I agree Peterson didn’t act heroically. But, was he following his training by taking a secure position and waiting for backup?
He was the school resource officer and knew those buildings. That’s important tactical information he could give the SWAT team.
I’ve seen a lot of news footage. Cops always work in teams. Typically you see 8 or more guys storming a building with an armed suspect.
Everybody wishes somebody could have ended this attack early. I don’t know if Peterson was in a position to do that. Where was he as it started? Did he ever have a clear shot at the killer? You can’t randomly shoot into a building full of people.
It’s very easy to say what one would/should do in a passive academic setting, like a classroom. It’s quite another thing when the adrenaline is coursing thru you in a real life-threatening situation. Without making any comment on this specific situation, (because not enough has been released to the public to be able to comment) when the ‘fit hits the shan’ not everyone has ‘it’ to run towards the danger.
When your choice is to go forward with a 30%? 50%? 70% 80% chance of dying a hero (or just dying) vs. a 80%? 90%? 100%? of standing your ground & going home at the end of the day, not everyone will be able to go forward when it *really *happens, especially if one is out gunned & maybe even out armored. Brains are funny that way.
We were always taught first priority is yourself, second is to your partner, & third is towards the public. He followed that training last week. That may make him unfit to be an officer on the street; that doesn’t make him a bad person.
He is a weak coward who is a disgrace not only to the badge he just resigned, but to humanity. He walks away after not doing his job while 17 families bury loved ones and dozens more face numerous injuries and healing time .
The way you’re talking it’s as though he shot those kids himself. He’s not responsible for the fact that people can so ridiculously easily get hold of the weapons to do this. That’s the only “disgrace to humanity” here. And it will be the next time. And the time after that. And the next fifty times.
If he’d gone in alone, armed with a pistol and no body armor, perhaps he’d be a hero, probably a dead one. I don’t think not acting heroically makes you a disgrace or a coward. It just makes you a normal human being. Nobody should be required or expected to undertake a suicide mission as part of their job.
“Our cops aren’t brave enough” is not the problem. But I suppose it’s yet another way to distract from the real issue.
Maybe he’d have gone in and gotten killed, but 14 of the 17 who died wouldn’t have gotten shot. Maybe his actions would have been enough to draw the gunman’s attention, so he shot at the cop and the kids could’ve run away.
THAT’S WHAT HIS JOB WAS: TO SERVE AND PROTECT THE PUBLIC, NOT HIMSELF.
ETA: Holy fuck, you want to talk about “‘our cops aren’t brave enough’ is not the problem”, go into the Controversial Encounters thread and start explaining why cops shoot people who are getting their wallet out of their pocket or who answer their front door or any of the other dozens and dozens of documented incidents of police shooting out of a completely unfounded fear. Go make your case there, and we’ll see how well it holds up. Because it’s pretty fucking clear that at least some, and maybe a whole fucking lot, of cops are scared bullies.
He should have his vest on as part of his daily uniform. He was a 30 year cop who was obviously hanging on in what he thought was a cushy job walking the halls and giving high fives to the kids. He ultimately ignored his training and duty by not trying to neutralize the shooter.
He had a gun and was trained on it which is a lot more than the students and teachers had.
That’s fair enough. And it may be that the police chief who suspended him knew more egregious details. I don’t want to get hung up on defending a guy when we don’t yet really know exactly what happened.
Still, I think blaming the cop for what happened is over the top and a distraction from the real problem, which is the fact that this disturbed kid had access to this weapon so easily.
If he’s resigning, it sounds like he himself feels like he didn’t do the right thing, or that the internal investigation would uncover something.
That said, there is a sort of guilt, similar to survivor’s guilt, that makes you question everything you did, so his feelings may not be accurate.
As for the actual situation, I’d need more info. Was he just waiting on backup? Or was he just too afraid to go in?
And while I don’t think you should be a cop if you’re just too afraid to to the job, I will NOT get behind attacking someone for not doing something because they were scared. People with the best intentions do this all the time. You’re not rational when you’re scared.
If he was unable to do the job, then resigning is the right thing to do, and I will not heap on further condemnation.
I don’t know his training or his departments SOP, but probably not.
Back in the old days [pre-Columbine] securing the perimeter and awaiting back-up and/or a tactical team was the norm.
Over the last 15+ years many agencies have been training that the first officer(s) on scene go in and hunt the perpetrator down. No “freeze police”. No “show me your hands”. Just find them and shoot. I’ll bet that rubs some of you the wrong way. :rolleyes:
Every year my agency does active shooter training. Based on that, unless that Deps training is significantly different, or he had valid reason to believe another officer was arriving very, very soon he probably should have gone in.
I say that knowing that it is extremely easy and arrogant to be a Monday morning quarterback.
Cops always complain about having a tough job and they really do. But in my eyes this guy was just a coward who should have never put on the uniform or the badge, he was a cop in name only. Police officers get a lot of fringe benefits and leeway with their behavior as part of their jobs.
But the very nature of the job itself means that you have to be willing to assume some sort of risk. I think a different cop who had not tucked tail and run could have gotten the drop on the punk and maybe had the element of surprise on his side, and he had to have known the layout of the school as well.
Now maybe he didn’t know exactly what to expect but I’m sure in the chaos he could have stealthily made his way to the shooter’s position and taken him out. Sure some kids were already dead but it didn’t have to be seventeen. Sure he may have died or been wounded but then why even be a police officer if you are going to sit outside for twenty minutes listening to a slaughter take place. What good would a secret service agent be if he wouldn’t take a bullet for the president?