What is up with our police???? Killing 7 out of 10 shooting victims in the first eight months of the year.
It is frightening to know that our police officers are the most violent in the southwest! What is going on! Are there other options out there to subdue those who are posing a threat to the officers?? I would think so. This is becoming very unsettling for me as a member of this community and a support of the police. AND they are all justified. Who determines this justification?? Do they write it off as self defense or suicide by cop. Are these victims suffering from untreated mental illness? Are there others out there who are just as worried?

Tags: Police, violence

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Here's a little non-fatal footage demonstrating that, example of how the Denver media (Fox) handles police incidents.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfmjlEHA4Ug
If anyone knows the proper way to post this, please do so.
Yes, I know this happens. It appears to me from watching the video, that the man was verbally provoking the officers. When he pulled out his cell phone camera that really set them off. Nonetheless, they should not react in this fashion. Its a blatant use of their power. How old/recent is this incident?
When I was 19, my next door neighbor came banging on the door, and screamed that her roommate was being beaten up by her high as a kite boyfriend, and was threatening to kill her with a knife. After calling the police, I took my can of state police mace (longer distance than personal), went over to her house, confronted her boyfriend, got him out of the house, then sprayed him as he charged at us with his knife - right in the eye - he blinked and charged again- again, I blasted him and stayed a safe distance from him. This went on until the police got there and dealt with him. If a 19 year old kid can deal with a knife wielding lunatic without killing him, I don't see why a police officer can't do the same... There's mace, tasers, batons,rocks, etc... - just keep your distance and let him calm down. (Although I guess this last killing was pretty justified from what I read.)

Personally, I wish they had shot the boyfriend - his girlfriend ended up feeling sorry for him and they both left together a week later - I can't imagine whatever happened to her.
You saved a life at that moment, yours, hers, and you did not need a gun to take his. You saved his life too.
There didnt seem to be any training that you had to undertake to do what you did. Hopefully, they, or at least she, are better off for your heroic effort. Maybe this shooting was justified. I dont know. All I know is that we have had 10 police shootings in 8 months. It just seems excessively high to me.
Cheery outlook Lynn. I'm sure that all of us who have criticized law enforcement officers will regret our transgressions when it is our turn to suffer violent criminal activity.

I respect the police in this city and I do not envy their situation one bit. That being said...they are understaffed, overworked and seemingly trigger happy given their inability to subdue perpetrators without having to shoot them. I this a Dick Berry and Darren White phenomenon, or had this always been the case?

I've been on ride alongs in this fair city. It's not pretty what these officers face. I have family and friends who are police officers in Philly and NYC. They are surprised at what little resources APD has for how difficult and dangerous of a task they must face. I am humbled by their effort, but criticize the manner in which it is conducted.

For example in Fall of 2007, my friend was detained as a suspect for joy riding an SUV and crashing into two houses on Graceland Rd. NE. He had actually walked to the accident scene to offer help and was mistaken for the suspect. He spent 5 hours handcuffed in the back of a police cruiser and was only released upon compliance to give a DNA swab. From the hours 1:00 AM to 6:00 AM there were at least 12 squad cars on the scene and close to 20 officers milling about. No one could explain the need for so many officers on the scene. All this while the actual suspect got away on foot and countless other crimes went unattended that night.

Perhaps the lack of sufficient resources leads to officers' elevated reactivity? Regardless, it seems that more property damage happens, bank robbers get away, and more officer involved shootings occur than realistically should.

The whole 'we'll see how you feel' bit is BS. We have the right to criticize those who aim to protect and serve as well as honor and respect their efforts.
Replying to Yo's post regarding over-reactivity of personnel. A couple of years ago, an old lady across the street was sick, apparently, and the son must have called 911. By the time it was all said and done, there were four or five police cars, two FIRE TRUCKS and two ambulances in front of the house. People milling around doing nothing. The woman did not even require transport.

