Friday, November 16, 2007

Man, 18, Is Fatally Shot by Police in Brooklyn: A young man was fatally shot last night in a hail of 20 bullets fired by five police officers who responded to his mother’s 911 call for help in a domestic dispute in Brooklyn, the authorities said.

The police said they believed that the man, Khiel Coppin, 18, had a gun. But when the gunfire stopped, it turned out that he had been holding a hairbrush.

What is it about American police officers that leads them to make such absurd judgments? You would think that the first five or six shots which were not responded to by the hair brush would prompt officers to reconsider their course of action. Twenty shots betrays an alarming lack of restraint, much like the unfortunate case of Amadou Diallo, who was shot forty-one times by New York police who mistook his wallet for a gun. The reckless use of a taser, which remain something of an unknown quantity, by the RCMP in Vancouver is still more evidence against the belief that police officers are more trained to handle dangerous situations than you and I.

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