atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#4984: White Wednesday again

This time, though, I won't be working in a hypernoisy store having to deal with 50,000,000 insane morons who are there to get a TV below cost. No cash registers, and there'll be scheduled breaks and a moderately pleasant office environment.

It's a new job and a new paradigm so I'm not entirely sure what to expect, but I do know that the usual retail horseshit will be mercifully absent.

This is progress.

* * *

This was the big announcement the other day, a press conference that interrupted Mrs. Fungus' off-day afternoon TV.

Short form: 17-year-old future Rhodes scholar is walking down the middle of a road with a knife, steeped to the gills on PCP (probably from the choir practice session he just left). Cop attempts to deal with him, and in the process, the teenager lunges at the cop, who proceeds to fill him full of holes.

Plus side: unlike most such situations, the cop actually hit the target. The choir boy in question was hit sixteen times. Usually when cops unload on a target you see ludicrously low hit rates (e.g. 80 rounds expended, three hits). I refuse to watch a video of an actual homicide, so I have no idea how many cops were actually shooting nor do I know how many rounds were actually fired, but I can see a typical handgun having a 16-round magazine; for most handguns, much more than that would require reloading. And since it's one cop being charged, I assume he was the only one shooting. If one officer fired sixteen rounds and they all hit what he was shooting at, then he has exemplary marksmanship for a cop.

I have mixed feelings about all this.

Look: the decedent was not innocent; he was high on an animal tranquilizer which is well-known to prompt psychotic behavior, and he was carrying a weapon. Further he was walking down the middle of a busy street. His responsibility for his behavior comes from taking PCP in the first place.

On the other hand, the police response to a hop-head with a knife was amazingly, incredibly disproportionate. The kid "lunged" at him with a 3-inch folding knife, so he unloaded his magazine into him? Continuing to shoot after the kid was laying on the ground, until the gun was empty? He had no other options available to him? He couldn't stop to assess the situation once the perp was on the ground?

The one thing which is clear to me is that if you're a cop who's afraid of fighting, you're in the wrong damned job. You are supposedly trained to deal with people in a variety of situations, including violent ones where they have various kinds of weapons; when you're not facing another gun, your default response should not be "shoot him until you run out of bullets". If you are incapable of facing (or unwilling to face) an opponent without a gun in your hand, your training for your chosen profession is deficient and you are relying on lethal force far too much. Your job is to arrest, not to execute. You chose this career, you went through training and evaluation to do it, you remain in the job even after learning the ins and outs of what it's like on a day-to-day basis--if you cannot make an arrest unless the suspect gives meek compliance, if you must kill those who resist, you're not fit for the job. Find another career.

Still, here is another take on the story which makes perfect sense to me. This take says the first two bullets were justified, which makes perfect sense; it's the other fourteen that are problematic.

PCP is bad shit, and when you're hopped up on that crap you don't feel pain. You don't feel it when your body gives feedback telling you to ease off, so you're stronger and harder to stop. In the process you wreck yourself doing stuff beyond your ordinary performance levels, but you won't feel that for hours. I can understand why someone would unload on a person in that state...but the point is that the cops are supposed to be trained not to.

* * *

About that last link--it must be nice to live in a town, by the way, where cops have so little to do they can waste time busting little old ladies playing Majohng with a $4 limit.

* * *

I am hearing that Al Qaeda blew up some ISIS leaders. Where's the damned popcorn??

* * *

It weighs less than 32 pounds, can perform 55,000 operations per second, and costs a mere $35,000!

* * *

Sticking the landing like a boss. It's a ballistic trajectory rather than a ride to orbit, but the rocket goes up, then comes down, and lands itself without using a parachute. That is reusability, right there.

* * *

Time to hit the showers--much to do today.

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