Police Fatal Shooting Maryland Berhe
In this frame grab from body camera video provided by the Montgomery County Department of Police, taken Thursday, May 7, 2020, Montgomery County Police Sgt. David Cohen aims and shoots Finan H. Berhe, as Berhe, holding a knife, charges at Cohen, after the officer had ordered Berhe to drop the knife and get down on the ground, in the White Oak area of Montgomery County, Md. Berhe died at a hospital, police said. No officers were injured. (Montgomery County Department of Police via AP)
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“[S]hooting to incapacitate” will likely lead to more shootings, not fewer. If officers are taught that their gun is now a less-than-lethal option, they could use that gun more and simply say, “I only shot him in the leg.” The imprecision caused by the reality on the street — when adrenaline is pumping, sirens are blaring and hearts are racing — would surely cause police firing rounds at appendages to miss and strike innocent bystanders.

Shooting to wound, rather than to neutralize a threat, would also make it more “OK” for officers to use their guns in situations that don’t warrant it. Importantly, their failure to neutralize a deadly threat would mean more officers dying at the hands of violent subjects who survive their wounds and continue to attack.

As well-intentioned as “shoot to incapacitate” might be, it is a distraction from identifying and addressing the steps needed to reduce the number of shootings by police. We should be recruiting and training officer candidates who have the capacity to de-escalate potentially violent encounters through well-proven verbal techniques.

We should be vetting police applicants to find those who are less likely to default to violence, racially driven biases and extremist ideologies. And we must hire officers who look more like, and better understand, the communities they are assigned to protect. Reducing the number of fatal police shootings is a worthy goal, but “shoot to incapacitate” misses the mark.

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62 COMMENTS

  1. “As well-intentioned as “shoot to incapacitate” might be, it is a distraction from identifying and addressing the steps needed to reduce the number of shootings by police.”

    Well….if prosecutors don’t want to prosecute…maybe a permanent limp would be an effective tool of rehabilitation?

      • “And while trying to miss the femoral artery.”

        I am an absolutist regarding the Second Amendment, but people whose proficiency with firearms is not up to that standard, should never be permitted to possess firearms.

        • And who should set the standards? Not everyone in the Continental Army was a crack shot. Most didn’t know the manual of arms nor how to march and drill. That was what Von Steuben did for the Continental Army, teach them how to present themselves on the battlefield. It was more than jus showing up. Tha’s what a well-regulated militia means. Every here the term “regulars” in connection with the armed serivices? Those are the “well-regulated” troops.

        • Old Lefty (Leftist-Socialist),
          For your edification the words regarding a “well regulated militia” are the PREAMBLE to the right to bear arms. PREAMBLE means the reason why we have the right to own and bear arms. Do you understand now ?
          You Leftist-Socialist keep trying to make that the whole thing. Why is that? Are you still trying to disarm us so you can maintain your control over the populace?

  2. Hire officers that look more like the local community? Segregation. The fascist left is showing its true colors. Again. Still.

  3. I couldn’t care less what the cop ‘looks like’ as long as they are doing their job. I wouldn’t want a cop that looks complacent.

    It’s a violent job. It’s a violent world most cops live and work in. I wouldn’t want a cop to be afraid of their own side arm.

    If you want cops that just wish everyone a joy-joy day singing “I’m an Oscar Mayor Weiner” then what’s the point?

    • Prndll, The job of a police officer is not “violent”. There are times when the police officer has to meet violence with violence, but that is not the job at all. It is to try to maintain the peace.

  4. The police already “wound” enough perps because generally both the officer and perp are in motion which can effect accuracy. After all ducks in motion are harder to shoot than sitting ducks.

    What matters is You better have a very, very good legal reason to use deadly force and if you do shoot to kill. Failure to follow rules can place you in a pen for a long time with inmates just like the one you smoked.

  5. How about if we just shoot at their feet and make them dance until they promise to go straight?

    That’ll learn them tenderfoot perps!

  6. Chiraq has a high % of “po-leece of color”. It doesn’t make a marked difference. I’ve known several over the years(at the gym). You wouldn’t believe the vile chit I’ve heard from them. “He’s guilty of something”…most cops ain’t Annie Oakley.

