A cool new trend gripped the nation this weekend when police in both Charlotte and New York City discharged their weapons in the direction of unarmed citizens, resulting in the death of one man in the former, and the hospitalization of two others in the latter.
In Charlotte, police responding to a 911 call from a woman about a strange man knocking on her door found Jonathan A. Ferrell nearby.
The statement said officers approached Ferrell to investigate the original call. Ferrell ran toward the officers and was hit with a Taser. Ferrell continued to run toward police when Ofc. Randall Kerrick fired his weapon, hitting Ferrell several times. Ferrell was pronounced dead at the scene. Washington Post.
Ferell may have been involved in a nearby car crash, investigators say, and could have been seeking aid from the police. He probably thought they were coming to help him. The office in question has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.
In Times Square last night, police officers shot an apparently threatening man wielding a knife in the middle of the crowded street.
The 35-year-old man was behaving strangely, and pretended to point a weapon at officers, the New York Police Department said in a statement.
“The male was blocking traffic and appeared to be attempting to be struck by vehicles when the officer attempted to take him into custody,” the statement said. “The male eluded the officer, and when additional officers responded to the scene, the male put his hand in his pocket and then took it out, simulating that he was shooting at the officers.” CNN Wire
Two women were hit in the crossfire and taken to the hospital.Today Police Commissioner and Mayor Bloomberg defended the actions.
Raymond W. Kelly, the police commissioner, said that he thought “the police responded appropriately” and that the number of rounds the officers fired was not unusual. Police officials said officers tried six times to subdue Mr. Kennedy with pepper spray, without effect. None of the officers at the scene had Tasers or other stun guns, the police said.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg agreed with Mr. Kelly, saying the officers “probably acted in responsible ways” in trying to stop “somebody who must have been mentally deranged.” He added that “taking a knife and going after other people, particularly police officers, isn’t something that a sane person would do.” New York Times
So, let this be a lesson to everyone out there, don’t get in a car crash, and don’t be insane.
Image by Lincoln Rocha via the NYT.