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03 July, 2008

From rumors... to facts... completely predictable

Location: seattle
Mood: disgusted and disillusioned

"Did you hear about the bank robbery today?"

This is what someone said to me 2 days ago. They had heard about a bank robbery, because the aftermath of this robbery landed in a local hospital.

The story that I heard, originally, was as follows:

Two guys disguised in wigs and dresses robbed a bank in West Seattle, and then (foolishly) drove into Downtown Seattle, and were chased by the police. The story was not that well-formed, of course, since it had not been officially reported. But the rumor was that the police had shot at the driver while in a chase. And the story from the hospital was that the police did quite a bit of damage, hitting him in the head, but I will not elaborate, since it is not in the news story.

Yesterday's first news stories came out in a few variations. The story was filled in with "the guy was shooting at the police". Then the story progressed further to say "the guy only had a pellet gun".

Today's news elaborates further. Now, turns out, the guy never fired his pellet gun. He merely "waved it" in the air, and refused to surrender the weapon.

Now, if you were the police and someone was waving a weapon and refusing to surrender, what would you consider to be the appropriate action?

Apparently according to Seattle Police Department protocol, the proper response is to fire FIFTEEN SHOTS at the perpetrator, who had committed no violent crime - merely a bank robbery - at that point in time.

The police chief said the officers used "a great deal of restraint". I guess they left their rocket launcher in the trunk of the squad car.

It turns out, this guy may have wanted to be shot by the police, according to a variety of statements he had made previously. But either way, it is completely inexcusable that the police would open fire to this extent, and the end result proves that they were not justified.

If you'd like to see the original story it is here.

I am sure that a "conservative" commentator (such as Bill O'Reilly) would say that this guy was a lifelong criminal, a crazy man with a deathwish, and that the moment he wielded a gun, and ran from the police (not to mention the robbery) that he got what he deserved. And that the police seek to protect innocent citizens from harm.

So maybe we should just kill everyone who is arrested? It would eliminate the need for courtrooms and prisons!

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