Hey, what’s this soap box doing here?

Sometimes cops use an inappropriate amount of force for a given situation. By “inappropriate” I mean they talk when they should have yelled, they yell when they should have hit, they hit when they should have tased, and they tase when they should have shot. Not all inappropriate uses of force are excessive.

The goal of a use of force is to neutralize a threat as quickly and as safely as possible. It’s the split second decisions that have been getting all of the scrutiny lately. When a cop doesn’t have time to take the type of action that keeps everyone from getting hurt, the cop has to choose an action that might result in someone receiving an injury. There are three “someones” when that’s the case: The cop, the civilian, or the threat. Considering the fact that the threat is the reason everyone’s in danger in the first place, that’s the only person that should have the possibility of getting hurt.

The current climate regarding excessive uses of force causes cops to second guess their decisions, or make the wrong decisions. You might read how a cop tased a man threatening him with a knife and was able to safely take him into custody. Regardless of the outcome, that was the wrong decision, but that cop is going to be praised by people that don’t know what they’re talking about.

It doesn’t matter that a cop is able to tase a threat before he draws his gun, then disarm him and take him into custody, all by himself. It’s the wrong decision. It puts everyone in unnecessary danger. What if he misses the threat with the Taser? He doesn’t get to try again. Most likely he’s going to get shot, and now he can’t stop this man from shooting more people, all because he used an inappropriate level of force.

Believe it or not, a cop’s goal is never to hurt someone, it’s to stop that person from being a threat. If the most efficient way to do that is to hurt the threat, then that’s what should happen. If it’s done correctly, the threat will receive the least amount of injury possible. If the threat does end up receiving an jury because of a use of force, the threat has no one to blame but himself.

Not all inappropriate uses of force are excessive. I’ll step down now.

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