  7. The author is full of Progressive crap…but he is correct about “shooting to incapacitate” being a really bad idea.

    That would make an interesting Use-of-Force continuum…wherein firearms are relegated to less-than lethal status. I guess that Deadly Force would involve Swalwell’s “We have nukes” option…talk about collateral damage.

  8. ‘Reducing the number of fatal police shootings is a worthy goal, but “shoot to incapacitate” misses the mark.’

    Ha! I see what you did there. 🙂

    shoot to stop the threat, period. This pick-n-choose a particular spot to “wound” is not only dangerous for you and those around you but its also very stupid.

    What sane person thinks a guy with a knife or other weapon coming at them is going to hesitate using that knife or other weapon to stop them. That bad guy is not coming towards you because he/she is glad to see you and wants to give ya a big hug and sing ‘Kumbaya’.

    • You’re not wrong – but why do cops do a mag dump, reload, mag dump again, and reload before approaching the (obviously) dead perp? Not to mention that when one cop fires, every cop within a three block radius also has to fire.

      Yeah, the people who want cops to shoot kneecaps out are misguided – but there are legitimate questions to be answered as well.

      • I also do not understand the mag dump mindset, but it seems to be a part of the training these days. Sure you can argue “shoot to stop” but a mag dump can occur in seconds, not even enough time for the alleged perp to hit the ground from the first shot fired.

        • “I also do not understand the mag dump mindset,…”

          How else you gonna know if you stopped the threat, or not?

        • @Mark N

          “I also do not understand the mag dump mindset, but it seems to be a part of the training these days. Sure you can argue “shoot to stop” but a mag dump can occur in seconds, not even enough time for the alleged perp to hit the ground from the first shot fired.”

          when the “perp” is down the “perp” is stopped.

          There is a reason they want the bad guy to go down. Basically, its because if the bad guy is still up they can still be an effective aggressor and if the bad guy is down its more likely they will not be an effective aggressor.

          You too should want the bad guy to go down if you use gun defense.

          It all happens so fast 99% of the time you don’t have time to look and see if a shot hit the bad guy or not, its not like a firing range where you can shoot then take a look to see if the bullet hit the target. I think that’s the impression most non-gun people have, especially idiots like these that want to do shoot to “incapacitate”, that you have time to stop and decide if a shot hit the target or not and gauge its effectiveness. Its not like that, the aggressor can close that distance very quickly and you are down to that less than an eye blink moment in time so you keep firing until the bad guy goes down because its the only way to ensure the bad guy is likely no longer an effective aggressor.

          Then there is the other camp who say when the aggression stops you stop. There is something to that. But if a bad guy has already shown the will to continue aggressive actions even though you have them at gun point or show being prepared to use the gun there is a point where close is too close very quickly so you still most likely need to put them down to ensure the bad guy is likely no longer an effective aggressor. Its like the guy in the video shot at the top of this article, definitely has the will to continue aggressive actions.

          Then there is a combination of both that depends on the situation.

          Been there done that. Its not like Hollywood movies where there is this very visible spray of blood with each round that hits the bad guy so you know the bullets are hitting him/her, and you do not have the luxury of going “is that enough yet?”

        • “Why was the suspect shot 63 times?”
          “Because my deputies ran out if ammo”. Sheriff Grady Judd, Osceola County, FL. “Any other questions?”

      • So is the answer better training or defunding? What does defunding accomplish exactly? That’s a rhetorical question. We already know the answer, and it ain’t pretty.

        • Training costs money so it will one of items reduced or eliminated to meet the budget cuts after the police are defunded.

          A note to someone. “Defund the police” means cutting the police budget with the money going to social workers and violence de-escalators. It does not mean demilitarizing the police.

