Shooting The Unarmed Man – The Fallacy Of Modern Perception

“He shot an unarmed man!”

“He wasn’t armed! Police had no reason to shoot him!”

How often have we heard those screams from an angry community?  Trayvon Martin may be the first to come mind but it happens more often than most people think.  Kansas City firefighter Anthony Bruno, unarmed and drunk, was shot and killed by an off duty police officer.  And, of course, the most recent case of Michael Brown in St. Louis, Missouri.

The problem with the public outcry and the rioting in pursuit of “JUSTICE” is that most people know exactly nothing about physical combat and life threatening situations.  They assume that if a person is unarmed that deadly force cannot and should not be employed.  And they are wrong.

Have you seen the viral videos of “the knockout game?”  Many of those videos involve one solid blow to the head that results in an unconscious victim.  There is laughing and yelling and everyone runs away.  Well, what if they didn’t want to stop there?  What if the attacker decided that he would just kill someone today?  He now has an unconscious, helpless victim to beat to death.

Take the case of Michael Fobbs as an example.  He walked up to a man sitting on a bench and simply started hitting him repeatedly until the man was dead at an Amtrak station in Texas.  Would that victim have been authorized the use of deadly force? Fobbs was unarmed.


Bear in mind that more people were beaten to death with hands and feet than were killed by so-called assault rifles in 2012.  Those victims were not allowed to use deadly force simply because their attacker did not have a weapon?  I think not.  Laws on self defense seldom mention the use of a weapon.  They are based on a reasonable fear that your life is in jeopardy, not the presence of a weapon in the hands of your attacker.

You may have missed the television programs on the science of fighting.  In that series, Randy Couture was studied.  In his well-known “ground and pound” method of dispatching an opponent, Couture was able to generate over 2,000 pounds of force in his downward blows to an opponent’s head.  That’s the equivalent of dropping a car on your face.  Trained fighters seldom take the full force of those blows because they are moving and defending with their own arms and hands but what if the victim was not a trained fighter?  Couture, and any other trained fighter, could kill you with just a couple of blows to the head.

The rise in popularity of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA style sports has also added new weapons to the attacker’s hands only arsenal.  Have you ever been choked out?  In MMA sports, the defender can “tap out” or the referee can end the fight and pull the attacker off of you.  In the real world, you will be choked until you die.  That’s a real fight.

So, if your attacker is unarmed and gets you in a choke, is that it? You’re just going to let yourself die because you won’t use lethal force against an unarmed opponent?  How about if you are on your back being hammered in the face and you are moments away from losing consciousness and eventual death?  Just going to accept your fate?  I seriously doubt that.

I’m not.  If I’m armed, I’m going to kill you.  Dead.

If a cop walks up to someone out of the blue, draws his pistol, and shoots them dead in the street, that’s one thing.  But, shooting an unarmed assailant during a fight in the street is another.  You do not know the intentions of the attacker and cannot allow yourself to be overpowered or knocked unconscious.  You will only be another statistic.

You also have no idea if your attacker IS armed and they just haven’t used their weapon yet.  You can’t wait until you are unable to defend yourself to find out.  I suspect most of you reading this would not.  So, why are we judging a police officer who makes the same decision you would make under the same circumstances?

Get a reality check, folks.


256 thoughts on “Shooting The Unarmed Man – The Fallacy Of Modern Perception

  1. The problem isn’t that we’re all stupid and think police don’t know what they’re doing. The problem is that an unarmed person 20 feet away from a police officer with his gun trained on him need not be summarily executed because he makes a wrong move. Why MUST someone die if they rush an officer when unarmed? Police in other countries shoot them in the legs. Here in America, its shoot to kill. I don’t want that to happen to me if I find myself with guns trained on me and my hands up and some cop doesn’t like how I move and shoots me, and then all the other cops unload their magazines on me, all out of a misunderstanding. Being stopped by the police shouldn’t be a potential death sentence even if you’re unarmed.

    • Why would you run up on an officer when you have a gun pointed at you? Even walking up can be a serious risk that is why they want you to go prone. You need to read the article again it does explain what you asked and then learn why by talking to instructors or training videos.

    • Sounds like you need a night out with your hero, T.J.Hooker. T.V. Isn’t real life. Law Enforcement are trained to stop the threat, not shoot to kill. What other intent would someone rush a cop, other than to hurt or kill him ? Wake the fuck up !!

    • Shooting someone in the leg as they are walking/running at you is hard. Police are trained to shoot center mass as that is the biggest target. If your in a situation where a police officer has a weapon drawn on you just follow the commands and you should be fine. If you feel like the police are out of line with how/why they are dealing with you deal with that after the situation is over.

      • if you are a trained shooter you do not need 10 rounds to stop someone besides are cops not trained to protect themselves with their hands and feet ….dont they train in self defense. Shooting someone to death is the last resort not the first. Sounds like this officer panicked and went off shooting round after round. So much for police training. Most cops i have encountered are uneducated pricks that label and profile people of color. I know its a by product of their job to assume the worse but many use their badge and gun as a way to impose some sort of power they think they have. I dont think they deserve any more respect than the next man because any idiot can elect not to get a formal education and become a cop…..

      • A couple things to add. If you are right handed, the trigger pull and firing of the weapon will pull left, vice versa if right handed. Forensics shows Brown was struck on his left side, meaning he was rushing the officer. The officer was no doubt by training trying to hold to center mass- one…suffering his own blows to his head, possibly fractured orbital skeletal damage to one eye, some level of disorientation…knowing his duty to stop the individual from leaving the scene, then stopping the threat; shooting at a running target with arms and head bob and weaving. The shots at the top of the head with forensics suggest last “killing” shots, the threat falling forward.

