Yesterday, I started a Great Debates thread on whether we should expect police to show courage in the discharge of their duties. I asked whether I was naive in even wondering.
My GD thread was based on an incident that happened a few days ago in Toronto, where I live. Specifically, an 18-year old, armed with a 3-inch knife, weighing about 110 pounds, was alone on a trolley car. No civilians were inside with him and the police, maybe eight or ten of them, were all outside the car. With their Glocks drawn and aimed at him.
For reasons unclear in this video of the incident (which I suggest watching on ‘full screen’), the cops suddenly opened fire on the ‘kid’ (I call 18-year-olds kids). After their NINTH SHOT, they tasered him. He was VSA at the hospital and pronounced dead there.
Some of the posts to my GD thread astounded me. One, in particular, said that what the cops did was “admirable”. Admirable? Executing a kid because he’s holding a 3-inch knife even when NO ONE is in danger? No one else was even on the trolley car. He posed no danger to anyone. Admirable?
Despite all this, I kept things out of the pit. Then, a few minutes ago, I watched this new (to me) video of the events. My gawd!! It shows that the victim was not lunging toward the door (and thus the cops) when he was shot. He was no closer to the door than he had been earlier in the standoff. But what sickens me the most about the action of the Toronto Police is that this video shows quite clearly how the cops kept pumping bullets into the kid when he was simply writhing on the floor. No matter how you interpret his earlier behaviour, he was not a threat at that point. Yet the bullets, numbers four through nine, kept coming. Disgusting. On so many levels.
(If you choose to watch the videos, my advice is to watch the YouTube one first and only after that going to Live Leak. Viewing them in that order will help you get a better sense of the orientation and pacing of the “incident”.)