Why the Police Kill

In my recent book (Lemoncella Cocktail) the protagonist (Patrick Carter) reports having heard some policemen commenting on a recent killing. The conversation runs as follows.

Why the media doesn’t explain clearly what the prescribed procedure is for us to follow? Once we free our gun from the holster, we do so to kill. And we aim at the head—the hostile party can wear a protective vest of some sort—and it’s three shots and a round of three. That’s the rule.” “I know,” had replied his friend, “It’s all fault of the movies. They get a policeman intimidate an opponent by pointing his gun at him and hope that the bad guy will surrender. People believe that it’s what we should do. But if we did, there would be more police killed than criminals.” Patrick remembered asking to repeat what was, and they did, adding that those rules were almost the same around the world. “Basically, once you get the gun out, you do so to kill.”

I remember two instances describing the procedure one should follow while carrying a gun. When a friend of mine became a widow, she went to apply for a pistol permit. She had been a good shooter at the target range and felt that carrying a weapon would make her feel protected. Before she could get an application form, the officer in charge wanted to ask her a few questions. One was: “Where would you carry the gun?” My friend answered “In my purse.”

The officer had no hesitation in replying, “It would be totally useless. By the time you fish your gun out, you would be held up if not beaten or killed. The weapon has to be readily accessible, and there should be no hesitation in using it, otherwise it becomes an extra weapon in the hands of the opponent.”

The second instance is the one of a security guard who had passed all theoretical exams and had to face the practical test. In the room where this was taking place, the officer in charge of testing him entered with a knife over his shoulder in the gesture of throwing it. The student didn’t move and therefore flunked the exam.

When there is danger to the life of a policeman or of other people, the police are instructed to shoot—and to shoot to kill. The weapon is used to kill, not to intimidate a subject. It should be aimed at the head, and fired more than once.

The movies depict the use of weapons by officials in a completely different way: ON GUARD, IT IS FICTION!

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