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Kentucky Police Shoot, Kill Handcuffed Suspect

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by Sunriser13, Dec 6, 2002.

  1. Sunriser13

    Sunriser13 Knee Deep in Paradise

    A man who was shot and killed Thursday by police in Louisville, Ky., was handcuffed before an officer fired his gun 12 times, Louisville television station WLKY reported.

    <u>Story here</u>

    Now, I'm just having a hard time with the fact that 12 shots were deemed necessary to subdue a man with his hands cuffed behind his back, even if he had pulled a knife from his pocket. <i>Twelve</i> shots?

    I know there are a few law enforcement people here, so I wouldn't mind hearing their input on this, also. It just seems to me, and I fully admit I am without law enforcement experience, that this is a bit extreme.
     
  2. mikepd

    mikepd Veteran Member

    The article as usual does not go into detail that would shed light on what matters.

    Besides the sensationalist 'cops shoot handcuffed man 12 times', was he on drugs causing great physical strength, the article seems to imply close quarters, even with a gun, you do not want to get into a knife fight in close quarters. What other factors led to the shooting?

    I also am not in law enforcement but did interact with them from time to time over the years when I worked as an x-ray tech. They would tell me stories of their work on the streets and some of the close encounters they had. I quickly learned how deadly a knife can be and just how short your reaction time is.

    Let there be a full investigation into the incident and the results come out. I have yet to meet an officer who drew his weapon with intent unless convinced no other method existed.

    When I asked why, one responded with one word-paperwork. Don't know if he was yanking my chain or not but it makes sense to me. Also having to live with knowing you took a life is something that must be very hard to deal with.
     
  3. Sunriser13

    Sunriser13 Knee Deep in Paradise

    You are absolutely correct about "incomplete", and the drug factor cannot be overlooked, either. I know PCP, for example, will make someone seem as strong as a bull.

    There is also no telling how many shots were "non-lethally" aimed, if not all of them. He may have died from shock or blood loss rather than as a <i>direct</i> result of a bullet.

    I also know 99.9% of officers are absolutely and without a doubt going to do everything they can to keep from pulling and using that weapon.

    It's just that "12 shots" that got me, and trying to understand how the man could have remained that dangerous... does that make sense?
     
  4. BigDeputyDog

    BigDeputyDog Straight Shootin Admin Staff Member

    Without having first hand knowledge of the incident, it would be difficult for me to speculate on the actions taken.

    With that being said (and without more information other than the little bit dribbled in that article) I can't recall, during my career, any armed suspect that required 12 gunshots to subdue.

    I have been stabbed... and I have been involved in more than one police action shooting... None bring back warm and fuzzy memories...

    BDD...
     
  5. immortal one

    immortal one 501st Geronimo

    I'm not a law enforcement officer, but through the years I have worked with, and taught a number of them in both the public and private sector. Many dear friends were made during that time, and I count myself as fortunate for knowing them.

    It's quite easy for your average person to pass a quick judgment after reading something like the referenced article in the news..."The cop shoulda' done this." "The cop shoulda' done that." I've heard it many times from others, and also have done it myself. They weren't there. I wasn't there, but I'd wager the cop perceived his life to be threatened, and took the appropriate actions as he deemed necessary to halt the threat. I could also say he almost certainly has witnessed and been subjected to more real life violence in the last year than we will in our lives.

    We see so much violence in the media and from Hollywood, I think it de-sensitizes us...hardens our hearts. Those men and women in law enforcement live it. They see a hell of a lot more violence than most soldiers ever do...and they live it every day. I know I wouldn't want to do their job...to carry that responsibility.

    I'm not saying the officer was justified. After all, a 12 pack is a lot of copper and lead. But I haven't worn that officer's uniform, so I don't know what went through his mind in the split second his decision was made.

    One thing for certain though...when it comes down to 'cop' or 'crook', my money is on the cop. Every time.


    I've learned to "Never judge a man until you have walked a mile behind his badge."
     
  6. FrankF

    FrankF #55170-054

    I remember several (27) years ago I was out with some friends and we had a flat tire... no jack. So two of us lifted the car while a third friend changed the tire. Fortunately the police who stopped to see what we were doing in a gas station parking lot after it was closed did not notice two guys lifting a car.
     
  7. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    LOL! I am sure after a few ID checks you still would have been ok.
     
  8. FrankF

    FrankF #55170-054

    A few years ago there was police shooting in Newbury Park, CA about a mile from where I worked at the the time. The LAPD (I think it was SID, aka for LAPD "badass team") followed two guys from LA following some crime... to Newbury Park where they pulled into a parking lot and robbed a convenience store. When the two came out of the store, the cops who were waiting there shot the them. The coroner counted 41 bullet wounds. Who knows how many more missed?
    I don't feel sorry for the robbers, but 41 shots might have been overkill.
     
  9. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    Okay, without more information, 12 shots might seem excessive to knock down a handcuffed suspect on first observation. As he was threatening with a knife and the officers were jumping around trying to avoid the knife, my inclination is to think that they could have subdued him without gunfire. However, the officers on the scene apparently felt otherwise. Supposing for a moment that the officers were correct in their assessment and that firing on the suspect was necessary....what would be the actual point of contention? If for example, the suspect would have died from the first or second gunshot, why would anyone be upset about the 8 or 9 subsequent shots? Those become moot.

    Sunriser, I know of no lethal arms training that advocates anything other than shoot to kill. No one, to my knowledge, is ever trained to shoot someone in the leg. The training is to put all shots in the torso...with the exception of sniper training, which teaches headshots as well as body shots.
     
  10. Copzilla

    Copzilla dangerous animal Staff Member

    I read the article... I half expected to see that he had moved his hands to the front.

