It seems that for some officers the concept “protect and serve” begins and remains at home. It places their own safety first and foremost in their mind and screws the stranger on the street. That means that someone who sneezes, scratches or makes any move that could remotely be interpreted as “threatening” is just cause to pull the trigger. In some cases, they keep pulling the trigger until the person is entirely lifeless. Overkill? I don't recall Matt Dillon emptying the rest of his six-shooter into someone as they lay helpless in the street, but we have heard about this behavior in several cop shootings recently.
Maybe I have watched too many movies, but what happened to the notion of cops being selfless supporters of the human communities that they serve in. Jumpy cops seem to be a big problem these days, or perhaps we are simply learning more about it than in the past. Are we hiring too many jumpy, grumpy, gung ho, immature people? Are we hiring some chickens? Are we doing a lousy job of selecting, training, evaluating and retaining bad cops?
I guess that Justine Damond, the woman from Australia who was shot by a cop last week in Minneapolis, is just another case of collateral damage. It seems that some of these cops have no business with guns. Cops show up by the hundreds for the funeral of a fallen officer. I wonder how many of them show up for the funerals of these victims of flawed law enforcement?
There needs to be better guidelines for when an officer is permitted to brandish their weapon. That might give a few seconds pause before they get jumpy and blow another citizen away. We could call it “Justine’s Rule.”