to have happened when Insp Neil Sharman and PC Kevin Fagan shot and killed Harry Stanley in September 1999. Stanley was carrying a table leg and not a sawn-off shotgun, as they had been told.

The officers insisted he turned and faced them pointing the "gun" directly at PC Fagan. But the fatal bullet struck Stanley in the back of the head.

Their story did not match the evidence and they could not remember key details. It looked like they were lying.

Arrested on suspicion of murder in June 2005, the officers hired Dr Lewinksi. His theory of what happened in those fatal split seconds helped persuade the CPS not to charge the officers, although Stanley's wife, Irene, called the decision an "injustice".

By extension, Dr Lewinksi's findings raise serious questions about all police shootings.

Mental picture

As well as his findings about police officers' reaction times, Dr Lewinski has made some extraordinary discoveries about what happens in their brains.

His latest study aims to find the limitations of an officer's recall of a shooting. He has been hired by the Police Federation and will be conducting the experiment later this month in London with Metropolitan Police officers.
 
Harry Stanley was shot on the way home from the pub

In a pilot study in Minneapolis in August, the results were alarming. The officers did not know how many shots they fired and their description of the suspect was inaccurate.

"One of the things lost in the stress response is the counting. Mathematical ability is certainly suppressed. We know that people can't think and shoot simultaneously in this kind of high stress situation," says Dr Lewinski.

If police officers cannot remember key details, it raises serious concerns about the reliability of their evidence. But it does not mean they are lying.

The CPS has said it will take this into consideration in future cases.

"Operational officers will encounter stress threat danger that may not come to most members of public once in a lifetime," says Chris Newell, CPS principal legal advisor.

"It would be stupid on our part not to be alive to the fact that people under stress won't necessarily act in a wholly rational way and won't necessarily recall events with the clarity that hindsight can bring.

New threat

The world has changed since Harry Stanley was shot in 1999. In the age of the suicide bomber, the stakes have been raised and pressure on firearms officers has been further magnified.

Police critics and the police themselves accept more tragic accidents are an inevitable consequence of human frailties.

"There will be incidences," says Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur, "and this is what the public has to understand, when people will be shot in the interest of safety to the community, and in the interest of safety to the officers."

Panorama: When Cops Kill is on BBC One on Sunday 15 October at 2215BST.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I was at a lecture by this guy in May, during the Police Federation of England and Wales Conference.  Inspector (now Chief Inspector) Neil Sharman was on the stage also.  We gave him (the Chief Inspector) a standing ovation after he went on to outline just how badly he had been treated by the press, the politicians and police command for years on end.  It was the only ovation we gave all week.

Listening to some people you would think that officers had targeted someone deliberately, and then been stupid enough to openly kill them AND concoct stories so ridiculous that it made them look bad!  How dumb is that?

There is no black and white.  It might just be a little stressful to be in what you think is a life or death situation...... especially when you are charged with preserving the safety of everyone.  Bill Lewinski deserves a medal for scientifically evidencing something that all of us with brains intrinsically know to be true.

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Nick Hughes

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Re: article about police shootings
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2006, 03:14:07 PM »

Well, my only comment is that I hope it applies to civilians as well.  I wonder how many civilians are in jail, put there after investigations by homicide cops that discovered that, (just like the boys in blue) they were "lying" based upon the evidence.

If it's good enough for the goose it's good enough for the gander right?

Nick
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Hard pressed on my right. My center is yielding. Impossible to maneuver. Situation excellent. I am attacking.
--Ferdinand Foch-- at the Battle of the Marne

Bri Thai

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Re: article about police shootings
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2006, 03:20:44 PM »

Where does that happen?

Firstly, ordinary folks don't carry firearms in the UK.  Secondly, gun ownership is a great thing in the USA, and solves all the problems in the country.
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Professor

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Re: article about police shootings
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2006, 06:14:38 PM »

Well, my only comment is that I hope it applies to civilians as well.  I wonder how many civilians are in jail, put there after investigations by homicide cops that discovered that, (just like the boys in blue) they were "lying" based upon the evidence.

If it's good enough for the goose it's good enough for the gander right?

Nick

Interesting link sent to me today by a friend:

http://www.gunowners.org/sk0802.htm

Footnoted at the end....
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  'Advanced' is being able to do the basics, despite what else is happening. 

