Another one, even worse. Tulsa officials have charged Reserve Deputy Robert Bates, 73 - a wannabee cop who donated thousands of dollars of stuff to the sheriff's office - with manslaughter after he mistook his gun for a Taser and fatally shot in the back fleeing suspect Eric Harris. There are so many awful parts to this story it's hard to pinpoint the worst, but it's probably the breathtakingly savage moments when, as Harris lies dying, a horde of venomous cops cuss him out. One commenter to America: "Stop. Killing. Us."
F#ck Your Breath: Rich White Elderly Executive Playing Cop 'Mistakenly' Shoots Unarmed Black Guy Who Dies Having Obscenities Screamed At Him
"Capture errors" really do occur, and quite often. The person doesn't even need to be stressed. One example from the literature is a prof who went up to his bedroom to fetch a book but got undressed and climbed into bed because that was the usual thing he did when going up to his bedroom. It took him nearly a minute to work out "what's wrong with this picture" and resume doing what he intended to do.
Which is why tasers should be completely dissimilar in shape, size, and color to firearms, while firearms should have spiky handgrips and be carried on a harder-to-reach part of the body so that the movements and tactile feedback of preparing to use them would (perhaps) clue the cop that he's about to use the wrong weapon.
Firing vicious cops would help, too.
One thing that should be noted is that these Police are acting exactly according to their training....that is just what is so mind blowing. This is perfect Trained Response.
If you watch the video of the Walter Scott murder, the officer is in perfect stance.
Legs in a T stance, arms stretched, perfectly still, executing his targeting response.
No wiggle, no distracted motions, no second thought...actually no stress response at all.
He even had the presence of mind to move evidence during the killing.
This is not a stress response, this IS Police Trained Response.
But is the behavior described in your example really comparable to what Bates did?
The professor who got into bed instead of fetching an object did so because the trip upstairs to his bedroom was something that he did every day, possibly multiple times. He was responding to ingrained habit.
But Bates was in an entirely new situation (unless he regularly chases and guns down black people) so force of habit cannot be the excuse,
I'm sure that others are noting the similarities between this incident and the killing of Oscar Grant (depicted in the film Fruitvale Station). The officer who killed Grant made the same claim as Bates; he served time (certainly not enough but at least some). It appears, though, that his connections may keep Bates from serious punishment.
The real issue in this story is allowing untrained civilians such as Bates to have a role in police work. Unless I'm misreading the video, it appears that Bates' shot could have easily struck one the officers around Harris.
I hope all of the police officers (and wannabes!) involved are now serving long prison sentences.
I agree the situations are all different in the individual scenarios.
The point common to all these killings is that these officers are acting according to the training as it is in the field.
Be it the Group Thug in NYC or the Targeting Response, or in this case, the Armed Incompetent, this IS how current Training in the field plays out.
One of the worst things recently discovered in the Albuquerque PD rework, was that the local officers "got" to have training days at the Terrorist Training facility at DOE. This hardly reinforced integrated neighborhood policing techniques.
So when they place pictures of Black Men as targets on the range, it is training for a specific response.
This is trained response, not happenstance.
All true. My question is, though--what difference are we seeing between this old creep playing cop and the response of the supposedly trained professionals? Same incompetence, same viciousness, same innate stupidity.
I don't believe this was a mistake - the remark about the tazer was just cover for the deliberate shooting. Why would they treat the dying man so utterly monstrously unless they intended to kill him?
Cops are quintessentially USAn - that is, they are all savage racist thugs.
Try the make believe cop for the crime of murder.
Fire the police who mocked the dying man. How barbaric and cruel can they be.
Hire a ton of blacks to be police.
Urge the governors to act against police terrorism.
I'm not trying to suggest that that's what explains Bates's behavior, just that capture errors do occur, and they don't really need a lot of rehearsal. Another example from the literature is a prof who, one day, constantly had people coming to his office. They'd knock on the door, he'd yell "come in!", and this repeated itself all morning. So when his phone rang after lunch, he yelled "come in!" and waited for the door to open. When it rang a second time, he yelled "come in!!!" and only then realised that it was the phone not the door. (The same thing, in reverse, also happened, to someone else. The person had been being interrupted by phonecalls all morning so that when someone knocked on his door he yelled "Hello!" at it.)
I'd have to know more about the circumstances before I'd believe Bates suffered a capture error, though. It sounds to me more like lethal over-focus: he was so eager to "be a cop" that he was running the "how to shoot like a cop" script in his head and not perceiving the feedback he was getting from the pistol that he was about to pull the trigger on a firearm, not a taser. Which is why I'd suggest that tasers be made to an entirely different model so that every bit of the tactile feedback is different to that from a pistol. E.g., two-hand operation requiring both thumbs to fire the dart.
'...Which is why I'd suggest that tasers be made to an entirely different model so that every bit of the tactile feedback is different to that from a pistol. E.g., two-hand operation requiring both thumbs to fire the dart.'
Better yet, requiring three thumbs and an elbow.
But then they'd have to put down their doughnuts.
One problem I have is the pseudo-cop fired so quickly. Shouldn't the safety have been on to keep from shooting himself while in the car? I can't imagine it wasn't and the operation of taking off the safety is very different from firing a taser. Somebody is not being truthful about this incident.
I think you're right.
Just another example of capture error: yesterday I got on the 4 bus, but the driver started driving the 6 route. Drivers and buses switch routes all the time so that they don't get bored, so I thought he might have switched the route sign to a 6 after I got on at the depot. But I went up to the front and said "this might be a really dumb question, but is this not the 4 bus?" He looked wildly around, muttered "shit" under his breath, and did a u-turn in the middle of the street, which was a pretty good trick for a city bus, only bottoming-out a little as the offside wheels went over the far curb. He then drove the 4 route and when I got off thanked me for my question, saying that when he saw me making my way toward him he had an idea that there was something he was missing, but he couldn't think what it was. Hadn't it been for my question, he said, he'd probably have driven the whole 6 route confusing absolutely everybody.