Police officer shoots a violent suspect about 12 times in Maryland, USsteemCreated with Sketch.

in Politics8 months ago

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Oftentimes after police use their firearms we hear a familiar refrain, "did they have to shoot him this many times?" The answer, of course, differs from one occasion to another. And I will be the first to state that situations when police use force without good reason - including unjustified uses of deadly force - do indeed occur.

But it is also important to realize that, contrary to what one may see in movies and contrary to a popular myths, bullets do not possess major powers and no, you do not necessarily collapse or even die as soon as one hits your body.

To illustrate this, let us go over this one story. On Saturday, 6 February 2021 police in Montgomery County, Maryland got a call about a man driving erratically and hitting several vehicles in the process. The first officer to encounter then man, the 52-year-old named Kevin Costlow, was Sergeant Frank Pruitt. He tried to communicate to Costlow but that did not work well, Costlow started attacking Pruitt with a large stick. Pruitt tried to use non-lethal force to stop Costlow but his multiple attempts to stop him using a tazer (an electric shock weapon) did not work. Unfortunately, at that point Pruitt felt - and quite reasonably, in my humble opinion - that the only effective way to defend himself at that point was by using his firearm. Which he did - but he had to fire what looks like about 12 shots into Costlow before Costlow actually went down.

It is very unfortunate when major, especially lethal, violence has to be applied to a person in defense of others. But sometimes that is the only way to stop a violent individual. At least at this point in time, we don't have a better way to address such situations. And the myth that you shoot someone once and that always takes them down or at least stops their aggression is just that - a myth.

Sources

it took 12 shots point blank to take down this suspect
Donut Operator, Youtube, 18 February 2021

Montgomery County sheriff's deputy shoots, kills man who struck him with a large piece of wood, authorities say
Matt Pusatory, WUSA9, 9 February 2021

Originally published here on 27 February 2021.

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