It is not hyperbole to say this is virtually a daily routine in America. It’s considered so humdrum, so much background noise, that it is rarely reported beyond local newscasts and metro briefs. In the days bracketing the Aurora massacre, San Francisco police shot and killed mentally ill Pralith Pralourng; Tampa police shot and killed Javon Neal, 16; an off-duty cop shot Pierre Davis, 20, of Chicago; Miami-Dade police shot and killed an unidentified “stalking suspect”; an off-duty FBI agent shot an unnamed man in Queens; Kansas City police shot and killed 58-year-old Danny L. Walsh; Lynn police and a Massachusetts state trooper shot and killed Brandon Payne, 23, a father of three; Henderson police shot and killed Andy Puente Soto, 42, out in the desert wastes near Las Vegas. (emphasis mine)Here's something sad and ironic to think about: The average person is far more likely to be shot by a police officer than a mass murderer or spree killer. Yes, the very people paid to uphold public safety are, in many circumstances, a danger to the public itself!
These are some of the anonymous dead. Their names are occasionally afloat on seas of Internet data or in local news reports. Many are young, even very young; many are people of color; many are wanted by the police for one thing or another; some are crazy; some are armed; some, like Manuel Diaz, are not.
In the end, though, we know remarkably little about these victims of police action. The FBI, which annually tracks every two-bit break-in, car theft, and felony, keeps no comprehensive records of incidents involving police use of deadly force, nor are there comprehensive national records that track what police officers do with their guns.
~ from Aurora Gets the Attention, But Guns Are Going Off Everywhere by Stephan Salisbury ~
Being a cop is a tough job. You have to make many split-second decisions and sometimes these decisions are about life and death issues. If you hesitate too long, you might end up being the victim. With this in mind, far too many police officers have decided not to hesitate at all. Like our national leaders, many have adopted "the shoot first, ask questions later" mentality.
But there is a steep price for this mentality: police end up shooting and killing people they had no business shooting in the first place. If a person is unarmed and not aggressively resisting arrest, what excuse is there for shooting them? In most cases, there isn't one, but the police shoot unarmed people all the time.
We live in lawless times, boys and girls. It's getting so bad that it's often hard to tell the difference between the good guys and the bad guys. The good guys are supposed to follow the law, but, in far too many police-initiated shootings, this isn't the case at all.