        The 21′ rule has frequently demonstrated in training, it takes less than three seconds for the assailant to be on top of you. You can never know if the individual has a knife, and I just recently saw the most gruesome pictures of the damage a knife attack can wield. Shots pulled left striking the arm does not stop the threat, and Brown on adrenaline and intent was not going to stop. It took firing the weapon as many times as it was to “stop the threat”…

        I myself, have been thru this training…

    • NoGuff, you are one of those tards that makes comments before you get the fatcs….Do some research before you waste my time again tard.

    • As a past NATO Counter-terrorism Program Manager I had the following police agencies working with me on a daily basis: British Police, Marechaussee, Gemeente Politie, Gendarmerie, Surete, Landespolizei, Carabinieri and several others. Not one of these agencies or officers was ever told to shoot someone in the legs – if deadly force was authorized, they were taught to shoot to kill. Please tell us what police agency outside the US you are referring to and where you came by the information that it is required to shoot at the legs? Maybe I am wrong – is why I am asking… Thanks

      • John, I shared the Coburg Kasserne with a company of the German Bundesgrenzeshutz a couple of border tours in the mid 80’s. Their commander demonstrated firing a MP5 in short bursts into arms or legs of hostile targets. He stated that the BGS trained for peripheral hits as a matter of policy. He said it had to do with their charter. I have no idea if that is still the case or not, but he was training his company to that standard. What the Zoll or Polizei do, I have no idea from then or now but I never much liked the idea of a burst of 9mm aimed at a shirt sleeve with attendant overpenetration and misses skipping merrily on their way.

      • Add Canada to that list, officers are trained to shoot to kill. This is real life and my brothers in Blue want to go home to their families each and every day!!!

      • Victor…”protocol” to shoot arms and legs…(as you mention “border tours”) was likely for the strategical purposes not to eliminate the target but require that one or two other of his comrades would be withdrawing from the fight to assist the one shot. That then effectively takes out three individuals. What they found, interestingly enough with extremist insurgents, is quite often the one shot does not get assistance, but is left or wired with explosives for whomever of the attacking side might check the body. For this reason (from what I read) many forces taking out insurgents are now using higher caliber ammo to assure a hit is permanent.

        In defense courses…you are not taught to shoot to kill. You are taught to shoot to “stop the threat”…the whole purpose of self defense.

      • I would posit that were you to ask any of these agencies staff if their shot placement was intended to kill, they would reply NO for at least two reasons. The first being very likely the advice from their own Attorneys, in that an intent to kill clearly defines premeditation to murder. The second reason being the moral dilemma of the guilt experienced afterwards if an attacker does die. Thus, the accepted intent of a centred placement is actually to merely stop the activity of the target, whether that be an attack on the shooter, or another person. The sole reason anyone should shoot with the intent to actually kill, with for example a head shot, is when faced with a suicide bomber, when instant central nervous system shut-down is recommended, such as when British Police dispatched a person suspected of carrying a backpack device.

        As we recommended in our book, ‘Conditioned Victim?’ If ever asked -in court by a prosecutor following a successful defense where an attacker dies- “Did you fire with the intent to kill?” The answer must always be “No your worship, I fired solely to stop the attack, I deeply regret this death”. (Whether or not you actually do is really your own problem, no one else’s).

      • i haven’t heard anyone say anything about the policeman’s eyesight being off (or blurred) or about him being dizzy after having been punched in the face by brown. that was my first thought about the number of shots. it makes sense to me. thank god he had enough time to deliver the shots to the head. brown was a mountain of a man, and there’s no doubt he would have inflicted a lot of pain on the officer, if not killed him. i believe he intended to kill him. he tried to get the officer’s gun in the car. i heard one commentator say it fit the pattern that brown might have been on pcp. the full toxicology report is not out yet. it is true that officers are trained to shoot to kill. if the officer hadn’t landed those shots to brown’s head, i think the officer would have been mortally wounded. i also think that had that happened, the aftermath in ferguson would have been the same as it was. obama has eradicated 50 years of the good, hard work dr. martin luther king, jr. worked so hard to instill in this country. and he sent holder out there to throw gas on the fire.

      • Marty….so this cop is not trained to defend himself ? Sounds like he needs to work on his stand up game and practice his aim. How big was Darren Wilson? Was he 5’2” 135??/ If so then he had no chance and he probably feared for his life. I see that he was 28 so he was not old…he looks like he is of good size ..certainly enough to defend himself. Brown was a big dude but Wilson was not a small guy that should be overwhelmed that easy if he was well trained. Sounds like he was not and was whimp of a man.

    • Actually, it’s not shoot to kill. It’s centre of mass, aka. the largest target possible to ensure a hit on the intended target and not the little old lady 2 blocks away tucking her grandkids into bed. What countries have officers, or soldier shoot for extremities? Because in America, Canada, Mexico, and most of Europe they have a pretty clear “centre of mass” protocol.

      • Marty…I grew up with a father that was a police officer. A midwest town that didn’t have back then a whole lot of shootings…or crime, but it was growing. I remember an incident well where a big guy in a bar, apparently on something…had one officer down (cracked a bar stool over his head), was wrestling and beating another officer. He was already shot IN THE UPPER CHEST AREA four times. This was back in the K-frame .38 special days.

        My father drew his weapon, releasing the officer he turned toward my father and my father stopped the threat. The man went to the hospital…and survived. Shot five times. Shot…yet able to seriously hurt two officers.

