Amelia Royko Maurer wrote:Chief Wray was, in 3 conversations with me, unable to explain how Heimsness met the moral standard of the use of deadly force policy. At least two retired Chiefs and one retired capt. in the community question or do not believe Heimsness met the moral standard. Anonymous police officers have stated to me that they do not have confidence in Wray's choice. That, along with the statements of all witnesses and Heimsness' history of comments and has lead us to believe that perhaps it is worth MPD's time to have someone, who is objectively impartial, find out as much about Stephan Heimsness' life as they did about Paul Heenan's life.
Heimsness is a public servant sanctioned by the state to take lives of people only when they pose a deadly threat so grave, there is absolutely no other less lethal option available to stop that threat. He had options that he failed to notice for instance, another officer with a taser standing merely feet away.
Not a single Madison officer has been found in the wrong for killing a civilian in 125 years. That's impossible and if MPD says it isn't, then they should welcome an outside, impartial review of their investigation and support this Bill: http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/e ... ric-change
What exactly is the "moral standard" to which you refer? I don't think it's a fair criticism of someone to say they were in the wrong for failing to use something they didn't know to exist ("failed to notice another officer with a Taser".) It might be unfortunate, but how is it blameworthy? You do understand that this sort of thing tends to happen very rapidly without time to do a great deal of reflection, right? Sometimes the situation calls for a reactive response, not a deliberative response. Deliberation allows you the luxury of second-guessing and picking apart a reaction all you wish, but it doesn't mean that the individual should be held responsible for not having performed all of that deliberation that you have done over the course of minutes, hours or days in the fraction of a second he had available. Maybe you ought to go out to Gander Mountain and spend a little time in one of their simulation ranges and see how quickly you need to evaluate and respond to various scenarios. Then think about doing the same thing in real life when you don't have in the back of your mind "this is fake and nobody's really going to get hurt by my actions."
Think about all this "highly trained" stuff we hear about the police and the use of their guns. What does that mean? What are the implications? Does it mean they are more proficient using a gun? Hardly. I know a lot of people who can handle and shoot a gun far better than most cops can ever dream of doing because they have spent far more time developing those skills. For two equally competent shooters, the difficult part will be making the "shoot or don't shoot" decision. Police get training in that area that may or not have been gotten by non-police. What is the result of that training? I'll tell you. It drives home two points: 1. The time you have to make the decision whether to shoot is probably going to be fractions of a second long. 2. It's not always going to be an obvious choice until you're actively under attack and then it may be too late. I suppose a third point that it teaches is that it would be nice to be omniscient and have super powers of observation and super reflexes, but you don't have those things.
What is the result of having those all-too-human limitations drilled into you? It causes you to do your deliberations in advance so that when the time comes your reaction isn't purely instinctive and rash, and isn't purely deliberative and slow. It hopefully results in some sort of a balance between an instinctive and deliberative response to a threat. My guess is that this training results in more perceived threats getting shot, and fewer police getting shot. So, yes this highly touted use of force training that police receive probably is a dangerous thing in a way. It means they will fall back on how they are trained to react and deliberate less than a lesser trained person. I think the police training is portrayed as something that makes the public more safe, when in reality it probably increases the risk to the public slightly. The police would undoubtedly deny this is true and I don't believe that this result is intentional or a conscious aspect of the training necessarily, but I suspect it is the actual result. Insofar as it protects the lives of the police, it's probably hugely successful. As for protecting the public, that requires some hard thinking.