The Difficult Realities Of Lethal Force

Below is my column in the Hill on the spate of recent police shootings and the resulting calls for reforms and criminal charges.  Two new incidents have occurred in the last week and both raise serious questions that must be answered on the use of lethal force.  In North Carolina, Andrew Brown Jr., 42, was shot and killed during execution of an arrest warrant. He was reportedly shot in the back while trying to flee but no gun was found. In Virginia, Isaiah Brown, 32, was shot more than six times by a deputy who appears to have thought that a cellphone was a gun.  The officers had previously given Brown a ride home and they were later called back to the home due to a disagreement. The tape shows Brown saying that he was going to kill his brother with a gun, but Brown told the 911 operator that he did not have a gun. These and the prior cases capture the dangerously uncertain and chaotic context of such cases.  Both Brown cases raise serious questions that need to be answered on the use of lethal force.

Here is the column:

The shooting of 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant in Columbus, Ohio, has produced a torrent of objections to how police respond to armed suspects. Some, like MSNBC host Joy Reid, simply declare that the use of lethal force to stop a knife attack is “murder.” “The View” co-host Joy Behar thinks officers who come upon someone about to knife another person should shoot into the air, as a warning. President Biden has long maintained that police officers should shoot armed suspects in the leg.

However, there is a reason why police manuals do not say “aim for the leg” or “try to shoot the weapon out of the suspect’s hand.” It is called “imminent harm,” the standard governing all police shootings. The fact that many of us describe such shootings as “justified” is not to belittle these tragedies but to recognize the underlying exigencies that control the use of lethal force.

In the slow motion videos of shootings played on cable television, there often seems to be endless opportunities for de-escalation or alternatives to lethal force. None of us want to hear of the loss of another young life like Bryant’s. But Biden’s suggestion — that “instead of anybody coming at you and the first thing you do is shoot to kill, you shoot them in the leg” — is not exactly how it works, practically or legally.

When officers use lethal force, it is meant to “neutralize the threat,” not to kill someone. They are trained to fire for the center of the body because it minimizes the chances of a miss while maximizing the chances of neutralizing the suspect. Shooting for the hand or leg or weapon can endanger others and may not neutralize a suspect. Likewise, officers are not trained to use nonlethal force, like a taser, to stop a lethal attack. Tasers are sometimes ineffective in neutralizing suspects. If there is an imminent threat of lethal force, officers use lethal force to end that threat.

These dangers were evident in 2019 when Aaron Hong ran at police with a large knife as officers literally begged him to drop the knife and even moved back. Hong lurched at an officer who fired seven rounds. Despite the close proximity and aiming for the body, most of the shots appear to have missed, but Hong was hit at least once. He then got up despite his wound, ran at another officer and was grabbing his weapon when a third officer fired four more rounds. Having Biden shout from the sideline to “Shoot for the leg! Shoot for the leg!” would not have helped.

The key is the legal threshold for the use of lethal force. The Columbus police manual states: “Sworn personnel may use deadly force when the involved personnel have reason to believe the response is objectively reasonable to protect themselves or others from the imminent threat of death or serious physical harm.” That language is derived from Tennessee v. Garner in 1985 and other Supreme Court cases.

While former Obama aide Valerie Jarrett insisted that police do not need guns “in order to break up a knife fight,” the person about to be stabbed may view the matter as a tad more urgent. Yes, the police officer could have waited while calling for Bryant to drop the knife — but the other girl might be dead today, and her family might object to the officer’s failure to protect her.

By definition, the use of lethal force is justified only when a threat of death or serious bodily harm is “imminent.” At that point, even if trick shooting or firing at limbs were feasible, an imminent threat must be neutralized without delay. In the case of the Bryant shooting, police had been told that a person was trying to stab someone. Officer Nicholas Reardon was immediately faced with Bryant charging at another girl with a knife. She was in close proximity to the other girl and swinging the knife toward her when he fired four times. Under the governing standards for the use of lethal force, it was a justified shooting.

A similar scene unfolded recently in Knoxville, Tenn. Police there confronted Anthony Thompson Jr., 17, in a bathroom stall after being called by his girlfriend with a domestic abuse claim. When they tried to handcuff Thompson, he reached for a gun in his hoodie. It discharged, and officers thought he was firing on them. They shot and killed Thompson. Even with this close proximity and shooting for the center of the body, some shots apparently missed and hit another officer. Indeed, in the confusion, police thought the wounded officer had been shot by Thompson.

I have both sued and defended law enforcement officers. They work in a violent, unpredictable environment that few of us ever experience. These scenes are adrenaline-driven, chaotic moments that often allow few seconds for critical decisions. Even with extensive training, officers can shoot each other or bystanders in the flash of an encounter.

Yet, on CNN and MSNBC, hosts and guests insisted that Officer Reardon could have waited and that knife fights are common between teenagers. CNN guest and Rutgers University associate professor Brittany Cooper declared that “no Black person is truly going to be safe if we cannot be having a bad day, if we cannot defend ourselves when we think we’re gonna get jumped.”

