Crime and Punishment

NSFW Image of the day: Blue Lives Matter

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The Officer was barely wounded by what turns out to have been another Officer’s taser. That isn’t the point.

Our Editorial position at TTAK with regards to police shooting knife-wielding suspects is that greater effort should be made to attempt less-lethal takedown when officers have significant backup on the scene . There are plenty of examples where there are several officers at a standoff distance and no one even attempts a taser or beanbag before police resort to their sidearm. There are many examples from the U.S. and abroad where less-lethal means have been effective at disarming a suspect.

That said, if an officer does not have backup or the situation has degenerated to where a suspect is actually in contact with an officer, all bets are off. Deadly force is certainly justified in most cases. Less-lethal means are not 100% effective and by no means do I believe that officers do not have the right to defend themselves.

I bring this up because the NYPD is being sued over the 2012 shooting of a mentally ill man with a knife. The police have released the photo above as proof of injury. The family argues that it is proof of an overreaction.  It turns out that a taser was attempted. The marks on Officer Edwin Mateo are from that taser which hit him instead of the suspect.

NSFW Image below the jump

From NY Daily News:

Documents filed by the city arguing that the 2012 police killing of Mohamed Bah was justified include a photograph of the “wound” that an NYPD officer allegedly suffered before crying out, “Shoot him, he’s stabbing me!”

The cops then opened fire…

…After the killing in Harlem, it emerged that Mateo thought he was being stabbed by Bah, 28, when in reality he’d been zapped by another cop’s stun gun.

The article continues:

Nevertheless, the city included the image showing the “knife injury” in documents asking Manhattan Federal Judge Kevin Castel to toss the suit.

The new papers say the killing was justified because Bah, nude and brandishing a 13-inch kitchen knife, surprised cops outside his Harlem apartment by pulling open the door and rushing them.

The city says he ignored orders to drop the knife, leaving police no choice.

The Emergency Service Unit cops went to the apartment following a 911 call from Bah’s mother, who reported that her son was acting strangely.

“No reasonably competent officer would have concluded that the use of lethal force in this tense, fast-evolving situation . . . was not necessary,” the city argued in court papers.

But it was unclear if the city’s position was that Bah did stab Mateo, even though Mateo said in a deposition that he wasn’t stabbed.

I personally do not think that whether or not Mateo was stabbed is key to the case. To be legally justified (ymmv- consult a local lawyer), an officer (or civilian for that matter) must honestly believe that they or a nearby victim faces imminent injury or death. A chaotic situation where an armed assailant is in contact with an officer certainly qualifies.

He only had a knife” is no argument against a police shooting. The police officers in the pictures below were only wounded. They were “lucky”.

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Discussion

One response to “NSFW Image of the day: Blue Lives Matter

  1. The biggest threat to police officers seems to be other police officers. They kill and wound each other at a far greater rate than any other group in the world(outside of warzones). Which is strange since it’s a relatively safe profession(I mean they don’t die nearly as much as trashmen or roofers).

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