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Old 07 January 2018, 07:05 PM
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erwins erwins is offline
Join Date: 04 April 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 12,376

Police here are trained to deescalate, use minimal force to accomplish their task, etc. They do accept quite a bit of risk.

I've seen research where civilians were put in police shoot/don't shoot simulations, and they were generally much more likely to shoot people who were unarmed. You would certainly expect a difference between trained police and untrained civilians, but not necessarily -- especially with how some view the "trigger happy" police -- that civilians would be more likely to shoot, and do so earlier in the encounter.

That does not mean that the outcome when an unarmed person is shot is OK. Or that police don't screw up. Or that police training and procedures can't be improved. Or that US gun culture has not put us all at increased risk for numerous bad things. But I expect more nuanced discussion here than just claim that the police are trained to shoot first and ask questions later, are not trained in deescalation, or in using the appropriate degree of force.

And there is a trade off. If you want zero unarmed people (or even zero people not armed with a gun) to be shot by police (who wouldn't like that, as an outcome considered in isolation?) then you will have an increase in both police and innocent civilians being injured or killed by suspects, because waiting until you can be absolutely, beyond all doubt, sure of the danger has a cost.

Sometimes it is hard to know, or to discuss, whether a particular instance is from an officer screwing up, a failure of the system, or a cost of the system. Sometimes it is much more obvious which one it is.
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