Of course, most people who police meet are having “a bad day,” which is why the police were called. Lethal force is used in only a small percentage of these encounters. Studies show the vast majority of the roughly 1,000 civilians shot annually were armed or otherwise dangerous. According to the Washington Post, in 2019, police shot and killed 55 unarmed persons, including 14 Black and 25 white individuals. That does not mean racism is not a serious, long-standing problem in such shootings. However, this national debate over lethal force standards will achieve little unless we recognize the practical and legal realities of violent encounters.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can find his updates online @JonathanTurley.

226 thoughts on “The Difficult Realities Of Lethal Force”

  1. Meanwhile, those zany capitalists!:

    “Playskool Releases ‘My First Knife Fight’ Playset
    The Babylon Bee ^ | 4-27-2021 | Babylon Bee

    Posted on 4/27/2021, 9:10:24 AM by servo1969

    PAWTUCKET, RI–Hasbro announced today an exciting new playset for kids and little innocent babies: “My First Knife Fight,” to be released under its Playskool brand aimed at toddlers.

    The playset features real shivs kids can use to stab each other in an innocent street fight. Including a variety of knives, from makeshift shivs made out of toothbrushes and razor blades to switchblades and kitchen knives, the playset is designed to entertain kids of all ages.

    “Raise your kids right with My First Knife Fight!” says the voiceover in a new commercial for the product. “As everyone knows, all sweet and innocent children love to stab each other in a good old-fashioned knife fight. Make sure your kids have a leg up on the competition with our premium playset — you don’t want your innocent little baby on the wrong side of a butterfly knife!”

    “Get My First Knife Fight today, wherever great toys for sweet precious little babies are sold!”

    According to Hasbro, the playset is already wildly popular and has caused no actual violence, just innocent kids stabbing each other on playgrounds a lot “in good clean knife fighting fun.”

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  2. Both sides of the Ashli Babbitt story coming up this week on Full Measure News. Don’t miss it. Justice For Ashli Babbitt

    Huge Thank you to @SharylAttkisson for supporting all of us here at the Ashli Babbitt legal team, the Babbitt family and all the followers and supporters @ForAshli

    Stay tuned…announcement coming soon



  3. In the case of Bryant, the threat she posed was not probable, not even imminent, but immediate as she wielded the knife on a downward stroke targeting her intended victim. The officer’s choice was limited by time to exercise self-defense in order to keep the girl viable. Meanwhile, the assailant’s accomplice was forcing the other girl to take a knee. A clear and progressive dysfunctional convergence.

  4. Some on the left have lost all contact with reality. In essence they feel that a person in the act of stabbing an unarmed person should not be stopped with potentially lethal force. Lethal force was the only way to stop the knife wielding 16 year old. She didn’t listen to multiple calls by police to stop. But of course our President weighs in that police should shoot the person’s leg. He is no more adept at handling this than he is at handling foreign affairs or the economy.

  5. Law enforcement – if the public demands security monitors who won’t take action, that’s just what they’ll get.

    If you’ll be threatened with ruin and criminal charges if you shoot someone in the act of stabbing an unarmed black girl, then you’ll never please the fickle mob.

    Give the rail birds nothing to peck at.

  6. To anyone claiming knife fights are “common” among teenagers, what the heck kind of dystopia are you living in? Chicago?

    When I was a teenager, I never saw, nor heard of, a knife fight among my classmates. Mean girls spread rumors, argued, or stopped talking to each other. They didn’t punch, stab, or shoot each other.

    Stop normalizing violent behavior. Call it out as wrong.

    My Dad used to say that when he was a teenager, people would get into fist fights. Sometimes they’d become friends later, sometimes not, but it was over. Now he hears about knife and gun battles among teenagers, when fists would have at least ensured people would walk away, most of the time.

    Yes, knife fights among teenagers happen in high crime neighborhoods, regardless of the predominant race. Kids get shot and stabbed to death by each other in those neighborhoods.

    One girl is alive today because a cop was there to shoot her would be murderer.

    But those who would cheer on Freddie Krueger are dissatisfied. (“Don’t save the girl! Shoot Freddie in the leg! Fire into the air! Find your taser! Reason with him! Ohhhh no, Freddie Krueger is dead and the unarmed girl survived – boooo!”)

    Would they be yelling at cops not to shoot a mass shooter or school shooter?

    The time to save Ma’Khia Bryant was before she went on a homicidal rampage. I have sympathy and hope for recovery for every troubled person, up until the moment they try to murder or harm an innocent person. Then the safety of the victim takes priority.

    1. Would they be yelling at cops not to shoot a mass shooter or school shooter, a truly wise question, the answer is sobering.

  7. Don’t judge by words; judge by actions.

    When one single group of Trump voters, with a few Antifa, stormed the Capitol, the Democrat majority called in the National Guard. They’ve surrounded themselves for months with thousands of National Guard, razor wire, and fences.

    Wait, Democrats told us a manned wall wouldn’t work and was racist. They told us it was fascist to propose using the National Guard for security against riots.

    While refusing to help residents and business owners be secure from rioters and looters, Congress and Biden cocooned themselves in armed security.

    While claiming from the sidelines that the officer should have shot Bryant in the leg, or fired into the air, these people are safe behind a solid wall of armed security.