        • ‘Cutting’ the police budget would be ‘reducing funding,’ or ‘underfunding’ it. DEfunding means exactly what it says: Removing all funding for the police department. It doesn’t mean ‘reduce.’ It doesn’t mean ‘cut’. It means DEFUND. The desired result of True Believers is NOT a smaller, gentler friendlier police department that still has guns, which are of course exclusively used to kill minorities, babies, and puppies; It is to ‘reimagine’ a SocialJusticeDepartment where the crooning of gentle songs and Native American chants are exclusively employed to defuse conflict, with the eradication of the ‘police department’ a natural side benefit, an agency that one can call 24/7 to mediate disputes, deal with tiffs, squabbles, and unpleasantness, get kitties out of trees, solve bank robberies, remonstrate with murderers and rapists to mend their ways in a non-violent manner, help with parking problems, and mediate family disagreements.
          Besides, if there’s no cash bail, what’s the point of arresting people? If there’s no point to arresting people, what’s the point to a police force? If there’s no police force, nobody’s going to be arrested, so, overnight, crime simply disappears! This instantly frees up money formerly spent on police, jails, courts, and prisons to be spent on Social Justice and Equity. Like $450,000 to each illegal alien who was forced to miss a meal. Once.

          Oh, these people have thought this through.

    • Someone once told me:

      Never assume you can hit every bad guy target coming at you. Just assume if you don’t then you will probably die.

    • In case someone does not understand why an officer will sometimes keep firing, do a mag change, then continuing firing

      https://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/news/2020/08/10/lansing-man-dies-after-being-stabbed-quality-dairy-mask-dispute/3333509001/

      For the non-gun viewing audience, and maybe some of you folks here > DO NOT WATCH THIS VIDEO IF SUBJECT MATTER LIKE THIS IS OR WOULD BE DISTURBING TO YOU

      Synopsis for those who do not want to watch the video: The suspect gets pulled over by the deputy, suspect gets out of his car and goes to the deputy car and starts attacking the deputy with two knives and a screwdriver. The deputy backs away in retreat but the suspect keeps attacking, the deputy is firing and hits the suspect. The suspect keeps attacking, the deputy does a quick mag change and racks the slide with the suspect still attacking, deputy continues to back away in retreat firing. The suspect will not stop attacking. The suspect shows signs his gunshot wounds are affecting him and drops the knives and screwdriver then bends over to pick them up to continue the attack and the deputy fires. The suspect goes down finally.

      What this officer experienced is one of the types of violence people are subjected to around 6,000 times a day in the U.S. and defended against with guns and most times the defender never fires a shot because the bad guy runs away when they discover their victim has the capability to defend themselves.

  9. … find [police applicants] who are less likely to default to … racially driven biases and extremist ideologies.

    Translation: ensure that we never higher “white” people because they are virtually guaranteed to be conservative white-supremacists who are looking for the flimsiest justification to harm “people of color”.

    Note that “white” people are people of any color (including non-white) who “act” like white people. And “people of color” are people of any color (including white) who “act” like people of color. Or some such nonsense.

  10. “Shooting to wound” is a STUPID premise. This concept makes the “assumption” that each of the police officers are expert marksmen. Unfortunately, most police only fire their weapons when they go for qualification which depending on the department is only once or twice a year.

    • Not just that but even if every cop did have the skills to make such a difficult shot under stress, the idea also assumes a more reliable degree of incapacitation via gunshot than actually exists. I’ll bet the people who think a pistol shot anywhere to the leg will immediately end the fight are the same who think handguns are magical death rays that instantly kill with a single shot anywhere to the torso. Goddamn idiots thinking movies reflect real life….

      • Shooting someone enough that they stop being aggressive, but without killing them directly, causing potentially fatal wounds, or permanent injury?

        That would be a tall order even for someone’s highly trained and professional European police.

      • Speaking of people who think Hollywood movies reflect real life, I saw a movie last year where the bad guys had AR-15 rifles, but the good guys “only” had deer rifles. LOL, yep, that’s why I put the “only” in quotes. Hollywood has this bizarre idea that deer rifles are less powerful than AR-15s, when that’s the exact OPPOSITE of the truth!

        One of the good guys (a woman) shot the bad guy in the chest from point-blank range with a deer rifle, but because it was “only” a deer rifle, it didn’t incapacitate him, and he was still fighting. She shot him again in the chest from point-blank range with the deer rifle, but the guy still kept fighting. Then she shot him a 3rd time in the chest from point-blank range — she was standing over him now — and that 3rd shot from a deer rifle that FINALLY stopped him. You know, because Hollywood thinks deer rifles are wimpy compared to the mighty AR-15, LOL. They made a big point in the movie of saying the good guys “only” had deer rifles, LOL.

