Straight to Deadly Force

Would you execute somebody if you suspected that they had stolen $1.19 worth of merchandise. Most people probably wouldn’t but I can state for a fact that there is at least one person who would and, surprise, he’s a law enforcer:

One minute, Jose Arreola was buying a pack of Mentos at an Orange County service station.

The next minute, he was at the business end of a gun drawn by an off-duty Buena Park police officer who thought Arreola had stolen the $1.19 roll of mints.

This didn’t have the appearance of an armed robbery so there was no threat of violence on the table until the officer pulled his gun. Instead of jumping straight to deadly force, he could have asked the clerk whether the mints were paid for or not. That simple question would have cleared the entire matter up without anybody having to be threatened with a summary execution.

I also think that it’s fucked up that an officer would consider jumping straight to deadly force over a roll of mints. If I owned a convenience store and somebody slipped a $1.19 roll of mints into their pocket without me realizing it, I’d write it off because the cost of doing anything about it would greatly exceed the value of the merchandise. I certainly wouldn’t call the police because I don’t believe having $1.19 stolen from me warrants the use of deadly force.