    Cops don’t have Hi-def instant replay, or pause. They see everything go sideways in real time, faster than the blink of an eye. Blink, Ma’Khia Bryant burst out of a group of people and tried to stab a woman, who fell down. Blink, Ma’Khia Bryant spun and pinned another girl against a car, stabbing with the knife. Blink, the cop shoots her and she’s dying…dead. There is no time to second guess. It’s act or watch a murder unfold.

    Don’t give credence to people second guessing life-and-death decisions while ensconced in security.

    1. Karen, they didn’t simply storm the Capitol. They actively attempted to prevent the peaceful transfer of power via the certification of the EC Vote by Congress, and they temporarily succeeded. This should disgust every patriotic American.

      1. Anonymous – you do know that Democrats stormed the Capitol and the Senate office buildings during the Kavanaugh hearings right? They tried to interfere with the seating of a Supreme Court Justice, in an equal branch of government as Congress.

        Trump enjoined his followers to peacefully support those Republicans who were objecting to the EC. Democrats blocked and interfered with investigations into election integrity, while they got years of Senate hearings and investigations in the integrity of the 2016 election.

        Instead, in a preplanned attack, a few Trump supporters and Antifa broke into the Capitol and interfered with the entire process, posing like idiots in Pelosi’s office, etc. They weren’t trying to over throw the government. They weren’t like Democrats, threatening to burn down entire cities unless a vote or a court case went the way they wanted. They absolutely did interfere with the process in a stupid show that harmed the Republican Party, which has long had a non violent reputation. After all, business board up their windows because they are afraid of Leftist violence, not Trump voters. Democrats, sullen about having the reputation of rioters, gleefully seized upon that one bad act and labeled half the country as seditionists, while ignoring the massive, widespread, sedition and violence of the Left that’s gone on for a year. And people suspended all disbelief and reason and bought it.

        The same Democrats who said it would be fascist to send in the National Guard to protect federal buildings under assault by BLM and Antifa posted thousands of NG for months to guard them. They surrounded themselves with razor wire and a wall. (Guess manned walls actually do work.)

        Meanwhile, they bailed out rioters and looters, allowed anarchist “autonomous zones” to crop up in major cities, denied security to the business owners and residents suffering from Democrat riots.

        The storming of the Capitol on January 6th was utterly and completely wrong. Democrats are unmitigated hypocrites in their enabling and excusing the Democrat riots that have gone on for a year. They cocooned themselves in security they denied their constituents.

        1. “you do know that Democrats stormed the Capitol and the Senate office buildings during the Kavanaugh hearings right?”

          They disrupted the hearings. The charges were mostly disorderly conduct, crowding, or obstructing. AFAIK, none entered the Capitol illegally, none used weapons, none broke into any offices, none chanted in favor of assassinating anyone, and none built a gallows. (Please correct me if I’m wrong.) AFAIK, no USCP were injured. Compare the crimes that the 1/6/21 Capitol insurrectionists have been charged with –

          “They tried to interfere with the seating of a Supreme Court Justice”

          They interfered with nomination hearings. AFAIK, they did not attempt to interfere with the Senate vote. I approve of any protesters who broke laws being arrested in both situations.

          “Trump enjoined his followers to peacefully support those Republicans who were objecting to the EC.”

          He also criticized Mike Pence while insurrectionists were chanting “hang Mike Pence” and failed to promptly send National Guard, which I consider dereliction of duty.

          “Democrats blocked and interfered with investigations into election integrity, while they got years of Senate hearings and investigations in the integrity of the 2016 election.”

          I’ll remind you that the Russia Investigation was carried out by a bipartisan group. Please provide evidence that Democrats have blocked investigations into election integrity.

          “a few Trump supporters and Antifa broke into the Capitol”

          Name someone associated with Antifa who was arrested. (No, John Sullivan is not associated with Antifa.)

          “They weren’t trying to over throw the government”

          Don’t be so certain that the ones looking for Pence and Pelosi and chanting “hang Mike Pence” wouldn’t have assassinated them. They were absolutely trying to prevent the Congressional certification process.

          “Democrats, sullen about having the reputation of rioters, gleefully seized upon that one bad act and labeled half the country as seditionists …”

          It isn’t just one bad act. Our own justice/intelligence community has stated more than once that there’s significant danger from right-wing domestic terrorism, and a number of right-wingers have attempted terrorism, like Cesar Sayoc, a Trump supporter who tried assassinating a slew of Democrats. I’m a Democrat. I certainly don’t call half the country seditionists. I also haven’t ignored left-wing violence. I oppose the violent responses on both sides.

          I won’t respond to the rest. You presumably get my point that I don’t agree with a lot of what you’ve written.

          1. “I approve of any protesters who broke laws being arrested in both situations.” Me, too. There should be tens of thousands of arrests of BLM and Antifa protestors. Ceding city blocks was a dereliction of duty.

            Interfering with the EC certification process was not trying to overthrow the government. A handful of people can’t take control of a country. But widespread riots and looting, domestic terrorism, can. BLM succeeded in defunding and underfunding police, causing crime, including murder, to skyrocket.