Our Country won't go on forever, if we stay soft as we are now. There won't be any AMERICA because some foreign soldiery will invade us and take our women and breed a hardier race!"  --- Chesty Puller, USMC

Professor

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Re: article about police shootings
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2006, 06:27:32 PM »

Well, my only comment is that I hope it applies to civilians as well.  I wonder how many civilians are in jail, put there after investigations by homicide cops that discovered that, (just like the boys in blue) they were "lying" based upon the evidence.

If it's good enough for the goose it's good enough for the gander right?

Nick

From the same site (I started browsing):

The Police: No Duty To Protect Individuals  (Warren v. D.C.)

 
http://www.gunowners.org/sk0503.htm


The Court's Decision: Appellants Carolyn Warren, Miriam Douglas, and Joan Taliaferro in No. 79-6, and appellant Wilfred Nichol in No. 79-394 sued the District of Columbia and individual members of the Metropolitan Police Department for negligent failure to provide adequate police services. The respective trial judges held that the police were under no specific legal duty to provide protection to the individual appellants and dismissed the complaints for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. Super.Ct.Civ.R. 12(b)(6). However, in a split decision a three-judge division of this court determined that appellants Warren, Taliaferro and Nichol were owed a special duty of care by the police department and reversed the trial court rulings.

The division unanimously concluded that appellant Douglas failed to fit within the class of persons to whom a special duty was owed, and affirmed the lower court's dismissal of her complaint. The court en banc, on petitions for rehearing, vacated the panel's decision. After rearguments, notwithstanding our sympathy for appellants who were the tragic victims of despicable criminal acts, we affirm the judgments of dismissal.
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  'Advanced' is being able to do the basics, despite what else is happening. 

Our Country won't go on forever, if we stay soft as we are now. There won't be any AMERICA because some foreign soldiery will invade us and take our women and breed a hardier race!"  --- Chesty Puller, USMC

Professor

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Re: article about police shootings
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2006, 06:35:02 PM »

Where does that happen?

Firstly, ordinary folks don't carry firearms in the UK.  Secondly, gun ownership is a great thing in the USA, and solves all the problems in the country.


I'm sure the response time is better in the UK......so that the ORDINARY FOLKS are protected . . .



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  'Advanced' is being able to do the basics, despite what else is happening. 

Our Country won't go on forever, if we stay soft as we are now. There won't be any AMERICA because some foreign soldiery will invade us and take our women and breed a hardier race!"  --- Chesty Puller, USMC

Nick Hughes

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Re: article about police shootings
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2006, 06:55:27 PM »

Brian,

Sorry for the confusion...Dr Lewinski is from the US of A.  I'm hoping his findings apply to civilians shooting over here as well as for police officers.  It would be wrong to testify and say "police get confused during shoot outs hence all the mistakes" and not use that same argument for civilians.  Also, take into account the average officer gets training with his weapon and must qualify every year.  Civilians don't have to do either (I think they should by the way)

So, to be clear, I'd hate to see some homicide cop who shot someone in the line of duty once be cleared by Dr Lewinski's findings, then turn round and investigate a civilian who defended himself, and not use the same findings.  That would be a gross miscarriage of justice.

Nick
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Hard pressed on my right. My center is yielding. Impossible to maneuver. Situation excellent. I am attacking.
--Ferdinand Foch-- at the Battle of the Marne

Bri Thai

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Re: article about police shootings
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2006, 07:15:00 PM »

I can see your point.  But it also raises a question of the safety of firearms in general.  If we accept his findings, shouldn't we do everything we can to reduce the amount of people who have them, and thus reducing the potential for these mistakes?
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Nick Hughes

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Re: article about police shootings
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2006, 08:35:52 PM »

We go round in circles on this issue mate... ;D

If we introduce laws banning weapons, the only people who will abide those laws are law-abiding ones.  I'm not worried about law abiding citizens owning weapons (are you?), I'm worried about the non-law abiding ones. 

