People who read the title of this post and instantly think about the incident earlier this year where members of the New York Police Department (NYPD) injured nine bystanders while attempting to gun down one individual who wasn’t currently acting aggressively are probably saying “No duh!” The conclusion in the post title wasn’t my own, it was the conclusion of a writer at the New York Times. Let’s look at the charges being made against the NYPD:
This year, there has been an unusual string of questionable and highly public shootings. It began in February, when a narcotics officer in the Bronx chased an unarmed teenager named Ramarley Graham into his building and killed him in his bathroom. The most recent came in October, when a veteran detective shot Noel Polanco, an Army National Guardsman, during a traffic stop on the Grand Central Parkway in Queens. In the intervening months, the police: fatally shot Darrius H. Kennedy as he waved a knife at tourists in Times Square; injured nine civilians near the Empire State Building while shooting Jeffrey T. Johnson moments after Mr. Johnson shot a former colleague; shot Mr. Bah; and accidentally shot and killed Reynaldo Cuevas, 20, a bodega worker who ran into an officer while fleeing from a robbery in the Bronx.
For a city run by a man who continuously implies that individuals outside of the state’s employ are irresponsible with firearms they sure have a lot of police officers who have acted irresponsibly with firearms. Seeing the extent of NYPD’s training it becomes apparently where the issue lies:
Some of Mr. Kelly’s troops disagree, going so far as to approach reporters with unsolicited views. One officer, who joined the force with a military background and spoke anonymously because he feared reprisals, said the problem was training. The department has “a factory line” approach to weapons training in which officers “get the basics — breathing, trigger control,” but not much else, he said. “It’s very brief, minimal.”
“Firearms training is important — it’s very important,” the officer concluded. “And it’s something that is not taken seriously.”
There are seven firing ranges at Rodman’s Neck, from Adam Range to George Range, and on most days, they crackle with the reports of weapons shot by new recruits or by officers who must requalify twice a year with an accuracy rate of no less than 78 percent in target practice.
Of the people I know who carry firearms a vast majority of them have training that is far more extensive than that received by members of NYPD. This really puts a hole in the claims gun control advocates often make regarding the insufficient training received by carry permit holders and the superior training received by police officers. The training received by members of the United State’s largest police force seems entirely inadequate, especially when you consider the job police officers are expected to perform (namely using their firearms against people who disobey the state’s decrees).