Absolutely disgusting.

’They murdered him:’ Family of UPS driver killed in shootout lashes out at police

Every officer involved should be locked up awaiting arraignment on murder or manslaughter charges. If heads don’t (figuratively) roll in Broward County for this, something dirty and evil is at work.

The officers:

  • Never tried to negotiate, just started shooting
  • Shot into the UPS van without any clue as to where the hostage or hostages might be (violations of Rules 2 and 4)
  • Shot through the UPS van into their own people who had encircled the van (absolute violation of Rule 4)
  • Effectively used innocent bystanders as human shields, which apparently got at least one innocent bystander shot (further violations of Rules 2 and 4)

Officers of the law are not military, they are civilians just like the civilians they claim to protect and serve. They have no right to simply start shooting at law-breakers indiscriminately, particularly when all of the points I just made are ignored. And even the military operates on more stringent rules of engagement than this. Soldiers have been court-martialed in Iraq for killing innocent civilians. How is this different?

Incidents like this are happening all over the country and are not being well-reported (no-knock raids that get cops and citizens alike killed, the phenomenon of “SWATting” where innocent people get 911 called on them as a prank or because someone doesn’t agree with them politically).

Look. I want to support the police, because I think they serve an important purpose in our society. But either they are no longer being trained properly, or these incidents are happening because the police really do think they are some sort of elite military cadre that can’t be touched for anything they do. If it’s the former, we can fix that. If it’s the latter, the officers who can’t stand down from that lofty but false perch need to be removed from the police force and never allowed to return. These are not feudal times and they are not the knights of the lord of the manor with a mandate to operate against the serfs with impunity.

Perhaps a good start to regaining public confidence in the police would be to stop providing them surplus military weapons and military vehicles and get them grounded back into the communities they serve.

As someone else said in another context, these guys make the FBI agents in Die Hard look good. And that raises another trenchant point:

Real life isn’t a got-damn movie. So stop acting like it is.