CNN has been showing a police shooting in Saginaw, Michigan in which a deranged man, Milton Hall, was shot 46 times. His weapon was a knife. Theirs, six pistols. When all was said and done, he was down and dead with 46 bullet wounds. That's an average of 7.7 bullets from each officer.

It appears at first glance that overkill police responses are as common as they are unnecessary. However, psychologists will tell you that it's understandable that when the time comes that someone feels a threat to their life, they will respond overwhelmingly with whatever form of defense they have. It's unreasonable to ask anyone defending their life to take a shot, reassess the situation, and decide whether another shot is required. Rather, people will keep going, often until the threat is clearly over or their weapon is empty.

At the same time, the video shows clearly that this event went on for a little while. Time enough, one would think for them to set up an off-the-cuff protocol like, "If he charges, I will shoot to stop him. If my pistol jams or he keeps coming, you and you may shoot, but one shot only." Something like that.

It's been estimated that the distance between Hall and the officers was about 20 feet. This is a distance that can be covered in just a couple seconds, so don't think that a police officer has a lot of time to consider what's happening. He can only react.

At the same time, the video does not show Hall charging anyone. He may have taken a step, but he was not rushing at anyone.

I'm not sure how many bullets are in a Saginaw policeman's pistol. Like most modern police, they must be using automatics instead of revolvers, and an automatic can hold several more bullets than a revolver, which most typically holds 6 bullets.

Techniques and equipment exist which, had they been in place, would have made this killing unnecessary. Tasers, nets, rubber bullets, for example. and every police offer everywhere should receive training in dealing with an assailant holding a knife.

Clearly, it could have been handled better, but some may argue that, given that he goes into potentially lethal mental states, the day would likely come that someone would be killed before the police arrived, so that maybe this was for the best. Not my view necessarily, but clearly one with some logic behind it.

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American police are the most chickenshit and megalomaniac ones I know. 46 bullets for one guy with a knife is just plain sad and pathetic.

Buncha sociopaths.

It would be patently wrong to stereotype America's law enforcement community as chickenshit and megalomaniacs. This particular incident was not representative of the actual role our men & women in blue perform for our communities.  Most are conscientious and follow the proper rules of conduct. This incident is unfortunate as someone died who shouldn't have and it now places increased scrutiny on those who do carry out their job with integrity and compassion.  For every one these tragic cases there are ten thousand where an officer put his life in jeopardy to save an innocent victim and, in some cases, lost their own life doing so.

I think that the people who demonize the police tend to forget that these are usually family men and women who want to get home alive just like the rest of us, who have wives and children. The people these officers run into daily are typically difficult, hostile, and sometimes downright dangerous. How they deal with it, I don't know. That some can't is to be expected.

They had a police dog with them so the dog handler could have dealt it. This was probably a situation that is often rehearsed for in training school. Instead they murdered him.

That would be slightly more than half of what all German officers combined fired last year.

Even if he'd been executed by a firing squad of 6 men, he would have had only 5 wounds (assuming the practice of giving one member of the squad a blank).

Eight (nearly) bullets per officer is just ridiculous. Were they trying to deter or mobilize him or were they attempting to obliterate him?

As xi points out below, it's about the militarization of the police force. Not that this massive waste of bullets was military strategy, the point is that the police officers have been trained to the level where they have utter disregard of human life. This merely reflects the training, which is what one falls back on in a stressful situation, and that training is obviously to use humans as target practice if need be.

Don't you know how to qualify anything? Using your standard of proof and method of generalization would allow me to decide, for example, that blacks or Hispanics are all drug dealers because of the busts I've seen on TV or that all Middle Easterners are terrorists because most of the terrorists we know about are.

how do you count 7.7 bullets?

Do the math. Six officers and 46 shots = 7.666666 bullets on average.

cops opening up with that many rounds fired is not new. for the most part they are told if one officer fires his/her weapon in response to a threat, they all need to fire on that threat. ill let you decide on the many reasons why they would promote and adhere to this "policy".

72 rounds and 60 hitting one sleepy veteran:

115 rounds with a total of 4 bystanders hit...

you militarize your police, you will have military style reactions to threats. i am by no means saying this guy deserved any of those 46 rounds, but thats what he got. these cops did exactly what they were taught to do. what they were taught is right? is a good question.

ive trained law enforcement and military. id say the past 10 years or so, the mindset/equipment of these two groups are looking almost identical. military participating in irregular warfare, and police assuming they are participating in irregular warfare.

Does "training" tell officers to fire of 6 or 8 rounds into an individual when you know the other five officers are doing the same thing? If an officer is by himself, it's forgivable to fire 2 or 3 rounds if an attacker is coming at him, but what happened is both ridiculous and sad.


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