Not the Exercise They Were Expecting

Yet another person has been killed by a police officer. This time the victim was a 73-year-old retired librarian. There was no crime, real of fictions, involved in this shooting though. Instead negligence during a citizen academy lead to live ammunition being used during a shoot, no shoot scenario:

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. (AP) — A police “shoot/don’t shoot” demonstration in Florida went shockingly awry when an officer shot and killed a 73-year-old former librarian with what police said was real ammunition used by mistake at an event designed to bring police and the public together.

Authorities didn’t immediately say how a gun with a live round came to be used at Tuesday evening’s demonstration, noting blank rounds are typically used in such classes. The officer has been placed on administrative leave, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating.

“We were unaware that any live ammunition was available to the officer,” Punta Gorda Police Chief Tom Lewis said at a news conference Wednesday. “The officer involved is grief stricken. We’ve got officers assigned to him to make sure he’s psychologically stable.”

Training scenarios like this are why non-lethal ammunition such as Simunitions exist. Most training ammunition requires the use of a conversion kit that is also unable to chamber live ammunition. Why was live ammunition available to the officer? Why was he using a firearm capable of chambering live ammunition? There had to be multiple layers of people not giving a shit for this kind of death to occur.

But, perhaps, this exercise wasn’t really a shoot, no shoot scenario. Perhaps it was an exercise in investigating yourself and finding that you did nothing wrong. Either way, I doubt the officer will face the same punishment that you or I would if we negligently killed somebody.