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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I figure most of us here realize the futility of counting on the local police for your own protection. Don't get me wrong, I'm not bashing the police at all, but they can't be everywhere at once.

Sometimes though, the policeman that responds, or happens along, isn't well trained or just makes a mistake.

The reason this is on my mind is an article in the local newspaper. A lawsuit was dismissed where a widow sued one the two city police departments in the county (city used loosely, population is about 3500) for failure to protect her husband. Of course, the policeman's duty is to protect the public, not any one individual, and the judge reiterated this. I can't help but wonder at this cop, though.

The soon-to-be murderer is walking through the parking lot of a convenient store, shotgun in hands. The shotgun-toting individual has been reported for firing shots at his ex-wife earlier in the day, as she pulled out of a school parking lot. Her current husband works at this store.

Now, think of what you would do in this situation. A person who is wanted for taking shots at someone earlier in the day is currently moving into a store where that person's spouse works. Ok, what did you do?

I bet it isn't what the *captain* (emphasized to show this isn't a rookie officer) who happened to be there did. He told the man to put down the gun, but hadn't yet drawn his own side arm. Yup, he confronted a man with known murderous intent and a ready weapon WITHOUT DRAWING HIS OWN SIDE ARM! (I thought only cops in movies did that, and of course they always die.) The shotgun toter pivoted to aim at the cop, who dove behind a parked truck. The cop then called for backup and waited, giving the man time to enter the building, kill his target, and then kill himself.

Its hard to judge a man in the line of fire, after all you can't be sure how you'd react until you're in the position, but the fact is that this cop's mistake cost the store keeper his life. No actions were taken against him, and he continues to be a patrol cop.

The widow complained that the local police department did not train their officers in the use of lethal force in a hostage situation. Might I point out that this was never a hostage situation, and should have been resolved in the parking lot, by someone who had drawn their weapon, and was ready to pull the trigger if the suspect did not respond to the command to drop the weapon. He would have either seen that the person covering him had the advantage and complied, or began his turn and been shot. Even if the cop had missed, it would have still alerted the man in the store, who could have possibly taken that time to escape out the back.

As for me, I'll still carry my CZ and count on personal iniative and training in the absence of assistance.
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