This video on YouTube raises serious questions over the necessity of shooting a man outside of a Carl’s Jr. in Monterey Park, California. The man was smashing windows with a pipe and failed to yield to commands from officers. When he turned toward one officer and raised the pipe, he was repeatedly shot by the other officer in the video.
Frankly, listening to the cellphone left me equally shocked by the callous attitude of the people speaking as by the film itself.
The man clearly was a danger to the officer with a 3-foot pipe. However, he was only responsible for property damage at that point and the police could have backed away and tried to continue to use the tasers as well as the dog. The man’s resistance to the taser is a classic indication of being on drugs, particularly Phencyclidine (PCP) or “angel dust.” Given the man’s turning toward the officer, it is likely to be viewed as a justified use of force under police guidelines since he had a weapon. I am not convinced however that this shooting was necessary. It looks from this video that police could have avoided the shooting that further endangered people in the area. The officers also fired an excessive number of bullets, including one that almost hit a woman standing underneath a nearby sign. She was injured by the failing glass and debris.
A typical police manual stipulates that “[a]n officer may use deadly force in the circumstances permitted by this policy when all reasonable alternatives appear impracticable and the officer reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary.” It would seem that there were reasonable alternatives here, including backing away and isolating the man with the dog or non-lethal force. Nevertheless, it would fit the current interpretation of Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1 (1985).
When automatic and semi-automatic Glock 9mm weapons were introduced in the police force, many experts expressed concern over the ease of firing the weapon and its large number of rounds in its standard clip (often 30). The concern was that it would increase the number of rounds fired in such incidents and thereby increase the likelihood of fatalities, including to bystanders.
Once again, while police have threatened or arrested citizens videotaping them in public, this video is another example of its value to the public.
Source; Youtube and ABC