This Is How You Detain an Armed Suspect Without Shooting Him to Death
The news: St. Louis-area cops are having an ugly summer.
Less than two weeks after officer Darren Wilson murdered Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., two other officers shot black 25-year-old Kajieme Powell nine times in St. Louis before handcuffing his corpse and reinvigorating backlash from fed-up residents.
Unlike the unarmed Brown, Powell allegedly had a knife. But questions have since arisen as to whether nine shots were necessary to quell the latter incident, where the mentally ill 25-year-old allegedly stole two energy drinks from a nearby drug store.
Nevertheless, "shoot to kill" seems to be the mantra in St. Louis, no matter the offense. Imagine how stunned they'd be if they saw this video of London police detaining a man wielding a much larger knife than Powell's, using only their brains and a taser:
Shocking: Revolutionary though it may seem, lethal force is not always necessary to resolve dangerous encounters.
Addicting Info argues these similar-yet-divergent incidents highlight a fundamental difference of approach between American police and law enforcement elsewhere. Cops in England and Wales discharged their firearms just five times in 2011-12, and just twice fatally, according to Addicting Info. On the other hand, American police kill an estimated 400 people a year (though it's important to note that gun ownership in the U.S. outstrips that of England and Wales about 15 times over).
Not to mention: The racialized nature of police violence in the U.S. has led to nationwide protests over the past two weeks. The staggering weaponry at Ferguson cops' disposal has also drawn unfavorable attention to 1033, a government program that enables the Pentagon to supply local police departments with military-grade firearms and equipment.
Image Credit: AP
It's clear that many Americans feel police tactics need an overhaul, and continued trigger-happiness bodes poorly for how law enforcement is perceived moving forward. One can only hope change comes sooner rather than later. Luckily, our friends across the pond are setting a clear example we can all follow.
h/t Addicting Info