            “I’m a Democrat. I certainly don’t call half the country seditionists. I also haven’t ignored left-wing violence. I oppose the violent responses on both sides.” That’s fantastic. You and Bill Maher should make more converts. The media does not reflect your views.

  8. Put in “Attacks on Asians” in YouTube. After reviewing the videos one might come to the conclusion that black people are systemically racist against Asians. Maybe racism is involved but it does not follow that all black people have a prejudice against Asians.

  9. “It’s the [propaganda], stupid!”

    – James Carville

    The issue is not shootings.

    The issue is propagation of propaganda by communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs) on social media platforms and in the mainstream media.

    Black-on-black shootings occur in high numbers constantly but are never reported in the national communist (liberal, progressive, socialists, democrat, RINO) propaganda “news” on TV and elsewhere.

    It is long past time for milquetoast Americans to become “woke,” excise their Phantom White Guilt, take back their country, impose law and order and re-implement the “manifest tenor” of the U.S. Constitution:

    Freedom and Self-Reliance.

    “[We gave you] a republic, if you can keep it.”

    – Ben Franklin

    To wit,

    Chicago shootings: 24 shot, 3 fatally, in weekend violence across city
    Monday, April 26, 2021 4:55AM

    CHICAGO — Three people were killed and 21 others wounded in shootings across Chicago this weekend, including a man who was killed Friday night in Englewood on the South Side. About 10:35 p.m., officers found the 27-year-old lying unresponsive on the street in the 900-block of West 61st Street, Chicago police said. He had suffered gunshot wounds to the abdomen and leg and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said. He was identified as Bryone Dupart by the Cook County medical examiner’s office. There were no witnesses to the shooting and no additional details available, according to police. A 36-year-old man was shot to death early Sunday in Humboldt Park on the Northwest Side. Duntae Manuel was sitting in a vehicle about 12:30 a.m. in the 3900-block of West Thomas Street when the gunman approached him on foot and fired shots, police said. He was shot in the head and body and was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said. The Cook County medical examiner’s office hasn’t yet released details on his death. Hours earlier, a 30-year-old woman was fatally shot late Saturday in Roseland on the Far South Side. About 10:20 p.m., she was in the driver’s seat of a vehicle in the 500-block of East 103rd Street, when shots were fired, police said. She was struck in the head, body, and rushed to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where she was pronounced dead. The Cook County medical examiner’s office hasn’t released details on her death. In nonfatal attacks, a 16-year-old boy was hurt in a shooting early Monday in West Pullman in the Far South Side. The teen boy was standing on the sidewalk about 2:45 a.m. in the first block of East Kensington Avenue when someone inside a dark-colored vehicle fired shots, police said. He was shot in the leg and self-transported in good condition to St. Margaret Hospital in Hammond, Indiana, police said. Officers initially said the boy was killed in the incident, according to police. On Saturday, a man was shot in East Garfield Park on the West Side. The 62-year-old was standing outside about 6:10 a.m. in the 3900-block of West Monroe Street when someone opened fire, striking him in the leg, police said. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital. Also Saturday, another 16-year-old boy was shot in Little Village on the Southwest Side. About 5:10 p.m., he was standing in the 3300-block of West 28th Street, when a vehicle approached, two people got out and fired shots, police said. He was struck in both legs, the hand, and rushed to Mt. Sinai Hospital in good condition. At least 18 others were wounded in shootings between 5 p.m. Friday and 5 a.m. Monday.

    Last weekend, 27 people were wounded, five fatally, in citywide shootings.

    – ABC News

  10. All police should quit. Let folks defend themselves and defend their property. Give all kids firearms.

      1. American Founders’ mission statement:

        2nd Amendment

        A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

        1. Oh gee I’ve never read that before. I tend to focus on the first 13 words of it since those are the ones most misunderstood. Not that the second and third clauses aren’t misunderstood either, but heck, have to start somewhere, right? The Heller case is most enlightening as well. Meantime, feel free to continue, since it’s your first amendment right, to sound insane.


          1. Two thoughts communicated, in two several and separate clauses, by the 2nd Amendment to American fundamental law:

            1. A militia is necessary to keep anti-American communists (liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats, RINOs) from nullifying, corrupting and commandeering the free state of America.

            2. Americans must be armed and ready, on a moment’s notice, to join the militia of their choice.

            1. #1 is certainly a creative take on things isn’t it? #2 is a fundamental misunderstanding. But hey, you be you and chuck a nutty as you see fit. S’all good. Or rather mentally unbalanced. Looks like someone needs to be on a terrorist watch list.


          2. The 2nd Amendment is the law.

            You may avail yourself of the amendment process to change that…it may take a while; bon voyage.

    1. That was just what the lovable bigot Archie Bunker said about how to deter skyjacking- arm all the passengers!

  11. “According to the Washington Post, in 2019, police shot and killed 55 unarmed persons, including 14 Black and 25 white individuals. That does not mean racism is not a serious, long-standing problem in such shootings.”

    I have not seen any proof whatsoever that racism has played a part in any of these police shootings of balck people over the years that make the headlines. In fact, I don’t recall any hate-crimes being prosecuted against the officers, so where is the proof any of these are racially motivated? How do you prove that? And are the white cops displaying white-guilt and reverse-racism when they killed the 25 unarmed white people? and not, why not?

