Does the authority to shoot and kill, given to police officers, automatically translate into deliberately shooting and killing all armed suspects they encounter? Or, does this authority give some unscrupulous individuals a license to “hunt” humans or an opportunity to hone skills through “target practice”? Case in point, a mentally ill 18-year-old died by committing suicide by cop. He staged it, yes. He called 911 and told the officers he was suicidal and needed assistance. When help arrived he came outside with a knife in his hand and approached the officers, who called out commands that went unheeded, and they shot and killed him. Did they have to kill him? Could they have wounded him? Do we train our police officers to kill armed suspects at all costs? This training, this mindset, is troubling and dangerous. There seems to be no room for judgment, or judgment is not a consideration for some of these police officers. In my opinion, the whole of the training apparatus for law enforcement needs revamping. And, it should start by upping the education levels for recruitment consideration and a better job at vetting potential prospects.
Luke Carter, Boise
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Idaho Statesman