If you haven’t noticed, things have been a bit touchy on the Police/minority relations front. When a man was shot and killed by LAPD officers Friday night in a tourist heavy area and initial street gossip was the man was unarmed…well, a minor shit-storm popped up on Twitter.
The LAPD responded quickly, tweeting an image of a Swiss Army-style pocketknife. Some folks focused on the knife’s diminutive size. It doesn’t matter what the pointy object is, or even pointy at all, a man was recently convicted of killing his wife’s paramour with a butter-knife.
I am not going to take a position on this incident in particular as early reports have proven time and again to be garbage at best, narrative-feeding at worst. For a great read on media-malfeasance and solutions, check out “Dear Media: How not to screw up the next Ferguson”.
What I will say is that it is always appropriate for civilians to have robust oversight of the Police. So it is not out of line to question whether less lethal tactics should be attempted when confronting a knife. An assailant recently wounded 4 people on an Amtrak train before being subdued by officers with a taser. I don’t know if it would have been appropriate in the LA case, but it is possible.
“Police said they were responding to a call reporting an assault with a deadly weapon at the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue. When they arrived at the intersection, they found a man with a combination pocket knife, who allegedly approached officers, according to NBC Los Angeles,. Bruce Cherry, a witness to the incident, told CBS Los Angeles that “when they told him to get down and comply, he did not at all.” According to Cherry, cops fired when the man reached his hands into his pockets.”
More on this if the situation warrants and as facts become available.