    1. Note for the Record….the Word ” Police” as used in those Stats includes White, Black, Hispanic, Mixed Race, Asian, Arab, and other Races, Creeds, Genders, and ancestry …. so perhaps a better filtering of the data is needed to determine the actual breakdown by more detailed criterion would yield a far more descriptive presentation of the Stats.

    2. Yesterday , on ( I believe it was ) CBS Face the Nation , Keith Ellison said that they decided not to prosecute Chauvin under a hate crime, that this was not determined to be a racist inspired killing, but a use of illegal force.

    3. In 2019 police officers fatally shot 1,004 people, most of whom were armed or otherwise dangerous. African-Americans were about a quarter of those killed by cops last year (235), a ratio that has remained stable since 2015. That share of black victims is less than what the black crime rate would predict, since police shootings are a function of how often officers encounter armed and violent suspects. In 2018, the latest year for which such data have been published, African-Americans made up 53% of known homicide offenders in the U.S. and commit about 60% of robberies, though they are 13% of the population.

      The police fatally shot nine unarmed blacks and 19 unarmed whites in 2019, according to a Washington Post database, down from 38 and 32, respectively, in 2015. The Post defines “unarmed” broadly to include such cases as a suspect in Newark, N.J., who had a loaded handgun in his car during a police chase. In 2018 there were 7,407 black homicide victims. Assuming a comparable number of victims last year, those nine unarmed black victims of police shootings represent 0.1% of all African-Americans killed in 2019. By contrast, a police officer is 18½ times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer.

      …The false narrative of systemic police bias resulted in targeted killings of officers during the Obama presidency.

      Continued at:

      1. “A 2015 Justice Department analysis of the Philadelphia Police Department found that white police officers were less likely than black or Hispanic officers to shoot unarmed black suspects”

        Also from that WSJ article

      2. “The police fatally shot nine unarmed blacks and 19 unarmed whites in 2019,”

        Again, a 2:1 representation in a nation with a greater than 5:1 white to black population ratio at this time. That’s why it’s good to understand statistics and why it’s such a dreaded course in early college education.


        1. Oh my! But the ratio of violent crime committed by whites:blacks is 1.6:1, according to the DOJ OJJDP. Your turn!

        2. We have gone through statistics before Bug where I explained why your numbers were so wrong. I won’t do it again because the last time you ran away.

          Your understanding of numbers, statistics and studies is abysmal.


          1. Says the guy with fundamentally the worst understanding of the scientific method on the planet.


            1. Bug, based on our previous discussions everyone can now that what you are saying is untrue. All they have to do is refer to the archives. There are numerous posts proving what I have said.


              1. Agreed, Allan, you have a bad understanding of the scientific method, but yours is not the the worst understanding of the scientific method on the planet.

    4. From The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA

      Officer characteristics and racial disparities in fatal officer-involved shootings

      There is widespread concern about racial disparities in fatal officer-involved shootings and that these disparities reflect discrimination by White officers. Existing databases of fatal shootings lack information about officers, and past analytic approaches have made it difficult to assess the contributions of factors like crime. We create a comprehensive database of officers involved in fatal shootings during 2015 and predict victim race from civilian, officer, and county characteristics. We find no evidence of anti-Black or anti-Hispanic disparities across shootings, and White officers are not more likely to shoot minority civilians than non-White officers. Instead, race-specific crime strongly predicts civilian race. This suggests that increasing diversity among officers by itself is unlikely to reduce racial disparity in police shootings.

      1. Always love the Academy being cited. My step mom worked there for quite awhile. Surface study. They’d be the first to admit it because they’d realize and be cognizant of their studies washing out internal data by drowning it in bigger numbers.


        1. Bug your “amazing” life along with all those people “you know” tell us that you reside in a fanciful world that lacks any significant facts. To make up for that terrible lack of facts you commit logical fallacies again and again.

          This time your logical fallacy is the Appeal to Authority, someone close to you. What you are saying is that Bug doesn’t know squat but has a relationship with a fictional person that he feels should (appeal to authority). Then Bug uses that relationship to make himself into an authority despite the fact he is totally ignorant and non-credible.


          1. Allan, your daily denigration of those you dislike tells us that you reside in a psychologically unhealthy mental state.

            1. “your daily denigration “

              Why are you complaining about a “daily denigration”? Anonymous the Stupid, one cannot denigrate one who does not exist and you do not exist. Further your statements are Stupid. Can one denigrate a Stupid person by calling the Stupid person Stupid? It’s simply a true fact you wish not to accept.

          2. Actually what I’m saying is that, for all of you citing studies that don’t say what you think they’re saying, yet are also unable to contextualize the information therein, well, you’re more than a bit remedial. I’ll break it down to the coloring book variation for you, Allan (even though you won’t get that either)…

            Any study that shows “equal” police killing of white vs. black, or skewed slightly one way or the other, does not address the point that whites outnumber blacks in this country about 6:1. Even the people doing the studies you cite would point that out as to recognize that population imbalance is an established prior point…

            Two key steps in the scientific method going into a study or experiment: a) assume everything you ‘know’ may be wrong, and b) review your priors. The priors in this case being that citing something that shows equal killing rates by police of blacks and whites, while enshrouded in a population balance of 6:1 white to bloack actually establishes that police, in the context of population, kill blacks at a greater rate. Not to mention the larger, instinctual point that I threw to the colossal bloviator Mespo earlier (that he totally ducked) you’re driving at night with very little moonlight and get pulled over between streetlights, would you rather your skin in those circumstances be black or white? Or if you were having to scramble in life and sell cigarettes illegaly would you rather be black or white when the cops showed up? Or any number of other instances?