        Having gone thru the training myself…it is about “stopping the threat”…and though it may sound like semantics, “shoot the kill” or “stop the threat”…from the standpoint of a legal investigation that follows, the shooter will be grilled by lawyers on that finer point. “Did you shoot to kill?” raises speculation on motives, and drags out a whole lengthy trial where defense/prosecution find loop holes. However…shooting to “stop the threat”…removes the question of any other motive. One feels threatened for one’s very life, the life of others. Period. This threat must be put down. Stopped. Yes…center mass will hit vital organs. But really intent…makes the semantics of this most important

    • A large reason why people who are legally allowed to own and use firearms shoot to kill is because shooting to wound opens you up to really big law suits. With the way our justice system works, anyone can sue anyone else for anything… Did you know at one point in time, if I was injured while breaking into your home that I could sue you or your home owners insurance for it? It happened. In some states, if I walk on to your lawn and hurt myself, I can now sue you. Our police across the country have to put their lives on the line quite often. They have to protect us and themselves from street thugs, gang bangers murders, thieves and sometimes really crazy people who are just bent on causing someone else major bodily harm. Yes police brutality is and has been a problem for years. It is yet to be seen whether or not Michael Brown was justly fired upon. No evidence has been released. Trayvon Martin was justly fired upon because he was causing severe bodily harm to Zimmerman (this is not to say Zimmerman was totally innocent, he was not but that’s another story). Eric Garner was wrongfully killed by the NYCPD. They knowingly used an illegal choke hold. A move that was made illegal for that very reason. The homeless man in AZ was wrongfully fired upon and killed. The hispanic man who was burned to death after a CA swat team tossed a flash/bang grenade into his home which ignited the home was wrongfully killed. The black man that was killed just 4 miles from Michael Brown was justly fired upon. After robbing a store, he was approached by officers. He had a knife in his hand and he began to advance on the officers in a threatening manor cursing and screaming. The officers ordered to drop the knife. He didn’t and was killed.
      If you find yourself in a situation where a police officer(s) are pointing a gun at you, do what they tell you to do and you will not get shot! Even if you think the cop is wrongfully detaining or pulling you over, treat him/her with some respect and lodge a formal complaint once the situation is done and over with. The cops are not just out to shoot someone. At least the majority are not. I agree that some way over step their bounds because they think they are “billy bad @$$ but most are not. In just about all things in life, you get what you give. You want respect, you must give respect.

    • NoGuff needs an education on the Teuller Rule. And please inform me in what country do they teach the police to shoot them in the legs, or use a taser in the face of lethal force?

    • you obviously aren’t aware of all the facts – you’ve only been listening to the liberal media. The “victim” here had already been approached by the officer – in a peaceful manner – but walked away. When the officer called to him (again), he turned around and PUT HIS HEAD DOWN and charged the officer like a bull. DUH. Are you aware of the officer’s injuries? He didn’t get them by tripping over his shoelaces… Also, the media – just as in the Travon Martin case – only shows the “child’s” 14-year-old pictures. In this case, the “child” was over 6’3″ tall and weighed over 300 lbs! And he was angry! T-H-I-N-K!!!!! ACT!!! The police officer did what he has been trained to do when his life is in danger. And, police in other countries – England excepted, because they’re no longer armed EXCEPT IN ‘BAD’ NEIGHBORHOODS(!!) – they don’t aim for the legs. Where’d you get THAT info???
      In Colorado, you’re not allowed to “shoot to injure”. That’s right. What’s left unsaid by that law is, you HAVE to shoot to kill —— or be killed.
      If you don’t want what happened to happen to you, then I suggest 1. you obey the law (don’t rob stores while physically assaulting the storekeeper) 2. you obey a police officer’s commands 3. you don’t charge like a bull at a police officer (especially if you’re over 6″ taller and 100# heavier, and angry).

      • ….so this cop is not trained to defend himself ? Sounds like he needs to work on his stand up game and practice his aim. How big was Darren Wilson? Was he 5’2” 135??/ If so then he had no chance and he probably feared for his life….but I see that he was 28 so he was not old…he looks like he is of good size ..certainly enough to defend himself. Brown was a big dude but Wilson was not a small guy that should be overwhelmed that easy if he was well trained. Sounds like he was not and was whimp of a man.

      • Brad is right. Police officers should get into prolonged, Street Fighter-esque fist-fights with violent offenders instead of shooting people. In fact, we should just take away guns from the police, and give them rape-whistles, instead.

    • Shoot to stop the threat (most likely center mass). Also, if a police officer is knocked unconscious, the weapons on his belt become available to the assailant… thus becoming an even more dangerous threat.

    • Well NoGuff…. it’s not that you’re stupid, you’re a SPECIAL kind of stupid. You can’t grasp the concept can you? You’ve watched a lot of CSI, CHIPS, and Hill Street Blues so you know exactly how it should be done. I’m also betting you’ve never been in a fist fight on the playground, much less a fight for survival. Now let’s examine what exactly the term “fight for survival” might mean…. The difference between kissing your wife in the morning when you walk in the door and your wife meeting two Supervisors at the door you would have walked through only to hear the dreaded speech every loved one fears. The difference between holding your newborn child and some day that child holding all they’ve ever known of you, a picture in a picture frame. The difference in playing in the yard with your grandchildren and your grandchildren standing at a gravesite watching their parents weep. What we do is real and forever. Each and everyone of have our own reasons for doing the job, and most of those reasons started out with helping others. I’ve met no one yet who chose this profession because they wanted to be someone’s punching bag, pin cushion, or target practice. My mission has always been to assist as many as I can, but always with the responsibility to my wife to see our family raised which hopefully includes great grandchildren. So what this means for you or anyone else who has other ideas for me or my Brothers and Sisters on my watch…it’s going to be centermass until there no more threat. If that’s a double tap or multiple double taps, we’re going home in the same condition or better than what we were the last our loved ones saw us. I hope you enjoy your fantasy life, I’ll be right here in the real world…

    • You hit the nail on the head, and it seems those commenting below don’t quite understand. This story talks about defending yourself in close range combat situations and yes, I agree with it completely. But that is not what is happening on the streets. Like you said, NoGuff, the police are shooting unarmed victims who are 15 or more feet away and have not posed a threat serious enough to which opening fire is an appropriate response. It seems many officers are not as balsy as they’d like everyone to believe. They fear being attacked and have taken on a kill or be killed approach to law enforcement even when they’re not faced with a credible threat. They’re acting out of fear, and that is not an acceptable behavior for a law enforcement officer.

