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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There are 800,000 or so police officers, non-federal and federal combined. Sure there are bad apples and bad choices, but to take the cases which make the news as evidence that police are out of control (a broad-brush generalization), is pretty lame logic and does a disservice to the men and women who risk their lives daily dealing with some pretty bad customers.

I would not say they are out of control, just the opposite in fact. They are most certainly under control and being very well manipulated every day by those with larger agendas at yOur federal level. If you cannot see that your police departments are being steadily militarised, increasingly intolerant of legitimate dissent and all but immune from prosecution perhaps you need to step back and look in from the outside.

The only issue with that argument is the SA police quite obviously use much of the same tactics, and can hardly be said to be under neither the US fed gvmt or the SA gvmts full control.

The problem is the choice of tactics taught, which is usually under the purview of local police departments.

There has been a lot of discussion, especially lately as to who really controls the NYPD: Bloomberg or Kelly. I think it's a legitimate point to make that the NYPD runs itself.

My experience is with the NYPD, and I 100% stand behind that comment. You have cops raping women and getting off without charges, breaking into "suspects" homes and shooting them w/o repercussion. Stop and Frisk has led to consistent harassment of non-criminal communities. The ticket fixing scandals... look, I know there are a lot of good cops out there that want to protect and serve, but there comes a point where you have to say that it's not just a few bad apples. There is a systemic problem within the training, organization, and leadership that breeds a safe haven for racists and sociopaths.

Not bad apples. It's a bad bunch. 

I don't think that's the same at all. 34 Miners with machetes and "traditional weapons" which is really vague, does not equate to one mentally ill patient with a knife.

Nonviolent protest has to be nonviolent.

If you fail to see the similarity let me spell it out for you: The Saginaw police should have used beanbags and tasers, the SA police should have used teargas, water cannons, and water cannons. However, both shot first and asked questions later which is due to the tactical training (or lack thereof) they have received.

Nonviolent protest has to be nonviolent.


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