“The dramatic video shows the moment Boise police officer Rob Rainford shot and killed Noel Rodriguez this past June,” Studio News. “Prosecutors say Rodriguez made himself a clear and immediate danger to law enforcement and that Rainford was justified in the shooting. ‘That vehicle is a deadly weapon. If that vehicle breaks loose, there is no doubt it can cause significant bodily injury or death,’ said Deputy Chief Eugene Smith of the Boise Police Department.”
The police report says Mr. Rodriguez was delusional, armed with a wrench and a screwdriver. It claims that he posed a deadly threat to an officer behind the truck (who probably shouldn’t have been there) and around the vehicle. In short, one wonders if there was another way to end the incident without shooting the driver. I wasn’t there, but it sure doesn’t look like the vehicle was about to break loose to me.
Anyway, before you come down on me like a proverbial ton of bricks for accusatory armchair quarterbacking, check out this link from last night’s Daily Digest: Military-Trained Police May Be Less Hasty To Shoot, But That Got This Vet Fired. As a former reserve cop I can attest to the fact that many police officers use physical and psychological intimidation as their go-to interface with suspected perps, which can escalate a situation dramatically.
So the question here isn’t so much do cops want to shoot people as much as do cops know how not to shoot people? Shouldn’t they be trained in de-escalating dangerous situations and finding non-lethal solutions whenever possible?