    • I have two problems with your comments. 1st, if the police or any other person shoots anyone anywhere other than center-of-mass; he is saying I don’t care if I miss and hit an innocent, this felons life is more important than that innocents life. 2nd, What foreign countries have you been in? Most of them I have been in if you attack the police, you get lit up with a sub-machine gun.

    • NoGuff, I guess your not familiar with the Tueller Drill, its been the standard since the early 1980’s. It will answer/counter the very questions/statements you listed.

    • Shot in the leg, really. How about shoot the knife out of there hand? Have you ever shot a gun at a target, now add a moving target, You shoot center body mass, more a chance of stopping the threat. And u don’t stop till the treat is done and if that’s a leather shot so be it. Why must a cop shoot someone charging them? because what is that persons intention, if he gets to you you don’t know that persons background, is he a martial arts black belt, MMA fighter. And if he reaches you you it could be too late and now you family is burying you. What about the knock out game where kids are coming up the innocent people and knocking them out cold. There not armed but lots of people have died from this senseless act of violence. Deadly force with no weapon but there fist. So go ahead and when someone is charging you shoot there leg or wait till they get close and tell them u want to talk…

    • My son-in-law is a policeman…according to how I understand it, a policeman is not supposed to even take his gun out of the holster unless he feels his life or that of another person is at stake…shooting someone in the leg is not validating that the officer felt he was defending the cause. If someone was attempting to take your life, would you only consider shooting him in the leg, that doesn’t prove you had fear for your life. If it is you or me, trust me I am not going to allow you to still be able to take me out. Until you have walked in the shoes of a policeman, you have no right to comment on how they handle the case at hand.

  2. This article is nothingness, if you actually read it, it says nothing. It literally asks a few questions and gives an uneducated opinion.

    • It’s also called getting an education. They teach about the use of deadly force in college. There have been people that have been shot in the heart and still able to move fast and well enough to jump over walls to escape from police, just to be found dead on the other side. Officer had no idea he had shot him through the armpit. Turns out the man was on something that kept him alive. In this case he was in the middle of raping a woman and she said he had a knife. No knife was found but the officer had to go on the information he had.
      It is unfortunate that people die in this way. We will not know anything for sure until toxicology comes back and there has been a proper investigation into the shooting. Whenever an officer puts a hand on their weapon, that is use of deadly force. If that gun comes out of its holster you should expect to die if you do not comply to their orders.

      • Again, this is just people telling stories! Stories that always have a biased twist. If I’m reading an article on such a serious matter I expect facts where possible, comparisons to other countries, studies. Otherwise it is nothing. Anyone can write this article, literally anyone with that point of view could have written it.

      • No, no I didn’t read the article, just felt like mixing things up a bit…of course I read the article you big eejit. What a non question!

  3. Ok, aren’t police officers trained in hand to hand combat? im pretty sure most of the population isnt trained in hand to hand combat either. If you are afraid to be physical or be physically handled then you shouldnt be a cop. if you are worried about being taken out by yourself then maybe we need all cops to have partners so that instance of “being overwhelmed by a criminal.” I get its a dangerous job but knee caps hurt like a mother if your shot in them so do shoulders. You chose to be a cop i didnt force you to be one. There are inherent dangers of being one, suck it up powder puff and do your job with a little more restraint than what you have been doing. My father worked over 40 years as a deputy sheriff and moved up the ranks but only drew hus gun 2 times in 40 years and a majority of the years he didnt in a rural county with back up 20 plus miles away and never shot anybody that was aggressive towards him. He just beat the hell out of them but you know what…… they were alive the next day.

      • For someone named Common Sense, that second sentence shows that you have very little of it.

      • There has been school shootings in the early 1900’s. The world is fkd up these cops do need to calm down. It’s all a money game everybody trying to belittle somebody else to make a extra buck. Prisons are packed, ceos make too much, create jobs and Shut down the federal reserve start a greenback. Kill the sharks they gotta go. They’re all about money and corporations. They don’t give a fuck about you. This system is rigged, it’s over kids. The problem starts at the top and the shit falls down the hill. I’m all good though! #unionalltheway

    • Police officers are taught a joke of “hand to hand” combat and some weak sauce hand cuff in techniques in a controlled enviroment where everything goes the way you want, think of full grown adults doing day 1 of a martial arts class aimed for 10 year olds. Yes your father being a sheriff deputy for the middle of nowhere may have rarely drawn his firearm but, an officer in say south central LA where the is high gang and crime activity those officers probably have their weapon drawn much more. Also, police officers are trained to shoot center mass of their target since it is the easiest to hit, has the most penetration resistance as on officer is responsible for everything the officer his including innocent bystanders in the background. There are rare instances where they are trained to aim for the T section of the head/face. You also have to take in account these decisions are required to be made within 1.5 seconds. 21 feet a person can close the distance and make a melee strike within the reaction time to pull the trigger of a firearm. Also many LEO are unfit physically, often are much older than people they’re expected to chase, catch, detain, I’m sure your father was unable to physically handle a young adult who has not been aged, not wearing a large amount of weighted gear.