  11. >We should be recruiting and training officer candidates who have the capacity to de-escalate potentially violent encounters through well-proven verbal techniques.

    Police Departments are already doing this.

    >We should be vetting police applicants to find those who are less likely to default to violence, racially driven biases and extremist ideologies.

    Again, already doing this. There’s generally extensive background investigations, polygraph (magic box of stupid, but it’s done) and psychological evaluations done to do all of this.

    >And we must hire officers who look more like, and better understand, the communities they are assigned to protect.”

    First half of this is actually illegal under EEO. Kind of strange to do so. The latter half was being done, then some people freaked out over police in the community, and so officers have back out in a lot of areas from doing more community engagements.

    So, all in all, I agree with basic premise, but their “solutions” are already realities.

    • Right? I have my own issues with cops but I swear, every time I read something like this it seems like the left think that if someone wants to become a cop, they literally just sign their name and are immediately handed a badge, gun, and a monthly quota of blacks to shoot. Then again, I guess these are largely the same people who think you can buy a machine gun over the counter with nothing but a small amount of cash, so maybe it’s not surprising….

  12. Has any of these idiots figured in ‘stray’ bullets flying past intended target(s)? Trying to hit an arm or leg instead of center mass is going to definitely increase missed targets and bullets hitting unintended objects down range (like innocent people). Also will increase chance of hitting femoral artery.

    • Shooting to wound is an idea that is dumb as a rope.
      However, since the authors of such ideas/suggestions think that only enforcement folk should have guns, I suppose they also think that they are all expert marksmen even when shooting under stress.
      Of course, this doesn’t mean they should shoot to kill; but, rather they shoot to stop the threat/action.
      An yet there would be no need for any shooting if people would follow simple instructions beginning with the word “stop”.

  13. I dunno, I’m open to the idea of a load of BBB shot to the lower extremities in any and all officer contact situations.

    • A wounded suspect is still very dangerous. If you have to shoot,you keep shooting until the threat ceases.

  14. What a cluster jump shoot to wound would be! Every death would be a lawsuit by families, cause bullits just aint smart enough. Working in a state prison I was taught there is only one reason to shoot. “I shot to stop the action” and never consider kill vs wound.The goal is always to stop the action. and never answer differently.

    • of course. the goal here is not to “shoot to wound”, but to take one more step to destroy the entire system of law enforcement and criminal justice. when you argue with these people you grant them legitimacy – legitimacy they deny you with every word they speak and every action they take. the proper response to these people is dismissal and exclusion.

  15. “And we must hire officers who look more like, and better understand, the communities they are assigned to protect.”

    So, hire more criminals. They look like the community. They understand the community. And they would work extremely well with most city politicians.

    This is a great idea!

  16. “We should be vetting police applicants to find those who are less likely to default to violence, racially driven biases and extremist ideologies.”

    citizens get police. hostiles get troops. wild animals get zookeepers.

  17. “And we must hire officers who look more like, and better understand, the communities they are assigned to protect”

    so, separate but equal? white areas get white officers and black areas get black officers?

    could go for that. certainly be a lot fewer shootings. black cop in da hood sees a homey gettin’ a beat-down and says, “ain’ no thang, I ain’t messin’ widdat.” everybody goes home happy.

      • “Watch as it turns into economic apartheid”

        nope. economic apartheid would leave them starving. no, they want 1) you working and 2) them spending. there will be NO economic segregation.

        equality just is not possible here. whites cry for “equality!” out of desperation, because they sense that their institutions have been turned against them and are being used to enslave them while the ghetto runs rampant.

