TTAG has ripped the ShotSpotter gunshot detection system a new one on several occasions (here, here, here, here and here). While Jeremy S is OK with it, I stand by my conclusion that ShotSpotter and its ilk are an expensive and nearasdammit useless way to fight “gun crime.” After convincing various municipalities to spend millions of dollars of taxpayer cash on ShotSpotter – to no appreciable effect – the company and its competitors have created a smaller, simpler product and focused their marketing efforts on schools. The ever-credulous Washington Post reports . . .
Let’s start with this: “I think it’s reasonable to think that the officers perceived an immediate threat either to themselves or continued threat to that individual [across the street].” That’s Sgt. Jason Ramos’ take on his officers decision to shoot a young man standing across the street from police arresting a neighbor for allegedly “firing up to 100 machine gun rounds at a home across the street, killing a dog inside the house.” I guess Sgt. Ramos isn’t the type to “wait for the results of the investigation.” Anyway, the gentleman perforated by the po-po, one Danny Sanchez, was “aiming a camera phone at the cops when they opened fire.” Thankfully . . .
To combat violent crime in general and “gun violence” in specific, West Palm Beach Police and West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio are introducing what they’re calling “Neighborhood Enhancement Teams.” They’re talking about two five-member police squads working “24/7 with teenagers and gangs” to help “identify troubled youth and connect them with organizations that will help put them on a different path.” Less romantically, the cops will “patrol and monitor two square miles of West Palm Beach.” While there’s nothing wrong with the idea per se, the big question here is . . .
TTAG runs a lot of police and cameraphone video of cops gone wild – especially when they end with a questionable “ballistic solution.” The Trinity Texas Police Department posted the video as a well-deserved attaboy for Officer Wheeler. I’d have been inclined to put a little distance between myself and the driver and/or changed the angle to make firing a little more difficult when I spotted the gun, but those are minor quibbles from an armchair quarterback. No question: this is an excellent example of a police officer who gets it right. Of particular note . . .
Regular readers know that New York Finest suck at hitting what they shoot at. The cops’ official hit rate (as of 2008): 34 percent. That’s pretty damn bad. But not as bad as 1.19 percent. And that’s the stat we derive from this story [via nydailynews.com] partially captured on autoplay video after the jump [turn up the sound for the full effect] . . .
James Yeager is at it again. The controversial gun guru is making waves with a new video. This time he’s responding to the so-called “war on the police” by urging “his brothers in blue” to stay home on September 11, the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. “They will be begging to have you back on the 12th,” he proclaims. This may not be the dumbest thing Mr. Yeager has ever said, but it’s certainly amongst his most deranged recommendations. Not only is it a form of petulant psychological extortion, it’s also bound to . . .
Instapundit reckons “THIS CARTOON GETS IT EXACTLY BACKWARD. Police don’t actually protect law-abiding citizens from criminals so much as they protect criminals from the much-rougher justice they’d get in the absence of a legal system.” Oh I don’t know about that. While citizen-delivered “rough justice” is a thing – a concept that certainly appeals to the popular imagination – I hardly consider the police the bad guys’ champion (however inadvertently). Glenn’s analysis fails to take account of the police’s deterrent effect. Or, more importantly . . .
“Police in Sacramento are calling a video that depicts a man firing a gun from a moving car disturbing,” sfgate.com reports. I’d say “helpful.” To wit: “Those in the video were ultimately identified by police as Damon Batson, 28, and Carlos Gonzalez, 25. In the video, a person can be seen firing a gun in public while a second person is in the front seat of a moving vehicle . . .With Gonzalez narrating the entire time, the two men claim they’re on their way to take care of a man who may be with one of their girlfriends.” The SF cops’ reckon social media – like the live video sharing app Periscope – increases the likelihood of people committing firearms-related crime. Here’s another example . . .
“You can’t really write a policy that says you have to carry your gun with you all the time. That would be unrealistic. I think there could be a policy that says don’t keep it in your vehicle — that would pretty much solve or at least start to address the problem.” – Don Cameron in Thefts of officers’ guns raise questions about firearm security [at sfchronicle.com]
According to a Force Science Institute study [full report after the jump], a police officer’s memory after a shooting is highly unreliable. Same goes for you. That’s why you should never agree to a post-defensive gun use police interview without a lawyer present (but do provide details that can help the police apprehend criminals or identify witnesses). “Investigators need to remember that an officer who misses or misstates information about an event that later becomes significant is not necessarily being deceptive or self-serving,” the report recommends. That’s true for both cops and [non-LEO] citizens, although you’re hardly likely to get the same slack as brother officer. Just sayin’ . . .
“The New York Police Department said that in the midst of the sting, a suspect pulled a gun on the undercover officer, stole the cash changing hands in the transaction and ran,” nytimes.com reports. “When the officer opened fire, police officials and witnesses said, he shot the suspect, but he also hit Mr. Kumi, 61, who was walking to retrieve his van from a nearby repair shop.” And killed him. The police “excuse” for the negligent discharge: the dealer in question pointed a gun at an officer as he fled. (You gonna argue wit dat?) New York’s Finest didn’t just fire ONE stray bullet . . .
The man who shot the video above, Michael Thomas, sold the exclusive rights to San Antonio’s KSAT12. The local TV station chose not to show the actual moment police gunned down a man with his arms raised in surrender in Bexar County, San Antonio, Texas. Apparently he wasn’t reaching for a weapon at the time of ballistic perforation. “Law enforcement officials say the deputies made multiple attempts to subdue the man using tasers and riot shields but were unsuccessful,” thinkprogress.org reports. “The officials said deputies arrived on the scene to find . . .