T Nation

Police Use of Force Thread

Since this seems to be a popular topic given the extensive discussion of the Derek Chauvin and Kim Potter trials, I thought perhaps it needs its own thread. Here’s the latest controversial case: A police officer in LA responding to a report of an assailant threatening and assaulting customers enters the store and ends up firing a .223 round, which passes through a wall and kills a 14-year-old girl who is hiding in a dressing room. Questions are being asked about why he fired his AR-15 inside a crowded store, given the penetration of the round. That was my initial take as well. But perhaps his concern for accuracy outweighed concern about a round passing through a structure and hitting an innocent person.

I can’t see what caused the officer to shoot. As far as using the rifle goes, it’s more accurate.

Our AR rounds fragment on impact to avoid this exact scenario. We have barrier rounds for different applications.

Anyone in this thread should watch the entire video that @nealdog posted on OP.

The officers weren’t shooting at the girl on the ground, they were shooting at a guy who had been beating her with a bike lock.
The girl who was killed was a bystander in a dressing room behind where the officer was shooting, the bullet ricocheted off the ground and hit her.

As far as use of force goes, I think it is justified. The attacker was armed, and the police did not know to what extent (keep in mind that Burlington’s also have knives that aren’t hard to remove from their packaging). Shooting someone armed with a bike lock is a bit excessive, but shooting someone with a 8" knife (hypothetical) and has been evading authorities is not excessive.

Very easy for them to turn the corner and stab an officer if that was their intent. Officers risk their lives at every traffic stop and to think they should have to risk not coming home to their families, just to avoid shooting someone who had it coming, is ludicrous IMO.

This doesn’t justify shooting someone. In fact, it does the opposite.

You don’t shoot someone because of a hypothetical weapon.

That was not the case here.

This is not how it works. You don’t shoot people because they had it coming but because it’s a case of justifiable defense of yourself or someone else.

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So did you see me comment and decide to come in and argue with me or do you just hate police officers?

I was in law enforcement. And we weren’t trained to shoot someone because you think they might have a weapon but because you know they have a weapon and, they are an immediate threat to you or someone else. You also don’t shoot if you aren’t sure of what is behind the target.

Regardless, criticizing a police officer’s actions has nothing to do with hating cops, and you’re basically playing a race card of sorts with that comment.

Anymore questions?

They knew the person had a weapon.
“Police were called to the scene following numerous reports of an assault with a deadly weapon and a possible shooting in progress at the store.”

In the video, the officers literally said “He’s hitting her now”

You don’t have to preach gun safety to me, I was enlisted. There was a wall behind the officer’s target - its easy to say “he shouldn’t have done that” now knowing that someone was behind the wall, but there was no way of knowing this was the case.

Were you an officer?


Just my opinion on the video I saw. It appeared the suspect had an object (a bike lock) as a weapon. There were half a dozen officers. The woman who was being attacked already seemed like she was away from the suspect (could be wrong, I am thinking she was the person on the ground away from the suspect?).

To me, it seems lethal force was uncalled for at that moment. They had him greatly outnumbered, he wasn’t a direct threat to anybody at the moment of the shooting. I think they should have confronted him as a group.

I think the girl getting shot although very unfortunate shouldn’t have much impact on evaluating the officer’s conduct. He had no way of knowing if a person was behind the wall. I do question if this use of lethal force was justified though. Not sold one way or the other, just opinion for now.

Shouldn’t all LEO ammo be limited penetration to mitigate things like this? Instances where penetration is needed are FAR more rare than instances where it is a danger to the public.

Idk, keep a bright red clip for each weapon in the car that has penetrating rounds Incase they are needed.

Exactly. That’s why you don’t just shoot.

MP. And since we also could get activated for civilian law enforcement, we had to know the rules governing lethal force in that area as well.

Exactly. And why was he the only cop to fire his weapon? This is an important detail.

So criticizing the actions of one cop is hating all cops? The response to a criticism of one cop is, “you hate all cops,”?

I seem to remember years ago here in Canada there was a HUGE controversy to do with hollow point rounds being used by police. It mushroom in shape when they hit something, which causes much greater damage, but they are less likely to go beyond first contact.

I figure fuck it, let the intended target go down with one bullet as opposed to more and save everyone else.

Not the same thing as law enforcement. Y’all were just the enlisted folk that disliked other enlisted folk (joking, kinda).

Per the video, this officer took point - it would be his position to be the first to do so. If others had opened fire, that would likely have been considered excessive force without question.

Can you tell me how many rounds are in a M16 clip please? :face_with_monocle:

Nope, I’d assume it depends on the magazine being used. Why is that important to know in regards to my post?

Was just curious if you knew anything about what you were talking about or not.

FYI, a clip holds rounds - for .556 ammunition it’s mostly 10 rounds per clip. A magazine holds rounds, typically AR15 and variants’ magazines hold 30 rounds which equates to 3 clips.

I don’t think keeping a clip of penetrating rounds in your car would be very helpful for most tactical situations, and I don’t think you put much thought into making that suggestion.

You’re effectively agreeing with standard protocol with your response here.


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A clip feeds a magazine. A magazine feeds a firearm.