            As to my relatives, hell, here’s a story from when I was a young kid…, Lyndon Johnson called up my house to recruit my dad into working at NASA…my dad wasn’t there at the time…and my mom thought she was getting pranked and hung up on him. Twice. In some ways that tells you more about how my family navigated things in this sort of wildly imbalanced and dysfunctional way. I’m pretty proud of them actually and realize coming from where they came from to get where they got, while a crazed ride in many ways, wasn’t exactly small on the side of accomplishment. There definitely was a bit of Beverly Hillbillies to it (although I leave it to you to live out the ‘Jethro’ role, Allan)…

            So I guess that leaves us with me pointing out some uncontextualized skews in science that’s cited here on the blog, you not knowing what the hell I’m talking about, and me having to realize a) you’re not capable of ever understanding what I’m talking about, and b) that there will be a ton of grade school level insult directed outward by you because you need to do something to try to cover up your inadequacies, Allan. You’ll go straight for the coloring book, so comedically anyway, I’ll try to match your denigration just to speak to the lower language you’re employing. Plus it’s fun picturing you chucking a nutty as you try to decipher what’s going on.

            Either way. Party on.


            1. Bug, you provide a lot of words along with a jumbled thought process. That doesn’t make an intelligent post. You shoot all over the place and hit yourself in the foot.

              There are well known numbers regarding police shootings. I will refer you to one.

              The Myth of Systemic Police Racism

              “Hold officers accountable who use excessive force. But there’s no evidence of widespread racial bias.”


          3. And Allan, re your point, usually what I’m saying is simply that you’re an a&*hole.


            1. Bug, No reply is necessary. You have proven that you have a lot of words, but not the intellect to go along with them. Your fall back is words that have to be changed not to be censored. That tells us what type of person you are.


    5. 25 to 14, little less than 2:1. Black population hasn’t reached 20% of the population yet. That stat shows the rate of police killings of blacks is out of proportion to the population…

      Cue the commentary about how if blacks would just shape up and not be criminals there’d be no reason to shoot so many. A sweeping generalization false on many levels…, but hey, this is the Turley blog so let’s get this party started.


      1. Oh my! But the ratio of violent crime committed by whites:blacks is 1.6:1, according to the DOJ OJJDP. Your turn!

      2. Bug, in reality blacks are not killed to a greater degree proportional to the number that matters, the number of encounters. Moreover, black and hispanic cops are more likely to kill a black man than a white cop is.

        You should start researching these things instead of trying to repeat talking points that are inaccurate.


        1. I pointed out statistic inequity, Allan. You, as usual, bring in talking points because you don’t know to respond any other way. But I’m ever so pleased you took Tucker’s crank out of your mouth long enough to respond.


          1. Bug, what is amazing about you is that you can talk and talk while saying absolutely nothing.


            1. The fact of me discussing the basic step in scientific method of reviewing priors, and you not having a clue of what I’m talking about is much more problematic for you, Allan.

              1. Bug, you haven’t discussed anything. Rhetoric and more rhetoric, but none of that says anything.


                1. I know Allan, your lack of cognition must be a beast to contend with on a daily basis. Some days I feel sorry for you.


                  1. The amazing thing is, Bug, that in multiple posts you haven’t said anything. The only thing I have to consider is which dressing to use on your word salads.


  12. We have all this instruction about shooting techniques by writers who probably have never had a day of firearms training in their lives. Make a perfect shot at a moving leg. Make a perfect shot at a moving collarbone. You have three seconds before the knife enters the body of the victim to make your perfect shot. If you think it would take more than three seconds to plunge the knife consider that people can run 40 yards in under 5 seconds. What is amazing is the number of self appointed shooting experts who grace these pages with their wisdom. What is the opposite of wisdom?

  13. There was a small cat under the young woman in pink. This story is already tragic. I hope the cat was not killed or injured.

    In other news, Joy Behar said the officer should have shot in the air. Given her firm sentiments on the issue, if Joy Behar is ever attacked, law enforcement should always shoot in the air…
    and try not to look like your celebrating.

  14. Majority Say Kamala Harris Not Qualified to Become President

    Monday, April 26, 2021

    Most voters have an unfavorable impression of Vice President Kamala Harris, and GOP voters in particular doubt she is qualified to become president.

    The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 51% of Likely U.S. Voters have an unfavorable impression of Harris, including 43% who have a Very Unfavorable impression of Joe Biden’s vice president. Forty-six percent (46%) of Likely Voters have a favorable impression of Harris, including 28% who have a Very Favorable view of her.

    (Let’s keep those numbers going up!)

