Monday, August 13, 2012

No Surprise, Unfortunately

Two officers fired 12 shots at the man, Darrius H. Kennedy, after he ignored their orders on Saturday to drop the long kitchen knife he had been waving as he skipped backward down Seventh Avenue, frightening the tourists wandering around on a summer day, police officials said.  ...
Police officials said they did not know whether Mr. Kennedy, 51, had a history of mental troubles. But they said that in October 2008, he was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center for a psychiatric evaluation after he was found knocking over garbage cans in Times Square. Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman, said he did not know the results of that evaluation.
A month later, in November 2008, Mr. Kennedy was arrested near Lincoln Center after he threatened to harm police officers with a screwdriver when they tried to stop him from harassing drivers on Broadway, Mr. Browne said. He was sentenced to 40 days in jail for resisting arrest.
I can't blame the police for their actions in a case like this.  Yes, a Taser would be a good choice, but when you have to make split second decisions like this, hoping that a Taser will do the job is likely wishful thinking.

I do blame a system that thinks it is more humane for mentally ill people to wander the streets instead of hospitalization.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

How long before Obama/Biden blame Romney/Ryan for this! Oh wait, he was using a knife and not a gun....

mollo said...

And it seems that the shooting down in Texas next to Texas A&M is connected to mental illness too. The mother of the shooter released a statement saying he'd been "ill".

Gladorn said...

You state that a Taser may have been more appropriate in this situation. Unfortunately, less than lethal equipment is not always available. Tasers are often unavailable due to 1) cost, 2) appearance of impropriety, or 3) merely because the officer may not have room on their belt for more gear.

While it would be nice to think that a Taser was available, I would assume that such an item was not available. While I have not been to NYC in a few years, I don't recall seeing any officer carrying a Taser.

Clayton said...

Curious. Everywhere I go in Idaho I see police carrying Tasers. New York City, because of its strict gun control policies, would seem a place even better suited to the use of a Taser than Idaho.

Anonymous said...

Not a Taser, but he was pepper sprayed half a dozen times before he was shot.

Clayton said...

That's an unfortunate reminder that there are times that less lethal weapons just aren't sufficient.