Why It’s Impossible to Calculate the Percentage of Police Shootings That Are Legitimate:
In too many cases to count now, surveillance video, dash cam footage, body cam footage or citizen-filmed video has shown that a shooting didn’t happen the way the police officers involved claimed it did. The charitable explanation for the discrepancy is that the police simply misremembered what happened… The less charitable interpretation is that the officers knowingly lied… For this discussion, the difference isn’t all that important. What’s important is that without video, the officer’s account is usually all that matters. But we know from video that the officer’s account can be wrong. We don’t know how often this is the case. And it isn’t clear that this really can be known….
Look at the shootings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling… In both cases, the deceased was in possession of a gun. In both cases the police claimed that the suspect was reaching for that gun. For FBI data-collecting purposes, both cases would be instances in which police officers used lethal force to defend themselves after an armed suspect went for his gun….
I asked The Post’s Wesley Lowery about the two cases… Without the video, The Post would likely have classified them as an “attack in progress.”
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