BP #5

A huge issue that has been being brought into the media is the issue of police using deadly force on people who’s actions did not warrant that type of reaction from the police officer. I recently read an article from the New York Times about a shooting just like this that took place. Two officers in Sacramento got a call about an erratic man waving a knife around in the air. When the officers arrived they tried to strike him with their car twice, and eventually they got out of the car and pursued him on foot and opened fire. They shot the man 14 times and killed him. Witnesses said the man was standing stationary on the sidewalk when the officers opened fire. The family are calling for those officers to get charged with murder.

In this situation the officers were obeying the rules laid out for them, but they may not have been obeying them properly. According to Michael Davis, there are seven types of obedience. Blind obedience, strict obedience, malicious obedience, negligent obedience, accidental obedience, ignorant obedience, and interpretive obedience. The type of obedience that the officers showed in this situation and the rules of using deadly force could be argued for a couple different kinds, but I think it was strict obedience. The officers could have been using strict obedience because the man was holding a weapon and could have been a danger to people so they made sure to put him down because that is what the rules tell them they should do. However, they could have ignored the context of the situation and used deadly force when they didn’t have to. Especially if the man actually appeared to be calm and they could have possibly talked to him or used a different method of immobilizing him. In general this is a sad situation for the man’s family and shooting that man 14 times may have been a bit overkill.

Isaac Lippert

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2016/10/03/us/ap-us-police-shooting-sacramento.html


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