After writing my post the other week about the shooting death of a one-armed, one-legged amputee, I thought that police couldn’t sink any lower in their blatant disregard for human life. As it turns out, I was wrong. This last week, a campus policeman at the University of South Alabama opened fire on a naked and unarmed 18-year old student, killing him in cold blood.
The report is that the naked teen was on LSD, charging the officer and threatening him. The incident was caught on a surveillance camera as well, showing that the officer in question came out of the campus police station with his gun already drawn. Unfortunately, the most crucial part of the conflict occurred off-camera, so the truth may never be fully known.
Of course, how much threat could a naked man be? Aren’t the police supposed to be trained in hand-to-hand combat, as well as having a variety of non-lethal weapons on their person to deal with such emergencies? Does the first defense an officer resorts to need to be the one that’s fatal? Does this speak poorly of the training procedures or of the people they recruit into the police force?
Many people are asking those same questions and there is a protest being planned by other students to take place in front of the university police department - the same place where the student was shot. In addition, an investigation is being made into exactly what happened, two investigations in fact. One is being conducted by the police department and the other by a lawyer working for the family of the deceased.
Whatever the end result of the investigation, it is still an atrocity that police feel they have the right to discharge their weapon in anything other than a life-threatening situation. If they don’t have the ability to figure out what “life-threatening” means, then they really should be looking for other work - work where innocents are not put in danger because of their faulty judgment.