From a retired police officer here. No, he would not have been justified in my opinion. The fact that he is alive and the Black man is alive is proof that he would not be justified to shoot the man. He didn't have to. He was strong enough and brave enough to hold out until backup arrived and he did. It's too bad he didn't get that commendation - it would have been a step toward getting the police back on the right track.

Anyone can shoot someone. Police are trained, or should be trained, not to have to.

Yes, there are situations where there is no alternative. Then we shoot. But only as an absolute last resort to save one's life or the life of a third party.

I'm so ashamed sometimes to say I spent a large portion of my life as a police officer, and I know other, older officers and retirees who are, too. We were not afraid to fight. We knew we were paid to and expected to take the risk. The ones who shoot when they didn't have to, or choke when it's unnecessary, or sit on or stand on people rendering them unable to breathe are chicken shit cowards and until we make that crystal clear to the entire law enforcement profession, the police will continue to shoot first and ask questions later.

Thank you for this important piece. It is on point.

Former print journalist, former mayor, retired law enforcement officer. Writing about politics and government along with random personal essays.

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