  4. If you have never been in the situation, then you don’t have a right to judge and make an opinion. I am a retired law enforcement officer and I worked both rural and urban settings. In the rural settings, back-up was most times 20-30 minutes away, if at all available. In the urban setting, we seemed to be tripping over each other. Some of the comments seemed to be referring to the Ferguson shooting; and they also seemed incorrect and off base. If the comments refer to other situations, they may be pertinent—but we don’t know from the information which is the true reference. One thing though, LEO’s are not trained in hand-to-hand combat, and the self-defense training given at most academies leaves a lot to be desired. Another thing, I do not want anyone defending me that tries to hit someone in an extremity (arm or leg). With the adrenaline pumping and everything moving erratically, and fast, you might as well try shooting a butterfly in flight. Besides, a shot to the arm or leg can cause someone to bleed out as fast, or faster, than a body mass shot. If some of the comments I read were made by LEO’s, I can only “assume” they are not now nor have they ever been a front line officer. But! Know this! If I were to have stopped someone for a verbal warning and were summarily attacked and suffered an injury that affected my ability to see and think clearly, there stands a great probability that I would draw my weapon and if, in my present state of mind and with the injury, I determined that I was in danger of losing my life, I would shoot you, wherever I could, to eliminate the threat that you were there presenting. I do not believe that we as a public face any credible danger of being shot by law enforcement without justification in this nation. However, I truly believe that law enforcement today, in most every jurisdiction, deals with the most dangerous public in our entire history as a country. That’s my “opinion.”

    • Funny how if he was so injured that he had time to continue walking around the scene without calling for medical help.

    • You say “If you have never been in the situation, then you don’t have a right to judge and make an opinion.” Finally someone who agrees with me. If you are a man, then you have no right to judge and make an opinion about abortion rights. If you are heterosexual, then you have no right to judge and make an opinion about gay rights. Yes, I’m being sarcastic. Everyone gets to express their opinion and be heard in America. And we should all listen to each other because you never know when someone not in your same position will say something that you never considered. That being said, I think that if an officer is being charged by someone, they can use necessary force to stop them. But perhaps a taser would be better than a bullet. If the officer was charged and didn’t have a taser, then 1) why didn’t he have one? and 2) using a gun seems acceptable to me. Obviously, if he was not be charged by the suspect, then shooting does not seem acceptable.

      • Mark’s comments are the few that are based on fact and experience. Yes everyone is entitled to their opinion, but that doesn’t make them accurate or even smart.

        The funny thing about police work is that everyone has an opinion, but very few have a good understanding of the training and situations police deal with – the situational factors are endless

        Firstly, police are taught to stop the threat in a violent situation, be it with verbal communication, OC spray, taser and up to deadly force.

        Shooting at centre mass is one of the best ways to guarantee hitting the target and thus stopping the threat. Pistol shooting is difficult skill and when stress is added, your lucky to hit the broad side of a barn. Now many civilians think police are superhuman, i.e. They can whip a man half their age and twice their weight, are expert marksman who can shoot nickles out of the air, don’t feel pain, fear or stress and make perfect decisions everytime. Put in that context, no one believes that.

        Going to police training is a reality check on your vulnerability and capabilities. Getting on the street is another eye opening experience. I am an active Leo and my father is retired after 40 years of service. Times have changed greatly between our generations. We have more tools and non lethal weapons to deal with people, however the public/bad guys have less respect for leo’s and are more willing to use violence. Lastly, the demographic of police has changed greatly.

        Police equipment is significantly better and so is the training… We are winning more, but people are more willing to challenge us physically. But remember police agencies used to require police to be male, be strong and fit and be over 6 feet. Over the last 40 years the public has since asked for more diversity, we now hire women and people of all colors, sizes and physical ability.

        I am 6 feet, 195 lbs, fit and have taken my own mma training. I train with swat and I am marksman rated shot. If a fit and strong 300 lbs man attempted to resist or fight me, there is a very real chance I would have to shot him. Image if your a 5’2″ 120 lbs women?? What would you do?

        If you truly feel police are wrong in their training and the things said about their training, I challenge you to try some of their training or drills. A simple one anyone can do is called 2 on 1 handcuffing. Have you and a buddy handcuff a friend who is directed to resist at all costs. The “bad guy” friend cannot get off his knees and there are no strikes to the face or body allowed, everything else is fair game. I expect the chances of the two guys getting their friend handcuffed are slim, and everyone will be exhausted in 30 seconds.

        Lastly, some people like to believe police are always looking for a fight and want a resisting subject. The reality is leo’s, like everyone, are inherently lazy. Fighting is way more paper work and stress. Usually you get in a fight after sitting for hours and your tired and your muscles are cold, so you almost always tweak a muscle or sprain something. It isn’t what you think.

        I have not touched on 100 other important points, because it usually takes 6 months of basic training for you to just start to understand to concepts associated to keeping yourself and the public save. I am not a fear mongerer, but there are bad people out there and nice people that make bad decisions. 99.5 percent of police contacts end in no violence – impressive numbers.

        Also, a great tool for criminal elements is to direct blame on the police action and not their own actions. The media has played right into their hands. Not including any political battles that take place at the cost of hard working leo’s. Also, people who think this is a north American trend or more shootings are mistaken. People have been dying in police custody since the inception of the first modern police force In London, it just receives more media attention before any of the facts are out. Police accountability and investigation processes are the highest they have ever been.

        Be smart, jumping on a band wagon hurts us all. You don’t want the police to be afraid to arrest people, it is not good for your community – unless your a criminal element.

  5. You can make your case all you want, Ross, but it doesn’t change the fact that in the Western world the only wave of these cases where cops are WAY over reacting is happening the USA. I say this as a Texan that loves shooting sports.

