A Very Good Question!

President Joe Biden speaks at the National Action Network’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day breakfast in Washington, DC, on January 16, 2023. AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

President Biden recently called for police officers in our nation to be retrained, asking them, “Why should you always shoot with deadly force?’

A good question. And very appropriate during Biden’s Washington breakfast talk honoring the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This is a question I have asked during my entire 33 year career and a question that I, and other progressive police chiefs attempted to answer during our careers.

It is also a question I answer in my book, Arrested Development, and in the pages of this blog since 2011.

Many police agencies in the world train their police to use force differently than we do — with great restraint. We can, too.

National leaders who are members of the European Union must agree to train their police to use deadly force only when the situation is an “absolute necessity;” a standard much higher than is used in our nation— “reasonable objectiveness.” There are also places in the world where police do not carry a firearm.

Since the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson in 2014, and through years of protest regarding deadly shootings by police in America, the number of annual deaths by police has not diminished. It remains at over a thousand deaths each year.

I will also ask, “Why should police always shoot with deadly force?”

It’s time for police leaders in America to raise the standard of police use of deadly force.

Read the full news article HERE.


  1. “Why should you always shoot with deadly force?” Seriously? The use of a firearm is always deadly force. Unless, of course, one is using the butt of the revolver to nail up wanted posters. Can we please get this guy some help?

    Here is how we can curtail police use of deadly force. Teach people not to fight with the police, not to threaten the police, and when an officer tells you to do something, just do it. Even if you don’t want to. The lawful use of force by police is always a response to a threat, when it’s not, prosecute the cop, don’t make unwise generalizations like this.


    1. Sorry, Dr Solar. Police in many EU countries are trained on “less than deadly” firearms use. Compliance with police? Well, what about those who are mentally ill, out of control and not rationale? Are there ways to control those folks without taking away their lives? I think so.


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