It seems like almost every day we hear a new report of the police killing an unarmed person. The latest to come to my attention was last week in LA, where two officers shot and killed a homeless man. After viewing video of the shooting, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said:
“Any time an unarmed person is shot by a Los Angeles police officer, it takes extraordinary circumstances to justify that. I have not seen those extraordinary circumstances.”
And, of course, the police union has slammed Beck for “rushing to judgment.” This was the same response in Baltimore after six officers were charged with homicide and other crimes in the death of Freddie Gray. There, an attorney for the officers accused the state’s attorney of an “egregious rush to judgement“.
I have to admit to a little bit of schadenfreude when I see these officers getting a view of our justice system from behind bars. Maybe if a few of them are actually prosecuted for these killings their colleagues everywhere might think a little more carefully before pulling that trigger in the future.