    I’m in Germany now and I just can’t understand how so many of these are happening. In many cases, we are talking about 2 cops (because that is usually how they roll, in pairs) shooting someone that they could have disabled instead.

    If someone else had time to pull out a phone and film with commentary… pretty sure the two cops had time to decide whether or not 6 shots to kill versus 1 or 2 to disable was the right move.

    I’m not defending the cops or the dead folks… I’m simply pointing out that this is crazy. You can look at each case individually, and you should, but you can’t deny that there are some stats that apply to every single one of these recents shootings: cops killing someone that they could have disabled because they used overwhelming force instead of actually responding to the threat with a reasonable action.

    • Your comment that “(because that is usually how they roll, in pairs)” is hogwash.

      In Ferguson MO the officer was in a ONE MAN car, alone. Most departments simply do not have the funding to run tow man cars, with the exceptions being LAPD and NYPD. MOST departments have one man units.

      Your ignorance of the police in the US may be because you are in Germany, and don’t know JACK about the US current police procedures and tactics.

      Talk about something you KNOW about next time Judah Jones…

  6. “I have to agree with the author, just in conversations with my own family, they simply cannot fathom the potential lethality of physical hand to hand combat. This is understandable because they have no experience or training beyond the push and shoves they may have had on a school yard in their youth. Nor do most people recognize that if someone is within 20 feet of you with a knife you are only 1.5 seconds away from serious physical injury or death. It just doesn’t occur to them that it’s only a short charge from knife point to skin. A person can apply an incredible amount of force with a closed hand strike. It’s an uneducated reaction to think that someone can’t kill or render you permanently stupid with a ‘good right hand’.”

  7. I agree with Mark. I am also a retired Policeman. While investigating an armed robbery, I was jumped by a group of gangbangers. I was struck in the face with a 2by4 and had a person jump on my back. Unable to see, I felt another trying to remove my sidearm from it’s holster. All of this while being kicked and punched. My partner was also fighting off his share of these wonderful citizens. I finally removed my weapon and started firing. This action stopped the creeps who all ran into an apt. Let me tell you, I was scared for my life and thought of no other recourse but to shoot. Yes they were unarmed and no one was hit, but I can assure you if I had,I would have not felt sorry for these idiots! I know this is a different scenario, but come on, give us a little slack

    • A 2 x 4 is a deadly weapon, so yes, they were armed, and they had attacked you with this weapon. They were attempting to take control of your weapon, a direct threat to your personal and public safety. You describe at least four or five assailants…taken as a whole…good shoot. Glad you weren’t seriously injured.

  8. For all you bleeding hearts out there,it isn’t easy being a police officer at times when it is you or him.And if M.Brown strong armed the store owner do you really think he hadn’t done this to someone else before?In a fire fight you shoot first and ask questions later.Life itself is to short to be taking chances.Some of you may not agree but that’s life in the nut shell. James,De Oppresso Liber

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  10. All of you saying he was unarmed… Go find a 6’4″ 250#+ guy and ask him to push you back in your car, hit you in the face a couple of times!! Then, tell me how you feel after that. What would you do? Now imagine you have a gun on your hip and that same guy is trying to take it while still hitting you. Again, what would you do? I imagine 95% or more of you – if you were hit by anyone, of any size, in the face would be overwhelmed. Not sure what to do, scared, what’s next? Is he going to take my wallet, take my car, take my life? What would you do? Can you fight? Are you willing to risk your life by going hand to hand? Are you going to sit down and just let him kill you?

    We have to worry every second of every day, when we are in uniform, that someone is going to try to kill me. Gang initiations, someone who just murdered someone and they think we know, when all we are saying is your headlights are not turned on or you can’t walk in the middle of the road, use the sidewalk. Or someone who just committed a strong armed robbery and thinks we are after him for that and he decides he is not going to go to jail cause he is bigger and can take on the cop with no consequences.

  11. I worked in a mental home as a young man. Often our patients would get violent. Some of them were big and strong. The people I worked with on my ward were middle-aged women and one man close to retiring. Yet we somehow got by without ever shooting or even hurting one.

  12. Not the same Dan. You have to remember that Policemen carry sidearms and other items with them. If he is in a struggle with an unarmed man, that same man now has potential to be armed if he beats or kills that Officer. What do you think that man is going to do if he now has that Officer’s weapon? If he’s brave enough to beat or kill an Officer, I don’t think he will think twice on using that same weapon on some innocent bystander. Policemen have certain rules of engagement to work by, bad guys don’t. They don’t care! Just read Doug’s post above.

  13. Unfortunately the loudest voice and most often the only one heard because it is the loudest, is the person opposed to the action/policy/opinion in question etc. “police haters”, anti-government/control, activists, people with strong opinions, or my favorite, naive people will no matter the situation, information provided to them, or most importantly the information they DONT have about a specific occurrence, be opposed to what ever they have already decided in their mind is wrong before they even heard the story. Facts are ALWAYS limited, or skewed in stories, whether it be by the investigating agency due to evidence or court/privacy & security concerns, or whether it be the way the media portrays the story.

    I’ll admit I have limited knowledge about the recent and popular internet topic of the recent unfortunate police involved shooting in the US. As I dont know everything about it, I will refrain from commenting other than to say, even if charges are not deemed to be warranted on the officer for what ever reason, in some peoples eyes it will always be an injustice, and no evidence or proof will ever change their mind, and it will always be motivated by race. I will also say that my local media introducing the story as “the black kid shot and killed by the white police officer” in it self promotes the event, whether on purpose or not, as racially motivated shooting. Maybe it was…maybe it wasnt…I personally have no idea and wont pretend to have the answer…I think that would be a stretch but only one person knows for sure.

