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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you didnt read my comment did you? read harder. 

the fact that im agreeing with the excessive force, yet providing an explanation of this militarized police mentality abound in the U.S. with additional incidents of "too many bullets" would give you an understanding that training and application can deviate. especially when "training" police and military on firearms is starting to look too similar. go take a look at your local pd/sheriff's office armory. then take a look at your national guard's armory. tell me if you see a big difference. or you can read judith's comment below. 

in addition your comment of counting bullets when a single person is trying to stop an attack is a bit juvenile. you would be amazed how quickly you can empty 5 rounds out of a pistol. and how those 5 rounds havent stopped someone from coming at you.  they arent explosive tipped judge dredd bullets...yet, give it more time...then count bullets, cheekseekers maybe... 

it looks like this shooting in july has gotten enough attention to get less biased people involved. dont expect criminal charges. as the links above have civil suits, none of those cops are going to jail, or even losing their jobs.

It is a shame that all they seemingly had available was lethal force.

whats a shame is that these law enforcement organizations pay top dollar for military style hardware and the "best" training money can buy on that hardware. which is...military style training. this training is all fine if put in perspective. what sickens me is this all that they are funding at this level? everything else is what? not important?

"hey maybe we should get some training on arrest methods, refresher courses on state and local statutes....maybe handling the mentally ill or disenfranchised?" "Nah, thats academy sh*t...we got free money to get them expert training on a carbine we will put in each squad car. a swat team on each street corner....minus the physical fitness and marksmanship"

so if all you do is train your cops on firearms and barely anything else. thats their mindset and their only reference of what "cops are taught to do".

Interesting point.

If this had been 6 US Army privates shooting 46 bullets into a knife-wielding suspected Taliban supporter, would this even be news?

You're equating a man in the throes of mental illness with a hostile enemy combatant? You're answer: probably not.

John: First of all define "Taliban suspect" then please explain why merely being suspected of something would warrant summary execution. Something I am not at all sure Americans grasp is that your military now define all males over 14 as "militants" when doing body counts after drone strikes in order to keep the collateral casualty figures down. Is this fair and just - clearly not and it merely justifies the sense of injustice that is feeding the ranks of those who you would call terrorists. I am sure six US army privates gunning almost any brown skinned resident of those parts of the world not kissing the backside of red, white and blue would go unremarked in the USA but it gets noticed in the majority of the rest of the world, ie that part not defined as "Western". Was your comment ironic or did you mean it ?

Something I am not at all sure Americans grasp is that your military now define all males over 14 as "militants" when doing body counts after drone strikes in order to keep the collateral casualty figures down. Is this fair and just - clearly not and it merely justifies the sense of injustice that is feeding the ranks of those who you would call terrorists.

Your unimpeachable source for this "information" is what?

Stop having your cops trained by megalomaniac pussies who don't know when to quit pulling the trigger then.

Also from what I understand the guy wasn't even charging anyone. Doesn't training tell the cops to apply some common fucking sense? I'm sure the guy either stopped or fell to the ground after the first bullet hit his body, why the other 45? You can not tell me that 5 seconds is too short to react. If it was too short for them to react and stop shooting, they shouldn't be cops because apparently they have the reflexes of a fat drugged llama.

You can't blame everything on training. It's a bunch of trigger-happy low-iq sociopaths who wanted to kill someone that day.

We all know who brings a gun to a knife-fight. Pussies.

But that's what you get when you set an upper limit to the IQ of police officers.

The US is a violent country with a gun culture that glorifies guns and their use. Added to this you have a "law and order fetish" and have built up your law and order industry into self sustaining machine that see any challenge to it, be it a mentally ill man, a cheeky youth, or elderly person protesting the theft of their pension by banks as a threat that must firmly be put down. The police know that the chances of them actually being prosecuted for using unnecessary or excessive force are next to zero, and even if they are they will counter charge any complainant with any number of offences in order to discredit them and portray them as a felon. They are also able to use the police departments publicity machine to mount effective media manipulation against all critics. For the last twelve years your Police departments have been steadily militarised with a flood of military grade equipment, uniforms, body armor, weapons, tanks and a steady flow of training from the DHS that has reinforced the message that now citizens are all potential terrorist and dissidents at the same time as citizens rights have been steadily eroded. They know they can get their jollies kicking the homeless to death or pumping ill people full of ammunition designed specifically to shred internal organs so badly that medics cannot save the victims. You are repeating what you have allowed to be sown, you can expect it to get worse. If you are in any doubt about this look at the systematic abuse of right of protestors by the worlds third largest army, the NYPD.

Wow. If what you describe were the case, America would be an intolerable place in which to live. Luckily, egregious cases like this get into the news BECAUSE they aren't commonplace. Most of us, even minorities, have uneventful and even positive contacts with police by far most of the time.

I hear views like yours mainly from people most of whose knowledge of the US is from newspapers and other news sources, which publish news, and news is the unusual most of the time.

I live in New York, was an integral part of Occupy Wall Street and think Judith is pretty on point. I don't think it's quite as extreme yet, but I've definitely seen it first hand that it's heading that way.

Just look at Stars Earn Stripes, Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, Ghost Recon. We glorify war and military in this country. The NYPD has anti-aircraft ground to air missiles. Bloomberg himself has said that he has an army. I think we'll be a fully fascist state in twenty years or less.

Cops in this country are simply out of control. In New York the other day, they shot a homeless guy's dog because it barked at them after they kicked the homeless guy (while he was having a seizure). Ramarlay Graham, Oscar Grant, the recent shootings in Anaheim. They have turned a badge into a license to kill minorities.


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