  18. The proliferation of “less lethal” or even allegedly “less than lethal,” ammunitions is also resulting in an increased number of shootings. After experiencing many incidents where suspects died as a result of “beanbag rounds” that penetrated between their ribs to destroy heart and lungs, the LAPD conducted the extensive testing that the manufacturers should have done. Beanbag rounds are allegedly lease lethal because they are expected to expand so that the impact energy is distributed over a larger area. However; beanbag rounds need time and distance to expand (minimum safe distance is about 35 feet) and will often “frisbee” so that they impact edge on. Experiments demonstrated that a rifled barrel is needed to achieve consistent performance. Even then, the risk of death is great enough that such munitions should not be used in which the use of deadly force is not reasonably neccessarry. Unfortunately; the mythology if “less lethal” munitions encourages casual use of deadly force.

    In one incident, members of the Portland Police Bureau repeatedly shot an unarmed 12 year old girl in the buttocks from a distance of less than five feet. The excuse was that she was a very large 12 year old girl and the police were getting their asses kicked. While this particular 12 year old girl outweighed most adults, the police had already taken her down and had her under control. They were simply frustrated and vengeful because she resisted their efforts to handcuff her.

    In another incident, an officer with the Portland Police Bureau mistakenly loaded buckshot rather than beanbag rounds in a designated “less lethal” shotgun. Thanks to the spin imparted by the rifled barrel, he was unable to score a hit until he got so close that the shot cup became embedded deep in the subject.

    In yet another incident, a Federal agent shot a protestor (actually a peaceful protestor rather than a rioter who was vandalizing, looting, burning much less assassinating political opponents) in the head with what apparently was a pepper spray round from across the street. The projectile inflicted a depressed skull fracture and brain injury.

  19. Not to mention, shooting to wound is just an asshole thing to do. It’s cruel, and any jury that hears you say, “I just wanted to wound him” will hear, “I wanted to make him suffer”(admitting to malice), and not only lock your ass up, but hand all your money and assets to the asshole you shot to wound.

    • “any jury that hears you say, ‘I just wanted to wound him’ will hear, ‘I wanted to make him suffer'(admitting to malice)”

      word.

    • Plus, an overzealous, gun-grabbing, gun-hating (in the hands of law-abiding citizens) DA will instruct the grand jury, “if he was afraid for his life, why did he shoot to wound him?”.

  20. Rediculous, shoot to wound? Really, what tard came up with this. This is more of the movie mentality, nothing to do with real world situations. This is how stupid people are becoming. The real problem? The 13% responsible for the majority of violent crime. But the problem is dems refuse to accept facts. Kind of like Climate Crisis?. Total BS, have you actually driven across America and Canada. Climate Crisis is a total lie to sway the stupid people living in cities. Quit reading dumb shit and get out there and find out for yourself. Prove me wrong.

  21. I just read “Shooting To Wound Will Increase Police Shootings, Not Reduce Them” at statistical face value. Only the wounded can count for multiple shootings. The denominator changes if deceased.

  22. “And who should set the standards?”

    Me, of course.

    There are two main gags in the comment: and self-declared absolutist, “but….”; an impossible proposition – being able to hit not only a leg, but an artery.

    Now a third:

    “If the requirement to be able to hit an artery seems too unreasonable, well, “If it saves only one.”

  23. “Did I killed him officer? Oh no, …. I was aiming at his wrist….. He should have kept still and moved into a more lighted area of the alley.”

    • Internal Affairs: “Officer did you shoot to incapacitate?”

      Officer: “Yes, I did.”

      Internal Affairs: “If you shot to incapacitate then why did the suspect die immediately upon being shot?”

      Officer: “Isn’t death incapacitating?”

  24. Lunacy. Very, very few people have the skill or presence of mind to pick and place their shots in a desperate moment of survival. That’s Hollywood action thriller movie making fantasy stuff.

    If shoot you must, it is to stop the threat. If the threat dies well that is the threats’ fault, not the defender. Stopping the threat is paramount, what aim you can achieve is center mass of what is coming at you with deadly intent.

    This is real life, not movies or TV and not some ignorant persons fantasy of what is fair.

    Surviving, that is what’s fair!

  25. “Surviving, that is what’s fair!”

    imitating their owners, in their minds everything is about them and is theirs. to them, “fair” means they take all your stuff and then tell you what to do to serve them better. and they’re quite serious about it.

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