    1. Harris, as VP, is legally qualified to become President. Pelosi, as Speaker, is next in line after Harris.

      1. Kumbaya Harris, only the third illegal immigrant to become a national leader–after Stalin and Hitler.

          1. I thought VP Harris was born in Oakland, California. How can you say she is an illegal immigrant?

              1. She’s a native-born American.

                You seriously think that the entirety of the judicial system is just sitting by silently while someone who cannot legally serve as VP is serving as VP? That’s quite a delusion.

        1. Harris isn’t an illegal immigrant.

          Distorting her name is childish. Grow up.

    2. Here’s the thing: no one is qualified for the job of president until you are actually president. Best training for it would be to have been V.P. Harris will be a fine president at some point. Pence would be qualified for the job. I don’t think he’d be a good one…, but I am forever grateful for his efforts in preventing the absolute worst of the single most unqualified president in the history of the nation. It meant constantly doing a WEEKEND AT BERNIES’S impression, but hell, I’d go as far as saying Pence may have done more to save the country from imminent catastrophe than almost anyone, ever.

      Biden’s experience as V.P. is serving the country well as we navigate out of another turn of republican steaming wreckage left behind.


        1. Here’s the thing…, no I won’t.

          I was grateful it was gone the second the circus left town. Not having to wake up and wonder what an ignoramus in the oval office got into overnight, what he would get into during the day, just to take attention off his latest crisis…, there won’t be a day I’m not grateful for it. Won’t miss my taxes going up via disappearing state decuctions. Won’t miss my health insurance going up 25% in a year. Won’t miss wondering just how much the president will go to stick his head in the sand around a spiraling pandemic. Won’t miss trump’s tariff taxes in a market I regularly invest in that he did his utmost to destroy. I could go on strictly in practical terms…

          See, having lived in NY, I like nearly everyone from that city, knew what the country had coming by installing that con man ass clown in office. So now he’s gone, soon to be indicted, I look at every day after his presence as a gift because he did his level best to destroy the country.

            1. Not likely. He’s not even first up in the likely indictments of presidential offspring.


                  1. Daily Mail Hahahahahaha

                    You laugh. But they are actually reporting what the DNC propaganda press won’t.

    3. Kamala Harris is an unaccomplished “Empty Trouser Suit” and the false result of a “rigged” election. She paid for faux ascendance with sexual favors – she didn’t say “NO” like Me Too Christine Ballsey Ford, and all the Harvey Weinstein girls, she said “YES!” She prosecuted marijuana use while using marijuana. She is a conforming communist, consumed by an aberrant desire for personal power for personal power’s sake as compensation for her existence-without-purpose as a barren woman with no children and no raison d’etre. As Hillary Clinton bore one child for political appearances, Kamala Harris rented a nice white family for the last election. Kamala Harris will never be a “natural born citizen” as both her parents were not citizens at the time of the candidate’s birth, and Kamala Harris will never be eligible for vice president or president. Kamala Harris IS a tragedy; a walking, talking disaster.

    4. Generational welfare, forced busing and affirmative action beneficiary Comradette Kamala Harris was forced to exit the 2020 primaries in haste as she was wholly incapable of raising one dollar or getting one vote. Comradette Kamala is the Joke in the corrupt and illegitimate Joke Biden political dystopia.


      Kamala Harris will NEVER be eligible to be U.S. vice president or president.

      Kamala Harris’ parents were foreign citizens at the time of her birth.

      – A mere “citizen” could only have been President at the time of the adoption of the Constitution – not after.

      – The U.S. Constitution, Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5, requires the President to be a “natural born citizen,” which, by definition in the Law of Nations, requires “parents who are citizens” at the time of birth of the candidate and that he be “…born of a father who is a citizen;…”

      – Ben Franklin thanked Charles Dumas for copies of the Law of Nations which “…has been continually in the hands of the members of our Congress, now sitting,…”

      – “The importance of The Law of Nations, therefore, resides both in its systematic derivation of international law from natural law and in its compelling synthesis of the modern discourse of natural jurisprudence with the even newer language of political
      economy. The features help to explain the continuing appeal of this text well into the nineteenth century among politicians, international lawyers and political theorists of every complexion,” Law of Nations Editors Bela Kapossy and Richard Whatmore.

      – The Jay/Washington letter of July, 1787, raised the presidential requirement from citizen to “natural born citizen” to place a “strong check” against foreign allegiances by the commander-in-chief.

      – Every American President before Obama had two parents who were American citizens.

      – The Constitution is not a dictionary and does not define words or phrases, such as “natural born citizen,” as a dictionary, while the Law of Nations, 1758, did.


      Law of Nations, Vattel, 1758

      Book 1, Ch. 19

      § 212. Citizens and natives.

      “The citizens are the members of the civil society; bound to this society by certain duties, and subject to its authority, they equally participate in its advantages. The natives, or natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens. As the society cannot exist and perpetuate itself otherwise than by the children of the citizens, those children naturally follow the condition of their fathers, and succeed to all their rights. The society is supposed to desire this, in consequence of what it owes to its own preservation; and it is presumed, as matter of course, that each citizen, on entering into society, reserves to his children the right of becoming members of it. The country of the fathers is therefore that of the children; and these become true citizens merely by their tacit consent. We shall soon see whether, on their coming to the years of discretion, they may renounce their right, and what they owe to the society in which they were born. I say, that, in order to be of the country, it is necessary that a person be born of a father who is a citizen; for, if he is born there of a foreigner, it will be only the place of his birth, and not his country.”


