LAPD shootings of unstable people wielding sharp objects a deadly problem

Any weapons less that a firearm are less sensational but can be just as deadly. People can be kill by hands and feet. It shouldn’t be shocking that that a sizable percentage of deadly attacks on police occur with weapons other than guns.

While LAPD shootings have dramatically declined in recent decades, scrutiny has grown in recent months of shootings where mentally ill, intoxicated or homeless people are shot by police while armed not with firearms but with knives, swords, heavy tools or other blunt objects, reports the Los Angeles Times. Police officials say such weapons represent real, imminent threats, but critics claim the danger is exaggerated and that officers are too quick to pull the trigger. The situation is another reason that many want mental health clinicians to take over calls from cops. LAPD data reviewed by The Los Angeles Times show suspects were allegedly armed with “edged weapons” in about 18 percent of police shootings between 2015 and 2019, and with “impact devices” like bats in 4 percent. In 2020, edged weapons were identified in 23 percent of cases.

See the news article HERE

2 thoughts on “LAPD shootings of unstable people wielding sharp objects a deadly problem

  1. Regarding the police: I believe that to have a reasonable idea of how police officers will perform their job, one must understand what underlying nature/desire motivated them to their profession to start with. There are people who sincerely pursue and attain their position of authority, however armed, to help their fellow human beings. But I believe that many, if not most, law-enforcers — be they private-property security, community police, prison guards or heavily-armed rapid-response police units — have targeted/acquired such authoritative fields of employment for ‘power-trip’ reasons, albeit perhaps subconsciously. It may be their nature.

    Society, including me, undoubtedly needs law-enforcers, especially to protect the law-abiding and most vulnerable people. Still, should we ignore the fact that it’s a profession in which they might get to, for example, storm into suspects’ homes, screaming, with fully-automatic machineguns or handguns drawn, at the homes’ occupants (to “face down!”), all of whom, including infants, can be permanently traumatized from the experience. Occasionally the law-enforcers force their way into the wrong home, altogether; that is when open-fire can and does occur, followed by wrongful deaths to be ‘impartially’ investigated.

    Problematically, there may be many people who are in such an armed authority capacity that were reared with an irrational distrust or baseless dislike of people of other races. Those who deliberately get into such professions of (potential or actual) physical authority might do some honest soul-searching as to truly why. As an intensely focused introvert, I know I would.


    1. I posted this article because It shows a few points about how weapons like knives are deadly. First it is almost impossible to predict when a police call will become dangerous or deadly. Probably 99% are not deadly but 1,000’s of everyday police calls are dangerous and many more can potentially turn deadly. Often when a call turns dangerous it does so rapidly and the officer has to respond to the unknown threat which puts the officer in an immediate disadvantage.

      Strictly speaking with a knife or sharp edge weapon there is something called the 21-foot rule, which is a rule to remind an officer that a person with a weapon 21 feet away could pull a weapon move in close enough to attack successfully without the officer defending himself. So a person with a knife 21 feet a way is a serious threat. Officers have to protect not only themselves but any victims, bystanders, and the attacker. This is why when an attacker threatens an officer with a knife the officer can’t just drive away to end the problem. The attacker can turn their attention to other people in the area and if that happens the officer is responsible for not doing anything to stop the initial threat. Of course the officer should try to de-escalate and use less lethal options if possible. Officers are not trained in combat to disarm someone with a knife. Training officers to shoot at certain areas like an limb will add to confusion and may increase the cost of a life to the officer or victims.

      Finally in the example you give where officers enter a home and secure the people in the house on the floor and then clear the house like you see in a “drug raid”. These type of scenarios might happen 30-40 times a day across the nation during search warrant, drug raids, or even burglary or robbery in progress calls yet we don’t hear of any mishaps because mistakes are rare and the police are trained well.


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