    Two things I would point out about this scenario, that make me go "Hmmmm".

    One - It was a close quarters situation (small apartment). There's not a lot of room to evade this clown, who evidently wanted to die.

    Two - Police are not under obligation to leave, in any circumstance, in which they are effecting a lawful arrest. On the contrary, we are required to remain and effect the arrest, or face deriliction.

    So what are they supposed to do, try and tackle the guy? With a knife in his hand? No thanks... (I have been stabbed also. Not fun. My reaction was disbelief, and then severe anger... "You STABBED ME, YOU SORRY FUCK!", at which point I roundhouse kicked him in the head.)

    What else could they do? Blow him a kiss and apologize?

    This fellow was told several times to stop, shot and then told again to stop, shot again...

    A man in this situation, close quarters, chasing them around, he can be dangerous, handcuffs or not. In imagining the situation, I can very much see how they could be in fear for their life or fear of serious bodily injury, and that's the criteria for use of deadly force. And if you're going to shoot, shoot until he drops.
     
  11. Frodo Lives

    Frodo Lives Luke, I am NOT your father!

    Since when did you life of a criminal mean more than the life of a police officer? They are people too, with families at home. My father was a cop for 13 years so I can relate to that. They did the right thing, the guy was trying to kill the police officer. I feel bad for the cop who has to live with the knowledge that he took a life. If I had been in that situation, I would have done the same.
     
  12. Sunriser13

    Sunriser13 Knee Deep in Paradise

    Frodo, I never said the life of the suspect meant more, or less for that matter, than the police officers' lives. I questioned one aspect, period - that of needing 12 shots to take down a handcuffed man. This is one major reason I asked especially for the input of the officers that post here.

    I am an outsider to the situation, as are all of us here. Although many might find it easy to judge the actions of law enforcement in this situation, I was not. My request was for understanding.

    Thanks, guys, for your input. I appreciate the different viewpoints...
     
  13. jfcjrus

    jfcjrus Veteran Member

    I, also wonder.
    I am not a police officer.
    There are no specifics, that I can find, regarding the caliber of the officer's sidearm.
    But, just for further pondering.
    Was it a 38, or the ever popular 9mm(staggered clip, lots of bullets)?

    It used to be that if you wanted to stop an agressor, the old .45 ACP was the sidearm of choice (and is still mine). Many folks liken it to a cannon, compared to the 9mm. It's indeed harder to shoot it well, compared to the 9mm. The .45 holds 1/2 the number of bullets of the 9mm. But, if you get hit with a .45, it generally stops all agressive traits.

    Just a thought. I've read no FACTS regarding why it took 12 rounds.
    I, too, am just wondering (if the general acceptance of less, although convenient, firepower had anything to do with it).

    Regards,
     
  14. Frodo Lives

    Frodo Lives Luke, I am NOT your father!

    To bad this isn't Hollywood. In Hollywood, they drop bad guys with one shot. However, in real life in the heat of the moment you might not even realize you are shot, with adrenaline rushing though your veins or mind altering drugs distorting your thought process.

    I am assuming the officer had the normal 9mm pistol in which case the officer might not have even realized he hit the guy at all until he actually dropped. If I was firing at a perp coming at me with a knife and he didn't drop, my first reaction would be to keep firing until he does.
     
  15. mikeky

    mikeky Member

  16. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Passed Away Aug. 19, 2006

    If all of the shots hit him while he was standing it is likely that the cops were simply following the common-sense notion that when you are in danger and have to shoot, keep shooting until the enemy goes down. It does not take long to fire several shots, and it probably could be done in the period before a shot man fell.


    On the other hand, if analysis of the paths taken by the bullets shows that some were fired after he was down there is grounds for suspicion that the cops did something wrong.

    INcidentally we had a case in New York a while back where an unarmed man stopped by cops reached into his pocket -- aapparently for his wallet with identification. The cops -- I think there were four of them -- thought he was reaching for a gun and opened up. They fired 340+ rounds. They went to trial, charged with something or other, and were found not guilty.
     
  17. Sunriser13

    Sunriser13 Knee Deep in Paradise

    Thank you for that link, mikeky. It's a much fuller explanation of what was going on in that tiny apartment, and now it does make a lot more sense. With the officer backed into a corner and a "madman" pinning him, I can fully understand that he fired until the guy was stopped. I believe I would have done the same...

    *Edit* Forgot to add, the fact that the suspect's friends are fully in agreement with the officers' stories also makes it pretty obvious that this guy was just plain out of control. In this situation he must have truly felt there was no other alternative.
     
  18. Copzilla

    Copzilla dangerous animal Staff Member

    I don't really see where the <U>number</U> of shots is even relevant. If you're justified in shooting someone just <U>once</U>, then you're justified in shooting him until he's <U>dead</U>. Firearms are deadly force, and you may NOT shoot someone in a non-lethal manner, like the infamous Hollywood leg shots. If you shoot, you need to put at least 2 rounds in the X ring. And neither do we throw our PR24 batons and knock running people down... Neither do we taste cocaine to identify it... Neither do we load up on donuts...

    Any shots after he's dead don't even matter, as Coot stated earlier.

    There's no kind and gentle way to kill someone.

    Everything else is second guessing. That's what will eat up the officer who had to do his duty more than the thought of taking the perp's life, the political ringer he'll be drug through (don't think for a second that his local politicians will back him up, they'll demonize him in order to further their careers), and the death threats he and his family will receive from anti-police activists. It's bad enough dealing with the psychological aspects of it, but when you get no support from the public you're trying to help, that's the hardest part.

    Which is why a lot of cops move on to other careers.
     

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