      Ben Franklin letter December 9, 1775, thanking Charles Dumas for 3 copies of the Law of Nations:

      “…I am much obliged by the kind present you have made us of your edition of Vattel. It came to us in good season, when the circumstances of a rising state make it necessary frequently to consult the law of nations. Accordingly that copy, which I kept, (after depositing one in our own public library here, and sending the other to the College of Massachusetts Bay, as you directed,) has been continually in the hands of the members of our Congress, now sitting, who are much pleased with your notes and preface, and have entertained a high and just esteem for their author…”


      To George Washington from John Jay, 25 July 1787

      From John Jay

      New York 25 July 1787

      Dear Sir

      I was this morning honored with your Excellency’s Favor of the 22d

      Inst: & immediately delivered the Letter it enclosed to Commodore

      Jones, who being detained by Business, did not go in the french Packet,

      which sailed Yesterday.

      Permit me to hint, whether it would not be wise & seasonable to

      provide a strong check to the admission of Foreigners into the

      administration of our national Government, and to declare expressly that the Command in chief

      of the american army shall not be given to, nor devolved on, any but a natural born Citizen.

      Mrs Jay is obliged by your attention, and assures You of her perfect

      Esteem & Regard—with similar Sentiments the most cordial and sincere

      I remain Dear Sir Your faithful Friend & Servt

      John Jay

      1. George: VP Harris’ parents may have been foreign citizens at the time of her birth but she was born in California and is protected by the 14th Amendment. It is called birthright citizenship and could only be called into question if her parents were diplomats or government officials at the time.

        1. Once again, Kamala Harris will never be a “natural born citizen” and Kamala Harris will never be eligible for vice president or president.

          Please read above, with comprehension.

          That the communists (liberals, progressives, socialist, democrats, RINOs) have subsumed America by abortion and foreign hyphenate invasion is not the question – all of that is known.

          The question is whether this Empty Trouser Suit qualifies for vice president or president, and the answer is a resounding no because she can never be a “natural born citizen.”

          1. By the standards you’re creating, there isn’t a person in the U.S. other than descended from indigenous tribes eligible to govern. The last guy, a Russian plant would’ve been wildly ineligibie.


  15. What is authority and who has it? That in my estimation is one of the major underlying problems that is demonstrated in almost every encounter I’ve seem where a charge of racism is made recently. You can take any of the recent encounters and apply the question to predict the outcome. We as a society have given certain rights to authorities to maintain order. We’ve given authority to policing agencies to limit some rights as individuals, and to enforce the judgments of the courts on laws which have been passed by individuals who we’ve given authority by us. If we expect to come out the other side of an encounter with a governmental authority we must first obey the law, and surrender to their authority especially with an armed authority, whether we are in the right or wrong. When an individual believes they do not have to obey the directions of an authority, they become subject to laws that allow that authority to take more extreme measures to enforce the laws of the authority.

  16. I just had a great idea for all those people who think the police should shoot stabbers and gun-pullers in the leg or something, or taze them. Why don’t you go to the hood and preach this message to all the drug dealers and robbers and thieves??? Just think how many less dead black people there would be! Just think where Ma’Khia would be if she had decided to use a taser on the chick in pink! Why, the police would not have had to shoot her! Think of all the lives saved in Chicago and Detroit if young black men just shot other young black men in the leg!

    It would be a revolution, I tell you!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  17. It’s all about exigency, The need to stop or arrest the threat must outweigh possible loss of life. But we all know the deal, complain about incidents such as these, where the shooting is clearly justified, and officers will simply delay response, they’ll dawdle en route to the scene. And ultimately there will be greater loss of life. But all of our efforts are now focused on precisely that – opening jails, halting prosecutions, legalizing crime, equals increased loss of life. Murders are up 200% in NYC, rapes are up 50%, etc. this despite the fact that city has been in Covid lockdown.

    1. “opening jails, halting prosecutions, legalizing crime,“

      and Trump pardoning felons still serving their time as well as those convicted awaiting sentencing….

      1. Jeff, you must want Harris out of office. She was part of those that provided bail to looters, arsonists and violent people who killed before and after the bail. Go Jeff go. Let us stop anyone from releasing violent criminals from jail without serving their timer. We are with you.

          1. “Deal!”

            I guess we both find some Presidential pardons unacceptable. That is agreement. We also find VP Harris’s actions on bail heinous. That is a problem for she might ascend to the Presidency.

            I do note, however, that Obama pardoned many more people than Trump. Maybe one day we can compare the physical violence of those Obama pardoned to those of Trump.

  18. “CNN guest and Rutgers University associate professor Brittany Cooper declared that “no Black person is truly going to be safe if we cannot be having a bad day . . .”

    Getting a flat tire on the way to work is “having a bad day.” Attempting to stab someone is a felony.

    Some academics have a fantastic ability to deny reality.

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