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Should this Officer be Fired?

Short story, 2 boys standing on a street corner in Philly. One is ID'd as someone wanted for questioning on another case. They activate their lights and rollup. One of the boys shoots at the police car shattering the back window. The officers each fired one shot back at him and miss, he flees. One officer takes cover while the other takes chase and shoots him twice more in the back, killing him. They decline to disclose if he was still in possession of the weapon upon his death. The weapon (a stolen 9mm) is recovered at the scene. The perp shot is 12 yrs old. The Police Commissioner made the decision to use "Commissioner's Direct Action" to suspended the officer with the intent to dismiss him in 30 days for violation of their use of force policy.. You can read the story here.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/philadelphia-officer-12-year-old-boy-fatally-shot-to-be-fired

IMHO there is a whole bunch wrong with this story. First off, he's not black so if not for the fact that he is only 12 yrs old this story would have stayed in Philly, just another gang banger killed in a shootout with police. Second, why is the Commissioner using a special provision to suspend the officer? This would be the responsibility of the Officer's Captain unless the Captain is refusing to take that action (perhaps deemed a justified shoot?). Third, why is the Commissioner declining to say whether he still had the weapon when he was shot.

Regardless of his age, he was in possession of a stolen handgun and shot at the Police who were just pulling up so they were obviously not even brandishing weapons at the time, he was a menace to society. The only part I question is that he was shot twice in the back while fleeing, but if the officer did not know whether or not he was still armed then he could have been going for cover before shooting again. In my state that would be a clear violation by an armed citizen as our laws are that once he was fleeing he was no longer a threat. But I also would not be responsible for chasing him down and apprehending him without knowing if he is still armed and if he is going to turn and take another shot at me.

I was recently at a seminar hosted by US Law Shield concerning what to expect of contact with police when armed and after a shooting. The guest speaker was an undercover police officer and he talked about the physical and psychological affects on someone involved in a shooting including himself when he was involved in a few gun battles and although he did not state that he had ever chased anyone down shooting him in the back he did state that you better have a plan A, B, and C because its easy to say what you would do in a gunfight but that everything changes when the bullet start flying. When shot at, your immediate response is a reaction to stop the threat any way necessary. I was also brought up in an era when if you shot at the police, the gloves are off and you deserved whatever you get.
 

Old_Me

Hellcat
get this commissioners last name:....Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw

shooting in the back is a no-no for civilians to shoot a fleeing person, but cops (i thought) are allowed?

the kid shot at the cops, as far as i can see, the cop put down a thug.

i think too this has to do with all the cry babies and sissies, that want to defund the police.

we need good old fashion skull cracking cops, to put down and out the thugs life.
 

Annihilator

SAINT
Founding Member
get this commissioners last name:....Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw

shooting in the back is a no-no for civilians to shoot a fleeing person, but cops (i thought) are allowed?

the kid shot at the cops, as far as i can see, the cop put down a thug.

i think too this has to do with all the cry babies and sissies, that want to defund the police.

we need good old fashion skull cracking cops, to put down and out the thugs life.
Agree….☝️☝️☝️☝️
 

TidalWave

Professional
get this commissioners last name:....Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw

shooting in the back is a no-no for civilians to shoot a fleeing person, but cops (i thought) are allowed?

the kid shot at the cops, as far as i can see, the cop put down a thug.

i think too this has to do with all the cry babies and sissies, that want to defund the police.

we need good old fashion skull cracking cops, to put down and out the thugs life.
Personally, I have to reserve judgment on this one until I know more, but your 4th point is dead-on target.
 

papa

Professional
Founding Member
What is truly needed to put a stop to the escalating crime wave are D.A.s and judges that will throw the book at these thugs . All of them ! Many things wrong and it starts with the parents. 12 years old with a gun plus shooting at cops ..... if the kid will shoot at cops he would shoot at anyone. Where are his parents ?

No cash bond .... yeah , how is that working out ? Cal. won't prosecute petty crimes such as shop lifting .... hows that working for them ? It just goes on and on and I am sick of it.

It saddens me to no end to hear these stories of young kids who should be out playing hide and seek , carrying guns and shooting at people. :cry:
 

Magnum50

Operator
Not knowing the whole story... and really wanting to know IF he still had the gun on him. If he did then I would say justified, you don't know if he plans on ambushing the officer, or carjacking someone else. All depends on if he still had that gun in hand. IMO.

Supporting story... lucky for me he wasn't a 12-year-old but 30. The guy robbed a bar then was running down our main street towards a large group of people outside other bars and restaurants. I made the decision to shoot because he just committed a felony, still had the gun in hand, and heading towards more people. Shot center in the back, paralyzed today, not dead. jmo
 

Old_Me

Hellcat
…so one out of the four officers chose to pursue him? Hmm.
The boy was shot in the back while fleeing, and we aren’t told if he still had the handgun? Hmm.

