Archive for Thursday, May 2, 1991

TO THE EDITOR

May 2, 1991

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What were the options?

To the Editor:

A troubled young man sits on his bed holding a knife. His mother is worried and calls the police for "help." The police arrive and six times shoot the man six times, they shoot until he dies. I wonder if, like me, those involved have been thinking of the alternatives. Just what did the officers have at their disposal? Helmets, gloves, bullet-proof vests, boots, nightsticks, handcuffs, mace, tear gas, "flash" bombs, concussion bombs, smoke bombs, the martial arts, psychological instruction, access to trained higher-ups, spiritual persons (a priest, a preacher, a family member) hours of training and instruction on the use of weapons as a last resort? Didn't this same police department only a couple of weeks ago find an interpreter fluent in Russian to help in a domestic dispute? How is it that the choice was so quickly made to take a life?

Jim McCrary,

Box 591, Lawrence.

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