    I will say as someone working/worked in various levels of LE and armed private security, the use of force is not one taken lightly by anyone I’ve ever worked with…not something that anyone looks forward to or hopes to witness….no bragging rights involved. Some of my best friends have been involved in police shootings, some of which have taken lives. What people dont realize is although they have chosen to do the job and know the risks, doesnt mean they should treat their life as less important than the individual they are attempting to arrest or detain etc. They alike have a family, and at the end of the day….him/her, and myself alike WILL go home to them, please dont ask me or them not to….end of story. Also being involved in taking someones life in such a dramatic situation changes ones life, and their families life FOREVER…often even if justified in protecting them self or the pubic in the act, they are forced to move out of the area and uproot their family, not to mention years of therapy…after taking someones life, unless your a sociopath…you will NEVER be the same again. One close friend was presented with a angry violent man in a public place, armed with a knife…this man charged at my friend as he had his pistol trained on his chest (not the hand holding the knife, to make a movie shot)…the man got within 10′ of my friend charging at him, well within the deadly zone…this police officer although justified in doing so…did not shoot. Not because he didnt fear for his life, not because he thought the knife was fake, but because of the race of the man with the knife…he knew that although justified in doing so….didnt shoot, putting his life, the lifes of the public, and other officers in jeopardy because of perception and conversations like this…no one police or otherwise wants to be the center of such publicity, after all not all publicity is good publicity.

    While I have never fired at a person myself…I was one second from shooting…most likely killing, a teenager in an urban environment because he had an cap gun. He thought it was funny and was showing off for his friends, and acting tough. I can only imagine had I not had the exact same cap gun when I was a kid, I would have shot him…not because he deserved to die for making a stupid mistake, but because when I seen a black pistol with a brown handle (no orange tip) come out of his waist line…I was scared for my life…I thought he was going to try to kill me…in that second, it was him….or me.

    The intent of the article is to say one doesnt have to be presented with “X” weapon before deadly force can be employed, for the simple fact that a fatal act can be presented and carried out by a person without a weapon…firearm or not. Police officers are not superheros (some public and PO’s may think they are), they dont get James Bond combat training. Nor are they all snipers able to hit a 3″ square moving knee or shoulder target from several meters away with a 4-5″ barrel, 10lbs triggerpull and your heart pounding out of your chest, anyone who expects them to do this under stress or even in a static range or training environment for that matter is delusional. They are humans, like any other, and such a situation is very primal, and no training will ever prepare you for the real thing. Vest are bullet resistant…not proof, and they dont cover their entire body.

    I have never known a police officer to leave the house or office and say “I am going to kill someone tonight…justified or not”. I will never pretend to think racism does not exist in todays world…for I am not delusional. But in 15 years in the field, I have not EVER, seen another police officers actions and thought…wow…that was only because of their race, age, sex, orientation, religion etc. Again, not saying that some PO’s dont discriminate…not at all. My main belief is that actions of BY FAR the majority of LE personnel are done because they believe they are acting justly, contrary to the opinions of others not exposed or informed on the matter.

    This debate will never be non-existent. The stories and facts may differ on a case to case basis, but people are stubborn in their opinions and their beliefs. People who believe that all cops are the same, all are corrupt, they are only stopped because of their skin color or religion, will in the end always believe that and will always have their voice to protest peacefully or otherwise.

    So, is it possible that someone, law enforcement or otherwise is justified in using deadly force when faced with a perceived threat to life that is not a firearm….absolutely. Police work is unlike most professions… dangerous at times yes, but more so for need and expectation for immediate results and the scrutiny faced after the fact by the world who has had years to analyze the result and the manner in which it was achieved.

    – a 400lbs body builder who’s hobbies are MMA and knife fighting is on cocaine, bath salts, and PCP, is standing in a crowded public mall loosing his mind with a 10″ kitchen knife in one hand and a metal bat in the other having a psychotic episode threatening to kill anyone and everyone that comes near him. Public says to the Police…stop that man, but you cant shoot him with the gun we gave you because he only has a knife and a bat, not a gun. You cant “Taze” him with the Tazer we gave you because they are dangerous and he may have a heart condition. If you tackle him you have to get the knife away from him without hitting him with your baton we gave you (cause that just looks bad), you cant punch or kick the man, use foul language, or hurt him in anyway. Maybe use the pepper spray that we gave you that may infect everyone else in here, because a blind man with a knife is soo safe. Please dont make a scene when you do it, please be quick about it though, I have Christmas shopping to do and hes standing between me and the GAP…thanks…

    …end rant.

  14. this is a ridiculous point that makes very little sense.If you take a job as a “law enforcement” officer you should expect danger, and you are trained to deal with it. Your job is to uphold the law and protect the people. this means protecting ALL the people. So if someone poses a threat, your negotiation, and possibly your combat skills will come in to play. Doormen in clubs are under threat from the one punch “game” that you referenced in an attempt to justify ending the life of an unarmed man, These doormen accept the danger and react to threats without the use of handguns. If an officer of the law is confronted with an unarmed civilian they should be ready to restrain, not determined to kill! you don’t fight fire with fire, you use water! Half the people on this thread are so used to the gun culture and the idiotic and counter productive “right to bare arms” that they can’t see how messed up and power crazed your police force has become. But as a citizen of a country that doesn’t have the “live by the gun die by the gun” mentality ingrained into it’s people (don’t get me wrong, England is far from perfect in the area of law, justice and civil liberty), let me tell you – the world is looking at you in disgust!
    Let me finish by saying this; you’re playing into the hands of the people who want you to hate each other, who want you to fear people of colour, who want communities as segregated as possible. and by chosing to bare arms you are justifying the act of cold blooded murder as a form of self defense, and creating opportunities for power crazed cops to become judge jury and executioner, or if that doesn’t hit home, you are creating a world where a 9 year old girl has to live with the fact she killed a man because “the shooting range is a fun day out for all the family” – what ever motivates you to re-think and implement positive change.

