1/12/09: Stay In The Fight Until It’s Over – Take 1

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Published on: January 12, 2009

Clearly, the incident was a tragic mistake by an officer with just two years on the job. This officer, like anyone else under stress, is only half as good in the field as he is on his best training day. This is all the more reason why private citizens and officers alike can never get enough training. There is quite a bit of speculation as to what happened.  I do not believe the officer intentionally shot a prone man in the back.

The look of surprise on the officer’s face when the weapon discharged is evidence that the shot was unintentional. However, there did not appear to be a reason to present a handgun (or shoot) at that time. If there was a reason to present the gun, the officer  should not have had his finger on the trigger unless he intended to shoot. Again, this a classic example of the adverse effects of stress in any physical confrontation.

The more lethal the confrontation, the more stressful, and the more likely you will be half as good (and half as smart) as you are on your best training day. Tragically for the suspect, a non-lethal encounter became lethal. Unfortunately for the officer, a career in law enforcement is over and he will forever carry this incident with him.

MORE TRAINING would have prevented this incident from happening.

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