It's no different than with vehicles.  If all the families bar one, who live in my neighborhood own cars, have passed their driver's licence test and obey the law you're asking me to deny them their right (in this case to drive) because one arsehat drives drunk, speeds, drives with a revoked licence, an unsafe vehicle, and has mown down several pedestrians and kids in the neighborhood.  I say the logical thing to do is lock up the arsehat.  Let's assume for a minute we followed the banning line of thought and took the cars away from everyone.  The arsehat has already demonstrated that he has zero regard for the law, will buy another car illegally and continue to drive drunk and continue to endanger or kill pedestrians.  You've done nothing to punish him but you've punished all of us who are responsible and law abiding ???

Cars, if we stick with the analogy, can be used for

A- Personal use  (grocery shopping, transport, getting to work etc)

B - Commercial use (taxis, rental cars, limos, vans, delivery service, police cars etc)

or

C - Criminal activity (driving drunk, getaway vehicle, stolen car, hit and run, driveby shooting etc)

Your solution to eliminating C is to go after A and B.  My solution is to spend your limited resources prosecuting the fuck out of C and leave A and B alone.

Nick
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Hard pressed on my right. My center is yielding. Impossible to maneuver. Situation excellent. I am attacking.
--Ferdinand Foch-- at the Battle of the Marne

Bri Thai

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Re: article about police shootings
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2006, 09:01:04 PM »

But where is the A and B of gun ownership?
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Nick Hughes

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Re: article about police shootings
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2006, 09:25:48 PM »

A & B of gun ownership...

A - Personal use (target shooting, self protection, wildlife control etc)

B - Commercial use (armed bodyguards, armed security guards, police officers, military etc)

C - Criminal use (mugging, bank robbery, assassination, murder, drive by etc)

Nick

PS:  You're up late mate. :)
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Hard pressed on my right. My center is yielding. Impossible to maneuver. Situation excellent. I am attacking.
--Ferdinand Foch-- at the Battle of the Marne

Bri Thai

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Re: article about police shootings
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2006, 11:11:02 PM »

I'm on Nights and its sop quiet the only fun I can get is trying to wind you up!

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arnold

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Re: article about police shootings
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2006, 05:11:28 AM »

All of this banter between Uncle Nicky and Bri is great. So I asked my Dad his opinion on this one. He stated that he was glad that people had firearms to protect themselves when he was a patrolling trooper back in the 50's and 60's, as there was no way he could respond in a timely manner having to cover a 100 square mile area. He still thinks it's a great idea today.
Bri, you still haven't answered my question about the availabliity of a double decker bus. You should be able to find an American on a bus  who has a pistol permit in some state, and seize both him and the bus. Release the American, hold the bus and start disassembly on it in your spare time, instead of picking on poor Uncle Nicky. You should know how fragile his state of mind is!
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I leave you idiots alone for 5 minutes and I come back and you're all dancing around like a bunch of Kansas City faggots
you're all a bunch of slack jawed faggots around here, this stuff will make you a sexual tyrannosaurus, just like me!

Bri Thai

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Re: article about police shootings
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2006, 06:51:11 AM »

I'm just lost re that bus line...... what you on about man? -  ???

 ;)
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EpicThought

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Re: article about police shootings
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2006, 08:40:13 PM »

I could be missing somethings but. . . it seems that it is being said that guns should be taken away because people are getting shot in the back? There is nothing wrong with shooting someone in the back! Under certain circumstances this can be just fine morally, legally and ethically. If a thief is in my house with his back to me stealing somethings out of a cabinet and I tell him to raise his hands and slowly turn around and instead he reaches for a pocket he'll wake up dead.  With a lot of lead in his back. Nothing wrong with that at all. And if someone confronts me with a weapon and turns and runs while a reach for my weapon and I shoot him in the back.  Thats great to. Just because someone turns their back to you doesn't mean that they are no longer a threat. They could easily point the gun back at you and shoot while they run away. If someone threatens you, your family or friends with deadly force you have a right and obligation to end that theat with extremely fast extreme prejudice. Period!!
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Hock

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Re: article about police shootings
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2006, 08:49:25 PM »

I don't know how well it was described on the last page but armed bad guys sometimes get shot in the side or back because they are in motion during a gunfight, or are turning away from the officer who is pulling his gun, or raising his gun in response to the back.

In sheer milleseonds, the bad guy turns. The bullet hits. Back shot. Big legal problems.

Dr Lewinski is on the grateful mind of British police as someone who came in and explained this to the ignorant admin and civilians.

Hock
 

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