Deadly Force: When is it Necessary?

A most insightful and well-done interview by PBS last month on police use of deadly force.

“After police in Sacramento shot and killed Stephon Clark in his grandmother’s yard, California lawmakers proposed legislation that only allows police to shoot people if there are no other reasonable options. But as Newshour Weekend’s Christopher Booker reports, law enforcement officers are already trained to prepare for and de-escalate tense situations..”

View the video interview and transcript HERE.

And PBS continues this important topic (and one that needs continual police-public engagement)…

“While police departments across the country address reform, community groups in cities like Chicago and New York are also teaching people about alternatives to 9-1-1 for crises that can be exacerbated by police presence. NewsHour Weekend’s Ivette Feliciano talked to author Alex Vitale of “End of Policing,” about the country’s reliance on law enforcement to solve complicated social issues…”

See this PBS follow-up piece, “Has Policing in America Gone too Far?” HERE in which Alex Vitale talks about his new book, “End of Policing.”


[p.s. I must add that in our discussions of police use of deadly force we have not identified the “elephant” that boldly sits in the room with us. Whether we like it or not, one day we will have to discuss the proliferation of firearms in our society (estimated at over 300 million of them in America). Unless we come to discuss the driving cause of our problem, police violence will ever be significantly reduced. When every police officer in America has to enter a work environment proliferated by guns, we can expect them to be tensed and stressed! When we come to put reasonable restrictions as to who can purchase (and/or carry) a firearm, what kind of firearms, and under what conditions, that big, hairy elephant will dangerously remain in the room.]