About a year ago, we accidentally left the back door unlocked and ajar when we left the house. The wind must have blown it open and our alarm went off. We were gone, of course, but our neighbors said the SIX POLICE CARS out front were quite impressive. I'm very happy the police responded, but really . . . what a waste of personnel.

This sort of over-response happens all the time around the city. So is the police department really that under-staffed? Perhaps, but by all appearances I have to say it's questionable.
Yo, great comments. As I have stated earlier, I too respect the police greatly and yes they are underpaid, understaffed, and overworked. Yet the number of shootings by our police continue to disturb me. I also agree that the whole 'if it happens to you' argument is bogus.

K
K:
They do okay: http://www.apdonline.com/benefits.html#salary - $52K/year plus a take home vehicle, plus a pension that kicks in at 20 years - 70% base salary for average of the last three years salary, or 80% if they last another 3 years. If they kick in 13% (I think that's their contribution), then they would have contributed 160K, but, the kicker is, an annuity that large requires approximately $1M, or about 6 times what they put in (ex: if the final salary is $60K, then the pension would be $42K for the next 35 years of life.) Quite a few did their 20 years, quit, then came back a few months later, collecting full salary plus their pensions (plus overtime). We have a lot of cops making over $100K/year. And they have a union to protect their benefits (like their vehicle usage at the moment). Yes, they're in a dangerous line of work, but they are well compensated for the danger. Teachers work far harder for their $35-40k/year and don't get overtime or ridiculous pensions at 20 years. And the private sector pensions/401k's don't come close to police pensions for comparison.
I agree they do have an excellent retirement program. Wow, to retire after 20 years, then go back and nearly double your salary. Possibly they deserve it. Whatever the compensation package, they must be held to the highest standards.

K
Just like there is a time for mace and tasers and batons (and even good old fashioned community policing) there are times when the risk to the officer and others is too great to risk non-lethal means. At that point the officers are trained, and rightfully so I believe, to shoot to kill. The issue isn't whether officers should be able to kill to protect themselves but whether or not they're properly trained and expected to make that decision. I've lived in a handful of large-ish cities including Denver, Albuquerque and now San Antonio, Tx and I've seen instances which stretched the bounds of imagination to call it justified or legal. I've also seen blatant instances of officers being assaulted and going above and beyond the call of duty to resolve the situation safely. There is a fine line and we require cops to tread lightly about it on a daily basis as such we must give them the tools the training and the trust to do their jobs. I respect the heck out of the rank and file for the most part, but I also firmly believe that the departments and the unions are all too ready to ignore, justify and cover up actions that are at best shady and at worst felonies. I don't want witch hunts but I do think that it's only fair that investigations be cross-jurisdictional and monitored by civilians rather than anyone 'on the job'. Officers that are found to be in violation of policy should be corrected and given the opportunity to show they learned. Officers that violate the law should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and banned across the board from ever carrying a badge or a gun. Anything less than that creates a situation in which those who enforce the law aren't bound by it.
Sure they are justified, but remember who is filing the report. Anyway, let's just look at it statistically.

What are the odds that, all other things being equal, one town would have 7 police killings and the others zero or one. Those odds would be astronomical in a world of random numbers. Something else must be in play. Maybe all the bad-asses live in ABQ and hardly anywhere else. Maybe our officers shoot straighter. Maybe they are instructed to shoot to kill. Maybe they get no instruction in defusing situations. Maybe they let things get out of hand and then have no choice but to shoot. Maybe 'suicide by cop' is SOP for both the perp and the police. Maybe we recruit the wrong kind of people into the department. Maybe they are understaffed. Maybe the image of their leader Darren White seems to be too understanding in the use of deadly force.

What ever it is, there is something different about Albuquerque! In the past it was always kind of anecdotal, but this year's heavy numbers of police mortal encounters is really telling the tale.

Maybe the ABQ Journal ought to follow up on this story rather than some of the repetitive junk on John Dantis. There is definitely a story here. The question is...What exactly is it?
Great post, Johnny.

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