This past Thursday in Reno, Nevada, a school resource officer shot a student who was allegedly brandishing a knife at Hug High School. The teen was ordered to drop his weapon but when he failed to comply he was shot. The 14-year-old student is currently in critical condition but is expected to survive.
Many in the community, including the suspect’s family, think that the level of force used was excessive. Through their lawyer the family said…
“There are many questions to be answered as to what happened and what could have been done to avoid the use of lethal force,” the boy’s family said in a statement Thursday.
“We believe options were available to law enforcement that were not pursued,” the family said, adding: “All matters will be fully investigated and all answers necessary sought out.”
While it was not mentioned in this instance yet, in previous similar instances some people have asked why couldn’t the officer have shot the suspect in the leg or shoulder. As I have mentioned before, shooting a suspect like that is nothing more than Hollywood movie magic. Police are trained that if it is necessary to fire on a suspect they are instructed to aim at center mass, specifically meaning the center of the torso.
I’m not saying that the suspect was on his way to committing an attack like that at Mountain View High School, but what if the student had stabbed and killed someone before police acted. Then we’d be asking why police didn’t do enough?
While not every cop is a stalwart of society, many of them have a thankless task, and in today’s climate they must feel like that any move they make to protect the public could be seen as malicious. However what you don’t hear about is all the instances where police have done their jobs without incident in order to protect the public they’re sworn to serve.
UPDATE 12/12/2016: The suspect was said to have been bullied. These claims always seem to surface when an incident like this occurs but rarely ever proves to be true. If that even was the case, when you don’t surrender a weapon at the request of police, they have to make a split second decision to determine if you’re a threat to others. If you are it shouldn’t come as a shock when you’re shot.