A bipolar women drives wildly through traffic. Behind her, sirens scream, and blue light flood her vision; she is scared, and delusional. Her heart is beating rapidly, trip hammering against her chest. Sweat streams down her face. She guns her engine, and makes another attempt to escape the pursuers. She veers into a gas station, and crashes against a barrier. The airbags deploy and she sees stars as her head crashes into the bag. The sound of officers ordering her out of the car sound far away, and fuzzy. She looks up and sees their guns. She panics, and attempts to drive her car through them. The officers open fire, killing her.
Did They Have A Choice?
The story above is based on a event reported on earlier by the Daily Breeze. In Torrance, California, a bipolar woman, Michele Lee Shirley, was shot to death by the police as she tried to run them over, according to the police. The shooting took place at the corner of Sepulveda Boulevard and Cabrillo Avenue, near a Chevron gas station. Shirley had been driving erratically and bystanders and other drivers had dialed the police. She led the cops on a long chase, which ended in the shooting. It has led to people asking whether or not the police should have opened fire on her. On the one hand, the police say they had no choice, because she tired to run them over, hence threatening to kill them. On the other hand, police departments across the nation have made it a policy to never shoot into the cars of people they are chasing.
There are No Easy Answers
The police have a tough job, and its easy to try and say you know what they should or should not have done. But, you were not there and cannot say for sure. Then again, citizens have a right to put limits on the actions police officers can take. These limits are needed to make sure both the officer and the people they are sworn to protect are safe. And what about the danger of a bullet hitting a innocent driver or bystander? The police do not receive level of training trying that they should, so we cannot expect them to be crack shots. The risk of cross fire is one reason many communities have passed policies that do not allow cops to fire at cars. Some even do not let them chase them if the situation might cause harm to other people around the incident. It makes more sense just let them go and catch them later.
Keep Your Family Safe From Any Possibility
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