Sunday morning headlines are full of the story about a NY Police shooting involving the butt of one woman and the knee of another. And as with any shooting that takes place by cops, an investigation is underway to determine why it happened.
CNN reported on September 15 that the New York officers were chasing a man out of a busy intersection, where he was at risk of being hit by oncoming traffic. But news accounts also state that he had already been hit by a car and was trying to make his way around to the driver's side of the vehicle to confront the person behind the wheel. That's when police arrived on the scene and tried to stop him, but one witness said "the male put his hand in his pocket and then took it out, simulating that he was shooting at the officers," so they opened fire back.
Two women nearby caught the bullets that flew from the two officers guns instead, with one woman taking a hit to the butt while the other got it in the knee. And the onlookers at the Times Square shooting watched on in shock, with it being later reported that police were "trying to corral an emotionally disturbed man who was moving in and out of traffic" in the vicinity of 42nd Street and 8th Avenue, according to the Huffington Post .
The 54- and 35-year-old women were taken to a hospital for treatment as a result, but the questions now are: Where's the third bullet that was also fired? And why did these two cops miss? Or better yet, why didn't they taser the guy first, instead of doing it after they shot and hit two innocent bystanders?
Hindsight is always 20/20, especially in cases fraught with this kind of split-second decision making, but law enforcement officers involved in a fast-paced incident like this NY Police shooting are generally trying to prevent someone from harming themselves, like in this busy intersection case, or from harming others, so they try to avoid harming anyone at all. This man was moving around too much for them to taser him initially, obviously, weaving in and out of traffic according to witnesses. And for a taser to work you have to be able to get close to the man, which moving traffic was preventing at the time of their arrival on the scene.
After the man acted like he was pulling a gun they had no recourse to do anything but shoot back, as officers are trained to do, since it can mean the difference between their life and death, as well as those they are seeking to protect around such a scene. Once they realized he didn't have a gun, and that innocent people had been hit by their bullets, you can bet the traffic in the area had come to a halt, which gave them the ability to get closer to the suspect without fear of being hit by a moving car. And that's when they got close enough to taser him, obviously.
Both women suffered grazing wounds, so they're OK. But I wouldn't want to be those officers, who now have to go under a review for just doing their jobs on a busy street in New York due to the antics of a man either insane or on something.
Photo credit: Kerri Ann Nesbeth via Twitter.com