The interwebs got themselves in a big old knot over a dead lion. Trophy hunting isn’t my thing though I understand the important role it plays in conservation. If Palmer did act unethically he deserves harsh punishment. Even if it turns out that the hunt was actually legal and the lion was not poached, the anti-hunters don’t care. They want to tar all hunters as blood-lusting maniacs, to advance a political agenda.
A similar situation is unfolding with regards to police use of deadly force. I have several friends and family members who are in law-enforcement, all of whom I respect greatly. When there is a shooting or other incident, there is a race to the cameras to try to paint all police as reckless. Unscrupulous vermin exploit the situation for political gain, the facts of the case be damned.
I have been critical of individual incidents, and as a rule if there are multiple officers and someone with a knife is outside of the “21 foot boundary“, I believe a taser or pepper spray ought to be attempted if possible. If an officer is alone or the weapon is presented at a closer distance, I am much more sympathetic to that officer’s actions. That is why I am critical of the Tamir Rice shooting in Cleveland and the shooting of Kajieme Powell in St. Louis. In both of these cases police pulled up to the scene without leaving any time or space to assess the situation, and while their actions might legally be justified at the time the trigger was pulled, a more cautious approach might have allowed the situations to unfold differently.
However, if I am going to use my position as a quasi-journalist to opine on police misconduct, I should also use my megaphone to offer kudos for a job well done. In the video at the top of this piece Port Clinton, OH police approach and confront the suspect from a safe distance, and manage to take the perp down successfully with a taser. You can read more from 13abc.com.
I did a quick google sarch for: “suicidal man with knife shot by police“. I got 2.5 million hits. Obviously there is a lot of duplication of stories, but simply flipping through several pages allows one to compile dozens of discrete examples. I understand that “suicide by cop” is a thing, but the key is that the depressed individual doesn’t want to actually commit suicide. They want to die, but that is something different.
In this next video, Officer Jamie Hardy or Roanoke Rapids, NC would probably have been justified in a more dramatic escalation of the situation once the knife was presented. At the very least I am surprised that he didn’t immediately plant the guy on his face. However, he stayed calm and saved the life of 39-year old David Bundy.
“David Bundy, 39-year-old Roanoke Rapids resident, called 9-1-1, and said that he had been “hearing voices” and was feeling suicidal. An officer soon arrived at his home, where the man answered the door armed with a knife. The events were all caught on the officer’s body cam. Officer Jamie Hardy first calmly talks to the troubled man, and then uses minimal force to subdue and disarm Mr. Bundy, who is then put into protective custody — which, for once, was actually protective.
As a result, Bundy was able to take a step back from the brink, and now thanks and credits Hardy for saving his life. Not all people with suicidal thoughts are like David Bundy, and Lord knows not all police officers are like Jamie Hardy, but in this case—thanks to a body cam—we can see an ever rare video of a policeman acting like a true peace officer. More importantly, we see a man with a badge acting like a courageous but compassionate human being.
“Nobody wants to hurt anybody else…our job is, you know…protecting people,” Officer Hardy stated.”
Kudos to both the Port Clinton Police and to Officer Hardy. They deserve our respect and public acknowledgement of their brave and courageous service.