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    • Fri, Apr 24, 2015 - 07:04am



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      Dear Police: Stop Killing People

    Let's try a thought experiment. Let's say there was a class of people of subnormal intelligence; learning was difficult for them, and they were easily led by their emotions, including fleeing when scared. Let's assume these people could not be distinguished by their looks from the general population.  Now let's lecture everyone, including them, to follow the law, and when stopped, don't flee.  Do you think these people of subnormal intelligence would coolly assess the situation, remember their instructions, and obey them – or might their impulses make them flee?

    If the latter, does that now give the right for officers to shoot them for disobeying?  I say no.  I say that we know our police officers are at least of normal intelligence, and likely of above normal intelligence; at least, we strive for that in our selection process.  However, the general population is of varying degrees of intelligence and emotional makeup.  Would not the more thoughtful reaction of the more intelligent police be to, instead of firing their weapon, let the suspect go, or try to stop him via non-lethal means? We do have police helicopters, we do have other officers that can assist immediately.

    The counter argument is "what if this person is a dangerous person who might imminently kill someone"? Well, what are the odds you have stopped a man and instantly set him on a trajectory of imminent murder? I would argue it is microscopically low while your odds of killing a man with your weapon instead of merely disabling him for booking is very high.

    In my observations, I suspect there is a growing trend of coarsening of the heart among the police force towards the value of human life. There are many men I would not want roaming the streets if they've committed felonies. But I owe them, as a human being, the right of a trial to defend himself.  When we value returning a stolen vehicle to its rightful owner more than a human life, no matter how troubled, angry, and violent that life may be, we slowly chip away at the foundations of our own Constitution.

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