Offhand, I am guessing his termination is the easiest - and perhaps best - solution to this mess.
Need more info.
that's the bottom line, we NEED MORE information.

but to me, if i were a cop? and someone shot at me, or my partner (if i was to have one), i'd have to go after that thug, no matter the age, or color of it's skin, or social standing, and shoot back.

to me, even though there IS a difference, say i was the cop, but in the army, boots on the ground, in the battlefield of war, and some child walks up to me with a bomb vest or hand grenade.....i ain't supposed to take out his life, and just let the little :poop: take out my life, or the lives of my buddies...???

screw the punk 12 year old, screw the anti cop mentality, screw the politics of a city ruling regarding reactions to threats.
 

Old_Me

Hellcat
As my son who's been in a LEO for twenty years says that today officers are not paid for what they do, they're paid for what they don't do. If this officer had acted as the other 3 he'd be still on the job.
and it's that mentality some cities have, that we don't need armed cops, "to protect and serve", we need unarmed "rent-a-cops" that are always found at any shopping mall.
 

Magnum50

Operator
As my son who's been in a LEO for twenty years says that today officers are not paid for what they do, they're paid for what they don't do. If this officer had acted as the other 3 he'd be still on the job.

Maybe in todays America... but there was a time police were encouraged, hell they could face disciplinary problems if they failed to act. It use to be you never back down, they escalate you respond.
 

Roadrunner

Operator
As already said more info is needed,But wether he was 12 or not he knew enough to be already wanted by the cops,have a gun and shoot at them.
Story goes not sure if he still had the gun in his hand he shot at the cops with,but who knows if he had another gun on him and would have used it to shoot someone else.
 

wmg1299

Professional
Like most, I would need more info to make a call. As far as shooting in the back goes, it is not as straightforward as most people seem to think. I've been a part of several deadly force investigations, and have followed the research conducted by the Force Science Institute on the subject.

When someone makes an intentional decision to shoot, they are essentially firing at "what was there" at the time they made the decision. Reaction time in trained individuals (civilian or cop) generally ranges from .5 seconds to 1.5 seconds. A person's reaction time is affected by numerous factors (age, health, level of training, etc.) Once a person decides to take this type of action, it is nearly impossible for most people to stop or change course. Is it possible for someone to have been facing you when you decided to shoot, but have their back turned by the time you actually shot? Yes. Does that mean that is definitely what happened in this case? No.

A common scenario revealed by body-worn camera footage occurs when a fleeing suspect removes a gun from their waistband while running. The officer sees the gun being drawn, assumes the suspect is going to start shooting, and makes the decision to fire. As the officer draws and fires his/her weapon, the suspect drops or tosses the gun away instead of firing. When the officer decided to shoot, the suspect was armed and could reasonably have been assumed to be a deadly threat. When the officer actually fired, he/she was shooting an unarmed and fleeing suspect in the back. I do not have any idea if this is what happened in this case, but it is becoming a fairly common occurrence in police shootings.
 

KillerFord1977

Ronin
Founding Member
Problem number one is the person, regardless of age, fired upon police still in their vehicle, while the flashing lights were on. This identified them as police and not other persons.

Shoot at the cops and, well, what did you expect was going to happen.

Edit: a post script
Firing at an LEO, while in their capacity, identifed as such LEO, all bets should be off. You knowingly pulled the trigger on an officer. I’ll leave it at that …no further comment your honor
 
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Ranger715

Elite
Never take such a news story at face value. We can't know whether it was a good shoot or not because we weren't there and just don't have all the facts. Judgement should be reserved, and the benefit of the doubt given. Any officer should be judged only by what they perceived and had reason to believe in that particular moment, not by what everybody else found out afterwards.

As to the general question of "shooting in the back," there are lots of reasons why that might be justified. Fleeing suspects might be perceived as a threat to others in the area. A fleeing suspect may point their gun behind them as they flee. A fleeing suspect might stop, turn and fire, then turn and run some more. By the time the responding officer processes the threat and responds with return fire, the suspect has turned and gets "shot in the back" before the officer even realizes it. We are talking about life and death perceptions, decisions and reactions in fractions of seconds. We should not demand perfection from any human being under such circumstances, just basic "reasonableness."

And, of course, a 12 year old shooting at you is just as deadly as a 21 year old. What are you supposed to do? He knew what he was doing.
 

benstt

Professional
Founding Member
Based on the facts provided, he should be in jail. Cops can't, or shouldn't be allowed to, kill unless they are in present danger of death or severe injury. I don't care if the kid has a gun. If he's fleeing, find him later. Shoot a fleeing suspect in the back? Enjoy gen pop, cop. Same as high speed chases. ID the person, back off, get them at a not-deadly time. It troubles me greatly to hear people support killing a "thug." It's innocent until proven guilty in this country; we aren't Russia or Iran. And never forget, we've all committed felonies in our life, often without realizing it. As to benefit of the doubt, that's a two way street. Sure, give it to the cop, that's fair. But also give it to the dead kid. You can't label someone a threat for what they might do. The guy with a CCW permit and a smell of ETOH in the car at a DWI stop might get froggy, too, but you can't shoot him over what he might do. If he turns with the gun, he's fair game. Not until then. Until then, it's murder.
 
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