    • First; I am for the large part not pro gun…I live in canada which is closer to England gun laws than the US with the exception that the majority of our law enforcement officers carry firearms.

      Second; you cannot compare a bouncer or door mans job who just needs to get a person out the door and are contracted by private companies with sworn officers who protect civilians. Also if a bouncer gets knocked unconscious he or she doesn’t have a mitriate of restricted and prohibited weapons on their belt or the key to a carbine and or shotgun locked in the car.

      Third; expect danger? Yes…they do expect danger. Fight fire with water…so even if someone has a firearm we are supposed to negotiate. The world isn’t perfect, not every situation can be talked down. One should not be “determined to kill” as you so eloquently put it, but one cannot simply ignore the option and be expected to take unnecessary risks which may cause harm to them simply because they chose to be in that situation.

      Many dangerous situations are delt with everyday in this country, the US, as well as the UK without the use of deadly force. Has there never been a case of excessive force? Not saying that, not for one second. Are police not accountable for their actions merely because they took an oath…absolutely not, they are like any other citizen in the country….same in fact they have the right to defend their life should they feel it was threatened, whether it is with a firearm or a weapon of opportunity.

      Lastly; The “judge jury and executioner” comment. That sentence infers police officers walk up to someone and say…I seen you hit that man, I find you guilty…your sentence…death and than pull the trigger. This is not Judge Dread…nor do I or anyone else on here I think encourage or are in favor of that. That was a broad and uncalled for over reaction of a comment.

      • Also…the child at the range is a tragedy that never should have happened… I agree with teaching children about the dangers of guns, but never, NEVER, encourage them to shoot them in a controlled environment or otherwise. I wasn’t allowed to own or shoot a .22 until I was 16, my children will be the same.

  15. As a retired Law Enforcement officer with 23yrs. Of service. Who taught defensive tactics riot control and less than lethal options. My opinion is, it is the lack of training that creates these terrible unnecessary excessive force situations. Most law enforcement agencies utilize a use of force continuum. The officers shown in these scenarios are not using the guidelines taught to them. They also don’t appear to trust their training and resort to illegal and unethical tactics that make them appear to be unprofessional thugs. In most of the videos I’ve seen these officer’s have several opportunities to use better tactics to establish control. Many of them have less than lethal options and don’t even consider using them. Why not use pepper spray or a taser with verbal commands? I am not talking about the split second scenario. In most of the videos time or distance isn’t a factor.
    If Law Enforcement officer’s want to solve this epidemic they must go back to basics and train to respond to situations correctly. Some of these I divide also shouldn’t be wearing a badge if they can’t do the job they took an oath to do the way they were trained to do it.

  16. Seems to be only American cops who have a problem with having to use deadly force. Most other countries are able to deal with suspects using other means. Says a lot for the type of people American police forces are hiring. Here’s police in the UK dealing with a knife wielding suspect using only tazers…

  17. Fear and cowardice are the #NewCourage… #FraternalOrder are Cowards growing in numbers of the less capable… They screamed “Affirmative Action” would be the killer of “Proper Police work”… Fact of the matter is… As soon as ANY LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL has a camera their actions go from ” Racist Super Hero” (No Matter the race of the officer) to “Functional and Efficient” Law enforcer… The difference is the fact that communities respond well to those they believe are there to rough up the bad guys… (En Masse we agree with such tactics when properly employed) whereas now we have these “LOSERS” who would be nothing more than warehouse knuckle draggers who move “Shit” from one side of their location to the other… #FACT

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  19. I really enjoyed this article. Society will need a significant paradigm shift to come to terms with the fact that an unarmed man is not necessarily harmless. In fact, if you don’t act appropriately when confronted with an unarmed assailant, you may very well end up dead. End. of story.

    South African law does not differentiate between an armed and unarmed attacker. Yes, the court will have to hear of a damned good reason as to why you shot an unarmed attacker, but if you had sufficient reason to believe that your life was in danger, that is about as far as it needs to go.

    As much as certain organisations are preaching for “Gun Sense”, I think we should rather be preaching for more “Common Sense” in general.

  20. There is meeting the threat level and then there is exceeding it. Do they even teach cops this or only in the military? I mean I learned this stuff day one of firearm training. If the suspect is no longer a threat, a be it not ARMED, then you don’t shoot them.

    Is this really that hard to figure out?

  21. If you want to understand the standards the police are held to when using force, including deadly force, STUDY the 1989 SCOTUS case Graham vs. Connor. Read the findings of the court. Then you will beging to understand the standards the police are held to in a use of force situation. The general public does not have a reason to comment if you do not understand this court case.

  22. Yes, everyone has the right to an opinion, however, they are just that – opinions. None of us know the full truth of the Brown shooting. None of us will ever know what was going through the minds of Brown or Wilson, except them. That is the problem with the media and everyone else who is spurring on the debate without truth of the situation.

    Wilson has been an LEO for 6 years and never received a single complaint from either department. He even received a commendation for extraordinary effort in the line of duty from the Ferguson Police Department. The thing that gets me is that people think Wilson shot Brown just for the hell of it. I’m sure there are some who will differ from my stand point, but I firmly believe Wilson feared for his life. I have heard more than enough stories from police officers who have been in fire fights where one shot was not enough to neutralize the threat. The results of Brown’s autopsy done by St. Louis County showed that his body weighed 289 pounds and was 77 inches in length…nearly 300 pounds and 6’4″…Brown was huge. His sheer body mass is enough to stop rounds from piercing vital organs until he was shot in the head.

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